Caduceus

Unity can heal...

These suits take ages to put on. My heart jumps to my throat as my crewmate, a creature with bug eyes like the pipe roaches back on Safeharbor, checks the seals. The translator whines as the chatter builds in the airlock. Everyone seems so calm, serene even. How?
I try to control my breathing when I hear the creature speak, “First time out?”
“Is it obvious?” I reply.
Her head snaps up, as if she didn’t expect me to be so new. She watches me for a time, the compound eyes scanning my face for something to say. She finally settles on her reply as she slowly continues checking the seals, “I’m sorry.”
“For what?” I ask. Before she can answer, the alarm sounds coupled by flashing blue lights. The doors were about to open.
She steps back and nods. “You’re good. Remember, it starts with acute hematemesis. Once they start showing signs of hypotension, forget it. Move on to someone else. They can’t be helped.” she storms off to vacate the airlock. I hear her call out again and turn to face her, “Hey, Human. Don’t ask for names and let the vets take on the children. Trust me.”
   
Caduceus is a multi-species initiative dedicated to containing plague throughout the galaxy. The organization's name doesn't truly refer to the organization, but instead refers to a human vessel within in. The Caduceus is a medical cruiser created in Caydie's Cradle on Safeharbor. The vessel is predominantly crewed by humans, but stands as the first ever human vessel with more than one species in its crew.   This organization produces the vast majority of vaccines used by the species in the galactic community. Their work is slow, as they seek to determine the best option for each unique species, and each unique disease. They share and develop technology, with one another. Every species calls this organization by a different name, one chosen from their native language to better connect to the organization and its goals.   It's one the few times the galactic community agreed on something, and it made sense to encourage the idea that in some small way, the organization belonged to everyone. Even its Crest changes from species to species. For Us, the crest is a constellation featuring Sepia as seen from where The SVN Caduceus is stationed.  

History and founding

The history of Caduceus begins at the dawn of the galactic community, or so we're told. The organization formed after several galactic powers noticed a rapid surge in pandemics stretching across their territory. These species were those with significant technological advancement. Each had ways of bypassing the vast distances of space, which only made spreading contagions easier.   Civilians would expose themselves to other species without realizing the dangers of doing so, catching diseases and spreading them with disastrous results. Entire planets could die, leaving behind a lifeless world of corpses. As a response, medical communities gathered in a distant system to discuss how best to minimize the damage.   This organization learned how dangerous plague ships can be, learning that most of these dead worlds began with a foreign vessel landing on the surface, despite warnings from medical professionals. As time went on, this organization would determine the first contact protocol, as well as the procedure to go through should you find yourself exposed and dying of such contagions.
     

Methods

The organization changed over time, altering their methods as they learned more and more about how these plagues worked. The galactic community requires each of its members to provide vessels, resources, personnel, and funding to the organization in order to ensure its growth and effectiveness, which is how humanity was able to get its foot in the door.   Their fleet consists of military medical vessels, capable of fighting pirates but not able to be a million powerhouse on its own. The ships scatter about the galaxy and search for any signs of potential epidemics and Plague Ships. By maximizing distance, they can respond to any situation, but are usually on their own and without backup from others in the organization.   When a situation occurs, they move in and establish a base of operations, either in orbit aboard their ships, planet side if the situation appears on a planet, or on space stations suffering from plague. They are authorized to do whatever needs to be done to contain and eliminate the problem, even if it means killing to control spread.

Social Pariahs

The organization imposes strict rules of isolation. Every member is a member for life, and will never see the surface of a planet again unless a plague is present. They do this because of the changes made to their physiology and the nature of their job.   Each member has a slew of vaccines pumped into their system, and routinely take boosters to hone their immune response. Their immune system is second to none. This allows them to work together without fear, but also makes them likely carriers of the contagions they encounter.   Members still wear protective equipment, but it's more than to protect themselves from new contagions they have yet to vaccinate. They wear this equipment to protect those around them from diseases they carry as well.


Cover image: by Dylonishere

Comments

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16 Dec, 2020 08:32

This is a nice description of medical support on a global (galactic) scale. Also, the part about dedicating their life to their work by distancing from society adds character.

Sage Dylonishere123
R. Dylon Elder
16 Dec, 2020 09:02

Why thank ya!

16 Dec, 2020 12:21

As everything you write, I'm really impressed at how you manage to give such a good feel for the scale of these operations. Working on one of these ships sounds insanely hard, especially emotionally, and I can't help but admire all who decide to dedicate their lives to it. I wonder if there are any side-effects from working the job too long. Great article!

Author of Interarcanum and the Shakiraverse

Feel free to check out my latest work!
Sage Dylonishere123
R. Dylon Elder
16 Dec, 2020 17:44

Yesss I'm thinking of adding more on the psychological trauma. I mean these guys witness entire populations disappear in gruesome fashion. I'm still considering how alien psych would be.

16 Dec, 2020 17:45

Oooh I hope you do! I would be very interested in reading about that. And about alien psych :)

Author of Interarcanum and the Shakiraverse

Feel free to check out my latest work!
16 Dec, 2020 16:55

Ooh. Yay. More information about plague ships and the like. Let's see what I can pick out to comment on.   "refers to a human vessel within in." This doesn't really work as I, originally, thought you literally meant a human vessel not a man-made ship. The phrasing is off just enough that it's kind of confusing.   I really like the inclusion of a multi-species initiative is a super interesting idea. It's an interesting read for sure. It's a perfect continuation of the isolation of plague ships, and it kind of gives more insight into the way that works as well.

Give me a visit at my current project(s): Aesontis
Sage Dylonishere123
R. Dylon Elder
16 Dec, 2020 22:33

Yupppp i think this is my last one before getting back to notifications. I know you have one there and ive been waiting! Ill fix that confusion. I will be adding to it soon, hopefully. been trying to brush up on what little medical knowledge i have from research.

16 Dec, 2020 20:38

How do you tell the difference between a CTE and a Plague ship visiting a planet from the aftermath? I guess the following question would be, does it matter?   It must be difficult to tend to alien races (and diseases) of vastly different biologies. How often is the inject-antibodies-in-bloodstream model going to work?

Sage Dylonishere123
R. Dylon Elder
16 Dec, 2020 22:38

Actually yes! thanks for pointing that out. It does matter cause usually, a CTE would mean new contagions that awoke on the planet, whereas a plaguge ship is USUALLY something the organization knows about.   Exotic anatomy is quite a strain on human doctors in the organization. It's doable, mind you, but the way i see it, its like the final year or so of med school over and over for every new species, and it just takes longer when you consider the fact that these anatomies are not always mammalian. oof. it's a struggle for sure.   That method often only works when they know what the contagion is that's spreading. New contagions are much more difficult it has to be studied first, and even then its not a guarentee. knowing how to treat lethal symptoms is just as important.

17 Dec, 2020 02:12

Little close to home, this one. XD   I really love the quote at the beginning. It sets such a great tone for the article.   I also really love the idea that they join for life, and can never again step foot on a planet unless it's for job reasons. You have to be a special kind of person to do that, I think.

Emy x   Welcome to Etrea!
Sage Dylonishere123
R. Dylon Elder
18 Dec, 2020 16:31

Definitely a little close to home XD in fact that's one of the things that kind of led to the setting being created in the first place. Inspiration is weird. Lol   For sure, it would take serious sacrifice to do this. I havnt even touched on what life in space can do to a person. I need to add that to this one in fact. Unless the engines simulate gravity, the human develops alllll kinds of problems.some of these members have to wear exoskeletons to keep them from being crushed under a planet's gravity.

18 Dec, 2020 14:31

From the moment i started reading i was completely hooked. Amazing writing, wonderful content. Wow.

You should check out the The 5 Shudake, if you want of course.
Sage Dylonishere123
R. Dylon Elder
18 Dec, 2020 16:27

Ah! Thanks so much!

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