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Empok Nor
FRI 1500 School 
13th-Nov-2008 10:24 am
Engineer
John had picked up a happy, chattering Keith at school and was now waiting just outside the door for Colleen and her friend, Teddy. He barely remembered the guy...Teddy hadn't spent much time with their little group of friends and Colleen didn't mention him often. She had to remind him that Teddy was the one whose towel they once stole from the shower, freshman year, as a practical joke. He remembered the towel prank, but he didn't remember Teddy.

"What's Ensign Gilbert gonna be like? Is he tall like you? Is he human? Is he Bajoran or Betazoid? Does he like math? Will he play with me?" Keith asked.

John smiled.
"Ensign Gilbert isn't quite as tall as me. He's human, and I don't know if he likes math. If he has some time, I'm sure he won't mind playing with you. But remember, Keith, he's here on business with the Titan. He's not here to play all day."

Keith sulked a bit, until he spotted Colleen and Teddy walking down the Promenade. Then he grinned, and started jumping up and down, still holding onto John's hand. "They're here! They're here!"
Comments 
13th-Nov-2008 09:10 pm (UTC)
Colleen met Keith's grin with a winning smile and caught him as he ran into her full force, hugging her. She reflected that it probably wouldn't be too long before such behavior in public became 'uncool', and savored every second. "Keith, this is my friend, Ensign Gilbert."

Keith took in the presence of Ensign Gilbert, and then waved, smiling at the man. "I'm Keith. I'm four--do you like math? I like math. Wanna go play? John says if you're not busy you can play."

Teddy smiled at the little kid. He certainly was happy. "Hi, Keith. You can call me Teddy. And yes, I do like math. And if we have a little bit of extra time while the Titan's docked, I'd love to go flying with you." Teddy purposely avoided saying hello to John. Much to Teddy's dismay, John didn't seem to notice.
13th-Nov-2008 09:16 pm (UTC)
While Keith exclaimed that he had a teddy bear named 'Teddy', John addressed Colleen. "I met with Lieutenant Kramer about the ion storm damage research. To be honest, she didn't give us anything we couldn't have gotten by looking through the project reports. But she did mention that the Federation production of Kirkamion 7A has been temporarily shut down. At least for the next few weeks--that's something I didn't know. Apparently they're re-evaluating the safety factors and trying to determine if there's a way to fix an extremely dangerous malfunction. Apparently there's a 1/10,000,000 chance that the sub-cutaneous shell inside the process container can blow, and there are an average of forty workers surrounding that shell in the 'skin' of the processing plant. It's all being done on Thamador VII right now, because that's the only environment that allows for the 'skin' to exist. So they reached the 10,000,000th sample and discovered that the laws of probability really do work," he said grimly.
13th-Nov-2008 09:20 pm (UTC)
Colleen groaned. "You're not serious. That just makes this entire situation more complicated. Have you told the Captain?"

John shook his head. "Not yet. I want to read the lead engineer's report and figure out if they've fixed the problem yet. Lieutenant Kramer's information was three weeks old."

She nodded, and Teddy looked up from his conversation with Keith. "I haven't a clue what you're talking about," he said. "But I think we should all head to the holosuite, and play some flight games. Keith and I have one plane," he grinned at the little boy, who grinned back excitedly.

Colleen sighed. "Look, I'd love to, but the whole point of meeting you here was to drop Keith with you, John, so I can go get some work done. I need to finish the calculations on the directional control testing range for the incoming shuttles from Mars. I should be done by dinner tonight. Teddy, you don't mind entertaining yourself for a little bit, right?"
13th-Nov-2008 09:21 pm (UTC)
"That won't be necessary, Colleen--Teddy can come with Keith and me to the holosuite for a few hours. My engineers can handle the work for just a little while." He saw Teddy feign a smile and a nod, and wondered what that was all about. What was it Teddy didn't like about him? Did he forget to shower this morning?
13th-Nov-2008 09:25 pm (UTC)
"Okay, if you're alright with that. Sorry to change the schedule on you, John. I know I was supposed to have Keith until dinner." When John made a non-chalant motion, Colleen smiled at Teddy and said, "I'll see you for dinner tonight. Keith," she said, placing her hand on her four-year-old's shoulder, "Be good, and don't scream when you're in the plane. It's loud enough to wake the dead. You want to keep Teddy's eardrums intact." He nodded dutifully, and she patted the back of his head and then headed off. The calculations really did have to get done, but it wouldn't take more than an hour. What she really needed to investigate was why Henderson and Riker had met for an extensive amount of time this morning, and why Starfleet had sent an entire starship to bring one officer who had minimal knowledge about a problem that was at a standstill anyway.
13th-Nov-2008 09:27 pm (UTC)
"Well, let's take off. I think I have two expert pilots to defeat," John said with a grin, and saw Teddy's brief but noticeable eye roll that accompanied that statement. Keith's excited demeanor told him that either Teddy's problem was minimal and not important, or that Keith was just so excited to go fly that he didn't care if Teddy had a bug up his butt.

Well, if he knew his son, he could expect Keith to ask Teddy about it non-chalantly while they were speeding through the atmosphere of some planet. And when the four-year-old got the answer, John could ask him tonight what was up with Colleen's old friend.
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