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Up and down

Posted on Thu Jun 14th, 2012 @ 2:02pm by Lieutenant JG Erienne Tosca

Mission: Countdown

With a sigh Erienne dropped an armful of padds, packages and some fruit on the sofa. Time to relax, she thought. Not much time, but some. She looked at the station's time output on a small display on the table. Just under 2 hours before dinner. A smile broadened into a grin. She picked up a padd with the bajoran myths she had been reading, and settled on the sofa. She reached out and picked up the fruit she'd bought. Ten minutes into reading time, she looked up and went through the boxes she had brought with her. They contained a few representations of prominent figures in the myths described and she just wanted to look them over as she was reading about them.

Erienne groaned when she discovered the packages did not contain the bajoran figurines she thought she had packed. Instead she was looking at the fake Bolian fertility deity she had shown cmdr Mason. Actually, this one was not supposed to leave the science department, she realised. Better take it back.

Repacking the little statue as she headed out the door, she headed for the nearest turbolift, going up. Of course she had picked the wrong turbo lift. This one kept stopping to let people on, and off. And it was a long way to the 'top' of the station from the crew quarters. About 20 minutes later Erienne rushed into the science department, unpacking the figurine as she moved. She stored it with the rest of the fake artifacts she'd been asked to study and recycled the box. A quick glance on the clock showed her she had a little less than an hour and a half to herself.

If she wanted to finish that volume of myths before dinner, she'd have to rush! With swift strides she left the science department and headed for the turbo lift again, only to swerve when she noticed 5 people cramming in there, talking loudly. She'd take the one at the other end of the corridor and hope for more speed and quiet. A thought of site to site transport devices came to her. Why weren't space stations equiped with these?

As she contemplated the reasons that starbase designs did not include site to site transporters, the tubrbolift quietly rushed from the upper part to the lower part. Halfway through its journey it stopped suddenly. Erienne had a flashback to being stuck in a turbolift, just after she arrived. She couldn't breathe for a few seconds, but the lights stayed on and the computer's voice assured her nothing bad was happening, a maintenance team was paged and she should just take another turbolift to continue her journey. "Sorry for the inconvenience and have a nice day," the voice said, without any emotional weight. "Thank you," Erienne responded automatically.

She was on a deck she was rarely on. No, she'd actually never been here. She looked left and right, trying to find the next turbolift. She studied the floorplan on the display on the wall. Shazbat, it was on the other side of the corridor! Her normally quite cheerful face slowly fell, her brow furrowed with frustration. She started walking swiftly, then realising no one was here, she ran. She arrived at the turbolift only slightly out of breath, and thanked Louise Kennedy for encouraging her to work out at the gym.

The door opened and loud laughter greeted her. Erienne's eyes opened wide as she took in the same group of ensigns that she'd been trying to avoid. "Excuse me," she said, as she stepped inside, feeling incredibly crowded. By the time she got off at her deck, she'd been apprised of the failed date of one of the ensigns, the nagging mother of another and heard the cruelest jokes about one of the security officers. She sighed with relief as the doors cut off another burst of laughter.

Within minutes she strode into her quarters in the bottom part of the station. She stared at the time display. One hour. She had one hour before dinner. With the padd in her hands she threw herself on the sofa, which creaked under the abuse. The viewscreen bleeped. Erienne peered at it. Jo. Her sister. The screen showed a message blinking on and off. If she waited long enough, there'd be an away message sent to the caller. Erienne held still, as if moving would alert the viewscreen and her sister she was not away. The blinking stopped and a bleep, indicating the away message was sent, sounded. Erienne sighed and returned to reading.

"Lieutenant Tosca, report to science department room 3," a voice sounded over the comm. "What?" Erienne blurted out.

"Lieutenant Tosca, you need to sign a release form and hand over the fake artifacts. They're waiting for you," an annoyed voice told her.

"But! But!" Erienne spluttered. "They were supposed to pick them up tomorrow!"

"Lieutenant, get over here!" Must be one of the more pesky security officers, Erienne thought.

Like a sullen child, Erienne dragged herself off the sofa, and with the attitude of 'it's not fair' she headed for the turbolift again.

Though the trip was a little faster than the previous time, it still took more than 15 minutes. A security officer was standing near the door to room 3, with two science officers with a crate. Erienne realised she would need to help pack. After the formalities and quick chitchat, she rushed through packing the artifacts. She wanted to leave as quickly as possible, but the stare of the security officer made her double check the storage locks and even clear up the mess on her desk. She said her goodbyes to the others and left in the opposite direction they were going, to take the turbolift back down again.

As she turned a corner, one of the older science officers was walking in front of her, slowly. With a cane. How quaint, Erienne thought. She tried to pass the slow walking man on the left, but there was no room, nor on the right. She was stuck. "Excuse me," she said softly, and tried to get past him.

"Ohhw," the old man said. "You must be that young A&A officer! Tusca, isn't it?"

"Tosca," she said, smiling politely. How did this man even know?

"I was looking over your report on those fake artifacts," he said. "Sloppy writing, Tosca."

"I wasn't going for any awards, sir," she said.

The man stopped and turned to face her. "Are you being snippy, young lady?" he said tersely.

"No, sir," she said, smiling apologetically, which didn't work, and she ended up with a lecture on proper ettiquete, not just towards senior officers, but to seniors in general! Erienne was just thinking this day could not have gotten worse, when she realised that it was nearly dinner time. After promising to behave better and apologising again, she got past the man and headed to the turbolift going down, once again.

Without incident she arrived at her quarters. She walked straight past her door towards the esplanade. Time passes quickly, one of her teachers had once said. Especially on a big station in space, for a not very organised science officer.

 

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