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Day 02 [1300 hrs.] Fluid Dynamics

Day 02 [1300 hrs.] Fluid Dynamics

[ Suq Reylin-Efreya Xan | Jeffries tubes | USS Theurgy ] @Hastata-Nerada

Every Starfleet ship had a series of crawlspaces and tubes that could be used to access hard-to-reach places for maintenance, or navigate the entirety of the ship, with enough knowledge of the layout. The air always tasted a little different inside one, typically environmental controls were not as well maintained here. And why would they be? They were cramped, uncomfortable places, and the only reason you'd use Jeffries tubes for travel is if the turbolifts and hallways were no longer an option. And the farther down the tubes system you went, the less likely you were to run into something that was frequently maintained.

It was with this knowledge that Suq made his first foray into the Theurgy's many 'secret passages'. He started in Engineering, taking some tools and his newly-assigned PADD with him. He left with no excuses or explanations. If someone needed him, they all had commbadges for a reason. He knew he was breaking the buddy system by leaving Engineering like he did, but he had to. He absolutely had to do this.

From there, he climbed and crawled, following his PADD's map for some direction and in other places he relied only on his own sense of navigation. He was trying to get away from everything, really. Too much had been going on. Many of his companions were brand new to this ship, and yet were placed in high positions almost right away, and he couldn't fight the suspicion that this was intentional on the part of their new captain. Keep your enemies closer.
On top of that, the feeling of great dread followed him everywhere. Parasites, undetectable, powerful, no way of fighting back...He was disarmed, vulnerable. All the tools he relied on to make five-second-fixes on the Resolve are gone, he's on a ship that's been wounded pretty bad, and Task Force Archeron approached. And something bad was going to happen. Very bad. Even worse than all of the other things he was worrying about.
The worst feeling of all though was that of nakedness, vulnerability. The Theurgy was a living ship. She had eyes, ears. Every time he learned more about the capabilities of this so-called 'Thea' it made him more and more sick. In his mind, she was omnipotent, omnipresent. She could kill him, make it look like an engineering accident. She could probably feel him rumbling about in her guts right now, like one of those unsavory 'hot dogs' that humans liked so much.

He hoped he gave her heartburn.

He felt his chest tighten when he thought about how powerful Thea was, so he banished the thoughts from his mind. He did not need to feel so vulnerable right now. What he needed was to find a spot, just like his old spots on the Resolve. He had a list of requirements in order to find a suitable spot that would be hard to meet--it must be a lesser used, maybe even dusty tube. It had to be a connective tube, with minimal maintenance access for a Jeffries tube. It had to be quiet. It couldn't be so close to the computer core. It should have quick access to a hallway nearby, just in case. He'd prefer it be a chilly place, but he has never once come across a chilly Jeffries tube unless there was a puncture somewhere. Since he would rather not be jettisoned out into space, he figured he could compromise.

And so he crawled about, finding it easy to navigate the cramped spaces. In due time, the motions and the scene felt familiar. The warmth and stuffy air, the way the floor rumbled a little in certain spots. He had circled a few times, but he did not mind. In a way, searching for a spot he could claim as his own was a form of therapy. The work of searching was it's own reward.

Certainly, as the minutes went by he started to feel more and more used to his surroundings. More calmed. He almost expected to turn a corner here and find one of his spots, marked with a pillow up in a corner. He turned another corner and thought he'd see some wood carving tools stashed in a corner in one of the junctions. He turned this corner and expected to see F'rell, taking her own nap...

"Wait, what the hell--"?

Re: Chapter 28: Fluid Dynamics | Day 02 [1300 hrs.]

Reply #1
[ F’Rell of the Twelfth House | Jefferies Tubes | USS Theurgy ] Attn:

“Hello…” said F’rell.

She had her diamond-shaped luminous head held low against the bottom of the crawlspace as her silver eyes stared tentatively up at Suq. Her own long and serpent-like body was curled up against the wall of the jefferies tube as soft bands of color swiftly drifted across it like dancing sunlight reflected through water. She began to slowly unfurl and tried to make herself seem a little bit more presentable despite the sudden and startling appearance of a very familiar engineer.

F’rell lifted her head to about the middle of the tube and began to slowly drift backwards. “Should I move? I am sorry, I thought it would be okay if I rested here to regenerate.” One of her middle tendrils reached down towards the perforated grate which lined the bottom of the tube and picked up a half-eaten block of replicated nutrients. “You know, how I used to on the Resolve. I thought that-” She paused and began to drift backwards. She had been resting just prior to Suq’s arrival and still felt somewhat disoriented. As she spoke the myriad bands flashing across her skin began to slow and her eyes began to brighten. Had she a heart it would begin returning to a more normal rythm. “Well… Anyway, sorry.”

Re: Chapter 28: Fluid Dynamics | Day 02 [1300 hrs.]

Reply #2
[ Suq Reylin-Efreya Xan | Jeffries tubes | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @Hastata-Nerada

"No no no--F'rell!" He laughed his words out, he was all smiles now. "I...I didn't mean to disturb you, I just--I was thinking of you, and boom, there you were! If you could--ah, just kindly--" He started to scoot down the same tube F'rell was in. He was not a big man, but it was cramped nonetheless.
"My darling, sweet--my lovely, graceful lady of the stars--if you could just-just move your ginormous posterior--" He lifted up some of her tendrils, so he could get by without squishing them. He was coming up behind her, being obnoxious to her on purpose. That's how things used to be. It felt like home again.
"You don't have to get up, I was hoping to find a good spot to nap too. Looks like the best spot's taken. We can share." He decided, and he laid his back against the wall of the tube, his legs crossed. He was facing the middle of F'rell's whisp-like body, and as much as he wanted to pet her, he refrained. He was a nuisance, but not that horrible. All he wanted was to share space, not invade it.

Finally, now that he was settled with her, he took a long deep breath and sighed.
"Feels like home a lil', doesn't it? The ship doesn't rumble as much as ours did, but I guess you get some good vibes here anyways..." He let his eyes fall shut. He hadn't realized how heavy they felt. He hadn't had solid sleep last night, so his body's probably aching for something, anything. Even just five minutes with his eyes closed.

"You know you uh, you broke the buddy system rule. The Resolve rule. I did too, but I'm the boss so, do what I say not what I do." He grinned. "Did you just get tired of us and decided on getting a break up here?"

Re: Chapter 30: Fluid Dynamics | Day 02 [1300 hrs.]

Reply #3
[ F’Rell of the Twelfth House | Jefferies Tubes | USS Theurgy ] Attn: FollowTomorrow

While the relief was swift to arrive, F’rell almost immediately found herself put in a very uncomfortable situation as her buoyant and balloon-like body was squished out of the way to make room for Suq to squeeze past. Her head found itself pressed against the musty grate that made up the bottom of the tube as the rest of her body attempted to move all thirteen feet of herself out of Suq’s general region of space. Much as Suq may have referred to her ginormous posterior, F’rell felt a bit more that perhaps it should be Suq, the one who actually possesses a posterior, who should be doing the moving.  she found both of them occupying the same area, with Suq situated squarely below the middle of her body.

F’rell twisted around and lay her head on her coils, facing Suq. “Indeed we can share.” She hummed quietly. “Like good old times. It does feel a little like home.” She closed her eyes and listened to Thea’s harmonics ring around her. It soothed her. “Indeed there are ‘happy sounds’ as you say…” She rested for a bit. It felt good, the two of them, relaxing in the bowels of a ship like their days on the Resolve. How she would miss the ship, but she felt that she might have found something special in Thea. When Suq mentioned the buddy system she tensed somewhat before trying to relax her coils. “Yes, I did break the ‘friend system’, but honestly I needed some ‘solitary era’ to relax and regenerate. Plus… I feel that it would create enemies among Thea’s crew.”

Re: Chapter 30: Fluid Dynamics | Day 02 [1300 hrs.]

Reply #4
[ Suq Reylin-Efreya Xan | Jeffries tubes | USS Theurgy ] @Hastata-Nerada

Suq glanced up at F'rell and just stared her over, not with disdain or contempt, but with the sort innocent wonder. He'd known the strange space-borne ribbon for a very long time now, but her body was just...a miracle, of sorts. He was very sure that if she ever visited Efros, she would immediately be hailed as a sort of empress spirit and given the greatest of honors and gifts for her beauty. As he sometimes did, and may forever do so long as he lives, he reached out to touch one of F'rell's appendages, just to make sure she was real.

"No need to get all tense, I'm not scolding you." He rubbed Membrane? Her...whatever that was. It was very comforting to feel touch, even if it wasn't the same as a humanoids. He needed to be anchored to reality sometimes, and touching helped.
"Yeah, I guess it kinda does divide us. But, I's not like you can expect us to adapt immediately. We're not borg." He cracked a smile, "See, humanoids, they kinda need some time to welcome in new people to the existing herd. I guess we didn't get to see much of that while we were lost. Every time we found new people they tried to murder us--you excluded of course." As he spoke, he adjusted himself and his position, to allow for more contact between him and his engie-from-another-world. Unlike F'rell, he was very touch-oriented. Like a child, he had to maintain some kind of contact to comfort himself. It eased his worrying and allowed him to resume work with renewed energy. Currently, he was trying to lay his head on her.

"I dunno. What do you think of the Theurgy? I bet the vibrations she's giving off feel comforting to you, judging by your light patterns, but I mean the people on the ship, not just the ship." He gave her a pat. He'd learned only a few of her mood-patterns, content and ticked off being the easiest for him to recognize and the rest less so. It took a great deal of effort to train himself to do so. He had figured long ago that she deserved to felt welcomed.
"I can't shake the feeling something very bad will happen. I can feel it in my bones. I think it's an omen. I'd love to hear from you, you're smart. Smarter than me, anyway."

Re: Day 02 [1300 hrs.] Fluid Dynamics

Reply #5
[ F'rell of the Twelfth House & Suq Reylin-Efreya Xan | Jefferies Tube | USS Theurgy ]

F'rell shifted slightly, unsure of how to respond. She was not the best when it came to comforting people in vulnerable situations but she was certainly willing to try. "Suq, I am just a collector who happens to be trained in distortion physics. I hear you speak of omens though and... I am not sure omens exist, and I think that this is what you humanoids would describe as a 'gut instinct'." She trilled. She was amazed how the translator was able to handle her speaking about gut feelings while it had trouble with other words she spoke. "The ancient turtle songs of my world would say you are right, but they are mythical, much like the, uh, the Oracle of Delphi from Earth." She had been informed of Delphi when she looked up dragons, and found it quite interesting, as the ancient humans in the story had attributed the emissions of a volcano to the dragons she was often compared to.

F'rell knew of and understood a great many things. She was wise and intelligent all at once. Suq didn't know what turtle songs were, and had only heard of a Delphi oracle once or twice. He tried to take comfort in her words, but it was difficult to do when he lacked such knowledge.

“I worry for our people, F'rell. Us from the Resolve, we didn't have time to think about this decision before it happened. It was just life or death, you know? And...and I'm worried about those of us who aren't happy with this decision.” He spoke slower, as if he was thinking about his words before they came out, but he still stammered in his language.

“They probably feel forced. Forced to do this, I mean. And you know, they're going to be kind of bitter. I'm bitter, I think. I think there are Theurgy people who are bitter too, they didn't ask for a bunch of crazies like us. And I don't know how to resolve that.”

F'rell paused and considered his words. "Isn't staying voluntary? I thought it was made clear during the assembly. Or did I [hear] wrong?" She hoped to get to the note of bitterness in just a bit, and hoped that Suq didn't feel bad by her bringing up the voluntary nature of their stay aboard the Theurgy?

In reply, Suq folded his hands over his gut. Then they lay by his side. And then he turned over on his side, burying his face in F'rell and groaning. All of this gesturing and grumping provided him time to parse F'rell's unusual handling of the Standard language.

“If we leave, and we head on back to the Federation...How can we be assured that we will be treated with any measure of decency? After all, we came back to the Federation, only to have one of their starbases plant evidence to implicate us in treason. We can't just sneak back home either—we'd always know, waiting. Waiting until the day some bugged Federation agent who doesn't want us to spill the truth gets ahold of us and...well, you know.” He took a deep breath, and he resigned himself to a flopped, lazy position on F'rell's body. Every time he thought of something more stressful, she had more and more of her personal space invaded.

“We know too much now. Even if someone doesn't think the parasites are real, a tyrannical governing body like the Federation would still see interest in removing us to protect their interests.” He sounded insane, he knew it. But he also knew of many people on his old forums who would post something, something that hit a little too close to home, and then...they'd never be heard from again. Now that he knew what he did, he could accurately imagine what had happened. He felt dizzy, when he exhaled, he wheezed, or he was pretty sure that was a wheeze. It also sounded like he was deflating. Hard to tell.

After taking some time to think, F'rell finally came to a conclusion as the much smaller carbon-based frame of Suq slowly found its way over her body. "Then I think the best course of action is to assist the Theurgy." She trilled as she closed her eyes. "Even if it means that we cannot return home, if only to keep them and ourselves safe."

“Do they really have our best interests in mind though?” Said Suq.

F'rell sighed. "We must find that out together, though I see no reason pointing to them not having our best interests at heart." She paused. "Yet."

Re: Day 02 [1300 hrs.] Fluid Dynamics

Reply #6
[ Suq Reylin-Efreya Xan | Jefferies Tube | USS Theurgy ]

Yet. He hated that word. It filled his gut with sour acid and made it rumble. They have to wait for someone to prove that they mean the Resolve harm. They have to wait until after someone gets hurt to do anything. They've been hurt so many times, Suq thought it unjust to let his people get hurt again. He was hopeless, helpless, and totally trapped.

He slid off F'rell's body and crumpled onto the barring below. It was cold and uncomfortable, but he remained all piled up like he was nothing more than some innocent dirty laundry hanging around the J-tubes. Then, he started to stand up. He couldn't stand all the way up, but if he hunched, it allowed him the space he needed to pace. He felt a great deal of emotions, all of them have been building up, and he had to get them all out as quickly as possible if he wanted to defuse. He could trust F'rell wouldn't think him a fool for it.

"And they said we could go home if we wanted--F'rell, I just, I have to rant, if you could just listen-- It's like they ever thought that idea all the way through. I'm sick of this. Really, just--just sick. I should've never signed up for the Resolve. I should've never came to the Academy, I should've never even thought about leaving home. Nothing was this--this stupid on Efros. You didn't get these, these twisted parasites, and crazy people on prototype ships, and nobody died in the vacuum of space because there were in the wrong place at the wrong time, nobody had to sacrifice themselves, and none of my decisions cost lives. I just sat around, flew drones into other people's houses, and browsed the internet and ate, and sometimes I went outside to bother my friends. But now I can't go back to that, my mother won't even speak with me, my community held a funeral for me just to make sure everyone knew I was dead to them. Do you--do you even know how stupid that is? How---I can't even go back home if I wanted to. And it's like nobody cares! Or--or like nobody knows what it's like, or something, nobody knows what it's like where you couldn't ever go back home if you wanted--"

But, he realized, that was F'rell's situation. She was so far from home, just like him. All of that stuff applied to her as well. And in his multitude of frustration, about being helpless, about feeling alone, about the stress of command and the blood spilled, he had forgotten that he wasn't really alone. Not really. He had been walking in a loop around F'rell, and now he had stopped just a short distance in front of her head, back to her. His shoulders sank a little in his realization, he turned around to face her with an apologetic face he hoped she understood, given she is still a little new to this whole facial expressions business.
"F'rell, I...I'm sorry, I...."

Re: Day 02 [1300 hrs.] Fluid Dynamics

Reply #7
[ F’Rell of the Twelfth House | Jefferies Tube | Deck 28 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @FollowTomorrow

The words stung F’rell. It burned her yet somehow left her alive like a plasma fire. Fresh colors of anger flared across her flank as her eyes snapped open and her serpentine body raised itself to as much height as it could muster within the cramped service corridor. How dare Suq presume that she didn’t know what this horrible feeling was like. Had he forgotten in his troubles that he was party to subjecting F’rell to the same fate. Blinded by the sudden pain that struck her psyche, F’rell missed the apology entirely and bristled in response to what Suq had said.

“Oh, my, I wonder what that feels like, what a terrible terrible fate!” She hummed angrily through the translator. Though the translator did little to convey her actual emotions, the angry red flashing across her twisting form accounted plentifully for that technological fault. “It’s almost as if you keep dragging me along, taking me further and further away from V’nai, away from my mates, and from my children! I will never be able to see P’lell, or M’nef, or J’rai, or- or- or any of my family again. I am doomed to stay with you forever.” Images of her family group surfaced in her mind. Memories of her first time exploring P’lell and M’nef, of raising J’rai and her other children, of seeing them swim in the depths of their home world. She remembered when her daughter, V’nen had wandered too close to a patch of bone fields, and a ghost serpent had wandered by. She remembered taking J’rai to a cove tree, and watching luminous hau rays dance within its branches and membranes. She would never see any of them again, but somehow the memories soothed her, calmed her down, and she realized that as angry as she may be, Suq suffered the same fate. After all, that’s what had led to him angering her in the first place. She gave a slow and drawn out tune, roughly equivalent to a sigh, and coiled herself within her body, hiding her head in a knot. “I am sorry too Suq. I should have stopped and thought out what I was going to say first. We are both in the same [skimmer] you and I. Perhaps I should spend some more time [listening] to Thea’s [symphony] to calm my nerves a little bit.”


Re: Day 02 [1300 hrs.] Fluid Dynamics

Reply #8
[ Suq Reylin-Efreya Xan | Jefferies Tube | USS Theurgy ]

Just as F'rell took the time to learn how to read faces, Suq had made an effort to learn F'rell's colors. After all, she was a part of his team, and he wanted her to feel included. Judging by her flaring stripes of light, all red and angry and spiteful, he had not done very well on that front. And she had every right to be angry. He took his heeled boots and stomped all over her feelings on the way to expressing his. He shrank away from F'rell. She didn't yell, but she didn't need to. He let her get it all out, and only when she was calmed and after she addressed him did he answer back.

“You should...calm down, yeah. I'm sorry, I...” But he stammered out a string of vowels instead of a string of words. “...I..I guess...I mean, I know, I know that was a jackass move—I mean, that I am a jackass. Or something.” Damn this language, truly and really, it never had the right words. He has more emotions than Standard has words for this sort of situation.

“I'm headed...headed back, you know, to work. I...I hope you have a good nap, or rest, or hum.” He picked himself up again, not quite to his full height, but he was almost there. He turned around, to hide his face. He was sure it was glowing right now. “I'm sorry..” He muttered, and scampered out of this section of tubing.

He continued on in the maze of tubes alone, suddenly feeling less comfortable here. He could walk, for the most part, but his head and shoulders tilted like this was uncomfortable, and he couldn't figure out what he was supposed to be doing with his hands. He had no pockets to jam them into. He'd have to alter his uniform later. Whatever. All he could really focus on now was humiliation and shame. He cringed at himself every few feet. ”That was so stupid of me, so stupid stupid stupid...”

His walk, and sometimes crawl and climb, through the tubes went on a little longer. He chose no specific path. In fact, he was no longer paying any attention to where he was going. He supposed he was getting closer to Vector 02's warp core. He might as well make it all the way there. If he focused on taking one step at a time, focused on his body and his breathing, he could ease himself out of his embarrassment. Something he learned from Ejek one day, something about mindfulness.

And eventually, he did make it. He crawled straight on, over some sort of strange bump in the tube, and then he could climb right back down into Vector 02's warp core. Things looked busy here, lots of damage. In fact, lots of damage he could fix. And if he threw himself into work, he wouldn't have to think about F'rell and how he sucker punched their friendship.

”Well,” he thought as he rolled up his sleeves, ”I'll just pray the day doesn't get any worse.”

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