Even though I've ended the New Beginning series I couldn't help but return to the main characters of the story and so I have made what for now is a Short Story about Ahrund, fresh on a Star Base, in the daycare center.
The care center was quiet and mostly darkened due to the late hour. It hadn't been long since Ahrund had come with his father to their new home on this Star-base but the care center had already been completely explored by Ahrund with disappointing results in his opinion.
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The computer consoles were almost completely severed from the star-bases main computer network and did not even have the authorization to display a tree of the authorizations the consoles did have. Neither did the consoles show up on his own PADD so he couldn't use the PADD as an interface to find out more.
The man that was there to take care of the children, or child as the case now was, seemed to be unable to capture Ahrunds interest either. Sure it was a friendly man, and he tried to get Ahrund to play games with him, read Ahrund a story, made a clay figure, and a whole list of other things but Ahrund could tell he didn't really want to be there at all.
Ahrund could understand that normal opening hours for the care center ended hours ago, and to be honest, Ahrund wasn't too happy having to be there either. So Ahrund had said he was getting tired and was going to lie in one of the large yellow fluffy sacks in the resting corner and play with his PADD a bit. He assured the man, Stan DahhMann was his name, that he would soon go to sleep.
Stan, seeming relieved to Ahrund, agreed that was a good idea and proceeded to the other side of the room and sat down at the "Offlimits" desk on which a portable computer console rested and which absorbed Stan's attention from that point on.
Ahrund turned on his PADD and switched the sound to in-ear mode. He then took the tiny little knot from the back of his PADD and stuck it into his ear to which it was shaped until it sat just right. Whatever the PADD now had to say would go straight into his right ear and not a sound would reach Stan even if he had been paying any attention to Ahrund.
As always the PADD ran through a number of chores that Ahrund had made it do and what grown-ups apparently called skriptsh or something. The scary men who had taken Ahrund away from his daddy and had made Ahrund do a lot of hard tests and stuff had said Ahrund had been naughty and that skriptsh that Ahrund put in computers were not made by Ahrund.
They said Ahrund was an "Intewwi dance agunt" and said they did not believe Ahrund one bit. Ahrund had been scared then, all the more because the scary men had said daddy was not coming to get him but working for them. They said daddy was going to steal something for them and that they would hurt daddy if Ahrund didn't tell the truth.
Ahrund shook his head to expel the memories and thoughts about his stay in that scary place with the scary people.
The PADD's start-up script had been completed now and showed the results on a 2D map representation of the immediate area around Ahrund's location onto which dots lighted up to indicate a point of interest.
The red ones were representing the default computer connection nodes for the wireless devices that connected through normal protocols to the Starfleet run computer systems. Either the credentials of the user logged into the mobile device were used to link up to the main computer or the device id was used to provide access to the main computer.
Ahrund had made his PADD ignore those connection nodes though as he had found that having his PADD run through the command tree down to the commands requiring only the lowest authorizations and then back up into the primary command tree took too long.
He had found that on the August, and here too, most of the places were covered by auxiliary connection nodes that operated on a slightly different frequency and a far less complicated level of communications. He had figured out those were for the several automated systems that were used in the maintenance and servicing of the ship like the little conduit crawlers that went through all the conduits behind the walls and in the ceilings checking the connections running through the conduits for wear or damage.
The tiny locator chip inside the communicators all the Starfleet people carried which told the computer system their location was another device that connected through those nodes. Those nodes showed up on Ahrund's PADD as blue and it hadn't taken Ahrund long to convince the main computer system that Ahrund's PADD was just another one of those simple auxiliary automated devices that required only low level security protocols and auditing.
The little map on the screen also showed him a green dot representing the mobile console on which Stan was still focused and low-level queries had returned Stan was watching grown-ups without clothes playing with each other's "Zhjehnitals" the PADD had called the place between your legs.
It had called it that when Ahrund had stumbled on a video the PADD had called "seksjuwal Edjuwkayshjun" or something. Whatever it was, it didn't interest Ahrund as long as it kept Stan busy and a few seconds later Ahrund had his PADD connected to the main computer system and its main command tree and file directory scrolled across the 10-inch screen of the PADD.
Words he'd figured out the meaning of before was instantly replaced with the picture icon Ahrund had made for it so he knew what tapping that would do and words in file names or in computer commands that he had seen before but not figured out yet were marked in blue. Completely new things were highlighted in yellow while those of which he knew he was not supposed to tap on were outlined with orange lines. In red were the ones that had gotten him in trouble before and had a picture next to them that showed something that helped Ahrund remember why.
Some of them showed the picture of that man on the August who was boss of secuwity and had been angry with Ahrund for "breaking the computer in". Tapping those would show up on his computer and let him know Ahrund was playing with the computer again.
Ahrund didn't know why he wasn't supposed to play with the computer, what all the fuss was about. He never did anything bad with the computer. He hadn't caused any problems or broke anything yet.
That is if you don't count that time he had accidentally switched off the artificial gravity in the mess hall for a few seconds. But he had turned it back on real quick and no one was hurt... badly.…
Again Ahrund shook his head to clear the stray strain of thought from his head and focused on the screen and the options that were scrolling by. Each option that scrolled by on the screen without an icon, and thus unknown, a tantalizing discovery waiting for him. He reveled in the feeling that he got whenever he was, to his mind, on a mission like this, a mission to explore strange new command trees, to seek out new commands and new file structures... to boldly go where Ahrund has not gone before..…
==Still In the Legacy's care-center==
This was it!
He'd done it, and he hadn't even come across any lines that would need to be marked with frowny faces too!
The grin across Ahrund's face ran from ear to ear. In the previous occasions where he had been faced with a computer system, he had not connected to before he had run into trouble with his daddy and the suckjuwrity boss mister when he had activated a line that Ahrund was not supposed to be activating but had also alarmed the suckjuwrity boss, mister, that someone had done so.
Those lines had been marked on Ahrund's Padd with a frowny face so he knew that were no no's next time around. This time however he seemed to have gotten from the top of the tree, as he saw the computer command structure, all the way down to the roots of the tree and then switch root and back up the tree all the way to the main command structure without tripping anything that made anybody angry.
Proud of himself and almost exploding with excitement at all the lines, which represented options, that his Padd hadn't marked with an icon and therefore were unknown to him. There must be something-illions, or whatever grownups called redicunormous amounts, of them!
He quickly used the small cam on the padd to peek over his shoulder at the care center's lone employee sitting at the care-center main desk and computer console. The man hadn't moved a muscle in all the time after Ahrund had gone to lie down in the big bean bag with his Padd.
A quick meta-tag readout from the map, the one he'd used earlier, showed the console behind which Stan was seated had switched to stand by idle mode indicating Stan Dahmann was sleeping on the job. Ahrund didn't mind, as long as he kept sleeping. Ahrund decided he couldn't resist the temptation and though he knew it was risky as Stan could wake up any second he did what he enjoyed most when it came to playing with his Padd and the computers he could connect it to.
Try the lines that were unknown and see what happened when he did.
His finger raised and, after just a moment's of hesitation, stabbed it at one of the commands that his screen was scrolling past his eyes. The screen changed into a pretty much blank screen with a number of characters that Ahrund had learned were numbers and most of the time represented different instances of the same.... whatever it was that this branch of the command tree controlled.
He decided to go for the first character and tapped his finger on it. Just a fraction of a second later he heard something with the ear without the earplug to which the Padd's sound was routed. If it had been daytime, with all the background noises of the daily goings-on he would never have been able to hear but as it was almost the middle of the night, or maybe even later, he heard some screams and shouting in the distance, from somewhere outside the care-center.
He thought he heard screams like people made when they were scared but they were fewer than the shouts he heard sounding like people who were angry. On his screen, a green line of words was blinking on his screen with some of the words in the line replaced with icons he knew the meaning of. He recognized the line as the one that came up when whatever the command he had activated controlled had been successfully.... done...
His eyes went wide as his stomach pulled into a knot. Could those shouts and screams be related to.... Quickly and forcefully Ahrund's finger stabbed the key that he knew must be the one reversing whatever the command he had activated had done and, when the computer gave a message that told him it had complied once again, quickly used the Padd to double back into the root command structure, travel down the command tree a branch or two and then disconnected completely.
Next, he had the Padd put every single bit that had been through it gobbeldeegooked into random garbage that would only degarble with the right sequence of icons tapped on his Padd, which only he knew. He then turned off the Padd and decided that whatever happened..... He had been asleep since his head hit the bean bag, hours earlier.
==Bar, located near the care-center==
Only 300 meters from the care-center, down the promenade the inebriated patrons of the bar started wiping the drinks and food from their clothes that had been deposited there when those drinks and foods were grabbed back into the grips of gravity from which they had mysteriously been lost just a few seconds before.
The bartender had been round the block a few times, enough to know there'd be trouble soon when those inebriated patrons couldn't find anyone to blame. They'd come after him, he knew, so as soon as he had landed, painfully, back onto the floor when the artificial gravity came back up he had pushed the alarm button alerting Starfleet's security to potential trouble.
So just before the second mug hurtled through the air and shattered into thousands of pieces on the wall behind him three security officers burst into the bar which changed the minds of those intending to make a ruckus about their experience with zero-G under the influence of alcohol.
Confused and unhappy the last customers were herded out of the bar after which one of the security ensigns turned to the man behind the bar. "What the hell happened here anyway?" he asked. Shaking his head at the mess that he was obviously going to have to clean up the barman replied
"Damned if I know! The gravity just cut out completely for a couple of seconds without warning, and then turned back on."
Thanks for reading!
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