USS VINDEX - NCC-2474-A
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A rhyme and rhythm, even to the stars

Posted on Fri Jul 15th, 2016 @ 6:35pm by Ensign Anastasia Bogolyubov

Mission: S1E1 - Booby Trap
Location: Stellar Cartography
Timeline: Mission Day 2, 1430

A three hour nap and a half hour grooming found Anastasia heading toward the Stellar Cartography suite. She could have perhaps slept a few more hours, but since she was not assigned bridge duties on the upcoming Gamma Shift, she decided to try to keep the disruption to her normal circadian rhythm to a minimum.

As per her discussion with Lieutenant Dreznik, she was planning to have a discussion with the ship's stellar cartographer concerning the lieutenant's search for the Skagaran home world, as well as discuss the kernel of an idea Anastasia had of her own. This presented something of a quandary to Anastasia, as this would be her first interaction as a "superior officer" with another science specialist. She had her instruction from OCS to guide her, and advise from her brother Roman, of course, but experience had taught Anastasia that there was a distinct difference between the hypothetical and the actual.

Anastasia decided that perhaps the best initial approach would be to replicate the relaxed atmosphere that Lieutenant Dreznik had used with her in their initial meeting. With this in mind, Anastasia checked her uniform one last time, touched the neat, tight braid of hair running down her back, and stepped into stellar cartography.

Along the long scaffold, Laena could be seen sitting at the console on the round platform at the end, engulfed in the round screen that made up the Stellar Cartography lab.

Anastasia was fairly certain that the young woman with the lush black hair, who was sitting with her back to the entrance of Stellar Cartography, was the person Anastasia was looking for. However, there was no harm in ascertaining the fact. "Petty Officer Laena?"

Laena turned in her chair, smiling at the woman who had walked up. "Yes, ma'am," she said. "How can I help you?"

"Ensign Anastasia Shiannayich Bogolyubov," Anastasia announced, proffering her hand. "Lieutenant Dresnik and I discussed his search for the Skagaran home world, which he believes might be within this region. If you would allow me to see the correlation of the data you've done so far, I might provide some new insight?"

"Of course," Laena said, taking the woman's hand before sliding the console to the side. "I've laid out a few grid patterns here and here," she said, pointing towards the screen. "These seem the most likely."

Anastasia copied the patterns to her PADD, her fingers sliding nimbly over the smaller screen. "I see the similarities on the grids you've laid out. What differences have you discovered among them?"

Laena sat there for a moment, "I'll be honest, neither have the capabilities of producing a planet that matches the Lieutenant's specifications. But these are the only areas that have the spacial anomalies he is claiming will be in the vicinity."

"Or do not presently have the capabilities of producing a planet that matches the Lieutenant's specifications." Anastasia held her right hand up to eye level, extending the index and middle finger of that hand. The two fingers quickly alternated back and forth. "Technological masking of some sort might be occurring, preventing us from detecting the true nature of the systems. The spatial anomalies themselves might be interfering with us detecting the true natures of the systems in question. Lieutenant Dresnik might be in error on what spatial anomalies are or were present in the region of the Skagaran home world, or these might be conditions that are duplicated elsewhere. A number of explanations are possible." Anastasia lowered her hand back to her side and focused her gaze intently on Laena. "Two questions, Petty Officer. Set aside the question of which system might be playing host to the Skagaran home world. From a strictly astrophysical point of view, which system would you wish to investigate?"

"Neither," Laena said, turning back towards the screen. "There is a third option that I believe to be more promising. It does not meet the Lieutenant's specification exactly, but is more in tune with the planet he has described." A few taps at the panel and the screen zoomed in on a system farther away.

Anastasia reached for the panel, paused, looked at her own hand inquisitively, then turned to Laena. "If I may?" she asked, gesturing toward the control panel.

"Oh, of course," Laena said, moving aside.

Anastasia's finger slid over the controls, with the screen expanding out, with lines radiating outwards toward the earlier demarcated anomalies. "Adjust for Milgrom..." Anastasia muttered to herself, her fingers sliding over the panel. A second image of the third system superimposed itself over the first, with the "radiating" lines assuming different positions than those radiating from the original image. "My second question, Petty Officer," Anastasia continued, her fingers entering in other factors to shift the lines coming from the second, superimposed system, "concerns the fact that you are the first Orion I have come into physical contact with." Anastasia never looked up from her manipulations of the panel controls. "Intellectually, I understand that there should be no noticeable different between the textures of our two skins, but I suppose my subconscious was expecting a...glossy effect?...because of your pigmentation. Which I find aesthetically pleasing. Would you consider this an observation that I should keep to myself, one that I should make only in the privacy of your company, or an observation that might be made in public? I would think either the first or second scenarios would apply, but I have problems interpreting social cues from my own species, much less that of others." Anastasia made the final observation by looking up and staring straight into Laena's eyes. Anastasia did this for a few seconds before muttering "chtoby sdelat shaviv" and turned her attention back to the panel, making one last adjustment to the superimposed image.

Laena looked at the woman, a bit confused. "Are you asking to touch me, Ensign?" she asked, unsure of what the woman's point to the question was.

"Will that be required?" Anastasia asked, momentarily focusing her attention on Laena before returning her attention to the screen's patterns. The same entries she had made on the third system, she began making on the original two, so that new images were superimposed on the first two systems as well. "I was under the impression that our handshake was sufficient. I was merely advising you of my reaction to that experience, and asking you the appropriateness of me openly voicing my observations," Anastasia explained, never looking away from the panel and the screen. "Some of the symptoms of my spectrum disorder impair my ability to effectively interact with other individuals, at least without input from them. Since we will be interacting often on a professional level, I have discovered it best to openly discuss my social impairments, to increase our effectiveness. This is not a request for a social relationship. Outside of my family, I have discovered that most people find the time and effort required to establish a social relationship with me prohibitive." Anastasia's voice was void of emotion as she made the last pronouncement.

Anastasia studied the screen, her brow furrowed, one finger under her bottom lip, the fingers of her other hand tapping out a numerical sequence on her left hip. "Given the data we currently possess, nothing presents itself to make any of these systems the most probable target for further investigation. Given the status of current events in this quadrant, I suspect the resources we will be allowed to dedicate to this project are going to limited. I am inclined to agree with you on the third system you suggest, except it does not accurately fit within the parameters established by Lieutenant Dresnik."

"That was what I was trying to say earlier," Laena stated. "The Lieutenant's parameters do not give yield to the type of planet he is looking for." Laena looked up at the woman. "I would prefer you not voice such observations. They make me uncomfortable," she said, hoping she didn't offend the woman.

"Understood," Anastasia answered, her gaze unwavering from the three systems. "Computer, initiate Penteconter, starting point, equidistant center, three systems denoted." The screen suddenly shifted to a view of the galaxy as a whole, with a small bright orange dot at the point Anastasia had just designated. Other dots of various colors began appearing across the galaxy in a meandering line. Most notably, a bright orange circle appeared with the Klingon script for their home world, and then, after a few more dots, a bright blue circle appeared with the word "Earth."

"Computer, save all, reset to default." The screen reverted to the point when Laena had brought up the third system. Anastasia continued staring at the screen, frowning, her fingers tapping out some unknown numerical sequence on her left thigh.

"Do you see something I don't?" Laena asked, staring at the massive screen.

"It's an...odd theory I remember reading once," Anastasia explained, "Linking the Hur'q to the Skagaran. Obviously, since both Hur'q and Skagaran DNA have been sequenced for some time and no trace of one has ever been found with the other, one would want to dismiss any connection between the two. Still, it is interesting that the Skagaran home world might been discovered in the same 'stellar neighborhood' as systems holding Hur'qan ruins. So I made a preliminary mapping algorithm on the supposition that there might be a limited validity to the Skagaran-Hur'qan theory, and tried to correlate available data that might be applicable. Unfortunately, much of this data is based on 'sketchy historical data' from various races. So if there is any connection between the Skagaran and the Hur'q, it will be a question that can only be answered if the Skagaran home world can be found, and if the Skagaran civilization has not devolved to the point that it no longer accurately remembers its own history."

"Forgive me, Petty Officer," Anastasia added, straightening her posture and tugging her tunic down. "I have only muddied the waters with what some might term a fringe theory. Still..." Anastasia brought a fourth system into focus, one which was in the midst of the original three. The system was centered around a brown dwarf, with a few, small lifeless rocky planetoids circling it, though long range sensors were unable to give conclusive readings on the contents of the system. "I believe this system might be of interest to Lieutenant Dresnik's quest, assuming we are given the resources to fully investigate it and the other three."

"Alright," was Laena's simple answer. The woman talked so much, too much in fact, and Laena was having a hard time keeping everything straight.

Anastasia mentally sighed, interpreting Laena's reaction and facial expressions as confusion and frustration. Anastasia knew that she had only herself to blame for the reaction of the stellar cartographer. Anastasia had become so comfortable in taking seemingly diverse and unrelated information to create a congruent mathematical model that often she did not take into account that others around her would not naturally understand the intermediary steps she had used to get to her conclusion. "I am attempting to use diverse historical information of varying degrees of reliability," she began explaining, "both from what Lieutenant Dresnik has provided and from other sources, to establish a Lyapunov characteristic exponent, which in turn will determine the origin of the trajectory that would lead to the eventual Skagaran interaction with Earth. However---" Anastasia paused, tapped the control panel, and brought up a number of systems in the region. "If you will excuse me, Petty Officer, I appreciate the discourse we've had, and look forward to further in the future." Without further ado, Anastasia exited the stellar cartography bay.

Laena watched as the woman left, a bit confused to her abrupt exit. But she turned back to the console and continued what she was doing before the woman arrived.

 

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