Posted Sept. 27, 2023, 1:04 a.m. by Lieutenant Sheleah Ruby (Diplomatic Officer / CNS) (Catt Bennett)
Posted by Ensign Charles-Louis (Engineering Officer) in Project: Bad kitty (tag: Engineering)
Posted by Lieutenant Sheleah Ruby (Diplomatic Officer / CNS) in Project: Bad kitty (tag: Engineering)
Posted by Ensign Charles-Louis (Engineering Officer) in Project: Bad kitty (tag: Engineering)
Posted by… suppressed (30) by the Post Ghost! 👻
Sheleah had just walked into her quarters after an incredibly complicated group therapy session. The Saracen was an incredible ship with a crew that usually worked very well together but, when they didn’t, things needed to be ironed out and that was her job. Unfortunately the homefront needed to be ironed out also.
Stepping through the door she did a double, then a triple, take as the room lights rose. The scene before her was utter chaos. Her clean quarters were strewn about with personal effects, notes from sessions, potted plants, and even several items of clothing with a sleeping Rex lounging on the coffee table like he didn’t have a care in the world.
“OH HELL NO! Not today!”
She quickly walked to where she kept his leash and harness and woke the furry terror.
“We’re going for a walk mister.”
With that, they were off.
=^=Engineering, can somebody spare a few minutes for your distraught counsellor? I’ll be there in ten.=^=
Charles answered from engineering, =^= Copy that, Counselor. I will meet you there. =^=
Sheleah in Engineering with Rex about ten minutes later as she had stated. No doubt charles would be easy to spot.
Among the bustling N.E. swarming around Engineering, she would have seen Charles-Louis at a console in a quieter corner. Hunched over the screen, he appeared to be running a simulation for some sort of advanced circuitry configuration.
“The parameters must be wrong.” Charles grumbled to himself, stroking his beard in contemplation. He glared at the computer with an intense look, harsher than any he had directed at anyone on the ship. But computer simulations are not easily intimidated. He turned around in his chair, and his demeanor seemed to change when he spotted Sheleah and Rex.
“Ah, Counselor,” Charles said with a small smile as he stood up to greet her,
“You called for some assistance, yes?”
Sheleah and Rex continued walking towards Charles, greeting several NEs along the way.
“Yes actually, I do need some assistance. Rex, this is Charles. Hopefully he can help me make something so you’re not so bored when I have to leave you at home.” she said to her furry companion.
Looking back up to Charles, she smiled.
“I know when we first met you hadn’t had the chance to meet Rex so, here is my resident bad kitty, the world’s worst room mate. I need your help on those rare days, when I don’t take him to work with me, I find that he’s bored or something. I walked in and my quarters looked like this…”
Sheleah offered him a PaDD with several pictures of her quarters in disarray.
Charles flicked through the pictures, observing the aftermath and questioning whether or not his father was right about not having pets. Glancing over at Rex, he was somewhat amused by the idea that such a small creature could cause so much trouble.
“Was there any serious damage done that needs immediate attention?” he asked, handing back the PaDD,
“And perhaps some modifications to prevent a similar occurrence happening again would be useful.”
Sheleah shook her head.
“He knocked over some things and some personal effects were damaged but nothing I can’t replace. What I really need from you is the installation of te ball shooter that Doctor Knight and the Captain have in their quarters for Bruce. I can’t find the schematics and I’m not an engineer.” she said smiling up at Charles, “Last time we were there, he really seemed to enjoy it and I know that if I program it, it will most likely keep him entertained while I’m out or super busy. Do you think that’s doable?”
Charles nodded along, as if he knew what she was talking about. He understood the concept from the name alone, but was unfamiliar with such a device himself.
“Ah, yes. I understand.” he stated, “Perhaps I could examine this… ‘ball shooter’. If I could get some scans of it, I could create a schematic and have the replicators assemble one.”
Charles glanced down again at the ocelot at her side, imagining that as a predator at heart Rex would enjoy the activity of chasing small objects. The thought was charming.
Sheleah nodded and smiled up at him.
“I was wondering if there might already be one on file somewhere but, I’m not an engineer so I don’t think I would know how to access that particular file. Please help. I don’t know what he’s going to break into next.” she said with a laugh.
“It will be no problem at all, Counselor.” he said. He turned back to the consul, and in a few taps was looking at the database of blueprints they had on file. A few strokes more and he put in his specific inquiry. In almost an instant the request was processed and on the screen was a 3-d model of the device requested.
“Recreational Projectile Device…” he muttered to himself, reading the description. He turned back toward Sheleah, and pointed at the screen,
“This the the device, no?” It definitely would save some time if it was. But Charles thought his first solution was very clever, and would have been more fun. It was disappointing that having so much computer and memory capacity at your disposal almost made things too easy.
Sheleah appeared at the console for a few seconds.
“Yeah, that seems to be the one. I’ve made a few modifications to my quarters to accommodate Rex and I don’t think they would show up on any ship schematics since they’re mostly personal furnishings and the like. I’m not an engineer but, do you think you should come by and take some measurements or is that not necessary?” Sheleah asked.
Since they had been talking, Rex had begun to get restless and was silently padding around the engine room looking for something to occupy his curious feline mind.
Charles let out a laugh, “Unless you have demolished the walls, there is nothing I cannot work around. I could have this assembled and installed in your quarters with no issue in less than - four hours perhaps. Maybe faster if we had replicator priority.”
Charles was excited to have a project. While knowledgeable about computer systems and diagnostics, his roots where doing manual repairs, refits, and upgrades with his father. In fact, in his excitement he didn’t even notice Rex wandering off.
Sheleah shook her head and laughed.
“I appreciate the thought but Rex hasn’t destroyed anything that can’t be replaced or is of great importance… Yet. So I don’t think we’ve reached the level of needing replicator priority.”
Sheleah paused and looked down and then began looking around.
“Um… You haven’t seen Rex have you?”
“He is right…” Charles said, looking to where he last saw Rex, “He was just here.”
That was about the time they heard an ominous crash from somewhere deeper in engineering. Sheleah immediately began running towards the sound.
Charles followed after, not so much running as just keeping pace behind her. She might need his help with something.
Sheleah had hoped that Rex hadn’t done something absolutely terrible. Luckily they turned a corner and were standing in a break room nowhere near the warp core. NE Toolbelt was standing on top of a table with remnants of his lunch scattered on the floor below. Sitting in the middle of the room, without a care in the world, was Rex, cleaning his fur which seemed to be covered in chicken. Sheleah stopped in the doorway.
“Are you kidding ME! Rex Drummond Ruby! We are going home right now!”
Charles, coming up right behind her, was able to see over her shoulder into the room.
She walked into the room and picked him up. As he began to protest, she saw NE Toolbelt standing on the table.
“I am SOOO sorry. I don’t know what’s gotten into him. Please let me know what I can do to help.”
Charles couldn’t help but laugh. A loud, deep laugh that rang out into the room.
“Oh, it is a good thing you caught him. He might have eaten our crew mate here!” he said, mocking NE Toolbelt still on the table.
After catching his breath, he straightened up and addressed Sheleah,
“I can meet you at your quarters when the machine is ready, yes?”
Charles’ laugh startled Sheleah but it also was the perfect tension breaker. She hugged Rex a little tighter and smiled up at the engineer.
“Yes, I think that’s a good idea. I’m going to take this one home and practice my feline communication skills. NE Toolbelt might want to replicate a new lunch.” she suggested turning to leave.
“I will let you know when the parts are ready, Counselor.” Charles said, returning to a more serious and respectful tone.
A while later Sheleah had finally gotten Rex settled, fed him second lunch, and clipped his claws. She hoped that Charles could replicate the new toy soon but engineering was a busy place and she could understand him being busy for a few days.
Almost three days went by before Charles, carrying a box of mostly assembled pieces of the launcher under one arm along with a case of tools, arrived at the counselor’s quarters. He rang the chime with his free hand, visibly pleased with himself and his work.
[OOC: We can continue in this thread or you can start a new one, I really don’t care either way - Ava]
Sheleah had just put Rex’s food down for the morning when her chime rang
“Come.” she said straightening up and turning around to face the door.
Charles came in, beaming, “Ah, good afternoon Counselor! She is almost finished.”
With a slight swing and a dip he showed off contents of the box.
“I have made a few adjustments I thought would improve the design. I just need to take a few measurements of your quarters, adjust the parameters to match, and I’ll be ready to finish the installation. Ah but first,” he said, looking around the room, “Where would you like it?”
Sholaya looked around her quarters and thought for a few seconds.
“That’s actually a very good idea.”
She looked around again glad her quarters were in their usual state of cleanliness.
“Yes I think the living room will be just fine. Certainly not the bedroom. Are you ready to get started?”
“I have everything I need,” he assured her tapping the box for emphasis, “I should not take more than, let us say, an hour at the very most.”
Setting the box and case of tools down in the living room, he began to work. First pulling out a very ‘retro’ type of measurement device by Starfleet standards. A tool that could measure distance by producing a laser beam and using some internal calculations give a rather precise measurement. He began sweeping the room with it, taking measurements to find the ideal spot to install the launcher.
Rex had just finished his post meal preening when he began to notice something very interesting going on in Mom’s quarters. He sat and his ears begin to twitch then he got up and began stalking around the quarters watching intently is this very large newcomer whom he had seen before began doing something very strange.
Then, without warning he began to stalk the interesting light dot moving around the quarters.
“Oh wow, it looks like you really got his attention with that measuring device. He loves to chase so be careful. You might have just found yourself an apprentice.”
Charles noticed Rex’s interest in the device, and was apparently amused. And, it gave him an idea for a future improvement for the launcher.
“Perhaps so,” he responded jokingly. “Let us see first how he does in the product testing department.”
After taking measurements, he placed the mostly assembled launcher down in one corner of the room. Then, he attached the “neck” of the device, that is to say, where the tennis balls would eventually exit. Opening the small side panel of the part revealed some sort of basic circuitry.
“As I said, I have made some minor adjustments to the design,” he stated, “In order not to get too predictable, I have increased the range of possible angels at which the device can launch the projectiles. Using measurements of the room, the machine can generate the best throwing angels and cycle through them randomly. It will also take into account the location of furniture and personal possessions, to minimize the possibility for damage.”
“All of that seems very sensible. I think I’m going to like your improvements. I have ideas for things a little different than tennis balls. Balls with food treats in them will definitely stimulate his prey drive and desire to grab and play with everything. So I’ve come up with a few designs for those as well. Here, let me show you.”
Sheleah went to the replicator and replicated several of the items she had just explained to Charles snapping them together and placing several treats inside of them. She tossed a few onto the floor and Rex perked up when he smelled the tuna in one and beef heart in the other. Jumping down from the chair he had been lounging on he began to chase one across the floor. This made Sheleah laugh and smile.
Charles smiled slighty with the corner of his mouth.
“Very interesting,” Charles said, nodding. For a moment, seeming pleasantly distracted by Rex’s antics.
After a small cough to clear his throat, he continued, “Yes, I’m sure this design will work well in the device. Thank you, counselor. Perhaps we can test a few in the launcher as soon as it’s ready. I want to make sure there is enough of a counterbalance so the recoil doesn’t move it too much.”
What this basically meant was bolting a large weight to the bottom to make sure it didn’t move. So, after marking where the corner of the launcher was on the ground with a small adhesive dot, he flipped it over on it’s side and began doing just that. He removed a few weighted pieces from the box, examined them, and chose one of about 10 kilos. Then effortlessly bolted the piece onto the bottom before repositioning it, using the dot as a guide.
“That should be enough,” he said. Charles stood up and gave it a slight nudge with his foot, “Too heavy to knock over, light enough to still move if we need to. Let’s test it with one of your… balls with treats? Is that what you call them?”
“Yes, I like that idea. I have a few ready for you right here. I have no doubt Rex will rise to the challenge, and food. He has a very prey and food driven creature. People say you can’t train cats but they’re wrong you just have to know what you’re doing.”
Sheleah I handed Charles several of the treat balls and waited to see how exactly to use the device. She had ideas but wanted to see Charles in action. Rex seemed to like him so it would be nice to watch their interaction.
Charles loaded them into the basket on the back of the device and touch a button on the digital side panel. It made a electric hum as it started up. The launcher then flung one of the balls across the room, bouncing off the opposite wall clear of any obstacles, and eventually onto the ground. After a few seconds, the neck of the launcher adjusted position. Another was launched with a smaller arc, this one landed on the floor and rolled for a bit before stopping.
Charles attention was slip between observing the machine and his ‘product tester’. A small smile showed he was very pleased with how it was working so far.
“You can also use this panel to adjust the time between launches,” he show Sheleah, “For example, if you want less time in between…”
He demonstrated by pressing another button on the panel. It beeped, but nothing happened. Charles frowned. He pushed the button again. Another small beep, but nothing seemed to change. Charles muttered to himself, “What is…?”
Then, the device hummed louder. It vibrated faster, and before he could react, a barrage of balls were being flung out of the machine. They flew. They bounced all across the room. The servos in the launcher’s neck seized. It was only moments before the basket was empty. Meanwhile, Charles had been practically slamming the off switch. Finally the machine fell silent.
Charles mumbled to himself something that sounded like French. He got down on knees next to the launcher and pulled out another small device from his box. Plugging it into the panel allowed access to the launcher’s programming. Lines of code replaced the button interface.
“It must be something wrong with the programming,” Charles said with a sigh, “It appears somehow the values were… inverted.”
[Ensign Charles-Louis, Engineering]
As soon as the first ball bounced from the launcher Rex had perked up and taken notice. By the time the bouncing balls had turned chileah’s living quarters into a complete catastrophe Rex was in feline heaven. He was chasing everything from stem to stern as it were. Total feline heaven. As they bounced throughout her quarters little treats begin falling from them and it was like second breakfast all over again complete with dessert. Should I begin laughing and just let him run with it. There was no keeping him on a diet now she figured.
At least Rex seemed to be having a good time, and Sheleah didn’t seem too upset either. Charles was still flustered, and ever so slightly blushing. He finished the adjustment and stood up without a word. Even Rex’s enjoyment didn’t seem to satisfy Charles a he sternly looked down at the launcher.
[Ensign Charles-Louis, Engineering]
Sheleah could see that Charles was in some slight distress. She wanted him to know what a good job he was doing and how much she appreciated all of the attention he was paying to this particular project. It wasn’t every day somebody was asked to help a counselor with an ocelot so perhaps this was unique and interesting for him.
“I really appreciate all the trouble you’re going through to get this thing working for us. Would you like a drink? I mean, when you’re off duty or something, maybe when you’re done? Wow my social skills just took a dive.”
Sheleah laughed a bit nervously not quite sure why but it was what it was.
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