Posted by Civilian Vorraye Anders (Diplomatic Attache) in Dead Man Cooking
Posted by Civilian Char’les Harv (Officer’s Mess Chef) in Dead Man Cooking
Posted by Civilian Vorraye Anders (Diplomatic Attache) in Dead Man Cooking
Posted by… suppressed (2) by the Post Ghost! 👻
(Takes place after “Deja Vu… Dinner and a Chat” with Raye and Cochrane)
( https://www.star-fleet.com/core/stf1/manhattan/posts/87687/ )
A bowl of a wonderful smelling something landed with a light thud next to her salad, and the form of the Chef came around her shoulder. “I’ve seen that look before.” and he took off his bandanna from his bald head and sat heavily into the chair opposite her. “That’s the ‘I just got my butt handed to me’ look. And I can only assume that probably has something to do with me. Yeah… sorry about that.”
She jumped slightly as the bowl landed. The smell made her smile a little.
As the chef sat down and apologized, she shook her head. “You don’t need to apologize. My curiosity got the best of me. You seemed so close to Ale.. the Captain, I was curious who you were. Is my fault. I just hope I didn’t mess things up for you.” She smiled slightly. “And I’m sure you don’t, but if you ever need anything, please ask. I may put my nose in places it doesn’t belong, but I still have connections if needed.” She pulled the bowl closer and sniffed it with approval. “I just hope you don’t have to leave.”
He looked around at the empty mess hall. He then leaned back and said “Skipper is my baby sitter, keeps the word from getting out. And if I was gonna have to, I’d probably be gone by now. I hope I get to stay. I like this ship. And the crew deserves good food.” and he looked at her. “So what did you do?”
“Well, if you go, we’d be at the mercy of NE Lanser.” She laughed. “I think replicator use would triple inside of a single shift.”
When he asked what she did, she sighed and shook her head. “I just looked you up. I saw you were dead, and the picture wasn’t you, and went to the Captain.” Her spoon slowly stirred the bowl’s contents to start cooling off the contents. “I’ve never seen him mad. Not like that.”
After a second she shook herself and looked up. The half smile was back. “Reprimands are rolling now and official entries in my personnel file. Everything is peachy. Nothing to worry about.” She forced a laugh.
Harv shrugged and said “Meh. He’ll get over it. It’s just… a whole lot folks called in a while lotta favors to get me here. And to see that all go up in smoke because somebody slipped, well… I’m sure that didnt set exactly well with the Skipper.” and he looked around again.
“You know why I’m here?”
She shook her head. “No. But if telling me gets me in more trouble, or puts you in jeopardy, I don’t need to know.” She smiled again, though this time was closer to her usual self.
He looked at her a long time, as if weighing some weight. Finally, he stood and went to the kitchen and came back with two glasses and a bottle of wine. He poured two, slid one to her, and took a drink.
“I murdered a guy. In cold blood. In front of like, I dunno, a hundred and fifty witnesses? Sonethin’ like that.”
Raye frowned as he left then glanced up and watched him sit back down and pour. Taking a sip, she’d been about to ask what was up, when he blurted it out.
She stunned a moment, then took another sip of wine. “Did he deserve it?”
Her mind screamed and fought against her. How could that be the first question on her lips? And why wasn’t there a follow up question already in place?
Harv’s jaw clenched tight. “Oh yeah… he deserved worse than a filet knife through the ribs but I had to work with what I had, ya know?” he said. His tone held no remorse, no guilt… just anger and the unmistakable tone that, given the chance, he would do it again no matter what.
Harv, Chef (And apparently murderer)
Without thinking, she reached across the table to not so much old his hand, as let her fingers touch him in support. “If he deserved it, I believe you. And I don’t think Cochrane would put his neck out for someone unworthy of such a thing.” She smiled slightly and nodded. “You did what you needed, and while others may hold it against you, I never will.” Slowly she pulled her hand back, unsure how the man would take the gesture if it lingered. “I won’t pry, because I know when I’ve been beat down and told not to,” she laughed softly. “But know I am here for you, Harv. Regardless whatever capacity that may be. And, hopefully, the Captain will eventually forgive me and all will be right again.”
He laughed and said “Pry all you want. Havent talked about it in a while… maybe it’s be cathartic.”
She sat up and looked down at her bowl a moment before looking up at him. “Speaking of which, thanks for seeing to his tray for last night. I want to take him dinner against tonight, for both of us once again. I want him to understand that I know what I did was wrong, and I accepted whatever comes of it. But,” she paused as her cheeks reddened slightly, “I do care for him, Harv. But if all I am allowed is dinner with him to make sure he remains well, then I’ll take it.” She smiled and shrugged. “Let me know if you want me to simply take whatever is set out for everyone tonight or if there is something special you make for him. Will you please?” She took a couple more mouthfuls from the bowl as she watched him. She realized she was rambling again and figured she better stop before she acts the fool more than she was already branded as.
He shrugged. “Skipper doesn’t even eat what I make in the Officer’s Mess most of the time. Replicator or what I’ve whipped up for the Enlisted folks is what he eats. Only special meals he gets are when one of the sharks circling him asks.” and he winked and chuckled.
She laughed. “Well from the way he enjoyed your faire the other night, perhaps this shark may come to you occasionally anyway. If that’s all right?” She smiled.
“As to talking about it, I said I was always here for you. If you want to crack another bottle,” she nodded to the wine, “Or even tap out a couple hours in the holodeck, you are more than welcome to talk about it all you want with me.” She slid her own glass over for a refill, surprised she had finished it already.
He poured both glasses full and said “So I was a chef on Risa. Loved my job, really did. I had a huge kitchen to play in, carte blanche to create what I wanted, and a staff…” and his eyes went wistful, “… such a great team. Good at their jobs, passionate about food… just all of them… wonderful, wonderful people.” He took a drink and the jaw tightened again. “One day, one of my juniors cooks came in to work. She was always so happy and excited, had a real future… she came in with a bruises and a black eye. I asked her what happened but she said she got mugged… but that spark, that light… it was gone. I didnt push, but a few days later she broke down in my office. Told me what happened…” and his hand clenched the edge of the table so hard his nail beds turned white. “The guy used her… broke her… turned off that light in her. Man, I tell you… I came unhinged. Almost destroyed my office. She was scared, I was angry… whole staff got involved in consoling her and trying to keep me from going after the guy. Finally… finally we all decided that it wasnt gonna stand.” and he took a big drink.
“We knew who the guy was, knew the police were useless. So we… and I mean the whole kitchen crew… we came up with the idea to hold this big banquet. Invite everyone whose anyone. Including him. We wined and dined the rich and famous… and powerful. And when it came time for dessert, all of us came out and took a now, glad handed stone of the super important guests…” and he looked her dead in the eye.
“And when I got to him I pulled a fillet knife outta my sleeve and slid it between his ribs and into that p$@!k’s heart. Left it there and walked out the door. He goes face first in his tiramisu a few seconds later… and voila. I got a five thousand strips of latinum bounty on my head courtesy of his bosses in the Syndicate. And here I am… after being killed in a fluke warp core malfunction or some garbage. I guess somebody liked what I did.” and he chuckled.
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