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(JP) Lt Cmdr Sorani & Lt(jg) Mancuso - The big fix (Part 3)


Eerie
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( Turbolift-Corridor- Personal Quarters))

Mancuso: And in return, you just ignore anything anybody says about me being a womanizing weirdo. Deal?

Sorani: Uhhm, are you serious?

Mancuso: Well...no not really. Ok...maybe the weirdo part.

Sorani: Weirdo.... ?

Mancuso: I’m sort of the village outcast. And that IS a truly long story that I’d rather not get into.

Sorani: ::Scratching the back of her neck and wondering why he brought up the topic if he didn’t want to discuss it. Was it really a prompt for her to probe further? She decided to play it safe as usual and take it as face value.:: As you wish. Another time perhaps...

Mancuso: Sure. Another time. With a lot of drinks. Then we can talk all about Eden and blowing stuff up.

oOEden? Blowing stuff up!?Oo

::Sorani suddenly found herself VERY curious indeed. She wanted the full story, right now. She would definitely have to find out about this!::

Sorani: Sounds like something you need to see a counselor over... ::Raising an eyebrow.::

Mancuso: I don’t do counselors very well. I tend to vent to ...well friends. And I like to think that we can be friends.

Sorani: Do you mean you and I... or the crew in general?

Mancuso: Well, I meant you and I. Not as if I don’t want you to make friends among the crew, but I was thinking rather selfishly. ::He shrugged.:: See a counselor would analyze that very statement. Which is what I find disturbing about them. And with our old Counselor off to...wherever....that leaves Percy, and don’t even get me going about having to share my deepest thoughts with that guy.

Sorani: I admire the honesty but what’s wrong with Percy? Where I come from if it is decided you need a counselor, then you go. There is no choice in the matter, it must be done. Only the truly ill would refuse anyway, which is just more reason that they must go...

Mancuso: Oh it’s nothing like that. I just.....he cracks me up, ok? I laugh when I get around him. That makes seeing him as a professional counselor a bit tough..

Sorani: If that is how people feel then he must be inadequate. Get a replacement.

Mancuso: I tried that. Hence how I know about erasing holo programs. Ever hear of Sigmund Freud? Total nut case. Not a very good psychiatrist. Thought everything centered around my relationship to my parents.

Sorani: Sounds like he had an obsession himself. Not the kind of person I would trust for proper and balanced readjustment.

Mancuso: Hey I did say I was creative at finding solutions.

Sorani: Indeed you did! ::Sounding cheery and bright.::

Mancuso: You have any other ….talents I should know about? I had a raging hangover a little while ago, but it really is feeling better. You don’t subconsciously heal people or anything like that do you?

Sorani: ::A little uncertainly:: Uhhm. No. Healing is not my branch.

Mancuso: Ah well. Suppose a little time does wonders.

Sorani: Perhaps. I couldn’t really say without... more data.

Mancuso: ::Throwing an arm around her back and urging her along.:: So..lead on. Let’s fix this shower of yours. And we can keep getting acquainted while we’re at it.

Sorani: ::Making her way to the turbolift:: Good. It will be a relief to get that sorted out, I just hope i’m not keeping you from more important matters... or a break.

Mancuso: Nope. Chief Engineer. I picked this shower fix because I was curious about it. And I must say, it has proven well worth my time.

Sorani: Ah, thanks I think. ::Wanting to change the topic:: So tell me more about yourself.

Mancuso: But if the turbolift goes out, you can listen while I read an Ensign the riot act. :: He rubbed his head.:: Me? Well.....I’m just a simple guy really. Came straight from the country life to the Academy and then to the Avandar. I have a knack for fixing things, so it just seemed the right path. Although if you ask me, there are a hundred other engineers out there better than me. But, I manage ok.

Sorani: It takes time to grow and develop your branch, and some bloom earlier than others. As long as you stay true to your branch, that’s all you have to do.

Mancuso: My Dad hated the idea of me joining Starfleet. I even waited a year to go to the Academy. But, look at me now.

Sorani: ::She did just that. She did take a good look at him. He looked just like a humanoid in an engineering uniform.:: Yes...

Mancuso: What about you? Your parents support you being off in space?

Sorani: I am following my branch so they support it. My mentor will keep in regular contact to check on my progress and help me with any difficulties that may arise. He will keep my blood parents and contacts informed.

Mancuso: That’s nice. Call me crazy if you want, but I’m not so sure I’d have been as creative if my Father loved the idea. I think part of the fun was building things when I was younger just to drive him crazy. He’s a veterinarian. An animal doctor. I think he wanted me to try my hand at medicine too, but machines are...well, easier than people sometimes.

::Sorani wasn’t sure what to make of this. Was the parent trying to keep the child from realising his branch or did the child grow into a different branch through rebellion. She thought she would have to consult the Fallen Branch on this topic, failing that her mentor would know what was right. She knew his culture was not her culture, such a thing could not happen in her culture.::

Sorani: Go on...

Mancuso: So....two missions later, and I got a nice promotion and the Captain made me Chief Engineer. Well.....one mission. One and a half? I’m not really sure how that counts actually.

Sorani: Are you losing track of time?

Mancuso: Well that brings us back to the Eden thing. ::He shook his head.:: That was a mess really.

Sorani: Eden. ::Remembering he didn’t want to talk about it.:: Another time right?

Mancuso: Well.....actually the easiest way to explain that. We, and by we I mean the entire crew....had a very vivid, very long dream. Only it didn’t feel like a dream. And we were on this planet Eden...in our dream...for like ten years.

Sorani: Remarkable.

Mancuso: And some of us did....some not so good things.

Sorani: Such as?

Mancuso: Oh...mutiny. Attempting to kill the Captain. Not me mind you. Well....not trying to kill the Captain at least.

Sorani: I understand why you didn’t want to talk about it then.

Mancuso: So...I spent all those years trying to prove something. And then we woke up, and you know what? It’s not any different. I feel like I still have something to prove.

Sorani: I see why you would feel that way.

Mancuso: And Evanna understood that. And now....well....I feel kind of lost.

Sorani: So you shared a unique situation with her.

Mancuso: And you weren’t there, so it’s easy to talk to you about it. If that makes any sense.

Sorani: Perhaps because I didn’t experience it, wasn’t involved I am inpartial. I am not looking at it with a bias based on an experience on Eden?

Mancuso: I’m not sure why I can’t just let it go. Seems kind of crazy doesn’t it?

Sorani: No. You said you feel you have something to prove. I think once you achieve that somehow you will resolve your feelings.

Mancuso: Yeah. Maybe.

Sorani: ::Touching his shoulder at the base of his neck in a reassuring gesture:: Have faith. Give yourself small goals. Some things to do to start to redeem yourself and give it time.

Mancuso: Well, you haven’t experienced the joy of our [...]ed off first officer yet. That woman scares me sometimes. I thought about talking to the Captain about it, but then T’Lea might get involved or, she would order me to see the Counselor. Or, if she thought I was unfit for duty....::He shook his head.:: It’s enough to make you paranoid.

Sorani: If she thought you were unfit for duty you would not be standing there. Did you say you were promoted after Eden?

Mancuso: Yes. Which is even crazier. I spent some time wondering if I even really deserved it.

Sorani: In my culture I think you would need your attitude readjusted. They clearly have forgiven you. You must forgive yourself.

Mancuso: ::He chuckled.:: In my culture an attitude adjustment is usually a good beating. Well, at least it used to be. Besides, I’m happy doing my work, and the ship stays running....mostly. So, it seems fair enough if I have my little mental ticks.

Sorani: Just give yourself room to grow. Let a little of the first Rays in from time to time. Nourish your roots, cleanse your leaves. ::Nodding sagely.::

Mancuso: Whoa. That was a little deep. ::He shrugged.:: So now you know...way more about me. What about you?

Sorani: ::Mimicking his shrug and stepping into the turbolift:: Roots run deep. ::She scratched her ear idly while considering his question:: Well there isn’t much to know about me other than what’s been said. I received a standardised upbringing, took a fall year in a forensics lab. I followed that branch for a few years before expanding a little.

Mancuso: Boring. I meant about you. Not how you came to be here. You know? Like what do you like to do for fun? What’s your favorite color? That sort of thing.

Sorani: ::Bristling a little at the insult.:: I believe I have already stated my hobbies.

Mancuso: That was a little direct of me wasn’t it? Sorry. Seems my own people skills need a little work.

Sorani: I am not used to interacting with your species.

Mancuso: Oh humans? We aren’t so bad. Well...actually maybe we are, but you get used to us.

Sorani: You state a fact and then change your mind. So what are you trying to tell me?

Mancuso: I just embrace the fact that to other species we probably seem odd.

Sorani: I would say different, not necessarily odd. Perhaps that’s overly picky of me. ::Turning a little pink.:: I like to be precise about things where possible.

Mancuso: Wow...that would get difficult. We aren’t exactly a precise species. There is a lot of grey when you deal with humans. Most of the precise people I know saw things in terms of black and white.

Sorani: I see a full range of colours, green, red, blue, yellow... not just Black, white or grey. My eyesight is a little hindered during the day, in brighter conditions. ::Trailing off::

Mancuso: Well, it’s an analogy. It means something else. You really are precise. And literal.

Sorani: As I said, I am not used to dealing with your kind. I am not familiar with your phrases. We tend to say what we mean in simple terms.

Mancuso: This....::He laughed and shook his head.:: is going to be more challenging than I thought.

Sorani: What do you mean?

Mancuso: Well, first humans use a lot of analogy. And metaphors. You should probably brace yourself for that. It takes getting used to. And to make it worse, the metaphors change based on where a human is from. ::He paused and smiled at her.:: I am going to have to teach you all about the weirdness of being human aren’t I?

Sorani: That sounds as much fun as sleeping on a bed of poisoned chokeweed. I mean the part about human use of language. The part about spending time with you, well... ::Smiling:: it should be interesting.

Mancuso: I think you have your own metaphors. Unless you really meant the part about sleeping on chokeweed.

Sorani: I wouldn’t dream of sleeping on chokeweed. Well I guess I might but it would be classified as a nightmare. That plant is called chokeweed for a reason.

Mancuso: Or not. ::He sighed.:: Well, then I guess I’d better educate you about metaphors that humans like, before someone tells you something is ‘easy as pie’.

Sorani: ::Stepping out of the turbolift and getting her bearings.:: Easy as pie!? ::Confused:: What does that even mean? Is that some strange mathematical reference? Perhaps it is not too late to file some emergency transfer papers... ::Sighing heavily. This new assignment was intriguing and frustrating in equal measures.::

Mancuso: ::He chuckled.:: No, it just means something is very simple. We compare things, sometimes unusually, to get across a certain point. My Uncle was a master of it. For example he said I would enjoy ice cream as much as a fat tick likes a lazy dog.

Sorani: ::Staring at him and then choosing to head towards her quarters:: Very strange habits your people have acquired.

Mancuso: Yeah, I’ll admit it is kind of strange. See...I told you humans were weird.

::Sorani was feeling very awkward. She wondered if other species had this much trouble interacting with humans. She didn’t think she would ever get the hang of it. They could stand there and make jokes about her in front of her face and she would be oblivious. She reflected that this must be the product of an unstructured culture. It felt as though she did not belong here and she was increasingly wishing to go back to Azure Station.::

Sorani: Are there many humans on board? ::If she was lucky there would only be a handful to deal with. Then she could avoid unnecessary interaction with them.::

Mancuso: Lucky for you this ship has more Trill than anything. Well, I suppose there are quite a few humans, but it will get easier the more you are around me....them...er, I mean us....

Sorani: Uhhm, maybe. Time will tell.

Mancuso: Sorry. I met a fellow who told me about one culture where a casual conversation led to one of his shipmates gaining a life partner. ::He shrugged.:: And you are the first of your species that I’ve ever met, so...I guess everyone adjusts.

Sorani: The branch that doesn’t bend in the wind will break. I suppose you are right.

Mancuso: I’m probably not the best choice for your first contact with a human. But I assure you, you will fit right in.

Sorani: It will take time. Even the seedling needs time to take hold before it can really grow.

Mancuso: Very well put.

::Sorani looked at all the numbers on the doors as she wandered down the corridor in search of her own. When she found it she paused, looking at the number, wanting to be sure she’d got the right one.::

Sorani: Well here we are I guess. ::Going to open the door.::

Mancuso: Well look at that. I have my own quarters only a short walk from here.

Sorani: Really? Are all the senior staff up here then? We’ll be like... ::looking for the word:: neybores then?

Mancuso: I’m not sure about all the senior staff. But you have the right word anyway. I know Eerie has quarters around here too. Tan as well. So..that’s probably right. I spend more time in Engineering than I do here anyway. Those chairs down there are pretty comfortable to sleep in.

Sorani: If you say so but I do not plan on sleeping perched upon a lab stool.

Mancuso: Yeah. I wouldn’t recommend that either.

Sorani: ::Ushering him inside:: Come in then.

Mancuso: So...do you have more things coming or is this it? ::He looked around the room.::

Sorani: This is it. I had to leave in a very big hurry to intercept USS Halo and those runabouts. Very hurried... ::Not wanting to mention the circumstances that had brought about the fast turnaround in staff.::

Mancuso: Well...that’s ok. Everyone has their own taste in decor. ::He looked around the corner.:: So this must be the offending shower then?

::Sorani frowned and scrunched up her nose. She’d never said this was by choice and it certainly was not a reflection upon her taste in anything. She chose to remain quiet rather than cause a stir.::

Sorani: Yes. ::Flatly. Approaching the restroom doorway and looking at the shower with distaste.::

Mancuso: ::He grabbed for the tricorder and held it up.:: Ok...I need to turn it on and measure the frequency. You going to be ok for a second while I do that?

Sorani: Can’t I be somewhere else for this? The noise isn’t simply distasteful you know, it causes ear ache and migraine.

Mancuso: Oh. Yes, yes. I can definitely spare you all of that then. Shall I give you a ring once I have it fixed up. And that metaphor means call you over the comm by the way.

Sorani: Didn’t you need data from me before you can fix this?

Mancuso: Well...I do need your authorization for your medical record. So I can compare frequencies.

Sorani: I will grant you limited access. It will be sufficient however. I will fill in the required forms.

Mancuso: That’s fine. I only need to know if your hearing is in the normal range for your species before I consult the database. Then I can get an idea of what range I need to get it in.

Sorani: Understood. Once you have completed the repair I will require you to run a test in my presence to ensure it is working as planned, before I can sign off on it.

Mancuso: Of course. Unless you want me back fixing or adjusting it every week. ::He smiled.:: I’m kidding. I wouldn’t think of letting you sign off any other way.

::Sorani realised she’d fallen into her old habit of telling people things they already knew again and turned a little pink.::

Sorani: Ah, that’s fortunate. Thank you.

Mancuso: Well, it is my job. But..you’re quite welcome.

Sorani: Very well. I’ll go attend to those forms then and see if I can make myself useful somewhere. ::She turned to leave, wanting to get away before he decided to turn the shower on before she was out of range to hear it.::

Mancuso: Ok. It was nice meeting you. Really. And, perhaps we can talk again. ::He shrugged.:: Anyway, I’ll find you once I’m done to test it out.

Sorani: ::Pausing in the doorway:: Thank you. It’s been... interesting. I would like for us to talk again some time too. Good day to you.

::Jack watched her go. She was odd, but then so was he. And it wasn’t as if Jack was all that familiar with her species. Still, she seemed nice enough, and that was enough. He didn’t exactly warm up to people right away, but she hadn’t outright dismissed his offer of talking again. He turned back to the shower, snatching up the PaDD and pulling up the medical database. Their hearing really was sensitive.::

Mancuso: Well. Looks like it’s just me and you, you bad old loud shower you.

(( A little while later ))

::He looked nervously at the shower and then back at her.::

Mancuso: So, the baffle I installed reads well below your range of hearing, but....the big test is to turn it on.

Sorani: I know. I’ve been fretting about it a little. Would you mind switching it on?

::He turned the shower on, and turned to watch her, his hand kept right by the control.::

::Sorani automatically winced and tensed up in anticipation of something, but when nothing came and she realised it was in fact quiet in the room she relaxed again.::

Mancuso: Well?

Sorani: You’re not playing a joke on me are you? My mentor warned me about that and I’ve already been victim of one today...

Mancuso: Nope. I got the frequency right out of the range that your information specified, and then baffled it. It should keep the noise even further muted, while allowing the shower to serve its purpose. It was really simple. Just find the right frequency and then soundproof it a little further.

Sorani: ::Delighted:: Well done!

::She lunged at him to give him a big hug of appreciation and then remembered her mentor telling her that some species didn’t like those kind of gestures at all, that she probably shouldn’t use them. She peeled herself off him, patting his shoulder apologetically.::

Sorani: Sorry, that probably wasn’t very appropriate.

Mancuso: No..that was quite ok. I’m just glad I was able to fix it.

Sorani: I’m so glad I don’t have to suffer a water based showering system. That was a rather cunning solution. I can’t wait to try it out properly. ::Very pleased.::

Mancuso: And I’m glad you like it. ::He smiled rather embarrassed.:: I guess I should get moving so you can enjoy your..shower.

::Sorani had considered asking him to stay for a cup of coffee or something but decided against it. She didn’t want to press upon his time any further and she suspected he’d had a big enough dose of her for the time being anyway.::

Sorani: Alright then, thank you. Talk to you later.

Mancuso: Definitely. Perhaps next time we can talk over coffee instead of a noisy shower though. ::He took up his tools, and turned to leave.:: Oh...and welcome to the Avandar. I hope you will be happy here.

::Sorani tipped her head forward in acknowledgement as he left her quarters.::

Lt.(jg) Jack Mancuso

Chief Engineer

USS Avandar

and

Lt Cmdr Sorani

Chief Science Officer

USS Avandar

Jason B.

"It's only after we've lost everything that we're free to do anything."

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