Posted on Sat Oct 28th, 2017 @ 3:44am by Commander K'Niras Sh'howul
S01E01 - At the Brink of Night
Location: Crew Quarters
K'Niras sat behind his desk in his quarters working with a very small tool. Most Caitian's really didn't like to work with small tools, being that their paws could be rather cumbersome when it came to fine detail, but K'Niras had always been a little bit on the delicate side. His paws were small, his fingers tapered. He could fit them into all sorts of small spaces, which came in handy when working on communication panels and small remote controlled toys.
The parts and pieces were spread all over the surface of the desk. Small parts, some no bigger than the end of a pencil eraser. Nuts, bolts, gears and tiny ball and socket joints, joined by rolls of wire and a variety of pliers for handling different parts, wire cutters and several kinds of industrial lubricant. On a rather elaborate stand for holding pieces while he worked on them, was a body of sorts. It was not complete by any means but it had started to take on the shape of a cat. It wasn't a Caitian, it was an Earth species, four-legged, cat. So far it had three legs and part of the tail. The head was currently a separate piece and sitting to the side on his desk.
He had a long, thin screwdriver and was working on the interior of the body. It relaxed him to work on the toy. To him, putting all the gears and joints in place was mindless. He had done it so many times before that it was almost as if his hands remembered which pieces went where. During these relaxing times, with his long tail swaying back and forth with contentment behind him, he would often think of home and his family. It had been a little while since he had seen any of them in person. Of course he had communicated with them over long range, but that was really only available when he was on a planet or a station. Out here he had to wait for messages and he had gone from one long assignment and directly into another, so it wasn't likely that he would get home to see them in person anytime soon.
He loved his family, but in many ways he had always sort of felt at odds with them as well. He had always felt like there was a part of him that he couldn't share with them. There was this persona that he was when he was at home and someone completely different when he was up here in space. He had been out for so long now that he worried he wouldn't be able to be that facade anymore. That he'd forgotten how. Even if he missed his family there was also a part of him that dreaded the thought of going home. Hopefully it wouldn't be a concern for a long while yet to come.
An hour later he was putting the side pieces on the cat and removing it from the stand. He replaced the body with the head on the stand and bolted it tightly into place. He had to concentrate harder on the head piece. The face was covered in fine motor detail and the gears and wires were tiny and fine. The smallest off alignment could make a cascade effect of non-working pieces and some of the gears were so delicate that any pressure put on them could spell disaster and he would have to replace them altogether. He didn't really know why he loved tinkering with things that were so small and frustrating. Maybe it was the challenge. There were much better way to create remote controlled toys for children, much faster, smarter, cheaper ways, but K"Niras loved working with older materials and construction ways.
There was something about the nostalgia of the act of building something that people didn't make anymore. He knew that he wasn't reinventing the wheel, but he did like to try and create things that were much more elaborate than their forefathers. After struggling for several moments to get a paper-thin gear into place, he sat back from his desk and removed the magnifying goggles he'd been wearing, his eyes on his work. He took a deep breath after several moments and let it out slowly. "Well, Tidbit..." he called the cat project "Tidbit" because it had been mostly made from gears he had scavenged from other things. "You might be finished soon. I wonder what color I should make you? I will have to order the fabric..." he sighed, almost wishing his creation could speak back. He laid his tools aside and stretched, arching his back and making his form amazingly long and lean for a moment. "Maybe we will get more time tomorrow..." he said softly to the clockwork. Then he rose and shut out the light.