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Author Topic: January POTM - Catherine Goodspeed  (Read 259 times)

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Offline Solluk

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January POTM - Catherine Goodspeed
« on: February 04, 2020, 11:10:57 pm »
Hello all,

Sometimes, a newcomer arrives who makes an incredible splash when they first descend into our creative waters.  Such has been the case with Catherine Goodspeed, this month's Post of the Month winner.   I have excerpted her post below, and you can see she did an incredible character introduction that enchanted us all and gave us insight into who she was.

Congratulations, Catherine!  Keep it up!

Cheers!

Quote
Katra - Catherine Godspeed

Quote from: Catherine Goodspeed on January 15, 2020, 01:43:08 pm
[Crew Quarters - USS Rincewind - 3 weeks prior to docking at Katra Station]

It took a full 5 seconds from waking up to go from confusion to realisation to where she was.  Someone was snoring softly in the gloom and another couple were talking in low voices.  Or low voices that the young used when they assumed other people in the room were asleep.
 
"Did you see her hands?? Are they old plasma burn marks? I mean, don't they have access to dermal regens where she comes from?" "I wonder how old she is.... What makes an old person join StarFleet?"
 
"and her hair?  Who lets their hair go that white at her age?"
 
She tilted her head slightly towards the voices and could tell from the click of the "t" in their infliction that the voice belonged to Ensign Jessie Taylor.  From polite conversation throughout the journey she had ascertained she was 20 and a trainee nurse and a vain little thing. That child could flirt for the Federation if they let her.  Some of the male and female trainees flitted around her like blind moths to a burning warm light and it was amusing to watch and helped pass the time.  Someone who, she imagined would be the sort who would be using derma regens throughout her career for non essential purposes. IF she lasted that long.  You didn’t screw around with medical equipment and you didn’t use it for your own vanity.  Someone on her designated vessel will soon beat any wayward thinking out of her. Or she would leave due to boredom.
 
That's the thing with Starfleet.  All the Cadets thought they would go on to lead exciting lives with adventures at every turn where in fact it was going to be just a dull and boring as sitting behind a desk all day but one where you were trapped on a metal object hurtling through space with the rare chance of stepping onto soil again until they left or retired or were permitted shore leave.
 
The foolishness of youth.  One day they are released into the wild and on their way to some out of the way drop off space station before onward movement to their gilded gliding cages. Then they wake up one day with the horror that 15 years had passed with them doing the same routine and same system checks each day until they have to be treated for carpal tunnel syndrome and they were trapped there unless they could get a private job to earn enough money to live day to day and save enough to retire.
 
Unless they were one of the security cattle that got slaughtered on a rare battle situation or someone who died from injuries on board due to a "systems or human error".  Those "error" deaths seemed to happen with rather alarming regularity within the Federation.   
 
Retire... She sighed inwardly.  Something she was looking forward to until her spineless now ex husband had emptied their private and business bank accounts and run off with some Risan tart 14 days after her 53rd birthday.  Cat had to sell the company to pay off the loans he had taken out which now left her penniless, jobless and homeless.

Still, she had been smart enough to have a private stash of latinum under her name only which was accruing a nice profit provided she didn't touch it for another 10 years.  Even she was not stupid enough to mess with the The Rules of Acquisition.  So it was either start all over again from nothing or join Starfleet.  Or "no starve fleet" as she liked to call it.
 
"I heard.... She skipped most of the training... Only did less 12 months!  Does she think she is special or something?"
 
"Maybe cos she is so old they were frightened she'd die if she did they whole 4 years"
 
The sound of laughing hyenas filled the room.
 
Ahhh.. The nasal tone of Ensign "none too bright" Carolyn Baswater.   Someone had paid a lot of money to get her application through Starfleet,  this was a girl who was going to have to get used to be an Ensign for the rest of her life unless she went back to Mummy and Daddy with her silken tail between her legs.
 
A life time of working in the private sector was the reason her training was so short. More of a "paper exercise" than anything else and bring her up to speed of the workings of the Federation these days.   Most people assume that Starfleet is a moneyless creature but nothing could be further from the truth. Some the brightest and best could be found working for hard cold cash and the Federation were more than happy to pay for engineering designs, parts and consultation fees to have to best ships around.
 
"and some of the senior staff calling her Cat... What.. She like a pet or something?"
 
"It's Catherine to you, Cat is reserved for friends and those who have earnt my respect Ensign"
 
Cat pulled herself onto her elbows to address the two young women.  "I may be vastly older than you but I am blessed with decent hearing.  If you enjoy gossiping when others are in the room one little word of advice.  Listen to their breathing.  The breathing of one sleeping is completely different to one awake.  It will save you from the expression you both are now wearing".
 
In silence, apart from the gentle snoring of Ensign Mage Turner, Cat removed herself from her lower bunk, collected her washing bag, slipped on her shoes and went to the bathroom.
 
She returned 10 minutes later, cleansed, wearing fresh out of duty uniform and her neat cropped short white and flecked with remaining brown hair already drying in the warmth of the  ship.  She had learnt that long hair and machinery did not mix when, at the age of 16 she had gotten her locks caught in a door locking mechanism she had been mucking around with.  She noticed Ensign Mage was absent from her bunk and gave herself a small smile.
 
Dumping her wash bag and bedclothes into her locker she left the still silent bunk room and went to Cargo Bay 4 as usual.
 
She enjoyed this part of the day, it was quiet and less bustling and the short walk gave her mind a nice wander for the morning.
 
Only 4 people on board had permission to access Cargo Bay 4 apart from the standard crew which added to an air of mystery as to what it contained.  Cat pressed the entry code from memory and wandered in.
 
It was a standard Cargo bay, nothing out of the ordinary apart from one areas to the left contained not the standard crating but large crated enclosures.
 
A large Klingon male sitting cross legged on the floor looked from his pad and roared his greeting to her "AHA CAT!!  I won again!  They could smell you from the moment you stepped foot into the corridor I surmise!"
 
Ensign Mage smiled and pointed to one of the enclosures  after finishing completing an entry. "Kalagh has got betting their timings down to 4 milliseconds now of your arrival, I think he is rather chuffed.  Their sense of smell are off the scale....".
 
Cat allowed herself a happy, genuine smile.  3 fresh out of the Academy Science Officers were sat crossed legged round the enclosure with their large drink mugs within easy reach, chattering to each other and making notes.  It was the same every morning.   This morning however the Andorian, Ensign Tiri Zh'tyveq was cooing gently to something in her lap.
 
She had met all 3 around 6 months ago when she had been invited to give a lecture and "show and tell" at a Biology 101 session to discuss a rarely talked about animal species and out of the room of over 350 attendees with standing room only these 3 had shone like a blazing blue stars.
 
Not everyone is born with empathy for others, let alone other animal species.  Most Starfleet Cadets and their teachers in the Science and Biology fields normally viewed other biological or non humanoid type species as mere specimens to be studied in locked cages and poked and probed rather than sentient living species.   She had always been able to smell the distain some had for those species deemed lesser evolved than us upright lumbering apes.
 
But these 3... Not only was it rare for a Klingon and Andorran to choose a Science path over the military career but another for them to sit, almost knees touching talking lowly to the cage opponents.   
 
The squealing and chattering was getting to be rather loud now as she made her way to cage.
 
3 pairs of beady eyes fixed on her and she bet down to open the cage to let them out. Almost instantly 2 of the captives sprang forth towards her neck and landed heavily onto her shoulders and nuzzled and nibbled her ears and hair and began their morning grooming of her.
 
Cardassian voles may not be the most beautiful of creatures in the universe and were viewed right up there with Tribbles for their destructive tendencies but they were vastly misunderstood.
 
Like most rodent species they were highly intelligent and easily trained when you got them as kits and for the last 8 or 10 years had been used by a majority of private ship builders as the best way of getting conduit cables into the smallest and tightest of gaps  and finding  the start of a decaying router before a systems burnout. All that for the bribe of some food and a comfy padded heating pod.   

They had tried other species over the years: Rats only lived a couple of years, ferrets slept 18 hours a day but a domesticated and captive bred Cardassian vole?  She had heard some living for nearly 7 years and  kits were known to change hands for some tidy bars of latimun when they came from a good, proven breeding pair.

But for some reason their use and training hadn't either caught on or filtered down to the Federation yet.   It always amazed her that for an organisation that liked to sign up as many new planets  they came across they were still so linear in their thoughts and ideas on how things should be done.
 
Only one vole remained in the cage on her side, washing 3 of the 5 kits as they slept.

Cat had been requested prior to arrival to Sector 001 to bring one pair of un-neutered breeding voles; selected for their specific working traits; for further study on the mating, gestation, birth and training of such animals.   

All 3 of the Cadets had had been given special permission to witness their birth 5 weeks ago and written their papers from their differentiating views with their new discoveries.  Their papers had secured all 3 a place on the same Science Vessel where they would be replacing 4 lesser able Science Officers who had the misfortune of being cocky enough to turn their backs on a group of wild Targs with young-lings on a field study mission.

Never turn your back on a species with tusks, teeth or claws sharper than your own wit.
 
2 of the kits were being fed by Tiri in her lap as part of the bonding sessions and would be accompanying her as would 2 other kits, each cared for by Mage and Kalagh. All the voles had now been neutered and spayed of course as per Starfleet Regulations and Cats request.  Mr Bitey and Muffin the parents had undergone the procedure prior to boarding the transport vessel and the kits were recovering nicely from theirs 10 days ago. Cat would keep one of the males, being smaller and less stubborn than their female counterparts to join his father to earn his keep for the best food and stomach rubs a vole could wish for.
 
Unusual companions for unusual Cadets.  She would watch their progression with interest.  Cat was never really deemed a “people person” but would miss their company when it came to parting.
 
Cat bent down and placed the 2 adults back in the cage and pulled herself upright with a small groan. Age did bring on various vocal noises to anything she did this days; she enjoyed telling the younger ones they had this to look forward to.
 
The other enclosure was reserved for the chickens.  12 cocked their heads at her as she approached with the food.  Mages farming parents had donated them, most destined as a  gift for the Captain of the Ensigns new Science Vessel [who also came from a farming background] and word had reached them that he had already turned most of a cargo bay into a self contained holodeck for them.  Word also was that another Ensign was bringing along 2 longhorn breeding sheep and 2 highly domesticated and well trained Targs would be joining the vessel later as a gift from Kalagh's family.  That ship would be on their way to becoming a floating petting zoo at this rate.
 
Cat threw the feed into the cage and watched them frenzy feed like sharks in a pool of chum. You can replicate most things but fresh laid eggs were the food of the gods and a bloody good bartering tool.
 
But Cat  was not destined for duty on any space vessel.  She was destined for something far less likely to fly into a mysterious void or encounter some rare space travelling creature that would want to eat or mate with a ship hurtling through space.

She had been delighted to hear her presence had been requested at the Katra Station.  Cat wanted something she could get her hands dirty with, a challenge, something to keep her brain cells from burning out through boredom.
 
She was rather looking forward to it.
« Last Edit: February 05, 2020, 12:31:18 am by Solluk »
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Offline Tess tLhoell

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Re: January POTM - Catherine Goodspeed
« Reply #1 on: February 05, 2020, 01:18:25 am »
Congratulations Catherine! :)

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Offline Rayek trLhoell

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Re: January POTM - Catherine Goodspeed
« Reply #2 on: February 05, 2020, 01:39:36 am »
An amazing post Catherine!
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Offline Katheryn Brighton

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Re: January POTM - Catherine Goodspeed
« Reply #3 on: February 05, 2020, 04:30:14 am »
Congratulations :-)


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Offline John Saxon

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Re: January POTM - Catherine Goodspeed
« Reply #4 on: February 05, 2020, 04:42:30 am »
Bravo Goodspeed!
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Offline Catherine Goodspeed

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Re: January POTM - Catherine Goodspeed
« Reply #5 on: February 05, 2020, 04:57:50 am »
Oh my goodness!!  Thank you so much!

I'm the literature equivalent of gobsmacked  :)


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Re: January POTM - Catherine Goodspeed
« Reply #6 on: February 05, 2020, 08:24:38 am »
Congratulations!

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Re: January POTM - Catherine Goodspeed
« Reply #7 on: February 05, 2020, 08:40:01 am »
What an intro! Congrats! :)

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Re: January POTM - Catherine Goodspeed
« Reply #8 on: February 05, 2020, 11:41:05 am »
Congrats! That was a great read.

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Re: January POTM - Catherine Goodspeed
« Reply #9 on: February 05, 2020, 12:24:34 pm »
Congratulations!
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