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Posted on Fri Apr 14th, 2023 @ 6:26pm by Ensign Noah Balsam & Ensign Jyl-eel Tor & Petty Officer 1st Class Kotri Tesren & Petty Officer 1st Class Amber Hartree & Petty Officer 2nd Class Joselyn Brand & Crewman Mateo Longhorse
Edited on on Sun Apr 23rd, 2023 @ 8:28pm
On the Road Again
Location: Yeoman Pool
Timeline: Mission Day 1 at 2000
"Incoming message packet on a secured channel." The Sojourner's computer voice reported. The porcelain white face of Joselyn Brand wrinkled, annoyance confounding her brow while she shot a glare skyward. She rested a finger and thumb on her brow and stared at data that had long since gone blurry.
"Origins." Brand murmured with a put upon sigh. "Ugh. Open packet. Authorization Brand Rho Rho-9." The computer trilled. "Get on with it. How long does it take to unscramble a message packet?" Again, Brand sighed. She looked at a PADD and then, immediately disinterested, frisbeed it a short distance. It clattered atop several other PADDs. "The damned things been slow since we left orbit."
"Re-compiling," the computer injected. It squealed. "Origin stamps include the following: Pathfinder Station. Barzan. Memory Alpha. Deneva Relay. Earth. Starfleet Command. Starfleet Academy. Risa. Bajor. Alpha Cen-"
"Discontinue. Just download it." The Lunar muttered something about being a glorified Mailwoman. Joselyn got up, rubbed her neck and went for the replicator. She passed the inform gathering- a gaggle of Yeo-men and -women awaiting Brand's typically precise cut off for her duties. Among them sat Jyl-eel Tor, her elbow nook covered in a metallic patch. She wore a strapped top without sleeves, her mocha spots descending her spine. She sipped hot chocolate. She smiled peacefully at the storm that was Brand.
"Darjeeling. Hot. Half strength." Brand muttered to the machine.
The doors of the Yeoman Pool whispered open. Ginger hair, shorn on one side and flowing on the other was swept behind the conch of a fair ear. Emerald green artificial eyes fixed on Jyl-eel Tor. Amber Hartree, still in her Medical blues, sauntered to the Valt. She placed her hand on her shoulder and leaned down. "He's fine. They released him about an hour ago." She double pat her shoulder.
"How about Boss Kestrel?" Kotri Tesren asked.
Amber hesitated. "She needs a little longer." Was all Hartree attested.
Kotri frowned. "Guess I'm moonlighting til she's back online. Bridgeport's busy." She grabbed Mateo Longhorse's hand and pulled. "Come on. The Brig and Armory's boring. But with Kestrel out, that means I'm checking in everybody's phasers from the moon."
Longhorse resisted a moment. "But I'm hungry. We were going to go eat."
Kotri sneered. "So we'll go by the Mess on the way."
"Compilation complete." The computer cheered and squawked. Behind Brand there was movement- the whisper open and shut of the Yeoman Pool doors.
"Collate," Brand snapped while she lifted her tea. Her nose wrinkled. She grunted and set the cup down- hard, enough to rattle it and spill its greenish contents. "That's not Darjeeling, computer. I don't know how you get Darjeeling," her chin swayed in a sneer, her hands expanding, "From Vulcan Mocha." Brand rolled her eyes.
"Brand to Computer Core." She slapped her badge and spoke with a sharp edge.
"Computer Core. Chief Basheer speaking." The voice over the line stated.
"Yeah, when's this patch done, Chief?" Brand adjusted her tone from sharp to annoyed. "My computers are making like the 2350s over here."
There was a pause- the pregnant kind. The kind that said the channel was mute and Chief Basheer was rolling their eyes. "Apologies, Yeoman Brand. It will be a few more hours. This is a major update. And we have to let it propagate to our shuttles and the Waverider as well. Basheer out."
Brand made a disgusted sound in her throat. "Ffffine," she said to dead air. "Bloody techies and their toys." She sniffed and looked at Jyl-eel, Hartree and- to her shock- not Longhorse and Kotri. "Where'd they go?" She gestured at their last known location.
"You were busy cursing the replicator," Jyl-eel said over her drink. "They left." The Valt rose, stretched and deposited her mug into the replicator cubicle. She tapped a key. The mug de-materialized. "I'm calling it a night. It's been a long day."
Brand pouted. "I thought we were doing dinner?"
Jyl-eel, ever smiling, walked backward toward the door, "Not tonight friends. I need to Introvert. I have a novel, and I need to tend my Tarkalean orchids."
Hartree smiled, her chin having come to rest on her palm while she waited. "That almost feels like a euphemism, considering what you read, Jyl." The plump Valt smiled, coyly at the redhead, looking her in her artificially green eyes.
"Goodnight ladies," she said, backing out of the door. It whispered shut.
Hartree grazed to Brand. "Dinner?" Brand was muttering again- and pawing through data.
"I have some deliveries to make first. Kodak, from someone called Mueller. Earth. Kodak, from Starfleet Command. Kodak, from Starfleet Academy. Kodak from... redacted. One from Risa for the Lieutenant. Xex has something." As she spoke, Brand flipped through PADDs.
Hartree sighed. "Well. You'll be getting your steps in. I'll go eat in my quarters. It has been a long day." Hartree side hugged the Lunar who was stormily pouting. When the Medical yeoman had disappeared, Brand muttered. "Wasn't that bad up here," she grunted. "Alright. Computer locate Captain Kodak."
The computer trilled and chirped.
"Index." The white-suited androgyne appeared in the corner of the holo-lab. Its floor was a grid of yellow lines on matte black, its walls a series of enclaves of crisscrossing conduits and ODN cables and struts. Index stood, rigid rather than Contrapposto- enough that Noah Balsam did a double take. He took little time to piece together why- with the primary systems in standby for the patches, they were all running on recursive systems. More meager resources.
"Close Index," Noah decided. Why waste the bandwidth? "Computer access files Balsam Music. Play..." he paused and thought. Anything to distract him of the images, the memories of the moon. Seeing someone crushed under a tree, to see their body mangled and their bones at unnatural angles. He was only now starting to thaw out from the adrenaline.
"Play uh..." he closed his eyes and tried to draw up a name, a band, a title. "Randomize... set for pop music of the late twentieth century. N-no wait. Something uh... New Wave."
Noah's head soon found the beat and rhythm to Erasure. It infected his toes and fingers, set to tapping out a mis-beat while he pulled on his HUD system. It flipped it on- the eyepiece glowed blue and then cast out a holographic control interface. His long digits struck out at the lights, haptics feeding back into his fingertips. The room materialized into a holographic representation of the Kernel- with lines, tides and light washes of data representing statuses, transfers and timetables.
He barely heard the doors open behind him. "Mister Balsam. What're you doing here? I was told you were in Sickbay?" The voice was Chief Basheer. "I order you to bed, Cadet."
Noah twisted around, paused, and slowly frowned. "I-I'd really..." he paused as the Chief raised his chin like he was ready to again countermand. "I was..." He hesitated. "Just.... uh..." Basheer's head tilted. he put his hands behind his back and waited patiently. "Filling my head with other things."
Basheer pursed his lips in doubt. "That's what hobbies and outside interests are for, Cadet. Get some dinner. Meet with friends. Work on those... statues... you like to work on. We're fine down here. Computer, discontinue music." Erasure abruptly halted.
Noah's wide mouth rumpled into a line. His chin and neck tightened. His ear still tingled and occasionally winked pain as the nerves were re-knitting from when they, the skin and the cartilage had been torn. His eye still looked blood stained but that would only take time to disperse. He'd been repaired. "Yessir." he said reluctantly. He pulled off the headset gear, the HUD moving from aglow to inert and clear.
If Noah was honest, he could use some pizza. But then he realized the holographic overlay of Debbie's was probably offline in the patch- and that might have made the matron irate. Noah weighed that and decided it was still worth the trip. "Goodnight Sir."
"Goodnight Cadet. Good work." Basheer said as the lanky and loping youth exited. He shook his head and smirked. "Computer, discontinue Kernel Monitoring Processes in Holo-Lab. Set room to standby." The strange, almost industrial scaffolding and the gridded floor reappeared in thge sound of a washing cascade.
A Post By:
Cadet Noah Balsam
Yeoman Joselyn Brand
Yeoman to the Captain
Yeoman Amber Hartree
Crewman Mateo Longhorse
Petty Officer Kotri Tesren
Ensign Jyl-eel Tor