Creed Quarters - The Morning after the Wicked Ballad

Posted July 15, 2019, 10:33 p.m. by Commander Ardashir "Jack" Creed (Executive Officer / CIO) (Steven Sigle)

Posted by Lieutenant Celina Rodriguez (Chief Tactical Officer) in Creed Quarters - The Morning after the Wicked Ballad

Posted by Commander Ardashir “Jack” Creed (Executive Officer / CIO) in Creed Quarters - The Morning after the Wicked Ballad

Posted by Lieutenant Celina Rodriguez (Chief Tactical Officer) in Creed Quarters - The Morning after the Wicked Ballad

Posted by Lieutenant Celina Rodriguez (Chief Tactical Officer) in Creed Quarters - The Morning after the Wicked Ballad

“Man you don’t tell my Abeulas anything you don’t want the world knowing. I mean you know Jack. Celina called her mom and Isabella overheard so then she told Miranda and both of them are off and running in setting up the engagement dinner mi hermano,” Cesar said excitedly. “They arrived in Tehran this morning and were talking to Anahita about things you would want to be included in the ceremony. Like like like everyone is super excited about your wedding man. They just are wondering why you seem to try and be keeping it a secret. It’s not like we don’t like you,” he bounced a bit as he talked. The smile on his face was evident that everything he was saying was true but there was also something in his eyes. A look that said when he asked if Celina was in the room the hope was the answer was no.

“As to why I am here,” Cesar looked around the apartment and leaned in a bit closer as if ready to impart a secret. “I have a business deal I can only share with mi hermano,” he said clapping a hand on Jack’s shoulder. The action would not be as odd looking if there wasn’t several inches separtating the two men forcing Jack to hunch over a bit to hear the information. “ Celina here?”

Lt. Celina Rodriguez

“She’s in there.” Jack said almost without thinking before more came into his mind. There was so many questions, 12 hours was not enough time from Earth to here, so this didn’t seem to add up as much as Cesar wanted it to.

“Wait… explain again? I guess I am not following why are you HERE.” Jack asked as he pointed to the ground. “How the devil did you get to this starbase we are no where near Orion or Earth to be able to get here in less than 12 hours.” Jack said as he looked over at Celina for some help.

Creed, XO

“So I was at the transport shop back in Peurto Rico when this guy walked in and he was all like Yo Cesar I got a business deal for you. And I was like what kinda business deal and then I remember two weeks ago when I was hanging out with Pedro who was friends with a shady guy named Ferdinand who said to me I met this guy last week who had a business deal that could make us a million credits. Milion credits I say to Ferdnand and Ferdinand is like Million credits. So I say to this guy in the shop what kinda deal. He says Do you like pirates and hot dogs and I am like essay who doesn’t. But then my Abeula comes out and is like You and your friends are not eating hot dogs. Come in and eat some Jibarto. I made it fresh. You know how good those things are Jack. I mean last time you were there you had like two until Luis and I put in California reapers instead of bell peppers,” Cesar began to laugh and pat Jack on the back like it was a fond memory for both of them.

“Wait what? Cesar what does any of this have to do with WHY you are here.” Jack said, feeling that familiar migraine pulsing in the back of his head whenever Cesar talked this way.

“Okay okay okay,” Cesar said looking almost hurt Jack didn’t want to stroll down memory lane with him. “So me and this guy lean in over our sandwiches and he says I gots a job for you which my Abuela then repeats A job makes a sign of the cross and goes off to find Miranda because she is eavesdropping as she is making flan at the stove. I say a job and the guy is like a job and I am like a real job and the guy is like yes a real job with credits. I lean back and start to think about how I want to open that vintage transport shop because I am tried of customers coming in and being all like I need my transport fixed and it is boring work man. You know my passion for the pinstripe with the hydraulics at the beach. Aint no girl resist the cherry red transport with the white pinstripe and crisp white leather seats. You know what I mean man don’t you,” Cesar punched Jack in the ribs like he did his own brother Luis.

“Cesar… I will punch you, what the flying underground cage kangaroos are you doing here?” Jack said, brushing off the hits as his eyes narrowed. Jack was highly trained in subterfuge, hand to hand combat, and most weapons. Patience though wasn’t really one of the points he practiced very often.

“Why you so impatient. I am telling you why I am here. Do I need to start again? Where did you get lost,” Cesar said looking Jack in the eye.

“Sugar honey iced tea no, no don’t start again. Just… slow down and continue.” Jack said as he shook his head and walked over to the liquor cabinet. It felt like it was going to be one of those nights.

“So what was this about hot dogs and pirates I say to the guy and he says there is a package you need to get but it is buried like pirates did back in the day on a beach but on Laguna Prime. There are no pirates but it is buried like the pirates did to keep it safe.. Laguna Prime I say and he repeats Laguna Prime so I say what do you need me to do dig it up and he says Yes essay and when you do you get half of what is in the bag so I am like fifty-fifty split. I’m in only when I get out here I find I did not have enough credits to make it to Laguna Prime but then I overhear someone say Jack Creed was doing something on the Starbase ad I am like hey why is my brother here. I don’t know what you did but they did not seem mad at you mi hemano just in case you were worried. Anyway, I thought I will have Jack give me a ride and we can split the booty 50/50. He is going to be a family man and needs a way to support my sister so I find out where your ship is docked and that is how I showed here Jack,” Cesar spread his arms as if he is ready for Jac to share in his enthusiasm at his sudden appearance. “So you ready for a road trip with your brother. You go pack a bag and I will take care of Celina just like at the end of this business deal you will be rich enough to take care of Celina without my help.”

Lt. Celina Rodriguez

“Take care of Celina? Why… Cesar… do you have any idea what we do for a living?” Jack asked, wondering if the uniform wasn’t coming off strong enough as he began drinking the vodka and coke he poured himself. “I can’t just go pirate hunting, and even if I could why the hell would I? Pirate hunting? I mean… what’s next we going to go try snipe hunting next?” Jack asked as he shook his head but handing Cesar his own drink. He couldn’t deny he did like the guy to an extent, even if he drove him mad.

Creed, XO

“I didn’t say pirate hunting mi hermano,” Cesar took the drink. “I mean you would never survive walking a plank. You can’t swim. You are a desert people but we Puerto Ricans are a water, people. We swim like fish,” Cesar said proudly tapping his chest. “If you had to walk a plank,” Cesar lowered his voice and pointed a finger at Jack in a show of solidarity, “I would dive in after you.” The look on Cesar’s face was nothing but sincere.

“Dive in? Cesar you do know you drown in kiddie pools? I had to rescue your ass at that Orion hotel cause you said the water was too cold and you clammed up, it was 80 degrees my man, it wasn’t too cold by a long shot… you just flailed in the pool taking in water like a sinking boat.” Jack said as he rolled his eyes at the idea that Cesar would be able to come save him he was Kevin Costner in Waterworld.

“Anyway I said the package is buried like a pirate treasure, not that pirate’s actually buried the treasure,” he let out a good-natured laugh. “So you ready to go or do you need to get a toothbrush.”

“Ready? No… what… no. I am the first officer here I can’t just leave, again DO you know what I do here on the ship? Do you know what Starfleet even is?” he asked him, wondering if he thought they were just working at a day spa or something of the sorts instead of a military class science vessel.

“Yes. It is a science thingy where you travel around the galaxy on the Federations credit. It’s not a bad thing to sit around and stare at gas all day. I need something more exciting in my life. Like a going to an exotic locale and retrieving a bad on the Federation’s credit,” he elbowed Jack gently but firmly. Not wanting to insult his future brother in law Cesar quickly added. “I’d join,” he hooked his thumbs at his chest, “but............... those collars seem so tight and restraining,” Cesar pulled at his own collar as if demonstrating how he would not like wearing the uniform of a starfleet officer. “Me…I like the 100% cotton feel that breathes as I go about my day.” It was not the best way out of the conversation Cesar realized but he needed to find some reason to make Jack thing his job as interesting.

“Cesar,” Celina said rattling off a string of Spanish expletives that was clearly enduring by the way she crossed the room smiling and then embraced her younger brother. “What are you doing here,” she asked taking a step back to look at her brother. “Can you stay a while. We have a guest room. You are more than welcome to stay here then in the guest quarters,” she immediately offered up Jack’s place as if her name was already Creed.

Looking at Celina jack shook his head as he muttered “Nope” several times under his breath. He didn’t want him here, this wasn’t a good time and with the change overs he wasn’t sure the Captain would even approve.

“Nah Jack and I were discussing a business trip we are about to go on,” Cesar gave Jack a thumbs up and nod for yes as Celina turned to confirm with Jack.

“Trip? Why didn’t you tell me you were going on a trip,” she crossed her arms over her chest giving Jack a suspicious look. “Am I not invited?”

“Love I know nothing, do we test him for drugs when he acts this way?” Jack said with a slow pondering tone as he seemed to be wondering how to handle Cesar just now.

“Mi hermana you are always able to come. Why wouldn’t I want my sister with us,” Cesar looked at Jack like he was crazy shaking his head. “Jack said you might not be interested but I said no man my sister loves camping!” The enthusiasm was clearly evident in Cesar’s voice and the expression on his face. Except when Celina turned to look at Jack and Cesar gave him the slicing across the neck motion indicating that Jack needed to break the news that Celina had to stay home instead of going with them.

“Well I wouldn’t say loves but it is not the worst thing in the world,” Celina shrugged. “I just don’t really see camping as Jack’s thing. Not that he can’t and that we hadn’t but what kinda business trip do you do over smores?”

Lt. Celina Rodgriguez CTO

“Wait camping… slow down. You’re going along with this?” Jack asked Celina, his eyes wide as he was trying to process everything in the last ten minutes. It felt like a whrilwind had just hit him. Up was down, down was up, left was right. He had no idea what to make of any of this insanity.

Creed, XO

“Well, how else do you make real smores,” Celina shook her head as if confused by Jack’s comment. She loved the man. Ardishir Jack Creed was one of the smartest men she had ever met except when it came to her family at times. In those moments, Jack sometimes needed a lot of help in keeping up with the conversations. His homeland had very few official camping areas. Mainly because the culture saw camping rarely as appropriate. In Iran, if you went on a hike and got off the beaten path you almost always met some local on your journey that insisted you stay at their homes. This heart-warming hospitality sucked you into unplanned homestays in strangers homes but the strangers treated you like family. They fed you, you drank tea, and the evening was spent sharing happy stories meant to make you laugh and feel good. As per custom the people staying over expressed their gratitude though small presents instead of cash to thank their hosts. It would have saved the first of many awkward moments in Jack and Celina’s past if he had told her this the first time Celina experienced Persian camping. Celina had found a few gifts tucked into Jack’s backpack and assumed they were for her. It was only when they left the family’s house in the morning did Jack explain the custom. The idea that he still didn’t understand good honest Peurto Rican camping didn’t surprise Celina.

“Baby why don’t you go have your coffee and I will figure out what is going on,” Celina stood up on her toes for a second to plant a kiss on Jack’s cheek before linking arms with her brother and leading him to the couch. The conversation that followed was the same Cesar had had with Jack but only in Spanish. Even if he did not understand the language, Jack would have known the content based on the pauses, gestures, and laughter Cesar repeated exactly as he had with him before Celina’s arrival.

After hearing her brother talk, Celina promptly tapped her comm badge. “Ensign DeFrank you are in command for the next week. I have some important family business to take care of. I will let Creed know but until next Sunday you are in charge to hold the fort down” she informed her department manager.

“Okay so give me ten minutes to get a few things together, and we can go,” she told her brother.

“Celina you are the best. You can get a shuttle right,” Cesar said pulling out his personal communicator.

“Yes or if I have to I can rent one,” she replied looking across the apartment at Jack. He had been here the entire time but Celina knew she would need to do a little translating and interpreting to get Jack up to speed. Getting up she crossed the room towards her fiance.

“Baby I am going to need a few days off. It seems Cesar has a wonderful....job opportunity,” she chose her words carefully. She would never lie to Jack and at times translating specific words between languages could be tough. “He just needs a lift to his that is nowhere near the truth,” Celina pondered her verbiage. Cesar said job opportunity and that he had to meet with an associate so maybe she would go with that. “To meet his business associate. I won’t be gone long but I would love it if you could approve my leave while I go pack. I will only need a week. Less maybe if things go according to plan. I am going to miss the heck out of you,” Celina wrapped her arms around Jack’s neck. As an XO he would understand the need for one of his officers to request R&R and grant it on the spot. Frankly few of the senior staff ever seemed to take it so when they asked it was almost universally granted. As Jack her fiance, a little more finesse would be needed. Since he rose from the dead about a year or so ago, they had not separated for even a night. This would be hard on her too but family was everything to them and Cesar needed Celina’s help.

Lt. Celina Rodriguez CTO

“No, you are not approved…”

“Wait what did you say,” Celina looked at Jack with a confused expression. “Did you just say I was not approved? How can you,” she started before Jack immediately cut her off with what she called the XO stare. Whether or not Jack realized it, to her, Jack had a way of dealing with those who did not get the point. His volume never rose. His cadence never increased. What he did have was a look that seemed to shoot down to your very soul and made you either shut up immediately or start yammering like an idiot. Right now it did the former to Celina. The shock in her voice was evident as she finally got her thoughts together and started to speak. “Why would you not approve my leave? I am going with my brother,”

” to go chase some pirate treasure with him like you are Blackbeard and Jack Sparrow, am I the only sane one here?”

“Ummm,” Celina let out a small squeak followed by a shrug and side glance to her brother. She could not refute her fiance’s statement. He was always the saner of the pair unless it had to do with racing. Then he could be as stubborn as the rest of them.

“No Jack. Blackbeard and Jack Sparrow are nothing like us,” Cesar said spoke up almost proudly. “You meant Roberto Cofresí the Puerto Rican Robin Hood. He robbed from the English and Spanish and then gave the money back to the needy in San Juan.”

Celina dropped her head and pinched her nose with her fingers. “Not helping. Not helping,” she said knowing this little tid bit was not going to make Jack instantly okay with everything.

.” You two both sit your asses down right now or so help me I am going to throw you in the bridge for the abandonment of duties and Cesar I swear I will throat punch you… now sit both of you!” Jack said his eyes wide as he looked at the pair. It was clear he was not going to let them just go on some adventure like prospectors looking for gold in the hills.

Celina motioned Cesar to sit on the couch. Part of her felt like a little kid and a plebe during her first cadet review but she was withJack and had to give him his say even if he would need to change it.

“Yes I know about it all you crazy woman, and until know I thought you had some sanity in you. That’s not how this works, that’s not how any of this works!” Jack said with a fire in his eyes as he paced. “If you think for one second I am going to let you take leave you must have been harder on your head than I thought when I pushed you out of that balcony.

“Now, how about we get some details here, none of this bullcrap you are peddling… I want real details real plans, real ideas. You can’t just go half cocked like mad men in the night on some weird hunch. Cesar… I love you but the last three times I helped you I ended up in jail every single time. So until I know everything no one is leaving this room.

Creed, XO

Cesar looked at Jack and then Celina. He had no idea why Jack seemed to be all crazy about this. Twenty minutes later after spilling another convoluted story, Cesar finished and looked at Jack. “So we ready now,” he asked with his characteristic smile.

Lt. Celina Rodriquez CTO

Celina looked at her brother and chewed her bottom lip slightly. Off duty, Jack was easy going and not the man he was on duty sitting in the command seat running the ship. Still, if there was any time to be a bit more serious in explaining a situation it was now. Her brother’s loved Jack. They instantly bonded over his love of engines the first day they met him. The Rodriguez brothers could be a bit overwhelming however for the mere mortal. Jack has carefully cultivated a relationship with each of them that had in turn been extremely productive and enough to make him think about pulling his hair out and contacting hair club for men. Right now, hearing Cesare explain what the course of events would be for their little excursion, Celina worried Jack would be calling Happy Dale Sanitarium asking about vacancies for two of the people in the room.

Jack for his part kept the stony exterior as he listened to Cesare ramble. It was a look that he honed from years of being in command. The only tell that he was remotely entertaining the idea was the occasional scratching of his forehead and a side glance at Celina as her brother talked details.

“First, some ground rules. I am in charge, if I say this ends… it ends. I will not be putting either of the people I care about in jeopardy or in trouble you both understand?” Jack said as he looked back and forth between the pair. He needed to hammer home this wasn’t something he saw as some luxury getaway. This was family helping family, but they needed to be safe.

“Jack…it’s me,” Cesare spread his hands with a happy and confused expression on his face. “When have I ever steered you wrong Mi hermano?” The expression on Cesar’s face showed the man clearly had not remembered the past as Jack had or Celina for that matter.

“Buying the pea-green Gremlin, taking him to that recruitment drive for Opal Industries Pleasure cruise lines,” Celina began to rattle off all the times Jack had been innocently duped into trying to support her brother’s activities yet ended up bailing the man out instead.

“What he said he was done with Starfleet. That girl I met at the bar said the ship was looking for a new XO,” Cesare looked at Celina like she was insane. “We were sitting at the table. He said they could take that job and stuff it after some Admiral named Peppi called,”

“It was Perkins no Peppi and everyone wants Perkins to be sucked into a wormhole,” she defended her fiancee. “There was the time you accidentally made him carry that dog-like thing off the planet only to find out it was an endangered and protected species. That time on Prerillan II when you thought the Ambassador was an hors d’oeuvre.”

“He looked like he was on a bed of lettuce and how was I to know sentient beings came that small,” Cesare protested before giving Jack a half-smirk. “We are lucky we didn’t eat him though. That would have taken a lot of candle lightening in the church to get over that mistake.” Nothing about Cesare ever read as malicious or deceitful. It was always as if he was the bungling sidekick to a dashing hero.

“The point is every time Jack has green-lighted something it,” she stopped talking and looked at Jack. Saying any more might just prove his point that going was not a particularly good idea. “You know what? Never mind this trip is going to be different,” she looked at Creed with a smile. It was the smile that said I love you for more reasons than I will ever be able to count.

“Second, this counts as a birthday gift… I am not getting something for either of you this year if we do this… and third, I fly the shuttle.” Ardashir smirked at the last part, he knew Celina loved to fly and wanted to call dibs now before she had a chance.

Creed, XO

Celina rose up from the couch and tightened the belt around her robe. She crossed the room putting her arms around Jack’s waist. She loved him like this. Strong and in command but wearing the half-grin which made her heart skip half a beat. Celina inhaled deeply and sighed looking up at him. Rising up on her toes she pressed her lips to his softly. The kiss was only a few seconds but conveyed the love and devotion she had for the man in her arms. Jack may have acted like he wouldn’t help but he always would. They were a team and nothing, not even death, could keep them apart. “You are getting me a present,” she let her words tickle his ear, “and you know it is always a race to the pilot seat and I am smaller, feistier, and quicker.”

Lt. Celina Rodriguez CTO

“Yeah… we’ll see.” he said as he watched her leave before looking back at Cesar. “Do you have bags packed?” he asked him, wondering if the guy had even planned this far into the future. “I mean… you did plan this out didn’t you? Any of it?” he asked him, feeling like this might all be something Cesar did on a whim and a prayer with little forethought.

Creed, XO

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