As more and more people on the USS Columbia grow facial hair, ensign @Jona ch'Ranni ponders over the trend. Jona, this was a humorous read and I loved how you managed to express Jona's thoughts so well! ❤️
((Jona ch'Ranni's Quarters, Deck 20, USS Columbia))
:: Jona entered his quarters and collapsed on the bunk. It had been a long day and he could no longer fight off the sleep that his body so desperately wanted. The room was a mess. Tri-dimensional chess pieces still littered the floor from the shaking of the attacks the Columbia had sustained earlier in the day. Several PADDs had joined the pawns and bishops ignominiously lying there on the carpet but Jona couldn't muster the energy to care at the moment. Perhaps in a few hours.::
Computer: 0600 hours.
:: Jona's ice blue eyes popped open and he sat upright, almost slamming his forehead into the base of the bunk above him.::
ch'Ranni: Did I really just sleep for 8 hours? It doesn't feel like it.
Computer: Internal sensors indicate that sleep period lasted 7 hours 47 minutes 10 sec...
ch'Ranni: ::dryly:: Thank you, Computer. Most helpful.
:: He rose from the bed and stretched his back and neck muscles. Padding over to the washroom, he stepped on a queen chess piece and cursed softly to himself. He entered the small compartment and blinked his eyes at the bright light in the room. He grabbed up the electronic shaver automatically and looked at himself in the mirror. Fine white stubble had formed at the jawline and around his mouth just as it did every morning. He paused for a moment with the razor inches from his face.::
ch'Ranni: oO Funny. I've never really thought about it. Facial hair isn't all that common of a grooming choice for most Andorians. The captain and first officer both started growing full beards and it completely changes their looks. Very distinguished. Oo
:: Jona thought to himself that it wouldn't be unlikely that others aboard might follow suit. There might even be a whole ship-wide trend toward the look. He hesitated and began to lower the razor.::
ch'Ranni: oO Maybe it will become the standard of the fleet and I'll be seen as the weird one. The one ensign who refused to grow his mustache and beard like a good officer. Ensign Naked-Face. Passed over for promotions, relegated to piloting supply shuttles and workbees for the repair crews. Slowly and utterly forgotten. Oo
:: Jona stood staring at himself in the mirror. Was he really even of an value to his crewmates and the fleet as a whole if he did not conform to expected standards? It would be seen as a distraction. Didn't he owe his very best to Whittaker and Thoran and all the rest to be his very best? And what of the newer crew that arrived from time to time? They needed role models to pattern themselves after. A chain is only as strong as its weakest link and Jona knew that he didn't want to be labeled as that weakest link. If that meant forgoing small preferences in grooming choices he was prepared to make those adjustments. For the good of the ship, for the good of the fleet. He stood determinedly before his reflection with a look of seriousness that belied his relative youth.::
:: Slowly a smile crossed his face. ::
:: He clicked the razor on and began his morning routine.::
Ensign Jona ch'Ranni
USS Columbia (NCC-85279)