A visit from the Colonel
General Sim Postings
Location: Science Lab
Timeline: Prior to Disembarkation after Phase 2/Interlude
- Science Lab -
Lieutenant Junior Grade. Now there was a happy mouthful. As everyone left the award ceremony for their duty stations or otherwise. Ted walked with a spring in his step. To think he had been so nervous during the ceremony. He was shaking like a hedgehog caught in headlights. In truth, it had been a miracle he had made the stage. But now it was all over. He entered the science lab and sat down. Looking over some data he began to drum his fingers on the workbench. To a tune going around silently in his head. He heard the main doors swoosh open. Expecting to see his department head. He was not expecting to see who it really was.
Standing up as stiff as board attention he shouted.
“Colonel on deck!”
Deciding to have herself a look at the ships Science lab Lieutenant Colonel Somers heads down there and tugging down her tunic and straightening up the sash she enters, she saw Silver working and suddenly turning to see who had entered, she thought it quaint when he shouted "Colonel on Deck" she smiled "As you were Lieutenant, no need to shout that when a senior officer enters the room you only need to stand. So this is the ships science lab, well one of them I see it is as spartan as the ship itself, yes the Akira has a limited Science package, but I guess you make the most of it, yes El-tee?" She asked looking at Silver.
Ted was rather confused by the last part of the statement “El-tee?” He asked.
She stepped into the room properly as the staff there returned to their duties "Marine speak for Lieutenant" she said as the door closed behind her "so how are you coping Lieutenant?" She asked using the fleet term as not to cause further confusion.
All these different names for the same rank. It was very confusing. “Not so bad. The PTSD is under control. Even the nightmares have stopped.” Silver said. “ How are you doing ma’am?”
*Shrugs* "as I am the one who basically pulled the trigger, I am doing fine thanks Lieutenant, but my PTSD stems from long ago, it is not as bad today as it was then. Occasionally I see my dead friend mainly around Armistice Day and on occasion Yule time but do not count out those nightmares yet Ted, if I am anything to go by they have only eased off. If you ever need to talk about the Colony and what happened do not be afraid to speak to me or perhaps Major Donovan, she was down on the planet too and seems to be handling the events better than the rest of us" Somers said as she sat down next to Ted.
Ted did not wish to appear heartless. But he had his own feelings on sharing one's emotions. “I don't wish to appear heartless. But I feel it’s best to move on from what happened. During our last mission. I have seen the counsellors and had soothing words. It’s time to move onto the next mission. Not wallow in what we could have done or why we had to do what we did. Otherwise, it would tear me apart mentally wise. Making me useless for whatever is next.” Silver said
Giving Ted's words some thought "that is quite logical Ted" Colonel Somers said as she sat down "you sure you have no Vulcan in you?" she asked with a smile "I will not bite and quite approachable" she added.
Ted scratched his chin in thought.
"To my knowledge, there is no Vulcan blood in the family. I was just looking at the situation in a calm and relaxed manner. Just as the counsellors have taught me. I am sorry ma'am those extra metal pieces on your collar. Do tend to scare us lower ranks. I think it's all the barking at shouting. Cadets get at the academy from their superiors. It's inbred to us to fear anyone above three gold pips." He explained
Touching her collar "I only have one rank insignia on my collar Lieutenant, no extra metal pieces, but I understand what you are saying, for some reason even though I am equal in rank to a Commander I have noticed the crew being uneasy around me, do I look so intimidating then?" She asked.
Silver wiped the bench with his finger. “ I think the problem is reputation. Marines are always being seen as tough and no-nonsense. Plus having the ability to kill you and make it look like natural causes. Many people think a Major is a higher rank than a Captain. I know it’s silly but it’s a thousand years of military silly rumours.” He explained.
Visibly deflating somewhat with a 'harrumph "yeah, tell me about it, Ted, thousand years or more of tradition can kinda stink, but it is what it is, still, if the Fleet Captain was here now she would be the nominal ship Commander with Commander Dodd her second and I would not get a look in" Somers said.
Ted nodded in agreement.
“ It is the same with the Science Department. If you don’t have pointed ears people treat you like some kind of irritation. They always think we sit around mixing potions or prodding some new life form. Yet if it was not for us half of the Starship missions would end in diss.....” Suddenly a stray thought crossed his mind. He thought about the bluegills. Blinking he took a deep breath.
Studying Ted with some concern "What is it, Ted? Something troubles you there, would it be something relating to the Away Team you led?" Somers asked somewhat concerned by the sudden change in Ted's demeanour.
Silver took another calming breath. “Sorry. Sometimes the enormity of what happened back there hits me. But I am ok now sorry.” He replied
"I am with you on that, you are so lucky to have only been a Fleet Officer, I envy the combat innocence of all Fleet Officers, you are trained to fight, but only as a last resort, my training was different, I was trained for combat. You know the times before I ended up here I was training at the Academy, talk about a culture shock, but I am learning, when the Fleet Captain returns I will be leaving to finish my studies, I have no doubt the next time you see me I will have done my Academy training and I will be in a Fleet uniform, not Marine" Somers said.
“If it is what you want ma’am. But I would not envy a fleet officer. True we are trained only to use combat as a last resort. But when you are a scientist surrounded by all this technology and there is nothing you can do with it. That will save anyone from a terrible fate. Then it’s just as bad. You know in the old days the first starships never had on board counsellors. That’s why a lot of officers back then never married or ended up getting divorced. The pressures they were under made them loners.” Ted said
"Welcome to the life of a soldier Ted," Somers said offhand "I was lucky I found a guy to marry, but as changing to fleet uniform I will have little say in that regard, I only wear Marine colours now as I am only the acting commander of this ship and the most qualified on such short notice, but for a permanent position I will have to move over to Fleet. As for being a scientist, at least you get to play with all the latest research equipment that arrives" she said then leaned forward a little "also you did very well on leading your first away team Lieutenant, the reports I got back from the away team members held you with high praise and considering it was your first time I am personally impressed, the first Away Team I led I made a mistake I was lucky it was not a combat mission, but you did well in the face of what must have been a horrible sight" she finished.
For a very brief moment, he was back on that riverbank. The water before him was black as death. Then that thing coming out of the lake at him. Before being felled by a phaser, “could we talk about something else please?” Ted asked.
Seeing the horror and pain in Ted's eyes she realised that while it was hard for her when she pushed the firing button the young Lieutenant was actually down there and saw first-hand what could happen should something happen and an unknown pathogen was released, she did not know if it was synthetic or real, now the planet had been glassed and the environment scorched to such an extent that nothing would grow back for a few thousand years possibly more. "Okay, subject change, has science been researching anything new of late, any possible advances in anything?" She asked.
Ted immediately brightened up. “Oh yes. Do you know how the replicators have trouble with chicken? Well, finally we have found a way of replicating roast chicken without any loss in flavour!” Silver said
*Suddenly looking very interested, oh do tell Ted, I always found replicated chicken of any kind not as good as the real thing!" Somers said with a smile and allowed the silence to hang there until Ted responded.
Going over to the replicator Ted press a few panels. A plate of hot roast chicken slices appeared.
“ The problem has been the two different types of meat. The program has always had trouble dealing with different tastes. Turkey as well has been a problem. But now finally we have perfected a program that can deal with that. Here try some.” He said offering her the plate.
Picking up a slice of chicken and taking a small bite she chewed it a bit, her eyes widened and she put her hand to her mouth and rushed to the nearest replicator and put the unfinished piece of chicken into the replicator and the partially chewed bit and hit recycle, then she replicated a glass of waters and knocked that back before recycling the glass and returning to Ted.
"You made it taste like roast chicken alright Ted, but its consistency was rubbery, but you definitely managed the taste, sorry Ted, but keep working on it though," she said apologetically
Silver was a little disappointed at that. He thought he had nailed the consistency. But maybe that was down to him? He liked his chicken to be good and chewy.
“Oh, dear. But as my old physics teacher used to say, the best results take time young Ted. But you like the taste?” He asked
"Yes, it actually tastes like roast chicken now, remarkable, perhaps you might want to program in tender variant too so it is not as chewy!" Somers said sitting back down, she avoided the other meat, just in case she had the same reaction. "Still keep working on it, as Robert the Bruce once said, try, try and try again, I might have paraphrased a little there," Somers said.
“ Or as my father said. If life gives you lemons make lemonade.” Ted replied
*Shrugging* "yeah, that works too," Somers said and looked at the time display "Oh hell, I gotta go do stuff" she started standing up "I will see you later Ted, keep working on that roast chicken and such, I am sure you will find the solution," she said with a smile and quickly left the Science Lab and returned to her duties, she was amazed at how much it tasted like the real stuff, but like she said it needed work.
Lieutenant Jg Ted Silver
Assistant Chief Science Officer
Lieutenant Colonel Alexandria Somers [P: Somers]