SIM:Jaxx-Food for Thought

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(( Sundassa's Quarters ))


:: She was getting prepared to meet the Captain for their arranged lunch, she had almost forgotten about it since so much had happened between her arriving on the ship and him actually having the time to schedule it. She took a short nap between receiving her promotion and the scheduled lunch. She was glad she had been used to these naps the majority of her life, it gave her the opportunity to wake up feeling refreshed as if she had a whole night sleep. After she was done straightening out her uniform, and brushed her hair which she let it stay down since she wasn't on duty, she made her way to the Captain's Mess.::


((Captain’s Mess, USS Apollo))


::Jaxx made his way into the dining room. It was not very big, but private. It was set up so that they could accommodate dinners with government officials or anyone else they happened to have on board. It was just a way for them to be a bit fancy. The truth was, the Betazoid hardly used it. He was content eating from the replicator or with other people. Occasionally he would host a meal in the private dining room, but they were few and far between. As he sat waiting, he glanced up and spotted Sundassa. He recalled the day she came aboard and his offer for lunch. He was curious about her species. He did not know much about Antosians, and what he did know he learned in the Academy.::


:: Sun got to the mess, and noticed that it was much smaller than the officer's mess, probably so that the Captain could have private meals with various persons. Immediately she saw the Captain, it wasn't too hard, he was sitting at the small table in the middle of the room, the only one in there beside a man who kept to himself in a corner, she wondered if it was the chef. ::


Jaxx: ::standing as she approached:: Lieutenant, glad you could make it.


Faranster: :: She smiled as she approached the table. :: Sir, I am honored you remembered, I am afraid with all the excitement, I almost forgot your offer. :: The quiet man approached and pulled the seat out and when she sat, pushed it in. ::


Jaxx: I had the chef put together a list of dishes he could make without using anything replicated. I am hoping you will be able to find something you are able to consume.


::It was the one solid fact he knew about the species. They were very sensitive about the food the ate. Replicated food was not the best thing for them. He wanted to allocate some room in the arboretum for more fresh food to be grown. It was something that he liked to have on hand if possible. The replicators were fine, and it was not bad if the chef made dishes out of replicated food but that was not the case with Antosians. It was not always easy to accommodate the requirements of her digestive system, and if they had to be out over long periods of time the fresh food could become scarce. It was something he really did not worry about at the moment. They had pretty much just left the starbase and had plenty of fresh items.::


Faranster: :: Her grin widened as she let out a small giggle. She wasn't sure if he meant to insinuate that she couldn't consume replicated food, she just preferred not to. :: Well... technically I could consume replicated food, just isn't as flavorful.


Jaxx: I guess, I mean something you will like. We have plenty of options available, just not sure what you like.


Faranster: :: nodding :: I understand. I guess I'll take a peak at the list and choose something, I am sure your chef is capable.


Jaxx: Our chef. He does special dishes for the officers too. Honestly, I try not to bother him. ::glancing at the man with a wry look::


:: She was still slightly nervous around the Captain, but since her first day she had time to get used to different people on the ship and not feel like she was constantly being tested. When she looked at the list, she was slightly surprised to see several meals that had various meats. She knew she had some in her quarters, freeze dried, her mom sent many packages to the Starbase and they had them on the transport when they picked up Williams. She felt embarrassed when she had to explain why her mom packed her food like she was living underground for two years. Fortunately she was able to hide the contents of the crates under various pieces of furniture in her room, so they weren't all stacked in the corner. But she wasn't sure how much the ship would have itself. ::


:: After a couple moments looking at the list, she settled on an cheesy asparagus and chicken dish. She also made note of the various other fruits and vegetables they had available, remembering she needed to make way to the arboretum at her earliest convenience to see if she could get another basket for her room. As much as freeze dried worked, fresh was better. ::


Faranster: You have a pretty good selection of dishes. I don't think I'll go hungry. :: She smirked at the Captain. :: I think for now, I'll have this cheesy dish, the one with chicken and asparagus. And a cup of berry juice.


Jaxx: ::glancing to the chef:: Rouladen with a fruit plate, please.


::Jaxx smiled at the chef as he walked away. It was an odd amenity to have on a starship. He had noticed a few ships that had private dining rooms for the captain, and some that even came with a few culinary staff. The chef on the Apollo was actually a member of Starfleet. He was a Chief Petty Officer that worked in many different fields. With the replicators on the ship, there was no real need for someone with his certain talents. At the same time, the Apollo was not always the standard starship. Jaxx was curious about a lot of the people under his command. He was sure the chef had a story to tell, just as everyone else did. But as he sat in his chair, he looked to the Antosian woman in front of him. Today was the day he would become educated on the species. He had access to every database, but he could learn about her and her people at the same time if he did it in person. In his eyes he was only saving time.::


:: She knew the captain wanted to know a little more about her people, which was why she was there. She wasn't sure how much she was going to sound like an encyclopedia when talking about her people. Sometimes she was very much like them, in other ways, she was a bit standoffish. She didn't party as much as other Antosians did, she was very focused and wanted to make a good impression, while many of her people were carefree, they just did as they felt they wanted, and the consequences weren't much to worry about. Maybe that was the problem between her and Marseen, he was more like the rest of the people, and she was, goal driven. ::


Faranster: Thank you for inviting me to lunch, I should have said that from the start. Sometimes I just get caught up in my own head.


Jaxx: We all do from time to time. ::smiling:: And you are welcome.


Faranster: You wanted to know more about my people... Sometimes I wonder if I am the best example. :: She looked down momentarily and then straight ahead at the Captain. She knew she had to explain. :: I think I have more cares weighing on me than is normal for my people...maybe it's just the profession I chose.


::Jaxx took in her comment and pondered it for a second. His education in psychology kicked in and he could not help but smirk. It was part of his past, but it would always remain with him. He dabbled in quite a bit in his career. Between his doctorate in psychology from the University of Betazed, to his double major in tactical and intelligence at the Academy, Jaxx liked learning.::


Jaxx: You know...I do not think that anyone is a great example of a species. We are all individuals, and as such, we tend to walk our own path. It is something that makes us all unique. Even though you may be different than most Antosians, it does not mean you do not know the most about them.


Faranster: :: She smiled and nodded, he made sense, she was part of the species, she lived on the planet, followed the traditions, she just was more worries to weigh her down, didn't mean she wasn't Antosian. :: That's true, I suppose, at least from an outside perspective.


Jaxx: Take me for instance. Betazoids love social gatherings and are quite open. I hate large groups of people, and respect the privacy of others. At the same time, I keep to myself when I can. I am far from the typical Betazoid, but there are a lot of striking similarities. ::smiling::


::Jaxx thought it was only fair to start by giving her a detail about himself. Even though he used it as an example, Sundassa could walk away from lunch learning something about him. He never really had the chance to just sit down and really just talk to people. He was the captain, so there were certain things people avoided. He recalled his first dinner after they launched. The only person under the rank of Lieutenant Commander that would talk to him longer than two minutes was Sidney. Even from the beginning she was able to see the man behind the pips. It was something he thought his command always needed. Respect for rank and position would come with the uniform, but there was much more to the people that wore it. He liked finding out more about them.::


Faranster: Well, I guess it would be boring if we were all our species stereo-type. :: She smiled. :: I like groups if I have a person to focus on, can be a bit overwhelming to focus on too many, and too lonely not to have anyone as company.


Jaxx: Tell me about your homeworld. I would expect that it is pretty colorful.


::He smiled after making the comment. One of the distinctive traits of her people was their hair color. It was one of the first things that people noticed, and one of the things that gave away the species. It was much like the deep black eyes that Betazoids had. He realized how hard things would be for people if Betazoids could not be identified by their eye color. Nobody would know if the person in front of them was a Betazoid or not. There were plenty of people that were already uncomfortable around them, that would just make it worse. People expected to have privacy in their lives. Betazoids were completely open. It was something you could not avoid in a telepathic society.::


Faranster: I guess you could say that. :: She looked thoughtful, and she tried not to focus on the scents coming from the kitchen as she focused on her planet. :: Well, I guess the biggest thing outsiders notice about us, is our hair, followed by our eyes. However, we notice your hair color just as much, it's not normal for us to have brown, blonde or red hair... And it's even more surprising to see people with different color hair and eyes, like Jalana, her hair is red and she has green eyes. I find the combination different, and fascinating.


Jaxx: ::smiling:: I imagine it would be the same for you as it is for people looking at your species.


Faranster: Antosia is tropical for the most part, there are cooler regions to the north and south, but I don't think I've seen snow until I went to StarFleet Academy and was invited on a ski trip. I find some of our trees to be more beautiful and soft against the sky than those I saw on earth. There was a field of flowers not too far from the farm... :: She thought about the field of wild flowers on top of the cliff with the ocean smacking against the side of it, the one she programmed into her relaxation holodeck program. ::


Jaxx: Sounds lovely.


Faranster: It's hard not to miss home sometimes. But I was meant to be out here in the stars. :: Her face lit up as she spoke. :: So much to learn, and to see. Curiosity is a driving force I share with my people. Ever since I was little, I wanted to know what was out here. My home is someplace I want to be when I feel the need to be in familiar surroundings.


::Jaxx thought of his home and the fact he had only been there once since leaving. It was a small trip he took with Talon when they were dating. There was something deeper in his reasons for not returning home. He was the eldest son of the 10th House of Betazed, and his mother never let him forget how disappointed she was that he left to join Starfleet. Jaxx always took after his father, who was a member of the Federation Council representing Betazed. All his mother cared about was parties and status. Even after the occupation of Betazed, she never understood that there was more important things than etiquette. Before the war, Jaxx had no desire to ever leave Betazed. Things changed during that period, and most of it was him. He was boy that was forced to grow up faster than he should have.::


Jaxx: I know exactly what you mean. I have a few holodeck programs of some familiar places. I visit them much more than I do my own world.


:: She smiled, the thought that someone else did the same was reassuring. She knew her mother wanted her home, but home is where the memories are, and the people who hold those memories like mirrors for her to look into. She did like going home for brief periods of time, but any longer... ::


Faranster: I'm glad I am not alone in that habit, sir.


Jaxx: I assume your people have music, art and culture much like everyone else?


Faranster: Yes, especially music. Music is a big part of our lives. Antosians love reasons to party, and of course, with parties comes music. :: She thought about some of the reasons they celebrated, and the fact that she suspected that newly weds got exhausted was to get away from the public celebration and to a more private one. ::


Jaxx: A small secret about me that very few know...::playfully whispering:: I like to collect art from different cultures. I have quite the collection. Of course, most of it is in storage except for a few things I keep with me. It was a lesson I learned years ago when I was on the Challenger.


Faranster: Oh? What happened? :: She leaned forward, expecting a more detailed story as to his lesson. ::


::Jaxx thought about that fateful day. Many Starfleet officers went their entire career without abandoning ship. The damage was beyond repair and he could close his eyes and still smell the smoke and burnt wiring. Things were never easy when explosions were going off all around you. Except for the captain, he was the last one off the ship. He was a second officer at the time and managed the evacuation from the bridge. He was not a fan of leaving the captain on the bridge, but followed the order. Luckily, T’Pen made it to an escape pod. In the back of his mind he hoped his command officers would listen if he gave a similar order.::


Jaxx: The ship was destroyed in combat, and there was not time to grab your belongings. So now, I travel lightly. Of course, when I was in command of Starbase 118, I had my collection close. How about you, do you have a collection of sorts, or maybe a hobby?


Faranster: You know, you can't take it with you... :: She smiled. :: You could keep a holographic version or even replicated version, for viewing pleasure... Of course. :: Her answer to his question about hobbies took her a moment to answer. :: Well, when I was on Antosia, I spent quite a bit of time riding my horse, or swimming. But, when I wasn't able to do that, I drew. I took my sketch book to the Academy where I continued during down time. Can't really take a horse with you there... so had to pack light, myself.


::Jaxx smiled slightly. He remember the holodeck program he ran from time to time. The large Friesian with his tail and mane blowing in the wind. Jaxx loved riding that horse. It was something he had not done in years. The last time he remembered running the program was when he was on the Resolution. She reminded him to pay it a visit again. Perhaps he would find time to do so while they were on their way to the Typhon Sector.::


Jaxx: You could always ride in the holodeck. It is fairly close to home with the right program. ::smiling::


:: The aroma coming from the kitchen wafted in, causing Sun's mouth to water slightly, the meal was getting close to being done cooking. She tried not to focus on the smells, but more on the company of the Captain. ::


Faranster: I was wondering, the Complex, I went down there once, but I am hoping I caught them at the wrong time. I was hoping it had music and dancing... Sort of like some clubs on Earth did...


Jaxx: ::wincing:: You know...I have only been there once or twice myself. I honestly do not know what they have going on in there. I guess I never found the time to find out. But I am sure they have something during off duty hours.


Faranster: Makes sense. Guess it would be more towards the evenings or special occasions that I'd have to visit. I might just have to make a holodeck program for that.


Jaxx: That would be interesting. A holodeck nightclub would be an interesting place to visit.


Faranster: Usually it goes with celebrating, but I don't feel the need to celebrate at the drop of a hat. :: She grinned at the Captain. :: My mother would have celebrated at least 10 things that have happened since I got here. I only find a compulsion to celebrate one, maybe two of them. But dancing is good exercise, guess that's part of why we tend to be on the slender side...


Jaxx: ::laughing as he patted his stomach:: I prefer the gym. At least there I do not feel like a fish out of water. When it comes to dancing, I have two left feet.


:: She giggled at the thought, two left feet being something someone said when they didn't know how to dance, she found, but it still presented a humorous image of someone walking in circles due to the fact that they had two left feet and couldn't walk straight. ::


::As he finished the statement, the chef emerged from the door behind him carrying the food they had ordered. He was hungry and if he felt the need to celebrate anything, it would have been the fact that the food arrived. He enjoyed taking the time to get to know more about his officer and her home. At the same time, he always looked forward to the things he needed to get done. It seemed he lacked the ability to just sit back and relax. Even if there was nothing to deal with at the moment, he would think about all the things he could deal with. It came with the rank.::


:: When the chef came out with the food, she put a napkin over her lap and watched the chef put the food down on the table, in front of each of them. The smell from the food rising to their nostrils. She waited for the chef to have laid down both plates before speaking. ::


Jaxx: ::glancing to the chef:: Looks great, thank you.


Faranster: Yes, thank you. It smells wonderful too.


Jaxx: ::smiling at Sun:: Enjoy.


:: She picked up her fork and knife and made a careful cut into the chicken, keeping a bit of asparagus and cheese with the piece of cheese, she looked at it, and sniffed it. Her mouth couldn't wait to try it, definitely better than living off replicator food and bits of fruit and vegetables. ::


Faranster: Thank you. If it tastes half as good as it smells, I will definitely enjoy it.


:: She smiled before putting the forkful into her mouth. Letting it sit there in her mouth so she could enjoy the flavor before she chewed and swallowed. She immediately cut a second piece, suddenly starving and shoving that piece into her mouth to follow the first. She hoped she could make use of the culinary expert more often, possibly routing some of her mother's over zealous effort to supply her with real food, his way if need be. ::


::As he cut into his dish, he was rather quiet. It was the only way he could fight the urge to talk with his mouth full. He always ate smaller portions, but did so more often. It was one of his favorite dishes, and it tasted much better than the replicated version. It was almost as if the replicated version was missing something. He was not sure if that was the case or not, but it was how it tasted to him. Pausing halfway through he looked toward her.::


Jaxx: How is it?


Faranster: :: She slowed down for a moment, and swallowed the bite in her mouth before taking a sip from her cup of juice. :: The chicken is tender, and the cheese is flavorful, asparagus is crisp. Very good. :: She smiled before cutting another piece off. She hesitantly held the fork while the Captain spoke, waiting patiently to allow it to join its friends. ::


Jaxx: He is available around meal times if you want to order something custom from the officers mess. It takes a bit longer to get your food, but definitely worth the wait.


Faranster: That is great to know, I can deal with the wait for a meal this good. Almost as good as my mom's home cooking. :: She paused, looking sheepish. :: But don't tell my mom I said that...


Jaxx: What do you have going on for the rest of the day? Is it busy in Sickbay?


Faranster: I was thinking of stopping by Sickbay to see if Lieu... :: the word started out of her mouth before she was forced to correct herself :: Commander Laxyn if there was anything I could handle for her. I assume that I will be given some more responsibilities with the new title. It wasn't too busy when I got off shift this morning.


Jaxx: It is the calm after the storm. Now the most you will probably see are injuries from people being careless.


Faranster: If she needs me, I'll start my shift early so I can get a start on it, and then take a couple hours to catch up on some z's.


Jaxx: You two should take as much time off as possible while we are en route. If there is an emergency the EMH can handle it until one of you can get there. And sleep is always good. ::smiling::


:: She put down her fork, and placed her arms in front of her on the table, so she wasn't looking too anxious to finish the rest of her meal, with how busy the Captain surely was, this might be the only opportunity to have a meal with the man, might as well take some time. ::


Faranster: I'm trying to get my schedule back from when I was home, so I've volunteered to take a rotating shift at the sickbay. A 31 hour day with a nap in between allows me some time in sickbay at various times, as well as off duty times when different people are off. It would also give me more exposure to more of the crew.


::Jaxx thought about the differences in time. Starfleet ran on Earth standard time. The fact was, many worlds had different cycles. It was tough for a lot of people to get used to it. It was slightly easier for Betazoids, as they had a standard 25 hour day. It was quite easy making the adjustment for only one hour. He remembered that it caused issues for him the one time he returned home after graduating Starfleet Academy. There was nothing worse than arriving ahead of schedule because you did not think of the time change.::


Jaxx: I can imagine. A 31 hour day would take some getting used to, just as I am sure it would switching to a 24 hour day.


Faranster: I thought it was difficult adapting to the shorter day... I found I was either getting too much sleep, or not enough...


Jaxx: How many hours of sleep do Antosians require?


::He felt he was learning quite a bit about her people. One of the things he never asked about was religion. He had made peace with the fact that so many species had different beliefs. It was hard to reconcile them as a whole. Everyone was free to practice what they believed and it was the best system he could think of. At the same time, he tried to avoid learning about other religions. There were some he was familiar with, but for the most part it was taboo for him.::


:: She tried to remember her sleep schedule on Antosia, it worked for her best. She slept, went to school, played a little, napped, went back to school, relaxed, and then went to sleep. It made her most productive and allowed her to retain the information better. ::


Faranster: Well, I felt well rested with 9 hours of sleep in a day, I'd take 6 hours during my sleep schedule, and then a 3 hour nap... Sometimes I take an exta long nap on my days off, closer to 5 hours...


Jaxx: I was just curious if you needed extra sleep with the longer day. Of course, I find that no matter how much sleep I am supposed to get, I usually get much less. Do you find it hard getting used to life in space? I know not having a sunrise got to me after a few months.


::Jaxx thought of the sunrises on Betazed as well as the view of the three moons in the sky. He loved to see them dance across the horizon first thing in the morning. If there was one thing he missed the most about home, it was always the view. There were wonderful waterfalls and natural wonders that he loved to visit. Life in space was exciting too. Being able to explore strange new worlds, seek out new life and new civilizations and explore made up for not having a waterfall or beautiful sunrise. And in a pinch they would be able to head to the holodeck to get in some time with all of the things they missed from their worlds.::


Faranster: It's different. I miss the warmth of my world, it's much warmer than anywhere else I've been so far. People at the Academy, during the summer thought I was nuts for wearing long sleeves even during the summer when the temperatures reached the 80s. I find it is still chilly here.


Jaxx: You can always set the temperature in your quarters a bit higher.


Faranster: :: She shook her head :: I can get used to it, I think it will take some time... I do miss seeing the moon, from the view of my room, the sun made things get pretty hot.


:: She grimaced at the thought of the high temperatures, even though she was used to them, they still caused troubles, fortunately everything on their planet adapted to the higher temperatures that came with the sun being out. Harvesting on the farm had to be done in the evening before bed, as things cooled off. ::


Jaxx: Better you than me. I am not sure that I could handle it. ::laughs::


Faranster: I think most humans would start baking with our sun... Commander Ra... His world is such a cold one, he'd probably melt on mine.


Jaxx: I could imagine that. I would say Commander Tel-ar would be the same way, except he was not raised on Andor. He is used to warmer temperatures.


::Taking his final bite, he pushed his plate away from him. Afterward, he reached into his lap for his napkin and placed it on top of his plate. Lunch had been delicious and he was happy to spend some time just chit chatting with someone from his crew. He liked it when newer officers were not that intimidated by him. At the same time, it went with the job. New officers had a lot to prove. Sometimes the smartest thing they could do was keep a low profile. Once they ended up on the radar of the CO, every success and mistake was noticed.::


Jaxx: I spoke with Commander Lanius this morning. He commended your surgical skills in the field.


:: She looked down at her plate, she had been nervous to perform surgery so quickly after being stationed here, let alone in field conditions. She wasn't sure if Commander Lanius had witnessed her emptying her stomach, but the possibility embarrassed her. ::


Faranster: I just did what I had to in order to keep my promise, sir.


Jaxx: I think you really did a great job on the surface. I do not say this often, but good job.


::Compliments were something that Jaxx tried to hand out as often as he could. He felt that no commanding officer never told their people enough. He was happy that he had a chance to let her know he was happy with her work. He was certain that when Jalana had a chance to look over the report she would do the same.::


:: She knew she could have done better, within sickbay or even a sterilized environment. But, at some point she was going to have to learn to accept compliments. ::


Faranster: Thank you, Captain.


Jaxx: ::glancing around the room:: Well, I hate to end this so soon...but I have quite a bit I need to do.


Faranster: I can imagine. You are a busy man, I am just glad you made the time in your day for such a newcomer as myself.


Jaxx: I think that we should do this again sometime. I really enjoyed just talking to someone. In my position I do not get enough of that. I find it easier talking to people that are not on the bridge all day. I am not sure why, it is just a personality quirk.


Faranster: I would wager it's because that's where you give orders the most from... so, people who see you in that position, only see their boss... But I could be wrong.


:: She knew the cue, the lunch was over. She was glad to have her belly full with the meal they had, she looked mournfully at her plate, seeing the last two bites and wanting to make them home with the rest, she picked up her fork for one of them, and shoved it in quickly before standing up and heading for the door, this was the Captain's dining room, and he was done, therefore, so was she. ::


::He stood up and moved toward the door with Sundassa. No matter how much time he spent with her, or how often he saw her, he was in awe of her hair color. It was so bright and vibrant that he could hardly imagine what it would be like to have it. It was one of the unique things about her people that he liked. When he coupled that with all he found out about her and her people, it was a great learning experience for him. As they cleared the door he turned to her one last time.::


Jaxx: Thank you again for lunch. I hope you will be able to enjoy the cooking as often as possible.


Faranster: I'll try not to make the Chef wish I wasn't here... :: She grinned. :: And, thank you, Captain, for letting me join you.


Jaxx: ::smiling:: Have a good afternoon, and if I do not see you again today...a good evening as well.


Faranster: Well, you know where I am, sir. Hopefully you don't need to come down to sickbay. :: She smiled and waved as she headed off towards the turbolift to see if Commander Laxyn needed anything. ::


::Moving off toward the bridge, his destination was the ready room. There were a few more things he wanted to get done for the day, and he was really getting used to some down time. It was something he liked to have for the crew from time to time. At the same time, he realized that they still had jobs to do. But a lot more got done when they were not stressed out. It was something he wanted to talk to Sidney and Viktor about when it was time for crew evaluations. The XO and Counselor usually worked together on crew evaluations and it was about time for the first round on the Apollo to get done. He was looking forward to their report. Of course, he had his own opinion of everyone and their records, but it was good to get an outside opinion even though he felt more connected than any captain he served under.::


TBC


Fleet Captain Andrus Jaxx
Commanding Officer
USS Apollo, NCC-71669


And

Lieutenant JG Sundassa Faranster
Assistant Chief Medical Officer
USS Apollo

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