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Singing for her brunch

Posted on Sat Jul 9th, 2016 @ 12:52pm by Ensign Anastasia Bogolyubov

Mission: S1E1 - Booby Trap
Location: Mess Hall
Timeline: Mission Day 2, 1000

Anastasia discovered that Gamma Shift was less distressful than she had been led to believe. Since it seemed that the majority of the ship's crew were in their sleep cycle during Gamma Shift, it meant less stimuli and social cues for Anastasia to shift through. Gamma Shift was also the primary time period that maintenance, updates and diagnostic checks were routinely scheduled, and Anastasia found the repetition of these tasks soothing. True, one particular noncommissioned officer from Operations who was intermittently on the bridge to monitor one upgrade engaged in what Anastasia classified as "minor flirting," but when Anastasia ignored it, the young man in question simply went back to being harmlessly friendly. The only truly noteworthy event that happened during the entire shift was the detection of three minor spatial anomalies by long range sensors. The anomalies themselves were of only nominal scientific interest, but they should provide additional navigational "markers" for ships operating in the area. With that in mind, Anastasia made a preliminary cataloging of all three anomalies and sent detailed reports to Lieutenant Dreznik, as well as the ship's astrometrics officer and its stellar cartographer. Anastasia also made a mental note to schedule a meeting with the latter as soon as practicable.

After her shift was completed, Anastasia spent an hour and a half in the science lab programming an algorithm to correlate certain...oddities she had been taking note of. She had noticed them on her shift, had done a search and discovered them occurring on other shifts as well. Nothing that would stand out to anyone who wasn't as obsessively detailed oriented as Anastasia. Perhaps a thirty-second lapse in a computer log here, a two minute gap in a sensors log there. Anastasia couldn't ascertain a common cause, but was certain that there had to be one. It unsettled her to know there was a common cause and not be able to identify it.

Anastasia sent a "cc" of her activities to Lieutenant Dresnik, as per regulations, and was going to retire to her quarters, when her stomach rumbled. She thought about seeking out a replicator, but remembered one of the other officers on Gamma Shift talking about an actual chef in the primary mess hall. More than one chef, if she remembered correctly. With a hierarchy among themselves, she was certain. Normally she would prefer to eat by herself, as eating around strangers presented too much stimuli for her comfort level. Still, there was something about eating something that wasn't replicated that reminded her of the comforts of home...

Entering the mess hall, Anastasia was relieved to see that there were only a handful of people present. Too late for breakfast, too early for lunch, she surmised. There was, however, a Bolian standing behind a serving station, perhaps preparing for the lunch crowd.

"Ah, ensign, come in, come in," the Bolian barked jovially, gesturing for Anastasia to fully enter the mess hall. "I absolutely adore your choice of color coordination. Uniform and hair, that is. Blue on blue. But it's a Bolian thing," the chef chuckled, gesturing toward his own scalp.

"This signifies my status as a member of the sciences and medical division," Anastasia answered neutrally, touching her uniform right above her commbadge. "This is within the standard genetic deviation of my mother's people," she finished, touching her hair above her scalp line.

"Of course, of course," the Bolian answered good-naturedly. "Still a little early for lunch, though I have the soups ready. I'm especially proud of the tomato bisque. And I can whip up anything your blue heart desires."

Anastasia pondered the offer for a moment, tempted to ask for a bowl of borscht and a jar of kvass. That's what her grandmother would serve her for lunch, when she came home for her midday break. Then her grandmother would serve her a couple of piroshki, sometimes insisting that Anastasia eat a third, to "put meat on her bones." Anastasia knew the recipe of her grandmother's borscht, as her grandmother insisted that her borscht recipe was how her grandmother won her grandfather's heart. But Anastasia decided now was not the time to instruct the Bolian chef on how to properly prepare the soup.

"I will have a bowl of the tomato bisque. And a glass of cold, unsweetened tea, please." Anastasia finally replied.

"Nothing else? You'll waste away just eating soup," the Bolian laughed.

"I eat one part of the meal at a time. Will that be a problem?" Anastasia asked in a serious tone. Perhaps the replicator would have been the better choice after all.

"Not if you're willing to sing for your supper," the Bolian joked.

Anastasia blinked her eyes, trying to make sense of the last request. Her brother Roman had told her that certain ships and units had 'traditions' when they crossed certain lines or points. Perhaps Anastasia had accidentally stumbled upon such a tradition here, though she was unaware of the Vindex having crossed any 'meridians', real or designated. What should she sing? Something abridged, assuredly. Perhaps something from that music form known as 'supper theater?' Should she ask the Bolian for a cue, or was this something that she was supposed to know, or was expected to show initiative on?

The Bolian chef was about to try to disrupt the stupefaction that he had inadvertently thrown this odd junior officer into when she opened her mouth and a clear, beautiful voice emerged.

"I'm a little lamb who's lost in the wood
I know I could, always be good
To one who'll watch over me..."

The few crewmembers in the mess hall stopped their dining and conversations, turning to listen to Anastasia unabashedly sing the Irving classic. When she finished with the heartfelt last line "Someone to watch over me," there was more than a smattering of applause.

Anastasia had to ask the Bolian twice if she could have her soup now. He blinked his eyes twice and said, "Sure, sure," before spooning it out.

"Will I be required to sing for each course?" Anastasia asked as she took her tea and bisque.

"No, ensign," the Bolian replied, "I think you're covered for the rest of the trip."

Anastasia gave the Bolian a curt nod, found a table and, with her back to the rest of the mess hall, began eating her bisque.


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