Posted on January 9th, 2019 by Ryleigh Grey, Benedict Wolfe and Velina Tailor
Authored by Benedict Wolfe; Velina Tailor; and Ryleigh Grey
Standing by Major Wolfe, Ryleigh was quite nervous, hands twisting together. She glanced down, catching the light over her scars. She remembered the day that had left her scarred for so many years.
It was on a dare by another base kid when she was thirteen-and-a-half. Ryleigh had been dared to swallow magnets, and she did it under threatening to release private stories from other students. Barely thirty minutes afterward, she found herself in intense pain and was immediately hurried to the hospital and underwent scanning with surgery soon following. The injuries were widespread, scarring as they healed and ruining her formerly smooth skin.
She hesitated visibly, taking a small step back behind Wolfe. The costume she wore revealed her entire scarring, decorating over her belly and around to her back, ending briefly before her spine.
“Sir, will you tell me what we’re doing here?” Ryleigh questioned, brown eyes gazing up at the Tactical Commander. “I don’t remember a medical being scheduled.”
Doctor Tailor adjusted her floral headpiece impatiently as she swooshed through sickbay doors into the main ward. Even the artificial version of it was starting to itch. The costume that she was wearing wasn’t horrible, but it’s not what she would normally have chosen to wear. However, diplomatic functions demanded a certain level of compliance to the cultural traditions of the ones who had requested the gathering, so she’d reluctantly worn it anyway. The Atlantis was supposed to have been victorious in the fight against the weird bearded aliens, therefore they were required to host a victory party for the defeated. This made little sense to her, considering that the Atlantis crew had suffered the most casualties, and all the aliens had lost were drones. She didn’t feel very victorious, and Wolfe’s request for her to be in sickbay instead of the party was a welcome distraction.
“Major Wolfe, what can I do for you?” She removed the headpiece she was wearing and tossed it aside on a medical cart, glad to be rid of it for the time being.
“Doctor”, Wolfe began, “Lieutenant Grey has some old injuries. You’ll recognize them.” Wolfe gestured to Grey’s abdomen. “My sister has a similar medical history. Magnets can do alot of damage when swallowed, and even more damage sometimes has to be done to remove them… and for some people there hasn’t been healing until recently. She has lived with the same scars until last year. And when you have Haney’s Syndrome and swallow magnets…
“My sister has it as well. Swallowing magnets is the most common way to find out. The long term effects are minimal – save for the interaction your body has with magnets – which can vary from human to human.
“Well,” Wolfe continued, “there’s been an update to dermal regenerators that can fix the scars. But as rare as Haney’s Disease is, most doctors don’t know about the update… of the doctors who even know what Haney’s Syndrome is – since only one in 300 million have it – and it doesn’t usually affect the quality of life for those who do. Unless they swallow a couple N30 magnets.
Ryleigh glanced between the two, expression nervous.
Dr. Tailor listened carefully to Wolfe’s rambling description, sometimes with a puzzled expression – and she still had more questions than answers.
“Hm. I’m apparently one of those doctors that has never heard of Haney’s Syndrome…” She glanced at Wolfe, then settled her gaze on Grey. “I understand that it was a painful experience for you, and it was a difficult surgery to remove the magnets. I’m sorry you had to go through that.” She gave the young lieutenant an expression of sympathy. “But once they were taken out, the minimal interference they might have had with the dermal regenerator’s electrical field would not have been an issue anymore. Is there another reason that the incisions were left to heal naturally instead of being regenerated?”
She grabbed a PADD from underneath the wreath that she’d tossed onto the cart, and looked up Grey’s medical history. “Hm…That’s strange, there’s no mention of the magnets, or Haney’s in here,” she added, swiping through several screens. “If you’re somehow resistant to dermal regeneration, something of that significance should have been in your chart, especially if you are injured or have to undergo another surgery.”
Ryleigh met the Medical Officer’s sympathetic gaze, brown eyes intense and narrowed. “I’m not resistant to the dermal regen. I just… don’t handle it well.” Ryleigh explained. “I’ve never reacted well to it, it makes my skin flare up into rashes. We learned it after a trying to heal up a cut when I was a baby.” She twisted her fingers together, turning her attention between both officers. “I don’t want to attempt any dermal regen ever again. It was never stated in my files, due to me having the same doctors for basically my entire life and they already knew all of my… body’s quirks.” She murmured. “Any other questions?”
“Well, yes. But they would be directed more at your old doctors instead of you, having to do with record keeping and passing important information – more specifically, lack thereof – to Starfleet Medical. Those records should have been transferred when you joined Starfleet. But that’s not your fault. Anyway, to me it sounds more like an immune response to the dermal regeneration process…”
“Commander, “ She turned to Wolfe. “Is that a characteristic of Haney’s as well?”
Ryleigh turned her gaze to the taller Commander, then to the CMO, opening her mouth before closing it again. She appreciated everything that they were doing for her, even though her own fear of medical work was beginning to come into play. “Can we… just get this figured out and dealt with? Please?” Her voice was laced with faint tones of panic and fear, as she begun to shake slightly.
“Of course, I’ll do my best to speed this process along.” Tailor reassured Ryleigh. “Can you let me do a few scans? It should give me some more concrete information to work with.”
Ryleigh nodded. “Yes, ma’am.” She moved towards the berth, hoisting herself up onto it with a fluid movement.
“Ok.” Tailor gave her a quick smile. “Let’s see what’s going on here… Lay back please.”
Ryleigh obeyed, laying back carefully, faintly nervous, and keeping an intense eye on the CMO as she moved around her.
Doctor Tailor peered at the various screens and readouts, cross-referencing it with a few obscure database entries on Haney’s disease, and then back at Ryleigh. “So… it’s apparently a rare form of sun allergy. No wonder the dermal regenerator caused you problems. It’s the frequency of infrared that was causing your skin to react. Which, I assume is why it needed an update?” she looked over to Wolfe, before swiping through several more screens to find the information in question. “Ah yes, here it is.”
Several minutes later, given the relative sluggishness of subspace downloads, and the proper frequency had replaced the harmful one.
“The update is complete” she told Ryleigh. “Do you want me to try removing the scars now? It should take just a little while.”
Ryleigh nodded. “P-Please. I don’t feel comfortable showing any of my scars.”
“Ok. I’m going to start with one of the smaller ones to see if we run into any problems.” Tailor turned her attention to one that was a few millimeters long, just below one of Ryleigh’s ribs. The dermal regenerator glowed, but the skin did not. And the scar disappeared.
“Good.” The doctor gave a quick sigh of relief. “It’s working.”
She watched eagerly, eyes intent on the scar slowly vanishing.
The dermal regenerator glowed again, and one by one the scars disappeared. Several minutes later, the rough tracery of silvered lines on her abdomen became smooth as if the old surgery had never happened. Dr. Tailor looked up from her work. “You can sit up now, you’re good to go…”
Ryleigh smiled, sliding off the berth before giving a bright smile towards both officers. “Thank you.” She barely waited for Wolfe’s dismissal before trotting out of the medbay, heading down towards the holodeck to attend to the incoming members of the foreign species