Previous Next

Having Fun is the Best Way to Learn

Posted on Fri Feb 5th, 2021 @ 11:14pm by

Mission: The Lower Decks
Location: USS Tesla - Engineering
Timeline: Meanwhile
2309 words - 4.6 OF Standard Post Measure

Nahia walked into Engineering, taking a bite out of the top cookie of the pile she had in one hand and carrying a mug in her other hand.

There was a loud squeak from near the warp-core. Everyone in the room froze and fell silent as if they had been paused.

Nahia looked around the room with a cookie hanging out of her mouth.

Mar, who had issued the squeak, was half-lying half-sitting by the warp core on top of Aluno, who was on his hands and knees.

Amlan-Nazor was splayed face-down on the floor barely a step away from the Chief Engineer's chair, which had been moved from the office into the middle of the room.

Rangi was hanging from the railing with Sini holding him by the ankles from above and Yeqon holding him by the shoulders from below.

Nahia took in each group of them, and blinked.

Yeqon lifted his hands above his head and shouted, "It's not what it looks like!"

This had the unintended side-effect of causing Rangi to fall further, pulling Sini closer to the edge. Nahia instinctively rushed over and grabbed Sini around the torso with her mug and cookies, which caused the cider to splash down the front of Sini and the cookies to fall on Yeqon's head. She spat out the cookie in her mouth.

"What in the hell is going on!?" Nahia bellowed.

A Few Minutes Earlier

It was a pretty boring day in Engineering. The power banks had been deployed and were not showing any issues. Radiation was mostly under control. The Chief Engineer was called out for an away mission. Nahia had walked off in search of food.

That left none other than Yeqon as the highest ranking engineer in the room. He rubbed his hands together and started thinking of ways to pass the time.

Mar was there. He did enjoy making her squeak, but it looked like she was teaching Aluno something. As much fun as it was to mess with Aluno, he did need to learn some things some times.

Sini was making her way around the room checking panels, while Rangi followed her, looking short in comparison. It looked like they were playing their usual game where he followed her while she slinked around, and he did all the talking trying to get her interested. Yeqon was pretty sure that Sini was in on the game, but it was hard to tell with her.

That left Crewman Nazor. He hadn't figured out an opening to mess with her yet, and he was a little intimidated by what she might be able to do with those horns. He watched as she read from a padd, then wobbled a little and steadied herself on a display.

"Crewman Nazor, are you alright?"

She looked up to identify who was speaking to her, then nodded, "I'm fine."

He wandered over to her, "I saw you catch yourself on the display there."

"It might be a little space sickness."

"Oh, you get space sick?"

"Not usually. Maybe it's the radiation," she held up the padd to show it had radiation information on it.

"You know," Yeqon got a devilish gleam in his eye, "there was this sure-fire cure for space sickness my first Master-of-the-Boat taught me."


Across the room, Mar watched Yeqon engage the Grazerite crewman. They started walking off in the direction of the Engineer's Office and she wondered what trouble he was getting into.

Mar looked down to where Aluno's legs were sticking out from under the panel, "How's it going down there?"

"Good. Good. Hey, we're not supposed to cross--no, no, we're not--good. Everything's good."

Mar crossed her arms and turned to look at the slipstream drive panel. She swiped one finger around on it, aimlessly scrolling through information.

"Just let me know if you have a question."

"So is it true that Bolians can digest anything?"

Mar flushed a deeper blue, "I meant about what you're working on."

"Oh, right. No, I know what I'm doing. What is this tool called again?"

"Are you--"

"Everything's good."

Mar sighed and watched as Sini sashayed across the room, shadowed by Rangi. She wondered if the allure was that Zelonites had hair, whereas Bolians did not. Or maybe it was just the general air of mystery Sini cultivated around herself.

Sini felt Rangi's eyes following her swaying hips as she moved to a new panel. She tried not to smile as she thought about how he didn't seem to notice she was taking the least efficient route between panels to review secondary system power usage.

She stopped at a new panel and made sure her hair fell across one eye as she compared the read-out and the margins on the padd she had.

Rangi moved up next to her and started to review something on the panel next to her, like it was always his intent, "Have you had a chance to talk to any of the marines? It seems like their CO is a real hard-ass, but he gets them the best gear. I tried to get a look at one of their rifles but they weren't having it. Said I'd break it. An engineer, break something? I tried to tell him I helped design a new phaser when I was stationed at Miyazaki but he was having none of it--"

Sini turned her head and looked down at him, flashing him her one uncovered eye to indicate she could tell he was talking. The purple iris tripped him up at it always did. She controlled the muscles in her face to repress another smile as she looked back at the panel. She closed the display and made her way to the stairs, past where Yeqon was standing by Amlan.

Amlan wanted to fit in, but this didn't seem like a good idea. They had rolled out the Chief Engineer's chair and now she was sitting in it, awkwardly, in the middle of the room.

"Are you sure about this?"

"Absolutely! Trust me, this will help," Yeqon's smile was a little too broad and toothy for her. She had a natural predilection away from toothy smiles. Her mother said it was just her neuroses, and not genetic.

"It's really not a problem."

"Just tuck your feet up," Yeqon was holding the back of the chair, and when she pulled her feet up he started swiveling it back and forth to check the clearance of her feet.

"How is this going to help?"

"Immersion therapy."

"I don't think this is what that means."

"Hold on!" With barely a warning he started spinning the chair around, with her in it. She clutched the arms of the chair and felt her whole world get twisted. She tried to focus, to get her bearings, but it was just a swirl of gray with a burst of red every fraction of a second.

"I. Don't. Know. About. This," Amlan managed to get out.

"I'm in complete control!" Yeqon sounded a little more giddy than someone helping solve space sickness should.

Underneath the warp core panel, Aluno tried to make sure he had made the connections he thought he had. He traced his finger along one pathway, but then got lost halfway across the panel. He realigned his arm and tried again.

"Oh god," Mar said from above.

Aluno jerked his hands away from the panel, "What? What did I do?"

"You? Oh, nothing."

"Okay," he went back to trying to draw the pathway he was supposed to connect with his finger.

"This is a bad idea," he heard Mar mutter.

"What's a bad idea?"

"How come you can hear me when I'm not talking to you but I have to repeat myself whenever I give you instructions?"

"What's going on up there?"

"CPO Malmuth is spinning Crewman Nazor in the Chief's chair."


"Because Yeqon is trouble."

Aluno crawled out from under the panel and tried to look between Mar's legs. From his hands and knees he could just catch the swirl of black and orange as the Grazerite picked up speed. Up on the walkway he could see Rangi watching as well.

Rangi stood by the railing above the spinning scene. He was trying to keep one eye on the scene and one eye on Sini's long long legs, but the ridiculousness was winning out on his attention.

"I wonder how he talked her into that," Rangi wondered out loud. He knew better than to expect any response from Sini. The mysterious minx was always keeping him guessing. She'd seem to not be listening at all, and then suddenly he'd be staring straight into her intoxicating eyes. Or, one of them at least. 'I wonder if she covers one because two at once is overpowering.'

"Mmm," it sounded almost like a purr from Sini.

"You might be missing the highlight of the day, much as I know how you prefer work," he started to take a step toward Sini to get her attention, and he turned his head.

Unfortunately, he hadn't felt her move closer to him. He stepped straight into her, and planted his face right in her chest.

He stepped back, immediately opening his mouth to apologize, but only a yelp popped out, because at the same time he stepped back Sini had given his shoulders a shove back. He felt a bump at his back stopping him, then his heel slipped and, as he lost his balance and he started going backward again.

'That's odd, wasn't the railing behind me?' flashed through his mind before Sini fell away to be replaced by a flash of ceiling.

Sini watched Rangi flip backward over the railing, and grabbed for any part of his uniform she could. She managed to wrap her arms around his legs, but they slipped down until they caught at his ankles. She felt his weight pulling them both over the edge.

Below, Yeqon's mouth fell open as he saw Rangi come toppling toward him. He put a hard stop on the spinning chair, nearly flinging Amlan out of it.

Amlan jumped out of the chair, presumably to help, but instead of going toward Rangi's dangling form she took a staggered step to the right and pitched forward, landing on her face.

Yeqon left her there for the moment and tried to catch Rangi by the shoulders, stopping his momentum from continuing to the floor.

From the back of the room, Mar was watching it all happen. She tried to turn to get Aluno out from under the panel, but caught her leg on something right behind her. She squeaked loudly, and the thing she saw right as she fell over Aluno's back was the doors to Engineering opening and Nahia standing with her hands full and a cookie hanging out of her mouth.

Nahia took in each group of them, and blinked.

Yeqon lifted his hands above his head and shouted, "It's not what it looks like!"

This had the unintended side-effect of causing Rangi to fall further, pulling Sini closer to the edge. Nahia instinctively rushed over and grabbed Sini around the torso with her mug and cookies, which caused the cider to splash down the front of Sini and the cookies to fall on Yeqon's head. She spat out the cookie in her mouth.

"What in the hell is going on!?" Nahia bellowed.

Yeqon grabbed Rangi by the shoulders again, taking the strain off of the women holding him from above. They lowered him as carefully as they could, until basically dropping him onto Yeqon.

Aluno crawled out from Mar's legs and helped get her on her feet. Sini and Nahia descended the stairs, helping Amlan to her feet as well.

The six of them lined up, facing Nahia, with Rangi and Yeqon covered in cookie crumbs, Sini with her drenched uniform, Amlan dazed and leaning on Sini, and Aluno holding up Mar who seemed to be favoring one of her legs.

Nahia pinched her nose, "I was gone for five minutes. I suppose I should be grateful that the room isn't on fire and nobody was shot. Somebody explain what's going on here. Now!"

The six crewman looked back and forth to their comrades to see if anyone could explain what had happened. Nahia walked along them, looking them each in the face. They each straightened up as she approached, knowing that while she had a high tolerance for ridiculousness they had definitely cross the line.

"We were just--" Yeqon started, but was silenced by Nahia's look at him, which fully communicated that she was not going to accept a half-assed excuse. He tried to brush the crumbs from his uniform and not make eye contact instead.

A slow drip started from the leg of Sini's uniform, as she studiously looked at the ceiling and worked not to acknowledge it.

Nahia got to the end of the row, and looked at Aluno, "Crewman?"

"I was under the warp core panel, I didn't see anything," he answered truthfully, but sheepishly.

Amlan took a deep breath in and Nahia crossed back in front of her, "Yes, crewman?" Nahia had been around ships long enough that she could recognize the 'about to fess up' face on most any race in the Federation. She prided herself on it. This was not that face.

Nahia swiftly side-stepped, as the crewman spilled her guts across the deck, and everyone jumped away to avoid the spray.

Nahia covered her face and walked to the rogue chair. She grabbed it and started to wheel it to the office.

"I want every surface in this room clean in the next ten minutes," she entered the office, then without turning added, "And somebody had better get me a damn snack!"


Previous Next