SIM:Ayiana Sevo, Tourist Arc
|Crew of the USS Gorkon|
|Lt. Commander Ayiana Sevo|
Following the disastrous mission at Luxis III, where the U.S.S. Victory was severely damaged by an unknown anomaly, the ship was subsequently towed back to Sol to undergo extensive repairs and upgrades at Utopia Planitia Fleet Yards. As the refit was scheduled to take a couple of weeks, the crew of the Victory had been given shore leave. Ayiana decided to visit Earth, as she had only been there once, very briefly.
Tourist, Part 1 - "Red Planet"
(( Utopia Planitia Fleet Yards - Mars ))
:: Ayiana was standing in what was left of the Mess Hall on Deck 2. Like the rest of the ship, it was heavily damaged, but she wanted to see the Victory’s approach to Mars. Apparently, a lot of the crew had the same idea; there were many people in here looking out the forward windows. The Utopia Planitia Fleet Yards were legendary - the biggest starship construction yard in the Federation. It has given birth to thousands of starships for over one hundred years, including the Victory. It was almost like coming home; albeit coming home crying to mommy after being beaten up by a bully ten times your size. ::
:: The view was awe-inspiring. Dozens of orbital shipyards and drydocks were visible just in viewing range of the mess hall alone. All told, there were over one thousand such orbital structures, not to mention dozens of buildings on the surface of Mars. For a barren planet, it was truly breathtaking. ::
Liss: Isn’t it though?
:: Ayiana turned to the hissing voice to her left. She saw a creature that could only be described as strange. A giant bipedal lizard; over two meters tall with brown and green scaly skin. The being was looking right at her, smiling with his razor sharp teeth. ::
Liss: Ah, forgive me. I sometimes forget my manners. Petty Officer Xanti Ilas Ysa Liss. :: He extended a clawed hand in Ayiana’s direction ::
Sevo: :: Carefully taking his hand. :: Uh...nice to meet you. Lieutenant Ayiana Sevo, Chief of Science. You-you’re a Pahkwa-thanh, correct?
Liss: Yes. I’m not surprised you are familiar with us, or your apprehension. We are one of the more...unique species of the Federation.
:: Ayiana nodded and returned to her gaze of the shipyards. She could see one particular berth growing in size as they approached it. That must be where the towship was taking the Victory. ::
Sevo: Are you an engineer? Do you think the ship is salvageable?
Liss: Hmm...not sure. There is a lot of damage, but I think if Starfleet really wants to keep the ship, they have the resources to fix it up. Personally, I’m just looking forward to visiting the shipyards. Maybe take a tour. The place is an engineer’s dream, after all. :: Pause. :: What about you, ma’am?
Sevo: I’ve only been to Earth once before, and that was only to Starfleet Academy. I think I’ll take a larger tour of the planet; maybe stay at a hotel.
Liss: That sounds...nice. Earth doesn’t really seem like the kind of place for me.
:: The ship rumbled and shuddered as it docked, echoed by the sound of berths connecting to airlocks all along the hull. ::
Nugra: =/\= Nugra to Victory crew. As per Starfleet order 239203.04 hash 102, the crew of said ship is ordered to stand down from their duties and to be placed on temporary leave. What this translate is you all get free two weeks to do what you will. Please grab belongings that you will need from your quarters as when the refit begins, all possessions in said rooms will be tagged with your name and ID number, then stored in a transporter matrix buffer until refit is complete. I will be on Deck 65 of the Utopia Planitia main tower in office 2439 if you need me for anything. That is all. =/\=
Sevo: Well, I guess I had better start packing. Have fun, Crewman Liss.
Liss: And to you as well, Lt. Sevo.
Tourist, Part 2 - "City in Space"
(( Passenger shuttle, approaching Spacedock ))
:: As the shuttle approached Spacedock, Ayiana was finally able to see the massive space station. She had heard it was a miracle of engineering, but never really believed it before now. The giant mushroom-shaped space station was enormous. Over three kilometers long, and able to house numerous starships inside of it; not to mention an entire city to support it. And there, behind Spacedock was the object it was orbiting; the heart of the Federation: ::
:: Earth. ::
oO Wow. Oo
:: Honestly, the planet looked pretty unassuming to Ayiana. She was used to the purple-looking waters of Trill, but otherwise Earth looked just like any other class-M planet Ayiana had seen. Except there was something unique about it: Humans. ::
oO ‘Humans are the glue that bind the Federation together.’ Oo
:: The often-mentioned quote was apt. Humans founded Starfleet, and later were instrumental in founding the Federation. They were the most numerous race in Starfleet, regularly at the forefront of exploration, science, and diplomacy. If not for Humans, the Vulcans, Tellarites, and Andorians would probably never have been able to settle their differences, let alone come together in an alliance. Many people, including Ayiana, often wondered what would happen to the Federation if Humans were to suddenly disappear. Would the Federation continue on? Without their diplomatic skills, would many of the Federation’s races return to old hatreds and turn on each other? ::
Pilot: =/\= Attention passengers: We will be docking with Spacedock in five minutes. Please retrieve your belongings and prepare to disembark. =/\=
:: Ayiana continued to look out her window as the shuttle entered the secondary, commercial docking bay situated in the lower, smaller “mushroom.” It was still an impressive sight. Numerous shuttles, passenger liners, and cargo ships of all origins were either moving or docked within. Ayiana could only imagine the size of the main Starfleet docking bay in the top “mushroom;” large enough to contain several Galaxy-class starships. ::
(( OOC: Spacedock Layout ))
:: After a few minutes, Ayiana felt the umbilical connect with the shuttle. Flight attendants thanked and directed the passengers out of the shuttle and onto Spacedock. There were signs and an interactive map where the gantry exited into a corridor. The rumors were true: it really was a city in space! There was an entire commercial section, hotels, shopping malls, and housing; even a park! One could live their entire life on Spacedock and never want for anything. She had spent sometime on Starbase 118, which was of identical design, but residing in deep space, it was purely a military installation. ::
:: Ayiana tapped at the map as it directed her to various locations she was interested in: shopping, food, and shuttles to Earth. Starfleet personnel were also entitled to free teleports to Starfleet installations such as Starfleet Headquarters and the Academy. She downloaded the map to a PADD and headed towards the nearby bank of turbolifts. They were much larger than those found on a Starfleet ship. They had to hold potentially dozens of people at a time. ::
Sevo: Hawking mall, please.
:: Other people either pressed buttons or voiced their own destinations. Eventually, the lift closed and started its ascent to the commercial area above the secondary docking bay. ::
:: Upon exiting the turbolift, Ayiana saw a spectacular sight: an enormous urban expanse, complete with an artificial sky and sun-like lighting. If she did not just come off a shuttle, Ayiana could have sworn it was a city on the surface of a planet. Her eyes lit up and looked like they grew three sizes. Like any other city, there were skyscrapers, pedestrian walkways, trees and parks. Thousands of sentients were walking to-and-fro or transporting at various teleport hubs. Many of the species Ayiana had never seen before. It was truly a ‘melting pot’ of culture. You could have dinner at a Human Japanese restaurant, head across the street to a Vulcan library, and then teleport to the Klingon opera house. ::
Sevo: I...its...wow! I...I don’t know where to start!
:: Ayiana cruised the mall for a while, taking in the sights. At a congruence of multiple pedways was a giant bronze bust of a human. He was wearing glasses and his face was unusually contorted, but still smiling. There were several pedestals with a digital screen embedded in each. Ayiana tapped to activate one; starting a presentation and discovered who the bust was and who the mall was named after: ::
:: Stephen Hawking. A brilliant theoretical physicist and cosmologist from Earth’s 20th century. Diagnosed with an incurable (at the time) degenerative muscular disease, he defied all expectations of survival and lived a long and happy life, contributing enormously to the Human science of space, and specifically black holes and time. Though it would take centuries, interstellar travel eventually proved many of his theories about black holes correct. ::
oO Who knew Humans could predict everything that was out here purely by observation, inference, and math? Amazing! Oo
:: After having a nice lunch at a Human Chinese restaurant, Ayiana headed over to a tourist center nearby. In addition to locale advice, the extremely friendly Denobulan also suggested she purchase "The Complete Guidebook to Earth" to help her get around. She suspected the man was just trying to sell his product, but it only cost a few Credits. ::
:: The tourist center also provided a convenient place to book a hotel room anywhere on the planet. Ayiana booked her hotel in San Francisco; across the bay from Starfleet Headquarters. ::
:: Before she made it to the transport kiosk, something caught her eye. On the right side of the street was a pet store! It had the usual Earth-variety pets: cats, dogs and birds, but also more exotic ones like targs and sehlats. And of course, numerous tribbles. But it was none of those that caught Ayiana’s attention. It was a magnificent creature, beautiful to behold, yet also vestiges of danger. ::
oO Wow! I had no idea they’d have these out here! I always wanted one as a kid. Hmm...Oo
:: Ayiana talked with the store clerk for a while about the animal. ::
Sevo: You know what? Sold! I’ll take it!
:: She was not known for impulse buys. She liked it. ::
oO I can’t believe I just did that. I’ve never had a pet before! Oo
:: Ayiana arranged for the clerk to hold the animal until her return to the Victory in two weeks. When she gave the word, the store could beam the animal to the ship. ::
oO Now to find my way planetside. Lets see...looks like there is a transporter kiosk nearby. That will save time rather than waiting for a shuttle. Oo
:: Despite wearing her Starfleet uniform, the attendant still required her identification. Apparently, wearing fake Starfleet uniforms was all too common. Ayiana asked to be transported to the Hilton Hotel, and she disappeared in a shower of light. ::
Tourist, Part 3 - "Ex Astris, Scientia"
(( Presidio - San Francisco ))
:: It was Ayiana’s first day checking out the sights of San Francisco, after checking in to her hotel the day before. The city was a sight to behold. Skyscrapers of innumerable sizes and designs peaked the skyline in the city center, while lower urban sprawl spread for kilometers in all directions. It was one of the few cities left relatively unscathed by World War III. With the destruction of New York in that terrible war, San Francisco quickly rose to prominence as a global city during America’s rebuilding. Today, it was the capital of the United Earth government, and hosted Starfleet Headquarters and the main Starfleet Academy campus. ::
:: As Ayiana had attended a satellite campus of the Academy on Trill, she never really got to see the entire Starfleet complex. Her class once took a field trip to Earth to visit the Academy and Headquarters, but they didn’t have much of an opportunity to look around. ::
:: She spent the better part of the morning cruising the campus of the Academy. There were a lot more species running around than she was used to. Trill’s campus hosted almost entirely all Trills, and a few nearby races. As the central training facility, it was much larger than Trill’s, and much more grandiose. The grounds were beautiful. After asking questions to faculty and cadets, she discovered that a single man named Boothby had been groundskeeper for nearly 100 years, until his passing ten years ago. Everyone had looked up to him, even seeking the occasional advice. ::
:: Starfleet Headquarters was equally impressive. Being the center of command and bureaucracy for the Federation’s military arm meant an extensive complex. It too was well maintained with gardens. Lots of captains and admirals roamed the grounds, with an even greater number of other officers. Seeing the Starfleet complex gave Ayiana a huge sense of pride to be a part of the organization. She spent most of the day visiting the complex, looking around, and visiting the museum. ::
:: The next few days Ayiana spent touring San Francisco. She wanted to learn more about Humans and Earth. She decided to begin at the top: the United Earth Parliament. ::
Tourist, Part 4 - "City By the Bay"
(( United Earth Parliament ))
:: The next few days of Ayiana’s vacation was spent touring the grand city of San Francisco. For a densely-populated city, it was surprisingly easy to get around. While San Francisco still had streets for ground vehicles, it also boasted a large network of public transport vehicles and pedestrian walkways. Among the soaring skylanes above, one could occasionally spot a long skybus, each capable of moving several dozen people. With traffic mostly moving in the air above, much of the ground streets had been converted to pedestrian walkways; often beautified with trees, planters, and art; although most of the major thoroughfares were still groundcar-accessible. ::
:: Every couple of blocks had an entrance to the extensive BART network (Bay Area Rapid Transit); it was mostly underground, but it occasionally rose out and above the streets. Public mass-transit teleport stations were also located at major locations or in the center of high-traffic neighborhoods, including the United Earth Parliament, Embassy Road, the Presidio, and Golden Gate Park. To Ayiana’s surprise, the streets also had old pulley-driven cablecars! CABLECARS! Apparently they were an icon of San Francisco and a major tourist attraction. ::
:: Ayiana took multiple tours of San Francisco’s important locales. She saw the United Earth Parliament building first. Parliament was an extremely large building; its architecture was ultra-modern. The central building stood ten stories tall and was torus-shaped; the center was an open park area. Multiple secondary buildings were connected to the main building via walkways or skywalks. The tour gave a brief history of Earth’s troubled past and even more difficult union. She found the museum fascinating. ::
:: She also visited the historic Candlestick Auditorium. What was once a multi-sports stadium, known in past times as Candlestick Park, became the site of the signing of the United Federation of Planets Charter. The auditorium was circular with a retractable roof, and a central dais in the middle; a large carpeted pathway lead from it to one side of the room. Hovering above the dais was a huge circular transparent screen, currently off, since nothing was going on. Hundreds of seats were arrayed around the dais on the ground level, with five footpaths equally splitting the chamber into pie-like wedges. Hundreds more seats were arrayed on several levels of balconies along the walls. Altogether, it could hold nearly 50,000 people. ::
:: Her favorite stop was the renowned Exploratorium; a museum and learning center dedicated to science. It was very exciting, as it had hands-on exhibits. Everything from earthquakes, optics, and computers, to warp fields and subspace mechanics. She felt like a kid again, remembering the days her parents took Ayiana and her sister Aleesia to Najana City’s museums and science exhibits. ::
:: The Cetacean Institute was also interesting. It was only in Humanity’s recent history that they discovered that the whales and dolphins they were slaughtering were intelligent. Despite all they did to the animals, the cetaceans were quick to forgive Humanity, although the legendary tale of the Whale Probe and of Kirk’s crew’s adventure to the past no doubt renewed their faith in humanity. Inside the main auditorium was a bronze statue dedicated to those whales the crew brought back - George and Gracie. Ayiana discovered that their speech and thought processes were so different from humanoids, that there still did not exist lingual communication between them. ::
:: Ayiana spent one day with a visit to the California Academy of Sciences, and it did not disappoint. Being a scientist herself, she was interested in the Humans’ point of view on the subject. Apparently the Academy had been a museum of the natural sciences for centuries. It hosted numerous exhibits, including the fossils of the legendary dinosaurs. That was a rather unique thing for Ayiana. The Trill people and symbionts were the first dominant life forms on their planet. They had no prior epoch of roving lizards or other animals. They were utterly fascinating. Ayiana was beginning to understand the Humans’ trepidation towards the Pahkwa-thanh she met earlier; Mr. Liss really DID look like one of these ancient beasts! ::
:: The Academy also boasted the Morrison Planetarium. Being an astrophysicist, Ayiana took great delight in visiting the place. They had nightly viewings of the sky inside the massive dome - real-time images and video of the sky above the city; interspersed with overlaid information and the occasional audio presentation. One thing of note was that Spacedock was easily visible to the naked eye, even at night. It had become Earth’s geostationary second moon. ::
:: The grand tour of the City By the Bay complete, she thought about what to do for the rest of her shore leave. ::
Tourist, Part 5 - "Beachcomber"
(( Ocean Beach, San Francisco ))
:: A week of touring was exhausting. Instead of touring other locations of Earth, Ayiana decided to take the rest of shore leave easy. Being in San Francisco reminded Ayiana of her home city of Najana back on Trill. It too was a coastal city, but located on flatlands instead of the many hills San Francisco possessed. The smell of salty air, the crying of birds in the sky, the constant drone of the ocean lapping against the shore; it was enough to bring back a multitude of childhood memories. ::
:: She decided to spend the rest of her vacation the same way she spent most of her childhood: on the beach. Ocean Beach seemed to be the most popular one in the city, and it was near her hotel. Baker Beach was also popular, but part of it was "clothing-optional." Ayiana didn’t quite feel ready for that just yet! ::
:: This appeared to be a popular beach with tourists. Beings of many races dotted the sands. She saw a quartet of Andorians with their child, a trio of Bolians, some Ferengi, most of which were busy peddling wares, and even a few fellow Trill. Some smaller Cetaceans, mostly Dolphins, were swimming close to shore with surfers. ::
:: Ayiana eventually made her way down to Ocean Beach. Finding a nice spot in the middle of the beach, she placed her beach towel down, and took off her sandals and oversized shirt. Wearing a red bikini and sunglasses, she untied her thigh-length red hair, laying on top of it like a second blanket. Ayiana lathered herself with sunscreen, plopped down on her towel, and enjoyed the rest of shore leave. ::