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Opening the Box Part II

Posted on Wed Dec 6th, 2023 @ 1:56am by Commodore Tyler Malbrooke & Lieutenant Commander Alyssa Maren & Lieutenant Commander Rowena McGowen & Lieutenant Paul Michael & Lieutenant Ja'sol H'ros & Lieutenant Elen Diari & Lieutenant Junior Grade Thex sh'Zoarhi & Lieutenant JG Gage Tohoyia & Ensign Rachel Sinclair & Lieutenant Vura & Petty Officer 2nd Class Otes Ze & Major Cornelius Tremble & Captain Edmund Merrick & Lieutenant Junior Grade Mignon Mejia & Lieutenant JG Mira Jayna
Edited on on Sat Dec 9th, 2023 @ 11:12pm

1,936 words; about a 10 minute read

Mission: Episode 15 - The Evil That Lies Beneath
Location: Garden Cube - Deck 10 - USS Pioneer
Timeline: MD001 1900 hours

Last Time On Opening The Box Part I

"Only casually," Jayna replied, smiling at Vura. "Hello, counselor. How was your shore leave?"

Vura grinned devilishly at the Executive Officer and flirted, "No. We definitely have not had the pleasure, yet." Her demeanor professionalized slightly as she turned to Jayna and said, "That is true. We have not met other than once and I believe that was in the lounge. As to my shoreleave, I admit that I did not have one. But, in fairness, I had just transferred here, so I was busy meeting as many people as possible and checking the mental wellbeing of numerous individuals. It seems that the ship has gone through quite a bit of stress lately," she informed the two, looking back over at Neil, as she did so.

And Now The Continuation...

Jayna chose to say nothing about the counselor's flirting, or about the stress the ship and crew had been through as she'd experienced some of it herself. But thanks to Neil, she felt that she'd come through the worst of it. "Yes, it was the lounge. That was...quite enlightening."

Neil eyed the counselor, his contact flashing up his bio-readouts. He'd reviewed her files and there wasn't anything to show pheromone toxicity had ever been a problem. But the Corp operated under Trust but Verify. He also had thoughts about a possible issue with the gardens, if someone decided to pipe in a mind altering natural toxicity that could affect a crew.

It was on his list for Red Team scenarios.

Realizing he'd let the conversation lag, Neil replied, "Pioneer does get into its share of problems. It's good to have you aboard, Lieutenant. I hope the crew hasn't been giving you too many problems."

"Me, personally?" Vura asked holding a hand to her chest innocently. "There's not a person on board or off that I cannot handle." There was something about the way that the Deltan replied that had more than one implication.

"I get the impression that for you it's less a case of what you could handle but more of what you should or should not handle," Jayna said dryly. She'd watched the counselor flirt with a number of people on the ship. And she did manage to handle things very well.

Vura shrugged helplessly. "There's always a catch," she informed Jayna wrinkling her nose slightly.

Jayna couldn't help laughing at the comment. "Yes, there generally is." The counselor was going to keep things...interesting...on the Pioneer. She decided it was a good thing.

"I just wonder what your catch is," the Counselor wondered mischievously.

Jayna's expression again became placid. "As an intelligence officer, I'm sworn to secrecy." Then one side of her mouth quirked up in a half smile. "Although I'm curious to hear your opinion on the subject."

"With regard to secrecy or with regard to intelligence officers?" Vura asked back with a humored smile.

"Either or both," the half Vulcan replied.

"Well, that's very imprecise, now, isn't that? It seems that our professions have a great deal in common. We try to tease out information before we figure out how to respond," Vura observed.

"I don't tease," Jayna said. It was true. She might prevaricate, deflect, exaggerate, mislead, or just not answer, but she did not tease. Well, unless it was part of an undercover assignment--or it was Neil. Besides, it was far easier and more entertaining to just speak the truth--in one form or another. Especially if that truth wasn't the one they wanted. "That's usually not part of information gathering." She cocked her head to one side. "Is teasing part of counseling?".

Amused, Neil watched the two women fence as he monitored the surroundings. He made a point of not studying the Deltan, though he'd been through her file up, down, and sideways. A file could only tell you so much, but he'd kept his ear to the ground and was aware of Vura's overt personality. He decided to cut in, "I hate to talk shop, Lieutenant," he said to Vura. "But it looks like Corporal Shy may be an issue. Anything I need to do there?"

Vura swung back over to her commanding officer, a tone of professionalism replacing her playful one. "That depends on a great deal of things and is not best discussed with so many people around."

Jayna wanted to hear more about Corporal Shy as she and Sergeant Shultz were with him in the underwater research facility, but she knew that discussion was for Neil and the counselor. "There are some semi-private places in here where you could have a short conversation, if you'd like." She looked at Neil. "See you later?"

"That's quite alright. Semi-private is not appropriate," she informed Jayna, though appreciative for her trying to assist. "The discussion can happen later." The Deltan, being slightly upset to be placed in this position by the XO said, "Perhaps I should mingle more, anyways."

Jayna put her hands up, palms together and gave the counselor a Vulcan half bow. "Then I will say that I enjoyed the conversation and wish you a good day." She did enjoy the verbal repartee with the Deltan.

"As you wish," Vura replied, giving a courtesy half-nod, half-bow to the half-Vulcan. "Perhaps we will have the opportunity again sometime soon."

Frowning, Neil felt his eyes narrow and caught himself. "As you wish Doctor. There's not a lot of secrets in Marine Country. Or the ship as a whole, actually. If it makes you feel better though, I'll schedule a time over the next couple of days and you can come in and give me both a departmental and overall crew brief. High points only so I know what I'm working with. Satisfactory?"

Vura wondered at why the second officer continued to push in front of other officers, so she answered simply, "He is not yet ready for duty in my opinion."

"Thank you Doctor," Neil said. "I’ll still set up that meeting. Enjoy your evening." Glancing to Jayna, he smiled, "I need to get back to the grind. I'll catch up with you later." He met her eyes for a moment, then turned toward the exit.

The Deltan watched the XO leave and told Jayna, "I guess it is just us two women left."

Jayna was momentarily distracted watching Neil. "Actually, I should speak with Alyssa before she gets too busy talking to others." And the half Vulcan really didn't want to be on the receiving end of any probing questions from the counselor. "I'm sure we will have other opportunities." Then she headed back to where she last saw the chief science officer.

Not technically part of the Science Department, Azure was a botanist and she had helped out with the project, she was excited to see how things had progressed. She entered the former Cargo Bay and breathed in the variety of scents. Andor, didn't have much in the way of vegetation, but growing up on Earth, she'd developed and interest in plants and gardening. She smiled as she picked a ripe tomato. "The proof of the pudding is in the eating." She said to no one in particular, and took a bite. The soft flesh broke under the action of her teeth, releasing the sweet red juice, some of which made its way down the sides of her mouth and on to her chin.

Mignon spent most of shore leave recovering, although she spent time helping with the garden to get away from her quarters. She was pleased to see that a number of people had come to the opening. She selected a bench near the back and sat down to people watch--and to answer questions if anyone had them.

Paul Michael and Auba Lyna, along with their daughter Anegn. They decided to come to check out this new garden, and to plant something in honor of their daughter. They walked along the paths that were laid out. They found a spot in one of the corners plots, one of the ones reserved for children, since they were doing this for their daughter, they didn't think anyone would mind. Before arriving, they had their replicator create a flower seedling from Bajor, for them to plant. Paul knelt down, used his finger to create a hole, and then planted the seeding.

Mignon saw the small family by one of the empty beds and watched curiously as they planted what looked like a seed. She made a mental note of the location so she could put a marker there so no one else would plant something too close to it. She recognized Lieutenant Michael. She would also look up their daughter's name so it could be added to the marker.

It was with great curiosity, and anticipation, Edmund wanting to see what sort creation Alyssa had wrought in the cargo bay. He had heard during their conversation during the Marine Birthday ball that she had done this. Now he can witness it for himself. When he stepped inside, he was astounded, it was like a miniature garden of Eden and he smiled broadly. He whistled with great appreciation, then looked for Alyssa.

Finding her, Edmund approached her. "Alyssa, this place is amazing!"

"Thank you." She waved a hand toward the plaque on the wall. "It was a group effort. I'm pleased with how well it turned out."

"It looks really great." Edmund answered with a smile.
To Be Continued...

A Joint Post By

Lieutenant Commander Alyssa Maren
Chief Science Officer, USS Pioneer

Lieutenant Junior Grade Mignon Mejia
Alien Archaeologist/Anthropologist, USS Pioneer

Lieutenant Junior Grade Mira Jayna
Assistant Chief Intelligence Officer, USS Pioneer
Intelligence Liaison, The Cure

Captain Edmund Merrick
Executive Officer, The Cure
USS Pioneer

Commodore Tyler Malbrooke
Commanding Officer, USS Pioneer

Lieutenant Commander Rowena McGowen
Chief Intelligence Officer/Second Officer, USS Pioneer

Lieutenant Paul Michael
Chief Flight Control Officer, USS Pioneer

Lieutenant Ja'sol H'ros
Chief Security/Tactical Officer, USS Pioneer

Lieutenant Elen Diari
Chief Engineering Officer, USS Pioneer

Lieutenant Junior Grade Thex sh'Zoarhi
Chief Operations Officer, USS Pioneer

Lieutenant JG Gage Tohoyia
Infiltration Specialist/Diplomatic Officer, USS Pioneer

Ensign Rachel Sinclair
Assistant Chief Security/Tactical Officer, USS Pioneer

Lieutenant Vura
Chief Counselor, USS Pioneer

Petty Officer Second Class Otes Ze
Nurse, USS Pioneer

Major Cornelius Tremble
Executive Officer, USS Pioneer
Commanding Officer, The Cure


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