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A Trill, a Terran and a Vulcan walked into a Ready Room...

Posted on Tuesday January 5th, 2021 @ 11:04pm by Captain Nilani Azulas & Lieutenant Commander Shelby Adams & Lieutenant T'Pasek

Mission: Episode 1: Maelstrom
Location: Shuttle inbound to Deep Space Nine/Captain's Ready Room
Timeline: Day 3 at 1115

"Thirty minutes out, Lieutenant," the Warrant Officer piloting the shuttle advised T'Pasek. The Vulcan officer gave a curt nod before returning to her seat in the aft part of the shuttle.

The rest of the passengers in the shuttle kept their distance from the stern faced Vulcan Science Officer. This, of course, did not upset T'Pasek in the least (if she were capable of becoming upset, that is). Small talk had never made sense to any Vulcan and some Vulcans, such as T'Pasek, did not even attempt to simulate it.

T'Pasek had spent the last month on leave on Vulcan. She was satisfied with her daughter's progress and status at the Vulcan Institute of Defensive Arts. She had been approached by a te'elat at the Vulcan Academy of Sciences to return to her previous position as instructor and researcher. It was an offer with many logically compelling arguments in its favor. Were T'Pasek a human overly concerned with the progression of her Starfleet career, she would note that, although her career had been varied and productive, her rise in rank had been slow. Some would argue that was another logically compelling argument in favor or resigning her commission in favor of a civilian research and instruction position.

Of course, there were compelling arguments in favor of an alternative, that of pursuing a career on the command track. T'Pasek had several positive remarks and commendations in her personnel file from when she served as both Second Officer and Chief Science Officer aboard the Raman. .

T'Pasek set aside her internal career debate as her shuttlecraft docked at Deep Space Five. She had other duties to pursue, duties which required her full attention. First, she was required to meet her new commanding officer. Then, she would need to become acquainted with her duty station, both with the equipment and the personnel assigned to her.

T'Pasek made more than a few heads turn as she made her way first through the station, then through the airlock to the Nogura. Most Vulcans serving in Starfleet wore the customary Vulcan "bowl cut," where as T'Pasek's hair was considerably longer, though kept in a tight bun that was in compliance to Starfleet regulations. In addition, the soon-to-be Chief Science Officer of the USS Nogura presented an image that even her Vulcan colleagues would agree was an aesthetically pleasing one.

If T'Pasek noticed the often less than surreptitious glances at her passage, she gave no indication. Instead, she traversed through station and ship with purpose, her appearance immaculate throughout her trek. Upon reaching the entrance to the Captain's ready room, she signaled her presence without hesitation.

"Enter!" a voice from within called out, granting the Vulcan entrance to the Captain's ready room.

T'Pasek stepped into the ready room, her posture stiff and formal. With a nod to her new Captain and the other occupant in the room, T'Pasek placed the PADD containing her orders and personnel file on the Captain's desk.

Inside, Captain Azulas was not alone. Sitting across from her at the desk was an auburn haired woman in her late 30s. On the surface, the woman looked human, but that couldn't be confirmed. Yet.

"Ah! Lieutenant T'Pasek, isn't it? Welcome aboard the Nogura," Nilani smiled as she rose to her feet and offered a hand in welcome to the new Science Officer.

Accepting the Captain's proffered hand, T'Pasek nodded toward the PADD on the Captain's desk. "My orders, Captain."

Nilani took ownership of the data PADD and perused it briefly before passing it to the other woman occupying the room. "Lieutenant, this is our acting XO, Commander Shelby Adams."

"A pleasure to meet you," the Terran smiled as she offered the more traditional Vulcan salute. "We're glad to have you with us on our maiden voyage," the XO grinned as she offered the Vulcan a seat and returned to her own.

"Commander," T'Pasek said, returning the hand gesture. The Vulcan took the proffered seat, sitting primly, patiently waiting for the exchange to begin.

"Do you know anything about the Maelstrom area of space, Lieutenant?" the Captain queried of her science officer, the XO watching and waiting in silence.

"As to the mythologies and histories associated with the region," T'Pasek began, "I am familiar with the non-classified records, theories and speculations. As to the cosmological structure of the region..."

T'Pasek paused before continuing, "Captain, Commander, are either of you familiar with Modified Newtonian Dynamics?"

Nilani and Shelby exchanged glances before looking at the Vulcan and shaking their heads.

"On Earth," T'Pasek began, "during the early stages of its space age, humanity's scientists had only a rudimentary understanding of the effects that dark matter and dark energy had. The scientific laws that humans had developed concerning dark matter and dark energy did not explain certain phenomena, such as accounting for observed properties of galaxies."

"Modified Newtonian Dynamics," T'Pasek continued, "Was developed to predict a variety of galactic phenomena. It did not, however, lead to develop further understanding of the underlying forces of dark matter and dark energy."

"Certain colleagues of mine, along with myself, "T'Pasek admitted, "Have begun taking a similar approach to the Maelstrom. We are correlating observed data in order to develop predictive theorems about phenomena within the Maelstrom, rather than trying to understand underlying structures."

"This approach has met with a certain resistance in more traditional academic circles," T'Pasek added, then dryly observing, "Usually by individuals without practical need to accurately predict phenomena within the Maelstrom."

If it hadn't been entirely unprofessional, the Captain's jaw would have hung open, almost to the table top before her, but instead she just stared at her resident Vulcan until she finally stopped speaking. "Lieutenant, I don't have a clue what you just said, but it sounded damn impressive," the Trill smirked, her eyes twinkling as she looked from Vulcan, to Terran and back again. "We're going to need a full analysis and breakdown submitted to every department prior to our arrival at Deep Space Twelve. Everyone must have an idea of how the Maelstrom will affect our systems," she instructed, still aghast at whatever the hell the Scientist had just been trying to explain. Even for a woman versed in warp theory and field dynamics such as the Captain herself.

"And naturally, we'll be expecting you to render assistance to those who struggle with the idea," Commander Adams added somewhat swiftly.

"Of course," T'Pasek answered with a nod. She paused, before adding, "Perhaps the most effective explanation would be, we can predict more accurately what will happen, just not the why of it." T'Pasek paused for a moment, then raised her eyebrow as she added, "I trust that will suffice, Commander."

Adams shrugged, "maybe in a few days, before we leave, you could host a staff meeting? Brief everyone on what to expect in the Maelstrom?"

T'Pasek nodded, while making a note of the Commander's suggestion on her PADD. The latter action was unnecessary, of course. Like small talk, written reminders or "to do" lists were unnecessary to the Vulcan mind. However, T'Pasek found such visible gestures were "comforting" to her non-Vulcan superiors, and thus would indulge in them.

"Are there other actions you need at the moment from me, Captain? Commander?" the Vulcan Science Officer asked.

Shelby shook her head, and soon after the Captain followed suit. "No Lieutenant, that will be all. Once again, let me welcome you to the Nogura and say I look forward to your briefings on the Maelstrom."

T'Pasek stood up, gave the Captain and Executive Officer a curt nod, and without any further ado, exited the Ready Room.

"Well, she's going to be a barrell of laughs," Shelby smirked when the door was finally closed. The pair of command officers shared a chuckle or two before setting back to work. There was still plenty to be done.


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