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An Attempt at the Miraculous
Posted on October 17th, 2012 by Jorvan Tav

As the Turbolift doors opened, Doctor Tav wanted to sprint the rest of the way down the corridor to Sickbay. If his theory was right, there might be a simpler fix to finding a new home for the Horathians than anyone, himself included, had yet thought. Instead of the desired sprint, however, he walked though at a brisk pace.

Nearing the end of the corridor, the large doors opened before him and Sickbay welcomed its current Chief Medical Officer with the normal sights and sounds. Tav passed by it all and stopped at his desk only long enough to pick up a couple PADDs and make sure his files were backed up on the main computer core for easier access from other areas of the ship. If Tav was correct…

If Tav was correct, within a few days Captain Veshin might be able to…

He shook his head. It was too early to get THAT hopeful. After all, he was a doctor, and had spent time as a biochemist, geologist, even an exobiologist… not a miracle worker.

A moment later, he was back out in the corridor heading for Holodeck 3. Of all the great design parameters of this ship, having a Holodeck right next to Sickbay was one of the best. Tav had recently found a program on the Starfleet database and downloaded it for just such a day as this. As he approached, he called out, “Computer: load Holodeck program Tav Eta Three.” The computer chirped in compliance, and the doors to the Holodeck opened before him to reveal one of the surgical theaters at Starfleet Medical in San Francisco, complete with support staff waiting for his every command or need.

Tav stepped up to the surgical bed in the middle of the theater and started programming on his PADD what he wanted to see on the bed. The computer began building a complete Horathian before him, in a tube full of the liquid argon atmosphere that this impossible person needed in order to survive. The tube surrounded the bed. Once the holoHorathian had been completely built from the inside out, Tav turned to having the computer construct a model of his DNA. Shortly, it appeared hovering over the Horathian. Even though he had seen it several times, Tav still could not believe what he was seeing. If the strand had looped in a few places, it would have been more normal looking. There was no doubt that it had been edited by someone who knew what they were doing, but someone who obviously didn’t care through what kind of hardship they put their patient. He furrowed his brow at what he was seeing.

Over the course of the next several hours, Tav would work to genetically alter the Horathian and unwind this DNA strand, injecting gene-altering drugs into the holographic Horathian to make changes to his genome, and then accelerating the changes. Time after time, the Horathian died. A few attempts looked promising, but then they would make their way to failure. Sometimes the death was quick and painless, other times they were excruciating to watch, and would have taken hours, days or even weeks in a real living person. The good news was, every time the Horathian patient died, Tav learned something from his actions that would have placed him on trial for crimes against sentience had his patient been a real person. Fortunately, he could accelerate the deaths to usually only last a few moments, even for instances that would have taken months to occur in the real fabric of time, and he could collect the data all the same. Eventually, after hundreds of attempts, the Horathian started surviving longer and longer before dying.

Tav had been in the Holodeck for twenty hours, when he saw something promising. When the last subject had died, the data showed that he had been quickly asphyxiated after two simulated days. Tav blinked at his PADD, almost unbelieving. He had died of a lack of… oxygen. He had drowned in his own atmosphere.

Tav quickly reset the simulation, and set it to slow down moments before the Horathian had shown signs of distress In the previous attempt. He also set up the Horathian to be awake this time, so that he could watch the actual reactions. Tav knew that if this went badly, it could haunt his nightmares for years, despite the holographic nature of his patient.

He began the simulation, and it quickly ran through the process to five minutes before the Horathian began drowning. He still seemed to be doing fine. There were several changes taking place in his DNA, like it was straightening out. Tav watched in awe.

The Horathian in the tube coughed. Tav looked down at him and blinked.

The Horathian began to struggle, his vital signs going off the charts. Tav careened around the surgical bed and quickly set the tank to remove the liquid argon atmosphere and replace it with a nitrogen-oxygen atmosphere.

The Horathian tried to keep his head under the liquid as it drained out, which caused him to struggle even more. He turned over in the tube and tried desperately to keep his head under the line, above which he thought there was death. Once the argon was completely evacuated, he gave up, turned over, stared at Tav and began breathing the Class M atmosphere, waiting to die as the tube opened up at the head of the bed and slid away toward the foot of the surgical bed.

A minute later he was still breathing. Two minutes. After a few more minutes, the Horathian went into cardiac arrest, but this was something Tav could fix. Moments later he had. Over the next hour, there were several more complications, but Tav was able to overcome them, just as with any other patient.

After the Horathian had lived for an hour without incident and had recovered from the last complication still conscious, Tav put the Horathian into a medically-induced coma and accelerated the simulation so that the Horathian continued to breathe for several days. He further sped up the simulation and watched his patient live out a long life and die an old man over the course of several minutes, all while using oxygen to stay alive.

He touched his insignia on his chest. “Tav to Wright. Please come to Holodeck 3 immediately. I think we have a breakthrough.”

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1 Comment

  • Atlantis Patch Ian Blackthorne says:

    Very nice depiction of the science involved in figuring this out! I also liked the McCoy reference, “not a miracle worker.” Well done!

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