Part I of II
((Atmospheric Lab, Deck 510, StarBase 118))
DeVeau and Kudon had just ended their meeting with Galven and were about to proceed along a few tracks to determine the best way to neutralize the Death Fog leftover on Vankoth II. One was to separate the silicon from the silicon platinum chloride. The second was to add ascorbic acid to chemically neutralize it. And there was the third possibility of a combination of breaking the Death Fog molecules apart and adding something. One way or the other they needed to get rid of the SiPtCl2. There was also the matter of getting more accurate data from the Klingons on the level of Death Fog in the atmosphere
Kudon: So, Commander DeVeau, shall we go to a containment holodeck or do you want to work on the models first before trying them out?
DeVeau: Best to take things carefully I think. Let’s work on a few models, then test.
The two of them headed to the Science Main Office on Deck 506 to develop the models together. Once there, the two sat down at a computer station and started exploring possibilities.
Kudon: I would recommend that we first translate the algorithm into Klingon and send it to them and hopefully get their data soon. The more accurate our data, the better our models will end up being.
DeVeau: And the sooner we get that information, the sooner we can find a solution. Agreed.
Kudon: After that, I would be most interested in us starting on a model on your idea of adding ascorbic acid to see what effect that may have.
While he was genuinely interested in DeVeau’s theory, Kudon also knew it was smart to defer to one’s superior officer. He would get a chance eventually to try out his model. Better to show respect first.
DeVeau: We can run more than one model at a time. ::Alora pointed out.:: So let’s be efficient, eh?
Making the best use of their time would get to an answer sooner rather than later. Alora focused her attention on the task at hand. Translating was made a little more difficult by the fact that some of the vocabulary used was not common. Some words didn’t have straight Klingon translations. Eventually, however, they accomplished that task. Then they went about setting up the models. If they gave promising results, they would then take them to the holodeck and run some tests. While they waited, Alora leaned back in her chair and studied the man across from her. DeVeau: So please tell me about yourself, Kudon.
This took Kudon quite by surprise. He was not used to superior officers, especially ones he just met, to want to get to know him. After a moment of hesitation he replied.
Kudon: Well...what exactly do you wish to know.
DeVeau: Whatever you’re willing to tell me.
He wasn’t sure where to begin, so he just went with the basics.
Kudon: I am 22 Terran years old and fresh out of the Academy...plus one mission obviously. I am from Vulcan.
That wasn’t surprising to Alora. While not all Vulcans were born on Vulcan depending on what their parents did, most were indeed from their home planet.
DeVeau: How did you end up in Starfleet?
Kudon: I’ve always known I wanted to be an Engineer. Or at least a science officer. At the Academy, I focused on maximizing the efficiency of fusion and warp core engines when they are operating together.
He was presenting what was his usual stump speech about what work he had done. He usually assumed superior officers cared more about his resume than his personal life. With Hael as quite the exception...in many ways.
DeVeau: Surely there’s more to your life than that. Vulcan’s weren’t generally known for being forthcoming, but Alora did prefer to get to know her comrades. After all, they worked together, they lived together. They fought together. They were family - maybe not biologically, but family none the less.
Kudon: I spent little time off planet growing up on Vulcan. My youth was rather immersed in a number of different Engineering projects. I entered many science competitions and I will be honest that I won most of them. If I may, Commander, if we are aquainting ourselves with each other, may I ask what brought you to Starbase 118 Ops?
DeVeau: Why certainly. I was assigned here. Before that...well, I can’t say, classified, but before /that/, I was in the Shoals on the Veritas.
Kudon: Interesting. That must have been quite different than here.
DeVeau: Yes, very. Being on a base is quite a bit different than being on a ship, but not only that, the area was different, the people different. Atmosphere in general. The way you live is…
Just then, an alert went off on the computer and Kudon took a look, Alora following suit.
Kudon: The first iteration of each of our three models has completed.
The two of them scanned over the data results on the screen.
DeVeau: Oh, this looks promising.
Alora pointed at the information on the screen, though it was quite unnecessary.
Kudon: Yes, it appears that Silicon can break off from the platinum chloride, as long as the temperature is kept within reasonable range. The model with adding ascorbic acid is also successful. What readings do you have on the model with both splitting the Silicon and adding the ascorbic acid?
DeVeau: Same - results show in an effective break down of the Fog.
Kudon: So all three seem like effective methods to neutralize the gas. The trouble is figuring out, which one is best. And I don’t like the p-value of breaking off the Silicon only being .03. 97% chance of success is good, but a lot can go wrong 3% of the time.
While Kudon certainly wanted to go with whichever model produced the best outcomes, part of him was very hopeful that his Silicon model would work. This algorithm that had now been modified multiple times to detect, and now destroy Death Fog, was his ongoing project and if his theory of breaking off the Silicon were correct, it would help him feel somewhat redeemed for the limitations his algorithm had faced during the mission.
DeVeau: True. Alora broke off, pondering the information they were presented with.
Kudon: We can recalibrate and try another model run, but I think we need that data from the Klingons before we can do so.
DeVeau: I concur. The more information we have, the better we can prepare, the better success we’ll have as well. We’ll, unfortunately, have to wait.
Kudon: Very well, Commander. While we are waiting, I understand you are from Earth, correct?
Alora leaned back in her chair, crossed one leg over the other, then used the foot that remained in contact with the floor to twirl around. When she was facing the Vulcan again, she nodded.
Kudon was rather taken aback that his superior officer was twirling on a chair in front of them. Not that he necessarily minded, but it was not what he expected. On the other hand, she did seem to want to get to know him. He could show her the same courtesy.
DeVeau: I’m an Earthling, born and bred in Georgia, spent quite a few years in Japan. Some of my family still lives there. Question.
Kudon: Do you want to ask me a question?
DeVeau: What kind of music do you like?
Kudon: That is a..surprising question, but I am happy to answer. In fact, Commander Hael is the only person I have spoken with about music since I arrived. We both appreciate an old Terran group called Metallica. If you haven’t heard of them, they were what was called metal. Very emotional music. In fact, I like most music that expresses deep feelings.
At that point, Kudon wondered if it made sense to tell her that he was a Vulcan that had chosen to experience emotions. It helped fit with his like of emotional music. But he hardly knew DeVeau and he did not want to seem like he was confessing or giving up some dirty secret. So he kept quiet about it for now.
DeVeau: Do you like to dance?
Starbase 118 Ops
Lt. Cmdr. Alora DeVeau
Starbase 118 Ops
-- Lt. Cmdr. Alora DeVeau Science Officer Starbase 118 Ops M239008AD0