An Unexpected Evening
Location: Senior Officers Corridor, Deck 9
Summary: Denyse and Djinx talk about the spidermunks and other things
Timeline: Mission Day 11 at 1700
Denyse walked down the hall with a small transparent aluminum case in her hands as she headed to her quarters. Inside was one of the juvenile Spidermunks and it was currently settled down in its odd nest with some donut crumbs. No one had figured out why the unusual creatures loved them so much as they had very little protein, but they did. In fact, it was their favorite food if they could get it.
As she passed Quarters 09|02, she paused. That was her Chief's quarters, but she didn't feel right to bother him. Still, she felt that had gotten off to a less than great start and she decided to see if she could make it better. She set the cage down, then tapped his chime and picked it back up to wait.
Arjin was reading a holonovel in his sofa, a glass of Kanar near him, when suddenly the door chime rang. He wasn’t expecting anyone. So with an inquisitive mindset he told the computer to open the door and invited whomever was out there inside.
The human woman entered and gave a quick look around; wasn't what she had been expecting. The main room was a white canvas interrupted by the dark black color in which the bulkheads and window frames were painted and offset with a light grey floor which kept the ensemble from being too harsh.
The furniture and artwork also surprised her with a blend of dark yellows, blues and oranges. She turned her attention to a wall of artifacts, some that looked quite old and had to be impressed.
One wall featured some floating shelves which held several artifacts and antique with a side table that had three picture frames and images of him and others.
"Commander," she said. "I don't know if you remember me, but I'm Ensign Alessandro, the new Xenoarachnologist." She still wore her uniform even hours off duty but by the cage in her hand, she took her work home with her.
The Commander certainly wasn’t expecting the Ensign currently standing in his room. He had not spoken to her more than twice before. Once when she presented herself for duty upon arriving and once when she asked his approval on a project. He lay down his book and stood. “Off course I remember you Ensign. To what do I owe the pleasure of your visit? Is there something wrong?” He definitely hoped that would not be the case, since after the announcement of the troubles with the rusted parts, he was not up for more problem solving.
"No, not at all, Sir," Denyse said. "I just like to get to know people off duty as well as on. I hope you don't mind. If it's a bad time, we can set something up for another day." Now she seemed nervous and was rethinking her decision to stop.
Arjin was a bit taken aback by one of his department staf coming over Unannounced for a social visit. He was about to say something about it and dismiss the matter, when he remembered his breakfast conversation with the Captain. And the need to confide in people and get to know he’s crew better.
Maybe he could start with this tonight.
“It isn’t a bad time Ensign.” Looking at her uniform, he added: “That is if you aren’t on duty. When not please take a seat.”
She took a seat on the edge of a chair before she settled back a little with the spidermunk cage on her lap. "No, Sir," she said. "Well, I kind of take it home with me," she indicated the cage with the strange little creature in it. "But that's kind of the thing I do."
He remembered the Ensign and his conversation with her. But He did not recall the creature. “I suppose if that doesn’t form an hazard, it is no problem. Is it venomous?”, he asked. “What can I get you for drinks?”, he added.
"Green tea, please," Denyse said, figuring that he had enough on his PADD as a department head that he may forget one creature out of many.
Arjin replicated the green tea and handed it over to the Ensign. He sat back down and took his glass of Kanar in hand. “What would you like to know?”
"Thank you, Sir," Denyse said as she accepted it. "I guess the first thing every new crewman wants to know, even though it's been three weeks since I came aboard, is what are the highlights of Science on the ship so far?"
He pondered the question since there were so many sub-divisions doing their own thing within the science department. But the highlights. “Well mostly things have been happening ship based for one. We have been pretty much busy full time with optimizing the sensor upgrades and cataloging and interpreting new data as the Hawk progressed into new territory. And we had an episode related to temporal physics when the ship was projected into four different time periodes. But other than that, every division has simply been working on their own experiments.”
"I did read about that in the ships logs," Denyse said. "The quantum filaments that you and the crew encountered must have been terrifying as it was exciting. I'm glad everyone made it back to the same period, though."
“Exciting is not the best word to describe that episode.”, he answered. “What about you prior to the Hawk?”
"I just finished the Academy not long ago prior to coming here, Sir," she said. "What about you?"
“Graduation has been a long time ago.”, Arjin pondered. “My first assignment wasn’t on a ship though. But on a Starbase. Something quite different. But I am glad to be on a ship now. Was Starfleet always you first calling when you were younger?”
"No," Denyse said honestly. "In fact, my parents were dead set against it, but living in the Orion Sector growing up wasn't a very good influence on them or me for that matter."
“Whoa. The Orion Sector is tough indeed. So what was your first calling then? And how did you convince you parents?”
"My first calling was to be a arachnologist, but then I discovered how many species and how many planets had similar species of them," she said. "As for my parents, I told them what I was going to do and then did it. I didn't ask for permission."
Arjin chuckled. “You did it agains their wishes. Welcome to the club.”, he said.
"You did something that went against the grain of your people?" Denyse asked, looking a bit surprised.
“If it were up to my parents, you would have to look for me in the Diplomatic Corps”, he replied rolling with his eyes.
"I have no time for diplomacy," the human said. "Besides that, all diplomacy is is hiding a rock behind your back while telling them to go to hell in a way that makes them look forward to the trip."
The Commander burst out in a laugh. “Remind me to take you with me whenever I am forced to deal with my parents again. I’ll make sure to let you repeat what you just said. If only to see his face.”
"Done," Denyse said with a laugh to join him. "I'm good at doing it but they told me at the academy to not do it until I became an Admiral."
Arjin raised an eyebrow. “So your ambition is climb up the ranks all the way to Admiral?”
"Who wouldn't want to be an Admiral and give the orders that sets a fleet in motion?" she asked.
“Many Captains don’t want to be. “, he offered. “They want to keep exploring instead of sitting at a desk. That is my opinion also on this matter.”
"What about you, Sir?" Denyse asked. "You're only two ranks away from Captain."
“I want to be a Captain one day, yes. But not yet and Admiral. I don’t think so.”
"Would you rather have a science vessel or a long term exploration vessel?"
Arjin pondered over the question. “I guess I’d go for the exploration vessel. And you?”
"Definitely exploration," Denyse said with an eager tone. "How else would I discover incredible little creatures like these?" She asked as she held the small cage the spidermunk was in up.
Arjin raised an eyebrow. “I am afraid they would not be my first choice to take in. But I’ll take your word for their incredibility.”
"What kind of discovery would you like to make?" she asked him as she settled the cage back in her lap.
“Stable artificial wormholes would be nice.”, he smiled. “You?”
"Truth be told, I don't know yet," Denyse said. "Not that a stable artificial wormhole wouldn't be a great discovery. I'm still feeling my way." '
“Some say discoveries find you and not the other way around.”, Arjin offered.
“How do you get along with the rest of your department Ensign? Does the Black Hawk comes with people you like?”
"I get along fine with most everyone," she said with a smile. "And no one has really had a problem with my arachnid collection other than hoping my big one doesn't get out. In the meantime, me, Lieutenant Rylar and the Chief Engineer are working on the webbing from these little guys."
“Oh, explain.”, Arjin asked.
Denyse gave him the breakdown from the latest reports, pleased that he seemed interested as she detailed the strengths and weaknesses of the spidermunk dragline silk, its properties and the fact that it could be bonded to other materials for increased endurance and a possible resistance to energy attacks, such as phasers. "That's what we have right now, Sir."
“Whoa. Resistance to energy attacks. That seems something potentially big. And threatening if discovered by Starfleet enemies or simply pirates. Who are the people who know about this, Ensign?”
"You, me, Lieutenant Ryler, a few assistances, and the Captain," she said, having filed numerous reports on the project and testing.
Arjin relaxed a bit. If the Captain was in on this, he was certain it would pass all the right channels. “I hope this will work out and you get all the credits due for it then. Any other projects you are working on?”
"No, Sir," Denyse said . "To be honest, I barely have time to sleep with how excited I am about the possibilities of this little creature."
“Well, focusing on the primary tasks is most likely to deliver results. Can I offer another drink?”
"No, thank you, " she said with a smile. "I should be going. I've taken enough of your time, but thank you."
“Very well then Lieutenant. Thank you for passing by this evening.”
With a nod, Denyse collected the spidermunk in its cage and headed out. She felt like she had made headway into getting to know her Department Head on a more personal level and it pleased her.