|Crew of the USS Astraeus|
|Lt. Commander Cadfael Peters|
(( Back 40, USS Victory - Morning after awards ceremony - 0900 ))
:: Cadfael entered the lounge, taking note of who was there and who wasn’t. He was dressed in a casual pair of jeans with a gold tank top. With a heavy sigh, he took a seat near the window with an empty chair across from him. Nothing bad was going to creep up and bite him, as this was the long-awaited cup of coffee he discussed with Lieutenant Sevo. And he waited. ::
:: It was the morning after the awards dinner. Ayiana was still groggy. And hungover. She had received a reply from Cadfael regarding their drink together. She had finally arrived in the lounge and looked around for him. Since she was off-duty, she was wearing a red sleeveless shirt and black skirt. She sat down across from Peters, tossing her huge ponytail over the back of her chair. As the server arrived with Peters’ drink, Ayiana ordered one of her own. ::
Sevo: A Zhen Risha, please. :: The server took off to fetch her drink. ::
:: Cadfael took a sip and waited until she’d ordered her drink before even opening his mouth. ::
Sevo: So. How did you like the dinner last night?
Peters: Dinner was...awkward, in a lot of ways. Further proof I need better social skills.
Sevo: I know what you mean. Everything came to a head at the end there. I left pretty much right after the awards portion. I...needed to be alone.
:: He understood that feeling. Empathized with her. He too needed to be alone after his blundering conversation with Leland. It was rough on him too, and he changed the subject back to ancient history -- his first day on alpha shift. :: Peters: After the mission, I wasn’t exactly coherent, was I?
Sevo: Heh, no. Loss of blood will do that.
Peters: I thought so. Remind me, how long after your last letter did you get joined with Sevo?
Sevo: Let’s see. About a year before graduation. 2390 I think. I was actually accepted a year before that, but it took a while to find the right symbiont.
:: The server returned with Ayiana’s drink. It was dark brown and bubbly. Ayiana took a sip. ::
Sevo: Ah, that hit the spot! Or spots, as it were!
Peters: :: chuckled. :: Indeed. Multiple spots, one cup of...whatever that is, and it hits them all.
Sevo: It’s a Trill alcoholic drink. I used to have these at the bar at the Trill Academy. I actually have to be careful with alcohol now, as it interferes with the host-symbiont link just as it does a single brain.
:: The words ‘bar’ and ‘academy’ reminded Cadfael of the many nights he stayed out with his own glass of Mac and Jack’s doing homework, up to his ears in engineering reading material. As though his entire life was alcohol, warp theory, and warp coils. In truth, it reminded him of how many times he sat alone. Depressed, isolated, and lonely, wishing she were actually in San Francisco. ::
Peters: I used to hit the 602 every night, drinking beer, doing homework, and constantly checking my padd to see if you had responded to the most recent letter. Talking to you was the most correspondence I got that wasn’t class related. Distant friends seemed closer than anyone else… :: Pause. :: Or I should say, friend. I think you were the only one I had.
:: Ayiana seemed taken aback at Peters’ admittance. ::
Sevo: I...had no idea you looked forward to them so much. Honestly I just saw it as an extracurricular assignment. You know - get to know other cultures and stuff. They really emphasized that on us since most of the students were Trill. Not many aliens with whom to intermingle.
:: She took a gulp of her drink, and exhaled intensely at the burning sensation down her throat. ::
Sevo: What’s the 602, anyway?
:: He sipped his drink and stared at it for a few moments before he looked up. :: Peters: The 602 Club was the bar on the Starfleet Academy campus on Earth. Good place to study, occasionally a bit loud. :: Pause. :: And it was an extracurricular assignment for us too, but to be honest...I saw it as more than that. I think I had like three submissions that I’d be a good match for, but you were the only one who responded regularly.
Sevo: Um...thanks? :: Smiles. :: Sorry. I guess I’m a little shy. I thought being Joined might change that.
Peters: It’s fine. I didn’t realize how much of an isolationist I was until I talked with Cmdr. Eerie in engineering.
Sevo: Oh man, Eerie. He’s...intimidating, isn’t he? He’s like a statue.
:: Peters shook his head and had another sip of his drink. ::
Peters: I disagree. Out of all the senior officers, the two I’ve found most intimidating thus far are Commander Nugra and Commander Mannin… :: Pause. :: And the second one I admit I made a mistake with, that shall never be repeated.
Sevo: :: Taking a sip and smiling sarcastically :: I know. I was there. But yea, I was practically shaking at the end of my meeting with the Captain. And Mannin? I think she was just having a bad day. Her communicator beeped like three times while I was there.
Peters: All the departments must be chief-less, I guess. When I attempted to get gone, I knew that there was a diplomatic officer who I met in engineering, but I didn’t know whether he actually had to talk to her in the first place. I assumed so because there was no diplomatic department, and I was trying to be like considerate of the other ensigns who had to exchange words with her. I must’ve come off like an idiot, but I won’t allow myself to make the same mistake again.
Sevo: Yea, its weird. I was actually on an away team with the Chief Science Officer. He was a Caitian, but was transferred right after he got back. I wonder what it was all about?
:: She took a few more gulps of her drink. ::
Sevo: I know we’re just at the bottom of the ladder, but it seems to me that this isn’t a great way to run a ship. There must be more to it than we realize. Still, the Captain filled a couple of the Chief spots. :: Grins. ::
:: Ayiana finished her drink, waved down the server, and ordered another. Fortunately, they were synthehol-laced, so no adverse side effects would be imminent. ::
:: He had another few gulps of his coffee as well, but held off on ordering a second. He was still thinking. ::
Peters: To my understanding, the chief engineer’s on LOA. The only ones who may be down there at any given time are me, an engineering cadet I don’t think I met yet, Ensign Stevens, and Lt. De’knon. So that explains away engineering. Not sure about the other departments.
:: He did, in fact, order a second coffee moments later. ::
Peters: I just have a bit of a bad feeling my isolationist behavior from academy is going to come back and bite me.
Sevo: Why? What happened?
Peters: Nothing, I guess. Aside from me being shy too. Out of nowhere, that diplomatic officer I mentioned earlier, Ensign Bishop, offered to have drinks here at some point because I must’ve looked like I’d had a bad day. Which was kind of true.
Sevo: Mmm. :: She took a few more sips. An awkward silence followed. ::
Sevo: So...enough about everyone else. How about you?
:: The question took him a bit off-guard as he had a sip or two of his coffee, trying to think of a way to answer without coming off as more of an idiot than he probably seemed. Once he swallowed, he replied. ::
Peters: Mkay, what do you want to know? Favorite subject: engineering. Favorite chief engineer’s logs: Commander Tucker and Dr. Scott. Next question?
Sevo: Well, I could have guessed the engineering, but who are those other people?
:: He realized he was probably talking a bit fast, and hadn’t explained any of the other folks. ::
Peters: Sorry. Commander Charles Tucker, chief engineer of the NX-01 Enterprise under Captain Jonathan Archer. Dr. Montgomery Scott, also known as Scotty, chief engineer of the NCC-701 Enterprise under Captain James Kirk. :: He paused for a sip of his drink. :: What were your favorite subjects?
Sevo: Hmm. Some of those names sound familiar. I only took the general education engineering classes. Basic history, emergencies, and stuff. Oh, and my favorite historical person is Dax, obviously! She’s really famous back home, especially at the academy.
:: She finished her second glass. :: Sevo: As for my interests, science obviously. I have always liked the stars. As a little girl I would lay outside my house at night and stare up at them. When I got into the Academy, I studied Astrophysics, Subspace Mechanics, and Quantum Mechanics.
Peters: I heard that the Voyager had some interesting astrometrics logs. Did you get a chance to peruse those?
Sevo: Some of it was classified. But a lot was available for students. Lots of places they visited looked amazing! But you know what the best part of Voyager was?
Peters: Anything that had engineering in it, for me. I liked Lt. B’Elanna Torres’ logs, but they weren’t nearly as interesting as Dr. Scott’s.
Sevo: Speak for yourself. I was enthralled by their slipstream drive! Since its deployed on a few ships now, the details of quantum slipstream aren’t classified anymore. I found it truly fascinating. I did my Subspace Mechanics thesis on Quantum Slipstream. I was trying to solve the problem of the constantly shifting phase variance issue. Never could figure it out, but I came up with some ways to enhance sensors and computer reaction time.
:: He sipped some more of his coffee and nodded faintly. :: Peters: That was an amazing research paper, but I didn’t wind up writing a thesis on it.
:: Ayiana waved the server down and ordered some water and chips. ::
Sevo: I knew it was just a fanciful dream, but I had hoped to be posted on a ship with the drive. Like those fancy Vesta-class ships! And the science equipment they have on those things is like none other in the fleet!
:: It was true, the Vesta-class was truly impressive. Though he still couldn’t help but admire the astrometrics lab of the Voyager. ::
Peters: One of those would definitely be fun to work on, though I still think my favorite part of Voyager’s schematics was the astrometrics lab. That seemed like a marvel of engineering and science rolled into one. For me, anyway.
Sevo: I suppose. I wouldn’t mind viewing the stars from it. I hear the Lunas have an enormous stellar cartography chamber. Interactive holocontrols, variable gravity… You could literally float in the chamber and have the galaxy all around you. :: Ayiana practically became misty-eyed. ::
Sevo: Anyway, I was kind of hoping to be posted to a ship with the drive. I don’t think the ‘’Victory'’ has one, but right after I came aboard, we encountered a prebuilt quantum slipstream tunnel. I was thrilled to put my skills to work, and see it in action!
:: Peters nodded thoughtfully. He hadn’t gotten much chance to put his skills to work, as the only thing he did on the away mission was plot detonation points and get mauled by critters who wanted vicious hugs. ::
Peters: Must have been quite a light show.
Sevo: :: Munching on chips :: Oh man, it was amazing! Never thought I’d be in a slipstream tunnel. It was like...like...like a waterfall of blue and green flowing past you. And it was a constructed slipstream, kind of like the Borg’s transwarp conduits. Until then, I’ve never heard of any theories of Quantum Slipstream being sustained. Normally, the tunnel is created and destroyed in-flight.
:: He helped himself to a handful of chips and mused aloud. ::
Peters: Do you have any idea if we have Christmas lights on this ship? I was thinking about decorating the warp core. :: and he grinned. ::
:: Ayiana sneered in confusion. ::
Sevo: “Christmas lights”? What are those?
Peters: :: half to himself :: Oops. :: then began to explain :: Lights typically put up in December that are meant to look decorative on a Terran holiday called Christmas. The significance to my understanding is the birth of Christ, but I thought it’d be funny to make a decorative warp core in place of a tree. Just to add a splash of color.
Sevo: Yea, I have no idea what you’re talking about. But I seriously doubt they’d let you...um…”decorate” the warp core!
:: He finally shoved the handful of chips into his mouth, chewing thoughtfully before attempting to speak again, finding himself nodding in agreement. Since they had no chief, he couldn’t ask about it. oO Drat. Oo ::
Sevo: Computer, time.
Computer: The time is 1130 hours.
Sevo: :: Munching on more chips. :: Wow. Time flies. I have to get ready for my first shift down in the Science labs. Well, first shift in charge. I still don’t think I can handle it.
:: He finished swallowing his mouthful of chips and nodded. ::
Peters: You’ll be fine. I should be in engineering in 20 minutes anyway. We could always do this again sometime.
Sevo: Awesome. Thanks for this. I think I needed a couple of drinks.
Peters: No worries. We both need to get out more anyway. :: and smiled at her, not sure if what he felt was turning into an involuntary attraction for her or if it was genuine friendship. ::
:: Ayiana grabbed one last handful of chips and a sip of water. She got up and waved goodbye to Peters, her long hair flowing behind her. ::
:: He waved in return, and took his time heading out. He finished the last of his coffee and stared into the cup for several minutes before doing so. ::
Sevo: Oh, and by the way, you have to call me “Sir” now, Ensign. :: She winked. ::
Peters: :: replied with a stiff nod :: Aye, sir. :: and winked in return. ::
Lieutenant JG Ayiana Sevo
Chief Science Officer
Ensign Cadfael Peters
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|Ensign Cadfael Peters
USS Victory NCC 362447
There Will Always Be Time For Tea