STF

Shuttle Gambler

Posted June 29, 2022, 7:39 p.m. by Ensign Nala Winters (Science Officer) (Christina Crafford)

Posted by Lieutenant Commander Teller Graham (Chief Science Officer) in Shuttle Gambler

Posted by Ensign Kalani Alindor (Science Officer) in Shuttle Gambler

Posted by Ensign Nala Winters (Science Officer) in Shuttle Gambler
Posted by… suppressed (7) by the Post Ghost! 👻
SNIP
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One week later
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Standing in the shuttle Teller acquired, Kalani looked around and was more than impressed. It made sense. Teller was the science chief. She didn’t assume he would be scuttling around in a general population shuttle, but this was far more than she expected. Boxes, crates, and bags filled the space with anything and everything one might need for a proper scientific expedition. Pursing her lips, Kalani wiggled them back and forth debating if she should have maybe went into more detail than a planet name as their destination. The word remote applied to their destination was kin to more polite terms such as fixer-upper or a diamond in the rough. There was no way the shuttle was going to be able to land anywhere they were heading which meant trekking to their destination.

Before the Saracen, Kalani spent her entire time in the field. Teller was brilliant but didn’t seem like the jungle trekking science type. Still he had said he wanted to get away from metal walls. This was definitely going to scratch that itch.

Ensign Kalani Alindor science

Nala had just gotten word about the little science mission a few hours ago and was super excited. She had to go from the Lab to her quarters to pick up a few things. There was a possibility of being away from the ship for several days. She would need her brushes, change of clothing, and hygiene given products. She started with her sketchbook and drawing case.

” Do I want to bring them along?” she asked. On one hand, the pink-dyed leather-bound sketchbook was small and so was her pink rose print case that held a combination of pencils, erasers, colored pencils, pens, and alcohol markers. On the other hand, they meant a lot to her. They were a gift from her father. He had given them to her the day she graduated. Did she want to risk them being damaged. She thought for a few more moments before putting them in her small not-star fleet issue backpack.

She turned to leave the room when she looked back suddenly. ” Oh I can’t forget you, Dove” She said. Hurrying back over to her bed and picking up the small orange stuffed bunny and putting it into her backpack. Doves’ head stuck out of the top of the bag with her constantly worried face and long ears showing. She could not go on her first mission without Dove that would just be plain silly. With that she left her quarters and headed for the shuttle bay.

It took her around 20 minutes to find the bay and another ten to find the shuttle. She saw another Science officer next to it. The almost completely white furred Caitian approached Kalani. Her pink and purple backpack was held in her hands. Her tail swished back and forth in content yet excited manner. Her bright blue eyes caught Kalani as she approached. ” Hi, I’m Ensign Nala. Is this the right place for the science mission? I think it had something to do with collecting fish” she asked.
Ensign Nala

“Hi,” Kalani said with a smile. “We are just waiting for the science chief.” She kept a smile but was starting to get a knot in her stomach. Maybe Kalani should have explained things better. She did not do hip boots and waders to get samples. Kalani did ticks and insect repellent hacking her way through a jungle for a single specimen up a tree or in a cave. The science department was filled with all sorts of fields of study. There were the generalists like the science chief that were brilliant in all the topics of chemistry, physics, and biology. Teller could supervise and assist in any experiment in any division. That was why he was the science chief. Kalani could talk your ear off about comparative physiology and biodiversity but the minute one spoke about physics she began to zone out.

” Oh Kalani this is going to be so much fun im sorry I totally did not recognize you for a moment” She said with a smile.

Kalani had not spent a lot of time with Ensign Nala. Just enough to know she liked the woman and knew they could easily be friends. “So what is your specialty. In science,” Kalani asked moving a few things around the shuttle as she talked and waited for the science chief.

Kalani Alindor science

” umm im interested in a few different things. Ecosystems and how they work are fun, so is physics and robotics” she said. She was quiet for a moment thinking. ” What do you study?” She asked finally.
Ensign Nala

“Planetary climatology and exo-ecosystems,” she pulled her hair up into a ponytail as she talked. “I met a kid named Paris Carisi when we were stationed on Mars for a summer. My dad was an ambassador so we traveled a lot. Anyway, she was doing all sorts of fun stuff because Mars was one of the first places we actually have tried to terraform. Since they are all in domes you can see how well that is going but I was hooked. I became that dorky kid that filled a tank full of water and left it sitting out to see what happened when crap fell in it. As you might guess on a starship the atmospheric scrubbers kept the tank with basically clean water for weeks. There was some dust but none of the murky fun stuff you get when you leave it outdoors or in front of open windows.” Kalani moved and kicked things out of the way as she talked.

“So one day my dad was meeting with this Vulcan ambassador and he told me not to just do whatever one else does but think outside of the box and use what I had instead of trying to make the experiment fit a plan. He gave me a Vulcan Orchid which I almost killed like five times. Six months later we ran into him and he gave me a cactus and told me to figure out how to make them live in the same pot. The orchid needs constant misting where as the catcus only could be water once every three months because water literally burned it. I figured it out eventually. Soon I moved from small plants to plants and small fish. My dad’s friends in the diplomatic corp began bringing me more and more stuff from all over the galaxy until we had to make a terrarium. That monstrosity on deck five all started from an orchid to a ten year old girl,” she laughed. “Over the years I honed and experimented more until coming up with some variations that don’t compete with native plants and animals places that are,” Kalani stopped talking and stuffed her hands in her pockets. “Sorry about the life history of Kalani’s crazy as Jarred calls it.”

Kalani Alindor science

” that all sounds really interesting, I enjoy learning new things, and I was hoping Joining star fleet could help me unravel some pretty big mysteries in my past,” She said taking her sketchbook from her bag and a pencil. She started to sketch Kalani as they talked. ” So do your hobbies only include science?” She asked.
Ensign Nala

Teller looked about and hummed as he entered the shuttle, “I hope you don’t think we are going to hump all these supplies somewhere…” He wasn’t about to do that much lifting. “I hope we can scan and land near what you need.” Marching in a jungle wasn’t something he considered ‘fun.’

Graham

” Oh come on now wheres your sense of adventure Lutenat” Nala said with a bright grinn.

“My sense of adventure is hiding behind my fear of a hernia.”

“That is always the plan,” Kalani said in a slightly forced smile.

Instantly her face fell and shock came over it. “Not to give you a hernia,” she said to her boss.

“I mean who actually enjoys falling into a pile of poison ivy or river full of leeches. Not this girl,” she hooked her thumbs at her chest trying to be playful and fun. If Nala and Teller were more of the lab type instead of the fieldwork type, it was okay with her. Everyone loved different aspects of science. For a second however she let her mind drift and imagined Teller not in his uniform. Instead, he was wearing tan cargo pants, with a t-shirt and one of those bucket hats to shade his eyes from the sun or have the brim work as a bill to funnel rain off his face. As her gaze looked down she was instantly snapped out of the daydream seeing his shoes. They were far to shiny to have ever seen mud and gunk.

” Yah the line at leaches and poison I’ve it takes healthy shin to maintain this fur” She said as she smothed out a messy patch of furr on her tail. Her ear twitched as she heard something aproching.

“Usually animals with discernible fur have a resistance to poison ivy and other similar plants. ” He looked at the two ladies, “the oils never reach the skin.”

Kalani let out a laugh. “Well I am screwed but I always have a steady supply of those little bottles of shuttle liquor you get. They tend to fix everything until you reach medical help.”

“You would be surprised how ineffective fur is when it’s wet,” Nala said with a slight smile.

“Shall we go,” Kalani said before letting out a sharp squeal as strong hands wrapped around her waist and a sloppy kiss was planted on her cheek?

Nala’s ears flattened against her head. her tail wiped back and forth agitatedly. ” Ouch!” she said with a bit of surprise. ” Should I have warned you someone was approaching?” She asked.

“Not without saying goodbye and a stern warning to listen to your chief and to come back in one piece,” Jarred’s voice whispered in her ear. His comment caused Kalani to laugh and lean back onto his chest as she patted his hand.

“If I kill the chief I am pretty sure Dante would ask for our transfers. Its not like....owww,” she let out a yelp as something suddenly pinched her shoulder. Rubbing the spot she looked back at Alindor. A small pea size bump was under her skin just below her fingertips. “What was that?”

“Kill me? What?” Teller was only picking up one end of the conversation. “This isn’t the Roman Empire. Knocking me off, does not promote each of you one step in rank.”

“Not what I have heard,” Jarred joked. “The rule is you do get one so I would sleep with one eye open. Kal here doesn’t have skills but usually there is enough snakes and spiders to do the job.” Jarred waved it off in his casual sarcastic manner. “As for you,” he looked at Kalani. You are the only one that gets a parting gift.”

“You are so chaotic you need a tracker, its ok ill partner in chaos, Kalaini” She said with a grin.

“Tracking beacon. I have been working on it since our little weekender to Vespa. Before you start to gripe, no I do not trust you and neither should you,” he looked at Teller. “In fact if she utters the words short jaunt, little climb, or the all-time famous curiosity never killed the cat....run dont walk back to the shuttle. Other than that you could be spending the weekend being chased by space Yeti’s and living in trees like Wookies.” His words were chirper and light as normal with the chief of experimental engineering. Extending his hand to Graham he put on a serious expression and simply said, “good luck and I pray you come back.”

Nala giggled she tried to hide it. it just did not work. ” I believe the phrase is curiosity killed the cat, and I’m perfectly capable of getting into trouble without Kalani’s help besides a little trouble is always fun,” she said.

“Go,” she snapped at her husband. “You are not being funny and I will be back in two days. Two. Now git. I love you,” Kalani said to Jarred. As her husband walked off the landing ramp, Kalani looked back at her co worker and boss. “He can he so dramatic. So are we ready to launch?”

Kalani Alindor science

” Dramatic I thought he was just being funny. If you want ill help you pull a prank on him when we get back” Nala offered. as she put her sketchbook and pencil away. she looked at the CSO and then back to Kalani. ” I know this chief engineer who is terrified of bugs. if we find interesting ones I’m going to have to get some pictures of them to send her. The only regret would be not being there to see her reaction” Nala said with a slight smile as she wanted the other two to board the shuttle. ” Do either of you know how to fly this thing” She added after a moment.
Ensign Nala

Teller snorted… “Really you planned the trip, but you didn’t include a pilot in your plans.” Teller plopped himself in the helm station. He happened to be an excellent pilot.

“Atomic Batteries to Power, Turbines to Speed.” He lifted the shuttle of and pivoted slightly. =^=Riverboat Gambler to Saracen permission to depart, for a three hour tour… a three hour tour.=^=

Graham CSO

“Um.....well....Jarred typically tends to fly. He says I am a female driver,” she laughed it off, “but if you want I am sure I can clear the hangar.”

Kalani Alindor science.

“ as long as im, not the one flying im happy,” Nala said as she found her seat.
Ensign Nala

“Okay then,” Kalani sat at the seat. Looking over the controls, she pressed a few buttons slowly as if she hadn’t flown in a long time secretly hoping Teller was not going to be pro-feminist and let her fly. It wasn’t that she couldn’t do it. It would just be a smoother take off and landing if someone else did it.

Kalani Alindor

“No worries ensign. I’ve got it. You can take navigation. You know where we are going better than I anyways. Plus if I am on the helm, if we get attacked I don’t have to give the orders I can just do it.” He pivoted the shuttle on its axis… He could have done a dozen different moves to get out of the shuttle bay but he usually stuck to the basics, artificial gravity inside artificial gravity made for some strange effects at times.

Kalani let out a visible sigh of relief as she plotted the course on the star charts for Teller. The course was a simple one to the colony world. It would be easy to follow and not more than a few hours flight time. “Coordinates in for Hawkins V are set in.” Pausing for a second she looked over at Graham. “Thank you sir,” she said with a smile. “I appreciate you coming. I know this is not really your cup of tea but thank you for the help.”

Graham

“yeah, I prefer to make it to our destination in one peace. I failed my flight test so epicly that the instructed needed therapy” She said with a slight grin. She was quiet as the ship left the hanger. ” So what are we actually doing” she asked.
Ensign Nala

“We are looking for a rare species of water lily and sea grass. It filters out salinity almost as efficiently as our mechanical methods. See I need some way to filter out the salt from the freshwater in my tanks. My theory is if I plant enough it will create a brackish water estuary…on a small scale of course, but allow all the water to circulate between the tanks. If I am lucky, it might even simulate rain. Well again condensation but if that happens it truly becomes a closed ecosystem. We are also looking for some fish and reptile specimens that live among the water lily and sea grass but that is secondary to the vegetation.” Propping her feet up on the dash, she leaned back as if this were a personal vehicle. “This is gonna be fun,” she smiled widely. “Trust me.”

Kalani Alindor

“Famous last words.” Graham pointed to the ship and set the destination, a couple of button flicks later he was done. There was fantastically little to do on a shuttle once the ship was given its course. Most of the work was in the take-off and landing. And it would be nearly a day before he had to do that again…

“So do we have to get the cards out for something to do?”

Graham

Nala had already pulled out her sketchbook and was secretly drawing both the LT and Kalini at the flight controls.” Or we could sing” She said with a content purr to her voice. She looked up from her drawing often some times using the edge of her pence to try a juge perspective and preparation for her drawing.
Ensign Nala

“Oh you don’t want me to sing. I can’t carry a tune if it had a handle on it,” Kalani laughed.

Teller looked around. “So I’m here to pay for everything and do the driving.” He harrumphed as he turned one of his screens to Galaga. It would be a long trip if everyone was going to keep to themselves.

Graham

“Um yeah,” Kalani rolled her eyes feigning a shocked expression as if this was not the assignment of most men when not on duty although this was technically an official assignment.

” Damit quit moving im trying to draw you”Nala growled then giggled indicating it was a joke. She held the sckech book out for him to take a look.
Ensign Nala

“Isn’t that why people take pictures… you can both have the photo and then you can draw off of it without having your not consenting model sit still for you… for hours.”
Graham commented.

Graham CSO

“It might come in handy if we get lost in the jungle and need a rescue. Don’t think of it as a portrait but a have you seen this man thing,” Kalani suggested with a grin. It was better to slowly keep mentioning the jungle trek to get the two people with her more comfortable with the idea. If she just sprang it on them when they arrived it would just create more resistance.

Kalani Alindor Science

“Yeah, your paper and pencil drawing is going to be the difference between me getting eaten by a man devouring plant and being found by a rescue party.” He made a face. “OH, we were about to ignore that man being swallowed whole until we looked at your drawing, and then noticed he was the guy you said was lost.”

“It will probably be more swallowed by a cephalopod than a man-eating plant,” Kalani replied in a tone that bordered on serious and factual. “We are on the hunt for aquatic species.”

” I think that joke went over your head, so other them play cards what do you like to do for fun LT” she asked.
ensign Nala

Graham

“I love surfing but we really can’t do that in a shuttle,” Kalani waggled her head. She was already in the sun and surf mode knowing where they were headed. “We can do karyoke,” she suggested with a hopeful tone. “What kinda music do you all listen to?”

Kalani Alindor science

“I sing a little,” He shrugged, “not that I do that for ‘fun’ but its something you always bring with you, your singing voice. Obviously some sports, but not really a lot of space for that in the shuttle, nor do we have a holo-deck.”

” We could build a card house that might be fun,” She said with a smile. This was entertaining but how long would they be stuck in the shuttle. She was already getting bored. Noticing some fur on her tail out of place she got her brush from her bag and started to smooth it out.
Ensign Nala

“I haven’t done this in years,” Kalani moved to her small bag and pulled out a deck of cards. While card games were ancient, there was a reason people still played them. There wasn’t always tech available for a multitude of reasons and cards were small, portable, and easy to play. Opening the box she made the first triangle base and picked up a second pair to start her side.

“So what is everyone’s scientific passion,” Kalani asked. “Why did you go into science and what do you hope to accomplish.

Kalani Alindor

Teller turned in his chair, “I wonder if increasing the gravity would make the cards more stable. Or do you think the friction from the sides of the cares won’t be high enough to keep the cards in place in higher gravity?” The science was interesting.

Graham

Nala chuckled as she put her brush away and carefully crouched next to where Kalani had started to build the house. She carefully picked up two cards and placed them. ” So favorite color” She asked.
Ensign Nala.


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