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Out to Eat

Posted on Sun Dec 27th, 2020 @ 6:11pm by Lieutenant Commander Archibald (Archie) Gates & Lieutenant JG Cara Ross

Mission: Mission 8 - A Blast from the Past
Location: Station Promenade
Timeline: 2296/03/02 1900

The day was not going to plan. That was not exactly a bad thing, but that wasn't a planned thing. She had been looking forward to an extended shift in the labs, wrapping up months of projects and passing them off to base staff, while the rest of her department made use of the Starbase lab's and capablities to do some more impressive number crunching over the next few days. She'd planned on then coming back to her quarters and enjoying a long shower, and reading the latest updated journals as well as some messages from home that had been waiting for her at the starbase.

Cara had not counted on the revolving door of new officers dropping by to introduce themselves and check out the ships head scientist. Not that she was exactly upset with how things were going, of course. Padding out the senior staff in the wake of recent departures was a good thing. Getting to know one's colleagues was all well and nice.

Getting asked to dinner by two of them on the same day, hours apart, was a bit unnerving.

Thus she stood in the middle of her quarters, wiggling her way into a pair of tight brown-gray slacks and cursing softly under her breath in the process, while trying to keep the lace black top in place. The outfit was a favorite of hers from the Academy as it showed off the tattoo on her back shoulder.
Archie had finished his duty shift a little later than he’d planned. Not by much but enough to make him rush as he didn’t want to be at Cara’s quarters late. He grabbed a quick shower and shave before throwing on some civvies. A plain pale blue shirt and some casual trousers. He wasn’t sure if it was his best look but the one he could manage in the time he had. He had planned a quick haircut at the ships barbers but that would just have to wait.

He arrived at Cara’s quarters at 1858, but decided against knocking on her door. He didn’t want to seem too eager after all. So he walked past her quarters and wait further down the corridor to wait the 2 minutes out. Once the chronometer hit 1900, he headed back and pressed the door chime and waited patiently.

The chime rang in her quarters, and Cara nearly jumped. "Oh fer fucks sake get a hold of yourself girl," she scolded her reflection. Louder, to carry through the door, "Just a moment!" And then she fussed about with her hair, and made sure she zipped the fly up on the pants. That would be...bad. Starisfied that she had everything in order, she fluffed her hair, took a breath and then paced across the front of her quarters and to open the door.

"Hi there!"

Archie cleared his throat and smiled. “You look amazing.” He said simply. The red headed science officer was good looking in her uniform, but in her own clothes she looked stunning which almost left Archie speechless. “Are you ready for a wander on the station?”

Green eyes flicked down and up, just once. Analytical training and overall observation skills above the norm let the Caldosian take in the XO pretty quickly. She liked what she saw, and favored him with a smile. "Sure!" She said, reaching over and grabbing her communicator off a small table where she generally dropped her day to day accessories when entering the quarters. In the blink of an eye it was clipped to her waist band near the back of her pants and she was out of her somewhat messy quarters and in the hallway.

“So, where did you fancy going first? The promenade or have a look at somewhere to eat?” Archie asked as they began to walk down the the docking port so they can move across to the station.

Clasping her hands behind her back, Cara bit her lip for a moment, pondering. "I've been pretty much working with my nose to the ground since we docked, so I wouldn't have a clue where to look for a bite, if we're being honest. May have also skipped lunch might be a good idea."

“Food it is then.” Gates replied with a smile. “Did you manage to finish the work you were doing?” He asked keeping the conversation flowing.

She gave a little shrug and pulled one of hands out from behind her back, wagging it side to side. "Mostly. Had some interruptions. It looks like today was new crew day," she flashed him a smile. "And did you make all your rounds?"

“I got everything done I needed to, although I finished later than planned. These things can’t be helped though.” Archie said as they walked. “Which reminds me, I spoke to the Science department on the station and they were more than happy to lend you a few extra hands while we’re here. You should expect a few people tomorrow morning.”

"Oh wonderful," she clapped her hands together. It wasn't that she had doubted that Gates could get the staff, just that she hadn't expected him to work that fast, seeing as he was brand new to the ship. "Thank you," she had to stop herself to say 'sir' as he'd been very on the point about a casual outing. "That should help us clear some of the back log from my predecessors projects."

“You’re welcome.” Archie replied with a smile. “Seems your counterpart on the station has been in your shoes before and was only to eager to help.” He added, pleased he could help Cara out.

"That's certainly nice of them. Nice to see that not all station based folk are stuffy prisses. That's usually how my luck's been," she noted, her accent a tad thicker. Still, she seemed right pleased by the outcome.

“Actually, they were very sympathetic to your cause, apparently they’d been there when they took over as head of science on the station so we’re more than happy to help. At least you’ll be able to get most of your predecessors work finished so you can move on to your own work.” Archie replied as they approached the docking hatch. “So, what are you fancying to eat?”

Someone I can commiserate with, who would have thought it? Cara noted to herself, in regards to the stations chief scientist. She'd set something up with them later to go over the backlog in more detail. A more pressing matter needed attending to - her rather empty stomach. Patting it lightly as they walked along, she shrugged her bare shoulders and pursed her lips for a moment. "Something that didn't come out of a food processor for one. A real meal, if you catch my drift. Last few days I haven't had the time to go down to the galley proper. I'm pretty flexible with food options though. No allergies. Don't care for broccoli but thats about it."

Archie chuckled, “When I mentioned dinner I meant a real meal. The food processor is fine but you can beat the real thing. So, you don’t like trees, noted, anything your partial to though? I like a good steak if I’m honest but am happy to try somewhere you like?”

Snorting a little laugh, Cara shrugged her shoulders, "We imported some highland cows when setting up the Caldos Colony but I've found the steaks taste much different outside the colony. I'd be fine with that. Steak and potatoes was a regular meal back home."

“Let’s see if we can find some decent steak then.” Archie smiled as they continued towards docking port.

“Tube grubs and milworms?” Archie said before looking at Cara. “Sounds interesting.” He added before sticking out his tongue. “Next restaurant?”

"Interesting is a word for it. I'm all for new life and new civilizations, but I think I'll pass."

"We've had a treaty for what, three years? And there's a place selling Rokeg blood pie and 'authentic Klingon Gagh?' Isn't that supposed to be alive when you eat it?" Cara noted, her face slightly green.

“So I’ve heard but I don’t think I’ll be trying it anytime soon!” Archie said screwing up his face in disgust. He looked down the long line of restaurants. “I didn’t realise there was quite so many here! One of the surely does steak?!”

Looking around, Cara gave a small shrug. "I'm willing to be the Vulcan Eatery does not. Maybe the Andorian Fusion place over there? Worth seeing..."

Archie headed over to the Andorian restaurant and began looking at there menu. “If they do steak, do you think they’ll cook it blue?” He said with a smirk on his face.

Laughing, despite herself, Cara shook her head, her accent thickening. "Ach, that was a horrible pun and ye aught to be ashamed. Saving grace is that it was funny."

“I’m glad you appreciated it.” He said with a chuckle. “Nope, I don’t think they have steak on the menu unless there’s an Andorian word for it but I can’t see it.”

Shaking her head a bit, the red haired scientist leaned forward to the printed menu on the window of the establishment, displaying a list of its offerings. She read down slowly, tracing a few words with her fingertip, then shook her head. "Nope, no Andorian for Steak. Mines a bit rust mind you, but I'm not seeing it. Ah well. The search continues."

“Who’d have thought trying to find a bit of cow would be such hard work?!” Archie said as they began to move on down the line. “Oh wait, is that an Argentine steak house over there? Have we found a winner?” He added pointing towards a restaurant on the right.

For a moment, Cara had to remind herself that Argentina was a place on Earth and not some far flung world. Having not been born on Humanity's homeworld, she was prone to confusing countries with colonies. "Aye well, I've not tried any Ar-gen-tine" she butchered the word thoroughly, "cuisine before but I'd be happy to defer to your judgement. Its made by Terrans so it'll probably do the job."

“Argentine steak is really nice. Not as nice Scottish steak but it’s pretty good.” Gates replied. “Come on, I’ll show ya.” He said with a grin as he took the red headed science officer by the hand and gently lead her over to the restaurant.

Back on Caldos, which was, entirely too conservative for Cara's tastes, such a think would have drawn an eye. Here on a modern starbase, it mattered not a wit, save that the redhead blinked a bit at the contact. She did not seem to mind, and followed along, laughing slightly at his exuberance. "Well all right then," she managed, as they made their way into the shop.

“Table for two, please.” Archie asked the greeter, who stood by the door.

“Of course, sir.” He said as picked up two menus and a wine list. “If you’d like to follow me.” He added before turning and headed deeper into the restaurant.

Gates let Cara go first and followed closely behind. “Here we, is the booth suitable?” The greeter asked.

“It should be fine, thank you.” Archie replied with a smile as he left Cara get comfortable before joining her, sitting opposite.

“Here are your menus and wine list.” The greeter said as he opened and passed the first to Cara, then again with Archie’s before placing the wine list on the table. “Your waiter will be Claude, he’ll be over shortly to take your drinks order.”

Settling into the booth was easy enough, and Cara wiggled a bit, getting herself situated. "Thank you kindly," she said to the host, and then glanced across at the XO as she snapped the menu open. "Steak was the name of the game tonight, right?" She asked, letting her eyes roam over the list of options. There were... a lot.

“I blooming hope so!” Archie said jokingly, as he too opened his menu and quickly scanned it with his eyes to find the word ’Steak’. “Bingo!” He added pointing to the steak section on menu. “We have a winner.”

She found it quickly enough, and looked over the options. Letting out a low whistle, she ran her finger down, and pursed her lips once more. "I hardly know where to start."

“They have a good selection actually.” Archie commented as he read what was there. “I’m thinking a 10oz rump?”

Knowing better did not stop Cara from glancing down and over her shoulder for a just a moment, then back at the menu. "Oh, steak cut. Sure, sounds like a good size." What was impressive was that she said it with a straight face.

“You having the same or something different?” Gates asked as he looked at the available side dishes.

"I may as well. I dinnae know much about argentine flavoring or the like, but its not the worse cut ever by any means. And I missed lunch."

“There’s no Argentine flavouring, it’s just where and how the cow is reared. The sauces are what make the steak. So the choice is yours?” Gates replied with a smile.

"Ah, so its a saucy steak," she replied, flashing him a grin that was a bit saucy herself. "I'll stick with what i said before. I missed lunch and a 10 oz is a pretty big cut compared to what my diet card says I'm supposed to have."

“Okie dokie, any sides?” Archie replied, grinning at the Science Officer at her saucy comment.

Smirking at that she gave it a once over again, statting assertively, "Ye cannae go wrong with potatoes along side a good steak. I'm sure there some other healthier veg that could be added to the mix as well."

Archie nodded before signalling a server they were ready to order. “Mind if I order for the both of us or did you want to order your own?” He asked, not wanting to take over but he was happy to do the ordering as they were having the same thing.

Giving him a little wave of the hand Cara shook her head. "No, by all means go right ahead and take care of it."

"Ok, what about a drink?" Archie asked.

"Scotch and cola if they have it. Just cola if not." She said automatically, as if there was no other option.

As the server came over Archie ordered the drinks then the main course. The waiter smiled before heading off to get the drinks. Archie looked at Cara and smiled, she was definitely beautiful even more some out of uniform. "So, how long have you been on America?"

Cara listened as he made the order and smiled, leaning over the table and resting her chin against her hands. "Ever since I graduated the academy actually. Posted here right off the bat to fill an empty Assistant Spot and I must have done something right because Captain O'Conner offered me the Department Head post as soon as it opened up. Probably the red hair."

"It might well be, but I've read your file and it's pretty impressive. I'm surprised at all that you've made department head so quickly. You definitely deserve it." Archie replied a genuine smile on his face.

She came by her blush naturally at that, rubbing the back of her neck, bashful and pleased with the words. "Why thank you," she managed not to say 'sir' or 'commander' in an effort not to bring rank back into the exchange. "Hopefully you'll still think that six months down the line with me running the department." She offered up a ready laugh.

"I can't think why there'd be a problem in six months. Your work is excellent. If you need any help or advise running a department then I'd be happy to help but I'm sure once you get into the role you'll be fine." Said Archie still smiling.

Mostly Cara was thinking about the turn over rate on the ship. But you didn't say that sort of thing to the new XO, especially when he was being quite flattering, on a professional and personal level. She wasn't that wet behind the ears. "Aye, hopefully I'll live up to that expectation. And never ye fear, if I need help, I'm not too stubborn to ask for it."

"I won't think any less of you asking. Asking questions gives you the knowledge to succeed." Archie replied as the drinks arrived.

A genuine smile crossed over her face at that and she took the drink with a small, light laugh. "I had a professor that liked to say something along those lines all the time. Of course, she said it in that dry, logical way Vulcan's always seem to manage."

"I get that." Archie replied with a chuckle. "So, what made you join Starfleet?" He asked curiously.

Ah, 'the question' Cara mused, curling a bit of hair around her finger. "Ah grew up on Caldos Colony, on the back edge o'the beyond. Lovely place. Rains, constantly. On purpose. I dinnae fancy being wet all my days." She laughed, it was true enough. then she added, "They're a right bit old fashioned and I wanted t'see the rest of the galaxy. Starfleet was the best way to do that. Plus, I get great access to the latest terraforming research. Might find something useful for back home."

"Noble reasons. I'm guessing you base some of your research on Terraforming?" Gates asked before taking a sip of his drink.

"Got it in one," she said with a grin. "Every new planet, every new climate, is a chance to learn something knew and improve things at home."

"So what do you need to change in your homeworld? Just the climate or does the soil need attention too?" Archie asked interested in what Cara had to say.

"The soil isnt' too bad. where there is soil. A lot of the place is rocky with short cropped grasslands. Enough topsoil to support grass or some grains, but not terribly deep. The climate's been the bigger struggle to tame. Some of the top researchers for climatology in the Federation come out of Izar, and they've been making regular treks to Caldos for comparisons."

Archie nodded his understanding, "I can see why you're interested in trying to sort that out. You need deep soil to grow other crops to help your planet be more self-sufficient."

"Nailed it," Cara agreed, lacing her fingers together and leaning forward on the table. "That's one of the driving factors for me. What about you?"

Archie sighed, he wasn't one to talk about himself. "What do you want to know?"

She knew that sigh, she'd heard it before on more than one person, and she felt one red eyebrow make a slow climb up her forehead, not unlike her Vulcan colleagues. "Well, you asked about my motivations behind singing up, I'm curious about yours. But if its a sore subject..."She let her words hang in the air. The call was his.

"I wish a bit of a lad when I was growing up. Always in trouble with my brother's. I pretty much idealised them. When they left to join the academy that's what I wanted to do too. I was pretty good at flying so chose Flight Control as my major." Archie replied. "Not as interesting as yours I guess." He added with a smile.

"Nothing terribly wrong about following in family footsteps, even if it's not quite what I've done." Technically, snagging a masters degree in climatology was following in her parents footsteps, but she didn't see it as quite the same thing.

Archie laughed, "Both my parents were Civilians, but watching my brother's head off to the academy made me want to go too. I hated living in New Berlin, it was boring as hell and very easy to get into trouble."

A few facts clicked into place and she gave a nod. "New Berlin - you're a moon baby then?" She asked with an almost wicked grin. She'd picked the term up from her parents.

Archie smiled, "Yep. My dad was part of the Structural engineering team. He kept the domes from imploding. My mom was a teacher."

"I bet coming to Earth was fun. The lunar gravity ...had to do some survival training out beyond the domes for the Academy. Never actually set foot inside one of the cities. Do they augment the gravity any to make it easier to go down to Earth or...?"

"Not really. You don't really notice the spring in your step until to go down to Earth. It's a labour at first but after about half a day you get used to it and it's not so bad. I think the first day at the academy I spent with a bad back trying to pretend I was walking ok." Archie said with a chuckle.

"Ahhh, I see," Cara shot him a sympathetic look. "Caldos has a slightly higher gravity. Not very much mind you, but I noticed it for ...maybe half a day, when I first boarded the transport ship form the colony to Earth for the Academy. Slightly the opposite for me, I felt lighter than usual."

"Yeah it's always easier going home than coming back. Although I believe they're planning to adjust it to a normal earth standard for Luna, but I feel it's one of those rumours that will keep going round for years to come and not actually happen." Gates said.

A distant sort of look bubbled up on Cara's face as she started to work through the various options of how to change a planets gravitational pull. "Given the proximity of Luna to Earth, would increasing the internal gravity of the orbiting moon impact the tidal pull on the planet..." she blinked. "Oh damn, sorry. Went all super-scientist there for a moment." She blushed.

"It's all over my head." Archie said with a shrug of his shoulders. Just as he said that the server arrived with their food. "Oh great, I'm starving." He added as he looked at both plates as they were placed in front of them.

"Hazard of the profession, though one of my instructors assured me that it'd get better with experience. I think she was lying though," her tone was borderline conspiratorial, but her whole expression changed to excitement as the meal was placed out. A small whistle escaped her lips.

"If this tastes as good as it looks I might have to be rolled back to the ship after this."

"If need be I can get us transported back." Archie replied with a wink. "I don't think I'll need to eat for a week after this!"

Settling in to enjoy the meal, Cara let out a laugh. "As long as you're the one authorizing it I'm not going to say no."

"Perks of the job." Gates replied with a wink.

"I'll try not to abuse too many of your perks then," the redhead promised with a little giggle, popping another bite into her mouth with obvious relish.

The meal and conversation continued to go well with plenty of stories from each others home and academy tales.


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