Posted on Sunday, 5 February 2023 - 2:20pm by Lieutenant Alex Kingsley & Lieutenant JG William Knight
Operation: My Unfair Lady
Location: Science Lab
Adjusting the volume as the computer continued to cycle through musical genres stored in the historical archive, Lieutenant Kingsley ate another French fry as she continued to note her observations. Around her the laboratory was in almost total darkness save for the soft blue lighting in the ceiling and the various workstation dotted around. The low lighting was, based on what they could observe, what 626 (otherwise known as Theo) preferred.
Consequently she had worked with engineering to build in a filter around the containment unit to diffuse the light when the lab was in use, hoping it would aid the creature’s recovery. It was perhaps a lost cause but if it helped even a little she would give it a try.
Hence the music.
Earlier she had been listening to music while she worked and by chance had noticed increased neurological activity from the creature as well as an increase in dopamine. Exactly what had made Theo feel good was unclear, given it could be anything anything from the sound of the female voice to the base, or any one of the various musical instruments.
“You probably shouldn’t eat in here.”
Pausing the music, Alex glanced over her shoulder from her perch on the edge of a workstation. “Decontamination protocol finished an hour ago, this is probably the cleanest place on the ship.”
“Still averse to seats, I see,” Lt Knight noted with a heavy sigh before he walked further into the room and set down the box he carried.
Alex stuck her tongue out at him as she untucked her legs and climbed down. “Old habits. How is engineering? Made friends?”
“Unfortunately yes,” he sighed. “Ensign Barnes seems determined to be my ‘buddy’. He talks. Constantly.”
“Ah,” Alex replied with an understanding smile. “Don’t worry, I’m sure you’ll wear him down and he’ll give up eventually.”
“One can hope.”
“You know a new ship… you don’t need to stick with the whole dark, moody vibe,” she pointed out. “You could reinvent yourself.”
Knight raised an eyebrow as he unpacked his case. “Why break what wasn’t broken?” He quipped. “Besides, this crew goes through a lot of engineers- best not to get too attached.”
“Liar,” she grinned, “I bet you already named the nacelles -“
“George and Gracie,” he confirmed before he could stop himself.
“And the warp core?”
He hesitated before resuming his task. “Perhaps.”
“Odd choice but hey, whatever works for you.”
He scowled, “I didn’t name it ‘Perhaps’. That would be ridiculous. I call it Leah.”
Alex rolled her eyes, “of course you did.”
“Still naming probes?” He countered, although his tone remained light, teasing.
“Of course, not that it helps them survive very long,” she sighed as she sat down and picked up her plate, biting into a fry before holding the plate out towards him. “Last I heard they were thinking of asking an evil supercomputer to set them up a union. I await the list of demands.”
Knight chuckled as he got to work, waving away the offer of food. “Why are you listening to Folk music?”
“Theo likes music. Some more than others,” she explained. “So far, a huge fan of Beyoncé. Not so keen on the early work of Vurtok. But then again I find it hard to disagree. Klingon opera is a love or hate kind of deal. I have the computer working though a sample of music to find out what produces a positive neurological response.
I’m hoping to create a safe environment but also some interactive elements. Which is where that interface comes in. It is identical on both panels, so Theo can observe what I do to make the music stop, start and skip. The data suggests an intelligence and if so, this could be a harmless way to test that as Theo heals.”
Knight raised an eyebrow as he studied the seemingly immobile occupant, “I think the little guy has a way to go.”
“I have faith,” Alex told him with confidence as she stood opposite and peered in at the creature. “He just needs time.”
Knight grinned as he got to work, shaking his head. Realising she had shot him a look he shrugged, “it’s just…. It’s good to know you are still you.”
Alex arched an eyebrow. If only that was true of everyone.