“Oh Turing, what have we gotten ourselves into?”
“Speak for yourself, meatsack. I’m only here thanks to you.”
Ji-hu had opted for the more scenic arrival to StarBase 118. After a final visit to his parents and a short flight from Seoul to San Francisco, he’d boarded a civilian transport, but found the majority of the passengers were veteran StarFleet returning to the base.
A Tellarite woman had probably noticed how freaked out he looked and made smalltalk as the ship shot toward the Trinity Sector. She was a science officer, and had several opinions on one of her Vulcan crew mates, who was in engineering. Ji-hu couldn’t figure out if the Tellarite considered the Vulcan an old friend or a mortal enemy. If he was honest with himself, he was distracted by her… everything. Even at the Academy he'd had few conversations with Tellarites.
Ji-hu had never seen so many different kinds of non-humans in his life. He’d gone to school with a few half-Vulcans and even a half-Klingon but compared to folks en route to StarBase Seoul was like a backwater village in 17th century northern Russia. He kicked himself for double majoring and avoiding so many social invitations. He felt like a total rube.
Space flight took some getting used to, as well. His mother had a fear of flight, which meant that he’d mostly vacationed on the Korean peninsula, or around Earth with his father, but because of his mother’s phobia and his father’s disinterest, the Chois had never been off world. That morning he’d thought of himself as really brave, the first from his immediate family to step aboard a starship. Now he was mostly just looking forward to some semblance of planetary life.
After the Tellarite had grown weary of Ji-hu’s cowed, non-argumentative disposition and zero informed opinions on Vulcan personalities she’d nodded off. He put on his headphones and tried to grow used to travel by warp drive by listening to some ambient music. Speaking to his custom virtual intelligence was the only small comfort he figured he’d get over the next little while.
Then he saw a massive structure lurch into sight ahead, an infinite of stars glittering around it.
“We may be far away from home, but hell of a view, though, huh Turing?”
“Oh, sorry. My visual input is off.”
The StarBase seemed to come out of nowhere, all odd, geometric lights and circular architecture. As the ship flew closer the hive of activity became apparent; commercial ships, Starfleet vessels, freighters, short range vehicles buzzed about. The sheer size of the thing was incomprehensible.
“Turing, download every single public map of this place you can find.”
“Wouldn’t it be more fun to blindfold yourself, spin around three times and see where you end up?”
They were deposited at the dry dock, where Ju-hi immediately ducked into the washroom. Two Klingons were arguing over a blow-by-blow of what sounded like a gladiator-style fight to the death, but he had to assume that was the way Klingons talked about all fights, recreational or otherwise. From there he took a short-range transporter—his first time, no less—to the residential zone. He must have misspoken the command, because he suddenly found himself in the middle of New York City.
After a frantic conversation with an amused looking human woman in Starfleet uniform, he realized this was, in fact, a residential section of the StarBase’s enormous commercial zone.
“Do you need some help, sweetie?” she asked, her voice sugary with a thick southern twang of an American. He was mortified, she was speaking to him like he was a ten-year-old. “Need me to get you somewhere?”
Ji-hu took a deep, centring breath. “The only thing I want right now is the greasiest food on this star base.”
She wrote down her directions with good old fashioned pen and paper, and after a twenty minute walk and a quick word to his server at The Greasy Spoon he had the biggest plate of kimchi fries he’d ever seen in front of him.
Turing’s cool voice buzzed in his ear, “Just the thing to get you started on your new career at Starfleet. Ten thousand calories worth of junk food. Can't wait for that physical aptitude test, meatsack.”
Ji-hu grinned, glancing around at the mix of non-humans and humans pigging out around him. He could take some small comfort that, if there’s one thing that unified them all, it was greasy junk food. “Turing, I’m suddenly feeling much more optimistic.”
Name: Choi Ji-hu
Weight: 140 lbs
Eyes: Dark brown
Hair: Black, shaggy
Physical Appearance: Ji-hu is scrawny, wiry and woefully out of shape, as he jokes a "typical nerd build." He has wide, bright, curious eyes, a bit of a baby face and is quick to smile.
Demeanor: Ji-hu is the kind of person who would put more work into being lazy than it would take to do the work he needs to. As a teenager he did everything in his power to fully automate his education, which taught him more about programming, computational systems and mathematics than he ever would have learned if he just paid attention and did his homework. While he considers himself an old-style "white hat" hacker, he loves poking around where his nose doesn't belong. He may not realize it, but this insatiable curiosity is actually a belief that essential knowledge should be free and open to all.