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Capt Waterhouse & Cmdr Sharir - "Try the Grey Stuff, it's Delicious"

Posted on 2021-07-08 09:39 by Captain Amelia Waterhouse & Commander Nadiv Sharir

Mission: Toys in the Attic

Though this dinner was a working dinner, it wasn't on duty per se, so Amelia decided to ditch her uniform. Either Div would awkwardly show up in his, or he'd likewise want out of the damn thing himself, but either way Amelia had enough of hers for the day. Instead she wore a pair of drapey wide legged pants in a mint green and a fitted black tank top, and her hair was pulled back into a loose ponytail at the nape of her neck with a neon green spiral hairband. Though the latest changelog for the family database included some tempting new clandestine recipes from Gram—Duck Confit Cassoulet, Caldo Tlalpeno, and particularly wood-fired pizza with artichoke hearts had caught her attention—Amelia had been craving a particular older recipe — Chicken a la Ben. Grilled chicken breast with mango sauce, served with rosemary Parmesan bread and a spinach, avocado, and mango salad.

The other advantage of this not being on duty, per se, was that she could also pull out a bottle of Andorian Ale to serve with it. She'd found a weekend to visit Uncle Spiegel and Auntie Sky in New York during the months of leave, and Uncle Spiegel had taken her to his favorite off the beaten path liquor store in Queens where she'd found a few gems. This Andorian Ale was young but it's one that Uncle Blue is particularly fond of, so she'd picked up a couple bottles. She set the two meals across the table from each other at one end of the glass tabletop, the open bottle of Andorian Ale between, and two green cut glass tumblers next to the bottle. Div should be here any moment.

Working, but off duty dinner. So Nadiv made a detour to his cabin to change before heading to meet the captain. Black skinny jeans tucked inside the knee high boots he'd been wearing when they'd crossed into this universe. The shirt he chose had leather chest, shoulder and upper back panels, textured, with coloured sections down the middle, a high collar and tight sleeves that came down to just above the elbow. No one wore enough leather on this side of the mirror as far as he was concerned and he was pleased to have been able to find something he liked. He pressed the button at the side of the door and stepped back, waiting to be called in.

"Enter," Amelia called. As the door slid open, Mikey was on his feet and yipping at top volume in greeting.

"Hey," Div said as the door opened, and Mikey was practically standing on his feet. Nadiv crouched down in the doorway and scratched Mikey behind the ears, scooping him up with one arm and stepping inside the room so that the door shut behind him. He crossed to the couch, still scratching Mikey behind the ears and dropping him carefully on the sofa before he wriggled out of his arms and fell. "Smells good, what have we got?" he asked.

"You are getting a clandestine replicator pattern tonight. And you have to swear to me if you somehow ever meet my grandmother you will not mention that I made a replicator pattern of this. The others in the family database were all Dad's work, so while I'd appreciate you not getting him in trouble either, this one is my neck on the line in particular." Amelia opened the andorian ale, and filled the two tumblers. "It's grilled chicken with mango sauce. There's a story behind it, if you want to hear it, but it was from my early days of my career and certainly not one of my shining moments." She offered Nadiv one of the tumblers.

"Clandestine? Sounds like my kind of meal," he said with a chuckle as he moved over to the table. He took the tumbler he was offered and smiled. "Well it sounds as delicious as it smells," he took a sip of the blue liquid and hummed appreciatively. "The real stuff huh? Nice, shall we?" he asked gesturing at the table. He was starving.

"Synthehol doesn't taste the same, especially when you've had the good stuff to compare. I'm just thankful for the scoop of Klingon genetics my mother gave me, that sops up some of the drunkenness." She smirked as she invited him to sit with a wave of her hand, and moved around the table to take the other spot. "So, I've been skimming the reports that have come in, but I want to hear your thoughts."

"Of course it doesn't, because it's synthetic," he said with a grin and took a seat. Honestly, Nadiv had tried to stay away from being a huge drinker, he'd almost fallen down a hole when he'd first lost his wife and father and he didn't want to risk that again. "Costello has said he'd like to put t'Rehu in charge of the medical team, which is why he sent her to the briefing," Nadiv started as he set down his tumbler and reached for the cutlery.

"Sounds good, especially given the conversation I had with her earlier — she's asked for asylum with the Federation, and to become a Federation citizen. Giving her the chance to prove she can work within Starfleet norms should give me more ammunition to support her petition. Her recommendations in the briefing seemed reasonable enough based upon what I understand of infectious disease handling." Amelia cut into the chicken, and gestured at Div with her fork. "Costello seemed to agree, from my reading, aside from the concern about Fen and Tory beyond their mobile emitters — which is easily addressed by having a dedicated set on the surface for them to transfer to." There was a grin and a sigh as she wrapped her lips around the chicken, it had been a while since she'd last replicated this meal.

"Well, he seems keen to get her through the required certifications that she can actually use her skills to their fullest extent. Which would only be to our advantage, and hers," he reasoned. "I just want to make sure she's listening to the people around her, actually listening and not just taking in what she wants to hear, I mean," he paused to find an example to clarify with as he cut into the chicken. "Tory's original suggestion was that a second set of emitters was left on the planet, and she went on about the emitter being a problem. From what I've read, there's always a set being developed between Drayok and Zola and there is time to get a second pair made up before we reach the planet," he pointed out. "Anyway, we'll have a good idea of how she does after this at least. I know we want to find a vaccination or whatever for this, but how much of our resources are we going to be expending in the hospitals with the kids, and how much out there looking for the source of the infection?" he asked, he was curious. Costello had made a comment in his notes about looking into it at the very least. Synthesising medication for treatment and a vaccine would help stop recurrences of the disease, and if the source could be removed would stop it altogether.

"Officially, finding the source is our assignment, but our cover requires rendering aid as if it's our only task. But the good news is, the two aren't at odds — we just have to make sure that the aspects of finding the source visible to the people we're helping focus on finding a cure and the intelligence gathering is done discreetly. Which is why we're sending medical in first, their information gathering in the process of doing their job will give us information where to send the second wave of the away team to collect intelligence."

"Right," he said with a nod, and loaded up his fork with another mouthful of food. "So, who are we thinking for the second wave?" he asked before putting the food in his mouth and chewing.

"I think it'll depend on what the medical team finds. If they get any good leads, we'll pick the team based on the skills suited to what they find." Amelia picked up her Andorian Ale, and held the tumbler to her lips as she pondered, then took a sip. "It would probably be a good idea to make sure we have at least one person with a working knowledge of Cardassian in the second team though — the medical team should be able to use universal translators and trust the local's translations where needed after all. You, Kaeriss, Bethania, Ek, and McKenzie all have a good knowledge. I've been working on learning it, but haven't really had a chance to put it to the test in the field yet. I believe Drayok keeps the localization loaded, and Waterhouse can load the localization as well, but we'd already discussed one or both of them being included in the first team."

"Okay, so first wave then," Nadiv replied, having taken a second mouthful of the chicken and swallowed. "Waterhouse and/or Drayok," he paused. "Is that weird for you, or are you used to it already?" he asked, figuring he may as well ask now as ever, they were in private after all and he didn't want to say it somewhere she could find it awkward to answer.

Amelia chuckled and shook her head. "I'd be lying if I said it wasn't. Tory has been like a younger sib already—and honestly it isn't much weirder than my flesh and blood brother—so that part isn't weird. But when I hear someone else say our surname, especially if there's an Ensign attached, it does throw me for the briefest of moments. Kind of like a waking dream where I was busted back to Ensign instead of getting a new command."

Nadiv chuckled and nodded in understanding. "But it's not the same with Drayok? They aren't like a sibling already?" he asked, wanting to understand why Tory and Remix had chosen to rebrand themselves with the Waterhouse name and Fen hadn't. He just wondered where the idea had originated.

"Fen and the other photons are absolutely siblings too, but none of the rest share the surname. I'm not sure what caused Tory and Remy to ask Dad to do it, but they've had the biggest challenge fitting in with fleshbags of all the Torchwood photons, so it might have been a way of acknowledging the closer connection they've formed with my parents, and by extension me and Noah." Amelia shifted in her seat, setting down her fork and collecting her bread instead. "It feels right that Remy went with Noah too — lets the both of them look after each other."

Nadiv listened carefully to the information, nodding slowly. So it had been their choice, and they'd asked for it, but despite them all being considered siblings, none of the others had chosen, or maybe even considered doing so. It was interesting to consider, how all those dynamics worked. He didn't know much about her brother, just the little he'd gleaned in passing conversation. "I hear on the grapevine your brother needs as many people as possible to watch his back," Nadiv commented with a smile. He'd been lucky he'd cottoned on to the kind of street smarts it took to survive, but by all accounts the Waterhouse who wasn't in Starfleet wasn't quite so lucky.

"I love Noah but his head's in a nebula most of the time. He's an artist and it's plain as day when you look at him. If he hadn't also gotten bitten by the Pastafarian bug as well, he probably wouldn't be wandering so much, and it wouldn't be an issue... but he feels he needs to go about doing good, making art, and sharing the noodly word. He already has a small loyal crew watching his back, but well, that he's ended up in the middle of my path when I was doing what we do–" Amelia collected her ale and took a long pull from the glass. "The last one would have been an utter disaster if not for some happenstance, and even that went a little pear shaped. At least it was enough of a wake up call that he's let our mother start seeing to his ability to defend himself — as I understand it, Remy's volunteered to help her on that project. If I'd known before we launched, I would have planted a little big probe to record those hijinx."

"I take it that might have made a good old earth reality television series?" he asked, he'd seen mentions of them when trying to fill time that he couldn't go anywhere, trying to research this new universe he found himself in and not wanting to come across as a complete idiot all the time. He had a cover to maintain, a permanent one, and because of that it had to be as flawless as possible. Chemically induced amnesia could only get him so far after all.

"All I have to say on the matter is that the next time you speak with Tory, ask it about the sparring match we had in the holodeck before the Ale Coup." She knew Tory had recorded it for later study, though she wasn't sure if that was in a format it could directly show to Div... but regardless, it would be able to share the story, and she was certainly curious how it would choose to do so. "I think Fen might be a better fit with the first landing party, as they are better at blending in with fleshbags. Depending on what is found, Tory may not need to interact with the locals as much and can instead focus on creative thinking instead of how to avoid drawing attention to itself. And don't get me wrong, I love it exactly how it is... but drawing attention to oneself while on a mission of this nature may not be a benefit."

"Surely it depends what we'll be including them on the away team to do?" Nadiv suggested. Sure it was great that at least one of their team would be able to travel between the ship easier than everyone else. But what was the purpose of having them. Did they need a reconnaissance officer or a holographic systems specialist. "Whatever we need them to do, surely you should be able to trust them to conduct themselves in line with the mission regardless of how they choose to present themselves when working within the community of the ship among people they trust?" He reasoned. If she couldn't, they shouldn't be on the ship.

Amelia sighed softly. Div's check reminded her she was being an over protective sister right now, not a Captain, and that in fact Tory's job on the ship was to do reconnaissance — something it would be well positioned to do while working with the other security and tactical officers on the away team. "You're right, Tory is the one who should go. Also having Fen on the ship means that if Tory needs something programmed, they have use of their labs to do it and transmit it down." Amelia tilted her head as another thought occurred to her. "Also, that communication network all the Torchwood Photons maintain would be a good way for communication with the ship that doesn't draw attention. Obviously anything medical related can be shared on an open channel, but anything more delicate and related to our primary mission can be sent via their communication network, pending their agreement of course."

"I'm not familiar with that network," he admitted. There had been things more pertinent to his ability to do his job that he'd needed to read. He figured the best way to create an open dialogue with the holographic crew members was to ask dumb questions, expect dumb answers and move on with the ice broken than read everything and assume he knew things he didn't only to have to be corrected. He did, however, agree that Tory would be more useful on the surface and Fen on the ship in case it needed them. But if they had some kind of undetectable communications network, Div was all for keeping things covert.

Tugging a PADD towards him and starting up a document, Nadiv ate one handed and started typing with the other. He typed his own name at the top of the list, followed by Lia's, and then indented, Bethania and Ludwig. Next line, not indented, went Ensign Oliver.

"If Oliver wants to talk to the kids one on one she'll need dedicated security. I'm not comfortable with anyone going off on their own, especially anyone who'll be more focused on children than their own safety. Do you think Tory would be a good fit for that? It would give it the larger range of movement to collect intelligence and children are more likely to forgive or even enjoy any slips it might make without realising?" Nadiv suggested.

"Yeah, that sounds like a good idea. Its sensor kit is actually much more perceptive than most humanoid senses too, so it should be well suited to keeping an eye out while also collecting information." Amelia nodded as she spoke, her eyes reading the PADD upside down across the table. "Did Edanza make any suggestions on who to take from her, and maybe Abbott's, department?"

"They suggested Morgan, with Popples and Ek, who apparently have proven to work well together in the past." He said, checking the notes he had from the relevant heads of department.

"Yeah, I think Ek's taken Popples under her wing. The reports from the unexpected jaunt across the mirror–" Amelia's words were light, but there was a hint of heaviness behind them betraying she was still dealing with the emotional fallout– "implied the two of them, as well as Kaeriss and McKenzie, forming a bit of a bond while on the planet. It certainly looks like it could be good for both of them — Ek and Popples are both well rated, but I think Ek needs to mature a little, and Popples just needs more experience under her belt. Nurturing that connection will benefit everyone."

"Agreed," he said as he wrote the names on his list. "Do we want to take someone from engineering in case anything needs any tinkering while we're down there? Sienna has suggested Rao, I think...?"

"Yeah, having someone on hand for tinkering or repair would certainly help things go smoother — especially given our track record." Amelia coughed and chuckled before taking a drink. "Rao also seems eager to please, so he'll be proactive. Just make sure he's got his PADD with him, he's got some time management software that helps fine tune his focus."

"Will do... is that everyone?" he asked, turning the PADD around and sliding it across the table towards her. He turned his attention back to his food while she read.

It didn't take her long to review the list, as she had been reading upside down from across the table as he input it, but she skimmed it again just in case. "I notice you'd put your name on the team without any commentary..." Amelia was itchy to get out in the field again, and had been planning on leading the away team herself, but she also knew all the officer training she'd crammed into his head included bullshit about excessively protecting the Captain.

"Protocol states the first officer is supposed to lead away missions, not the captain. Don't tell me you had me memorising that stuff only to toss it out the airlock the first moment it suits you. Considering our situation, do you really want me stumbling through this without your help?" he added the last as a reminder that while he was working as hard as he could to fill the role he'd been given effectively he was not ready to be left in a position like that. If she'd let him run off into the sunset as a civilian that would have been one thing, but actively playing Captain if something happened to her? He'd rather have this argument and have her grumpy as hell at him for pushing for it.

"You have to know the rules, and why they exist, before you break them," she immediately countered, but then she sighed. He was right, he needed to acclimate more before they bent the rules too hard. But the rest of the crew who already knew her, knew she preferred to go on the away missions herself. "The crew are just used to me being a bit more hands on, you know?"

He expected her to counter his argument with that, but he wasn't at the stage where he felt comfortable bending the rules yet. Besides, his dead twin would have made her stick to protocol too. "I understand that, but I'm an experienced field agent and brass are going to be expecting to see my name on these reports. Do you want to give them an excuse to look closer at us? I can give you another actual reason if you like, I speak more of the native languages of the colonists than you do." He finished. He'd checked, he was curious, and not bad at languages either, he was considering expanding that skillset when the opportunity arose.

"Fine," she answered with an eye roll. "But you owe me at least one, if not two, sparing sessions to work off the restless energy that's going to build up from sitting my ass in the command chair while you're planet-side." She made a mental note to double down on her efforts to learn Cardassian — she could corner McKenzie to work with her on it since Alleira had spoken highly of his knowledge of the language. "But don't think I'm going to be a laydown every time this debate comes up. Brass is used to my being on away teams even though I'm not supposed to be."

"As long as we're clear that sparring is supposed to be friendly. I don't need a broken nose and an opportunity to flirt with a member of the medical team," he quipped with a smile. He knew that eventually they were going to have to share the fun bits, but they both knew that was a little way down the line once they were all safely back out of the spotlight. But he was fairly sure he could come up with a way to barter his way onto away missions if he had to. If nothing else, this proved that Amelia could be reasonable about it if he had a legitimate reason for it.

Amelia sighed. "I am never going to live that down, am I? At least Dragomirov has warmed to me since she and Cillian have finally gotten together. But I turned the safeties back up on my training program, my mother had lowered them drastically and I hadn't realized it at the time of the incident." She wiped up a bit of the mango sauce with her bread and looked at the PADD again. "Okay, the away team sounds good as it is. Let them know when to be prepped, I believe we'll be arriving in orbit around 16:00 tomorrow, give or take. Cillian should be able to give you a more specific ETA based upon the course he plotted."

Nadiv's eyes twinkled mischievously as he turned back to his dinner. Cillian probably could, but that was a question that could wait until he'd finished the delicious meal Amelia had replicated.

=/\= End Log =/\=

Captain Amelia Waterhouse
Commanding Officer
USS Joshua Norton, NCC-74819-B

Commander Nadiv Sharir
Executive Officer
USS Joshua Norton, NCC-74819-B


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