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Day 14 [1630 hrs] Transporter Cassinis

[Ens. Joseph Adams | Transporter Room 2 | Deck 5 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @Griff

Today was the day, it seemed. Transporter Room 2 had been quite temperamental lately and Joe had decided that enough was enough. While he hadn't set foot in the transporter room since the accident that landed him in cryosleep, he'd certainly made himself at home again, with unneeded wall covers stacked up and the necessary sockets exposed for ease of access to the superior officer en route with the software update. He'd thought ahead, deciding to make an impression on the Lieutenant.

In other news, the molecular imaging scanners had been misbehaving lately. Not quite locking on to their target as they should and requiring some additional input from the operator. Nothing entirely dangerous, yet, But as a safety precaution, he'd done what checks he could. The internal components all seemed operational. The issue seemed to be connected to the software inside. Joe hoped that the patch would solve the problem.

Still, last time he'd been in this room, he'd ended up with a hole in the back of his skull. In the face of such an incident, he felt as though nothing worse could possibly happen here, surely!

'Famous last words', a particularly cynical voice in his head would utter as the Ensign worked at the control panel opposite the pad, ensuring everything was ready for the transporter to be updated..

Re: Day 14 [1630 hrs] Transporter Cassinis

Reply #1
[Lieutenant Alistair Leavitt | Transporter Room 2 | Deck 5 | USS Theurgy ] Attn. @tongieboi

It was, thus far, a comfortable day for Alistair, one of the most "normal" days that he'd experienced since being yanked into 2387 then sent back to '81. He'd slept soundly for the first time in a while, enjoyed a peaceful morning workout, then settled in one of the computer labs for a happy morning of crafting a software update for a misbehaving. There was no time-travel related work to do that day, no worrying about the Infested or various wars raging on, and even the Thea side project was on hold as he waited for the AI to finish a detailed sub-positronic scan of her core. The warmth of his new relationship with Enyd (plus memories of their activities the previous day) suffused Alistair with a happy tingling sensation, further bouying his good mood.

Nobody had attempted to kill him, seduce him, confront him or bamboozle him. The ship's status was nominal, the computer was (mostly) behaving and Selena was further proving to be an able boss. Alistair could simply do the work of a normal Operations officer, a job that he hadn't done in normal conditions for many years, but was pleased to find that he still enjoyed. After lunch and a stint on the Bridge, he cheerfully headed down to the transporter room, isolinear chip in his pocket, looking forward to a pleasant time working with a new colleague.

Naturally, presented with such a lovely day, Alistair was thus deeply suspicious and fully expected everything to go pear-shaped at any moment.

Nevertheless, when he entered the transporter room, he smiled at Joseph. "Hi," Alistair said brightly to the younger man as he stepped up to the control panel. "I'm Alistair Leavitt. It's good to finally meet you. I spent a whole afternoon down here a while ago, reading your maintenance logs and wishing that you were awake to help. This transporter has been a real pain in the...uh...well, it's been a real pain."

Re: Day 14 [1630 hrs] Transporter Cassinis

Reply #2
[Ens. Joseph Adams | Transporter Room 2 | Deck 5 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @Griff

"I'm Joseph Adams, Transport Officer."

Turning from the open panels to face the newcomer, he extended his hand for the officer to shake. Responding with a bright smile of his own. They seemed friendly! That was definitely a plus.

"I bet it has. Hopefully the software update should smooth things over in here. I'd like to avoid stripping the entire place apart and putting it back together again...Sir."

Just remembering that this was a superior officer he was talking to, and he was his boss, he remembered to add the formal address to the end of his sentence. Even though it wasn't necessarily his job to do so, the trouble of dismantling and rebuilding the entire transporter room would likely put it out of action for weeks. Something that definitely would impact some Officers trying to enjoy their brief respite on the planet below. No, he'd hate to ruined a hard earned holiday somewhere.

"I think the problem is in the MIS. So once the update is complete, we could begin a diagnostic there?"

Offering the suggestion as he turned his attention back to his work, preparing the slot on the console for the Isolinear Chip that contained the mentioned software update.

Re: Day 14 [1630 hrs] Transporter Cassinis

Reply #3
[Lieutenant Alistair Leavitt | Transporter Room 2 | Deck 5 | USS Theurgy ] Attn. @tongieboi

Catching the hurriedly added 'sir', Alistair smiled to himself as he inserted the chip into the console port. It never did stop feeling weird to be addressed like that, even by strangers.

"I've been thinking that it's an ODN problem," he said as he started working the console, "or maybe a bioneural gel pack has the sniffles somewhere near here, but I guess that I would think that, being a software guy. We'll go with your instincts first. MIS misalignment or fracture would explain a few things."

Continuing to type, Alistair glanced up, still bearing a small smile. "By the way, you don't have to worry about all that 'sir' stuff, at least when we're working like this. I don't really care about all of that. Lieutenant Ravenholm is like that too. She's very casual, probably because she was a civilian before all of this started. How about you call me Alistair, and I call you Joseph? If you'd like to, anyway, it's not an order."

At that, an alert flashed on the screen, Alistair frowned as he looked down at the console. "What the...this decomposition program is fifty years old, how did it get on a state of the art ship? It's in the backup active can't be the cause of the problem. It's not doing any harm, but I'll modify the update to get rid of it anyway."

Working quite merrily, Alistair added "So, I don't know if you've met Lieutenant Ravenholm or Commander Stark yet, but I'm here to help if you have any questions, or any concerns, or...well, if you want to talk about anything, really. I know it must be disorientating to wake up to all this."

Re: Day 14 [1630 hrs] Transporter Cassinis

Reply #4
[Ens. Joseph Adams | Transporter Room 2 | Deck 5 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @Griff

Having little to say that Alistair had not already speculated, he folded his arms. Both theories made about as much sense as his own after all. Still, he couldn't help but grin slightly at the thought of an ill bioneural gel pack. The technology was still relatively recent after all. He'd wager that nobody thought that a Starship could possibly get sick before then!

"That makes things easier, I suppose Alistair."

He replied, a small grin, especially as a thought crossed his mind. No, Al was far too casual! Discarding the idea, he continued to listen, since Lieutenant Ravenholm was someone else he was likely to come across.

Snapping back into work mode as soon as the alarm on the panel went off, he peered over, careful not to invade Alistair's space while reading the console.

"No, I haven't met either of them yet..And you're right. It's been bizarre to be in the Sol system one moment, then the next to be in Klingon territory. Not to mention everything else that's happened."

Indeed, he was still wrapping his head around a number of things, the Savi, the Parasites, even the new crew that he'd never seen before in his life! Strangers that he passed every day. His smile growing somewhat, he nodded a little.

"Thanks for the offer."

Re: Day 14 [1630 hrs] Transporter Cassinis

Reply #5
[Lieutenant Alistair Leavitt | Transporter Room 2 | Deck 5 | USS Theurgy ] Attn. @tongieboi

"Alright, I'm running the final integrity checks now," Alistair said, his attention still on the console. "Everything looks good so far, but then again, they looked good last week too. No compatibility errors...buffers are synched...good connection to the main computer...yep, we're good to go."

With that, Alistair glanced up at Joseph, cheered by the other man's good mood. "Running the MIS diagnostic now...keying in primary sensors for cross-comparison..." After a few moments, Alistair shook his head and stepped aside, gesturing at the console. "Sorry, force of habit. Go ahead, this is more up your alley than mine. I'll depolarise the pads while you work."

Depolarising the pads was drudge work, but Alistair gamely opened a locker and pulled out a long rod and tricorder. As he moved to the pads and crouched down next to one, scanning with the tricorder, he pondered what to say next to pass the time. It was an uncomfortable moment to remember that he hadn't been in a position of responsibility over someone else for more than two years, and he hadn't been that good at it to start with. Still, workplace chit-chat wasn't hard, right?

"So...uh..." Alistair said slowly, "have you had the chance to meet anyone yet? Off-duty, I mean. There must be a lot of new faces since Earth."

Even as he said the words, Alistair winced at his insensitivity.

Re: Day 14 [1630 hrs] Transporter Cassinis

Reply #6
[Ens. Joseph Adams | Transporter Room 2 | Deck 5 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @Griff

"By all means, if you want to do my job for me.."

He replied with a slight grin on his face. Of course immediately after the statement, half of his thoughts went into panic mode. You're not supposed to crack jokes with superior officers! Trying to gloss over it as much as possible, he took over the console and cleared his throat. Eyes now focused on the all too familiar transporter control layout.  And, as if by magic (Although likely more to do with muscle memory and years of training) his hands gravitated towards the best positions and he took to using the console like a duck to water. As if he hadn't been away at all.

Focusing on his work for a moment, he just about caught the brave stab at conversation, insensitive though it might have been, it was still an effort, and it deserved a response. And so, glancing up from the console, he replied.

"Oh, uh.. A few people. Mostly in the medical bay or the gym. I haven't really had the time to be anywhere else.."

He replied. Sure, he'd met some people, Elro, Enyd, V-Nine. Although he wasn't sure V-Nine counted given that he'd been unconscious throughout the entire surgical operation and had yet to interact fully with them. The rest of his time was spent catching up on recent events by reading through logs, asleep, or trying to track down friends not aboard Theurgy. Hoping they hadn't been arrested or worse. All of this being in the privacy of his quarters.

Re: Day 14 [1630 hrs] Transporter Cassinis

Reply #7
[Lieutenant Alistair Leavitt | Transporter Room 2 | Deck 5 | USS Theurgy ] Attn. @tongieboi

"Right," Alistair replied with forced positivity, wincing out of sight, "of course, that's understandable. Being awoken after all those months...I can't imagine what that's like. I mean, uh, I suppose that I can, technically. Time travel...long story. I only lost about six weeks, though, from before the Azure Nebula explosion to the fighting here."

Alistair rather awkwardly waddled to the next pad and, still crouched, began waving the long rod over it. It hummed and glowed a slight blue on the end, which in fact had nothing to do with the depolariser's operation. The design feature merely reassured the operator that the tool was working. Passing the rod over the pad, Alistair was completely oblivious to the fact that his ass was in a rather undignified position.

"Obviously, you don't have to answer if you'd prefer not to," he said cautiously as he worked, "but how are you handling everything that's happened? The Infested, the Borg invasion, the Azure Nebula blowing up, Paris, war with the's a lot to take in."

Re: Day 14 [1630 hrs] Transporter Cassinis

Reply #8
[Ens. Joseph Adams | Transporter Room 2 | Deck 5 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @Griff

"Time Travel?"

Somewhat curious at this revelation, he glanced upwards. It would be a little invasive to directly ask for elaboration but still, he couldn't help but be curious. One of his favourite holoprograms just happened to be a recreation of the TARDIS. Yes, Time Travel was cool.

Upon glancing up, his facial expression dropped slightly at the compromising position that Alistair was in and he immediately and politely glanced back down at his controls again. Continuing the conversation without looking up, at least until he was sure he wasn't being treated to a view of his new Boss's ass.

"You're right, it is. I'm still rereading through what's happened in case I've missed anything. Although I think I'm more worried about the people I've left behind, not aboard Theurgy. I can't say these Infested must treat them well, especially if some of them have started to challenge their version of events."

A frown. He was likely overthinking it of course. Surely some junior crewmen asking around for confirmation wouldn't mean instant imprisonment, surely..

"What I don't understand though is why. That's something that I think we'll be wondering for a while.."

Re: Day 14 [1630 hrs] Transporter Cassinis

Reply #9
[Lieutenant Alistair Leavitt | Transporter Room 2 | Deck 5 | USS Theurgy ] Attn. @tongieboi

As he finished working, it took Alistair a moment to process Joseph's words. He stood straight and, after a moment's thought, grimaced, glad that Joseph couldn't see him. The memories were still seared into his consciousness, and thinking back to them burned.

"Uh, to the first point," he said wearily as he put away the tool, "before I joined up here, I hadn't heard anything. Some people questioned things openly and nothing happened, as far as I know. It's still the Federation. The Infested can't overturn freedom of speech overnight. It'd...uh, take a few years."

Realising glumly that he knew exactly how many years it would take, Alistair forced himself to toughen up. He walked back to Joseph, regarding the younger man with complete seriousness (and some anxiety).

"About your second question..." Alistair said quietly, then hesitated and looked away for a moment. "Well, you didn't ask a question, but never mind. For what it's worth, I've met a couple of the Infested. You're right that we might never really understand them,'ve seen enough. They're as close to pure evil as you will ever see. They're...they're purely sadistic. More than you can possibly imagine."

Alistair took a deliberate breath to steady himself before looking Joseph in the eye. "I know that we're supposed to not believe this of alien species, but please hear me. The parasites, whatever they are, cannot be understood, empathised with or reasoned with. They are monsters. If you find yourself near one of the Infested, don't try to fight or talk. Just run. Run as fast as you can, as far as you can, me, you really don't want to know the rest. Do you understand?"

Alistair's words were reasonable, his tone even, but the shaken look in his blue eyes was distinctly unhinged.

Re: Day 14 [1630 hrs] Transporter Cassinis

Reply #10
[Ens. Joseph Adams | Transporter Room 2 | Deck 5 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @Griff

Something about Alastair's tone caused him to somehow believe the paranoid, panicked speech. Unhinged though it might have seemed to him.

"I heard that those things are pretty robust... I didn't realise just how strong they were.."

He mused, mostly to himself. Of course whether he actually took Alastair's advice and ran for his life largely depended on the circumstances. More likely, it seemed he'd probably have to hold his ground against them. Although if Alastair was so intimidated by them, Joe wasn't sure if he might have any ideas on how to fight them.

"I hear you, but I'm not sure I'll be able to just turn tail and run away like that. What if there's other people at risk? If they're so sadistic and evil, then they're something that must be fought. If not by me, then certainly by someone else. Might as well take a bite out of them myself too."

A brief pause before he followed up with:

"Figuratively speaking."

He wasn't quite sure if the addition was necessary of course, but deciding it was better to have it than not, he mentally shrugged lightly. He was sure he had a point after all. At the very least, he had to try to do something. Or at least be a part of a collective effort of resistance. He couldn't very well just let the infested keep working at whatever scheme they had planned for the galaxy unchallenged!

He turned his attention back to his original question, disregarding the slight hero complex he might have inadvertently invented for himself.

"So, chaos for chaos's sake. Is that about right? They're like little anarchists, running around in Admirals and heads of state, trying to disassemble the stability of the galaxy?"


Re: Day 14 [1630 hrs] Transporter Cassinis

Reply #11
[Lieutenant Alistair Leavitt | Transporter Room 2 | Deck 5 | USS Theurgy ] Attn. @tongieboi

Joseph's affirmation that the Infested had to be fought elicited a flash of guilt from Cailus, and he grimaced in discomfort. Self-consciously Alistair rubbed his neck, his hand grazing the cold metal of the pips on his collar, and his guilt doubled, as did a modicum of shame.

"There's more to it than pure anarchy," Alistair said with a sigh, resting a hand on the console. "Even an anarchist has an ultimate goal, because they believe that anarchy is the ideal environment. Many anarchists aren't evem violent. The Infested...or, well, the things inside them, they live to inflict pain, spread horror and suffering. We believe that they have other goals of some sort, but that's their main reason to be, pure sadism. The Federation is the antithesis of everything that they are, and the only hope of stopping them in this galaxy. That's why they're targeting us first."

After a few moments, Alistair looked Joseph in the eye, smiling weakly as he did so. "Look, Joseph, I'm sorry. My own experiences have...uh, they've affected me, obviously, but that's my problem to work out. You're absolutely right, the Infested have to be fought and defeated. They can be defeated. I watched Lieutenant zh'Wann take one on, all alone, and she beat it. If she hadn't...I'd be dead, along with all the others and a few billion Klingons. She saved us all."

Feeling thoroughly self-conscious, Alistair cleared his throat, before a passing thought caused his smile to morph into a grin. "You can ask her about it, if you ever see her. She might seem intimidating at first, maybe a bit intense, but from what I saw, she's an amazing person."

Re: Day 14 [1630 hrs] Transporter Cassinis

Reply #12
[Ens. Joseph Adams | Transporter Room 2 | Deck 5 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @Griff

A gentle nod, he took in what was, undoubtedly, wisdom he needed. Knowledge was power, hadn't someone smart once said that? The more he knew, the better.

"I'll be sure to ask her if I see her...or meet her for that matter."

Indeed he hadn't yet met most of the crew, zh'Wann was one such a person he had yet to either stumble across or otherwise encounter. It was a big ship after all.

"There's no need to explain. I'm sure that such an experience with...Anarchic Sadists, would be harrowing."

He couldn't exactly relate to the experience. He wasn't a seasoned veteran, quite the opposite in fact. He hadn't fought in the Dominion War, nor had he been at Wolf 359. As such, he had yet to encounter any particularly traumatic events. He certainly hoped he'd never have to. However such a likelihood was slim, given their circumstances..

"Well, I think we're just about ready to get started here..."

Deciding to tactfully change the subject, as well as finish his work, in one fell swoop, he glanced up from his control panel, pressing a few final icons on it. And it was at this point that his gaze fell upon Alastair again, wondering how he was faring with the 'drudge work' as he'd thought of it.

"What about at your end?"

Re: Day 14 [1630 hrs] Transporter Cassinis

Reply #13
[Lieutenant Alistair Leavitt | Transporter Room 2 | Deck 5 | USS Theurgy ] Attn. @tongieboi

The rest of the work didn't take long, and Alistair was glad to do it, feeling increasingly embarrassed at his over-sharing. Sure, Joseph had asked and they were being informal, but there was such a thing as too informal. It was disquieting to realise that Joseph was acting the more mature of the two men, given that it was Alistair's job to take care of him.

At Joseph's question, Alistair cleared his throat, returning to the transporter pad and opening a small panel on a bulkhead. He tapped at the small LCARS display inside, squinting at the small readout. "Alright...ion charge is within tolerance...pad surfaces read clean...contaminants are minimal...uh...yep, I think we're good."

Alistair stepped off the pad and walked back to Joseph, waited a beat in uncomfortable silence, then realised that Joseph was waiting for the order. I have no idea how Stark does this so well. I could do this for fifty years and still not get used to it. Glancing at Joseph, Alistair gestured vaguely. "Right, let's see if this works. Energise at your discretion."

At least I know the right words. Urgh.

Re: Day 14 [1630 hrs] Transporter Cassinis

Reply #14
[Ens. Joseph Adams | Transporter Room 2 | Deck 5 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @Griff

Joe patiently watched as Alistair opened a small panel on the bulkhead and checked the display within, nodding along to his words.

"Alright, you. Let's see if you're still gonna misbehave."

He mumbled to the console, and by extension, the transporter itself. A habit he'd fallen into long before he'd came to Theurgy. His fingers positioned themselves on the familiar sliders and began to drag themselves up.

"Alright, energizing now."

He said, this time directly to Alistair as the transporter hummed to life. And at least for the moment, it seemed to be working. The test cylinder he'd left on one of the pads began to dematerialise, just as it should.

And then his console beeped.

Shit. That was never good.

His eyes fell down to the console and he groaned a little before he got to work.

"There's always something with you, isn't there!"

He accused the transporter as his fingers pressed buttons and moved sliders that made up his user interface, briefly forgetting he was in the company of a superior officer and someone who might find it a little strange if he talked to his equipment.

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