Ensign Maria Alvarez: Fabulous First Impressions

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Oct 27, 2020, 1:00:33 PM10/27/20
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(( Shuttlecraft Fairplay, Docked Shuttlebay 2, Deck 3, USS Arrow ))

The sensation of gravity shifting from internal to umbilical was a sickening one at the end of a very long, very rough ride.  The freshly minted ensign was glad for the landing and docking auto-sequence in a situation such as this.  The shuttle was microscopic and cramped for such a long journey under normal conditions, to say nothing of the misadventure she'd had.  The shuttle finally set down, and the engines powered down, bringing an end to twenty-four hours of sheer torture.  Maria groaned, and let down her hair - her typical style was a total mess, so might as well completely flaunt protocol and be comfortable instead.  She pushed her fingers through the thick, normally pretty locks, gently cradling and massaging her head in a futile attempt to tamp down a nasty headache.  She cringed at a piercing bleep bleep bleep from the shuttle's console.  She reached over and smacked the button harder than was really necessary.

Alvarez: ::exhausted:: =/\= Yeah? =/\=

Her response was hardly regulation, but she didn't care much right now.

Flight Chief: =/\= Shuttlecraft Fairplay, this is USS Arrow flightdeck.  We have you - everything okay in there? =/\=

Alvarez: =/\= Yeah, yeah.  I'm fine.  Just give me a few minutes, okay? =/\=

Flight Chief: =/\= Acknowledged, Fairplay.  Arrow out. =/\=

Maria leaned back in her seat and stretched her neck out, not totally sure if she could stand up yet, or if she wanted to.  She looked over to the padd with her orders on it and sighed heavily before limply grabbing it.  She swivelled around to the back of the shuttle to face the tiny replicator using her legs like a little kid.

Alvarez: Computer!  Maté, hot.

The replicator fizzed, materializing a passable brew of the drink that most reminded her of home, the caffeine a notable bonus in her current state.  She punched a button on the padd, and began recording.

Alvarez: Personal log, Ensign Maria Alvarez, Stardate 239710.27.  I've just arrived aboard the USS Arrow, stationed in the Aavaro wilds, where I'm to serve as an Ops Officer.  :: She chuckled :: And it's a damn good thing, because I'd make for the fleet's worst Engineer.  Approximately twenty-four hours ago, the primary inertial damper went offline.  Guess that's what I get for being assigned the ultimate loaner shuttle - this thing looks like it's been boarded by Klingons at least a half dozen times...  :: She gingerly fingered at a tear in the seat covering. :: Anyway, the vibrations from the engine were pretty bad, so I decided to effect repairs.  I cracked open the manual, tore open the floor of this bad boy to get a look at what I was dealing with.  To say the least, the instructions were unclear.  I think I spent at least three or four hours with my brain rattling around in my skull following the steps for the repair over and over.

She paused to take a good drink of her hot beverage, groaning and squishing her face around.  She sighed, thoroughly enjoying the hot beverage.

Alvarez: I didn't realize until I'd tried basically every permutation of what I thought the instructions could mean that I realized the manual is about two decades out of date.  Some searching in the databanks revealed a neatly tucked away annex to the shuttle's operating manual published almost a decade after it was made detailing a retrofit to the damper system.  Of course, tailored to an engineering audience it was about total gibberish to me, but by that point I was starting to get desperate with each little course correction feeling like I was on a damned roller coaster.  It took me a couple hours to even decipher what the paper was telling me to do, and of course it basically amounted to "plug the green wire into the blue socket instead of the red socket and swap a couple iso chips" - I guess those engineers gotta keep their jobs somehow.  Regardless, the problem was there was no blue socket.  Another hour on the computer, and I find an addendum to the first addendum detailing out an exception for shuttles specifically built in the year this ol' girl was...

Maria sat forward and wiggled her toes in an attempt to regain feeling in her extremities, momentarily freed of her boots.  She extended her right leg out, tensing the quad and rolling her ankle before repeating the same maneuver with the left leg.  She took another sip and continued the log of her ill-fated arrival.

Alvarez: Needless to say, I was not entertained finding this out nearly 10 hours into what should have been a 10 minute repair.  I was already about 14 hours into the flight when the problem occurred, so I was getting pretty tired, and the deteriorating condition of the dampers wasn't feeling so good.  It turned out I was going to need a part I didn't have, so I was going to have to replicate it.  Of course, this shuttle only has a basic food replicator - I'm lucky it has maté - so I had to get creative.  In an attempt to channel my inner O'Brien, which I am now fairly certain doesn't exist, I made a series of modifications to increase the printing resolution of the replicator and manually programmed a pair of patterns from the manual I'd have to wire together by hand.  I'm still surprised the replicator did it's job, but as luck would have it when I finally installed my 'fix', the module completely burnt out.  That was about four hours ago - it took a long time trying to get systems to talk that were never meant to.  I'll probably go back and try to figure out what I did wrong, but right now I have no clue.  So for the last four hours I've been out of options, rattling around feeling sicker with each thruster firing, trying to distract myself with terribly written soaps the last guy that used the shuttle left behind.

She experimentally put some weight on her feet, stabilizing herself on the back of the co-pilot's chair as she carefully stood up.  She laughed and cheered softly.

Alvarez: Good news is I can walk now, even if it feels like the floor is still moving underneath me.  Probably take a while for that to go away.  According to my orders I'm supposed to meet... :: she checks the padd :: Commander Shayne and report for duty as soon as I come aboard.  The latest report sounds like some diplomatic mission... yuck.  The good news is I probably won't even meet the dignitaries; with any luck I'll be assigned something menial so I can get to know the ship and crew.  Another incident like at the academy probably wouldn't be great right now.  Wish me luck...  Computer, end log and upload to computer bank on the Arrow.

Maria grabbed her standard-issue cylindrical tote and threw it over her shoulder before pushing the hatch release, returning the cup on her way out.  She gingerly hobbled down the ramp, her legs feeling like hollow wooden pegs she had to balance on top of.  Fortunately, balance was something she had in spades.  She inhaled a deep, steadying breath and released it as she took in the weathered and noble USS Arrow that would be her home for some time to come.  She waved an okay to the flight engineer on the upper deck, then proceeded into the tight corridor down into the turbolift.  She'd always had a fondness for smaller ships, so on that front this assignment suited her fine, but it remained to be seen how she'd like the crew and how the crew would like her.

Alvarez: Deck 1!

The ensign clutched her stomach as the sudden movement from the turbolift brought back all of the nausea and then some.  She groaned, holding back a retch as the doors opened back up.  She stepped out and took a turn to the conference room...

(( Just outside conference room, Deck 1, USS Arrow ))

Shayne: Wha-! Pardon me, Ensign…

Maria's reflexes thrashed about, her hand reaching for the wall, the other grabbing this interloper by the arm so he doesn't fall.  A scowl of bad mood flashes on her face.

Alvarez: :: Snippily :: Watch it!

Her eyes caught the pips on his neck before her brain dribbled out recognition of the CO's face painfully slowly.  oO Dammit! Oo  She stood to attention poorly, her undone flap, non-regulation hair, and overall demeanor making unlikely candidates for a good first impression.  If she had had a moment to prepare she could have at least come off as bland or stale.  She wouldn't have minded stale - stale would have been good, unremarkable, unpromotable, but she had a feeling this was headed towards a train wreck.

Alvarez: Uh... Cap'n!  Sir!  Ensign Maria Alvarez reporting for duty.

Shayne: Welcome aboard. May I see your orders?

Maria stared blankly at the man's outstretched hand for a second, as if totally bewildered by the gesture.  She reached out her hand and shook his, putting on a smile that probably didn't even remotely look genuine.

Alvarez: Uh, nice to meet you too, of course you can see my orders.

Shayne: Response

Alvarez: Oh, right!  That!  Those!  Them there padd...  My padd-sicle.  Right-i-o, padd-i-o...

She dug through her duffel, the padd improbably buried despite the sixty seconds it had been in there, totally unaware of the effect her loopy, singsong, prattling speech was having on her new Captain...

Alvarez: Where are you, sir padd paddington?  I need to show the good Captain I didn't padd my resume.  Don't make me paddle you.  Come on out and I'll buy you some padd see ew!

Shayne: Response

Alvarez:  Ah!  Here we go.  :: Handing the padd to Shayne :: Personal note for future reference: apparently padds love Thai food.

Maria looked around her environment while her superior looked over the orders, the rapid movement of her head sending her world spinning again.  She couldn't really tell if she was swaying and tilting, or if it just felt like that after so many hours of it.  She caught sight of the motley bunch in the conference room and smiled.

Alvarez: Wow, that looks like a fun bunch.  I feel like it's the beginning of a 'walked into a bar' joke in there... or maybe the galaxy's worst pickup line, am I right?

Shayne: Response

Tag/TBC…

Ensign Maria Alvarez
Ops Officer, USS Arrow
A239710MA0
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