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AT/D12 - Science Complex


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#1 Capt Jennifer Braggins

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Posted Star Date 22012.15 @ 14:26 (02:26 PM)

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#2 Mid Edward Alken

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Posted Star Date 22101.03 @ 20:29 (08:29 PM)

<< Transporter Room <<
 
Multipurpose Laboratory 3 was no less well equipped than the two labs that had seniority of identification number, but was merely tucked further from convenient reach within the science complex. That geographical note had first drawn the Midshipman to it. It was far from the prying eyes, inconvenient questions and irritating through traffic that presented constant distraction. Conveniently it was also not the principle choice of workspace for most of the scientific team onboard, making it frequently more available to the botanist. Edward wasn’t an isolationist by any measure, but when it came to lab work he often preferred sharp silence to focus.  
 
In the time he had been on the Artemis, his personal and academic touch could be identified softly imposed on the laboratory; a picture of his distant daughter rested next to his preferred console, his tailored lab coat awaited him on a peg next to the door, and experiments in progress of his concoction were situated at various stations around the compartment. 
 
Close to the doorway was a discreet flower, surrounded by a small containment field that encased it. The plant was not tall or imposing, quite the opposite. It looked small and fragile. Crowned with blue petals with a spirally stem making it unusual but instantly recognisable as Phagdane, found in temperate climates, and often better known as ‘the red coil’. It had often been joked to have been discovered by an engineer who on seeing it compared its unusual stem to the warp coils of his own starship. Of course, it is also said that the ‘red’ is often attributed to the red spots that then materialised across the engineer’s entire body. A nasty reaction to contact with the plant. 
 
Whilst the containment field was present to prevent the curious hand from touching, its more important role was to hold captive the plant’s powerful aroma. If left unhindered, in a matter of minutes most humanoids would find its aroma intoxicating. Edward was known on occasion to allow the containment field to slip, if just for a moment. A sweet distraction from the bitterness of the universe. He had tasted much bitterness in his life. 
 
Entering through the single door, he neglected his lab coat, placing the sample case atop of the central bench. With the sound of two clicks the case’s locks loosened and it opened flat for Ed to examine its contents. The display of the sensor suite materialised on the console next to him, showing the health and viability of each seed present. 
 
Inside were twelve vials. Six were obviously filled with various forms of dirt, whilst the other six had seeds of various sizes. Only one, to the shock of the transporter technician if she had looked inside, bore the label ‘talaxian turnip’. The others were marked as ‘beetroot’, ‘carrot’, ‘bajoran potato’, ‘parsnip’ and ‘tomato’. 
 
Without a moment's hesitation he had made his choice. Selecting the talaxian turnip, he drew the vial from its foam slot within the case, sealing the remaining vials back inside as he did so. A small display on the case sequenced between orange and green, until eventually settling for a dark green, an indication to Ed that those samples were secure in their storage. Feasibly those samples could rest in that case for much of their journey around the Delta Quadrant.  
 
Behind him was a small agricultural incubation unit. It was compartmentalised to allow each plant's natural habitation to be best mirrored. The glass frame had artificial lights atop and a sprinkling and irrigation system built in to feed the produce. Carpeting the bottom of the incubation unit was soil that made up a deep base, but its depth was difficult to determine without emptying the device. Needless to say it provided adequate space for the healthy roots of six plants. 
 
Edward had opened an empty compartment, and getting his hand dirty had made a groove within the soil for the seed. The soil would prove good for cultivation, having been left to mature over the last few days whilst Ed was off ship. Opening the vial he had retrieved earlier, Edward gently retrieved the seed with his dirt covered hands. Raising it to the light in the laboratory he took one final examination. Soon the talaxian turnip seed was entombed in the soil, and by Edward’s expectations would soon be showing the first shoots of life.
 
Pathfinder want to know if their fallback food supplies are all viable. I guess the proof will be in the produce…
 
Closing the agricultural incubator, he instinctively wiped his hands on his attire, realising as an afterthought that now a small layer of dirt covered not only his hand but his duty uniform.
 
Flip sake. 

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#3 Mid Edward Alken

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Posted Star Date 22101.05 @ 19:11 (07:11 PM)

Patch stains from the soil that Edward had inadvertently wiped across his duty uniform were not insignificant, but nor were they imposing enough to demand a change of clothing. As he gently rubbed his fingers together he could feel the fine grit of the soil’s grains between his fingers. It was a sensation that the Midshipman knew well, not only from his recent past as a botanist, but from his failed endeavour as a farmer. His only dislike was the traces of soil that would retreat deep under his fingernails.
 
He had positioned himself next to a small device that had been mounted onto the laboratory wall. Similar in size to a standard replicator unit, the device had what appeared to be a tray positioned underneath a small console menu. Slipping his hands underneath, the glow of a light poured from the roof of the device, and in seconds the dirt from his hands and fingernails had dematerialised. A larger version of this device was fitted into the washrooms of every quarters on Star Fleet vessels, known as a sonic shower. This was a sonic hand wash station. The laboratory had been outfitted with it as part of its decontamination protocols if technicians inadvertently made contact with a sample. 
 
With his hands now clean, and the turnip seed planted, Ed started to review the findings on the workstation’s console, examining the growth projections for the various seeds he had recovered. It wasn’t only important that the quality of the seeds remained high, or that biological contaminations were removed, but that he knew how long it would take to cultivate produce, and how to speed up that harvest. The report he was writing would be submitted, lost in the Pathfinder’s database and likely never read, perhaps the privilege of having such junior rank, but if the fleet ever needed it, it would be a matter of survival. 
 
Heading every report was the summary sheet...
 
Seed quality remains high. The biological integrity of the seeds stored on Jupiter are graded viable and free from contamination. Growth projections are within normal rotation cycles.
 
Ed threw himself onto a stool just below surface height, the seat moving slightly as the wheels compensated for the weight of force of which he landed upon it. He pulled it into the comfortable reach of the console, and began to write more than the summary. 

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#4 Mid Edward Alken

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Posted Star Date 22101.08 @ 16:49 (04:49 PM)

The rich sounds of laughter betrayed her excitement as she sprinted as fast as her legs would allow. The stems from the crops towered over her, and all around her. It was those same stems entrapping her, limiting her vision to little more than arms’ reach. Yet she was determined, showing no signs of fear, but rather thrill. She was running somewhere. Her hands sifted through the grains of barley as she gently passed them by, sometimes with a gentle graze, but often firmly as she tried her best to set her pace. Then, almost in the blink of an eye she had arrived, reducing her velocity as she did so. She would be stopped in seconds. 
 
All that was before her were green fields, no longer captive to the towering grain that had enclosed her within the field. She could see the markers of other fields that were planted, but between here and what looked like a homestead of some kind were green pastures. She had reached the open countryside. 
 
The girl, no older than twelve, still smiling was struggling to catch her breath. Her breathing was heavy, and fast paced. Yet she kept looking over her shoulder. 
 
“Is he coming mum?” she asked, a quizzing look towards the camera. 
 
The rustling of the crops behind had drawn both of their attention. 
 
“Father?” the young girl's voice was quieter than before. 
 
Suddenly, from the same spot as the young girl had broken free, so followed a man looking as exhausted as she did. He had struggled to keep up with the younger girl, but almost immediately she had leapt towards him, embracing him. That embrace was reciprocated as she was thrown in a spin by the man’s arms. The embrace of a father and daughter. 
 
Edward knew the man, but it had been so long that he barely recognised him. 
 
Why do I torture myself? 
 
He slammed closed the console, instantly regretting his decision to access his personal files. 
 
He had finished the agricultural assessments for the taskforce, and the thoughts of farming had drawn him down the rabbit hole of his past life. Painful experiences for the Midshipman. 
 
[“Release the containment field.”]
 
The computer chimed, recognising his authorisation.
 
The aroma of the Phagdane poured out upon the laboratory. It was intoxicating and Edward embraced it. He allowed himself one deep breath, a matter of self control. Soon he felt its scent bury his pain. Observers would have noted it was evidently not the first time he had been here.
 
[“Reactivate containment field.”]
 
With that the aroma was gone, but so too was his pain. 

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#5 Mid Edward Alken

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Posted Star Date 22101.13 @ 14:15 (02:15 PM)

Edward’s gaze had been fixed on the portrait of the young girl whose likeness was enclosed in a silver picture frame next to his preferred console. The Phagdane’s aroma had lifted his spirits, but the silence within the lab lingered. Every few moments sounds of the laboratory equipment would break that silence, but then retreat, allowing silence to reach again. The time that had passed felt like hours, but in reality had only been minutes.
 
“Sir.”
 
His focus was broken. 
 
He had not even heard the door open, but there within its frame stood a young woman, adorned in the attire of a science uniform. Edward guessed that the brunette was just over twenty, but didn’t know. He knew her though, having become accustomed with the science staff aboard the Artemis.
 
“Lauren.”
 
The woman had closed the distance between herself and the science officer, the door closing behind her. In her hand she extended the offer of a padd. Edward had accepted it in his own. 
 
“How was Jupiter?”
 
With a quick glance Edward was looking at stellar maps and data flows from the ship's probe relays. As standard procedure the taskforce had been employing probes to help with the stellar cartography, and it had made sense that Lauren would be monitoring the feedback. She was after all the assigned stellar cartographer. 
 
“Nothing exciting I’m afraid… Seed samples look viable.” Edward had motioned to the agricultural incubator against the wall. “I’m glad to be back aboard the Artemis. Jupiter’s science facilities aren't like the Luna classes… Now. How can I help?”
 
Edward’s eyes followed her as she peered through the transparent glass of the incubator towards a half grown plant.
 
“I knew you’d pulled the short straw on the seed sample viability study, and thought you’d be interested that the probe readouts have documented some viable class planets… Could be useful to jot down these planetary objects next to the report in case they ever need somewhere to plant those seeds.”
 
Edward was taken by surprise.
 
“That would be very useful.”
 
Using the padd the Midshipman instructed the computer to duplicate the cartography map, then instructed it to be attached to his seed viability report. 
 
“She's very beautiful.” 
 
Edward had been caught off guard by the statement, not realising that Lauren had journeyed around the room only to find herself fixed on the portrait that the Midshipman had been focused on earlier. 
 
“Yes…” he was careful about what to surrender. “My daughter.” 
 
The woman looked surprised, nodding as she did so. 
 
“The delta quadrant is a long way to travel when you’ve got family. I guess she is proud that her father has a sense of duty to the Federation.”
 
Edward was certain that wasn’t true. He anticipated quite the opposite. Nonetheless, he was keen that Lauren did not need to know the details. 
 
“Kind of you to say, but if you excuse me I have lots of work to continue.” 
 
The abrupt response demonstrated Edward was doubtful of her remarks, and with his request she nodded, steadily retreating through the door that she had quietly arrived through.
 
“Lauren… Thank you for the stellar maps.” 
 
Sincerity had carried in the Midshipman's voice. 
 
She turned, smiling as she did so. 
 
“My pleasure Sir.” 

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#6 Mid Edward Alken

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Posted Star Date 22105.16 @ 17:58 (05:58 PM)

<< Bridge << 
 
Ed had barged into the science complex with a spring in his step, a new lease of energy from the promise of getting to step off the Artemis and back into the unexplored corners of the Delta Quadrant. He had passed the Chief’s office, proceeded deep into the far reaches of the allocated compartments for the science department, and into his own personal fiefdom, Multi Purpose Laboratory Three. It was like its peers in almost every way, except that access to this hideaway was not found on the main arteries of the deck’s layout, and vibrant with the footfall you’d expect as a result. Laboratory Three was only found by those searching thanks to its location down a lesser corridor that had almost no footfall at all. 
 
The botanist had swept through the door, reaching for a satchel bag that was fixed by a set of hooks where the Midshipman had kept his lab coat. The lab coat itself still displayed the remains of an experiment, and in a sporadic fashion the bag was soon filled with a variety of instruments and tools that he thought might prove useful on the abandoned station. Of notable mention were a number of sample containers should he discover anything worth recovering for further analysis, a small telescopic trowel that would be found in the most basic botanist’s armaments, a vial harboring a small petaled flower so small that anything but a delicate touch might destroy, and an old tricorder that had evidence of wear and tear from a long life in service to the even older man. In an abandoned station it was unlikely that he’d find a wealth of botanic mysteries, but it was better safe than sorry.  
 
“What the heck are you taking the flower with you for?”
 
Ed looked up to find a woman adorning a science lab coat quizzing his choice of the small petaled flower that was now deep within the confines of his satchel bag. 
 
The Midshipman threw the bag closed, though whether because he had finished, or because he wanted to keep its contents away from prying eyes he was unsure. 
 
“One should always carry an offering, in case one is lucky enough to make first contact with a beautiful woman.” 
 
Laughter filled the laboratory at the suggestion. 
 
“You're married are you not?” 
 
Alken’s eyes moved towards a picture that rested atop one of the workstations. Within the silver frame was the figure of a young girl who every day seemed more distant. Only now she was a galaxy apart. 
 
“Yes. No. Complicated affairs relationships. That’s why we must ensure they get off to the best start, and for the Federation my dear, I present you the amber thistle.”
 
Ed reached into an incubator, retrieving a somewhat large and thorny plant, presenting it to the woman who had invaded his hideaway. 
 
“I must be going Lauren. Water it three times and day and avoid the pointy ends. I’d visit the med bay should it cause a rash.” 
 
He threw the bag over his shoulder, and reached for his jacket that was resting next to his lab coat. 
 
“Must dash. Turn the lights off behind you.”
 
With that Ed had passed her by in a rush towards the shuttle bay.
 
>> Shuttle Bay >> 

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#7 Cdr Edward Gregg

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Posted Star Date 22105.19 @ 18:51 (06:51 PM)

Ed worked on yet another revision of his vambrace. To lighten the load he considered dismantling the phaser and building its components into the bottom half of vambrace. It would still be a weapon of last resort. The top half already contained the tricorder which seemed to be functioning well. The tricky bit would be giving the emitter enough clearance to avoid accidentally disintegrating a finger and keeping the presence of the phaser concealed.

There was software to allow him to model a few ideas. If he ignored the tapering of the underside of the forearm he’d just have to augment the internal shape that would work. A gel lining of some description would allow multiple wearers to use the same design, up to a point. There’d have to be a calibration option hidden in the tricorder settings for setting the firing gesture along with buttons for adjusting setting and beam width.

It would be a useful item in a tight spot, unless a captor was smart enough to confiscate all equipment. It was amazing what you could make with some crystals and a rudimentary lathe. Ed noticed a figure dash past the central lab. He thought it looked like Midshipman Alken. It was good that his leg had healed up. It’d be a good experience for the young Midshipman, at least Ed was relatively sure that the Midshipman was marginally younger than him.

Looks like I’m on the Bridge. He didn’t even stop to say hi, but I guess he’s wanting to make a good impression on whoever is leading the Away Team.

Ed saved the files to his drive and straightened his uniform as best as he could. He’d find out soon enough who was leading the Away Team.
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