Posted March 20, 2023, 1:13 a.m. by Civilian Marishka (Lounge Host) (Catt Bennett)
Posted by Lieutenant Shock (Chief of Security) in COS’ Office (Marishka/Shock)
Posted by Civilian Marishka (Lounge Host) in COS’ Office (Marishka/Shock)
Posted by Lieutenant Shock (Chief of Security) in COS’ Office (Marishka/Shock)
Posted by… suppressed (20) by the Post Ghost! 👻
Marishka stepped out of somebody’s quarters wide awake and fully dressed. The look on her face said she had not been there for pleasure. She paused, glanced both ways, turned to her right, and began walking at a brisk pace. Whomever had misplaced her delivery would know her wrath.
As Shock was walking on his way to his office this morning, he was reading reports on his pad. He knew it was not the best habit, but he found it efficient. He did not see Marishka, nor did he hear her, that much he was in his own world (perhaps he was a little unmeditated and had had a too little sleep recently), and suddenly found himself halting four centimetres from Marishka’s forehead.
“Please forgive my absent-mindedness,” he said, and took a big step backwards. “Are you alright?”
– Lt Shock (COS)
Marsihka looked the COS up and down and wondered how easily she could snap him in two right in the corridor. That was probably just the effect of the mood she was in though.
Taking a deep breath, she stepped back as well.
“No necessarily. Perhaps we should both watch where we’re going in the future. Those must be some very important reports.” she said calmly.
Shock tried to un-pack what Marishka had said. The first sentence did not make sense. Had she replied to his “forgive my absent-mindedness” or “are you alright?” The maxims of conversation would imply that she had replied to the last, but it was not clear-cut.
“I will take better care in the future,” he said. “It is unfortunate that my reading them caused me to come so close to you. What was your reason not seeing me, if I may ask?”
Marishka knew his question was valid but so was her rage at this time of the morning. She had also had very little sleep the night before, not to say that night had been uneventful, it had been quite glorious.
“You are not several kilograms of coffee beans.”
It took longer than Shock wanted to make sense of what Marishka had said. Why did non-Vulcans always have to speak in riddles? What was the point of that?
“No, I am not,” he replied calmly, “but should you like to accompany me to my office and its replicator, we could drink coffee or some other drink, or share breakfast. If you have the time, that is. My morning is, despite my distracted appearance a minute ago, rather flexible.”
He had several matters he would like to discuss with Marishka at some time – the security arrangements in 17/18 Forward, for example, how Marishka, as host, would understand very much about guests and what goes on onboard, matters that might be helpful for Security to have an understanding in.
– Lt Sock (COS)
Marishka glanced back at the quarters she had just vacated. Perhaps the occupants would have a better explanation of what happened to the coffee beans, she had seen in the arboretum three hours ago, at a later date.
“I will accompany you to your office but I will not drink your coffee. Try as I might, I cannot get it to replicate a decent cup. I have had chef after chef, botanist and engineer alike, but it just doesn’t work for me. Let’s have tea.” Marishka suggested instead.
Shock listened carefully. He knew that people had preferences, especially when it came to recreational drinks. For himself, it was with tea. He did not enjoy the replicated teas – he enjoyed the unique subtle variety of each new steep he’d make, playing around with the temperature of the water, the amount of leaves in the water, and how long he’d steep it for. Thus, each sip would give him a unique understanding. He had collected various sorts of tea, and he found a special affinity for Earth teas (especially of the East Asian kind), though Kelpien tea with its saltiness was also something he’d at occasions enjoy. In any case, Marishka would find a wide selection of teas in his office.
“I empathise with your predicament, I find the same when it comes to tea. Your suggestion is agreeable, I prefer tea as well.”
He led Marishka to the turbolift around the corner.
“Deck 14,” he commanded of the computer as they entered the lift.
“I understand this deck is familiar to you, with Arboretum. Did you ever meet my predecessor in my position, the previous chief of security? I am curious as how they were like. My crewmen don’t tell me much at all.”
Marishka stepped into the lift after him glad to be moving on with this day. Ensign Rodriguez would sort out the coffee bean situation and, hopefully, stop asking her why she was in the arboretum so late.
“I’ve known a fair bit of people on this ship and, at the moment, I am low on details regarding your predecessor but, I’m quite certain they will come to mind. What are you interested in knowing?” she asked.
“I imagine you have,” he confirmed. “I have not had as much interaction with the other department heads as I had imagined. I suppose I have been allowed a high degree of autonomy running security, but I was wondering if this culture existed with my predecessor too. Perhaps others might consider me difficult to approach, due to my cultural background, being Vulcan…”
By the time, he finished saying that, the lift had arrived to Deck 14.
“My office is just this way,” he said, leading in the opposite direction from the Arboretum.
Reaching the office, not even a minute later, he extended an arm to invite Marishka to enter the room before him.
– Lt Shock (COS)
Marishka wasn’t concerned aobut entering the COS’ office before him. Such things had never really bothered her so she did so, glanced around, and stepped aside to wait for him.
Continuing the conversation once she entered, “I have noticed security has a high level of autonomy on this ship no matter who is heading the department. That can be, in my opinion, a good thing. I believe this ship will always come together when it’s necessary for the betterment of the ship or anybody on it. I wouldn’t concern myself with it too much if I were you.”
“I thank you for your advice,” replied Shock while looking at his guest. He gestured to show her his shelf with teas. “Please, Marishka, which tea mIght I steep for you?.”
If she were looking at the shelf, she would find a wide selection of Earth teas – while mainly of the East Asian variety (white, green, oolong, black), there was also an Earl Grey of Picard renown, some Turkish and Russian brews, as well as rooibois from southern Africa. Moreover, she would see Vulcan plomeek tea and spice tea (despite his upbringing, neither was not one of Shock’s favourites), Andonian tea, Klabnian fire tea, and Kelpien tea (with a small jar of Kaminar sea salt next to it for flavouring).
“Would you like something to eat as well? A snack?”
He switched back to the topic of the conversation.
“And you are quite right. It appears that Security has a high degree of autonomy, which in most cases, I would find conducive to the common good. If things go awry, however, I trust, as you say metaphorically, that the ship will come together. Are there any security concerns that you have regarding your place of work that you would like to discuss?”
– Lt Shock (COS)
Marishka looked at the teas for a few seconds.
“Oh you simply can’t have the Kelpian without the salt now can you? I would very much fancy a cup of that if you please and perhaps, some simple buttered scones.” Marishka knew the replicators simply couldn’t get that one wrong.
“I find the salt adds some flavour and neutralizes some. Let me know how you experience it. I will make us a pot. Could you ask the replicator to make some buttered scones for me as well, while I prepare the pot?” By inviting her to take an active part of their breakfast preparation, he hoped that she would feel more at ease. It was a gamble though, some people might find it rude.
Her host was being kind and she had to think of her metabolism so, a snack was prudent.
“I don’t have any security concerns regarding the Parthenon. I’ve been here for quite some time and was able to have quite a few upgrades made along the way. I had assistance of the former CIO and many of my volunteer staff have come from security and related departments. They like to help me improve the place. Perhaps they view it as a special project.”
Marishka knew that bragging wouldn’t get her anywhere in this situation.
Shock thought about what Marishka had said. It seemed all good.
“I find relief in what you said,” he said, while carrying a tray of a pot of Kelpien tea with salt and two cups. The pot and cups were Vulcan in design, but he found it made no difference. A childhood friend of his, a potter, had made it to him before Shock left for Earth for his studies, so that he could always have something genuine with him wherever he went, a piece of Vulcan, a piece of home.
He placed the pot on the desk. There was space on both sides of the desk for seating, and he chose his usual seat, the one from which he could see the door. “Please sit down and join me,” he said.
Marishka brought over a plate of buttered scones with a small dish of honey and jam just in case either one of them changed their minds and decided to go after something sweet. She set it down and slid into one of the chairs. Surveying the pot and cups she nodded appreciatively.
“What region of Vulcan is that clay from?” she asked.
Shock was impressed by Marishka’s question. She had been able to deduce, with confidence, that the pot and cups were from Vulcan. He felt a tingling of warmth, even pride, which he quickly repressed and returned to a serene state of mind.
“The clay is from sediments by the Voroth Sea, in my home region of Raal. Have you ever been? A friend of mine, a potter, made this pot and cups as a gift to me when I left Vulcan for Earth. I find having this pot, these cups, in my daily life honours our friendship and anchors me in my Raal identity.” he said, as he poured the tea to a cup, and which he placed on a small wooden tray including some Kaminar sea salt and a small wooden spoon for the salt and stirring.
“Where did you grow up, if I may ask?” he asked, as he handed over the tray to her.
He took a bite of the scones, and realized he had not thanked her for bringing them over. He decided to do so soon. Despite his own reservations of fast-acting glucose, he decided that the occasion warranted some luxury, and he added a small peck of honey, and a small peck of jam on his plate, dipping his scones on them. Perhaps not the human way of doing it, but neither of them were, after all, human. He came to the understanding that jam was preferable to honey in this instance, with jam having a mix of sweetness and acidity which accentuated the salty and savoury flavour of the scones, and did really well with the salted Kelpien tea.
Marishka carefully added salt to her tea, tasted, stirred, and tasted again. This gave her time to formulate her response. Most of what she was going to explain was of no consequence.
To Shock, Marishka looked deliberate in her actions and there was an elegance to the way she prepared her tea. It certainly looked like this wasn’t her first time with Kelpien tea. Perhaps he would remember to ask her later.
“I grew up between Qo’nos and several Orion homeworlds. Whatever was at the whim of either of my parents that day I suppose. I’ve never set foot on Vulcan proper but my services have been requested on a few colonies where entertainment of outsiders is deemed an unavoidable necessity, I suppose you’d say.”
Whatever was at the whim of either of my parents. Shock tasted her words and was not sure what to make of them. It appeared to him as if Marishka’s story was long and interesting, but not one that she might not be prepared to share today. She had, however, entertained him thus far, and accepted his invitation for impromptu breakfast. Before replying, he took a bite of the scone – a surprisingly pleasant taste and texture for Earth-like food, perhaps that’s why Marishka, not human herself at all, and he, also not human, bonded over human food and Kelpien tea. Indeed do strange things come to pass…
“Thank you for sharing that,” he said, with genuine gratitude. In Shock’s experience, gratitude was an emotion that Vulcans were fine with expressing, especially to non-Vulcans, mainly as it had become a politeness over the centuries following Surak anyway. “As for me, I have never set foot on Qo’noS nor or any Orion world. I suppose we might be strangers to one anothers’ homeworlds.”
He took a sip of his tea. It was always surprising to him that despite the added salt, the tea would not make him thirstier. But he made a mental note to himself that he needed to drink water after this session, lest he might end up dehydrated.
“Do you see that drawing?” he pointed to a child’s drawing, signed in Klingon – the name reading _ majQu’_. The drawing depicted a Klingon boy and a Vulcan male officer (presumably Shock) fighting off a monster. “Before meeting you, this drawing has been my only connection to Qo’noS. And you now remain my only connection to the Orion worlds too. I believe I will think of you each time these planets or their cultures or peoples come up. I find that thought agreeable.”
He was surprised by how willing he was to open up to Marishka – an emotion he quickly purged – but Marishka somehow felt – even on a telepathic level – safe and strong. It was an uncommon feeling for him, he would usually be weary of others, especially non-Vulcans, and not let them know how he thinks and perceives or hint to his past. His security officers, for example, knew very little of him, and Marishka, only half an hour into breakfast, had bettered them already.
OOC: Thanks for the bump and for your patience while I was sick and away! – Ric
– Lt Shock (COS)
Marishka set the scone down and looked at the drawing then back to Shock.
“Is connection important to you? I, myself, find it rather a complicating thing.” she said.
It was an interesting question that Marishka posed.
“For me, yes,” he said softly, as if still in contemplation, keenly aware that it might not be the same thing for her, given the way she phrased her question. “I find it meaningful to me, anchoring me in my identity.”
He took another sip of the tea.
“You say it’s complicated for you. Would you like to expand on that?”
– Lt Shock (COS)
Marishka wondered if she might have opened the wrong door with this conversation but, it had begun none the less. She had known several Vulcans in her life including one who thought himself her mentor for a short time. Judging Shock’s reaction against what she knew of them, it was almost emotional.
“I don’t make many friends that last for very long but, those I do make, I would die for with pride.” she said a touch more forcefully than she meant to.”
Shock noticed the forcefulness, but did not comment on it. They had opened their hearts slightly, and maybe it was too much. He wasn’t sure. Non-Vulcans were difficult to interpret. It required a lot of cognitive focus.
“Friendship is, indeed, meaningful, too.” he said, agreeing with the notion, only with different words. “Do you have people on board this ship you consider friends?”
– Lt Shock
Marishka avoided making another ‘it’s complicated’ moment.
“Since it is my desire to be here for quite some time, I would like to consider everyone on board a friend to some degree or another.” she said finishing her cup of tea. It wasn’t the coffee she had been seeking out at the beginning of her journey but it had turned into quite an interesting morning.
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