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A Shocking Charge Made To Trust

Posted on Sat Sep 25th, 2021 @ 7:58pm by Lieutenant Commander Evelyn Rozia & Chief Petty Officer Lisa Terrix

Mission: Lower Decks
Location: Main Engineering

Keth wasn't used to the door to the main engineering just opening. They hadn't done that on the USS Hansen, well. Not after the whole...button thing. And to be fair if that system was an emergency system, there should have been more steps than one single button on an out of the way console.

The fact it had been behind a sealed hatch was really Starfleet designers not realising that curiosity was a driving force.

But here he was, guide padd in one hand touring his new ship and the doors to main engineering just opened. Like it wasn't no big thing. He reached a hand through the opening, crossing the forcefield or holographic trickery. Maybe it was a mistake? A fluke? opportunity?

"Oh no!" Keth said, and then threw the padd through the door, letting it skitter on the deck. "Whoops."

And he stepped into engineering.

The frisbee'd PADD finally slid to a stop almost perfectly at the feet of the trill engineer who looked at it curiously for a moment before bending down to pick it up and looking at it, seeing the map on it before the boulder covered in fur that had just walked into her engineering section.

Her jaw dropped fractionally as she saw all the hair that would no doubt get literally everywhere, but she recovered that quickly as she wandered over, PADD outstretched in her hand, "I do believe you dropped this... Lieutenant?" She didn't recognize him, but the gold on his uniform... He couldn't be an engineer, could he? That would be... Interesting.

"Lieutenant Keth Soban, Deputy," he said with a big friendly grin on his face. Which for a Huanni is charming, and robust. For most arboreal mammals there's a lot less charm and a lot more teeth in it. "I mean, Assistant Chief Security Officer."

He reached out a big hand and took the padd, holding it up.

"I'm familiarizing myself with the layout of the ship, which is why I'm here," he said hurriedly, waggling the padd. "Because I am in engineering for a reason and not at all gawking at the lava lamp."

There was nearly a sigh of relief from her that he wasn't indeed one of hers, but it did leave the part of her that was Jidressa really wanting to take him over to said lava lamp and just have him put a paw on it for a few seconds. The teeth caused her to pause for a moment, but she nodded, "Definitely a good thing and anything we can do to help you, I'll offer the services of engineering to assist you with. But..."

Okay, there was no resisting Jidressa. She was the mischief maker of Rozia, that was for sure, so she gestured him over, "This really is the heart of the ship, since it's the matter/antimatter reaction chamber." She placed a hand on it, "If you remain still, you can almost feel it."

The silence grew both awkward, and pregnant. It carried on long enough for the expectation it gave birth to to have gone to college, failed at life, and returned to live in its parent's basement rent-free. But Keth did remain still, and attentive. Only his whiskers moved, and that was more to do with the weak atomic force than anything.

"I think...I think I can feel it!" Keth said in a rush, somewhat excitedly. This revelation was cut short as a near seismic rumble of digestive proportion growled out of him. "Though it could be lunch related."

Evelyn wanted to sigh in frustration, but couldn't let any of it show, instead crooking her finger to bring him over, "You can feel it better here. Don't worry, it's safe, no radiation problem! The shielding works really well and you can trust that I'm not going to have anyone here do something that could endanger them, especially non-engineers." The smile on her face radiated trust and that she could be trusted indeed.

"Really?" Keth said, and reached out his hand. "Because every engineer I've known has warned me about coming into Engineering, and it's super nice to find a Chief Engineer who has welcomed me so-"


What happened after this point in time is lost to the public record. Internal sensors logged the minor but detectable electromagnetic pulse, but for a brief instance in the area around the warp core, there was just a few frames of static. And at the time, only one person was witness to the event in its entirety.

Keth exploded.

Not literally, but figuratively he self detonated as what seemed like every electron in the antimatter reaction chamber made a beeline for him. This is of course a dramatisation, as if that happened Keth would have been turned into ionised gas along with most of the secondary hull. And Starfleet had designed their reaction chamber hardy enough to withstand a star's output every quarter second.

But still, a small static charge clung to it. A teeny, tiny, almost undetectable charge.

Keth's mane instantly poofed. His tail did likewise. And the fur in his arms. And his legs. In fact, anywhere Keth's body had fur puffed up. And Keth had a lot of fur. And whilst Starfleet had designed a warp core able to take a phaser cannon to the face, its tailors had designed for machine washing.

In the single, blinding instant...Keth's uniform exploded off of him.

As the tiger-man puffed up just like Evelyn had intended, she burst out laughing. Static electricity was one of the handful of 'problems' that was difficult to eliminate in every aspect of a ship. Somehow, somewhere, there would be a buildup and if there HAD to be one, the best location was where it should be the most obvious, like the primary power source of the ship: The warp core.

Then the uniform came off. It was almost inevitable as the fur simultaneously stood on end and had nowhere to go. A tiny amount of force for each hair, but all at the same moment in the same direction and the uniform just came off in tatters. And Evelyn found that she couldn't stay on her feet, collapsing to her knees and then her side as she found it hard to breath. "Oh my, oh, oh, my god, I can't take it, I can't take it!" She managed to get out between bouts of laughter.

Keth tried to say something, but as his lips parted the fuzz of fur surrounding them crackled with electrical discharge. He tried again.

"I can't feel it moving."

"You like, have to, have to.." Evelyn couldn't get it out, her inner self, that past life of Jidressa Rozia always a sucker for those who she could trick, just getting in the way some times. "Put both hands on it!" She got out through the laughter.

That was when a redheaded woman walked into the room, hearing the laughter that echoed. "Oh jeez, Evie, what did you do this time?" Her voice was stressed, seeing the ball of fur next to the warp core, "Oh god!" She put the PADD down that was in the crook of her arm and trotted over to Keth, reaching for his hand and getting zapped by a bolt of static. She yelped, but reached back in and physically tugged on his hand to pull him away from the power source, "I'm sorry.... Sir?" She asked, not seeing any rank pips, then glanced around, seeing shreds of a uniform all around.

"Keth. Lieutenant Keth Soban, not Sir Keth. We never had a knightly order on Huan," Keth said, a little dazed. He gestured to the red heads hair. "Your fur is orbing."

It was. For whilst Keth was still puffed up like a porcupine a the DMV, he was walking vandergraph generator. Her hair was indeed sticking out in all were two ratings standing at a console four meters away.

Lisa nodded, "I'll live, sir." Glaring at the Trill still on the floor laughing, "Just like that reprobate I call my boss and friend." She shook her head as she led him by touch over to a different console, since he could probably barely see, "Just put your hand on his pillar... It'll help divert the static and get you back to yourself, sir."

"Did I have an out of body experience?" Keth asked, as he touched the pillar nd...fwuoomp, his fur flattened out. "I tried doing that one whilst on Earth. Have you been to Earth? They have these monks that wear robes, and hum a lot, which is distracting. And all they want is to become one with the universe."

Keth wiggled his fingers experimentally.

"I'm not allowed to enter Tibet anymore," he said with a sigh. "Which makes that and out of planetary body experience, which I'm thinking is not like this because I'm not being barred from Engineering."

He turned to look at Lisa and Evelyn.

"I'm not am I? Because I didn't pass the test to connect with the contained oneness of the ships power core?!" he said, eyes wide. He held up his hands "Let me try again, I'll get it this time."

"YES!" Evelyn said through the laughter, just as Lisa yelled, "NO!"

"Evie!" Lisa said in exasperation, "Stop it!" She turned back to the Huann, "Sir, no disrespect intended, "But um... Perhaps you should put some clothes on instead?"

Evelyn had already gotten to her feet again, barely, "It's imperative to become One with the ship!" She dropped to her knees in laughter again.

"Huum? Oh I'm not cold," Keth said before a little warning light on his engine panel began to blink behind his eyes. "OH! Yes Starfleet uniform code. Perhaps one of you can point me towards a replicator?"

"Get yourself under control." Lisa hissed at Evelyn, "If you'll follow me this way, sir, there's a replicator in the Chief's office." The rehead bustled off towards the office, "I'm sorry about the Boss, sir, sometimes she thinks she's a prankster."

"Huh," Keth said as he followed her to the office. "And here I thought she was a Trill."


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