Something is Amissing
The Junk Heap
Location: Security Offices
The twin forms of the resident science officer walked through their sample collection. Mostly a batch of reagents and catalysts for helping with the more physical experiments that Sciences was often called in to operate with. Litinus tests, acidity ranking, voight kampff ratings... that level of work. So the pair walked along, one with a PaDD in hand and the other handling the physical verification. Though she was technically alone in the laboratory, the verification was done aloud.
Even in solitude, a Dalacari would find someone to talk to.
"Phenototate, seven samples." said one, and the other confirmed, "Check. "
"Petronissine, ten samples, keep chilled." ... "Two seem spoiled. Eight check."
"Pseudoephedrine, nineteen samples." ... "Hmmm, missing two. Doesn't look like spoilage though."
There were a few other samples that were missing, without being marked as in use or spoilage. The pattern of dust in the sample cage also disturbed the Dalacari, though she slated it to be fully cleaned and processed in a bit. This, as it were, took priority. PaDD in hand, the pair walked through the corridors of the ship until they came upon the offices of Security, and walked in once the doors would admit them.
"Hello. I'm Vespa Kale, lead scientist." she announced to whomever was at the reception at the time. "I'd like to lodge a complaint, which may lead to an investigation I'm afraid."
The other twin was the next to speak, "Some of my stock of sample catalysts is missing, and it isn't marked as spoiled or used. I suspect that someone has been dipping in like their own stock." she explained, though the next twin to speak was the other one now. "One of the substances missing is Pseudoephedrine. By itself, it's a harmless medical compound. Mixed properly, it could become a powerful addictive stimulant."
Staff Warrant Officer Laura inclined her head. "What a fantastically fortuitous moment for you." She gave a light smile. "I am Staff Warrant Officer Laura. I am the Security Investigations Officer." Laura tilted her head. "A powerfully addictive stimulant? That is problematic, for certain." She tapped a few commands in to her PADD. "Who would have the knowledge required to mix it? It is hardly rational to steal it, if you do not know what you were doing. Is this fairly basic chemistry, or would you require specialized equipment?"
"It's good to meet you, Warrant Officer." There was always time to be friendly. "As for who has the knowledge to mix it, anyone who's looking to make it. It's not terribly difficult once..."
"... you know how to do it. Though, also anyone with chemistry knowledge which in theory puts me on the list." a pause, "I am not currently involved in a drug..."
"... traffic ring aboard the Century." she felt like that didn't need to be said, but always good to get it out there. "As for what would be needed, nothing extravagant really. Though there are a few other steps involved that..."
"... might produce noticeable fumes or even toxic gasses if they're trying to produce narcotic-level stimulants." the pair paused in thought, "Anyone on board harboring a..."
"... substance abuse?"
"That I know of?" Laura raised an eyebrow. This was a conflict of interest, for Laura. Clarissa was technically on that list. She had witnessed it. "Potentially." Laura said. "Though, if they were, it would likely be on their criminal records." She added, in a cover. "Theoretically, however, we could attempt to commandeer the internal tactical scanners, to attempt to isolate any such toxic fumes." She looked away. "I do not think the persons I have suspicions about would expose themselves to potentially toxic fumes."
The pair gave a nod each. "This is why I wanted to come here first, before I handled or touched anything else. This isn't a Science matter... well not yet I guess, but it is a potential..."
"... Security matter. Maybe I'm just being paranoid, and the terrible bookkeeping is just that. Or, maybe there's something worse going on. Figure either way, keep..."
"... you involved. I can get you a copy of the manifest as it reads before correction, and will assist the investigation in any way I can." she stated. Vespa wanted to be helpful, sure... but she also wanted her manifest complete. Well, complete enough. Each half that composed the whole Dalacari stood rather still, aside from a few twitches of her ears or her tail, a sign of how much this matter was bothering her.
"I can only imagine how this must look. I don't mean to cast suspicion on the crew." she stated, now aware of how cruel this must have looked. "But, at the same time, I want to know..."
"... if this is an internal concern or just someone on station slacking."
"Lieutenant, I need you to understand this, very clearly." Laura squared her shoulders. "It is my duty, to respond to every potential threat, appropriately. You are doing your required duty, by reporting this. For the moment, we will keep this strictly between you and I, and investigate it, in such a way, as to not draw attention." Laura's expression softened. "I understand the desire to not stir up trouble, so as not to depreciate your social standing."
There were a pair of nods.
"Thank you." the pair actually said in unison, before one took over the lead speaking, "Dalacari are social creatures. I... I didn't want to run the risk of ostracizing myself before we even left dock."
"I mean, not that I wouldn't report this. But, you .." the pair took a breath. Even the one that wasn't speaking took a breath. "Thank you, for your understanding. Let me know what you need and I'll make it available." the matter now behind her, Vespa visibly relaxed. Less ear twitches, less shifts of her tails. Just, less overall twitchy jitters.
"I understand." Laura nodded. "I'm a bit of an atypical member of my own species. A desire for social comfort is not logical, yet I still seek it. My discretion, in matters like this, is a less than commonly appreciated trait. The current Security Chief..." Laura paused, just slightly. "...Appreciates it. Now, I'm not a chemist. I'll need your help, to determine what kinds of gasses, or substances, to scan for."
Another set of nods. If it's one thing Vespa seemed capable of beyond most, it was understanding social stigma and such. "Assuming a worst case scenario, elevated chlorine levels. Two of the key ingredients and processes for turning pseudoephedrine into methamphetamine..."
"... have a heavy chlorine base. One stage even requires access to hydrochloric acid, which isn't easy to come by outside of directly requesting it from the replicators."
"Okay. We'll set up a warning flag, for that." Laura nodded. "And, we'll set up casual scans for the likely gasses." Laura tilted her head. "I'll also alert medical to search for possible side-effects of methamphetamine use." Laura inwardly hoped that Clarissa wasn't that broken, and that she wouldn't end up having to arrest her current section chief. "Are there any other warning signs we can search for?"
"It's an incredibly powerful stimulant, so there's that. Though, you crash really hard from it." Vespa explained. "The fumes should be a valid give-away, though the toxic nature..."
"... of the refining process can potentially be lethal. We're talking about hydrochloric acid." the concern in her voice was evident. She didn't want someone getting hurt, or hooked. "Medical should have all..."
"... the current documentation for signs of abuse or addiction. Scratching, picking at skin, those sorts of signs."
"Excellent. Let's get them in the loop, but only to keep a watch out for it, not that we're looking for it." Laura gave a small smile. "I'll keep your name entirely out of the paperwork."
"I'd appreciate that." one of the twins said with a nod, while the other just gave a smile. "Thank you. I seem to be saying that a bit." she took a breath, "I'll have everything you need assembled..."
"... on a PaDD in half an hour. I want to be thorough."
"Perfect. Let's get this going." Laura nodded.
Lt. Vespa Kale
Chief Scientist and Resident Party Pooper
Staff Warrant Officer Laura
Security Investigations Officer, Chief Walking Conflict of Interest