More about the mentioned-once Captain’s Cup
(Prompt from CallMeGallifreya on Tumblr)
Working with humans was always a rocky path...
Bal'thox watched in confusion as her human captain installed a small heat plate near the Captain's chair. Humans had been all over this ship. Adding insanity upon insanity.
Certainly, some of them worked. Like the gravity generator that was half technology, half cargo cult.
Others mystified. Like the twin, plush representation of six-sided die that now dangled above the main screen. And this. The resting place for the Captain's Cup.
"I do not understand," said Bal'thox. "You purposefully bring an open beverage onto the bridge, and make certain that it is too hot. And you place it on a heating plate to cool down?"
"Exactly," said Captain Blaise. "Top marks, that officer."
"It will not cool rapidly. It will barely cool at all."
"Yes," said the human. "That's the point."
"Is it?" wondered Bal'thox.
Blaise played with one of her short curls. "Well, if it cools down quickly, I'll have to drink it. Then the poor ensign would have to refresh it. And that gives us an entire five minutes without the most sensitive alert system we have. And a lot can happen in five minutes."
Her explanation left Bal'thox completely confused. "A cup of hot liquid is the most sensitive alert system..."
"It knows something's up before anyone else does," Blaise shrugged.
Bal'thox, of course, kept a scientific monitor on the cup's success rate. And was alarmed to note that this particular piece of human superstition was scarily accurate. It could detect trouble up to five minutes in advance of any other instrument or sensory system.
The word about it just went viral from there.