There is No I in Team
Mikayla stepped out of the turbolift and noticed Morok already halfway down the corridor. "Morok! Wait up!" she called out and hurried to catch up to him.
To say Morok had a nervous disposition would have been unfair as he was Caitian and their feline comparisons were well documented. In response Morok quickly turned around to the doctor but took a step back and seemed to raise his shoulders like the heckles on a cat to reflect his surprise and semi-defensive posture. However once he recognised who it was immediately relaxed back to normal. The 20 minute deadline to meet had meant he'd had to push aside some of his planned tasks but he was okay with that as they weren't urgent and beside how often did he get to wander around into the depths of the starbase's interior.
To catchup with someone in engineering, Ops. had said to speak to a Lt. Tonk who was an engineering team leader. In fact he and his crew were the ones they said could throw stuff together in a moments notice however he was busy working on a task at the moment on deck 125 at the industrial replicators and it was the best time to catch up with him while he was on task.
Morok ran his hand across his face brushing past his whiskers in the process much like a human might brush their beard with their hand, "It seems our engineers are very busy all over the starbase and it was only with your authority that we could interrupt one to look at your task. I had no idea there was that much to do here?"
"We are a big station," Mikayla said. "I was here when they first brought it back to life and not all of the turbolifts worked. It could take forever to get from point A to point B using stairs," she chuckled as they were approached by one of the engineers.
"Can I help you?" the young Petty Officer asked.
"We're looking for Lt. Tonk," Mikayla said.
"Oh. He's up on the catwalk," the Petty Officer replied, pointing up at the catwalk that encircled them. He let out a shrill whistle that made everyone stop and look and, when Tonk turned and looked down, the Petty Officer pointed to the two visitors. "You have company, L.T.," he called up.
Tonk swung round and looked down irritation crossing his rugged features at the possibility of a delay to his already tightly packed schedule, "Pico take over and watch that composition ratio otherwise that polymers not gong to be worth a damn inside of 3 months after a stiff winter on the planet". Pico standing further along the cat walk walked over to Tonk and replaced him at the station. Tonk walked to a railing gap and stepped off the cat walk into mid air, immediately the thrusters from his boots fired, spluttered for a split second and he kicked the boots together and they fired once again and he lowered at a more controlled rate down to the people below.
The Petty Officer hurried off as there was plenty to do as Tonk looked his visitors over, the doctor he had seen about and knew who she was as a member of the senior officers but had not actually met. The Caitian he hadn't seen before but its flicking tail was beginning to bug him and he had half a mind to pull out some cutters and give it a trim.
For Tonk's part working with industrial replicators could be messy work and this occasion was no different by the look of the polymer compound residual splattered across part of his overalls, "Doctor O'Dell, come to check out some of your prefab units for your research clinic eh?"
"Actually we're here with a project that you might be able to help us with," Mikayla said. Looking at Morok she said, "let him take a look at the chemical specs." Then to Tonk she said, "the Marines are planning to confront the creatures on the planet and they need some kind of protection against the Tracken's saliva. I was hoping that with that information," she indicated the PADD, "you and Morok will be able to design something that the team can wear and move in as the Tracken are quite fast."
Tonk looked at the PADD and scrolled through the data looking up at the doctor periodically then scrolled through the data once again muttering to himself and shaking his head. Finally he looked back up at O'Dell with a guarded look, "I can't help you with the saliva if it's already in a persons body. Seems like Morok has an idea about mitigating the effects with liquid, now that, we can whip up some high pressured condensed liquid emitting patches like a water bomb or a high pressured dispenser that's still portable that can irrigate the acid. As for external protection that's a tricky one, we can configure a personalized force field emitter that can be worn on the arm or waist but it'll only be good for a few minutes due to the power drain for such a thing. I would normally suggest powered battle armour for your problem to stop or at least slow the attack but you loose a lot of mobility due to its bulk and of course the power drain. For the detection you're telling me it's hard to detect even with a tricorder? What about detecting it another way, say by its heart beat or something?"
"Detection is intermittent because it has some sort of cloaking ability," Mikayla explained. "They seem to move through space so quickly it appears only as a ripple." She knew she wasn't explaining herself very well but they had never come up with a scientific explanation for how the Tracken creature was able to make itself almost invisible as it moved throughout the station. Of course....back then they didn't have a full compliment of scientists to study the carcass before it was destroyed. Now she wished that the then CO hadn't ordered the carcass to be incinerated. "What we do know is that it seeks out its prey and is on it in seconds without being seen until it is too late to get away. It uses its saliva to immobilize its prey then it uses a tubular like tongue to make entry into its prey and dissolve everything except the skeleton and skin." Mikayla didn't realize she had clenched her fists until she felt the pain of her fingernails digging into the palms of her hands. She, quickly, unclenched them and shoved her hands in the pockets of her labcoat.
Morok while casual in his stance normally still noticed the reaction and felt his tensions rising as well, his eyes flicking about furtively.
Tonk also noticed, one of his thick set eyebrows arching up, this meant something to her that was plain to see. What it meant he didn't know and was disincline to ask but he had decided to help and happen to have a few ideas, "Doctor there isn't enough information for me to even attempt to build more than what I've suggested but it seems to me to prevent the saliva from affecting anyone they should be in NBC kits, its a fully self contained body suit to stop the saliva, while still being able to move about freely and it also has visual sense capabilities with its attached googles that operate just like the Marine IHADSS system. For added protection they can throw on some marine body armour. So you see we can provide some protection and if you get me more data and a scientist who knows more I might be able to figure out a detection system, is that worth something to you?"
Mikayla looked at Morok. "That's where you come in," she said then looked back at Tonk. "I know what data we have isn't much but there is a chemical breakdown of the acid in the saliva and autopsy reports of the victims of the one that was on the station 2 years ago. I can get Capt. Racktor to provide us with the sizes of the team he'll be taking to the planet and any other members of the team. Other than that I am leaving it up to you two to come up with something that will protect our people as much as possible."
Morok and Tonk looked at one another uncertainly, Tonk thought, yes the impossible may take a little longer with what they had but he nodded in agreement he would do all he could as he slapped his com badge, "Pico it's Tonk, you're it while I work on something else that's got top priority"
+You're shitting me right!+, came the Centaurians reply.
Sighing Tonk shook his head as he looked from Morok to O'Dell, "Nope this is life threatening and you're experienced enough to run this task so get on with it", he grumbled.
Tonk with hands on hips looked at Morok, "So science guy where to now?"
Morok was a blank for a moment then said carefully, "I think we need to consult with someone"