Star Trek PBEM Sim / Star Trek RPG


Title: Surprise Me, Part One
Location: Pandora's Box
Setting: Quarters, Passageways and Snack Shops

The Ensign took the Lieutenant first to her quarters. Then she took her by several places to eat on board, ending up at her favorite, an unusual snack shop. It was a small, friendly place with more personality than some of the other locations onboard. Llew thought it was quaint and immediately fell in love.

"What's their specialty?" she asked Ferweiler.

The young Ensign glowed. "Submarines she said. Old Earth boats from the early 21st century and the food with the same name."

"I can't wait," Llew grinned. "What's your favorite?"

Molly walked further in past the old bistro style chairs and tables. There were menu and spec sheets and pictures of the food and the submarine classes or boats themselves or famous personalities they were named after.

"My favorite is the Rickover submarine platter. Several flavors of thin dry crackly desiccated pieces of beef called jerky with atomic sauce, leafy greens, sour pickles, red tomato fruit slices, tuberous wedges, grapes, your choice of condiments and soup." The way she said soup there was some meaning to it.

"Soup? What kind of soup?" Llew asked curiously. "And I'll have to have something milder. Can't handle the hot stuff," she grinned.

"You could get diesel sauce....but it's very thick. Chicken noodle," Molly said too innocently.

Llewellyn gave her a 'look'. "Chicken noodle? What's in it besides chicken and noodles?"

"Some vegetables, water, salt, soup stuff," she said mischievously. "Want to try it?"

"Hah! You're scary. You know that," Llew told her. "Is it spicy hot?"

"Oh, no. But I can't tell you more than that," she replied conspiratorially.

"I'm pretty sure you mean 'won't'," Llew smiled. "So why can't you tell me more?" she asked.

Molly's face fell. "Aww. Well, then it's no fun," she explained, becoming next in line.

The handsome fellow behind the counter smiled at her and asked, "What would you like?"

"The usual," she replied noticing his smile and starting to smile again herself.
"One KOG coming up," he said, beginning to assemble the sandwich out of previously replicated items.

"KOG?" Llew questioned quietly and glanced over at Molly.

The young woman giggled. "Kindly old gentlemen," she explained.

Llew blinked, suspicious of that giggle. "Kindly old gentleman? Is that code for something?"

"No, that was one of Rickover's nicknames," she explained.

"Ahhh," Llew nodded her understanding.

The handsome young man looked at the COMMO. "What will you have?" he asked.

Llew smiled pleasantly. "Surprise me. Just not anything that's too spicy or hot, please," she asked.

"One 'Surprise Me'. Coming up," he said winking.

That made Llewellyn laugh. "I can't wait," she told him.

The young fellow grinned back mischievously.

In a few minutes, the food was ready. Molly got her KOG and Llew her "surprise me stew" served in a bread bowl that looked like an old kitchen sink. There were other things on her tray as well in case she didn't like the stew. Molly took out some replicated money and paid the cashier. She quickly counted her change. This time she used American style money from that time period. Other times, she tried different currencies.

"Thank you," Llew smiled at him. She'd been more than a little suspicious about the mischievous smile he'd given her, but the stew and the bowl both smelled and looked delicious. So did the other odds and ends he'd placed on her tray. "What was that you gave him?" she asked Molly.

"Money," Molly said proudly. "I am fairly good with several types of old Earth and other currency."

"But what good is that? Doesn't he need credits?" Llew asked curiously.

"It's fun to practice things. We could end up on some world or place like that. It took me a while to get good at it," she confessed. "He doesn't need credits or anything here. That's just part of a game. I hope to beat out Jeremy. He's in the lead. There are different places like this on the ship. Some of them like this one stay the same pretty much. Others rotate through different cultures and time periods. It's pretty interesting and fun I think and more fun to practice here than on the computer."

Llew looked very interested. "You'll have to show me how it works," she said. "And who's Jeremy?"

Molly was glad to see that the other woman found it interesting too. Not everyone did. "Jeremy, is umm," she started. ~How do I say that?~ she thought. "He's, uh, very good at this kind of thing. Umm.. Let's get a table."

Ferweiler took her tray and sat down at the nearest empty table.

"This kind of thing?" Llew quizzed curiously as she slipped into the seat across from Molly. "Is he your boyfriend?"

Molly turned red. "No, he's not good at that I mean, um, he's good at getting into different cultures and such," she explained awkwardly.

Llew arched a brow at the shade of Molly's face. "You like him," Llew accused with a grin. "Is he cute? What did you mean, 'he's not good at that'?"

"Umm," Molly said turning more red. "He's just not good at some things. How is your stew?" she asked, trying to change the subject.

"I'm sorry," Llew looked contrite. "I didn't mean to pry or touch on a tabooed subject. And if he can't see how good you are, then he's a dolt," she nodded. "Stew's good. How's your sandwich?"

Molly smiled at the dolt comment. "Sandwich is good, crunchy and tough," she said. "The atomic sauce,the way it tastes and combines with the toughness makes it so great and work out, just like his submarine program. I'll tell you about the soup in a moment." She mischievously took the salt shaker that came with it and gave it a good shake it over the soup as if she had just deliberately broken a big rule.

"You're scaring me again," Llew warned. "I'm almost afraid for you to tell me about the soup," she admitted. "And what's with the salt?"

Molly took a spoonful of soup at tossed it in her mouth and tasted it. She smiled. "Salting your soup was a test of sorts for Admiral Rickover. If you salted it without tasting it you wouldn't work for him and your interview could be all over," she said. "The saltiness of this soup varies."

"That's a.... weird kind of test, isn't it?" Llew asked. "How's it taste?"

"Yes, but there are stranger... Fine this time. It can be very salty if you do that other times," she said. "I still eat it though."

"Even if it's too salty?" Llew wasn't sure if she would.

"Yes, absolutely," Molly said most seriously. "If I knew the risks and gambled wrong, yes."

"Ahhhh," Llew nodded. "That's a good attitude to have. But wouldn't it just be easier to taste it first?" she asked. "Or is it some kind of test of your own?"

"That would take the fun out of it," she said.

"You live on the edge, Ensign," Llew grinned. "I like that."

Molly smiled. "I do also. Are you going to be here just from Starfleet or do you think you might be interested in joining SI? she asked, having more soup.

"To be honest... I never thought about it ... until now," Llew admitted. "And now. Well, now I'm thinking about it." She spooned a bite of soup into her mouth and savored the taste.

Molly smiled again.

"So what time is the Captain expecting me to make an appearance?" Llew asked. She didn't want to dawdle too long over lunch and make a horrible first impression.

Ferweiler swallowed. "Thirty minutes," she said taking another bite.

"Perfect," Llew nodded. "What's he like?" She tried some of the other tidbits on her tray as the two talked.

"He's one of the good guys. Has a lot of experience. He's flexible but prefers to go by the book. He takes things very seriously but always tries to find us a bit of fun or down time when we can afford it," she said.

"Sounds perfect. How long have you been with him?" Llew asked curiously.

"Not long but I did a lot of research on him," she said. "Punctuality is important, so we should finish soon."

Llew nodded. "Very well. And don't worry. I'm usually quite punctual," she assured Molly. "What do you do onboard?" she asked curiously.

"I can do a lot of things. It depends on what is needed," she said. "At present I am working hard to make sure everyone from the Victory settles in comfortably. The Captain wants to make the transition easier for you all especially those with short notice for the orders and not from SI. My background is in xenobiology, interspecies relations and various legal systems. I am looking forward to learning some other areas, like qualifying to be a medic and some languages, so I can be more versatile and of more use before I pick something in SI to concentrate on more fully. Out in the field, you need to be able to do a lot of different things," she explained.

"I didn't realize that. So being highly specialized isn't really a good thing in SI?" Llew asked.

"It can be. It just depends on what you do in it," she explained. "Much of SI is information gathering and analysis. That requires a lot of specialization. "

"Ahhh, then I'd fit right in," Llew grinned. Her brain was going over the possibility of applying to SI and remaining onboard. "Is the XO married?" she asked out of the blue. He'd been awful nice, and he wasn't bad looking either.

"The Captain frowns on dating those we work or could work directly with. It can cause all kinds of problems," she sighed, pausing a moment to think of Jeremy. "I don't know if the XO is or not. I'd guess no though. In general, that type of information doesn't get out because a lot of effort is made in keeping whether or not there is a family member or that kind secret especially for those of us in certain SI jobs. If you could read some of these personnel records, you will see no mention of family or relatives. It's possible too that the person might not even know they have relatives, especially children, until the mission is over, just like they might not know their real identity at any given moment until they switch back. It depends what type of work and what is needed for the mission and how much is needed to protect their families," she explained.

Llew blinked. "They change their identities and don't even know who they are?" she asked, rather shocked by that. "How would you ever honestly know who you really were if you always thought you were who you were at the time?" She thought that was rather awful... You'd never be able to form any kind of lasting friendships or relationships if you lived like that. How could you?

"Different parts of the service come with different sacrifices. It's not all as bad as it sounds," she explained. "Some friendships can last through it."

Llew tilted her head a bit and looked rather deeply at Molly. "That's why Jeremy's not good at relationships? "

Molly looked uncharacteristicall y sad for a moment. "No that's not all of it," she said.

Llewellyn studied the other woman's eyes. She could see that Molly really wanted to talk about it but was just very used to holding it all in. She propped her chin in her hands and smiled encouragingly at Molly. "What's the rest of it?" she asked kindly.

Molly sighed." I don't think he knows I am alive," she said, finishing off her last grape. She and Admiral Rickover both liked grapes.

"Oh... Hmmm... Well, that's always a problem," Llew agreed. "Maybe we can fix that," she offered with a smile. "What department is he in?"

"Thanks, but it is time," she said, getting up.

"Oh! Right," Llew nodded and rose along with Molly. "We'll have to continue this over some coffee one day."

Molly's ever effervescent smile returned. "OK, but you are buying next time," she grinned. "I'll teach you how." She looked briefly at her new friend and made sure she was in order to see the Captain. She was and so it was much easier than bringing the Captain the new ACENG. She wanted everyone to make a good first or in her case second first impression.

"Do I pass inspection?" Llew grinned, having noted the critical once-over Molly had given her. "And you bet. It'll be my treat next time."

"Yes," Molly said. "I just want everyone to make a good impression."

"That's always important," Llew nodded her agreement. "Okay then. Ready," she gave a curt nod. "Lead on, mon ami," she smiled and waved for Molly go first.

Molly led the way to the Captain's office near the bridge.

"He's not scary, is he?" Llew whispered once they arrived.

"You'll be fine," she said. "He's not scary to the good guys... just too serious sometimes. Give him a chance. In some respects, he's like you... here all of a sudden and getting used to it."

Llew drew in a deep breath and let it out slowly. She smiled at Molly and winked. "I'm tough," she told her and rang the chime.

"You'll be fine. I'll wait here," she said.

"You don't have to," Llew answered. But she was touched by her new found friend's offer and it showed.

"It's fine. You'll be fine," she repeated encouragingly.

"I know," Llew grinned and winked again.

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Character Biographies:

CO, Captain Nikolai Kamranov
CMO, Commander Vilotanzia Bounlutay
ACEO,Lieutenant Commander Piper Chayton
COMMO, Lieutenant Llewellyn Moreau
AIO, Lieutenant Peel
VLO, Sublieutenant Yunarra
AIO, Ensign Molly Ferweiler


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