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The New Astrometrics Officer

Posted on Wed Jun 1st, 2022 @ 7:58am by Lieutenant Commander Alyssa Maren & Lieutenant Junior Grade Selorina M'Kress
Edited on on Thu Jun 2nd, 2022 @ 3:29am

1,297 words; about a 6 minute read

Mission: Episode 13 - Crooked River
Location: Lab 1 - Deck 6 - USS Pioneer
Timeline: MD002 1000 hrs

Lieutenant Junior Grade Selorina M'Kress walked into the Science Department. She smiled at the familiar scents of science labs.

She watched her new colleagues running around doing their jobs, before heading for the Chief Science Officer's Office.

The door to Alyssa's office was open as she and other members of the department had been coming and going all day as final details for the labs were getting resolved and research was being done for the ship's next assignment. She'd gathered as much information as was available on the Jutra and their planet, which wasn't much, and was going over data on the system when she sensed someone approach. She stood and walked around her desk to greet the new arrival. "Can I help you?"

"Yes, ma'am. I'm Lieutenant Selorina, your new Astrometrics Officer."

"Oh, yes," Alyssa said, smiling. "I saw the transfer orders. Come in and have a seat. Would you like something from the replicator?"

Selorina entered the office and took the offered seat. "Water will be fine, ma'am." She said.

Alyssa got her a glass of water and set it in front of the other officer before taking a seat at her desk. "Tell me something about you and the work you've done." Reading the personnel file didn't give as much information as listening to someone talk about themselves.

"Well, my last assignment was aboard the USS Willard, our mission was to chart a few sectors in the Beta Quadrant as our mission was running down, we discovered on long range sensors a 'new' stellar nursery. It was breath taking, the flashes of light and the myriad of colours of the chemicals that made up the nebula matter." Selorina said. "I was lost for words. It was the galaxy regenerating itself."

"Stellar nurseries are my favorite type of nebulae, " Alyssa admitted, smiling. "Nebulae in general are breathtaking, but there's something special about seeing the birth of stars and planets. If I wasn't so enamored with history and archaeology, I might have gone into the stellar sciences myself." She raised an eyebrow as she considered the other scientist. "Tell me something else about yourself, apart from your work." She deliberately left it open-ended to see what mattered to Selorina.

"I enjoy listening to Earth music mostly mid to late 20th century and early 21st century rock and pop, David Bowie is one of my favourites. I like ballads." Selorina said. "I have tried singing them myself, but the Caitian vocal range doesn't match that of humans." She added with a sigh. "Other than that, I enjoy wood carving. It’s like giving new life to an organism." She smiled. "I also collect and study crystals, the geometric patterns, and the colours present due to the chemical composition are what I enjoy most."

"I've met a lot of people who like the music of Earth." And one in particular who liked Klingon ballads. "I see the connection between nebulae and crystals, but how did you get interested in woodcarving?"

"Was on an Earth colony world. One of the areas had a Māori population from New Zealand on Earth. I was visiting the Marae, their meeting house/temple, and admiring the carvings, when I met a man named Wiremu Kapu, it turned out he was a kaiwhakairo, a Maori wood carver, and he and his whanau, his family were had crated the wood carvings for the Marae. We talked for a while and he taught me how to carve. For the Maori people, carving is linked with storytelling. I was nervous at first, but eventually, I found it relaxing. I am no expert, but I am honoured he trusted me with such a tapu sacred part of his culture."

"That's wonderful," Alyssa said. "I'm familiar with the Aboriginal songlines of ancient Australia, but not so much the Māori." Aboriginal Elders would walk the songlines and recount the ancient stories. Some of those stories were recorded, but when the songlines were broken or disrupted, the stories were lost. "I may look into the Māori woodcarvings--from a historical perspective. I'm not looking to become a woodcarver myself. I'll leave that to you." She smiled. "Maybe you can show me one of your carvings some time and tell me the story behind it."

"Of course, ma'am." Selorina said with a smile.

Alyssa smiled back and asked her next question. "What do you expect from the Pioneer and what do you want to do while you're here?"

"I want to explore, discover and experience the wonders of this universe of ours. From stars to nebulae, comets to planets." Selorina replied.

"I know the feeling," Alyssa replied. "That's why I'm out here, too. Only, I want to find ancient worlds and abandoned civilizations."

She smiled again. "As you are most likely aware, we have a top-of-the -line astrometrics lab. I'll be doing work in there from time to time, and Staff Warrant Officer Mira is working on a project that will require her to work in there as well. I've given her permission to spend what time she needs for her research as long as we don't need it for mission-related assignments."

"Understood." Selorina said. "I will give Warrant Mira all the assistance, she requires."

The chief nodded. "If she asks, please do. Although it's my understanding that she knows what to do, she just needs time and access to do it. The research is classified."

"Of course." Selorina replied.

"Thank you." Alyssa nodded. "Do you have any questions for me?"

"If it’s not too private, what do you do during your free time?" Selorina asked.

She laughed. "No, it's not too private. I swam in college, and still do laps when I have the time. Sometimes I use a ballroom dance program on the holodeck. And I'm working on my aim with a blowgun." She grinned at the last one. "Most of the time, I read." She cocked her head to one side. "What about you?"

"I too enjoy swimming, but it’s been a while since of done so." Selorina said. "A blowgun, how interesting. I've never used one, I have 'built in weapons' for hunting." She added baring her fangs and claws.

"I don't have built-in weapons, so having something I can conceal, like a blowgun and darts, is helpful. Plus, I prefer to use tranquilizers when I can. And they work well with a standard dartboard." That was generally how she practiced, and a nice way to relieve stress. "I'm hoping you'll be able to help as we research ocean currents and tide flow once we reach our destination. We don't know a great deal about the planet, so I'd like verification on what data we do receive."

"I'll do my best." Selorina said. "I'm always up for a little research." She added with a smile.

Alyssa smiled. "Your best is all I ask. I'll call a meeting so we can decide on what to do first, and divvy up the research. I'm sure there'll be plenty to go around. So, if there's nothing else, I'll let you familiarize yourself with the lab and start working on gathering any information you can on the system."

"Understood, I don't have any questions for now, but I'll let you know when I do." Selorina said.

Maren nodded. "Okay. Then you're free to get settled in and get a feel for the ship. We've got a lot of work ahead of us."

A Joint Post By

Lieutenant Junior Grade Selorina M'Kress
Science Officer, USS Pioneer

Lieutenant Commander Alyssa Maren
Chief Science Officer, USS Pioneer


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