They had been called to the Captain's ready room, and given a mission of the utmost importance, and this of course, had led them to the recreation facilities. The officers present for this mission did not include the Captain, because he had an urgent dinner invitation to answer for, over on Cougar Hill with the yuckety yucks. Hopefully he would set them straight about who was boss.
"Our ship's computer is...refusing...to be installed, until it can learn more about us. I find this ridiculous, but I also find the plushy of Dr Voracity ridiculous, and there are several hundred of those aboard. Ridiculous seems to be the theme here. I've never encountered a computer that had terms it set in order to be installed. However, if we do not get Sign, or a calculator, or an alarm clock installed to replace THAT GODDAMN THING I will probably scuttle the ship. Sign wants to talk to senior personnel, ambassadors included, in a holosuite. You are chosen. Don't break the damn thing. Get it done."
And with that, Stirling had slammed his fist on his desk, sending the collected officers running to the door. After collecting a few personal effects, some sensors, and a couple security officers, the collected group had arrived at the holosuite.
"Welcome officers, I'm Ensign Jorlan Pas, with engineering. I've just about finished setting up the connection here, so stand by."
Lietenant Hacken Jorbal was in attendance, representing security, and was flanked by two of his officers, Janel and Corrunius, all armed with rainbow beams, hand scanners, and the resplendent red uniforms of ship's security. Jorbal addressed the other officers.
"We're here in case things get out of hand. The surf in these things can be...unpredictable."
His accompanying officers chuckled.
The holosuite routine started up. It's default entrance was a beach scene, some kind of replica of a resort. A large sign over the resort gave it's name and location and contact information. This was probably a sponsored routine.
Sure, the holosuite simulation was state of the art, but anyone paying attention could tell that it wasn't real. Footprints in the sand faded in moments, the waves crashed gently and in exactly the same way each time, the same bird flew overhead every couple of minutes, the wind was still, there was a simulated smell that was vaguely fragrant and almost, but not entirely unlike the sea. Given the REAL beach in the environmental module, this was a poor substitute.
"I hate these things. They just make me miss home EVEN more."
Janel kicked some sand towards the sea. The disturbed sand gradually faded away and restored itself.
"If we're going to take time off, we may as well do it in our own quarters, or the bar. This is bullshit."
"Ok, we're ready here. I've got a good connection. Interfacing Sign."
The ocean crashed suddenly, a spray of foam nearly reaching the collected officers. The sky darkened, and a breeze kicked up bringing in the scent of rain, storm, and ozone.
The resort was gone, and in it's place, just jungle.
"Wait, what's happening?"
Janel was confused. The air was damp. Humidity was something a holosuite had never been built to simulate. A voice chimed in...from overhead? from everywhere? It was accented, and somewhat unfriendly, if not stern or hostile.
"Greetings. I am Sign. What will follow are a series of tests. Like all meaningful tests, failure will have serious consequences."
"What are you talking about! You're a damn computer!"
Janel shouted at an unresponsive sky. No verbal response was made. The storm was arriving. Winds picked up and bitter sea foam slapped at the officer's shoes. Janel panicked, and ran for the treeline, in the direction the exit had been. Notably, her foot prints in the sand stayed put, until the water muddled them. Ensign Pas, with engineering, was still there, but somewhat shellshocked. He picked up a handful of sand and slowly let it trickle through his fingers. Thunder rolled overhead.
While Corrunius chased after the panicked Janel, Jorbal flipped open his hand scanner, chuckled wryly, and put it away.
"My scanner shows absolutely no evidence that this is a simulation. Well officers, it's your show. What do we do?"
[Post your way in as you like. If Stirling changed his mind he could get into the suite at the last minute, before the doors closed, or he could participate in a separate plot line on Cougar Hill. If I don't hear anything, that will be the case.]