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Day 14 [1347 hrs.] Mudane (and not so Mundane) Chemical Reactions

[ Lt. JG Azrin Ryn | Chemistry Lab | Deck 17 | Vector 3 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @Elyria

Chemistry labs were fun. She’d always enjoyed chemistry during her school years. For all that science had provided as a bedrock for engineering, she’d never been able to sit still in the science lectures, preferring something more hands-on. Chemistry had been one of the few sciences where they’d gotten into a lab early on, which had immediately earned Azrin’s respect. Unfortunately, chemistry hadn’t shared the love. More accurately, the professors hadn’t. Apparently being inventive and willing to dive right in and get her hands dirty weren’t qualities that were appreciated when volatile chemicals were at play.

Oh, and she might have set the school’s chemistry lab on fire.

The joke was on them really, considering that pushing her towards the mechanical labs - she liked it better there anyway - had led to her being directly responsible for the ship’s matter/antimatter reaction assembly. Otherwise known as a much bigger explosion waiting to happen.

Hopefully, the chemical that had brought her to the chemistry labs today was less explosive - and therefore less interesting. “Good morning scientists!” The yellow shirted trill announced herself cheerfully as she entered. Azrin didn’t know any of the ship’s chemists, either from before her unexpected stasis nap or in the few weeks she’d been awake since. Considering how engineering and science usually worked close together, that was a problem she wanted to rectify. Also, she’d never been one to deny an opportunity for new friends.

There were a few people in the room, all hard at work bent over their stations. No one even turned to look at the new arrival. Azrin considered that high praise for their focus, given her propensity for boisterous behavior. Steady hands, pipettes, test tubes, beakers, and bright little licks of flame. Too bad she didn’t have any goggles, or she definitely would have run over to see what was happening in the fume hood, the forcefield flickering lightly as the scientist’s hands flicked in and out, but the actual work hidden.

Not in the least bit deterred, the redhead continued. “Anyone available to run some tests on this?” Azrin lifted up the small containment unit in her hand, a small sample of liquid safely stored inside. “We found it floating near the hull while we were patching holes and want to make sure it’s not going to grow teeth and eat us or something.” Speaking of eating, Azrin was starving. What time was it anyway? She shouldn’t be this hungry, it wasn’t even lunch time. Yet here her stomach was, begging for the most mundane of chemical reactions. Hopefully no one heard that rumble. And if they had, at least she had a good ice breaker. “Line up here and apply for a fun day breaking down Klingon solutions to their base components! Bonus points if it doesn’t end up being Klingon, that’s just a guess because it’s floating with us around Qo’noS. Any takers?”

Another growl from her stomach led to an amused grin. That one was definitely audible. “I’ll buy you lunch after we’re done.” That phrase had definitely carried more weight back when food had cost money.

Re: Day 14 [1347 hrs.] Mudane (and not so Mundane) Chemical Reactions

Reply #1
[ Ensign Kizra Tos | Chemistry Lab | Deck 17 | Vector 3 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @rae

“Good morning scientists!”

That was the call that greeted everyone, but like all those in the lab, Kizra was focused on her work.  Using the console, she worked on analyzing an experiment that had failed, trying to assess the results and not only write up the conclusion, but also figure out why it had resulted in the failure and figure out various modifications that might allow them to gain the answers they were searching for.  She’d not made much headway before the voice lifted a second time and interrupted her thoughts. 

 “Anyone available to run some tests on this?” One hand lifted up the small containment unit in her hand, and all that could be seen was some sort of liquid.  There was no way to determine what kind of liquid it was merely by sight. “We found it floating near the hull while we were patching holes and want to make sure it’s not going to grow teeth and eat us or something.”

The woman that had cheerfully demanded everyone’s attention was not a scientist.  According to her colour, she was either Ops, or Security, or Engineering, or Tactical.  Since they were patching holes, Kizra’s guess was Engineering.  Yes, she was a bit too cheerful for Security or Tactical anyway.

“Line up here and apply for a fun day breaking down Klingon solutions to their base components! Bonus points if it doesn’t end up being Klingon, that’s just a guess because it’s floating with us around Qo’noS. Any takers?”

Kizra’s mouth curled to the side.  By that time, several others had glanced her way, then turned back to their work. A couple seemed thoughtful, but perhaps what they were doing was of more importance than trying to figure out what the mystery liquid was.  Glancing at her console, Kizra pondered her options.  She could continue her analysis.  She could also try to identify the strange liquid.  Both were interesting, but there was something about the unknown that appealed. 

“I’ll buy you lunch after we’re done.” Buy?  Who bought food?  Then again, they were on a ship, there was no need to purchase anything.  Reaching up to run a hand over her hair and pass her fingers through her ponytail, she tapped at the screen, setting aside her current project and then rose.  Turning, she made her way over to the woman.

“A strange liquid?”  Stretching out her hand, Kizra motioned toward the container.  “I’ll take a look.”

Once she received the item, she lifted it and did a visual inspection.  It wouldn’t let her know much, but her curiosity was certainly piqued.  It was, for all appearances, benign.  But looks could be deceiving.  Turning, she headed over to another section of the lab where she could do a thorough analysis of the contents.

“You said it’s floating with us?  I’m guessing this means no one noticed this liquid before?”  Gazing once more at the container, Kizra had the odd desire to just shake the entire thing.  That probably wouldn’t be good.  Then again, if it was particularly volatile, it likely would have been a problem before she’d gotten her own hands on it.  “How much have you come into contact with?




Re: Day 14 [1347 hrs.] Mudane (and not so Mundane) Chemical Reactions

Reply #2
[ Lt. JG Azrin Ryn | Chemistry Lab | Deck 17 | Vector 3 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @Elyria

Weird, that after that whole speech, it was the offer of readily-available-everywhere free food that finally got someone’s attention. The redhead waited eagerly as the chemist came over, noting the familiar line of spots framing her face and traveling down her neck. Another trill. Brilliant! There were a lot of them on this ship apparently. Or maybe Azrin had a weird habit of coincidentally running into Trills.

Azrin handed over her container as requested, feeling irrationally sad as it left her palm. She’d discovered it - well, Manfredi noticed it when she’d almost drifted into it, but that was close enough - and wished she’d been able to identify it herself. But this new job came with a lot more responsibilities, and Azrin didn’t have time to vanish into a lab to play chemist for the day. Coming to a specialist meant this could be checked off her list faster. After that, hopefully she’d never have to patch another hole in the ship again. A pipe dream given what she knew of the past six months, but Azrin held onto hope anyway.

The liquid was bright teal, and seemed to shimmer a bit in the light. Looking at it now, it was a wonder that she’d missed it earlier, but Azrin tended to get overly focused when there was engineering to be done. As the scientist twisted the container this way and that, the liquid sloshed sluggishly. It was obviously quite thick.

Unable to abandon her find quite yet - she still had time to get everything done today, it was early! - Azrin followed the brunette back to her station, sticking around like an overly hyper shadow. “There’s one big blob of it, about my size, floating beneath the ventral hull near section 12. Thea can’t give us any information on it. It’s so close to the hull that there’s only one sensor that would be able to see it. That sensor is inoperable as a result of someone shooting a hole in the ship through it. Also why your friend on bridge duty didn’t note it on any science logs.” No one needed to get in trouble for the repair that had ended up dead last on her list. Besides, it wasn’t even touching the ship, so there was no harm done. Yet. “No one has come into contact with it. I almost did. It's still a few meters away from the hull. It’s caught in the same orbit we are. It’s going a bit faster than us, so it is going to touch the hull in a few hours unless we remove it or move the ship. Neither is very hard, provided it’s not going to eat us, like I was saying before.”

Her sparse report finished, Azrin turned a hopeful look to the other Trill. “So what do you say Ensign? Want to go- hey, what’s your name? I’m Azrin Ryn, assistant chief of making things go.” Her stomach chose that exact moment to growl again. Good thing she hadn't been trying to sound serious. This might have been embarrassing.

Re: Day 14 [1347 hrs.] Mudane (and not so Mundane) Chemical Reactions

Reply #3
[ Ensign Kizra Tos | Chemistry Lab | Deck 17 | Vector 3 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @rae

The woman that had come in unannounced and then announced herself and her special, unknown material was a Trill.  The spots gave it away.  Already, Kizra had made an acquaintance with another Trill, though that had been because said person was a doctor and she herself had been a patient.  That had been when she’d come out of stasis and found herself in the mad, mad, mad situation that had changed everything she knew. 

And she had…well, she hadn’t exactly come to terms with it - or maybe she had.  Or maybe she’d simply just fallen into a pattern. Although she had never been banished from her home world, it was obvious that should she choose to go back there, she’d be in trouble.  Would she be scooped up by Starfleet, tried as a traitor simply because she’d been on the ship that had run away when she’d only been assigned there a couple of days?  That was the fear.  And if these infected were truly in charge of Starfleet, wouldn’t she want to be one of those who had helped find a way to overcome the enemy? 

Yes.  She would.  But in the back of her mind was that little niggling doubt.  That maybe they were all a part of some crazy Captain’s nightmare that seemed real to him because he, or she from what she could read on that file, it was very strange and Kizra still hadn’t quite grasped it, had some psychotic episode that he was now living out and dragging his entire crew into it.

Kizra never said a word to anyone about that though.  Everyone else seemed so certain that the infected were truly infected.  They had some allies, but in the grand scheme of things, those were few and far between.  Documentation could be forged if someone knew how, and what was on the database could simply be a product of a deranged mind. 

And if she said something against the captain?  Kizra didn’t know what would happen.  She hadn’t even met the man.  Or woman. Him.  Her.  She had no idea which form the person would take, it was completely at his or her whim.  But she wasn’t going to think about that in that moment.  No, she was going to focus on the opportunity to look into something interesting.  There was a question, an inquiry, and perhaps she could provide an answer.

The canister was not particularly heavy, though Kizra seemed to weigh it by lifting her hand up and down slightly, then drew it closer to gaze upon it.  Blue and green, something in between, a beautiful shade of brilliance that almost glowed and shimmered as she held it up to the light.  From the way it moved, it had a fairly high level of viscosity, which was interesting enough on its own.  Turning, Kizra headed back to the console where she’d been working, and the yellow collared Trill followed her. 

“There’s one big blob of it, about my size, floating beneath the ventral hull near section 12. Thea can’t give us any information on it. It’s so close to the hull that there’s only one sensor that would be able to see it. That sensor is inoperable as a result of someone shooting a hole in the ship through it. Also why your friend on bridge duty didn’t note it on any science logs.”

Kizra’s eyes had settled upon the screen, but slipped back over to the other woman as she continued to give more information.  “No one has come into contact with it. I almost did. It's still a few metres away from the hull. It’s caught in the same orbit we are. It’s going a bit faster than us, so it is going to touch the hull in a few hours unless we remove it or move the ship. Neither is very hard, provided it’s not going to eat us, like I was saying before.”

There was a pause, just a small one, and the woman’s expression turned hopeful, even as she finally offered an introduction.  “So what do you say Ensign? Want to go- hey, what’s your name? I’m Azrin Ryn, assistant chief of making things go.” A gurgling underscored her words and Kizra quickly turned away to hide a smile of amusement.  It wouldn’t do to insult anyone this early in the game, would it? 

“Kizra Tos.”  She didn’t bother to give her status, for she was only an Ensign, assistant chief of nothing, but that didn’t matter.  No one else had stepped up to check out the strange material, so she got to have a little fun. Setting the cylinder on a little table next to her console, Kizra tapped against a drawer which hissed open, and plucked from within a tricorder. 

“You said it’s floating with us around Qo’nos.  Have you searched the database to see if anything like this has been found before?  Or maybe asked our Klingon allies?”  They did have some, evidently, the Klingons among them. 

The tricorder gave off its characteristic whirring sound and Kizra allowed the device a moment to do its thing.  Already, the results were showing up and Kizra’s eyebrows popped up.  Turning back to the console, she established a connection between tricroder and computer.  “You said it’s floating with us around Qo’nos.  Have you run scans to see if there’s more of this substance elsewhere nearby?  Somewhere else around the atmosphere?”  Or were those sensors damaged too?


Re: Day 14 [1347 hrs.] Mudane (and not so Mundane) Chemical Reactions

Reply #4
[ Lt. JG Azrin Ryn | Chemistry Lab | Deck 17 | Vector 3 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @Elyria

“Yes, yes, yes, yes - again, - yes, and…” Azrin paused for a moment, counting back to ensure that she was answering all the questions in the correct order. There were way too many yes’s, which was really confusing honestly. Never one to give up any fun science if she could avoid it, nor one to waste someone’s time with a non issue, she had done some research of her own first. “And no.” Since that was probably a confusing way to respond, she decided to elaborate.

“It is floating with us around Qo’noS. A pretty bluish blob, which honestly brightens up the place, when you’re in a spacesuit and the ship’s between you and the sun and there’s lines and clamps everywhere to keep equipment from floating away - it was glowing a bit, did I mention that? You can kind of see it now, but it really shines when there’s spot lights around. I scanned it a bit down below and the computer came back with zip. The Klingon I mentioned it to said that he had more important things to do than worry about every piece of targ dung floating around in space,” Azrin sighed. Admittedly, she’d only asked her new friend at the shipyards while requisitioning parts from the Empire’s industrial replicators. The Theurgy’s engineering crew had priority access to those replicators thanks to the efforts of their chief diplomat - former chief diplomat, who had been critically injured and placed in stasis not long after securing the deal. Azrin had never had the chance to meet Commander Rutherford, but having been recently removed from stasis herself, she felt horrible for anyone suffering that fate. She’d felt a bit sick anytime she’d used the Klingon replicators since, and the unease was showing on her face even as she thought about it. “To be fair, there’s a lot of debris - some of it exotic - out there, and everyone is more focused on repairing damages first. As long as it’s not in a space lane, or hurting anything, it’s not a priority.”

Worried that her souring mood would affect her new (newer, sorry this morning’s Klingon) friend, Azrin fell back on her patented method for cheering herself and others up. A joke. “It’s not targ dung by the way, I checked.”

“We haven’t seen any more of it. Apparently my little blob is unique. We’ve fixed most of the sensors. There are a few other close blind spots. I sent some people to check those out. They should be reporting in a few minutes, after they suit up and poke their heads out of a hatch, because it couldn’t be any easy places with a window nearby,” Azrin flashed a grin at the other trill - Kizra, she’d said her name was - hoping for a laugh at the engineers’ woes. “There’s definitely not a giant Thea sized cloud of it, if that’s what you’re wondering. Once you get ten to fifteen meters out, the fields from sensors in neighboring sections overlap, for redundancy purposes. At least they do now that we’ve fixed most of them.”

Azrin leaned over, getting a bit too close to Kizra’s space as she tried to read the computer console over the chemist’s shoulder. She couldn’t help it, she was madly curious. “What’s the tricorder saying?” Instead of examining the data, she was confused first by a group of numbers right at the top of the screen. For a moment she swore she was reading it wrong, blowing a stray lock of red hair out of her face like it was obscuring something important. “Is that time right? How is it afternoon already?”

Maybe she’d spent longer examining her little sample than she’d planned. Oops?

Re: Day 14 [1347 hrs.] Mudane (and not so Mundane) Chemical Reactions

Reply #5
[ Ensign Kizra Tos | Chemistry Lab | Deck 17 | Vector 3 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @rae

There were so many yeses, more than there were questions, unless Kizra had miscounted.  It wasn’t worth worrying about, and besides, the blue goop was far more interesting.  Taking the tricorder, she did a quick scan of the stuff to see if anything became apparent immediately. 

“What’s the tricorder saying?”  The engineer was eager to get answers, but so was Kizra.  Even so, the tricorder brought up some very interesting readings, and the science officer might have answered if the second question hadn’t come on the heels of the other.  “Is that time right? How is it afternoon already?”

“Uh…”  Kizra glanced up at the chronometre, then shrugged.  The time didn’t matter at the moment either, she was far too engaged in what was set before her to concern herself with whether it was morning or afternoon.  Since she had deadlines looming, she could allow herself an extended look.  “It seems to be.” 

Frowning at the readings, Kizra wasn’t sure if they were correct.  Were they?  How very odd, and very interesting, but perhaps the tricorder was wrong.  Or maybe she needed the computer to analyse the data more thoroughly.  Fortunately, she was the one at the console and didn’t have to wait for it to be free.  Transferring the scan, she ran it through the database to deconstruct the contents. 

“It’s high in cyclopropenylidene.  Which is probably why it’s attracted to the ship.”  Kizra glanced up, then paused.  Did she need to explain?  She probably needed to explain.  “So it’s got carbon in it which has four electrons on its molecular surface, and usually that means four bonds, but in this substance, it’s only bonding with two, leaving the other two hanging.  So they tend to seek out something to bond to.” 

Except there was more to this than cyclopropenylidene, and that was the *really* curious thing. “But I’m reading other substances along with it, including amino acids.”  Kizra straightened and made a vague motion toward the screen where the molecular structure was listed.  “So…I would say this substance isn’t just a substance, it’s a very primitive life form that has yet to evolve.”  That didn’t mean ever would evolve, but it *could*.  All the basics were there.  So was it life or pseudo life?  Kizra leaned toward the former. 

Re: Day 14 [1347 hrs.] Mudane (and not so Mundane) Chemical Reactions

Reply #6
[ Lt. JG Azrin Ryn | Chemistry Lab | Deck 17 | Vector 3 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @Elyria

Ensign Tos didn’t seem to care, and while Azrin admitted that the time had nothing at all to do with their current science project… looking at the clock made her want to beat her head against the table. She’d spent way more time on this goop than she’d planned, and there was a long list of actual engineering tasks that needed to be completed today. Also, it explained why she was starving.

The chemist announced a molecule like it explained everything, but Azrin lost track of the word around the fourth syllable or so. The engineer’s only response was a blank look. If it wasn’t running through one of the ship’s propulsion systems or central to another engineering discipline that had caught her fancy (currently Thea and artificial intelligence in general), she wouldn’t know it. There was only so much time in the day – a fact that Azrin was painfully aware of right now – and she couldn’t be an expert in everything. Thankfully, Kizra started explaining a moment later.

“Great! Tell me what it bonds to and I’ll drop a block of it outside for a great big hug.” Her words were a bit brisk. “Or better yet, I’ll get a block from the Klingons.” She latched onto the answer quickly, letting it satisfy her curiosity so she could get back to work. Azrin was shifting back and forth between her feet, eyes darting from Tos to the clock to the door. Now that she knew the time, she was suddenly in a hurry. Which really wasn’t fair since she owed the other Trill lunch now, but they could do that another day. Right? It wasn’t like either of them were going to be paying for it. Her plan was to order Tos’ food from the replicator then deliver it to her with a flourish.

Kizra had kept talking while Azrin dithered, her final words bringing the redhead to a standstill, staring with her mouth gaping. “It's alive?” she practically shouted, earning a variety of curious and annoyed looks from the rest of the chemists working in the lab. “I discovered a lifeform?” All thoughts of leaving had been completely abandoned now. This was far too exciting. She’d just work through the night to finish her work, which wasn’t an abnormal experience for her. Sometimes she did that for fun. “That’s awesome! I’ve never discovered anything before!” She was grinning from ear to ear, blue eyes seemingly brightening with excitement. “How primitive? Can it communicate? I never even thought about asking it to move away from the ship.” Then she paled a bit, suddenly concerned, “You don’t think I hurt it when I took the sample, do you?”

Re: Day 14 [1347 hrs.] Mudane (and not so Mundane) Chemical Reactions

Reply #7
[ Ensign Kizra Tos | Chemistry Lab | Deck 17 | Vector 3 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @rae

Evidently the fact that the woman had brought in some goop which contained something living excited the engineer and Kizra couldn’t help but chuckle softly at her enthusiastic reaction.  She discovered a life form?  Well, that remained to be seen.  Discovery implied that it was something completely new.  Was it?  Kizra didn’t know.  Just because they didn’t have the information in their specific database didn’t mean that it wasn’t in someone else’s and they just didn’t have that specific information. 

Did she really want to burst that bubble?  Kizra almost hated to, Lt. Ryn seemed so enthused about the idea.  “Possibly.”  She offered.  It was a maybe, not a yes, not a now, but something in between so that her hopes weren’t completely dashed.  The possibility wasn’t in whether or not it was life, but more whether or not it was completely new.  Then again, there were so many things still yet to be discovered, so it wasn’t impossible either. 

Then came the barrage of other questions and Kizra had to stop and think about that for a moment.  Not so much about the sentience - it was so primitive, she knew the answer to that.  “I wouldn’t say it can communicate, no.  And it’s not really what I would call sentient.  It’s…more like a bacteria, but not exactly.  Some might even say it’s not quite alive, it’s in this in-between stage, and would dub it as ‘protolife’.  It has qualities that indicate life, but is it truly at that point yet?  Well, even after all these centuries, the scientific world tries to define something and that definition isn’t really concrete in nature.”

Kizra shrugged and motioned toward the goopy junk.  “All indications point that this doesn’t feel pain, though it will react to stimuli.  It’s more in the line of an amoeba.  I suspect it’s quite early in its evolutionary formation.”

The scientist picked up the container and offered it back to the engineer.  “As for how to get rid of it, I’d find some place that has a lot of carbon.  It will automatically be drawn to it.” 



Re: Day 14 [1347 hrs.] Mudane (and not so Mundane) Chemical Reactions

Reply #8
[ Lt. JG Azrin Ryn | Chemistry Lab | Deck 17 | Vector 3 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @Elyria

This was why she never would have made it as a scientist. Imagine finding something this exciting and having everyone come at it so cautiously? Engineering was far more fun. Either something worked, or she kept trying until it did work. Either way she ended a project with a thriving, happy machine. Also, Azrin personified essentially everything she touched, so protolife vs life wasn’t as important of a distinction as Kizra seemed to think it was. It had only taken her a few days back on duty before there were stories flying around engineering about how sweetly she talked to the warp cores. Not that Azrin cared. Nor Lieutenant Arnold, who seemed to think the whole thing was amusing. All the cores were running great now, so why not be polite to them?

Then… “Carbon? Sheesh. No wonder it’s drawn to the ship. I’ll have them spray some carbon atoms out of the bussard collectors or something. And by some, I mean a ton, because the Theurgy must look like a big tasty snack to something that wants carbon.” Azrin shook her head. Maybe she’d put it all in a massive containment unit and have it beamed outside next to the cloud of semi-alive goop. They could use a shuttle to create a nice carbon line away from the ship. If it wanted carbon, a pure source had to be tastier than Thea, full of carbon mixed with every other element in the periodic table.

“I’ll go get on that.” Though she’d been a bit distracted for a moment while musing out her plan, Azrin then refocused on Tos, the trill’s smile flashing bright again. “But you’ll tell me if I get to name it right? Because I have ideas. And I can see if it likes any of them while I’m leading it away from the ship!” Though she neglected to mention how she would possibly know what it liked.

With that happy idea in mind, the engineer spun around and practically skipped towards the door, only pausing to turn and wave. “Thanks for the help Ensign Tos! It was nice to mee-” Azrin paused again, distracted as her combadge beeped. “Ryn here,” she replied as a quick tap activated the connection.

“Lieutenant!” the voice on the other end of the channel was obviously worried. “The goop! It moved!”

“Moved away from the ship?” she prompted hopefully. But honestly, when had she ever been that lucky? 2381 was not her year.

“No! It’s right up on the hull now!”

“Right,” Azrin sighed. So much for having people watch it, but that was an issue for later. “Ah… Ok. New plan. Really hoping now that it wants to hug Thea instead of eating her.” She looked back towards Kizra hopefully. “Any ideas?”

Re: Day 14 [1347 hrs.] Mudane (and not so Mundane) Chemical Reactions

Reply #9
[ Ensign Kizra Tos | Chemistry Lab | Deck 17 | Vector 3 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @rae

What was life?  That was a very good question.  Yet scientists across the known galaxy had yet to come to a single, definitive answer for that.  Oh sure, some were certain they did, but since the scientific community couldn’t come to a complete agreement across the board, there were various factions who insisted that their definition was the correct one.  As for Kizra?  She was in the group of scientists who admitted that the answer still wasn’t as clearly defined as the other groups made it out to be.

Such was the case with the ‘goop’ as Azrin called it.  The woman’s enthusiasm was amusing, particularly when she asked if she could name it.  The question spurred both a smile and a chuckle from the scientist.  “I don’t see why not.  Name it what you like - I’ll even officially mark it on the computer.”  Which currently had the information from the scans in it.  While this deviated from the assignments given her, there was flexibility in her job.  Something like this would certainly be a good reason to take some time on the discovery.  After all, if they were still true Starfleeters, exploration and discovery was a big part of who they were.  It was the biggest reason Kizra had wanted to join Starfleet. 

The call, however, made both of them stop.  It had moved - that wasn’t surprising.  Kizra had already mentioned that it would react to stimuli, even if it wasn’t exactly sentient. The problem was, it had moved toward the ship and was now upon the hull.  Azrin looked at her for an answer and Kizra reached up to trace a finger over a spot upon her jaw.  She took a moment to ponder further, delve deep into memories.  While not all of the past hosts were scientists, that didn’t mean they didn’t have a wealth of information and experience she could draw on.  Kizra had gotten a lot of answers that way, though results varied.  She, of course, also relied upon her own knowledge and experience, even if it wasn’t as comprehensive as Tos’.  “Well, it wants carbon.  So yes, the Theurgy is going to be very attractive.” 

Attractive!  What they needed was something that was more attractive than a ship that, though it contained a lot of carbon, had many other elements mixed in with it.  There was a song…oh shoot, what was it?  It wasn’t something Kizra had heard, but there were memories beyond her own and it was in one of those that she attempted to filter. 

It was Sirxy who came to the rescue.  “What an odd song.”  Kizra commented, her head canting to the side.  “Though I will admit it is catchy.”  She blinked, her eyes then focusing back upon Azrin before she whirled around and approached the console. 

“Diamonds are a girl’s best friend.’  It was a Terran tune, one that Sirxy had enjoyed because she’d befriended a human during her years in Starfleet who was rather obsessed with her world’s ancient music.  Okay, so some of the music was pretty good, and while the capitalistic and greediness of the words were a bit…well…unrefined, it was a rather fun song to sing.

“Diamonds.Which are, honestly, plentiful in space in general, but we’re not necessarily particularly close to a planet or star that has them so perhaps that’s why it aimed for the Theurgy.”  Qo’nos might have some underneath the ground, but that wasn’t going to help them at that moment.  Even if it did, it wouldn’t be enough to attract the ‘goop’.  Kizra really wanted to stop calling it that.  “What are you going to name it anyway?” 

The search came up a moment later and Kizra nodded.  “There’s not an appropriate place, but in the next system over, there’s a dwarf planet that’s loaded with diamonds.”  She straightened and tapped her chin on that spot once again.  “But we need to get it off the hull and over there.  If we move the Theurgy close to it, the…substance should find it far more attractive than the ship and move of its own accord.”  She paused and eyed the engineer.  “I’ve not met the captain, so I have no idea how he…”  Or she, it all depended on what form they wanted to take, she supposed.  “Would feel about doing so.”  Kizra wasn’t going to pretend to know whether or not they should, either, with their current outlaw status.  The system wasn’t far, relatively, but it also wasn’t Qo’nos.  They were not a normal Starfleet vessel and they didn’t have the normal freedom of movement.  Was it still too far?  Or would that hop, skip, and a jump be close enough to risk it? 

Re: Day 14 [1347 hrs.] Mudane (and not so Mundane) Chemical Reactions

Reply #10
[ Lt. JG Azrin Ryn | Chemistry Lab | Deck 17 | Vector 3 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @Elyria

She wasn’t just going to pick out a name for the goop off the top of her head! This was a momentous occasion! One that merited thought and contemplation – and she had to ask the goop first! Sure, it was only a little bit alive, but Azrin asked completely inanimate parts of the ship for their opinions daily, so slightly alive more than warranted an opinion. Once she was back outside dealing with the goop, she’d start listing off name options for it. Which ever one got the biggest (or any) reaction would win. Then she would have Tos name it.

Despite her question, Azrin was only half listening to Ensign Tos, her own mind whirling in search of the perfect plan. The part about diamonds did distract her, mainly because Azrin profoundly disagreed with it. “The warp core is my best friend. Or the slipstream drive. Well, all of them really, but don’t tell them I’m cheating, not now that I’ve finally got them all working right. Maybe Thea, but I’d have to ask her if she wants to be best friends first. And if we’re talking crystals specifically, I’d prefer dilithium or benamite, for obvious reasons. What’s so special about a diamond that would make it a girl’s best friend? It’s not like it’s particularly useful, just pressurized…” Azrin trailed off as it came to her, then the trill laughed delightedly, doing a little dance to let out the burst of energy that had come with the realization. “Carbon! So the goop will want it!”

“We can’t name it without asking it’s opinion.” Azrin said firmly, not bothering to explain her earlier decision, crowding behind Tos to look over her shoulder at the console instead, blue eyes flicking back and forth impatiently as the computer searched for diamonds. Her thoughts had moved onto other important matters now, mainly the quick disconnect procedures for sections of hull plating. “We can’t just send it to Qo’noS. Not can’t ‘can’t’, if you get what I mean? I’m sure we can figure out a way to get it down there, but then the Klingons will be mad. They’ll probably hurt the poor goop.” At this rate, it was going to be accidently named goop, purely because Azrin was too in the habit of saying it.

“I haven’t met the Captain either,” she admitted with a shrug, “But I don’t think any captain will like the idea of moving an entire ship because we let an unknown substance get too close to the hull. Then there’s all the other… you know…” Azrin waved her hand vaguely off to the side, a useless indication of all the geopolitical issues she normally tried her best to ignore. “Stuff.” She’d never cared much for direction, only that the ship moved like it should. “We should be able to do it without moving the entire ship though,” the plan was coming together mid-sentence, she just needed a few more seconds for the pieces to fall into place. “I’ve got it!”

“Carbon is easy. Good little base element. This ship has – and needs – a shit load of carbon. We haul it in with the ram scoops, use it to replicate basically everything. All we need is a shuttle, loaded with carbon. Disconnect the hull plate the goop is connected to, push it away from the ship, then use the shuttle to lay a trail of carbon all the way to the diamond moon. Hopefully given the choice between returning to Thea and pure tasty carbon, it will choose to follow the breadcrumbs. Once it’s there, it will be happy. How’s that sound? Good?”

Re: Day 14 [1347 hrs.] Mudane (and not so Mundane) Chemical Reactions

Reply #11
[ Ensign Kizra Tos | Chemistry Lab | Deck 17 | Vector 3 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @rae


Diamonds were not really a girl’s best friend.  They certainly weren’t Kizra’s.  While at one point in Terran history, the carbon based jewel had been quite valued, that was no longer the case, and they were merely trinkets cut to shine prettily upon the hands, necks, and ears of anyone who wished to add a little sparkle to their outfits.  But now, they were simply admired for their beauty rather than their value.  Kizra kept quiet on the ‘best friend’ thing.  It had only been a quote from a song, one that had randomly popped into her head thanks to a previous host’s experience, and thus it wasn’t important.  No, it was time to focus back on the goop, and a name for it. 

Azrin wanted to ask the goop for its opinion.  Had the stuff been sentient, she might have agreed with that solution, but it wasn’t. It was just…goop.  Barely alive goop at that.  NOt quite alive.  Pseudo alive?  There was really not any good term, even in her native Trill, to accurately describe its current state.  Proto life?  Maybe.  It was a shadow of something to come if it were left to its natural evolution.  Hopefully they could send it on its way to a place where it would have a viable food source - but first, they evidently had to ask its opinion on what to name it. 

“I concur that sending it to Qo’noS would not be the best option.”  After all, there was a system not too far away that had a dwarf planet that was loaded with diamonds, and a perfect destination for the goop.  The question was, how could they get it there?  Azrin agreed that taking the entire ship wasn’t likely, nor did it really make sense.  At the other trills eureka moment, Kizra’s eyebrows arched up. 

“Carbon is easy. Good little base element. This ship has – and needs – a shit load of carbon. We haul it in with the ram scoops, use it to replicate basically everything. All we need is a shuttle, loaded with carbon. Disconnect the hull plate the goop is connected to, push it away from the ship, then use the shuttle to lay a trail of carbon all the way to the diamond moon. Hopefully given the choice between returning to Thea and pure tasty carbon, it will choose to follow the breadcrumbs. Once it’s there, it will be happy. How’s that sound? Good?”

Kizra paused as he thought through the idea, then nodded.  It was good.  Very good.  They could take care of getting the goop where it needed to be without displacing the ship and everyone on it.  “The question is, would we be allowed to commandeer a shuttle or that purpose.”

Then there was the other matter.  Oh sure, they could get the stuff there, but what then?  “And would we set it to automatically return?  Would it be possible that a probe, which is smaller and more expendable, is a better option to get this stuff where it needs to go?”

Kizra turned to a console and began to tap at it.  Rather than search for scientific inquiries, she sought out information about what was available to them - both in terms of shuttles and probes.  Surely a probe would be better, but as an engineer and an officer who had been awake and serving longer than Kizra, Azrin would be far more aware of what they could get away with.  Get away…as in, what they could do and not receive a reprimand for their actions. 


Re: Day 14 [1347 hrs.] Mudane (and not so Mundane) Chemical Reactions

Reply #12
[ Lt. JG Azrin Ryn | Chemistry Lab | Deck 17 | Vector 3 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @Elyria

“I mean, we could probably do it with a probe.” Azrin deflated noticeably at the suggestion. Sure, that was another good solution, but it lacked the… she really needed to think of a better excuse than ‘taking a shuttle would be more fun.’ “We’d just have to make sure it holds enough carbon to make it all the way to the diamond planet. It would be mean to the goop to lead it on a merry chase without a bountiful feast of carbon at the end. And there are a lot of other ships coming to and from this system that might attract it again."

Getting a shuttle wasn’t a problem. It wasn’t a combat mission, they wouldn’t even need a pilot. Azrin, or Kizra if she wanted, could fly with aid from the autopilot. Removing the substance eating the hull was a perfectly legitimate excuse for requesting a shuttle. Frank was probably going to be mad that she’d let the goop close enough to touch the hull in the first place, but there was no way he wouldn’t hear about it now. He was a structural engineer as well as the chief, he would see the repair log for a new piece of hull plating.

“I- I can’t think of another reason not to use the probe instead. I was all psyched up for the adventure too!” After that momentary voiced frustration, Azrin calmed down considerably. “We can watch the probe over subspace to make sure that the goop doesn’t catch up and eat it, then program it to return on the same flight path once it’s done. We should probably add a short subspace message too, to explain what it’s doing if anyone sees a Federation probe floating along followed by a ball of slime.”

“A Class 2 probe should do it,” Azrin commented after she peaked over Kizra’s shoulder to see what she was looking at. “I know we have some. We’ll have to pull up some navigation data to make sure it can hold enough carbon to leave our breadcrumbs.”

While fully on board with this plan now, Azrin still seemed rather let down over it, but she tried for a smile in the chemist’s direction anyway. “Before we send the goop on its way, do you want to come outside and detach the hull plating with me? We can give it suggestions on names and say goodbye.”

Re: Day 14 [1347 hrs.] Mudane (and not so Mundane) Chemical Reactions

Reply #13
[ Ensign Kizra Tos | Chemistry Lab | Deck 17 | Vector 3 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @rae

Kizra was not clueless.  She could read the disappointment in the other woman’s face as clear as day.  So the point in the shuttle wasn’t to control it remotely, but to take it herself.  True, there were other ships that could attract the goop - after all, carbon wasn’t exactly rarely used.  That disappointment manifested itself in words and Kizra crossed her arms over her chest to study the engineer. 

She was cute.  And was that a pout?  The Trill chuckled softly to herself.  She was talking to Kizra, but also to herself, evidently trying to work through that disappointment and resign herself to the secondary option.  The Trill just let her talk through it all until she finally asked if Kizra wanted to join her. 

“You know, now that I think about it, maybe taking a shuttle is better.”  Okay, so Azrin wanted to go on an adventure.  Honestly, Kizra could do with a field trip herself.  She’d been on the ship only a few days, but she wouldn’t mind ‘stretching her legs’, so to speak.  Inside her, something rumbled and she waved  a hand dismissively.

“It’s not that far.  It will be fine.  Stop worrying.”  Letting her hands drop, Kizra turned back to the console and tapped out some information.  “We’ll need a non-carbon based container with enough room to hold enough carbon so they don’t starve on the way.  I’ll take care of that and let you secure the shuttle and get clearance.  But we’ll do the latter after we go outside and have a discussion with said goop.” 

Okay, it was dumb, but Kizra might as well play along.  Cause, if she was truthful to herself, it was kinda fun, too.  “How does that sound?”

She paused and turned back to her fellow Trill and offered a further explanation on the change in choice.  “This will also give us a chance to observe the goop and its reaction to the planet.  Perhaps we can learn something about its life cycle.”  Then again, they could technically do that in the lab, and maybe Kizra would keep some to do more studies, but it wouldn’t be the same as observations made in the natural environment.  Some things just couldn’t be replicated.  “After all, if we do this, we might as well glean some more information out of it.”

Re: Day 14 [1347 hrs.] Mudane (and not so Mundane) Chemical Reactions

Reply #14
[ Lt. JG Azrin Ryn | Chemistry Lab | Deck 17 | Vector 3 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @Elyria

“Yes!” Exuberant as always, Azrin actually jumped up, punching her fist in the air for some extra umph. For all Starfleet claimed to be an agency of science and exploration, it had been a long time since Azrin had done either. A diplomatic mission to Romulus, stasis, then orbiting Qo’noS – that had been her year. The slipstream drive was the most wonderful thing she’d ever seen, but the Savi shut down every attempt to learn anything useful from it. Long story short, leading a ball of carbon eating slime to a diamond planet was exactly the kind of assignment she’d been missing. And Azrin was going to have that mission, even if she had to assign it to herself. She was an assistant chief now, she could do stuff like that.

Right?

Right.

Best not to think too hard about it.

“Ryn to Petty Officer T’Keia,” she tapped her combadge again, choosing to call the other member of her repair team. The Vulcan barely had time to acknowledge the message when Azrin started talking. “T! We’re going back out. Get an extra EVA suit ready, we’re got someone else coming with us. Get some decouplers ready, we’re going to detach the hull plate and sacrifice it to the goop.”

The voice that replied could have been the trill’s polar opposite, a perfect picture of stoicism and logic, even as a disembodied voice through the comm system. “Acknowledged. I will prepare the supplies and download the schematic of hull plate 31-8-3-delta to the heads-up displays of the EVA suits. Is there anything else you require Lieutenant?”

“Um- wait let me think. Oh! Tell Tenja to take a deep breath.”

“I have already done so. Her respiration rate was reaching unsafe levels. T’Keia out.”

Grinning, Azrin clapped her hands once as she planned the next step in this unfolding plan. “Actually, since the lower shuttle bay is on the way, I’ll pop in there first and put in the authorization request. Then we won’t have to wait after we’re done outside. You can get your stuff together, and I’ll meet you in Transporter Room 5. It’s right outside main engineering.” 

“Ok? Ok! See you down there!”  Eager to get started, Azrin turned and practically ran out of the room.


OOC: I figure if they split up, we can handwave the prep work and just say that they're ready to go when they meet back up again.

Re: Day 14 [1347 hrs.] Mudane (and not so Mundane) Chemical Reactions

Reply #15
A few hours later…

[ Lt. JG Azrin Ryn | Personal Quarters | Deck 16 | Vector 3 | USS Theurgy ] Attn:

“Well…” Azrin drew out the word as she collapsed onto her bed. “That was fun.” There was no one present to join the conversation. She and Kizra had gone their separate ways a few minutes prior, and the goop was now happily gorging itself on the diamond planet. She liked to imagine she was talking to the ship, giving updates on what she did whenever she left its confines. Thea wouldn’t be listening unless Azrin actually called her, but she’d been doing this long before she’d ended up on a sentient starship.

It had been, she explained, a thoroughly enjoyable day. They’d gone outside to introduce Kizra to the goop, detached the half-eaten piece of hull it was connected to, then gathered their shuttle full of carbon. There had been a few minor issues. A rather heated debate with a Klingon ship who thought they looked suspicious. Expending far too much carbon as to convince the goop to continue following them instead of the aforementioned, very tasty Klingon ship. Protecting it from the Klingons who viewed that as a call to battle. Then rationing their carbon for the rest of the trip to the planet. “It felt like an old Starfleet mission. The kind of fun adventures that I signed up for before all the wars and creepy parasites trying to destroy the galaxy. I missed those. And we got to save a lifeform! Which is a lifeform, no matter what Kizra calls it.”

When she was done, Azrin jumped up, moving to the shelves that adorned her walls and adding a new trinket to her collection. A rough, uncut hunk of diamond that she’d sneakily beamed up from the planet. “It doesn’t look tasty to me, but to each their own.” Her sister was going to be furious that Azrin had named a ball of goop after her. Which had only made Azrin more excited when the goop had swirled happily – in Azrin’s opinion, Kizra had noted – at the mention of the name.

For the first time since she’d come out of stasis, Azrin had a feeling she was going to sleep well tonight. “Have a nice meal, Nyza.”

-Fin-

 
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