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The Garden Cube

Posted on Thu Mar 17th, 2022 @ 12:34am by Lieutenant Elen Diari & Lieutenant Commander Alyssa Maren & Ensign Mignon Mejia & Chief Petty Officer Sha’Zen D'Tem & Sergeant Azure Thompson
Edited on on Thu Mar 17th, 2022 @ 3:29am

Mission: Episode 12 - Risin' To Risa
Location: Cargo Bay 1 Lower Level - Deck 8 - USS Pioneer
Timeline: MD005 1300 hrs

It had taken days of prep work to clear the cargo bay, build the infrastructure, and prepare the blocks of enriched potting soil for the walls. Each block had been planned out and prepared with plant sprouts and starters. Now it was a matter of putting everything together. The soil and plant blocks would be attached to the framework along the walls and vines would be carefully woven through the trellis on the ceiling. Engineering and ops would oversee the work and make modifications as needed. Science was responsible for the installation of the flora. It would take a couple of weeks for the plants to grow to size. That would give them time to make sure the irrigation system was sound.

That was today's project. Tomorrow as well, if necessary. After that would come the checkerboard deck. Large plots of soil interspersed with walkways and benches. Small trees and hedges would create a maze, of sorts. Several blocks had been set aside for kids and crew to learn to grow their own plants. At least, that was the hope. As all plans, they would have to be modified as they went along. Alyssa was particularly excited about the fruit, herbs, and berries they would grow.

Lucas was excited about this project and looking forward to working on it. He was anxious to get his hands into the soil and work on the flora. He walked into the cargo bay and directly over to Lieutenant Maren. “Any place you would like me to start, Lieutenant.” He asked right away.

Alyssa turned and smiled. "That depends on your preference. We have teams on the ceiling and the walls. What's your preference?"

"The walls." Lucas said without giving it a thought. "I appreciate having a choice." He liked how she seemed to want to have a good relationship that wasn't built just on the work.

Alyssa nodded and took a PADD from a table. "This will show you what section to do. The plant and soil blocks are color-coded so you should be able to find what you need. If not, let me know."

“Thank you, Lieutenant.” Lucas replied respectfully. He headed off to get started.

Claire walked in and right over to Alyssa. “Looks like things are moving quickly.” She said as she looked around.

"Now." Alyssa grinned. "The prep work was the hard part. Now it's just making sure all the pieces fit together--and fixing whatever goes wrong." Nothing ever went exactly to plan, but she didn't foresee any major problems.

“The first step to success is knowing there will be hiccups in the plan.” Claire said with a smile.

Alyssa grinned. "EVERY step to success is knowing there will be hiccups. The hope is that we can fix them without much trouble."

Azure entered the cargo bay. In her hands she carried a box of plant samples. "Where should I put these?" She asked.

"Wherever the good lieutenant feels they fit" A small Roylan spoke behind her, with Elen almost breaking into a run to catch them before the door closed.

"Sorry Alyssa. This is Keddie, the expert I told you about." She said, almost out of breath.

"It's fine," Alyssa smiled at both new arrivals. "Always happy to have more help." She turned to the cargo bay and pointed. "Second table on the left should have room. Do you prefer wall or deck space for those?" She paused. "Or should we look at them first?"

"I didn't expect this project to be as far on." Keddie nodded, looking around "I'm very impressed. These ? Can go anywhere, was thinking this was going to be a good starter selection, but you've got most of the main categories covered."

"You are quite the botanist and gardener." he looked up at Alyssa, Keddie turned to Elen, " I may have to steal her for the gardens at Camp Zeemos."

Claire went to work, doing her part to ensure that everything would come together smoothly. She was glad to be helping out.

Mignon walked into the cargo bay and paused to look around. "This looks great. Where do you want me?"

Alyssa raised an eyebrow and considered the other scientist. "How good are you at using ropes and ladders?" She looked up at the ceiling and grinned.

Mignon followed her gaze. "Probably not as good as you, but it won't be the first time."

"Most of it is application. The rope is a precaution as there's a walkway set up for that purpose. I'll have something more permanent in place later." She'd do it herself, but she was currently the one directing everyone and it would be much easier to go from group to group as needed.

Mignon nodded. "Okay. I'll try to warn people when I drop something." She grinned as she took the PADD Alyssa handed her and went to load up on the supplies she'd need.

As more people came in, Alyssa directed them to an area, or to work with someone else. When she went around, checking on the others and helping out as needed.

Azure placed the plant samples, mostly herbs form a tiny garden in her quarters. She looked around and spotted an area with vegetable plants.

She stormed over to the person planting them. "Excuse me, but you can't put the tomato plants so close to the runner beans , they're allelopathic to each other, meaning they will badly affect each other's growth." She told them.

"They're what?" The petty officer stared at her. "They're just plants, right? As long as they're not crowding each other, what's the big deal?"

"They produce and secrete chemicals that hurt each other, and with the limited space we have, we want to get the best produce we can. " Azure explained. "Here, take this PADD, it has a list of incompatible plants, see, peas, don't go with beans either." She said and handed them the PADD.

The petty officer looked from the PADD to the woman and back. "I...umm...okay?" He tentatively reached out and took it, escaping to a table in the back to read.

Azure hoped she hadn't permanently scarred the poor person.

Alyssa, noting the interaction, walked over to Azure. "Everything okay?" she asked, indicating the petty officer with a nod of her head.

"Just giving some gardening tips, Lieutenant." Azure replied.

Alyssa nodded. "Okay. Thank you. I admit, I'm more familiar with trees and herbs, so your tips are appreciated."

Lucas heard the chatter around him but he ignored it pretty much as he concentrated on weaving the plants into the framework. he was looking forward to coming back and helping out. To see the garden grow. Stepping back, he grinned. "Good work, Walker!" He said to himself.

Mignon climbed the temporary scaffolding and pulled up the box of supplies she'd need to plant and then anchor the vines and berry bushes along the ceiling. She would need to coax them to brow along the latticework, which would be the complicated part. Nobody wanted to walk through long strands of prickle bushes or hanging vines. Although it could be interesting if they had more space.

Keddie scrambled up beside her "Ah, watch yourself on the Bougainvillea, can give you a nasty rash" he felt at home on the scaffolding, passing Mignon, to reach the light source "Need to shift this a bit towards the red end of the spectrum, will feed the vines better, they're not a fan of blue." He explained tapping at a panel.

"Thank you," Mignon said, coming up beside him. "I had no idea about the light. I spend more time digging in the dirt for artefacts than plants." At least she knew what bougainvillea was, even though she didn't know it could give her a rash. "Since you're the expert, what do you want me to work on? I can tie the grape vines."

"Yes." he replied "But not too tightly, just in case the ship brakes suddenly, the ties could cut the vines."

Azure moved around the cargo bay, offering advice as she went.

After everyone Alyssa expected had checked in and work was well-underway, Alyssa walked around, checking on the progress. She smiled at Azure, who was a step ahead of her, pleased that someone else was helping. When she got back to the front, she took a section of the wall where she could see the door and began to work.

“Things are looking good.” Claire said to Alyssa. She nodded to where Walker was working. “He is doing an impressive job.”

Glancing over her shoulder, Alyssa nodded. "He is. I'm pleased with how it's going so far--especially with the volunteers." She smiled at Claire. "They're always welcome to help here. As are you."

Azure approached Lucas. "Ensign, I hear you have an interest in medicinal plants." She said.

"I do." Lucas said with a smile. "They can be very effective for many ailments." His eyes were lit up with excitement. "It is something I have always been interested in."

"I agree. That's why I studied the subject and use it in my work. I'm Sergeant Azure Thompson, Marine Corpsman." Azure said.

“Ensign Lucas Walker.” He identified himself. “It’s pretty obvious I am from science.” A smile crossed his face.

Azure smiled too. "Well, Lucas, let's see if I can give you a few pointers." She said.

Finally, all the spaces had been filled. Alyssa stood by the entrance, pausing for a moment to enjoy how well their garden cube had turned out. "Thank you, everyone. This looks wonderful. We could not have done it without your help. Please feel free to come back and enjoy the garden at any time. If you want to take a leftover plant with you, feel free."

A Joint Post By

Sergeant Azure Thompson
Corpsman Team 1, The Cure
USS Pioneer

Lieutenant Alyssa Maren
Chief Science Officer, USS Pioneer

Ensign Mignon Mejia
Alien Archaeologist/Anthropologist, USS Pioneer

Lieutenant Elen Diari
Chief Engineering Officer, USS Pioneer

Petty Officer Keddie
Botanist, USS Lau Tsung

Lieutenant Claire Eriksson
Chief Operations Officer, USS Pioneer

Ensign Lucas Walker
Science Officer, USS Pioneer

Chief Petty Officer Sha’Zen D'Tem
Biologist, USS Pioneer


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