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Lt.Commander Maz Rodan - In The Name of Science!

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This was stunningly written and I felt from this one scene that I understood who @Maz Rodan was as a character. An absolute joy and pleasure to read ❤️
((Deep Space 224 - Deck 9; Observation Room))
Maz felt most at peace gazing at the stars. He had such fond memories of his childhood stargazing into the Trill night sky. His thoughts drifted to Collins House in Maine, and the grand old observatory situated near the attic. He'd felt a comfort there, and half-wished he had access to the seemingly ancient technology the old clan Collins' used to use. He half-hoped David would begin regular upkeep on the telescope, but knew deep down that he wouldn't. The thought brought a small smile to his lips.
Here, though, it was different. He stood in front of the massive windows of DS224, secured by force fields and transparent aluminum, The neutron star the station orbited pulsated regularly, and he felt a certain peace in the rhythm. The wonders of modern technology meant he could literally be this close to the star. So close, he could possibly touch it...
His meeting with the Captain had been a learning tool, as always. The closer Maz got to command, and the easier it seemed to be able to navigate, the more it seemed he had to learn. Not for the first time he wished to be back in that royal blue uniform instead of the crimson red, tinkering with his scanners and sensors. No one had died beyond the Galactic Barrier. Not really. He felt his thoughts drift to Kelar, and wondered what his life would now be like all those thousands of light years away.
Beside him, someone stepped up to the railing of the observation gantry and leant on it casually. They indicated the star in front of them. Maz still had his sunglasses on, and couldn't quite make out who it was by their reflection in the force field.
Birack: Go on then, how hot is it?
Without missing a beat, Maz replied almost computer-like.
Rodan: Ten to the twelth power kelvin.
Suddenly turning to see the identity of the speaker, Maz removed his aviators in an instant and grinned.
Rodan: Lee
His old Academy friend - Lee Birack - stood next to him, grinning like a cat himself. Maz let out a genuine laugh and embraced the blonde haired man like a brother.
Rodan: You son of a... what are you doing here?
Birack: The Brave is docked for a little while. Saw the Arrow was this way on, and knew you wouldn't be far away from a viewing port.
Maz smiled. He smiled so much his cheeks started to hurt. It had been a long time since he'd seen his old friend, and he looked well.
Rodan: I got your last subspace letter. You made full Lieutenant on the Brave! Congratulations!
Below them, the USS Brave - a Defiant class ship - was nestled in between the other Starfleet and civilian ships currently docked.
Birack: Thanks, Nev. Though what a little warship like that needs with a Chief Science Officer I'll never know. Hey, congrats to you, too, Mr. First Officer!
Maz almost blushed but took a gentle elbow to his ribs from his friend. 
Birack: CSO of the Dickens, then XO of the Arrow, that's quite a career! And you're Joined, too. I feel like you've grown up a lot since we shared a dorm at the Academy. You'll have to tell me what that's like!
Rodan: Grown up too much, sometimes. It's a bit crazy, isn't it. ::Beat.:: It's good to see you, Lee!
Lee nodded and patted Maz on the shoulder.
Birack: I'm so glad you're here, man! 
He leaned closer almost conspiratorially.
Birack: I know we haven't had a Storm Chaser meeting in a few years, not since the Academy...
Maz nodded the affirmative. During his senior year he joined with Birack and a few others to experiment with developing the technology to create a galactic pre-warning system for ion storms. The drive and the energy was there, but Starfleet remained skeptical. There was never anything above a Category 2 storm in the entire sector, and Starfleet wouldn't authorise use of anything better than an old Class 2 shuttle for their research. After gathering as much data as they could in the field, their research seemed to fall stagnant.
Birack: But... there's one developing three sectors away. A BIG one. 
Maz's mouth gaped open in comic surprise. Could he mean?
Rodan: A Cat-5? Seriously!? Here?
Birack nodded sagely then broke into a boyish smirk.
Birack: Yup. It should give us enough data to perfect our proposal to Starfleet. 
Rodan: You mean you've got the sensor drones working?
Birack: And my CO has convinced DS224 to authorise the use of a Runabout for the storm hunt. We're back in business, buddy! 
Suddenly, despite his doldrums after the Arrow's latest mission, he felt spurred into life. This was what he was passionate about. This was science! How long had he waited for a call from Lee to say their work could continue? What started out as a student's curiosity suddenly became a real, tangible goal.
Rodan: I don't believe it. I'm literally so happy...
Birack: So what do you say, Nev? You in? I need you. You're the best goddamn particle cascade mapper in the Quadrant, no! The galaxy! C'mon buddy, you could pick a grain of sand out of a black hole with a pair of tweezers and a magnifying glass...
The Trill scoffed incredulously and rolled his eyes, but his friend patted him on the shoulder again.
Birack: Say you're in?
Maz looked at his friend in the eyes. He could see the passion and determination. He nodded, and caused the human man to punch the air in triumph.
Rodan: You've got the Runabout?
Birack: I've got it. 
Rodan: And the shielding? 
Birack: Laszlo is working on it as we speak. It's a green light!
Rodan: I can't believe it... ::He thought for a moment.:: I'm gonna need a Class IX optrical calibrator scanner! I know where I can get one...
He rushed off excitedly. Lee called out after him, and Maz turned and started walking backwards toward the large doors of the observation room.
Rodan: I'll be back soon! I'll meet you at the bar in an hour!
He turned back the right way and almost sprinted out of the Observation Room and into the massive corridor. He was excited beyond belief now, and fished his comm.badge out of the top pocket of his loud Hawaiian shirt.
Rodan: =/\= Rodan to Collins! =/\=
Collins: Response
Of all the people he knew on the Arrow, he knew Quentin would be most intrigued by this new venture, and he'd love to share it with him.
Rodan: =/\= Have you ever wanted to fly head on into a Category 5 ion storm in the name of science? =/\=
Collins: Response


First Officer
USS Arrow, NCC 69829
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