Part of USS Century: 1.5. The Long Haul

Scientific Forecasting

USS Century
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Lieutenant James walked into the largest of the science labs on the USS Century, the room filled with all of the various heads of each of the various disciplines represented aboard the ship. They were seated at various points around the room, either engaging in idle conversation with one another or absorbed in monitoring an experiment that was currently in the works in their respective laboratories around the ship. Brian took a second to clear his throat, grabbing the attention of most of the scientists gathered in the space, with one or two exceptions.

“Thank you for gathering on such short notices, folks, I know there’s a lot of tests and simulations being run that you want to get back to so I promise not to take up too much of your time,” James started the meeting off, his words finally pulling the stragglers away from their work.

“First of all, I want to let everyone know that we’re being called upon to play our specialties out beyond the Thomar Expanse, an excellent opportunity for each and every discipline on this ship to make wonderful discoveries and contribute to the sum of our knowledge about the galaxy we like in,” Brian said in an attempt to pull his audience in. He gazed at the collective officers and could already see the gears in their minds turning away, making measured calculations regarding what they might be able to accomplish while on a deep space expedition.

“We have a week to prepare for the journey out there, which means that we have less than a week to make any upgrades or additions to our already robust suite of laboratories prior to heading out into the unknown. While even I admit that our department has been generously provided for in terms of equipment and facilities, that was before we were expected to step into the spotlight and take on the lion’s share of tasks. We’ll have the luxury of priority resource allocations once we reach our first uncharted star system or nebula… whatever we encounter first to sink out teeth into. That means that we need to think ahead to what we might like to have brought aboard prior to leaving Starbase 23. I have some ideas of my own, but I want you all to reach out to your sections and get some inputs from them as well. The more prepared we are now, the better our future discoveries stand to be,” Lt. James said at length.

The men and women gathered in the lab began to chatter amongst their small groups, excitedly discussing the mission at hand and all the myriad things they might wish to ask for round out the already impressive array of scientific equipment aboard the ship. The soft murmur was starting to balloon into a more thunderous cacophony when Lt. James spoke up over the thrum of noise in the room.

“One last piece of business before you all go back to your labs and start plotting expansions in earnest,” the man said with a smirk, “I’d like to address the vacancy we’ve had in the department since Lieutenant Vier left us a few months ago to start her family. Unlike some of the other departments aboard, we haven’t really been hampered by my… let’s call it… cautious approach to filling the vacant assistant position. If our mission had remained what it was before, I probably would have continued to shelve the topic in favor of simply keeping things as they were as it was working just fine as is. Now that we’ll be spearheading a great deal more, I will have to spend the majority of my time on the Bridge going forward, providing the command staff with up-to-the-minute information regarding our department’s efforts, so I won’t be able to handle any of the more routine things that pop up for us in the trenches.”

“I say all that to say this. Lieutenant Grant, come on over here real fast,” Brian beckoned to the woman who had been in charge of the small stellar cartography section. Lily’s face drew up into a happy smile as she hopped off the stool she’d been perched on and came up beside Lt. James.

“During our last mission, Lilian’s efforts were pivotal in our counterparts’ efforts to bring a swift end to a smuggling operations and in recovering stole cargo before it had a chance to disappear into the black market. Even our Captain had nothing but complimentary words for the work carried out by everyone on her team. And with all that in mind, I’ve decided to have her step up and take over for our departed assistant,” Brian said before reaching out and shaking Lt. Grant’s hand, “Congratulations, Lily.”

Grant grinned from ear to ear at the news, giving her boss’ hand several excited shakes before she turned to the collection of colleagues around her, “I don’t know what to say. This is so exciting!”

“Speech!” one of the scientists near the back of the room called out.

Lily frowned in mock annoyance, “Oh shush, Victor. You know if I get started I won’t stop for another hour. So I’ll just say thank you to Lieutenant James for the opportunity, and I look forward to helping each of our divisions perform at their best in the coming weeks and months ahead of us.”

Brian chuckled and gave her ‘speech’ a short applause before returning his attention to the group at large, “Alright, that’s all there is. Take this information back to your various labs and have a wish list to me before the end of the day. I owe it to Commander Sorreth before 1100 tomorrow.”

The collected scientists all nodded or responded their acknowledgement before filtering out of the labs to begin planning in earnest for the discovers just over the next horizon.