May It Never Happen Again
Location: Science Lab
Timeline: 0745 hours
Ivy had been so thrilled the other night, being offered the opportunity to shadow and learn about each department of the ship to see if she found an interest and learn to help in that area.
Ivy had taken her customary cool misting shower this morning. She enjoyed them very much, every day since being provided her own personal quarters.
She was now dressed in a Red and Black Cadet uniform. She felt very proud to be wearing it. She was a little concerned about communicating through the skin of her humanoid body, and now through the uniform as well. To deal with this she had moved most all of the branches that she used to communicate to her throats and face area. The sounds were a little different, but after working with it for a few hours, she was able to get the Translator to understand her language and dialect.
She stood before a tall mirror admiring herself and the uniform. She wasn't quite sure if the red & black was going to blend well with her green skin. She still had not decided on what to do about hair, like most humans. She had done a little research and found that there had been many famous humans that had no hair at all, which included a very famous Starfleet Captain.
She turned about to see all the angles and was well pleased with what she saw. With a smile on her face and her translator on its chain about her neck, she turned and walked out the door.
Ivy was very good with 'timing'. The door opened and Ivy walked into then Science Department at exactly 0800 hours.
Joey looked up from his work. On his head and face was a pair of work goggles, meant for looking at micro-organisms. So, when he looked up and toward the door, the world took on an extremely blurry existence. He could make out the wooden greens and browns of the Tornado’s recent discovery, wearing a cadet uniform. His thoughts immediately went back to the night before when he sat down to a classic Earth movie, The Day of the Triffids.
“Whoa…um…” He pulled the gear away and placed the goggles on the table before him. “Sorry, I…uh…was…just…” and his words trailed off. He had heard of Ivy, their resident sentient flora, but had not yet had the honor of making her acquaintance. This was actually the first time he was given a solo shift in the Science department, to work alone. Being a lowly crewman, he figured he would have officers and chiefs looking over his shoulder at all times. This time though, it was not the case. To further his excitement, he finally had the chance to meet Ivy Sharzin.
Joey stepped around the work table, nearly tripping on the leg of a chair, and stepped toward Ivy. “Hello,” he spelled out slowly, “my name is Joey…well…Crewman Logano.” He looked about the room. “A crewman in science actually.” He looked back at Ivy. He rather enjoyed the form she had taken and took her in quickly before his staring got weird. ’Keep it together Joe.’
“I was actually informed that you may be shadowing Science for a bit,” he said. “There isn’t anyone else here at the moment.” He wiped a bead of sweat from his forehead. “I can…show…you…a few things…if you want that is.”
Ivy had stopped and listened to the Crewman. Her translator then made many 'clicks' and 'pops', providing an understanding of what Crewman Logano had said. All of this brought a slight smile to Ivy's face where just the corners of her mouth turned up and her eyes squinted a bit too. She replied pleasantly, "That would be most kind of you Crewman Logano". She looked about the room a little, not familiar with this Lab, "I'm normally in the bio-Lab with Crewman Ward. I'm very much looking forward to new experiences." She then smiled shyly tilting her head slightly down and to the side.
Joey momentarily lost the ability to speak. So fresh out of the Academy, had not yet met many of the crew and his only experience with women always ended up awkward, with him stammering and sweating. Even though she was a walking and talking plant, Joey saw beauty and could not help but to get knots in his throat, sweat in his palms.
Ivy watched the curious man before her. He seemed more timid than most she had incountered so far. She tried to smile to make him feel better and at ease.
“Well,” he started and looked around. He ended up focusing back on his workstation. “Over here…if you would join me…I…uh…I’ve been tasked with finding bacteria.” He stepped backward toward his station and nearly tripped after bumping into the table.
She couldn't help but smile at his clumsiness, and stepped closer toward him raising an eyebrow curiously.
“I think I am onto something here.” He pushed his work goggles to the side and brought up his computer terminal. He could feel Ivy close to him trying to make sense of the display. He almost shook with nervousness so he grabbed his work goggle and fiddled with them. “What I am trying to find is a ground-dwelling bacteria that takes no interest in roots or plants.” He looked at Ivy. “You, to be exact.” He rubbed his hand through his hair scratching at his scalp and continued. “Essentially, we need to re-nourish the soil you…what is it you do…rest, sleep, regenerate?”
Ivy nodded slightly in response, "Yes. I do need to daily regenerate by laying in my bed of soil and take in nutrients through my root system." She stepped closer. She decided to not describe her rooting system, since others had found it slightly repulsive. She stepped even closer, which allowed her to place one hand on the top of the monitor caressing it slightly.
“Well, while you are doing that in your soil…um…” he was unsure how to approach the subject of, “waste. I mean…you produce waste right?” He took a breath and felt his heart racing away as he had already started such an awkward topic. “Um…well…your waste goes into the soil and this bacteria…” breathe, “this bacteria feeds off that.” He looked back to Ivy. “And its waste re-nourishes the soil for you for when you rest. Just add water…and your…uh…waste…to the soil and that is it.” He looked back to his work and let out a breath, glad that he got through that explanation.
After listening to Crewman Logano's explanation, Ivy's expression changed to concern as she looked at the screen. Looking back at Joey with more of a pleasant and grateful smile, "You're doing this for me? Really?" She looked back at the screen, "I had no idea."
“As I said, I was tasked to look for the right bacteria. This is not to say this endeavor will prove fruitful. We were actually going to keep this a secret until we found success…” an indicator on the monitor flashed red, “and so far, all tests have proven failures.” Talking about his work, Joey seemed more at ease. That was where he excelled; in his work. When it came to social gatherings, especially talking to girls, his skill and his wit fell out the bottom. “If you look here,” he pointed at the red indicator on the screen, “this means that the bacteria have taken an interest in the consumption of duo-isophloronine. Unfortunately, that substance comprises 17% of your biology.” Joey looked at her. “Unless you want to wake up feeling drained, like you are about to fall over and pass out, this bacteria is not for you. We will have to keep looking.” He did not quite let it fall like a hammer, but he let a loose fist fall onto the tabletop. “I thought I had it this time.”
He's so thoughtful, and I think very shy. Ivy thought as she continued to stand by the monitor. She then said, "How many times, that is to say, how many bacteria have you tried?" She raised a curious eyebrow.
“A gross,” he shrugged defeatedly as he looked at the display. “I mean…um,” he looked at her again, “I don’t think…you may not know what a gross is. It’s 144. A dozen dozen…or a square dozen. But…uh…” Ivy was beautiful in a strange way. He had to look away again, back at the monitor. “I’ve been at this for days. I know I have run over a hundred tests. There are just too many variables.”
Ivy watched as the Crewman seemed to fidget and turn away from looking at her. She knew a little about shy people. She was one herself.
“Wait.” Joey thought back a moment then looked back at Ivy, into those compound eyes of hers. “What was your last question?”
Her expression changed to a slight frown as she tried to remember her own words. She replied, "Something about how many different bacteries?"
“How many bacteria,” he spoke the words to himself, thinking things through as his eyes ventured to parts unknown. “This most recent test failed because the bacteria started going after the duo-isophloronine.” With sudden confidence, Joey started tapping away at the touch-screen. “Look here.” He pointed her attention to a spread of numbers. To the untrained eye, they made no sense at all. “The bacteria are multiplying slowly. Now their numbers will level out in accordance to the environment and the food supply. But they go after the duo-isophloronine once…” he brought up another screen, “once the mono-isophloronine content in the soil has run out. Um…” difficult subject again, “mono-isophloronine is part of your natural…um…bodily waste.”
She raised her eye brows in curiosity to way of thinking. Some of this she understood, some of it she did not. "Okay . . "
Joey’s fingers danced across the touch-screen as though all this was second-nature to him. “The mono-isophloronine content decreases as the same ratio as the increase of the amount of bacteria. This means,” he looked at Ivy and smiled, “if I can find a way to sterilize these bacteria so they cannot reproduce, then they will never run out of mono-isophloronine as long as you regenerate in your soil regularly. They would have no reason to go after your duo-isophloronine, no reason to go after you.”
Ivy smiled slightly, feeling quite proud for the Crewman. With a sarcastic scowl, "We wouldn't want that."
“Think of it in humanoid terms. If I am supplied with apples and supplied with worms, of course I will eat the apples when I get hungry. If the apples run out, and I start to starve, I will have no choice but to eat the worms. What I think I can do here is make sure these bacteria never run out of apples.”
Ivy considered, Apples? Worms? Those are all good for me. She then laughed in hr own mind. Ivy now couldn't help but smile real big, saying excitedly, "That's amazing." Not really that amazing to Ivy, but she definitely did not want to discourage Joey. She felt he was truly working hard on this project. Maybe there was a favor she could do for him sometime.
"This will still take some time of course. Plus," he turned off the monitor, "I will need to report my findings to my Lieutenant before being approved to proceed." Crewman Logano poured a viscous solution out of a beaker into the soil then placed a cover over the box containing the soil. "That should feed the little guys for a while yet. Computer, produce a Level 1 containment field encompassing Contained 10 Alpha." As the computer chimed away, a small barrier of light engulfed the container. "We certainly do not want these bacteria getting loose until we know all we can about them."
Joey stepped back a few steps concluding his work for the time. Now that only socializing and conversation remained, he felt the twinge of social anxiety return to him. He looked at the beautiful greenery in Starfleet cadet uniform. "I...uh...if you don't mind...me asking that is...have you found your home yet? Any stars...constellations familiar to you...in Stellar Cartography?"
Not again! Ivy thought, but still half smiled at the comment and question. She use to like being asked about her home, but more lately had been getting frustrated, because she had no form of reference to the stars near her world. She finally sighed and replied, "No. I never got a look at the constellations or anything about my home." She stepped forward a partial step and tilted her head slightly, looking at the man knowing at he was just being polite. So she continued, "As a youngling I was inside, out of the weather, most of the time. And actually rarely got to see the stars. My planet is blanketed by cloud layers. Only after special atmospheric events took place that the clouds would part for a short time for us to see them." She looked down slightly adding, we rarely if ever get to see the sun directly."
That explained the presence of the isophloronine compounds of Ivy's biology. For the vegetation of a planet that rarely saw their own sun, something needed to promote photosynthesis. In this case, Joey feared the result of Ivy getting too much solar rays.
He put that thought in the back of his mind as he spoke. "I have a hard time imagining such a world. When I was a child, I could not stop looking at the stars. Partly because I wanted to personally see what was up there, and partly because I waiting for my dad to return home. He fought in the Dominion War you see." Joey found a work chair and took a seat. "He did return home, but refused to cast his eyes skyward again. He and my mother both became highly xenophobic. They urged me to do the same, punished me for having non-human friends." He let his eyes fall to the floor. "To their dismay, I joined Starfleet. To their declaration of disowning me, I became something of a xenophile. I...uh..." he looked at the beautiful green woman again, "I don't feel comfortable around humans much. I especially do not find attraction in humans. That is why I studied Science. I especially focused on Xeno Archeology and Anthropology." Joey shrugged. "As I said...I'm a xenophile."
Ivy contemplated Joey's situation with a thin line of her lips as she looked to him with sensitive eyes. She finally said, "I may appear somewhat 'human' on the outside, but I am nothing like them on the inside. I am not xenophobic, but do not have the social skills like so many sentient species demonstrate." She let those statements hang in the air for a moment and added, "In fact, I am probably the most 'Alien' person you could find on this ship." That all that said she smiled a little and raised an eyebrow, hopeful that he would find her acceptable.
Joey smiled then forced it away. He looked around, always looking back at Ivy. “That is what I find so intriguing about you. It is why I immediately volunteered to take on this task,” he motioned toward his work on the table. “It is because you are the most…unique…individual we have ever encountered. Xenophobes…my parents…need to understand what is out here so they will not be afraid of what is out here. You are so vastly different and that alone is why…I love…um…the work that I do.” Joey started fidgeting with a powered down tricorder to keep his hands busy. “But you have similar needs as the rest of us; sustenance, social belonging, air, relationships. All too many would rather focus on what makes us different than to focus on our similarities.” He stood from his chair then sat back down. “That’s why I chose my MOS in Starfleet. I wanted something so different, yet so similar at the same time.” Joey did crack a smile and utterred, "I believe my father would just die if he found out my XO is a Changeling,” mostly to himself.
Ivy listened intently to the Science Officer. She wasn't sure what to say. She wished she could say she understood his situation with his father, but she really couldn't since leaving home so early in her life. She finally responded, "I can certainly imagine how difficult that might be." She smiled again to him to hopefully set him at ease. "So, what would you like to do first?"
“Well,” Joey started, likewise feeling that a change in conversation was in order, “seeing as how my primary MOS in Starfleet is…it is listed as Alien Archaeologist/Anthropologist, but I like to say Xeno-Archaeologist/Anthropologist. To help my Lieutenant out concerning all things…regarding you…I decided to become an expert in the events where Starfleet vessels had come across similar sentient floral races. As a matter of fact, there are two instances, involving the same ship no less, where the U.S.S. Enterprise commanded by a Captain…” he looked at his notes, “James Kirk encountered planets with sentient flora.”
Ivy was intrigued by this information. She had not known this as yet. "Please continue," she prompted.
“The planet was called Phlyos,” Joey said, “No. That’s not right.” He looked at his PADD and scrolled through some information. “Phylos…actually…is the name of the planet. The inhabitants are clearly different from your kind. Computer…” There came an affirmative chirp from the ceiling. “Play Doctor McCoy’s medical log, describing the Phylosians,” and the computer chirped again.
Ivy canted her head slightly, anticipating the audio dialog.
=^=”They are Human size, but are not humanoid. Their heads are partially covered with a furry bristle... eye stalks, but no mouths or ears are visible. The bodies are composed of a group of slender rope-like extensions, some of which hang down at the sides, and others of which bunch near the bottom before spreading out again into a loose collection of bulbous protuberances which are apparently the motive limbs. The body color is an ochre yellow, almost sickly. Despite their alien appearance, they seem to be passive and harmless; the voices we hear [from them] are quiet and reasoning. When the Phylosians die, they actually grow larger before the stage of decay. They become giant twenty-five foot bodies covered with some kind of furry bristle. There is no head as such, but at the top end is a mass that looks like an artichoke. Thank God for small favors that we have Stavos Keniclius here to help us. Stavos Keniclius 5 to be exact. Eugenics…clones…that always makes my head hurt. Still, he knows more about these things than any human. Besides, I’m a doctor, not a gardener.”=^=
Ivy was feeling very excited by his news. There were several similarities mentioned between the Phylosian and the Sharzian. She watched Joey intently.
“The log ends there,” said Joey. “Stavos Keniclius was a human from my world, exiled to space for his research in Eugenics. Eugenics is the practice of making people better, stronger, smarter. That era on Earth did not end well and Eugenics was outlawed. Stavos though, apparently found Phylos and settled there. He unknowingly brought with him staphylococcus…that is a bacteria that we call a Staph Infection. This proved highly deadly to the Phylosians and Stavos worked hard to prevent their extinction. His work was going to take far longer than his life-time, so he used his Eugenics research to clone himself to continue his work and save the Phylosians from extinction. His research worked and, when the Enterprise showed up and discovered the planet, the Stavos cloning program was on number 5, hence Stavos 5, still trying to eradicate staphylococcus, but he did save the inhabitants from extinction.”
She couldn't help herself and blurted out, "Oh! That's good!" Of course it took a second for the translator to communicate Ivy's excitement. She then felt bad for the interruption, but did hesitantly ask, "So, . . the Phylosians still do survive?"
“They did,” Joey smiled. “Though they still battle with staphylococcus and many still do get sick, they are not sick for long and the planet is still thriving.” Joey’s smile vanished somewhat. “There is a bit of bad news however. Not terrible news mind you, just…well…you cannot ever go there for any duration longer than a month without constant duo-isophloronine injections. Isophloronine is not native to that planet and there is little chance of them introducing it seeing as how a small introduction of staphylococcus almost drove them extinct. They have essentially become germophobes. I am certain they will be open to you visiting anytime you wish though.”
Ivy thought that visiting them would be a wonderful idea. But then her face turned down with a bit of worry. She definitely would not want to contract the disease with which their species was dealing.
Joey looked down at his PADD. “Um…” he was feeling the awkwardness of social anxiety again. “So that is good at least.” He brought up a picture of a Phylosian and wondered if Ivy had, in her imagination, an image of how they looked. They were different by far, even perhaps alien by her standards. Still, they were sentient flora all the same. “Here is an image of a Phylosian. Everything about them is in our database. You can access more about them anytime.” Joey turned the PADD around for Ivy to see.
Ivy looked at the picture of the Phylosian, tilting her head in curiosity, "I wonder how much they can change their shape and appearance?" And then looked to Joey.
Joey shrugged. "To my knowledge, they cannot change their appearance at all. Most Phylosians look essentially the same, though they would disagree." He turned the PADD back around to look at it again. "Their appearance is pretty set much like humanoid races. Whereas you," he looked away from the image and at Ivy, "you are essentially a sentient spud with the ability to control your appearance, to form your stems and vines into...um...uh...into pleasing shapes." He had to look away and back at something work related.
Ivy watched how Joey turned away, almost ashamed, but not. She wasn't sure, but she had the inkling of an idea. In a way she was pleased that she felt Joey liked her appearance.
Joey placed his PADD onto the table beside another. On this other PADD was displayed the first page of a log reading, 'Mission Log: Incident at Kappa-Gamma. Captain James T. Kirk commanding."
Ivy watched curiously, "What do you have on that one?" She reached across to point at the PADD, resting her hand lightly upon his.
The revelation that the other log was still displayed had overrun all other thoughts and emotions. Joey quickly reclaimed his hand, snatched up the other PADD and set is to standby. “Oh, that’s nothing. That’s um…another mission…altogether…and…uh…” he could see curiosity in her eyes as much as anyone could see curiosity in a pair of compound eyes. Joey knew, all the same, that if he did not divulge what he knew, Ivy would certainly do her own research, gather her own conclusions.
Ivy watched as Joey seemed to continue to be nervous, but also seemed to be holding something back. She gave only a thin line of a smile, looking to him with curiosity and hope that he would share.
“This log…um…the Incident at Kappa-Gamma is…was…well, the planet was another planet to be inhabited by vegetation.” Joey sought out the best way to abbreviate what the log contained. “The best way is the truth I guess,” he said aloud without knowing it. “Little is known about Species K-G. That is what we call them now. There is another name; the name of Kelly Green. That name was given them by the engineer of the Enterprise. And yes, this mission also involved the Enterprise, with the same Captain Kirk commanding. We do not know how smart Species K-G was, but they did learn how to get their spores into orbit around their own planet.”
Joey was almost ashamed to carry on. “The Enterprise sent a landing party to the surface after scans showed small populations of organic life. By that I mean, skin and bone animals. The population was small, but the planet was covered in vegetation. The Away Team discovered that the vegetation was carnivorous. The plants rounded up and ate the organic lifeforms of the planet. They immediately attacked the Away Team and ate some of the crew.”
Ivy glance down at her hand, knowing that vines could be easily extended from the forearm. On the vines excreasions with acids can be pumped out and then flesh material can be ingested. It was very much like the species K-G. She looked again at the Crewman.
“There is more to the log, but after escaping the planet, Captain Kirk ordered an immediate burning of the entire surface of the planet, killing every living thing on the surface. He deemed the inhabitants too dangerous to be left alive. With the arrival of the Enterprise, Species K-G realized there were more organic lifeforms out in space and they had already gotten their spores into orbit. Before breaking orbit, the Enterprise made sure the planet was completely sterile.”
Joey placed the PADD on the table and slid it toward Ivy to take should she want. “You can take this. Look at the log if you want. Later research of the planet showed a great deal of duo-isophloronine. Meaning, your kind could have thrived on that planet. But…with the death of every living thing, the levels of isophloronine, both duo and mono, dropped. There…” and this was the hardest for him to say, “is simply not anything left on that planet.”
Ivy was dumb struck. She didn't know how to respond to such butchery. She knew from Earth's history there had been several instances of mass killings. Sometimes they were called things so they would not sound bad to others, like ethnic cleansing or needed expiration or euthanasia. She had the feelings of wanting to defend these creatures that had been invaded and then massacred. With a bit of anger asked, "Well, why didn't the crew of this vessel just leave and leave them alone? Why did they have to kill them all?" The Translator had made the words loud. Ivy had not realized how angry she was feeling.
Joey knew what the log said and he knew the reasons Captain Kirk did what he did. He knew why Starfleet went along with that decision in the end. “But none of that means it was the right decision,” he said in something of a whisper. He realized he had spoken aloud. “I mean…please don’t think of us humans and Starfleet as saintly.” He was unsure if she would understand the term. “By that, I mean, do not think we can do no wrong. We are also not evil and barbaric. We have our dark past, but…” he shook his head. “I could never fathom a scenario where I would condone genocide. This was an extreme situation and, though Starfleet agreed with the decision made by Captain Kirk, there are measures taken now to ensure events such as this do not happen again.”
Ivy became sad as the reality of the incident stuck home with her. Her lips pursed a little in a sad and concerned appearance. Her head turned slightly away, her eyes downcast.
Joey looked to Ivy. She was beautiful, beautiful to him, and he could see the concern, the anger, and the sadness in her expression. “I am truly sorry that this happened,” was all he could say at the moment.
It was quiet for a long moment. Ivy finally turned back to face Joey and sadly replied, "That was a horrible thing. I certainly would not want that to happen to my people." She then considered the obvious, If I bring the Federation to my people and another miscommunication takes place, I would then be responsible for the genocide of my own species. Without saying a word, she placed her face into her hands. So many horrible thoughts flashed through her mind. It was hard to block them out. Her body began to convulse uncontrollably, like a massive hick-up. It happened three more times before she turned away and her body fell upon a counter next to her. She made noises, but the universal translator said nothing. It did provide some static, but no words of understanding.
Joey scrambled to get his tricorder. In doing so, he knocked a PADD and a few other instruments to the floor. Opening the tricorder he scanned Ivy. Her ‘biology’, if that was the correct term, showed only increased flow of duo-isophloronine. He then searched for his PADD only to find it on the floor. He swiped then scrolled, changed menus, and finally landed on some of Ward’s notes. Skimming the notes, Joey found that the increase of duo-isophloronine was on par with the flow of adrenaline or epinephrine in humanoids.
Crewman Logano realized the situation. Ivy was succumbing to heavy emotions…crying. He walked around the table opposite of Ivy. He thought to place his hand on hers, hoping to let her feel as well as know that she was not alone. Though turning into a bundle of nerves himself, Joey hovered his hand over hers, torn between lowering it and pulling his hand away. But, after several nervous seconds, he finally brushed the surface of her hand and let his fall upon hers.
Ivy had no idea of what was happening to her. It was uncontrollable. Her body was heaving and jerking, even while half laying on the table. She had never experienced anything like this before. For a split second, she wondered if it had been the form she had taken. But she had taken bypedal form before, just not to this extreme. She did realize that the dominating emotion in her at that moment was rage and anguish. Both were very elevated. In hind-site, odd, because they were rather opposite emotions.
“I am truly sorry.” It was not his place to divulge the information, but, “I felt you should know.” And in trying to make her feel better, to know that this would probably never happen to her people, “We have survey ships now, teams who study from afar and do not just beam down into unknown places.”
Ivy in this 'state' was not able to comprehend what was going on about her. She did finally realize that Joey was now across from her and talking to her, but not able to understand his words, nor those words in her language coming from the translator. Her body was still wracked with shaking and could not stand even if she tried. She did then feel something touching her hand and soothing noises, but nothing discernible.
Joey was completely ill-practiced in comforting women. He was not attracted to human women and that left a slew of women from too many culture to count for him to practice on and hope for the best. Ivy, and her species, had no file at all in the entirety of Starfleet logs, hence no foundational knowledge of how to interact, support, or comfort. Despite having a utter lack of experience, “Situations such as this has not happened since,” he spoke softly. “If I have anything to say about it, it will never happen again.”
"Happen again?" Ivy's translator stated in a question. She now, for some unknown reason, was able to hear, but with a ringing. She lifted her head slightly to see Joey there with a look of compassion and worry upon his face. Ivy began to look about and things began to come more into focus. She looked at Joey once more and asked, "What were you saying about 'again' ?"
Joey reclaimed his hand and stood straight. “There are measured in place now. Science teams have been formed, science vessels for that matter. During the time of Captain Kirk, there was little of that going on. Starfleet was all about exploring, but we didn’t have the science nor the understanding to…well…understand everything we encountered. Take the Tornado for instance.” Joey brought his computer terminal back up and displayed the ship’s armaments, torpedo bays, number of torpedoes, phaser banks, shielding. “This ship is designed to defend itself, to go into battle should the need arise. Though we are explorers by trade, it is not our job to determine the outcome or the destiny of something we do not fully understand. That is where Starfleet Science comes into play. Had Starfleet had this rule and this MOS in place way back when, then this…” he tapped on the PADD with the Kappa-Gamma incident displayed, “…would never have happened. Because of these rules, it may never happen again. And if I have anything to say about it, it will never happen again.” Joey thought a second. “But I am just a lowly crewman. I may even get into trouble for sharing these logs with you.”
Ivy was feeling a little better now, yet became a little concerned, because the Crewman feared providing information. She stated, "The Lieutenant has provided me access to a great deal of knowledge. I'm sure this . . . " She hesitated. She wasn't sure how to describe the tragedy, the murder of innocent lives. She was having that nicking of feeling again that had caused her immobility. She closed her eyes and tried to relax. She looked at Joey, "Thank you for sharing this with me." She smiled at him and again gently placed her hand on his.
Joey’s heart nearly leapt into his throat as she again put her hand on his. He could feel his heart pounding almost throughout his body and wondered if she could sense his sudden nervousness. There was little else to talk about that was not work related, which meant it was time to get social. Considering the topic just discussed, he needed to be gentle and caring and, “Um…um…” He had to think of something. “Why don’t we…uh…You know what? Um…no more plants and no more humans.” He looked about the lab. “You wanted to learn about science. You know, to better decide where you fit in well.” He found something. “Ah. Another project we have been working on.” He gently reclaimed his hand from beneath hers. Standing straight he started over to another work table. “Over here, we have been working on methods to protect against thalaron radiation, though have not found anything just yet.”
Ivy had felt that Joey, for a moment, had become nervous, but had transitioned the conversation nicely over to 'projects'. She found this to be acceptable to her as well. She took a step closer and stood side by side with her knew friend as they looked upon the data on the display.