SIM:JP: Ensigns Lathu & Vistain: "The Metamorphosis of Ensign Lathu"
Authors' Note: This sim is actually a compilation of several sims written between the writer for Charles Sampi and the writer for Zinna. The individual SIMs are "Delivering Messages", "Science officers are so weird", "Nice to meet you...", "Amber?", "Safety Check", "Trouble in the Shuttlebay", "What did you do?!", "Just Like Her", "Ahhh!", "The Delusional Suliban", "Damage", "Ancestors of the Suliban Cabal", and "The Metamorphosis of Ensign Lathu".
The events in this SIM occurred on stardates 238902.17-25.
((Engineering, USS Tiger-A))
::Ensign Danielle Vistain was busy confined in the "rabbit hole"--otherwise known as Engineering EPS Access Juncture 3-Baker--when she heard a voice. ::
Eete: Hey, how you doing?
::Danielle looked up through the floor grating to see a woman dressed in science blue standing above her.::
Vistain: Oh, not too bad. Just trying to recalibrate a few misaligned EPS flow regulators... tedious work, but at least it gives me something to do while we're still docked at the station.
::The science officer stood politely and gestured to a PADD on Danielle's console.::
Eete: Information from science concerning the questions of shuttle efficiency...
Vistain: Ah, great! I'll take a look at it so we can begin working on the retrofits.
::The lieutenant nodded and smiled.::
Eete: Thanks Ensign.
::Danielle smiled back as the other woman left. Carefully, she set down her tools and pulled herself up out of the hole to get to her console. When she went to go check the PADD, however, she realized the information was actually something that had nothing to do with shuttles.::
Vistain: oO Well, that's just great... Oo
::The ensign sighed before returning into the access pit to continue her work on the flow regulators.::
((Meanwhile, also in Engineering))
::There was a time for fighting and there wasn't a time for fighting. In Engineering, this was not the time to be fighting, and Lathu knew that. What he did on the Promenade was unforgivable. ::
Bartender: Is everything alright, sir?
::Lathu, angrily lifted himself from the bar stool and left the bar. He walked through the promenade watching everyone have fun and smile and laugh. At the time most people of the Independence-A would be meeting there parents or family. His parents were off in space...being space pirates. ::
Lathu: oO Amber... Oo
::He could have had a family visiting him if Amber, his ex-girlfriend would have stayed with him...but she dumped him because he was demoted from full lieutenant to lame old ensign. She would be embarrassed to hang out with someone like him. ::
::Lathu stopped by a store and saw books. ::
Lathu: oO Amber loved to read...we were so close to having children...I could have been a father...but those bloody Klingons *had* to ambush my ship, attack Amber causing me to disobey an order from my commanding officer and nearly end my career. Oo
::He started to cry. ::
Lathu: oO It already ended my social life... Oo
::He walked past the bookshelf and saw two officers holding hands and kissing. ::
Lathu: oO I've had it! Oo
::Lathu's anger began to pulse through his veins and he shed tears. If his skin was peachy like humans his face would be like an apple. With his large fist he slung it at the male officer who crashed to the floor. ::
Female Officer: Oh my gosh! Someone help!!! My Husband! My Husband!
::Lathu backed away slowly, but still visible within the scene. A tiny stream of blood came from the male officers nose, and his wife crouched down and held his head back. ::
Female Officer: HELP! SOMEONE HELP MY HUSBAND! I THINK HE'S LOSING CONSCIOUSNESS!
Bolian Officer: GOOD CHRIST! WHAT DID YOU DO TO THE MAN?!
Lathu: I didn't mean to!
Bolian: Didn't meant to??? For heavens sake you nearly knocked the man out!!!
::Lathu's face flushed with embarrassment as many people had crowded around to see what was happening. The emotion of love was making him angry. Why couldn't Amber love him for who he was? Why'd he have to get demoted? Why'd he punch the man? ::
Bolian: Someone call a medical officer and security before he tries to heart anyone else!!! Hurry! Good gosh, what were you thinking?
Lathu: I DIDN'T MEAN TO!
Male Officer: :: wearily :: I...Angel?...What h-happened?....
Female Officer: Roger, I love you!
Lathu: STOP IT!!!!
::Lathu ignored them and got on top of Roger and began sending punches to his face and yelling angrily. ::
Angel: Nooooo! Someone stop him!!!
::The Bolian seized the Suliban Engineer and sent a smack to his face knocking him unconscious. ::
::Nurse Shah had treated both there injuries before Lathu was returned to duty. ::
::Lathu looked at his tricorder. Right now he was in the process of system maintenance. ::
Lathu: oO Diagnostics... Oo
::He looked at his tricoder. This grid needed to be calibrated. He made a few notes in his PADD and took out his tool kit. He took out his hyposcanner and began realigning the conduits. After about ten minutes of realigning he took out his tricorder and scanned the conduits again to make sure they were correct. After his maintenance function he made a note on his PADD and turned around to see an officer. ::
Eete: Stats from science for your work...
Lathu: oO My work? Oo Yes sir. Thank you, Lt.
Eete: How is it going down here?
Lathu: Just doing the same old same old. Systems maintenance...
Eete: Great, have a good day. ::She moved off with a spring in her step. ::
Lathu: Er...bye? oO Science officers are so weird... Oo
::Lathu chuckled and looked at the PADD the science officer had given him.
Lathu: Shuttle efficiency?
::He looked across the Engineering Room and back at the PADD to see if the science officer was still around. He climbed down the ladder away from the conduits and walked to Ensign Vistain. ::
Lathu: Ensign, shuttlebay ops engineer right?
::Danielle peeked her head back out from under the floor grating.::
Vistain: oO Uh-oh... it's Ensign Norman Bates. Okay, stay calm. Oo ...indeed. What can I do for you?
::The other engineer waved a PADD.::
Lathu: Shall we go check this out and see what the heck is up with this?
Vistain: Ah, the missing report. ::looks around:: Um, just give me one sec.
::Lathu watched as the young woman wrapped up her work and got back out of the access pit once again. Her hair reminded him of Amber. He wondered if it could be Amber.::
Lathu: ::shouting:: Amber?
Vistain: ::confused:: Amber?
Lathu: Oh...nothing...I just thought..nevermind.
::Once Danielle got onto the deck, she looked down to see her uniform was a bit dusty now. She brushed off some of the dirt before looking back up to see the man was staring at her.
Danielle wondered if she should contact Durrell to let him know where she was in case they never heard back from her again...::
Vistain: oO Oh, stop it! You're being silly. Maybe the stories were just exaggerated. He doesn't look... too creepy. Oo So, um... you're working on the shuttles as well?
Lathu: ::dryly and flatly without emotion:: No.
Vistain: I see... well, we're starting the work on the Eagle. It's already in the shed.
Lathu: Very well...Name please?
Vistain: ...it's Danielle.
Lathu: Good. Let's get to work Ensign Danielle.
::She gave the friendliest smile she could muster.::
Lathu: Ah I see. Well it's nice to be working with you "Danielle".
::Lathu held out his hand for her to shake. She shook his hand tentatively as they began walking towards the shuttle bay. It was cold to the touch.::
Vistain: Nice to meet you... oO Please don't kill me. Oo
Lathu: Likewise. Shall we get going?
::Lathu held out his hand for the Shuttlebay Ops Engineer to lead the way. ::
::The other ensign hadn't said much along their way to the shuttlebay. Why had he called her Amber? As far as Danielle knew, there was no one in the department with that name. She tried not to think too much about it... but then the effort to think about something else just made her think about it more.::
Vistain: oO Damn it. Oo
::Fortunately, they were now back in Danielle's home turf. Sitting before them was the Eagle. Ensign Lathu quickly took out his tricorder and scanned the shuttle.::
Lathu: Interesting. Take a look at this Ens--Danielle.
::Danielle leaned over, inadvertently brushing her shoulder against Lathu's to read the tricorder. She smiled at the data.::
Vistain: Yep. A beauty, isn't she? Twin intermix chambered warp core with a multi-nodal EPS distribution relay. More power than a runabout, and faster, too. She's definitely not your typical Type 11 shuttle.
Lathu: Well you've got that right.
::After Lathu looked up at her, Danielle suddenly noticed her proximity to Lathu. Her creep meter was setting off alarms again. She quickly ran off to the back of the shuttle to access the hatch, which gave her an excuse to separate herself from him.::
Vistain: I'll just power her up. Why don't you pull out the warp matrix and adjust it to the new values sent from Science?
::Lathu pulled out his tool kit. You'd expect his obsession with Amber to interfere with his work, but it didn't. He had the warp matrix out in no time.::
Lathu: Okay...adjusting now.......::long pause:: Done!
((Meanwhile, in Shuttlecraft Eagle))
::Danielle made her way into the cockpit and sat down at the pilot's chair. She activated the controls and watched as the shuttle came to life. Something about the sudden onset of lights from the panels and the reassuring hum of the shuttle's power systems always made her smile.
She checked the power levels of the various systems. Life support, optimal. Impulse engines, satisfactory. Warp core, off-line of course. Defensive systems, satisfactory. Weapons, off-line. She finished the last of the systems' checks and switched off the monitor only to suddenly see Ensign Lathu's reflection in the now black panel. She gasped and turned around.::
Vistain: ::nervous laugh:: Oh, I didn't hear you come in! ...that was quick.
Lathu: It was an easy task...
Vistain: oO Not really... Oo Uh, yeah. Sure.
::The Suliban sighed. Danielle gave him a concerned look.::
Vistain: ...is everything all right?
Lathu: Amber---I mean Danielle we should probably check the other, right?
Vistain: That's the second time you've called me Amber... no, third, actually. Are you sure you're okay? Maybe you need to call it a day and get some rest?
Lathu: oO Because you look just like her! Oo I'm fine....let's just get back to work.
::As Lathu got up from his seat he accidentally pushed a button. A buzzer went off.::
Lathu: Uh...what did I just do?
::Danielle glanced at the panel and her eyes widened.::
Vistain: Oh my God, you've just initiated an inverse warp cascade.
Lathu: WHAT THE @#$% oO I keep messing things up! Oo
::She looked back at Lathu.::
Vistain: We're all gonna die!
Lathu: Oh no...
Vistain: ::nods:: Yeah... you really did it...
Lathu: Ugh I'm such a dumb***!
::She tried to keep a serious face, but finally, a smirk emerged.::
Vistain: I'm kidding! ::She switched off the alarm.:: You started up the warp systems, but as they're not online yet...
::She let her voice trail off, figuring the other engineer got the point.::
Lathu: That was NOT funny.
Vistain: oO Eh, it was PRETTY funny! Oo
::Her smiled broadened.::
Vistain: Come on, now, it was all in good fun. You just looked so worried. Plus, you've looked like you've been needing something to get your mind off something else since you came to me with that PADD.
Lathu: We need to adjust the other shuttle...
::For the first time since she met him, the man seemed vulnerable. Maybe he just needed a friend to talk to.
Since he didn't seem to have many of those around, maybe he could start by talking to a colleague. She gestured for Lathu to take the other chair in the cockpit.::
Vistain: The other shuttle can wait. Why don't you tell me what's going on? Who is Amber?
::The thin man sat in the co-pilot's chair.::
Lathu: Amber is my ex-girlfriend...
Vistain: I see.
Lathu: Believe it or not...I used to be a full Lieutenant. But when my ship was ambushed by Klingons I disobeyed a direct order from my Captain to save my girlfriend.
Vistain: Sounds like you did what you thought was right.
Lathu: Yes, but I was demoted to ensign for insubordination.
::Lathu looked so sad and ashamed about what had happened. Danielle let him continue without interruption.::
Lathu: She dumped me...right when I was going to ask her hand in marriage...and when we were going to have a child...
::He paused for a moment, looking ever solemn.::
Lathu: It'll never happen now...
Vistain: Hey... hey. ::She tried to get him to look at her directly.:: You don't know that. "Never" isn't a word you often hear around here. Maybe you'll get back together... or maybe you'll find someone else to start a family with.
::Lathu looked at Danielle closely in her eyes noticing that her eyes were the same color as Amber's. Her facial structure and complexion also the same as Amber.::
::She smiled again, hoping her words had helped him feel better. Suddenly, though, it was as if something clicked in his mind.::
Lathu: oO It's her! Oo Amber!!! I missed you so much!
::Danielle barely had any time to react before Lathu grabbed her and hugged her tightly. He cuddled his face next to hers.::
Lathu: Ohhhhh Amber I missed you soooo much! Now we can finally get married and have our child!!!
::She tried to pry him away from her.::
Vistain: Lathu! Lathu, stop!
::But he was still holding onto her, and he was surprisingly strong for such a thin man.::
Vistain: oO My God, you really are crazy! Oo
::Finally, she spun the pilot's chair around, throwing the Sulliban off her in the process. The man landed on the floor of the shuttle.
Danielle stood up, ready to smack some sense into the man.::
Vistain: What the hell?!
Vistain: I don't know what might be wrong with you, but I am *NOT* your Amber!
::He saw her hesitate with her hand on her combadge. Danielle was all set to call security, but as she looked at Lathu, something made her decide to hold off.
Lathu: I'm ashamed...
Vistain: Lathu... ::She sighed.:: I'm sorry, but I just met you today. I'm not Amber.
::He ignored her statement and replied angrily. ::
Lathu: I'm going to finish the other shuttle.
::Lathu walked out of the Eagle and back into the shuttlebay. Danielle followed him.::
Vistain: Lathu, you don't want to tell me what the hell just happened back there?
::He turned around and glared at her for a moment.::
Lathu: I don't see the need to...
::She cocked an eyebrow at him.::
Lathu: What do you care?
::The Suliban engineer made his way to the next shuttle and pulled out its warp matrix to begin the adjustments. Danielle walked up to face him on the other side of the warp matrix. She was trying to decide whether to report him to security, counseling, or both, frankly. However, the man suddenly said something as she stood there across from him.::
Lathu: ::quietly:: I'm sorry...
::Slowly, the ensign began crying. He tossed his tool box to the side and crossed his legs, shedding tears. Danielle stepped around the warp matrix and knelt down beside him.::
Vistain: ::softly:: Lathu, I think we should get you to sickbay or to one of the counselors...
::Another officer came into the shuttlebay.::
Taylor: Hey, Danielle, it's almost 1900 hours. If we don't head out to the station now, we're going to be-
::Danielle looked up to see that it was her friend Ensign Durrell Taylor. The man stopped talking when he saw Danielle with Lathu.::
Taylor: Um, is everything all right? Do you need some help?
Vistain: No, we're fine. If you could just give us a moment...
::Durrell seemed to be eyeing Lathu suspiciously. Then again, pretty much all of the engineering crew knew what had happened on DS17 with Lathu and his violent attack on a fellow officer.::
Taylor: All right... I'll just wait over by the Eagle. Let me know if you need anything.
::She nodded and turned back to Lathu.::
Lathu: I don't want to see a counselor or medical officer.
Vistain: All right, then let's talk about it here.
::She took a cloth from an equipment cart and gave it to him to use to wipe some of his tears away.::
Vistain: What happened to Amber? When was the last time you spoke with her?
Lathu: I told you before ::He gritted his teeth.:: She dumped me!
Vistain: I'm sorry things didn't work out between you two.
Lathu: Sorry doesn't help it, Ensign.
Vistain: She may have left you, Lathu, but that doesn't mean you should be ashamed of yourself. You are more than just someone else's companion. And in time, you will heal. It's not going to be easy. It never is...
::She gave him a resigned smile and placed a hand on his shoulder.::
Vistain: But the point is you will heal if you *let* yourself move on.
Lathu: I guess you're right...
::Danielle continued to watch Lathu closely. He seemed to be taking in what she was saying.::
Lathu: But that's not all...
::She tilted her head slightly as he continued.::
Lathu: My parents...they were....space pirates.
Lathu: I swear...:: he wiped tears :: They were rogue space pirates that always boarded StarFleet civilians vessels and robbed them...
::Danielle nodded. Even in the 24th century, pirates and mercenaries were still a threat to be dealt with. The late Independence-A had encountered pirates from the Free Trade Union just last year, and even the Federation flagship had been attacked by such groups.::
Lathu: I don't love them! I hate them! They ruined my life! When I was at the ********* Academy cadets made fun of my ancestors! I AM ASHAMED OF MY ANCESTORS! THEY WERE ALL IDIOTS! NOW I HAVE TO WORK EVEN HARDER TO RECLAIM MY FAMILY NAME! I HARDLY KNOW A THING ABOUT MY RACE!!! IT'S COMPLETELY PITIFUL!!!
::The ensign's sudden outburst startled Danielle, and she leaned back. It seemed Lathu was on the verge of having a nervous breakdown--if he hadn't started one already..::
Lathu: My grandparents...were part of the Suliban Cabal...
Vistain: Lathu... it sounds like you have a lot you need to get off your chest... have you talked to anyone else about all of this?
Lathu: I told you before I don't want to see a counselor!!!
::Lathu rubbed his temples and sighed deeply.::
Vistain: You don't have to go see a counselor right away, but I think you should consider it. They've had the training to help with such things, just as you and I've been trained to deal with a warp core or an impulse drive.
Lathu: I... ...Fine! You're right I guess.
::Durrell came back over to the other two ensigns. Evidently, he had been troubled by Lathu's shouting as well. He gave a brief glance over at Lathu and then addressed Danielle directly.::
Taylor: Is everything all right, Danielle?
Vistain: Yeah, I think I might not be able to make it tonight. ::She looked at Lathu again and gave a friendly smile.:: I think we've still got some work to do here.
::Lathu didn't reply. He looked into her eyes for a moment, gazing into them, seeing how they were so similar to Amber's. Even the ridge of her nose was similar and her eyelashes. If it weren't for her different name, he'd think this was Amber. Same physical appearance and same attitude.::
Lathu: No...obviously you have a "date" with Ensign Taylor. oO I bet she gets all the men on this ship to date her...figures... Oo
::Danielle was a bit taken back by the comment. Durrell and Danielle had dated, briefly, but the two were now just friends. Still, now didn't seem the time to correct Lathu about this detail.::
Vistain: Lathu, are you sure? I don't know if you should be alone right now.
Lathu: I'll be okay!
Taylor: Come on, Danielle, he said he'll be fine! ::to Lathu:: Right?
Lathu: ::nods:: oO Yes, you over grown trash bag. Oo
::Danielle nodded and gave Lathu a reassuring pat on the back.::
Vistain: Think about what we talked about. About seeing someone.
Lathu: Whatever...oO Enjoy your stupid date...Oo
::Danielle stood up and began walking out of the shuttlebay with Durrell. She looked back at the other ensign still sitting on the floor one last time before turning towards the door.::
Taylor: ::whispers:: Finally... I thought you'd never get out of there. That guy gives me the creeps.
::Danielle gave her friend a harsh glance.::
::Lathu watched as Danielle left with Ensign Taylor. He sat on the floor and sighed again. He really did miss Amber and wished he could hold her in his arms one more time. It seemed to him that everyone on the entire Tiger was dating except him. He was a delusional, desperate Suliban engineer obsessing over his ex-girlfriend.::
::He put down his tricorder and hyperspanner and reached for his PADD. This wasn't his duty PADD, it was his personal one with personal things inside. He pulled up a picture of Amber smiling brightly. A tear dropped from his eye and landed on the PADD. Slowly, it slid off and hit the cold, metal floor.::
Lathu: I love you, Amber.
::He held the PADD up above his head as if to get better lighting, and slammed the PADD into his face and began kissing it. He made kissing sounds and finally pulled the PADD away about five minutes later. ::
Lathu: I love you, Amber...but...I have to move on...you dumped me...and now I have to restart my life and not be some obsessive, desperate, miserable, bitter ******. Sorry it has to end like this.
::He then looked at the PADD peculiarly. Apparently he had accidentally clicked a few buttons when he was kissing the PADD, and her service recorded was on the screen. The last time he remembered she was an Ops officer on the USS Excalibur. He saw her picture and bio on his PADD. He searched it and found something valuable to him.::
::The PADD read: "Crewman Amber Samuels is currently posted on Deep Space 17, pending transfer to USS Tiger."::
Lathu: ::staring closely at the words:: No... no... ::a smile starts to form:: ...yes... YES!!! YES!!! AMBER!!! YOU'RE COMING BACK!!!
::Lathu laughed hysterically and with a touch of insanity. He leaped around the shuttlebay screaming, "I love you, Amber," at the top of his lungs, not caring who saw him. Quickly, he tossed his tricorder and other tools to the side and threw the unadjusted warp matrix back into the shuttle. He took no other precautions, double checks, or even attempted to clean his mess.::
::The obsessive Suliban walked out of the shuttlebay to stalk his former lovebird and demand her to love him again. What would happen with the shuttle he was supposed to adjust would remain a mystery. But not for long.::
Ensign Danielle Vistain
Shuttlebay Ops Engineer