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Work Chat

Posted on 24 Apr 2022 @ 3:34pm by Lieutenant Callisi Veera & Lieutenant Commander Harva Taliborn

Mission: A New Frontier

Heavy footfalls carried the Odin's largest officer towards his destination. The Operations office, this time. Engineering had gotten a warning that one of the consoles was malfunctionings, on a hardware level. That put it in his wheelhouse, whereas a software issue Operations could normally handle themselves. As such he arrived at his destination and rang the doorchime.

The cyclopean operations officer was moving about in her office, mostly going from monitor to monitor making sure that things flowed properly as it were. Big picture stuff, so at the moment she was theoretically blind to the small picture. Which was alright to her. If there was a small issue, someone would bring it to her...

*DING*

"Hai, hairu." she called to the door, to bid her guest entry.

The door opened, allowing the ship's resident big oaf entry, though having to duck through the bulkhead to do so. "Heil ok sæl," he offered in his deep sonorous rumbling bass, returning the favor of greeting the other in their native language. "El-Tee-Cee Taliborn, but you can just call me Harva. Ship's resident gearhead. I got a ping that one of your consoles is misbehaving, came to check it out," he mused.

She offered him a nod, "Callisi, please." she returned the notion of familiar names. "Terminal four is flickering and displaying counter-colors, to the point where it has gone from 'distracting' to actually headache inducing." she motioned to one of the wall consoles, which was disabled. "Can't find anything local to suggest a fault, so it may very well be a mechanical fault. Hence, the call." she offered with a smirk.

"Sounds like a faulty graphics subsystem, especially if you can't fix it by rolling out a new driver. Which I'm going to assume you have tried," Harva flicked an ear, heading over to Terminal Four and starting to disassemble it, removing the outer casing. "Can't say I remember ever running in to one of your people before. Not many of them in Starfleet, are there?"

She gave a nod with a smirk, "Yes, I've gone through the usual casual fixes." she cited with amusement. "And as for my people, I'm a Daughter of Ts'usu. It's a world far, far away. At this rate, in this company, under these circumstances I'll likely never see it again. Until that changes, I'm representing my people and my family out in the black."

"I'm a Ts'usugi. There aren't many of us in Starfleet, no." a pause, "And what of your people?"

"I'm a Sirran, one of three or four in Starfleet, far as I know," he rumbled with his sonorous bass voice. Hands tirelessly working on carefully taking apart the faulty console. "We're a people who find pride in family and home, so there aren't many of us what leave Sirrah to begin with," he added, his words measured as a lot of his concentration was taken up by work.

"Fascinating. Thank you." she returned, and then turned to face one of the functional consoles to continue her task. "I'll leave you to it then, Harva. Just let me know if I can assist, or at the very least when you're done." she let the man work in peace, finishing up the post-departure checklist. If a malfunctioning panel was the worst of their worried...

She dabbed at the corner of her eye. Shouldn't have thought so strong on home.

He flicked an ear, glancing over for a fleeting moment. "To be honest, I could use some company. Unless you've got other things to take care of, that is."

She shook her head, "My schedule is rather open until something goes wrong." she admitted, turning to fully face him, "So, in that regards, I'm rather good company."

A smile, though he was turned away from her, concentrating on his work. "So, how'd you get to be on the Odin? I hear she went through quite an ordeal not too long ago. Alternate universe?"

She gave a nod, "Indeed. To the point where I'm not entirely sure what's what in this universe or the other. Nevermind that I was hospitalized and placed in medical stasis awoken abruptly, and left with fleeting memories and recollection of the events leading up to the medical coma." she paused, and raised a hand up to her eyepatch. "I had this before then, that much I know. I know exactly how I got this." she'd never forget that.

"And thus I was on the Odin. Details and such leading up to that are sketchy, so I apologize that my story is so hazy. Like grasping smoke." she continued, "I don't even know if my home is here in this existence, but... we practiced a policy of secrecy about its location. Asking about it might compromise it. So, forgive me again, but I'll have to find out on my own if home is a place here among the stars, or if I'm a stranger here."

"That's fine. A bit of mystery never hurt anyone," Garran chuckled. "So, are you from this 'verse or the other? Or are you unsure?" he asked, removing a circuitboard from the console.

She turned to face towards him, an amused smirk on her features. "That's an interesting question. Someone from another universe, with a massive gap in her memory. Where am I from? Where do I belong?" she posited. "If I'm from this universe, another universe, or another.. another universe I honestly couldn't say. To another, it might be maddening, but my people have an interesting answer to questions like this. Where do I belong?"

She tapped her boot on the floor. "Here." a pause, "However I arrived, I am needed here."

She then gave a smirk, "As for mysteries, they say when a Child of Ts'usu has no mysteries left to them, their soul is bared to the world." a pause, "We appreciate a good mystery."

"Mysteries stimulate the mind," Harva agreed, peering closely at the circuitboard he'd pulled out. "It's part of why I became an engineer," his words measured, splitting his attention between his work and the conversation. "Not smart enough for science, like working with hardware a bit too much to go into Operations, so engineering it is. Ah - found the culprit, busted capacitor, right here. See the scorchmark?" he pointed out the offending component.

"A lifetime ago I was a shuttle pilot. I served my Three, doing grey op drops behind enemy lines. That's where I was..."

Broken
Damaged
Ruined
Marred
Disgraced


"... injured." she paused to pick the least painful word. "Though, Ops fits my mindset. I'm a problem solver, but I'm not as comfortable digging around machine parts as others, hence the Operations position." At his declaration of victory, she closed the distance and leaned in a bit to give the component a glance with her good eye. "Keen senses, I'd have missed it. With the problem solved, now the next mystery is how it happened. Or do we move right on to fixing it?" she asked as she returned to a more upright posture.

"Move right on to fixing it. Electrolytic capacitors like this have a limited life cycle anyways. Sometimes we just get a bad one and it doesn't even make the thirty year expected service life," Harva shrugged, rising to his feet again, nearly knocking his head against the ceiling spars. Nearly. "Now what I'm wondering is, how do you figure that combat shuttle pilot into Operations is a transfer that makes sense," he mused, glancing over with a curious expression, though an amused one. This should be good.

"It kept me occupied. Distracted." She stated. "I was almost grounded after my accident, and was worried about being drummed out so I figured i needed a second skill set. Something to do, and i didn't want to go into engineering. No offense, but the last thing I wanted was to become the curiosity of the department."

"It wasn't long after i really got into Operations that I had the option to transfer to the Federation through an office exchange. The rest is, well, history." She paused. "The Federation was curious, but having a disfigurement wasn't as taboo here. So I followed the Operator's path here."

"If scars were a taboo I wouldn't be here either," he mused, refusing to call it a 'disfigurement' and placing the offending circuit board in the replicator to recycle it, ordering a new one. "And here you are, department head. Doing well for yourself, by any standard." he offered.

"I suppose our scars tell the story of what we sacrifice to be here." the scar above and below her eyepatch told everything that the patch laid silent. It started at the top, and finished along her cheek. There's no way her eye survived that. "And the looks we get are the price we pay for duty. I succeed, half to remind myself that I can. The other half of my success, I dedicate to everyone that said I couldn't. The greatest revenge is success, after all." she paused for a moment, allowing herself a smirk, "My favorite revenge, honestly."

"A wise man from Earth once said, 'if you want to stand up to the man and rebel, do so by outlearning and outearning him,'. Paraphrased, of course," Harva mused. "Sometimes scars are not through sacrifice but as a reminder of stupidity, a momentary lapse of judgment. A reminder of cost paid and lessons learned."

"A choice made, a duty fulfilled, and a lesson reminded daily." she mused aloud, softly before she turned away. "Apologies, I... I think I'd rather discuss another topic if possible." she turned back towards the lupine, turning so her good eye was the only eye visible. A striking profile, one devoid of blemish or imperfection as far as the Ts'usugi was concerned.

"Certainly," Harva said with ease and confidence, even as he retrieved the new circuitboard from the replicator and made his way to the offending console again, briefly resting a strong, warm hand on Callisi's shoulder as he lumbered past. "I went to school on Sirrah at the academy of greater technical learning. Every day I'd pass underneath an arch on my way onto the campus. There was an inscription on that arch, 'In your quest to be great, do not neglect to do good'. I've always liked that one."

Her lengthy ears perked up, though whether it was the contact or the speech that caused such a reaction was hard to say. "We..." she paused, thrown off guard by whatever it was. "We have a similar saying back home. An ancient piece of Ts'usu wisdom from a bygone age. 'In the acendence of the self, bring not depression to others.', or as it translates today, Don't bring others down to bring yourself up."

"It's a favorite of mine, especially recently. I find it ironic how many people back home broke that simple wisdom."

"Yeah, took a lot of painful history to inspire the quote on that arch, too," Harva mused, wincing slightly as he sat back down on the ground to insert the new circuit board. "New system works a lot better. People are encouraged to help those of lesser fortunes. Create things, donate the fruits of that labor to the consensus to be redistributed among the aforementioned lesser fortunate. Strong social program."

Callisi gave a nod, "We help, when help is asked for. Though you might be surprised how often pride stops that hand from being extended. Not in the sense of helping, but in asking for help. The old expression of A drowning Ts'usugi would learn to swim before asking for a rope..." she paused, "It took meeting the Dalacari for us to really see how our pride was hurting us." a pause, "And some just can't let it go."

She crossed her arms over her chest, "I know what you're going to say." she huffed, "I should just let it go. Accept it. Move on." a pause, "Not as easy as you think. Not when it's you. Your face in the mirror everyday."

He flicked an ear, as he turned around to face her. "Let it go? No. That's not at all what I was gonna say," he started, considering a moment before rolling up a uniform sleeve and showing her the back of his arm, the fur gone, an decades old burn scar remaining. "This - I have this across the back of both arms and across my chest. Turns out fireballs are bad for your skin. I can recommend not standing in one."

"It's an old wound. Almost twenty Federation years ago that it happened," as he rolled his sleeve down again, flexing his fingers when the old scar was covered. "Shuttle explosion. My parents were on that shuttle. And it's my fault it blew up. My negligence. I carry this scar with me wherever I go. This event helped me become who I am today. To let go of it would be to deny a key part of what shaped me." His voice rumbling quietly. "I won't say let it go. I won't even say, accept it. Or move on. Instead I'll say, remember it. But don't let it rule you. Learn the lessons, build the you you are meant to be on top of those lessons. But let those be a part of the foundation upon which stands the you who you are today, with all your accomplishments."

His story moved her, though to what end was hard to say. Her face was difficult to read, her body language almost inscrutible. After a moment, she did relax visibly. "I've opened up to few people. Fewer still take the time to speak beyond letting it go. I thank you for your candor." she stated, "And, I hope your parents find peace."

"Remember it... as though I could forget." she mused. Both bore the scars of decisions, one of negligence and the other impulsiveness. "Canopy glass in the eye. I recommend avoiding it."

"I'll keep it in mind when I'm given the option," he chuckled, though his general demeanor was serious. Serious and respectful. "You said you 'did your three', is that like a mandatory service period on your world?"

She gave a nod. "Yes. All children of Ts'usu are called to serve. The earliest is sixteen, but most wait until eighteen. Three years in service to the Empire, though after that you can stay enlisted if you wish. The fortunate are simply escorts for Dalacari explorations. The rest go to war."

"I drew the shortest straw. I got to bring soldiers TO the war."

"Could be worse, could be a soldier brought to the war," Harva flicked an ear. "Though neither is particularly good. What was this war about then? I'm assuming - ... hoping it's over now, right?"

She shook her head. "I was a soldier." she said, a ring of pride in her voice, but the ring was tarnished by the memories of what that entailed. "And it's... it's not the kind of war that ends. Not while both sides are still standing. The Koldaran are always expanding their borders, always consuming new worlds and turning them into breeding pools for the next generation of soldier. We're really only stopping their expansion in one direction, but we're proving to the home sectors that they can be opposed, they can be repelled."

"I'm sorry, I did not mean to be insensitive," he offered, voice quiet but with gravitas, turning to face her. "Showing they can be held back is important. Morale matters," he added, tilting his head slightly. "I've seen war. Wouldn't wish it upon anyone. Your people are very strong, to hold out like that."

She gave a nod, "Forgiven. You didn't know." she accepted his apology, knowing there was no offense intended. "We have to oppose them. For the home moons, for our allies, for the sector." she sounded like defeating them was a personal responsibility. "And, thank you. You do the fallen justice and the living respect."

"It would be interesting, if we ever get out there, and this universe isn't one consumed by the war. Though, you've known war, I've known war. It seems the only people who don't know war are the ones no one has discovered yet. Obscurity brings a certain peace to it." she mused. "I.. I'm sorry, I'm keeping you from your duties." she apologized, rather out of the blue.

He flicked an ear, contemplating for a brief moment before speaking again, his voice a warm, comfortable rumble. "It seems to me that creating an understanding between departmentheads is beneficial to the working relationship and therefore also part of my duties. Though if you find the conversation uncomfortable and would like to change the topic or extricate yourself from it entirely that is also completely understandable," he explained, a slight smile on lupine features. "I mean to make friends, not discomfort."

She thought for a moment, now the burden was on her. "No no, we should be able to speak freely. It prevents miscommunication in times of crisis." she agreed, "And curiosity shouldn't be blamed for a sensitive topic. You didn't know, and you want to know. I'm proud of who I am, and who I was. I find no discomfort in it. I just haven't been the center of attention for a long time, at least not in any way that I'd consider positive or beneficial. It's still ... unusual to me."

"For ME to be the focus. I was looking for a way out out of habit." she brushed some hair out of her face and took a breath. "Out of protocol. Please, continue. It's been awhile since I had a good friend."

"Oh no, good friends is around the third or fourth meeting, provided there's a social one in the mix and it isn't just all work chats," Harva spoke, turning back to the console to plug in the connectors to the new board. "This being our first chat, and a work chat at that, we're acquaintances. You know, first steps? There's a protocol to follow," he remained serious long enough before chuckling, letting her know it was all a joke. "Just kidding. You're alright, I'd be happy to be friends with you."

He had her going for far longer than he thought, though his admission of being her friend brought a soft smile to her features. "You worried me there for a moment." she admitted, "But thank you. I can always use a friend. Or an acquaintance. Or whatever else." she actually giggled. "I suppose the social chats will come in time. Once things are settled down."

 

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