Ens. Yael & Lt. Cmdr. DeVeau - "The Cats Meow" (Part I)

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Amanda Nordstrom

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Sep 24, 2020, 7:06:15 PM9/24/20
to StarBase 118 Ops – UFOP: StarBase 118
((Starbase 118 Ops - Habitat Sector))

The hallways were fairly clear of traffic on the deck that housed one of
the newest members of ops.  The thick walls and respectful residents
helped keep things fairly quiet, allowing others to enjoy peace on their
way to their quarters, not just inside.  As Ashley Yael drew closer to
his quarters, however, he found himself with some unexpected company. 
There, right around ten feet from his door, perched a cat.

She was a tiny thing, and if anyone were to judge by her size, she was
about five months in age.  Upon her first, splashes of colour splayed
all over, brown, white, and black all taking up residence next to each
other here and there.  When the counselor approached, she had one paw
lifted up and was grooming it diligently until he got closer, whereby
she then lifted her head, crystalline blue eyes peering up at him. 
Lowering her paw, she sat there - and stared.

For a moment Yael paused, looking at the tiny creature.  Was it… lost?

Yael:  ::to the cat::  Do you belong to someone?  Your family is
probably missing you.

For a moment, it seemed as if the cat might actually consider what the
man said to her.  Then she opened her mouth and let out a response.

Sachiko: Mrrrrow.

Yael:  Go on home now.  You don’t want them to worry about you.

He was being rather polite to the kitty, not sure if he should report a
lost cat or just let it find its way home.  Honestly he was a little
clueless when it came to pets… he didn’t have any of his own because of
the hygiene issues.  For the moment he moved to enter his quarters. 
Stepping inside, it was as spartan as it had been before, save the small
pack on the desk next to a personal computer, and a fluffy purple and
yellow plant on the windowsill.

Though, off in the side room, a curious number of blankets and pillows
had been replicated for the bed… nobody could judge him for liking a
cozy resting place.  Except maybe a Klingon.

Moving to the desk and checking the computer, he was curious if he’d
been given a formal assignment yet, or if he was still “floating” for
the time being.  He *had* arrived a week early, so he was taking some
time to reacquaint himself with the station.

Suddenly, a furry creature jumped up on the desk, making it rather
difficult for him to work on anything.  The feline took a perch right in
front of the monitor and gazed up at him with half closed lids - a
decidedly amused expression.  From deep in her chest, a rumbling purr
could be heard and it reverberated in the room, rather loud for a
creature so small.

Initially, Ashley startled, nearly dropping the data padd he had in his
hand.  Once he realized it was just the kitty who had followed him
inside, his heart rate returned to normal and he… wasn’t sure what to do.

Yael:  I think you may be confused.  *This* isn’t your home.

Was it friendly…?  Cautiously he reached out with a hand, slowly, as if
it might maul him at any moment.  His fingers slid over soft fur with a
distinct lack of mauling, so he relaxed a little.  This particular cat’s
Badness Level was low.  That was always a good start.  He pet across the
back of the neck and felt for a collar, hoping for some identification.

There was none - at least, none visible.  The only obvious thing about
the cat other than her colouring was that she was particularly enjoying
the scritches that the human was giving her.  Her purr increased in
volume, a feat indeed for the petite feline.  She did, at least, offer
him another answer in her high, squeaky tone.

Sachiko: Mow….mrrrrrooooow.

Yael:  I wonder if you’re in the crew manifest.  Are you in science, or…
with those claws I’d wager security?

Clearly he would have to check the pet manifest and not security, but it
was perfectly healthy to talk to an animal.

Yael:  Computer.  Can you identify the cat in my quarters?  I need to
locate her… it’s? Owners.

The computer Did The Thing, and on the screen the information popped
up.  DeVeau?  And it was a she after all…

Yael:  So your name is Sachiko?  That’s a good cat name, I think.

Yael:  =/\= Ensign Yael to Lieutenant Commander DeVeau. =/\=

DeVeau:  =/\=Alora here.=/\=

Yael: =/\= Are you missing any occupants of your quarters? =/\=

The stern question was stated with humor.

There was a pause. Alora wasn’t in her quarters, so the question really
couldn’t be answered with any sort of accuracy.

DeVeau: =/\=Oh no...let me guess...=/\=

Yael:  =/\= I have an intruder of the feline order.  Brown, black, and
white splotches. =/\=

There was a soft groan over the other end of the commline.  That was
twice in two days Alora had been contacted about her pet!  What was
going on with that cat?

Yael:  =/\= Would you like to pick her up?  I didn’t want to send her
free again… it’s a *large* station, and I doubt she can activate the
turbolifts. =/\=

DeVeau:  =/\=I don’t know, she seems to get around all over the place on
a variety of decks.  I’m beginning to think she can morph into a human
and manipulate controls.=/\=

Alora sighed softly, but there was no real disdain in her voice.  As
crazy as that cat was, she loved the feline.

DeVeau: =/\=Headed your way.  Over and out.=/\=

It took a few minutes for the science officer to arrive.  She’d been
straw deep in a chocolate milkshake and had to finish it off before
departing - after all, chocolate couldn’t go to waste.  She finally
arrived, however, and pressed the button to make the computer alert the
resident to her arrival.

Ashley had taken the last few minutes to offer the cat… Sachiko… some
water, but she didn’t seem very interested.  She probably wasn’t hungry,
having not been lost very long.  She looked mostly clean and wasn’t hurt.

Sachiko must be an explorer just like they all were.  It was fitting.

Yael: ::at the door chime::  Come.

The doors parted and Alora stepped inside.  Sachiko turned her smiling
visage toward her owner and offered a squeaky mew in greeting.

DeVeau: Yeah, yeah, yeah, excuses, excuses.  One of these days, you’re
going to get into hot water, little miss, and I’m not going to bail you out.

That didn't seem to concern Sachiko one bit.

Yael:  ::smiling as the cat was dressed down::  I take it this happens
relatively often?

DeVeau:  It seems to be happening /more/ often since coming here.  I
guess the Starbase is more tempting to her than a ship was.

Yael:  I’m not very good with animals.  But she seems sociable enough…
she let me pet her.

Alora crossed over to pluck the animal off the floor.  The creature
caught hold of her shirt and clambered up onto her owner’s shoulder. 
There, with impeccable grace, the cat balanced perfectly, and her human
reached up to scritch under her chin.

DeVeau:  Oh she’s extremely sweet.  Doesn’t scratch or bite as long as
no one tries to hurt her, loves to be cuddled and scritched. She’s a
great companion - she’s just got wanderlust.

Yael:  Don’t we all.  ::pausing::  She’s definitely a Starfleet cat.

DeVeau: The thing is, whenever I leave my quarters, she’s there. I’ll
ask the computer where she is, and it will say she’s there. Yet, here I
am, and here she is, obviously not in my apartment. She’s a regular
Harry Houdini.

Yael:  Do you think she takes the Jeffrey’s?  Ventilation shafts? Or
maybe she just asks very nicely for someone to take her on the
turbolifts.  ::pausing::  I’d hate to see her get hurt, or picked up by
someone.

DeVeau:  You and me both.

Alora kept with the gentle ministrations, the feline pressing her head
against the caresses.  She didn’t seem bothered one bit.

DeVeau: But honestly, I can’t keep her in unless I set a forcefield, and
I think that’s probably going a bit far.

Yael:  It may be.  ::pausing::  Perhaps we could keep a constant
transporter lock on her?  If she moves outside a certain radius you just
zap her back home.

Of course, he was joking.

DeVeau: At this point, I’m just trusting she’s going to somehow be
okay.  I’ve locked the doors to my room, but she gets out. Don’t ask me
how, I’m still trying to figure out the answer to that puzzle.  I do
seem to see a pattern, though.

Yael:  A pattern?

DeVeau: Thus far, this is the second time she’s visited someone I
recently met.   Yesterday it was the first officer.

Yael:  So she’s escaping to meet new people?  There are worse instincts
to be driven by.  ::pausing again::  You wouldn’t happen to know where
the crew tends to gather?  I’ve been to Quarks on Deep Space Nine, it
was *the* place to go.  Does One-Eighteen have a Quarks?

Of course, it wouldn’t be *the* Quarks, but a gathering point. Ashley
was still so new, and his Denobulan sociability factor wasn’t being met
standing around his quarters.

DeVeau: I...actually haven’t been to Deep Space 9, but there are plenty
of places around here where people like to hang out, if that’s what
you’re looking for.  We could go together, see who’s where and find some
food while we’re at it.

Yael:  We should probably drop Sachiko off at home first.

DeVeau:  Aye, that we should.  Silly little girl, you’re such a trouble
maker.

Said trouble maker just butted her head against her pet’s ear and Alora
leaned into the embrace.

DeVeau: All right then, shall we?

Alora turned upon the balls of her feet and made her way out the door. 
Once outside, she aimed for the turbolift at the end of the hallway.

DeVeau: So tell me about Quarks.  What is it?

Yael:  Mmm… well, in short, it’s a bar.

DeVeau: Ah, a bar.  Not a /huge/ fan of bars, but I’ll go there with
friends.  There are several here, really.


*******


Lt. Cmdr. Alora DeVeau
Science Officer
Starbase 118 Ops
M239008AD0

&

Ensign Ashley Yael
Counselor
StarBase 118 Ops

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