Revelations or Not?
Mission 4: Letting the Hair Down
Location: Deck 8: Cmdr. Diza's Quarters
Timeline: MD 09 - 1840 Hours
Mis was setting the table when the door chime went off. "Come in," she called just as the last plate was put in place. She turned to see who had come first and was surprised that it was Stasia. "Hi, come on in. Logan is usually the early one, he should be here in a moment. Did you want something to drink?"
Statzia, who had just slipped an arm around Mis' waist, paused. "The Captain is joining us?" Her chuckle was a little uncomfortable. "Dinner with the Captain AND First Officer. Am I in trouble?"
"No," Mis replied. "I invited him. I mean he is my best friend. I thought it might be nice for us to get to know one another." She gave a shrug. "If that's okay. You tensed up there." Mis hadn't been expecting the touch but had tried not to tense up herself from the unfamiliar action.
"You were obviously never summoned to the Superintendent's office at the Academy, were you?" Statzia laughed, more relaxed, and kissed Mis on the cheek. "Meeting with 'the bosses' is almost as nerve-wracking."
"No, I was a straight A student." She grinned. "He's not your boss tonight, he's just another guy who happens to be sitting at the same table as you. Don't let him intimidate you. And don't remind him that he's captain. He doesn't get away with that here."
Statzia grinned. "You and I were opposites. The whole concept of rules and ranks and regulations was like an alien language to me. I must have been in his office once a week for those first few months... and still every couple of months after that. I still wonder sometimes how I managed to graduate at all."
"And what did you do to get yourself there. I bet that you have a lot of stories." In a way Mis was jealous, she'd always been the good girl who had done what she was told and who had stayed on the track of her career to get what she thought she wanted until she had examined her own heart and it told her something different.
A twinkle formed in Statzia's eyes. "Do you really want me to tell you the stories?" She closed the distance between them again, wrapping one arm around Mis' waist and cupping her cheek with the other hand. "Or, I could just show you..." She gently pulled Mis close, pressing her lips to hers.
Just then the door chime sounded in the room as Logan Barrett punched the button outside with his thumb. He decided to wear a simple blue long sleeve button-up shirt and black slacks. His mind wondered what lay in store for him when the door opened.
"Come in," Mis called from a distance. There was no need to wonder who it was after all. "You finally made it," she said when she saw Logan. "Have a seat. Dinner is almost ready."
Statzia noted the pull away from her just as her lips had touched, and she gave Nokomis the personal space she was hinting she needed--just as the door chime rang. She gave a smile and a nod to the captain as he stepped through the doorway.
"Good evening, Statzia," he said with a smile and a nod.
"No shepard's pie tonight, I'm branching out a bit," Mis said as she set several dishes on the table. A covered roast pan, a plate of steamed vegetables, a loaf of bread and a crisp salad. She took the top off the roast.
Logan smiled as he walked over to the table and took a seat. "Well, that smells absolutely lovely. You can't beat a good roast." He looked from one to the other.
"I figured it was about impossible to ruin, not that I haven't tried before. Sit, everyone. Make small talk. The rolls are just about to come out of the oven."
Statzia gave a smirk. "My sisters-in-law would always make jokes about buns in ovens." She seated herself, looking over the food. "It never seemed to make much sense, given that none of the ships we worked on actually had an oven." She chuckled. "After a while, there were far too many 'buns' running around the corridors, getting into things."
"Well I don't think we have to worry about that here unless there's something you want to tell us Stazia?" Mis asked amused. "Or Logan? A pregnant man would be quite amusing."
Statzia laughed. "No worries about pregnancy. I have no desire to create nor raise offspring. I requested that my decision be made permanent when I enrolled in the Academy." She reached across the table for a bottle of red wine, popping the cork. "I am not exactly a paragon of parenthood."
"People learn," Mis shrugged. "I don't think anyone is born being the perfect parent. But it doesn't matter because I think we're in the clear here."
Logan began loading his salad plate with a large helping of leafy greens. "Well, I don't agree with children aboard exploration vessels. The dangers are too great and if something catastrophic were to happen, an entire family line could be wiped out."
"Uhuh." Mis replied. She knew his views. Obviously Chris and Emma were not with them for that reason. But, Mis also thought that they missed out on a great deal of their lives being so far away from them. She didn't agree with Logan's assessment. She thought that starships were relatively safe places depending on the ship but she understood his reasons for not having his children aboard Orion. "We should have our next shoreleave on Earth."
"But it is far more likely that a family is wiped out by the separation. Spouses separated, children raised by extended family without the guidance or presence of their parents. And how long does it take before families kept apart by duty fall apart because of distance?" Statzia took a sip of her glass before extending the bottle to the Captain. "Besides, humans are nesting creatures, and Starfleet is composed by a large contingent of humans. They do best when they have a nesting partner and their brood in proximity. Hu-mans--" she said with the Ferengi accent, "get restless when nesting needs aren't met."
He took the bottle from her and poured his own glass of the spirit. "Well, I can certainly see the logic in that. We are social creatures by nature. However, duty in Starfleet does come with an unspoken price tag of time away from family. It's definitely a sacrifice in certain situations." He glanced at Mis and added, "And normal starship duties are a lot safer than our mission along the Romulan border. These are uncertain times, Number One." He smiled faintly before sipping his own wine glass.
"That's not necessarily true." Statzia took a sip of her wine. "I grew up on a ship staffed almost entirely of extended family and being apart was certainly a far greater sacrifice than being together. I'm well aware that I grew up with a father who lacked in parenting skills, and my mother died before she had much of a chance to parent me, but I most certainly preferred the danger in what we did to the prospect of being abandoned with some uncle or aunt on a station somewhere."
Logan nodded as he listened to Statzia as she opened up about her childhood. "Growing up with one's parents is the right way to go, if possible, I agree. However, there's a difference between what your family did and what Starfleet does. In Starfleet, we seek out the unknown, which is usually a gambit." He poured dressing on his salad and proceeded to mix it around the leafy greens.
"I beg to differ." Statzia smirked. "I pretty much do what my family did, but in a uniform, with far more regulations, and aside for our entanglement with the Borg when I first arrived there's usually far less organic matter to clean off the bulkheads before stripping them for salvage." She paused, giving a slight shrug. "And far less quoting of the Rules of Acquisition."
Mis looked back and forth between the two of them wondering why they seemed so stiff with each other. "We could always bring Chris and Emma for a visit, when we know we will be doing something safe, a mission close to Earth perhaps?" She looked to Logan.
Logan glanced back over to Mis. "That's a great idea," he said with a smile. "I'm sure they'd love to run around the ship. Chris mentioned a desire to see the photon torpedo bay, now that he's old enough." He took another bite of salad and finished it before adding, "And Emma would love to see the arboretum again. She always loved the ferns."
"As long as he doesn't blow the ship up," Mis said a little bit under her breath remembering how energetic he was as a little boy. "So," she changed the subject. "Did either of you do anything interesting on shore leave?"
There was a very particular grin that tugged at the corners of Statzia's lips as she set down her wine glass and took the salad bowl from Logan's hands.
Suddenly, a tickle in Logan's throat caused him to softly cough a few times as he focused on swallowing his food before reaching for his wine glass. "The beaches were so lovely, especially Serenity Falls." He took another sip of his wine as he subtly avoided eye contact.
"Oh really?" Mis said curiously. "I don't recall any scenic area making you cough so suspiciously. Seriously, what did you do? You can tell me, you have before."
Statzia reached forward, picking up the bottle of wine. She passes it to the captain, giving him a subtle shrug.
Logan poured himself another generous helping of the wine into his glass before setting the bottle back on the table but within arm's reach. He cleared his throat before grasping his wine glass, faintly gesturing with it as he replied, "Oh, it was um... I can't remember the name now." His eyes slid from hers to Statzia's, "It could've been Jenolen Falls," and let his eyes slide back calmly, "... Or something similar. It had a white sand beach."
Mis frowned. Why was he being so weird? She couldn't explain it, she had a feeling in the pit of her stomach that something was wrong. "Okay . . . " she answered completely befuddled. "That sounds rather boring for you actually."
"You mean like having breakfast together? On shore leave?" Statzia smirked. "For a pleasure planet, you both seem very good at attempting to omit the 'pleasure' from the whole ordeal."
"We often have breakfast together. And we were staying close by each other, so why not?" Mis shrugged. "I mean either of us could have cancelled if something had come up. But we didn't need to . . . "
Logan held up his hands in mock defense. "Woah, there's nothing wrong with a nice, relaxing beach," he said to Mis as he looked between the two. "And for the record, I met some very lovely Risians that were, for some reason, very fascinated with Starfleet." He took another bite of his salad. "And as far as lacking excitement, I think you're misjudging me a bit."
"Really?" Mis said, taking the bait. "Because you've never had any problem bringing home a companion for the evening before when visiting such a diverse entertainment planet. At the very least you get punch drunk and howl at the moon and yet I haven't heard a peep about anything you did down there and that makes me suspicious." She pointed a finger at him, mostly teasing.
"Reeeeaaally?" Statzia raised an eyebrow, smirking at the captain over the edge of her wine glass. "I would have guessed that he's as exciting and adventurous as a pair of Pakleds in a Scrabble match."
"I wasn't always the most professional person in the room. That changed over time, though." He grinned and sipped his wine before adding, "but don't let the four collar pips fool you. I still know how to have a good time."
"Mmmhmm." Statzia chuckled softly, passing the salad over to Nokomis. "You're quite the party animal."
And then it was like a crate full of wiggling gagh had been dumped on her head. "Oh my god. You slept with her?"
Logan didn't expect Mis to say that and started coughing on his wine loudly as he tried to reply, "What... did you say?"
"That's why you're acting so weird," Mis said, her face even more white than it usually was.
Statzia gave an audible sigh. "Mis--"
Mis turned her head toward Stazia but the gaze offered absolutely no relief. "You know what? I don't think I'm hungry anymore. I'm going for a walk." Without another word she put her napkin on the table and walked out of her quarters, dropping her communicator by the door. Not that it would do any good as she was the only Kriosian on board and they could track her down that way but she didn't care, it felt like part of the baggage that she didn't need to take with her.
Captain Logan Barrett
Commanding Officer, USS Orion
Commander Nokomis Diza
Executive Officer, USS Orion
Lieutenant JG Anastatzia Liski
Chief Operations Officer, USS Orion