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Lt Khan II & Ens Countrymouth - "Du Hast"

Posted on 2016-09-17 12:18 by Lieutenant Streeh Khan II & Ensign Horan Countrymouth
Edited on on 2016-09-17 21:00

Mission: Black, White & Red All Over
Location: Mess Hall - USS Joshua Norton

The large PADD screen left a blurred blue reflection on the cold surface of the steel table.

Horan tapped and moved sliders on the right side of the screen, desaturating the image he was working on, turning it black and white.

He had been at it for hours, though he didn't seem to feel passage of time.

A tall, well built man with black hair and honey brown eyes entered the mess hall wearing a black jumpsuit and carrying a tricorder in one hand made his way over to the replicator. There, he ordered a double hamburger with bacon and extra cheese, two orders of onion rings and a side salad. Taking his order, he looked around and recognized one of the people from his department that he hadn't had time to speak yet. Folding the tricorder, he put it on a loop attached to the leg of his uniform and went over to him.

"Mind if I join you?" Streeh asked.

Horan looked up from the PADD. He had seen the large man before him in the Japanese Gardens, though he didn't remember having a word with him. He looked at the trays of food in the man's arms, and proceeded to clear the table of his camera, lenses and the myriad other stuff taking up space.

"Please do." Horan said, putting the PADD away at last in a bag slung on the chair back.

Streeh sat down across from him and set his plate and salad down. "How are you finding the ship and crew so far?"

"Haven't really got a chance to talk to the crew much." Horan said "but have been looking around the ship. Quite nice, though I haven't seen one so closely to compare with."

"She's a beauty," Streeh admitted. "I should probably introduce myself since I'm your boss on the ship. Lieutenant Streeh Khan II, Chief of Security and Tactical, at your service."

"Oh," Horan paused, debating if he should stand up and offer a formal salutation or continue informally. Considering the setting, and that he was off duty and the Lieutenant seemed to be too, he chose to go with the latter. He offered his hand, feeling rather awkward "It's a pleasure to make your acquaintance, sir." he managed, trying to not sound too formal.

"Call me Streeh when we're not on duty" Streeh took the offered hand in a solid, but not crushing grip and gave a shake before he let it go. "Have you had the opportunity to go off the files concerning me yet?" he asked since the man seemed a bit uncertain of himself.

"Well, I have an idea. Is there anything I should know?"

"You have an idea?" Streeh asked, curious about the man's non-response to his direct question.

Horan was a bit taken aback by the question, and wondered why Streeh wanted Horan to volunteer any more of what he knew. Streeh's true nature had always been classified information, but Horan had done a bit of deep-digging into the history of some crew members, and Streeh had been one of them. If he had known Streeh would be his reporting boss, he would have dug deeper. Any which way, Horan knew Streeh was a Luga'Ru, and decided to say as such.

"Well, I am aware of your, um, lupine side, Streeh, if that's what you are getting at."

Streeh laughed and reached for his knife and fork to begin cutting his steak up. "Lupine. That's a good one, but Canis lupus has thirty-seven subspecies alone on Earth, and the Luga'Ru do not belong to any of them. I won't hold that against you, though. You seem to have done a bit of research, so you get points for that."

"Pardon me if I came across as insensitive. I haven't met a Luga'Ru before. And werewolf didn't seem proper." Horan paused "What makes a Luga'Ru different?"

"We're a separate species entirely," Streeh said. "We evolved beside of humanity and hid for more than ten thousand years."

"And whatever is known about your kind is so...mythical. Most people I know back home thought Luga'Ru has nothing more than high fantasy."

"That's the way we protected ourselves," Streeh said. "You have to introduce a little myth into every reality. Tell a story to a writer with some of the details skewed in the way you want them to go and the reality becomes the legend and others take it in different directions entirely. The same thing supposedly happened with the legend of Dracula on Earth, but vampires aren't real."

"Why the need to protect yourselves?"

"Think about it. You have the ability to change shape among a primitive culture. You are bigger, faster and far more dangerous. What is likely to happen when you are discovered?" Streeh asked him.

"They see you as a threat, and try to eradicate the threat. Or if they are a secure species themselves, they try to form an alliance." Horan thought about the old Earth politics he had read about, though if it could be extrapolated to other species was a question that would need a ton of assumptions before getting an answer.

"Pull up every werewolf reference in Earth's history and every instance will show you that the attempt to kill the werewolf was made," Streeh said. "We chose to spread that legend while living among humans while hiding our true nature. I'm the first Luga'Ru to ever enter Starfleet and the only people to know are the ones on this ship and a select few others."

"Hmm. Well it definitely is a complex existence." Horan said "I'm grabbing a cup of tea... Would you want something?" He offered, pushing back his chair.

"It has been, but it's the way it has to be," Streeh said. "Coffee, if you don't mind. Black, one sugar."

"Not at all" Horan said. He ordered Streeh's coffee and a cup of long-leaved Assam tea for himself at the replicator. He had a moment to himself while the replicator worked, and he thought about the ongoing conversation. Horan wondered how would it be to work under Steeh, he seemed to be a rooted guy, and those were the kind of men who has strong opinions and stronger stands. He was curious how the dynamics would pan out.
He ordered tea-biscuits and carried the steaming mugs back to the table, placing the coffee before Streeh.

"Replicated caffeine. Such goodness." He remarked, with more than a hint of sarcasm.

"Thank you," Streeh said with a smirk at the sarcasm. "I'll admit it isn't like the real thing, which they say is bad for us." He looked at his meal. "Just like this isn't the real thing. They say it has all the proteins, minerals and vitamins that the real thing would have, but they'll never be able to replicate the spirit of the animal."

"I'm glad they cannot." Horan said. "There's enough synthetic stuff these days to make one feel like a plastic droid. It's a crisis." He paused to sip from his mug

"Speaking of which, what do you make of the crisis on hand?"

"Which one?" Streeh asked. "If you're referring to the one we decided to abandon, there's nothing to think about." His tone made it clear that he thought it was a very bad idea.

Horan felt his earlobes go hot with embarrassment. The room could have been bugged. He had always had the tendency to talk then think, and it had now made him look like a fool before his boss in their first meeting. He could have slapped himself.

He looked at Streeh and gave a small, deliberate shake of the head to let him know he understood.

"I'm looking for some direction I guess."

"The direction you want to go is the direction you'd go last," Streeh said. "Seriously, though, in this line of work, it's the truth. The reality of any given situation that we find ourselves in can be changed at a moment's notice and all we can do is keep our eyes and ears open and learn everything we can. I spent years as an infiltration specialist and nothing was ever as it seemed to be on the surface. You have to dig, sort fact from fiction, read between the lines and sort out the nuggets from the trash."

Horan thought for a moment.

"Frankly, I'm lost. I need a focal point, something to do. Like a briefing maybe. I'm not comfortable taking initiative just yet. Everything has been too new and too damn fast for me so far."

"Commander Waterhouse is, I assume, getting that together now," Streeh said. "As for a focal point, why don't we go and do some phaser training or hand to hand?"

Horan looked at Streeh. He was a large man by most standards. Hand to hand was surely going to lead to more than a black eye. But there was no better way to know a man.

"How about a few rounds of sparring?" he asked.

Streeh smiled. "Let's go. I promise I'll keep it light."

Horan laughed. "You can keep it normal."

He gathered up his things from the table and trailed Streeh out of the Mess Hall.

=/\= End Log =/\=

Lieutenant Streeh Khan II
Chief of Security
USS Joshua Norton

Ensign Horan Countrymouth
Infiltration Specialist
USS Joshua Norton

 

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