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Parental Emancipation (Part II)

Posted on Mon May 13th, 2024 @ 10:00am by Lieutenant JG Peri Valeri & Lieutenant Percival Bálor Ph.D
Edited on on Mon May 13th, 2024 @ 10:02am

1,086 words; about a 5 minute read

Mission: Standing By
Location: USS Ontario | Deck 14 | Astrometrics
Timeline: MD02


Peri shook her head and pretended to shudder. "Never. I like operations. We do so many different things you can never get bored. Plus, as I said, I specialize in communications--especially ancient ones. I can build a dozen archaic communications devices from memory, and probably more if I work on it. That's my bailiwick. Engineers just deal with power."


She checked her programs and looked back at him. "Have you ever thought of working anywhere but science?"

"Intelligence or Command," Percy replied back as he ordered himself a frosted mug of sarsaparilla. "My career has always been science. I have a Ph.D in biochemistry, a Master’s degree in Fine Arts, and my undergraduate was a Bachelor’s of Science in Biology with a concentration on plants." He paused for moment to reflect on the years he spent on his education alone.

He thought of where he was now in Starfleet. "I think Intelligence could be interesting with all the data to analyze, but I am trying to work my way towards command. I really want to make rank to Lieutenant Commander."

"Like Commander Ra-Gruvloveii. It's a good goal to have, if you like leadership. Some of us are happy to leave that to others--myself included." Her computer made a five-note trill and she turned to see what her programs found. "There's some unusual space noise. I'll put it on speaker." At first, it was hard to make out the different sounds, but then Peri separated them into individual sound waves and played them one by one. "I think three of them match sounds from solar winds and gravitational waves." She paused before explaining. "The second program uses sonification to perceptualize the data into sounds. But it does sift out common interference. So, these are either unusually loud bursts or odd patterns. The other two I can't identify." She played all five again.

I can't leave it to others thought Percy. He wanted to climb his way upward, to become Second Officer and eventually serve as First Officer somewhere, and dare he be bold enough Captain his own starship, a science vessel. That was how it played out in his head at least. He had listened to the two unidentified sound patterns. "You wouldn't," Percy replied. "This is where Biology comes into play" he added.

He looked at Peri "Contact the bridge, full stop on engines. We're not going anywhere" he said as he moved from one console to another. "I want a class 4 probe ready to launch."

"Explain," she said. "What did you hear?"

"A working theory," Percy replied. "I won't know until we get 'eyes' on the ship's hull" he added. "It sounded familiar...I can't quite place it, but it had an organic sound to it."

"Organic..." Peri thought for a moment. "There have been documented cases of creatures feeding off a starship's power. Yes, I think a look at the outer hull would be in order. If you can prepare the probe with the instruments you'll need, I'll get it launched, then we can see what's out there." She smiled at Percy. "And once the probe launches, we can both look for known entities that feed off starships. It'll make the time go faster and help us prepare for whatever is out there."

Percy tapped away at console, the work station he had claimed as his for the time being. "Sending the instructions to you now, Peri" he said. "I have a feeling we're going to find something stuck on our hull suckling power."

"You're probably right, but I'd still like to see it first," she replied, accessing the controls she'd need and setting up everything necessary to get the probe launched. Although she wasn't going to mention it, the Chief Science Officer had a reputation for radical plant manipulations, which made him, in his own way, as much a solo player as Haruna was. Finally, she launched the probe and turned to Percy. Now to see what's on the hull."

Percy smiled. "They do say seeing is believing. So, let's make it so. Turn us all into believers, and get to the bottom of this little power conundrum we have" stated the Chief Science Officer. "Because I'm not about to put any slips on latinum on the ship misses its mommy mumbo jumbo."

"No, but Haruna does foster that sentiment. She even treats the ship like it's alive." Peri shook her head. "Okay. "Let's see what we've got."

"THERE!" exclaimed Percy. "Port side, there's definitely something there. Let's get a closer look." He was curious as to what they had found latched onto the hull.

Peri adjusted the camera to get a better view. There was definitely something--several somethings--on the hull. "Looks like you're right. The question now is, what are they and how do we counter them. Different creatures require different repellents."

Percy waited as more information came in from the probe. "Some sort of cirripedian life form," noted the Chief Science Officer. "I'm detecting trace amounts of solanogen, Peri. "

Lieutenant Bálor looked at the Ops officer. "These are some sort of subspace barnacles. Solanogen life forms have been known to be adverse to graviton particles, a good burst directed at the hull should scrape them off."

She nodded. "A graviton beam is doable, and shouldn't take too much power. We'll need to use it from the bridge, but that will also let command know if we're successful."

Percy gestured towards Peri. "I leave that in your capable hands madam" said Percy with a smile. "I think Vetur will be happy to know the problem was found and that there's a solution."

"We should both do it. This is a team effort," she countered. There was no way she would have found a possible answer this quickly without Percy’s help. He was a lot easier to work with than his reputation led her to believe.

Percy looked at her and nodded. Yes, it was a team effort and his mind had made a significant amount of contribution, but he had wanted Peri to get the credit. He had received enough. "Right. Then we will go together."

She nodded. She logged out of the computer, returning it to the screen with the science logo. At least this part had been easy enough. So far. Now they had to prove their theory on the bridge.


Lieutenant Percival Bálor
Chief Science Officer

Lieutenant JG Peri Valeri
Assistant Chief Operations Officer


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