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SD241903.12 -- Joint Log -- "Ask and you shall receive."

Posted on Tue Mar 12th, 2019 @ 6:07pm by Commander Torhild Jessen & Brigadier General Jonathan Grey

1,453 words; about a 7 minute read

Mission: The Sincerest Form of Flattery
Location: Aravik's Emporium, Promenade, Versailles

The promenade had quickly become one of Tori's favourite places on the starbase. The ability to interact with the refugees, to be able to sit and watch the universe happening around her, it was something she tried to find time to do at least every day.

Today though it wasn't a leisurely stroll or a casual cup of coffee, today her trip to the promenade had an actual purpose. She needed to check out Aravik's Emporium. Last time she'd been in his store she had just been randomly looking for ideas, but today she had a specific purpose. She needed something.

Pausing outside the shop front, Tori cringed slightly, recalling the last time she had been here and how that particular experience had turned out. Taking in a deep breath, she straightened her back and walked into the shop, glancing around as she did. "Mr Aravik," she said with a smile. "Nice to see you again."

The Vulcan shopkeeper straightened at the sound of the familiar voice, turning away from the pots of photoreactive sensor dots on a shelf. He opened his mouth to talk, but could only croak faintly. A clue as to why was found on his neck; where a combination of harsh bruising and significant swelling revealed the damage done by a Klingon's hand during Torhild's previous visit.

As his body faced her, a cane came out from behind him, and he tapped it against the edge of the shelving unit. Immediately, the pitter-patter of small feet could be heard rapidly approaching, and a new person emerged from the door to the back room.

"Yes, father?" inquired a little girl, no more than eight years old. She wore a simple floral dress, with her black hair held up in a tight bun, and sported a very serious expression on her small face.

Her father, Aravik, gestured to Torhild with the cane, and the girl stepped forward carefully.

"Hello valued customer." the girl monotoned, remembering to smile after a brief pause. "We have three for two on all marked stock. Why not surprise that special someone with a custom hol-o-gram? Half off when pur-cha-sed with a p-or-table pro-je-c-tor." she stated, sounding out some of the words as she read from the card in her hand.

"Well now, aren't you just gorgeous helping your Daddy?" Tori smiled warmly as she crouched down in front of the girl. "I might come back for a hologram later, but right now, I need something kind of specific."

Straightening up, she cast a glance at Aravik. "I'm sorry," she said quietly, her hand resting at her own throat, a look of genuine sadness on her face. "I... uh..." she hesitated, glancing around the shop again. "I need a submersible water heater, preferably one that can heat a large volume of water and maintain stable temperatures. I don't suppose you have anything at all that might work?" there was a hint of hopefulness in her voice.

The girl, unfamiliar with most of those words, just looked confused. Aravik, on the other hand, nodded at Torhild and gestured for her to follow him. The clack of his stick echoed every other footstep as he reached the end of the line of shelves and rounded the corner. Ahead stretched the row-ends of the shelving units, with small tags on each one displaying the sort of objects found down that aisle.

It took a full minute for the shopkeeper to reach the end of the correct aisle, as though the shop took up little space on the promenade, his predecessor had basically burrowed into the station to give the store more depth, and Aravik himself had earned enough positive PR with the locals for Starfleet to simply work around the intrusive construction.

This far into the store, the shelves were much further apart, and the items larger in size. Two shady-looking figures were inspecting a bit of heavy machinery that simply sat on the floor, and one look at the senior starfleet officer sent them scurrying the other way.

Ignoring them, Aravik shuffled his way along the line of machinery and eventually found what he was looking for; a cluster of cylinders connected together in a horizontal circle by some sort of framework, with pipes linking each one together in a convoluted fashion, leading to a central box-shaped unit.

With gestures, and the help of a labelled picture on his daughter's tiny padd, he conveyed the idea that the central unit heated a superconductive fluid, and the heat travelled through the fluid and along the pipes into the cylinders. Finally, a magnetohydrodynamic propulsion unit had been added to the middle of the circle of cylinders, which would cause water to be dragged through the unit, heating it evenly.

Kneeling down next to the device, Tori examined it carefully, going over the set up of the whole thing. It looked easy enough to install and to maintain, it had ports for additional thermostat sensors to be installed and it seemed like it was even likely to be remotely controllable which would mean once the wet area was fully set up they wouldn't have to be wading through the water constantly to check on it. It was larger than she had anticipated, but that also wasn't going to be an issue, she would just need to rethink where to install it, but that would likely be best done with the device in hand when she could move it around until she was satisfied.

"I think it will work just fine," Tori said with an easy smile as she stood up, dusting her hands off on her pants. "If you send the invoice upstairs to the boss he'll take care of it for you, and I'll organize for someone to pick it up for me, is that okay?"

With a gesture of acceptance, Aravik paused, before holding the padd out to his daughter and gesturing at one of the sections. The little girl squinted at the padd for a few moments, before nodding slowly.

"User Alert: At peak flow, each unit can heat water at 10 degrees per 100 litres, per second." said the girl, reading from the padd. "For greater, um, queue-you-an-titties, of, um, water, add-it-tea-onal units should be used." stammered the girl, thoroughly perplexed. Aware that this might have confused the customer, she held out the padd to Torhild and pointed at the bit she was reading.

Tori smiled at the little girl trying to read out the words. Finally, accepting the PADD, she ran through the alert, handing the PADD back before she did a quick mental calculation, touching thumb to fingertips, almost as if she were counting. "You know what, I'll take two, and if you have any more, hold them aside for me? We may need them soon. Do you need me to sign anything for them?" she asked, not entirely sure how it worked, given she hadn't ever actually purchased items for work purposes directly from vendors, normally she went through either operations or the command staff, but this time she had wanted to do it herself, more so just to check and make sure Aravik was okay.

For his part, Aravik toggled the quantity button on the padd and held it out for Tori's thumbprint. Some folks liked to try and haggle a little, but they were frequently disappointed by the Vulcan shopkeeper's tactic of choosing a reasonable price up front, and then refusing to lower it.

For her part, his daughter was already bored by the lack of excitement, and looked around as if seeking adventure in the dingy gloom that surrounded them, this deep in the shop. Unfortunately all of the machinery nearby was industrial gear like pumps and boilers, leaving little fun to be had without risking malady. She hadn't gone through the Vulcan purging of emotion yet, so she was unable to see the world in black & white logic, but she wasn't stupid either.

"Thanks," Tori replied, thumbing the PaDD quickly and casting a smile at the young girl before turning her attention back to Aravik again. "I'll let you know about the other pumps as quickly as I can, I shouldn't need more than a day or two to get these up and running. I'll organise for Operations to collect them within the hour."

Having gotten a nod from the Vulcan shop keeper, Tori waved to the little girl before making her way out of the store and back along the promenade, this time wandering a little longer, taking time to enjoy her surroundings satisfied that things were at the very least progressing.

=^= End of Log =^=

Aravik & Daughter (NPC Grey)
Aravik's Emporium
Starbase Versailles


Lieutenant Commander Torhild Jessen
Chief Science Officer
Starbase Versailles


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