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Toe Tuning

Posted on Wed Jun 2nd, 2021 @ 10:24pm by Lieutenant JG Anastatzia "Statzia" Liski & Lieutenant JG Heshoulou Vesu

Mission: Side Posts
Location: Statzia's Quarters
Timeline: The day after 'Under The Knife'

Heshoulou had her hands full as she approached Statzia's quarters- in one hand, a toolkit with grip pads and the proper tools to affix them to Statzia's new foot- in the other, a bottle of bright green Orion Whiskey and a small tub of a pain-relieving cream she'd talked one of the nurses into giving her. Vesu could hold them all in one hand if someone had asked, actually, but didn't feel like straining for a walk to her friend's home. She used her pinky to chime the door.

Statzia looked backwards up over her head from her place on the floor, where she lay with both legs propped up on the couch and a rolled-up sweatshirt under her head--the position she'd been in for about an hour in an attempt to relieve her lower back. "Come in," she said, not bothering to get up off the floor.

Vesu walked in and set the toolkit down first, then the whiskey bottle, on her coffee table. "You want some pain cream?" She held the cream up over Statzia's face. "I've also got whiskey and some traction pads for your foot, it didn't seem to have much grip on the floor back there."

"Oh, you are a gift from the gods!" Statzia exclaimed, reaching for the pain cream. Not moving from her place on the floor, she pulled up the half-pant leg of her sweats and began massaging the cream around the area where the attachment points hooked into her lower knee.

Vesu chuckled, then ordered whiskey glasses from the replicator and set them near the whiskey. "You mind if I mess with your foot a bit? I just want to make sure you can walk barefoot when you want to and don't slip in the shower." She showed her some grip pads for the heel, ball, and toes of her foot in a small clear case from her toolkit.

Statzia swung her feet around, showing a bare real foot and a shoe on her artificial one. "I at least replicated a full pair of pants. And a pair of shoes with a left foot." She chuckled softly. "Figured I should show up in two shoes for my dressing-down."

"I can get behind a nice game of dress up, but you expect to get dressed down?" Vesu sat beside where her feet had been on the couch, getting her tools ready. Statzia hadn't said yes or no to the grip pads, but Vesu was worried about leaving her with a slick foot.

Statzia gave a quiet sigh, peeling the shoe off her prosthetic foot. "Not expect. Already experienced."

"Who dressed you down about this?" She started with her heel, gently fusing the grip to the smooth metal.

"The Captain, of course." Statzia sighed, looking up from her place on the floor. "I was on thin ice before my transfer here, and I'm certainly not doing myself any favors during my trips to Sickbay."

"Well, yeah. You're under a lot of stress about it all." Vesu nodded to herself, "You'll just have to be more careful for a while to get back on his good side. I kinda miss the small cozy medbay of my first cargo vessel. Or maybe more like my sister."

"I just feel like--" Statzia gave a quiet sigh, tucking both arms under her head to prop her up enough to watch Vesu as she worked. "I feel like nobody ever listens to what I actually want. I never really wanted a prosthetic in the first place, so when I was having problems with the first one, they told me I just wasn't giving it a chance. Or that the pain was psychosomatic." She stared up at the ceiling for a moment. "And still nobody in Sickbay will listen to the fact that I hate being sedated, or that I have horrid nightmares when I'm under. Or that I should be restrained because I come out of sedation angry and swinging--every damn time."

"They should probably listen to you, if what I witnessed is any evidence." She moved up to the toes, starting with the littlest one. They'd designed it for both aestetics and practicalities, so it had all five toes.

"Right? Seventeen surgical procedures, and it's happened every single time." Statzia gave a brief wrinkle of her brow and her toes wiggled. "So, I think my brain is trying to decide whether to process what you're doing to my toes as ticklish." There was a brief smirk on her face. "The other foot isn't ticklish. But my brain isn't so sure about what it's feeling right now."

“The neural interface is bound to be a little confusing for some time. Giggle and see if that feels right!” Vesu laughed as she fused the second and third toes’ grips on.

Statzia squealed slightly as Vesu held onto her foot. "So yeah, having ticklish feet is a new sensation. You sure you didn't program that in?"

“The nerve sensitivity is based on human medical standard, so honestly I might’ve! If the human they based the standard on was ticklish, you might’ve gotten just a bit of that. I’m sure I could adjust it, if it bothers you.” She moved to the toe beside the large one.

Statzia's breath hitched as she bit her lip and tried to hold still. "I dunno...with the right person, this might be somewhat fun."

"Then we'll leave it!" Vesu laughed, "Though, the fusion process might be more ticklish than simply touching would be."

Statzia grinned up at her, wiggling the toes. "Just don't put this in my file. Wouldn't want to reveal a weakness."

"Oh I can just write 'unexpected sensory input possible'. Now, whatever they think about that is up to them. But it's not a lie!"

Statzia gave a quiet sigh. "Not that anybody would read the file, or think they know better than the information in it." She slid up the half-leg of her sweatpants and massaged the pain cream in above the knee.

Vesu was quiet as she finished fusing the big toe's grip pad on, thinking. She felt kind of sad that no one could admire the engineering of the leg, but having it match Statzia's skin was important for psychological reasons or something else the medical professionals had said.

Statzia finally broke the silence. "I appreciate what you were trying to do. In Sickbay, after I woke up from the surgery," she said quietly.

"You seemed to need at least someone who wasn't nannying you. I'm not much of a healer, that was always my baby sister, but I can crack jokes and focus on the mechanical side at least. Does your ankle still feel loose?" Might as well offer to tighten it while she had her toolkit out.

Statzia nodded. She leaned her foot back towards her, and there was a visible moment where gravity took over slightly and the movement was jerky. "Just a little bit. It's like one leg is getting drunk without me."

"Probably just the bearing housing I thought might be loose- I don't want to tighten it too much, heating issue with the synth skin the doctors gave us, but hopefully I should get it at least usable." Vesu mumbled half of her phrase, head full of numbers and the simulations they'd built up, "Try not to run on it faster than one hundred and fourty kilometers per hour!" She finished with a joke as she ran the glowing tool over Statzia's ankle in a circular motion.

"If I can start running that fast--" The thought made Statzia laugh. "The problem would be getting the other leg to keep pace."

"First point of failure in that system would be your body, not this foot, but that speed could cause these bearings to catch fire from friction in a few minutes' time." She nodded.

"I'll keep that in mind the next time I have a need to break the sound barrier." Statzia wiggled her foot and then the toes. "It feels a lot better--thanks."

“It really is no problem. Let me know if you ever have trouble with this thing. I’m always happy to take a look.” Vesu put her toolkit away neatly and tucked it away before pouring the alcohol she’d brought, “Salve for your muscles and ale for your heart.”

Statzia took the offered glass and took a long sip. She spun so she could lean on the couch from her seat on the floor and stretched her new leg out in front of her. "It's--going to take some getting used to."

"I'd imagine so. I'm always here to listen if you need to complain about it or any mechanical fixes." Vesu flopped onto the couch, careful not to spill her own drink, "And I'm sure the med staff won't hold a grudge against you for long, they'll help with physical therapy and medical fixes."

Statzia chuckled softly. "That's...not what I meant."

"So what did you mean?" She sipped, then turned her head to watch Statzia.

"It was easier to avoid doing a lot of things that I used to do with Tallin because they required a second leg to do." Statzia sighed and took a long sip of her drink.

"Well, you got two options- continue to avoid them, or do them in his memory, or his honor. I really don't know what it's like to lose a partner and I can't say I could judge you for either option. It seems like something that may never stop hurting." Vesu wished this were something she could fix, but there wasn't exactly a plasma relay that regulated grief, "I'd prefer you do them in his memory, of course, because I know they're things you enjoy doing and I feel reasonably certain if I died I'd want my partner to continue to do the things we did together. But my preference is based entirely in my feelings, Statz, and if it's too painful to go running or climbing or anything I respect that."

Statzia gave a wry chuckle. "I spent my whole life living in space, and I definitely wasn't thrilled about doing anything outdoors--or anywhere that even resembled the outdoors." She took another sip of her drink. "Tallin dragged me everywhere on the holodeck that had greenery and the resemblance of fresh air."

"I've never spent much time outdoors myself- I was born on an Orion trading vessel, and the first time I set foot on a planet and stayed for more than three days was the academy." Vesu mused for a moment, "It must've been nice to discover a new environment with someone you love. I can't imagine what it would be like to revisit it without him."

Statzia downed the rest of her glass, reaching for the bottle for a refill. "First experience with actual non-recycled non-poluted air was at the Academy. Gods, you should have seen my first reaction to an actual insect. Sucker flew in my face and I fell backwards on my ass right in front of a whole group of first-years." She topped off her glass and took a healthy swig. "Tallin had the balls to approach me and tell me that it was only a dragonfly, and not as deadly as my reaction made it out to be."

"What a sweet story! I remember my first dragonfly. It was much less terrifying from further back." Vesu smiled, "Have you had much Orion Ale before?"

Statzia shook her head, taking another swig.

"You might want to slow down a little, then. It sneaks up on you." Vesu sipped hers, "and it doesn't last very long unless you pace yourself."

"What's the point of having two legs if I don't get to stagger drunkenly towards my bedroom and hope I make it to the bed before passing out?" Statzia gave a wink as she took another sip.

"I will just have to ensure you make it to your bed, and get you some water for your nightstand." Vesu sat up a little, if only to tilt her head in amused judgement, but then her smile faded, "I'm here for you to talk to or drag along to the holosuite or to shore leave if you need someone to lean on. I don't know what you're going through, and I hope I never do, but I want to help anyway I can." With her declaration done, she slammed the last of her drink and set the glass top-down on the table.

"And if I want to get drunk enough that I may or may not make a pass at you that I may or may not remember doing in the morning?" Statzia giggled before downing the rest of the green alcohol in her glass.

"That's life." Vesu shrugged. "Orions don't actually have reservations about everything the way humans do. I'll keep you from doing anything out of line."

Lieutenant JG Anastatzia Liski
Chief Operations Officer, USS Orion

Lieutenant JG Heshoulou Vesu
Chief Engineer, USS Orion


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