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Tubar Root and Tea for Lunch...

Posted on Wed Oct 26th, 2022 @ 3:54pm by Petty Officer 1st Class Kotri Tesren & Lieutenant Deglan & Crewman Jayden Booth & Lieutenant JG Kestrel

Mission: A Camping We Will Go
Location: Ship's Mess, USS Sojourner
Timeline: Mission Day 2 at 1400

[Starship Sojourner]
[Mission Day 2; 1400 Hours]
[Orbit of Gentris IV]]

Lieutenant Deglan hummed along to some Andorian blues which gently played out over the computer, one of his favourite songs, Aurora Over Andor, a tune his mother would always sing to him when he was a boy. No longer a boy, Deglan now busily worked in the kitchen to prepare lunch for crewmates he was very much looking forward to meeting. The Andorian wasn’t onboard for a long time; but, very much hoped it would be a good time. He knew that the crew, on a ship of this size, just like his own ship, the Equinox, would be close-knit and well-accustomed to one another. In his experience, in this situation he would neither be welcomed as a fresh face, someone new and exciting, or be seen as an outsider who struggled to fit in. Whichever the case was, Deglan wouldn’t be onboard long, and now that he had been asked to step up as a leader and be the Chief of Security and the Head of Tactical, he would certainly have to step up in his efforts to get to know everyone and begin the delicate process of earning their trust. Deglan, having led this department on his own ship for the past few years, had learned that trust can only be earned and is vital to the success of the role—and really could mean the difference between life and death. Deglan could think of no better way to foster trust than around a table and to marry one of his passions—cooking.

The Andorian had been fortunate to have secured the ship’s mess for the next hour, for his simple little meet and greet. While he hadn’t had the chance to meet everyone yet, he had the computer send out personal invitations to many in his department who didn’t appear to be tied up with duty, already beamed down to the planet, or had other engagements. He had extended an invitation to a selection of security and tactical officers and the brig officer.

“Well girl, looks like we are almost ready for them,” he looked down to his feet at a small white toy poodle that sat there and stared up at him sweetly. “Now, don’t do too much barking when they start to walk in. There will be loads of belly rubs in your future if you’re a good girl, got it?” He winked down at her as he turned about and flipped the bacon once more, a wash cloth draped over his shoulder.

The table was already set, the center lined with pancakes, fruit, various jams, pastries, a selection of teas and coffees, fried and seasoned Andorian tubar root, and a bread toasted which he had just baked. The delicious aromas of it all mixed and filled the space, a fine variety, and he hoped for something for everyone. While some might consider many of the foods more tailored for breakfast, he was a fan of these foods at any time of the day.

Kotri Tesren was in no hurry. Thirty minutes ago, she'd been practicing spearfishing with Mateo Longhorse and was supposed to be heading down for some much-wanted shore-leave. Instead, she found herself in a SOJO t-shirt, thumbs pocketed shallowly in her uniform pants. There was a new guyin charge. And Kotri wondered if the Prophets had cursed their little ship.

Maybe it was Kosst'amojan. But the Sojourner felt cursed. How many Chiefs of Security had they been through since launch? Kotri counted five now. Coupled with the massive failure of the ship literally being boarded and commandeered by a gang of photonic life forms and... indeed, Security on the Sojourner was in a morale slump. At least, she thought, that Dravor had had the good sense to blow one of those spirits of air and darkness out of the holo-grid.

... Of course, that skinny idiot that Jyl-eel Tor had a thing for had apparently tried to bring it back.

Kotri shook her head. She fiddled with her D'jarra earring, rubbing the crest of Mutta on her lobe. She came to a stop at the mess doors and rolled her eyes. "Wonder how long this one will last?" She muttered with a dry bitterness. She rolled her shoulders and popped her neck. "Five minutes," she promised. And then she planned to be in shorts and waders, spearing her own dinner. She pushed the Mess Hall's entry key and stepped inside.

While Kotri had been lost in thought, Kestrel, who was still newer to the ship, had followed quietly behind, unsure if she should give the Bajoran woman space or announce her presence so that she didn't startle her. She opted for space, though, taking care to deal with her own thoughts. Dani was, as she was making her way to an unexpected, impromptu, security... lunch?... packing her things and preparing to board the shuttle that had just deposited the new chief on the ship. It felt odd to think of being on the Sojourner without Dani and she'd hoped that the friendship she had built with the powerful woman would deepen and...

Kestrel sighed. If wishes were fishes... Where had she heard that? She couldn't remember. Just that she had found it amusing at the time. She remembered better those moments of beauty, like the laugh the phrase had elicited, than the situation that warranted hearing it. Still, even knowing that she and Dani would simply remain friends, she felt a bit robbed of the opportunity to spend a precious few last minutes with the woman. Naturally, Dani had no such affectation. Ever the warrior, she had simply told Kestrel that she should go and that there was no use dwelling. Her only consolation, as she acquiesced to her friend's comments, had been the opportunity to leave Dani with the picture she had drawn of her on their way to the Sojourner.

Kestrel paused a dozen yards from the entrance to the Mess, momentarily feeling rebellious enough to turn around and seek out Dani. Or maybe Sheila or Brian? Anything other than a work function. Gloved hands went to her hairline, brushing the forelock of dark short hair that had fallen forward until it was back out of her eyes. She watched Kotri pause as well and then, after a short moment, enter the Mess. "Might as well," she murmured, and, fighting inertia, she pushed off the wall and entered the room.

A warm smile brushed across Deglan’s face as a few crewmates moved into the mess, the little poodle close on his heels, and for now, as quiet as a mouse. His antenna danced around in all directions with seemingly no real rhyme or reason to their movements, “Greetings, welcome! I am Lieutenant Deglan. I just found out that I will be your new Chief of Security and Tactical, and I just wanted an opportunity to say hello. I know many of you are heading down to the planet for some well-deserved R and R, and I don’t want to do anything to hold you up. Please sit, or grab a fist full of something to take camping with you. Do as you see fit, no obligation, truly. I just wanted to do something for you before you left, as I will be remaining with the ship.” He motioned his hands up and outward as if to say, ‘that’s it!’

Two weeks on a runabout had its advantages and disadvantages. Jayden Booth was still unsure what that meant, as he had found the fortnight’s worth of flight an opportunity to read up on all things related to security. Sojourner was his first ship-posting since graduating from Rememberance Station, and he had no desire to screw the pooch on his first day.

It’s not as if I could enjoy a few quiet ones with Big Blue constantly looking over my shoulder, Thought Booth as he strode into the mess hall and posted his boss.

Booth strode over.

Deglan Kotri wondered. The man was clearly Andorian. It was unusual- to her- to see an Andorian so animated in face. Humans, to Kotri, were... over-smiling. Like Root Beer they were so... cheery. In Andorians, the devout and sometimes serene... sometimes dour... Bajora saw a kinship. Sometimes. They were both innately suspicious to outsiders. They could be reserved. Lieutenant Deglan seemed to be quit extroverted for his species, and Kotri mentally noted that.

"Lieutenant," Kotri greeted with a respectful head nod. A new person from behind her strode toward the Andorian and for the moment, Kotri silenced to let them have their introductions. Her questions could wait.

Kestrel stopped next to Kotri, a head nod in the direction of the Andorian her only greeting as a young man she didn't recognize made a beeline for the new Security Chief. "Well this isn't at all what I expected," she said quietly so that only the Bajoran woman could hear.

Kotri looked at Kestrel briefly and back, nodding. Her face stayed very Bajoran- that slightly firm and devout intensity. "Not what I was expecting either." She glanced back. "Where's Tight Pants?" She asked, referring to Dravor. "Planetside already?"

Kestrel shrugged. She wasn't actually sure where Dravor was, but she appreciated the Bajoran's nickname and gave her a small knowing smirk.

Deglan reached down and scooped up his poodle companion, he knew that the little pooch could only behave for so long. He gently began to stroke her just behind her ear. “Officer Kotri and Lieutenant Kestrel, glad you could make it.” He gave a nob to the young man who approached him. He had gotten somewhat acquainted with Crewman Jayden Booth during their days on the Runabout. Deglan was glad to have another outsider in his ranks.

“Booth, are you heading down to the planet? Here, come grab a quick bite and get down there, stretch your legs!” He motioned his hand toward the grub. The Andorian wasn’t sure who would join him as he took a seat at the table he had prepared. He fixed the poodle on his lap and reached for a few items and tossed them on his plate with a utensil. “Again no pressure to join me,” he nodded to the Kestrel and Kotri, who seemed to have some level of familiarity, “I appreciate stopping by to say hello,” he smiled again.

Booth nodded. "All good, boss."

"It's quite a feast you have, Lieutenant," Kotri attested. It reminded her of a spread the size one saw during the Gratitude Festival, which was coming up in a few weeks. She picked up one of the tubar roots and some fresh-baked bread. "Why aren't you going down to the planet? All that time in a runabout..." Kotri asked.

“The Equinox, our ship is currently in drydock and I jumped at the chance to get out amongst the stars again. My posting here was to be Assistant Chief; but, Captain Kodak asked me to step into the Chief role moments ago. I want to be on board if I am needed, given the new station, and it shall give me a few days to get caught up on my new duty.” Deglan hoped his answer was satisfactory, he looked forward to the downtime to get to know his new ship and those who remained aboard. Deglan didn’t like the optics of accepting the Chief role only moments before going on shore leave after having plenty of down time in drydock and weeks en route aboard the Runabout—even if captain Kodak didn’t seem bothered if he went or stayed. Deglan was sure he could do something to keep himself busy in orbit.

"I understand," Kotri replied. Kotri didn't know the Equinox. "Lieutenant True was reassigned," she did clarify, seconding what she assumed Kodak had told the Andorian. "We've gone through a lot of Security Chiefs."

"You will be going down to Gentris IV, Officer Kotri? I admittingly don't know much about the planet, what do you hope to do down there?" Deglan posed.

"Yes. It's Class M Typical," Kotri said. She shrugged. "It looks good in the footage. And we're coming off some tense weeks. First we had people get stuck in time on Talbeethia. Then the Sojourner was commandeered by photonics." She tasted her sample of the tuber roots which were fried and earthy and reminded her of some roots used in hasperat. Sort of like celeriac and fennel. "Relax. Just relax. Breathe real air, not this recycled stuff."

“Sounds like I am in for an easy ride then…” Deglan’s eyes softened in reference to time freezing and photonics. “But, yes… Fresh air does sound nice. I hope to get back to Andor at the end of the year, that should be nice. There is no air quite like the air on one’s homeworld,” the Andorian sampled some of the foods he had scattered across his plate, his fingertips gingerly stroked the poodle’s head as he did so.

Kotri agreed on that principle, adding, "When it's free, yeah."

Kestrel watched the exchange quietly, snagging a little bit of the food and eating slowly while Kotri and Deglan spoke. It surprised her to hear the new security chief describe returning to his home world by year's end. They were about as far away from home as any of them could get, so a trip back would be long, indeed. Still, she understood the draw. Her mind drifted back to the Azhadi woman on a shuttle bound for... well... somewhere else. She didn't suppose Danni would be visiting home. "It's been 14 years since I've set foot on Argelus II," she offered, interjecting her thoughts into the conversation.

"The last time I was on Bajor, I visited the Kel'vrenda Monastery in Hill Province to re-inter some of my ancestors' graves that the Cardassians defiled." She said bluntly. And she said it with all the burning contempt one might expect of a Bajoran toward a Cardassian- a smoldering sense of schadenfreude almost wafted from her. "I've never been to Andor." She looked at the Argelian, "Or Argelius. I know one's cold and orbits a gas giant."

"And I never to Bajor," Deglan offered, he was not sure how to respond to the defiling of ancestor's gravels by Cardassians. He wasn't even sure if anything could be said. "It has been a great deal of time since I have even been back in the Alpha or Beta Quadrants; but, once the Equinox is done with repairs at station, I believe we will be heading home." The Andorian ate the last bits of his meal, "I'd be interested to hear about Bajor sometime, if you'd be willing to share." He then looked to the few who had gathered with him, "Seriously, do not feel pressured to stay, if you have plans to make, things to pack, or want to get to planet side a little early..." He offered a sincere simile.

By that stage, Booth had helped himself to the food. "This beats the replicated crap we had on the flight over," he said over a mouthful.

Kestrel eyed the crewman following his comment and then, finishing the last few bites of her meal, nodded to Deglan. "Thanks for the meal, sir," she said genially. "I'm afraid I'm in the, due to be elsewhere bucket." Waiting only for the Andorian's acknowledgment of her comment she turned, and made her way back out of the Mess, suddenly wanting to be planet side more than she had even before the call to come to this get-together.

Deglan simply smiled to himself, his hand on the poodle as he thought, So far so good...aboard the Sojourner....

A Post By:

Crewman Jayden Booth
Security Officer

PO1 Kotri Tessen
Brig Officer

Lieutenant JG Kestrel
Security Officer

Lieutenant Deglan
Chief Security/Tactical Officer


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