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Lt. Oddas, LtCmr. T'Lea and T'Sara - Tiny Engineer

Oddas Aria

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((Til’ahn – Kainga Ranch))

:: This was it. This was her BIG DAY! This was the day that Chief Engine Lady was going to take her on a tour of the Thunder’s engine room! ::

T’Sara: Weeheeheeee!!

:: The little blonde girl came running out of her room and smacked right into Ceedel’s big haunch. ::

Ceedel: Hey. Cut it out. If you break yourself I’ll get in trouble.

:: He held out one of his three large fingers.  The tiny girl took hold as she climbed back to her feet and picked up her backpack. ::

T’Sara: I gets ta see the slippery steam drive, ‘n I gets ta help fix fings, ‘n I gets ta play wiff all dah buttons and lights!

:: The large Shrakkian hunkered down to the child’s level as if this were suddenly a competition. ::

Ceedel: Oh yeah? Well, I get to sit in a bar, and get drunk, and hopefully have a lovely lady play with -

T’Lea: Idiot! Shut up.

:: She jabbed him hard in the ribcage as she walked by. Her daughter didn’t need to hear about his disgusting habits… and neither did *she*. ::

:: Kneeling down to T’Sara’s level she doted over her daughter, smirking at the girl’s choice of clothes for the big event. A pair of pink pants and a replica uniform t-shirt, in gold, of course. ::

T’Lea: Ready nugglet? What’s in the bag?

:: With an excited nod, T’Sara whipped around the backpack and opened it up to reveal all the important tools she thought she would need for engineering. Mostly they were toy replicas of the real gear, spanner, tricorder, etc., but there was also a wrench, pliers, glue, tape, Ensign Fluffypants, candy and a few other things that she simply could not live without. ::

T’Lea: Oh, wow. You’re prepared for anything.

:: She managed to say that without laughing, which was a huge feat.::

Ceedel: Oooo… Is that candy?

:: T’Sara snapped the bag shut and hugged it close. ::

T’Sara: Mines! You eated yours already.

Ceedel: No, I-

T’Lea: Okay, let’s go before this turns into a complex war of words.

:: T’Sara stuck out her tongue at the Shrakkian.::

T’Sara: Dids so.

Ceedel: Did not!

:: Stepping onto the transporter pad in the living room, T’Lea put T’Sara in place and ordered up the transport. Just as the lights activated, T’Sara smiled at Ceedel.::

T’Sara: Dids so!

:: Before the giant could reply she was gone and he was left standing there looking like a big looser, defeated by a tiny girl.::
((USS Thunder, Main Engineering))

:: In a way Aria was looking forward to giving the tour. Her official position was she didn't like children, but she had discussed them with Alea enough to know she was malleable. She had also met T'Sara and seen enough of herself in the young girl. She had taken things apart as a girl, put them back together, sometimes working, sometimes not. She had even disappeared for days looking for parts in junk heaps. ::

oO Hopefully T'Sara isn't doing that. Well not yet, if so I'll have to give her some tips. Oo

:: She was taking a deep drink of her coffee, the third for the day, when the Commander and her daughter came through the doors, smiling. ::

:: The bay doors parted to reveal a much better looking room than the last time T’Lea had seen it. T’Sara stood in awe for a moment, and then started bouncing anxiously on her toes when she saw the Chief Engine Lady.::

T’Lea: Lieutenant Oddas. Thanks again for having us. ::looking around:: You’ve been busy.

:: Well, just a good task master. Aria was about to respond when the little girl, blonde hair, spots, and ears, jumped forward in a rough approximation of an Engineering uniform. She stood in a very stiff salute that Aria hadn't seen since the academy. ::

T’Sara: Capn’ T’Sara Maren weporting for dooties, sir.

:: It was times like these when T’Lea literally had to bite her tongue and draw blood to stop herself from bursting out laughing.::

:: Aria smiled, or smirked, and hoped T'Sara wouldn't tell the difference. ::

Oddas: Welcome aboard Captain. I see you brought some supplies for your inspection?

T’Sara: I bringded everything I could thinks to help fix fings. See!

:: The little girl opened up a bag and spilled its contents right on the engineering deck, it appeared to be some toys, but a few actual pieces of real tools. There were also several bits of kid ... flotsam: toys, candy, and odds and ends. ::

T’Sara: I has tricorders, spanners, sonic divers, flux cuppler, micro-resnator, and glue. I thoughted you might need my help after you broked the Thunder. Don’t worry I can fix stuff. Mommy n’ me is makin’ a grabbity bike all new again. Right?

:: The little girl seemed absolutely ecstatic with herself as she looked to her mother for confirmation. ::

T’Lea: Yes, ma’am. The Captain here is a very skilled engineer. Tiny hands in tight places. Very handy with small parts.

T’Sara: See?

Oddas: I see. I've never had a gravity bike. You'll have to show me sometime.

T’Sara: Canni see dah main engines console? An dah matters chambers? And den dah slippery steam drive?

Oddas: Of course, we'll see all of that. First, lets gather up your supplies and we'll see the engineering console.

:: After T'Sara gathered up the supplies Oddas took the bag and slung it over her own shoulder and led them to the Engineering console. Realizing it was about the same height as the girl’s height she got the girl the stool used for shorter crew members began bringing up various displays. She had the display in simulation mode, displaying routing training data from a previous trip the Thunder had made.

T'Sara could execute a self destruct and the ship would go through the motions without actually doing anything.

She tapped a few controls and brought up power supplies. ::

Oddas: And this is the how power is being distributed across the various decks right now.

T'Sara: I knew’d it. :: she looked at T’Lea :: Capn’s like Mommy are dah boss, but it dah Engineers who weally command dah ships. ::at Oddas:: What ifen we was being attacked n’ we needed to make dah phasies shoot more?

Oddas: Well, we would push this :: click :: and reroute power from that deck to the weapons.

T'Sara: N’dis makes it go to shields?

:: She tapped the other button and viola, another deck rerouted to shields. So excited that she got it right she nearly fell off her stool.::

Oddas: That's exactly right. :: Aria was impressed, the little girl had figured it out. Granted, it was labelled fairly well, but stilll for a child her age it was an impressive feat. ::

T’Sara: How’d you do the dah upside-downy piggyback slippery steams ride? Mamma T told me ‘bout it. It sounds cool!

:: Aria had assumed the non-engineers in Starfleet would have just shrugged off the latest crazy bit of Engineering as something they could do on a daily basis, and the engineers would talk about it as something they had to do to get home. One more problem to solve. Obviously T'Lea had been discussing it at home, its not as if it was classified though. ::

Oddas: Well, :: drinking her coffee :: we had to get home, and the ship was too damaged to do it on its own. We had to do something :: she realized saying 'or people may not have gotten home' might not have been the best thing to say to a little girl in front of her mother :: or we would have had to abandoned ship and send others back for it. As an Engineer sometimes you have to put things together in ways that haven't been tried before.

oO That's it Aria, give her an explanation that doesn't make too much sense. Oo

:: She was still mentally berating herself when T'Sara was off to the next question, oblivious to the concern running through Aria's mind. ::
T’Sara: Whad’about stabilities and compensayshuns wiff dah tracky beams? An’are bof ships weally in the slipper steams or is one just gitten dragged along? Whad’about the rippley wake stuffs like on dah waters when deres a big boat and wittle boat behind it gets all bonked around on dah water. Din’t dat happen too?

:: T’Lea made an apologetic face and thumbed that she would be over at the replicator getting herself a hot beverage. Aria nodded in return. ::

Oddas: We pulled the two ships in nice and tight to each other :: she made two open palms and brought them close almost touching ::, the bigger ship :: she shook one :: created the stream and pulled the ships along. The ships acted like one boat in the water.
T’Sara: But wad’about the slippery steams drive? How’d it knows to be bigger dan one ship?

Oddas: oO That is one smart wild flower Oo the smaller ship :: shaking the other hand :: emitted a beam, pressing the stream outward, which forced it to go around the smaller ship.

T’Sara: I wanna see!

:: Aria pulled up a file of notes and diagrams and hastily put together simulations of the maneuver and brought up a dragram of the Thunder's deflector emissions wrapping the Discovery's slipstream around the smaller ship. ::

Oddas: So this is the slip stream and this is the deflector moving it around the other ship. :: she watched as the small girl's eyes watched her explain the various point of how the stream moved around the ship. ::

T'Sara: Oh, dah defwector makes dah qauntums open, like a door. ::she made a cute frown:: But what makes dah ship go?

Oddas: Come on, I'll show you. :: she pulled a panel open from underneath the QSSD's interface and began pointing out the various components. She crawled on her back with the girl by her side. ::

T'Sara: Ooo… pwetty. What dat? An’dat?

Oddas: :: in response to the girl :: well, those emit the graviton stream. The central control matrix interface is :: pointing :: here.

:: Over the next little while T’Lea kept out of the way and let Oddas occupy T’Sara’s inquisitive little brain… or was it the other way around. The amount of questions the girl was throwing at Oddas had, no doubt, put the engineer to the test with basic applications of warp and QSSD theory. In fact, some of the stuff T’Sara knew about almost seemed impossible, but maybe she was just *that* smart.::

:: T’Lea sipped her tea and sat at the main engineering console kind of watching the two of them explore the QSSD’s actually working components. She had an eye and an ear on them, but she was mostly researching a few possible leads to Iconian artifacts.::

T’Sara: I knows dat the slippery steams works in dah quantums barriers, and dat why warps don’t work wiff dis driver.

:: The little girl was on her back looking at the innards of a console, mesmerized by the little blinking lights, wires and biogel packs.::

T’Sara: So what about dah transwarps, lik dah Borgies use? Where do dat come in? Befores or after quantumifications?

Oddas: Transwarps are more like transporter beams mixed in with warp drive. Where did you learn about that?

:: Now that was fascinating to the little girl, because she used transporters every day. She gave a nonchalant little shrug to Oddas’s question.::

T’Sara: My friend Mo knows stuff. He teaches me sometimes. Sometimes I learns on my own. But dah hard stuff he shows me. Mostly.

:: T’Lea’s eyes lifted with concern. The mere mention of Mo, T’Sara’s secret imaginary friend, filled the Romu-vulc with a cold chill of worry. Was he back? Was T’Sara so scarred by separation anxiety that she needed fake friends in order to have some stability in her life?::

:: The other thing that bothered T’Lea was that the little girl had not told either parent about the imaginary friend. They had both learned about it second hand from another officer. And here T’Sara was again, talking about Mo to a stranger first. It was enough to make the Romu-vulc feel like a failure of a mother.::

Oddas: I see. Is he a teacher at the school?

:: The truth was Aria hadn't really looked into the schooling available on Til'ahn, but she doubted it included advanced warp theory for five or six year olds. If it did then the Laudeans were much more advanced than she had realized. ::

T’Sara: No, Mo is everywhere. He’s not a teacher, but he teaches me. He pops in and out like a ghost. ::pause:: What about dah transwarps?

Oddas: :: uncertainly, but deciding to let it drop for now :: Well, you need to get access to some Transwarp corridors to make it work and so far no one around here has really made it work.

T’Sara: Dat make sense. I bet Mo could make it work. ::looking up at a gelpack:: Dis ones not right, you know? Dah fibers is old n’ weak. See?

:: She showed Oddas the tricorder readings.::

:: In truth, Aria had seen it on the repair schedule for the day and left it there, planning to let the girl replace it, but had gotten distracted by the questions. It was a good turn of events the little girl had found it on her own. ::

T’Sara: It getting’ all squishy.

Oddas: Well, I guess we need to replace it then. :: she pulled out a standard tool kit, she had not expected T'Sara to bring along so much stuff and placed it between them and handed the little girl a Hyperspanner, the first thing needed to remove the pack from its receptical. ::

T'Sara: Weally! Okays!

:: Even though she was more excited than she could ever possibly contain, T’Sara managed to not drop the tool she’d just been handed.::

:: Carefully following the Chief Engine Lady’s instructions, T’Sara manipulated the tool against the gelpack to disconnect it. Once that was done she paused and smiled at Oddas.::

Oddas: :: smiling :: good work. Now pull it gently from place.

:: Little fingers and hands started to work the pack from its place and after a couple of “no-go’s” it finally came loose.::

Oddas: :: gently taking the pack from the girl and handing her a new one, hoping she didn't notice there was a new one readily available :: now place this back in its place.

:: She watched as the girl gingerly placed the pack in its place and then used the spanner to secure it. She smiled when she noticed how serious the girl was taking the procedure. ::

Oddas: Ok, now, take this tricoder :: she switched it to diagnostics mode :: and verify its working.

:: The little girl waited for the readings to settle into place, and then grinned.::

T'Sara: All deh levels is green. We did it!

Oddas: Good Work! :: When they were standing she shook the little girl's hand. :: Thank you!

T'Sara: Dat was supah funs!

Oddas: Oh, I almost forgot. :: she snapped the tool kit together and handed it to T'Sara, and then realized maybe she should have asked the girl's mother before giving her actual tools. She looked in T'Lea's direction as if to say 'Sorry' , but the Romu-vulc shook her head that it was okay.::

T'Sara: Weally?! Dis for me? It’s all mine? I can has it for keeps?

:: T’Lea patted the excited little girls head.::

Oddas: Oh! One more thing! :: Aria pulled out a small circular object from her pocket. It was an embroidered disc in a style she had come across when looking up ways to entertain kids. It was the Starfleet Engineering Core logo and the Thunder-A in a style she hoped mimicked a 'merrit badge'. She had no idea if the little girl would care, but it had amused Aria. :: To commemorate your first starship repair.

:: She dropped from her tippy-toes as Oddas reached down with another gift. As it was handed over, T’Sara’s eyes lit up even bigger. It was an official looking patch, like she’d seen official engineers wear on their uniforms, and she was so happy she could only think to do one thing.::

:: Flying two steps forward, T’Sara slammed into the Chief’s leg and wrapped her in a tiny, but heartfelt bear hug.::

T’Sara: Thank you Lootanant Oddie. Thank you! Thank you!

Oddas: oO Great, now what do I do? Oo

:: A chuckle slipped out of T’Lea’s throat. The new name for the Chief Engines Lady was icing on the cake. Honestly it was the best T’Sara could do to pronounce the name, but it was priceless.::

:: Aria looked at T'Lea as if for help, she had expected the girl to be excited and had planned for  it to a degree and it had gone better than expected, but this was more than planned. She gingerly patted the girl on the head, hoping it was the right thing to do. ::

Oddas: You're welcome, Captain.

:: T’Lea reached forward to gently disengaged the tiny hugger from Oddas’s leg, otherwise the girl may have just stayed there. She had a feeling Lootanant Oddie was T’Sara’s new hero. With any luck maybe she would replace, Mo.::

T’Lea: Okay, nugglet, it’s time for us to go. We need to get back to the ranch, and Oddie has other obligations.

T’Sara: Aww… I guess so.

:: Clearly she would have liked to have stayed longer, and perhaps even arrange for a bunk in engineering to live there permanently, but today was such a good day that nothing was going to spoil it, not even leaving. ::

Oddas: :: smiling at them both :: Just today, you can come back soon.

:: T’Sara gave the Bajoran one more quick hug of gratitude, and then T’Lea directed her over to the main engineering console.::

T’Lea: Why don’t you self-destruct the ship before we go, I’d like a moment with the Lieutenant.

:: With an eager nod, T’Sara grabbed her official tool bag, backpack, and patch, and then climbed the stool, parking herself at the console for some explosive entertainment. ::

:: Meanwhile, T’Lea nodded for Oddas to follow her a short distance away, out of earshot.::

T’Lea: I wanted to thank you for taking the time to do this for her. ::smiling at the girl across the room:: She’s going to be dismantling everything she can get her hands on with that tool kit though. Not that she wasn’t before, but now it will be more efficient.

Oddas: :: smiling :: Glad I could be of help.

:: That wasn’t the reason why she’d called Oddas for a private talk. There was something else on the Romu-vulc’s mind, and she was about to get to it, bluntly, as usual.::

T’Lea: I heard her mention Mo. What did she tell you about him?

Oddas: Mostly he was a teacher. I assumed he was a friend somewhere she had picked up along the way.

:: Disappointed was the best way to describe T’Lea’s expression. As unperceptive as Aria was, she still noticed it looked confused herself. ::

T’Lea: Damn. I thought we were rid of him.

:: When she looked over at Oddas, she realized that an explanation was deserved.::

T’Lea: We think he’s an imaginary friend. ::she hated to even say the words:: It’s nothing to worry about, so I’m told.

Oddas: :: Aria was more confused by T'Lea's reaction than the news. :: Is this news? Do all kids not have imaginary friends?

T’Sara: KabooooOOoooom!

:: Obviously, she just blew up the ship, and couldn’t have been more happy about it. Yep, that was T’Lea’s girl alright.::

T’Lea: Ones that are well versed in engineering? I don’t know. She’s not the type to make things up, or keep secrets from me. I just… ::shaking her head:: Sorry. It’s not your problem. Thanks again.

:: As T'Lea turned to go Aria surprised herself and touched her arm, stopping her gently. ::

Oddas: I don't have children, but I do know what its like to identify with machines instead of people as a kid. I had an imaginary friend, he was the only person around me who didn't want to run around with a phaser and relive the :: mock emphasis :: glory days of the Resistance. It might be ok.

T’Lea: ::nodding:: Maybe.

:: T'Lea headed off, not wanting to reveal just how vulnerable she felt. That and something just felt wrong about the whole “Mo” thing. For instance some of T’Sara’s knowledge was too damned advanced to have been learned through books. Somebody had to have taught her, and it wasn’t T’Lea.::

:: T’Sara glanced up as they approached. Her finger pointed at the console screen, which depicted the Thunder in pieces.::

T’Sara: I blew’d it up. But I waited till dah crew vacuated.

Oddas: Good idea.

T’Lea: Ready?

:: With an eager nod, T’Sara took to her mother’s side and waved at Oddas.::

T’Sara: Bye lootanant Oddie. Fank you for dah tools.

Oddas: See you soon. oO Prophets, don't let 'Oddie' stick. Oo

Lieutenant Oddas Aria
Chief Engineering Officer
Duronis II Embassy - USS Thunder-A - 70605-A
ID number: E239305OA0

Lieutenant Commander T’Lea 
Chief Science Officer
Historian & Archaeology Specialist 
Embassy, Duronis II
Author ID I238301T10

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