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May You Put Your Dentures in Upside Down and Chew Your Head Off...

Posted on Wed Oct 5th, 2022 @ 10:30pm by Lieutenant Deglan & Captain Björn Kodak

Mission: A Camping We Will Go
Location: Captain's Ready Room, Sojourner
Timeline: Mission Day 2 at 1300

[Runabout Volga]
[MD 2: 1300 Hours]

Deglan torqued his torso as he snaked his frame a little deeper down into the Jefferies tube to extend his reach and access the next panel. He had been on the runabout for what seemed like days now en route to Gentris IV to rendezvous with the Sojourner, for temporary assignment. By his very nature he did not enjoy being idle, and when the runabout’s weapon systems, though limited, showed a targeting discrepancy, he was only too glad to roll up his sleeves, complete a diagnostic and crawl into the tubes to complete the necessary recalibration.

The anorian had almost completed the task when his badge chimed, and the sweet voice of a female, whom he had only just met, and who he had come to realize fancied him rang out, “Ensign Betty Cartwright to Lieutenant Deglan.”

“Oh, hello Ensign, yes?” Deglan responded. Betty wasn’t exactly his type; but, she had a way about her, and she always said such outworldly things, that Deglan didn’t understand; but, made him laugh just the same.

“May you put your dentures in upside down and chew your head off,” quipped Ensign Cartwright in a seemingly lively elderly Italian accent.

“What?” Deglan asked with the lift of his brow, a smirk already formed.

“Still nothing eh? Dang, I really thought I was going to spark something with that one! Have you never heard of Agnes Betrillo of the Silver Ladies?”

Deglan laughed again, “I can’t say that I have, no sorry.” Ever since Deglan met Betty she had hounded him about holonovels and the various voiceover work she had done prior to her joining Starfleet. Deglan hadn’t spent much time in holonovels; but, he had always assumed that many of the holographic voices were simply just artificial, computer generated, he never considered that someone actually voiced some of the holographic characters. Betty had made it very clear to him that voice acting in holonovels was a dying art, and the artificial voices simply lacked the emotion that only a skilled voice actress like herself could bring rise to. Deglan wasn’t sure how famous Betty had been before joining the academy; but, she certainly led him to believe that she had been very active in the holonovel market.

“You really need to live a little, jump into a good holonovel sometime! The next time you are on shore leave we should jump into one together, what do you say Lieutenant?”

A small smirk formed on Deglan’s lips, he couldn’t help but be polite, “Sure why not?”

“Excellent! We should, of course, do one that I did voice work in. Maybe the Starfleet Medical drama, Gayle’s Anatomy? Oh no, maybe some fantasy, Game of Swords? Some supernatural, Stranger Stuff? Maybe even… some Breaking Awful? So hard to choose! Only Murders on the Station, also so so so good! Anyway… I’ll give you some options and I’ll let you choose! You can choose!”

Deglan laughed a little more, politely of course, “Alright, I’ll choose. So… Gentris IV, are we getting close?”

“Oh yeah! Right! That’s why I dinged you! We are in orbit now, the captain asked you to beam directly over and make your way to see him in his ready room.”

“Great! I am just about done here. Let your CO know the targeting systems should be top notch now,” Deglan’s digits quickly danced over the exposed panel to finish as he sealed it close, “Hey Ensign?”

“Please… Call me Betty.”

“Alright, Betty it is… do you think you could beam me out of here, directly to their ship?”

“For you? Anything! I’ll just contact the Sojourner and have them beam you directly to their transporter room!”

“Thanks Betty! I’ll see you next time.” Deglan motioned his hands down over his uniform in an effort to flatten the creases which seemed to have been summoned by the Jefferies tube. He hoped the beam would shorten some of the captain’s wait.

“Bye Deglan! Enjoy your time on the Sojourner!”

Within moments Deglan began to materialize on the transporter pad of what would come to be known as his home away from home for the next few weeks. While he would miss the Equinox, drydock was no place for him. He gave a nod toward the transport chief as he stepped off the pad and scooped up his personal belongings which Betty had been keen enough to transport behind him. He packed lightly, a small satchel which he threw over his shoulder and a flabbjellah, a medium-sized traditional Andorian instrument which he carried in his right hand.

The ship wasn’t large, and having served on the Equinox, he knew the layout of the Sojourner well. It wasn’t long before he found himself in front of the captain’s ready room and chimed to indicate his presence. Deglan found the ship oddly empty, normally on such a cozy ship, he would be elbow to elbow with crew just to get from point A to point B. He wondered where most of the crew was, had many of them beamed down to Gentris IV?

[Ready Room]

Captain Kodak had been making a list and was currently in the process of checking it twice. Andrew, it turned out, had been cautiously amenable to the idea of camping. Björn understood that the man enjoyed his creature comforts but he was happy his paramour had given a greenlight to spending a few nights down on the surface of Gentris IV. But just because they were camping didn't mean Andrew would have to leave all the comforts of home behind. Kodak was keen on making sure he packed everything needed to make his partner feel comfortable.

He'd already listed the basics they'd need on a PADD. This included items like a large tent that could comfortably sleep eight people -- providing plenty of room to spread out and enjoy the space inside. Kodak had also listed Starfleet-issue air mattresses, sleeping bags, lanterns, various types of clothing they'd need, walking sticks, hiking boots, and more. The list was quite extensive and the Captain knew it would take Andrew and himself a couple of hours to get everything in order before they beamed down. But before they could start packing, Kodak had just one last thing to attend to.

Lieutenant Deglan had been scheduled -- with several other new or replacement crew -- to rendezvous with the Sojourner at the nebula they'd been studying for a couple of weeks. Recent events, however, had ended the ship up in orbit of Gentris IV instead and new coordinates had been transmitted to the inbound runabout. Having caught up to them and docking some minutes prior, Kodak had ordered the new security officer -- on temporary rotation -- to meet him in his Ready Room. And, as if on cue, the door chime rang to indicate Deglan had arrived.

"It's open," Kodak said, knowing his voice would be piped outside to signal the Andorian to enter. As the doors swished open, the Captain offered the man a warm, welcoming smile. "Welcome aboard the Sojourner, Lieutenant," he said, setting down the PADD he'd been working on and rising from his desk, striding over to Deglan with an outstretched hand. "How was your travel? I imagine two weeks aboard a runabout -- even though it's much bigger than a shuttle," he remarked, "can't have been the most comfortable?"

“Thank you Captain. My travel was just fine. I’ve traveled in worse, much worse,” the Andorian smiled and shook the alien’s hand. A few memories came fluttering to Deglan’s mind, like the time he had spent a week aboard an escape pod, he had never needed a shower more in his entire life. Or the time he hitched a ride aboard a Ferengi garbage scow, no smell since could compare to that malodorous ride. Then of course there was the time he had spent nearly a month undercover on a Klingon scout ship, nothing about that experience screamed luxury. Just the simple thought of the Klingons reminded him of the gallons of gagh he had ingested and his stomach already started to turn. To this day he could hardly watch anyone eat it.

Deglan flicked his travel satchel from over his shoulder to his hip, and reached inside. His digits gripped on and revealed blue tinted Andorian ale contained in a sealed bottle, “A gift from Captain Noth, sir.” He offered the bottle to the Captain with a nod, “I am glad to be aboard the Sojourner, while the Equinox is in drydock, and I very much look forward to our upcoming mission. While I won't be a permanent fixture in your crew, I appreciate the opportunity to serve, and I thank you for it. I assure you, I'll take this temporary posting as seriously as my last.” Deglan's back tightened and he almost stood at attention, which he had fully been prepared to do, before he was disarmed by the Captain's welcoming nature, which was not exactly the Nausicaan way new crewman were meet with on his ship.

A low whistle came from Kodak. "I'm not an expert on Andorian ale but this is very old," he said, reading the label. "What a thoughtful gift," the Captain said, holding the bottle by its neck and rounded bottom, pulling it close to his chest in appreciation. "I'll have to send something back to Captain Noth...if you don't mind delivering it," he smiled warmly, moving then to set the bottle on his desk.

With a gesture, the Captain indicated the sitting couches on the far side of his office. His feet carried him to one and the Chameloid lowered himself into a comfortable position, gesturing Deglan to do the same. "Your service may be temporary but the pleasure is ours, Lieutenant. There's just one small hiccup with that," Kodak rasped. "Our Chief of Security and head Tactical officer has decided to return to Pathfinder station. You were meant to be her second but, given your rank and experience, I'm hoping you will take her place as Chief for the tenure of your stay..." he trailed off.

“I would be happy to deliver something to him in kind,” Deglan gave a nod as he considered the captain’s next proposal. The Andorian certainly had not agreed to join the Sojourner for a holiday, rather on the contrary. If anything, the two weeks aboard the Runabout made him ever more ready to jump into the thick of it. Deglan for as long as he could remember was always motivated by the need to feel needed. While he didn’t particularly need constant praise he did however feel good when he felt like he was contributing to something greater than himself. Some of his more enjoyable days were when they ended with him crawling into bed completely bushed from an eventful day.

“I would be happy to fill the position if I am so needed. Until you find a replacement or until my tenure is up, it would be my honor,” he nodded again. “I’ve spent the past two weeks becoming acquainted with your crew and past missions, I feel it would be a seamless transition, simply now, through a new lens.”

"Excellent," Kodak nodded, his smile a bit relieved. "I'm very glad you're up to the challenge of the Chief role, even if unexpected. A lot of folks are getting ready to beam down to the surface for a few days of camping. Not sure what plans those in your department might have but," the Captain stressed, "I'd recommend getting them all together for a little while once we're done here. Introduce yourself, make friends, establish your command. Crewman Booth, I assume you know," he smirked, thinking of the two stuck on the runabout ride together, "but the others are friendly enough. I'm sure you'll be well received," Kodak offered an encouraging smile.

"Are you one for camping, Mr. Deglan?" the Captain asked, sitting back in a more relaxed position. "I realize you've been cooped up for a couple of weeks. You're probably raring for something to do but if you want to join in on the fun for a few days, you're more than welcome to. It might be our last fun port of call for awhile," Kodak admitted. "Of course, if you'd prefer to stay on the ship, you're welcome to do that, too. Might be a bit of a ghost town up here for a few days though," he added.

Deglan nodded and considered the options, “I think I’d like to stay, if that is acceptable? While I have to weigh the options between connecting with our crew on the planet or being available to the stay back crew, I think my place is here. Should something happen, I would like to be with the ship so early in this new tenure.” The Andorian did not like the idea of going planet side to relax just moments after being asked to be the chief security officer. If something were to happen on the ship he wanted to be aboard.

“As a consolation, maybe I could make a quick call to the crew in my department who haven’t left for the planet yet and fill their stomachs before they beam down? A little quick meal meet and greet to know my face before they earn some well deserved relaxation. Would it be possible to reserve the mess for the next hour?” Deglan knew he would have to act quick if he had any hopes of catching any of them. He already had a head start, some treats already prepared in his travel satchel that he could avail of, like a bread he had baked that morning on the Runabout and some tubar root.

"Choice is yours," Kodak shrugged at the idea of staying aboard the ship. It wasn't a choice he would make after being stuffed into a runabout for two weeks but, then again, everyone was different. To Deglan's question, the Captain nodded. "Not a bad idea. You'll want to speak to the Quartermaster about reserving the Mess, though I certainly don't have an issue there. Hopefully you can snag some folks before they start their vacations. Why don't we wrap now," he rose from the couch and extended his hand for a parting shake, "so you can get that going. Welcome, once again, to the Sojourner, Lieutenant," he smiled.

Deglan shook the alien’s hand again, “Thank you.”

=/\= A joint post by... =/\=

Lieutenant Deglan
Chief Tactical/Security Officer


Captain Björn Kodak
Commanding Officer


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