Meeting the Comms Chief

Posted on Mon Feb 22nd, 2021 @ 9:25am by Lieutenant Aurora Rogers & Lieutenant Commander Archibald (Archie) Gates

Mission: Mission 8 - A Blast from the Past
Location: Ship's Lounge

Archie walked into the ship's lounge and headed straight for the bar. He ordered a pint of ale, which was quickly placed in front of him. He grabbed the pint glass and turned to look around the lounge and find a place to sit.

As his eyes visually scanned the lounge he noticed the blonde, no silver, hair of a member of the crew. He remembered the new Comms officer had reported on board and recalled from her file that she had eye catching hair. The Commander thought it would be the perfect opportunity to introduce himself to her. He headed in that direction. "Lieutenant Rogers, isn't it?" He asked with a smile.

Aurora jumped out of her skin as she snapped out of her gaze. She'd been people watching but had been so focused on a couple having an argument she'd not noticed the handsome man come over. "Sorry," she offered a smile, her voice rather quiet, "sorry, yes, Aurora, Rory." Her dazzling blue eyes looked him over a moment,as she thought, "I'm sorry. Your face is familiar, but my brain is dead."

"Archie Gates, America's first officer." He said as he offered the Lieutenant his hand to shake. "It's a pleasure to meet you. I'm sorry for making you jump, I didn't mean to startle you."

Aurora waived him off, "no, don't worry. I was zoned out. It's nice to meet you Archie." She shook his had, diplomatically.

"May I join you?" Gates asked pointing to the vacant seat in front of her.

Seemed out of the blue, but she couldn't just say no without reason. Her reasoning would have been stupid as clearly she was alone and he would see she would remain that way. She gestured to the chair with a contradictory smile, betraying her anxieties. "Please, join," Aurora finally offered.

"Thank you." Archie said with a smile as he sat down. "So, how long have you been aboard?"

"A few days," she replied, "I was almost late. I thought I'd have to shuttle here, but the Sandringham pulled up with hours to spare." She paused, she preferred to discuss others and not to talk about herself, "have you been with the America long?"

"That's lucky then. Catching up via shuttle sounds dull, boring and very long winded." Archie replied. "I'm a new recruit to America too, this is my first posting as First Officer. I've been on board for a couple of weeks now so I think I've got to know most of the crew, even if I'm still not 100% with names yet."

"Well, since you're first officer, I have the assistance of being able to call you 'sir', therefore never having the embarrassment of stuttering whilst searching for a name... Sir," she giggled. Suddenly, inside she felt a little guilt in her joke and her smile faded.

"My rank is left at the door when I come in here, Archie will do fine." He replied. "So, what do you think of America so far?"

"So far so good, it's the largest ship I've been on so far, so I'm still navigating it," she replied honestly, trying to brush off the rank comment, "any tips?"

"Yeah, same for me." Archie agreed. "My last ship was a Miranda so this is a big jump up. I'm not sure I have any advice as I'm still getting to grips with the bigger ship. My main areas I've focused on is Engineering, the Bridge and bar." He added with a grin.

Rory chuckled, "important places. Bridge and bar. I hope you know where your quarters are too. The all three important B's: bridge, bar, bed."

"Well, yeah, bed is the start and finish point of my day but my quarters haven't been so welcoming. After my first night aboard the door mechanism failed and I had to crawl out via the internal access tunnels. Not a great start to a new assignment. I hope your quarters have been a lot nicer and welcoming than my own?" Archie asked as he took a sip of his ale.

That sparked a new anxiety," they were feeling homely until the thought of not getting out was put on the table. Gawd. On the plus side, you know a route out if there was ever an actual emergency and if you ever wanted to play a damn good game of hide and seek."

"True, but it's one I'll only do if I absolutely need to. Doesn't matter how fit you think you are, those tunnels are awfully tight! I'm so glad I didn't chose Engineering as my speciality." Gates replied.

Aurora chuckled, "that I can understand. I was always too much of a neat freak to go into it. Plus, I think I was predestined. My father was in communications too."

"Ah, being good with your ears and tongue is a family trait. I'm not sure where I got the flying bug from, probably my misspent youth with my brother's getting into mischief." Archie replied with a smirk.

Aurora had been flirted with in the past and wasn't sure if this was that. The smirk was a maybe. As for the tongue comment, definitely Maybe. She put an intrigued face on and continued the conversation nonetheless," tell me more."

"I was dragged home by New Berlin security force more times than I've had a hot meal. We were always up to no good, playing pranks on each other or friends from school or even school teachers. There was never a dull moment in our house. I think I went a full year where I always had a broken bone. My arm, leg, finger's, toes, ribs, you name it I've probably broken it." Archie said with a smile. "My bad boy ways didn't really stop when I got to the academy." Archie grinned. "Well, I'm sure you didn't come here to hear about the bad boy first officer." He added with a wink.

Aurora blushed at the wink and then grinned, "I didn't, but now I'm intrigued. What is you best, ever 'bad boy' incident."

"When I was younger or during my Starfleet career?" Archie smirked. "It's an extensive list either way."

"There must be one," Rory pried, "one thing that trumped it all. The best."

"Probably getting drunk with my superior officer and headed up in fight when I was station on Deep Space 5. Took most of the on duty security force to pull us apart." Archie grinned before taking another sip of his drink. "That superior officer also happened to be my brother who was chief of security in board DS5."

Aurora was shocked, but very entertained, "wow, I'm surprised you are still working. Good work out for the security guys though, I'm sure." the woman sipped her drink and then added, "who won?"

"I broke my brother's jaw and I kept my good looks." Archie said playfully wiggling his eye brows. "Unfortunately, that ended my time of Deep Space 5. He didn't press charges but had me quickly reassigned."

Aurora chuckled, "apparently it didn't hurt your ego." She tried banter to see if it would be OK. His story was amusing but evident he had an ego.

"Well, my ego wasn't hurt but I decided I had some growing up to do if I wanted to get my career back on track. I was lucky to get a good Captain who took me under his wing and showed me how to be a reasonable man being instead of the ass I was." He replied candidly.

Aurora was surprised at the candor. She appreciated it. "Well I'm glad it helped you in that respect." She sipped her drink and smiled.

"Kinda stupid really, it took me so long to grow up." Archie replied truthfully. He really did regret a lot of things in his past. "Anyway, enough talk about me, what about you? What makes you tick?"

"Me?" she replied, a little startled at the tables turning. She wasn't a fan about talking about herself. "I'm not a 'tick' person. I'm relatively late back. I guess, talking about myself is not my forte. In fact, yes, that makes me tick. I cannot talk about myself. To be fair, I'm not a massively interesting person. I'm just me." Aurora shrugged then had a light bulb moment, "Oh, that and people thinking I look like a child or and I quote 'to pretty' or 'too delicate' to be in Starfleet."

"Then those people should never judge a book by it's cover." Said Archie. "It takes a special type of person to chose a life in Starfleet. It's not for the faint hearted. Anyone who says that about you, point them in my direction. Your a hard worker, the rank on your shoulder and the position you have in this ship proves it. We've all had the same basic training, we are all cut from the same cloth." He smiled.

Aurora hadn't expected such a response. Somehow it made her feel comforted and yet equally guilty. The woman had often questioned if her rise had been because of her father or because of her own merit. Rory offered a genuine smile and her cheeks flashed red, she'd take the compliment and encouragement, "I appreciate the sentiment. Thank you."

"Not at all. It's well deserved. The Captain generally only has the best of the best aboard the America." His mind flashed to the pain in the ass chief engineer but quickly pushed the though away again. "Your an excellent officer, don't be disheartened by idiots. Well, I've ruined enough of your evening, I'll leave you peace." Archie said with a smile as he stood up. "It's a pleasure to finally meet you, Rory."

"Far from ruined," Rory beamed in genuine delight, "thank you for coming over. It was great to actually meet you, off the clock."

"And you." Archie smiled as he picked up his drink. He gave the Comms officer a small wink before turning to fine his own table to sit at.

Aurora's cheeks flashed red at his wink. Was he flirting? She shook it off, but struggled to tear her eyes away from him. This was going to be an intriguing ship to say the least.