Creatures in the Corner
Location: ten forward
Timeline: After the departing shift (slight backpost)
Mike had just finished his shift and while it had been interesting to actually fly a real ship instead of a holodeck replica, flying straight and level was not as interesting. At least during holodeck training there was always something interesting happening.
He decided to head to the 10-forward lounge, which was probably a lot more interesting than sitting with the other cadets in a small room. Upon arriving he noticed one other cadet. They didn't have many classes together, but everybody knew cadet Kirk.
"Hey Kirk," he said as he approached, "you also didn't want to sit in the small room?"
Kirk, her thoughts far away as she sat sipping her unsweetened iced tea, gave a grin as her eyes blinked a few times to get back to the moment. "You could say that. Not much different from the dorm rooms back in 'Frisco." She tilted her head a bit. "How you holding up, O'Reilly?"
"It's quite different in the fleet," Mike said, "I mean, I grew up on a starbase, but it's different when you have to do it yourself. flying straight and level is not all that interesting, but still, having all that mass under your control helps. You?"
Kirk gave her infamous crooked grin. "I'm in Intel, so not much to tell. My Supervisor seems straight forward, and has allowed me access at a higher clearance so I can actually do my job, rather than merely observe. A Vulcan woman, but not exactly repressed when it comes to emotion." She waved that off. "Anyway, yes, being here is far different from the Academy, and meant to weed out those who can't hack it."
"My supervisor is a Caitian," Mike said, "although most of the time I work with lieutenant Zoss, a Bolian. Quite cute actually."
"Bolians are great for team dynamics," said Kirk. "They thrive in teams, since their culture is based on teamwork for just about everything. I've seen the Caitian but haven't had time to chat with her. Stick to our training we'll be fine."
"I've heard that she likes to climb, just like you," Mike said, "I wonder what will happen now. We're going to a planet, but we're probably stuck on the ship. You know more about what we're going to do there?"
"A little," responded Kirk. "But, for now, I can't divulge anything other than to say it's a wildlife problem involving a colony."
"Not much for flight control to do then," Mike said, "if the ship is parked around a planet. Say, want another drink? Or something to eat?"
Kirk grinned, raising her glass up a moment and wiggling it. "Iced tea, but sure, I'll take another. And, it's not as fresh but I'll take a bowl of Gagh. Now that you mention it, I'm a bit hungry."
"How you can eat that I've never understood," Mike said. He wasn't all that fond on food that was high on the slimy scale. But he got her the food, taking a pizza viennese and a ginger ale for himself.
"I learned to eat this from commander Jameson," he said when he got back to the table, "she ate it at least a couple of times per week."
Kirk took the bowl and fresh drink and set them before her. "Thanks." Unlike Klingons, and since it wasn't fresh and alive, Jamie took up a fork to eat the gagh like spaghetti. "Wait, it needs one more thing." Getting up and going to the bar she claimed a bottle of grapok sauce, pouring a serving of it on her worms as she sat back down.
Jamie looked up at Mike, smiling. "It's an acquired taste, for sure. But, lots of protein." She took her first bite, chewing and closing her eyes a moment at the flavors. "Mmmm."
"If I want protein, I'll get myself a nice piece of salmon," Mike said, "my mother had a very good recipe for that. She even grew the herbs for the sauce. That's one thing I miss here, my plants."
Kirk dabbed her mouth wit a cloth napkin. "Well, when you get assigned to a ship, depending on size, maybe they'll let you use a part of the arboretum to grow some herbs."
"I hope so," Mike said, "there's something, well almost therapeutic, about being in garden and planting things. It's very relaxing, almost like meditation. You have something like that?"
"When I cook, or go fishing," responded Kirk. "I don't know," she gave a shrug. "I get caught up in what I'm doing at the moment. When I'm moored on a planet or base I look forward to ship duty, when I'm on a ship I think about being on a planet for vacation. The sentient condition, I'm afraid."
"I get that," Mike said, "and, how is the Gagh?"
Kirk gave a smile from the heart and a giggle. "Dead, I'm afraid. Replicators won't, and can't, recreate live food sources. So, this is what we get." She pointed to her animal body spaghetti. "But, for what it is, it's good."
"You should ask science to keep some live gagh around," Mike said, "they often keep animals around, so why not some worms."
Kirk gave a grin. "Well, depending on where I get stationed after this cruise, I'll have some in my private stores. And, of course, some Bushmill's black."
"That sounds quite interesting," Mike said, "a 21?"
"More than likely," answered Kirk, after chewing down some more gagh. "Sit in a small observation lounge, sipping whiskey on the rocks and smoking a good cigar. Peaceful, with just the thrum of power in the ship for audio, while watching the stars go by. Good way to relax."
"Except for the cigar, I can totally agree," Mike said, "although I can also relax in the arboretum on a ship or base which has one. Or in a tent somewhere in the middle of nowhere with some meat sizzling on an open fire."
Jamie smiled. "A good campfire is never a bad thing."
"I know a couple of spots not far from the Academy," Mike said, "maybe we should go there once this cruise is done. You bring the wiskey, I'll bring the s'mores."
Kirk gave a wide smile. "Sounds like a plan. Catch fish for meals, garlic butter and wrapped in tin foil on the grill. Whoa! Good times."
"Okay, it's a date," Mike said, just as Oraxea came through on his comm, requesting his presence at the simulator.
"I guess it's time to get back to work," he sighed, "well, see you around."
"You can count on it," said Kirk, her gagh finished. Wiping her hands and mouth Jamie stood and left with Mike, he going one way, she turning another.