Before Toryn could respond, Serala heard the footsteps of the Chief Engineer approaching and pulled up.
Rosek: Oh. I’m sorry if I’m interrupting.
Serala: We were just finishing up here, Commander.
She looked over to see if he had understood the implied statement there. His nod confirmed he knew what she was getting at.
Raga: You’re fine, Lael. What can we do for you?
Rosek: Well, since we don’t know what we’ll be facing in the Uncharted Region, I thought now would be a good time to test the Reskari alloy I’ve been developing on designated sections of the ship’s interior hull.
Raga: Reskari? I don’t think I’ve heard of this alloy before. What are its capabilities?
Rosek: It’s designed to protect against radiation. When it was tested on a shuttlecraft, it proved effective at not only shielding the occupants, but also the craft’s systems when applied to the right areas. It increased overall communications systems and sensor functioning by 20%.
Serala: I think I remember a report about that, Commander Rosek. But I am hesistant to allow any modifications at a time like this. We’re going into an unknown region of space and this just feels like something I should leave to the Captain.
Raga: Given the nature of the Expanse, that would be a great addition to have, at least to our shuttles if not the Chin’toka herself. :: He looked back and forth between her and Lael :: Why do I get the feeling there’s a catch? I would think that every ship in the fleet would already have Reskari alloy in them, so I’m guessing it’s rare? Or difficult to replicate?
Serala: I have to agree. :: to Rosek :: Commander, can you give us some details about this alloy? Where does it come from and what kind of results are we expecting from it?
Rosek: The metal itself is rare. While I have been able to determine its composition, it is a complex process. I haven’t been able to successfully replicate the original close enough to the real thing for it to be equally effective. I’ve had to rely on shipments of it obtained and sent by Doctor Timothy Alentonis, my colleague on this project. :: pause :: The alloy itself combines the radiation-blocking properties of the Reskariaehhrr and the lower melting point of aluminum. Additionally, the third metal, triatanium increases the durability of the alloy.
Raga: Well. We have plenty of shuttles, runabout and fighters. Maybe, we could take one of each class of shuttle and one fighter and refit them with whatever Reskari alloy we can manage. Or even just one if we don’t have enough for such a grand endeavour.
Serala sat back to consider it. She was hesitant to make any changes to the ship without direct approval from the Captain. It could very well have the benefit that Commander Rosek was expecting. But the Chin’toka was a new ship, with all the latest technology available to Starfleet. She wasn’t sure if this was the right time to start trying to make improvements. But a good compromise would be Toryn’s suggestion. It was true that Lael had said that it had already been tested on shuttles, but it hadn’t been tested in the Expanse, and that brought challenges all of its own. And if it was successful, she would have sufficient data to support the plan when Commander Rosek presented it to the Captain.
Serala: Commander Rosek. This does sound like promising technology, indeed. But I am not going to lie. This feels like a decision for the Captain and I am reluctant to make it myself. But I have a compromise. Let’s do as Commander Raga suggested and test it on one of each class of shuttle and runabout that we have on board. I will even authorize a fighter for testing. Coordinate that with Commander Leix.
Rosek: With respect, ma’am, we’ve tested it extensively on shuttles and have all of the relevant data to support its effectiveness with smaller craft. My focus is now on if variations will be needed to prevent it from interfering with the ship’s systems if applied to critical sections.
Serala: I am aware you have already tested it on shuttles, Lael. But those tests were not conducted in the Expanse. And if these tests prove successful, then you can present the idea to the Captain and I will give it my full support. Does that sound like a reasonable compromise to you?
Serala listened to both of her senior officers before responding. She didn’t want to be too rash, but whatever decision she made here, it was going to be Captain Delano who would have to live with the consequences.
Serala: I respect your professional opinion, Commander. I do. However, while I am currently in command, this is not my ship and I do not want to commit it to something that Captain Delano may not be fully on board with. Let’s get some good data to back up your research and then we can take it to him when he returns.
Serala: Very good, then. You may begin modifying the small craft when you’re ready. :: turning to Raga :: Commander, please make sure all the proper people are notified about these experiments.
Rosek: :: makes a note in her PADD :: I’ll start on a list and send it to you and Commander Raga. If either of you thinks of anyone I missed, please let me know. :: to Toryn :: Do you think we can spare any of the fighter squadron pilots? The more people we have, the faster we can get them lined.
Raga: I’m sure we have a few. Amuro, ah, Lieutenant McKnight has always fancied fighters. I’m sure he wouldn’t mind helping you out. :: there was a pause before he turned to Lael :: Just how long should we expect to complete this little project?
Rosek: It should take 2-4 hours per vessel to line them, but they require at least 48 hours to cure.
Raga: :: he looked at Serala :: Shouldn’t take long at all then.
Serala: Very good then. Is there anything else, Commanders?
Rosek: No, ma’am. Not that I can think of.
Raga: Not on this topic, though, depending on how this goes, I may have another proposal along these lines for the Captain when he returns. Best wait til he does and we see what this Reskari can do. I like to think big.
Rosek: With your permission, ma’am, I’d like to head straight to Engineering and start organizing the teams. It’s going to take a bit of coordination to maximize our personnel resources and minimize time spent on the project overall.
Serala: Permission granted. And please keep me updated.
Raga: Just make sure doing this doesn’t keep the ship from being prepared for venturing into the unknown.
Rosek: :: nods :: I’ll have a status report for you both in two hours.
Serala: That will be just fine. Thank you.
Raga: :: He nodded :: More reports. Oh joy.
Serala sat back in the chair as the two of them made their way out of the conference room pondering the burdens of command.