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Grunt & Weasel

Posted on Mon Jan 11th, 2021 @ 3:47pm by

Mission: Q The Music!
Location: USS Tesla - Deck 5
Timeline: Current
1028 words - 2.1 OF Standard Post Measure

Warrant Officer Nahia Sendoa sauntered the hallways of deck 5 reading casually from a padd. She stopped in stride, re-read a sentence, screwed up her face in thought, then chuckled and made some notes before continuing on her way.

She entered the enlisted mess with her head still down, trusting in her peripheral vision and the rest of the crew to not crash into her. With habitual steps she made her way to the replicators and leaned her hip against the wall. Without looking up she ordered, "Sagardo and a Cod Omelette."

The replicator whirred and in a sparkle produced a warm plate and a cool glass. She tucked the padd under her arm and hefted the meal, before looking around for an empty table.

Everyone in the room was obviously enlisted, but she existed in a strange space between regular enlisted and commissioned. She liked to give people space to make up their mind about whether to approach her, rather than approach them, in this setting.

Then again, she also sometimes attracted the wrong kind of attention that was better suited to after work than before and it was easier to not imply intent by sitting with someone she didn't know well.

She found a table and put her plate down with the glass. She pulled the padd back out and sat down, with the padd in one hand, a fork in the other, and her feet kicked up on the empty chair across from her.

When her omelette was half-finished, and she sat with her fork held in her mouth still from her last bite in order to free her hands to make some more notes, the chair under her feet was unceremoniously yanked out from under them.

She tipped forward and her feet hit the ground. She looked up to see a Rigelian marine and a support ops enlisted Zakdorn.

The Rigelian smiled broadly as he sat astride the chair he'd stolen from her feet, rocking back and forth on the back two legs, while his Zakdorn companion sat to the side.

Nahia pulled the fork out of her mouth and put it on the plate. She swallowed her food, calmly took a sip of her cider, and then asked, "May I help you?"

"We wanted to know what was so funny," the Rigelian grunted.


"You were sitting by yourself, laughing."

"My friend here," the Zakdorn commented, "seemed to be afraid you were laughing at him."

"I didn't even know he was in here."

"So what's so funny?" the Rigelian asserted himself.

"Just, what I'm reading."

The Rigelian quickly snapped the padd out of her hand. Nahia sighed and crossed her arms over her chest. The marine looked at the padd, turning it around and trying to read it.

"This is nonsense," he grunted again. Nahia decided she'd call him Grunt.

"Just because you can't read it doesn't mean it's nonsense."

The Rigelian handed the padd to the Zakdorn and rocked back on the chair again.

"Just because you can doesn't mean it isn't," Grunt grunted.

"You're an engineer," the Zakdorn ship-mate handed back the padd after reaching that conclusion. Nahia decided she'd call him Weasel.

"Yes," Nahia took the padd back.

"You're reading a program?" Weasel inquired.

"Writing one."

"Is that right?"

"What kind of program?" Grunt seemed to not want to be forgotten in the conversation.

"It's a holo-novel."

"So you're a real writer," Weasel seemed to be recalculating her strategic value, the way he was looking at her.

"Well, a hobbyist, for now. Not going to be in Starfleet forever, am I? One day I hope I'll have a few of these out there. Good way to make a living. For now it's just a good way to spend my time out of uniform."

"You're in uniform right now," Grunt refused to be left behind, despite clearly not being at the level of the other two, "What's the story?"

Nahia smiled sanguinely, "It's a history. A story my father used to tell me about our people."

"One of those silly romances?" Grunt rocked back in his chair again.

Nahia bit her tongue as she did some quick practical physics calculations, "Technically? Yes."

Weasel caught the rising corner of Nahia's mouth and wrinkled his brow, looking from her to Grunt and trying to figure out what he wasn't accounting for.

"I prefer something with more action," Grunt yawned.

"Oh, there's plenty of action," Nahia turned to face Weasel, "you may have heard of the story it's based on: 'The Song of Roland'?"

It seemed to trigger something in Weasel's memory, but was just out of reach, "Sounds familiar. A poem about a battle. French?"

"Well, Roland was French. My people were on the other side," she stretched out a leg and tapped Grunt's foot. It wasn't hard, but her calculation was right and it was enough.

Grunt's eyes went wide. Her added tap pushed him just off balance, and left him comically flailing his arms as he felt his gravity shift from forward to backward. Almost in slow motion the chair went past the balance point and then quickly crashed to the ground, dumping Grunt unceremoniously on the ground.

The room paused and looked to see what the commotion was. Enough of them knew Nahia that they easily went back to their conversations, and the ones who didn't seemed to get the hint.

Weasel pushed back from the table calmly and helped Grunt untangle himself from his chair. Nahia hid a smile by taking a long sip of her drink.

Weasel gently stood the chair in it's original position and said, "You'll have to let me try it when you're done. Seems there's more to you than at first it appears."

Grunt stood up holding his elbow protectively and frowning. He looked like he wanted to say something, but Weasel stood between them and gave Nahia a little bow of his head. Weasel grabbed Grunt by the arm and turned him toward the door.

'Probably heading to sickbay to make sure I only hurt his pride,' Nahia thought to herself. She chuckled and took another forkful of omelette.


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