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Posted on Wed Aug 22nd, 2018 @ 3:49am by Lieutenant M & Lieutenant JG Jonathan Forrest

Mission: Preflight
Location: Ship's Lounge

A jazz trio didn't have any difficulty gathering a crowd on a ship this size, especially so close to launch. There were a few activities planned, but almost none that only required ears. The trio consisted of a piano, upright bass, and drumset, with the pianist and bassist taking it in turn to sing. They weren't the universe's best singers, but they were more than adequate.

For her part, Mara loved listening as much as she loved playing and she was doing the former just now. She thought about asking if she could sit in for a few tunes, but decided against it for now. She intended to just sit here with her drink and listen until it got too crowded for her.

After his near-death experience on the space station, Jonathan was just grateful to be alive. What he needed was a distraction, a way to unwind. Part of him wanted to stay in his cabin with the doors locked with a triple-encrypted password. But he knew that was just fear talking and that was just not like him.

He set his stuff down in his cabin and took a look in the mirror. The infirmary at the Starbase had done a good job and there was no tell-tale signs of the altercation Then he changed into a fresh uniform and headed to the Ship's Lounge.

He got himself a glass of White Merlot at the bar and closed his eyes allowing the music to wash over him.

Then he took a look around the room and spotted a table with only one person at it. He walked over and with a smile asked, "Excuse me, it's starting to get busy. Do you mind if I sit here?"

Mara glanced up at the man standing opposite her. "Sure," she said. "I mean, no. I mean, you can sit here," she added with a sheepish grin. "Mara Ricci, engineering," she offered by way of introduction.

"Jonathan Forrest," he replied as he slid into the empty chair his smile growing wider, "I'm the new helmsman, and yes I'm the poster boy for the stereotype, brash, good-looking, and just a tad overconfident."

"I dunno, is the stereotype of engineers that they're introverted and enjoy good jazz music?" she asked with a grin. "Cuz if so, then I fit it."

The Lieutenant held up both hands in mock surrender, his smile still playing at his lips,"Actually, I hope I don't fit the stereotype, but engineering? That's interesting. My mother and sister are Engineers, well my sister is more Operations now."

Mara nodded, not really knowing what to say. She wasn't good at small talk. Why did people always want to make small talk? "Well, they must be pretty brilliant," she said after a beat. "Only the smartest become engineers." She added a grin so he knew she was just joking.

"Well, they are both smarter than me, that's for sure, Angela, that's my sister, reminds me of that all the time. She also keeps claiming that I owe her since I would never have passed the entrance exams if not for her."

"By the way, I'm not being very polite, what are you drinking, I'll buy."

Mara hesitated. She didn't like random people buying her drinks, but she also didn't want to be rude. A solution came to her quickly, however. "Blue Hawaiian," she answered. "But, I buy the next round."

"Well, it does look interesting," the sandy-haired man replied, "and hey if you want to buy that's okay with me. So, how long have you been here, on the ship?"

"Since about a month before launch," she replied. "I wanted to get things set up my way, ya know? And then there was the mess with the gel packs. But, we got it done on schedule after all."

"Gel packs?" he asked his tone shifting to a slightly more serious one. "What do you mean, what kind of problems?"

"There was a bacterial infection killing them," Mara answered. "And if I hadn't had an allergic reaction to the bacteria, we never would have known that humanoids can pass it between gel packs just by touching them. It was a bit of a mess, but we got it sorted out. We suspected sabotage, but it seems to be purely accidental. Security passed the investigation to Intelligence, but we're not likely to ever find out what comes of it."

"How certain are you that it wasn't deliberate?" Jonathan asked taking a sip of his drink.

"Not one hundred percent," answered Mara. "They found the person with whom they believe it originated and he is a loyal Starfleet officer of three decades. We're at least sure it was not deliberate on his part."

"Fair enough then, I can be a little, uh, paranoid sometimes and I don't like coincidences, but enough of the serious talk. Have you tried out the holodecks here?"

"I haven't had a chance, yet," she confessed. "But, I have the latest edition of the Doctor Who holonovels. It includes three new Doctors. I've heard the newest one is the most eccentric of them all."

"Really? My sister was into that, maybe it's an engineer thing. I played it with her a few times and it was okay, but not my favorite thing. My ex played it a few times as well."

"And you don't like it?" she asked with a grin. "So many people around you love it and you're just... meh?"

Jonathan shrugged his shoulders. "Sorry, I think mieh about covers it. I don't really dislike it, but I prefer something more swashbuckling, or romantic."

"Swashbuckling? Like pirates?" asked Mara, brightening a bit. "I love pirates. There was an Anne Bonnie holonovel I tried once, but it required one to be awfully hard-assed. She was brutal. But, the lighthearted ones are great."

"Now, we're talking. Balanced on a bowsprit, wind at the back of a Bermudian Sloop a fair damsel at my side, or hell maybe she's the Captian and I'm just the first mate. I do have a program if you ever wanted to play."

"Under one condition," she replied slyly. "I'm the Captain."

"I have no issue with that," he said with a coy smile, "I don't mind letting the other person be in charge during an encounter. Captian it is."

"Awesome," replied Mara. "Then you're on."

"When are you free, I'll set up?" Jonathan replied.

"Just about any evening," she replied. "I usually just wind up sitting in my quarters reading or practicing my saxophone. Playing pirate sounds like much more fun."

"Well, I'm still pretty new here, why don't you give me tomorrow to orient myself to the ship and then we can meet day after tomorrow. How about that?"

"Sounds like a plan," she said, grinning. She was already planning out her costume and character- Anne Bonney crossed with a heaping measure of Jack Sparrow; she didn't want to be too ruthless. "I'm looking forward to it."


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