Captain Mei'konda Delano - The Climbing Wall

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Mei'konda Delano

Feb 24, 2024, 6:23:21 PMFeb 24

(( Old Turbolift Shaft, Deck 8, USS Astraeus ))

Chalk coating his fingers and claws, Mei’konda let out a low grunt as he lunged upward for the next handhold on one of the intermediate-to-difficult routes which ran the length of the Astraeus’ neck.

Thirty two decks and roughly eighty meters tall, the turbolift tube had been judged as redundant and had been removed during the starship’s major retrofit nearly eight years ago. While the lift machinery had been removed, and due to necessity, the textured climbing section was exposed to reveal inconceivably dense structural plating where the neck and saucer mated to each other, some time ago Mei’konda had made the decision to allow the whole area to be converted to a massive climbing wall.

Some parts of the route curved slightly forward to allow a climber to get a moment of rest. Mei had passed those some time ago, and was now on one of the backward curving parts of the wall. There was no chance to rest, and he was doing his best to power up over the ledge.

One foot at a time, the Caitian pushed his lower body up to the lip of the ledge, then reached up over it to pull himself over. He perked his ears up. There were a few voices he could hear up at the ledge where the climbing wall started. The normal procedure for a climber was to enter at deck 8, clip their harness into one of the ropes, drop down to the bottom at deck 42, and begin the climb.

Caldwell: This really does look like great work. Have you ever given it a try?

Peters: Not yet. My instructor transferred before I got around to lessons. Never tried rock climbing before, so I’m a bit paranoid about breaking my neck.

Caldwell: Ok well not to worry, it's pretty simple really. The descenders up there ::gesturing higher up the wall:: they work as an automatic belay device, a hanging belay, so you don't have to worry about someone else holding onto one end of the rope for you. Basically it makes sure that the line you are connected to via your harness, it's loose when you're in motion but tenses whenever you're not moving. 

Mei’konda stopped listening in as closely as perhaps he could, and continued to focus on his climb, planning out where he’d reach for with his hands or his feet at least a half dozen steps at a time. Both on his wall and the three others of the former turbolift tube, several other climbers slowly made their way up. The climbing area was a unique one aboard a starship, and was a popular pastime with the crew when they had downtime.

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… 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?

Mei smiled slightly while he paused to catch his breath, feet braced in a triangle shape, and he eased first one hand, then the other off the wall so that he could flex his exhausted fingers and get some blood flowing back in to them. He was about a dozen meters away from the top now, where Peters and Caldwell stood. After a brief rest, Mei’konda reached up to get a good grip on the handholds once again.

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.

Peters: Response

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

Caldwell: Here, like this.

He pushed away from the wall, the tension in the line, near instantly adjusting ensuring that he didn't drop, instead he just hung there. Spreading his arms making it clear that it was only the line and the harness keeping him suspended, a grin on his face, appreciating how ridiculous he probably looked suspended in the air. 

Caldwell: See? Nothing to worry about.

Peters: Response

With the ledge that Caldwell hang from and Peters stood on now only a few meters up, Mei shifted out to the side so that he’d be out of the way, but could also pull himself up and over the ledge with a gasp of relief. Pushing up to his feet, Mei inclined his head to them both.

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

Peters / Caldwell: Responses

Reaching up to smooth a few fingers through his platinum mane, the Caitian straightened up from the railing, reached back to secure the chalk bag hanging from his harness, and inclined his head to the two.

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.

Peters / Caldwell: Responses

Mei smiled slightly, and tapped one of his ears by way of explanation. Sometimes, it was difficult to avoid listening in, with his degree of hearing.

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.

Peters / Caldwell: Responses

Mei inclined his head toward Caldwell, and glanced toward Peters.

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 / Caldwell: Responses


Captain Mei’konda Delano

Commanding Officer

USS Astraeus, NCC-70652


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