USS Pioneer
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Wine and Dossiers

Posted on 07 Apr 2019 @ 12:04 by Commander Ian Reeves D.Env. & Lieutenant Junior Grade Nandi Reeves
Edited on on 07 Apr 2019 @ 12:05

Mission: Scylla and Charybdis
Location: Captain's Quarters
Timeline: Mission Day 1 at 2130

"Nandi?" Ian called, as he entered their quarters for the first time that evening. He'd been working from his office for most of the day and making some random stops on the bridge to monitor the progress of the shield repairs which were beginning to concern him. The Executive Officer was also assisting in the endeavor now as was the operations department pulling them from their main duties.

"Yes, darling?" Nandi's voice echoed out from the bathroom.

"Would you care to help me with some work?" he asked when she answered he carried two PADDs which held the dossier from the Office of Special Investigations he hadn't had time to go through the full thing or at least in any capacity that was useful.

Nandi emerged from the bathroom in a robe and towel wrapped around her head. Such a sight hearkened back to her Sikh ancestors from Earth.

"Oh?" she asked as she tied off the towel and tucked a loose, rebellious strand of hair back under. "What seems to be the trouble?"

He looked up to see her approach and smiled at her, "well my main trouble is that I have to pay attention to work and not my beautiful wife."

Nandi blushed through her dark cheeks. "Stop," she said through a bashful grin. It was always nice to be complimented, but it was even more flattering that Ian had come to her for help. "What do you have there, oh Captain, my Captain?"

"The dossier on the nebula from the Office of Special Investigations," he told her. "Would you go over it with me and see if there is anything you can see that Commodore Tau and his people may have missed?"

That made Nandi grin. By virtue of its name, even small OSI matters were bound to be exciting. "Read me the summary while I get more comfortable."

She disappeared through the open door to their bedroom. "I can't hear you," she sing-songed through the doorway.

He rose from his feet as she called from the bedroom, "we're not going to get anything done in there..." he protested. He left one of the PADDs on the couch and took the other with him into the bedroom.

Nandi had lost her robe and towel. She was just sliding into a lacy nightgown, her damp but drying hair loose over her shoulders.
"I was just getting more comfortable," she said. "We'll have plenty of time for... that after we sort out your dossier problem."

Brushing past him, she went back out into the main area to the replicator. "I could use some wine. Want some? And I still don't hear any reading!"

"Because you won't sit still," he said, calmly following her back into the living area. "Why don't you decide where we can get comfortable and I'll start to read?" he suggested.

Nandi let out a melodic giggle at that. "Fine. But I'm not sharing my wine!" She curled up on the sofa with her feet tucked beneath her. She sipped from her goblet of dark red wine and gave Ian her full attention.

"That's okay, you don't have to share," he said, sitting alongside of her and putting the PADD down in his lap. He leaned in and kissed her gently and momentarily rested his head against her's. "I've missed you today."

Nandi returned his kiss but held her wine glass away from him. "I missed you too. Now read!"

He chuckled and picked up the PADD and scrolled a little to where he left off. Then it occurred to him that she hadn't been familiar with the background of the mission to begin with.

"Actually, let me recap for you... There is a civilian science ship that had reported making first contact but then they disappeared. OSI is adamant that there is absolutely nothing living in this area of space and that the civilians are just excited over nothing. They also had reported a strange amount of EM band transmissions in the area... and that's about as far as I got in the dossier. I was hoping to find an example in the dossier but it's not looking good."

"Are you serious?" Nandi exclaimed, spitting out her wine. "Let me see that!" She snatched the PADD out of Ian's hand. "Do they really have no other information than 'stellar mass'? Because that tells us exactly nothing other than something exists in the center of the nebula. Galileo could have told us that, given a big enough telescope." Her lips hummed as she perused the contents of the dossier. "Well, that's just great. It mentions the now missing SS Lewis and Clark, the spatial coordinates for Charybdis-A, and a century's worth of readings that insist the Scylla Nebula presents intermediate hazards for long-term exploration but is otherwise harmless. For goodness' sake, this dossier has more details about some local assets called the Nyberrite Alliance that patrol the remote region than on Charybdis-A itself. It could be anything from a white dwarf to a black hole, based on these pulsating measurements."

After her reactionary outburst simmered to a cool level, Nandi's rational sense came to bear. "... which is exactly why the civilian researchers were so fascinated. Charybis-A defies standard classification. You would have to get close, perhaps too close, to get accurate readings. And then you'd have to position a sensor grid all around it. I wonder if that's what the Lewis and Clark did. And if so, then why would they get close? Perhaps the nebula causes intermittent tomographic interference to long range sensors and probes, depending on variable factors."

Her eyes danced at the possibilities. Looking up to Ian, she said, "I'm not going to lie, my love. I am so incredibly excited to see what's going on out there. It's little wonder that OSI placed a low probability value on first contact. There are enough unanswered questions that Occam's Razor could eliminate that without conclusive evidence."

"I guess I'm not as convinced," he said, with a shrug. "We'll see when we arrive I suppose."


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