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My Galley!

Posted on Tue Aug 6th, 2019 @ 10:32am by Lieutenant JG Sekat & Patrick O'Malley & Lieutenant Lilith Sullivan

Mission: For Whom The Bell Tolls
Location: Ship's Mess
Timeline: MD05, 1630

Pots and pans were on the stove as usual, a wide variety of carefully picked ingredients lying on the counter. Since several people had since complained about food being too spicy or tasting weird, Patrick had resorted to making simple meals and leaving the spicing to whoever came to get a meal. It was the simplest solution even though he didn't understand the nature of the complaints.

No-one had ever complained before and suddenly out of nowhere, people thought his food was inedible. Grimfaced, he stood stirring the pot with a large ladle, hoping to mix the ingredients evenly, so that all different vegetables were evenly mixed in the brew. He seemed oblivious to his surroundings, eyes only on the pot as if determined for nothing to go wrong.

The doors leading into the mess hall opened, admitting entry to one Lily Sullivan. Having left the incident in the gym with Commander Sommers behind her long ago, she had showered and changed into uniform before working through her first shift at her new position. In the past, depending on the ship and the assignment, she had found that one of the hardest parts of adjusting from planetary to starship life was the difference in food. A classic argument heard in mess halls around the fleet was whether or not the food made by replicators was as good as cuisine made by a chef. For her part, Lily was thrilled to hear that a chef was on board as a member of the crew.

That said, something about the chef's food the night before seemed... off. It was possible that a few opinions had been swayed towards replicator food during the dinner service, so it wasn't surprising to find Chef O'Malley hard at work the following day. A small grin crept across Lily's lips; she recognized that look on his face. That look of determination to learn and improve was one she had seen before, but it was also tinged with another emotion. Sadness? Frustration? It was difficult to comprehend.

Sullivan's approach had not yet been detected, so laser-like was the chef's focus on the pot in front of him.

"G'morning, chef."

Patrick yelped as he was suddenly pulled from his concentration though one might even describe it as a squeal instead. He stopped stirring for a second as he looked up to find the source of the pull from his concentration. He saw a female leaning on the counter, so assumed she'd been the culprit. "Ma'am," he greeted, as he recomposed himself. "How may I help you?"

"You know, I was about to ask the same of you," she smiled in return, trying semi-successfully to stifle a giggle at the noise he had made. "My name is Lily, it's nice to meet you."

"Patrick," he replied as he continued to stir the brew. "Would you like some breakfast? I have toast and I have porridge, though I can also make you some eggs if you like." He smiled a little. "We've got chickens in the arboretum and I get the eggs for my galley."

"Oh, no thanks Patrick, I ate already. I was actually a little more interested in what you've got going on there," she nodded towards the pot between them. Lily hesitated for a moment, remembering Lhaes's comments from before about the chef being protective of his kitchen. "Have you, umm, had any comments from dinner the last couple of nights?"

"Yeah.. people started complaining so now I'm just keeping it simple. Maybe I was trying to do too much?" He shrugged. "I'm here to serve, they don't have to like my food. I'm the captain's chef anyway.." He shrugged again. "I don't get it though...I always check what I'm doing so I don't get how it can go wrong. It's never gone wrong before, not this bad."

Oh good, at least he's somewhat aware, Sullivan thought to herself. "Well, I'm more than willing to sit at your counter and, uh," she thought carefully on how to phrase the next part, "get the opportunity to taste some of the things you're working on. Maybe with a bit of a conversation we can get to the bottom of things."

For a brief moment, the young chef hesitated, then nodded. He reached for a bowl and dished up a small amount of the brew he was having in the big pot. "Have a taste of this...what is missing?"

Happily accepting the bowl, Lily grabbed a nearby spoon and metered out a small portion of the broth, thoughtfully lifting it up to her lips for a taste. The flavors of the various vegetables were there, from the creaminess of the squash to the acidic pop that the tomatoes brought to the party. The childhood memories of cooking alongside her mother came flooding back in a wave of nostalgia.

"Oh that's nice," she commented, snapping back to the present. She took a moment to properly activate her sense of smell. "Granted, my palate is not as refined, so take things with a grain of salt, pun not intended. Nice aroma there, but it's got just a shade too much acidity for my taste, what do you think? Salt, fat, and acid - gotta make 'em work for you in balance."

"It tasted fine to me," Patrick commented, "what would you suggest to counter the acidity? A little more creme fraiche?"

"Let's try a small dollop and see what happens," Lily waited for the proposed remedy to be incorporated into her test batch before taking another taste. "There's definitely more milk fat in there now, so that helps, but the creme fraiche is still a little sour." She placed a hand on her cheek and thought back to what her mother might do. "You know, you might think it's crazy, but can we try a little bit of baking soda? Just enough to take the edge off of the tomatoes?"

Patrick frowned. "There aren't any tomatoes in there yet...or there shouldn't be...." He peered into his pot, stirring up the contents. "That's odd, I don't remember putting them in yet... Perhaps a little more carrot instead?"

"Wait, what? You don't remember putting the tomatoes in?" A tinge of suspicion was evident in her voice.

Confusion on his face, the young chef shook his head. "No...I don't remember putting them in. I don't remember cutting them to cubes either."

"Hmm, well, this may all just be coincidence and come across as the ramblings of a crazy woman, but I've been noticing a few things that have been going on since I've been aboard the ship," Sullivan began, attention still on Patrick's knife as he started slicing through some carrots. "Well, mostly just to me, but maybe... well, maybe you've been experiencing them too. Weird stuff, like inexplicable. I heard a voice as clear and loud as yours is speaking to me now behind me the other day, but nobody was there. I've been emotional, more than usual, and just this morning, this happened." Lily pulled up her sleeve to show the bandage from the cut she had self-inflicted that morning in the gym.

Peering up, Patrick sliced through his fingers though initially he didn't seem to notice with the speed he was chopping up the carrot. "That looks rather inflamed," he commented, pointing at the red edges around the bandage with the tip of his blade. "You and I haven't met before today so that's impossible... and sneaking up on someone isn't my style."

"Yeah, I might have to go visit...whoa, WHOA!" Her first exclamation was at his choice of stylus. The second followed shortly thereafter when she noticed the blood on the cutting board. "Patrick, stay calm, just keep on pressure on that," her training kicked in. =^=Sullivan to Medical,=^= she tapped her commbadge, =^=first responder to the mess hall please.=^=

=^=Sekat here, I will be right there.=^= Came the response from the Vulcan medical officer. Even if 'right there' would be a few minutes given he wasn't walking anywhere fast.

Patrick followed her gaze. "Uhm...that's not really happened before either," he murmured, "I.. I'm a pro-professional...I d-don't cut m-my fi-fingers." He was starting to look a little pale around the nose as he stared at his bleeding fingers.

Eyes widening, Lily gracefully leapt over the counter and stood beside him, just in case he started to show any signs of losing his balance. Carefully grabbing his left hand, she gently coaxed the knife out of his grasp before finding a clean kitchen towel nearby. "Here, use this to wipe some of the blood and hold pressure on your cut okay? Medical will be here in a second, meanwhile, let's take a walk and go have a seat over at a table so they have more room when they get here."

Feeling a little numb, Patrick allowed himself to be guided over to a chair. He had the sense to turn the stove off before moving though, but otherwise he seemed a little zoned out.

At that moment Sekat hobbled into the mess. "Alright everyone, clear out!" he called out towards the people who were already in the mess, watching the spectacle before them. "Out!" he ordered as he beelined for the prospect patient. "You, lieutenant... what happened." He pulled up a chair since he couldn't crouch and set his cane aside. "Make sure he does not faint..."

"We were having a conversation about food, discussing ingredients and so forth. He was cutting some carrots and must've sliced across the fingers on his hand. Chef's knives are really sharp, I'm not surprised he didn't feel it until I pointed it out," Sullivan explained quickly. "I couldn't really tell how deep the cuts are, I just tried to keep him upright and got him away from the knife and the heat of the cooktop."

"Smart thinking," Sekat answered as he gently pulled the chef's hand towards him, carefully lifting the cloth that had been pressed against his fingers. "Deep clean cuts, no serration and near from what I can tell, not gone through muscle or bone." He reached into his medical kit and pulled out the dermal regenerator. "I can repair the damage but I do advise you to take it easy for a few hours. No sudden flexing or bending of your fingers, do you understand?"

Concern touched the Vulcan's eyes as Patrick seemed unresponsive. "Patrick, I need an answer from you. Do you understand?"

"I understand," he answered softly.

Sekat looked up at the woman. "He'll need a little looking after, I understand he doesn't do very well when he's taken from his galley."

"I, uh, was told something similar," Lily offered an apologetic smirk. "I'll stay with him for a bit, but Lieutenant, uh, Sekat was it?"

"I prefer doctor, but yes my name is Sekat." he inclined his head ever so slightly.

"Hello, I'm Lieutenant Sullivan," she quickly introduced herself. "I was wondering if Medical has been investigating any trends out of the ordinary over the past few days. There have been some unusual events like this transpiring recently, even to me. And this is despite my initial checkup with Lieutenant Adamson showing no abnormal readings. Have there been any other inexplicable events brought to your attention recently?"

"Affirmative, though due to the nature of my profession I cannot discuss such findings with you ma'am, but yes we have had other events. I can tell you of my own experience... I have been seeing my late wife, as vividly as if she were really here." He finished bandaging the chef's hand. "Just give him a few minutes to recover, and then send him home. Miss Tarria can take over in the galley, she is qualified to do so." He gave a small smile. "Chef O'Malley is a little possessive about his kitchen, but he trusts Miss Tarria."

"Understood doctor," Lily made note of his preferred form of address. "I appreciate your frankness and willingness to talk about it. Perhaps further discussion of this matter might be prudent in another setting, but for now, I'll keep an eye on Mr. O'Malley here," she nodded, giving Patrick a sympathetic hug. "It's gonna be fine. Miss Tarria will ensure your dinner service goes to plan. With your permission, I'd like to help clean up in your kitchen."

"No!" Patrick sat up, avoiding to look at his hand as it was neatly bandaged. "No this is my galley. I don't know you, I want Tarria to take over. No-one gets in without my permission. She is the lounge manager, she'll take over." He worked himself up to his feet, shrugging off the well meant hug. "I need to go home... I'll be fine, tomorrow it'll be better." Visibly upset, he stormed from the mess, not wanting to hear anything further about it.

Sekat sighed ever so softly as he reached for his cane and struggled back up to his feet. "Miss Sullivan, perhaps you can assist me back to sickbay instead... if he says he will be fine, I cannot force him to accept help."

"Absolutely doctor, I'd be happy to help, just give me one second," Lily held up a finger before reaching into her jacket pocket, extracting her PADD. "I'm just gonna send Miss Tarria a quick message, then we can be on our way. A shame, that," she gestured towards the direction in which Patrick had stormed out. "I think he'll be alright, but I think it'd be best for someone to check on him in a little while. Maybe this same Miss Tarria, once the big rush tonight is over."

Having completed her task, she returned her PADD to its resting place, stood up, and took her place at the doctor's side. "Ready when you are."

"Thank you," Sekat answered gratefully as he slung his medkit across his shoulders, then accepted the arm she offered. "I still cannot walk very far. I know I could have used the internal transporter but I was told it was dangerous to do so. I would rather not upset Doctor Adamson by becoming a patient myself."

"No sir, we can't have that," Sullivan shook her head as they ambled towards the exit of the mess. "I don't necessarily trust the point to point transporter either, especially at warp. I remember doing a handful of those calculations by hand at the Academy, and even though I know the odds of a mishap with the transporter are low, that's still a nope, nope, nope!" Lily chuckled at the thought.

Slowly but surely, the two officers made their way down the corridor and into the turbolift. "Deck eight, sickbay," Sullivan commanded and the turbolift whirred to life in order to fulfill the order. "So," she continued, "out of curiosity, and as long as you don't mind me asking, what happened to your leg?"

"Patherlon attack. A young feline attacked me, and tried to kill me with poisoned claws and his tail. Unfortunately, I had to kill him to save both my life and that of the first officer. I am told it will never fully heal due to extensive nerve damage. I am lucky to be able to walk." Sekat seemed to shrug. "Though it still causes me discomfort I am assured that will become less in due time. I will get used to it."

"Oh wow, that's um, quite the story," Lily managed in response. "You have my sympathy doctor. It's never an easy burden to bear to have to make a decision like that. I trust that those close to you have been supportive during this time for you to have such a balanced outlook on the situation and its effect on your life. Or perhaps it's that Vulcan emotional discipline that I am often envious of." The doors opened and they resumed their trek towards sickbay. "If it's any consolation at all doctor, your continued dedication to helping people is admirable."

"I chose to transfer, as the memory of the attack was something I could not bear while walking those halls," Sekat admitted, "yes I had support and I spoke with a counselor but ultimately healing is up to me." He offered the slightest of smiles. "What emotional discipline?" he asked, as if to hint at something else entirely.

"Ah, I apologize doctor, perhaps I assumed when I shouldn't have," Sullivan quickly responded, blushing in mild embarrassment. "That's something, I admit, that I struggle with from time to time. So much of my work depends on projecting where things are going to be in the future, but I need a reminder every once in a while that this doesn't apply to personal relationships. So thank you, you have helped yet again."

Sekat's smile widened a fraction. "I am not fully Vulcan, and I have learned patients respond better to a little empathy."

"I wholeheartedly agree," Lily returned a warm smile as they approached the entryway to sickbay. "Thank you again doctor, I will be sure to follow up on Mr. O'Malley's condition shortly. Are you on duty for a while? Would you like me to swing by with some food from the mess or anything? I think I'll head back there and check on things."

"I would strongly recommend not touching anything in the galley and alerting Miss Tarria instead," Sekat warned, "Patrick will not be very pleased if strangers are touching his utensils..." He paused, offering a slight bow. "Thank you for assisting me back to sickbay."

"Noted, doctor. Enjoy the rest of your day."

Lieutenant Lily Sullivan

Lieutenant j.g. Sekat
Medical Officer
pnpc Lhaes

Patrick O'Malley
pnpc Lhaes


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