Episode 1.1: Sidetracked - Senior Staff Gathering
Episode 1.1: Sidetracked
Location: Seven Forward (Eagle's Nest Lounge)
Estrad walked calmly into Seven Forward and looked around. The place was unusually empty, having had the Captain book it out for a senior crew get together, but he was sure the rest of the crew were elsewhere relaxing and enjoying themselves. It was filled with long tables upon which were provided a variety of food to pick at, from Klingon gagh to Andorian tuber root to cheese and crackers and various sandwiches.
Estrad looked up at the large windows covering one side of the room, watching as the stars swooped past the window, a sign that they were at warp towards their next destination. Hopefully they would get some answers as to what the random signal was, why it had happened, and perhaps provide some way of preventing it from happening again.
A loss of communications was both unusual and crippling to a universe that relied so much on being always connected, and Starfleet wanted to ensure this was brought under control before someone else noticed, or worse, took advantage of such a loss.
"Welcome to the Eagle's Nest, Captain," a voice spoke behind Estrad, making him turn to reveal the lounge's bartender. "We've laid out everything as you've requested. Can I get you a drink?"
"Thank you," Estrad replied, thinking quickly. "Just a sparkling water for now."
The bartender nodded and hurried away to fetch the drink, a subtle look of disappointment on his face. Estrad smiled; it wasn't a very exotic drink he had ordered but then he wasn't used to being very exotic in his choice of drinks. Sitting down at the bar, he waited for the others to arrive.
Outside the lounge Marla straightened out her uniform. Then, glancing at her reflection in the computer panel next to the door of Seven Forward, she smoothed down the fur on her ears. The ensign squinted at herself imagining her Grandmothers stern voice "Marla, you can't make folk like you. You just act as you are and the rest is up to them."
Marla hit the door release. The "them" turned out to be just a "him" and, mortifyingly, it was the Captain. She tried not to look nervous.
"Captain," Marla said walking over to the bar and taking a seat next to Estrad, her tail falling over the back of the barstool "what are you drinking?"
"Something boring, most likely," said Barim as he hopped on the chair on the other side of the Captain. "Ensign," he said, nodding to Marla. Then he gestured at the bartender. "I'll have a... Klingon ale." His eyes twinkled as he said it. "And something to eat, please."
Castor chuckled, having come up from behind them, "Never been able to stomach that stuff, besides my palate demands something more... subtle." He ordered an Andorian cider, which to no one's surprise was colored blue, and took a sip, savoring the minty flavor. "If there is one thing Klingons won't be accused of, it is being subtle."
Marla breathed an internal sigh of relief at the sight of the Counselor; at last, someone of the same rank! "Subtle no," Marla said, smiling and scooping a wriggling heap of gagh onto a plate "but they've got good taste." She caught the bartenders eye, "A Klingon ale for me too, please."
Barim cocked an eyebrow and smiled. "Indeed! A woman of good taste!" He raised his tankard - a glass was far too brittle for such a stout drink - to the Chief Conn Officer.
Marla, suppressing her delight at receiving a compliment from the XO, raised her tankard in reply before taking a gulp. The ale was good; strong and very bitter, she licked a drop of her whiskers and sighed happily.
It looked like the party had already started when Lucius walked through the doors to Seven Forward. Good. He hated being early to these kind of things; he was far more comfortable arriving late and leaving early. But he had to get to know his crewmates and he was determined to do just that. He walked up to the bar and said, "Just a beer, thanks." He turned to the others and said, "Have I missed anything?"
"Lieutenant," Marla beamed, slurping up a stray serpent worm "You're fine, we've only just arrived. Nice shooting today by the way!"
Lucius couldn't help but smile. "Thank you, Ensign," he said before raising the pint of ice cold beer the bartender handed him. "Nice piloting," he added, returning the compliment.
The Ensign tapped Hawke's glass with her tankard and smiled warmly but didn't reply; she found humans didn't enjoy it if you talked with your mouth full. The worms crunched and writhed between her teeth. They lacked the faint metallic smell of the replicated variety. You so rarely get the opportunity to eat anything non-replicated, let alone live! Here was a ship that left dock with actual, live gagh: "This is a good ship," she thought "I'm going to like it here."
Estrad sat back, slowly drinking his drink and relaxing more as he watched the conversation pass back and forth between his senior staff. He was pleased that the gathering seemed to be going well, although not all the senior staff had made an apperance yet. There was still time.
Barim poked Castor in the shoulder. "So how are you doing?"
Castor almost automatically answered what most people would answer, "Doing fine, you?"
Estrad brought himself away from watching Barim and Castor catch up and waved at the bartender. A few seconds later, and he held a glass of white wine in his hand, just the house replicated. It was necessary to have something other than water for what he was about to do.
"Attention please," he stood, and when he felt all eyes on him, smiled. "First off, thank you for making an appearance. Although this gathering wasn't mandatory, thank you all for coming. I look forward to getting to know you all this evening before we dash off onto our first real adventure."
Estrad coughed, and then raised the wine glass he was holding. "So, I'd like to raise a toast to those here. A toast, to the Aeon and her crew, and many successful missions ahead."
"To the Aeon!" cheered Marla, knocking her tankard against the Captain's far more elegant drink.
Hawke raised his pint and joined with the others, "The Aeon!"
"Hear, hear!" joined in Barim.
Estrad smiled as he sat back down. It was certainly going to be an enjoyable evening.
Captain Estrad Dagan
Commander Barim Nash
Lieutenant Lucius Hawke
Chief Security/Tactical Officer
Ensign Marla Kanso
Chief Flight Control Officer
Ensign Castor Navin