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Fresh out of the tin.

Posted on Mon May 24th, 2021 @ 5:37am by Lieutenant Valeria Mordin & Lieutenant JG Stan More

Mission: Recovery
Location: Main Lab

When Stan had been a teenager. To help with his studies. He took a job as a trainee gardener at the Edinburgh royal botanical gardens. The head gardiner remarked that day.

“ If yer had been a wee doggie. Yer tail would wag so much. You’d of been flying.”

Entering the science lab today. Stan had the same feeling. He saw science equipment he had only dreamed about. Microscopes with built-in quarantine field generators. Cellular probes with multiple analysis monitors. He wanted to get on his hands and knees. Then kiss the floor this was a science officer’s dream come true.

“ Lieutenant ( jg ) Stan More yer new Assistant Chief Science Officer. Fresh out the tin and ready to serve.Sir.” Stan said. Then felt his face go red.

Sorry. “ Lieutenant ( jg ) Stan More yer new Assistant Chief Science Officer. Reporting in.Sir.” Stan said blushing baboon bottom red in the face.

The figure from behind was impossible to miss. Nevermind the physical form, it was mostly the puff spade tail and the lengthy ears that gave her away. As she turned, the most infamous feature of the Ts'usugi came to the forefront: Their eyes.

Deep, endless pools of color, without an ounce of shine to them at all. Matte paintings in expressive faces, endless as space and so greedy they refused to reflect light. Pools of color one could get lost in. Without a light to guide them to shore.

"Be at ease." she said, giving a nod to add emphasis to the notion. "And be well received. Valeria Mordin, Lieutenant by rank. Chief by department." she had a calm to her voice. Federation Standard might have been her second language, with the accent she carried. As exotic in tone as she was in appearance. The Sons and Daughters of the distant world system of Ts'usu.

"Tell me three things about yourself." she started with a soft smirk. "Three is an auspicious number to my people. Expect to hear it often."

Stan had a think.

“ Well I am a very good cook. My simulated beef and potato pie has noted status. I can also play jazz music on the piano. Plus I am very good at setting up arboretums. Which I am told we nay have here.” Stan said.

She gave a nod, her full attention on him as he spoke. "You enjoy being hospitable, or at least, you enjoy being able to provide comfort food. A musical quality denotes a sense of timing, or at least a soul of an entertainer. I'd wager you enjoy social situations, but those where rank is not a consideration. A comfortable gathering of friends, as opposed to a meeting of the departments." she paused, "As for the arboretum, not many people actually know what that is. So your pursuit of them shows a love, or at least an enjoyment of the outdoors." she concluded, once again giving a soft smirk. "Apologies, it's a habit. A question can reveal more about the questioner than the answer, or so they say. I have no idea how close or far off I might be though I suppose I owe you three answers in return, then."

"Feel free to ask anything. My secrets guard themselves."

This was a tricky one. He did not wish to upset his new boss. After all Stan was still hoping to be given permission to open an arboretum.

“ Ok. Yer favourite food dish. A childhood memory and something that angers you.”

Stan hoped he had given the correct response.

"On Ts'usu, most of our meat is piscine. Meat from land creatures is a delicacy. So, a nice steak is the easiest way to win my favor. Not that you'd be trying to influence me." she said with a smirk, "Dishonesty angers me. My people are masters of the spoken word, and double meanings are in our blood. But do not lie to me." she said, softly but there was purpose behind those words. "As for a childhood memory, I think my fondest memory of childhood that wasn't just me playing in the fields was when I was caught being truant, because I was attending a class in a school in a higher district. The school I was supposed to be attending was boring me, I wanted to know more. So I skipped out of the local school to sit outside the walls of a higher course school, and learn by listening. The minister of education accused me of skipping school. I countered that I was still attending school, just a different one."

"My punishment was to attend school, in the higher district. My task was to achieve eight marks, which is a rather high grade if the conversion works. I passed, and learned enough to put me on the path to a career in scientific applications."

A pause, as she considered something. "Where would you put the Arborretum?" her tone had no doubt, merely curiosity. Like asking someone how they would arrange furniture.

Stan showed her his padd. “ I have picked out three locations. The further away from the wee warp core is probably best.
Earth willow trees don’t being to near one.Deck seven looks promising. There’s a large area with plenty of windows. It would be perfect.” Stan said.

She glanced over at the PaDD, noting the locations selected. "Oddly enough, the main factor isn't windows. Any sunlight the trees need we'll have to simulate. The crew would probably prefer the windows for their own view, though that's not to say we can't set up something nice to improve morale. You said an ... Earth... willow tree?" she paused, turning to address Stan directly now. "Every Ts'usugi ship in the entire navy has a piece of home. Something to remind us of where we're from, and to bolster us when we're threatened. Our enemies aren't just threatening a ship... they're threatening home. It doubles our efforts, and makes us more willing to defend."

She brought up a deck layout on a nearby wall screen. "I'll speak to the captain about getting your project approved. Pick out the best single location you can and I'll sell it as a science project. The unstudied effects of warp transit on arboreal life." a pause, "But I'd like you to also select a tree that, while not growing too massive, still invokes memories of home. That one, I'd like to arrange to put in the lounge. To bolster morale."

"Another experiment, certainly, but one that I think would bear fruit." she paused, then just shook her head, "On my honor, that wasn't intentional. Please try not to pick a specimen that bears fruit."

Stan’s hands ran over the padd. He then showed her his desired location for the arboretum.

“ Deck seven would be fine. There is a nice large room that would be ideal.”

Then Stan considered her request. He stood and paced around.

“ Sorry this is how I do my best thinking. Ok so we want a tree that will not impact to much on its surroundings. So a short root system would be preferable plus it must be evergreen. We don’t want leaves everywhere. Hmmmm.......” Stan took his seat.

“ Porridge for breakfast! Of course! A Bonsai tree. Their wee so it won’t cause a problem. Everyone finds them calming. Plus we can do a display around it. “

"With that, I have the department proposal. I can't promise anything final, but I can promise I will give this the fairest chance possible. To be honest, an entire tree along a warp capable ship, I don't think a Federation study into such has ever been done. My people bring small trees, bushes, and gardens with them but our methods of warp travel are vastly different than the Federation's. Some new numbers for the fleet." she offered. "Stan More, was it? We give full credit to our work around here."

Stan shook his head.

“ Och ma’am a Bonsai tree is quite wee.....small. It should nay effect the ship one jot. As for the arboretum if we lay down the correct floor linings. Before we place the soil. There should be nay interference with the ships operations. In fact quite the opposite. In a recent report by Starfleet Medical statics showed a 45% jump in crew moral. Leading to better efficiency in a crew. When an arboretum was introduced to the ship.” More said

"Truly?" she asked, head tilted gently as he mentioned the increase in efficiency. "I'll include that in the proposal to command. Do you know where I can find the documentation? I'd like to have it there just incase."

"Now the only concern that I can see the Captain bringing up is pests. Will there be a pest issue in bringing an accurate environment for these trees?"

Stan had think about that.

“ There should nay be a problem there. We can always use holograms. Their behave just the same as normal ones. Plus they kinna escape. The plants and trees will nay know the difference.” Stan said

The rabbitess gave a nod, and even a soft smile. A ghost of a smile, truth be told, "I love it. Simple, elegant, and ingenious. I'd be proud to present this submission to the Captain for review. If you wish to be there as well, you're most welcome to also attend." she offered.

Stan gave her a big smile but shook his head.

“ I don’t think that’s a good idea. My nerves sometimes can get the best of me. It would be much better if you presented this without me.” Stan replied sadly.

She gave a nod. "If you insist. You'll have to face that demon eventually though." she offered as advice, "But I'll be certain to credit you. Any further official business?" she inquired, her head slightly tilted, which translated to a slight tilt to her lengthy ears.

Stan thought for a moment.

“ Well. Is there anything else that I need to know about? Projects you wish me to cast an eye over. Things to avoid at the moment?” Stan asked

"At the moment things are progressing nicely. None of the projects running are mission vital, mostly just side tests requested from various academies, renting time on our system during downtime. One of the projects running now is calibrating some of the newer equipment so it's essentially studying itself. No need to disturb it." she started, motioning though the various pieces of equipment. "Nothing here should look unfamiliar, I haven't imported anything from home. As it turns out, your power systems and our power systems are marginally incompatible. So, no 'Rabbit Tech' as the academy flunkies would put it."

"And yes, I'm aware that there's an animal on Earth that distinctly resembles us." to that, she gave a smirk. "I've heard most of the jokes, but if you can surprise me, points to you." a pause, "Things to avoid.... well, common sense should tell you what to avoid. If something seems dangerous or hazardous, it might be. I'll try to put a cautionary sign on anything too dangerous. In my society, orange is the color of caution. I think it might be with humans as well, but you don't have an Orange alert, you have a Yellow alert." she mused. "Curious."

"In any respect, that's all there is. I don't run much of a tight department, because I believe that you should pursue knowledge rather then be told where you can learn it. My rules are simple: Clean up any mess you make, and finish what you start. Agreeable?"

“ Oh yes indeed. “ Replied Stan


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