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A Matter of Perspective

Posted on Mon Oct 17th, 2016 @ 3:55pm by Lieutenant JG Kevran & Commander Akiva ben-Avram

Mission: S1E1 - Booby Trap
Location: Science Lab 1
Timeline: Mission Day 7

Kevran sat with his face firmly attached to his scope, eyes fixated on various particles of matter. Samples taken from the nebula. He stared intently at them, his lips curved downward into a frown. He hated nebulae. Gaseous matter, particles belonging to who knows how many elements, dust, debris, and radiation all coming together to form a chaotic, useless waste of space. If that weren't reason enough, they had the added side-effect of creating chaos within starships. They interfered with sensors, communications, shields, deflectors, warp drives. Some that he had observed had actually been able to disrupt life support and tear holes in hull sections. With all this, he thought, lesser life forms still found them 'pretty.'
He hated nebulae.

As Kevran gazed and studied these samples, he surmised that this nebula was no different. However, despite his disdain, dealing with them had recently become his task. As such, he had a few ideas, but needed some feedback. Or so he had been told. Reluctantly, he had called for Commander ben-Avram and Lieutenant Saalkan ten minutes ago.

Saalkan was near the science labs when Kevran called for him, so it did not take long for him to appear. When he saw the Vorta peering through a microscope, he cleared his throat to announce himself. "How may I assist you?"

It seemed Akiva had just met with Kevran when the lieutenant had contacted him. Was it too soon to hope that their little ruse had turned up results? /=\ "On my way."/=\

Kevran did not remove his eyes from the scope as he spoke. "These power fluctuations, outages, et cetera...I think you'll agree when I complain of their inconvenience." He turned the knob on the side carefully. "Such things are to be expected, of course, when encountering nebulae but this is particularly troublesome." The Vorta looked up from his task, a look of mild disdain plastered on his face, and met the eyes of his Vulcan colleague. "I fear if the intensity of these system failures increases, we could be at risk. In fact, I recall hearing about a Jem'Hadar battle group that entered an uncharted nebula once. Eight ships, all combat veterans. Good servants. They were en route to their task and used this simple little nebula as a shortcut. They were never heard from again." Kevran's eyes left Saalkan's and dropped just a little. "Tragic, really."

Kevran stood up from his seat and laced his fingers together. "I digress. The point is, I am tired of these persistent system failures and I want them to stop. I have some thoughts, but I am willing to entertain any less...extreme...measures."

"It is my understanding that Operations division and Main Engineering have done everything in their power to mitigate the interruptions," Saalkan said evenly. "If you have any insight to share, then I have no doubt it would be matter how 'extreme.' Particularly if it pertains to this region of space."

"I second that," Akiva interjected as he entered the room. "Ops is in the process of changing hands between myself and Lieutenant Kaz. Any helpful suggestion will be considered at this point."

"My first idea, Commander, is simple. Theoretically speaking, I could synthesize a working igniting agent and, for lack of a better term, 'set it on fire.'" The Vorta scowled ever so slightly in the direction of his samples. "Needless to say, the resulting detonation would be unpredictable, though effective. It would be difficult but, and I think my colleague would agree," He nodded to Saalkan. "Not impossible." As he finished, he gave the two of them a practiced smile, assuming what had become his default expression for years now.

Akiva raised a skeptical eyebrow. "Is that standard protocol on Dominion ships?"

Saalkan frowned as well. "I am generally not in favor of 'setting nubulae on fire.' The lieutenant implied he had other ideas?"

"It is not, Commander," Said Kevran calmly. "Though neither is 'discussion' such as this." The Vorta allowed an odd, undetermined expression cover his features before he turned his attention to Saalkan. "There are other, less...efficient possibilities." Kevran callously gestured to his samples. "Nebulae are simply clouds of matter, gasses, plasma, dust and particles. Chaotic and without form." Kevran glanced at both Akiva and Saalkan. "It may be possible to bring order to the chaos."

Now it was Saalkan's turn to raise an eyebrow. "On such a grand scale? You now have my undivided attention, Lieutenant Kevran."

"Vehaaretz hayeta tohu vavohu vechoshekh al-pene tehom." Akiva shook his head, realizing he had spoken aloud. "Forgive me. Please go on."

Kevran looked askance at Akiva. He did not recognize the language he used, but he assumed that it must be some kind of human dialect or tongue.

"Artificially generated accelerated particles. It should be possible to increase the development of the matter which makes up the nebula. To give the natural order a push in the right direction." He spoke in a tone that could be easily misread as disinterest. "The results would be...dramatic, to say the least. The risks are not insignificant, but as I said, possible."

"That sounds alarmingly similar to Dr. Marcus' scheme and her Genesis Device," Saalkan replied. His eyebrows lifted to a fine point. "I would prefer to be out of the nebula before conducting an experiment of that magnitude."

"Lieutenant Kevran, could we perform this experiment on a smaller scale?" Akiva asked. His interest went without saying. He just didn't want to put the ship at risk.

Kevran seemed to shrug at Saalkan. "I come from a society that engineers living beings, whole populations, on a whim. Magnitude is a matter of perspective." It was unclear what sort of emotion his tone indicated as he spoke to the Vulcan. "Regardless," He continued, shifting his eyes to Akiva. "A smaller scale may be possible. I could utilize these samples that I have here, but the sample size will undoubtedly be too small to gain any overly accurate idea of what may happen on a large scale." The Vorta looked over at the small sample he had been examining earlier. "Suffice to say, Commander, that if it were to succeed, in ten years time there may be a brand new star system here, complete with lifeforms entirely new to the universe, and your names would enter your history books for eternity. In the short term, our system malfunctions would cease." Kevran returned his attention to his two colleagues. "There is a chance that the ensuing coalescence of matter could destroy the ship, though I am not overly concerned." His last sentence was easily the most believable one he had said. He spoke with a distinct tone of indifference, even as he mentioned the possibility of destroying the Vindex. "Of course, it is not my decision to make. As always, I am at your service whatever you decide."

Akiva listened carefully to both sides of the issue. While he shared Saalkan's concern, he agreed with Kevran's assessment. Sometimes you just had to risk it. "I like what I hear so far," he said at length. "Have Lieutenant Johansson sign off on it before forwarding it to Captain Ainscow, but you may include my support in the formal request. If Lieutenant Saalkan is duly concerned, I'd appreciate his oversight as well."

"As you wish, Commander," Saalkan said with the faintest of nods.

"I will prepare the necessary precautions, Commander." The Vorta bowed to Akiva, before turning to Saalkan. "I think you'll find this fascinating."

"Indeed I may." Saalkan replied. "I am ready to assist as you require."

Akiva nodded. "Keep me updated," he said.

Kevran turned his attentions away from the two. "Excellent."


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