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Flying The Friendly Skies

Posted on Thu Aug 16th, 2018 @ 3:00am by Lieutenant Casey Washburn

Mission: Preflight
Location: Shuttlecraft Graeae
Timeline: 1800 hours

“We should be arriving within the hour at DS 10.”

The words came from the pilot, seated at the front of the cabin, but they barely registered in Wash’s mind. He was insanely hungry, and he did not want to wait until their arrival at the station to have a decent meal. The incoming Ops Chief for the Palatine was a mountain of a man; his appetite for fine food bordered on legendary, and today was no exception.

“Thank you, Ensign Vestergaard,” said Wash in acknowledgement. The pilot was one of those fresh-faced recent Academy graduates, full of optimism and confidence. Wash found him to be a nice enough kid - not terribly chatty and certainly very easy on the eyes, with crew cut blonde hair and bright blue eyes. Wash had contemplated asking the young Dane to have dinner with him in the rear portion of the cabin, but since they were getting close to their destination it would probably be best for the pilot to remain at his station. After a moment of contemplation Wash stepped over to the replicator panel and pushed a control key, after which he began his order.

“Beef Wellington,” said Wash. “Black truffle risotto. Steamed asparagus. And a glass of Cabernet Sauvignon, 16 degrees Celsius.”

The plate of food and glass of wine swirled into existence with a slight whoosh as photons displaced air in the replicator. Wash lifted the small tray toward his face, inhaling deeply and enjoying the savory aromas. Although he did not cook himself, Wash knew his way around a replicator and was fairly adept at ordering dishes that would please a gourmet palate. Bottom line, Wash had good taste in food.

“Smells good,” piped up Vestergaard from the pilot’s seat. “Where’s mine?”

Wash raised an eyebrow as he stabbed a spear of asparagus with his fork. “You should concentrate on flying, Ensign. You said yourself we are less than an hour from DS 10.”

“Doesn’t mean I can’t have a snack.”

“I am not simply ‘having a snack’, Ensign. Some of us actually believe in proper sit-down meals at appointed times.”

The pilot shrugged, turning back toward his control panel. “Sometimes,” he commented, “a quick snack is all there is time for. Fine dining is a luxury apparently reserved for department heads and up.”

“Nonsense,” said Wash. He cut a small piece of the beef with his fork and placed it in his mouth, closing his eyes and savoring its tenderness and flavor. “A sit-down meal,” he began, “especially at the end of the day, is a period of reflection. A time to process and evaluate the events of that day, and perhaps even approach them with a fresh perspective the next day.”

Ensign Vestergaard cocked his head slightly to the left. “Hmm. I never really thought of it that way. What is that you’re eating, anyway?”

“Beef Wellington. You should try it, really. The replicators knock this one out of the park.”

The pilot drummed his fingers on the console for a long moment. “We still have another 40 minutes of auto pilot left. May I join you...?”

Wash grinned. “Thought you’d never ask.”


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