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Update on update

Posted on Sun Jul 2nd, 2023 @ 10:05am by Captain Edmund Merrick & Ensign Connor Turner
Edited on on Mon Jul 3rd, 2023 @ 8:53pm

0 words; about a 1 minute read

Mission: Episode 14 - The Poseidon Adventure
Location: Big Easy Bistro - Poseidon Station
Timeline: MD010 2000 hrs

It was sometime after the meet and greet between the two intelligence teams. Merrick rubbed the back of his neck. It was a little bit intense at first, then it, he supposed ended up being a success. He put that event to the back of his mind, Edmund had something else he wanted to find out. Tapping the commbadge he called for Ensign Connor Turner.

"Connor, this is Captain Merrick, would you have time to have a visit with me?" The XO waited to see if Connor would answer.

The communicator woke Connor from his haze in engineering. He was not sure what he was doing right now, but he knew that as long as he was engineering, he was likely to be safe. Now who wants me? Have I not socialized enough in the last two days? he wondered.

Politely, he answered his communicator. =^= This is Ensign Turner. Um, you wanted to meet? Now? =^= Connor asked, with his voice trembling slightly. How could he really refuse? He was severely outranked.

"When was the last time you had anything to eat? "Edmund deciding to ask outright. "I would like to get a sandwich and a drink and would like you to accompany me to do so."

=^= Um, OK, =^= Connor replied, feeling obligated, despite his desire to continue being in engineering. But the truth was, he also was hungry. =^= I am a bit puckish. =^=

"Okay, just to let you know we're going to eat on the station. There's a place that has really great food, non-replicated. Hope you like Reuben's or even a steak sandwich. I know I am starving. Meet me at the entrance to go aboard the station. Merrick out." He closed up the communication and headed for the meeting place.

Connor might be a nervous Nellie but he was not a particularly picky eater; however, he did not care for heavy spices. So, in silence, he sulkily walked over to meet Merrick.

The Marine raised his eyebrow at Connor's droop of his shoulders. "What's up?" he was wondering what the state of mind Connor was in. After all Edmund wasn't a mind reader. He placed a friendly hand upon the computer specialist's shoulder. "Got something on your mind?" Edmund asked.

"Nothing," Connor lied. Sure, Connor, if you mean by nothing that you have a girlfriend that you have not talked to or seen in a year, a strange woman who you just met kissed you at least twice, and you're not sure how to feel about any of it. That's nothing. "I'm just a bit tired. Used several brain cells on fixing up your friend's ship. She is, uh, your friend, right? Marjani?"

"Marjani? I don't know much about her except for a couple of conversations. Can't rightly say we are friends, but she's not a bad person. And down to earth with a slight wild streak. That is just my observation about her. What about her? Did things go well with the update of her fighter? If she is giving you problems, tell me and I'll go talk to her." Edmund had a concerned expression in his eyes.

Hurriedly and almost insistently, Connor shook his hands and head, "No, no! No problem. Everything went fine. I, um, updated her systems on Talon. She, um, well, probably will have, um, the best fighter in the fleet."

"That is great to hear. However, I am thinking there may be something on your mind when you asked if she was a friend of mine. Want to talk about it? And also, dinner-wise what are you in the mood for?" Edmund asked.

"I really do not have a particular mood," Connor replied simply. "So, as long as it is not spicy, I'll be fine."

"What is your preferred sort of food. Sorry it is of interest to me, as I am someone who likes to cook, and the different types of food that people eat is a piece of knowledge. When or if I retire, I have thought of maybe opening a cafe somewhere back home. Or someplace else." Edmund told Connor, giving him a nod.

"My preferred food?" Connor thought about that. Normally it would be fish and chips, but the last time he ordered that, Paisley gave him the works. "A nice curry suits me often times, but I really do not think about food that much. It is there to keep us well, living."

"Be honest with me what would you like to eat. It is difficult to eat food with someone who isn't enjoying their own food. Makes for a rather, uncomfortable setting. Good food is best enjoyed in a relaxed atmosphere." Edmund replied.

"Honestly, I don't think of food in that way," Connor admitted. "Food, well, it is something to keep me going. Fuel. So just about anything is OK, as I said, as long as it is not terribly spicy. Upsets my stomach."

A raising of an eyebrow from Edmund. "No particular tastes you like or even texture of foods you dislike? What if you have someone who wants to cook a meal for you, to be nice and they do not know what you would like to eat or enjoy eating?" the marine asked as they made their way towards the lift for the promenade.

"Well, I have not had many people make food for me, but whatever they made for me would be appreciated."

Edmund mused over what Connor had just stated and then he gave a smile. "You are someone that a person would like to cook for. Someone who appreciates what a person does for them. That makes for a good man." Stepping onto the lift, Edmund said Deck 67. "I've got a place that has a variety of foods that I enjoy eating at. They do have spicy food, but they also have food for people who do not like much spice. Let's go there. It's called the Big Easy Bistro."

"If you say so, sir," Connor acknowledged having dutifully followed Edmund into the turbolift. The introverted engineer definitely felt all peopled out for the day.

Edmund seemed to not take notice of Connor's current state of mind. Though he was getting inkling something happened. He said nothing more until they were actually standing in front of the Big Easy Bistro. "Well here we are," the soft sounds of jazz playing in the background, the scent of freshly baked bread in the air with some savory scents as well.

A dark-skinned woman walked up, and smiled. She also said. "Welcome to our little spot of New Orleans," she said to Connor, "My name is Lisette Bacchus."

She then turned to the Captain, "Glad to see you, again Edmund." Her voice, the accent, was reminiscent of Marjani's.

Connor looked at Lisette and immediately looked at his feet. Was everyone trying to torture him today? He squeaked out a polite, "Hello." He moved a little closer to Edmund and then asked Lisette, "Um, so, how does, um, this place, well, work?"

"Well chere', if you will follow me I'll take you to a table or booth. And then you will look at the menu." Lisette gesturing towards the menus she had in hand. "You will be able to choose what you would like to eat. If you follow me, I can seat you in a booth or at a table. Which would you choose?"

"I think a booth would be a good choice. It would be a bit quieter." Edmund replied, having made a decision. He noted Connor's inching towards him when Lisette came to greet them. He will have to find out what was going on, and a booth would provide more privacy than a table.

"Very well. If you will follow me, I can get you situated." Lisette flashed a brilliantly white smile gracefully turning around and led the men there. Once they took their seat, Lisette placed the menus in front of the men. "Take a moment figure out what you would like to eat, as well as what you would like to drink. I will be back."

Connor took one of the menus and buried himself behind it, saying nothing as he studied the menu.

When Lisette left Edmund looked at Connor. "What's going on? I know you are uncomfortable around women; I can see evidence of that."

Listed on the menu are the various New Orleans cuisines along with hush puppies and breaded fish. There were the various degrees of heat, and there were none for those who didn't want the spice, but still liked the flavor.

Connor simply replied, "Um, nothing is going on, sir. Um, yes, uh, I have trouble talking to pretty women, or well, ones that I could become attracted to. And, well, I have a girlfriend, so.... Can't really do anything that, um, might be thought of as, um, well flirting, right?"

"It depends on what you would consider flirting and it depends on the girl as well. Some like to get into arguments with someone they are interested in, almost like a boy who in the old days dipped the pigtail of a girl he liked in an inkwell. I have heard a Klingon woman liking you will bare her teeth at you. If you do not want her interest do not bare your teeth back at her. Andorians they like combat, I think that Cardassians like some conflict as well. It seems to spice up their lives a tad as well."

Oh, God! Was Ensign F'rar starting conflicts to flirt with me?! Gah! Connor shivered before telling Edmund, "Therefore, it is easiest not to make eye contact and stay away from them. Seems logical to me."

"I can see your point but, if you constantly avert your eyes, you may not see the emotions in the ladies' eyes, who may want you to talk to them, as they are lonely, and need someone to talk to them." He chose something from the menu, then leaned his head back against the wall of the booth. "I knew of a woman, a friend of mine in fact who was beautiful as you could ever think inside and out. However, she was also a lonely woman. As very few wanted to look into her eyes or even just get close to her."

Merrick leaned forward putting his elbows upon the table. "They felt that she already had someone, so didn't want to bother her."

"Well, that may be, but I really do not understand people as well as I understand computers. I know how to talk to them and what they need. People, they're, um, complicated."

"I agree they can be." Edmund replied, giving Connor a nod. "What do you plan on ordering?"

He had decided on gumbo, something with chicken and having some biscuits on the side. His eyes went towards Connor.

"I guess the jambalaya," Connor replied uncertainly.

"Are you certain? There is some spice in it. Not too much though. Will you be able to handle that? If not, there is a recommendation of eating some ice cream afterwards." Edmund commented kindly.

"I appreciate the advice," Connor responded politely, wondering why Edmund insisted on a meal with him.

Edmund noticed Connor looking at him, "What is wrong?"

"Huh?" Connor asked, confused. "Nothing is wrong. Is there something concerning you?"

"Well, how did the updating of Marjani's ship go? I've not heard anything from her yet so, wanted to get information from you at least." Edmund replied. "I couldn't get any answer from her, seemed that she wasn't answering her commbadge." Edmund asked. "Any idea why she'd not be answering?"

"She was saying goodbye to me and, well, I think she wanted to talk more but an urgent comm came in. I could be wrong, though," Connor replied with an apologetic shrug. However, while Connor did not understand people, he was confused as to why Edmund was so concerned over someone that he said was not a friend. "Um, sir," he started, confused, and frightened. "why are you so interested in her? Are you, um, well, um, interested in her?"

Edmund cast a glance at Connor. "Granted she is beautiful but, I'm not interested in dating her. I'm keeping tabs on the marines who pass my way. She is a marine, she asked for my help so, I was concerned. It's part of my job."

"Oh, that makes sense," Connor replied, thinking his thoughts out loud. "But yes, she is all set. She probably has the best computer system in your what is it, regiment, now?" His voice conveyed only fact, there was no bragging associated with his voice.

"Is that a fact? Nice. I am sure she'll be very protective over her ship even more. Marjani seems to be someone who will keep something she figures to be a work of art. I know i wouid be one like that. Kudos for you, Connor. I shouldn't be worried then, if you said she had a call to take, then that is why she hadn't answered." Edmund seeming to be a bit relieved. "What do you think of her?"

While they were speaking Lisette came to get their order.

"What do I think of her?" Connor asked back, confused. He then looked at Lisette and immediately started to wave his hands frantically toward her. "Nonononononono. We're not talking about you." His cheeks started to flush. Trying to dig himself out of the hole, he said, "He, um, uh, is asking me about a woman's ship, I, uh, improved." He gulped hard. "Oh, gosh, please just bring me a jambalaya," he told her while burying his head behind the menu again. "And a lot of water, please," he added.

Lisette raised her eyebrows at this, gave a slight amused smile and took the orders then turned to leave. Edmund waited until Lisette had gone a distance away then he said to Connor, "She's gone for now. Let me rephrase the question. If Marjani were a computer, what would you compare her to?"

"What kind of question is that?" Connor asked completely lost.

"Well, I was trying to see if I could figure out a way for you to not be too confused by people. And yet I have done just that right now. I think what I was trying to say if you look at people in maybe a way you can understand, it might not be too bad?" Edmund wasn't a counselor and right now with speaking about women. Maybe he wasn't the best source to do so.

"Computers are logical, people are not. Vulcans profess to be logical, but they can be downright confusing, as well." He shrugged apologetically. "See, with a computer it is simple input and output. Yes, we can ask them to extrapolate, but ultimately, we know the data set. We don't with people."

Edmund gave a nod. "That makes sense. Well, I am not the universe's expert on women. I've been out of the dating circuit for a few years. Maybe I am not one to be good at giving advice." He gave Connor a regretful smile.

"Well, I have a girlfriend," Connor insisted. "Not interested in cheating."

"Okay then, I had no idea." Merrick stated, being a bit surprise. He didn't know at all.

Just then Lisette arrived with the food and beverages, gave a smile to the two of them "Well now you both enjoy your meal and also let me know how you like it, as my husband there wants to hear if it is good or bad cooking on his part." she nodded towards where the kitchen door was at, where her husband a dark skinned man, with salt and pepper in his hair, gave a friendly smile and wave, before he disappeared back inside.

“You didn’t think I could get a girlfriend?” Connor asked stunned. He was not sure why Edmund had taken an interest in him but he was beginning to dislike the man, though he was too polite to say so. He then took a bite of his jambalaya, and started chewing tentatively, as if the food might bite him back.

Edmund's eyebrows raised in surprise at Connor's reaction, and he held up both of his hands waving off that thought. "Now hold on there. I did not say that. I was remarking on the fact that I had no idea you have a girlfriend. Also, if my cousin Esme were here, you'd be someone she would be interested in. She really likes the intellectual type of men. I have no room to even make any judgement. All that was, is a innocent remark of I didn't know that you have a girlfriend. That isn't a commonly known fact, well not to me anyway."

"I thought I told you," he informed Edmund by way of apology. "Besides, I may be a bit sensitive now. Ensign F'rar has been insisting so much that I don't have one that, well, I might be a bit jumpy and sensitive about it. Sorry."

"You may have mentioned something to the fact of you having a girlfriend and it slipped my mind. Ensign F'rar? I've not met her yet." Edmund giving a bit of a frown. "I don't know the details about what is going on. Is there a bit of gossip going on about you? And if there is trouble happening about this, and it isn't being taken care of perhaps you need to go speak to someone in the higher ranks. That is something I don't tolerate is if someone is being berating and being non tolerant of someone else. And antagonistic. Oh wait... Paisley? I did meet her at the first night on the station. High spirited, and I did see her at After 11 during the dart game. Sorry... guess I had other things on my mind. So, she has been giving you trouble?"

"A bit," Connor admitted shamefully as he ate another piece of his jambalaya. "She's a bit of a nutter," he concluded.

"Um... are you certain you want to say that? What has she been doing, if I may ask." Edmund, before he took his first bite of his food.

"Oh, she's been hanging all over me, like I can't do my job. She even insisted on going to my on board medical. And when I do see her, she always insists I don't have a girlfriend." He paused to take another bite of food and said, "Nutter."

Edmund had just popped a piece of the biscuit in his mouth and stopped in midbite. Raising an eyebrow at this piece of information. He restarted his chewing before swallowing the bite then drank some of his beverage. "OKay, say what? She seems to be obsessed with you. And that doesn't sound like a good thing at all. Sounds to me like she is being in stalker mode. Does she like you? Or is she seeing you as someone she can exercise some control over?" Edmund was now thinking he may have to meet Paisley on a one on one basis. This sort of behaviour just wasn't conducive to forming a good team. "Who is your superior? Um let's see. Wait, is she and you a part of Diari's engineering staff?" Merrick's mind starting to put things together.

"Yes," Connor answered simply. "She's the ACEO. She's accused me of flirting with her, can you imagine?" Connor asked incredulously. "I have a girlfriend!" he insisted.

"Now hold on. Those are actually actions unbecoming to ranking officer. She is doing this, and she is the assistant chief of engineering?" Merrick frowned and this sort of news he wasn't too happy about. "My wife, if she were still alive wouldn't have allowed that to happen. I don't care, this sort of action is reprehensible. I don't see Diari allowing that to continue but.. that is inexcusable for Paisley's actions. Are you going to stay in that department and work under those conditions or are you going to find another position to be in? That can be classified as bullying and a toxic work environment." Merrick was glowering at this time. He was actually angry at what he had just been told.

Connor was shocked at Merrick's reaction. "I don't want to cause any trouble," Connor told the marine. "I just want to work on my computers."

"Sorry, it's just that...." he shook his head. "I am a bit protective over engineering. Probably due to the fact that my dead wife used to be in engineering." Merrick closed his eyes for a moment, regaining his control. "I am sorry, Connor. I didn't mean to get irritable." He looked around at the restaurant, then back to Connor. "I do hope that can get sorted out soon."

"I would hope, so," Connor answered. "Um, how did your wife, um, die? I don't think you or, um, she would have been that old."

Edmund shook his head. "We were both young, and well short and simple she died, saving the ship, by going into engineering and getting the fire control system back up and running, at the cost of her life."

"What happened that it was off?" Connor asked curiously, his mind whirring with possibilities. Certainly a lot would have to happen to defeat the redundancies of the fire suppression system.

"Connor, we were under attack, and the ship took heavy damage, including the system which would have activated the fire suppression. I don't know all the technical details, that was my wife's expertise, not mine. Suffice it to say she needed to go in there. There was no way around it. Someone had to manually activate it."

The engineer nodded. "That must have been a lot of damage, then." Mentally, he was calculating all of the possibilities that would have caused the automatic systems to go offline.

"You know the real awful part of it was? I assisted her to get through that small opening. So, well, that is the end of my tale, my sad little tale, of which Vura and another person told me it wasn't my fault for her going into her death. Said she'd be feeling the same if the roles were switched. You know they are right." Edmund remarked then drank the rest of the contents of his glass.

"And, you and a lot of other people would be dead if it were not for your wife," Connor observed. "You should feel proud of her, though I am sorry for your personal loss."

"Thank you and I am very proud of her. She did what was right. Yes, it stings still but, not as badly as it has done. And the counselors I have visited with, they've helped immensely." Edmund gave an acknowledging nod.

Connor ate another piece of his meal and while looking into the bowl said, "I don't claim to understand people, but I don't think that she would want you hurting from what she did."

"I will have to agree with you on that. And I am coming to terms as well. You see there is a lady I like a lot and I am taking the chance to get to know her. She is beautiful and charming. Well, she doesn't think she is all that but, just something about her makes me want to take a chance on developing a relationship with someone. Especially her. I am not going to rush her into it. and the same I am not going rush myself into the relationship. It has to develop and grow naturally." Edmund gave a bit of a smile as he thought of the woman he liked.

"Well, good luck with that," Connor replied, stuffing another piece of food in his mouth. "I'm just glad that I don't have to mess with that anymore. All the guessing and uncertainty...."

"Yes, it is a good thing you are in a relationship. It helps to take away that uncertainty. Oh well I am now back into the guessing game of will she like me as time goes by." He finished up the rest of his food, sopping up the last bits with his biscuits. "I probably should be going." Edmund commented.

The entire conversation and meal had been weird for Connor. He did not know why the marine was so insistent on having a meal with him and began to dislike him. However, by the end of the conversation, started to pity him. People are strange, was all that he could conclude. "Alright then," he told Edmund. "Thank you for the meal."

Edmund gave a wave as he left the restaurant. Connor was actually a likeable man. He was satisfied with the information he had gotten from him. I hope life will be good for him. The man deserves it.

A Joint Post By

Ensign Connor Turner
Computer Systems Specialist, USS Pioneer

Captain Edmund Merrick
The Cure Executive Officer, USS Pioneer


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