Catching Up for Lunch
Location: Mess Hall | USS Standing Bear
Oriana sat at the table waiting for Pippa. Since she'd transferred to her new post she had taken to lunches with the Captain, today was one of those lunches and she was excited but she'd had little sleep so now she nursed a coffee waiting for the captain to arrive.
Captain Whitley was dragging a bit behind, but a few minutes of a delay was hardly anything for a Commanding Officer, especially one with a starship about to launch and a bunch of problems popping up left and right. Pippa was actually looking forward to having lunch with Oriana, and when Captain Whitley located the woman, Pippa headed straight on over. "What are they serving today?" asked Pippa.
"The good stuff!" She said drawn from her thoughts by the familiar voice. "At least the coffee is good." She grinned. "I think I need another of those too." She looked down at her empty cup. "Shall we load up our plates?"
Pippa nodded in agreement. My Chief Medical Officer keels over into a catatonic state and we get cooked foodthought Pippa. The Captain wasn't about to celebrate the Doctor's condition, but having actual food for once was a pleasant indulgence. "If the replicator systems aren't repaired soon we may all be putting on a little extra weight" commented Pippa.
Oriana laughed. "As if you had to worry about that. I'm the hip eater. BUT cooked food is good for a change." They headed to the line and Oriana closed her eyes and stiffed as they stepped up to the 'serve yourself' bar. "WOW This smells great. What are you thinking," she asked eyeing the pancakes.
"Pancakes smothered in syrup, a side bowl of fruit, and a coffee to wash it down and remind me to wake up," stated Captain Whitley. "I've delayed and dragged our feet to the best of my abilities. We are heading out to Cardassian space in a few hours."
Oriana gave a nod. "I'll join you in that food choice." She sighed. "Can I confess something...it's not nothing with my belief in you or Lieutenant Vali....it's jut a feeling."
"Go ahead, Oriana. You were my Aide-de-camp for a little while, that's practically like being my First Officer only we deal with paperwork and other annoyances. What's on.your mind?"
"I wish Soral was here. He may be Vulcan but he's a sneaky one and being...V'shar related he has knowledge of the Cardassians." She sighed as they filled their plates. "Maybe I miss him a bit too," She grinned sheepishly.
"Between us? I also wish he were here, not because I do not believe in Vali, but her command experience is limited studying at the moment. Though Soral needed this leave time whether he wanted it or not. Lieutenant Kingsley practically demanded it, and not to meddle or gossip, but she has definitely been tossing the D word around lately...I don't think she seriously means it, but they have things to work out."
She sighed. "Yeah, that is the world. She put in for separate quarters. So there is that and I thought things would get rough....the CMO...and he had a thing."
Pippa nearly choked on their mouthful of pancake, swallowing it hard and tossing some coffee to get it down. "What?" Pippa said confused and curious. "With which one? Ryan Rose or Selin?"
"Selin. If Alex hadn't come into the picture he would have married her. Told me himself. That's why he's spent a few nights in Sickbay by her side."
Pippa sighed and rolled their eyes and jabbed a piece of pancake and brought it to their mouth and enjoyed the syrupy sweetness. "Why do personnel files have to be so god damn boring?" Pippa blurted out and shook their head. "All it ever covers is where they were posted, what significant missions they were on, what honors they have received, or the dark spots on their service record. A little bit of where they grew up and if I really want to dig into it, I can pull their academy notes."
The Captain looked at Oriana. "Do you know how much more interesting reading personnel files would be if they were you know...actually personal" Pippa chuckled. "I want to know these things. That would have been good to know, ya know?"
She laughed. "I see you haven't been introduced to the ship pages."
"Well shit, I have to get down to the lower decks and mingle with these people. Clearly they know more about my own personnel than I do," Pippa replied. "Ship pages you say? Oh I can only imagine what is said about me especially when I had to formally identify myself a while back to use some of that family clout."
She laughed. "Actually … Dear Captain, you and Hamura are up for the same prize."
Pippa stopped chewing the bit of pancake and swallowed. Then, placing their fork down, Pippa leaned back in the chair and looked at Oriana. "Me and Hamura? In the same category for a 'prize' now why does that disturb me?"
She laughed her melodious laugh. "Do you want to know?" She wagged her eyebrows.
"I mean clearly it is sexiest non-binary individual aboard award" teased Pippa. "Go ahead, tell me what I am in consideration for."
"Actually you're guessing skills are top notch." She said. "I believe it's the hot and toasty award." She grinned and slid a Padd to Pippa. "You are now Ensign Yummer. Your log in to the Ship Pages...where you can incognito interact." She laughed. "You're leading Hamura by 5 votes, by the way."
"I see, and you voted for....?" Pippa was teasing of course. The award was frivolous matter, but Pippa needed something mind numbing right now.
"You of course...strategic I might add the winner may get some adoration. Hamura is mine." She grinned. "I love ya Cappy but not that way!"
Pippa scoffed. "You are young enough to be my child, Ori. I do not even want to entertain the thought."
Oriana laughed. "Very true." She ate a bit of her pancake. "But seriously the Ship Pages... they are the best way to get the truth. It's something, a project that our good Commander Started incognito of course."
"The truth is sometimes stranger than fiction," Pippa replied.
Oriana gave a nod. "Can I be honest about something. I'm a bit worried...I hope I can live up to my role."
Pippa shook their head. "Nonsense. You were made for this position."
"Between the prep and Hamura's … outburst I haven't slept more then an hour I can't just seem to wake up today and I need to be alert." She smiled. "Know a good wake me up blend of coffee?"
"Swing by my quarters in an hour," Pippa replied. "I will make you an espresso that will keep you awake for awhile."
Oriana laughed. "That will help!" She continued eating her pancakes and then put her fork down. "How are you doing with all this run around and prep and the new ship?"
Captain Whitley sighed a bit. "I had to take replicators offline for a bit. We have Doctor Selin in a terrible state, I moved Hamura to Operations, and our new Chief Medical Officer is a handful," stated Pippa. "I am surviving."
“Ouch. Just Hamura will drive you nuts but add all the rest…” She gently touched Pippa’s hand. “How can I help take the burden off?”
Pippa smiled. "You just need to do your job, Oriana," replied the Captain. "We will have approximately 48 hours travel time, maybe a bit less from this starbase to our next rendezvous point at the next space station where we are meeting with the USS Clara Barton. With replicators offline for who knows how long at this point, we've had to step up kitchen consumption. That means the cargo bays are being depleted to feed the crew less we start dictating that they need to eat emergency rations, and I don't want a revolt on my hands. So, let them eat. I need you to start making arrangements with the space station and the Clara Barton. See what they need that we have to spare in exchange for what we need to keep the crew fed and content."
"Sounds like a plan." She smiled at Pippa. The rest of the meal was spent chatting and catching up but all too soon duty called them both back. With a promise to stop by for that strong expresso Oriana headed to her little desk to start on taking inventory and seeing what was needed and what could be traded. In a sense she felt like a Ferengi but in another sense she was excited to contribute to the crew.