CSO's Office - Cadet Taurean Reporting for Duty

Posted Feb. 3, 2020, 10:34 a.m. by Lieutenant Junior Grade Garth (Chief Science Officer) (Ben Z)

Posted by Cadet Anders Taurean (Scientist) in CSO’s Office - Cadet Taurean Reporting for Duty

“I was a co-author on one of… Captain L’Vor’s fledgling papers, but that was many years ago when she was a lieutenant,” Garth grumbled as he rummaged through the refuse.

After a moment of searching and apparently not finding what he was looking for, Garth grunted and turned back to Anders. “Astrophysics is my specialty as well. But practical and applicable astrophysics, not… ‘theoretical’.” He said this with a twinge of distain, perhaps hinting that he had heard of Captain Andiue’s studies and didn’t hold them in the highest regard.

“For example,” Garth said as he turned back to the contraption on the table in front of him, “this is a portable interstellar telescope meant for observation of stellar phenomenon without the use of standard ship sensors. Designed for long-term away missions on class M planets close to systems that have reoccurring events that warrant more than a fly-by.” Garth paused, as if waiting for Anders to praise his invention.

(Lt. J.g. Garth, CSO)

A co-author to an old L’Vors paper? Maybe the name Garth sounded more familiar than Anders remembered, but his memory decided to withhold that information for a time being. He felt the urge to get his personal library up and running to take a look back through Captain L’Vors’ earlier work. She always spoke up on the inability of his arrogant youth to mine beyond the surface. He read more introductory books than any in his field, but more often than not failed to go beyond that introduction. Oh, how he wanted to sample it all and let those samples go to waste.

Upon introduction to the portable stellar telescope, the Cadet leaned his long body in past the Lieutenant, palms spread on the table. Looming over the forearm-length invention, which wasn’t quite as portable as advertised. However, if the gadget did what Lieutenant Garth claimed it could, Anders couldn’t imagine being able to make it any smaller than it was. He rolled it over on the table, bent over lower with one eye closed, looking at every centimeter of the gadget. Then Anders picked it up, feeling its impressive lack of weight, and found a panel on the side. Exposing the circuitry of the telescope, the cadet carefully took an inside view of the pathways of its wiring; all the side-streets and avenues and dead-ends that did one thing or another. Without breaking concentration on his up-close review, Anders said:

“All in-field astrophysicists say they prefer practical and applicable– the tangible, and all that. But without theory and one’s philosophical side attempting to grasp beyond the how, there would be little to practice or apply. Without solid grasp of theory, we would not be traveling at warp speed through the stars, Lieutenant.”

Garth’s hand reached out reflexively as Anders held the telescope, the universal “be careful with that” motion. He watched Anders’ inspection closely, as if preparing at any second to dive forward to catch the contraption should the cadet drop it.

He finished taking a look at the stellar telescope and stood with his back straightened once more, letting out a small nod of approval as he closed the side-panel.

“Yes, yes, this is an intriguing, nifty trinket,” Anders said, “Young me wishes he had this device to carry all through the streets of Buenos Aires, plotting the most luxurious course for my elegant starship.”

After he finished speaking, the cadet realized this answer was not what the Lieutenant was looking for. Indeed, it seemed as bad an answer as he could give, but he chose to stand by it. Instead, Anders chose to follow up with a quick question as a preemptive strike.

“How long term are these away missions?” Then he followed that up with, “Aren’t starships supposed to remain in planetary orbit unless under duress of harm to its crew while in immediate orbit? Or then are these telescopes automated in nature and designed to be planted, aimed, and left for a designated period of time?”

(Cadet Anders Taurean, Science Division)

Garth’s eyes narrowed as the scientist fumed silently at the ‘nifty trinket’ comment. Perhaps his response was not as explosive as Anders’ might have suspected. Garth was a man who had become accustomed to his inventions being underestimated and trivialized. Of course to Garth, it was simply because he was an unappreciated genius, whose ideas were lost on those not quite on his level.

“There are cases,” Garth began in a very measured tone with obviously tested patience, “when a ship will leave an away team on the surface of a class M planet to conduct surveys while it pursues another objective, to return for them later or to rendezvous with them via shuttle.” He paused. “Automation of the telescope is of course the next logical step in its development.” But Garth’s gaze shifted, suggesting that he had not actually considered this idea before.

Garth shambled across the lab to check on a set of bubbling beakers, adjusting the temperature of the hotplates beneath them in what was pretty clearly just a way to keep his hands busy. “So your specialty. Astrophysics, even after working with Andiue?”

(Lt. J.g. Garth)

OOC: Next trick to the trade! “Snipping.” Threads like this can get pretty long, so we snip them to keep the words we have to scroll past to get to the most recent post more manageable. This is especially important for people viewing the site on mobile devices. There are a couple ways people do this. I personally prefer snipping down to the six most recent posts of a thread. But you can also snip to the most important post someone needs to know to jump into the thread. As a general rule though, when snipping in a multiperson thread, you want to make sure each person in the thread’s last reply is still on the page. I’ve snipped your first post in this thread as an example. You don’t need to snip every post, just when things start to get especially long. Try out snipping my first post (which should be the first after my snip). To do this, just delete the post with 7 arrows next to it in your reply, delete the post line with the 7 arrows at the top of the page, and add a (snip) after that.

The young cadet’s words seem to strike a sour note with the Tellarite Lieutenant, though it hadn’t quite soured as poorly as Anders anticipated. And he couldn’t help but stroke his internal ego, wondering if the invention’s automation was indeed the telescope’s next logical step or if it were one that hadn’t quite occurred to Garth but sounded useful. Either way, Anders thought this introduction was going well enough. He never seemed to win people over right away, often aiming to prove some positive value instead. Starfleet was a realm dictated by command chains rotten with oxidation, wrapped in red tape to cover up the flaws. Proving value was more important than proving a delighted and sought-after presence. In truth, such a thing made Cadet Taurean’s skin crawl. That didn’t stop him from taking such necessary advantages of the situation however.

“Yes, Lieutenant, it’s what I’ve been told I’m best at, and what my major ended up being,” Anders replied, watching the smaller officer in an attempt at keeping himself occupied; experimenting could be an advanced, personal meditation process. “Though I have studied in variances; Botany, Command, Warp Theory, Ancient Philosophies, Intraspecies Politics and Diplomacy, even a writing course…”

He trailed off because Garth knew exactly what came next: As many of those classes I aced, I dropped completely. L’Vors heeded me to pick and choose with more care, but too much of one thing closes as many lanes as it might open. I was just happy to be studying whatever textbook my eyes could glue themselves to.

There was a short pause, where Anders remembered the time L’Vors forced him to take the minimum number of courses he could in a given semester– three. And all of them were Astrophysics related. She gave him no choice in declaring it a formal Major, as opposed to accruing empty credit for what was then less a premeditated career than it was an escape mechanism. Snapping from past to the present, Anders realized Garth didn’t want to hear a lick about any course he took not related to scientific pursuits.

“Three years ago, Captain L’Vors and I arranged with the Academy Brass to spend two years between the Academy on Earth and Hekaras Corridor. Several decades ago reports were written and tests were ran in the corridor that depicted warp drive as an imminent threat to the astrophysical state of subspace in the corridor. If you believe rumors, a Hekaran scientist gave her life to prove that warp drive would create a subspace rift in space.”

Anders didn’t have to mention that not much came of this incident but the burying of those reports and tests.

“Now, while it was posited that subspace in the corridor itself was weakened by nature, and warp drive’s effect there wouldn’t be the same the rest of the galaxy. After a few confusing nights in the library reading what surface-level information a cadet is granted, Iasked the Captain if the natural state of baryon asymmetry in the known universe was being thrown off by our warp core’s 1:1 matter/anti-matter ratio. Maybe, I suggested, our warp engines were flooding space and with an unnatural amount of antimatter, which could carry into subspace and intensify certain tetryon fields to the point of destabilizing and the formation of a rift.”

Again the cadet drifted off. Captain L’Vors had told him his introductory theory paper was worthy of publication, with a few more edits. He was going to do that on the ship headed for the Hekaras Corridor. Instead, Anders never stepped foot on the ship. L’Vors conducted some research on her own, occasionally reporting back to Anders when he was on his leave of absence. She returned, the Academy insisted whatever findings she brought back were insignificant and refused to publish the paper. Both he and the Captain wondered if her promotion to the Eratosthenes was meant as consolation. His original theory paper lie dormant somewhere in the depths of the undergrad library, forgotten even more than he was.

“Sorry, Lieutenant,” he apologized, “I didn’t mean to ramble.”

(Cadet Anders Taurean, Science Division)

“I’ve been a scientist for forty years, cadet. Those reports might be buried now, but I was there when the Federation Council imposed the Warp 5 speed restriction on all vessels except in cases of extreme emergency, which conveniently happened immediately after one of my scientific colleagues from Hekaras II exploded,” he said nonchalantly as he fiddled with his experiments.

Then Garth turned abruptly to look Anders directly in the face. “Scientists rarely die by accident, cadet. Like when Starfleet tells you that one hundred and twenty seven leading Federation scientists on a previously unknown, classified research station in the Lantaru sector suddenly died due to a ‘natural phenomenon.’ Maybe cover-ups work well enough to prevent the general public from finding out Starfleet’s secrets, but us scientists aren’t ones to unquestionably believe improbable events with suspicious consequences. We remember, and warn others.” It very well could sound like Garth was peddling in conspiracy theories, but the conviction of his words was alarming.

“But,” Garth said with a shrug, “antimatter sounds like a reasonable hypothesis for the disruption. I’m more inclined to blame the tetryons themselves, due to their inherent instability. Send me your paper.”

(Lt. J.g. Garth, CSO)

OOC: Great post, and great job with the snipping! You’re a natural!

The Lieutenant’s words could be seen as heretical by some more predisposed to Starfleet subordinance; or, as his dad would say, “crackpot-y”. Anders even bit off the edges of his words, an initial response which would invariably fall into his particular style of cynical philosophy. To him, most people died by accident. It was the all-too-coincidental accidents that were worth pursuing a truth to. Yet Lt. Garth remained correct that it was not job to shrug and accept the first - or even the second - answer given. And each consequential truth was buried beneath the right lie.

“Tetryons are naturally unstable when released out of subspace,” Anders began, always ready to make his argument beyond written form, “but even then they could be used to create stable spatial rifts visible to both of us. The intensity of tetryons recorded in Hekaras corridor made them particularly unstable as they continued to protrude out past subspace, yes. But the prevailing theory of your colleague was that energy from a warp core field would be the main cause to the rift’s effect. If the tetryons were so unstable otherwise, even a ship’s impulse engines or the physical matter of the ship itself could cause such an intense tetryon field to rupture and create a rift.”

In conclusion, he wanted to continue, my paper theorizes that what happens in Hekaras is possible to happen everywhere over a grander period of time. Instead, the young cadet put his hands behind his back, paused for a moment, and said:

“I’ll send you the paper once I’m done with my check-ins around the ship. However, I can’t promise you an exciting read, as what little information not redacted by Starfleet gave little in lieu of practical. So much of it is me, posing theoretical upon theoretical. Is there anything else you need of me, Lieutenant?”

OOC: Attempted snipping again to make sure I’ve got a hang on it. Thank you for all your help/kindness!

(Cadet Anders Taurean, Science Division)

Garth snorted in a half-laugh. “Are you excusing yourself from your first meeting with the senior officer who decides if you ever see the main fleet?”

He didn’t wait for a response to that question. It was less of a question and more of a warning. Apparently, Garth was the only one who was allowed to be impatient. “I do need something else from you, cadet. During your time on the Challenger, you will be required to work with a multidisciplinary team of Starfleet crewmen, support the mission of the ship as determined by the captain, and, most importantly, you must complete a scientific project of academic rigor to be reviewed by me before your graduation. The topic is your choice, but do propose some sort of practical use for your findings, hmm? I expect to be updated frequently of your progress.”

Garth scrounged around for a moment before pulling out a PaDD from underneath a piece of his equipment. He spent a moment tapping the screen before presenting it to Anders. “Your shift schedule. You’ll be working primarily in the lower-deck labs. You are not to use this main science lab without my supervision. Understood?”

(Lt. J.g. Garth, CSO)

OOC: Yes, you did snip correctly! Just make sure to delete the post lines at the top as well. The ones that read “Posted by…” The most number of arrows next to the last one of those should be the same as the most recent post you haven’t snipped. Hope that makes sense!

The cadet attempted to hide his contempt for the assumptive nature of the Lieutenant’s snapping remark. In fact, he hadn’t been excusing himself from the meeting; he had simply asked if the Lieutenant required anything else from him, or else their conversation would have fallen dreadfully silent. And Anders assumed that was something neither of them really wanted. However, he understood that such a question could paint a picture of an impatient man ready to retreat from a meeting that had throw him from his comfort zone into an entirely new environment.

Looking over the PaDD Garth handed him, Anders took in the mental image of his schedule as he responded: “Yes sir, Lieutenant, I understand quite well. If I need anything from this lab I assume there’s some sort of requisition form I’m to fill out?”

Without waiting for an answer to his initial question, the fledgling scientist’s neck twitched a bit, and he felt the pain in his right arm flaring up. He continued, unhindered:

“Actually, Lieutenant, I was wondering if you might be willing to approve a preliminary study on baryonic and antibaryonic matter as it is expended by the warp core. I think allowing myself to study what’s familiar to me in an unfamiliar environment will prepare me better for my proposal and study, as well as will introduce me to working alongside the ship’s engineers.”

(Cadet Anders Taurean, Science Division)

Garth paused, head tilted slightly in surprise. “A wise choice, cadet,” he said after a moment. “Approved. I recommend meeting with Lieutenant Vras, the Challenger’s chief engineer. You’ll need his permission to access the core.”

Garth looked Anders up and down one more time before shuffling back to his telescope. “There is nothing else I need from you at this moment, cadet. Keep me apprised of your progress. And be prepared. You’ll be on the next away team.”

(Lt. J.g. Garth, CSO)

OOC: Amazing job with this intro thread! I had a blast writing it with you! Obviously you’re a great writer and I’m so happy to be able to write with you in STF! We’ve gone over a few of the basics for the system in this thread, but of course if you ever have any questions about your other threads or things that come up in them, please don’t hesitate to ask me on Discord! As far as IC, there are a couple opportunities for other threads presented here: an “intro” thread of sorts with Vras, a side-sim where Anders works on his project, and hopefully a thread where Anders ‘presents his research’ once you’re nearing graduation! All are optional, but keep those ideas in mind! Can’t wait to see how Anders does with our next main sim!

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