The progress bar crawled across the screen, seemingly move slower and slower as it progressed. The anticipation Albert felt was only surpassed by his frustration. So far the Science department’s efforts had accomplished was to determine that there was a ‘problem’, and that the Acting Chief hated sensors. He stood before the auxiliary sensor control station; a duplicate of the science console on the bridge to serve as back-up sensor control and troubleshooting efforts, as such.
The console chirped happily as the bar filled and disappeared, causing Albert to blink for the first time in almost two minutes. And nothing; the screen remained blank. His eye twitched, but his facial expression remained blank. This continued for a full minute before his head slumped into the control panel, which the console responded to with another happy chirp. Spangler’s head shot up, as the scan results started reading out on the screen. He giggled almost manically, self-aware enough to be truly glad the lab was empty.
For the entirety of his time aboard the Cygnus, the long range sensor arrays required re-calibration after just about every other use. The primary sensor pallets on both lateral arrays had already been replaced since the recent retrofit, but the problem only became different not better. It was a drain on personnel and resources, and had hindered their research capability considerably. This had led to a higher dependence on probes, which themselves took time to program and maintain. The department’s staffing levels were also less than optimal, to say nothing of the rotation of junior officers in the chief position. Both of these led to all their assigned experiments as well as ship derived research was behind schedule. Add that to a less than stellar reputation he’d managed thusfar, and the Ensign staring at the readout was more than aware of the challenge in front of him.
A final deeper chirp signified the end of the scan results, which Albert re-read and once more after that, cautiously optimistic. This was the second time he had ran the same scan, a long range geological scan of an asteroid just inside scanner range. The data matched. The grin on his face only grew, not used to these things going well. His mind went back to the mission at hand, and brought up sensor logs for the area of space they were enroute to explore. He queued up the same scans that had been performed for a second run, and hoped for the best.
A un-sensor-ed post by everyone’s favorite scienctific malcontent;
Albert Spanger, Ensign Acting Chief Science Officer, USS Cygnus