On the prowl
Posted on Tue Jan 5th, 2016 @ 9:27am by Commander Kelly Michaels & Civilian Katherine McMathis & Chief Petty Officer M'rrrlena
Mission 5: Shore leave (Finally!)
Location: Officers Mess
Timeline: MD5 - 1 0920
M'rrrlena being enlisted really didn't belong in the officer's mess unless she was assigned a work duty in there. She stood outside the doors of it and gazed into the small window on the sliding door. She saw Commander Michaels sitting at a small table doing paperwork.
She knew that lying to any officer could mean the cancellation of her shore leave but she would gladly accept that fate if it meant getting Commander Michael's attention to sponsor her for the officer transition program. She sighed as she looked at the data-pad she carried. It had all the mission's communications logs downloaded into it... something that M'rrrlena knew that Michaels had access to... but damn it she could not stand it anymore she needed a sponsor and knew if the first officer sponsored her it would fast track her into the program and streamline her commission. Besides she really wanted Michaels to pin the rank on her.
She swallowed her pride and rang the chime to enter the Officer's mess. "State your business chief." The voice of an unknown security officer somewhere in the monitoring center said.
"I have a data padd for Commander Michaels," She said respectfully, The doors slid open and she gracefully walked into the officer's mess... the food smelled amazing, freshly prepared food was a luxury that mere enlisted crew only received on special holidays. M'rrrlena, being a senior NCO could eat in the NCO's mess but it was still not as nice as the Officer's mess. She walked over to Michaels, "Ma'am... I thought you would find this useful. I know you may already have the data, but I have organized all transmissions by mission, requests for assistance, civilian chatter, and incriminating traffic from the drug cartel. I thought this would make your report much easier." She laid the padd on the table as the scent of freshly prepared fish wafted by she did not realize until it was too late that she instantly closed her eyes, smiled and began to purr very loudly... "Oh I'm sorry ma'am... how rude of me."
Kelly looked up and smiled. Pointing to the empty chair across the table she said, "have a seat, Chief." She pucked up the PADD and took a sip of her coffee. Glancing toward the kitchen she saw Mac heading over with a pot of coffee. "Are you hungry?" she asked. "Mac makes a Belgian waffle topped with fresh blueberries and whipped cream that's to die for."
M'rrrlena's eyes looked very disappointed, "Commander I would like nothing more than to enjoy a meal here, but what kind of example would I, as an NCO, set for the crew that serve under me." Her tail drooped slightly in acceptance of this, "I must always set the example to them. But, there is something of a personal nature I would like to ask you."
"As my guest you may eat in the officers' mess without breaking or stretching any rules," Kelly said. "So, please...if you're hungry join me."
Mac walked up to the table and refilled Kelly's coffee and quirked an eyebrow questioningly.
"If you consider me a guest then fine..." She turned to Mac and smiled flashing two beautiful white fangs in her smile, "I'll have whatever fish you have, I haven't had fish since we left starfleet headquarters. They don't serve it in the NCO mess and I've yet to have replicated fish that measured up to the real thing... and I can smell you have the real thing back there."
"I know just the thing," Mac said with a smile and a wink then she hurried off.
"Now," Kelly said, putting the PADD down and giving M'rrrlena her full attention. "What did you want to talk to me about?"
"As strange as it sounds, Doctor Dyson was going to be my sponsor for the officer transition program. I have studied hard every second of my free time and I am ready to take the test. As you know I need a sponsor who is an officer to recommend me for the test, and I know that any rank I'm awarded after the test is provisional for a six months. I can't ask Aiden as he isn't quite together himself right now as an officer, but I need someone who I trust... and that trusts me. I know I haven't served directly under you, but I hope you've seen that I have the skills necessary to move forward." She paused, "I'm sorry... I keep rambling on and you have important work to do."
Kelly chuckled. "I would be honored to be your sponsor," she said with a smile. "And, for the record, Dyson was only an honorary officer. It never went through the Academy and wasn't recognized by Starfleet as an officer so its sponsorship would have meant nothing in the grand scheme of things. Had I or Romon known that it had promised you sponsorship we would have warned you." She took a sip of her fresh coffee and ran her finger through the leftover blueberry compote and whipped cream on her plate and sucked it off of her finger. "So when is the next exam scheduled?" she asked.
She perked up a bit, "The next exam actually is during shore leave... actually two days from now, so I thought I would stay on board and take it. My studies, and the extra bridge communications shifts have been a great way to occupy my free time and keep me from doing something improper." Then she sighed, "I've met someone since I've come on board... His name is R'nard and he's a wonderful little fellow... just he's an officer and I am not so technically it's improper. I have to humor him a bit because when we um... got to know each other better... it was obvious he was holding back. I don't think he realizes that with my species the female does the hunting and the male just lays around looking pretty all the time. I know it's improper of me to get involved with an officer so the sooner I pass I can further my career... and legitimately date an officer as long as I am not attached to their division."
"I have to ask...but is that the only reason you want to be commissioned?" Kelly asked, taking another sip of her coffee and watching M'rrrlena for her reaction to the question.
M'rrrlena did not miss a beat, "No Commander, I want to be commissioned because I feel I have so much more to accomplish. During the mission it came a point when I was in the bridge with a very inexperienced Lieutenant who froze... they did not know what to do. Our usual bridge crew was either on the planet, or handling other matters... I called for Lt. Shaw to come from engineering because the young man was way over his head... he just looked at me when I asked him questions trying to lead him into what to do next." M'rrrlena straightened up in her chair with pride, "It really solidified there that I can do the job. I have twelve years of practical starfleet experience. I have many decorations from the dominion war, I'm battle proven. Truth be told many officers have received promotions and accolades while standing on the back of my hard work and it simply is time I get some credit for it myself."
"Good answer," Kelly said with a wink. "Like I said....I had to ask. I will be proud to be your sponsor."
"Enough about my drama, I saw how everything effected you in sick bay. You've been haunting my thoughts and I hope as an NCO it's not improper of me to ask... are you doing okay? If it's not my place or none of my business but what kind of person would I be if I wasn't concerned. You don't shed those kind of tears for someone if you don't care deeply for them... and forgive me if this is out of place, but you seem to be burying yourself in your duties as well."
"As long as Romon is fine....I am," Kelly answered. "Thank you for asking. "As for work....I got behind on my reports and am just trying to get caught up so Romon and I can spend a little time together while the Victory is docked."
Mac arrived carrying a plate of freshly grilled tilapia, steamed sweet grass for the digestion and a glass of half and half. "Sorry I didn't have any fresh cream, Chief," she said as she set the plate and glass down in front of M'rrrlena. "Unfortunately they won't let me have a dairy cow on board or I would have."
She smiled as a plate full of fresh perfectly prepared Tilapia was sat down in front of her. She gingerly took a fork and knife and began deboning and cutting it up into bite sized morsels, "Actually I don't care for dairy products that is an unfortunate stereotype. Even most earth felines can't digest milk proteins... do you by any chance have cherry cola... not the replicated kind I mean real cola with cherry juice?"
"Nothing in my kitchen is replicated," Mac said with pride as she takes back the glass of half and half. "I'll be right back. Anything else for you, Commander?" she asked as she picked up Kelly's empty plate.
"No thanks, Mac," Kelly answered, dipping her finger in some of the syrup drippings on the plate and grinning like a little kid getting caught tasting her mom's frosting.
"Oh my name is M'rrrlena," She said with a smile, "It is true it's not a native Caitian name, but it is also hard for us Caitians not to roll the letter 'r' I've overcome the trilling of the 'Rs' and have even learned several other languages. When I was found as a feral, the human colonists that saved and adopted me named me Marlena... back then I never was able to say it and M'rrrlena was the best I could do. It became my name and my identity." She back smiled at Mac, "BTW, your fish is purrrrrfect... and you have no idea what a treat this is for me. I only hope I can repay your kindness sometime."
"Nothing to repay, young lady," Mac said with a wink and then she headed for her kitchen.
M'rrrlena turned her attention back to Kelly, "I'm really concerned about Aiden... his personality is there sometimes and not there others. I'm pretty good at figuring out when it's him and when it's Max talking. Aiden is a very gentle soul... but I'm finding Max to be a little bit of an..." she paused trying to figure out the right word, "Forgive me... he's an asshole at times. It seems that he enjoys tormenting poor Aiden. Is it true that the host begins to lose themselves in the symbiont? Will my friend eventually become another person? I find it strange that Aiden suddenly wants to go to the planet's surface... I've never known him not to be in uniform... either starfleet or his civilian jeans and black t-shirt. He's starting to actually primp a bit and wear other things."
"You'll have to ask Romon about that," Kelly said. "Romon is the first Trill I have ever met so I still don't understand the full dynamic."
"You know," M'rrrlena said with a smile, "one thing that would build some loyalty with the enlisted would be if you would come by the NCO Mess from time to time and drop in. We don't have a chef and we have to clean up our own tables when we are done but it would go a long way to touch base with the NCO's there. They work hard and knowing that someone from command actually took the time to stop by and spend some time with them appreciating the hard work goes a long way."
"That is such a great idea," Kelly said. "I appreciate the suggestion. I would love to do away with separate dining facilities. I think it would be great to have one lounge for everyone with a kitchen and bar....a pool table or two...some dart boards...chess tables...card tables....a place where we all can come relax together. But I don't know how receptive the Captain would be to the idea."
Just then Mac returned with M'rrrlena's soda and a small plate with a hunk of devils food cake and set both in front of her. "Just finished icing this," she said.
She looked at the chef, "Just how did you know I like devil's food cake?" She smiled as Aiden would often smuggle out just one piece for her as a treat and realized that Aiden never ordered just once piece of anything with his appetite. She lit up, "oh... never mind, I get it. I hope there's some way I can repay you for your kindness."
"My payment is seeing my cooking enjoyed," Mac chuckled and headed back to her kitchen.
"She's a gem," Kelly said with a smile.