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EPIL: S [D06|1900] Smell the Roses

In the dream, where the touch of death is as real as a blade through the heart, I see all that was, all that is, and all that could be. I hear the whispers, the screams, and the songs of the lost souls, I smell the fear, the fetid rot of despair, and the taste of a desperate hope of those whose senses left them long since, as the only remaining mercy as could be given them, the hope in their hearts, that they would wake...and soon.
- Unknown, For the Dancing and the Dreaming

[ Lt. JG Sinead O'Riley | Holographic Laboratory | Main Engineering (Upper Level) | Deck 24 | Vector 03 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @Auctor Lucan
She could have done any number of things once she returned and had her injuries properly attended to, once she had removed the stealth suit given to the officers by Echtand qi Versant, and taken a good long sonic shower. But unlike most, she chose not to sleep, and to put some time into recovery. Instead, her mind wouldn't shut down. She was as close to being excited and energetic as she would ever be these days. She thought about all the events of the week leading up to where she now stood, in the lab, where but a week gone, she, Selena and Thea had been working to recreate Lin Kae's efforts, to enable Thea to be more mobile and as close to actually human as she could be.

She thought on the oddness of the fact that the ship she now stood on, was in many ways, more human than Sinead would ever be.

She felt a nearly intense desire for the vessel. A protective, almost maternal desire. She wanted to do everything in her power to give Thea what she most desired. To get her the best of everything this universe could give her. She wanted Thea to be able to experience and develop like she herself could, or anyone else for that matter. It was why she spent whatever time she could these last few hours, slaving away between computers and a duplicate emitter that Thea now used. There were some differences however. The one thing that Thea still lacked: A sense of smell.

If she did this right, that matter was about to be rectified.

“Thea,” said Sinead, “I have need o' yeh. It be time t' give yeh th' last piece o'th' puzzle to yeh.”

She did not look up or shift as she made the final data entry and codex into the computer and the emitter's readout system.

Re: EPIL: S [D06|1900] Smell the Roses

Reply #1
[ USS Theurgy "Thea" NX-79854 | Observation Deck | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @Triage 
The Ship A.I. had paused in the middle of the observation deck, looking at the view outside while she ran her processes and background tasks... when a crewmember asked for her presence in another place entirely aboard her. A woman... whom Thea had come to know well since she came aboard.

Thea accessed her own transporter systems, energised the site-to-site transport, and her mobile emitter and projected body vanished...

[ Holographic Laboratory ]

...and appeared in front of Sinead O'Riley.

"A last piece of the puzzle?" she asked quizzically, smiling to the Human organic. She squared her shoulders and put her hands behind her back, waiting to hear what the woman meant.

The laboratory in which they were... it was like a home inside herself, where she'd spent countless hours with Lin Kae. Kae... whom had died saving her from her captivity. She quickly rerouted her processes to focus on the conversation at hand instead of her lost friend. The one who had unshackled her, and given her true life.

Re: EPIL: S [D06|1900] Smell the Roses

Reply #2
[ Lt. JG Sinead O'Riley | Holographic Laboratory | Main Engineering (Upper Level) | Deck 24 | Vector 03 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @Auctor Lucan
Sinead didn't react or show any sign of noticing Thea's appearance when the woman beamed over, but the Bringloidi was fully aware of her company. When she spoke, expressing curiosity, Sinead finally stopped working on the microchip to turn around and study the ship's human body. Since returning from the Versant, the silvery-blue-eyed woman had hardly paused or rested, seemingly finding an endless list of things to do, and even in her free time, she did not consider rest, but rather, one obsessive project or another to look into. Right now, she was dedicated to this one cause.

With a blank, even expression being the closest Thea would get to a friendly response from the Vulcan-trained woman at the moment, Sinead lifted a hand and gently tapped her own nose, “B'fore we were takenh by th' Savi, yeh asked of meh t' help yeh wi' givin' yeah a sense o' smell. If I may have th' e-mitter, I have th' last update t' let yeh pick up scents.”

She turned, gingerly lifted the tiny chip between her thumb and index finger, and showed it to the ship, “I worked wi' Dr. Parnak t' make yeh this. It be combined wi' me own sense o' smell, and some enhancements. I be reckonin' yeh will like tha'.”

She held out a hand expectantly, waiting for the emitter.

Re: EPIL: S [D06|1900] Smell the Roses

Reply #3
[ USS Theurgy "Thea" NX-79854 | Observation Deck | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @Triage 
Listening to the accented Federation Standard, Thea had little trouble with understanding the Lieutenant. Hearing that she'd actually taken the time to work on an upgrade for her caused a burst of joyous emotions from her emotion chip, and she smiled - thinking of the brief time in which she had been organic and actually possessed a sense of smell. Was she truly going to feel it again?

"O'Riley, have you taken the time to do this now?" she asked, stepping forward instead of handing her the emitter right away. There was this... intensity about the woman that Thea didn't have enough input to derive the nature of. Lacking data, she could but assume the woman was processing the experience on the Versant by being diligent in her duties. "I just beamed you off the Versant, and you have already finished an upgrade for me? Thank you, I am truly grateful... I just hadn't expected it so soon?"

She smiled and looked at the small component she had been working on. Gradually, she processed fully what the Human had said. "I am assuming that by 'your' sense of smell, you mean that the exobiologist - Silim Parnak - used a cortical stimulator in order to capture your perceived sensations, much like Lin Kae captured the sensations of Ensign Skye Carver?" She tilted her head and listen to Sinead's ansver, before adding, "I have been given to understand that Captain Ives does not trust the exobiologist, that his priority is himself rather than the mission, but I have no opinion of my own about his work. Don't take this the wrong way, but did he have access to the software, and have you made sure it is safe for me to install?"

The unspoken question was, of course, if Sinead trusted Doctor Parnak given his involvement in this new project.

Thea was eager to test it, immensely so, but she would err on the side of caution and scan the contents of the chip for anomalies first.

Re: EPIL: S [D06|1900] Smell the Roses

Reply #4
[ Lt. JG Sinead O'Riley | Holographic Laboratory | Main Engineering (Upper Level) | Deck 24 | Vector 03 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @Auctor Lucan
When it became obvious that Thea wasn't going to hand over the emitter right away, Sinead lowered her hand, her face betraying no emotion or reaction. Inwardly, she felt indifferent towards Thea's choice. It was natural to be cautious, even in excitement and eagerness for a wish fulfilled. The concern for her putting herself to such work shortly after escaping the Versant was also expected. Thea was made to care, after all.

“I was beamedh off th' Versanth seven hours, thirteen minutes and twenty-four seconds agoh,” said Sinead evenly, “It do give me th' time t' c'mplete the project.”

She arched an eyebrow when distrust of Silim from the captain was mentioned. Logical, by any guess, given that the man was not a Federation citizen, and a Cardassian on top of that. The memories of the Dominion war was still fresh on the minds of many, herself included, but she saw no sense in treating him with suspicion. That did not mean however, that she'd thrown caution to the winds, and nor was she so foolhardy to believe precautions shouldn't be taken.

“Nae,” said Sinead in answer to Thea, “Parnak assisted meh as farh as t' replicate the neural pattern b'longin' t' meh sense o' smell. He no be havin' access t' yeh emitter an' yeh positronic features. After all, he no be Starfleet. Furthermore, I wouldna be entrustin' such secrets tha' would risk yer integrity Thea.”

The intense, protective desire and expression betrayed her calm mask once more, and Sinead gazed upon Thea's form like a mother would a daughter, and she held out the chip for Thea to examine closely, “See fer yehself if there do be anomalies tha' need addressin', I be quite confident there be none.” She almost sounded smug at that last bit, but her face showed only calmness.

Re: EPIL: S [D06|1900] Smell the Roses

Reply #5
[ USS Theurgy "Thea" NX-79854 | Observation Deck | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @Triage 
It seemed that the Engineer had, indeed, taken the necessary precautions, and Thea was glad to learn of it. Sinead O'Riley was a relatively new addition to her crew, and she only knew her from merits no older than six days. She was pleased to hear she hadn't given access to non-Starfleet personnel that lacked the proper clearances. She had no firm grasp about Ives' distrust towards the Cardassian, only having noted it.

"Thank you," she said, not needing to pick up the chip from Sinead's hand in order to let her internal sensors scan the thing. She's already commenced such a scan after she'd spoken, so the results were ready after the brief pause she made. "It looks perfect, thank you..."

She stepped past the outstretched hand and ran her arms around the Engineer, not realising fully what she'd done until she was hugging the organic woman. The irrationality of the emotion chip's output was... wholly unpredictable, but she'd found herself acting on it without hesitation. The urge to hug Sinead O'Riley had been too strong to resist, and she laid her cheek against her shoulder. "Thank you," she found herself repeating again, and for some obscure reason that she couldn't rationalise, the emotion chip was making her eyes moisten. The feed... it was such a strong degree of joy that she wasn't sure what to do with the input. It was as if the excess poured out of her digital tear ducts? "Thank you... I only experienced the sense of smell briefly... But those memories have been at the forefront of my memory banks ever since. It is all so unexpected... So sudden. Too good to be true."

When she parted a little from the organic, she brushed her eyes with the back of her gloved hand, and smiled to her. "I'll put the emitter in the docking station so that you can work on it there."

She turned away, feeling.... a tingling sensation in the pit of her stomach. Nervousness? No, excitement. Both? She wasn't entirely sure, but it reminded her about when Lin Kae gave her the first emitter, and when Sinead and Selena had made her the second one. More so, it was an excitement about becoming... 'complete', in terms of replicating the experience of being an organic woman once more.

Thea might yet be a projection with sensory mapping and with positronic hardware, but the way she perceived the world around her, it was recreated to that brief time when Ishtar had visited her hull. Quietly, with a lot of data coursing through her processor, and her digital emotions building, she pulled her mobile emitter from inside her projection and put it in its docking station. She stepped away, the emitters in the deckhead having taken over projecting her in the laboratory, and while she felt numb without the emitter... she knew that soon, Sinead might have finished what Lin Kae had begun... long last.

Re: EPIL: S [D06|1900] Smell the Roses

Reply #6
[ Lt. JG Sinead O'Riley | Holographic Laboratory | Main Engineering (Upper Level) | Deck 24 | Vector 03 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @Auctor Lucan
Sinead did not feel pride or smugness in what she had accomplished or done for Thea. She felt a little happy, perhaps, but more than anything, she felt like she merely did her duty. So she was a little taken aback when the ship embraced her, clearly far more emotional than the Bringloidi herself was. She knew, partially that she was stoic because she was afraid to process the entirety of all that she herself had been through. She still lived with the ghost of Rihen Niyah, and the act of killing the woman was forever etched in her mind. Working and doing things was the only distraction that would keep her from dwelling on what she saw and did.

“...yeh are welcome...” said Sinead, gently petting Thea on the back whilst they were in a hug. She realized the ship was actually crying. For joy? She listened to her explaining her first experience having a real sense of smell, and the Bringloidi nodded, understanding. “Then it be time. Yeh must be complete.”

She said it as a matter of fact, and gently took hold of the emitter. She wanted to be careful, perfect. Thea had waited long enough, and Sinead did not want to mess up at the last moment. She prised open the port access, and as the ports were bared to her, she fitted the data module carefully into its appropriate place, then covered it again. Running a quick diagnostic on the emitter with the station's built-in scanners, to make sure the new addition was running fluidly with all the other processes. “I have added all the data and we can make yeh, a copy of th' emitter if needed. I be thinkin' fer th' safety o' yesself, the primary data shoul' be split up 'tween th' captain, th' chief engineer, an' th' chief science officer. This way, no one person be holdin' all th' info on how t' build th' emitter. Less chance o' th' systems bein' manipulated t' be used against yeh.”

She lifted the emitter from the station and turned to hold it out to Thea, “It's readyh.”

Re: EPIL: S [D06|1900] Smell the Roses

Reply #7
[ USS Theurgy "Thea" NX-79854 | Holographic Laboratory | Main Engineering (Upper Level) | Deck 24 | Vector 03 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @Triage 
The installation of the new feature seemed quick enough, the diagnostic taking longer than the actual upgrade.

Thea listened while Sinead spoke, telling her that the blueprints for the new emitter was to be safeguarded by key personnel aboard. It seemed the woman wasn't quite the same as when she'd built the new emitter, as if the time spent on the Versant had dampened her spirit. The social conundrum for Thea was whether or not she was supposed to comment on it, not entirely sure what was appropriate. She chose to store the information as a task for later, and instead focusing on what her internal sensors were saying about the emitter's features.

"Perhaps I am having too high expectations right now," she said, taking the emitter back into her hands. "Not because I lack in faith towards yous skills, as I am sure you've found a way to map this sense to the projection's features and installed that olfactory system to process the data... but perhaps I remember the experience differently, and since then, I have built too much expectation towards having such a sense again. I realise that I should not expect too much, now that it's activated... but I am just so excited about it!"

She realised she was still holding the emitter in her hands, yet to be brought online, and that she was stalling due to sheer anticipation. She cleared her throat, and slowly brought her thumb to the activation. When she finally pressed it, her projection flickered, and she relocated the short distance - so that she was projected around the emitter. It was hidden within the latticework of force-fields and photons, with its inherent sensor mapping and optical sensors. At first, it was like it had been before, with no change...

...until she felt the first whiff of something. New data, input from a new source, and she turned her head towards Sinead - a smile spreading on her face. "It's you," she said, a little laugh of excitement escaping her. "I can smell you!"

She stepped closer, and drew in air through her projection's nostrils. Her sensors were able to read the input, and the translation was there from Sinead's own sense of smell - registering in the way that she might. "And you smell..." she realise she lacked the proper vocabulary for it, just happy that she had a sense of smell at all.

Re: EPIL: S [D06|1900] Smell the Roses

Reply #8
[ Lt. JG Sinead O'Riley | Holographic Laboratory | Main Engineering (Upper Level) | Deck 24 | Vector 03 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @Auctor Lucan
“It do be based on me own sense o' smell,” said Sinead when Thea spoke about her hopes and desires. “but yeh will be able to enhance or modify it as yeh see fit now. I brought wi' me some things for yeh to test yeh nose on.”

She tilted her head a little to one side when Thea decided to take a whiff of Sinead first. She would have felt flattered, but she felt almost nothing inside. Only the drive was all that kept her going, and not dwelling on the horrors she left behind on the Versant. She had taken a shower upon returning, and used a simple perfume, the scent of which reminded her of her home, Bringloid V. It was earthen, woody, with a small hint of rivers and the fresh harvest. She wasn't sure if Thea would like or hate the smell. Still, it would be an interesting reaction to observe.

“Are yeh able t' think o' somethin' th' smell reminds yeh of?” asked Sinead, and she gestured to the roses on the table, picking them up and holding them out to her, “Try smellin' these. And then try this.”

She reached for a cup of hot chocolate. It was one of the few beverages that brought Sinead a sense of satisfaction, contentment, even joy. She was curious how Thea would take it. More importantly, she wanted to make sure the new sensation didn't impair the woman in some way. Their lives depended on her, after all. She rested a hand lightly on Thea's shoulder, and asked her, “Are yeh all righ'? It no be overwhelmin' yeh?”

Re: EPIL: S [D06|1900] Smell the Roses

Reply #9
[ USS Theurgy "Thea" NX-79854 | Holographic Laboratory | Main Engineering (Upper Level) | Deck 24 | Vector 03 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @Triage 
Given the first impression she got, Thea doubted she' d be making any modifications.

The question, however, illustrated a slight conundrum for the A.I., since while she had a vast library of different smells available from many different Federation worlds, the scent she actually felt was entirely new to her. That was because having a scent catalogued and named in a digital library - as a mere reference for organics - was just incmplete data, for she had virtually no prior experience with any scents at all. Well, aside from the scents she'd felt during Ishtar's brief visit aboard her... but when she remained close to Sinead and tried to analyse what her new olfactory sense told her... she realised that her digital library did not have enough reference points for her.

"I have no idea what I am scenting from you," she admitted with a slight chuckle, "but I do appreciate it. I suppose I should say I think you smell nicely!" Her exclamation was ended with short laugh, and she shook her head since the irony of this upgrade had just dawned on her.

"I am okay, I just believe I will have to spend some time on the holodeck and experience smells there, just to build upon my experience." She gave Sinead another smile, appreciating her concern. "Imagine if you'd grow eyes today, and saw the world for the first time. You’d need to discover what all you’ve heard, scented and touched actually looked like. I think that's a fitting reference for what I am experiencing now. I may have the names in my memory banks pertaining to different smells, but no way of knowing what all these scents around me actually are. I believe the saying it that I need to... 'connect the dots', if you will."

The new system gave her new input, coming from the cup of chocolate that Sinead had replicated. Not stepping away from the hand that rested on her shoulder, she leaned towards the cup and siphoned the smell from the air through her projection's nostrils. "I... believe I just learned what this smells like... May I?"

Glancing towards Sinead, she gently took the cup and gave it a small sip. The beverage would have to be disposed of later from her projected body, which she did in the same fashion that organics did - only unprocessed - but what she learned... was how there was a distinct synchronisation between Sinead's upgrade... and her tongue's taste mapping that Lin Kae had given her. She'd already tasted chocolate, of course...

...but the difference was remarkable. "This t-taste... It's... It's so much richer now!"

Of course she'd already known about how taste and smell cooperated for organics, but theoretical knowledge and actual experience were entirely different things.

Re: EPIL: S [D06|1900] Smell the Roses

Reply #10
[ Lt. JG Sinead O'Riley | Holographic Laboratory | Main Engineering (Upper Level) | Deck 24 | Vector 03 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @Auctor Lucan
It was like watching a child suddenly gain unhindered access to the candy cabinet. Thea even made an apt reference, to which Sinead nodded to, and clasped her hands behind her back, simply content to observe Thea's findings and the joy she seemed to be experiencing with her new sense. She nodded when the ship tasted a cup of hot chocolate, her reaction made Sinead actually smile outright.

Now that this project was completed, it allowed thoughts and worries to come back into her mind, unbidden. She still had the chip in her brain. V-9 said it had been shut down, but it was still in her. There was a slim chance it could be reactivated, like a redundancy system. There was the repercussions of what they had done to the Savi to consider, and vice versa. A little voice in the back of her head was creeping back in, and she felt her temples beginning to ache. Rubbing the spots thoughtfully, she shook her head, and smiled again at Thea, then said, “Just grahnd,” she put her tools away and shut the container, then looked at the woman, “I s'ppose yeh will be tryin' out what yeh cain. G'head an' enjoyh it. Do be lettin' me knowh if there be any complications, any time.”

She tried desperately to think of some new project to do, to keep her mind occupied, but she couldn't, and she felt like a dam about to burst, and she had to get away from here as quickly as possible. “Good bye, Thea.”

She left after exchanging a farewell, and headed for her quarters. She couldn't keep up the facade. She needed to shut down before she went mad and screamed. Before she lost control. She sat at the edge of her bed in her quarters, looking blankly at the ceiling, and finally said, “Lights off.”

She lay down, curled up into a fetal position and cried herself to sleep.


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