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Round 8 Lt JG Dueld taJoot: Bent out of shape

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((Engineering Lab Two, USS Vigilant))

Matthews: =/\= TaJoot, I heard engineers were like smart and stuff, right? Listen from what we know so far the toxin is transmitted through that gelatinous substance. So how do you normally clean up the gel from one of those packs if they break? Moreover, could you implement that operation on a grander scale? And I really wish we could tell you that this was some freak accident. But I have pieces of a dead Romulan here that screams otherwise. Who knows what other types of sabotage could have implemented aboard that station. So you guys be careful poking around with that stuff ok? Cause you getting sick won't make us come up with a cure any faster. =/\=

TaJoot =/\= There you go, I'm getter informed just talking to you. Tajoot out. =/\=

::Matthews was probably hoping exactly what taJoot had hoped-- that Someone Else's Department had a magic Undo button that could be pressed. There were definitely a set of procedures to be followed in the event of neurogel compromise for Intrepid-class vessels. And sure, the Vigilantes could probably apply them to the station as a whole. But StarFleet used neurogel for processing, not storage; you could clean up a broken pack, sterilize the site and replace it without losing anything. The Vigilant could flood the station with something that would break down the Zalkonian gel (and any other biomatter). But then they'd lose all hope of ever figuring out what had happened. Like, why was that Romulan on board? Was there some link between the Romulans and this station? Why didn't anyone tell him these things?

T'Rella: The timeline of events is complete, Sir. ::She quickly moved the last few files into place.:: Transferring data to holographic display.

taJoot: So, what happened when?

::The central holo was overlaid with a neat timeline, indicating the time, or projected time, of the failure of each system.::

Malik: Impressive...

T'Rella: It goes without saying that these logs run through until the failure of the Damage Control systems. First to go offline were the diagnostic systems in a large proportion of the station. Following that, reports indicate problems with some of the data storage capsules, although their specific location does not appear in the logs. I suspect it has been erased, rather than lost.

::She raised an eyebrow.::

Malik: I agree

taJoot: Yeah, nobody submits a ticket saying "I have a vague idea that there might be a problem in Accounting somewhere," they submit tickets that say "That tsooderst file server in Requisitions ate my spreadsheet again, when are you going to fix it?"

T'Rella: What follows is a list of computer malfunctions that continues right through to the end of the log, followed by our next major error report. It appears that sickbay's ODN network collapsed, triggering a number of issues with equipment and isolating the computer systems within that department. By interpolating data from other files, I have made what I would assess to be a logical deduction... that the EPS flow regulator malfunction occured next. Similar reports have been found in the logs, and each is the trigger for power surges that disabled something more critical. Life support. Air refiltration. Emergency bulkheads. Internal sensors. Internal communications. Everything that would prove useful in the event of stationwide contamination failed first, followed subsequently by every other major system on the station... with the exception of the lights, and a few systems accessible in the command centre.

taJoot: Okay, so, yeah, it would seem difficult to attribute that tidal wave of consequences to a random entropy peak. So... ::getting up and stepping over to the display:: then the question is... what stopped it? Why didn't the infection take down the command center too?

::Dueld got up and started to walk slowly around the holo display. That was a significant design flaw in this snug little lab, actually, no room to pace. How the hell did people think without pacing? It was like their feet were totally uninvolved in the cognitive process. Aliens, that's what they were, strange beige people from space.::

taJoot: Computer, run a molecular scan on the gel capsules still present in the Zalkonian command center. Compare used and unused storage sectors. Generate a model of a base gel pac in its default unused state; display a random sector from it here on the holo projector. Display a random used sector from the least damaged of the command center gel pacs. And finally, display a sector from one of the infected sacs outside the command center.

Computer: Acknowledged. Working.

taJoot: Well, somebody else has probably thought of this, but my idea is that maybe whatever saved the command center systems can be leveraged somehow to engineer a defense or a cure?

::Over the next few minutes, three different models slowly sharpened from a crude initial scan to finer detail in the air before them. He pointed at the middle one.::

taJoot: Okay, see-- magnify to molecular scale here-- look, some of the command center gel has triple-stranded DNA. It's part of the encryption protocols. It's just different enough, structurally, and there's enough of it there, to slow the rate of infection. And... hey....

::Dueld held out both hands to bracket the lower model, and haul it up to his eye level.::

taJoot: The infection's either not very efficient, or it's super efficient, depending on how your perspective. Look at all those old proteins jumbled up there! Just like the toxin's effect on people, one of the effects the toxin has on the gel, when it converts the gel to toxin production, is that it shuts down garbage collection. If we compensate for a certain amount of signal noise from the damaged ends of the proteins, we can get back--

::Dueld turned and sat down, tapping and skimming rapidly around on his station's worksurface. A few minutes later, he emerged from his absorption and tapped his comm badge.::

taJoot: Computer, record a message to be queued for Lt. Thomas, Lt. Commander Handley-Page and Lt. Zehn. Attach comparison images in their current resolutions from the holographic display here, and algorithm protocol Zalkonian Gel Alpha. Begin recording.

Sirs, I've had a chance to do some analysis of the Zalkonian gel. It looks to me like, as long as the gel hasn't been infected for too long, the infection kind of acts like a preservative for data proteins that would have been discarded and broken down otherwise. It's so efficient at using cell energy for the toxin production that nothing has a chance to get rid of the garbage, so to speak. If we use some careful filtering to ignore bent sections or damaged ends, even the dead proteins have some data on them we can recover.

I've attached a first-pass algorithm for noise reduction, which you veterans can probably improve on-- I used it just now on a record fragment associated with one of the survivors. It seems to record that Vorad ordered a lab in the older part of the station sealed for biohazard failures. Are you guys anywhere near the section shown in the attached file? Can you confirm whether or not my algorithm is retrieving useful data? If it is, you can maybe use it on the gel sacs around you to get more of the lost picture. taJoot out. End recording. Transmit with attached files.



Lt. (j.g.) taJoot
USS Vigilant
NCC 75515

Edited by Leo Handley-Page
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