((OOC: I am a little bit behind, sorry for that. The house is catching up pace and we will have a lot to do over the next two months. Just so you know :) Will do my best to keep up! ))
(( USS Arrow, Deck 1 - Corridor Outside of Conference Room ))
The meeting had already taken its toll on Connor. He was a little surprised at how fast his transition from a relaxed shore leave to stress and fear had commenced. Something he would definitely have to bring up with the counselor the next time they spoke. For the moment, however, there was a task at hand, and he would do it together with Tallera, someone he appreciated since they met a couple of hours ago.
The Lieutenant had asked the science department for help and Commander Collins had brought Ayemet to the conversation. The little hiccup they had during the briefing was still on Connor's mind. His objective mind was sure that it was nothing, but his feelings led him to believe otherwise. She had just approached the trio and greeted Tallera.
Jacin: Tonk’peh Lieutenant.
Tallera: I believe the best way to protect the Proteus drive is to hide it. We can't cloak it, but perhaps we can camouflage it.
Collins: Well, I love the sound of that. What did you have in mind?
Jacin: We would need something that would blind others to the energy signature of the Proteus. If they find it they can’t pick the lock :beat: as long as their ‘pick’ doesn’t get broken.
Connor's face showed a quick smile. He appreciated her doing that and the part of him that felt bad about his snappy answer grew more quiet.
Dewitt: We can reduce energy emissions to a stand-by minimum. But how do you plan to mask those remnants?
Tallera: Simple. Locate a nebula - or perhaps a sufficiently low-mass gas planet - that has a matching ambient temperature and a composition of heavy metals that will make the ring seem just a patch of unremarkable high density. Meanwhile we paint the ring pink. Or whatever color the ambient light is.
A short moment of silence entered the conversation as everybody mulled over the idea in their heads. Connor smiled at her comment to paint the drive and was immediately reminded of an old movie his grandfather had once showed him - about improvised submarine repairs that ended up covering the complete boat in a pink color. The remaining part of Tallera's plan could, however, work.
Collins: We can certainly scan for an appropriate hiding spot from Astrometrics and take some deep pulse scans of the system's lightwave spectrum output once we come to full stop. But the livery to match those lightwaves? I haven't the slightest idea where to start there.
Jacin: With respects Lieutenant doesn’t that hinge on the idea that whoever is looking for the drive, if indeed anyone, is not going to be looking closely?
Dewitt: All the measures we take just make it harder to discover the drive. I doubt that somebody would know what to look for precisely, if our measures are strong enough.
Jacin: But if they did they would find it, and find it pretty quickly.
Connor understood Ayemet's plea for caution, and he thought that she was right, but he was not sure what better way there should be. Command decided that Proteus would be used by the Arrow for the time being with all the advantages and dangers that came with it. They already went a great deal to make sure the dangers were minimal. And although Connor was no telepath, he felt Tallera losing her patience.
Tallera: Have you ever gone hunting for a yellow beetle in a field of sunflowers without a tricorder, Lieutenant?
Jacin: Insufficient facts always invite danger. I’m merely offering an opposing view so that we can cover all bases.
Tallera: Hmmm... :: Her hum was equal parts rumble and purr. ::
Tallera made a small pause before continueing.
Tallera: And that you have. :: Beat :: In this situation, perfect information is impossible, Lieutenant. We risk danger in one direction or another. Better to choose which one we prefer and can mitigate, no?
Tellera's question hung in the room for a couple of seconds, before Connor tried to close up the discussion.
Dewitt: Using Proteus was a command decision. We're stuck with it now. I don't like that anymore as you do. But today it is our job to make its use as safe as possible. I think the proposed procedure is a good first step in that direction. I will later confer with Security, and we could add more precautions like an activation of the engine in case anything comes to close or something similar.
Ayemet did not look convinced for all Connor could tell. He had the urge to talk to her in private, but was almost sure that it would not give her anymore comfort. He just hoped that her concerns were not coming true in the end... And he was not sure what that told him about where he really stood in this discussion.
Collins: Right then. Connor, with me. You two, grab whatever you need up here or in the Engine Room and meet us on Deck 4. There are fabrication and replication suites in the Science Lab. Ayemet can show you where they are.
Jacin: Aye Sir.
Tallera: Yes, sir.
Quentin looked at his wristwatch. Connor had seen it before and found that it gave the chief of science something odd. But after all, the engineer had just discovered books for himself. Maybe they all had to have a little something that reminded them of a slower time.
Collins: Just over an hour left still. You can do loads in an hour. Several meals, a few baths...plenty of time, yes?
Tallera: Indeed. Though we'd best get to it.
Dewitt:A bath would be something now. ::thin smile::
Collins: We've got this. Probably.
Connor nodded and headed into the direction of the turbolift. His head was full of thoughts. Ayemet's concerns made him uncertain and sparked his fears a little further. What if she was right? What if this endeavour was everything but a good idea?
Collins: Ayemet, a moment? If you please?
He turned around and saw Quentin and Ayemet continuing their conversation. He called the turbolift without looking onto the panel and observed the conversation. He was not sure what they were talking about, but it did not seem to be a particularly pleasant topic.
The turbolift arrived an Connor
stepped in. He kept one hand at the door to keep it open to wait for
Commander Collins. It took about a minute more before the two officers
finished their talk. Ayemet's
eyes briefly met Connor's and he
was immediately taken back to the lake. A fleeting smile crossed his
lips before the Commander approached him and they
entered the turbolift.