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Dinner Conversations

Posted on Thu Oct 31st, 2019 @ 8:25pm by Lieutenant Joshua Miller M.D. & Lieutenant Eza Bergen PhD

Mission: Reaching Out in Hope
Location: Mess Hall | U.S.S. Sentinel
Timeline: MD009 | 1721 Hours

Doctor Miller rolled his head from left to right, stretching out the muscles in his neck. It had been long day, made all the worse by the news that Benjamin was transferring out before lunch. Josh made straight for the replicator and ordered a mushroom and cauliflower penne along with a glass of white wine. Within seconds he was carrying the replicated meal to a nearby table. There was already an officer in sciences blue sitting at the table. "Mind if I join you?"

Eza looked up, seeing another blue collared Lieutenant he nodded. "Please." He said gesturing to the empty seat across from him. His own food now lukewarm having been ignored in exchange for his latest department reports. "Eza Bergen." He said extending his hand.

"Josh Miller." The CMO replied, shaking the newcomer's hand having set his meal down on the table. As he slid into the seat opposite he added, "You must be our new Chief Science Officer."

"That I am," Eza replied. "Happy to be here, I was excited to hear I'd be posted to a ship outside the the home quadrant."

Josh nodded in understanding as he chewed a mouthful of food. "I know what you mean. When I came onboard we were due for an assignment in the Beta Quadrant. I was so excited when our orders changed. This is my first time on this side of the wormhole. I was expecting to be able to feel just how far from Earth I am but it feels like any sector of space in the Alpha Quadrant." Miller could feel the heat rising in his face as he blushed. "Sorry, I know how stupid that must sound."

"Makes sense, at the end of the day we get used to serving on ships, and there isn't as much difference as we may think. One sector of space is really more similar to any other one that it is different." Eza replied.

Picking up another forkful, Josh popped it into his mouth. "How are you finding the Sentinel so far?"

"It's a nice ship, ran into someone I didn't expect to see from the Academy but I think I got off on the wrong foot with him." Eza said thinking back to his encounter with Alexander on the bridge.

Josh took a sip of wine. Eza seemed upset at the idea that he'd rubbed this old Academy friend up the wrong way. "What happened?"

"I know one of the pilots, well, maybe know of is a more accurate term. Lieutenant Mitchell, it's a rather silly thing actually, as I recall one of his friends who introduced once introduced him as Alex, so naturally I called him Alex, apparently he does not go by that. He seemed quite annoyed, and I'll gloss over the fact the he got my name wrong as well." Eza said, recounting the interaction. "It's a shame, he's quite cute if it wasn't for the personality." Eza joked taking a bit of his food which was now barely above room temperature.

Swallowing down one of the last remaining forkfuls of dinner, Josh could sympathise with Eza. He too had gotten off on the wrong foot with Lieutenant j.g. Mitchell over the same issue. "Yeah, I did the same thing when he came in for his physical and got the whole 'My name is not Alex, it's Alexander or Xander'. Once you get past that rough start, he's actually a nice guy, though he's a typical fighter jock and by that I mean he's a cocky little shit."

"I mean I understand if you don't want to go by it, but Alex is a super common contraction for Alexander, you really can't fault people for making the assumption. And, it's not like he had told me he didn't like it and I continued to do it. Seems like he's a just a bit of an ass." Eza said, "But he's a bridge officer and that means I'll have to get used to working with him. Although if he gives me that attitude again I may need to remind him I technically out rank." The Trill smirked, "See how much his hot shot attitude likes being remind that I outrank him both by rank and virtue of position." The blue collared divisions of science and medical rarely pulled ranked, but every once and a while it served to remind the red and golds that their ranks held just as much weight as anyone else, and at the end of the day it was the CMO who could relieve the Captain of duty regardless of rank, something no over department head could do. Not that it was commonly done. "Anyway, anyone else on board I should watch out not to offend?"

Josh sat back, having finished the last of his meal, and listened while his newest colleague spoke. It seemed like Mitchell's attitude had really struck a nerve with the Trill Lieutenant. "Well, there's a fine line between being cocky and being an asshole. Hell, some would argue that you can't have one trait without having the other." He lifted his glass and took another sip. "And you're right. You weren't at fault. Without being a Betazoid, you had no way of knowing that he hates the most common contraction for his name. Even with telepathic abilities you may not have known, unless it was at the forefront of his mind. But like I said, I've run into him a few times since my own difficult start with him and he's actually not a bad guy."

"As for the rest of the crew. I think they're a pretty easy group of officers to work with. That said, I haven't met our new Chief Security Officer nor Mitchell's new boss so I can't speak for how they are to work with." He drained the last of the wine and set the glass back down.

"Want another one?" Eza asked, "I think I need one." He said with a laugh.

The CMO held out his glass. "Thanks."

Eza returned and set the glasses down on the table. "I hear you had a thing starting to go with Mister Armstrong, I never actually got to meet him but the department seemed to really like him and if his reports are any indication he was more than competent." Eza said.

"Yeah." Using the stem, Josh slowly roared his wine glass as he stared at the contents. "We were only starting to get to know one another but I felt that there was potential for something there." He lifted the glass and took a long sip. "But I guess we'll never know now."

"Well, maybe you'll cross paths in the future again somewhere. I mean, hell, I was never expecting to see Alexander again and now we're stuck on the same ship." Eza said taking a sip, "You never know."

Josh wanted to believe that but right now he struggled. Not wanting to bring Eza down, Josh quickly changed the subject. "What's the story with you and Mister Mitchell?" He asked. "You said that you knew of him at the Academy. Friend of a friend?"

"Yeah, we weren't friends but had mutual friends in common, ran into him at a few parties, was introduced by a friend of mine to him formally once. He was trying to set us up I think, he was a good guy but never really got past the, 'you're gay, he's gay clearly you two should date' logic." Eza said, "I definitely had a crush on him though." The Trill replied with a grin. "Although to be honest I think he might have gotten better with age, at least in the looks department."

Miller couldn't suppress a grin. "Sounds like neither time, nor his recent attitude, has done much to diminish that crush."

"Cute boys with lousy personalities. Great, I'm turning into my aunt." The Trill said with an exaggerated eye roll.

Josh chuckled. "What's that old saying? 'Treat 'em mean, keep 'em keen?' Maybe that's Mitchell's style." He suggested before taking another sip of wine.

"Who knows, I don't exactly think I'll be pinning after him." Eza said, "besides from what I've seen there are quite a few cute boys on the ship to occupy my attention." He said with a laugh.

The CMO shrugged. "I only looked up from my work long enough to notice the one." Considering his words for a moment, Josh decided that that hadn't been entirely accurate. "Truth be told he and a friend of mine forced me to look up. Guess I'll have to look up more often to notice these cute guys you're talking about."

"Well looking up can be a good thing, stops you from almost barrling into people, like the XO." Eza said with a grin, almost did that the other day.

That would have no doubt been embarrassing for the Trill, but Commander Bast was good natured enough to brush it off. "Well I usually try and keep my head up when I'm walking the corridors. Stops me from knocking people over as I go about my business."

"I try but in this case I blame sleep deprivation and my coffee mug." The Trill replied with a grin.

Josh drained the last of his second glass of wine. "Well it was a pleasure meeting you, Lieutenant. I'm sure I'll be seeing you around." He stood and gathered his now empty plate and glass.

Eza nodded, "I am due for my medical check in so I'll come by sickbay tomorrow." He said with a nod.

"I'll see you then." Doctor Miller returned his dishes to the replicator for recycling before continuing out of the Mess Hall


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