Posted by Ensign Kaia (Engineering Officer) in Side Sim, Questions in the Arboretum
Posted by Lieutenant Faye Calloway (Mission Specialist) in Side Sim, Questions in the Arboretum
Posted by Ensign Kaia (Engineering Officer) in Side Sim, Questions in the Arboretum
Posted by… suppressed (9) by the Post Ghost! 👻
Calloway was quiet as she laid out the plugs for Kaia to plant, spacing them it appropriate intervals. “You haven’t been a bad friend. In fact, I always assumed it me who was the terrible friend, but as I’ve been sacked in the face with a lot lately nothing everything is cut and dry, one way or another. Sometimes it just… is. So you won’t get any blame or judgement form me. What matters is that you’re here now.”
Sitting back on her heels for a moment, Faye considered the Raka. “I’ve never been good at trusting people, Kaia. If they tried to get close, I would do just about anything I could to sabotage the situation, make it so that they proved my point. There are a lot of reasons for it all, but I think I’ve just gotten to a point where it’s too exhausting. It clearly wasn’t working out in my best interests and it wasn’t doing anyone else any good either, so I’ve decided I’m trying things differently. But expect it to be a bit… messy at times.”
Kaia listened. “Well… No time like the present to start trusting, right?” she asked, planting the plugs as instructed. “What kind of plants are these?” she asked, lifting one of them for a moment before sliding it into the hole dug into the dirt for it.
“Lobularia,” Faye said. “Also known as alyssum. They create these mounds of tiny flowers that will spill of the edges. I always thought it was very pretty and pollinators like them. Not that we have pollinators in here, but.. yeah,” she said with a light laugh.
“We should get some. Earth bees and butterflies are good. Galdor boz and timpuks are also pretty great.”
“If we weren’t on a starship, I’d fully agree. But we’ve designed this garden to now rely on pollinators. Too hard on the environmental systems and the ship’s residents,” Faye said with a smile.
“So, while I’ve been occupied with others things, what’s new with you?” Calloway asked.
“I’ve mostly just been working on my prosthetic project,” Kaia replied. “It’s coming along slowly, even with the help I’ve been getting.”
She cocked her head and realized she was slightly out of the loop. “I think I’ve missed something. Tell me about your project,” she said, though it was more of a request than a demand. If there was one thing she really loved, it was troubleshooting a problem. Practical ones, naturally.
“Oh, of course!” Kaia grinned, looking at Faye, then looking at the plants she was putting into the ground. “I’ve been working on developing prosthetics that can function even in electrically charged environments. Current prosthetics technology can be difficult to deal with when dealing with electric environments. As an Engineer, it’s an important issue.”
Faye took this in with a quizzically expression and a momentary far-away look made it likely she was making a growing tree of variable and solutions. “Definitely. Any progress so far? What sort of variables are you looking at?”
“I’ve been focusing mainly on mechanical solutions. Ways to introduce manual dexterity with pulley action. It’s slow going. Abbey has suggested some ideas related to artificially growing a new arm for the amputee, but I’d like ideas that can be replicated by someone who doesn’t have that kind of resources. Something that might be able to be manufactured for those without a lot of resources, or on a faraway colony. Stuff we can make for kids.” She thought about her own childhood, how it had been trying to do the stuff other kids got to do, but with only one hand. She’d never felt as though others looked at her differently, but there had been times in sports and play that she’d felt left out. On top of her desire to work more easily in the presence of electrical currents without her arm going haywire, she wanted to provide these newly designed arms to kids like herself back home.
Faye nodded. “So no biosynth limbs then got it. And having grown up on a colony with little resources I know exactly what that is like. You make do with that you can. What about an organic polymer that could serve as insulation for electrical charges? You wouldn’t even need to cover the entire thing, I don’t think,” she said, tilting her head upwards as her mind was working through the variables. “There are at least sixteen different materials that might work, seven of which given the freighter trade routes could be had by some far out colony.”
~Faye Calloway, Data Specialist
“That might work,” Kaia said thoughtfully, sitting back on her haunches for a moment. “I was trying to go for things that could be manufactured onsite, without waiting for freighters and such. I’ve mostly been working with wooden prototypes, trying to create gripping action through elbow movement and such.”
Calloway frowned. “That would be fine for temporary limbs, but long term? You can tell me if I’m being insensitive or whatever, but wouldn’t the goal to be to give those who need a limb the same advantages that others will have? It makes no sense- and this is just my opinion, so take it as you will- that with all our medical advancements and biosynthetic limbs and incredible computerized mechanical limbs out there, to give those people less. And it’s a bit unfair. So why not even the playing field a bit? What about assembling kits that can then be used to create the limb for a person? They could be a part of a hospital set-up on the colonies. And field hospital kits. It could contain all the basic materials and then it can be crafted for a particular user. If they get low on kits, they could requisition more before they run out?” Faye shrugged. It was just an idea and she didn’t care either way if Kaia went with it.
Kaia absently scratched the spot where her arm joined to her prosthetic, trying to explain her thought process in a good way. “Sure, it would be nice to send out biosynthetic and computerized mechanical limbs, but not everyone has those resources. That’s what I’m trying to say. Those components take a lot of resources. Even in the galaxy we are living in, there are people living from paycheck to paycheck. There are people who don’t exist in the post-scarcity mentality that your almighty Federation and Starfleet have created for themselves. I’m looking at those people. I’m looking at the kid that I was. My parent’s scraped and scrounged to send me and my siblings to school. To send me to the Academy,” she glanced away from Faye, focusing on the dirt for a few long moments. “Even as accessible as your idea might be, it wouldn’t have been within our price range. If there’d been something you could find blueprints for and build yourself, easily, out of wood and string and scrap metal…” she gave a little twist and a tug, and pulled off her prosthetic arm. “I might have had two arms growing up. Even if it only has minimal capabilities.”
Faye blinked. She had no idea, did she? Nope. That was okay. But it was strange to find someone who didn’t know. Yes, another shift. “You’re not hearing me,” she said softly. “I’m not suggesting we create kits of fancy limbs. I’m saying we create kits that are exactly what they need to be. But you can fashion incredibly sophisticated prosthetics with less materials if you know what you’re doing. I’m not an expert by any means, but…” She could see it in her mind, how the parts could fit together. Hell, you could cook up the biopolymer in your kitchen if you were creative enough. Faye exhaled a breath, and the images fell away from her mind. “Anyway, there could be options,” she said, even more quietly.
She was going to leave it, but no, flashes of the people she had known came unbidden. Faye turned to Kaia. “I get it. I know you think I don’t, but I do. Us colony folk make do however we can. On mine, we lived off the land wherever possible. It was a great life, but don’t doubt that the one summer when we had a terrible storm rip through and kill most of our crops and half the buildings in our settlement that we didn’t wish our one small replicator was an industrial one that could whip us up some pre-fab housing. Instead we chose between feeding ourselves and replicating medicines, and prayed to which ever deity you believed or didn’t believe in that no one got so sick we couldn’t treat them.”
She knelt back down in front of Kaia. “I’m not making recommendations based on some sort of some idyllic picture of the galaxy. I’m thinking, if I was one of those kids, like you, that needed a limb what would I want to have? What would my parents desperately want me to have. There’s a way Kaia, we just have to get creative,” she said, a smile slipping on her face.
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