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Attack of the Holokitties

Posted on Fri May 10th, 2019 @ 8:45am by Lieutenant Asahi Kita & Lieutenant Commander Nolan Marc

Mission: Snow Birds
Location: Hallway, Science Deck

Without Hojo once again, Asahi had taken liberties to experiment with old programs he discovered he still had access to. His effects, and by extension, the isochips most of his precious files were stored on, were still somewhere on the depths of Haumea. But, by some miracle, the young counselor he had kept contact with had a copy of some of his old holosuite testing programs from the Viking. Each program was easily modifiable for testing in other systems, such as a small cleaning robot he managed to nab and rig up to project a pair of rainbow-colored kittens.

Task set, he wandered about the halls of his new home, PaDD in hand to control the small robot, kitties toddling right behind as if to follow. It may have been frivolous and indulgent for him to test the program, but one never knew when they would need a holographic feline distraction.

There was an almost imperceptible shudder.

Had it been a momentarily lapse of the ship's inertial dampeners? Subspace turbulence? The questions likely only further increased when a strange, muffled sound resonated through the walls.

Up ahead was Science Lab 7-8-Delta. It was one of any number of unremarkable facilities that occupied the science deck. At various points in the ship's career it had been a chemistry lab, a geology lab, a high school science fair, and a janitorial storage closet before resuming it's much mediocre career as one of many multipurpose rooms that functioned as mere wheels in the cog of the exploratory machine that was the Starfleet Science Division.

Science Lab 7-8-Delta might have garnered some measure of local fame now, as smoke poured out into the hallway as the doors popped open. The hiss of compressed air and the acrid smell of the ship's fire suppression system.

From out of the smoke, a small, soot-and-suds covered figure came stumbling out into the hallway. It was possible that there was bits of what may have been a sciences blue Starfleet uniform underneath the layers of blackened fabric and wet fire suppression chemicals. A pair of goggles encircled his head.

"Huh," the figure noted simply. Reaching up a hand, the youth pushed the googles up so that they rested atop his head. This revealed a fair skin tone underneath the soot, along with a pair of almond shaped eyes that were a chestnut brown. Holding up a padd, the boy tapped on the screen as he noted aloud, "Unstable at temperatures above two hundred eighty-four Kelvin..."

Pausing a moment, the boy lowered the padd as he seemed to be lost in thought for a moment. Tapping the padd against his leg, he muttered, "...or, was it a chain reaction?"

He'd have to see if the computer had caught that on the recording monitors, so that he could review it in slow motion and with spectral filters in order to come up with a theory about what had happened. Theories which would require testing in order to determine their validity.

...which meant potentially blowing up more science labs.

The boy chewed on his lower lip. That was definitely likely to piss off the engineers. Not to mention the executive officer, the captain, security, the shipwrights union, and possibly the parent-teachers organization. As the ship's school was located underneath the science deck, the local PTO seemed generally opposed to anything related to Nolan blowing things up on the ship.

Which, to be clear, unanticipated results stemming from a lack of available data were not a mistake or miscalculation. It was just scientific progress going boink. Which was part of the whole scientific method. Sure, that meant he blew up a science lab now and again. But what was ONE science lab in the pursuit of advancing man's knowledge?

Finally, the child-shaped weapon of mass distraction pivoted just enough so to look back into the bombed out science lab. This close to the last Nolan-made disaster, he was definitely going to have a hard time convincing Jack that this one hadn't been intentional.

The first one, yes. This one? Not so much, no.

Asahi's eyes widened at the sight of smoke in front of him, engineer senses tingling. Resisting the reflexive urge to call in safety hazard procedures, his eyes narrowed at the figure that appeared from the dark, billowing mass. "Uh..." Whoever the shorter scientist was seemed to be used to this sort of thing. Which left Asahi to continue to stare for another few elongated seconds, holokitties mewling behind him.

"You uh... you okay? Should I uh... pull an alarm or something? Call the doctor? Hide a body?...... I don't need to hide a body, do I?"

Cue random adult strolling down the hallway.

Which, when wasn't there a random adult strolling the hallways? Did these people have jobs? Did they just wander hallways for hours at a time? Because it certainly seemed as though there was always people in the hallways.

Which, Nolan was deep in thought about the possible deflagration to detonation transition and certainly not thinking about some random adult in the halls. "Nani sore?" the boy uttered, even as he turned and looked up at the grown up's face. It wasn't the sharp head tilt that he was accustomed to. The man, with Asian features very similar to his own, was not even a foot taller than he was.

Then he heard a mewling sound.

Blinking, the boy's disheveled blond head snapped downward. Then, in an instant, his eyes grew wide as a bubbly giggle slipped from his mouth. Dropping down to his knees, the boy motioned with his hands as he said, "Kochi, kochi."

Yes, he had completely forgotten about the adult. And the bombed out science lab. Those were both so two seconds ago.

"... Ah." Scientists. Asahi's most and least favorite types of people. They tended to be great conversation, if he could get them to talk to him. He looked behind him, where the holokitties seemed unphased by Nolan's beckonings. Asahi had yet to reprogram their responsiveness to other beings.

Asahi tugged at his badge. "Gomen," he replied, voice suddenly a decibel quieter than before. Whoever the scientist was (young as he was), the Universal Translator in his badge must have malfunctioned during the blast. Standard procedure was to try to find a common denominator in language, or recalibrate the working badge, but Asahi was not about to mess with someone else's specifically calibrated wavelengths and multi-layered frequencies.

Besides, he decided as he switched the badge's UT off, this was good practice. It had been awhile since he had managed a bit of Japanese. "Ah, holographic koneko." Good, bridge the gap with Japanese so disgraceful that he could feel his grandmother rising from her grave. Raising his PaDD, he decided to poke at a few controls, managing to program the kitties to clumsily make their way over to Nolan.

"Ee!?"

Asahi was quieter, Nolan's voice escalated to outside voice decibel measurements. Energetically, the boy dropped into a w-sit position in the middle of the hall as he observed the holographic creations respond to the behavioral cues supplied by the padd.

"Sugoi na, holo-neko-chan," the boy ventured aloud, continuing on in his native tongue without even a second thought. One of the nice things about wearing the Starfleet commbadge was that he was able to speak normally. He knew what passed as Federation Standard and was fluent in it. It just wasn't what he spoke at home. Well, not unless Taran was sleeping over.

So, when he looked up and saw the man fiddling with the communicator, he was confused for a moment. Had he just heard the man speaking Japanese? Or had he actually been speaking in Japanese? "Ne, ano sa. Nihongo daijobou?"

"Hai," Asahi tentatively replied, resolving later to brush up on his Japanese after this encounter. Instead of fretting, he flopped down onto the ground himself, unsure of whether he should have been more or less concerned with the situation, legs crossing into his seated position.

His eyes glued to Nolan in case the Miran's head suddenly popped off or something equally as alarming, he handed the other the PaDD that served as a remote control. It was probably better not to flail his arms and wonder exactly what had happened. "Asahi desu."

The boy's chestnut brown eyes danced between the offered PaDD and the man's face as the latter supplied his name. Accepting the PaDD with both hands, the boy just gave a nod before he chirped, "Boku wa Nolan yan!"

Again, not the best with the concept of inside voices. As the boy's unnecessarily loud voice echoed off the walls, there was a pause before he punctuated his introduction with the culturally obligatory, "Yoroshiku!"

With that, he ducked his head down and began looking over the PaDD that he had been handed. Rising up, so that he was standing on his knees, the Okinawa boy shuffled around so that he was situated next to Asahi. Plopping down up against the man's side, the boy held out the PaDD so that he and Asahi could both use it. As the boy's hand gestured over the PaDD, he asked, "Kono kino?"

Asahi couldn't help but smile at Nolan's excitement, tilting his head slightly to one side as he made gestures on the PaDD to demonstrate what the little kitties could do. A tiny bell ball appeared in front of the holographic cats, and the small felines stared at it, eyes wide, before approaching their new toy. The system he programmed was fairly intuitive to the user, and thankfully easy to teach with gestures as opposed to words, unless Nolan happened to be a verbal learner. The interface relied on basic motions and buttons, much like a controller for smaller holographic games. "Kantan ni," he explained.

"Mmm," the disheveled youth murmured with an enthusiastic nod. "Wakatta," Nolan supplied, indicating his understanding.

The boy played with the controls for another minute, then looked back up again. "Ne, ano sa," Nolan chirped brightly, before asking, "Shigoto ka?"

The fact that Asahi was wandering around with a holo-matrix made the boy imagine that the answer to the question of his occupation on the ship was going to be something either related to or connected to the color of mustard gold. "Enjinia? Opereshon shikan?"

"Hm?" Asahi's gaze wandered from the small kittens to Nolan. Then he shook his head, tugging at the silver uniform jacket he was wearing. "Iie. Nagaiai de wanai. Intel." He gestured to the kittens and the small robot that was hidden underneath it. "Watashi ga ijitte iru chōdo furui puroguramu desu."

"Intel?" Nolan echoed, his large eyes just blinking in amazement. They had that? Well, duh of course Starfleet had people who did strategic operations and things, so he guessed that Intelligence made sense as a Starfleet-sorta-thing. But, still, he didn't think that he'd ever met an Intelligence officer before. Reaching up a hand, the boy poked at the silver uniform. He'd honestly just assumed it had been a replicator error.

"Nova ni chūryū shite imashita," the child supplied, glancing up at Asahi as he explained that he'd been stationed aboard the USS Nova earlier in his career. As a Nova-class science vessel one thing that they hadn't had on staff was an Intelligence officer. The tactical officer usually doubled as strategic operations. And also as the security officer. "Intel wa imasendeshita."

"Ah." Asahi rubbed the back of his head. He had thought, this whole time, that he simply exuded the aura of an engineer. It may not have been entirely untrue, but Nolan was the first to mistake him for such.

But there would be little time to explain his situation, as the familiar chirrup of his badge sounded off. "Lieutenant Kita?" Asahi scrambled for his badge, reconfiguring the language settings before responding. "... What's up?"

"Lieutenant, we've got in the files for your Assistant Chief picks right here."

"Right. I'm coming." He gestured to the PaDD, then to the holotties. "You hang onto that for me. I've got a lot more stuff like that where that came from."

 

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