USS Pioneer
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Sleep Is Overrated

Posted on 11 Apr 2019 @ 09:02 by Lieutenant Commander Gaelle Megaira & Lieutenant Alexi Petrov PhD

Mission: Scylla and Charybdis
Location: Science Labs - Deck 5
Timeline: Mission Day 2 at 0405

Sleep was not going to happen. Gaelle didn't know when her head hit the pillow, but those scant hours would need to be adequate. To keep busy and moving, she decided to stop by each of the ship's departments as she worked on the tankard she called her coffee mug.

First up: Science. Something curious had popped up as the XO scanned the various system and sensor reports that get copied to her. There was someone already (still?) up and working in the lab, and judging by their frame, it was the Chief Science Officer. Standing in the doorway, with both hands gripping her coffee, Gaelle asked, "Are you still breaking the secondary sensor array?"

"Am not breaking,": Alexi chided as he flipped the welding goggles up onto his forehead, cutting power to the plasma torch with a sputter of sparks. "Am improving,"

Apparently, he was improving them all over the floor, and over a hapless ensign who had fallen asleep on a cot and been consumed in a blanket of fibre optic cables. The science lab looked like a scene from a particularly good holodeck adventure, portraying the plucky adventurers attempting to save their ship after a devastating attack. The fact it was being attacked by someone with a PhD in chaos theory only made the array of coffee cups seem somehow integral to the whole process.

Alexi narrowed his eyes and looked at the XO more closely.

"Ah!!" he said after a moment. "Are fellow victim of kidnapping I see?"

Gaelle mirrored his narrowed eyes. "How do you mean?"

“If you were here before arrival of myself after being reassigned at break neck speed, would not have need to ask if breaking sensory array. And is secondary array, is second child and so is spare part of family unit known as ship,” Alexi said. He put the welder down alongside the goggles and then starting going through the coffee cups, trying to find one that was full or at least still warm.

He found one, and took a sip with a sour look on face.

“Huum, reminds me I have request form for photon torpedo. Is required for science.”

Ignoring the torpedo request "for science," Gaelle took a step closer to this potential mad scientist and said, "I was here for the ship's shakedown." Wasn't I? For some reason, she wasn't so sure about that. The pain in her head stabbed again. "Either way, you really should have run this past me earlier so I could allocate an engineering team." She looked from the plasma torch to Alexi. "Even if it is 'improvements.' There's a process."

"Process is inefficient," Alexi waved a hand. "I ask to do, someone ask why. I explain, then need to explain explanation. Before it is midnight half of ship is up to speed on process I wish to accomplish. Easier to just do as commanded. Captain wishes to find out what has happened to missing ship of science."

Alexi gestured to the intestinal spill of wires and conduit work.

"You ask, I provide. Now secondary sensor net is dislocated from main processing system. If was source of attack on science ship, will be firewall between critical ship systems," Alexi said with a smile. "Now, photon torpedo? This I will ask for, as armoury has man with gun stationed outside of it. Has very serious face, like your face. But less serious."

"It wasn't so difficult to explain why you needed to gut the secondary sensors, so explain what you'll use the torpedo for." She took a long sip of coffee, hoping that it would quell the headache. "Call it practice for the process."

"Shadow Puppets," he said in a very deliberate and slow cadence.

Gaelle's right brow raised slowly as she took yet a longer quaff. "Is that your reason or your method of explanation?"

"You perhaps see why is vexing to have to explain explanation?" Alexi grumbled but held up a hand to forestall further inquiry. "Nebula's makeup and nature of stellar mass within will make sensor's as good as half blind. Modified photonic warhead fired ahead of ship to distance of one AU and detonated, will illuminate sizeable volume of nebula. Backscatter of radiation and antimatter decay readings will render out snap shot of area. Anything caught between flash and us, will be picked out clearly. Like shadow puppet. Torpedo needs to be calibrated correctly or either sensor will be blinded, or nebula explodes. Is very small range of correction in which clear picture is made. Much room for error. Error made in translation to simple terms understood by armoury minion."

"It didn't take so long to explain this to me—and believe it or not, I understood you," she remarked. She had warmed, somewhat, to the scientist. Somewhat. "Coordination between your department and Sec/Tac is pretty easy. Follow the process and things run smoothly."

Alexi made a sound halfway between a 'huum' and a growling stomach, that was unmistakenly a vowel in the Russian alphabet. It was not a happy vowel you put on a birthday card.

"So I have your....'permission' to have torpedo to modify?" he said, playing out the word like it was a new toy he wasn't entirely sure was appropriate to play with. "Or do you wish for Tactical officer to be on hand to make sure I read six hundred page instruction manual again?"

"I'll tell you what," Gaelle said. "You finish improving the secondary sensor array, and I'll pitch your torpedo to the captain and sec/tac. We're still plenty far from the Scylla nebula, and you won't have to repeat yourself to multiple parties."

"No, this is true. But, is also true is wasting of time. I am credentialed scientist, I know what I am doing. I say I need thing, is not because I want to stare at it and make the sad goo-goo eyes at it in longing," Alexi grumbled, picking up the welding goggles. "But no, go pitch idea. Is good idea, I said so. Or maybe you want second opinion, I make Emergency Scientific Hologram. Listen to photon man..."

The rest of his speech began to sidle into pure Hebe City Russian, accented with the crackling hiss of the welding torch as he went back to 'modifying' the secondary array.

Gaelle contained the eye roll she so desperately wanted to unleash on the CSO. She tried to be accommodating. Quietly, she took one last, long sip of her coffee as she watched him work, then she walked away in search of something else to keep her occupied.


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