S.S. Fawkes - CF-142AC
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Ready, Willing, Able (Deck Hands)

Posted on Thursday July 16th, 2020 @ 10:38 hours by M'erah & Kala Marika & Mark Cross

Mission: Safe Passage
Location: Mess Hall, Deck 2, S.S. Fawkes
Timeline: MD03 - Early morning, right before the start of the shift.
1909 words - 3.8 OF Standard Post Measure

M'erah sat in the corner of the mess hall, half an hour before the general call to breakfast. He had gotten the request from the new Bosun and was eager to meet them and brief them on the rest of the lower decks crew. All of that would have to wait for now though, as he was munching away at a banana oatmeal pancake. He liked that it was filling, and sweet, and that he could pretend it was a healthy and hearty breakfast. As the doors opened to the mess hall he looked up to see who entered.

Kala came in, already dressed in the jumpsuit she'd been given, left on her bunk for her by the ship's quartermaster. Hair tied back in a ponytail, she learned very quickly that starfleet regulations didn't matter one whit in civilian life, and a tied back ponytail was a very practical thing. She'd reviewed the padd given her, the crew manifest especially so she at knew faces on her first day. She went over to the replicator, ordering a coffee and a small breakfast burrito, quick and easy and would last her till her mid-shift break. Grabbing both, she went over to the table where M'erah was already sitting.

She smiled at him when she came over, sizing up the man that sat in the chair opposite the table. "Morning. M'erah is it? Kala Maika, or just Kala. One of the new contracts." She sat down opposite him, taking a sip from her mug, letting the hot dark liquid warm her up a little before she would start on her food.

"Corrrect" M'erah gave a toothy grin, his name usually went around with new hires pretty quickly. Apparently he was a memorable sight to see. Although he was having some competition with the Engineer that joined them several weeks back, "Kala Maika," He repeated the name to memorise it better, "Bajorrran, hmmm, what brrrings you out herrre?"

"What every girl is looking for, adventure, romance, make a few bucks doing it." Kala said with a bit of a chuckle. "Long story best told over aldebran whiskey, but let's just say Starfleet and I parted ways on less than amicable terms. My family are no strangers to freighters, tho they settled on Earth after Mom found out I was on the way. Where better then Sol to settle down?" She looked over at M'erah, "What's your 30 second story?"

"Oh, nothing much. Very few places where a two meterrr tall, uneducated, cat comes in handy. Frrreighterrrs are one of them." There wasn't really much more to his story, he never really finished any sort of formal education and without that the quadrant was big, and full of opportunities, but most for people other than him, "They said I'd have a knack forrr it, I foolishly believed them, and herrre we arrre, ten yearrrs down the road."

Kala was a bit surprised to hear him say uneducated as the Cait's she'd known were well educated, and she got the impression that education was universally available on their home world. But there were always outliers, and it seemed she was sitting across from one. "Takes all kinds M'erah. I'm educated, but here I am. And you've been doing this longer then I've been in space, you know more about the job then I do. Probably forgotten more then I know."

The hatch opened and T'maekh stepped in, heavy, scuffed brown boots, loose cargo pants, a belt with pouches and hoops and a leather jacket rolled up at the sleeves. His long black hair hung messily around his olive-skinned face and his dark eyes darted about. He consulted a device on his wrist which burst upwards a triangle of green and blue information. He swiped a finger over it a couple of times, saw what he needed, then stepped over towards the Caitian and the Bajoran. He slapped a hand over the wrist-mounted thing, apparently swatting the information out of sight.

"Good morning," he greeted, "you're Kala Marika and you're M'erah, yes? I'm T'maekh Hwearianh, but you call me T'maekh or Boats. How are you both today?"

"That's M'errrah, I'm Kala," M'erah said in jest, "Can't you tell I'm Bajoran?" He gave a frown with his furry eyebrow before cracking a smile, "welcome aboard T'Maekh."

T'maekh tilted his head, "I'm sorry, without the traditional family earring in, it's sometimes hard to tell," he grinned, his shoulders visibly relaxing. "I'm going to grab a drink, then can we talk rotas and shifts?"

"That or the nose." Kala quipped, "No earring. Don't feel the need to wear a symbol of a faith I don't follow."

T'maekh looked surprised for a moment, "I apologise for my ignorance, I believed them to be a family symbol, but they're do with the Wormhole Aliens? I'll remember that." The Romulan crossed to the replicator and tapped a couple of keys. The transparent mug that materialised contained a thick sludgy goop, T'maekh sniffed at it, nodded grimly and sat back down with them. The oily sludge in the glass mug oozed slowly as he set it down.

"M'erah," he said, "can I start with you? You're the veteran here. What, in your opinion, are your primary particular skill sets?"

"Elbow grease and a 'can-do' attitude," M'erah spoke flatly, "honestly, I know wherrre the stuff is that we need and how to get it to the places we need them. I worrrk harrrd, I make surrre the otherrr people around me worrrk harrrd. And they seem to like me."

T'maekh smiled and nodded, "hard work and a good attitude is an excellent commodity in space, M'erah, I think I'll be leaning on you a little bit in the coming days. I'd appreciate your help in finding my feet."

The door hissed open one more time, and the man that entered made a bee-line for the replicator. Coffee, steak and eggs. He knew from instinct that the replicator would make an awful attempt at all three, but given the field rations that had been his staple in his former career, this was a luxury. He had ditched the clothes he came aboard with and replaced them with matching slate-grey t-shirt and cargo pants, the standard-issue Starfleet Marine Corp boots the only real trace of his past left in his wardrobe. Those were too comfortable to trade in.

He collected his plate and mug, heading for the occupied table, and dropped into one of the free seats. He took a long sip of coffee before he acknowledged the group.


Kala nodded at the man who came over to join them. "Morning."

T'maekh acknowledged the new arrival with a wave, then tapped his wrist device again. The holo-image sprung up, he swiped through it a couple of times, then: "Good morning Mark Cross? Right? Welcome. Kala, what would you say your area of expertise are?"

As he settled in, Kala looked over to T'maekh "I'd say my particular skillsets are my engineering background, as well as experience working shipyards. I may not be the best pilot, but I know my way around most anything mechanical or technical."

T'Maekh actively frowned, listening to Kala, like a dark cloud passed over his face, then he forced a brighter tone in his voice, "so there's some overlap for you: working between me and Mercy, the Engineer?"

Kala shrugged, "If there is Bos'un, I've not been told. Captain has my paperwork and my Starfleet service is recorded there. If she elected not to place me under Mercy, that's her call."

T'maekh nodded, "I'm keen to avoid clashing with Mercy, she's been very clear where her responsibilities begin and mine end," he sipped the oozy goop in his cup again, "urgh, so if you're called on to do repair work, can you get my sign off first? I appreciate that's going to slow things down, but until we get into a routine, I'd be grateful if you can get my approval on the work orders." T'maekh paused, forcing another mouthful of sludge down, "how does that sit with you, Kala?"

"I'm keen to avoid a conflict with her, she's got 3ft and easily double my weight on me. Nice lady, but not one I want to cross." She nodded, "I'll make sure to clear things with you first, I suspect she'll be wanting me mostly for crawlspaces. She made a remark to that effect when we met yesterday."


As it circled around the table to him, Mark hurriedly finished his mouthful of food. "I'm medically trained...but I can fly a bit, shoot a bit, fix things a bit, I can shine your boots up better than anyone in the Quadrant, and I love to keep myself busy. Pleased to be part of the team."

"Ohh, I have a pairrr of boots that could use a good shining," M'erah gave another toothy grin at the man that had joined them last at the table.

As Mark peered under the table, he weighed up the options in his head. Was this a genuine request for assistance, or just an attempt at razz'ing the rookie? He suspected option two, but he hadn't had enough dealings with Caitians to make a good enough guess. Regardless, he felt drawing a line in the sand was probably the best course of action. "Do you use those as a scratching post when you're not wearing them? I'm not sure I can work miracles..."

If Mark caught it, T'maekh's expression was thunder for a second, his eyes almost darkening as he spoke, but the Romulan said nothing, his eyes flicking to Merah to catch her response.

Kala cringed inwardly at the remark about scratching posts. While she knew Human's sense of humor could be strange, they tended as a species to compare the Cait's to their terran domesticated felines, and most Cait's shrugged it off, she also knew some Cait's took offense at thee scratching post joke. Her Caitian roommate (and occasional bedmate) at college especially disliked the remark. She smiled at M'erah, "Well, I don't shine boots M'erah, but I do polish other things from time to time." She quipped.

M'erah coughed a bit at Kala's remark, he wiped at his nose a bit before turning to T'maekh, "So, uh... what do you have planned forrr today, Boss?"

T'maekh regarded them all, "that's a little complicated," he told them and held up his cup of sludge as if it might explain the situation, "I still need to get up to speed and the duty rosters have been somewhat... skewed. What I'd like is a full report, inventory, outstanding repairs," he glanced at Mark, "unpolished boots. I want your bugbears and your issues. I want to know where we're short, where we're over-supplied and I want to know every repair ticket you've been waiting on and every issue you've yet to see resolved." He took a glug of the stuff in the cup and winced, "gah. I'd like to know where I stand before I start stomping my unwelcome boots everywhere." He stood up, taking the cup with him.

"Mr. Cross, I'd like a word with you in my office. Now."

Mark contemplated a protest about the half-eaten condition of his replicated steak, but he figured nobody around the table would buy that he was actually enjoying it anyway. The mug of coffee though, that was coming along for the ride. "Of course...where is it?"


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