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SD241903.05 - Joint Duty Log - CSCI, ASCI (NPC) - "Gone Fishing"

Posted on Tue Mar 5th, 2019 @ 3:41pm by Brigadier General Jonathan Grey & Commander Torhild Jessen

1,737 words; about a 9 minute read

Mission: The Sincerest Form of Flattery
Location: Versailles
Timeline: Current

=^= Outer Ring, Deck 180, Section A =^=

Water sloshed around Claire's ankles as she waded through the newly-flooded deck. The wellingtons on her feet felt unusual, as did the cold that permeated them, but at least the latter problem would resolve itself over time.

According to the padd she carried, some friendly civilian ships had agreed to land on the hull and disable their underside cooling systems. This meant that, given their warp drives were still hot from the journey here, the excess heat would be transmitted along the deck plates and boil the water closest to them.

Her responsibility was to monitor the heat and water flow, ensuring that they averaged "warm" across the deck. Too cold and the algae would be slow to grow, but too hot and the algae would die. It required a precise balance, and naturally the sensors on this deck were shot.

Living in the well-maintained regions of the station, it was easy to forget that over a third of the station was still a wreck. Years of effort from countless engineers had restored the station's critical systems to functionality, and established basic life support, but there were still entire sections exposed to space, or lacking gravity.

This section wasn't occupied, and had air, but lacked any form of heating. This was why it had been unoccupied prior to Claire's arrival. Fortunately the warming water had brought the temperature above freezing, and had made it comfortable enough for her to be here in person.

The other reson for her presence could be seen rolling through the water behind her; a big silver tank on treads. Every few seconds, it would spit out a handful of algae samples, intended to take root and reproduce. Hopefully this deck, like the three above it, would shortly become filled with nourishing algae for the station's occupants to consume.

Tired of poking at the padd, Claire stared off into the gloom ahead of her. The ceiling lights were apparently broken in the next area, so she pushed a button on her padd, and activated the rear-mounted torch. It pierced the darkness with dramatic flair, revealing yet more dingy, waterlogged corridor.

Naturally the lighting in here would need to be repaired before the algae would grow, so she poked the "pause" button on the control for the tank behind her, and pulled a hyperspanner out of her shoulder bag.

Crawling out of the upper hatch, Tori sat on the edge for a moment, rolling up her pants before she dropped out into the water with a bit of a splash as she waded through the water, pacing through the middle first before making her way across to one of the side sections closer to the bulkhead. She stopped, leaning down and dipping her hand into the water, taking a few steps and dipping again.

"I'm not 100 percent satisfied with the variances in water temperature, it may change once we have lighting set up properly, but I think we need to do something to draw more heat into the center of the deck from the bulkheads." she said quietly. "Claire, how's the ambient deck temperature? And how does that compare with water temperature closer to the bulkhead and in toward the center of the deck?"

Realizing that Claire had the hyperspanner in her hand and was attempting to repair the lighting. "Sorry, if you don't know the figures off the top of your head it's fine, I can go get them." She grabbed a tricorder from her back pocket. "How's the lighting looking? Any chance you can get it online or should I try and strongarm someone from engineering to take a look?"

"I...I don't...well I, oh damn. Sorry ma'am." Claire apologised, as the spanner fell from her distracted hand and landed in the water with a splash. Climbing down from atop the mobile algae-tank, she made her own little splash as she hopped off. She reached down into the water where she thought the spanner had landed, and felt water-logged carpet under the surface. Her hands roamed around as she searched, trying to find the tool, before remembering the Commander was still waiting for an answer to her questions.

"Um, no ma'am, I don't know the figures. My tricorder was taking readings and feeding it into the algae-dispersal database on the Science network, so you can probably use Mapper-Mate to auto-generate a heat map." she reported, feeling a bump as her hands banged into something in the water. A tentative touch revealed a hard, cold surface, so she gripped it and picked it up.

"SKREEEEEE!!!!!" squealed the crustacian, furiously waving six pronged legs in the crewman's face. A pair of feelers poker her in the eyes as a hideous, jawed mouth snapped open and shut beneath a cluster of multi-coloured eyes bulging out from its forehead, like a cluster of party balloons.

Claire calmly dropped the hostile creature into the water, and stamped down hard.

"What the hell was that?" Tori asked, the surprise in her voice edged with a small amount of concern. "And where did it come from?"

"Skritter, ma'am." said Claire, raising a foot to inspect the shoe.

The eyes were still dangling from her shoe, so she hopped backwards a little and used a little patch of submerged carpet to wipe the rest off. "I think there was a patch of skritter eggs on the deck, somewhere, that got activated by the water. They hatch and spawn quickly, but the database says they don't spawn again unless you startle one and let it get away. Evolutionary trait; compensates for predatory ingress. Ma'am."

She raised one eyebrow slightly, and shook her head, making a point of shuffling through the water instead of walking. The last thing she wanted was to be stepping on one of them. Instead she loaded up the mapping software to start tracking the water temperature through the section they had flooded. "So how long have you been on the base for?" Tori asked as she worked.

"A few months, ma'am. Three or four. I arrived with Lieutenant Hawkins. The scientist ma'am, not the fighter pilot. I...but you knew that. Sorry, ma'am." Claire babbled, curiously flushed at the mention of the Lieutenant.

To avoid looking her Department Head in the eye, Claire resumed her search for the spanner. Brushing aside bits of skritter floating in the water, she eventually found her tool, and climbed atop the tank again. From here, she could reach the damaged circuit in the ceiling, and busied herself with work in an effort to pretend she hadn't just made a fool of herself in front of her boss.

Tori laughed and shook her head. "Relax Claire," she said gently. "Honestly, you don't have to be so nervous. Have the two of you worked together long? He seems... well... interesting. He has a brilliant mind, and a way with thoughts, but he's very... unusual... isn't he?"

For some curious reason, and contrary to instructions, the Commander's words seemed to make Claire even more flustered. Forgetting the admonition to "relax", the wrench slipped out of her hands again, and it took both hands wildly clasping at the air to prevent the tool from dropping into the water again.

"No! What? No, ma'am! He...he's wonderful! I...I...I mean he's so, I just, but no, uh." she trailed off, finally remembering to breathe. Her face was bright crimson at the start of the tirade and now it was positively glowing with a combination of humiliation and frantically protective feelings.

Eventually, with a few deep breaths, Claire was able to get a grip on herself.

"I'm sorry, ma'am. What I meant to say is that I don't believe the Lieutenant to be unusual at all. He has been very welcoming and professional since I met him." she explained, a little more coherently this time.

Tori laughed, unable to help herself. "You can relax Claire," she said gently. "Unusual isn't a bad thing. He actually reminds me of someone I went through the Academy with. He was a somewhat unusual character but the way his mind worked was just amazing. He could look at any situation and just dissect it like that," she said snapping her fingers." As she spoke she started pacing across the deck through the water. "Last I heard he had headed out to the Delta Quadrant, he was working on some revolutionary propulsion system that would change space travel forever," she said with a shrug. "I think I want to install a pump in here to circulate the water, at the very least it will increase the oxygenation of the water and it might help warm the water more toward the center of the room as well."

"Y-yes ma'am." said Claire, relieved to be getting onto a different topic. She finished up with the ceiling lights, giving the adjuster coil one final twist and watching the lights flicker into life along the corridor ahead of them, and tucked the wrench back into her tool belt.

Another pocket of the tool belt contained a padd, which was linked to the flaky wireless permeating this area of the station. After a few tries, she was able to query the main Science department database. Storage....hardware....pumps....ah!

"We have a bunch of pumps in storage, ma'am. With your permission, I can have a....B13-T Recirculatory Pump System beamed in and installed asap."

"You know what, if we already have them in storage, why don't we get two put in here? One down there," she said pointing to the far end of the area they were in, "and one up here. We want the warmer water from close to the bulkhead being circulated through to try and stabilize the water temp." She paused for a moment, studying the external bulkhead with a thoughtful expression on her face. "You know what, let me know when they're being installed, I'll come down and supervise. I think I have an idea..." she said with a smile.

"Thanks Claire, I'll leave you to it. I've got to go pick up my daughter, I promised her ice cream this afternoon," she said as she started sloshing back toward the way out. "Let me know if you have any problems, okay?"

"Yes ma'am."

=^= End of Log =^=

Crewman Claire Mirajane (NPC Grey)
Lab Assistant
Starbase Versailles


Lieutenant Commander Torhild Jessen
Chief Science Officer
Starbase Versailles


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