STF

Arrival: A Fortunate rendezvous

Posted Nov. 22, 2022, 5:47 a.m. by Lieutenant Logan Kelleher (Chief Engineer) (David Shotton)

Posted by Ensign T’Mera (Linguist/Comms Officer) in Arrival: A Fortunate rendezvous

Posted by Lieutenant Logan Kelleher (Chief Engineer) in Arrival: A Fortunate rendezvous

Posted by Ensign T’Mera (Linguist/Comms Officer) in Arrival: A Fortunate rendezvous
Posted by… suppressed (8) by the Post Ghost! 👻
The bulky shape of the vessel, identified on sensors as it entered the systems as a Y-Class freighter, eased its way in to a matching orbit with the Sojourner.

“SS Sojourner, this is Captain Keene of the ECS Fortunate. We have your replacement crew and stores on board, permission to transfer via shuttle pod?”

“Permission granted, it’s good to see you Fortunate

The battered civilian model shuttle pod eased its way into the bay and settled gently to the deck playing. The hatch swung open and a petite figure stepped out, a large, somewhat battered travel bag slung casually over one shoulder. She glanced about, taking in the utilitarian, almost spartan appearance of the landing bay, her nose wrinkling slightly the only sign given of her first impressions of the ship.

She looked around for the nearest crew member to accost for directions.

Sublieutenant T’Mera - Linguist/Comms Officer

“Good morning!” Came a pleasant sounding voice from off to one side of the pod and where she was standing. “Welcome to the Sojourner.”

Behind the voice was a large, solid figure wearing the uniform of the Star Fleet ship and the colours of Engineering. That figure paused as he looked at her, the friendly smile fixed on his face as the mans eyes landed to the side of the womans eyes. “Pointy ears, you must be an Elf.” His eyes moved back to hers and the smile half twisted into a grin. “I’m Lieutenant Kelleher, the ships Chief Engineer. Call me Logan if you like.”

Taking the last couple of steps towards her Logan held out his hand in greeting.

Lt Kelleher, CE

Other than the minuscule raising of one eyebrow for a fraction of a second, the ‘Elf’ comment appeared to cause no reaction. After looking at the outstretched hand for a moment, T’Mera placed her bag on the deck and gingerly took the hand before shaking it briskly with a firm grip.

The womans’ grip surprised him for a moment. It was far firmer than he expected and far more businesslike than greeting like. Logan had little idea what to expect from the woman and none of Starfleets’ courses on interacting with non-humans had actually stuck with him. He was more the type to learn by experience anyway.

“Thank you…. sir,” she said, releasing her grip.

“Don’t mention it.” He placed his hands on his hip, partly to hide the conscious desire he had to flex his hand after her handshake. In the slight pause the followed, he looked at her expectantly.

“Would you be able to direct me to the Captain?” She asked, removing a small bottle from her hip pocket, squeezing a small amount of a fragrant gel on to her palm, and then rubbing her hands together.

“And also have my belongings transferred to my quarters?”

Sublieutenant T’Mera - Linguist/Comms Officer

“Of course, that’s no trouble.” Logan waved over one of the nearby crew members to come and collect her bag, and take care of moving anything else she might have on the shuttle to the quarters assigned to the Comms Officer.

“The Captain is probably on the Bridge or Ready Room. If you’d like to come with me I’ll take you to him.” Turning and indicating the door, Logan made to walk beside her.

T’Mera inclined her head to indicate her assent to the suggestion, setting off in the direction of the door.

“You know, you’re my first.” He glanced at her for a moment as they walked. “Vulcan I have met, I mean. Do you have a name? Might make it easier to greet you in the future.”

Lt Kelleher, CE

“Sublieutenant T’Mera. You may call me T’Mera should we in a suitable social or informal situation. I believe that is the Earth convention, yes?”

The slight pause and inflection that this was a question, rather than a statement was the first real indication that the Vulcan did not appear as at ease as her posture and tone suggested.

“Usually, yes T’Mera” Logan nodded, used her name informally immediately and looked at her with a grin. “Sometimes humans prefer a more formal address until you get to know them better. Some, just want to be called by their name. It’s total chaos. Of course I think we all have some learning to do, seeing as our races hardly know each other really.”

“It is hardly unusual that you have not met one of my race before. Earth is hardly a centre of learning or spiritual enlightenment that would cause my people to gather in any great numbers after all.”

“Oh I’m not sure about that. You just need to give us a chance, I’m sure there are plenty of Earth traditions and enlightenments that Vulcans would love. We have great food, great music. Like a million religions and spiritually enlightened groups, and we have Rugby.”

As they walked off, a crew member could be seen in the background, barely being able to lift the travel bag and calling for a wheeled trolley.

Sublieutenant T’Mera - Linguist/Comms Officer

Through the doors to the shuttle bay as the two walked through, another crew member could be seen helping the first lift the bag onto a trolley that had been set aside for the supplies from the shuttle that T’mera had arrived in.

The doors closed behind them, Logan turned left and headed towards one of the nearby turbo lifts. “Okay T’Mera, question for you. What was that hand gel all about? Are you a germaphobe? I swear I washed my hands right before coming to the shuttle bay earlier and I shower at least once a month.” The tone of his voice indicated a tease, but as he said it he wondered if she was able to read the tone or if it would sound as unusual to her as hers did to him as she spoke so matter-of-fact.

Lt Kelleher

“It would not be usual for Vulcans to exchange physical contact at a first greeting. That is seen as something reserved for someone that we are close to, such as a close family member or spouse. The gel is simply a mixture of cleansing oils and unguents, designed to both physically and spiritually cleanse.”

“Really? Your people don’t usually shake hands with someone when you first meet them? That kind of sounds a little stand-offish or maybe unsocial to a Human. We tend to be touchy feely people even when we say we aren’t.” As they walked Logan smiled and talked in an easy going way. “So it seems to me, we’re on a first name and handshake when first meeting basis. Did I just get lucky or is that some kind of diplomatic approach that they teach you on Vulcan?”

T’Mera paused in her walking, giving the Lieutenant, who stood a good foot taller and almost twice as broad, an appraising look before continuing.

Noting the pause, the tall Engineer did likewise and turned to face her with a slightly curious expression in his eyes, though his lips continued their relaxed smile.

“However, I believe that it is important that Vulcans learn to follow the customs of others, rather than try to impose our system upon others. Part of my choosing to travel in this manner is to learn your customs and idiosyncrasies as a species through participation and immersion rather than through observation. After all, if we Vulcans act in a manner that appears unnatural to your species, than you will in turn, act unnaturally around us. It is only logical.” She said, the eyebrow again raising briefly.

“Oh I completely agree,” Logan spread his hands wide to emphasize what he was saying, “in fact Humans made an expression for exactly that. We call it simply ‘When in Rome’. Basically it takes everything you just said and wraps it up nicely with a little bow tie and way less words. I’d just add though that I think it’s just as important for Humans to learn the same about others, we’re kinda just discovering the galaxy is a pretty big place.”

She resumed walking, fully expecting the Lieutenant to follow.

Logan grinned and followed, stepping into the turbo lift behind T’Mera and turning to face the door. Reaching out to hit the control to take them up as the door closed, he looked over at her again as she began to speak.

“From my appraisal you appear to be in good health and physical condition for one of your species. Perhaps while I am aboard, we could engage in cardiovascular fitness sessions or sexual intercourse?”

Sublieutenant T’Mera - Linguist/Comms Officer

As the words left the Vulcans mouth Logan physically froze for a second, before his hand moved forward but ended up hitting the emergency stop instead of a floor button. That, caused the red emergency light to power on bathing them both in its all encompassing red glow. “What, huh? Logan muttered realizing he hit the wrong button, hitting it again to turn the light off, but leaving the lift stopped and not moving.

“Your just going to ask me something like that without even buying me dinner first?” Now he turned bodily to face her, leaning his shoulder against the wall and folding his arms across his chest, but with one eyebrow raised in question. “Is this one of those participation and immersion opportunities you just talked about? I mean, I’m not judging, I’d be happy to help you experience a little Human in you.” Phrasing Logans’ mind suddenly barked at him. “Sometime.” He added.

Lieutenant Logan Kelleher, CE

“Indeed.” T’Mera responded with an incline of her head.

“The act of mating and procreation is important in any culture, often reflecting the nature of the species itself. On Vulcan, the act is seen as a very spiritual one. Based on my research in to humanity, a large portion of your culture, media, and humour stems from sexual intercourse, so it would be logical as part of my research to participate myself.”

“It sounds like you’ve taken some time studying us, we tend to find humor in things that aren’t always openly discussed or experienced. It’s a way to bring certain topics into a discussion in a relaxed way.” Pushing himself off the wall, he stepped a little closer to her, their proximity making him realize just how different they were in size.

“Don’t be confused by our pop culture, entertainment and jokes. For most Humans, mating is also a very intimate and special experience. Even Spiritual to some. Others like to spread it around like a buffet. The fun part is finding out what individuals are like.” Looking at her for a moment, he suddenly had a thought and couldn’t help his eyes moving down and then back up to her face again. “I’m curious. Are Humans and Vulcans even, you know, a match?” using his hands, Logan indicated both of their bodies.

She paused, and then turned to fully face the lieutenant, even though she had to tilt her neck up to look him in the eye, she did so.

“From my research, I can reassure you that we are physically compatible as a species. I am also in excellent condition, and as part of my cultural studies I have read your Karma Sutra, as well as studied the works of Lawrence, Meyer, and James. I am well versed in various techniques and will provide a stimulating companion, although given the likely disparity in our physical strengths, you may need to warn me if I am too forceful at any point.”

Logan was about to reply, but stopped short at the too forceful comment. She had his curiosity earlier, now, she had his attention. “Well, I may not be as widely read as you but I have some experience in these matters. I believe I will also provide a stimulating companion although, perhaps you could teach me some Vulcan techniques. Sharing our culture would benefit both of us. That sounds logical, doesn’t it?” Looking at her for a moment, Logan turned back to the control panel, then added. “Do you cuddle?”

She glanced around the stopped turbolift, and raised that eyebrow again.

“Tell me Lieutenant. As the Chief Engineer, do you often find that your turbolifts cease to function in this manner in human vessels?”

Sublieutenant T’Mera - Linguist/Comms Officer

“Every time the conversation turns to mating and procreation, yep. Every time.” Logan nodded. “Also when someone hits the pause or emergency stop like I did.” Clearing his throat slightly, he pressed the button to carry on their journey upwards.

A slightly puzzled expression passed across T’Mera’s face for a moment before clearing. Ah yes. She thought to herself, Humour

“It sounds to me that you’ve put a lot of time into us humans,” Logan added as the doors opened once more. “I confess that I haven’t had much time to learn more about you. Aside from the immersion we spoke of earlier, I’d like to learn more about you and your people. If you would be interested in sharing that. In fact, I recently installed a Juke Box in the crew lounge. If you have an interest in our music, feel free to take a look and choose a song or five to play. I may even see you there for dinner.

Kelleher

“I can provide reading materials on my species for you to examine Lieutenant. Once you have absorbed sufficient background information, I would be happy to have a further conversation regarding Vulcan culture. I can provide standardised testing if you wish.”

“Hold the testing, are we talking about a Welcome to Vulcan brochure or something? Because I am much more the hands on learning kind of guy and oral exams were more my thing.” Logan waved his hands in front of him, and then stepped out of the lift to lead her to the Ready Room. “So, the lounge? Food, music, some of us dance once in a while, if you dance.

Given the Lieutenant’s insistence on being provided with nutritional sustenance before the act, a logical ritual to have evolved in a species that required regular caloric input prior to physical exertion, and also his mention of a ‘dance’, T’Mera began to question if her research had been sufficiently thorough. Clearly the humans attached much more significance and ritual to the act of mating than she had previously supposed. Curious.

“I will indeed meet you there for food and dancing if you so wish. Once I have taken up my duties, we will compare schedules to see when we have several hours of off duty time at a mutually convenient time.”

Sublieutenant T’Mera - Linguist/Comms Officer

Damn, and I thought ‘Earth Girls Were Easy’ Ran through Logan’s mind as T’Mera suggested comparing schedules, and briefly wondered why Vulcans were held in more of a suspicious regard by Starfleet. Clearly, something had gone wrong in their diplomatic approach. Logan had nothing but eager anticipation for the likely cultural exchange, bridging the gap between cultures, going where no human had gone before. This, thought Logan, is exploration.

“Good, I’ll meet you for dinner tonight then and we can talk about your first day. See where the night takes us from there, at a thought our schedules should be fairly similar, both of us will be working during “alpha” shift, or what passes for ‘day time’ on board. Here,” he indicated a door coming up.

“That is the Captains Ready Room, he should be in. If you need me, just use one of these comm panels to call me, I’ll usually be in Engineering during duty hours.” Logan pointed to a panel on the wall. “I’m sure it will be simple enough to operate for you.”

Kelleher


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