(( Geological Sciences Lab, Deck 4, USS Veritas ))
::Her attention shifted to the staff, the markings drawing her gaze.::
Rosek: Hey. That’s Romulan, isn’t it?
Alentonis: You speak Romulan, Commander?
Blair: Sorry, no. Languages really aren’t my forte. What about you, Rosek?
Rosek: ::shrugs:: Not fluently. But enough to read it. ::brow furrows:: I don’t recognize the dialect, though. ::to Alentonis:: What do you think, Professor? ::motions to the box:: Do you think they’re connected?
Alentonis: Too soon to tell. That box :: as he nodded toward the container she was studying :: ...seems like it was meant for something larger and required more padding than the staff itself.
::This mystery was getting more interesting by the minute. Whatever had been in that box was clearly important. Also, the fact that the items had been found together seemed to indicate some sort of connection, even if they didn’t know quite what. She had the feeling that they were all pieces of some large, elaborate puzzle waiting for them to put it together. Her gaze again lingered on the staff, her brow furrowing. Was it possible the material the artifacts were made out of was what connected them?::
Rosek: ::grins wryly:: I’ll defer to your expertise in Romulan language and culture. I’ve only seen only one dialect used commonly on modern Romulan ships.
Alentonis: Clay, kingswood, emeralds, and a green glaze made of ash. There doesn’t appear to be any writing on the staff itself. As I explained earlier, this particular weapon appears to be purely ceremonial in origin. As you can see, the headpiece is circular with a raptor design in the center, representing the Romulan Star Empire. The eyes appear ornamental in nature possibly, acting as a conduit for some sort of energy. Many of my peers hold that the eyes on such a piece are a window into the heart of subspace, which...with enough energy could open a portal to unleash creatures believed to be divine in nature.
::Lael rolled her eyes, wondering if all archaeologists were this easily spooked. Granted, Alentonis seemed to be stating it more as an opinion of others than something to be taken as fact. But still--::
Rosek: ::shakes her head:: The only divine creature I believe in is God.
Alentonis: Just don’t ask me to try and open a portal. My knowledge of Romulan religious practices is rustier than my shooting.
Rosek: ::grins wryly:: I’m not sure we even want to consider that until we know more about what will happen if we do. ::pauses:: I can get some equipment set up in the Engineering workshop. I’d like to have them take a look at this, too.
Alentonis: I don’t think it would be a bad thing if they took a look at it. I might be able to have a go at some of these other artifacts. Or the science logs.
Rosek: ::nods:: Agreed.
::Her attention suddenly turned to Alex as the not-so-subtle beep of his tricorder sounded and he took a step toward her.::
Blair: Lael, think you can figure out the material this thing is made of?
::She studied the readings, more than a little confused at what she was seeing. The tricorder didn’t recognize most of the elements present, simply listing them as unknown. Since coming aboard the Veritas, she’d encountered more unknowns than at any time previously in her career. There was so much about the Shoals that they still didn’t understand. She could likely spend a lifetime out here and still never fully grasp everything that there was to know about the region.::
Rosek: ::brow furrows:: Not without a deeper analysis.
Blair: ::smiles::Well I’m having a hard time believing my eyes, and we’ll need to test it more, but I’m not detecting any of the radiation that giving all sorts of hell inside the containment unit.
::Lael arched an eyebrow as Mei’konda leaned in to examine the readings on Alex’s tricorder. She’d been so focused on the outside that she’d left it to Alex to determine the composition. The markings on the headpiece seemed vaguely familiar, though with the difference in the dialects, she couldn’t quite place it. She noted the minute change in Mei’konda’s expression as he saw something in the readings that clearly caught his interest.::
Mei’konda: Remaarkable. Somehow, the Romulaans managed to fiind a way to prevent tetryon fields from penetraating the chaamber without the use of forcefiields...
::Lael’s brow furrowed, wondering how they’d managed. The only thing she could think of was that it was a natural property of the material itself. The implications of that were staggering and it actually caused her to get more than a little excited. Could they have found a more reliable method of protecting the ship from the tetryon fields they encountered out here? The new information certainly seemed to imply that the Romulans had a knowledge of the Shoals that Starfleet was still struggling to uncover.::
Rosek: ::pauses:: If this means what I think it means…
Blair: Exactly. If we can figure out how this thing is blocking it, we might be able to apply it to the Veritas.
Mint: But how is it composed? That's not an ability modern Romulan technology possesses, so far as I know. How...?
Rosek: ::shrugs:: You’ve got me. But then again, Romulans are known for being somewhat secretive. Maybe this was experimental technology. Though I do wonder if they realized the implications for starships traveling in the region.
::Lael had been so lost in her inner musings that she had all but forgotten Mei’konda was there. The Mint’s cheeks colored slightly.::
Mint: I apologize, Commander. Sometimes I can get a little--preoccupied.
Mei'konda: ::holds up his hands and shakes his head:: Not at all. Thiis sort of thing sounds like exaactly the sort of thing a research and development speciaalist could help with. Why don’t you see what you can fiind out? Commander Blair, Commander Rosek, caan you maake use of Mister Mint?
Rosek: ::grins:: Another set of hands would be helpful, sir, absolutely.
Mei’konda: Good. And Professor - what was that that you were saaying earlier? Somethiing about a window into the heart of subspace?
Mei’konda: ::rubs his chin thoughtfully:: Could thiis haave something to do with what Commander Blair discovered? Tetryons are naative to subspaace, after all…
Alentonis / Blair / Mint: Responses
::A call from the bridge interrupted the conversation. She grimaced as she noted how staticky it was. Before, at least, it had been confined to communication with the away teams. It seemed to be getting worse and even with her best people on it, they had yet to discover the root cause. It was more than a little bit annoying.::
Bridge: =/\= Commander Mei’ko..::static::.., please rep..::static::..o the Bridge. =/\=
Mei’konda: Thaat’s my cue. Report to me as soon as you haave anything, Commander Blair. Professor Alentonis, pleaase look into this with our engineers.
Alentonis / Blair / Mint: Responses
Mei’konda: =/\= Mei’konda to Bridge. I’m on my waay. =/\=
(OOC: Jumping this ahead a bit)
((Engineering Workshop, USS Veritas))
::A few pieces of equipment from the science labs that were portable had been brought down. She and her team were in the process of syncing up the software programs to increase their efficiency. She and Alex had managed to construct an algorithmic code that would refine the results and, using both sets of data, give them a more complete profile of the artifacts.::
Rosek: Have you been able to glean any more information from searching your databases, Professor?
Rosek: ::nods and turns to Alex:: I think we just about have it. A couple more tweaks--
::Suddenly, one of the microscopes flung sparks and started giving off a faint smoke trail that swirled upwards. Lael abruptly cut power to the device, a stream of curses slipping past her lips. She managed to get it shut down, but not before it set off what sounded like every alarm in Engineering. She winced, covering her sensitive ears instinctively. Still grimacing, she quickly entered a series of commands.::
::She exhaled a sigh of relief as the noise ceased, turning to Alex to speak, but she was cut off by the door to the workshop opening. Anjar hurried inside with a container of pressurized sodium bicarbonate to extinguish the fire the alarms had warned of.::
Thoran: Everyone all right?
Rosek: ::sighs:: Fine. Just a minor glitch in the code I was running.
Thoran: ::smirks at Lael:: You don’t have to cause a fire to get me down here, you know.
Rosek: ::rolls her eyes:: Did you want something, Mister Thoran, besides annoying me to death?
Thoran: ::chuckles:: Just wanted to make sure you all were still alive.
Thoran: ::hands the container to Blair:: Here. Just in case she starts another fire...this time, one that she isn’t able to suppress in time.
Lieutenant Commander Lael Rosek, Eng.D.
USS Veritas NCC-95035