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Sharing A Table

Posted on Fri Dec 16th, 2016 @ 11:45pm by Captain Claudia Ainscow & James Chen

Mission: S1E2 - Unity
Location: Mess Hall
Timeline: Mission Day 10; 12:15

Claudia decided it was a good a time as any other to mix with the contingent on the Vindex. She headed for the mess hall at lunchtime and decided instead of having it in the privacy of her own mess hall she would sit in view of the crew - that way Claudia thought that she was visible instead of being behind a door or on the bridge.

She collected her lunch from Paul at the serving counter - a lasagna with some garlic bread on the side - before walking over to a table where she could see a man sat alone. Approaching the table Claudia smiled and looked at him.

"Is this seat taken?" Claudia asked.

"Captain Ainscow!" Enthusiastically, the well-dressed man stood from his seat after being addressed. "An absolute pleasure to make your acquaintance." He held his hand out to take hers. "James Chen."

Claudia placed her tray down on the table before extending her hand and shaking James' hand firmly. She was aware that he'd transferred aboard the Vindex from Altor and having read up about his history Claudia was intrigued to find out more about the man.

"The pleasure is mine Mr Chen. I've read up about you and I've been keen to meet you in person. How are you today?" Claudia replied.

"I am about as well as can be expected, Captain," Chen smirked as he gestured to a PADD laying on his table. "I've got three other members of the trade committee breathing down my neck about shipping disputes among some colonies, meanwhile there's this whole...thing with the Ferengi, and to top it all off, my chief-of-staff is sending me about fifteen new messages every twenty minutes." James took his seat with a slight chuckle. "No rest for the wicked."

James took up the PADD and tossed it aside casually, devoting his attention to Claudia. "Please, Captain," He gestured for her to sit with him. "Enough about me. If there's one subject I hate, it's me." He gave a little exhale of a laugh. "You have quite the reputation. Thank you for granting me the privilege of, well, coming along." James locked eyes with the captain, smiling with eagerness. "Please, tell me about yourself. Your crew. Everything. I'm fascinated." He sat back, and brought a mug of coffee to his lips.

Claudia smiled and sat down at the table - listening to James as he talked. She reached for her glass of pineapple juice and took a drink out of it before placing it back down and replying.

"I'm glad to hear you're being kept busy. You're welcome - I'm always happy to welcome new people aboard whatever their position is - it's always nice to get to know a new face. As for me...well I've been here ten days and it's been quite an interesting ride so far. The crew are working well together and have responded well to the threat we're facing at the moment - we've managed to liberate three Starfleet vessels and they've joined us to help out. I don't think we've actually done any exploring yet - apart from on Rakhar - and that was to look for some missing people. I hope we can get some exploring done at some point...I think we all would" Claudia replied.

Claudia then took a bite out of a piece of garlic bread and started to eat her lasagna.

James sat back. "Inspiring." He took a deep drink from his mug. "I have a deep admiration for what you do, Captain. I never had the pleasure of serving, though I always do feel a tinge of...Regret?" He met her eyes as he brought his mug to his mouth again. "Tell me, Captain, do you enjoy it?"

"I've enjoyed the last fourteen years...on the whole anyway. There's been some experiences I've had - particularly with the Dominion - that haven't been enjoyable for obvious reasons but like I tell everyone else...I don't regret joining Starfleet and I never have" Claudia replied.

Chen nodded in agreement, taking the time to size up Ainscow in his own minute way. She seemed capable, effective, personable. Useful traits. "You have my sincerest admiration, Captain. I hope I won't interfere with your operation at all."

Claudia helped herself to some more of her lunch before replying. So far she was enjoying getting to know James and thought it had been a good decision to come to the mess hall for her lunch instead of her own private mess.

"Thank you. What happened with the Dominion will stay with me forever and as much as it was a hard time it's all in the past and I can and do see past it all. We have a Vorta on board in our Science department and he's a very loyal and capable officer" Claudia replied.

"Yes, I've read up on that particular peculiarity. I must say, you've assembled quite the crew." James offered a little chuckle. "Of which I now find myself a part. Well, feel free to call upon me, Captain, whenever you desire. Anything I can do, I would be glad to assist with."

Claudia smiled. "It wouldn't be the same without them. They've all done a sterling job so far and I'm proud of each and every one of them. I appreciate your offer too - if we need your assistance I won't hesitate to ask you"

The time soon flew and after finishing her dinner Claudia bid farewell to James and headed back to work. It was a tense time for all but she was glad to see a few new faces aboard the ship and hoped that once they had dealt with The Consortium they could start exploring like Claudia hoped she would be.


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