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Engineering A Get Together

Posted on Tue Mar 1st, 2022 @ 12:46pm by Lieutenant Osher Shouwei & Lieutenant Richelle Sorenson

Mission: Message in the Dark

It had been eight years but Osher was reasonably certain he would have remembered the uniform being this uncomfortable. Then again, the discomfort helped to make him feel more grounded; if this were a simulation then chances were the uniform would have fit perfectly.

Stop that, he told himself. This was not a simulation.

Probably.

Sighing, he exited the turbolift and nodded to the crewman...had he passed him earlier? How many Bolians were on board, anyway? He made a mental note to examine the entire crew roster. After his walkabout.

It was a tradition of his, passed down to him from his first superior, that the ship did not truly feel like home until you trod every corridor, poked your head into every jeffries tube, learned about all of her quirks. Ultimately his feet marched him into Engineering. A couple personnel glanced up from what they were doing as he stared up at the magnificence of the warp core, it's throbbing light almost like a human pulse. To some it would seem beautiful. To Osher all he could think about was how one well placed phaser shot could trigger a warp core breach....

"Not likely Lieutenant. I have a shield in place around her core. Force of habit from an old lady not to far extinct. The shield is almost skin tight and snaps into place in seconds, 3 to be exact. Lt. Richelle Sorenson at your service. Betazoid if your wondering how I knew to tell you about the shield," she said.

Oshe had heard the woman approach but had not said anything. He nodded politely, "Osher Shuwei, Chief Tactical Officer. I appreciate your prudence; it addresses one of the many potential security issues I have on my list."

He held up a padd, "I have a feeling that by week's end I will be the least popular person on board. For example, I am proposing the holodecks be restricted to purely official use. Statistically they are death traps waiting to murder the unwary."

A memory flitted across Osher's consciousness, of some humanoid creature wearing a white mask, dirty overalls, wielding a blood stained machete.

"I to avoid them whenever possible," he reflexively rubbed his left wrist, "I had...a bad experience once..."

"You might have a huge problem with restriction. I sense your dislike for holodecks and I assume there was a serious problem. I for one have gone over every system visually and checked the safety protocols myself. Many of the crew use our holodecks for either training or relaxation programs. I use the holodecks often to test out different approaches to problems and relaxation. You will find out for yourself just how the crew will react. However, I have several security protocols here in Engineering. I will send a copy to your office if you want. I take my job very seriously," Richelle finished saying to the Security officer.

"I have heard that before," Osher replied, "I have heard assurances, seen numerous engineers check and double check safety protocols. I have been called paranoid, foolish. And I have seen those protocols bypassed or have been disabled time and time again. Be it systems failures, human error, alien interference, sabotage, the holodeck is the most dangerous piece of real estate on a starship next to that," he jerked his head at the warp core.

"I don't care how unpopular it makes me, I am going to push for the holodecks to be used only for training purposes and other official uses. The captain will likely ignore the suggestion, but when someone gets stuck in there while role playing the last stand of the three hundred and they beg me to rescue them I will not hesitate to say 'I told you so'."

Osher took a breath and almost smiled, "As for your security protocols, I will be most grateful if you gave me a presented me with a copy for my perusal..."

"Oh I shall and I will add one more trap to your worry, transporters. Have you seen what a transporter can do to human flesh, or be infected by a virus, or have the decontamination program malfunction? I have, and it is just as bad as your worry for holodecks," Richelle said tensely. She had been called numerous times for holodeck problems, transporter mishaps, replicator problems, and more so this was nothing new for her but all in a days work.

"Unfortunately I have," Osher replied with a grim nod, his eyes grown dark with past memory as he stared towards a point in the wall, "I...sometimes have reservations whenever I use one. It is why I always have security on hand whenever someone is beaming up. There have been...incidents..."

The Engineer caught a brief image of what looked like a crewman's body falling apart, his form actually being what looked like a hoarded of insects posing as them. Of a puddle of organic goo...that actually moved as if...breathing...

"Lieutenant! ....Are you ok? You like lost your color as the flashback.......are you really ok " Richelle said putting a gentle hand on his shoulder.

"Hmmm?" Osher suppressed the urge to brush the engineer's hand away; he knew they meant well, "Oh, I am fine. Just...remembering an unfortunate incident or two."

Something approaching a smile crossed his face, "It was nice meeting you, lieutenant. I am happy to see you take security precautions so seriously. I hope any suggestions I might make in the near future will meet with your approval."

"Definitely Lt. Shouwei. I will take any suggestions you might have under consideration," Richelle said. Wpndering if she should offer him a drink later, "Lt. Shouwei, would you care meet later for a friendly drink?" she added.

Osher frowned. He really did not want to get close to anyone on board; it was possible they might die on him despite his best efforts, or they turned out to be murderous android duplicates or evil versions of themselves from a parallel dimension and try to kill him. But she was a department head and they would be spending a great deal of time working together, so...

"Of course," he replied with a curt nod, "The drinking part I don't have a problem with," he smiled ever so slightly, "The friendly part, well, I am out of practice..."

"Don't worry the friendly part is like riding a bicycle. You never forget how. Shall we meet after shift say 2100 in the lounge?" Richelle asked.

Osher had faced countless horrors in his career, but few filled him with trepidation the way "social events" did. He took a breath, steeled himself, then with a nod he turned on his heel and headed out of engneering, replying over his shoulder, "2100 hundred it is..."

"Great see you then," Richelle said, watching Osher head out of engineering.


Lt. Richelle
Chief Engineering Officer
USS Proteus

&

Lt. Showei
Chief Tactical Officer
USS Proteus

 

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