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Mystery of the Ten Rooms, Part 1: Last Meal

Posted on 29 Sep 2017 @ 12:16am by Lieutenant T'Pai & Chief Petty Officer Odette Farrar

Mission: The Finnean Crisis
Location: Talons
Timeline: MD 6 || 0445 hours

The thing that Erica liked about Talons was that there was a narrow window of time where she could go in and have the place entirely to herself. Even with the ebb and flow of four duty shifts of personnel entering and leaving, there were some rare moments when you could wander in and have the entire lounge to yourself.

It was the perfect place to get a cup of coffee and muffin, as well as gather your thoughts, before reporting for duty.

So when Erica entered Talons more than two hours before the beginning of Alpha Shift, she was a little surprised to see someone in there already. Of course, she realized she shouldn't have been too surprised. On a ship with more than seven hundred people, she couldn't possibly be the only one who planned to take advantage of the Talon's lull in business.

The other occupant was a Vulcan female with Lieutenant pips and long hair. Not that it was that unusual to see a Vulcan with long hair; it just wasn't that common. Erica had only known two Vulcan females who didn't wear the typical Vulcan hairstyle.

Erica smiled when she realized that the Vulcan in Talons was one of the two Vulcans with long hair she had met.

Erica walked over to the table where the Vulcan female was eating a bowl of Plomeek soup. "Excuse me, Lieutenant T'Pai?"

The Vulcan looked up, taking a moment to study Erica's face, before replying. "Chief Petty Officer Farrar. I was unaware that you had been assigned to the Black Hawk. If I had, I would have sought to contact you to renew our acquaintanceship."

"Or actually start it," Erica replied with a smile. "Can I join you, Lieutenant?" The Vulcan officer gestured for Erica to take the seat opposite of her.

"You are correct in you assessment of our relationship, Chief," T'Pai conceded. "Inasmuch as our previous contacts have been virtual, our current meeting could constitute our first meeting."

"Plomeek soup and coffee are as good a way to toast the meeting as any, Lieutenant," Erica said with a chuckle, which invoked a raised eyebrow from the Vulcan woman. "If you don't mind me asking, Lieutenant, how are you enjoying the move from research to practical?"

"I have found the members of Black Hawk's Engineering Division to be more than competent," T'Pai answered. "Indeed, the proficiency of a number of Engineering personnel puts me in a paradoxical position of considering suggesting transfers to the design, development and testing positions of Utopia Planitia for the purpose of career advancement, while taking action to retain said personnel against such transfers."

"Sounds like a good crew, Lieutenant," Erica replied.

"I assume you have a similar responsibility as you did on the Joffre?" T'Paid inquired.

Erica nodded. "And I've got a good crew working for me as well. And I realize it's almost heretical for a noncomm to say something good about the officers she serves under, but my impression of Commander Walsh is that he's as good as they come. Admittedly, a few of the younger officers can be a little over eager, but they're good kids, and driven to learn and excel. And thankfully, the number of gazelles on the Black Hawk was kept down to a minimum."

"By bazelles, I assume you mean something other than the mammalian quadrupeds native to Earth?" T'Pai asked.

"That's gazelles with a 'G,' not a 'B', Lieutenant," Erica smiled. "And yes, I don't mean it literally. It's a term that the maintenance crew uses for a pilot who is less than graceful, both in and out of the cockpit. But, like I said, the Black Hawk has a bare minimum of those." Erica took a sip from her cup before adding, "You know, Lieutenant, I was just thinking of you the other day."

T'Paid arched an eyebrow. "Indeed?"

"I had more downtime than I knew what to do with, when I transferred from the Joffre to the Black Hawk. It gave me time to finish that holodeck novel I created. The one I told you about? The mystery of the ten rooms?"

"I remember your description," T'Pai answered. "It sounded fascinating."

"I think you will find intriguing," Erica said. "I'll send you a copy of file name." Erica looked at the chronometer on the wall. "You'll forgive me, Lieutenant, but the flight deck is waiting for me. Dinner in the next couple of days?"

"I look forward to it, Chief," T'Pai replied solemnly.

Erica flashed the Vulcan a smile before heading out of Talons.


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