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DAY 03: Twitching [1100 hrs.]

DAY 03: Twitching [1100 hrs.]

[ Heather McMillan | Upper Science Labs | Deck 04 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: Simon Tovarek


She was uncomfortable, afraid, and defensive. That was Heather McMillan's entire state of mind. If she were a creature with a shell, she'd be frequently retracting herself into it, occasionally peeking out to see if the coast was clear, and then retracting back in again, just in case. There was something to be said about the skittishness of the Radiant amongst the Federation races, even more to be said of the first Radiant to ever reveal herself openly. Even with her new uniform and badge covering her body, she had a mild glow surrounding her entire form, and her floating, ultralight hair was sparkling like crystals in a myriad of colours, constantly changing, moving along the strands, and shifting around. It made looking at her hair potentially disorienting, or even hypnotizing.

She had fabricated cloth boots that met with regulation appearances, but had far more flexibility so that she could continue walking on tip-toe. Standing at five feet three inches, she was fairly small sized, and less than half her estimated weight by appearance, so she often darted around faster than most people would expect, whilst possessing all the grace and agility of a constipated rhinoceros. The young lady was more than a little accident-prone, and now, working under Simon Tovarek, the biologist was eager to please, but quite nervous about every little thing. Her mind was full of concerns and doubts, to say nothing of the self-doubt and second-guessing. But, she had hit on a wild idea, which was what she was going to sell to Tovarek about now.

She sat at the lab station, with PADDs, holoprojections and mechanical odds and ends strewn across the table assigned to her. She had been idly playing and fussing with her hair, which floated up with the slightest movements, and danced all the way back down, taking its own sweet time to do so, when she heard a noise and whirled about in her chair, stumbling to attention, "Mister Tovarek...ah-sir, Sir Tovarek-ah-ah-I mean...uhm...Chief? Lieutenant Tovarek, sir, hi!"

Stammering nervously, she wracked her brains for why she called him over in the first place, and then remembered all too quickly, and stumbled back to the table to grab the projector, a palm-sized device, but in a sweep to grab it, she managed to sweep almost everything else off the table, to make a noisy clatter and crash to the floor. Yelping and wincing visibly, the young lady glanced apologetically towards Tovarek, and she started stammering again, "Sorry! I'm so sorry...I'll-I'll clean that up!"

Re: DAY 03: Twitching [1100 hrs.]

Reply #1
[ Simon Tovarek | Upper Science Labs | Deck 04 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: Heather McMillan

After dealing with the situation on the bridge, Tovarek had retreated to his office where he had talked with Morwen about her pet project. He had stumbled upon the PADDS of her in her office during the Opal raid and he had found some rather interesting things among them. He was curious to why and how Morwen had come across this information and since she now would seemingly be integrated into his duty roster he decided it had been the time to ask her about it.

Once the conversation had concluded he received the message of McMillan to come and see her for one of her own projects. Tovarek had frowned at the request before he had sent a message back that he'd be over as soon as possible. That was about half an hour ago and while he made his way over to the lab of Heather he had wondered what she might've come across. However once he saw her he was easily hypnotized by the surreal show of light around her as it drew him closer. It lasted a few seconds before she heard him as he stepped into her workplace.

She seemed spooked by at she took a shot at greeting him. A smile crossed the face of Simon as she ran down nearly every possibility to greet him before he nodded and replied "McMillan." But before he could get any further the Radiant was on her feet and she clumsily tossed over the rest of her table contents.

Simon's face cringed together due to the clatter and he leaned against the wall before he saw her apologize and tell him she'd clean up. He sighed softly before he walked further in and helped her "So what did you have to show me Heather?" he asked her calmly while he picked up the pieces of what had been sprayed across the floor.

Re: DAY 03: Twitching [1100 hrs.]

Reply #2
[ Heather McMillan | Upper Science Labs | Deck 04 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: Simon Tovarek


"Oh no no that's quite all right," said McMillan, "let me take care of that."

She grabbed up all the dropped items and equipment, her hands moving exceptionally fast and soon had everything clutched unsteadily to her chest, which was promptly deposited back on the table, in almost the same way it had been before she'd swiped them off their place. Brushing her hair back, which sent it flying wildly in all directions, she dimmed the colours and lights until Simon would almost be able to make out her original brown hair colour. Turning back to Tovarek, she smiled and held up a projector, which showed a terran rabbit. The holographic representation of the animal was sniffing the air curiously, and then was in the act of moving forward, hopping around, though it appeared stationary no matter how far it moved.

"Sir, I'd like you to meet...uh...Bunny...the bunny." She placed the projector on the table and moved to stroke the rabbit, holding her hand right where the tips of its fur touched her palm, and the projection responded, as if being touched for real, "he's artificial, running on an android brain, but can simulate every aspect of a real rabbit, including eating, drinking and sleeping."

She looked at Tovarek, "The idea behind him is to help with virtual experimentation for actual applications in the field of medicine and science. Since he's an android, he'd be able to simulate results without suffering any adverse effects himself. Also, I equipped him with the soothing qualities of a tribble. He might be therapeutic to injured crew."

Gesturing to the projection she added, "I can build a working model, with your permission, and assistance..." she wrung her hands together nervously, "...I'm good with the biological parts, even the artificial kind, but the skeletal mechanics and structure is a little beyond me, uhm...and...and, oh you know, a few components on the design of an actual android brain. It's far simpler than someone like Commander Data, in principle, but it's supposed to be a learning and development capable algorithm, and I think I'm missing just one or two sequences that I can't quite figure out..."

She shook her head, "Of course, that's if you think this is a good idea to look into, I mean...I hope? I hope."

The virtual rabbit sniffed at Tovarek inquisitively.

Re: DAY 03: Twitching [1100 hrs.]

Reply #3
[ Simon Tovarek | Upper Science Labs | Deck 04 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: Heather McMillan

Watching Heather take the things and spreading them out over the table allowed Simon to look at her work. He could notice that she had been busy these last few days and hours it seemed as a lot of the things had been integrated into something. As Heather held up the projector Simon looked baffled at first at the bunny that moved around and sniffed. He leaned against the table as McMillan touched it and he witnessed how it responded. "Hah..." he brought out as he looked at the animal.

Simon listened to what she had in store for the rabbit and he smiled but couldn't help but feel sorry for the thing. "Well, if I recall my former profs were against animal testing... This however is something new..." he murmured while he reached out to touch the bunny. He stood back up and looked at McMillan "Hmm, maybe we can integrate it... You'd have to run it by Doctor Nicander to see if he has any use for it. As far as I know we're currently not having any experiments going on, not after Niga..." he paused for a second as he let the words linger.

"I'd like to work with you on the project if it has a need for medical. Otherwise a bunny as companion should be interesting enough too. Besides, I have a robotics project running so perhaps the manufacturing of an android bunny might help my own research ahead." he carried on "Anyway, run it by doctor Nicander first and if he sees use for it we'll commence on a working copy. Does that sound like a deal?" he suggested, even though he was her commanding officer.

Re: DAY 03: Twitching [1100 hrs.]

Reply #4
[ Heather McMillan | Upper Science Labs | Deck 04 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: Simon Tovarek


McMillan's light dimmed more and more as she felt increasingly nervous and even despondent to the possibility of being shut down or being told that she came up with a dumb idea. Tovarek seemed baffled as to the rabbit's appearance and existence initially while she talked, so her expression became more nervous, at first, and then she watched him warily, when he spoke about his former professors, and she started shaking her head rapidly, sending her feather-light hair into a dancing storm, "OhnononoBunnywon'tsufferatallIassureyousir..." the girl excitedly justified, and then listened on when he mentioned it was something new, and her glow changed into a distinct pink glow, which grew brighter tentatively.

When he said that they could integrate it, her hair started shifting into a multitude of colours and lights. She shivered a little at the mention of the Niga incident. She had been quite safe thanks to hiding out in her quarters during that time, but it was still a hair-raising moment (literally) for her. But she smiled now, feeling relieved and more hopeful after he suggested that he would go with it. Now she only needed Doctor Nicander's approval.

"Yeah!" said McMillan happily, "I'm sure it'd be a little help in lots of unexpected ways. And I'd definitely welcome your help, sir!" She gripped his strong hand in both of hers, her touch light as feathers, and more frail than a sand structure. "Definitely a deal!" She was hopping up and down in sheer joy and excitement

The holographic bunny started cleaning itself.

"Guess I'm off to see Dr. Nicander." said the young woman, and grabbed up the projector, and walked right into Tovarek, "OOPH! Sorry!"

She backed up, then darted out of the lab.

Re: DAY 03: Twitching [1100 hrs.]

Reply #5
[ Simon Tovarek | Upper Science Labs | Deck 04 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: Heather McMillan

The joy however was short lived for Tovarek as he ran down his calculations. Perhaps they could make the bunny work yet his mind warned him about the positronic brain that had to be in place for the bunny to actually function. It had been looming in the back of his mind and he was trying to figure a way around it yet he could find none. Surely the bunny could perhaps be of service yet at this moment it would seem like a dead end as the ship didn't have the right materials to produce it. Whilst making this deduction to himself, the joy and over excitement of Heather had already passed him and she was about to run out of the labs to Nicander before he raised his voice "Heather! Hold on!"

He followed her out to the corridor and caught up with her before placing his hand on her shoulder "I might have missed something for your project to work. In order for your Mr Bunny here to function you'll be in need of a positronic brain, much like Thea is functioning right now. However we don't have the manpower nor the correct materials to do anything in that fashion." he explained himself to her, knowing it would probably shatter her dream. "You could however keep the bunny as it is now as a sort of companion. Have him dart around your lab as a hologram to keep you company or as a bunny to confide on." he offered as alternative.

He had to stop her here as her CO, even if the project sounded as wonderful as it was. He looked her over expecting to see her magnificent aura fade or darken around her. He hoped the setback wouldn't be too harsh on her, yet it was a good lesson to have as an aspiring Starfleet cadet. Sometimes your greatest projects get stopped down, getting over them takes a lot of a person. Yet it serves a greater good in the future when not everything goes according to plan. "Also, I thought you'd be spending research on Botanical last time I saw you?" he mentioned, wondering what had happened to that research line.

Re: DAY 03: Twitching [1100 hrs.]

Reply #6
[ Heather McMillan | Upper Science Labs | Deck 04 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: Simon Tovarek


McMillan had made quite a good distance before she heard Tovarek's voice calling out to her. She slowed her dash to a stumbling halt, and turned around, looking up at the man despite standing on her tip toes, looking at him wonderingly. She lowered down to standing on her feet when his hand rested on her shoulder. To him, he might have been gentle, or even light with his touch, but she felt like she'd just been saddled with a yoke. A heavy one. But it was the metaphorical weight that she felt more when he began to explain the complexities of a positronic brain, and its impracticality with a mere mechanical pet rabbit.

"Oh...right," said McMillan. That made sense. It was a harebrained idea to begin with, honestly, and perhaps she ought to have put a little more thought into it before calling in none other than her own superior, who, after a little more thought, realized it was not plausible. Now she felt like a right old fool. Still, Tovarek was kind enough to try softening the blow with an offer for an alternative. Under the circumstances, she wasn't about to complain or whine, not that she was prone to it. The Radiant were always accepting.

"Yes, I guess. I mean...well, I suppose a holographic companion is quite all right. I still have the learning algorithm and artificial intelligence simulator." Her aura faded away completely, until she looked like a perfectly regular human, save for her constantly floating hair, which leant the image that she was underwater. But she gave her superior a weak smile nonetheless at his next query.

"Actually, it was the botanical research that led to the idea of a robotic lab rabbit," said McMillan, while flicking her hair back with a hand, and sending it straight up in a state of shock, "I've come up with a few simple remedies using what plants we have available in the botanical bay, along with a compound that can work in a manner similar to sodium pentothal. Truth serum."

Without thinking, she reached up and lightly caressed the hand on her shoulder and leaned her cheek against it, almost as a cultural action, before letting go, and she glanced up at him, "I hope that counts as progress."

Re: DAY 03: Twitching [1100 hrs.]

Reply #7
[ Simon Tovarek | Upper Science Labs | Deck 04 | USS Theurgy ]  Attn: Heather McMillan

"I'm sure you can use the AI simulator and learning algorithm in future projects so it isn't a complete loss if you'd ask me." he added to boost her project not as a total waste of time. He was slightly concerned when her aura had dropped and felt sorry for the young Radiant as she seemed to take the blow right in the face.

His eyes squinted together as she mentioned the truth serum alternative "Oh, really? How potent is it? I imagine if we'd want to interrogate certain subjects that are being possessed by whatever evil has fallen onto us... Perhaps if we'd use it on Sonja Acreth she'd be more talkative? Of course this would have to be run through the right channels before we get to that... And we'd have to provide a sample or at least proof of the potency of the serum." he thought out loud as he saw some use for her project. "Any suggestions?" he asked her now, his eyes looking over her and smiling satisfied with the results she had already achieved.

Simon could feel her light hand against his as she leaned her cheek against his hand and he was a bit taken by surprise by it. "Oh, it sure sounds like progress to me. Keep up the good work I'd say." he siled as he let his thumb gently stroke her cheekbone before pulling back.

Re: DAY 03: Twitching [1100 hrs.]

Reply #8
[ Heather McMillan | Upper Science Labs | Deck 04 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: Simon Tovarek


"No, that's a good thing, yes," said McMillan distractedly, as her mind was already working on a new project even as she spoke with Tovarek. There was no point dwelling on what wouldn't work, unless there was a potential alternative that might make it work, or if it wasn't a frivolous waste of time. While Radiant loved fun and relaxation, McMillan's situation was unique unto her, and she acknowledged that fun and games were of great unimportance here. "an AI could be of great use for mechanical sentries to help bolster the flesh-and-blood security officers, maybe even photonic officers, like the artificial doctors, but for security purposes. The learning algorithms could be in turn, used to allow them to develop more advanced methods of defence and protection."

Of course, this was going into a field a little beyond the Radiant, but she could help in the foundation of the project at least, then leave it to more qualified people, while she continued her research on botany and flora, as well as xenobiology, all things she was trained in. She smiled at Tovarek, with flecks of light beginning to fade in and out of view around her hair.

"Potent enough, on humans, I imagine, positively fatal to a Radiant," she gestured toward the lab, "please follow me, I'll show you what I ha-AVE!" she'd bumped into the wall, missing the door by three feet, "Heh, uhm...this way...solid wall..."

She quickly darted around the chaotic arrangement of the lab and began fiddling with a computer terminal, then turned around to look at her superior as a holographic projection of her results started scrolling up over the table. In a simulated result, the humans were immediately susceptible to command, as well as the inability to lie while under the effects of the truth serum. "I think Terrans had already discovered this before, though in limited success. They called it Oluta. It's almost like being hypnotized, and they speak only the truth when questioned. I've run some tests on other physiologies, such as Klingon and Romulan, and if I adjust the dosages, you can get similar results as you'd get if you injected a human with it. A being with my physiology would suffer irreparable brain damage even on the mildest dosage however..."

She was looking in wonder at the text and calculations as they scrolled by, as if marvelling at someone else's creation, and then she glanced at Tovarek, with a weak smile, "...but then, the Radiant tend not to lie, you would just waste a good serum."

This was when her smile faded, "Still, it's an awfully dangerous thing. What happens to a Radiant is just an accelerated example of what can happen to anyone else if given too high a dosage." She turned off the projection and transferred the data into a tiny drive. Gently picking it up, she offered it to Tovarek, "It's rather against my principles, using coercion in such a manner, and I'd rather not keep working on it. B-but I will, if you want me to. Also, I've included a copy of my work so far on the AI and learning algorithms that I am using on Bunny. Someone with more experience on mechanics, engineering and androids might be able to take it to the next step. My skills lie in biology and medicine. I think I'll have a look at tribbles next."

She added the last part in a slightly joking manner, though tribbles did indeed fascinate her.

Re: DAY 03: Twitching [1100 hrs.]

Reply #9
[ Simon Tovarek | Upper Science Labs | Deck 04 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: Heather McMillan

"Good ideas you have there McMillan for the use of your tech. I'll check with engineering if they have anything they can make it work with. I might use them as well for one of my projects, but we'll see... It's still in the pipeline really." he said to Heather as she started to light up again. Simon smiled and nodded as she offered to show him what she already had with the plant. However, he couldn't prevent her from running into the solid wall. He face cringed a bit as he heard the impact , but it seemed the fragile woman seemed alright as she ran into her lab.

Once back in her lab he looked at the chaotic mess she had. It was a bit funny to see yet he wondered how McMillan could keep her work in order and place like that. Though he didn't really have much to say to it as his own lab probably looked similar to hers. He nodded at her expose about the Oluta plant and he squinted his eyes together when she mentioned different species. "I'll see if this can be of any use to us with out problem prisoner. Good work Heather." he smiled and he walked over to her. Usually he'd tap someone on the shoulder after doing a good job, but he wasn't sure how much the Radiant could take. So he just laid his hand down on her shoulder and squeezed it gently "Keep up the good work, let me know if you find anything else that you think we can use in the field."

He had shared her fears for the misuse of this drug yet he believed that if he could convince the captain to only let the use happen once on Sonja Acreth, they might get a lot of information out of her. Yet the balance of ethics would be a debatable subject. "Trust me though that this will only be used when it's needed." he tried to re assure her as he had heard about her concerns. With the drive in his possession now he smiled at Heather "Tribbles?" Tovarek asked curiously before shaking his head "Looking forward on your report on that. Anyway, I'll go back to my own duties. If you need anything let me know Heather." he said to her and started to make his way out of the office.

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