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Everyone Loves a Surprise, Right??


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#1 Capt Tyra Crawford

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Posted Star Date 21906.02 @ 03:13 (03:13 AM)

== Set after the current mission ==
 
== USS Artemis - Engineering ==
 
== Lieutenant Cera Morgan ==
 
When Cera had been just a mere yeoman, there had always been jokes that she was had her fingers in so many pies that the captain just needed to clone her and make an army of Ceras for the sake of the ship's productivity. Now that Cera had taken on a mantle of significantly more responsibility -- official responsibility as she'd truly already been handling half of the quartermaster duties already --, it truly did feel like she was needed everywhere at once and the idea of an army of clones actually sounded plausible. As it stood, much of her staff seemed to feel she was capable of being in two places at once due to the fact that she never seemed to stop moving, even in her "off" time.
 
Maybe she was physically incapable of sitting still. That might be a good reason for why she found herself walking into the Artemis' engine room about an hour after her shift had ended, not even having taken the time to change out of her uniform yet. Her dark eyes scanned the room like a woman on a mission and more than one engineer scrambled out of her way, seeming to assume she was there on the Captain's business.
 
Finally, one of the engineers cleared his throat, causing her eyes to shift to him and a smile to curl her lips out of reflex. Despite being all business, she was usually friendly as a default. As her father had always said, it was easier to catch flies with honey.  "Can I help you, ma'am?"
 
"I'm looking for Sh-- for Ensign Elias. Is he here? The roster says he's on duty..." she said, her tone strong and confident to mask the fact that the words themselves sounded like they could have tumbled out of the mouth of a shy schoolgirl harboring a crush. Unfortunately, there was probably no getting around the fact that asking for Ben would likely pour gasoline on the flames that Braggins had ignited with her rather loud shuttle bay declaration. Fortunately, Cera loved a good rumor and had no shame in twisting it for her own amusement.
 
Apparently, she wasn't wrong in assuming that news had traveled as engineer's lips curved into a rather wolfish grin. "Oh yeah, lov-- Ensign Elias is here," he seemed to correct himself when he realized that he still was speaking to someone he shouldn't upset. "He's over there," he pointed to further into the engine room.
 
She offered him a grateful smile, trying not to look too amused as she turned away and began moving that way. Of course, she didn't move so fast that she couldn't hear the commentary that followed her wake.
 
"So do you think they're... y'know? I didn't think he had it in him -- heard he tended to avoid the ladies and was pretty chummy with that security chap, his roomie. I just figured... y'know but I heard he was chatting her up in the shuttle bay..."
 
"I'd do more than chat her up if she'd stay in one spot for more than two seconds..." another engineer chimed in as Cera reached the limit of her hearing range, which was a shame because she certainly enjoyed hearing what the rumor mill was spinning up.
 
Maybe I need to throw some lighter fluid on that fire... not the part about me and Elias though. That's too easy... she thought as she tried to maintain her trajectory within the windy engine room, hoping to see Elias somewhere among the machinery.
 
== Tag!! ==

Edited by Capt Tyra Crawford, Star Date 21906.02 @ 03:14 (03:14 AM).

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#2 Ens Benjamin Elias

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Posted Star Date 21906.02 @ 19:17 (07:17 PM)

==After Mission, also post Double Trouble subplot==

 

==Engineering==

 

Benjamin sighed as he walked up to the little meeting. sh'Thanis, Caorn, and Whitby were all standing around one of the consoles, fussing over the screen. "I'm telling you," the Tellarite was saying, "there's no way this will work!"

 

"But you came up with it!" sh'Thanis replied, more than a little incredulously.

 

"So I should know!" he retorted with a snort.

 

"Why won't it work?" Benjamin said as he walked up, setting a hand on Caorn's shoulder and being rewarded by the man jumping halfway out of his boots. He had to fight not to smile, but was successful. Don't take pleasure in upsetting your subordinates, he reminded himself. "I assume we're looking at repair procedures for that premodulating thermal matrix I asked you about a couple weeks ago."

 

"Yes, sir," the group replied almost in chorus, before Midshipman sh'Thanis picked up the thread. "Crewman Caorn brought it to me a while ago, and I think he's on to something, though it's still dangerous."

 

"Simulations have nearly a 30% failure rate, with some of them being catastrophic," he interjected before being stopped by a withering glare from the Andorian.

 

"Like I was saying, still dangerous." She walked Benjamin through the procedure they had come up with, which had required bypassing the part and making sure that the thermal matrix was cooled enough to be handled - not an easy task, considering - and getting it done quickly before the bypass failed.

 

"You've got a good idea here," he said once they were done with the presentation. "The failure rate is still concerning, but this is supposed to be an emergency procedure. If I have to choose between a 30% failure rate of the repair procedure or the 100% chance of a catastrophic failure of the original part, I know which I would choose." He pointed to the diagram. "I see you're using the emergency valves here and here to build your bypass. Did you consider bypassing further out from the part? Might help regulate the flow a little better."

 

"We tried that," Caorn said with a bit of a huff. "The flow was better, but we just had too many connections at that point. It was a trade-off, and working in closer to the matrix made it easier to control."

 

"Did you consider borrowing a couple of antigrav lifters from supply?" Benjamin queried again. "Since we're not concerned with salvaging the part at this point, they would let us get the part out a little quicker since we're won't be directly handling it. We would simply need to get the connections cooled quickly so we could get it out."

 

sh'Thanis nodded. "Isolation suits and cryo-projector extinguishers should let us disconnect it sooner. We just need to work on some procedures." Benjamin smiled and nodded.

 

"And that's what we're here for." He turned to Whitby, who had been silent throughout. "Have we had any change in the matrix since we talked last, Crewman?"

 

She shook her head. "Not really, sir. The readings fluctuate, like usual, but I haven't seen a definite rise in mean temperature. It's held steady at around .01, .015 above the standard temperature."

 

He smiled at her and nodded. "Good work, guys," he told them all. "Try that new modification and see if the failure rate improves. We'll reconvene at the end of the week to see it it helped." A chorus of agreements followed him as he turned away from them and looked back through the engine room.

 

He would say he was surprised to see Cera and her purple-shouldered uniform weaving through the sea of gold, but since she went most everywhere through the ship it wasn't incredibly surprising. She seemed to be looking for someone or something, though, so he walked on over to her. "Hey," he said, smiling. "Looking for Commander Thrace'Saimara? I don't think he's on shift right now, if I could help out."

 

==Tag Cera==


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#3 Capt Tyra Crawford

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Posted Star Date 21906.07 @ 23:43 (11:43 PM)

== Lieutenant Cera Morgan ==
 
Ben appeared seemingly out of nowhere as if the nickname the Captain had given him was blessing him with new talents and skills, like stealth. Realistically, Cera knew that it was likely her height coupled with the seemingly endless motion of gold uniforms through the main section of engineering that created the illusion; apparently, the universe had felt she would simply be too powerful if it had graced her with a normal height along with all of her other talents.
 
"Hey," he greeted, smiling. "Looking for Commander Thrace'Saimara? I don't think he's on shift right now, if I could help out."
 
Her smile brightened about five notches, her hands clasping in front of her as she came to a stop. "Ah... actually, no. I'm not looking for the commander, though I am impressed that you've mastered his name already. It's a mouthful," she said with a chuckle before chasing the mirth away with a shake of her head.
 
"No, I was actually looking for you," she said, her hands coming up to clap in emphasis and she offered him a dazzling smile.
 
"I actually wanted to ask you something but," she paused to look around, stepping a half step closer to Elias to allow an engineer to pass behind her, "this isn't exactly the most appropriate place for such a thing so..."
 
She made a face as if she wasn't quite sure that was the best way to phrase the whole statement -- it seemed a little ominous or maybe, just a little heavy. And if Cera's experience with men meant anything, they tended to flee in panic when either elements entered a conversations. However, she was already there so there was really no choice but leaping unless she wanted to make everything even more awkward with backpedaling and stammering, neither of which were her forte. 
 
"Would you be willing to drop by when you get off shift? I'll make you dinner for your trouble but I promise you won't regret agreeing," she punctuated the request with another bright smile, though this one looked like the type that could turn into pouting at any moment if the need arose. 

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#4 Ens Benjamin Elias

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Posted Star Date 21906.08 @ 03:59 (03:59 AM)

Benjamin chuckled along with her at the shot at his DH's name, but he was quickly caught a little off guard. "No, I was actually looking for you," she said with a bright smile. "I actually wanted to ask you something but this isn't exactly the most appropriate place for such a thing, so..." she trailed off, looking around and letting an engineer pass by before she continued, moving just a little closer to him.

 

He took a moment, trying to read her as she waited. She seemed a little off. Normally she was confident and sure in everything she did, with little in the way of hesitation once she'd decided on something. This time, there was just the slightest hesitation, something in her face that said she wasn't as sure of what she wanted to do. He didn't quite know what to make of it, but as quickly as he saw it, it was gone and she plunged ahead.

 

"Would you be willing to drop by when you get off shift? I'll make you dinner for your trouble but I promise you won't regret agreeing," she said with another smile he couldn't help but return.

 

The smile hid a touch of panic. Is she asking me out? a part of him wondered. It wasn't like they hadn't shared meals together before - after all, he'd taken her to dinner in thanks for the gear for the rogue planet mission - so why be worried about it? And why shouldn't we? he challenged back. It wasn't like he was married anymore, despite the ring he still wore out of sheer habit. 

 

"Yeah, not a problem," he replied before he could think anymore about it. "I've still got an hour or so left on shift, call it two from now and I'll be there?"

 

She nodded, and he smiled and excused himself, as there was still more work to do. Unfortunately it was mostly paperwork in this case, which failed to provide much in the way of distraction, especially since he didn't have an office to do it in. He wondered what she wanted, that she offered to make him dinner in exchange? Meeting up in 10 Forward, sure, that wouldn't be too out of the ordinary. But fixing dinner at her place? That just begs questions.

 

"So you and Cera, huh?" Whitby smiled as she walked by him. "I'd heard rumors after our last mission, but nice to see it anyway."

 

"We're not dating," he said more harshly than he'd intended. "I'm not dating anybody."

 

"Who said you were dating?" she countered. He shot her a look, letting the padd he was working on clatter to the console and making her hold up her hands defensively. "I'm sorry, sir," she said. "Just making conversation."

 

"I'm sure you have other responsibilities," he told her, and she walked off quickly.

 

Fortunately, the rest of his shift went quickly. He went back to his quarters - Nathan was already in and was doing some light exercise - and hopped in the shower. "Don't take long," Nathan called. "I'm just about done here."  Benjamin grunted in acknowledgement as he got into the shared bathroom, washing off the stress and dirt of the day.

 

He had enough time, though, to worry about tonight. He still wasn't sure what to think about Cera's offer. A large part of him was glad and happy she had asked him to dinner. There was also that loud, vocal part that wanted to know what he was thinking. It tried to remind him about Iris, about how sweet she had always been and how she would never do something like this. No, he reminded that part, she'd just accuse me of cheating and divorce me. He didn't owe Iris anything.

 

There was a knock on the door. "You done?" Nathan called, and pulled Benjamin back to the here and now. He quickly rinsed off and dried off before relinquishing the room to his friend and heading back to his own half of their shared quarters. He stood in his room for a moment, trying to decide what to wear before deciding he was seriously overthinking things and grabbing a clean pair of jeans and a tee shirt. He looked at the models on his desk, trying for a moment to decide exactly how he wanted to go about the next stage of painting before chiding himself for stalling, too. Seriously, he told himself, stop worrying and just go see what she wants.

 

He stepped out of his room just in time for Nathan to step out of the shower. "See you later," he said, and walked out of the room and headed for Cera's. It wasn't far, fortunately, and he knocked on her door earlier than he'd anticipated. Hopefully I'm not too early, he thought, and waited for her to answer.

 

==Tag Cera!==


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#5 Capt Tyra Crawford

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Posted Star Date 21906.17 @ 01:38 (01:38 AM)

== Lieutenant Cera Morgan ==
 
Cera's "promotion" to Quartermaster had come with a upgrade in quarters. While she had never had a roommate due to the sensitivity of her assignment as the captain's yeoman, her original quarters had in line with those typical of junior officers and had been even smaller than the normal double suites young officers shared with others. Apparently, Starfleet had felt their single rooms could be cut in half, meaning Cera had spent a great deal of time living in a virtual closet despite Tyra's numerous, gracious offers to find the half-Betazoid a larger set of rooms. Cera just hadn't felt that was a good use for the larger quarters designed for families or two officer occupancy and hadn't felt she truly needed the bigger space.
 
Apparently, she had been very, very wrong as she had certainly gotten use to the larger accommodations afforded to the Quartermaster. Especially the kitchen! Oh, she loved cooking and baking, often times spending her scant free time experimenting with a new recipe, and due to the lack of a kitchen in her previous home, she had spent a great deal of time sweet talking Orrin into allowing her to borrow his kitchen when possible. As ever the gracious host, he had been amicable, even offering her suggestions when needed. However, it was splendid to be able to cook in her own space, not having to worry about impeding operations or making a large mess. Admittedly, she had been forced to pull a few strings in order to get some of the kitchen equipment in place since Starfleet preferred officers to rely upon the replicator but those were favors well spent.
 
She smiled broadly as she carefully slid the oven's door shut, the savory smell of fresh baking bread managing to momentarily overpower the much more savory smell of the Solicai steaks cooking on the stove. Solicai was one of her favorite proteins to play with, having grown up with it in her younger years on Betazed,  though she'd found that Humans tended to confuse it with a protein native of their world, Bison. She'd always found that a little strange since a Solicai was very similar to a Terran bovine but it tasted far different from beef. Tyra had described Solicai meat as being more gamey, but Cera wasn't entirely certain what that meant. What she did know was that her honey bourbon marinated Solicai steak was a winner, at least with Humans. Her father had found it to be a touch too flavorful but he'd also called spiced vanilla too spicy one time so she hardly considered him a worthy critic.
 
She took a moment to sip from a glass of wine, carefully leaning down to peer at the tray of roasting veggies through the oven's window before nodding in satisfaction. Everything was going just as it should be, which probably should worry her. It was a very unusual day when things went just as expected and unfortunately, there was still plenty that could go wrong, entirely unrelated to the food filling her suite with delicious.
 
Of course, the problem with everything going well meant that there was no focus for her energy and she briefly considered adding another side to the meal before chiding herself that she was probably already going overboard. However, it was so rare for her to have someone to cook for or to have the time; despite being such a social butterfly, it was rare for her to actually host within her own walls. Typically, she played host in a larger, public setting, which was perfectly fine in its own right but there was something nice about this type of occasion.
 
She was just finalizing a last minute rearrangement of the couch's pillows when the door chimed.  Her dark eyes darted towards the nearby chronometer as she set her wine down on the kitchen bar top. He was early but honestly, it was perfect timing as the food was finishing up and she was running out of busy work. Subconsciously, she glanced down to make sure that she hadn't gotten any splatters on her blue blouse or her dark tan jeans that were neatly tucked into a pair of brown riding boots, and was pleased to see that her typically mess had taken a break for the night.
 
Her good luck streak was holding firm.
 
She picked up her wine and called for the door to open, glancing around her less than standard room once more to make sure everything was in place. In as many places as she could -- short of painting the walls --, she had tried to downplay the droll gray the fleet had chosen for decorating. Her couch wasn't the standard gray one and her bookshelves were clearly not fleet issued. Actually, there seemed to be very little in the main room that was standard issued as the blonde had clearly preferred a less gray, though just as modern look for her personal space. The neutral colors were broken up by flashes of color from flower arrangements and art on the walls.
 
She offered Ben a warm smile as he entered. "Welcome to Casa Morgan. I hope the rest of your shift was lovely or as lovely as the engines can be. Can I get you a drink? I have wine, bourbon, water...anything the replicator can manage," she said with a laugh.
 
== Tag! ==

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#6 Ens Benjamin Elias

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Posted Star Date 21906.20 @ 01:45 (01:45 AM)

They say that some of the most visceral memories you form are triggered by smells. The smokey heat of a wood fire burning, the cool crispness of a snowy pine forest, the salty brine of the sea breeze; all can make you remember events from years previous better than even a holograph will.

 

When the door opened to Cera's quarters, the warm, sweet smell of baking bread wafted out and for a moment, just a moment, he was a kid again. He couldn't have been older than five or so, and he remembered walking into the kitchen as his mother was baking. She was in the habit of every year at Christmas, baking bread and cookies to give to family friends as gifts. It was non-stop for weeks leading up to the holiday, and the smell permeated the walls by the end of it. Sometimes you could still smell the faint aroma of warm bread months later. More than that, though, was the smile on her face while she did it. It wasn't a chore or a task. It was just pure joy for her. He would sneak in and get a small spoonful of cookie dough, or on occasion get a slice of bread when there was a spare loaf. He could still hear her laugh, even though he hadn't heard it in over twenty years.

 

He must have taken a step forward, because he heard her call out to him. "Welcome to Casa Morgan," she said, a warm smile on her face as he pulled himself back to the here and now. He was a bit surprised at how large her quarters were, but remembered that she was technically a department head and so must rate her own room. She had done a great job of breaking up the neutral gray and beige that made up Starfleet's idea of interior decorating, with plenty of colors from the flowers and art to the couch itself. It was all very modern and fit the same aesthetic of the rest of the ship, but the colors were definitely much, much better.

 

"I hope the rest of your shift was lovely or as lovely as the engines can be," she continued. "Can I get you a drink? I have wine, bourbon, water...anything the replicator can manage."

 

He joined her laugh and smiled at her as he walked across the room towards her. "I'll just have whatever you're having," he said. "Dinner smells amazing, as well." He walked over towards the kitchen, and leaned against the countertop near her. "I don't know what I've done to deserve steak and fresh-baked bread, but please tell me so I can do it again," he laughed, only half joking as he took his glass from her. "Anything I need to do to help out for supper?"

 

==Tag!==


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