Thursday, January 22, 2015

Meanwhile, Aboard the Tyee

Cadet Potter prepared to ring the chime on Lieutenant Sri's door when he heard, "Come in, Cadet Potter".

The light of the hallway forced its way into her dimmed quarters. Cadet Potter peered into the gloom at Lieutenant Sri, her features harshly lit by the glow of the PADD propped up on her desk, a heavy mug cradled in her hands. For a moment, she appeared to him to be made of wax, glowing and translucent, until her head shifted slightly and she looked at him.

"Its alright, Cadet" Sri said as Cadet Potter continued to linger uncertainly in the doorway, "I just have a small headache. Computer, room lights to 50%." The room brightened visibly.

"How did you know it was me? At the door. I hadn't even rang..." he stopped at Sri's flat stare. "Oh yeah. Psychic."

"Oh yeah." Sri said in a deadpan tone. She regarded him for a moment expectantly. The moment became longer. Her neutral expression turned to one of mild irritation as the silence between them became protracted. "Is there something you needed, Mr. Potter?"

"D-don't you already know, ma'am?"

Sri took a sharp breath. "I beg your pardon?"

"I just thought -- you know, psychic..."

Sri sighed and visibly collected herself before responding. "Mr. Potter. Though it might be charitable to give those lonely thoughts of yours some company, it would also be highly unethical. I do not just 'read thoughts' Furthermore -" she paused and her gaze followed the cadets eyes to the shrub on the corner of her desk. She gripped her mug firmly and set it on the desk hard enough to make a loud thunk, causing Potter to jump slightly. "Mr. Potter, please pay attention!"

Potter jerked his attention back toward Sri. "Yes Ma'am, its just your plant...on the has eyes."

"So do your Terran potatoes, if I remember correctly." Sri said archly.

"That's not-" Potter blurted. " Have you ever seen a potato?"

Sri looked at him for a long, uncomfortable moment. "In the mess hall. Mashed, I think." Her frown deepend at Potter's nonplussed expression.

"Potatoes don't glare, ma'am." Cadet Potter said, and cast a worried look toward the small shrub on the desk which regarded him with many glistening, focused eyes.

Sri rubbed her temples, then assumed an iron grip on her PADD. Her voice was a thin veneer of patience. "Mr Potter. You came here for a specific reason -- one that did not concern my knowledge of Terran vegetation" she looked over at the plant, and her tone softened slightly. "Maybe its glaring at you a little. But What. Did. You. Want?"

Cadet Potter nervously rubbed the back of his neck. "I just uploaded our plan for locating Professor Stanley..." he stopped as Lieutenant Sri held up her fingers for silence and efficiently consulted her PADD.

Sri quickly paged through the plan. Potter noticed her eyes were slightly bloodshot, but kept his silence. "Biometric feeder into the internal sensor array, good. Correlation with last known transporter buffer contents...very good. A phased bio-neutrino scan? Perhaps a bit much...but it is a chance for you to get familiar with the technique..."

"Professor Stanley is on her ship, ma'am." Cadet Potter blurted and added when she looked up, "Cadet Ardet helped with an interface problem with the ship. The Professor has been there ever since."

Sri stopped paging. "Oh of course. I'll inform the Captain er- First Officer." She paused for a moment. "You still want to run the bio-neutrino scan." She marked Potter's shocked expression with a shrug. "Oh, come on. It was just a guess. Who wouldn't?"

Cadet Potter nodded. "It is probably the only chance we'll get to run an intense multiphasic biometic scan, ma'am."

Sri nodded. "That is probably true, cadet, but only if you drop that ridiculous idea you have for a sporting league on the holo deck. Ancient cleaning utensils have no place in any kind of sporting event."

Cadet Potter frowned. "Curling is an honored Scottish tradition."

Sri maintained her stony expression, so that he found it difficult to look at her or the plant. "Focus on the scan and your grades, Mr. Potter. Dismissed."

"Yes, ma'am"