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Day 03 [0810 hrs.] Deck 12: Cyborgs, Time Travellers, AI's...

[Lieutenant Alistair Leavitt | Operations Department Head Office | Deck 12 | USS Theurgy ] Attn. @chXinya
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The wordt had come in from the Powers That Be: Alistair, after asking to join the Theurgy crew, had been assigned as deputy chief of operations. It was a fancy title for a rather dull job, as Alistair knew all too well, although it was indisputably essential. In a crisis, a good ops officer could mean the difference between life and death for the entire crew; rerouting power here, sealing off damaged compartments there, keeping critical systems online. Even so, it was typically a boring profession characterised more by bureaucracy and an endless drive for efficiency than typical Starfleet heroics. Ops officers were rarely called on to go on away missions or risk their lives.

After nearly dying a half dozen times on Praxis, never mind the Eclipse, that was just fine by Alistair.

Thus, on the morning of his first shift, Alistair began to develop his usual routine: wake up at 0600. Shower. Head down to the ship's gym. Get a good hard workout. Shower. Change into uniform. Grab breakfast. It was all rather dull, just a normal start to a normal day. This was also fine by Alistair.

As his shift started, Alistair headed down to his scheduled meeting with his new boss, Provisional Lieutenant Selena Ravenholm. He knew nothing about her, although the 'provisional' part certainly made him curious. Finding her office was easy enough despite the Theurgy's absurd size, and Alistair tapped the chime. Moments later, he walked inside the office, coming to attention.

"Lieutenant Alistair Leavitt, reporting for duty," he said formally even as he instantly assessed his new boss. Her appearance was startling, enough to throw him a little, but Alistair struggled not to let his amazement show.

Re: Day 03 [0810 hrs.] Deck 12: Cyborgs, Time Travellers, AI's...

Reply #1
[Selena Ravenholm | Ops Department Head Office | Deck 12 | USS Theurgy] attn: @Griff

She was more leaning against the replicator panel instead of the traditional authoritative stand, one hand pressed against the bulkhead framework to keep herself from slipping to the deck.  Everything that wasn’t artificial still ached, especially the muscles around her spine.  Selena had to be careful with how she moved, everything was still so tender and the slightest wrong move would drop her with spasms.  The rewards of being a hero I guess…At least Thea hasn’t called to nursemaid me over every little thing. she mused yet again.  The steaming coffee mug materialized in the slot by her belly, the aroma hitting her nostrils seconds later.  One sip later, everything melted away, at least for the moment.  “Ah….” She sighed, and right on cue the door chimed.  “Come in!”

The doors parted and her first true appointment of the job walked in.  Prim and proper, her top assistant snapped to attention with the Academy-trained announcement.  “At ease…” Selena waved the mug dismissively, a formal ship was not her style.  “Want anything Lt.?”  She asked, taking the moment to study the fit form standing in front of her desk.  The uniform fit the man quite well, clearly a wonderful specimen and product of an effective exercise regimen.  Relaying his request to the replicator, Selena gingerly pulled it out of the slot before gently settling into the hover chair she was supposed to stay in.

“So, here we are.  In charge of the inner workings of the largest renegade ship in Federation history, specifically tasked with taking down the biggest threat ever known while also fending off our own colleagues.  How’s it feel?” Selena inquired, voice dripping with sarcasm as she slid Alistair’s morning calories across the desktop towards him.  “Grab a chair, might as well see where we stand.”

Re: Day 03 [0810 hrs.] Deck 12: Cyborgs, Time Travellers, AI's...

Reply #2
[Lieutenant Alistair Leavitt | Operations Department Head Office | Deck 12 | USS Theurgy ] Attn. @chXinya
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Alistair visibly relaxed as he saw that Ravenholm, like him, wasn't one for formalities. That was a plus already. The cybernetics were startling, but sufficiently different to Borg cybernetics that Alistair didn't feel more than a twinge of discomfort as she looked him over. Unlike those monsters, Ravenholm's cybernetics were smooth and unintrusive. Graceful, even.

"Just coffee for me, thanks, Armstrong dark," Alistair said, smiling politely. He noted how gingerly Ravenholm was moving and frowned in concern, but didn't make a point of it. Instead he took his coffee and sat down, smirking at her question.

"Compared to my job lately, this isn't so bad, lieutenant," he said before sipping his coffee and sighing with satisfaction. "Decent replicators, for one thing. You wouldn't believe the difference between replicators on state-of-the-art dreadnought and a little frigate. I forgot what decent replicated stuff tastes like." Alistair considered Ravenholm for a moment. "Er...I guess you were in the thick of it too. You know, lieutenant, if you want to take a day or two to heal up, Lieutenant Chambers and I can handle things. I haven't met him yet, but I figure he's pretty good, based on what I hear."

Re: Day 03 [0810 hrs.] Deck 12: Cyborgs, Time Travellers, AI's...

Reply #3
[Selena Ravenholm | Ops Department Head Office | Deck 12 | USS Theurgy] attn: @Griff

“Oh yes, they didn’t skimp on the replicator resolution when they built Thea, that is for sure.”  Selena beamed between sips.  “Extra computer memory for the higher detailed pattern storage coupled with an AI that wants the best for her crew?  Let’s just say that if you didn’t keep up with the training regimen you’ll end up with a bigger uniform before too long.”  And that would be a huge shame… was left unsaid.  The praise for the replicators quickly shifted into a modicum of concern for her current physical status, something that she didn’t mind one bit, though she just waved it off.  “It’s not as bad as the stories are probably making it out to be.  Or the Klingon song I'm hearing someone wrote about me.  The surgeries and whatnot are all done and over with, it’s just a matter of letting everything knit together again.  Honestly, if I got restricted to quarters I’d just be doing the same things, too much to do, never enough hours in the day to do it all.  Even with an implanted dataport that allows me to work at the FTL speeds Thea operates at.” She ends with a wink and a twist of the head, showing off a piece of the fresh port nestled in the back of her neck.  “I haven’t had a chance to sit down with Lt. Chambers yet either, but I’ll pin him down eventually.  Both Captain Jackson and Lt. Bob had plenty of compliments to share as well, so I’m sure between us Thea is in good hands.”

Taking one final draw from the rapidly chilling mug, Selena’s steel-blue eyes noted the subtle hints in Alistair’s face as her prosthetics moved in and out of view, the unconscious ticks that people would probably never lose despite a lifetime of trying.  “Your record now…that is one I’ve been having a time parsing through.”  A mechanical finger tapped her desktop display to turn it on and she turned it so that both of them could see: the very incomplete service record for one Lt. Alistair Leavitt.  Just a few entries about his time in the Academy, first two postings, then it ends with a single note: “Assigned to Temporal Department of Investigations, Vulcan”.  Pointing straight to that last line, Selena’s eyebrows were raised already.  “Please tell me you have stories to share.”

Re: Day 03 [0810 hrs.] Deck 12: Cyborgs, Time Travellers, AI's...

Reply #4
[Lieutenant Alistair Leavitt | Operations Department Head Office | Deck 12 | USS Theurgy ] Attn. @chXinya
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"Oh," Alistair said slowly, pointing at the screen. "Right. That. Yeah. I forgot, my full service record won't be in the computer, security concerns and all that, and we can't exactly call Starfleet to get it sent over subspace...right." Realising that he was delaying, Alistair sighed. "I'm sorry, but my work in the DTI is...uh...classified. I know it seems weird, since we're all technically committing treason with this mission, but I have to stay true to that. The DTI is a civilian organisation so that it can stay apolitical and independent, outside Starfleet and politics in general."

Alistair sipped his coffee, thinking about Selena's cybernetics, their function, their origin, but he quickly closed that train of thought. There was a time and a place for such curiosity, and this wasn't it. "I guess I could talk about my time on the Eclipse, since that's technically separate and mission-relevant, but...I'd rather not, to be honest. Sorry, lieutenant. That was only a few days ago for me, and you'll get the cliffnotes soon anyway. I've had a dull career otherwise. I worked on mostly positronics and logistical software before joining Starfleet, fought in the war after that, then spent some time working Ops, you know. The usual."

He chuckled briefly, shaking his head with his coffee at his lips. "Man, I say that, but all my time in Ops was on small ships, nothing on the scale of the Theurgy, least of all with an AI. I'll bet that your stories are much more fun than mine." Alistair frowned. "Oh, I don't mean to imply...I mean more interesting, I guess. I know that you've all had a hard time since leaving Earth."

Re: Day 03 [0810 hrs.] Deck 12: Cyborgs, Time Travellers, AI's...

Reply #5
[Selena Ravenholm | Ops Department Head Office | Deck 12 | USS Theurgy] attn: @Griff

Somehow, Selena managed to keep enough composure to not roll her eyes at the word “classified”.  That one line alone made it clear to her that Mr. Leavitt had no idea who he was sitting in front of.  Instead she just leaned back, mechanical fingers interlacing together to give an air of thoughtfulness.  He was technically correct, the DTI was a civilian agency outside of Starfleet’s control or jurisprudence (in fact, the G-men tended to outrank the Starfleeters in most interactions), but it’s not like such distinctions mattered much to the woman.  Secrets were secrets, ready for the plucking, especially if the price was right.  Of course, for Selena the challenge was more worthy than the latinum, and the DTI was one heck of a prize to crack open.

Coming back to the now, Selena’s nodded at Alistair’s final comments about his past, those little tidbits were there in his file, nothing out of the ordinary just like he said.  If it wasn’t for the redacted entries about the Eclipse and the DTI posting she’d’ve practically ignored the man as just another uniform wandering around the ship.  That didn’t mean he wouldn’t be useful, he was more than qualified to handle all the work she was going to dump into his lap of course.  He continued on for a moment longer, proceeding to do the somewhat customary foot-in-mouth moment when meeting the new boss.  Black eyebrows raised in response to the unintended implication, and Selena’s smile waned to a thin line.  “A hard time?  Oh you have no idea what a hard time is.  Chased halfway across the quadrant, fighting tooth and nail against your own compatriots, both on and off this ship, facing the Borg almost single-handedly, getting torn apart body and soul by an alien race that thinks itself the only authority in the galaxy, all while doing everything you can to stop a species that’s more akin to a force of nature from reducing all of civilization into little more than huddled masses of carnal anarchy?”

Selena studied Alistair’s reaction to the mini-tirade, but before he could respond she cracked a smile.  “That just means we have to play all the harder when we can.”  Waving off the earlier diatribe she tried to switch the mood back to something more jovial.  “And honestly, that’s what I’m more interested in.  Are you a stuffed shirt who lives for the job, or would you rather spend your free time relaxing with a pint in a holodeck-simulated Bree pub, watching Sauron and Gandalf duke it out over a game of poker?”  She had to giggle at the image she just randomly formed on the fly, that almost sounded like something she might have to program just to see what it looked like.

Re: Day 03 [0810 hrs.] Deck 12: Cyborgs, Time Travellers, AI's...

Reply #6
[Lieutenant Alistair Leavitt | Operations Department Head Office | Deck 12 | USS Theurgy ] Attn. @chXinya
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As Selena went on with her (deserved) tirade, Alistair did the only thing he could: sit there and take it. It wasn't the first time he'd messed up in front of a new boss, and it probably wouldn't be the last. At a certain point, he had just learned to accept the repercussions and look as contrite as he felt. Against his instinct however, he looked Selena squarely in the eye as she spoke, refusing to be intimidated. The unspoken message was clear: he knew damned well what it was like.

When she softened and changed the subject, Alistair smiled, unable to help himself. "Bad example. Why would I watch them play poker when it's a foregone conclusion that Gandalf kicks Sauron's ass? Not that Sauron has an ass...well, not a literal ass, obviously, but a metaphorical literal ass in the context of his...er...right, never mind." Alistair sat back, thinking for a moment as he considered Selena. "A few months ago, honestly, I did live for the job. I had a dream: work for the DTI. I worked my ass off to make that dream happen. I even served on a cramped old tender for a couple of years to get the right sort of experience that the DTI wanted. I was dedicated like you wouldn't believe."

He paused, glancing out the viewport at the stars as a Klingon transport flew by. "But one thing that I've learned recently is that my dream...it's not worth having it if I'm not enjoying it. Enjoying life. I haven't really done that since before the war. So sure, Lieutenant, I'll happily have a pint at the pub, right inbetween sub-patching the ODN relays on Deck 14 and saving the galaxy from extradimensional monsters. I can do all three."

Re: Day 03 [0810 hrs.] Deck 12: Cyborgs, Time Travellers, AI's...

Reply #7
[Selena Ravenholm | Ops Department Head Office | Deck 12 | USS Theurgy] attn: @Griff

“Well that is great to hear Lieutenant, and I mean that.  I’ve met too many young officers who were all about getting into that Captain’s Chair as soon as possible, uniform typically starched to the point it’s wearing the body instead of the other way around.  And then there are those who make you question why they even joined up in the first place, or how they got through the Academy.  Though something tells me you might not be as young as your record suggests you to be…”  Selena studied Alistair’s reaction to that last statement for a moment, looking for a tell.  Silver-blue eyes glimmered in the lights streaming through the viewport, irises almost swirling as they shifted focus and visual modes.

Seemingly satisfied with what she saw, Selena leaned forward and properly upright again, seamlessly combining the movement with sliding a PADD across the table to her new subordinate.  “As I’m sure you’ve noticed we’ve been getting all sorts of repairs and replacements with the help of the Klingons.  While we’ve been checking the tech and parts before they’re installed, we’ll need to run all sorts of double-checks once everything is integrated together.  Last thing we need is some part heavy on the casing but weak on the fine guts blowing out while in a firefight with a ship from the future run by malovent AIs hell bent on making sure all organic life is wiped out.  I figured that if you, myself, and Chambers each take a vector we should be done in no time.  Engineering has done their own analysis of course, but you know how fickle our systems can be at times.”  The woman smirks with a little bit of a conspiratorial grin.  “That said, how about a little bit of a competition.  Last one to finish buys dinner for the other two?”

Re: Day 03 [0810 hrs.] Deck 12: Cyborgs, Time Travellers, AI's...

Reply #8
[Lieutenant Alistair Leavitt | Operations Department Head Office | Deck 12 | USS Theurgy ] Attn. @chXinya
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Even before Selena had finished talking, Alistair's mind was already whirling. He could already feel a swell of excitement starting to build in his stomach at the thought of actually getting his hands dirty with such an advanced starship as he imagined where to start, which diagnostics to run first, what systems would be critical.

Within seconds, realisation bloomed, and Alistair flushed a little as he sat back, finishing his drink. "Uh...okay, sure, you got it, boss. Full disclosure, though, I don't know anything about the Theurgy. I studied Thea for a bit as a side project, back before we got yanked into hell, but I didn't read the Theurgy-class schematics. I didn't think that I needed to. You guys were hundreds of lightyears away. This ship is all new to me."

Still, Alistair couldn't stop an excited grin from growing. "So...I'll take vector...uh...what do you call the top one, the one with the AI core? The saucer? That. I'll learn as I go. It'll be sort of fun, actually. And honestly boss, if I beat you or Lieutenant Chambers with a vector-wide systems stress analysis as a complete newbie to Theurgy-class dreadnoughts...well, that's just embarrassing, huh?"

Alistair was no fool. He knew all too well that he was embracing the work as a way to move on from the recent past. Still, why not? Why not embrace it full throttle? What was the harm?

 

Re: Day 03 [0810 hrs.] Deck 12: Cyborgs, Time Travellers, AI's...

Reply #9
[Selena Ravenholm | Ops Department Head Office | Deck 12 | USS Theurgy] attn: @Griff

Selena just laughed at Alistair’s sudden excitement, it had been a while since she’d been able to enjoy herself quite that much.  Her spine ached a little at the thought of it too, but she ignored it, instead taking a quick sip of her own coffee to hide the grimace.  That didn’t help though, her warp plasma blend had already cooled past the point of no return and an even deeper twist of disgust marred her face.  “Ugh….I need to remember to replicate one of those warming mugs…” she muttered.  Taking his now-empty mug as well, Selena quickly recycled them both in the replicator.

“Vector 1, AKA The Helmet, is perfectly fine to start off with.”  She answered over her shoulder, browsing her favorites menu to see if there was anything else worth grabbing.  “You'll probably hit a number of security blocks while you work it though, I’m sure you understand how sensitive a lot of those main command-and-control interlinks are.”  Finding nothing that suited her fancy, the woman slipped back into her seat and updated the duty assignments.  “Just log the systems Thea won’t let you into, I’ll follow up with them later.”  Finding the entry she wanted Selena smiled and sent a file over to Alistair’s PADD.  “I’m guessing you haven’t had a chance to meet the troops yet either, am I right?”  Looking up she wasn’t surprised at his answer.  “Figured.  Warrant Officer Nirya there is somewhat new on board as well, but has a good head and has specialized training with a lot of the bridge systems.  Take her with you, I have a feeling you two might be able to bounce off of each other well enough to make things easier.”

Before anyone could say anything else an alert sounded from the small Master Systems Display behind her.  “Oh what now…”  A quick glance at the error code answered that and Selena just rolled her eyes.  “Oh for the love of…how many times do I have to tell him to stop sucking up all the power for the sensor array…”. She cancelled the alert, aborted the power transfer, and rapid-fired off yet another note to the Stellar Cartography Lab.  “Sorry, got a lab rat down on Deck 15 who seems to think that he has to run the sensors at full resolution 24-7.  Not a problem when we’re under full power but not when powered down for a refit.”

It only took a few seconds for Selena to return her full attention back to her assistant.  “So, any questions at this point?  About the ship, Thea, me?”

 
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