A Little Coffee and a Lot of Conversation
Mission: Shore Leave
At 0600, an obviously tired and disheveled Dived walked the halls. He had spent the entire night working on the Mercutio’s shield emitters and had actually managed to improve them better than he had calculated. He would normally get some sleep after a long shift but he had better plans. Dived was going to drink the human drink coffee, with a Bajoran doctor that seemed to truly want to spend time with him.
Caressa was seated at the left corner window of tenforward. It was her favorite spot in the morning. It was early so there was hardly anyone in the space. Her view was different this morning. A lovely view of earth. She heard the doors open, she turned to see Dived walking in. She had two steaming cups of hazelnut coffee, with two sugars and lots of cream. Enough to turn it light tan.
The engineer walked through the doors into the room that was the realm of Doctor Caressa Melanick. “Morning, doc.”
"Well, good morning to you Lieutenant. I saved you a seat as you can see there is not much room." pointing to the chair. She sat and took her coffee in hand. Wrapping her fingers around it and then pulling her legs up into the chair with her.
Dived sat in the open chair. “How was your night? ”
"It was quiet. I worked until about 2400. Everyone is on shore leave for the most part, so sickbay is practically a ghost town." taking a sip of coffee. " How about yours, you look a bit tired?"
“It’s the complete opposite in Engineering. This girl took one hell of a beating on your last mission. We will be working double shifts until launch just to get her back to 100%.” He paused to let out a large yawn. “I spent my whole night rebuilding components of the deflectors.”
"Well you will learn fast this ship goes 100% all the time, and for some reason we get all the 'out of the ordinary assignments'. She used her fingers to make quote signs in the air. "Sickbay during those times is horrid. Hell I even had to patch myself up after the last mission. I was thrown all over the bridge, along with everyone else." Picking up her up and sipping once again. "You need to get rest too. You should have cancelled. I would understand. Don't make me pull the doctor card, I am not afraid to use it." Smirking as she took a sip.
He gave her a tired smiled. “I wouldn’t miss this for anything. Plus I read up on this coffee drink and it seems to have caffeine. A cup of that and I should be ok. What brought you to the Mercutio?”
“Caffeine is great, but the letdown can be bad”. She laughed a little. She took a deep breath.” My Merc story is a long one. So here it goes, just tell me to hush if it gets to be too much. I was recruited long ago by the former Capt. Stacey Templar. She was not only my Captain but a good friend. She left the ship and is now on Alpha Centari, she and Vox were married, now divorcing. I miss her. Danae was also a former ship mate and a good friend who left about the same time.” A tear formed and she quickly wiped it away.
” I left the ship shortly after. Long story short. Edra died, I married Henry we have two twins, who are with their Uncle Mikos currently.” She took another deep breath. Edra returned back, she was in an alternate universe. I left so that Henry would not have to make a choice. When I left the ship I taught at Star Fleet Academy. Until I was forced back. I finally got over the Henry thing. Now I am back to doing what I love, taking care of my crew and some research on the side. I have saved the good Captain more times than I can count, along with others on board. Details can come later.” Taking a sip. Sorry to unload but you’re so easy to talk too! “
“Feel free to unload anytime you want, I’m glad you feel I’m easy to talk to. I guess it's only right I tell you my sordid tale.” Dived took a deep breath before starting. “I was born on Cardassia to a scientist and a spy. Me and my brother were both expected to join the Order like she did but I refused. I wanted to be an architect, my father couldn’t have been prouder for me my finding my own path. My mother and brother fully supported the government’s decision to join the Dominion but we protested. Things became so bad that my mother attempted to execute me and my father. We were forced to leave the only home I ever knew. We spent the entire war on the run.”
Dived felt tears welling up. “We attempted to return home after the war was over but since my brother had ran when the peace accords were signed we were put up on charges for the murders he had committed in the Dominion’s name. Starfleet is the only place where I can attempt to repair the damage he caused.”
She paused for a short second and sat forward in her chair, placing her hand on his knee. " I am so sorry. Looks like we have both been going through our own grief. Thats just crazy"
"Isn't that all the galaxy is? In all honesty, if it weren't for my art I would be lost." For some reason he felt he could be completely open with this woman he had just met. "My first week of training I was jumped by some fellow cadets who had lost families because of the Dominion. They broke some ribs," he paused to show her the scar on the back of his head. "And fractured my skull. The night I was out of the infirmary I stayed up all night painting."
" God, that's terrible." She felt the scar on his head. " I have no art skill what so ever I cant even draw stick people, now cooking without a replicator that's my therapy. What do you like to paint? Sitting back in her chair.
"Anything that inspires me." He suddenly glowed with happiness from talking about art. "I have painted anything from nebulas, to starships, and people. I have a painting on its way from the station that you might like. When I was a kid, my father brought me to Bajor so I would never forget what our people did. One morning, the sun rose over this beautiful monestary and I couldn't help but paint it."
"The Dakeen Monastery? If so, my family lived near to there. My Uncle Mikos studied there." Her voice was tinted with excitement.
"Yes!" Dived was so excited, he shouted. "It was the most breathtaking moment in my life. It truly changed me. Small galaxy."
"We have so much to talk about. No one here has ever been to my world, or even been able to chat with me about it. You have to go with me my holodeck program." She was almost overly insistent.
"It is such a beautiful world. I would love to join in the holodeck." This had turned out better than he could have imagined. He had found a friend among his new crew. "This is fun, I would love to this everyday."
"I am here every morning at 0600." Smiling finishing the last of her coffee.
LTC Caressa Melanick
LT Dived Dumet