USS VINDEX - NCC-2474-A
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The Dulcite Code

Posted on Fri Jul 21st, 2017 @ 2:17am by Lieutenant Commander Gareth Tau & Lieutenant JG Xiulan Song

Mission: S2E1 - Secrets
Location: Language Specialist Workspace (Deck 15 Library and Science Labs)
Timeline: MD 100

Xiulan was settling into her work space quite nicely. It was nice that she once again had a station that was not on the bridge, where she could have privacy to listen to linguistic files over and over without distracting her crewmates. Truth was, she hated being on the Bridge of the Beifong; not that the Bridge itself was unpleasant, but there was far too much happening on the Bridge, even in regular everyday sort of situations, she couldn't concentrate on what she was really good at. But not here, she had plenty of space to really settle in and get comfortable, and she spent the better part of the day setting up her console interface how she liked it.

And wouldn't you know it, just when she was about to sign out for the day, she got a priority one alert beeping at her from the console. Figures... Xiulan punched in the commands to authorize the call.

The face of Gareth Tau appeared--Lieutenant Commander and Chief Science Officer of the Nova Mercia Institute. Both titles prominently displayed onscreen in modified text, which appeared under her fingers on her tactile interface.

"Good morning, Lieutenant Song. I am contacting you in hopes that you may be interested in helping me with a particularly challenging hurdle. Are you familiar with the Dulcite Mineral Entity I discovered here on Nova Mercia?"

"Uhh, no sir, I've only just arrived on the Vindex; I was previously aboard the Beifong and we were cut off from all communications and running blind because of the Consortium, so I'm still getting caught up with all the activity we missed out on from the area of operations, and I have yet to be briefed on operations involving the Vindex," Xiulan replied as she keyed in information on her console; she may have had a bad attitude about her most of the time, but if there was one thing she knew how to do, it was to handle communications in a professional manner.

"Very well," Gareth said. "Basically, we are dealing with a highly sentient cosmozoan-class entity that embedded itself into the planet's crust eons ago. Somehow, and I have to underscore that with the concession that we have yet to determine how, Captain Ainscow made direct contact with the entity and brokered a peaceful agreement for cohabitation."

The admission was clearly a bitter pill for Gareth. His upper lip curled into a sneer.

"If we are to learn more about the entity, we must be able to approach it without triggering the catastrophic circumstances which occurred during first contact with it. If you think yourself up to the task of deciphering its signals to provide a form of direct communication, then I will upload all my files on the DME to you."

Gareth fixed her with a challenging stare.

"Can you do this, Lieutenant?"

While she couldn't see the sneer, Xiulan could hear it in his voice, and she wondered what circumstances arose that would cause such a reaction in Gareth.

"Well, I am a communication and linguistic specialist, so I will certainly give it my full attention," Xiulan replied. "Establish an uplink and begin transferring all available data. Please include documentation of everything, even if it doesn't seem important, especially what the staff of Nova Mercia does; part of dissecting means of communication is observing how cultures react to outside influences, so it's just as important to see what the DME is reacting to as much as its reactions. Once I've reviewed the information, I'll schedule an interview with Captain Ainscow to try to work out how she was able to communicate with the DME."

"Splendid." Gareth twisted his face into a tight smile. "The files will be sent immediately. I look forward to seeing what you come up with." He leaned forward in surly emphasis. "Do not disappoint me, Lieutenant. We need this."

"No offense, sir, but don't smile, like ever again; even being blind I can tell that smiling doesn't suit you," Xiulan said bluntly. "Please continue to keep me updated on Nova Mercia activities and the DME's reactions; the greater the pool of data the better. I will send periodic updates as this project progresses. Was there anything else you needed of me?"

"Just results, Lieutenant. I'll be in touch. Lieutenant Commander Tau, Director out."

Xiulan closed the channel with a forced laugh; wow, what a self-important ass-hat!

 

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