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A French Way of Thinking

Posted on Mon Mar 11th, 2024 @ 9:21pm by Lieutenant Commander Damien Maillet & Lieutenant Freya Michaud
Edited on on Thu Mar 14th, 2024 @ 9:33pm

996 words; about a 5 minute read

Mission: Season 1, Episode 2: War, Peace, And All That Jazz
Location: Science Lab

“You asked to speak with me?”

Damien Maillet found himself at the entrance of the station’s science lab. He wasn’t sure what it was about, but with K-9 having all the problems it did, he could imagine the possibilities. So he made haste to meet their new Chief Science Officer, whom he unfortunately couldn’t have greeted when she came aboard.

Looking up from her terminal, Michaud blinked, then smiled. 'Yes, Commander. It seems we missed each other earlier. I wanted to introduce myself as soon as was convenient to yourself.'

Getting to her feet, she motioned the younger blonde man into the room. 'Please take a seat - I've not had a chance to personalise this space much, but give me time. Want anything to drink?'

“No, thank you,” he said, taking the offered seat. “You’re from Canada, on Earth, correct? Does that mean you speak French?” It had been some time since he had engaged with anyone in his mother tongue.

'Depends on who you ask,' she replied with a wolfish smile. 'But yes. My family has roots in Quebec, and we've always spoken French in the home, and amongst company wherever possible.' She looked at him critically, 'you have a French accent. From Earth, too?'

He nodded. “I grew up just outside Paris,” he answered in French. “So, Mlle Michaud, what’s your scientific specialty? Life sciences? Astrophysics? Planetary sciences?”

'Subspace communications, specifically,' Michaud answered, likewise in French. Knowing that Maillet was French - and from the vicinity of Paris no less - made her reticent for a moment, but then, what the heck, she thought. My French is good enough. 'I'm sure you know, the job of a head of department is more general. And paper-based.'

“Oh, certainly,” Damien agreed, nodding at both statements, equally true. “We’ll be making sure you have plenty of access to the subspace transceiver. We can work together on that. We might also get you and your team to visit some of the planets in-system. The permanent research post on Capricorn Zeta II is worth a tour.”

'Access would be appreciated,' Michaud nodded in gratitude, 'I have some ideas on improving the speed and stability of our network, as well as some theories I'd like to try on subspace eavesdropping - once the clearances are through.' She flipped open her PADD and accessed a Notes feature, ticking off an item on her list, and adding one more.

Looking at the Commander once more she asked, 'Cap Zeta Two ... that's the M-class planet? With the facility that moves every fifty or so days?' She leaned forward, smiling widely, 'I do confess, it's been on my mind since I got this assignment. A very interesting M-class planet indeed.'

"I know!" Damien said, excitedly. "I don't even do planetary surveys but I really want to see it. Once we're set up, I'm hoping to arrange a field trip. And I welcome any improvements you have on subspace network access. This far out on the fringe, stability and security aren't a given."

She flashed a grin, Damien's excitement being infectious. 'I hoe that field trip is soon then, Commander. Nothing like a jaunt on an alien planet to whet the appetite for an assignment.'

'I understand you're also the Chief of Communications aboard the station - I hope you're not too concerned about our specialties overlapping.' Michaud shrugged, 'I know people can be territorial about their patch, and I promise not to step on your toes too often.'

He chuckled at the emphasis she put on the word 'too'. "I actually think this is good. There's a lot to do to improve the station's communications receiving, transmitting, and intercepting capabilities. Having another expert means we can divide the work. I can do more of the actual communications tasks while you handle more technical and technological aspects."

'That sounds like a sensible division of work,' Michaud replied with a wider smile. 'Can I ask, at this point, if the work will involve the transmissions from our near neighbours? Both friendly and ... not so friendly, perhaps?'

"I expect so," he answered. "But we'll discuss the specifics another time, in a more secure setting."

MIchaud nodded her understanding and hooked a stray strand of hair behind her ear. 'Yes - that seems to be the most sensible approach. Doubtless there are people listening in on us too.'

"I'm more worried about intercepting signals that listening in on in-person conversations," Damien admitted, "but we can never be too careful. Loose Lips Sink Ships, after all."

'And Klingons are particularly adept at the latter,' Michaud replied, appreciating the ancient turn of phrase the Second Officer used. 'I'm curious, do we have any science programs or studies already set up on the station?' she asked, almost impishly.

"We've been working to bring up to date the lab spaces," Damien answered. "I'm sure your staff have begun working, but I'm unaware of specific studies or program. Nothing's been brought to command's attention yet. Think of it as a mostly fresh canvas, Freya, ready for your scientific artistry."

'That seems like a delightfully Parisian way of phrasing it,' Michaud replied with delight, 'I'll canvas my staff during the next Department briefing and get a run-down of any projects, studies and programs they intend to run. If there are any that have implications that need Command to sign off on them I'll flag the request double-quick.'

"I'll keep an eye open for them," Damien said. "I'll let you get to it then. Bonsoir, Freya."

'Catch ya later,' Michaud reverted to her native English and flashed him a smile, 'I'm looking forward to it, Commander Maillet.'


Lieutenant Commander Damien Maillet
Chief Communications Officer / 2nd Officer

Lieutenant Freya Michaud
Chief Science Officer


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