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On Climatology and Politics

Posted on Fri Feb 21st, 2020 @ 10:55pm by Lieutenant Commander Magnus Grey & Lieutenant JG Cara Ross

Mission: Mission 7 - Aenerth for an Earth
Location: Ship's Library
Timeline: 2296/02/20 - 1540


Lieutenant Commander Magnus Grey was deep in preparation for their upcoming visit to Aenerth. He had done what he could to learn about the planet's culture and language ahead of time, managing to even learn a few key phrases in their language.

The background documents provided by Starfleet and the Diplomatic Corps made references to the Aenerthan government, using some terminology Magnus didn't understand. He could look them up electronically, but thought that a deeper dive into the political science of Aenerth and related systems was warranted.

Captain O'Connor often complained to him about how old the America was. But one benefit of these older ships was that they had well stocked libraries. Hundreds of physical books that crew could find useful or entertaining were available for them to peruse.

Magnus walked into the library shortly after lunch. He nodded to Senior Chief Petty Officer Goov, the ship's Saurian senior librarian. They had previously spoken over the comm system and knew so he knew exactly what the XO was looking for. A clawed finger pointed to the reference section, where Magnus began looking for the one volume he needed.

The ship's first officer wasn't the only one down in the library that day, looking for information on Aenerth, and the America's current mission. Lieutenant (junior grade) Cara Siobhan Ross was no ones fool. She knew she'd scored a darn good posting out of the Academy by nabbing the number two spot in the sciences department on a refit Constitution-class starship. And she felt the pressure to prove she belonged here.

Knowing absolutely nothing about Aenerth beyond what they'd had in their short science division briefing from LT. Thias, the redhead had assigned herself a rotation in the Library, directly accessing the records available. She wasn't exactly an uncommon fixture by any means; if she wasn't down in the science labs overseeing some experiment or another, she was often holed up here, with a cup of tea in hand, browsing the ships selections.

The room even had comfortable reading nooks that abutted a few viewports, allowing off duty crew to curl up with a book and watch the stars warp by. Not everything in the library was non-fiction.

Magnus saw the young woman in one of the reading nooks. He recognized her from the transfer orders. The Assistant Chief Science Officer. He found the volume he was looking for on the shelf and approached where she sat. “Good afternoon, Lieutenant,” he said, his voice quiet, not wanting to disturb the other patrons or the librarian. “Lieutenant Ross, right? I’m Magnus Grey, First Officer.”

The younger officer had not noticed Magnus entering the library, nor any conversations he might have had up until then. She'd been sitting with one leg tucked up under another, and a data slate propped on her knee in turn, cup of tea in her right hand. Her left had been advancing the page count idly. So she'd been caught completely off guard by the LT. CMDR's arrival. This resulted in the near spillage of the tea, saved only by allowing the slate to clatter to the floor.

"milis fulang Criosd!" The Caldosian swore, as she managed to catch the mug without spilling the tea. She looked up at Magnus, a blush lighting her face to a point that it almost matched her hair. "Auch, aye, I'm LT. Ross. I'm right sorry for all this..." She looked rather sheepish, and felt the eyes of the librarian on her. Of course, as she spoke, it came out more like 'Auch, aye, ah'm Lootenant Cara Roose. Ah'm roight sorry fer all 'is.'

Magnus smiled as he helped collect the dropped slate. “It’s no problem, Lieutenant. Sorry for surprising you. That accent though. Scottish, but not quite. Caldos, right?”

Cara felt her eyebrows shot up toward her bright red locks of hair, and her eyes go quite wide. Now, the First officer might have read her file already, and known that she was from the recently founded colony. It was in the background information that Cara was a first generation native colonist (the 15th child born to the colony, in fact) and that might account for his knowledge. But she knew he was also the ships main comms officer, so having an ear for dialects...

"Aye sir, ye'd be right on that one. Born and raised in the back o'beyond." She said it with a bit more pride than she'd intended, having hopped the first freighter for Earth as soon as she could enlist in the Academy. "Ye've a good ear, sir. If ya dinnae mind my saying so."

“I don’t mind,” he said. “I’m proud of my ear. I keep up with academic studies on linguistics, too. Various universities send linguists to new colonies to study how kids there speak. The tendency is for accents to be a bit off from those of the ethnicities of the original colonists. I’m from Proxima Centauri, and we were first settled by a group of people from England.” He grinned. “Don’t worry; a descendant of Brits won’t hold being a descendant or Scots against you.” He gave her a wink.

Having been generally unaware of the make up of the original colonists from Proxima Centauri, Cara hadn't even known that might be a concern. But between the wink and the fact that most such cultural feuds had long since mellowed, the redhead allowed herself a chuckle and a smile. "Aye well, tha's a right relief. Would be a might bit awkward to have the ships XO holding a centruies long grudge." Caldosians, she knew, were a whole other matter. Their grudges, at least her parents in any case, was with society as a whole, and a desire to get back to the basics. Poppycock in her mind, but home was home.

"What can I do for you, Sir?" She finally asked, realizing the older man had to be there for a reason.

"Well, mostly it was to say hello and introduce myself," Magnus replied. "Given my responsibilities, I try to get to know the crew as best as possible. Second, I caught a glimpse of what you were reading. I'm also here preparing for the landing party to Aenerth."

"Oh," she said and nodded. That made some sense, come to think of it. She hadn't really spoken with the XO before, dealing mostly with the Department head for Sciences. Holding up her slate, she gave a little shrug and wiggled it. "I've been doing a wee bit of research on the place. Never heard of it before I got the mission brief from LT. Thias. Figured it'd be smart to know...well, anything, before getting there."

Cara imagined she'd be playing backup support from the ship while her boss checked the planet out.

Magnus nodded. "Good to have as much knowledge as possible prior to arriving. Shri -- Lieutenant Thais -- will need you. We'll need a few scientifically minded people in our landing party."

It was a toss up as to which the young Lt. Ross found more intriguing - the slip in the way the XO addressed the ships Sciences Department head, by her given name, or the implication that Cara might get dirt side on this mission. She brightened up at that, sitting a bit straighter in her chair. "I'll have t'double down on my reading then, Commander." She paused, and then, "Anywhere I should focus in particular?" Asking the question seemed suddenly prudent.

“Good question,” he remarked. “Tell me, what’s your area of expertise? Biology? Chemistry? Physics? Maths? Be specific. I’ll try to give you some advice based on your answer.”

Smiling up at the XO from where she sat, Cara tucked a bit of hair behind her ear. "Climatology." She held a Masters degree in the subject, and hoped to leverage every new worlds she visited in an effort to continue to improve her home colony, after all. "Picked it up from my parents."

“Focus on that then,” Magnus suggested. “So many worlds face climate crises as they industrialize. We overcame ours, and it would be interesting to see how the Aenerthans overcame theirs, or if they continue to struggle. There may be lessons we can impart to them, or that they can teach us. Every world generates its own unique solutions to occasionally common problems.”

His suggestion boiled down to 'research what you're already good at' but it was decent advice. She gave a bit of a nod, considering it dovetailed nicely with her reasons for being in Starfleet. "All right sir. I'll give it a shot," she said in that ever present brogue. "And were will you be starting?"

"Politics," he answered. "Ever read a report by someone who thinks everyone reading it knows as much as the writer? The analysis of the Aenerthan government is like that, so I need to find some good background material." He lifted the volume he was holding for emphasis. "High level political science overview. And the librarian is collating some more material on Aenerth specifically for me."

The redhead's nose wrinkled up and she pulled a face. "Politics," she said, drawing the word out as if it left a foul taste in her mouth. As a Starlfeet officer, she knew she'd end up dealing with it at some point or another. New Worlds, New Civilizations, new Politicians. Still, "Better you than me, sir," she added a smile to ease the sting of it. "Hopefully the librarian can find what you need."

Magnus couldn’t help but laugh. “I’m comfortable in this space, Ms. Ross. I study the intersection of linguistics and anthropology, and politics often comes into play. It’s fascinating to see the impact on a society of the presence or absence of certain words.”

"That's one area I'll have to take you at your word for, sir," the younger officer replied with a bit of a smile, holding up her own data slate. "Weather patterns are are more my cup of tea. Easier to predict than politics."

"That they are, Ms. Ross," Magnus agreed. "That they are." From behind him he heard the Saurian librarian clicking to get his attention. "Pardon me, but it sounds like my books are ready. I'll see you when it's time to beam down. It was good to meet you."

"And you as well, sir. Good luck, with it all." She worried that might sound corny, but the words were already out of her mouth. Cara sunk deeper into the chair she'd claimed, pulling her legs back up and taking her tea in hand once more. Smiling softly, she tried to focus back in on where she'd left off.

There was still so much to learn...



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