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Holodeck Interlude Part I

Posted on Wed Aug 16th, 2023 @ 11:32pm by Lieutenant JG Andrew Griffin & Ensign Nala Rider
Edited on on Sun Aug 20th, 2023 @ 12:47am

2,592 words; about a 13 minute read

Mission: The Sins of History
Location: Holodeck 3 - Deck 5 - USS Artemis
Timeline: MD002 1300 hrs

Nala was in the Holodeck brushing a Griffon in a barn. On either side of the stall where she stood, mythical creatures stomped and chuffed softly in the speckled light shinning into the barn.

"Easy, Coco! I'm not brushing THAT hard!" Nala admonished lightly as the Griffon screeched.

Andy was always amazed at how holodeck technology seemed to advance from ship to ship. Granted the holodecks DS9 were run by Quark who was well known for cutting corners. Just so he could make a decent profit. But the holodeck on the Artemis was really remarkable. He heard talking coming from a barn and moved to investigate.

“ Hello……is that a Griffon?” He asked

Nala jumped three feet in the air!

"EEEYIPES! Oh...hhi Lleutenant," Nala sputtered when she could breath again. Coco had stepped in front of Nala protectively, flexing her wings and growling threateningly.

"Easy, Coco! Easy, girl!" Nala soothed, stroking the Griffon's main to calm her. Coco settled and rubbed her head against Nala's chest, purring softly.

"Let's try this again...hi Lieutenant! I'm Ensign Nala Rider, the FRS or Facial Reconstruction Specialist here on the Artemis, and this spirited lady is Coco," Nala bowed, then draped her arm around Coco's neck.

Andy was about to say something but two things happened. The first a large Emu like bird made a rude noise at him. Then a white horse with wings tried to kick him. Andrew managed to step away but trod in something squishy.

" Oh dear...Lieutenant JG Andrew Griffon but friends call me Andy. Is there anyway I can wash this off my shoe only my eyes are watering." Andy said

"Nice to meet you, Andy. Sorry bout, Computer, water hose please," Nala stifled a laugh as she called up a hose, and gently removed the dung from Andy's shoe.

Nala calmed the animals and turned back to Andy.

"Sorry bout that. I forgot to set their personalities to 'we like everyone'. I like working with animals so that they learn to trust me instead of having them docile at the get go," Nala grinned as she stroked the offending Emu.

"Chumo, you bad boy you! Honestly, we've talked about this," Nala scolded him gently.

“ A horse with wings. Now what was its name…nope it’s gone. But essentially it’s a horse and they do poo anywhere. A friend of mine had a horse and boy did he go everywhere. Probably because they fed him the wrong foods. Mind you he was not a fat horse probably due to the level of ding sorry dung he produced.” Andy said.

Nala laughed.

"Yeah, even Holograms still act like the real thing!

They're called Pegisi, and that one's name is Meow meow, on account of his love of cats, especially his 'girlfriend', Coco's sister, Rhane,' Nala pointed to the stall on the other side of the Pegisi.

"There's also some dragons, hippogriffs, two chimeras, minotaurs, centaurs, and a few water monsters like hydras, krakens, and even a charybdis!" Nala pointed to a pool in the corner of the barn floor that was full of water and disappeared under it.

“ What about merpeople? I know in some Earth literature they are written down as villains.” Andy asked

"I tried to ride didn't end so well," Nala rubbed her tail bone at the memory.

"There are some down there tending the creatures...but yeah, riding them's a total NOT!" Nala chuckled.

Andrew was not sure Nala heard him properly.

“ Merpeople are half human half fish. Their leader was the mighty Poseidon. There is a children’s story called The Little Mermaid it has two different endings one sad one happy.” Andy said

Nala blinked...then started to laugh.

"Opsi! I see what you're saying now. Let's try this again. I programed the Merfolk to be nice, no Sirens trying to drowned you. Come to think of it...I remember The Little Mermaid. shudder I've read both...the Disney one's nicer...but it also kinda makes it look like disobedience is rewarded," Nala whistled softly, and a Merman's blue head popped up out of the water.

"Hi Fred! This is Lt. JG Andrew Griffin. How's everyone down there?" Nala asked.

"All are well, Mistress Nala. Greetings, Lt.," Fred bowed his head to Nala, then inclined it in a greeting to Andrew.

Andrew was amazed but still remembered his manners and bowed back at the merman.

“ I have always wondered if it is true that a non merperson could survive under water so long as they were accompanied by a merman or mermaid.” Andrew said

"Non merpeople are always welcome! There is special seaweed that non's can eat that will allow them to breath underwater. Mistress Nala has softened the taste, otherwise, it would taste like...what did you call it, Mistress Nala?" Fred turned his head back to Nala.

"It'd taste like 20th Century Earth tire rubber!" Nala laughed, making a face at the awful taste's memory.

" wanna hit the waves, the trail, or the sky?" Nala asked.

Andrew looked at the inviting waves.

“ You know I have always wanted to explore the ocean floor. Without having to worry about how much oxygen I have. So can we hit the waves please?” Andrew asked.

"Alright! Fred, some seaweed please!" Nala grinned happily.

Fred disappeared for a few minutes, then reappeared with the seaweed.

"Bon appétit!" Fred smiled as he handed them each a handful. Nala munched hers, then swallowed, shivering as the tingling sensation swept through her body.

Coming from Great Yarmouth which was on Englands East coast. Andrew had eaten his fair share of edibles from the North Sea. His parents ran a Kelp farm so he was no stranger to eating seaweed. But Andrew had to admit that this was the most bizarre kind he had ever tasted before. He was sure his taste buds were giggling as it oozed and tickled through his system.

“ Oooh…..” He said as a strange buzz came over him.

Nala giggled as she watched Andrew's reaction.

"As they say, here goes nothing!" Nala quipped as she took a deep breath and dove underwater. It was a little cold at first, but the kelp soon readjusted her body temperature to match the water's.

Without thinking Andrew followed her. At first a wave of panic came over him. What if kelp did not work? He was going to drown! But slowly things soon settled down and Andrew found he could breathe underwater. The only thing was speaking. It felt weird it was then he realised his speech had turned into the clicks and whistles that dolphins emit.

“ Can you understand me?” He asked.

"Eyup! Isn't it great!?" Nala's giggle was as fast as a dolphin's as she swooped around...not very gracefully, but having a blast none the less!

This had to be the strangest thing Andrew had ever done. Except that time on DS9 for a bet he had dressed up as a ballerina and reported for duty. He could still hear Colonel Kira’s angry tirade.

“ This is weird. How far down can we go? Will we need to do anything special to avoid the Bends if we come up too quick from the depths?” He asked.

"You know, I've never tested how far down I could go. Let's go!" Nala squealed as she started swimming down, eager for the adventure.

"Do you wish me to accompany you?" Fred asked, swimming up to them.

"What say you, Andrew?" Nala asked.

Andrew looked down as Nala vanished in the depths.

“ As my Grandfather said you’re only around once so enjoy enjoy enjoy. Let’s do this.” He said as he followed her.

Nala's giggle gurgled up through the water as Fred whistled softly, bringing a swarm of tiny glowing crustaceans swirled up and floated around the pair, just out far enough to not be in the way of swimming, but close enough to provide light.

"Allyoop!" Nala called as she swam deeper.

Andrew knew it was just a Holo program but the laws of nature seemed not to apply. They were diving deeper and the water pressure should be affecting them. But it just felt like a cosy warm blanket around them.

“ This feels weird. Hey do you think those jelly fish over there will hurt us?” He asked.

"I know right!? Nope! I made the 'non rideable' creatures docile so that I could concentrate on having fun and taming animals. Ok...that sounded so WEIRD!" Nala giggled as the jellyfish floated around them.

Nala gently cupped one in her hand for a moment, studying it, then let it rejoin the others.

In the distant he could see something large moving along. Andrew had to look twice as he had only ever seen them on screens. As the real thing had become extinct on Earth many years ago.

“ Nala Nala……There be Whales here!!!” Andrew said excitedly.

"Eyup! I've seen pictures of them for so long, I wanted to actually touch one. They talk to each other in a way sounds like music!" Nala beamed as the whales moved closer.

“ You know I would just love to go back in time and attack those who wiped these creatures out. How can intelligent beings wipe out a species just so that they can farm materials from the dead corpses of these creatures. We humans can be so barbaric, it is unbelievable sometimes.” Andrew said

"Yeah...but two wrongs don't make a right," Nala stroked the whale's head, feeling her own rage simmering...until the whale bummed her and made a 'Oooo' sound.

"Aaaaawwwww! You are just so CUTE!" Nala cooed, rubbing the whale under the chin.

“ You know we could alter the universal translator and hear what they are saying if you like.” Andrew said

Nala's head spun around.

"Say what!? Really?! Oh man oh man oh man! That would be so COOL!!!!" Nala's squeal sent a wild stream of bubbles toward the surface.

"Are you alright, Lady Nala!?" Fred materialized out of the glum, a look of concern darkening his eyes.

"Opsi...yeah, I'm alright, Fred. Just got a bit excited over an idea Andrew just told me," Nala beamed happily as she swam in a small circle to calm down.

Andrew called up an arch and began making a few adjustments.

“ There that should do it. There will be a delay of a few seconds as it’s quite a complex collection of sounds and tones.” Andrew said

Slowly the sound the creatures sang began to change into words.

“ ….ooooo small ones…….welcome to our world……”

"OOOO! So totally AWESOME! Hi, I'm Nala, nice to meet you!" Nala squealed as she gently reached out and touched the whale.

“ This is curious you can understand our songs small one?” The whale replied

"Wwell, we, we have a device that makes your songs into our words," Nala swam up so the whale could see her better.

"See, we don't have whales where we come from, so we came here to meet you," Nala grinned happily.

“ You do not have our kind on your home world small one? Why is this?” The Whale asked.

“ Good luck with that answer.” Andrew said

"Wwell...we used to...bbut some very greedy people um..." Nala didn't want to continue, drawing her head down between her shoulders in shame of what humans had done over the centuries.

The whale nudged Nala gently, as if it could understand her feelings.

" Do not weep small one. There are many of our kind who are just as greedy. The ones you call Sharks are also known to kill without reason. They do not attack us for they consider us guardians however the larger of there kind have been known to attack us. For they do not believe that we are the guardians of this realm." The Whale replied.

" So the Sharks have their own religion? Wow this is deep really deep." Andrew said

Nala tried to keep her squeal down to a 'oooo!' because sound acted differently underwater.

"That is so totally AMAZING!" Nala did a small twirl in the water, causing the whale to chuckle softly.

“ I like you small one. You remind me of my calf Shoona star eye.She loves life as yooooooooooo…ooooo…oooo” The whale said

Andrew called up an arc and ran his hands over a panel.

“ The translator has cut out. The Whales speech patterns are to complex it could not handle the syntax. Maybe we can try those dolphins next.” Andrew said.

"Thank you. I'm honored! I'll keep loving life with all I've got! We'll talk to you later! Nala smiled and gave the whale a last gentle stroke and swam after Andrew toward the dolphins...kinda wishing she had a Mermaid tail to go a little faster.

The pod of Dolphins swam towards them as Andrew altered the controls. They looked so friendly with big smiles on their faces. But looks can be deceptive as their speech patterns showed.

“ Eeeeee Oh look how puny and silly these above grounders look. Trying to behave like us by thinking they’re one with the ocean. They can’t even speak without moving their mouths. We are the rightful children of the sea. Go back above the ground were you belong.” The Dolphins said.

Nala's jaw dropped.

"Uh...ok. I know I'm not very good at this but yeesh!" Nala said as she wriggled up to the lead dolphin.

"Now see here, Bubba! I might not be as awesome at swimming as you are, but I also don't go around insulting others for their shortcomings!" Nala blew bubbles in the dolphins face, causing the others to squeak in a 'oh no she didn't!' type way.

Andrew was worried even though he knew the safety’s were on. Several members of the pod were getting quite worked up.

“ How dare you speak to our leader in such a way. Bounce them out of our ocean T’keer!” Said another dolphin.

“ Yes yes yes yes…” said other pod members.

But them a loud couple of notes from the whale stopped the dolphins. Who after looking at the creature seemed to bow and retreat.

“ Looks like we made a friend.” Andrew said

"Thank you!" Nala turned and bowed to the whale...or at least TRIED to do those two things. She kinda ended up doing a full roll as well as a spin on account of the water.

"Ok...not my best move underwater," Nala giggled as she finally righted herself.

Andrew called up the arch again and made some adjustments.

“ This should do the trick.” He said

“ Are you ok small one?” The Whale asked.

"Thanks Andrew! giggle Yes, I'm alright...water's not my 'natural habitat' so it's a little hard to adjust. Thank you for calling off those dolphins...I never knew how nasty they could be!" Nala smiled gratefully at the whale.
To Be Continued...

A Joint Post By

Lieutenant Junior Grade Andrew Griffin
Criminal Investigations Officer, USS Artemis
Starfleet Criminal Investigations Unit

Ensign Nala Rider
Facial Reconstruction Specialist, USS Artemis
Starfleet Criminal Investigations Unit


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