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Captain and Science

Posted on Wed Mar 9th, 2022 @ 4:31am by Captain Elijah Rutherford & Lieutenant JG Orin Sempton

Mission: A New Beginning
Location: Briefing room
2260 words - 4.5 OF Standard Post Measure

Just after the meeting was dismissed, Captain Rutherford caught up with Lieutenant Sempton. "I would like to have a small meeting with you, if you don't mind. Don't worry, nothing to be worried about. It's just more of a getting to know you sort of detail. We can go to my ready room and just talk over some tea or coffee." taking a look at the man in front of him. "or we just grab some lunch in Ten Forward." Elijah remarked.

Orin's mouth opened and closed a few times, trying to find words and failing. He'd not factored something like this into the day. After a moment, he set his jaw to keep from looking more of a fool and took a breath, finally managing "I-I would prefer the ready room, Sir." while attempting his best to keep the discomfort from his voice.

The blonde captain gave a nod. "Okay the ready room it is." and led the way. When they arrived, Elijah remarked to Orin. "You are certainly on edge. And let me assure you, I am not William Bligh." raising an eyebrow but with a slight upturned curve of the corners of his mouth. "What would you like to drink? Tea or Coffee? " Elijah walking over towards the replicator to get some tea and whatever Orin wished. "or do you want your drink to be having a touch of whisky or brandy?" glancing over towards the seemingly nervous science officer.

"T-tarkalean tea, please. Lightly sweetened." Orin closed his eyes and rubbed his chin, muttering "Bligh.. Bligh.." He recognized the name could not organize his mind enough to shuffle through and find it. Finally he opened his eyes and looked at the captain. "I'm sorry sir. While the name is familiar, but I can't seem to remember where William Bligh is from."

"He was the commanding officer upon the HMS Bounty in 1789 and the crew mutinied against him due to his cruel treatment of them. " Rutherford answered and once he got Orin's tea he walked back over and handed the tea to the nervous scientist. "Just breathe, Lieutenant and have a seat. " giving an affable smile and took a seat on the sofa that was there. "Why are you being so nervous?"

Orin quickly sipped the tea, to avoid answering for a second and giving himself time to reorder his thoughts. "I... Uh. Well sir, as I said to Commodore Sauiltis when I first came aboard. First contact is difficult, being a new culture or commanding officer. You never know what you'll get."

"What you have said is quite true." Elijah responded, giving a nod. "One never knows what the commanding officer is going to be like. And there is that niggling feeling of, has anyone heard about something that I've done and how they will react." took a sip of his own tea then, lowered it. "I've been in that situation before. I don't judge, I prefer to have someone who will speak up if there is something I am not seeing. Or if I've forgotten something."

Orin nodded in return. "And..." he bit his lip. "Well, sir. My record isn't exactly shining bright."

"And?" Elijah stated first, then he smiled. "Not everyone has a shiny bright record. What happened that would cause you to be nervous, and have a slight worry about my booting you off the ship? I could read the report, that is somewhere in my files." gesturing towards his PADD. "Which would you prefer? My reading or you telling me." then he held up his hand. "I have several other questions. 1. Did you accidentally kill someone. 2. Are you running away from someone who has a price on your head?" taking a curious glance at Orin, then he smiled. "Here it is a second chance, a new start. With the slate wiped clean. Sound good? "

A long, slow exhale came from Orin, and with it, the visible tension in the man evaporated. "Sir, the Commodore offered me a clean slate when I came aboard, but with a new commanding officer... Well, one is never sure how they will react. I'd rather tell you what happened, as the report doesn't express the mitigating circumstances that led to my decision. And to answer your questions, Sir, No one died, thank the stars, Humanoid and non." He scratched his chin for a second. "Well not after we created and tested the bioagent. And in all honesty Sir, with the time and resources it was going to take to rebuild the seabase, I'm surprised that there's not a bounty on head. Last I knew, they were still pulling her apart to rebuild the intake and water filtration systems in total."

That scored a raised eyebrow there. "Bio agent? Good heavens what were they working on? And I am relieved that no one died humanoid and none. And what happened to the seabase? This I need to hear in your own words." definitely all ears on this one.

"It was a new construction on a world about 90% oceanic. What few islands were there were mostly atolls or sandbars. The seabase was set up to study the planet and it's native life, which was your standard assortment of aquatic life, from single celled organisms to large whale-adjacent creatures. What wasn't expected, was a krill type creature. Now the seabase used water from the planet, stored it in large tanks for desalination and kept it stored for use. These krill creatures kept getting passed the filters and ending up in the tanks, removed and replaced back into the ocean."

Orin rubbed his eyes for a minute before continuing.

"The Krill were also emitting a subsonic noise. Low enough the sensors couldn't detect it without being tuned. It had a cumulative effect on the psyche of humanoids. It started out as what was described as a 'creeping feeling', before turning into paranoia, delusion disorder, hallucinations and finally psychosis and uncontrolled rage. The science and medical departments were tasked with finding out the cause and stopping it. About half the seabase was infected before we narrowed it down. We were then ordered to create a bioagent to kill off the krill and stop the spread of the psychosis. The CSO and I were testing the agent when we started noticing patterns in the noise and bioluminescence emitted by the krill. While examining these patterns, we found that the krill were actually an intelligent species that communicated via these pulses and colors. we were able to talk with them and get the few we had contained for testing to understand they were hurting us. They agreed to leave, but the order came to disperse the agent, and we were overruled. The CSO was overtaken by the noise and had to be stunned. I made the choice to activate an emergency purge of the system, which would eject all water from the base. The krill were ejected and when the few we talked with communicated with the others, they left our vicinity and slowly, the effect on the mind dissipated. Unfortunately, the emergency purge also crushed every tank and pipe in the Seabase, though uncontrolled vacuum pressure, taking much of the internal structure and geothermal power generators with it."

Elijah was riveted by this tale, and when Orin was finished, he leaned back in his chair and puffed out a breath of air. Then he commented. "That sounds like that was quite the experience. I feel that you made the right call, and didn't care about the consequences. You saved a race and refused to do genocide. I applaud what you did." giving a firm nod. "I am very glad that you are on this ship, Lieutenant Sempton. You chose to save a race instead of just allowing yourself to be a sheep."

"Yes, Sir. I joined Starfleet to find cultures. To study things that have no name or classification and bring light to mysteries. I did not join to participate in genocide. I've seen the results of that, digging with my father in places destroyed by The Post Atomic Horror, trying to reassemble our past."

Elijah's lips thinned into a grim line. "And I am that way myself, not here to destroy a civilization. Just explore and enjoy the wide open space of this frontier. " Elijah looking out towards the stars. "That out there has so many things to find, to see and things to do. How are things going in solving the puzzles of the holo sentients?"

Orin tried to hide a grimace and failed. "As best it can, Sir. Information is sparse, and what we've gleaned from talks is minimal. We have a name of the supposed creator of The Guardian, one Jacob Myneer, but cursory searching of the name reveals little. There might be more information in Memory facility, and I have inquiries out to the Daystrom Institute, but nothing yet." He sighed and rubbed his forehead. "I just hope we don't run into a Noonian Soong type problem."

Elijah quirked up an eyebrow at that. "Please refresh my memory on this one. The Noonian Soong problem?"

Orin's eyebrow raised in partial disbelief. "Doctor Soong was a brilliant cyberneticist who did some of the preliminary work in positronic matrices. He was a rising star in Starfleet and the Daystrom Institute, but after a series of setbacks and failures, he disappeared. He supposedly left under an assumed name, and while at a new scientific colony successfully created 3 androids. But the planet was attacked, and he once again disappeared. It wasn't until just before his death that he chose to resurface. It's a rather well known story Sir, especially as one of his androids served in Starfleet."

"Oh! That is what you are referring to! I thought something else had happened besides that. Sorry for coming off dense at the moment. I am glad Adna had been taken care of before that could have happened." Elijah giving a sigh of relief. He shook his head, "Now we need to find Jacob Myneer and then take the Holo people to him, and we'll be done with that."

"Hopefully it will be that easy, Sir. We have his name, but we don't have a frame of reference for it. It's like..." Orin drummed his thumb on his chin looking for the right analogy. "It's like having a planet name, but no reference as to where in the galaxy it is. Could be in the Delta quadrant for all you know." He looked back up at the captain. "We need more for the search pattern. Time period, known associates, planet of origin or something like that. A name gives us a starting point, but that's it. And the living stars help us if he changed his name or this one is an alias."

"Let's hope that hasn't happened, that would be terrible if he has changed his name. " Elijah mused, "Those holo-people they may have bits and pieces of information that could be gleaned, always seems to be a jigsaw puzzle to put together the clues, in order to get the whole picture. I don't know how much T'seng could tell us. I am feeling that the answers could be with that pod she was in, along with the Guardian. Lily has been keeping me apprised of the situation so far. She told me that you've been able to make headway where Guardian is concerned."

Orin shifted uncomfortably. "Yes, Guardian. It uh..." He struggled to find the words he wanted for a second. "It somehow decided to talk with us and gave us information." He wiped the sweat that began to accumulate across his forehead. "Sir, it asked to learn more about us. And I know we can't give it access to the computer, but I'd like to give it some of my compilations of Terran history. It's been stuck in the cargo bay with nothing to do for a while now, and I think it would be good for it to learn of us as much as we learn from it."

Elijah regarded Orin for a moment or two as he contemplated the man's request. "I agree with you. And I give you my permission. Orin in all seriousness with how well you are working to help with Guardian, I feel I can trust you. Do what you feel is right. From speaking with you, you do have a good head on your shoulders." a smile drifted across his lips.

"I... Uh, Hmm." Orin looked at the captain quizzically. "Honestly Sir, I have no idea how to respond to that. Nothing about this meeting has gone as I anticipated. But thank you for approving my idea. My thought is that knowing about us will help Guardian come to trust us more, and possibly share information."

"I have known some captains that were less than desirable. They had their own way of thinking and were just into things for glory, and not in the Klingon sense of the word. " Elijah answered quietly, "I also do agree with your thoughts as per Guardian. Do what you can with him, and we'll proceed from there. And I suppose I am an unusual Captain. Maybe?" his eyes crinkling up with laughter.

Orin returned the smile. "Indeed you are Sir. Is there anything else?"

"No there isn't anything else, thank you for your time and you are dismissed." Elijah stated.

With a nod, Orin stood. "I will do what i can to keep up that faith you have in me, Sir." With a small smile, he quickly left the room.

 

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