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A Meeting Of The Minds

Posted on Thu Nov 7th, 2019 @ 11:26am by Lieutenant Leah Bailey

Mission: Shakedown
Location: Deck 4 - Science Labs
Timeline: 1600 Hours

Prior to the Athena, Lieutenant Mortigar had only served on one other starship. When he was first reassigned to the Sally Ride from Starbase 211, he was only a junior officer and therefore he didn't have many responsibilities to worry about. Things were different for Morty now. Certainly, he'd taken charge of personnel in the past, but he was now responsible for an entire department. Knowing each member of his team was going to be vital, especially on a starship that wasn't primarily designed for science.

Having come aboard the Prometheus-class vessel earlier in the day, and gone through the various procedures that came with reporting in, the Lieutenant was now free to meet with his people. Although it was short notice, he called for a meeting to be held at 1600 hours in the main science lab. When he arrived, the instrument-laden room was already populated with a handful of people from various cultures, all wearing teal-coloured tunics. This was his team.

Mortigar smiled and walked over to the circular computer console across the way. As he was visibly shorter than everyone else, he took a small rectangular device from his belt and placed it on the floor. The Lieutenant then activated said device and it unfolded into a small step which Morty climbed on to. He'd learned very early on in his Starfleet career that sometimes a person needed to be at the same level as everyone else to get their attention.

The Lieutenant cleared his throat and then spoke aloud. "Ahem. Good afternoon everyone. I'm Lieutenant Mortigar and I will be your department head. Some of you may not have ever seen, nor heard of my species. I am an Evoran. It wasn't very long ago that my people were still coming to terms with the idea that we were not the only intelligent species in the galaxy. I hear that is a common evolutionary step for many interstellar civilisations. As for myself, I am one of the few Evorans who have joined Starfleet. Like all of you, I have taken an interest in science. My speciality is in planetary astronomy. Now, if we could go from individual to individual around the room, I'd very much like to get to know each and every one of you and where your interests lie." Morty glanced around at the people before him and his eyes fell upon another lieutenant.

"Hmm?" Leah quickly realised she was the center of attention. "Lieutenant Leah Bailey. My specialism is usually crisis response. I worked a while on the Starfleet team dealing with the Hobus incident. Beyond that, spectral phenomenon are my bread-and-butter." She smiled a little at that. "So point the weird space monsters my way!"

Ah yes, Hobus. The tragic incident involving the Hobus star was the reason Morty had been moved from Starbase 211 to a starship posting when it happened. He hadn't looked back since. "Have you encountered any unusual creatures yet?" the Evoran asked her, hoping to fill his curiosity a little.

"Well, not so much a space monster, but there was this one time on the Missouri that we caught the tail end of a cosmic string. That was exciting and terrifying at the same time. Almost as much as some of the spectral phenomenon caused by Hobus, though," Leah replied. "All sorts of things happen when a sun goes nova."

"Indeed. Hobus was a particularly strange supernova event; one of a kind," Morty added. "Scientists are still trying to figure out how it happened. I believe that people will be studying the Hobus star for decades, if not centuries." The Lieutenant nodded in approval upon hearing Bailey's experience with the cosmic string. It was rare to encounter such phenomena. It must have been something extraordinary to witness first hand. "Very good Lieutenant," he said before turning to the others in the room.

A Bolian scientist almost bounced on the spot opposite. "Ensign Barrl, sir! Xenobotany. I must say I'm so excited to work with you! Do they have many interesting flora or fauna on your homeworld?" he asked excitedly.

Mortigar smiled at the Ensign. "I suppose you would have to... outline what you mean, exactly, by the word 'interesting'," he replied. "The vegetation on Evora is unique to the planet's ecosystems. It's unlikely that you would find plants that are the same anywhere else. In that way, one might characterize my homeworld as having interesting flora and fauna."

"Fascinating, fascinating. Your people are vegetarian, yes? How does your ecosystem conform to the standard norms? I should very much like to visit and sample them!" Barrl continued, enthused.

"Are you a vegetarian as well?" Morty asked the Bolian. He knew from his time at the Academy that Bolian culinary tastes were usually quite... dangerous to other species.

"Yes...yes...well, no. I don't really have all that many taste buds," Barrl replied thoughtfully. "Not all that fond of meats, in all honesty, but there are a variety of aquatic dishes that I've found quite palatable!"

The Lieutenant nodded in understanding. "I see," he said. "Whilst I do not eat meat of any kind, nor do the majority of my people, I know that Evora does export a limited supply of aquatic species off world for culinary purposes. I hear that the redtip loach is sought after by many fish enthusiasts. Perhaps you might try some one day?"

"Wonderful! I should very much like to try it, sir!" Barrl exclaimed. "When we have time, of course. I know we're on active duty..."

"Of course," he agreed. The introductions continued for another fifteen minutes but once they were done, it was time to move on. "Now that we all know each other, it's time to get to work," Morty stated. "I want to make certain that the Athena's science department is using all of the resources available to it in the name of science! With that in mind, we will be running a number of experiments at once. I have a few ideas of my own but I was wondering if any of you had something specific you wished to work on?"

"I imagine as we're likely to be on the fringes of Federation space we might find some new and interesting spectral phenomenon to catalogue," Leah suggested. "The labs here have limited spectrographic monitoring power, so I wondered about us using the long-range sensors to log anything unusual for analysis?"

"Good idea!" Mortigar commended. "As you suggested it Lieutenant, work with the others to put together a plan and schedule for the use of the sensors. Have it ready for me by the morning and I will clear it with Commander Parr."

"Excellent!" Leah perked up as her suggestion was recognised by the new department head. It was good to get off on the right foot. "I'll have it written up first thing!"

"While you are doing that..." Morty looked around the room at those gathered until his eyes fell upon a couple of officers. "Ensign Barrl and Lieutenant Sanchez, come with me. "We will be preparing the lab for our first experiment," he said with a big smile.

Barrl clapped his hands together and followed, excited to get stuck into something new. Besides, Rick was always a helpful science buddy.

Lieutenant Mortigar
Chief Science Officer
USS Athena

Lieutenant Leah Bailey
Science Officer
USS Athena
(PNPC Kane)


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