Shuttle on route to Deltana V

Posted April 3, 2020, 9:50 p.m. by Commander Ardashir "Jack" Creed (Executive Officer / CIO) (Steven Sigle)

Posted by Commander Ardashir “Jack” Creed (Executive Officer / CIO) in Shuttle on route to Deltana V

Posted by Lieutenant Celina Rodriguez (Chief Tactical Officer) in Shuttle on route to Deltana V

Posted by Commander Ardashir “Jack” Creed (Executive Officer / CIO) in Shuttle on route to Deltana V

Posted by Commander Ardashir “Jack” Creed (Executive Officer / CIO) in Shuttle on route to Deltana V

Posted by Lieutenant Celina Rodriguez (Chief Tactical Officer) in Shuttle on route to Deltana V
snip

“Are you sure? When she forces us to go to mass I swear if she flaps her arms she is taking off, like six of these…” Jack paused as he patted the bird on the side, “…had to be plucked to make just one of her outfits.”

“Since when have you minded going to mass,” she looked at him with an open mouth. Apparently, there was a lot Celina was going to learn about Jack this trip. Shaking her head as if to clear that thought away, Celina refocused her gaze on Jack. “You know what I am going to put a pin in that thought and we are just going to circle around back to this later,” she mimed what she said ending in a finger swirl.

“Oh don’t you dare put words in my mouth, I said she could flap her wings after mass… I never said I hated it. I quite enjoy it when you chant for three hours and then have an old man feed you slowly… it’s like a really drawn out dinner and a show.” Jack said as he winked at her. The truth was he never minded going with her, he loved any time he could ever spend with Celina. Even her family he loved to be with, but he was used to such a smaller brood. He only had a half dozen aunt and uncles and three cousins. Immediate family only as his sister and her daughter. On the flip, Celina’s family had a brood the size of a small army.

“ibakihini na ፡፡ selami inilaleni,” the guide interjected gesturing for the couple to follow him deeper into the camp.

“Oh no no no,” she wagged a finger at the guide as she slid off the bird. “He is gonna tell me when my mom looked like and acted like this overstuffed chicken?” The guide looked between Celina and Jack not sure what to do. These two were not what Cesare had promised.

“I never said overstuffed, just feathered… your mom is kinda hot for her age, gives me hope for the future… but come on moosh even you have to admit she has a penchant for the feather dresses,” he said as he looked over, smirking slightly as she got worked up. Most men would be scared but he knew just where to touch her to make her melt and she wouldn’t stay mad for long.

“One feathered dress,” she gave Jack the ‘you are so in the dog house’ look. “One dress with a feather accent,” she stressed the last word still sending him a death glare, “does not equal my mother is a big bird.”

“One dress, and like twenty-three boa’s, hell she gave you a boa nightie for Christmas and said it was a gift for us both… which still crept me out am just saying.” Ardashir countered, knowing it was far more than just one item.

“It didn’t seem to slow you down that night,” she taunted him.

“Oh let’s be honest moosh you could have been in a burlap’s sack and it wouldn’t have stopped me… I mean have you looked at yourself?” Jack asked as he slung his bag over his back as he followed the man.

“Yes and that is all you are going to do tonight…From across the camp…like way over there. Get your com ready,” she fought to stay mad. It was so hard with Jack. Like every couple, they had their spats but normally he said something so sarcastic she could not help but find it funny like his most recent statement. Somehow Jack had a way of defusing of the situation so that it always remained at a slow simmer instead of a nuclear reaction.

“We have refreshments and we can explain the dee,” the guide tried to alter the conversation to something productive yet the saviors seemed more intent on battling each other than the pirates.

“Stuff your refreshments,” she snapped at the guide focusing gaze completely on Jack who seemed to be more intent on poking the bear than making up with it.

“While we are on her stupid gifts… remember the feather poncho? Think made you look like a damn emo Disney villain, I felt like you should be stealing children for some spell.”

“It was a shawl and not a poncho you idiot,” she gasped drawing back some as if Jack had just insulted her. “Is that why you were calling me Angie. You thought I looked like some Maleficient knock off. Is that why you and those kids were chuckling?” To be fair, Celina hated that shawl but there was no way she was ever going to say that now. It would just reinforce Jack’s stance feathers on clothes were stupid and annoying

“Oh come on hon, my niece was terrified when you wore it and kept asking if you were the fairest one of them all,” he asked as he looked back, knowing she would find the humor even if she didn’t admit it.

“And what about the hats? My god, I have never seen so many… she wears… and tries to get you to wear them” he said as he looked over at her as if he was going to dare her to counter him.

Celina opened her mouth to snap out a reply but Jack’s command gaze snapped it closed. Of all the things Jack commented about he was not wrong about the hats. Each one had either an obnoxiously large flower or plump feather which Celina only was reminded how ridiculous she looked when she put it on, took it off, or stared in a mirror. “What am I supposed to do when she give it as a gift,” was her only come back.

“Then when she gave me a feather dress cause she thought Ardashir was a Native American name… that was awkward… like… my last name is Ardashir Creed… when has that ever sounded Native American?” he asked as he began to get off the bird as he grabbed a water flask from his pouch as he tossed it her way. He knew this weather always dehydrated her, should could be mad but he wasn’t going to let her pass out either.

“Because you know my mother has a strong accent,” Celina threw up her hands. “I mean how many times did you ask me when you first met her ‘uh babe was that english or spanish,” she imitated the posed question in a very bad parody for Jack.

“Oh come on, I understand you just fine.” Jack stated, knowing that wasn’t at all her point.

“So if I can understand you then how can she always sound like that. I love your mom… I truly do. I think you believe I don’t but it just isn’t true. I am just saying it doesn’t take effort… if I start slipping into Farsi I always translate too… I mean you learned it, and I learned Spanish… why can’t she?”

“I don’t know,” she threw up her hands. “It is probably the same reason she still doesn’t believe you speak Spanish even though we have told her a million times that you do. She is stubborn and Latina and you are just lucky I take after my dad,” Celina crossed her arms.

“Besides you can’t understand her because she drops her consonants or mixes them up. Like when Lynn broke up with Cesare because my mother kept calling her Lean instead of Lynn. I mean yes she was a bit…study but Lynn kept thinking her accent was my mom telling her to lose weight every time she called out ‘Lean you want more flan,” she spoke and then leaned in slightly as if coaxing the connection to now fly of his mouth. Seeing it was not going to happen, Celina threw up her hands. “¿Cómo puedes ser tan listo y estúpido al mismo tiempo?” Jack had her so frustrated she was now code switching between languages. “Ugh…Creed is Cree because she drops the D sound. So when you say I am Jack Creed she heard Jack Cree as in the Indian Cree....from Canada and Montana. So the feather dress was her accepting your cultural heritage,” she gave a little head bob as if to say shoot and scores winning the argument.

“Oh yes, because there are so many Cree running around. There have been only a few thousand Cree left and they moved from Earth to a new colony… on top of that why on Earth would my last name be my race? Should I start calling you Celina Peurto Rico?” he countered.

“That’s it,” she threw up her hands. “You’re not sleeping in my tent,” Celina began to walk towards the camp.

“How long have you to been married,” the guide asked as he watched Celina move with a purpose only angry women possessed, “and will you be needing separate tents?”

Celina

“Officially? Just engaged… unofficially, feels like fricking forever man.” Ardashir said as he reached into his pocket as he handed his credit chip for him to use to pay for their rides. “And no, we are not sleeping in separate rooms… she needs to learn when she is WRONG,” Jack said as he elevated the last word loud enough for Celina to hear.

Creed, XO

“Oh, espera hasta esta noche. Verás quién está equivocado porque no hay forma de que te acerques,” Celina began to rant in Spanish as she always did when they began to fight. The words would have had more impact if Celina had been focused more on her footing than verbiage. A loose spot of gravel underfoot stopped her tirade as the tacical officer went down hard on her rump sliding down half the hill.

“شما می دانید که نمی توانید در برابر من مقاومت کنید ، من محبوب شما هستم.” Jack countered as he smirked as he turned around watching her fall as he couldn’t help but burst into laughter. “Oh, Allah please tell me you have a video of that… there has to be video around here.” Jack said looking around hoping they had this recorded.

“Be careful of loose footing,” the guide called out as Celina landed at the bottom of the hill. Standing Celina shot a firey look back at Jack and the guide. Instead of replying, she reached down grabbing the first rock she could find lobbing it at the men on the top of the incline to the camp. It found it’s marked nailing the guide in the shin hard enough to sting. “Owwwww,” he called out followed by a string of what was probably profanity in his native tongue. “Are you sure you don’t want separate tents,” he asked Jack on last time before starting to move down the small incline with the ostrich-like creatures.

Celina CTO

Following the trail of broken twigs, Jack made his way down catching up to Celina “We’ll be fine…” Jack said as he caught up to Celina as he began to dust her off.”

“Jack this trip sucks. I ripped the knee of my pants,” she pointed out like a small kid on a playground. “I think you had better take a number and get in line because I am going to kill Cesar when I see him,” she reached her hands up for Jack to lift her off the ground.

“Come here moosh…” Jack said softly as he began to help pick her up. Kissing her cheek Jack let her wrap her arm around him. “Come on moosh baby, let’s get to the tent and I can get you fixed up… I’m sorry too… you’re mom is amazing… I love her… but I love you more,” he said as helped bend her leg as he let her climb up into his arms.

Creed, XO

“And she might have an unnatural obsession with feathered clothes,” Celina admitted rubbing her nose on Jack’s in an Eskimo kiss. As crazy as this trip had been, at least they were far enough out of the way not to be bothered by Starfleet. It was rare that Jack did not get at least one piece of business while on shore leave even if it was only to answer a communication message or two. Herewith no consoles or even electricity it seemed, the only way someone from the Manhattan was going to reach them was through smoke signals.

“Maybe… but I shouldn’t nitpick so much. Lord knows my habit of collecting futbol memorabilia is going to leave our place flooded… and my sister won’t stop sending you Persian recipes… guess none of us have it perfect,” he said as he kept tracking towards the tent areas as he looked around at the people. This certainly wasn’t what he expected, but this wasn’t it.

“Wait why would you bring up Persian recipes? You said you liked my version of Crispy Persian Potato and Saffron Tahdig,” Celina cocked her head to the right studying him almost quizzically. Jack had said he loved this recipe but potatoes were not as common as plantains in Puerto Rico nor Saffron as common as Sofrito. Sofrito was what made all Puerto Rican dishes unique. She didn’t think changing it to Crispy Persian Plantain and Sofrito Tahdig made it that different but apparently Jack must have thought so or he wouldn’t be bringing up all the Persian recipes Jack’s sister continued to send or his sisters warning of do not substitute anything. Maybe this trip was going to be a more of a couples retreat than a simple weekender away. “An hwaht do you mean none of us haf it perfect,” she slipped a bit into her accent. “Do you hwanna tell me hwaht you think is naught perfect?

“I never said a damn think about your cooking, I figure you got tired of Azita trying to constantly get you to make Persian food if I wanted to eat Persian all the time I wouldn’t have asked a spicy Puerto Rican to marry me, love.”

“Do… do you know what any of this is? Surely Cesar told you more…” he asked as he felt a brush of someone running post as he saw a small kid run through as he stopped before he ran into their guide.

“ādini ādanyochi izīhi ālu” the guide called out as the rest of the camp began to cheer and pat each other on the back happily.

Luckily the people of the small village were enough to pull her off the Persian cooking topic for now.

Tapping Jack on the back to set her down, Celina directed her attention to the guide. “I’m sorry what is adini adonny a heel ewe mean,” Celina attempted the language.

The guide snickered for a second at her pronunciation before correcting the end. “A heal you not ewe,” he said with a smile. “It means the saviors are here,” he said in a joyous tone which again sparked cheers from the group.

“Come again…” Jack said as his eyes got wide as he looked at the guide then to Celina.

A sickening pit formed in Celina’s stomach as she looked around just for show. There had to be someone else here. While she could not come up with regulation about religious impersonation and the Federation, she was sure Jack had one stored up. As many years as the man had been XO, he probably had encountered just about every rule Starfleet had. “Oh you are not talking about us,” she pointed a finger back and forth to her and Jack. Please don’t be talking about us, she added silently to herself. Maybe killing Cesar was going to have to take a backseat. If her brother got Jack embroiled in some weird diplomatic dispute, he would kill Cesar.

Celina Rodriguez CTO

“We are talking about you,” the guide spread his hands with a large grin as if his prodigal son had returned from a long trip.

Celina’s mouth opened and closed a few times not knowing what to say. For a Latina woman, this was a rare event and one seldom seen even by Jack who was with her hours daily. Licking her lips she shook her head and threw up her hands in a small gesture of defeat. As a couple, she often deferred to Jack’s judgment in situations unless that situation was something she disagreed with or felt Jack needed to deal with more aggressively. Silence, however, was kin to Celina admitting defeat in a conversation and she never conceded a win except in the most extreme circumstance.

“Yeah… we… just a vacation… I mean outside of being called the savior of the bedroom from this one.” Jack said as he did a small lifting motion as Celina got jostled up and down as he looked back at the rest. “I have never been called a savior.”

Creed, XO

“What… Jack,” she cuffed him sharply with a curved hand and a flick of her hand on the back of the head. It did not hurt but an involuntary reaction. “You had better start praying to St. Alexius,” Celina shook her head as Jack set her down.

“Oh Allah not this again, if I have to hear about your Saints again like they are Pokemon that you have to catch again… why Alexius? What did he do?” Jack asked with a roll of his eyes as she brought that up. He often felt Catholics had more saints than the Greeks had patron deities.

“Yes yes St. Alexius of Rome and the great Anthony of Padua,” the guide said as the group dropped to his knees and began to bow like a Hindu instead of clasping his hands together like a Christian. The group all began to chant something low and soft that reminded Jack and Celina of a prayer.

“Okay that is new,” Celina remarked not sure of what to make of the situation.

“No no no no… we… we are just here to mingle and not be single…” Jack said as he looked around at the people as they gathered around him.

After several seconds the guide stood up and nodded happily to the couple. “The ever-faithful missonarian Cesar spoke to us from the heavens and told us that Saint Anthony and Saint Alexius would give us in our trials and he provided…you,” the guide moved forward with open arms to embrace Jack in a large hug.

“Don’t touch me....” Jack said simply as he put his hand in front of the man’s chest.

“He is not a hugger,” Celina patted the guide on the shoulder in a reassuring manner. “Don’t worry but can you tell me more of why you think Saint Alexius and Saint Anthony sent us to you.” Her tone was soft and gentle because she needed to keep the conversation calm and controlled. She wasn’t worried about offending any. Celina was more worried about the Cesar reference and which Cesar the guide had in mind.

“Lord not more saints, it’s like ancient greek mythology expect you guys have more Saints than they did. You know the other Chrisitan sects just stick with Jesus and God, but no you Catholics had to get fancy with your Saint naming.” Ardashir said with a roll of his eyes.

“Saint Alexius is the patron saint of vacations and Saint Anthony is the patron saint of lost things,” Celina explained still not making the connection between why they were calling her and Jack saviors, religions were being mixed, and how her brother fit into all of this. Her only saving grace was that Jack was Muslim and while he knew a lot about her religion, it was just cursory knowledge at this point. This precious fact was giving her more time to figure out what was going on than Jack which might just allow her mother to see her youngest son again.

“Of course they are,” Jack said plainly as he looked around trying to see more about this place. If he wanted to get away he needed to be aware of his surroundings.

“Yes and the great missionarian Cesar foretold us of this glorious day. He said that he would scour the heavens and bring to us the chosen people,” the guide smiled happily at them and gestured slightly in an encouraging manner as if she and Jack were idiots.

Celina

“Did Cesar also ask about his best friend Brutus? Ends great that story… where is Cesar… and why are we here?” Jack demanded as he didn’t budge from where he was.

Creed, XO

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