Posted by Commander Shedda Mal’athar (Executive Officer) in The Eye the Storm
Posted by Civilian Char’les Harv (Officer’s Mess Chef) in The Eye the Storm
Posted by Ensign Kaia (Engineering Officer) in The Eye the Storm
Posted by… suppressed (4) by the Post Ghost! 👻
It was early, by anyone’s standards. Unless you worked Gamma shift and then it was past the half way point and boredom set in if there wasn’t enough to do. Shedda was still adjusting to a regular schedule again. During her trip out she’d allowed herself the odd Orion natural sleep rhythms. It wouldn’t take her long to adjust, but she needed to get her ‘sunlight’ lamps set up in her quarters and her office. They helped, and that meant less use of stimulants. Many Orions became addicted to the stimulants and Shedda would never allow that.
She stepped into the officer’s mess, it was early and it was empty, the lights were off except for a few turned to low in the early hours of the ship’s day. Dressed in her uniform, it was crisp and neat and fit well, but was not fitted; her hair, as always, in a small bun at the base of her neck. Her normally purposeful, crisp stride, relaxed with no one around. Her steps were quiet and light. She certainly wasn’t swaying with each step, but it was obvious she could if she ever actually let herself relax enough. She made her way over to the replicator and instead of speaking she simply searched the database manually. A large white ceramic mug materialized with a dark almost black liquid and the aroma of coffee appeared. She took the mug, brought it to her face and inhaled and then with a sigh took a long sip before moving over to the window and looking out and stood as still as the silence in the room.
“No no no no no no no… absolutely not. Not once. Not ever.” a voice said and the door to the kitchen swung open and a Bajoran man came out with a tall silver pot with a black handle in one hand and an empty dark blue mug with the Manhattan crest in the other. “You put that magician’s swill right in that recycler and sit down. You’re new, I’ll let it slide this once. But understand me. There is no replicated coffee allowed in my Mess. Period, end of story. Got it Commander?” and the man set the mug and pot on the table closest to her and then crossed his arms on his chest and gave her a look, then the replicated mug, then her.
Shedda turned to look at the man. So much for quiet. Shedda had heard chefs were temperamental. And she wasn’t in the mood to be tapped at by some....over inflated man..she took a deep breath. Don’t act like your mother, Shedda. She picked up the silver pot and sniffed it without letting go of her cup. And then set the pot down. “No thank you. That’s caffeinated. It has a different aroma. I don’t drink caffeine.” But it wouldn’t do to offend the man on the first day. She returned the mug to the recycler got ice water instead. “I’ll get my coffee elsewhere.”
Harv looked at her and said “What? You think I didn’t get a file on your dietary predilection? That is Greselia Prime Roast. Caffeine doesn’t exist on that planet. So drink your coffee and stop being a know-it-all. You’ve been here, what? Three days? Four? Doesn’t matter. Just know that in here, no one goes hungry or thirsty. Now… what would you like for breakfast with your coffee.”
“Again, thank you, but I didn’t come to eat, just a drink.” She set the water down and then reluctantly poured a cup of whatever that was. It smelled like regular coffee which she loved but didn’t drink. She didn’t drink coffee usually at all so why that would be in her diary file and why the man would need one was beyond her. Certainly not standard practice to just give personal information to a civilian. But she’d never served on a ship that actually had a chef. She took a sip and barely swallowed it. “Oh that’s aweful.”
Harv looked at her and said “Sure it is. Because I’m known for serving crap to people. Now sit down and I’ll go get your breakfast… which you are going to eat. And before you start throwing rank around, you might wanna go talk to your boss about me. I get certain… leeway… that most don’t. Now sit.” and he turned an walked towards the kitchen.
“Chef Harv. You call me Chef.” and he disappeared through the doors.
So he was a friend of the captain then. Well good. Honestly. But no one said she had to eat in the officer’s mess. And though the gesture was appreciated she really didn’t like the coffee. And she wasn’t going to drink it just to make ‘Chef’ happy. There were other places she could safely replicate the coffee she liked if she wanted it. And she was NOT going to sit and eat like a good little dog. He could bark orders like, sit, eat, recycle, drink, but Shedda was not a trained animal.
Besides the grounds for that coffee were probably replicated anyway. Like most of the ingredients he would use for whatever he cooked. Maintaining supplies of fresh food was an unnecessary power drain on ship’s resources. Whoever the regular decaf drinkers were could have it. And it was just a little weird the man knew she was in there and what she’d ordered since she hadn’t spoken. Control freak, probably had cameras set up to see who walked down the corridor, to watch the dinning room, and a program to monitor the replicator orders. That was…Shedda curled her lip slightly in thought…creepy.
“Really, Chef Harv, don’t bother, I’m not hungry,” she called as he walked away. She picked up her glass of ice water and moved back to the window resuming her quiet contemplations as she sipped. She made note to find a different quiet spot for the early mornings.
There was a slight clang from behind the wall, then a quiet “Ouch!”
After a few moments of silence, a screwdriver flew out of one of the wall vents, landing on the table next to Shedda. The voice spoke again, a little louder, “Oh, Fiddlesticks!!”
Shedda, with the lithe quick reflexes inherent to her species, moved out of the way of the flying projectile and eyed the wall vent. Definitely a different place for early morning quiet was needed.
There was a scrambling sound from behind the wall, then a panel slid to the side and revealed a crawlspace that usually didn’t get any traffic other than unmanned repair drones. Except instead of a repair drone, there was a face sticking out from behind the panel. “Oh, I’m sorry, I didn’t realize anyone was in here.”
Kaia clambered down from the panel, saluting the moment she was on the floor. “Ensign Kaia, sir, uh, ma’am.” The officer had a young-sounding voice, but that might have been partially because of her height. Barely three feet tall, she looked somewhat like a Caitian, but without the mane of hair. Just like a Caitian, she had a long furry tail and was covered in fur, a light tan for the most of her, fading into a darker grey on her face, ears, tail, and hands. Notable about her hands was that they seemed to be built with one less finger than regular humanoids. She wore engineering colours, and her uniform was somewhat wrinkled and a little stained.
Shedda didn’t seem surprised by the short statured engineering officer. In fact, Shedda had been studying the roster and personnel files and had already finished engineering. The new XO stood, very straight, almost at attention, except for the fact she was holding a glass of water in her hands. But everything else about her, her uniform, her hair, her stance conveyed an on duty officer.
Kaia smiled sheepishly at the XO, looking from her green skin to her pips, then over at the screwdriver that had landed on the table. Gosh, she hoped she hadn’t scratched the table, Harv’d kill her. “I hope you don’t mind if I get my screwdriver?” she asked in a small, quiet voice.
Shedda picked up the screw driver and handed it over. “Sir or Cmdr works just fine Ensign. It’s quite alright Ensign Kaia, tools have a way of slipping out of even the most steady of hands.” Though she tried hard, Shedda’s voice always carried a slight something to it. Unlike her movements, and mannerisms it was something she could never train out of her voice.
Kaia took the screwdriver with gratitude, notably reaching out with her left arm to take it. “Sorry for the intrusion, Commander,” she spoke, her voice gaining confidence back now that her tool was returned. Said tool was returned to the tool-pouch attached to her waist, and her tail flicked back and forth slightly. “You’re new. Ah, welcome to the Manhattan. Sorry again.” She looked at the panel she’d removed, trying to decide if she should stay a moment or run away as fast as she could. “CE had me fixing some of the computer conduits back here,” Kaia continued, almost speaking to herself at this point, “I should have known the static would mess with my grip…” she grabbed her right wrist in her left hand and gave a tug.
“Thank you, Ensign.” She appeared to Shedda to be more comfortable with her work than people. “Don’t let me keep you. I’m sure the CE wouldn’t appreciate me keeping you away from your work. Do you need help putting the panel back?”
The fur came off in a smooth motion, revealing it to be no more than a glove over a metallic prosthesis. Kaia slung the furry glove over her shoulder and sat down against the wall as she pulled open a panel in her arm, totally absorbed in her work. Kaia certainly had a habit of becoming engrossed in a task… and it seemed she’d briefly forgotten there was another person in the room. “Yeah, yep. Electrics are overloaded. Fiddlesticks, I really thought this would be the one.”
Kaia wasn’t an observant person in regards to people. Although her ability to work with Engineering and Machines was incredible, she was somewhat socially… inept. Needless to say, she didn’t notice the odd something in Shedda’s voice.
Kaia, Eng. (and very ADD like me :D )
Shedda was about to suggest the young ensign go have her arm looked at when…
The door the kitchen opened and Harv returned with a tray. His gaze fell on Kaia and he scowled. “Last time, Lieutenant. You do not come through my access panels. You want access, use the door same as the Captain. And how many times do I have to tell you to not pull your skin off in the Mess?! Seriously… people eat here. I don’t care it’s synthetic. Decorum, Lieutenant… decorum.” He walked over to the table by Shedda and set the tray down.
“I dropped a screwdriver and I thought the room was empty,” Kaia retorted with an almost sassy expression on her face. She looked like she would have stuck her tongue out, but decided not to. “What is this calling me a Lieutenant? You know something I don’t, Harv?” She asked, smoothly closing the panel on her arm, then pulling the furry glove back up to her elbow. She was glad she didn’t hide her amputation anymore, it had been far too tiring.
Bossy was NOT the word for Chef Harv. What was that saying? ‘Every man has a kingdom’? This was obviously his. “En Kaia perhaps you should go to medical or engineering to have your prosthetic checked?” As much as Shedda loathed to admit she agreed with Harv. The mess was not the place to fiddle with fixing her arm, and more importantly if it was damaged she should have it looked at.
“I can take care of it myself,” Kaia insisted with a small scowl, followed by a grin. “I’m the one who designed the arm after all.” It was a bit of a brag, she knew, but she liked to show off her mechanical skill.
On the tray was a small plate. On the plate, two pieces of toast, plain white, with a brown spread… peanut butter; melting slightly. Next to the plate, a small bottle of honey… just in case. And the best part?
It certainly didn’t smell replicated. The aroma was unmistakable. This was fresh.
That was creepy. The man was capitol ‘C’ Creepy. She really wasn’t hungry this early in the morning, but it was her favorite. Simple but her favorite.
Harv looked at Kaia and said “So? Are you eating or just breaking my wall?” and he looked at her, hand on hips. Fortunately, she would know that while Harv was abrasive… he really did like cooking for people he liked.
“I’ll put the panel back, then I’ll have whatever you feel like prepping for me,” Kaia said with a grin. As much as she gave Harv sass, she liked him. He knew his stuff and his food tasted almost like home. She grabbed the sagging panel and, despite her small stature, clicked it back into place.
Shedda eyed the chef as he berated Kaia for breaking the wall and grilling Kaia instead of herself about food. She seriously considered leaving without eating it just because she could. She could almost hear her father’s deep rumbling voice telling her to mind her manners. She sat and picked up one of the pieces of toast and took a bite. Oh that was an indulgence. It was missing one thing but it the ice on Andoria would melt before she said anything.
Once the panel was back into place, Kaia clambered up onto a chair, sitting down for a moment to fiddle with the edge of her arm glove and get the transition between false and natural fur to almost seamless. “I’ve been talking with Faye and we might get some Pad’thesh growing in the Arboretum. If it grows well, I might even let you try cooking with it,” she suggested to the chef.
OOC: Harv will know that Kaia is an obligate carnivore and can only handle minimal quantities of grains or greens.
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