Edited by Capt Tyra Crawford, Star Date 21906.02 @ 03:14 (03:14 AM).
Everyone Loves a Surprise, Right??
Posted Star Date 21906.02 @ 03:13 (03:13 AM)
Posted Star Date 21906.02 @ 19:17 (07:17 PM)
==After Mission, also post Double Trouble subplot==
Benjamin sighed as he walked up to the little meeting. sh'Thanis, Caorn, and Whitby were all standing around one of the consoles, fussing over the screen. "I'm telling you," the Tellarite was saying, "there's no way this will work!"
"But you came up with it!" sh'Thanis replied, more than a little incredulously.
"So I should know!" he retorted with a snort.
"Why won't it work?" Benjamin said as he walked up, setting a hand on Caorn's shoulder and being rewarded by the man jumping halfway out of his boots. He had to fight not to smile, but was successful. Don't take pleasure in upsetting your subordinates, he reminded himself. "I assume we're looking at repair procedures for that premodulating thermal matrix I asked you about a couple weeks ago."
"Yes, sir," the group replied almost in chorus, before Midshipman sh'Thanis picked up the thread. "Crewman Caorn brought it to me a while ago, and I think he's on to something, though it's still dangerous."
"Simulations have nearly a 30% failure rate, with some of them being catastrophic," he interjected before being stopped by a withering glare from the Andorian.
"Like I was saying, still dangerous." She walked Benjamin through the procedure they had come up with, which had required bypassing the part and making sure that the thermal matrix was cooled enough to be handled - not an easy task, considering - and getting it done quickly before the bypass failed.
"You've got a good idea here," he said once they were done with the presentation. "The failure rate is still concerning, but this is supposed to be an emergency procedure. If I have to choose between a 30% failure rate of the repair procedure or the 100% chance of a catastrophic failure of the original part, I know which I would choose." He pointed to the diagram. "I see you're using the emergency valves here and here to build your bypass. Did you consider bypassing further out from the part? Might help regulate the flow a little better."
"We tried that," Caorn said with a bit of a huff. "The flow was better, but we just had too many connections at that point. It was a trade-off, and working in closer to the matrix made it easier to control."
"Did you consider borrowing a couple of antigrav lifters from supply?" Benjamin queried again. "Since we're not concerned with salvaging the part at this point, they would let us get the part out a little quicker since we're won't be directly handling it. We would simply need to get the connections cooled quickly so we could get it out."
sh'Thanis nodded. "Isolation suits and cryo-projector extinguishers should let us disconnect it sooner. We just need to work on some procedures." Benjamin smiled and nodded.
"And that's what we're here for." He turned to Whitby, who had been silent throughout. "Have we had any change in the matrix since we talked last, Crewman?"
She shook her head. "Not really, sir. The readings fluctuate, like usual, but I haven't seen a definite rise in mean temperature. It's held steady at around .01, .015 above the standard temperature."
He smiled at her and nodded. "Good work, guys," he told them all. "Try that new modification and see if the failure rate improves. We'll reconvene at the end of the week to see it it helped." A chorus of agreements followed him as he turned away from them and looked back through the engine room.
He would say he was surprised to see Cera and her purple-shouldered uniform weaving through the sea of gold, but since she went most everywhere through the ship it wasn't incredibly surprising. She seemed to be looking for someone or something, though, so he walked on over to her. "Hey," he said, smiling. "Looking for Commander Thrace'Saimara? I don't think he's on shift right now, if I could help out."
Posted Star Date 21906.07 @ 23:43 (11:43 PM)
Posted Star Date 21906.08 @ 03:59 (03:59 AM)
Benjamin chuckled along with her at the shot at his DH's name, but he was quickly caught a little off guard. "No, I was actually looking for you," she said with a bright smile. "I actually wanted to ask you something but this isn't exactly the most appropriate place for such a thing, so..." she trailed off, looking around and letting an engineer pass by before she continued, moving just a little closer to him.
He took a moment, trying to read her as she waited. She seemed a little off. Normally she was confident and sure in everything she did, with little in the way of hesitation once she'd decided on something. This time, there was just the slightest hesitation, something in her face that said she wasn't as sure of what she wanted to do. He didn't quite know what to make of it, but as quickly as he saw it, it was gone and she plunged ahead.
"Would you be willing to drop by when you get off shift? I'll make you dinner for your trouble but I promise you won't regret agreeing," she said with another smile he couldn't help but return.
The smile hid a touch of panic. Is she asking me out? a part of him wondered. It wasn't like they hadn't shared meals together before - after all, he'd taken her to dinner in thanks for the gear for the rogue planet mission - so why be worried about it? And why shouldn't we? he challenged back. It wasn't like he was married anymore, despite the ring he still wore out of sheer habit.
"Yeah, not a problem," he replied before he could think anymore about it. "I've still got an hour or so left on shift, call it two from now and I'll be there?"
She nodded, and he smiled and excused himself, as there was still more work to do. Unfortunately it was mostly paperwork in this case, which failed to provide much in the way of distraction, especially since he didn't have an office to do it in. He wondered what she wanted, that she offered to make him dinner in exchange? Meeting up in 10 Forward, sure, that wouldn't be too out of the ordinary. But fixing dinner at her place? That just begs questions.
"So you and Cera, huh?" Whitby smiled as she walked by him. "I'd heard rumors after our last mission, but nice to see it anyway."
"We're not dating," he said more harshly than he'd intended. "I'm not dating anybody."
"Who said you were dating?" she countered. He shot her a look, letting the padd he was working on clatter to the console and making her hold up her hands defensively. "I'm sorry, sir," she said. "Just making conversation."
"I'm sure you have other responsibilities," he told her, and she walked off quickly.
Fortunately, the rest of his shift went quickly. He went back to his quarters - Nathan was already in and was doing some light exercise - and hopped in the shower. "Don't take long," Nathan called. "I'm just about done here." Benjamin grunted in acknowledgement as he got into the shared bathroom, washing off the stress and dirt of the day.
He had enough time, though, to worry about tonight. He still wasn't sure what to think about Cera's offer. A large part of him was glad and happy she had asked him to dinner. There was also that loud, vocal part that wanted to know what he was thinking. It tried to remind him about Iris, about how sweet she had always been and how she would never do something like this. No, he reminded that part, she'd just accuse me of cheating and divorce me. He didn't owe Iris anything.
There was a knock on the door. "You done?" Nathan called, and pulled Benjamin back to the here and now. He quickly rinsed off and dried off before relinquishing the room to his friend and heading back to his own half of their shared quarters. He stood in his room for a moment, trying to decide what to wear before deciding he was seriously overthinking things and grabbing a clean pair of jeans and a tee shirt. He looked at the models on his desk, trying for a moment to decide exactly how he wanted to go about the next stage of painting before chiding himself for stalling, too. Seriously, he told himself, stop worrying and just go see what she wants.
He stepped out of his room just in time for Nathan to step out of the shower. "See you later," he said, and walked out of the room and headed for Cera's. It wasn't far, fortunately, and he knocked on her door earlier than he'd anticipated. Hopefully I'm not too early, he thought, and waited for her to answer.
Posted Star Date 21906.17 @ 01:38 (01:38 AM)
Posted Star Date 21906.20 @ 01:45 (01:45 AM)
They say that some of the most visceral memories you form are triggered by smells. The smokey heat of a wood fire burning, the cool crispness of a snowy pine forest, the salty brine of the sea breeze; all can make you remember events from years previous better than even a holograph will.
When the door opened to Cera's quarters, the warm, sweet smell of baking bread wafted out and for a moment, just a moment, he was a kid again. He couldn't have been older than five or so, and he remembered walking into the kitchen as his mother was baking. She was in the habit of every year at Christmas, baking bread and cookies to give to family friends as gifts. It was non-stop for weeks leading up to the holiday, and the smell permeated the walls by the end of it. Sometimes you could still smell the faint aroma of warm bread months later. More than that, though, was the smile on her face while she did it. It wasn't a chore or a task. It was just pure joy for her. He would sneak in and get a small spoonful of cookie dough, or on occasion get a slice of bread when there was a spare loaf. He could still hear her laugh, even though he hadn't heard it in over twenty years.
He must have taken a step forward, because he heard her call out to him. "Welcome to Casa Morgan," she said, a warm smile on her face as he pulled himself back to the here and now. He was a bit surprised at how large her quarters were, but remembered that she was technically a department head and so must rate her own room. She had done a great job of breaking up the neutral gray and beige that made up Starfleet's idea of interior decorating, with plenty of colors from the flowers and art to the couch itself. It was all very modern and fit the same aesthetic of the rest of the ship, but the colors were definitely much, much better.
"I hope the rest of your shift was lovely or as lovely as the engines can be," she continued. "Can I get you a drink? I have wine, bourbon, water...anything the replicator can manage."
He joined her laugh and smiled at her as he walked across the room towards her. "I'll just have whatever you're having," he said. "Dinner smells amazing, as well." He walked over towards the kitchen, and leaned against the countertop near her. "I don't know what I've done to deserve steak and fresh-baked bread, but please tell me so I can do it again," he laughed, only half joking as he took his glass from her. "Anything I need to do to help out for supper?"