Lieutenant Commander Cadfael Peters: Why We're Here

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Zeph

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Feb 25, 2024, 8:36:24 PMFeb 25
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 ((Old Turbolift Shaft, Deck Eight – Aft, USS Astraeus))


Chris then made his way toward the nearest control panel and began to examine it.


Caldwell: Ok so there are few presets and some customisation options but I'm sure the default controls are fine. They are usually set so if you fall off the wall the line makes sure you come to a gradual stop whilst ensuring you don't drop too far. As I say though you'll be able to customise the settings if you want so you'll be able to set it so you don't even drop at all, the moment you come off the wall you'll just hang there if you want, a little drop is usually a good thing though, encourages you not to screw up if you have to make your way back up a little. With me so far?


Peters: I think so. Next question: why are they multi-colored?


Caldwell: Ok, well the different coloured holds are for different difficulties. White is for beginners, then you've got blue, then yellow and red will be the expert routes. You've got a few different routes for each difficulty from the looks of it and they all intercross at various different points. The belay is on a track so it will make sure it's always lined up with you so we don't have to worry about our lines crossing. So, do you want to play it safe or go in at the deep end?


Peters: Given that I have no idea what I’m doing, I think playing it safe would be best. 


He paused for a moment and glanced up at the belay, then to Chris.


Peters: So if the belay wasn’t present, one of us would need to hold the other person’s line, right? Or…how is that supposed to work?


Caldwell: Without the automatic belay one of us would belay the climber, giving out slack, supporting the climber if they fall and lowering the climber once they've finished. Of course there is always the option of being super brave and not using any harness or line at all but free climbing the shaft is unlikely to be a good idea.


Peters: Ah, I see. Did you know that there’s actually an extreme sports club on board?


Caldwell: As a matter of fact I did not know that... but how did you know that? I thought you were meant to be out of the loop with the social clubs on this ship?


Cadfael shrugged, and had only seen the piece of paper posted in the BC’s message board on his way out a couple days ago. He’d looked into it, and other clubs, once he’d gotten back to the office, but now he was getting distracted. He blinked the thought away and nodded to the wall. 


Peters: Nevermind. I’ll tell ya about it later. What say we start climbing, hm? After you.


Caldwell: Sure thing. So to get started you just need to unclip a line and attach it to your harness. Like this.


Chris then made his way toward a triangular shaped bit of plastic pulled into the wall, and then clipped a line to his harness.


Peters: Got it. 


Cadfael nodded and followed suit, clipping a similar line to his own harness.


Caldwell: That's it, you got it. Nothing to it, now, whatever happens, you're safe. Nothing to worry about.


Chris then proceeded to go for the yellow handholds instead, which Cadfael remembered as being described as the intermediate level and began his ascension. Instead of following his mentor’s lead, as was probably obvious by his earlier statement of never having done this before, Cadfael decided to start with the white. After a few moments of climbing, Chris looked over his shoulder to check on Cadfael.


Caldwell: Remember this is meant to be fun, so in your own time.  Remember nothing can go wrong, you're perfectly safe. Once you get up a couple of meters, try pushing off from the wall, see what happens.


Peters: Push off?


Caldwell: Here, like this.


The ensign pushed away from the wall, the line went tight, and he spread his arms wide, with a wide grin on his face.


Caldwell: See? Nothing to worry about.


Admittedly, the ensign did look ridiculous suspended in the air like that. But never having done that before, the chief raised an eyebrow instead.


Peters: Okay… 


With that in mind, he let go of the wall and attempted to push off. It did take him a few seconds to do so successfully, most of it was just nervousness at it being his first day of climbing. As he hung there, he made the choice of looking down and saw a familiar profile coming up the shaft toward them. Moments later, he heard the voice that went with it.


Mei’konda: Whew. Hello… you two. Give me a moment.


Moments later, the captain joined them on the small platform that they were standing on. 


Caldwell: Sir, I wasn't aware anyone else was using the space.


Peters: Captain. I wasn’t aware you were a climber.


Mei’konda: Oh, yes, I’ve been makiing regular use of it ever since it was commissioned. One of my favoriite exerciises. You certainly sound like you know a little something about climbing, Ensign.


Caldwell: Sir?


It wouldn’t have surprised Cadfael if the captain had been in fact close enough to have overheard at least part of their conversation. 


Peters: I was just getting a little lesson in pushing off from the wall. Despite knowing from an engineering perspective it was perfectly safe, I just wasn’t sure from a beginner’s standpoint how safe it was. 


Mei’konda: Oh, yes, very saafe. Besiides the ropes, there are sensors which detect if someone is falling, and the graavity systems will catch them. Best to have a safety mechaniism which doesn’t rely on power, though.


Caldwell: Well said Sir, sometimes the more 'primitive' technologies are the best, there's a reason we still use rope lines rather than a low level tractor emitter for example. Quality workmanship always helps of course.


Peters: Most of the credit belongs to Toryn, Esa, and the engineering teams that put this thing together. I only had to authorize the request after I was assured repeatedly it was safe.


Mei’konda: I heard a little about what you were talkiing about. Yes, your teams did a good job makiing sure it’s safe. There’s a casual climbing club as well as a few members in on the more extreme end of thiings, but I haven’t joined. Not officially. It can be haard, with my schedule, to meet up with the team members regulaarly without having to cancel.


Peters: Ah, yes. I can see how that would be a bit of a challenge.


Caldwell: It's interesting you mention that Captain. Lt. Commander Peters raised an excellent point about the value of socialising amongst the crew, not only to take care of social needs but as a way of better understanding the diverse range of cultures we have on board the ship.  


This sounded a lot like the ensign attempting to make a good impression on the captain. Or rather, sucking up to the captain. It was somewhere perhaps in between those two points, but it would be interesting to know which of the two it was.


Peters: Actually, I only said that there was a club for extreme sports. I found an info panel in the BC with some club meeting times on it, then did a bit of looking in the computer to find other clubs. 


Mei’konda: Responses


Caldwell: I took the liberty of sending something to Ensign Doucet to get her take, we were thinking that there might be opportunities for team building activities to maybe increase team cohesion and effectiveness.  


The chief engineer raised an eyebrow as he considered the ensign’s words, but specific words were proving to be elusive. Instead, he just spoke the first words that popped into his head. 


Peters: Elaboration, please?


Mei’konda: Responses


Caldwell: Whilst I thought the counsellor, as a subject matter expert when it comes to wellbeing would be able to provide some valuable insight, I suppose I was sort of thinking a semi-regular time slot could be introduced to the crew rota either as time following a duty shift or achieved by sliding the start and end times of a shift accordingly. Each shift or function could be responsible for arranging their own exercises, perhaps rotate to allow each officer to 'host' an exercise before cycling back around. Would perhaps help encourage diverse ideas.


Mei’konda: Responses


Peters: That definitely sounds like a potentially interesting idea…


Mei’konda / Caldwell: Response


Peters: Well, as interesting as all of that is, shall we re-focus on the reason we’re here? This gorgeous climbing wall and my first effort at learning to climb it?


Mei’konda / Caldwell: Response


Cadfael chuckled and returned his attention to the wall, chalked his fingers, then proceeded to make his first in earnest attempt. This time, he maintained his grip on the white colored hand-holds, since he was still very much a beginner. He figured that Chris & the captain would catch up in due time. He definitely wasn’t interested in a race, to be sure…but if it turned into one, would he have a head start? Only time would tell.


Mei’konda / Caldwell: Response

===
Lieutenant Commander Cadfael Peters
Chief Engineer
USS Astraeus NCC-70652
O239002CS0
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