Caelian barked a nervous laugh, waved her offer away. “Mal? He’s harmless. Well, mostly. Harmless to me, anyhow. The ladies on the other hand…”
“If nothing else, he keeps me from being the Hermit of Engineering, working myself to death.” He chuckled again and took another sip of his tea. “He’s always been like that, Malcolm. We trained in the Academy together, even served aboard the Challenger together. This is the first time we’ve cohabitated—probably Mal’s way of keeping an eye on me—so it’s come with its own shares of growing pains. We’re not exactly like kind but we get along.”
Setting his cup down, Caleian leaned forward and cocked his head at the Andorian. “Engineering is pretty much my life, ma’am. When I’m not ‘crawling the tubes’ I’m running a few simulations or studying the latest engine models. Maybe one day I’ll try my hand at my own design. Mal’s been angling to get me to try one of his holonovels, but my time on the holodeck is mostly spent training . It sounds boring, I know. Maybe once I settle in, I’ll branch out. Try a few more hobbies.”
He made an inviting gesture, leaned back again. “What about you, ma’am?”
—Caelian Weir, Engineer—
“Well, first off, you don’t have to call me ma’am. It’s just Mazi. Or, perhaps, hey you if you prefer.” She smiled lightly and leaned back in her seat. “I’m glad you have a crew mate to pass time with. It’s important out here. And not working too hard is another thing. Don’t let engineering swallow you up.” She took another sip of her drink and sighed. She actually envied him his unlikely companion. “I don’t go for many holo novels, myself. I prefer a nice swim in the ocean. I’ve got the call of the birds without their distractive hovering, and a nice temp set in the water to be cold but not too cold. Warm but not too warm. If that makes sense.” She laughed lightly and scratched her head as the antennae shifted in her mirth.
“I would love to see some of the sims you run, sometime. I mean, if you ever want a second opinion or fresh eyes, I mean. I don’t mean I want to intrude if you are doing it for quiet time.” She wasn’t one to butt in on folks privacy. She knew she didn’t want anyone infringing on hers. But getting to know him more was kinda the point so she had to put the offer out there anyway.
“I can barely stand to watch myself get knocked on my backside,” Caelian chuckled, knuckled his chin. “I’m not sure my pride can take someone else seeing it happen.”
He coughed away his embarrassment, tried to put on an encouraging smile. In the back of his mind he could hear Malcolm chiding him for hiding behind his work, about needing to reach out and connect with the crew. Mazhari was obviously trying to help him do that, much to her credit. Caelian had always understood the workings of things more than people. In its own way, engineering had been the safe and obvious career choice—personal reasons notwithstanding. A warp core could only react a given number of ways with a given number of variables; people were different, wildly unpredictable even in similar circumstances.
Perhaps, he admitted, he simply hadn’t discovered the right variables. Starfleet had always been about challenging the unknown, pushing the boundaries of mankind’s understanding of the universe. New technologies and new cultures pushed those frontier challenges daily, and yet—at least in Caelian’s experience—humans were fundamentally no more different than they were before they had discovered warp flight. The journey was about finding meaning and purpose within as much as the discovery without. That purpose had been one of the driving reasons that kept Caelian in Starfleet, always the need to understand the why of it all.
Could Mazhari, a fellow engineer, understand?
Caelian sighed inwardly, scooting forward in his chair. “The basic principle of my training simulation, however, is that all things are causal. In basic hand-to-hand training, we were taught how to defend ourselves, but we were never given to understand the why of its workings. After almost failing spectacularly, I had a bit of insight from watching some classmates tussle…”
Over the next hour, the young engineer went into detail about the workings of his simulation: a training regiment based on the understanding of combat based on an engineering perspective. Reaction, angles, force, and the interplay of the variables between them. It had been Caelian’s pet projects to understand the given strengths and weaknesses of a given so-called “style” in order to improve upon it, perhaps even unify it with others to create an all-around defense.
“While it might never pan out in the end,”he chuckled by way of conclusion, “it certainly does give one a thought-provoking workout.”
—Caelian Weir, Engineer—
OOC: Doing a little post snipping! Dont forget to do so now and then folks!
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