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Lt Zola & Ens Barnes || Adjustments

Posted on 2016-01-09 23:09 by Lieutenant Zola & Lieutenant JG Catalina Barnes

Mission: Bonsai

Once Catalina had finished her duties, she decided to head to Engineering to see if the R&D specialist, Lieutenant Zola, had made any ground on fine tuning the device that would give her better control of sudden increases in sound around her. While she had no problem in general, she had quickly discovered that the sound of an explosion could throw off her equilibrium and disorient her more than merely being deaf ever could. She approached Engineering and went inside, and automatically looked down and around for the Ferengi woman.

Zola peeked out from under the console she was working at — she recognized her bunkmate by the sound of her stride — and set aside her tools. She didn't know how Rocky did it, but she always seemed to find Zola in engineering despite the little Ferengi spending most of her on duty time down in the R&D lab. Rocky had the look of someone with something on her mind, and Zola was curious what it was.

"Hey Z...Lieutenant," Rocky said with a smile as she approached. "I was wondering if you had finished working on the mods for my hearing or if I should come back another time?"

"Lieutenant Oswin had asked for my help adjusting the eps conduits, but I was about to stop for the night anyways. I have some proposed specs down in R&D, if you want to take a look?"

"Sure," Rocky said. "I hope I'm not being a pain about it. I just want to be more efficient."

"I welcome the distraction. If I'm not careful, Oswin will keep me in engineering all the time," Zola dismissed as she scooped her tools up and put them into her tool bag. "Ever since she found out that I was chief engineer on the previous Joshua Norton — before my stumble forward in time — it's what do you think of this? and Does this sound right to you? and If you've got a moment, can you look at...?" Zola shook her head, hanging the bag off her shoulder.

Rocky gave a rueful chuckle. "It couldn't be as bad as being asked to break the encryption on an alien rail gun that was pointed at your ship, but I can empathize with you," she said. "You should start hinting that the value of information is like gold pressed latinum, much like your time."

"Well, I don't mind answering the questions, and lending a hand, especially because we have such a small crew. it's just that I lose track of time so easily." Zola shrugged as she lead the way to the turbolift. "If I'm not careful, I just forget to go get some sleep. I'm sure you've noticed me missing from our quarters on the occasional night."

Rocky followed her and nodded as they reached the turbolift. "I hear when you get up, but I don't let it bother me," she said. "I miss very little in the noise department, but I've gotten used to certain sounds. I can identify everyone on this ship before I see them as long as they're moving."

"It's so weird when someone tells me that, and they have such tiny lobes." Zola giggled as the turbolift doors closed behind them. "Deck three." The computer chirped and the turbolift was on its way.

"My lobes may be tiny, but my hearing is beyond excellent," Rocky laughed. "I wonder if Lieutenant Khan can hear as well as I can. I mean, he does have such big ears in his big bad wolf form."

"Big bad wolf? He's just a big puppy," Zola insisted dismissively. The turbolift let them out again, and Zola lead the way to the R&D lab. "I'll bet he'd be happy to curl up in front of a fire with a bone."

"A puppy, huh?" Rocky asked as she followed Zola. "Would you be willing to place odds on that? I know I wouldn't want to throw him a bone if he's angry, fire or no fire."

"And how do you propose we verify it if we do place a bet? Are you going to walk up to him and just ask?" Zola shook her head, placing her palm on the access panel into the converted cargo bay to unlock it. "I've spent some time working with him, for his holographic uniform. He's nice." The doors slid open, and as Zola walked inside the lights turned on.

"That's one way to do it," Rocky said. "We could have a contest. You could play sounds at different pitches and we could get going until only one of us is left. I know one thing, he's a handsome man. It's strange how his species managed to stay hidden all this time." She followed her into the lab and headed over to the workstation.

"Not so strange, intentional. Not all Hew-mons are the sweet people that the ones who join starfleet are, and your race used to be a lot worse... what he is would scare a lot of people, and scared people of any species do stupid and harmful things. Even these days." Zola walked over to her work bench, and pulled up the proposed schematics for Rocky's ear modifications and put them on the large display above the work bench. "What do you think?"

"That's true, but for the most part we're an enlightened species and have been for centuries." Rocky looked at the display and cocked her head to the side. "That looks like it has all the standard frequencies covered. Noise amplification and reduction. The ability to separate and differentiate. What's that?" She asked as she pointed at a modification that looked like a receiver.

"I figured, if we're going in, might as well embed a communicator," Zola said, tapping the screen and grinning wide. "Even if you aren't likely to be in the away teams often, it'll certainly come in handy. Once the doc installs it, we'll have to set up your trigger words/actions, and you can leave it disabled when on the ship so it doesn't interfere with your normal combadge."

"Now that is cool!" Rocky said. "Why wouldn't I just replace my regular combadge with that one? Does it have a built in universal translator as well?

"Uniform regulations require you to wear your combadge with your uniform... though I suppose you could just wear an inert one instead for the aesthetic. However, the voice trigger might be distracting to crew mates..." Zola scratched her head behind her left ear. "We should be able to load the universal translator software into it too, if you'd like. Right now it's just the specifications, but it should just be a software update to add the ability."

"Unless I just left it on," Rocky pointed out. "Then again, I just could just use the built in combadge as a backup in the event that something happens to the regular. It's not uncommon for enemy to take combadges from personnel if they get captured. I'd like the translator software loaded into it. Would others be able to hear it as well, or just me?"

"It would be easy enough to reduce the levels so that it would be at the very lowest end of your hearing range, with a dynamic adjustment to raise it if the surrounding noise levels would prevent you from hearing it. It'll just take some calibration. A couple hours in the holodeck, with various environments to test it in, should do it."

"That sounds like a good plan," Rocky said. "I think it would be a good idea for the entire crew to have implant communicators and translators, but Lieutenant Khan would be left out."

"We installed a communicator into the mobile emitter for his holo-uniform, which was the next best thing. As for implanted communicators for the rest of the crew? I think that would be elective on a person to person basis, but I'm sure at least a few of us who regularly go on away teams will end up with them eventually." Zola picked up a PADD, pulling up the control panel template she added to various covert devices. "Some of the other devices we use on the ship are enabled to tie into a PADD or tricorder. There's currently not much to adjust in your implant, but I can include the ability, if you like, for what exists that can be tuned and in case we add additional software at a later date."

"The main question I have is will it take up more room than it currently does?" Rocky asked her, obviously concerned about putting too much hardware in her head.

"The physical size is going to be the same, regardless. The hardware needed to add the dampening field for the higher sound ranges will accommodate everything else, except for the sound pickup for the communicator, but that needs to be in your jawbone to be effective anyways and it's about the size of a grain of rice." Zola laid the PADD down in front of Rocky, and reached across the bench for a clear dish on the small shelf below the display. She had to stand on tiptoe to reach it, and she held it up for Rocky's inspection. "This is the covert communicator, unmodified. See how tiny it is?"

"That's perfect," Rocky said. "By the time I get out of Starfleet, I should be a full conversion cyborg." She gave a laugh. "Well, at least partial conversion. I would like some things to remain as they are, but the majority of it just gets in the way or breaks down after a hundred and ten to twenty years."

"I'm sure if you talk to the Borg, they could take care of that pesky being a hew-mon thing," Zola teased with a wink.

"I think I'll pass on that," Rocky said. "Being as I am isn't all bad after all when you put it like that."

Zola grinned wide. "Is there anything I missed, or should I talk to the doctor about fabricating this thing, so you can schedule an appointment to get it installed?"

"It looks like we can send it over to the doctor," Rocky said. "I can't think of anything else that could be done with it. Would a subspace receiver be too much?"

"Doc would have to scoop half your brain out to make room for it, unless you're reconsidering assimilation."

"No thank you. I like my brain the way it is. I think that about covers it," she responded.

"Good, good. I'll talk to the doc tomorrow. You hungry? I could go for dinner," Zola asked, shutting off the display.

"Let's do it," Rocky said as she headed for the door.

=/\= End Log =/\=

Lieutenant Zola
R&D Specialist
USS Joshua Norton

Catalina "Rocky" Barnes
Encryption Specialist
USS Joshua Norton


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