Obsidian Command

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Zuzal and Mr. Nurbs

Posted on 20 Feb 2022 @ 1:48pm by Crewman Recruit Zuzal

Mission: M2 - Sanctuary
Location: USS Ardeshir, Zuzal's Quarters
Timeline: MD11 1800HRS
631 words - 1.3 OF Standard Post Measure

Zuzal had done all she could to make her little niche of the starship akin to her favorite parts of home. It was filled with plant life in pots and hangers and strung along in living buntings from the ceiling. There was soft meditation music playing that reminded her of temple life, with the whir of a filtration pump humming along the whole while. Although she had no small farm animals to tend, there was the aquarium custom fit into one wall with unique little creatures cohabitating well. One of the crewmen from the science lab liked to stop by and help her test the water and sometimes bring a new sample critter for the tank. She kept them clean and nourished.

In her lap was the purring of a cat, a big, dumb animal named Mr. Nurbs that one of the Engineers had needed to rehome when she discovered her boyfriend was allergic. Her boyfriend was one of the ship's counselors and nurses who happened to also be her tutor. Mr Nurbs was elderly and deaf and too happy to care about much as long as he was fed and brushed. Zuzal had to give him medication twice a day, which was a relatively minor inconvenience most days, considering she was assisting the nursing staff and handled more complex duties on her occasional shifts.

She was struggling through working our some quadratic equations and had run out of tea and any real amount of focus.

Zuzal held up the lethargic animal and looked into its sleepy old eyes. "Mr. Nurbs. Can you tell me why this coefficient is negative?" She asked him. He just blinked and purred. "Well you're no help at all, are you?" Zuzal put him over one shoulder and he flopped there, making little biscuits with his paws into the girl's back as she returned her teacup to the replicator.

When she came back she remembered she hadn't checked her messages since returning from her earlier half shift in sickbay. Nothing had been marked priority so she hadn't been pinged.

"Oh, I guess I missed this..." She played a voice message left by Commander Zahn.

"Zuzal, I'm going to be out for the morning. I'm just heading down to run a quick errand Planet side. I should be back this afternoon and I could use a hand in the lab again if you're free. Same compensation rate as last time." There was a little pause and a hesitant noise. "Also, I had a sort of odd request. If you could... go on up to my quarters. My real quarters in the Senior Crew section, and bring me down the bed pillows. Actually, just the one on the left side. And replicate a new one to replace it. Lance won't know the difference. I'll make sure your ID is keyed to the door. Just go ahead in. He doesn't get back until really late anyway. Thanks Zuze."

"I guess I missed the lab hours. And what a weird request. Why not replicate the same pillow in the medical ward?" Zuzal told Mr. Nurbs. "But at least it's not algebra. And she pays really well. I don't think I've ever had this much spending cash. Maybe I'll browse the shops right after I deliver the pillow." She set him down on the little sofa and he continued his biscuit making on the afghan while Zuzal changed her sweater and gathered herself for going out.

"What do you think?" She asked Mr. Nurbs, turning to show him her outfit. "You didn't shed on this one yet! Wish me luck. You never know. Maybe I'll make a new friend. Computer, lights."

With his talkative person gone, Mr. Nurbs yawned, continued purring and took up watching the fish in the lighted tank.


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