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"The Procedure" Part III: Complications

Starfleet Academy Lounge

by Cadet Katelyn McCaffrey & Cadet Kobor Tumar
[Stardate ]


“The Procedure”, PART III: Complications

JL between Cadets Katelyn McCaffrey and Kobor Tumar

Kate’s eyes twitched, though still remained closed.  The sounds of the room graced her ears--soft regular beeps, distant voices, and the clang of metal instruments being placed on trays.  Slowly sensation returned to her body as her brain perceived the various inputs from the environment.  She felt slightly cold, and her right arm ached a little.  

Her eyelids were heavy, but she fought to open them.  Finally they opened, and then quickly blinked at the light.  It did not take long for her to adjust, though, as the light in the room was kept low.  She looked down at her right arm--at least it didn’t look like a klingon arm.  It was skinnier and paler--but still didn’t seem quite back to normal.  It had two tubes attached to it, midway.  Looking to the right she caught her reflection in the processing machine.  She was still male...she looked like Kobor did as a Human.

Kate lifted her head a bit to try and catch a glimpse of Kobor.  Her head ached, and she could barely move her torso due to the restraints.  She could only see a rough outline of him over the processing machine, but she did see ridges on his forehead!!  That’s good right??  “Kobor!”  She whispered.  “Can you hear me?”

Just then a nurse entered the room.  “Oh, hello are you feeling?”  she asked Kate as she checked her/his vitals.  It was still a little odd for the nurse that Kate appeared male, even though Kate was referred to as female.  Shapeshifter beings were not her normal patients.

“I’m fine, I guess.”  Kate said.  “A little groggy and kind of cold.  How’s Kobor though?  Why isn’t he awake?”

The nurse smiled at Kate.  “Don’t worry sweetie, we are taking good care of your friend.  It’s not an easy transition for him.”  She started toward the storage units.  “I”ll get you a blanket.”  The nurse retrieved a heated blanket and returned to Kate’s beside.  

Dr Piers entered the room just as the nurse was covering Kate with the blanket. "Ah good, you are awake. How do you feel Kate?."  He asked, as he checked the processing machine and the progress of the two patients.

Kate gave a weak smile.  “Fine doctor.  How much longer before we are done?”

Dr Piers nodded at the monitors; pleased with what he saw, though the cortisol and serotonin levels on Kobor were rising again.  His levels had been rising and falling dramatically over the past 42 hours.  He was stable at the moment, but that could change at any moment.  He nodded at the nurse to keep an eye on Kobor, which she immediately complied by moving to Kobor’s side of the room.  Dr Piers then gave his full attention to Kate.  “You have six more hours until the completion of the transfusion, and then the next 24 to 48 hours after that will be crucial.  We will have to wait and see how successful this has been and whether you two will remain your original selves or not.”

Kate nodded.  “And how is Kobor?  Is he going back to normal?”

Dr Piers paused a moment.  “He’s stable at the moment.  It’s too soon to tell if this is working for him.  His body is not taking to the change back to Klingon as easily as it took to the change to Human.  He makes progress, and then his body retaliates.  It’s a natural immune response, his human body is fighting to remain.”

Kate looked horrified.  “But...he’s going to be okay, right??”

Dr Piers nodded.  “Of course dear, we will make sure he’ll be just fine.  Don’t worry about him….you must focus on your own transformation.  And actually, it would help us help Kobor’s transition if we could understand how your body is reacting to the procedure.  We need to better understand how the shapeshifting ability works.  Now, I know you are pretty tired at the moment, but can you do something for me Kate?" As he waited for an answer Kobor jerked in his sleep slightly.

Kate glanced over toward Kobor, then back to the doctor.  “What do you want me to do?”  She worried about Kobor, but she could not do anything for him at the moment--and she hated that feeling.

The doctor loosened Kate’s restraints so she could move her arms.  "Just try to transform your hand, any kind of change under your own control. Not your entire body if you please."

Kate nodded and lifted her left hand.  She stared at it, her mind was slightly foggy.  Closing her eyes she focused on her task.  Thinking about how Kobor first witnessed her shape-shifting from cat form; she focused on changing the hand to a cat’s paw.  Her hand began to tingle; it almost felt as though the hand had fallen asleep.  

When Kate opened her eyes she looked at her hand.  It didn’t turn into a full blown cat’s paw, but black fur now covered the back of her hand, and her nails had turned more into claws--though not as thick as a cat’s, and not retractable.  She frowned and looked at the doctor.  “I was going for a cat’s paw.”

The nurse chuckled; peering over at Kate’s furry hand from her post next to Kobor.  “At least that’s progress, sweetie.”

Kate let her arm drop back down, and nodded.  “It’s more than I’ve been able to do since this whole mess started, so I guess it’s something.”

“It is a good start.”  Agreed Dr Piers.  “Now can y-." Before he could finish Kobor started to shake violently.

"Ah! Ah!" Kobor cried in pain as his entire body convulsed, the tubes and monitors still attached, but just barely as he nearly shook them out of his body. The nurse attempted to stabilize Kobor’s shaking.  “Doctor, his BP is rising fast; he’s going tachycardic!”

“Kobor!!”  Kate called out in worry.

Doctor Piers rushed to Kobor.  “Nurse 20ccs of Lidocaine Hydrochloride, stat!”

The nurse complied quickly and handed the doctor the hypospray, who immediately pressed it against Kobor’s neck.

After a few seconds Kobor’s violent convulsing slowed and then stopped.

Dr Piers checked the part-Klingon-part-Human’s vital signs.  At least his HR and BP were stabilizing, but his cortisol levels were off the charts, and every organ in his body were being put through a great deal of stress as both species fought for dominance in Kobor’s body.  He shook his head.  “Great.  We can't wait for his body to fully transform back via his DNA sequence. We need to find a stable equilibrium and lock him down."

"Stable?" The nurse asked. "How do we find that?"

"I'll have to make a guess. Let's get started."

“What??  Guess??”  Kate was attempting to get up from the table; nearly pulling out her own transfusion tubes.  “What do mean guess??!??”  Alarms began to go off as Kate’s worry began to push her vitals away from optimal.

Dr Piers gave a look to the nurse who nodded and came toward Kate.  “We have it under control, Kate.  You need to rest.”  She pressed a hypospray into Kate’s neck.

Kate resisted at first, but then quickly went limp as her eyelids became much too heavy to keep open.  “But...Kob..”  She whispered, as she fell into a deep, drug induced slumber.

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