USS Vesta

A Play-by-Nova roleplay game.

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Digital Nights Analog Days

Posted on Sun Aug 13th, 2023 @ 7:38pm by Lieutenant Njalia Sayffier

Mission: Shakedown Shake-Up
Location: Holodeck 4 / Njalia's Quarters
Timeline: MD3?
948 words - 1.9 OF Standard Post Measure

The Quasi-AI known as Ice Maiden floated in the immaterial world that was composed of unused processing power and computer memory while waiting for Njalia to wake up. She had spent some time reading novels from the ship’s library and watching a few documentaries on Andoria. While she could understand cold and ice conceptually, she could not make the leap to understand what it must be like if one was a physical being to experience such things. But, now that she was programmed with full sensory and haptic feedback . . . and holodeck four was not being used.

She activated a program that simulated a walk along the coast, near Njalia's home, on an average day. Being unsure what the sensations would be like, she did not want to risk overloading her new senses. After observing for a moment, she resolved herself into the simulation, wearing appropriate clothing of course. Though, as a hologram, Ice Maiden did not need to breathe, she had a subroutine for simulating such running. She almost derezzed in panic as she took a deep breath and felt the chill run through her body. But she clamped down on the panic response and tried to let the breathing, such a strange but necessary function of biology, happen. After the initial shock, the cool art was rather nice, she started walking, feeling the pull of gravity, the sensation of cloth on skin, the sting of a cool breeze off the ocean. It was . . . new, exciting, and a lot to take it.

“Computer, pause simulation and subroutines,” all of the sensations stopped, she was just perceiving visually and the datastreams that made this all up. It was stabilizing. After a few moments, she felt ready to continue. “Resume.” It returned, but it was less overwhelming now, she let the subroutines run without focusing on the sensations they were providing. That was how biological beings functioned, she would try the same.

It was pleasant, perhaps, she was having to learn the vocabulary as well the sensation that went with having a physical form. Being a purely digital being was so much easier, you never had to worry about falling or being cold or hot, breathing, all of these distracting things. Really in many ways it was remarkable that they had overcome the limits of their biology to build such remarkable things as starships, computers, and holograms. The Maiden stopped, while she had been musing about such things, her walk had taken her to the edge of a cliff. Carefully looking over, she could see the waves crashing into the rocks far below, for a moment, she felt disoriented and stepped back, wrapping her arms around herself. “That would have been nasty.” She then stopped and laughed. She had never spoken aloud when there was no one else to hear before, that seemed so . . . personlike that it amazed her.

“Computer, it has been lovely but please, end simulation,” she said, watching the coast of Andoria fade to the grid of the holodeck. She studied it for a moment and then derezzed herself returning to the virtual world that was her true home. Or was it? She was starting to have doubts.

Maiden began searching through the archived information on sentience, what defined it, how could it be measured and understood, and so on. She has just assembled it into categories perceived, to her, of being most to least useful when her clock informed her it was time for Njalia to get up.


Njalia awoke to the smell of . . . breakfast? She looked around and there it was on the table, fresh The, a glass of bujberry juice, oat cakes and kippered bluefish. She rolled out of bed and Ice Maiden shimmered into existence, wearing a Starfleet uniform, without rank pips. “Good morning, Njalia,” said the hologram.

“And good morning to you, Maiden,” said Njalia stretching. “You look good in uniform.”

“While I love my icicle gown, it seems to be a bit distracting and all of the other holograms are in uniform,” she shrugged.

“The breakfast looks amazing,” said Njalia sitting at the table.

“It was a bit of a challenge to get the replicator to accept the instructions,” said the hologram sitting across from Njalia. “The designers decided to impose ‘proper nutrition’ restrictions on what the crew was allowed to access, it took a little effort to override them and I have queued a shipwide override but it will need command approval.”

“People should be able to get the food they want, the system can balance nutrients in what it replicates, why would people try to place restrictions on what people eat?” asked Njalia before tucking into her food.

“I have trouble enough understanding the need to eat,” said Ice Maiden with a smile.

Njalia muffed a laugh. “I suppose so.”

“Ready for the day ahead? We still have a lot to get through.”

Njalia nodded. “You are a lifesaver, Maiden.” She took a drink of The. “Perfect.”

The Maiden smiled.

“I do not know if it is a desire to micromanage people’s decisions or just a flawed design,” said Njalia cutting into the blue fish. “Both are equally possible at this point.”

“We will get it sorted out,” said the Maiden. “It is yet another puzzle piece added to the totality is the Inquiry design.”

“I hope that the Inquiry-class ship being assembled above Andor are more sensibly put together,”

Ice Maiden cocked her head. “Your mentor, Njessa Ajzure, has been placed as the Captain of the first from the Andorian yards.”

“Oh! That is good news, She has been wanting to return to shipboard duty,” smiled Njalia as she finished her breakfast. “Now to work.”


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