Posted July 3, 2020, 1:33 p.m. by Lieutenant Pretha Oberon (Security Officer / CRIT Leader) (Melissa Aragon)
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
(Takes place after “Deja Vu… Dinner and a Chat” with Raye and Cochrane)
( https://www.star-fleet.com/core/stf1/manhattan/posts/87687/ )
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 didn’t 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 wasn’t gonna stand.” and he took a big drink.
Once more she dared to reach out and rest her fingertips lightly on his hand in reassurance and support as he spoke. Her own face sharing that anger at something like that done to someone so worthy of better.
“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.
Her heart skipped a beat but she didn’t pull back from him where they touched. “I’m glad…” was all she managed for a moment. She took another ling draw of her wine and shook her head. “Someone like that definitely deserved worse, but you did it. That’s all that matters. And yes, I am sure there were plenty who approved.” She smiled softly and nodded her head to him. “I’m glad you are here, she is safe and you did what you did. I wouldn’t be able to go on record, saying it of course. But if I had been there,” she smiled, “I would have helped.”
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