S.S. Fawkes - CF-142AC
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Food for Thought

Posted on Wednesday September 19th, 2018 @ 23:31 hours by Mayterial Droz & Volok & Alexandria Farron & Malia & Richard Fitzsimons & Samantha Jenkins & Damien Walker

Contract: Smugglers Need Not Apply
Location: Mess Hall, Deck 2, S.S. Fawkes
Timeline: MD04 - 18:00 Hours

It had been a long four days after Mayterial had returned to the ship at Starbase 72, and she was certain that a lot more long days would follow this one. None of that mattered at this moment as she was standing in the kitchen, over a meal that should feed 16 including herself. The smell of spices and simmering meats were filling the room and seeping into the larger mess hall beyond. She had no intention of making a habit of cooking a meal for everyone on the ship. This was a special occasion though. She had looked around hard for a crew and the rag tag group of people she had been able to scrounge up measured up to the standards she had set. It's not that she was picky or had extremely high demands. She was particular about the type of people she would and wouldn't allow on her vessel. She knew not all of them were perfect, she was far from perfect herself. She also knew most of them had an agenda of their own, she had one as well. That was all part of life when running a civilian vessel in the far reaches of Federation space.

As the meal she was cooking was coming together she couldn't help but smile at the symbolism of it. It was a hodge podge of ingredients she had scrounged up from the market on the promenade and together it was becoming a salivating, satisfying, hearty diner. She hoped all of the people she had found and brought together on this boat would come join her in the crew's mess hall and share a meal with each other. They had to get to know each other, they had to start trusting each other and relying on each other. That was the only way they would be able to release the docking clamps by the end of the week. This was only the very beginning.

Damien has been tolling non-stop since he came aboard the ship yesterday. His jumpsuit was dirty and greased from all the crawling through maintenance conduits and other nooks and crannies of the ships underbelly. He was dirty, exhausted and above all hungry, his energy only fueled by exorbitant amounts of coffee. Even though he could hardly keep on going like this, he felt exhilarated, it has been a long time since a ship kept him so busy and he loved every second of it. As the list of things things to do grew after every inspection, he knew this ship would keep his mind occupied from his past. He didn’t even have time to clean up properly, but that was not a matter he was concerned about.

The better he knew the ship, the more he liked her, even though she was a technological hodgepodge, there was something about her that almost made him want to stay. The only unknown factor for him was the crew. He meet some of them but could not quite make an image of them all as a team. On the other hand, serving on so many ships over the years he has seen all sorts, the good, the bad, the weird and all in between. So as a whole it did not matter much to him, he had a job to do and after that, he will see what’s next. As he was musing thoughts about his future, the corridor he took filled with savory smells of a well-cooked meal and he could feel his stomach awakening famished. He entered the galley and discovered he was the first. “Smells nice” He offered to May as he stepped toward the food offered on the bar “Haven’t seen many captains cook for their crews."

"Well, you know. Don't get used to it." May had been slaving away at the meal for a lot longer than she had intended already and it still wasn't fully done. She was hoping she could have it on the table by the time the first people started showing up but apparently cooking for a group of sixteen was a lot more of an undertaking than she had anticipated.

Seeing she was still busy with the cooking, scurrying around the little kitchen area like a fury, Damien knew she was trying to make everyone comfortable the first-time in. The meal she was preparing was simple enough, so he stepped behind the counter, washed his hands in the sonic sink and grabbed a knife. “You know living with Ferengi and their dietary needs for so long, gave me an appreciation for a well-cooked meal to say the least. Let me help you with this. I won’t take the credits I promise.” he added with a wink.

Alexandria seemed wary as she arrived and peeked inside the mess hall. She'd hoped to arrive just a little early, before the room filled up with crew. She could handle eating around a handful of people she was familiar with, but dining with over a dozen strangers? No way. Alexandria intended to sneak into the kitchen, grab a plate of whatever, then quickly duck back to her cabin to finish her meal in privacy and peace. She doubted that the odds would be in her favor, but that was her plan. In the event of failure she was actually dressed half presentably: a cozy black thermal shirt, and a pair of denim skinny jeans that looked just loose enough to be reasonably comfortable. As usual her hair was a total hot mess.

As she entered the kitchen to sneak off with a plate, Alexandria realized she'd miscalculated and come too early. It wasn't even done yet. With no other plan, she lurked around the dinner preparations like a vulture waiting for its meal to die, seemingly oblivious to the fact that she was getting in May and Damien's way.

Following the scent of a "home-cooked" meal, and a invitation from the Captain, Sam entered the mess hall. It reminded her of the meals her father cooked for the crew. She shook her head, didn't want to think of the past for now. "That smells delicious, what are we having?"

"Hopefully a little more patience!" Mayterial stepped past Alexandria, she was never a great cook and she wanted to do this to welcome everyone on board but it was slowly starting to come apart. On the way back she encountered Alexandria again and put a stirring spoon into her hand, "Could you please make sure that doesn't burn?" She asked pointing at a big pot of gently bubbling sauce.

Holding up her hands in surrender Sam stepped back to give the others more room. She choose a spot at the table where she could keep an eye on the door as well as the kitchen.

Alexandria bit her lip as the captain handed her the spoon. There wasn't much she could do but stir the sauce. How hard could it possibly be? Standing near the simmering saucepan quickly became uncomfortable though. It wasn't the heat. That didn't bother her. The thought of the lingering aromas settling in on her clothes, hair and skin was unsettling though. Plus she could feel the spices in the sauce, or from something else nearby starting to affect her sinuses. She had a terrible sense of smell, but her sinuses could quite sensitive.

Soon it became apparent to Alexandria that she was about to have a sneezing fit. What should she do with the spoon? If she left it in the pot it would sink, and she couldn't find anywhere that looked clean enough to her to set it down. She ran out of time, and had to turn rather abruptly, sneezing into her sleeve, away from the sauce so the others wouldn't think she'd contaminated it. Unfortunately, she'd forgotten about the spoon in her hand, which still had quite a bit of sauce on it. A trail of sauce spatter was left on the deck and bulkhead, where her arm had failed. She was horrified to discover that at least one person had been caught in the path as well.

"Sorry..." Alexandria said awkwardly. She was sniffling, and seemed to be on the verge of tears. She hadn't noticed the pile of chopped onions not even a meter away.

Volok had just entered the kitchen silently and had moved towards the area where the food was being prepared. He had been following the smells all the way through the corridors with his sensitive sense of smell. But smelling it was a lot better than getting sprayed by it... He looked with his blank stare at the steady streak of sauce across his clothing and then back at the person responsible for it. "Not a problem." He said dryly, "I do not think you did it on purpose." He took a small utensil and used it to taste the sauce from the biggest blob on his shirt. "The right amount of spice. I suspect the hint of Tholian silk is the result of contamination from my shirt."

Another unsuspected victim of the sauce attack was Damien who felt the droplets of sauce fall all over him as he was chopping the onions, the spatter covering most of his workspace. With his finger he skimmed across a bigger spot on his forearm and tasted it, trying to appraise the Vulcans taste. Smacking his lips he said to both Alexandria and Volok “Indeed, great sauce, but I would add a bit more salt?” and slid a salt container across the desk towards her, a wide smile painted on his face.

Very embarrassed over what she had done, Alexandria found it hard to look either man in the eye. She was not a klutz, and she strove to avoid making messes. Now, in the eyes of everyone there, that's probably what she seemed most capable of. She should've just stayed in her quarters... being labeled as anti-social was better than being seen as a hapless agent of chaos. She eyed the salt warily as Damien slid it over. She added a very small amount to placate the man, but probably not enough to impact the taste. Not everyone liked the taste of salt, for all she knew there were crewmen aboard with dietary restrictions.

Mayterial had remained relatively unscathed by the spray of sauce as she had just ducked under the counter to find a bowl to put the salad in. When she resurfaced and saw Volok and Damien covered she had to hold back a laugh. She had no idea how Alexandria had managed to do it. She also heard the murmurs of activity back in the mess hall, most of the deck hands would've arrived as well. "Alright people, I think we're done here. Let's get to the table. Everyone carry something." She wiped her brow. This was the first and the last time she'd cook a crew meal, that much she was certain of.

Carefully transferring the sauce to a more suitable, and cooler serving container, Alexandria tried her best to make no further mess. She brought the sauce to the table, careful to step around the droplets already littering the deck. Realizing that she was more or less committed to the gathering, she took the nearest empty seat, which put her next to a woman with red hair tied back into a tail. Looking down at her own hair, which was more or less all over the place, she thought that was probably a good idea. She pulled out a hair tie and did a rather messy attempt at a ponytail of her own, apologizing to the woman seated next to her, who she softy jabbed with an elbow while in the process of tying it back.

With last pieces of vegetables nicely cut, Damien swooshed them into a bowl along with some spices to finish the salad. He picked up the bowl and headed toward the table, taking a clean napkin along the way and offered it to the Vulcan as he passed him “You see, gremlins are everywhere” he added with a wink not waiting for the reply and sat down opposite of Alexandria and Sam. Damien took a few empty plates from the pile and passed them around. As people were taking their places and putting the cutlery before them he nodded with his eyebrows towards Alex, the pink band aid still on his forehead “Thanks again for the last night, things are finally making sense.”

Volok was still trying to remove the excess sauce from his shirt with a napkin, making sure not to touch it. Vulcans were picky like that when it comes to touching food. The extra one handed by Damien helped to make a nice clean bundle of dirty napkins. Volok carefully placed them on the nearest table next to the small bundle that had formed from other's feeble cleaning attempts. He picked up a plate. "There are gremlins in this salad? My assumption was that this is strictly a vegetarian dish." he said looking back at Damien, before putting another spoonful on his plate.

Mayterial looked over the gathered group and couldn't help but smile at the sight of a full mess hall. She took the one remaining seat, it was in between Volok and Damien. "Spaghetti Bolognese, a side salad with Andorian ice lettuce as a base, and of course the sauce." She looked at Alexandria for a moment and smiled encouragingly. "Tomatoes, some spices and herbs." She then pointed at the last serving dish, "Meatballs, so that people can choose whether or not they want to eat their meal vegetarian." She hadn't been sure about Volok, he seemed like a tradition Vulcan but there was something about him that seemed to take the edge off, just to be safe she prepared it without the meat already in the sauce.

Mal was late entering but that was typical. She'd spent a lot of time getting to know the ship and helping to bring about order; she figured it was the least she could do given the situation. She took the wobbly seat and vowed silently to figure out a way to fix it, as she waited for the bowls to be passed. She was dressed, as always, with comfort and speed of movement in mind. Worn charcoal-gray cargo pants and a soft white top that was fraying around the sleeve ends but still warm. Thick socks and pull on boots that were serviceable and just this side of worn out completely the outfit. She left her hair, long and curling, loose because she'd lost her last hair tie while on the run. The food smelled good but then, even if it didn't, she'd have eaten. One of the lessons that life on the run taught a person. Be grateful for what you have and recognize that it wouldn't ... couldn't ... last.

"Well then. Eat up." Mayterial wasn't one for long speeches or keeping people from enjoying their food.

Mal took a portion of salad, pasta and sauce, then settled back to enjoy the meal. As an empath, her one visit to a working ranch had made an indelible impression and turned her vegan. Not a problem for the most part since Landau never paid for anything fresh if he could help it. To her, the simple meal was an amazing gift and so, she ate slowly, savoring each bite, while making a game of it in her mind, figuring out the individual ingredients that went into the dish.

As soon as the meal was laid out, Alexandria treated everyone to her mixed bag of table manners. Once the food was on her plate she was relatively neat and proper, taking small bites, chewing with her mouth closed and so on. But getting the food onto her plate was another matter. She seemed to have no reservations about reaching across the table, or over a neighbors plate to get whatever she wanted, and almost knocked over May's drink in the process. She was also sure to grab an extra helping of meatballs, just in case there weren't any left when she call for seconds came her way.

Mal had never known anything but the collar and the lash; running had just meant staying ahead of both. There had never been much of a chance to enjoy a moment without watching to see if anyone had drawn the unwelcome attention of their self-appointed Master. And so, she enjoyed watching Alexandria's lack of manners, the way she stretched across a plate heedless of how the individual would react, how she took more than Mal would ever dream of taking at one time. It was ... educational. This must be what it means to be free, she thought. I like it.

Volok had helped himself to some spaghetti and sauce as well. He liked a meal with a challenge, because the special technique needed for eating the perfectly cooked strains of carbohydrates didn't come natural to him. But with the well developed hand-eye coordination of years working in medicine helped him a lot in enjoying his dinner in an orderly manner. All in all avoiding further staining his shirt.

After the captain's words, Damien placed a napkin neatly across his legs and rearranged his cutlery. Even thou he was famished, Damien waited in turns to get food on his plate, placing a little of everything in front of him, trying to be courteous to everyone involved, especially to Alexandria’s forages across the table. He might have looked like a dirty rag, but his manners behind the table were impeccable after years of his grandmother's tutelage. “Compliments to the chef… or chefs” he added after the first bite.

Fitz knew he was late but it was his nature that it never particularly mattered. Anything important in life might require rush but a friendly dinner, a little bit of chit chat with new crew didn’t typically warrant entry into the important category.

His legs clad in demon jeans with a red and white checked shirt; the man’s hair was slightly tussled from the attempt of a clean from a malfunctioning sonic shower. If he was honest though...it felt great to be back in normality.

With a grin on his face that echoed his thoughts, Richard moved into the room cradling a bowl in one arm. His eyes quickly glanced at the rooms occupants with stained clothes and the remnants of some thick liquid type substance in their near vicinity.. "Well now...I’d hoped to better time this to arrive on time for dessert. Looks like you’ve been having some fun in my absence though."

"Please, join us. There should be some left, although someone might have taken all the meatballs." May looked at Alexandria for only a split second to give her a wink.

Shifting the bowl he held into the crook of one arm, Fitz moved to the young woman he’d seen the wink thrown at and glanced over her shoulder before grabbing one of the meatballs in question and tossing it into his mouth.

Chewing until he had enough eaten to be able to speak, the man patted the blonde girl on her shoulder. “Well at least you’ve got good tastes! More rabbit food for me just means more desert for later.”

Alexandria cringed as a hand reached over her shoulder and grabbed food off of her plate. She froze up, initially unsure of how to respond to such a defilement of her meal. Reaching across the table was one thing... her mother's side of the family, Lunar-Chinese, all ate that way. But this was something else. Already off-balance, the hand on Alexandria's shoulder triggered a reflex.

"Hey, hands off my balls, dude!" Alexandria yelled to the man, sharply jabbing an elbow his way, in hopes of getting him to step back before her food could be further tainted by likely unwashed hands.

There wasn’t enough time for the woman’s choice of vocabulary to sink in before Fitz felt the elbow contact with old wounds still fresh from the previous days encounter. The bowl in the crook of his arm threatened to teater over; instead just splashing into his shirt as he clenched his teeth and swallowed back the profanities that might have made the hardest of women blush.

“Is it...” Fitz tried to catch his breath as the hand previously on the blondes shoulder moved to grasp his stomach, “is it always gonna be like this everytime we are in a room together Skipper?” The mans eye had moved to look directly at Mayterial as he found his voice.

Mayterial had to swallow a laughter at the comment made by Alexandria, it made her a bit more confident with her choice to hire her that she saw the girl standing up for herself. "Maybe it's your way with people." She shrugged trying to have a look at what he was carrying in the bowl. "Put that thing on the table before you spill any more of it."

Taking a final breath and letting go of it slowly, Fitz glanced down at the blonde once more before shaking his head and moving to clear a space in front of the Skipper on the table. “It was tough...what do you get the hostess with it all but I figured it in the end. A ole Terrain delicacy seeing as I know you enjoy learning the ways of our culture so much. Angel Delight...fitting for the memory of an Angel I recently had the pleasure of meeting.”

"You sound very poetic for someone who touches his food with his hands." Volok said dryly taking a sip from his drink. "Or even the food from others for that matter." he added looking at Fitz with a faintly raised eyebrow.

Fitz could only grin at the Vulcan with the raised eyebrow before heading to the remaining empty chair at the table. "If it was good enough for my fore fore fore fore...a couple of thousand fore fathers than why shouldn't it be equally good for me? And food from others...and for the food from others part, were you going to eat all of that my dear?" The man pointed at the woman in questions plate.

Alexandria stared knives at the food thief and violator of her personal space. Was he mocking her? It seemed so. It didn't seem like there was a whole lot she could do about it though. Resorting to violence over a meatball was hardly sensible and likely futile, and hurling food or insults seemed too juvenile, even for her. Countering his glib banter with her own was simply beneath her.

With no plan except a simmering desire for revenge, Alexandria tried to shut everything out and simply focus on the meal. It was good. Probably better than any she was likely to have for a long time, given the general state of affairs aboard the ship. She tried to stab her fork into the remaining meatball, but she couldn't. Eating out she could pretend that no one had touched her food, but clinging to such an illusion now was impossible. Her meal had been ruined.

Standing abruptly, Alexandria dropped her utensils just forcefully enough for them to clang against the table. She treated Richard to a surly glare before storming out of the room.

Rich resisted the urge to wince as the whirlwind of a blonde left, he figured that there was going to be quite abit of damage control neccessary at some point in the future...perhaps when he wasn't scared that she might push him out of an airlock in retaliation. It had just been a piece of food for crying out loud. He'd said it before and he'd say it again...he would never be in a position to understand woman.

Moving his chair back, the man threw a casual smile in the direction of his colleagues before moving to make an effort to help clear the table...it's probably the least he owed at this point.

[OFF]

Mayterial Droz
Captain

Volok
First Mate

Samantha Jenkins
Boatswain

Malia
Quartermaster

Alexandria Farron
Navigator

Damien Walker
Engineer

Richard Fitzsimons
Master-At-Arms

"You don't need a silver spoon to eat good food"

 

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