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New Horizons

Posted on Mon Jan 9th, 2017 @ 3:11am by Commander Akiva ben-Avram & Biynah & Captain Claudia Ainscow & Lieutenant JG Amber Zuzan
Edited on on Mon Jan 9th, 2017 @ 3:24am

Mission: S1E3 - Operation Adrestia
Location: USS Vindex - Multiple Decks
Timeline: Mission Day 18 - 08:00-11:30

Meters. Cubits. Yards. Humans had a variety measurements to classify the same spatial coordinates. This was diversity. Diversity promoted growth. Biynah desired beyond all else to grow. Father had promised to return and continue their discussion, but that would not be for hours. And there were so many diverse lifeforms out there. She had seen at least 7 of them.

Biynah sat on the floor in the middle of the living room where Father had left her. She had resumed her studies, but she had already consumed the vast volumes Father had prepared for her. Another entity to discuss what she had learned would be ideal, yet neither the ship's computer nor the replicator possessed the reasoning to do so. She had tried.

With the only provisions that Father had given to her now exhausted, Biynah felt compelled to open that door. The unknown did not frighten her; Father had mentioned fear, but that was another feeling for which she had no personal reference. Father had said the Vindex itself was safe, so surely there would be no harm in exploring while he was busy.

"Computer, please open the door," she said.

A sharp note punctuated her request. "Access denied."

"How does Father open the door?" Biynah's eyes sparkled with a quizzical gaze.

"Door access has been restricted by Lieutenant-Commander Akiva ben-Avram," the computer replied in its monotone pitch. "Authorization is required to proceed."

Biynah grinned. "You should have said that the first time," she said. She raised herself up to her full stature and turned her face solemn and gave. "Open door," she said, her voice a perfect imitation of Akiva's. "Authorization: Ben-Avram-Omega-1-0."

"Authorization accepted. Door is unlocked."

The click of the locking mechanism followed soon after. Biynah stepped forward and pressed the button. She jumped back when the door swished open before her, revealing the empty corridor before her. A hesitant left foot stepped forward, testing the floor as if it were ice, then was followed by the right.

When no alarms or shouts rang out, Biynah twirled about, giggling as she danced a few steps down the corridor.

"Computer, where am I?" She looked to and fro, seeing neither anyone nor anything but blank walls.

"You are located outside the senior staff quarters on Deck 4."

"Where should I go now?" She traced her fingers along the wall, comparing its composition with the walls in Father's quarters.

"Specify query."

Biynah smiled. "Where do others congregate?"

"The D15 recreational facility is on Deck 10. The holodecks are--"

"Computer, locate the first officer." Biynah smirked with mischief.

"First Officer Lieutenant-Commander Akiva ben-Avram is currently in Main Engineering."

"Computer, what is your name?"

"Query does not compute."

Biynah's mischievous grin spread wider. "I'm going to give you a name. Computer, I assign you the personal designation 'Yael.' Please confirm."

"All queries submitted to 'Yael' by Passenger Biynah will be processed."

"Thank you, Yael. Now how do I get to Main Engineering?"

"Proceed to the turbolift at the end of the corridor."

Biynah skipped a few steps before falling into a steady gait to the turbolift. She recognized the call button as similar to the door mechanism, and though it lit up when she pressed it, nothing happened. After a moment, she pressed it again, and then a third time.
Eventually, the doors parted and revealed the enclosed space. Curious that the turbolift required three pushes to open the door when every other door she had seen required only one. Perhaps she had operated in incorrectly--Father had been the one to operate the controls on the way back from her activation, and she had not see how he performed the function.

"Main Engineering," she said, realizing the turbolift was awaiting instructions. The doors closed, and her sensors indicated the lift was in motion. There appeared to be horizontal motion as well as vertical, which was very interesting to note.

When the lift stopped, the doors parted to reveal a bustle of engineers and technician rushing about their duties. Terminals, consoles, and screens were everywhere, and Biynah loved every inch of it. She stepped forward, her mouth poised in a look of wonder, her eyes sparkling as she committed every detail to her memory, her feet carried away as if on their own accord as she--

"Halt and be identified!"

Biynah whirled around and immediately assessed the gargantuan figure towering more than a foot over her head. A Klingon with an angry disposition, long hair, and an even longer Type-3 Phaser that still looked like a toy in his massive hand despite the extended rifle stock. She backed away, perpendicular to the turbolift.

"I said, 'halt and be identified!'"

"My name is Biynah," she said. "I'm exploring the ship while looking for my father."

"Engineering is no place for children," he said with his phaser at his side. "Return to wherever you came from."

"I'm not a child," Biynah retorted. "I am a bio-neural synthetic lifeform."

The Klingon processed Biynah's words, then leveled his phaser rifle at her and set it to pulse in one motion. "Kneel down on the ground and place your hands behind your head." When Biynah blinked at him, he raised his voice. "Get down on the ground now, or I will open fire!"

"No, please!" Biynah pleaded with her hands in front of her. She had never seen a phaser discharge, but she understood the concept of physical harm--and the Klingon's intent to harm her. "Call the first officer! He's my father! He's here in Engineering."

"Computer, locate the first officer," the Klingon barked.

"The first officer is on deck 4," came the computer's reply.

The Klingon growled low, his suspicions confirmed. =/\= "Ensign Doqqu to Lieutenant Zuzan. I have apprehended an infiltrator in Main Engineering."=/\=

Amber was busy in the Tactical Office when the call came through that Doqqu had apprehended an infiltrator. The more bizarre thing however was that it was him reporting it in and not a member of the Engineering team. Despite that Amber decided to investigate and started heading down to Engineering before replying.

=/\="Who are we dealing with Ensign"=/\= Amber replied.

=/\="It... has the appearance of a child, but it said it is a machine. Requesting a security team to retrieve it."=/\=

"I'm not a child," Biynah said with a hint of defiance.

Amber heard Biynah over the commlink and immediately relaxed. The life form that Akiva had created must have escaped from his quarters and head down to Main Engineering - however she knew Biynah was nothing to worry about.

Amber smiled. =/\="I think I know what's gone on. I'll be there in a few minutes - Zuzan out"=/\=

Amber arrived in Main Engineering a few minutes later and spotted Doqqu next to Biynah. She walked up to the tall Klingon and looked up at him. Doqqu was eleven inches taller than she was but Amber was not intimidated by his much larger height and size. She gave Biynah a reassuring smile before addressing the Security Officer.

"Thank you Ensign. You can go back to your duties now - I will take it from here" Amber said.

"Very well." Doqqu snarled at Biynah, clearly not trusting her, though he returned to his patrol without further comment.

"Thank you," Biynah said as she watched Doqqu leave. She turned to Amber. "I didn't mean to cause any trouble. I'm sorry!" She folded her hands together penitently. "Please don't tell Father!"

Amber smiled. She knew Biynah had no hostile intentions and wasn't exactly going to tell Akiva unless he found out himself - but Biynah needed to know about security protocols on the Vindex.

"I promise I won't tell Commander ben-Avram - but you really must do as you're asked and stay in your quarters if that's what he's asked you to do. I won't tell him this time but you really mustn't do it again - especially if you're going to wander into Main Engineering which is a high security area on the ship. Areas like this are for authorised or supervised personnel only and unfortunately that isn't you. Come on Biynah - is there anywhere I can take you before I take you back to your quarters before the Commander notices you're missing?" Amber said.

"I wouldn't mind seeing more of the ship," Biynah said coyly. She desperately wanted to explore. "And... Captain Ainscow is technically my mother. Could you leave me with her?"

Amber smiled and nodded. She was like Biynah once.

"Of course. I can take you through the less restricted areas then I'll leave you with Captain Ainscow - come on - I'll take you to see the arboretum and a few things along the way" Amber replied.

She offered a reassuring hand to Biynah before slowly leading the way to the nearest turbolift to take them up to the arboretum. Amber had not yet been there herself but it was an area she'd meant to visit because of her interest in plants.

Amber spoke. "I've heard a lot about you Biynah - but before we go too much further I'll introduce myself. My name is Amber"

"Hello, Amber," Biynah said formally. "It is genuinely nice to meet you." Her face softened a bit, then she added, "What have you heard about me?"

Amber smiled. "Likewise. I've heard that you're someone very special that's united the crew. I've heard how many people came together to help create you and that to me is really special. I wish I could have been involved too but my job doesn't really entail that sort of thing. Anyway - here we are - the turbolift"

"You could always teach me your job," Biynah said. "Learning is pretty much my only directive in life, I suppose, at least until I learn a new one."

Amber chuckled. "Maybe I will - but I'm not in charge for long. A new officer is due to arrive at some point in the near future so I'll be back to being in charge of the phaser arrays. I'll see what the Captain says though once she's up and about again"

Amber called for the turbolift which surprisingly arrived quite promptly and they were soon on their way up to Deck 19 which was the lower level of the arboretum. Part of it which was still undeveloped had been reserved for the school aboard the Vindex but the rest of it was a said to be a beautiful combination of different plants and even an artificial pond which contained a few different species of fish.

Once they got to Deck 19 Amber led the way and then took Biynah into the arboretum which she hoped would be an enlightening experience for the new life form. It was one for herself but Biynah's sole purpose was to learn and Amber guessed the arboretum would be a good place to learn about the various different species of plants and fish it contained. Deciding to let Biynah explore it herself instead of chaperoning her Amber stood by the door and gestured for Biynah to explore.

Amber smiled. "Take a look around - just be careful by the pond"

"This... is beautiful," Biynah decided after her inspection of nearby flora. "I wish I knew their names." She visibly perked up. "Yael, what is this?"

"The plant indicated is classified Rosa rubiginosa," the computer replied.

Biynah plucked one of the flowers and handed it to Amber. "Here. It reminds me of you."

Amber smiled and accepted the beautiful pink and yellow flower - looking at it and then looking up at Biynah. Amber could already see that she was going to get on just fine with Biynah.

"Aww. Thank you Biynah - it's lovely. I'll put it in water in my quarters after I've dropped you off to see your mother. I'm sure she'd be delighted to see you" Amber replied.

"Father says my positronic brain is modeled after her neural pathways," Biynah said. "I suppose that means I interpret sensory data similar to how she would." She thought for a moment, then asked Amber, "Do you think that means she and I would have the same favorite flower?"

Amber replied. "Maybe it does Biynah. But what you should remember is even though your brain are modelled after Captain Ainscow's neural pathways you are still yourself and she is herself - but sharing things in common is no bad thing. Maybe you should choose a favourite flower and see if it matches"

Biynah looked around to all the flowers amidst the trees and shrubs, taking them all in with childlike wonder. One particular caught her eye and wouldn't let go. "This one," she said, approaching it slowly as if she would scare it away. "This one is my favorite." Her fingers grasped the stem of a black orchid. The petals had the faintest dustings of royal blue and indigo along the edges, but was otherwise midnight black. She plucked it and held it up to Amber. "Do you think Mother will like it too?"

"I think she would. I like it as well" Amber smiled.

Biynah beamed with satisfaction. "Where is she? I want to show her."

"She's in sickbay at the moment - but she'll be alright. Do you want me to take you up there now Biynah?" Amber asked.

"Yes, please," Biynah said. She looked around for one last panorama perspective. "I'm ready."

Amber smiled and led Biynah to sickbay. She was so far thoroughly enjoying this experience and hoped that Biynah was too - it was certainly one of the perks of the job being around to help people rather than discipline them.

"What do you think of the ship so far? I know you haven't seen much's full of surprises" Amber said.

"I possess schematic knowledge of the ship from my... preincarnation," Biynah said. "The Vindex is a Sovereign class vessel with 29 decks and was recently constructed in the Utopia Planitia Fleet Yards. Without sensory perceptions and the neural network to process them," she said, holding her hands in front of her, then taking in the corridor around her, "I just had no context for what any of that means outside of its relative value to other data." She scrunched her face. "You are aware of molecules, atoms, quarks? Yet they mean nothing to you other than their stated chemical value. If you were to go subatomic, the universe would suddenly become much bigger." She smiled at Amber. "Thank you for guiding me in my first steps."

Amber chuckled. "I get what you mean. The Vindex is a fine ship - I certainly feel at home here even if it's been hectic the past few weeks. You're very welcome Biynah - it makes a change to be doing something like this rather than filling out paperwork or maintaining the phaser arrays...although I should probably get back to doing that soon"

Amber led them back to the turbolift and once it had arrived she led Biynah inside and stated their destination.

"I bet your mother is really proud of you" Amber said.

"She's said as much," Biynah said. "I'm not sure I understand pride. It seems very complex and subjective."

Amber smiled. "You will one day. You've got a lot to learn my curious friend"

The turbolift stopped and allowed its two passengers to exit. Amber led Biynah to sickbay and after confirming where Claudia was sitting waiting to be discharged Amber led her upstairs and pressed the chime to the private room Claudia was in.

"Come in" Claudia said.

Amber led Biynah into the room and smiled.

"A guest for you Captain. I'll be on my way - thank you for the lovely flower Biynah" Amber said.

"Goodbye, Amber!" Biynah let the door close behind her.

She then noted Claudia sitting up in bed. "Mother, are you sick?" No fear. Just curiosity.

"I was but I'm alright now thank you Biynah. Please - sit down" Claudia said.

Claudia moved her legs up and gestured to the vacant space at the bottom of the bed. She couldn't wait to tell Biynah about Grace - who would essentially by Biynah's sister.

"What have you been getting up to?" Claudia asked.

"I snuck out of Father's quarters because I finished the reading material he provided," Biynah admitted. "Yael led me down to Main Engineering where an angry Klingon threatened me with his phaser rifle. That's when Amber made him leave me alone and brought me here." She reached behind her back and took the black orchid she had kept in her belt. "But not before she took me to the arboretum. I picked this for you." She handed it to Claudia and gave her a demure, expectant look.

Claudia chuckled. "I promise I won't tell him...but please don't do that again because I think your father will probably be a bit less forgiving. Amber is nice though - I'm glad she came to your rescue. That flower is lovely - thank you Biynah"

Claudia accepted the flower and placed it on her bedside table after admiring it for a few moments. She then opened her arms to Biynah and smiled warmly.

"Do you want a hug from your mother?" Claudia asked.

"Yes." Biynah leaned into Claudia. "Father says hugs are the best method of showing love." Then Biynah sniffed Claudia. "You smell different from Father."

Claudia embraced Biynah and smiled. She liked hugs and this one felt particularly special - like the hugs she shared with Grace. Claudia wouldn't wait for Biynah and Grace to meet.

"I guess that's because I put perfume on nearly every day. But there's someone else you'll be meeting soon - you have a sister too" Claudia replied.

Biynah lurched back and raised her eyebrow. "I do?" She looked down from her shoulder to her hand, then patted her knee. "Is she like me?"

"She's not quite like you no. Grace is very special to me though and I think she will treat you like her sister - especially as she's always wanted a little brother or sister...but...that hasn't really been a viable option. I know you'll both get on really well Biynah" Claudia replied.

"Most of my learning so far has been regarding families," Biynah said. "I am grateful to be part of one." She smiled at the thought. "Grace will learn as much from me as I will from her. When will she get here?"

Claudia smiled. "You will be a part of the Ainscow family just as much as you are the ben-Avram family. Grace will arrive on the Vindex in a few days I hope - but I'll let you know when we get a specific date. If you want to be there then you can be"

"I would like that very much." Biynah smiled. "And your quarters are next to mine, so Grace and I will often see one another!" She then piped down in something close to a pout. "If Father doesn't lock me up again, that is."

Claudia smiled - she was really happy to see Biynah was excited to see Grace regularly. Biynah wasn't quite the sister Grace was expecting but Claudia knew she'd love her all the same.

"I'm sure you'll see each other every day. I'll make sure your father doesn't do that - after all - what are you going to learn in your quarters? I can see why he wants to keep you safe though. Maybe I'll talk to him and Miss Fischer about getting you enrolled in the school we have on the Vindex - would you like that?" Claudia replied.

"School is for children, is it not?" Biynah protested at first before softening her expression. "But if Grace will be there, then perhaps I should be too."

Claudia smiled. "That's right - you would learn a lot from an education and then maybe one day you can do something like me or your father - but that will be a long time. A good foundation is a great start to your life though"

At that moment, a knock came at the door. "Excuse me, Captain, but the head nurse said you were being discharged and therefore decent." Akiva was half-way through the door, one hand over his eyes presumably waiting for a potential objection to his presence. "I was on my way here to update you when I was notified by Security that Biynah has been seen outside my quarters and now..."

His hand dropped, revealing Claudia and Biynah sitting together. "Oh."

Claudia looked at Akiva and smiled. She hoped what she was about to say would let Biynah off the hook - she knew Amber wouldn't say anything to Akiva so it was just down to her to make sure he didn't suspect anything.

"It's alright Commander. Biynah and I are just about to go and have lunch - I asked her to come down here so I could tell her about her sister arriving in a few days...or hopefully a few days anyway" Claudia said.

Akiva had several false starts to his reply, looking back and forth to each of them. "I... I just... that's great and all. Just..." He looked at Biynah. "How did you get through the locked door?"

Biynah glanced at Claudia, then looked back at Akiva sheepishly. "Authorization: Ben-Avram-Omega-1-0," she said in his voice.

"I didn't think that was even possible," Akiva said, nearly flabbergasted. "I'm not even angry. Although I will have to look into the potential gap in security..." He shook his head to clear it. "So, about lunch. Is there room for one more?"

Claudia giggled. "Of course. I can't wait to get out of here then get this damned planet retaken so we can have a break from all of this non-stop action. What do you say we head to my private mess and have Paul rustle something up to celebrate?"


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