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Ens Choi Ji-hu - Heart of Gold


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((OOC: SUBMITTER'S NOTES: For context's sake, there is a lot of alcohol consumption going on in this meeting. As a consummate imbiber, Traenor hides it well, so his responses don't show the same level of intoxication as the others without the background text to make it obvious. Rest assured, the entire scene is of a same vein, if not as 'stellar' as this prime post!))

 

(( Starbase 104 - Habitat Area, The Sink ))

Iel’ue: Commander Traenor here is one of the best kept secrets of the Constitution. I’d call him the foremost expert in Astrometrics and Stellar Cartography, but I’m sure he’d deny it.

::Commander Traenor seemed a little flustered by the remark, giving a muted “harrumph” in response. The ensign didn’t think that Aurelians could “harrumph,” but if they could the entire conversation would probably be the two veteran scientists harrumphing back and forth, since that was just the sort of thing the Professor enjoyed.::

Traenor: Is there another Commander Traenor on the Constitution? Because THIS Commander Traenor may be a stellar physicist, but he's far from a stellar stellar physicist. ::musing distractedly:: Unless we're talking about exceptional stars. Then I could be a stellar stellar physicist. But I wouldn't characterize myself as a stellar stellar stellar physicist in that case... ::shaking his head:: What I mean is that you pay me too high of praise, kind sir.

::The Aurelian chirruped his pleasure. A wide grin was spreading across Ji-hu’s face. He loved nerds. Maybe this was what he had missed all those times his fellow cadets had asked him out into the city.::

Iel’ue: Too damn humble, Commander. We stellar cartographers gossip like Ferengi housewives, and your name and work has come up enough to put me to shame.

Choi: I’ll leave you two to talk, I don’t want to interrupt!

::The Commander turned to Ji-hu, looking mischievous.::

Traenor: I need a witness for this, Ji-hu. The Professor here is buttering me up for something, and if I'm going to be swindled, I'll need corroborating evidence.

Iel’ue: Nonsense, sit! ::The Aurelian waved over a server. The winter wine seemed to be going straight to his feathered head. He’d never thought the scientist could be so giddy.:: I simply wanted to give Commander Traenor a flash drive with some of my data on astrophysical phenomenon in the Lembatta Cluster for his perusal. Nothing too interrupt. ::He pulled a small disk from his robe and slid the flash drive across the table.:: Now, drink! I call the first Lembatta Sun Scientific Conference to order!

::Commander Traenor took the disk and tucked it away, looking a little surprised.::

Traenor: This is too kind of you, Professor. I must have read and re-read the papers you published on the ternary star system within the Cluster. That's the sort of papers that careers hinge on. It was a fantastic analysis.

::Ji-hu nodded enthusiastically. After the first couple of classes in Professor Iel’ue’s “Probability and Statistics” course Ji-hu had looked up some of the scholars work, including his masterwork “Gravitational Impact on Terrestrial Planet B3 In Lembatta Trip Star System.” He hated himself for not taking more stellar cartography and astrophysics courses. Maybe if he’d done another two years…

The Aurelian’s chest puffed out, his neck feathers ruffling proudly.::

Iel'ue: I had a damn good team under me on that work. It was as much their success as my own. Speaking of work, a couple of the Darwin’s crew spoke very highly of your work in astrometrics. I was hoping you might be applying your talents to our little corner of the universe…

Traenor: We're focusing all of our efforts on the Leron system right now, but trust me, I will be pestering my captain for a trip to the Lembatta Cluster at the earliest possible convenience. And, if I have any sway whatsoever, I'll ensure that there's a berth for you to join us as a subject matter expert if you would so enjoy.

::The Aurelian clicked his beak against the glass in excitement.::

Iel'ue: A perch in a cargo bay would do if it got me off this damn hunk of metal and out into the stars!

::Iel’ue and Traenor began to swap stories of their exploits plotting the universe and the strange maths that arose out of unexplored astral phenomenon, and Ji-hu was rapt by their conversation. He could only dream that some day he had seen as much of the universe and its infinite combinations of gravitational forces and explosive matter that these two scientists had plotted. He was so lost in the flow of conversation as Professor Iel’ue waxed poetic on the hues of his favourite binary star system in the Lembatta Cluster that Ji-hu almost hadn’t realized the Commander was speaking to him, a kind smile on the older man’s face. Ji-hu straightened in his seat at the attention.::

Traenor: So, Choi Ji-hu. I can only assume that there's a story about how you were taught by the venerable Professor here and yet became an engineer. Do you have a minor in the sciences?

Choi: A d-d-double major, sir! Science and Engineering! Although m-my science courses mainly focused on pathology and m-mathematics. I specialized in nanotechnology and advanced computational systems in m-m-my Engineering courses!

Traenor: My new best friend! I couldn't program my way out of a wet paper heuristic algorithm. You would be surprised how often I've had to bribe, beg, and steal my way through the simplest of computer tasks. Thankfully, I've always found a sympathetic specialist to assist me... speaking of, what are you drinking? Refreshments are on me during the inaugural Lembatta Suns Scientific Conference!

::The Terran scientists gave a wink and grin, and the Aurelian crowed enthusiastically. Ji-hu grinned nervously. He wasn’t sure if the professor should have another glass of…::

Iel’ue: Winter wine, my good sir! The more you drink, the less it tastes like berries that have sat out in the violent rays of a red hypergiant!

::Traenor looked to Ji-hu expectantly. Ji-hu opened his mouth to order another water, but then he remembered his conversation with Commander Foster earlier in the day. How sometimes “party things” could be a change of pace, and a way to celebrate getting through danger. Sure, his life hadn’t really been in danger today, altough Lieutenant Sindri certainly made his heart feel like it would stop, but he’d joined his first starship crew. Certainly that was worth celebrating?::

Choi: I’ll… I’ll have a d-drink! ::Although he didn’t know what to order as the Gorn server came over. Luckily, the Professor seemed prepared.::

Iel’ue: A glass of winter wine for me, and two Heart-of-Golds for the Terrans! ::the Aurelian chirruped contentedly as the server walked away with the order:: You’ll have to forgive me, gentlemen, but its a reference to an apocryphal old-Earth science fiction story, or so I’m told. These Gorns have a strange taste for old-Earth literature, if you would believe it!

::The drinks showed up, and the three went to, although Ji-hu was a little more cautious. A “Heart-of-Gold” turned out to be an opaque white drink with colourful swirls of other liquids. He sipped it and the taste was… not good, but not as offensive as he’d assumed it would be.::

Choi: ::whispering:: Turing, keep track of my blood-alcohol level.

Turing: ::sigh:: Can do, meatsack.

::As Professor Iel’ue had explained, the taste of alcohol got better with each new glass. After his second “Heart-of-Gold” Ji-hu was wholly convinced that he had never had better friends than the Professor and Commander Maxwell. They were both SO INTERESTING! And SMART! And FUNNY! He wanted to be JUST LIKE THEM, and he even found that he could speak to them without stuttering too much! Maxnor Commander was just the best, and being really nice even though Ji-hu was just a tiny little ensign. This was great! He was smiling to himself, and he couldn’t help it! This was the best night of his entire life! They were up to round three, and Ji-hu was snorting with laughter as the Professor began to croon an Aurelian mating song to them, for the purpose of scientific demonstration, when a thought struck the young ensign.::

oO Oh no. Oh, alcohol is evil. Oo

Choi: ::slurring slightly, whispering:: Turing, I thought I told you to keep track of my blood-alcohol level!

::The leaf-green icon appeared on his wrist console, although there seemed to be two icons instead of one. Curious.::

Turing: I have been keeping track, meatsack. You were fine until the second sip of your second beverage.

Choi: ::slurring, slightly louder:: Damnit, computer! What am I supposed to do now?! Search LCARS, parameter, “what to do when you’ve had too much to drink…”

Traenor: What is that, and what did it just tell you to do?

::Ji-hu sat up straight in his seat so fast his knees slammed against the underside of the table. Professor Iel’ue let out a started hoot, punctuating a pickup line to a very disinterested Bajoran mercenary sitting at the next table.::

oO Normal voice. Do normal voice brain. Oo

Choi: ::slurring:: This is my best friend Turing, he’s a VI who lives inside my wrist PADD, but someday I think I might turn him into a full blown AI. ::Ji-hu grinned:: I made him myself! But my online friends added a bunch’a… uh… jokes and stuff… tell a joke, Turing!

::Ji-hu held his wrist out toward the Commander, almost bopping him on the nose. The leaf-green icon appeared, and Turing’s cool, androgynous voice buzzed out of the wrist mounted PADD system.::

Turing: Tell me, Commander Traenor, how do you stop a sentient AI from destroying you and the rest of civilization?

Traenor: I don't know, Turing. How do you stop a sentient AI from destroying me and the rest of civilization?

Turing: You don’t.

::Ji-hu shoved the wrist console into his lap, his face going as red as Iel’ue’s winter wine.::

Choi: ::slurring:: THAT WAS JUST A JOKE! I promise! My friends and I liked old-Earth stories about killer robots and stuff, so we put a bunch’a that kind of stuff into his personality matrix! And he’s not sentient! He’s just a virtual intelligence! NOOOOOO sentience!

Traenor: I like it. In fact, I love it! I would love to have an access device on my wrist when I'm working, and if it had enough attitude to keep me on my toes, all the better. Good work with that, Ji-hu.

Choi: ::slurring:: Thanks Commander… ::Ji-hu hiccups:: You know… this is the most fun I think I’ve ever had… ever! Do you think people on the Constitution are gonna like me?

Traenor: Well... ::grinning:: I like ya just fine. You're a good egg. Others will like you too. Just got to give them all a chance to get to know the real you.

Choi: ::slurring:: I really like Commander Foster… and Ms. D’Sena’s nice even though she acts scary… and Cap’n… Cap’n Tiger… and… uh… XO… and Mc… McLarry? But Lieutenant Sindri scared the hell out of me… you’re really nice though!

::Ji-hu probably shouldn’t have had that third Heart-of-Gold. His brain was mush, he was swimming through his thoughts upstream just to keep up with the flow. Neon lights spinning around your head was not a fun feeling… like a whirlpool. He braced himself on the table, giggling to himself.::

Choi: ::slurring:: … Sindriiiiiiiiiiii…

::Professor Iel’ue plopped himself between Ji-hu and Traenor, spurned by the Bajoran, leaning in close to the Commander, speaking low. The Aurelian didn’t slur, but he could barely keep himself upright after his fourth glass of winter wine. Ji-hu could still hear, even though he couldn’t make much sense of what the Aurelian was saying. Damn alcohol…::

Iel’ue: We think it’s a megastructure… my dearest Commander…

Traenor: A megastructure? What megastructure?

Iel’ue: You’ll find it in my notes… a solar megastructure around Star HK 10822, deep in the Lembatta Cluster… unauthorized, no recorded development, although when I brought it to my superior officer he accepted my report, but there was no further inquiry. A damn megastructure, and we can’t even go in to look at it closer… You understand my concern, sir…

Traenor: You can't be serious, Professor. Are - are you sure?

Iel’ue: And my dear Oel’ett, all the way back on Aurelia, and she won’t even take a call… aaaaaaaaah, Oel’ett!

Choi: ::slurring, patting Iel'ue's feathered hand:: Professor! Don’t be sad! I looooooved your courses! You were the best professor!

Iel’ue: ::pining:: Oel’ett, my dear Oel’ett!

tbc/tags

*****

Ensign Choi Ji-hu
Engineering Officer
USS Constitution-B
C239402CJ0

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