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SD241905.26 - Joint Duty Log - CSCI & NPCs - "Panic"

Posted on Sun May 26th, 2019 @ 5:09pm by Brigadier General Jonathan Grey & Commander Torhild Jessen

1,202 words; about a 6 minute read

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

=^= Science Department =^=

The main doors to the lab had been sealed, with a group of rather deperate types on the other side. Rumour had spread like lightning that the Science department had access to a prototype ship capable of outrunning the black hole. Some said it had borg tech, some that it had a slipstream core, and a few decided it was built by species 8472; a species from another dimension that used living ships.

All of these rumours were lies, but convincing them of this had proven fruitless.

Hence the locked doors.

On the inside, however, things were only marginally less tense.

Hawkins had his glasses in his hands, and was polishing them furiously. He gritted his teeth as he glared at them, removing some speck of dust only he could see, and fumbled them back onto his face, turning his attention back to the data on the screen in front of him.

"Gravitational intensity index of 3.985, referencing a dispersion field with zero indices applicable to a falling infinite point well outside the bounded curve of, hmm. No. No, no, this will not do. It will not do at all. I, I can't, hmm." he hummed to himself, snatching the glasses off of his face and polishing them again in a vain effort to make some sort of solution clearer.

Across the room, Claire was hugging the security crewman on duty here. Both were staring over each others' shoulders in fear, gripping the other tightly enough to cause their fingers to go white with the strain. Tears flowed freely down their faces, and the impression was that of helplessness.

The other staff, those that had stayed at their post rather than hare off home to spend their last moments with their loved ones, were repeating on variations of these two themes; yielding to their extreme anxiety over the impending crushing doom, or gradually going insane by repeatedly iterating over the data.

A smashing sound split the quiet as a technician snapped and hurled an empty beaker at a wall, following it up with a dull thump as he clubbed a nearby desk with his fist.

Tori walked silently through the science lab. There was nothing she could do, nothing she could say. The feeling of desolation in the room was pervasive and she could feel it crushing on her.

"Good luck to us all."

She could still hear the General's words echoing around the room, even if it was only in her mind.

Pausing behind Hawkins, she stopped and looked at the screen, reaching over his shoulder, she started to point at something then shook her head resuming her course pacing around the room.

As her gaze fell on Claire and the security crewman she felt a pang straight through her heart. Astrid was still in sickbay. Was she still asleep or had she woken up? Was she scared?

Drawing in a shaky breath, Tori stopped at the replicator then remembered it was offline, her shoulders slumping slightly as she started moving again.

The sound of the beaker smashing against the wall followed by the thump startled them all, Tori jumped visibly, quickly dashing away the tears that had started welling at the corners of her eyes.

"Okay, come on, we can't just sit here crying," Tori said, her voice shaking as she spoke. "We can... we can..." she sighed and shook her head. "I don't know what we can do... Anyone have a bottle of something strong stashed anywhere here?" she said with a vaguely hysterical laugh. "This seems like as good a time as any to get ridiculously drunk! I mean, we're all going to die anyway."

Another shattering sound echoed in the contained lab, only this time it was smaller and quieter; the noise of a lens being dropped on the hard, metal floor of this sterile space.

"We are *NOT* going to die here, you wretched excuse for a Commander!" shouted Hawkins, slamming his glasses down on the counter hard enough to bend the frame. Stomping across lab towards her, lab assistants and lesser scientists hurried out of his way, and more than a few covered down and hid behind their displays and equipment.

As the irate Lieutenant neared the Commander, another scientist unfolded himself from a chair and blocked the man's path. Though small in stature while sat down, this behemoth towered over most at over six feet tall, and bore unnaturally broad shoulders that, together, gave the impression of a massive brown wall in a lab coat.

"Check yerself, man. We all gotta deal with this. Don't make your problem her problem." he said, the deep, silky-smooth tones unruffled by the seething Lieutenant's glare.

"Move Ensign!" barked Hawkins, scaring the assistants with the nearly-unhinged shouting coming from a man normally so composed and polite.

"Can't do that sir. You better sit down, have yourself some decaff."

"Of all the *ARROGANT*....what!?" Hawkins demanded, distracted from the mellow Ensign by a tugging on his sleeve. Turning suddenly with the force of his rage, Claire was forced to back up a step, but remained firmly attached to his lab coat.

" have to calm down. It's ok to be scared." she offered, trying to smile despite the roiling bundle of caustic fear in her tummy.

Hawkins raised a finger to shout again, but was able to bite off the first word before he could launch into another tirade. For a moment he just stood there and stared at the crewman, breathing deep through his teeth as he tried to get a grip. The Ensign behind him tried putting a calming hand on his shoulder, but Hawkins slapped it away with his spare hand.

"Get drunk with the Commander if you want, Ensign. I'm getting coffee." he declared, suddenly. Leaving the oversized Ensign behind, Hawkins went towards the espresso machine in the corner of the room, idly snagging his cup from his deck on the way past.

"Claire, glasses?" he asked in calmer tones, remembering her name for the first time.

"Yes, sir." she replied, passing him his spare pair.

"Thank you Claire." he replied, gratefully.

As the pair drifted off, the hulking Ensign looked back down at his work, cocked his head, and decided to follow orders and go get hammered.

"I can't say I've got drinking alchohol in the lab, ma'am. That's against the rules." he stated calmly, reaching a bucket-sized hand into one of his desk drawers.

After a little rifling, he drew out a bottle, along with a pair of tumblers.

"However, I do have this bottle of jagermeister for....scientific purposes." he explained, pouring a generous draught into each cup before pushing them onto a metal plate. With thick fingers, he gently tapped a couple of buttons at the base, and pulled back as a blue energy field enveloped the drinks.

A curl of steam rose from the tumblers as they frosted over, the thermal absortion field twinkling over the quickly-cooling liquid. after a few moments, the Ensign plucked the glasses off the plate, and disabled the field.

"Ma'am." said the Ensign, passing the other cup to his boss.

=^= End of Log =^=

Lieutenant Commander Torhild Jessen
Chief Science Officer
Starbase Versailles


NPCs (Grey)


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