S1-A1-Ep. 1: Spectrophobia
Location: Science Labs Deck 6
"What is important is to spread confusion, Not eliminate it"
Damian Kane walked into the science lab with all the confidence of a child. He had 2 masters degrees. Psychology, and Botany. You think that that might give him some confidence in a science lab. The truth was.....He was slightly out of his element. But, because the replicator could not make the substance he needed for a religious ritual, he was the inheritor of this particular problem. It was simple enough. The clerics on Denoblia make this stuff all the time. After it was made, it needed to be sanctified. Damian had no problem doing that. It was making the stuff that he was shaky on. He looked at his padd and saw the formula. C7H8N4O2. With a Mollar mass of 180.164 g/mol g·mol−1. Damian stood looking at the formula. Yup, It was official. He now felt like crying.
Shalmira had completed a brief check of the Science Lab and was running through an unofficial audit in a side room, checking off items against the inventory on her PaDD. She pursed her lips, highlighting some equipment that she may require though wasn't included on the Poseidon's science department inventory. She'd either have to request the equipment or see if engineering could replicate what she wanted. Mainly she required a new Stella Spectroscopic Sensor which she could patch into the ship's sensor array to assist on her own pet projects. Her mind was running at 110% as she stepped through door back into the Science Lab...
"Can I help you?" Shalmira asked as, standing at a science station, there stood a human Lt. looking somewhat perplexed.
"No I......Well that is, I would.......I mean, It can be......Yes please." Said the man looking like a fish out of water and feeling rather defeated.
"I'm Lt Shalmira Heddan, the Poseidon's new CSO" Shalmira introduced herself bluntly. "Though, as I'm not yet officially on duty or in service aboard, so you can call me Schen.. What exactly are you trying to do?" she asked looking over the man's shoulder at the PaDD screen with a raised arched eyebrow. "It looks like a complex molacule of some kind" she stated though BioChemistry was not her strong suite.
"Well, for right now, I guess you can say I am attempting to make a mess. And looking at it through that perspective, I can imagine I'm quite triumphant." He said with a slight giggle. "Forgive me. I am Damian Kane. Ship's Chaplain. And I am making, for lack of anything better to compare it to, kind of a Denoblian holy water. Or, it will be. When it's concentrated. IF I can make it." He said. "But if you look at it from that perspective, it's not very triumphant at all."
A raised eyebrow, in some cases, can say a thousand words. Though Shalmira doubted the full range of Romulan facial expression would cover the gamut of her responses in this circumstance.
"I may regret asking this though... Why are you attempting to construct such a compund?" Shalmira asked. Though she didnt possess a photographic memory she was sure, that when she checked the crew manifest when she arrived, that there are no Denoblians onboard the USS Poseidon.
"Well, apparently one of our crewman converted and wants a Denoblian religious cerimony." Said Kane.
"Ah, I see" Shalmira replied though she tried to make it not overly obvious that she didn't have the least idea what the Chaplain was on about. "I don't suppose regular holy water would suffice?" she asked as she had no reference or experience in religious matters. "Otherwise I would have thought, with some research from the Denoblia religious sources whomever they may be, with the correct chemical formula you could program the ships replicators which would suffice in providing the correct material?"
The Chaplain laughed. "I wish it was that simple. The replicators will not replicate this for some reason. And no, simple Holy Water would not be appropriate. It would be like handing a surgeon a beaker in the middle of an operation and expect the surgeon to use it just because it's scientific equipment."
Shamira shrugged her broad shoulders as, it semed to her, a lot of trouble for some obscure Denoblian religious rite. Though each to their own she thought to herself and it wasn't as if she had too much on at the moment. "May I take a look?" she asked and picked up the Padd...
"C7H8N4O2. With a Mollar mass of 180.164 g/mol g·mol−1." Shalmira checked the formula on the screen.
"I see you have chemical formula for the compound... The mollar mass... As you are aware the mole is defined as the number of carbon atoms in 12 grams of the isotope carbon twelve. I think thats about 6.022 times 10 to the 23 atoms or thereabouts" Shalmira checked through the PaDD as she tried to remember her Chemistry from the Academy. "You then get the Avogadro's constant... Seems, my friend, that you've done most of the hard work already"
Shalmira moved over to a nearby science station and transferred the information off the PaDD onto the diagnostic display and brought up the formula and broke it down into the base chemical elements and atomic break-down of the material
"I think if you work it backwards from the atomic level and then feed it through the science labs own molecular replicator we should have the base for your material" Shalmira suggested. "What do think?"
"No, Even IF we could replicate it would be sacreligious. It needs to be done by hand. Besides, IF it wouldn't reproduce as a whole, that means that something would be missing from the mix because of the things that it would not produce." Kane said looking at the officer. "Well, does it not stand to reason?" He asked.
Reason!!! The thought came up that there was very little 'reasonable' about it though Shalmira kept her lips tightly shut though her eyebrows were raised as her thoughts churned over. She took a breath and then relaxed, though she felt a bit like she'd come across the old school science problem of what would happen when an upstopable force meets an unmovable object.
"I'm afraid, without a back to basics Chemistry set available, I'm not sure I'll be able to assist" Shalmira said after a while. "I am, unfortunately for your experiment, an agnostic-come-atheistic scientist and I can't see this beyond a simple scientific solution... Without wanting to cause offence it seems your point of view is somewhat luddite and, to be honest, the religious aspect of what you're trying achieve is somewhat beyond me!"
"Well, nobody is perfect." Said Kane. "So, lets get this 'science experiment' As you refer to it out of the way shall we? And Don't worry, I assure you that you will be ok. This religious group won't hurt you Lt." He said smiling.
Shalmira, taken aback a little, shrugged her shoulders. "You will find that scientific research, much like religious arguments, are usually used as weapons by scientists to hit other scientists with. While I am not afraid of being 'hurt' either physically or psychologically and, as you will discover, I also don't tend to 'worry' overmuch by such trivialities" she said, not returning the human's smile.
"Funny you should say that." Said Damian. " For someone not afraid of being hurt, you sure seem to be afraid of exploring beliefs that others of your kind have upheld for Hundreds of years. What do you believe?" He asked.
The Romulan woman set her shoulders. "There is an ancient Rihannsu quotation along the lines 'Certain it is and sure: love burns, ale burns, fire burns, and politics burns. But cold were life without them'" Shalmira said after a while's contemplation. "Thus such arguments, so to speak, though entertaining are in the end fruitless"
"What I believe is irrelevent because it is, probably, juxtaposed with whatever is your own monothiastic belief system. Religion and beliefs were created by ancient socieites and cultures to explain the unexplainable in their daily existance thus the earliest beliefs recorded are of fire, sun gods and a pantheon of myths around the stars and planets in their locality. Such beliefs, like mummifying your remains and placing your vital organs in a jar, are soon put aside when the culture advances. Though religions preach empathy and understanding of your fellows yet, just in the human spectrum never mind further afield, your own history is a blood spattered tapestry of intolerance; of reiligious pogroms, holy wars, crusades and jihads... Just say I have little use for it!"
"So, what you are saying is that your beliefs are not valid because of my beliefs?" Asked Damian. "First of all, religion and belief are 2 separate things. Religion is the doctorate. It tells you, basically, how and how not to pray. Belief is what you choose to pray to. 2 very different things. Now, Spirituality was what ancient primitive societies used to explain the universe around them. And then through that spirituality rules came into play. Doctrine, if you will. That is when religion came into it. And that is where you get things like not JUST mummifying corpses, but proper ways of mummifying them. Like putting organs in conopic jars. And YES, more blood was spilled in the name of religion then anything else. BUT, you forget one thing. Religion evolves. Just like people, cultures, language, society, spirituality, and everything else that is considered to be alive. Hell, even science has evolved. It's a shame that such an intelligent individual, such as yourself, is so stuck in the past that they can't see the present. you know, we talked about beliefs. The The ancient Greek word for belief is Creeda. It's where we get words like Credit, Creedo, or Creed. They all mean to believe. I think it just might be to your credit to explore what you believe Lt."
Shalmira laughed and shrugged her shoulders once more. "I do not doubt religion evolves though I think the word you are looking for is 'surpassed' and, I do not want an endless argument on the proposal of a higher being or causality of faith in such. We are in the twenty fourth century out amongst the stars and I find it, at times, galling when I see that archaic systems of belief hinder us. Even now I am aware of cases where blood transfusions and scientificallt proven medical aid are resisted or refused on religious grounds"
"As per my personal beliefs..."
=^= "Will the CSO, Lt Heddan, please report to Bridge" =^=Came over the ship's comms.
"...Will have to wait" Shalmira said with a sigh. "Though I would be happy to continue our discussion in the forward lounge when I'm off duty".
"No, I am sure I meant what I said, And the word was not surpassed at all. Boy, that was mighty convenient. To be called to the bridge before explaining what you believe in after what you've said. Almost like it was planned." Damian said laughing. " I'm not sure IF I can make it to the lounge later. Pretty busy in the Chapel. You can stop by there. All are welcome." He said reassuringly. "Stop by. Anytime."
"Perhaps it was devine intervention?" Shalmira said with a smile and shake of her head. "I must be off though I'm sure we can continue our discussion at a later date".
Once the other officer had left Damian was free to go back to what he was doing. Figuring out his science project.
Lt. Damian Kane
Lt. Shalmira Heddan
Chief Science Officer