Previous Next

BBQ & A

Posted on Thu Jan 23rd, 2020 @ 3:17am by Cassandra Leblanc-Reed

Mission: Promenade
Location: USS Majestic, Deck 9, General Mess
Timeline: Shoreleave
1563 words - 3.1 OF Standard Post Measure

As shoreleave began to draw to a close, the returning crew of the USS Majestic slowly began to settle back into their respective daily routines. The rhythmic tapping of boots on deck plating mixed with the sound of conversation and the ubiquitous hum of the engines, each playing their part in the symphony of a working starship. Not lost in the hustle and bustle of everyday ship life, however, was the omnipresent fact that some crew would be departing to new assignments on other ships or stations in the sector. Their part in the story of the Majestic had drawn to a close.

However, as many things did, new crew were coming to replace them in a mimicry of the natural cycle of life that been playing out on a galactic scale for eons. Commander Jared Hanover, fresh from his memorable first run in with Captain Saulitis, had settled into his new quarters on the ship. As many humans did in unfamiliar, but friendly surroundings, the next order of business on his agenda was to find somewhere to eat.

And so Hanover had made his way to the general mess in search of food, yes, but also with the goal of meeting more members of the crew that he was now a part of. To that end, he had arranged for a variety of catered foods to be brought in from the specialized restaurants on Poseidon station, as well as a variety of the usual staples that the crew knew and loved from Chef O'Malley. It was unannounced, and several curious looks were cast in the direction of the staff as tray after tray of food was placed on a massive round table with only one man sitting at it.

Looking quite pleased with himself, Jared made himself a plate as he waited to see if others would join him out of curiosity.

Cassie and Jennifer walked in the mess hall, both still dressed in sports gear. Too hungry to freshen up, they immediately headed to the mess hall after cycling race in the holodeck.

"I kicked your ass, seriously," Jennifer said, with what obviously was a smug smirk on her face.

"You did not! I was two seconds behind you. I wasn't that bad," Cassie protested. "Besides, it wasn't official, and I'm rusty. I haven't raced since I graduated."

"Then you need to practice, get back in the game, get good times."

" Oui, oui, oui. Demain," Cassie waved Jennifer off, even though she knew she wanted to get into better cycling shape. "But first, food."

Both women's eyes went wide as they saw a table laden with food, as if it had appeared out of nowhere. Hints of various Earth and alien spices filled her nostrils, making her mouth. Curiously, only one person sat at that particular table as if the other patrons were too shy to approach what looked like a magnificent buffet. Cassie, ever the curious cat, decided to investigate. She poked Jennifer, who didn't seem to know what to do. "Come on, let's eat," she said before approaching the table.

"All this, for one?" the young diplomat asked as she stepped before the table, her friend and assistant in tow.

"Oh this?" Hanover grinned, casually waving a fork over the spread in front of him. "A bit of a misunderstanding I'm afraid. I tried to order some catering in the native language of the head provisioner on the station, but I'm afraid I misspoke when I mentioned how many people it was for. So, I'm in a 'sharing is caring' mood, please have a seat."

Wiping the corner of his mouth with a cloth napkin, Jared stood up and pulled two chairs out from underneath the table for the two women to sit in. Retaking his seat, he waited a moment as the newest guests at the table perused the bounty. He took a sip of water before placing the napkin back in his lap.

"My name is Jared Hanover, it's a pleasure to meet you both. With whom do I have the privilege of sharing a meal tonight?"

"How rude of me not to introduce myself. I'm Cassie Leblanc, civilian diplomat on the ship," she responded, extending her hand in greeting. "This is Jennifer Erinmore, the department's assistant, and now my cycling coach, it seems."

Jennifer shook Hanover's hand in turn before stating, "The new Executive Officer. My pleasure." When Cassie shot her a glance, she said, "You were busy."

Cassie slightly cocked her head; her assistant wasn't wrong. "So, what brings you to the Majestic?" she asked as she made her selection from the array of delicious-looking food before her.

"Cassie, Jennifer, the honor is mine. I'm glad to have some company," Hanover replied, turning part of his attention back to his own meal. "I suppose in a manner of speaking, I'm following the orders give to me by the Bureau of Personnel, but that makes it sound like I don't want to be here. Nothing could be further from the truth. I look forward to working with the crew here."

"And where was your previous assignment?" Cassie asked, curious. Surely an officer of his apparent experience would have his own command by now?

"Ah, well, my previous posting as the chief engineering officer aboard the the USS Worcester, an Intrepid-class starship that was assigned mainly as a exploration and research vehicle. There were a couple of assignments where we acted as a diplomatic transport, which in hindsight may have been good preparation for what the mission of the Majestic is," Jared explained as he took a sip of water. "How about yourselves? What twists and turns in life's journey have brought you here?"

Cassie has helped herself to a Saurian-spiced chicken leg and some Caesar salad topped with what would be considered an indecent amount of shaved Parmesan. "Once in a blue moon, Starfleet opens what it calls a "prestigious" civilian position on a starship. Sometimes in Engineering,other times in Medical, usually to assist officers, offer a different perspective," Cassie started, making sure to use air quotes around the word 'prestigious', as these aren't simply hospitality positions. "Highly coveted when they show up. Guess I was at the right place at the right time, but had to fight 15,000 other people tooth and nail to get to the top."

"You never said 15,000," Jennifer interjected.

"Fifteen. Thousand. It was brutal, barbaric. Kind of like when you're spending those last few all-nighters drafting a thesis."

"She's exaggerating, of course," Jennifer told Hanover in between sips of water. "Writing a thesis isn't that bad."

"It is when you have to pore through a Romulan library," Cassie muttered.

Though he was listening intently, a smile spread across Hanover's face as he thought about the playful banter that his daughters often engaged in during the rare occasions that they all sat down together to share a meal. He shook himself out of the memories and back into the present, giving both women an impressed look as he considered the sheer number of applicants versus the number of positions.

"With odds like those, we are fortunate to have someone like you with us," the ship's executive officer smiled as he laid his utensils back on the table. "Your dedication inspires me - you see, I was never a very good student, and to be quite frank, as long as one manages to keep his or her nose clean, progression up the ranks of Starfleet is fairly linear. It can be a bit of a slog at times, but getting the chance to work with people like you two makes it all worthwhile. We really do get to work with some of the best of the best."

"Whereas us civilians need to open the doors that are presented to us, which can take us in unpredictable directions," Cassie offered.

"Now," Hanover continued, "if you'll humor me, I have but two more questions to ask. One serious, one less so. Answer freely, please. It will only help all of us if we are able to able to speak honestly."

"Of course."

"The first one need not be answered now. The door to my office is always open, and I thrive off of a continual exchange of feedback from our crew," he explained. "In that spirit, is there anything that we can do to help you personally, or the diplomatic team as a whole, to facilitate the performance of your duties? It's no secret that our mission is focused around that very discipline, so better for you means better for us."

"We both have special civilian clearance," Jennifer started, pointing towards herself and Cassandra, "which gives us privileged, but still limited access to some information."

"But so far, we've had full cooperation from various departments, which have been incredibly helpful in our continued success," Cassie finished. "But if we do need something Intel can't provide for any reason, we'll be sure to see you."

"And finally, can I interest you in any dessert?" Jared chuckled.

Both women's eyes lit up at the sound of 'dessert'. "Of course!"

"Correct answer!" Jared's laugh filled the air in their corner of the mess. "Come on, let's go see what's on offer."




Commander Jared Hanover
Executive Officer

Cassandra Leblanc-Reed
Diplomatic Officer

Jennifer Erinmore
Diplomat's Assistant
NPC

 

Previous Next

labels_subscribe

Positive SSL