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Topic: Day 02 [1300 hrs.] Is This Seat Taken? (Read 204 times) previous topic - next topic

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Day 02 [1300 hrs.] Is This Seat Taken?
[ Lt. Zelosa Ejek | Below Decks Lounge | USS Theurgy]

The morning passed by quickly for Ejek. Client after client after client, with only ten or fifteen minutes between each one, meant that she had little time to think about how much work she had to do. Before she knew it, it was time for lunch, and she was...

Alone. Typical. Suq, her usual lunch partner, wasn't around. Likely he was off trying to seduce some poor ensign. She wanted to take lunch with Parnak, but on such short notice, it was likely he would not be able to join her, and she was playing a strategic game with him anyway. She didn't want to look desperate or needy, nor did she want to present herself as someone with no ability to plan. Bila was...a friend, yes, but a client first, and it would be inappropriate to ask him to take lunch with her. So she was alone.

Below Decks had other people on their lunch breaks, but it was sparse. The Resolve was a smaller ship than the Theurgy, but even the Resolve's lounge was busier than this. So many officers and crewmembers were on vacation down on Aldea. Good, Ejek thought.

She sauntered to the replicator and began ordering without hesitation. She knew what she wanted already, a salad and red leaf tea. She took her things to a table, hidden off in the corner, sat down, and ate.

...Why did she have to be like this? She found herself holding her tea, staring down at her meal.

Re: Day 02 [1300 hrs] Is This Seat Taken?
Reply #1
[ Lt. Tyreke Okafor | Below Decks Lounge | Deck 28 | USS Theurgy ] @FollowTomorrow
[Show/Hide]

A busy day, much research had been done. It was tough to catch a break, but he was back to doing what he loved to do, at last. PADDs were strewn across the desk before him, covered in diagrams of mergings of machines and life. Each one a hypothetical structure, for the road of refinement was a long one indeed. For instance; if one has an artificial limb that can regenerate itself like a lifeform- what do they eat to supply it? Can one tie a bloodstream into that? Would a body reject it?

Biosynthetics were not true limbs, they merely mimicked the function and appearance, it was simple to key in the nerves of a body to the receptors of the replacement. This was a whole other beast. Furthermore, how does this not develop cancer, or mutate, or how does it respond to anything, really.

Okafor sat back and sighed. Enough of this, it was lunchtime. The doors to below decks opened, and it was... surprisingly not as busy as he remembered. Maybe people were off on Aldea, maybe people were just... dead. Whatever the case, Okafor replicated some things he'd developed. It felt good to see that some of the patterns he had created were still in the memory banks.

A tray of healthy yet delicious food, perfect. Okafor looked around. There was someone alone who he did not recognize, a cardassian with blue division colors. Okafor walked up, put on a friendly face, and asked, "Is this seat taken?"

Re: Day 02 [1300 hrs] Is This Seat Taken?
Reply #2
[ Lt. Zelosa Ejek | Below Decks Lounge | USS Theurgy]

Her first instinct would have been to say 'Yes, actually, this seat is taken.' Too many times have men, and sometimes women, approached Ejek for lunch only to try and flirt with her, and for once she'd like some intelligent conversation. Unlike everyone else on this godforsaken ship, her sex drive did not rule her judgement. She did not socialize simply because the other was attractive, nor did she appreciate other people staring at her or treating her like she was a swimsuit model.

However, as she glanced up at Oakfer and their eyes met, she realized multiple things. The first was that he was looking at her face, not at her body. At least for now, he was engaging with her as a person, not a potential lay. The second was that if she pushed him away, she would be lonely still. If there was even a small chance they could talk about something marginally intelligent, she'd like to take it. There's also the chance he simply asked so he could take the chair to another table, but she really hoped not, or she'd feel even worse. She decided to take the chance, and gestured to the chair across from her.
"You're in luck, this seat is free. Looking for someone to share lunch with, or just to take the chair?"

Re: Day 02 [1300 hrs] Is This Seat Taken?
Reply #3
[ Lt. Tyreke Okafor | Below Decks Lounge | Deck 28 | USS Theurgy ] @FollowTomorrow
[Show/Hide]

Ah, okay, good, this cardassian officer seemed to be receptive to his presence. As far as introductions to fellow department members* went there were certainly better ones. Nevertheless, Okafor powered on, for there was no possible way that he could mess this up any more than he had already.

"To share lunch with of course, I don't think that we have met yet." Okafor replied, as he sat down. "I was just recently unfrozen, so I have not had the chance to meet the rest of the new scientists** aboard."

Okafor placed his tray down and spread his napkin in his lap. "I am still only just getting to know some of our new department heads*** like Lieutenant Commander Martin, and Vanya- did you know that Vanya is an artificial lifeform? She's an android- sory, a gynoid, I get the terms mixed up."

An awkward cough later and Okafor was looking down and eating his lunch. He figured he should at least introduce himself before handing off the conversation though. "Ah, sorry, I am Lieutenant Okafor, Tyreke Okafor that is. And you are?"

Oh grand, another embarrassing moment, and this time in front of a quite attractive cardassian, a culture not known to be... kind on that kind of thing. Or at least that's what Okafor had heard, he may not have gotten an unbiased opinion from his work on Bajor, but c'est la vie...



*Note: Okafor has no idea whatsoever that Ejek is in fact a counselor and not a scientist.
**Note: noooooo idea at all.
***Note: you get the picture.
  • Last Edit: August 23, 2019, 04:43:54 AM by Hastata-Nerada

Re: Day 02 [1300 hrs] Is This Seat Taken?
Reply #4
[ Lt. Zelosa Ejek | Below Decks Lounge | USS Theurgy]

Scientists! How charming, he thought she was a fellow scientist. She felt her smile become more earnest. He was intelligent, but perhaps not socially so. This would be a fun luncheon, she could already tell. Who knows? Maybe she'd wind up liking Okafor at the end of it.

He was bursting with intelligent topics to talk about, excited to see the new changes on the ship, but...forgot to introduce himself. However, he had only just come out of stasis on a ship where about 85% of any given department came from another ship and had been in the position for less than a month. The fact that he remembered his own name and department was impressive as it was.

"I take no offense. I am Lieutenant Zelosa Ejek. You may refer to me as Ejek." She continued to smile, warm and pleasant to her new lunch partner. She wondered how long she could go about impersonating a member of the science department before Okafor realized that she was not a scientist. On top of that, she wondered what he'd do to correct himself when he did make that realization.
"Please, tell me about your experiences. The department must seem completely alien to you, with all these new members."

She crossed her legs and brought a forkful of food to her mouth while he replied. This lunch would be so much more entertaining.

Re: Day 02 [1300 hrs] Is This Seat Taken?
Reply #5
[ Lt. Tyreke Okafor | Below Decks Lounge | Deck 28 | USS Theurgy ] @FollowTomorrow
[Show/Hide]

Well, yes, it did seem alien. There were so many new faces, even the department head was someone Okafor had to get used to. It was nice to get a name though. Zelosa Ejek. Very good to know. Okafor had to admit, it was sometimes difficult to deal with cardassians, both from a cultural and personality perspective as well as his experiences on Bajor having made an... impression. But, that was no reason to judge every cardassian.

"It has been complicated." Okafor began, pleasantly. "I am seeing many new faces, and new things about people I didn't know was a thing. Like-" Okafor put his spork down to focus on Ejek. "Someone who was with the ship from the beginning is literally glowing now. I mean she is emitting actual light. Something that Nicander was interested in for... some reason."

On that note, a question wriggled its way to the front of his mind. "Oh that does remind me, what is your field, Ejek? Where are you from? So much of the crew are from other ships now."

Okafor picked up his spork again and with a crunch, lifted some salad from his plate. He hoped he was not making a fool of himself in front of a new arrival. She too was a lieutenant, so they were of equal rank, but Okafor hopefully had the benefit of experience.

Re: Day 02 [1300 hrs] Is This Seat Taken?
Reply #6
[ Lt. Zelosa Ejek | Below Decks Lounge | USS Theurgy]

She couldn't help but pity Tyreke. His time in stasis had left him so far out of the loop he might as well have been a stranger to the Theurgy. Even Ejek knew more than he did. That's just how stasis worked, though. He had no power over this situation. It wouldn't stop her from using his relative ignorance to make herself feel better, however.

Then he asked her field, and oh, did she have the perfect lie for this one. She folded her hands together and smiled so sweetly.
"I came from the Resolve. We've been aboard the Theurgy for roughly a week now, so the Resolve crew is not that much newer than you are. As for my field...Well. The last research paper I managed to publish before the disappearance of the Resolve was titled "Effectiveness of Culturally-Specific Coping Methods on Adverse Community Experiences." I was writing about the ways in which non-Cardassian communities handle negative events, such as war. The Federation's journal on xenoanthropology was interested in acquiring the rights to publish my paper, but I never had the chance to answer their request..." She allowed herself a sigh, as if the topic caused her regret. It did not, because she knew she was sitting on at least three research papers of higher quality than that one, and a fourth if she ever got the time to sit down and collect the data for it. However, none of them were xenoanthropology, like she had suggested. They were all focused on complex trauma. Okafor didn't need to know that.

"Regardless...I would like to know more about your field of study. What do you do? What projects were you working on before your stasis?" She leaned in. She was very interested in what he had to say. Her eyes dissected him like a frog...

Re: Day 02 [1300 hrs] Is This Seat Taken?
Reply #7
[ Lt. Tyreke Okafor | Below Decks Lounge | Deck 28 | USS Theurgy ] @FollowTomorrow
[Show/Hide]

Xenoanthropology... a subject he was not unfamiliar with, given his academy roommate for a while. He was a caitian, and after the experience Okafor swore that if he ever found another chair covered in dander and fur there would be hell to pay. Sometimes a few also stopped by on Bajor to collect data for Memory Alpha or Gamma. And so, here was another, sitting before him. It was her paper that gave him pause however.

"Coping methods?" Okafor asked. "That sounds fascinating, though wouldn't that be a counselor's job?" And then a thought wormed its way towards the front of his consciousness and realization struck like a slap across the face. "Oh! I'm- I am so sorry, of course it all ties together, it was silly of me to assume. I am pursuing a project of unexpected nature myself"

He pondered the notion of culture-specific coping mechanisms for a second. "So, I am familiar with coping, somewhat. When you say culture-specific what is it that you mean exactly? Is it something that a culture has or trains- ah, so to speak- trains its people to practice?"

Okafor took another bite. "Before I get distracted, my own field is synthetic biology I think you could say, it is... complicated. The logic is that, well, we are more or less machines that evolved organically, though some believe that there was more outside involvement. Machinery, synthetic creations, are machines that we have learned to create. So what if you could make a machine that uses synthetic reproductions of biological traits? A biosynthetic replacement which repairs or grows like the real thing. That kind of thing."

The conversation wore on, and in the background the viewscreens shifted displays over Aldea and the shipyards.

- FIN
  • Last Edit: October 29, 2019, 12:37:19 AM by Auctor Lucan