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Dinner with a Stranger

Posted on Tue Aug 27th, 2019 @ 3:31pm by Petty Officer 1st Class Rega Taran & Lieutenant JG Merlar R'heil

Mission: Reaching Out in Hope
Location: Mess Hall, USS Sentinel

Petty Officer 1st class Rega Taran grumbled to himself as he stood in the turbolift. The Warp Core specialist had just come off a long shift and he was looking forwards to a meal in the mess hall and a quiet evening in his quarters. He was, he had to admit, not as young as he used to be, and the long shift running the Warp trials had left him weary.

Two decks before he reached his destination, the turbolift came to a stop and the doors hissed open to reveal a young Catian woman, gold shoulders identified her as either security or engineering and since he knew all the engineering personnel, that pegged her as security.

"Lieutenant." The older NCO greeted the girl, giving her a polite nod.

Merlar looked at the gentleman. "Well Hello." She purred and smiled, just getting off shift Petty officer?" Merlar looked at him as she was getting ready to get a meal herself from the mess Hall. "come here often?" she purred,as she was wagging her tail. Merlar was beat herself after a long day on security patrol.

"Hah," the older man grunted, "yes ma'am, just finished a double shift running tests on the warp core. Gonna put some food in my face and go home."

Merlar grinned, "Well that's what I'm doing too." she purred, "I just got off double duty of Security, security was warned of some last-minute problems with The Sentinel so security was out checking the ship before going forward." Merlar said with a tiredly smile.

"Oh?" Taran frowned slightly, the senior NCO had been in Starfleet long enough to know that there were general threats of one kind of another to Starships and security generally handled them without anyone being the wiser. "What kind of problems?"

The turbolift came to a stop and the pair walked together to the mess hall together. Taran ordered a simple meal, a decapus salad with lorpa beans, and sat at a table to wait for the security officer.

Merlar sat down with her meal she had felt weak, from a double shift. "Well one of the panels were loose and an engineer came by and looked inside to fix anything behind the panel and the panel its self, plus a few more like that." Merlar explained."Engineering came up to fix it, and to see any other problems, that's why I was there for them."Merlar also explained.

Taran assumed it must have been a secure panel, one of the sensitive systems that needed security clearance to access. "For myself, we've just finished calibrating the warp core and running trials. The captain has been all over the chief's ass to get them done fast, or so I hear, hence the long hours." He looked up at... the security officer and realized suddenly that he had no idea who she was. "I'm Taran, by the way, Rega Taran, warp core specialist."

Merlar purred,"I'm Merlar R'heil, Lieutenant one of the Security Detail personal." Merlar smiled as she extended her Caitian paw. "Its a pleasure to meet you, Rega Taran." She purred and smiled. "You must get really busy when it comes to the ships Warp core, and making sure it's running right to make the ship move?" Merlar asked.

"On occasion," Taran replied, reaching out and shaking the paw, which was a strange experience. "Most of the time, the warp core needs nothing but minimal maintenance and daily checks, Starfleet designed those things with safety in mind and they're over-engineered, which means that most of the time my job is boring, but when it's not boring, it's really not boring." He explained, "what are your duties in the security team?"

Merlar smiled as her whiskers twitched," Oh I'm always around for someone,." Merlar said, "Well I'm around to help engineering like I said before, or I'm breaking up a fight on the ship." she said," or its part of an away mission that I'm needed." So us security personal on the Sentinel, are there if security is needed in Medical Bay to watch over a patient, or fighting against the Borg on the ship or on a planet, hoping don't let them touch us." Merlar explained. "So Security is always on the run for people on the Sentinel.

Taran sipped at his water, "a little bit of everything, then. It's the same in Engineering most of the time. I'm the resident warp core specialist, but you're just as likely to find me repairing an ODN junction or fixing a replicator." He found the Catian woman interesting, if somewhat eccentric. He considered himself quite boring, by comparison. "What do you get up to in your downtime?"

Merlar looked at him, as she smiled to him finding him interesting."On my downtime, is usual Holo-deck time, or goin g to the mess hall to relax and eat." she purred.

Taran had no time for holodecks, he found them pointless, a waste of time and energy. The only use he had for them was as a training and simulation tool. "I'd much rather spend my time around real people than holographic simulations, " he explained, "you're more likely to find me in the gym or here, than in a holodeck, I don't like them."

Merlar looked at him, "I'd be afraid to go the gym my fur would cover the room." Merlar purr-giggled. "But I will give the gym a try." Merlar purred. "When I do use the holodeck, I mostly do Security Training. But once in a while, I'd do a leisure time on the holodeck." Merlar explained. Merlar was enjoying her salad while talking to her fellow officer.

He guessed by her tone that she was joking, mostly, but it was an interesting engineering problem to worry at, how would you prevent fur from a Catian spreading around? Various simple solutions popped into his brain, everything from inverse personal shields to oils and waxes. "How do you prevent shedding everywhere, if it's not too personal?" He asked curiously.

Merlar smiled."Well, I try to control it the best I can." she told her fellow officer... "That fur thing in the gym i was kidding with you." She also told him.. Merlar was enjoying her food.

Taran smiled, setting down his fork as he finished his salad. Briefly, he contemplated stopping by the gym on his way back to his quarters but dismissed the idea almost immediately, he'd had a hard enough day. His comfortable armchair and a glass or three of Bajoran wine were calling him, but he resolved to keep the Lieutenant company until she'd finished her dinner. It was only polite. "Is the Sentinel your first posting, Lieutenant?" It was lame conversation, but he'd never been accused of being much of a conversationalist.

Merlar looked at him, "Why yes," she purred." I checked other Starfleet ships, but I liked this one better." Merlar smiled, She looked around and back at the Petty officer. "So far the Starfleet officers here have been nice to me." She smiled and purred. Merlar was finishing her salad, and thinking of getting a mug of Klingon blood wine to relax. She still wanted some.

The engineer sat his empty glass down, "must be nice," he smiled, "enlisted personnel don't get to choose where we're posted, we go where we're sent. I've been in Starfleet for sixteen years and believe me, I've been on some real junkers, the Sentinel is a paradise by comparison."

Merlar smiled,"well to tell you the truth, This ship was recommended." She purred, " There's a Caitian on the Star fleet Council who told me to report to the Sentinel." Merlar explained as her tail wagged back in forth.
"I was talking to the other Caitian at the time when they told me to report to the Sentinel.." Merlar purred.

"Well," Taran offered the Catian a smile, "must be nice to have friends in high places." The petty officer slid sideways out of his chair and stood, "I must get going if I'm going to have any time at all to unwind before bedtime. Thanks for keeping me company, lieutenant."


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