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Some Like It Cold

Posted on Tue Apr 13th, 2021 @ 8:50pm by Ensign Aenardha Sh'vastarth & Petty Officer 1st Class Greep & Petty Officer 2nd Class Zo

Mission: The Gauntlet
Location: Engineering
Timeline: Prior to "Remember You Would Move Mountains"

Stepping into Engineering proved to be a buffet of public vision for Aenardha to telepathically tap into. The place was awash with mental tags that was either personal or confidential or for official use only or otherwise something she did not need to know. So she avoided those visions in particular. Many eyes turned to her though as she stepped in. Some stayed on her for a moment. Even fewer entered the realm of staring, ogling even.

Of all the personnel spread about, there was one however that Aenardha thought of as ‘physical void.’ That was the label she gave to those whose minds she could not recognize. She would have had no idea this person in particular was even there had it not been for the public vision of others seeing him and interacting with him. Of the few races she had encountered that the Aenar could not, in fact, read telepathically, this one was added to the list. Now she only needed to figure out what race he was. Having not yet perused the ship manifest and studied BIOs, she could only describe this crew member as a blue chimpanzee…with a yellow beak.

Though Aenardha was fully aware and prepared for the inevitable, that she would interact with and even work with races whose minds she could not read, she still felt a strange sensation when being around someone she could only feel and touch and hear.

She stepped further into Engineering and waited. To everyone working therein, an Aenar in black clothing wondered in. She had a specially made PADD in hand and rubbed her fingers across the screen without ever looking at it.

It wasn't long before she sensed someone who had noticed her was moving toward her. She saw through others' eyes the appearance of a humanoid in his mid-twenties, but with the mind and experience of someone much older. Though the oncomer appeared very much like a human, his mental pattern and vision were distinctly different. The blue-furred chimp-bird seemed not to take notice of her.

"Hello. I'm Crewman Zo," the man said, holding his hand out. "Welcome to Engineering. Is there anything I can do for you?" The tone was very friendly, and his demeanor was very relaxed. In fact, despite the hustle of the various crew going about their work, their own level of stress was rather low. This was a very efficient, competent crew.

He was looking her in the eye and she looked him right back in the eye. He was not looking at his hand, neither was anyone else. Aenardha had a pretty good estimate of its location and decided to take his hand and shake it, but missed by half a hand-width leading to a seconds-long awkward fumbling about until their hands were firmly in each other's grasp and adequately shook.

"Apologies. Sh'vastarth. Intelligence, USS Pandora. Aenar," obviously. She knew she could have simply put in a request through the ship’s computer but wanted to meet her fellow crewmates in person. “I have a request I would like to submit to Engineering. Do I need to send this to your chief directly or can you forward it up?”

Zo shrugged. "I suppose I could forward it if you wish. Is the request related to Engineering or something like maintenance? If so," he added with a smile, "I know about thirty people who might be able to help..."

“I believe this would be an Engineering request.” She brought her PADD up and placed her hand on it. Her fingers slid across the screen, reading it, and tapped here and there as she explained further. “Starfleet vessels, by default, do not have the climactic specifications I request. SF Regulations, however, have been recently amended to allow for special accommodations for Aenar personnel and other Aenar assigned to particular vessels for durations exceeding 28 Earth days. Though I would prefer lower, regulations now allow a minimum temperature of -18 degrees Centigrade in individual quarters.” She turned her PADD around for him to peruse.

Zo looked at the PADD. It had a special screen with raised dots in rows that allowed the blind to read with their fingertips. The screen was still lit up with a graphic user interface easily seen and read beneath. With a single tap of her finger, Aenardha made the raised dots lower and disappear entirely. Zo could see the alterations that were needed; a special air handler attached to the ventilation of the quarters specified to allow for additional cooling of incoming air, another for the warming of outgoing air to keep static discharges among other damage from forming in the ventilation ducts, special plating to encompass the quarters inside the walls, the floor, and the ceiling to contain climactic patterns inside the quarters and to keep outside climate control from seeping in, replicator patterns for the replication of all the needed materials, and a special subroutine to be installed in the ship’s computer to allow for a specified user to request the setting of such a lowered temperature as well as command overrides and authorizations as needed.

“I know. It looks like a lot of work. I hope it is not too much of a bother.” she said.

Zo's eyes widened as he continued to read the list. "This... is a lot of work," he said, scrolling further and further down. He finished scanning over the list and handed back the PADD.

She gave a short grimace at his remark. It was certainly not her intention to be a bother or to produce a great deal of work for others. There was a similar instance at the Academy that cause additional work and costed her a few friendships, not to mention a some days and nights of worry about what others were thinking. Aboard the Pandora not 6 hours and already she was falling into a similar slump.

"First, you'll need to confirm with the Chief, Lieutenant Mindo, that Engineering is able to make these adjustments. If he believes we have the supplies and manpower to spare, he'll take it to the Captain to approve. If he does, it's up to Lieutenant Mindo to decide how to proceed. So given that, you'll need to go to Lieutenant Mindo personally for this request."

“I met him…on the station…before coming aboard,” she said as she retrieved her PADD. “I will submit this to him for further processing when he returns.” Then she gave a brief thought to the situation. He meets her once on the station, returns from his outing only to find a large scale project waiting for him. With the ship and crew having already been through enough violence and drama, what would the crew think of her arrival and immediately asking them to work so hard for her to be comfortable in her quarters? For an ensign no less.

Aenardha decided it was best to wait at least some days before submitting her request.

“Thank you, Crewman Zo,” she said. “I will leave you to your work.”

"No problem," Zo said with a small smile. As Aenardha left, Zo couldn't help but feel bad for the new arrival. He knew it might take a long time before she could be comfortable in her own quarters. This didn't sit well with Zo as he watched her walk away. A little bit of help or advice should not break any protocol he hoped.

"Wait," he said as the door opened.

Aenardha stopped almost immediately and turned back. She held her PADD pressed against her chest and had her arms crossed over it almost as though losing it would be losing part of herself.

He approached her. "I'm sorry about all the protocol. It's pretty out of my hands. But there are things I can do to make your quarters more comfortable, if you would like the help."

Her antennae stood erect and a smile tugged at the edges of her mouth briefly. “I would very much appreciate whatever ideas you have. Anything to make my quarters as cold as allowed.”

Zo grinned. "I think I can do that! I can meet you there in a few minutes. I'll need to get some supplies first."

“Please, no rush,” she said as she waved him off. “I still have many stops for my in-processing. I should be finished in about…2 hours(?),” she guessed.

"There's a chance the Chief will be back by then," Zo replied. "Would you rather talk with him?"

Aenardha had already spoken to Mindo briefly. And it would look better to coordinate her request with him. “Yes,” she nodded. “If you could inform him that I dropped by, I would greatly appreciate it.” She thought about her quarters again and the laundry list of work to be done for her request. She also recalled Mindo’s comment about moving mountains. She certainly did not want to ask such a monumental request on her first day. “I am certain we will work it all out. Thank you, Crewman Zo. I look forward to working with you.”


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