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Cptn Swain

Delta Radiation, Or A Damned Inconvenience Pt. 1

It was late and gamma shift had reached the point of the evening where Harold Tisker considered if he could get away with a nap in the head. Lysander was nearly three months into her first real assignment -- cataloging gaseous anomalies in near the Romulan Neutral Zone -- and nothing even remotely exciting had happened to them yet; which, as far as Harold was concerned, was entirely okay.  

He leaned back in the command chair and started to close his eyes. Nothing wrong with an inspection of them. Behind him, the new junior officer   they’d picked up at Starbase 10 prattled on about Erathian verb conjugations -- or something -- from the communications station. How anyone could get so excited for a language no one had spoken for three thousand years eluded Harold, but whatever floated the guy’s starship, A station or two over,  an enlisted guy named Hancock was swinging (and missing) for the fences with gamma shift’s engineer, Malia Jhaon.  Harold considered sparing the poor guy by reminding him that such flirtations were inappropriate, but that sounded suspiciously like effort, something Harold had sworn off for the rest of the shift. 

Harold had almost managed to doze off when the woosh of the lift doors stirred him to attention. Unperturbed. he sat up, pretending to be busy looking at the clipboard on his lap.  

“As you were.”  

Turning he started to stand. “Commander.”

“No need, Lieutenant,” Svati Desai said. “I couldn’t sleep, so I thought I’d take a walk.”

Harold exhaled. “Of course, Commander. Everything’s pretty quiet up here. Ensign Corten has been monitoring a small spike in delta radiation in quadrant 29. Nothing too unusual but...”

“Delta radiation?” Svati’s eyebrow was peaked like a Vulcan, and she was already halfway to the science console. “There shouldn’t be any delta radiation spikes in quadrant 29.” She really must be bored, Harold considered.

It was accurate. Svati had spent the better part of the last two weeks looking at space dust and crew evaluations. This was her first assignment as an executive officer and she wished someone had warned her about all the administrivia that came with the shoe closet they called her office.  Reese Corten looked up as she approached. He was, from her remembrance of his file, a capable if inexperienced officer; like many on the crew, it was first real mission since graduating the academy. 

“So, what are we looking at Ensign.”

“One of the probes picked it up, ma’am,” Reese said, rolling his chair over to give her room at his console.  Svati nodded and looked over the readings. 

“Did you run it through the Terras cycler?”

Fumbling for a moment to remember what that even was, he shook his head. “Not yet ma’am,” he finally said, “I -- uh -- we hadn’t seen anything other than just the spike so we were just recording the data.”

She furrowed her brows and pulled her hair back into a ponytail. “Mmm,” she began tapping. “Always good to run delta radiation spikes through it. Though --  Ensign... Portein have you monitored anything on subspace?”

Wide-eyed the young communications offer shook his head. “Uh --” he said, “ Nothing unusual.”

Harold closed his eyes and bit his lip. He felt it coming.  Wincing he braced himself. But the dressing down never came. Instead, Svati instructed Portien to begin monitoring from here on out.  That was a relief. 

“Lieutenant, give him a hand and go back through the logs from when you detected this until now and make sure there’s nothing he missed.”  What a damned inconvenience, but at least she didn’t blow up on him. 
“Ma’am,” Reese said, “what are you thinking?”

“There shouldn’t be any unusual delta radiation in that sector. It’s empty space. And the -- what are their names? Tamarians and Kaedwani? Neither of them are very technologically advanced. Warp 4 or something like that?”

Svati was pacing. She did that alot when she was trying to figure a problem out. She also rambled. It drover her roommate at the academy crazy. 

“How far is that from Romulan border?”

Reese took a moment to find the exact distance. She nodded. “Though intel is spotty in the region,” she stopped. “Ah good the results from the Terras Cycler.

“Interesting. You said we picked up the spike from one of the probes?”

“Yes -- uh -- 6-D.”

“Where is it now?”

“Quadrant 30. “

“Turn it around, have it go back through 29 and this time have it do a level 4 sweep. Then we need to run a level 2 analysis of this data. It could be nothing, but this close to Romulan space...”

Harold had been listening and while most of what she was saying was about as intelligible to him  as Portein’s babbling about Erathian verbs, he got the gist of it. “Commander,” he interjected at an opportune time, “should we inform the Captain?”

Svati took a deep breath. “No,” she finally said. “I’ll do it. I need to change into my uniform anyway. Ensign continue monitoring and begin the level 2 analysis.” 

Harold nodded. “Aye.”  Good luck! 


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