MD #062: Projection Permission
MD #062: Projection Permission
Summary: Ambrose asks Samtara for her permission to perform Projection experiments with the other Lines.
Date: 09/06/2017 (OOC Date)
Related Logs: Unanimous and Individual
Ambrose Samtara 
CMO's Office
Deck plating of the same composite that spans the length of the ship is softened with a miniscule area rug placed between the desk and the door. The wall to the left holds a large screen that interfaces with the data and communication system. The wall to the right holds a large whiteboard that is retained as much for sentiment as practicality. Storage lockers are stacked side by side beneath each board, the tops of which serve as additional space along with room for a coffee maker. A pair of comfortably worn chairs take up the floor space to either side of the door and a sleek looking desk faces the door itself with a desk chair that looks as well worn as the two visitor chairs that flank the door.
Mon Dec 25 2028 (MD #62)

Midday on ship and pre-mission prep is underway once more, supplies are being sorted, assignments are agreed upon and any last minute skill shops that can be squeezed in between mission prep are scheduled in an on-going come-one-come-all manner that allows any of the medical personnel to step in for as long as they can between everything else. With the door open to her office, Sam is just ending one of those skill sessions, this one focusing on triage and the vital importance of marking the wounded visibly so that each medic and or corpsman knows at a glance the severity of the condition. There is a fresh, though nearly empty, pot of coffee resting on the burner and a separate kettle holding hot water for those who prefer tea.

Ambrose has finished his rounds and comes to check to see if the CMO happens to be available. Realizing Samtara's workshop is wrapping up, the Two hovers near the hatch, waiting for a chance to catch her before the next group comes in. He waits with thoughtful patience, listening in on the summary and final conversation because hey, you never know when you might learn something.

Once the last group files out, Sam has a moment to smooth one hand over the top of her head, silver threaded hair smoothed in that gesture as she moves to top off her cup of coffee. She spots Dr. Galen after returning the pot to the burner and waves him into her office with her free hand. "Care for a cup?" she offers as she sweeps the same hand toward the stack of unused cups between the machines.

"Hello Colonel," Ambrose steps into the door way to greet Sam as soon as she acknowledges him. "Sorry to bother you, but do you have a moment? I need to speak to you about an important matter, but shouldn't take long." Not that Dr. Galen ever bothers anyone with trivial matters, so perhaps this is more than important. The Two shakes his head for the offer of coffee, "Thank you, no."

"Don't tell me that you share the Gunnery Sergeant's dislike for coffee," Sam replies, looking both mildly appalled and a bit amused at the same time even as she's carrying her cup of coffee with her around to take a seat at her desk. "And it's never a bother, Dr. Galen, you're welcome at any time, just as everyone in our department is. I've been meaning to ask if you've been treated fairly, by the way, since being assigned here. I'm aware there's some lingering distrust that rears it's narrow minded head from time to time, and I wanted to make sure you know that should that occur, I would appreciate if you'd bring it to my attention. I well aware that you can handle yourself, and stand up for yourself, but that doesn't mean I'm not inclined to back-stop you every inch of the way."

"I like a good, strong cup in the morning," Ambrose says of coffee, "but generally stick to one." He nods at the invitation and steps half-way into the office, leaving one hand on the hatch. "Treated fairly?" The Two thinks about this and then shakes his head. "I haven't encountered any significant prejudice, if that's what you mean. I do appreciate the concern, however. Thank you." Then he's hesitant, which is unusual. "Do you mind if I shut the door? This is a personal matter."

Sam looks relieved to hear that Ambrose doesn't have a standing dislike of coffee and is nodding her head at his last remarks, "Excellent. I'm always mildly confused by people who say they don't like coffee. I understand each word, in individual iterations, but as a combined declarative statement, it's always a bit baffling. It's like saying 'I like oxygen but I don't like to breathe'," she replies with a hint of a smile. "By all means, go ahead," she replies as she sets her cup of coffee aside, a more serious and focused expression forming on her face, giving Ambrose room and space to speak at his pace.

There's a brief smile for the Colonel's metaphor on coffee-haters, then Ambrose gives a grateful nod and swings the hatch shut behind him. He steps up to Samtara's desk and comes to an easy parade rest. "Thank you, sir. I need to inform you of a meeting between myself and the other members of the Lines aboard: Lieutenant Piers, Ensign Diaz, and Gunnery Sergeant Knox." Dr. Galen lays it out, just the facts. "We met to discuss the 'clerics' and what to do about their potential to compromise one of us. I assume you're familiar with our Projection ability and how the clerics are reportedly using it?"

"In a purely academic sense, yes," Sam replies with a measured nod. "On an individual scale, I have zero experience with the process and only, further, academic understanding of the process and how it's used." She rests one hand on the coffee cup but doesn't lift it, remaining instead focused on Dr. Galen's words, "I understand that those with the Arpay modification's may also have had the ability to project 'enabled' for lack of a better word as result of the combined changes. Please, though, continue."

"I suspect Projection uses a different physiological mechanism than the Arpays' ears," Ambrose explains, "but yes, there are similarities." He takes a breath and continues on, using carefully chosen words. "The Lines have largely chosen not to use Projection, for their own reasons as well as to abide by Colonial laws and Fleet regulations. So it's not something I have much experience with myself. But from what we understand of the clerics technique, there is a risk that they could compromise us. Either by reading our memories, or by altering our memories, or both." He frowns distastefully as he continues, "To prevent infiltration, we've decided to document our identifying physical markings — scars, tattoos, and such — and to create some for those of us who don't possess one. We will then need to be examined on return from any mission where there's a risk of contact."

"That's very liner and logical," high praise from Sam, as these are two things she values highly when it comes to plans and organization. "Tattoo ink has a know and easily verified decay rate and, even considering individual physiology and tissue depth, such a mark would not be easily duplicated in exacting detail on the fly, so to speak. That said, it is an identifying mark that you will carry in your skin, as you're well aware; and even removing the mark at a future date would create the inverse image in scar tissue. As much as I'm in favor of this course of action as it's the most expedient way to ensure easy visual identification, are you quite certain you want to mark yourself in such a fashion? Bear in mind that I'll do some research for you and the other lines, just to have it on file, should you wish to remove any marks in the future."

There's no clear indication that Ambrose perceives praise in Sam's response, but he does not agreement. Of course it is. As for the desire to get a tattoo, he appears unconcerned. "There really is no question, in my mind. If there is a chance I can save lives by getting a tattoo, then I will get a tattoo." And then he takes the conversation on a different tack, "On a more serious note, we discussed experimenting on each other, to see if we can defend against Projection. As this would be against regulations, the group decided to request permission before proceeding with that plan."

Sam is silent for a moment, expression somber and pensive as she leans back in her chair, hands stacked on the edge of the desk in front of her. "Regulations are one thing; they're parameters set in place in order to best maximize safety and minimize, or more accurately, mitigate risk. Rules define boundaries, regulations codify these boundaries and enact penalties for breaking the rules and regulations. That said, times change, circumstances change, and all of that leads to requiring that regulations be reviewed and amended accordingly. Could you elaborate your meaning of 'experimenting on each other'?"

"My position as well," Ambrose agrees that situations change, and rules may need to change to meet them. Not that the Lieutenant is in a position to make that call. "One of us would Project to another, and the 'victim' would attempt to block or stop it. By counter-Projection, if that's even possible, or perhaps meditation, or force of will." He looks less than certain on any of these points though. "To be honest, we don't have enough experience to know what is possible, let alone practical. But if we can find a way to counter-program the clerics, or at least block their ability to influence us, I believe that will be worth the risks."

Making a quiet, and distinctly off-pitch hum of sound (it's no secret that the Colonel has zero sense of pitch let alone relative pitch and couldn't carry a tune if it were arc welded to a bucket and tied to her hand), Sam tips her head slightly back as she glances upward, expression meditative. "You'll need a secure place to practice, and relative privacy in which to do so, and an audience would not be a welcome thing either, I should imagine. Ironically," and she says this as she straightens slightly and focuses on Ambrose again, "I had a similar conversation along these lines a week or so back with another crewmember who has a similar request. The children of crew who inherited the Arpay modifications also may have the ability to project, and I would request that you carry this information to the other lines, perhaps there's a way to expand the .. well, training, really, to include those who have the ability and would benefit from having it trained?" She taps one fingertip on the edge of the desk, still pensive, "What did Knox have to say about this?"

Belatedly, Sam also waves one hand from Ambrose toward the chairs angled to face her desk, "Have a seat if you'd like, you don't have to stand on formality in here," she offers.

Ambrose awaits the Colonel's decision with glacial calm. And he interprets her switch to the practicalities as a favorable response. "That would be helpful," he agrees on the need for privacy. "It would be a distraction to have an audience, even though there's really nothing to see." Sam's suggestion of including those with Arpay mods causes the Two to pause and consider. "I believe it would be wise to start with the Lines only. But I'm not opposed to the idea myself. I can't speak for the others." As for what Knox had to say, that is a question Ambrose seems to treat with some respect. "The Gunnery Sergeant was concerned with the ethics of using Projection at all. And that humans might be frightened of us doing so. But he agreed to go along with the majority." The Two nods to Sam's offer and settles into the chair, sitting up straight. "I understand his concerns, but I believe the risks are relatively low."

"I wish I could say, by and large, that humans don't respond to most unknown situations with varying degrees of fear, wariness, confusion and then acceptance with equal varying degrees of alarm or welcome. But the reality is that we're a combative race, by and large, and that which we are unfamiliar with or surprised by does not - by default - lead to a welcoming reception. Granted, we're mitigating that somewhat through the course of evolution, but we're not to the evolved point, as yet, by default," there's a brief glimpse of a rather sad smile on Sam's face. "You're right, in the thinking that humans will be frightened, wary and by nature suspicious or cautious in degrees ranging from curiosity to armed alarm. I agree, however, that the risks warrant the necessity of seeing this through. I'd appreciate it, though, if you'd carry the request back to the others; those with the ability need the training. And more than that, it would be ideal if you could document the progress of the group at large, and on an individual level as well so that it could be better explained to those who do not have the ability and, more, those who have the ability untrained." She tips her head slightly to the side, "You are volunteering to be the official record keeper and handle the report taking and such, yes?" a mild lilt and upturn to her tone of voice there, a kind gleam of humor in her eyes.

"It is a reasonable response," Ambrose concedes, "from an evolutionary perspective. But it can be counter-productive. In this case, our objective is simply to understand the dangers and to learn to defend against them." The Two seems perfectly fine with being responsible for recording their findings. "I would be happy to be the one to document our experiments. Assuming the others agree. We haven't discussed the specifics yet and I can't speak for them."

One eyebrow wings upward in amusement on Sam's face, "I've seen Knox's approach to paperwork before, and it sums up to 'necessity' and 'didn't set it on fire'," she relays with a smile. "Lt. Piers is an excellent corpsman and diagnostician, but I don't think she's any more fond of paperwork than you, myself, or anyone else is, save for absolute necessity. And I don't believe I've actually met Ensign Diaz as yet, so your read will have to serve in lieu of actually meeting her. That said, yes, it's a reasonable response and one that we need to evolve past, and have, to certain limited degrees. I'm sorry to say that I'm still a cynic when it comes to our collective history of putting our best foot forward vs using that same foot to kick the house down and run around it while it's on fire."

"You have more experience with Knox and Piers than I," Ambrose says, accepting her word for it. "Ensign Diaz is a Ten. Creativity. But perhaps she has an unexpected love of precise record keeping." Yes, that was a joke, as evidenced by a gentle smile from the Two. "I'm not afraid of the crews' reaction, but I don't want to be a disruption either. If this becomes a problem, I'm certain everyone will agree to end the experiment. That is, assuming I have your permission in the first place."

"To a limited degree, yes, to both. The first time around I wasn't particularly good at interacting with people, in a general and specific sense; it took a life changing experience followed by raising a family, having a family, to allow me to understand how to interact in a healthy manner. That Knox had never heard me laugh, at all, in the entire time we knew each other during the war came as both a surprise and a very … sobering and rather depressing realization for me. I know them, I mean to say, but I don't know them as well as I thought I did, and twenty two years, well, it's a life time in some respects," but she nods as she listens to his description of Diaz and makes mental note to find out more about this pilot even as she's agreeing aloud. "Yes, you absolutely have my permission and support in this endeavor. I'll take it further by additionally extending this office as a work space, as I've similarly offered it to another who has a request along the same vein."

"We are who we are," Ambrose sounds philosophical about this, "If you are happier as the person you are now, I believe that's a good thing. But there's no point in letting your regrets weigh you down. We can learn from the past, but we cannot change it." And then there is a grateful nod for Sam's express permission. "Thank you, sir. And I appreciate the offer of your office. Medical does seem like the proper place for this sort of thing, and our time requirements should be small. I'll propose it to the others."

"Very apt and very philosophical, I wasn't aware that you had such leanings," Sam admits and studies Ambrose for a moment, a half smile forming on her face. "It occurs to me that I don't really know you all that well, either, and I would like to change that. But, time is what time is, and it's pressing. So. You have my support, and the full use of my office or any of the facilities in medical that you have need of. Would you like me to speak to command on this, on your behalf?"

Ambrose offers a good natured smile. "I'm a Two, Colonel. We're philosophical by nature. And I'd be happy to talk with you anytime you'd like, of course. As a person who has lived through the greatest events in recent history, I'm sure there's much I could learn from you." Still, time is a thing and the CMO seems to be indicating hers is up. Ambrose slides his chair back and stands. "Frankly I'm not sure when or how to approach Command. But I believe we'll want to do it as a group, and for ourselves. I am deeply grateful for your trust and support, however. Thank you, sir."

"If you'll convey my offer to address command as well, or in tandem, to the others, I would be happy to do so when this becomes a group consensus. I've known Commander Petra for a very long time now," Sam reminds as she nods at Dr. Galen, "old age does have some benefits, after all," she adds before getting a glance at the time and sighing, snagging her cup as she rises to her feet. "There's another training session starting in ten minutes and, as I understand, we're returning to Calumet relatively soon. I should be on hand, just in case."

"I will," Ambrose promises to communicate Samtara's offer to his fellow Line-members. Then he nods acceptance for the demands on her time. "I understand. Thanks for your time, sir. I'd best be returning to my duties as well." With that he turns and reaches behind him to unlatch the door, departing as soon as it's clear he has leave.

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