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Developing Friendships

Posted on Sun Sep 26th, 2021 @ 1:44pm by NVeid tr'Rehu & Lieutenant Finnley Keating VII

Mission: Character Development
2505 words - 5 OF Standard Post Measure

Finn had been monitoring the EPS conduits of late. There seemed to be a slight degradation of power the further it had to travel from the generation source. Which wasn't necessarily uncommon, degradation was to be expected, but Finn liked everything to be as efficient as possible. After researching came up with nothing but a pile of dead ends, she decided it might be best to turn to the science department. Her specialty was more in propulsion than ship power and sometimes working with other departments led to better more well-rounded solutions anyways. With only fifteen minutes left in her shift, Finn hopped up from her desk. She grabbed a padd with her findings on it as she exited the room.

The science lab was sparsely populated when she entered, but luckily one of the still present officers just happened to be the chief. "Lieutenant Danton?" Finn inquired of the woman she'd informally met before, but hadn't talked much to.

Ausra was in the middle of holding her breath until her face turned red as a cure for hiccups, she knew it probably wouldn't work but she just didn't seem to be able to get rid of them and a trip to sickbay was highly annoying especially when she was working on something. She nodded her cheeks puffed. Her hands did a circular motion as if she wanted the other woman to continue.

Finn raised an eyebrow, curious as to what Ausra was doing, but continued nonetheless. "I was wondering if you might be able to provide some sciency input on an engineering problem I've got. We've got a degradation of power as it travels further from the power source. I'm wondering if there's something in the science world we can use to stabilize it so we don't lose as much. Maybe some sort of chemical we can mix in or...something? I'm not sure. It's nothing serious, but I thought it might be a fun side project."

She let the breath go out in a huff and sucked in more air as she breathlessly asked, "A degradation of power? That's very odd. Sure. What's the power source?" Ausra asked, curiosity clearly teased. She reached behind her to grab the band that was holding her hair up, released it and re-smoothed her dark hair so the flyaway bits weren't tickling her cheeks again.

"It's traveling from various EPS conduits. That's where it's losing its efficacy," Finn paused for a second, perplexed by the science officer's odd breathing technique. "Can I ask what's going on? You're either training for some serious underwater breath holding competition or...hiccups?"

"Hmm? Oh yes, hiccups, incredibly annoyi-ng" Ausra finished as she hiccuped in the middle of the word. "Sure, I'll help. Not exactly my area of expertise but it is an interesting problem. And I love interesting problems. Can I see the area?"

"Sure," Finn shrugged. She turned to head back towards engineering with the science officer when a whale like sound erupted from her mid-section. She stopped midstep. "Actually, can I interest you in running through some details over dinner? It sounds like my stomach is getting insistent and we're already past the end of our shifts anyways. We could go over the details and then see the area in the morning?"

"Sure, I Could eat. In fact I don't think I've ever missed a meal when I could help it. The lounge? My treat." Ausra turned off her PADD, set it down so she could resume her work when she got back. Not having much of a social life had it's advantages, you could be a workaholic.

The mess hall was packed with most tables already full when they arrived. Finn scanned the room for anyone else she might know when her eyes landed on Nveid. She wasn't sure she wanted to get to know a telepath any more than she already did, but there weren't many other options either and at least Nveid seemed pretty friendly when they had swum together in the past. She let out a slight sigh and then turn to Ausra. "How about we join Nveid over there? There's room for us both."

"Sure." Ausra replied. They had gone on that one date and then sorta gotten busy, at least she had assumed they had because they hadn't set up a second one and it wasn't that Ausra didn't want to. "Hi Nveid. Can we join you?"

THe Romulan surgeon looked up and smiled. "Of course," he answered, gesturing towards the vacant seats. "How are you two doing? We haven't spoken in a while."

"Good, but hungry. I'm going to go grab something from the replicator while you two catch up. Be back in a minute. Can I get either of you anything while I'm over there?" Finn asked.

Nveid shook his head. "No thank you lieutenant, as you can see my food just arrived." He gestured at the tray in front of him. "I'm covered."

"I'll get my own, thanks." She turned back to Nveid. "Oh you know . . . . busy. It's a good thing other people are around because honestly I would forget to eat until I was starved and then I get grumpy which isn't a good combination."

"I know that feeling only too well," Nveid chuckled, "in my younger years that happened only too often. So busy with work and trying to make a good impression that I forgot to eat. These days, I just make time to do so. Though... having a child does help, and it helped me set a mealtime routine."

"I bet. So . . . I guess I was trying to say sorry. For not coming to see you again since the picnic on the planet. I haven't intentionally been staying away, just got distracted I guess." Ausra gave a small shrug.

"There's no apology necessary, I'm sure being chief of science has kept you sufficiently occupied." He gave her an encouraging smile. "We could always have another, some time."

Finn returned to the table with a plate of tacos and a glass of water. "Sorry about that, I couldn't wait. I'm starving," she sat down, eager to dig into her plate. "I take it you two know each other already?"

"Obviously," Nveid answered, his eyes drawn to her food. "What is that?" he asked, gesturing at her plate.

Finn feigned a look of shock and she gulped down the remainder of her first bite. "You mean to tell me you've never had a taco?!" She looked over at Asura. "I'm not the only one that thinks that's crazy right?!"

"He is apparently seriously lacking in knowledge of human foods, I guess we'll just have to take one for the team and educate him. But I think we're up to the task right?" She looked back at Finn and then Nveid with a smile on her face.

"Oh, definitely," Finn chuckled. "You see, a taco is perhaps the epitome of human food. Delicious flavors mixed with every food group you need combine to form the best tasting thing you'll ever eat. Here, try it." She slid her plate across the table, motioning towards one of the yet untouched tacos for Nveid to taste.

Hesitantly, he reached out towards the filled she'll, wondering how he was supposed to eat this without spilling everything. "What is in it?" He asked as he sniffed the contents curiously and carefully.

"Seasoned beef, lettuce, cheddar cheese, and taco sauce. Pretty basic honestly, but I wasn't in the mood for anything else. Besides, this is the most classic taco you can get so it's the best place to start," she smiled enthusiastically.

"And how do I eat this without this spilling everywhere?" He looked down at his cutlery, realizing that they were going to be useless.

"Uhh, here, I'll demonstrate," Finn picked up the taco from which she had already taken a bite. "You hold it like this, and then just take a bite from the end. Gotta make sure you get a little bit of everything from the taco in your first bite." She proceeded to take a larger bite than anyone might have thought possible, crunching into the crispy taco shell. She grinned and gave a thumbs up as she chomped away at the delicious human food.

Following suit, Nveid discovered that even as a surgeon with pretty refined motor skills, he lacked the skill to eat a simple taco without its contents spilling everywhere. "It is tasty," he admitted, "but too messy for me."

"Some of the best tasting foods are messy. That's what napkins are for." Ausra smiled. But he could eat what he liked and leave the tacos to her. "Now that I've watched someone else eat them, I have to get my own tacos," and she left to get them.

"Its true you know. The best foods are messy. Though if it really bothers you, you should just try a taco salad next time. Basically, a taco that you eat with your fork," Finn chuckled.

"It's the Vulcans who don't like touching their food with their hands," the Romulan hybrid laughed, "I have no such qualms. I'll learn to find a way to not...spill so much."

"I'm sure you'll figure it out in no time. Plus tacos are very versatile, you can put just about any combination in a taco shell. I'm sure someone has added a Romulan or Betazoid variation of a taco in the database already," she smiled before pausing to take a sip of her drink. "So, have you been swimming lately?" Finn asked as she placed her glass back on the table.

"Not recently no, have you?" The question surprised him a little, and it showed on his face.

"No, but George mentioned that he had gone a couple of times and hadn't seen you," she answered, noting the surprise. "Have you heard from your son lately? I think you said you were hoping to last time we swam together."

Nveid didn't get a chance to respond before Ausra returned with a plate similar to Finn's. "So did you get the same thing or something a little different?"

"Same. Although Tacos come in many varieties I prefer the good old fashioned ones." She gave a small shrug. "I like them all but I think these are the best." And she crunched into one, not caring as little bits of lettuce fell to her plate.

"No I haven't heard from Jarron, but I've not really had time to try either and I think he might be kept busy too. I'm actually hoping he's making friends on Betazed, but next shoreleave I am definitely going to arrange for him to visit the ship." he chuckled as Ausra didn't manage to eat without spilling either. "Somehow, I think I would prefer pizza... less of a mess."

"Taco pizza is a thing," Finn replied. "Then again, regular pizza is good too," she smiled as she took another bite of her own taco, managing to keep it mostly intact with just some taco sauce dripping off onto her fingers. "So how do you two know each other? Work?" She asked unsure, figuring perhaps there was some crossover between science and surgery. After all, she had just come to Ausra for ideas that would cross over into engineering.

"Uh not exactly. We had one date that last time we had shoreleave. Sort of ran into each other and ended up having a picnic." Ausra gave a small shrug. "I mean we do serve on the same ship but we don't work together much."

"True," NVeid acknowledged with a nod, "you were very generous in sharing your food. And perhaps we should find a common ground to work on... what is your area of expertise?"

"Well as Chief Science Officer I need to be studied up on many aspects of science but if you were to ask me what I loved the most that would be botany. Plants are just so interesting, so varied and yet so similar in the ways they survive and grow and thrive."

"And they can have useful medicinal purposes," NVeid pointed out, "though I'll admit that botany isn't my area of expertise. However I do know that some flora can assist the healing process of a wound, whether it is sustained in daily life, or after surgery."

"Or maybe there's a plant out there that could help us avoid power degradation through the EPS conduits, or something science-y," Finn chimed in referring to her earlier conversation with Ausra. "I came to visit Ausra to see if there might be a science solution to the degradation of power through the EPS conduit system. It's not unexpected, it's common knowledge that the power will degrade as it gets farther from the power source, but the longer we make it last in the system the more efficient we'll be. I thought it would be a fun side project, but then we got hungry. Hence, tacos. Which, as a side note, I feel as though tacos can solve most problems," she chuckled.

"Perhaps you can place boosters along the way? Like one occasionally does with one's immune system?" NVeid arched an eyebrow at her. "Or something like that anyway...."

"I know basically zero about the immune system, but that's not a bad idea in general," Finn tilted her head, thinking through the possibilities of Nveid's suggestion. "The problem is that boosters require space, you'd have to generate extra energy in that spot to give it a boost. We don't have a lot of room to add an additional power generator in the bulkheads where the lines pass through," she noted.

"Anyway, I've heard it's a faux pas to talk about work during dinner. What have you two been up to besides work?" Finn asked before chomping down another bite from her plate.

"Not much. Hoping to meet with my son on our next leave," Nveid answered after a moment's consideration, "you?"

"Ooooh, oh my god, I forgot. I was supposed to meet the Captain. I have to dash, sorry for making this a short lunch!" And with that Ausra got up and ran out of the room hoping that she wasn't too late. She'd already disappointed the Captain once, she didn't want to do it again.

NVeid blinked in surprise as the science chief ran off. "Well.... I suppose that leaves just us," he mused, "though I have to return to sickbay too...soon anyway. Would you like to join me for a swim tonight, after dinner?" He grinned. "Just a swim, nothing more. I could use some competition."

Finn considered the offer for a moment, still uneasy about spending any time alone with a telepath. Then again, she hadn't been for a swim in some time and the water was always a welcomed change of pace. "Sure," Finn nodded. "Though I can't promise I'll stay long. See you at 2000, Holodeck 2?" She asked as she pushed away from the table.

"Holodeck 2, 2000 hours," the Romulan hybrid confirmed, "I'll see you then."

 

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