S.S. Fawkes - CF-142AC
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Into the Wolf's Den.

Posted on Sunday May 26th, 2019 @ 22:30 hours by Canaan Serene & Mercy

Mission: Pixie Dust
Location: Main Engineering, Deck 4, S.S. Fawkes
Timeline: MD04 - 1301 Hours

[ON]

It was a rare opportunity for Canaan to visit the lower decks of the Fawkes. The majority of his business was attended to on the flight deck, with an occasional visit to level three, but usually no further. Today was an exception. Exceptions were needed when the new crew was involved. In his unofficial capacity as the Fawkes' welcome wagon, Canaan prepared a make-shift basket of goodies to help a new member of the crew feel welcome. True, the contents weren't anything to write home about, but it was the thought that counted, right? Some fresh fruit, a few snacks to stow away for later, a formatted personal data slate, and, best of all, a bright navy-colored sweatband with the name of the ship and registry embroidered on its elastic-worn surface.

Usually, Canaan would try to deliver the basket to the crewman's quarters; however, this Mercy was a hard person to pin down. The scuttlebutt was the woman, who some described as formidable, had gone straight to the engineering decks when arriving on board. The news of the Fawkes' most recent contract had preceded their arrival to Outpost J-19 and was the talk of the town on a station whose less-than-thrilling, slow-pace livened by any remote degree of excitement. No doubt their new engineer had overheard the reports of the freighters' slightly bumpy travels, prompting them to get a lay of the land where repairs were concerned.

Canaan's boots clacked against the grated deck plating as he approached the open port to the engine room. His pace slowed, ears perking up a bit as he overheard a loud commotion echoing into the corridor. Curiosity taking hold, Canaan inched forward to hear better.

The commotion was the sound of metal against metal screeching, grinding, for a moment - interrupted only by a warm voice, thick as molasses, with a subtle vocal growl in it - "Open up, you stupid piece of - " then a snap, another screech and a loud CLANG. "Yes. Like that. Thank you." spoke the voice. As Canaan glanced around the corner into engineering he'd see the imposing back of the new engineer, just as she set down a massive piece of wallplating, handling the enormous piece with almost playful ease, muscles on her back and in her arms rippling as she did. Her hands not hands, but furred clawed paws. Atop her head, poking out through the long, deep black hair tied back in a ponytail, triangular ears of a similar color, covered in very short, soft fur. An a thick bushy tail visible as well.

After she set the piece of plating down though her attention turned back to what she had uncovered in the wall. Quietly she muttered to herself. Something about rust and pitting, loss of efficiency leading to higher energy consumption.

The rumors were indeed correct; the engineer had a dominating presence that was astonishing. He'd not gotten a decent view of the engineer due to the placement of nearby equipment that shielded most of her form, yet could tell she was of enormous size and not altogether what he was anticipating. Stepping into the engineering bay, Canaan cleared his throat softly to garner her attention without startling. "Excuse me, are you Miss Mercy, ma'am?" He asked curiously, standing several meters away, nearest the port.

At the sound of the voice she stopped moving, and flicked an ear in Canaan's direction. Both ears focused on him before she turned around and rose to her full height, knocking the top of her head against the low ceiling, flinching, leaning down and rubbing her head. "Ow. Yeah. Need to get used to that." Now though turning her full attention to her visitor, even as she placed the PADD she was working on down on a nearby console. "Yeah, I'm Mercy. No need to call me 'miss'. I'm the new engineer onboard Fawkes. What can I do for you?"

Canaan's eyes followed Mercy's ascent to full stature, widening as they took in the monstrosity standing mere meters away. "H-hi!" He exclaimed nervously, voice cracking as he took a tentative step forward. "I-I'm, um... wow!" He'd never met a member of whatever species Mercy hailed from and couldn't entirely stall his disbelief. Canaan swallowed hard, "My name is Canaan, I'm your communications aficionado, otherwise known as the 'signaller.' I wanted to welcome you to the crew officially." He held out the make-shift gift basket, smiling with pride until he realized the sweatband would fit Mercy better as a wristguard, possibly even as a hair tie.

At being offered the basket she flicked an ear quizzically, this seemed to be her go-to gesture when something happened she didn't immediately have a response for. Instead she simply sat down on the ground and took the basket, though keeping her firm attention on Canaan. "Well, nice to meet you, signaller Canaan." she smiled, though taking care not to show teeth - fangs sharp as steak knives that Canaan only got a hint of as she spoke, she kept them hidden owing to how nervous he already seemed. "What's this then"? she asked, holding the basket aloft.

"Okay, well, so this here..." Canaan closed the distance between them; his considerable height dwarfed against the backdrop that was Mercy. "It's some fresh fruit and yummy snacks, to keep you fueled and all, although I'm not sure how filling they'll be." He remarked sheepishly, pale, pink cheeks deepening in color as he considered the meager food items compared to what she must be accustomed to eating. "And this here is a clean data slate." He gestured to the device, "I took the liberty of preloading it with some helpful information about the ship and crew, at least I hope it'll be helpful. Oh!" He exclaimed, dipping his hand into the rusty, metal bucket. "Here's a limited edition, Fawkes official sweatband for you!" He held up the shabby garment, holding it out to Mercy. "Although it might work better as something else, I dunno, you decide!" He rambled, nervously bouncing on the balls of either heal.

Mercy chuckled and then laughed, meant as a warm and amused laugh, though with her size and her fangs it might have come across a bit less so "That's so sweet. I don't think I've ever gotten a welcome aboard basket before." she mused, contemplating the sweatband for a moment before putting it on a wrist. It was slightly loose, but at least it fit in a way it wouldn't around her brow. "That data slate will definitely come in handy. Thank you so much." she smiled, tail giving a lazy wag. The fruits though - she hadn't the heart to tell him that, as a carnivore, she couldn't really eat fruits, at least, not separately. As seasoning on a meat dish, yes. So she decided to focus on that. "These will go nicely with a warm meal. Thank you so much."

Mercy's perfectly aligned teeth unveiled with her laugh. Canaan's pale skin blanched at seeing the razor-sharp incisors, any wonder their significant length could be so easily concealed. He breathed deeply, trying to instill calm that would slow the rapid beat of his heart as the autonomic response assumed control. "W-well, it was the l-least I could do to show you how v-very welcome you are." The signaller swallowed hard, wholly captivated by the woman's' intimidating presence. It wasn't until a playful flick of the tail that Canaan recognized the paralyzing tension which consumed his body. The condition involuntary, a result of the predator-prey fear response, Canaan silently hoped never to find himself in the tracks of a very hungry Mercy. "I h-hope you like it!" He smiled, noticing she'd already wrapped the sweatband around a wrist, "Oh, that's perfect!" He noted, gesturing to the garment. "Is it kinda hot down here?" He asked, placing a palm over his damp forehead.

"I think that's you, actually. Think you're having a bit of a reaction to meeting one of my kind for the first time." she spoke softly, ears laying back. "It's the size and the fangs and claws. It's all very intimidating, I know. Triggers instincts deep ingrained in the human condition. I'm really sorry. I hope that, in time, you'll grow to be more comfortable in my presence. You've nothing to fear from me."

Canaan smiled nervously at Mercy's candidness, "Does this happens often?" He asked, embarrassed at not having the ability to manage the conflicting emotions bristling within, yet thankful for the canids' patience and understanding.

Mercy shrugged. "It's happened before. Bound to happen again." It's been twenty years since it last happened, onboard a Starfleet ship. Penal colones tend to be populated by a different kind of people. "Can't help people's nature. Remnants of instincts from earlier in your evolutionary development; we all have them."

"That we do." He agreed, thinking back to how the Fawkes' last contract had caused those very same innate evolutionary instincts to surface. His expression saddened at their loss of Volok and how M'erah was coping with the difficult part he played. "Where are you from?" He asked curiously, eyes once again catching the flick of the woman's tail. He smirked mischievously as he slowly started to wander in the direction of the appendage.

"Gama quadrant. Small world called Sirrah, named after the star it orbits." She flicked an ear, watching him. "Slightly bigger than earth, about fifteen percent larger equatorial radius, twenty percent more gravi - what are you doing?"

Canaan snapped his hand away from the woman's tail as if scalded by boiling water, "What?! Nothing!" He lied, eyes shifting between Mercy's intense gaze and tail. "I most certainly wasn't trying to touch your tail." He claimed unconvincingly. He'd shoved either hand in the pocket's of his sage-colored utility pants, bouncing nervously on the ball of either heel as he offered what he hoped appeared as an innocent smile.

Mercy flicked an ear, regarding the smaller person. "Alright then, I know people are curious. You can touch it, this once." She sighed, rolling her eyes and holding still for him.

The innocent smile turned into one of sincere appreciation. Reaching out, Canaan gently took hold of the woman's fluffy tail, its coarse hair sprouting between splayed fingers. "Wow, thanks!" M'erah hadn't been as accommodating, finally submitting to Canaan's constant attempts. "So, does it help with your balance or something?" He wondered with earnest, releasing the tail as he stepped back, respecting the woman's personal space. The fascination was odd, Canaan was the first to admit as much, but without having one, it was bizarre thinking of the appendage any different than a finger or ear.

The fur on the tail was thick and bushy, over thick and strong base, yet managed to be moderately soft to the touch. Mercy gave a nod to his question. "It does. Especially when I'm moving fast or getting into tight corners. My people's inner ear balancing organs are less evolved as yours, and our tails help." she mused. "Ok, that's enough. It's a very personal thing. Hope that settles your curiosity though."

Canaan nodded, "Very much, thank you. So, will she ever fly again, Chief?" He mused with a chuckle.

"Heh. Yeah. Sure she'll fly." Mercy smiled, tail giving a lazy wag. "Basic space frame is in good shape, engines as well. There's a lot of work to be done making her more efficient and responsive, some conduits need replacing, whole list of software version mismatches and conflicts to sort out, some of the redundancies and safety features need some extra checking-over, but - yeah, she'll fly."

He couldn't help but laugh, "Tell me about it; the whole of the communications array is like an amalgamation of hardware mismatching; Klingon and Cardassian splitters feeding Federation phase shifters. All of which are linked together by some uniquely written software patches. I'm not sure who my predecessor was, but they had a wild imagination when it came to making repairs with what parts were available at the time." Canaan was more admiring than he was judging. "She's an interesting bird, Ms. Mercy; I think you'll like her."

"She'll have to do, Canaan. She'll just have to do. That's all there is to it." Mercy mused. "It'll be some time before I'll get around to sorting out those mismatches. As long as a system works adequately and doesn't directly impact the boss' bottom line, it's low on my list of priorities." she explained.

"That she will." He agreed, "Well, listen, I have another stop to make so I should probably get going." Canaan inched towards the door as he spoke. "I'll get outta your fur, but maybe we could grab a drink in the mess lounge sometime soon?"

"Sure thing. Thanks for dropping by and welcoming me onboard." she smiled, tail giving another lazy wag.

Canaan gave a wave of his hand before stepping over the rounded threshold into the corridor beyond. Mercy had a fearsome presence about her, that much was true. Canaan could've hoped for no better introduction to the Fawkes' new canid engineer. Could she disembowel an enemy as efficiently as prime a warp core?

Only time would tell.

[OFF]

Canaan Serene
Signaler

&

Mercy
Engineer

"A wolf doesn't concern themselves with the opinions of sheep."

 

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