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into darkness has begun!
Nocturnal Activity, Kyler!
Andrus strolled into one of the rooms that held a portion of the Enterprise's computer banks. A room that was currently empty, as far as he could tell both visually and by casting out with his mind for any stray thoughts or emotions. That wasn't unusual at this time of the ship's night cycle, though. Most of the crew would be in bed right now, sleeping. As usual, sleep was teasing him... the cruel minx... by visiting him for only a couple of hours before dancing away again. So he decided to do something useful for a change rather than just laying around in his room. After dressing, he had made his way here to work on a couple of bugs that had been reported in one of the holodeck programs.
Settling himself in at one of the terminals, he checked the status of the automatic diagnostic that had been run earlier. It recognized there was a problem with the programming, but wasn't able to pinpoint said problem. The automatic repair program couldn't find anything to fix. That meant this was going to have to be done manually. He brought up the base program on one screen for comparison and on another screen he brought up the program that was actually installed within the ship's memory banks. Then he began going through each line of coding, one character at a time, trying to isolate the trouble areas.
He had barely gotten started when he sensed he was no longer alone. The mind was an unfamiliar one, but he didn't sense any negative emotions, so he wasn't worried despite not having heard anyone approaching. He was curious, though. It wasn't unusual to not know everyone on the crew of such a large ship as this, but it was unusual for people who didn't work on this deck or in this particular field to enter any of the computer rooms. "You know, it's not polite to sneak up on someone" he said aloud without turning around, amusement in his voice. Andrus marked the spot in the coding where he left off, then turned and looked to see who had joined him and flashed a grin. "But hello all the same."
One eyebrow rose a bit at seeing just how young the woman standing there was. Still a teenager in fact, unless he missed his guess. That was a bit odd even on a ship that had the youngest crew in Starfleet history, but... considering they had a seventeen year old on bridge crew... not outside the realm of possibility. "I don't believe we've met. I'm Andrus Bariel" he added. Strictly speaking, he probably should have given his rank too, but in his mind there was no need to be formal right now.
@KYLER TRINITY WARD
Kyler lay awake in her bed unable to sleep. Usually, she did pretty well, even on nights when she slept in various place on the ship just to avoid being around her dad. It felt wrong in her mind but at sixteen what else could she do? It wasn't like she could stay out past curfew or go out with her friends.
THIS was her rebellion, even if it was a really stupid way to do it. Sighing she rolled over looking at the chronometer beside her bed, she frowned. Kyler forced herself to lay there a little longer before she finally got up. As quietly as she could she pulled on a pair of jeans, a bra, and a t-shirt. She had barely bothered with a bra but it seemed more important to her than shoes.
Quietly the teen slipped out of her room and out into the main area, she literally tiptoed until she made it past her the door to her dad's room. Only once she was out in the hall did she pick the pace up a little. She wasn't really sure where she was going, but soon enough she found herself on E Deck and knew exactly where she'd end up. By now the teen had the ship memorized by now. Every nook and cranny nothing was a secret to her anymore. Finally, she found her way into one of the rooms designated for engineering. She smiled a little suddenly feeling at ease.
She walked deeper into the room, the second she saw someone at the computer she should have turned and left but she couldn't help it. Quietly she walked closer not thinking about the fact that they might notice her. Her light blue eyes were focused on the computer. She watched as he input a few things and tried to figure out what the trouble was. When the man spoke she smiled sheepishly, "I'm sorry." She replied tipping her head a little looking over his shoulder watching as he continued to work. Finally, he turned around and spoke to her. "Hello." Kyler said with a smile.
Getting the feeling he was studying her Kyler stood where she was, unmoving, the teen wasn't scared, she'd practically grown up in the stars and on starships. The man's dark almost black eyes didn't even bother her. "I've seen you around." She replied with a chuckle. The second he said his name she grinned, "I know who you are! You're Kestra's brother." Kyler told him knowingly, "I'm Kyler Ward, my dad works in the science department, he's a chemist." She explained. "He's in the med bay a lot, burns, and stuff."
Hesitating a second she nodded towards the computer, "I think I know what your problem is, only I don't really know how to explain it...." She said chewing on her tongue slightly, a small twitch and a tiny twinge of nervousness perhaps. Because she was eager to prove herself and because she wasn't sure if she was right. All she knew was that in her heart this was what she wanted, engineering was her calling even if her dad didn't approve.
Having someone watching over his shoulder while he worked normally bugged Andrus. Of course, usually the people watching were supervisors who were looking for excuses to discipline those under them. In this case, he didn't mind. The only thing he sensed from the young woman was interest and curiosity. Besides, the program he was working with was one of the recreational ones rather than a training program of any kind and therefor not classified information. If it had been classified, he would have made sure to take the proper security precautions to prevent unauthorized access to it. The program was one that allowed people to play out scenes from various works of fiction, in addition to generating entirely new stories and scenarios based on those works. Most of it based on human works, but plenty based on works from other races as well. Those that had such works, that is. One of his human coworkers had compared it to something called Dungeons and Dragons, and followed with an explanation Andrus only half understood.
In any case, the complaints about this program involved the attire of the characters being completely wrong for the setting, as well as both the scenery and characters not being physically realistic enough and the audio tracks glitching. Physical problems with the equipment and electrical systems had already been ruled out, which meant there were coding problems. He had managed to fix a few of the more minor things, but still had a ton of code to go through. It was one of the more tedious aspects of his job. Even he would admit to that, despite how much he enjoyed his work otherwise. And he would admit that the distraction was a welcome one. Despite how long he tended to spend in front of computer screens or looking at circuits and wiring close up, if he spent too long at it without a break his eyes and body would start to protest the strain. Like humans, his body sometimes needed a break.
"It's alright" he assured her, smiling warmly. "Have you?" he asked curiously. "I don't mean to be rude, but I haven't seen you at all." Andrus paused a moment and chuckled softly. "But given the fact that you were completely silent coming up, I suspect you're great at being stealthy and not being seen when you don't want to be" he added. He wouldn't have noticed her at all if his Betazoid senses hadn't picked up her emotions and some of her surface thoughts. He couldn't help grinning back at the mention of his sister. "That I am" he confirmed, a note of pride in his voice. Andrus was proud of all of his sisters. Even Jemma, for all that she was no longer among the living.
His mind processed the information about her father, and he nodded. "Ah, yes. Tristan Ward. He is rather famous for such things isn't he." Amusement colored his words, faint but noticeable. Some people on the ship were well known for certain things. Their chief medical officer's grumpiness, for example, or their chief engineer's tendency to talk nearly incessantly about anything and everything. Andrus didn't know if Kyler's father was truly among those 'famous' types or not, but he had overheard plenty of stories from those lower down in the medical department, most of whom he knew through Kestra and his visits to the medbay to see her and make sure she took time out to eat. Some people were such terrible gossips even when they shouldn't be. Andrus didn't share information, but he had to admit... if only to himself... to the fact that he enjoyed listening to gossip.
One eyebrow quirked up at the claim she knew what the problem was. "You do? Well, what's happening is..." he replied, and relayed the information he had been given and what he had seen himself in the holodeck as to what the nature of the problem was. He told her what had been done so far, then gestured to the screens in front of him. "If you're certain you can fix it, by all means. Have at it" he invited. Andrus was not too proud to learn from anyone, no matter how much younger than him they were. Knowledge was knowledge, after all. As long as the problem got fixed, it didn't matter if he or someone else did it. If the problem couldn't be fixed this way, the next steps would be to uninstall and reinstall the entire program. No one wanted to do that. Yes, the computers were lightning fast. Even so, the program was a large one, and would take at least a day to completely uninstall then completely reinstall. That would not be fun for anyone.
@KYLER TRINITY WARD
Kyler really hadn't meant to be rude, it was more that she stumbled on someone doing work on the computer and she couldn't help it. She just loved everything that went along with engineering. To her, it was a beautiful challenge, and a language all it's own. Yes a language, like Klingon or something else -- not everyone was gifted enough to speak the language. But the more she submerged herself in it the more she loved it.
She could sit for hours working on simulations like this one. Sometimes she even did the simulations designated for her class more than once. Kyler liked looking for alternate ways to solve the problem. Another approach to get it done faster or just do it better all around. But even she needed those mental breaks,
Smiling at him she nodded a little, "I've seen you eating with your sisters a few times." Kyler replied with a chuckle, "It's the quiet ones you have to watch out for." She added with a nod. When he confirmed it she smiled knowingly, but it was nice to know she wasn't nuts.
"Yeah, he's pretty famous for that. I'm not sure he appreciates that sort of fame though." Kyler didn't much care for the fact that her dad was forever getting hurt either. But it kind of made her wonder, since she didn't see engineering as dangerous at all -- not in the way her dad made it out to be.
Once he moved aside she smiled sheepishly, "Not sure actually, but I think..." She corrected. As she moved into the seat where Andrus had been. The teen stared at the screen a few minutes, quietly chewing her tongue before she typed a few commands into the program.
It took a few tries and different wording of a few things but finally, it actually worked. "Ha!" She said sounding a little shocked. "I didn't think that'd work." Kyler admitted, "I've been playing with a program similar to this for an assignment." She explained as she turned around in the chair. "I really want to go into engineering, I can do some things but there's so much mystery to it, it's like it's own language." There was a fond smile on her face as she spoke. It was her passion and it showed.
She wasn't being rude at all, as far as Andrus was concerned. He could tell she hadn't meant any harm by coming in here like she had. In that vein, his comment about sneaking up on people had been meant playfully, not snarkily. Of course... it probably helped that her mental 'signature' wasn't one that grated on him. There were some people who, while they didn't do or say or even think anything offensive, just got under his skin and not in a good way. That was something he could never properly explain.
"We are a rather noticeable bunch aren't we" he chuckled. Formerly four now only three identical women and one man all sitting together did tend to draw the eye. Even without Kestra's dreads and nose ring; even without Malyn's unique sense of style; even without Andrus himself occasionally wearing eyeliner, mascara, and a hint of lip color. Azuma was the tamest of them and the most 'normal' with her appearance. Which wasn't a bad thing. Kyler's comment about quiet ones drew another laugh from him. "Yeah, I've heard that. Consider me properly warned" he said.
Andrus felt his mouth twist slightly in something that wasn't quite a smile and wasn't quite a grimace. "Speaking from personal experience, the things a person gets to be known for aren't always what they want to be known for." He sighed softly, thinking of the unpleasant parts of his childhood on Betazed for a moment. Then he shook his head and brightened up again. "But that doesn't mean they can't rise above it, and refuse to let it entirely define them... whatever others might say or think about them" he added. Again, speaking from experience.
Standing behind and a bit to one side of her, he kept his eyes on the screen, watching what she did and noting it down for future reference. It was certainly a unique approach to the problem, but... it just might work. Andrus grinned at her surprise. "People frequently don't give themselves enough credit" he remarked. Her obvious enjoyment of the work stirred a brotherly sort of affection in him. "It really is, and not everyone has the patience or inclination to learn it" he agreed.
There were a lot more subsets to engineering than computers and electronics, though. There was the mechanical side of things too, and transporters, and... well, a whole huge list of things. Dealing with the computers wasn't at all dangerous in his opinion, though working with the electrical systems hands-on could be if the proper precautions weren't taken. Mechanics, warp drive maintenance, and other related fields were more dangerous.
"So. You mentioned assignments. Are you taking classes, then?" he asked. She wasn't a child, but she was definitely young... at least in appearance. That didn't mean much, though. There were plenty of people both human and not human that were significantly older than they looked, so Andrus rarely assumed anything about a person's age, knowledge level, or skill level.
@KYLER TRINITY WARD
Kyler simply couldn't sleep, regardless of who was up, she would have ended up down here. But thankfully she'd found someone who didn't scold her for being here. One too many times she'd had that already. Ideally, she would have been welcomed with silence but Andrus was better than some.
She smiled at the male and nodded. A small giggle left her lips, "Yeah you are. Though.... to be honest when I first saw you and Mayln together I actually thought you two were a thing. But I know better now." Kyler told him sheepishly. Then plucking up some courage she questioned him, "What's it like living with four sisters?" Four? Yes, she'd heard about Jemma, hopefully, her knowledge and bringing up wouldn't upset him. But if it did at least she could relate, with him in loss, having lost her mother.
"Good." She laughed, "Should I worry about you too?" Kyler added with a playful wink. Then shrugged, "That's so true. Like me right now I'm just Tristan Ward's daughter, which isn't a bad thing, just that I want to make my own way not live in his shadow."
Kyler was more than a little anxious as she typed quickly, she wasn't sure if it would work. She knew from experience in the simulations that one error could crash the whole game. But in her mind, this wasn't just a game it was real life. "Yeah." She grinned clearly pleased with herself. "I wish I could get more hands-on experience but right now I'm too young." She was too young for anything more. And while she accepted that, part of her was in a hurry to grow up so she could get to that point.
Nodding she smiled, "Yeah, I'm taking the academy basics aboard ship. A perk of being Tristan Ward's daughter, I get to start earlier." The teen explained, "Hopefully when we get back to Earth I'll be ahead of the curve."
Andrus snorted in amusement at her remark about having thought he and Malyn were a couple. "I should be upset about that, but even back on Betazed people would make that assumption about her and I... and about my other sisters and I, and about my sisters." Those rumors and beliefs had been born initially out of jealousy, but there were many who had actually believed them. Thinking back on it, the way the five of them had banded together against the world and the closeness they all shared even while they bickered among themselves had probably only fed those rumors. But... in their defense... they had been children who didn't know any better, and who had sought love, support, and friendship from those they knew they could trust. Which had primarily been each other, considering how cruel their peers had been more often than not.
A sad look came over his face at the mention of four sisters, even as he smiled at the memories of their childhood together. The parts that didn't involve others. His mind went to Jemma, as it so often did, and prodded a little at the empty hole that had once held her presence. There was no response, of course. He knew there wouldn't be, and yet he couldn't help himself any more than someone with an extracted tooth could help poking at the empty socket with their tongue. "It was every bit as chaotic and drama filled as you might expect" he answered after a moment. "Fights over bathroom time, and pretty much anything else you can imagine. Clothing exchanges... though Malyn was the one who was most prone to 'borrowing' my clothes, and I was limited in my retaliation abilities. I learned to do makeup properly, which isn't something most guys can say."
Most guys also couldn't say such a thing without some degree of embarrassment. There was some garbage about what was and was not sex appropriate among many cultures, and more so among humans than any others that he knew of. Humans were weird. They were generally intelligent and had mostly abandoned outdated concepts, but there were still vestiges of their old ways of thinking. More prominently among some than others, though such people tended to be few in number thankfully. "Our telepathic and empathic abilities made us closer than most siblings were, even among our own kind, despite how much we bickered. Even at our worst, we always knew there was love between us, and that no matter how much we went up against each other, we always had each others' backs against outsiders." Those had been the good parts of their early years.
"We grew up with a constant mental connection to the others for most of our lives. Our abilities manifested when we were five years old, much earlier than they should have." He decided to stick to the more pleasant aspects rather than delving into talking about the hole that was where Jemma used to be, and having felt her death, and how without the strong connection he and his remaining sisters had that event might have caused their minds to break permanently. "And I can tell you for a fact that that made dating extremely awkward once we got to the age where we were interested in that sort of thing" he added lightly. It was even more awkward when it came to figuring out sex, but he didn't say that out loud either. Besides, Kyler could probably figure that part out on her own.
He flashed a mischievous grin at Kyler's teasing question. "No. You don't have to worry... but I can't speak for others" he answered, giving her a wink right back. Her comments about not wanting to live in her father's shadow had him nodding in understanding. "My sisters and I left Betazed to get out from under the shadow of certain rumors about us and to get away from people who saw us as freaks of nature and treated us as such. I have something of an idea of what you're talking about. Details aside, of course."
"I'd be happy to set things up so you can get the hands-on practice, if you want" he offered. Andrus thought he was probably breaking some kind of rule or other by making that offer. But he was breaking rules right now by letting her stay in here and more by letting her work on the coding. Besides, it amused him to potentially help her be somewhat rebellious when it came to defying parental authority. It was probably a good thing he didn't have any nieces or nephews. He would be a horrible influence on them. He just knew it. "It's good there are some perks to the position" he said, grinning. "By the way, if you need tutoring or anything, let me know. I'll set some time aside during my off hours to help you out."
@KYLER TRINITY WARD
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