Part of USS Cygnus: A Failure to Communicate

It’s Like I’m Talking to Myself

Science Lab 1, USS Cygnus
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Lieutenant Carson stepped off the turbolift, reviewing the PaDD in his hand once again. He’d spent the last several hours reviewing the reports from the last encounter Starfleet had with the so-called ‘crystalline entity’, hoping to find any hint of a weakness they might exploit if it came to a fight. While he wasn’t concerned with the internal security of  the ship, but in the tactical side of his role, James had to be prepared to repel any threat to the ship. So far he’d come up empty; which is what led him to the ship’s labs. The research facility was quieter than he expected; not being terribly keen on the sciences, he expected to find a bustling array of serious faced researchers hovering over bubbling beakers and grand feats of Science with a capital S! Instead, he found a mostly quiet room with a sole crewman staring at a display as though he may fall asleep at any moment.

“Excuse me, I’m looking for the section chief.. an Ensign Spangler, I believe?” Carson asked the lab tech. 

The man looked up, raising his eyebrows at the presence of the security officer, not entirely hiding his lack of surprise that he was here for his boss. The tech nodded and gestured towards the Chief Science Officer’s office, grinning as the Carson turned away, wondering what Spangler had got himself into.

Albert had been reviewing the same reports from the Enterprise. Lisald had asked him about these very documents that they had both read in the Academy; the difference being Lisald actually studied, while Albert skimmed and didn’t remember a damn word. The science officer silently cursed himself as he tried to absorb as much as possible before his next encounter with his operations counterpart. The door to his office slid open, and was surprised if not relieved to see it wasn’t the very Bajoran he was just thinking of.

Carson was about to introduce himself, when he recognized the man behind the desk from his previous encounter boarding the ship. “Hey, it’s you.” James said, pausing for a moment. “You’re Ensign Spangler?”

Albert’s default blank expression spread across his face like a comfortable, neutral security blanket. It’s me? he thought, before his mind caught up with the situation and the man. Al thought about avoiding the question as he had in their first interaction, but thought better of it. “Yes, sir. Spangler.” Offering the seat across from him, Albert smiled slightly. “I hope you found.. wherever it was you were looking for alright.” 

“The.. bridge? Yes.. I did.” James responded as he sat, thrown off slightly by the science officer. His comment was polite enough, but the reminder of when they had first met didn’t quite build confidence in his task. “I apologize for interrupting, but I was hoping you could maybe help me understand what we’re dealing with. This.. crystal creature.” 

Albert nodded, putting on his best ‘knowledgeable scientist’ face for the security officer, armed with the knowledge he had just read to appear as though he was fully abreast of the matter. “Of course. We are currently working to come up with a method to track the entity; essentially following the chemical breadcrumbs it leaves in it’s wake.” Spangler gave a slight nod and shrug as though to say, ‘yep, it’s pretty impressive stuff.’ “What can I help you with, Lieutenant.”

“Well, I’ve been reviewing the reports from the Enterprise’s encounter with such a.. entity, hoping to find something I can use to defend the ship if it comes to it. Honestly, the technical analysis isn’t my forte, and I was hoping you could help me find the ‘chink in the armor’, so to speak.” Carson said. Had read the entire report, and thought about what Spangler had said, “Breadcrumbs.. like the antiprotons mentioned in the reports? I didn’t entirely understand it.. but isn’t that how the Enterprise tracked the thing?” 

“Well, sure. That’s part of it.” Spangler glanced down at the PaDD in front of him, extra-casually picking it up to find what Carson was talking about. “Of course.. there are many aspects of the entity we are looking at; it’s all very.. complicated.” He continued, reciting what relevancies he could remember as Albert continued to search the document, “Of course.. The Enterprise did destroy the entity; but the methods are not entirely clear. Their accounts say they were attempting to communicate with it, but their methods caused it’s destruction. Not the best first contact we’ve had, to be sure.” 

“They.. talked it death. Sounds like my sister.” Carson nodded slowly as he stood; not sure how successful the discussion was. “Well.. thank you, Ensign. If you come up with anything, please let me know.” 

Spangler stood as well, reaching to shake the man’s hand. “Sure thing. You should speak to Lieutenant Lisald, maybe he could be of some assistance to you.” Albert said with a smile. That should buy him sometime to get answers for both men, Al thought. He watched as the door closed behind his unexpected guest, and as soon as he was alone began aggressively reading the reports again. High levels of gamma radiation.. Antiprotons related to means of travel.. It was right there the entire time. He could kiss that damned security fella, whatever his name was. 

Normally he preferred to avoid working from the bridge when possible; but in this case he could not get there fast enough. A lead!

OFF:

A joint post by two sides of the same coin;

Ensign Albert Spangler, Acting Chief Science Officer, USS Cygnus

&

Lieutenant (JG) James Carson, Acting Chief Tactical/Security Officer, USS Cygnus