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A Walk Among The Stars

Posted on Tue May 19th, 2020 @ 3:02am by Lieutenant Seleya Qellar PhD & Lieutenant Ausra Danton

Mission: In the Family
Location: SS Glory
Timeline: MD-5: Morning

Seleya and her companion materialized on the port side of the third deck of the Glory, which was mostly missing. The Paratan fighter had torn a massive hole in the outer hull and caused extensive damage. The Glory crew had sealed off the exposed portions, but she needed to do a walk through to get a sense of the destruction first-hand before they could begin repairs in earnest.

After switching on the mag-seal on her boots, the lights of the EV suit, and an internal comm system, she turned to Ausra Danton. "I appreciate you accompanying me, Ausra. I've never been comfortable being exposed to the vacuum of space, much less alone."

"Sure," Ausra said with a deep swallow. "Piece of cake." A really hard rock cake that settled into the pit of a stomach like a sinking stone in Flathead lake. "I take it this class wasn't your favorite at the academy? Does it make you sick to your stomach? Cause if so, you're not the only one." She figured conversation might distract her from her nerves and upset stomach but perhaps she should have brought up a different subject.

"Zero gravity exercises don't bother me," Seleya said. She turned in the direction she'd been avoiding - the one that was open to vacuum. "It's being exposed to space that bothers me. I'm not too proud to say it's terrifying. Space is terrifying, outside the confines of a strong outer hull."

"Oh I'm the opposite. I guess that's a good thing at the moment, one of us can keep our head clear about one of the subjects each." Ausra made a promise to stop talking about where they were and how uncomfortable it felt. "So what did you need help with exactly? I'm only a scientist not an engineer."

"I can problem solve and troubleshoot, but I lack a forensics skill set," Seleya said. She turned slightly to look over her shoulder and gave a rare smile. "Occasionally, I have to humble myself and ask for assistance. The commander seems satisfied that the Paratans rammed the Glory and that's the full story. I'd like to make sure the forensic evidence is consistent with that. I'm... thorough."

"So this is a big moment for you," Ausra joked. "Ah I see . . . well it's not exactly my specialty but I'll see what kind of assistance I can offer. Frankly something to focus my attention on other than my stomach right now sounds wonderful."

"We're near the point of impact," Seleya said before releasing the magnetic seal on her boots and using the maneuvering thrusters on the EV suit to propel herself upward one deck. She held on to a surviving portion of the outer hull, made sure to orient herself away from exposed space, and motioned for Ausra to join her. "Structural analysis shows this to be one of the few intact portions of the outer hull that actually came into contact with the shuttle itself. There could be particulate matter or some other telling substances here that may not have revealed themselves when the security department conducted their 'investigation.'"

"On it," Ausra said once she was in position. She scanned the spot and looked down at the results. "So far I'm not seeing anything too interesting, duranium, tritanium . . . stuff that's supposed to be there and is consistent with damage resulting from a collision." She suddenly changed direction of the scan as if somehow it would pick up something new. "Well now I take that back. There's nothing here that shouldn't be here, but this is strange. It appears areas of the hull have more radiogenic particles. Normally you find those in travels through space but I can't explain why they would be in higher concentrations in some areas rather than others. I wonder if that could be from some kind of weapon?"

"Someone fired on the Glory?" Seleya asked.

"Speculation at this point, but it is rather odd. I'll look over the results carefully when I get back into the ship, see if I can replicate the results somehow. No point in saying for sure until I experiment."

"I'm impressed, lieutenant," Seleya said, and she sounded like she genuinely meant it. "Many people are far too eager to jump to conclusions without an appropriate amount of investigation."

Ausra blinked and looked up. "Well that's not very scientific of them," she replied completely seriously and then looked back down at her tricorder. "I think I have all I need."

"I need a moment further," Seleya said as she took some structural integrity readings and scanned for microfractures in the remaining hull. To pass the time, she asked, "Have you heard much of the diplomatic mission to the surface?"

"No . . . well rumors. But nothing concrete. Why? Have you?" It was true that Ausra wasn't exactly shy, she was just quiet and some people took that as shyness so she was often seen sitting alone as she ate or worked. She supposed some people might find that lonely but Ausra always had a lot of ideas floating around her brain to keep her company and she loved to people watch.

"My understanding," Seleya began, "is that Lieutenant Savin has offended Her Majesty the Queen, which has impeded the progress of our diplomatic team. Such a matrilineal society is a mark of backwardness at odds with the Federation's principles, but, nonetheless, I question the captain's decision not to concede to it and to include men as envoys despite it. He's out of his depth, and it was a poor choice on command's behalf to send a warship as a diplomatic escort."

"Oh really? Savin seemed so nice." Ausra seemed to think about things. "I can see both sides. Their ways are completely backwards to us who treat the sexes equally. But at the same time, we should try to indulge other races if they want to be diplomatic and not force our ways on them. And maybe they thought there would be trouble?" Ausra shrugged. She really didn't know and it didn't really peak her interest that much to wonder about the decisions that command made. Perhaps if it was a subject she felt strongly on she might react differently.

"Evidently, 'they' thought correctly," Seleya said, gesturing to the hole. Afterward, she fumbled with the controls on her EV suit and began to descend back down toward the exposed deck plating. "I think we've gathered as much data as we can for now. And I'd rather not hear anything from the Ops department about cleaning out the inside of your suit, so we ought to get you back, yes?"

"Yes please." Ausra wholeheartedly agreed and began to move toward the entrance without another word.

OFF:

Lieutenant Ausra Danton
Chief Science Officer
USS Athena

Lieutenant Seleya Qellar, PhD
Chief Engineering Officer
USS Athena

 

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