Tis an Ill Current

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Tis an Ill Current
Date of Cutscene: 18 January 2019
Location: Cranston Multinational Shipping
Synopsis: Summary needed
Cast of Characters: Shadow

Analysis department, Cranston Multinational Shipping corporate HQ, evening

"... That can't be right..."

Janet Sulton hadn't made it to management in Cranston Multinational by ignoring her subordinates, so when her favourite analyst started swearing under his breath she was at his desk in moments. "What is it, Lucas?"

Lucas Angleton blinked and looked up, but only for a moment. "Oh, hello Miss Sulton. I've been looking over these reports and something seems off. Here, let me show you..." Fingers flew over the keyboard faster than Janet could follow, but the graphs he called up were easy to follow.

She frowned. "... That can't be right."

Lucas barely manages to suppress a giggle at the unconscious repetition. "I ran the numbers, ma'am. Twice, now."

Janet straightened, frown deepening. "... Take half an hour to get this presentation-ready. Miss Cranston will want to know."

Lucas swallowed and went to work.

CEO's office, CMS corporate HQ, 45 minutes later...

Natasha Cranston looked from the presentation on her monitor to the slightly nervous manager and very nervous analyst standing in front of her desk. "You're certain?" she asked, mostly as a formality.

Janet nodded. "Lucas' methods may seem unorthodox, but his hunches have a habit of being on the money -- and we rechecked the numbers both ways. They're solid."

"December's earnings results were what caught my eye first," Lucas picks up the narrative. "CMS wound up having to pay three late fees on three separate deliveries in the same area. That was odd enough, but /none/ of them had reported anything about bad weather or mechanical difficulties. They'd run the same route they'd run for years, the same way... And somehow lost a couple of days, but only on one leg of the trip. They did just fine on the way back. So I started looking at other reports, and, well..."

He trails off, gesturing at the monitor as Janet picks up the thread again. "Other ships running that route were only barely on time, and every single one of them logged significantly increased fuel expenditures to make the same speed. It's almost as if the currents have shifted, but that shouldn't be possible..."

"... In the world we live in, 'impossible' seems more and more like a meaningless word," Natasha interjects. "This bears looking into. Lucas, Janet, thank you for bringing this to my attention. Keep me updated if you find anything else."

As the door closes behind the analyst and his manager, Natasha keys her intercom. "Sally, I'm going to need to commission an ocean current study in the South Pacific, and it'll need to be done soon. Get me a shortlist of possible researchers. Use the discretionary budget; that's what it's for..."

((OOC: Related to Aspen's ocean current plot. See also BBPost 16/6; contact Aspen for details.))