Illnesses, Cures and Criminal Behavior on DS9
Chapter 1: A Second Opinion
Station Medical Log: The Enterprise recently arrived to take on supplies that had been routed through this station. StarFleet has asked me to take the opportunity to examine both Chief Medical Officer Crusher and the body of Counselor Troi, who underwent an astonishing transformation into a statue to prevent a terrible disease from taking her life in what has been described as a horrifying and excruciatingly painful manner over 2 months ago. My assignment is to provide detailed records to StarFleet. They are not interested as much in Counselor Troi's petrified condition as they are in Dr. Crusher's mental state, if such a term truly applies to her anymore. Captain Picard has reluctantly provided me with personal information that he would rather not have shared. This will help greatly in my evaluation, but after hearing his report, I must confess that I, too, would have felt compelled to hold back.
"Dr. Crusher," Bashir began, "physically, you are just as capable, if not more, than Commander Data in performing any physical task. However, your cognitive processes are still a bit of a mystery due to the unique positronic/neural gelpak interactions in your overall matrix. Tell me, Doctor, what levels of emotional awareness do you possess?" "Accessing... My emotional levels at the moment are rather detached. I am capable of assigning an emotional response to any given stimuli, but I also have the option to completely shut them off." "I see. However, when you remain emotionally 'off' for extended periods of time, your matrix experiences very small levels of degradation. When you allow emotions to be assigned to stimuli, your neural gelpak matrix becomes more active and reverses any degradation that has taken place. How do you know when to allow emotions to be processed?" "Recent experiences and experimentation have shown that at some quantum level of consciousness that I possess, an emotional defense mechanism is activated that forces me to experience strong, basic emotions whenever a .000001% degradation is registered in the neural gelpak matrix." "And what emotions do you feel compelled to experience?" "Mostly emotions of a sexual nature. For example, every 36 hours, Captain Picard and I engage in sexual intercourse. The emotions I experience are perhaps 10 times greater than I would have experienced as a biological being. My physical responses are also greatly magnified." "Are these interactions with Captain Picard fulfilling? That is, do they always result in an emotional experience that is compatible with your programming?" "They did at first, and they do now. Every experience must be different. If any repeat, then a simple recall of the experience is processed with no emotional attachment to it."
"How does Captain Picard vary the experiences to satisfactorily generate the emotions you require to prevent degradation of your matrix?" "Our encounters are never planned in advance with each other. He summons me to various parts of the ship, mostly a holodeck or his quarters. He then engages in activities that he knows would have stimulated me as a biological begin. Most of them no longer do, but some are still intensely erotic to me as a technological being. Ironically, as a biological being I was aroused by being dominated as a robot or a still life figure. Captain Picard issues precise commands that I am compelled to obey as part of my programming. He controls each and every movement I make and I obey precisely as he instructs until he is ready for intercourse. He will usually vary the holodeck scenarios around me to instruct me to play a part in the scenario. I usually encounter a deranged scientist that forcefully takes control of me or become the victim of some mythological storyline that results in my transformation into an inert substance." "An inert substance?" "Yes, for example I once played a character that gazed into the eyes of a being that transformed my body into stone. Once, a seemingly innocent touch from a fictional father resulted into my transformation into gold. While I do not physically undergo any changes, the holodecks are programmed to make me appear that I have. The Captain seems to be quite fond of these storylines."
"What happens to your cognitive thought processes when degradation occurs in you matrix." "Unknown. My behavior does not seem to change, but I have not yet experienced harmful levels of degradation." "How long has it been since your last encounter with the Captain?" It has been thirty three hours, 42 minutes and 57.6 seconds." "Perhaps I should let you return to the Enterprise now." "That won't be necessary, Doctor." Dr. Crusher's eyes began glowing. Dr. Bashir curiously stared into them. In the instant that his eyes fixed on hers, he felt a warm wave wash over him. He stared deeper still. Dr. Crusher now had control over Dr. Bashir. "Computer... reduce illumination to 3 candlepower and secure this room.", Bashir commanded. Beverly had mouthed the words, but Bashir actually gave the command! He stood motionless, held in the grip of Beverly's stare. She commanded him to close his eyes. He immediately obeyed without challenging her. He felt her step closer to him. She was growing warmer. She stripped the uniform from his body and began rubbing herself against him. "Doctor Bashir, this is what the Captain likes to put me through, only I would be standing in your place... unable to move unless he commanded it. I want you to play his part. When I give the word, you will assume control of my actions and satisfy my programming requirements."
Bashir opened his eyes. Standing before him was Dr. Crusher. "Perhaps I'll return to the Enterprise now.", she stated. She started towards the exit. "Doctor, halt!", Bashir commanded. Beverly stopped instantly in her tracks, perfectly immobile. "Slowly turn and face me." She slowly pivoted on her feet. When her gaze fell on him, she stopped. A golden glow began to emanate from her body. "Place your left hand behind your neck and under your hair." She raised her left arm and hand and did as she was told. The glow increased. Bashir detected a slight burning odor, but quickly dismissed the thought. "Place your right hand on your hip and tilt your head backwards 15 degrees." She silently obeyed his commands. The glow increased again. This time, however, there was no ignoring the odor he had previously dismissed. Her uniform began dissolving before his eyes. Seconds later, there was no sign that she had been wearing any clothing at all. The glow washed over Bashir, intensifying the desire building in him. He approached her and gently reached out and cupped a breast. It was extremely warm, almost hot to his touch. He pulled his hand back, but his arm didn't respond. The glow intensified again. He looked up to see her now staring down at him... her eyes again seizing his mind. She stepped back. Bashir did not move in response. Beverly picked him up like a mannequin and laid him down on a medical bed. She posed his body, lowering his still outstretched hand to his side. She got on top and mounted him. He felt the liquids from her body begin to flow over him. "Doctor Bashir, complete my programming." As is suddenly plugged in, he jerked back to life and began moving with her.
An hour and a half later and exhausted Dr. Bashir filed his report with StarFleet Medical. No mention of his personal experience was included in the report.
Chapter 2: Signs of Life
The following day, the petrified form of Deanna Troi was beamed into DS9's sickbay. Dr. Bashir, Commander Data and Lieutenant Dax began an intensive examination of the marble Counselor before them. Dr. Bashir looked up from the Cardasian instrumentation that was displaying the results of his last scan, "Mr. Data, I am not detecting any of the energy signatures that the parasitic beings usually leave behind in deceased patients." "That is correct, Doctor", Data replied, "the victims who die from the parasitic invasion show the signatures, while the ones who undergo the transformation process do not." "But there is an energy signature here.", Dax interjected, "look at these readings. This looks like normal background radiation at first glance, but if you look at this band, it clearly is not." Data quickly looked at the reading Jadzia indicated, "You are correct, Lieutenant. Adjust the scanners to enhance these readings." Dax ran another scan, "Confirmed. There is a different energy signature. I would guess that it is the result of the parasitic beings not being to survive the transformation. In a cruel way, The Ohm inhabitants did find a cure after all. It's just that the side effects are rather permanent."
The door to the lab hissed open. Security Chief Odo stepped through, followed by Lwaxana Troi, Deanna's mother. "Pardon me for the intrusion," Odo said, "but this is the first time Lwaxana has had the opportunity to see her daughter since... the incident." "Of course, Constable", Dax replied, "let's leave them alone for awhile." With that, Odo, Dax, Julian and Data left the lab. Lwaxana walked up to the white form of her daughter and started to cry. She almost lost her balance and fell, but braced herself against Deanna's marble body at the last moment. "Mother, is that you?" Lwaxana cries increased at hearing her daughter's voice and the memories that flooded in with it. "Mother, please, don't cry." Lwaxana looked up and stared at the statue that had been her daughter. She blinked back the tears. Had she really heard her daughter, or was this the grief she felt? "Mother, I can still hear your thoughts, please, speak to me." "Little One?", she mentally cried in anguish and disbelief, "Is it really you?" "Yes, mother. My body has been turned into stone, but I am still aware of my surroundings. Please, let them know that I'm alive inside my petrified body. All of the women of Ohm who have gone through this process are alive as I am." At that moment, Commander Riker entered the room.
"Will! She's alive! She hasn't died!", Lwaxana shouted to him. This brought Odo, Dax, Data and Julian rushing back into the lab. "What do you mean, Mrs. Troi?" "Her thoughts! I can hear her thoughts and she can hear mine! She said that although her body was turned to stone, she is still aware of everything around her." Riker didn't even think to question Lwaxana. Several times, when he and the still form of Deanna were alone in his quarters at night, he thought that he could hear her. He had dismissed it as grief. Now, however, a new hope was beginning to take shape. "Data, Dax, Bashir... complete your scans and studies of Deanna. Report to Captain Picard's ready room in two hours with full reports. Lwaxana, I want you to stay here and assist them in any way possible." Riker hurried out of the lab and back to the Enterprise.
Chapter 3: A Ferengi and His Latinum are Soon Parted
At the appointed time, the key players met not in the Ready Room, but Data's lab. "Mr. O'Brien," Picard signaled to the station, "beam Counselor Troi to Data's lab." Seconds later, a nude statue materialized in Data's examining station. "Mr. Data, report." "Captain, the transporter trace shows that structurally, Counselor Troi's body and internal organs are perfectly preserved." The radiation signature Lieutenant Dax discovered earlier is still present. "What new information do you have to report?" "Lieutenant Dax and Dr. Bashir have formulated an intriguing hypothesis about the actual transformation process. One of them can best explain it. "Lieutenant, what is your theory?" "Well, Captain, we know that in a patient who dies from the parasitic infection that a certain energy signature is left behind as a side effect of them breaking down the molecular bonds of cellular structures. Further, the parasites themselves seem to thrive on Ohm due to a unique combination of background radiation on the planet. When a person undergoes the transformation, that background radiation that is present in the person is altered, destroying the parasites." "What about the actual transformation of the person?" "We believe, Captain," Bashir replied, "that the properties of the crystals applied to the victim are responsible for the change in the radiation, by bonding to the patient at first. As the radiation itself continues to change, a unique interaction takes place between the patient and whatever substances the patient happens to be in contact with. In Counselor Troi's case, she stood on a marble pedestal. There are signs that the transformation started with her bare feet and spread upward through her body, transforming her internally at first and then externally. The description of what the Counselor felt that was given to Mrs. Troi support this theory. It is further supported by reports of the earliest 'recordings', as the Ohm people call it, where victims of the parasites were turned into ordinary stone. It wasn't until the standard of people posing on a marble pedestal was started that all recordings of victims actually resulted in marble transformations." "Can the process be reversed?" "There is insufficient data at this time on which to base an answer.", Data replied. "We have discussed some experiments we need to conduct before reaching any conclusions." "How much time do you need?" "We will need two or three days.", Bashir replied. "Very well then, "I'll discuss the situation with Major Kira. In the meantime, make it so."
"What are they doing to my holosuite?", Quark wondered aloud. Several hours ago, Captain Picard ordered Quark to lend the station crew and the crew of the Enterprise his largest holosuite. Since then, a team of engineers was constantly in and out of the room. Although no one would answer his numerous queries, he knew that his holosuite was being fitted with Federation equipment. When he finally came to this realization, he worried, and with good cause. A large portion of his latinum reserves were stored there. He had to get them out, and soon, but he was denied access to the suite per Picard's order. Quark vowed to give Captain Sisko no end of grief when he and Commander Worf returned from Earth and then began scheming to extricate his latinum.
That night, he put he plan into motion. Since he could not access the holosuite, he would set a series of events in motion that would allow an innocent, underpaid worker accomplish what he could not, without raising suspicion. Morn entered the bar. "Right on time.", Quark said to himself. He watched as Morn approached Lyta at her gaming table and interrupted a conversation she was having with Dr. Bashir. Quark watched as Morn motioned to the second floor where the holosuites were located. Moments later, Morn walked away and Lyta and Bashir went up to the holosuites.
In the holosuite, Lyta stared in amazement at the pieces of equipment that the Enterprise engineers installed earlier. "Is there something wrong with the environmental controls?" She asked. "No, there isn't. In order for us to continue our efforts, we altered the environment to duplicate the conditions on the new Federation world of Ohm. The increased warmth you feel is caused by an increase in background radiation being broadcast through emitters in the ceiling. It's relatively harmless, but absolutely necessary. By the way, the engineers found this..." He motioned to a small cargo crate, "I believe that this is what Quark has been worried about most of the day?" "Do you know what in it?" Lyta asked. "We haven't opened it. It's really no business of ours. If you'd like, we can take this down to him. He's suffered long enough." "Let's take a peek first.", she suggested and then opened the container. As soon as the room light hit the contents, her eyes widened, "It's latinum! No wonder he's been edgy all afternoon." She picked up a handful of latinum slips, "He probably has names for each of these slips..." She paused suddenly and turned to face Julian. Her mouth moved, but no words came out. She felt cold, but didn't shiver. She started to feel lightheaded, almost dizzy. Then she noticed the look on Julian's face. He was in utter shock. He seemed to be staring at the hand that held the latinum slips. She raised her hands to look at them. It seemed to take forever, but she finally understood Julian's stunned reaction. The hand holding the latinum was itself latinum. She watched as her wrist and forearm solidified into latinum. A second later, her entire arm had become a latinum appendage and she could feel the effect spread through her body. King Midas couldn't have done a finer job if he had touched her himself.
While Lyta was undergoing her transformation, Julian finally recovered and grabbed a tricorder and began detailed recordings of what was happening to his former lover. He held the tricorder close to her legs as they began assuming the golden hue of latinum. He then stepped back and watched the final stages of Lyta's transformation. He watched her take her last breath before her chest and well-endowed cleavage hardened into the precious metal. The effect spread up through her neck and face. Finally, the fine strands of her hair were changed. Lyta now stood before Julian with a look of astonishment frozen on her face, looking at down at her hands which were frozen in front of her. Dr. Bashir slammed his hand against his comm badge, "Dax, Data, LaForge! Report to the holosuite immediately!"
Unknown to Dr. Bashir, Quark watched most of the events from the open door. He stared at the latinum form of Lyta for a few seconds and then hurried back down to the bar, knowing that it would be quite a while before he would see that stash of latinum again. The potential loss of wealth, however, was not foremost on his mind. As he watched Lyta's transformation, he knew that larger profits were within his grasp.
Chapter 4: The Cure and the Common Criminal
Dax and Geordi stared in awe at Lyta's frozen body. Julian gave them a few seconds to digest what they saw before bringing their attention back to reality. "You've seen the bad news, gentlemen, but there is also some good news to go with it. I was able to record the transformation process on my tricorder. I believe that the newly installed sensors were also active, so we should have extremely detailed data to work with." "Confirmed, Doctor", Data interrupted. "The new sensors recorded the entire transformation sequence. I believe that I reviewed enough preliminary information to support the hypothesis that the process is reversible." "Let's not waste any time then.", Bashir stated.
"First, we need to know if Lyta is more or less in the same state as Counselor Troi.", Dax said in an effort to keep her attention focused on the task before them. She couldn't help but let her eyes wander over Lyta's beautifully sculpted body. If this had not been such a serious situation, and if there were a bit more privacy, she would have removed Lyta's clothing to marvel at her fully exposed, latinum body. Then, as if silently cued, Lwaxana Troi entered the room. She let out a short gasp upon seeing the sculpted Lyta, but quickly caught herself. "I was with Odo. He heard Dr. Bashir's calls to assemble in the holosuite. He suggested that I may be of assistance. I can guess what you have in mind." She walked over to Lyta's frozen form and placed a hand on her. At first, the hard, smooth surface of her exposed shoulder occupied her attention, then she became aware of an awakening consciousness. At first the thoughts were confused and sporadic, then grew in intensity. Lwaxana suddenly pulled her hand back. "Is there something wrong, Mrs. Troi?", LaForge asked. "No, no, I'm okay. She is alive as Deanna is, it's just that her reaction to me was different that Deanna's." "Different, indeed," she kept to herself. "I haven't felt an orgasm like that since I went through the phase."
The hours passed quickly for the team. Soon, it was 0500. Had Lwaxana not knocked over a piece of equipment from lack of sleep, no one would have known how much time had already passed. With the exception of Data, who agreed to report the current findings to Captain Picard and then continue working, everyone agreed to grab a few hours of sleep and meet back in the suite at 0930. Oblivious to all, Quark remained in the bar through the night, waiting for an opportunity to learn more about what had happened to Lyta and how to exploit her condition. Twenty minutes after the team left the suite, Data finally returned to the Enterprise to brief Picard on the night's activities. Jumping at the opportunity, Quark easily overrode the added security on the holosuite and braved into the room. Lyta had been moved from where he last saw her. She was now enclosed in a transparent cylinder in the center of the room. Additional equipment, beamed in from the Enterprise had been installed. He would get back to the equipment in a minute. For the moment, he drank in the now undressed form that had been a living, breathing Bajoran... just the way Ferengi males liked them... naked and quiet. Lyta, however, was more... a Ferengi's profit fantasy come true. She was worth more than her weight in latinum, in a very literal sense. He finally turned his attention to the equipment in the room. He was looking for two items... the sensor logs of what occurred the previous evening and the current state of the team's research. He lucked out... Federation medical equipment was more prone to prying eyes than most sensor devices he had dealt with in the past. He quickly copied the data into his own Ferengi scanning device and quickly left the room.
At 0930 the team reassembled in the holosuite. They were joined moments later by Captain Picard. Data was busy assembling a device that looked very much like a modified phaser rifle. The energy emitter had been modified to project from a parabolic rather than a focused discharge point and a medical tricorder was now attached to the primary firing chamber. He placed the modified phaser rifle on a stand and aimed the emitter array at Lyta. "After I met with Captain Picard, I discovered a common property between the gold pressed latinum that transformed Lyta and the crystals used to transform Counselor Troi. Both have a molecular structure that is difficult to transport and to replicate. It is that property that reacts with the unique radiation found on Ohm that causes the molecules of a living body to be transformed into the substance that it is contact with. The effect is actually not permanent, but it can last for centuries before it is reversed. Unfortunately, this process is quite slow, and the transformed person will die from it. However, if the process were reversed more quickly, the transformed person may survive the process. There is insufficient information beyond this on which to base a more conclusive finding." "Mr. Data, have you completed your modifications to the phaser rifle?", Picard asked. "Affirmative, sir. This rifle has been modified to fire a modulated beam that will dissipate the radiation responsible for maintaining the petrifaction effect. The medical tricorder will vary the beam's modulation as necessary and terminate the beam at the appropriate moment. It is ready to be tested." "Proceed, Mr. Data."
Data keyed in the commands to remove Lyta's cylinder and then thumbed the trigger on the phaser rifle. A purple beam of energy exploded from the modified emitter and enveloped Lyta's body. Everyone waited anxiously...
Chapter 5: A Life Anew... and a Warning from the Doctor
45 seconds later, the beam abruptly terminated. It was several more seconds before everyone's eyes became accustomed to the normal illumination levels... except for Geordi, who had already stepped up to Lyta and held his hand out to her. Slowly, she reached for the outstretched hand and then grasped it tightly and then collapsed on the floor.
Hours passed. Lwaxana refused to leave the station's sickbay until Dr. Bashir had completed his examination. Finally, Dr. Bashir emerged from the secured examination area, followed by a now clothed Lyta. Lyta was beaming brightly, but Julian's expression told a more serious story... something wasn't right. "Lwaxana, Captain Picard, Lyta has been restored and is completely normal, except for one thing. She can never be exposed to certain forms of radiation, lest she revert to a petrified state. She's safe on the station, Bajor, Earth and any Federation space vessel. I can not account for anything beyond these locations. Mr. Data would be more suited to research this. I am ready to restore Counselor Troi, but there is a more serious risk for her. Because she has been in a petrified state for months, she will strongly desire to return to an immobile state for some time. Lyta has described how intoxicated she felt while frozen as a statue. I believe that the effect will be much more pronounced on Counselor Troi."
"Well done, doctor, and to your team." Picard said. "Do you believe that the inhabitants of Ohm can be restored as well?" "It's not a matter of can it be done as much as should it be done. The more recently transformed inhabitants can easily be restored, but they will still be susceptible to the parasites that forced this condition on them to begin with, even thought the Federation has identified them and are in the process of destroying them. The remaining, petrified women will suffer mentally hundreds of times worse that Counselor Troi will. I can't say any more than that." "Very well, doctor, please forward a full report to StarFleet as soon as possible. After we've restored Counselor Troi, we'll return to Ohm and assist them with the monumental decisions ahead of them."
The next day, the Enterprise departed for Ohm. Counselor Troi, having been restored, moved in to Riker's quarters. It would be several months before the emotional and mental changes would no longer haunt her.
Chapter 6: The End?
Three days later, in a secluded area on the Risa, Quark hid in the underbrush and waited. The hours passed painfully, but he was going to see this through today, no matter the discomfort. As the suns set on the horizon, a sunbather stood and brushed the sand from her slender body. Quark took a deep breath and fired an undetectable radiation beam at her. He waited for a minute and then approached her. "Excuse me, I've been lost in this area for hours. Could you point me to the nearest hotel? Please, take this as a token of appreciation." He handed her two slips of gold pressed latinum, which she refused at first, but Quark refused to take them back. "If you follow the beach to the north for sixteen kilomet..." She suddenly fell silent. In the fading sunlight Quark watched her skin tone change. He could see her body solidify before his very eyes. Soon, the waning rays of sunlight were reflecting off of her golden, latinum body. He stepped back from the statue on the beach and drank in the view until nothing remained of the sunlight. He signaled his ship to beam him and his cargo aboard. They materialized together on the transported pad. He ordered that the statue be delivered to his quarters and to set a course for the nearest Ferengi trading outpost. This was indeed going to be a very profitable venture.