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A light lunch

Posted on 10 Aug 2023 @ 5:01pm by Captain Bane Plase & Lieutenant JG Christina Hartley

Mission: Outbreak


After a good nights rest in his own bed, followed by knocking out some paperwork that had gotten backed up while he was on the planet, Bane was happy to sit down to an early lunch with his adopted niece, Lieutenant junior grade Hartley. As he spread some strawberry jam on a slice of golden brown toast (an Earth delicacy), he looked at his company and smiled. "How are things in your world, Christina?"

Christina sighed as she began to spready jam on her croissant. "Busy, to say the least. We've had several visitors to engineering, and every one of them has asked to learn about our 'magical abilities' and yes, that's a direct quote," Christina said. "As for home... well, last night, K'tress kinda shocked Kin and I," Christina said.

Bane would have to circle back to the Antiocians and their quote about magic. For now, he wanted to make sure everything was in order in her personal life. It was an absolute certainty that the majority of species' functionality and efficiency dropped considerably when there were issues at home. "Uh oh, what's wrong," he asked, then took a bite out of his toast.

"Oh, nothing bad," Christina replied, before taking a bite of her croissant. "Yesterday, she got a sugar high as the kids in her class were having some sort of party, and she had more cupcakes than she should have. Managed to calm her down, but then out of the blue, asks Kin and I if we're gonna give her siblings," she said.

Bane chuckled. "Ah yes, the question of the age," he said. "Funny enough, as soon as the new siblings is old enough, they fight like the Prophets and Pah-wraiths," he said, and laughed.

"Yeah, I remember when I was younger, god that was a nightmare," Christina said, smiling. "Still, Kin and I do want more kids, and being here together, I don't have a problem with it, but we do need to plan it," she said, taking a sip of her drink. "You ever think of finding someone again, Uncle Plase?"

Plase shook his head. "No, I don't think so. After Suzette, I've not looked at another woman romantically. Plus, Starfleet is my mistress now," he said, winking and diffusing any sadness that was there at the mention of his late wife. Changing the subject, he inquired about the Antiocians. "Tell me your perspective of the inhabitants of this world. I'm curious to know your experiences with them, your thoughts and challenges you've experienced so far, as well as the positives you've experienced."

"So far, it's more exhausting than anything," Christina said. "I've had people asking me to teach them about our technology, and most of them think it's magic," Christina said. "I set up a basic holodeck program to tell them how we got to where we are, and I did have security take a couple of people off the ship that were trying to steal some of our tech. No one official, I suspect just people trying to make a quick bit of money."

Plase nodded. "These instances are bound to happen, and expected. One of the wonderful things about controlling how people come on and depart the ship," he explained, "Is being able to use our scanners and transporter beams to detect our technology and removing it from them mid-beam. Tell me, what do you think their strength as a race is? Their weakness?"

"Their weakness is a belief that superior technology is magic. With that kind of viewpoint, they won't really advance because they'll think any tech is magic, and soon fear it. As a strength, I'd say... their resourcefulness, finding a way to harness radiation we hadn't heard of and make it into an energy source. Humanity did that hundreds of years ago, and it wasn't exactly a success, especially with a number of accidents and deaths due to it. But these people found a way to harness it safely, which is impressive," Christina replied, before taking another bite of her croissant.

Plase nodded. While his own perspectives on their potential for advancement differed from hers, he still took it in stride. She was seeing things from a perspective that he did not have access to. "Have you been down to the planet yet? It is quite lovely."

"We're going down this afternoon, Kin and I booked some time off so we could. We're taking K'tress, and doing some shopping. Kin loves to cook, and we want to introduce K'tress to the universe, so she can see what we're out here to find," Christina explained, before taking another bite of her croissant.

The Captain nodded approvingly. To be able to experience a foreign culture on such positive terms at such a young age was a reality that K'tress would get to experience firsthand, something that was decidedly stolen from Plase himself, due to the Occupation. But, he mused, that was ancient history. The Bajorans, being the closest neighbor to the Cardassian Union, and the closest representatives of the Federation, were on the forefront of helping them rebuild. It was, most Bajorans found, healing for both cultures. "That is great news. The air down there has a distinctly sweet smell to it at all times. I am hopeful one of the science teams, perhaps Spangler or Lisald, will find the root cause of that. It would be interesting, and nostalgic, to be able to recreate in the holodeck." He took a bite of his Catarian eggs.

"It'll definitely be interesting. Kin told me I'm not allowed to work whilst down there; let's face it, I have put in overtime recently, studying their tech. I won't lie; I want to see what their planet is like from an engineering viewpoint, but at the same time, I'm liking the idea of exploring. It's exactly why I wanted to be out here in the first place," Christina smiled as she took a sip of her drink. "Your speech went well, I think it was well received. How long did you work on it?" Christina asked.

Taken aback a little, he responded. "All my life," he said. "This is my first First Contact mission that has actually succeeded. I have been thinking about what I would say in such a situation if it ever arose since I first looked up at the stars on Bajor and had the ability to wonder what more was out there. To be honest, I am surprised that you watched the event. I don't think I expected anyone aboard to see it. You know, standard run-of-the-mill sort of thing when it comes to Starfleet, right?"

"I'm fairly certain that no one else would call First Contact run of the mill stuff. Even when Archer was making First Contact all the time, it was never run of the mill," Christina pointed out. "And you're my Uncle, it'd be rude of me not to watch it. All of engineering saw it, we used the holo projectors to display it so we could see it. We're all part of this First Contact, but you led us here."

Taking the last bite of his breakfast as she spoke, he responded when it was time. "Maybe so, but as a team, we will make sure this one is for the record books," he said prophetically. "I am due back in the Tashi's office shortly. It is rude to keep the President of a planet waiting. Don't worry about all this," he said, motioning to the used dishes and cutlery on the table. "I will take care of it when I get back later this evening."

"No, let me clear it up. Mom taught me to always clear up after myself," Christina said, as she finished the last of her food. "And please, relax a little. You've done a damned amazing job here, Uncle Plase. I'm thankful to be a part of it."

Laughing a little at his own joke, he said, "No rest for the wicked, Madam Christina. But thank you for cleaning up. I really must get going." As he left, the clinks of dishes being gathered up, he thought fondly of her mother and father both. He would need to take time to get back to Earth sometime and visit them again.


A character-developing post by

Lieutenant (jg) Christina Hartley
Chief Engineer


Bane Plase, Captain
USS Cygnus, Commanding


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