Posted by Civilian Kenzo B’tren-Hyrushi (Governor) in Governor’s Office – New Career Prospects
Posted by Civilian Erin Hazen-Cooper (Visitor) in Governor’s Office – New Career Prospects
Posted by Civilian Kenzo B’tren-Hyrushi (Governor) in Governor’s Office – New Career Prospects
Posted by… suppressed (7) by the Post Ghost! 👻
Two weeks earlier
“How could he do that to me!?” Erin complained loudly as she pushed her luggage through the door of Molly and Cal’s house.
“Do what to you?” Molly asked, as she helped her sister inside.
“Take the job! The only reason he did it was to spite me! I’m sure! All he wants is to go gallivanting across the galaxy and do nothing else! He could have a successful music career and he’s wasting it all away!”
“Erin…” Molly sighed, pinching the bridge of her nose as the front door of the house closed behind her. “You can’t lock him up forever you know? Gavin is a human being. He has his own dreams and aspirations… and the man loves to pilot. You knew this when you guys started dating! So I don’t understand what is so surprising to you…”
“What do you know, Molly? Alex was never like this!”
“What?!” It was Molly’s turn to express her disbelief. “What do you mean!? Calvin is a fighter pilot! You of all people should know this!”
“But he would never leave his partner behind to go pilot a ship!”
“Erin… come here…” Molly sat down on the living room couch and motioned for her sister to do the same, who promptly followed. “You can’t take flight out of a pilot, Erin… just like you can’t take football out of a quarterback… or do you think William Justice would skip practice to be with his family?”
“That’s different. He’s the youngest quarterback to win a Super Bowl!” Erin smiled.
“Yes, I know, sis. You mention it every time a 49ers game is on. But how do you think he got there?”
“Because of me! Honestly, Kate should thank me. If it wasn’t for me, she wouldn’t have such a successful husband.”
Molly rolled her eyes and sighed. “You really think it was you dating him in college that made him the successful football player that he is today.”
“Yes! That’s what I’ve been trying to tell you, Molly! Gavin could be just as successful! If only he would dedicate himself to his music career and not go flying around like a lunatic on your uncle’s ship!”
“Our uncle, Erin.”
“Whatever! If he had died in that crash this wouldn’t have happened!”
“Excuse me!?” Molly’s voice rose before her face got dangerously close to her sister’s. “Young lady, I didn’t raise you to be a petulant child, and you’re not going to start when you are old enough to have one!” The oldest of the Holloway sisters fumed. Her right index finger square on Erin’s chest. “Here’s the thing, Erin. Gavin is a pilot, whether you like it or not. That’s who he is. That is who he was when you met him and nothing you do will change that.” Molly’s voice was almost a snarl now. “You have two options. You divorce him because of it, or you support him just like he supported you when you decided that Starfleet wasn’t for you and you wanted to be back on solid ground instead. I have seen the life being drained of that man because he loves you and he would follow you to the end of hell. It’s sad that you don’t understand that. It’s even more sad because I know that the Erin I knew three years ago would see it. You changed in the past few years, Erin. Fame got to your head. I love you, and I always will, but I will not stand idle and see you becoming so frivolous that you think everyone around you owes you something.” Molly stood up from the couch. “Now, if you don’t mind, I’m going to Sacred Heart and check on Uncle Luc. Make yourself at home, you know where the guest room is.” And with that, she left the house.
Erin sighed. How could she be so stubborn? For as long as she could remember, Molly had always been like this. So maybe she was right… some things could never be changed.
Getting up from the couch, she wheeled her and Gavin’s suitcases to the guest room. She laid down on the bed and stared at the ceiling, Molly’s words repeating in her mind. She scoffed softly. Her sister was never going to get anywhere in life with that attitude.
One week earlier
The opportunity had presented itself the day after the argument through the form of one of the many messages that were sent over her department’s mailing list. Ninety percent of them were almost spam — people selling items, students looking for houses, idiotic political discussions, misplaced objects (no Frank, we haven’t seen your United Federation of Planets mug that somehow you managed to misplace and find six times last month!), and similar. The remaining ten percent were actually useful, just like the one that Erin had opened that morning.
It had been the second morning in a row that Gavin had left in silence, and despite what Erin might feel, it had made Molly’s words return to the front of her mind. She had found herself having trouble going back to sleep, and instead had reached for her PaDD and opened her messages. The first few had been the usual spam, but the fifth one was a heated discussion about an article that had just been published in one of the most well regarded Exobotany journals, about a study made on OED V’s soil samples. The discussion also mentioned that the Colony’s Director of Terraforming had stepped down recently, and that any progress on the planet’s terraforming would be more difficult on the account of the vacant position.
It was then that an idea crossed Erin’s mind. After all, if Gavin could do it, so could she. And if she was successful, it would guarantee that they would both be happy with the arrangement. Without delay, she sent out her application to the Governor’s Office, for the open position of Director of Terraforming.
After messaging a few of her contacts and getting acquainted with the Exobotany group at the University on OED, Erin spent the next week in a small corner of the labs experimenting. If she was successful, she hoped that her hard work would guarantee her the job. If not, maybe the fact that she had tried would make Gavin less mad at her, and maybe, who knows, he might just change his mind about the piloting gig.
The meeting request from the Governor’s Office had come during the previous week, and the meeting itself scheduled for the following one. The man surely was busy, but it came at no surprise to Erin that she had heard back on her application. After all, she was good at what she did, and it hadn’t hurt that she had asked T’Lat, her PhD advisor, to put in a good word for her. Even though the Vulcan hadn’t really seen the reasoning behind Erin’s request, she had seen the opportunity as a good one, for both Erin and the potential of further collaborations with the Federation Science Council.
As a member of the Holloway family, and sister to the current CEO of Holloway Heavy Industries, Erin was a recognizable face on the street. Something that she enjoyed and strove to maintain, much to Molly’s chagrin. In fact, she had used the public recognition in her own favor to both popularize certain scientific themes that otherwise laymen wouldn’t have the opportunity to understand, as well as creating her own line of botanical inspired perfumes that she modeled for in her free time. She was sad to report that the latter was more successful than the former by a wide margin, but she was happy to oblige and give the public what they wanted.
So when Molly had insisted she should take her personal driver to the center of town, Erin didn’t fight her on it. The poor guy stayed out in the garage keeping the car clean most of the time anyway, with her sister’s stubborn insistence on walking or using public transportation everywhere she went. And he was cute, so Erin took it as a win.
Once at the Government Building, it took her five minutes to check in at the front desk, go through security and up to the last floor of the building. She was left with five minutes to spare when she arrived at Governor’s Office’s door.
The desk outside the Governor’s office was manned by a human woman of obvious Asian ancestry. As Erin entered, the bright green eyes of the receptionist looked up and she smiled. “Mrs. Hazen-Cooper. Welcome. I am Dorma Fen. The Governor is finishing up a meeting, but will be with you shortly. Please have a seat.”
Having checked in at the reception desk, Erin waited to be called inside once the appointed time was up.
Erin Hazen-Cooper, PhD (ABD)
It was several minutes later when there was a chirp on Ms. Fen’s desk and she looked at Erin. “The Governor will see you now.” and the large double doors swung inward.
Erin stood up, realizing for the first time that she was actually nervous about the meeting. For as much experience as she had within the walls of academia, she had never met with a member of a government of any kind. For a brief moment, she wondered how Molly did it. She always made it seem to effortless and easy, as if it was the most normal thing in the world. The answer was that Molly was used to it, Erin wasn’t. Right now, all she had to do was put one foot in front of the other, and use the experience she had to her own advantage. It was with that in mind that she walked into the Governor’s Office.
The room beyond was spacious and white. Walls of glass from the left of the doorway gave an uninterrupted view of the city as they wrapped all the way around the far corner of the room and then continued on out of sight behind a three-quarters-high wall that extended from the far right corner of the room about three-quarters the length of the room. Set into the wall was a fireplace, in front of which was a large seating area with a low table surrounded by couches and chairs. In the far left corner of the glass walled room was a desk on a raised section of floor. Set at an angle with two chairs before it, the lone occupant of the room seated behind the desk stood up as Erin entered.
Erin walked in wide eyed at the sweeping view from the windows, stopping just inside the door for a moment to take in the space. She didn’t notice the man behind the desk immediately, smiling politely at him when her gaze left the windows.
The figure appeared human… save for the eyes. Terran Asian features surrounded black eyes, like wet obsidian. Long, jet black hair flowed perfectly straight down the back of the figure halfway to their waist as he stood up. Dressed in a dark red silk suit with a deep blue paisley shirt under a vest that matched the suit, the figure stood and smiled. “Mrs. Hazen-Cooper… a pleasure. I am Kenzo B’tren-Hyrushi, Governor of the colony. Please be seated.” and he indicated a chair in front of the desk.
Much like Molly Holloway, Erin Hazen-Cooper shared what seemed to be the trademark red hair of her side of the family. A trait her uncle didn’t share. Contrarily to her sister, however, her hair was down falling perfectly around her shoulders. Other than her hair, the similarities between the Holloway sisters were quite obvious, with the one noticeable exception being their different eye shape and color. She wore an elegant gray, knee length belted dress, and a pair of formal black high heels.
“Mr. Hyrushi, the pleasure is mine.” Erin said, sitting on the designated chair. Now here’s a man who knows how to dress! Cooper thought. Wait… Is he Betazoid? Molls never mentioned he’s Betazoid…! The moment the thoughts crossed her mind, Erin’s eyes widened, trying to think about something else, afraid someone as important as Hyrushi might pick up on them. With a nervous smile, Erin continued in a very respectful tone. “Thank you for taking the time to meet with me.”
Erin Hazen-Cooper, PhD (ABD)
Hyrushi nodded once and said “You are most welcome.” and he tapped a few inputs into the interface in his desk and said “How is your uncle doing, if I may ask?” as he did so. “I am kept abreast of General Harris’s recovery, but I try not to intrude upon private citizens.”
“Oh… I’m told he’s recovering well.” Erin replied. The truth was she had been in to visit Lucas once, and she had only done it because Molly had forced her to. She understood how much the man meant to her sister, but the difference between them was that Molly remembered him. Erin didn’t. To her, Lucas Holloway was nothing more than a faded memory from her very distant past. To Molly, he had been the father that their own real father had failed to be. Erin had been four years old when Robert Hazen had taken them in. Molly had been ten. Their age difference had made their experiences vastly different. As far as Erin was concerned, Lucas Holloway had showed up into her life and tried to buy her affection. She wasn’t taking the bait.
Expectantly, Erin held on to the PaDD and the small bag she had brought in with her. She opened her mouth to speak but closed it almost immediately, deciding it was best to remain in silence for the time being. She wasn’t sure what the etiquette was when it came to politicians, and she didn’t want to change the subject and potentially ruin her chances at the job she was there to discuss. She just hoped she wouldn’t have to talk more about her uncle either.
Erin Hazen-Cooper, PhD (ABD)
Hyrushi’s dark eyes lifted up and seemed to bore into the young woman on the opposite side of his desk. “Speak your mind. Part of the job you are applying for is talking to me and the department and the people of the colony. Open communication is key to achieving our goals. And we do not have the time nor the luxury of censoring what we are thinking when speaking with 9ne another. If that is an issue for you, I will thank you now for your time and we can finish this interview early.” His voice was calm, measured, professional… and very firm.
Erin’s eyes widened for the second time in past few minutes, this time more apparently. “Oh… uh… no… not at all a problem!” She hurried in saying. “I… I appreciate it actually. It makes progress easier.” She smiled nervously as she straightened herself up in her seat. “I uh… I was just hoping to go straight to the matter at hand.” Cooper said. “I understand that my uncle holds a very important position in the Colony but I try to steer clear of all matters involving him and the company.” She allowed herself to take a breath before continuing, now with a little more conviction. “I got to where I am today by putting in my own personal hard work independent of the family’s business. So if what got me to this meeting today are my ties to the Holloway name, I would prefer to end the meeting early as well.” Her smile grew more confident. “If not, I would like to discuss with you what OED’s needs are as far as terraforming goes, what would be expected of me if I were to get this job, and I would like to show you how I believe it can be accomplished.”
Erin Hazen-Cooper, PhD (ABD)
Hyrushi nodded once and said “Very well. As the job description said, we need someone to head all the terraforming and reclamation efforts on the planet as a whole. Now, as I am sure you are aware… normally the process to even begin the transformation of a planet this size would take decades due to technological, logistics, and material limitations. Not to mention the need to have a biodiverse ecological system reach a point of self-sustainability and survivability. We do not have that kind of time. Therefore, I have established that kind of time. The people here on Oed have languished under a dome and in a barren wasteland for far too long. I would like to see plant life spreading across the surface within the next two to three years… and animal life within five.” Hyrushi spoke as if this was a simple conversation… but it was far from it. The science to accomplish the task in the timeframe he was suggesting not only didn’t exist; it hadn’t even been hypothesized. The complexity of creating a planetary biome paled exponentially in comparison with the very abstract kind of scientific experimentation and testing he was proposing. But nothing in his demeanor suggested he was anything other than very serious.
Well, it seemed like the man knew how to dress, but he clearly knew nothing about what he was talking about. Erin listened attentively as he spoke. Nothing in her demeanor told him that she was not taking him seriously. Quite the contrary, in fact. The only hint at doubt was the quizzical eyebrow that rose in Erin’s face as the Governor went on, rendering her expression incredibly similar to that of her sister in the few business meetings she had attended.
Erin let the silence hang for a moment as she gave Hyrushi’s words some thought, before she finally started. “With all due respect, Governor Hyrushi… you requested me to speak my mind a few minutes ago, so I hope you don’t mind if I do so. What you’re asking is impossible to achieve. And please, before you cut this meeting short because I didn’t give you the magical solution you want to hear, I should tell you that, if you let me go because I don’t agree with your time frame, you will spend the next two to three years looking for someone that can do it instead of having plants growing around the city. And I can tell you with all certainty that after those two to three years, not only will you still have barren wastelands outside, as you’ll still have a job vacancy to fill.” Her tone was calm but assertive, with the confidence of someone who firmly believed in what they were saying. It was not rude, or disrespectful, but rather expository.
“Then tell me why I am wrong.” Hyruahi said flatly.
“Let me start by telling you, Governor Hyrushi, there are many reasons as to why terraforming takes decades… cell multiplication, nutrient absorption rates, chemical production, to name a few. In other words, physics and chemistry. What you are asking me to do is to develop and apply methods that have not yet been discovered in under two years. Scientific progress doesn’t move at that rate, even if you could throw copious amounts of money at them. If you work closely with my uncle you should know the rate at which they create new concepts for starship parts and weapons.” For a moment she broached the one topic she didn’t want to discuss. “And we are speaking solely of man made machines. You are asking me to bend the laws of nature.” Erin shook her head. “There’s some things that can’t be accelerated, unfortunately. Not to mention, there is no telling what the consequences of such a boost in natural development could lead to. Cancer, plant diseases, animal malformations, unexpected mutations… do you really want to take the risk at having lush vegetation growing in two years only to have it decayed in five? How could that sustain the animal ecosystems that could be introduced?” Erin shook her head once again. “I am sorry, but I don’t think anyone can do the job in the timeline you want.”
Hyrushi inclined his head slightly, as if to agree, but there was aomething… extra… in his demeanor. Almost as if he was suppressing a smile or laugh.
“Now…” Cooper fumbled with the paper bag that she had brought with her, from which she produced a small round glass terrarium. It was quite delicate, at about twenty centimeters in diameter. The plants inside were beautifully laid out and seemed to breathe with life. “… that is not to say that the task is impossible. The timeline? Yes. It will have to be reviewed, but we don’t have to just seed the ground and wait for the grass to grow.” She smiled softly at her pun. “Terrariums are a hobby of mine.” Erin said with a grin. “I enjoy the peacefulness of arranging them, and the challenge of balancing them to be self sustainable.” She looked proudly at her creation. “I spent the past two weeks creating this one. It is composed solely of soil samples from OED’s wasteland… on this side there’s two samples of native plants of the planet. I uh… spoke with some people at the university and even though they told me there was not a lot they could lend me for an amateur project, given the scarcity of these plants at the moment, they were kind enough to give me those two to work with.” One was a small lavender like plant, and the other a beautiful yellow flower. “On this side…” Erin turned the terrarium around. “There’s a small fern and a specific type of moss. Both from Earth… they are some of the most common plants when it comes to terraforming, so I thought I’d give those a try first, and they seem to hold up quite well!” Cooper smiled. ”This is a very small sample of what can be done. I added a few bugs too to help, so it should be self sustainable, but if I am being completely honest, I didn’t really have the time to study much about OED’s fauna or what species would be best to introduce.”
Erin Hazen-Cooper, PhD (ABD)
Hyrushi leaned forward and studied the terrarium intently for a long few moments and then he looked up at Erin. “You did this in two weeks? And utilized samples of native plants, supported by other xenobiological species? Very nice.” He leaned back and looked at Erin again. “You say that the things we are asking are ‘impossible’. Define that. Because there was a time when scientists said that moving matter from one point to another without crossing the space between was an impossibility, yet we use transporters every day. We travel faster than the speed of light at will… that was seen as impossible a few hundred years ago. We do the impossible every day. So tell me why this is any different… except for scale?”
Erin wouldn’t want to admit it, but she was blindsided by the question. The man had a point, but still, her gut told her that it wasn’t that simple. She let the silence hung in the room for a moment, as she allowed herself a few seconds to think.
“You’re forgetting two important things.” Erin started. “Scientists were already experimenting with the concepts of particle transport centuries before the transporters we know today were made possible. And quantum teleportation before that… The same goes for faster than light travel. They were both deemed possible according to the laws of physics that rule our universe, even if we only discovered the ones that would make teleportation possible much later.” Erin paused before continuing. “What you’re asking me to do is to bend the laws of physics. To accelerate the natural process of growth.”
“But let’s assume that hypothetically, it is possible to do so without repercussions. Much like today’s dermal regenerators.” She smiled. “I should have known better, you know. In the scientific field we should never say something is impossible exactly for the reasons you presented. So, let’s assume that you are right, and it is possible to develop a process to accelerate the process of terraforming. You’re still asking me to accelerate the scientific process. It is impossible to have lush forests in the outskirts of the colony in two years, because even if it could be possible for the plant growth process to be accelerated, we still need to design it.” Erin cleared her throat. “You’re right, we used to think that transporters and faster than light travel were impossible. But how long were they studied for before the first warp drive was made? Or the first teleported was safe for human testing? The same applies here.”
“Maybe it is possible to speed the pace of the process, but not the pace of science. The pace of discovery. Sure teleportation might not be an impossibility as we though. But how long did it take for us to get it right? Maybe it will be possible to terraform in two years in the future. But we haven’t even started to think about the problem… we will likely take more than two years to solve it.”
Erin Hazen-Cooper, PhD (ABD)
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