Obsidian Command

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Unknown Variables

Posted on 14 Aug 2022 @ 8:43pm by Commander Calliope Zahn & Lieutenant Louke Haille

Mission: M3 - Into the Deep
Location: Science Lab
Timeline: MD05 ~1900hrs
1208 words - 2.4 OF Standard Post Measure

Calliope had to schedule a little later with Ops, having gotten diverted earlier and then caught up in lengthy training sessions. It was getting on into the evening before she could even reschedule with the Operations Chief. But she found herself back in the Science lab waiting for him while shifting her weight between one tired foot and the other.

His meeting with Steiner had held Louke up slightly from meeting with the XO, so when he ducked into the Science lab it was with a chagrined expression. "Sorry, ma'am. Security caught me with some questions before I could get here.

"Quite understandable. I'm just glad we're finally connecting." She waved him over to the workstation she'd prepared. "We've all been putting in a lot of hours. I'll try to keep things simple here and then maybe we can trot over to the mess hall."

Louke nodded and headed over, snagging a chair to pull up alongside the woman as he held his own padd at the ready.

Calliope showed him a family of schematics in a tree of files. "These are various analyses of the parts of wreckage that we suspect to be power generation or engine related of the Pyrryx ship. With each are included residual discharge scans. While much of the information is hindered by the subspace explosion that likely destroyed the ship, my hope is there is enough for you to possibly fine tune sensors to give us the earliest possible detection of one of their vessels on approach."

Louke leaned forward, adjusting the screen to give him a better look at the various points of interest. "There really isn't a lot to work from here at first glance, ma'am. Hopefully that will clear up in the lab, but do we have any chance at another source of reference here?" The nature of the beast, as it were, was more or less on par with any other scavenger/hunter race Louke had witnessed, but that said little of their physiology or technology. If he was lucky, there would be some reference to the race in the database - something he could have researched himself, had this assignment not come on the veritable heels of his assignment to the base.

"Pathfinder still has core records of the original scans of the debris field where these were found. And I'll get you access to energy readings taken from the few encounters where records survived." Calliope sighed. "It's not a lot of data points. But I suppose it's more than one."

"I appreciate that; we could likely pull together a workable model from what that offers," he indicated the schematics. "My only concern would be that it doesn't really show us what diversity the Pyrryx have at their fingertips. Do all their vessels use the same general fuel core, for example - if they're a concentrated race with limited resources, then we're golden and we'll have enough to make an 80% liable sensor map. But if they have allies, or pillage resources from other areas ... I think the humans have a term for that ... Trojan horse? I just want the rest of the crew to have as much warning as Ops can give them."

"This is a recon mission, because of all the unknowns we don't know." Calliope's expression soured and she just took a few steps away from the station to try to manage her frustration, putting a hand through her hair until she pulled her hair band out and then stretched it around her wrist a few times. "We have what we have, Lieutenant. Start there, until we have more. Let's hope that our best readings aren't taken when they're already on us."

Louke frowned. "Forgive me, Ma'am; I'm not meaning to overstep here. It's just that I'm new to this region and ... Well, most things I'm familiar with by now, so coming upon something new is unsettling. I promise you we'll be able to put together a useable filter for our sensors with what you've shown me here. I'm just prone to asking questions when I don't have my own answers to fall back on, that's all."

"There's nothing wrong with your questions." Calliope sighed, leaning her weight into the console and ducking her head. Why was she feeling so short tempered, she wondered, while trying to remind herself to be reasonable. "It's entirely within the realm of possibility that there are multiple readings for multiple classes of their warships just the same as any other interstellar empire or alliance. But the filters you can create from what we have will have to suffice."

Regarding her quietly for a moment, Louke nodded. "Understood, ma'am. In the meantime, is there anything else you want us to be focusing on as well?"

Calliope shook her head while thinking of anything else significant. "Engineering is working on increasing power output. And we brought some key samples of the wreckage with us, in case material analysis of the original components will aid with weapons and shields settings. You can access them as needed."

"Security also has us relocating some crates from supply to help with narrowing down key passages for better defense. Overall, we'll have at least a working prototype ready for try-out by the end of the day tomorrow. I'll be sending updates to Security as we get them, should anything come up requiring a faster response."

Calliope nodded, glad that they were organizing already. "How do you find working with Marshal Steiner?"

Louke shrugged. "Like working with any other military personnel, I suppose. Straight-forward, blunt." He offered a bit of a wry smile, adding, "Not a bad sort, really, all things considered."

"I wasn't sure how he would take to the ship assignment, but he seems to be taking the bull by the horns," Calliope agreed. "Alright, well." She shut down the display. "All of this will keep while we catch a bite. Frankly my blood sugar is getting low." She knew if she went back to being too busy to eat Doctor Wagner was going to notice on her daily scans.

It was likely as close an acceptance to her mood that Louke would get, short of asking outright. And to be honest, it made sense as his own stomach gurgled slightly in agreement. "Apparently we agree. After you, Commander?"

Calliope led the way out of Science. It was a small ship and the walls seemed to her to be closing in a bit. Maybe she'd gotten spoiled living on Obsidian Command and enjoying broad corridors, open promenades, and jaunts planetside. She thought about the environmental deck and her daily routine of training and stretching there. What would she do in place of it? Sliding her necklace in her fingers, she grounded back to the moment before letting herself get carried away, because the next thought smelled like worrying about losing all of the ground she'd won against her physical challenges. With any luck taking dinner in the mess hall instead of in her quarters would mean a chance to get to know people a little and distract from all of the heavy-hearted labors of the day.

"Lets see what's on the menu," she said as they came up on the door to the mess hall.


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