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Midnight Snack

Posted on 08 Jan 2022 @ 2:41pm by Lieutenant Commander Cintia Sha'mer & Lieutenant Commander Harva Taliborn
Edited on on 08 Jan 2022 @ 9:08pm

Mission: A New Frontier
Location: Lounge
Timeline: Wee hours of the night

One could be forgiven, at ungodly-o-clock, that the monstrous being ducking its way into the lounge was straight from a horror movie. Massive shoulders and arms, barrel chest, standing literal head and shoulders taller than anyone else, with fierce yellow predatory eyes, an elongated muzzle set with razorsharp daggerlike fangs, clawed hands like shovels and all covered in a thick, bushy black fur. One would be forgiven to be weary of this creature, if not for the friendly expression and silly but prominent top hat atop lupine features.

The woman sleeping in a corner of the room, half-sagged against the viewport, wouldn't have noticed unless the creature had been accompanied by a fanfare. She had never planned to fall asleep here, just to sit here for awhile and look at the stars, and try to set her thoughts in order. Sleep had crept up on her and taken her unawares. Her dreams were a confused jumble of images, fragments of what might have been that earlier dream she had somehow shared with the chief security, and impressions of her first day on board of the USS Odin, all mixed in with elements of older and familiar dreams and nightmares. Not a very restful sleep, all in all.

A lupine ear flicked, nose twitched, eyes focused on the sleeping sack-o-officer in the corner. A smile crept across his features - not a malicious one, but a friendly one, tail giving a lazy wag. Once he'd gotten his order of food and drink - a complete meal to most, but just a midnight snack to him - he headed over to the table Sha'mer had made her sleeping quarter and, noting with his sensitive hearing that she wasn't having a pleasant, restful sleep, noisily sat down and nudged her with a paw.

"Wake up, sleepy head," his deep rumbling basso profondo resonated.

In Sha'mers dream, somebody was shouting at her, the commander again, shouting to keep her thoughts to herself and stop reading the thoughts of others, stop dreaming their dreams and leave her alone, and-

It was what the touch invoked which woke her, more than the touch itself, a brief conduit to a friendly mind. Still, the interruption was yarring and she woke with a startled yelp, looked around wild-eyed, trying to get her bearings. Realisations and thoughts rolled through her mind in quick succession: Not in quarters, oh yeah, mess hall stupid dream must've fallen asleep shit what time is it?

"G'mornin!" the massive engineering officer cheerfully offered, setting his top hat on the table, then sliding a tall glass of chilled orange juice towards the no-longer-sleeping woman. "I'd have let you sleep, but you didn't seem like you were having the most comfortable, easy going rest," he added, his voice a deep resonant rumble.

Enough of the dream bled through during those first few confused moments that she blinked in relief when she saw the massive form near her. She had more than half expected it to be commander Hawk, back for another confrontation. "Thank the stars," she sighed, not realising or not caring that she spoke aloud. She straightened in the chair and winced. "Um, no, I wasn't. Thank you for waking me." Sha'mer finally regained enough coherence to look up at her companion, and up.

In time to see him tearing into a large steak, ripping part of it off and swallowing it. "Welcome," he mused, still a friendly look on wolven features, though there was a sense of amusement in it too. "Lieutenant Comander Sha'mer, right? I saw you at the staff briefing. Didn't get a chance to chat. You get kicked out of your quarters by a lover or somethin?"

"Ah yes, you're the other new arrival." Sha'mer had heard his name during the briefing, he had been introduced as the other new chief to join the ship. And he was massively hard to overlook. "Pleasure to meet you in a more informal setting, although I must admit the circumstances are somewhat against me." She tried for a smile, though she knew that was very much a hit-or-miss attempt these days. "No… I couldn't sleep, ended up here to look at the stars, and I guess they worked their magic." It hadn't been the first time, and she doubted it would be the last. She glanced at the orange juice, then looked over at the replicator. The nearest one was halfway across the room. In her present state, she very much didn't feel like walking. And in her present mood, she very much didn't care.

She reached out with her mind, activated the replicator and directly transported the raktajino which appeared there to her table. Then she wrapped her hands around it, relishing the heat. "Sorryabouthtat," she muttered perfunctory.

"Huh," Harva flicked an ear, then glanced over at the replicator before turning his attention back to Sha'mer. "That's a neat trick. Never seen someone command a replicator with thought before. You a watchamacallit? Sorry, I know more about machines than - what you did."

Sha'mer took her first sip of raktajino and felt the hot fluid brush away the lingering cobwebs. "Usually I don't do this in front of others, just when I'm by myself…" She clamped her mouth shut before she could ramble on. "Mind tricks," she added with a slight shrug. "A combination of telekinesis and teleportation to be exact. Handy if you don't want to get up." Which at this moment she very much did not. She took a larger sip and looked at her companion again. "Not many of you in Starfleet, are there, I think?"

"Three or four," he mused. "There's Garran, quite a respected fellow. Political revolutionary. Activist. Then there's Dina, bit of a wild child that one. Me, of course," he considered for a moment then shrugged. "Those are the ones I know of, at least. We're not really a people known for leaving our home and seeing the stars," he took a swig from his own pitcher of apple juice.

Now that she had downed a sizeable bit of raktajino, Sha'mer relt ready to face the orange juice. It wasn't that she hated it, she just didn't like it on an empty stomach. "So you're the explorer?" she asked lightly.

"I'm a Sirran," Harva explained, calmly. "We hold family and home in very high regard. Hence why we don't leave our home world Sirrah very much. Guess you could say I'm an adventurer. I also have other reasons to leave home. Reasons that are mine," He glanced up at Cin, looking serious. "I mean no offense, and hope you understand."

"Completely," Sha'mer replied with a grave nod. She had had her own reasons for leaving her home behind. Half a galaxy lied between her past and her future, and there were times when she still doubted it was enough.

A nod. "This is my life now though," the seriousness instantly melted, jovialness returned, including a lazy wag of his tail. "It's not a bad life. I get to work with cutting edge tech, get to see the universe, meet people, find recipes - we're on an amazing flight in space and quite frankly, it's great."

"Oh, it definitely could be worse." Such as being stuck on a hellish world in the Mirror Universe, like my counterpart… That was a thought she pushed away as quickly as it surfaced. "One of the things I love about being in space is the sense of adventure. Never knowing what the next day might bring, who or what you'll encounter next…" Like the Sirran next to her. The two of them side by side could be performers of a comic act.

"Yeah this life ain't so bad," he offered with a smile, leaning back on his chair - much to the chagrin of said chair which groaned in protest of the load put on the back rest.

Sha'mer finished the orange juice which Harva had so considerably brought her, washed it down with the last bit of raktajino. "Would you happen to know what time it is?" Still early, she figured, because the two of them were still alone in here. But she needed to do the exercises for her leg, then a shower (and she hated sonic showers – wet showers had been the only perks of colony life she had enjoyed), and change. All of that took time and she disliked running late.

He flicked an ear. "'Bout three? Four? Kinda lost track myself. Roughly thereabouts ish," he mused, glancing over. "Why, you got somewhere to be?"

"Not until alpha shift starts," Sha'mer replied. "I'm usually not this befuddled, honestly." She tried a smile again. "Falling asleep like this just caught me off guard in all kind of ways, I guess."

"'s all good," Harva chuckled, a friendly, warm chuckle which resonated with his deep voice. "You'll get no judgment from me," he added before tearing into his steak again.

"Also means I have plenty of time," Sha'mer mused. "Not having to rush is good." And enough time for another raktajino, she decided, and ordered the repicator to produce another one. "Anything else I can get you?" she asked as she folded her hands around the cup.

"Nah I'm good," He held up his pitcher of apple juice, before taking another swig. "Thank you though," he offered. "Feeling better now?"

Sha'mer nodded. She found, somehow to her surprise, that she did. Maybe it would actually be possible to start over here, even taking the odd situation with the security chief into account. "Yes, I do."

"That's good to hear," he smiled, tail giving a lazy wag as he did. "So you're a new arrival too, you said? What brings you here, to the Odin specifically?"

Sha'mer smirked a bit. "Coincidence, I'm afraid. I put in an application for any ship that would have me. I was stationed on a colony but wanted to get back to the stars." She looked at Harva over the rim of her cup. "And you?"

"They needed someone certified for a Tac Necula with chief experience and I fit the bill," Harva shrugged. "Boring, I know, but here we are. Always liked the Nebulas. Workhorses. Reliable, dependable. Corridors I can actually fit in."

Once again Sha'mer regarded the Sirran, all eight foot or more of him. One of her first thoughts when she heard he was an engineer was wondering how he'd ever fit into a Jeffries tube. Images of ointments squeezed out of tubes came to mind. "I can see where that'd be a problem."

"Yeah I've left dents on many a ship. Probably gonna leave some on Odin, too," Harva chuckled. "Fortunately we Sirran are known for being hardheaded," he added with a rumbling laugh, tapping his forehead with his knuckles.

"Just make sure you don't get stuck," Sha'mer said, smiling back. (She had the feeling the smiles looked more natural, despite the late – or early – hour.) "It'd be a challenge to get you out."

"Yeah, well, I know enough not to go into the jeffries' tubes. They're just not made for a Sirran," Harva smiled. "So what's your story?"

Sha'mer blinked. She was usually at a loss whenever people asked her personal questions and at this time of night she certainly wasn't at her best. Then again, that had been the central theme of her story ever since her arrival on the Odin, hadn't it? The upside was, Sha'mer thought wryly, that it couldn't get much worse. Probably. Then again, she still hadn't met the CO, so there was still the option that she'd make a spectacular fool of herself there. How about let's not, she thought with an internal grimace.

Meanwhile, she hadn't answered Halva's question. Story? "What particular story do you mean?"

Harva shrugged. "Dunno. You just seem like you have one. I mean, you're built smaller than the average human, especially with officer training, and there's something in how you smell that's different - no offense, I just have a sensitive nose and raised to rely on it a lot."

"None taken. I'm not human, I just look like one." The smile faded again. "You wouldn't believe how often people tried to dissuade me from the Tactical/Security specialisation. Everybody and then some tried to get me to switch to Science or Helm. Mind you, I think Science is quite fascinating, but I prefer to be a bit more hands on." One hand released the cup of raktajino and sneaked under the table to press against the braced leg. Ever since she woke up it had been sending out unpleasant reminders that the last time she'd taken a painkiller had been well before bedtime and it had worn off while she slept. That, coupled with the awkward position in which she had fallen asleep, as opposed to a nice and comfortable bed, meant it was getting really unpleasant. Nothing compared to what it had been in the past, to be sure, but distracting enough.

"Hey, no judgment from me," the Sirran held up both hands in a defensive gesture. "Like, I get it. I really do. You wouldn't believe how many times people comment that I should've been in security. What, just because my people are inherently good at, like, being stronger than most other people? And really intimidating? Nah, miss me with that, give me a nice console to wrench on any day of the week," he offered, lowering his hands again.

"You know, I was always told Starfleet is where you go to be what you want to be," His deep rumbling bass voice continued. "Rather than what society wants you to be."

"Which is exactly why I decided to join," Sha'mer replied with a nod. There had been a lot of things which society had wanted from her back home. Or rather, her father – and there wasn't much of a difference between the two.

"You're alright, kid," Harva smiled, leaning back in his chair - back rest groaning and creaking in protest as usual - and taking another deep swig of his apple juice, finishing the pitcher.

This remark made her really raise an eyebrow. 'Kid'? Alright, fair, she didn't look that old for a human, but still… Her Starfleet file did not contain a date of birth. She had never bothered to convert Vo'Sh'un chronology to Stardates and people had never bothered enough to ask. "How old do you think I am?" she asked, mildy curious now, and slightly amused. It also made her wonder just how old he was.

"What, you rather I call you 'old lady'?" he smirked. "I'm used to everyone being much younger than I am - except Vulcans, they live even longer than Sirran."

"Vo'Sh'un live longer than Vulcans." Sha'mer said distantly. She already regretted her momentary flash of humour. This night she had thought more about her distant past than in the months before and she wasn't really happy to dreg up all those ancient memories. "Which means I'm probably older than you are."

He regarded her for a moment or two, his features contemplative, maybe a bit sad. "You ok?" he asked, flicking an ear. "Didn't mean to bring up any sad memories. My apologies if I did."

Sha'mers smile was decidedly forced now. "That's alright. I guess it's inevitable when you go to a new place and meet new people… especially when they are as perceptive as you are." And that AI she had met the day before. Or knew another version of her like commander Hawk.

"Yeah, well - " beat " - I'm still sorry," he offered genuinely, before finishing his midnight snack - what would've been a solid and filling full meal to anyone else.

Sha'mer shrugged. "Don't be," she said. "Pain is part of life, eh? As long as you can feel it, you know you're still alive, as someone once said." Though maybe a little less pain now and then couldn't, well, hurt.

"There's wisdom in that," Harva mused, quietly. "As an old Silvertail once said, who can truly appreciate the sun shining who doesn't know the falling of rain," he added, glancing over.

"I guess that amounts to the same thing." Sha'mer finished her raktajino and sent the cup back to the replicator.

"I s'pose," He flicked an ear. "It'll be a long time before they'll call me Silvertail. It's a - term of endearment for respected elder Sirran. I'll be 70 next year, in Federation standard years. Which I think is about mid thirties, in human years. Though I s'pose for anyone to call me that would require for me to go back home, wouldn't it."

"Or maybe some friends you make along the way," Sha'mer said softly.

"Yeah," he chuckled quietly. "That would work as well," Odin's largest officer offered. "You offering?"

It would be good to have a friend on board, yes. "Sure," Sha'mer answered sincerely. And then that streak of humour reared its head before she could stop it and she added: "…Kid."

Harva laughed, an honest, resonating belly laugh. "Fair enough, old lady," he grinned toothily. "I should try to get some more sleep before my shift starts though. It was very nice to meet you Cin, and if you ever fancy a drink or a chat, feel free to drop by my office."

"Right back at you. And thank you for waking me when you did." She should be getting back to her quarters, too, but she knew the chance that she would get any more sleep this night was slim. Then again, that's what she had thought when she sat down here to look at the stars. Sha'mer decided to wait until Harva had left, though, before getting up and leaving herself. The limp would be really bad now and she'd had her fill of pitiful looks.

And with a nod he rose to his full height, put his top hat back on and lumbered off to recycle his plate and glass before leaving.

"I still need to ask him someday what the deal with the hat is," Sha'mer murmured to herself once Halva had left the mess hall – without even knocking his hat off, she noted. Only then she rose and left herself.

 

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