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Randal Shayne

Ensign Kettick: First Day Blunders Anonymous

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I've been meaning to post this for a full two weeks now. I absolutely loved this- such a fantastic insight into Kettick. Brilliant work @Kettick!


(( Captain's Private Mess, Deck 2, USS Eagle ))

In Kettick's admittedly limited experience, an invitation to dinner from the Captain was not something you received everyday, but the Remmilian hadn't been bred for idle speculation. Trusting the reason to become apparent in due time, he had replicated a fresh uniform to replace his utility jumpsuit, read up on dinner customs from the vade-mecum he'd been issued when leaving the homeworld, and replicated a box of Bolian chocolates as the prescribed offering to the host.

He knocked on the door right on time, and was ushered in, noting that Misters Kano and Collins were already present.

Kettick: Good evening, Captain, Lieutenants. I hope I am not late.

The manual had brushed upon being "fashionably" late, pretending that it was considered acceptable, and even likely to project a positive self-image in certain circumstances. Kettick had decided he would have none of it.

Oddas: Not at all, you're still ahead of the XO.

Lieutenant Kano gave the remark a controlled laugh - possibly indicating that the Captain's remark was a subtle joke. Kettick opted for a polite smile, just in case.

Kano: And here I thought the XO was supposed to be the early one.

Collins: I think First Officer's adhere to the same editch as wizards. "They are never early, nor late. They arrive precisely when they mean to."

Yet another mysterious koan to ponder over later, and the Engineer couldn't find one on the same theme that could earn him a place in the conversation. He chose to focus his attention on the food presented in front of him; apparently it was a great source of topic changes when the discussion didn't go your way.

Oddas: Well, if he doesn't get here soon we can either send a search party or get started without him.

Kano: I vote to get started without him, hasperat that smells this good shouldn't be left.

Ah. Kettick had been wondering about the source of this particular smell. Apparently it registered as pleasant to Bajorans, and he'd been inspired not to offer his services in checking the air conditioning filters.

Quentin pointed toward the SEC officer with the neck of his bottle.

Collins: I have to agree with my colleague there, Captain.

As they spoke, The Captain nodded behind them and raised her glass, heralding the entrance of their freshly mentioned First Officer.

Shayne: Evening, all. Captain.

Kettick offered a silent nod of respect to match the Commander's greetings.

Kano: Oh, captain I made mapa bread. :: the woman passed over the small package.:: it's a family recipe, my sister is the baker but I tried my best.

Oddas: Thank you Ensign, I'm afraid I have no cooking ability - I'm counting on others tonight to take care of things.

She placed the bread on the table, near the center for the group to share. If Kettick's memory served, home-made offerings were assigned a particularly high value, and this one was a traditional Bajoran dish to boot.

Kettick: I've brought some sweets for after the dessert.

And the dreaded moment of coffee... he hoped he wouldn't offend, nor ridicule himself in front of his betters.

Collins: If you don't mind me asking, sir, was it odd giving orders again? After your...momentary brush with being just a lowly Engineer again like these two? ::he said with a wry, knowing smile pointing toward Shayne and Kettick.::

He'd learnt his lessons from Ryan well - a smirk indicated that the speaker thought the opposite of what they said. Therefore, Collins' words were likely a veiled praise, and Kettick answered it by mirroring his smirk and nodding.

Shayne: I’ll wager my pips that it would take more than a few days off the job for the captain to forgot how to give an order.

Oddas: To be fair, I just assumed that by this point Mister Shayne would be getting used to the Captain's seat.

Another smile. Another joke-lie. He hoped that he could navigate those all evening.

The mess staff brought the dishes to the table, offering him an escape route once again.

Shayne: That smells remarkably good.  

Collins: Way to undersell it, sir. ::He said again with a wry, playful smirk.::

Kettick had to agree, the dishes were positively mandible-clenching. The soufflé-looking thing that strongly smelled of salt must be the hasperat. Then there was a piece of meat and...

Kettick: oO Oh. Oo

Kettick seldom found himself at a loss for words, but the sight of the small, bulbous shaped stems with fractal appendages he knew so well filled him with something akin to reverence. This was a meal fit for a female, nay, a Queen. Either the cook had done his research but skipped on the social differences between sexes, or this was a mark of respect he felt utterly unworthy of. Eating it would almost be blasphemy.
Then again, not eating something offered by the Captain was firmly into "can't even think about it" territory.

Oddas: To the Eagle, the Crew, and the cooks of this very fine meal.  Thank you, and don't let me stop you from getting started.

Kettick raised his glass of water to join in the toast, noting from the corner of his eye that the XO had opened a bottle of something that smelled of fermented fruit. Thankfully not the kind of paint thinner some humans liked to indulge in, but there was definitely some alcohol in there.
The guests savored their first bite of their food, Kettick letting one of his greens melt in his mouth. He could almost feel the quality of his webbing improving already.

Shayne: You know, I always heard that our chef makes a mean spiderbird steak, and now I’ve got proof.

Kettick was about to object, based on his own experience with the taste of cooked hemolymph, when a general bout of restrained laughter stopped him cold. The remark had been, once again, a joke, and he'd nearly made a fool of himself. Again. He offered the table a guarded smile and went back to his plate, firmly decided to talk only if asked to, in order to avoid further embarrassment.

Collins: Can I just ask, how the hell does one even GET Altirian Spider-Bird eggs? They had to have been a nightmare to try and box up, right?

Oddas: I hear you have to wait for the mother to leave the nest, snatch them, then run like hell.

She laughed as she washed down her own bite.  The laugh was shared by her SEC compatriot.

Shayne: It’s the guy that tried it first that I want to meet, and then promptly incarcerate.

Kano: I'm sure I saw a few eggs in the cargo bay I guess the chef could whip up a nice omelette if you fancy it?

Collins: Well, in any case, if I never hear the words "spider" and "bird" in conjunction again, it would be far too bloody soon...

Oh? Now that was a shame. When cleaning the cobwebs from the Jefferies Tubes, Kettick had noted that they were even lighter and stronger than the ones he could produce, and had considered asking Science to analyze and replicate them for engineering use.
Oh, well, he could always set up a hatchery with the eggs he hadn't yet disposed of and harvest the webbing the old-fashioned way, he supposed.

Collins: My immense compliments to the chef.

Oddas: Indeed.

Kano: Absolutely.

Kettick nodded enthusiastically before taking a mouthful of his hasperat. The high salt content instantly made him feel like his mouth had grown a size too small, and he reached for his glass to wash it down. In front of him, others were using various drinks to do the same, so perhaps it was a normal reaction. He certainly hoped so; he was far too aware of the immense kindness the Captain did them by offering her table to offend her.

Oddas: Just because I'm going to be stuck on the ship doesn't mean you need to be, any plans for doing something fun?

The other officers looked at one another.
 

Shayne: Far too much going on for me to risk it at the moment, captain.
 
Kettick: We still need to get our Eagle back into shape, and to welcome a new Chief. But I have several potential improvements to our systems test out. :: Feeling bold once of a sudden, he went for an attempt at a joke. :: The perks of partially dismantling our ship every now and then.


Collins: I, uh, actually have a Holodeck reserved tomorrow for a...erm...project I've been working on, but what about you, Risha? Any big plans? ::he said with almost a frantic energy::

The Bajoran seemed taken aback by the direct question.

Kano: ::She swallowed her mouthful.:: Nothing exciting, although if you're thinking about karaoke again, there's some new arrivals that could enjoy it.

His interlocutor smiled pleasantly.

Collins: You know, that's not a bad idea actually. I could force a whole new class of recruits to hear me warble. It could be a killer rite of passage.

The Lieutenant laughed at the thought of that.

Kano: I would have thought the rite of passage for the Eagle would be not getting blown up on your first mission.
 

 
Kettick: :: Nodding nodded with a wry smile; he was feeling like he was getting better at it :: It's not that hard. Apparently Starfleet Engineering's defensive design is advanced enough to withstand voluntary warp core destabilization and phaser shots through EPS conduits.
 
Oddas/Shayne: Response


Collins: As long as nobody tries to report to the wrong blonde Bajoran on the Bridge like I did on MY first day, I will be happy.

Kano: Response

Collins: Yes, I absolutely did that. The Captain and Commander Shayne can tell you all about it. This rube from Maine comes bumbling onto a Bridge and SALUTES the wrong officer. I thought I was going to evaporate, truly.

Oddas/Shayne: Response
 

He motioned with his bottle in a playful manner.
 
Collins: See, they have to say that because I'm not eligible for transfer yet. Once I am though, watch, they are going to ship me away quicksmart, just to save me and themselves from further embarrassment and shame...
 
The case of mistaken identity reminded Kettick of a minor event of his first day. Very minor, considering that the ship was otherwise under attack and without power, but still.
 
Kettick: On a similar vein, Captain, is there any reason why you insist on "sir"?
 
Oddas: Response
 
 
Any: Response
 
Kettick: I see. I suppose Betazoids face the same issue, coming from a matriarcal society as well. Or does telepathy make them less prone to social [...] pas?
 
Any: Response
 
Oddas: Response
 
His circulatory liquid was coulourless, but that's all that stopped Kettick from blushing.
 
 
Kettick: Well, if we are to share embarrassing moments from our first day,  I *did* call you "my Queen" on the bridge, if memory serves.
 
TAG/TBC
--

Ensign Kettick
Engineering Officer
USS Eagle
G239107LR0
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