SIM:JP: Waltas and Rogg: Light 'Em Up!

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The events in this SIM occurred on stardate 238903.15

(( USS Discovery, Turbolift ))

:: Lieutenant Rogg, first scion of Drax, headed up towards the Bridge. The Dachlyd Engineer carried an essential report in one claw, and giddy enthusiasm besides. The ship had endured a prolonged shakedown cruise; what had begun as a routine investigation of a gravitational anomaly ended in confrontation with a god-like entity. The reports from all the departments were predictably well over the accepted limits for a shakedown. ::

:: No department had more to say about the durance of Discovery within the Dyson sphere than Engineering. The Starfleet Engineers had hoped to be able to exploit as many of the Sovereign class vessel's capabilities as they could during shakedown. To paraphrase a proverb, they should have been careful what they wished for. Outmaneuvering the entity known as Trelane and effecting an escape for an entire fleet had taxed Discovery and her personnel as well. The ACE had a mandatory psych eval as well as a stint of light duty. And it seemed that Discovery's Chief Engineer sought an early retirement of sorts - a less danger-prone assignment where he could enjoy his family as well as putting a starship back together. ::

:: Inarr Rogg, assistant chief engineer, scanned the Bridge. Apart from Academy graduation, the young Dachlyd had never anticipated a promotion. Duly Rogg was eager to meet his Captain, Tyr Waltas. Rogg seemed the ideal candidate for CEO, but was it to be? This and half a dozen other questions crawled inside the reptiloid officer's skull while inspecting the Bridge. The Captain was nowhere to be seen. The acting Commander directed Rogg to the Ready Room. The Engineer fairly flew into the Ready Room. ::

:: Rogg stopped short inside, drawing up to attention, but was disappointed in that the key feature missing from the Captain's Ready Room was the Captain himself. ::

(( Captain's Ready Room ))

:: The first thing one noticed when they entered the Ready Room was the painting against the far wall, dominating a large portion of the space given. It was a Ba'ku rendition of "Starry Night" by Van Gogh. Although not original, the Ba'ku artisans had come so frighteningly close to the original masterpiece the Federation historical society had contacted the Captain more than once begging him to place it in a museum. The rosewood desk, built from the cherry-covered wood that was common south of the village, took up a majority of the floor space, save a small, 2-seated couch in the corner and the Captain's chair sitting between the painting and the desk. The desk obscured some 24th-century additions, such as a pop-up display panel for communications with Starfleet Command, a hidden weapons cabinet containing a phaser and a tantō knife. There was another drawer as well, but no one, not even Eden Redstone, knew what was in it. The Captain never spoke of it, but it was nonetheless there. The top of the desk usually held PADDs of numerous reports similar to the one the Dachlyd held, but right now the desk was clear. The only constant fixture on the desktop was a large, platinum-framed picture of the Captain and his family, taken recently when his twin sons were born. Near the large viewport that now stared out at the stars, an old English broadsword, a gift from his former Captain, hung quietly on its pins, blade down, in silent memory of friends long gone. There was a quiet peace to this place, and those entering, no matter how tense the conversation that would follow was, would be calmed. As the Dachlyd observed all of this, the doors hissed open and Tyr walked in. ::

WALTAS: Lieutenant. I'm glad you're here. ::Sitting in the chair behind the desk, he gestured to one of the nearby chairs:: I assume you're here about the change in the letters following your name. ::He grinned.::

ROGG: ::sitting, composed:: As you said, sssir. Unless there is a more skilled Engineer aboard.

WALTAS: And you have someone else you would suggest that is more capable and experienced?

:: The Dachlyd's scale-clad façade remained serene, though Waves of doubt and a score of new questions arrived in a flood. The deluge of possibilities threatened to erode the base of Rogg's confidence. There were not many capable of performing at the flagship level. But Discovery could command a crew of the galaxy's brightest minds, and she would still have an entire sector of Federation space, scientists clamoring to claim the prestige of her berth. ::

ROGG: oO My attempt at humor- Could Waltas in truth intend to promote another? A ringer for the position, merely waiting for Esk to gracefully bow out? Sikorsky? Lambert? Or perhaps an officer transferring off the Starbase? Oo I am certain ::infinitessimal pause:: whomever you have selected for the position is ideal.

WALTAS: ::Smiling:: Lieutenant...::Tossing aside the rank:: Steve. You were my first and only choice for Chief Engineer. I simply haven't had a chance to tell you yet. If you don't accept the position then this ship will leave port without a Chief.

ROGG: ::crocodile smile:: I shall not allow sssuch a breach of protocol. ::Doubt crested over the wall of Rogg's surety.:: I will be Chief, until I get killed or you find someone better.

WALTAS: The only thing you're lacking is confidence in your own abilities, Steve. You've already risked your life twice to save the crew, being wounded both times in doing so. I can't think of anyone I'd rather have taking care of this ship than someone with that kind of dedication.

ROGG: I was ..just trying to fulfill my duty. Thank you, sir- Tyr. In the moment one tries—::thinking aloud:: I was relying on training, intuition, hoping for the best outcome—and you do not know whether you succeeded until the dust settles. I am sure you have been there. ::Rogg's thoughts reflected on moments forever frozen in time, but eventually caught up to the present. The lizardly features perked up.:: To be appreciated is good. Reassuring. oO Validation. Oo

WALTAS: Now that that's out of the way, how are the eggs? I admit I was...not a good study in the Medical field so I have no idea how long Dachlyd development takes.

ROGG: Oh, the embryos' development is nearly complete. I was checking on them just the other evening. They smell of Dachlyd ::indicating Tyr's nose:: although perhaps only I can sniff the change. Soon will be the cracking crying. Hatching. Your own brood ha- ::ahem:: were born recently, I understand. My congratulations!

:: Steve stood to shake Tyr's hand. The Dachlyd had picked up quite a few foreign customs and gestures, and few were as bizarre as this one. Though not so asocial as most Dachlyd, Steve still felt most personal contact to be aggressive. Hugging was fine, a peculiar and reassuring ritual not unlike clinging to a tree. Something about the handshake felt more like a martial pose. Or like testing a branch to see whether it would hold. The last time a Dachlyd shook hands with a Ba'ku it had been Discovery's new Engineering Ensign reporting for duty. ::

WALTAS: ::Grasping hands (claws) with the Dachlyd, surprised by his firm grip:: Thank you. You're looking at the one uniform that isn't covered in spit-up. They seem to have turned it into an art form.

:: The Dachlyd was largely unaware of post-natal care or mammalian diet adaptation as they pertained to Ba'ku- human- Vulcan-hybrids. Rogg decided to look in to it later, as Tyr had probably meant some humor rather than inviting a subordinate to inspect his uniform. ::

ROGG: You and Eden have four offspring now? Quite a feat for a pair of busy officers.

WALTAS: Well, three are born of myself and Eden. Daisha's mother was actually Talarian, long before I knew Eden. I must admit I haven't gotten much sleep since the twins were born, both out of worry and the general chaos that surrounds a Captain.

ROGG: Yess, I am concerned with that in my own situation. Few things are more important than family. Independence is more natural for my people than yours, yet ..and yet I confess a ssstrange urge to smother my progeny with quite un-Dachlyd affection. Does that sound deranged?

WALTAS: ::Chuckling:: If it is, then we're both deranged. I lost count after 13 checks on the twins during the night, spent another hour talking to Counselor Blueheart about them, and a few hours tossing and turning thinking about them. Raj was correct..being a parent is natural to worry. oO I'll leave "getting into a brawl with an Azhadi in the Arboretum" out of the reasons why I'm not sleeping. Oo

ROGG: Would you offer any advice, one parent to another? Your experience, and Eden's of course, is acceptable. Raising a child to their huassgk is an accomplishment with no medal great enough to commemorate it.

WALTAS: oO Huass..Hu...what did he say? I'm really going to have to pay more attention to the medical side of things. Oo Well, since Tye and Sanuye are the first children whose births I've been present for, I can only offer the advice of a parent of older children. ::Pausing:: As a father, ::he paused, unsure whether Dachlyds had fathers and mothers:: you cast a long shadow over your children. Sometimes they're comfortable there, but eventually they're going to want to be on their own—to shine with their own light. ::His eyes strayed to the window momentarily, in the direction the Ebon Hawk had disappeared:: you have to let them find their own path, no matter how painful it is. Allowing them to make and learn from their mistakes is critical to both how they grow, and how they perceive you. Don't make the mistake of holding onto them too tightly. ::Snapping out of his reverie:: I'm sorry. I'm probably rambling.

ROGG: Do not think of it. Ramble onward.

WALTAS: Well, as I said, it's recent experience. The painful kind but educational nonetheless.

:: Tyr appeared disinclined to continue. ::

ROGG: My parents seemed to be split over raising my siblings and me. Inga left most of the work to Glykon, our sire as you would. Of course, Inga had already raised Ki'na down on Drax. For practical purposes I guess it was inevitable that Glykon endure our youth. A merchant would lose money, but Inga's position was much more culturally important. ::Rogg considered.:: I would not claim that we were strictly held on to, but undoubtedly we were lovingly observed. ...Most of the time.

WALTAS: So how do you feel about losing Eskyys?

ROGG: I wish Eskyys the best of experiences. To be Chief of Engineering is a great position for me, but, to try and replace Eskyys is an impossible position. Thank heavens Esk retired and we are currently at station. I would not like to imagine the havoc if during a mission he had been cruelly taken from us, down in Engineering, I mean. I believe the majority of Engineering is throwing him a "send-off?" on the Starbase. ::conspiratorially:: Between us, there is a movement to get him back. Some of the wrenches are going to play to Eskyys' sense of duty to get him aboard. The second prong of the campaign, ::Rogg indicated with two out thrust claws:: some of the more feminine Engineers are making appeals to Jenyys. Jen could convince Esk to come back to us.

:: The Captain did not appear at all shocked that the Engineer's response was to both celebrate and undermine the former CEO's decision. Engineering had a way of enjoying technology and also trying to break it down to better test their understanding of its principles. Apparently this paradoxical philosophy extended to their social relationships as well. ::

WALTAS: ::Nodding:: He was a trusted officer and good friend, but I know he's happy where he is. ::Grinning:: I'm surprised he didn't try to recruit you to go with him.

ROGG: If Esk asks, I am going in a heartbeat.

WALTAS: Well if I lose another Engineer then I guess I'm going to have to retire. Who's going to fix the ship when I break it? ::He grinned, hoping the Dachlyd recognized the joke::

ROGG: I did not mean it like that, I- Of course I would fix Discovery! ::with shaking head:: I may never understand all the reasons behind our missions. I still support them. ::Rogg regarded Waltas sidewise.:: oO Tyr is jesting, but in any event I am serious. Perhaps I should reaffirm my intent to remain here? Oo

WALTAS: ::Chuckling:: Indeed.

ROGG: One final query- What is this dried herb tube? Is this a new variety of "tea"? ::Rogg held up a brown, Cuban cigar which had materialized unbidden, replicated in celebratory announcement of the twins.::

WALTAS: That, is a cigar-another suggestion from Raj. Apparently when Human children are born the father passes out cigars to his friends. ::Taking out the one he'd tucked away for himself:: I must admit I have no idea how to use it.

ROGG: He said one "smokes" it. I.. well, at the time I presumed Raj was being humorous. You believe Raj was serious?

WALTAS: Well, we're two educated explorers, I'm sure we could figure it out. Raj said that you set fire to one end and then inhale the smoke that comes from the burning you have something to light it with?

ROGG: I do not believe I can breathe fire. I have a "book of matches" though. ::Rogg produced a very anachronistic means of lighting fires.:: Nickels suggested that I should never be without them. "Money, keys, comb, lighter, hanky" ..well, Nickels went on in more detail. But I was given these.

:: The Dachlyd could manipulate expertly, but curved claws and smooth scales foiled attempts to strike a match. After three attempts, Rogg admitted defeat. After handing the book to Captain Waltas, Rogg grabbed the cigar with pointed teeth. ::

ROGG: Tyr, you have a try. The fire lighters must have been designed for more Iotian digits. ::tasting the cigar:: Eaugh. Bleh. ::Rogg removed the cigar, inspected it for any unnoticed contaminants, and then grudgingly replaced it.:: Must be an acquired taste.

::Tyr struck the match (he was familiar with this, as the Ba'ku insisted on using it since it was not technology-driven) and held it up to the end of his cigar. He frowned, as the paper failed to light, then remembered seeing the old movies where the end had been hacked off. He bit into the cigar tip, and instantly regretted it as a horrible taste filled his mouth. Wincing and tossing the tip of the cigar in the replicator, he tried the second match and this time the leaves began to glow a bright crimson. He put the cigar in his mouth and inhaled, and instantly regretted that, too. Choking, burning smoke filled his lungs and he coughed, tears filling his eyes.::

WALTAS: ::Hoarse:: Smooth.

ROGG: Bravo! Okay, now light mine.

:: Rogg had a difficult time getting the cherry of the cigar consistently smouldering. Eventually both officers had their cigars smoking. Tyr figured out that to hold the smoke in the mouth and then exhale was much more pleasant than inhaling it into one's lungs. There was a taste that was not altogether foul, but nothing that he would do on a regular basis. To judge from the look on the Dachlyd's face, Rogg had the same opinion.::

WALTAS: ::Eyes burning:: Well, this is one Earth custom I think I'll forego from now on, but it's for my boys and your eggs.

ROGG: ::toasting:: To the future of the twins, the eggs, Eskyys, and the noble Discovery. Hear hear!

:: Not possessing lips or an effective analogue, Rogg was still able to taste the cigar smoke. It was acrid, clearly poison. Enduring for the sake of culture and solidarity, though, the Dachlyd did not remove the cigar until the Ba'ku had also done so. The smoke, tasting foul, was beginning to affect Rogg's blood chemistry. ::

WALTAS: ::Coughing as he took another puff—the ready room was now clouded with smoke:: I think I've had enough. My stomach agrees.

ROGG: Yess. Enough of sssmoke. ::Rogg crushed out the cigar and carefully stowed it.:: I will try it as a tea later.

WALTAS: ::Arching an eyebrow:: Let me know how that turns out. ::Turning, his eyes went wide as an insistent beep sounded:: I believe I have your first assignment as Chief Engineer.

COMPUTER: Warning. Fire detected in Captain's Ready Room. Engaging fire suppression systems.

WALTAS: ::Yelling over the sound of gas being flushed into the room:: Turn off the suppression system please!

Captain Tyr Waltas
Commanding Officer
USS Discovery-C


Lieutenant Inarr "Steve" Rogg d'Squamos
Chief Engineer
USS Discovery-C