Matsiyan raised one eyebrow in a gesture of extreme surprise. Fascinating. he deadpanned.
Mister Wilcon, this is not a fraternity garden sleepover party. While we may be cooperating, independently responsible members of a team, working to common goals and objectives, and I will not insist that every thought you have, be approved by Lieutenant-Commander Zelreich, there are still certain basics of decorum that I do require. The minimum abbreviation of my name is four letters, not three. I am no mere Matthew. Furthermore, each level of informality beyond “Lieutenant-Commander Matsiyan, Sir!” requires prerequisite attainment of rank, years of cameraderie, mutual rescues from certain doom or units of intoxicating beverages.
In other words, you will not address me as “Mat” again if you ever wish to be able to trust any piece of technical equipment issued to you before you attain the rank of Lieutenant-Senior. I hope I make myself crystal clear, Cadet! He paused a moment to draw breath before continuing as though nothing had occurred.
Is it really broken or are you just making an excuse for goofing off? It would be weird for two pieces of standard TSN equipment to fail at the same time. And while you were scampering about after the hatch was opened, I did recheck that all equipment on the inventory had been tallied and certified. Everything had been through standard inspections. He takes the headset and examines it critically through a magnifying viewer.Have you been wearing this thing or sitting on it?
Is there anything common in the failure of the the headset and pulse carbine? AR – Low (seems unlikely), DR – Average, Roll – 11, Result – Yes.
Is there any sign of tampering? AR – Above Average (seems the likeliest cause), DR – Average, Roll – 97, Result – Exceptional no.
Matsiyan finds the faint evidence of a disconnected filament where it connects to the amplifier and notes that the end is not sharply cracked or drawn out. It is smoothly rounded and there is a faint metallic halo around the point where it attached to the amp.
Odd, he muttered not cracked or stretched, more like vapourized. Acts like a momentary ridiculous power overload. He gave the rapidly cooling carbine a similar going over. It was harder to decipher the larger and more heavily slagged device, but all the heat dissipation seemed to have occurred between the primary beam preamp and the power cell. Again it looked like a monumentally powerful but brief concentration of energy way beyond the capacity of the machine.
OK. It is weird. Like they were struck by a tightly focused, highly directional tiny emp, or bunch of cosmic rays, maybe a microscopic, rapidly spinning singularity. The planet’s magnetosphere would keep out external sources. Starship shields would too, unless you got really unlucky. I think it would be wise to keep anything non-essential powered down and maybe even disconnected from a power source. I have a very small man-portable shield generator. If I keep it running in my pack, spare power cells should be safer.