USS Unification
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Green and Gold

Posted on Wed Jan 28th, 2015 @ 12:11pm by Lieutenant Colonel Elena Wright & Lieutenant Commander Jennifer Matthews

Mission: Episode 4 - Parallels
Location: Mess Hall
Timeline: MD 1 - 1700

Jenni stepped into the Mess Hall, instantly surprised how busy it was. It was the customary dinner hour, also right at the shift change. The Chief Engineer had a reputation on other starships for being on duty a while after her shift ended, and today was actually the first time in more than a year that she broke that habit. For once, there was little to do, and hanging around Engineering after her shift would have found her wandering, considering the events of the day. This day had done much to confuse her, causing Jenni to wonder what madness she'd signed up for. As active as her previous ship was, at least information came by freely.

Alas, she was not in charge and she was fine with that.

What she was not fine with was the crowded Mess Hall. She had only been on board a couple days, and aside from the Captain and the Engineering crew, she didn't know a soul.

Jenni stopped at the replicator and ordered a chicken salad paired with a flavored tea before taking on the daunting task of finding a seat. It took more than a minute, but finally she found one next to a window. Someone was already at the table, a woman in Marine Green with a stack of PADDs before her. "Excuse me," Jenni asked, noting the high rank on her collar. "Mind if I join you?" The Marine obviously appeared busy, and Jenni only wanted to consume her meal and return to her quarters for the evening. Hopefully, the Marine would oblige.

With the alternative being reading through the padds someone else joining her at her table was a welcome change of pace. "Not at all Commander, it will actually be preferrably over this" Elena responded.

Jenni smiled with gratitude, sitting down at the table. "Thank you," she said, arranging the bowl, silverware and glass in front of her to her liking. She glanced up at the Colonel, not exactly wanting to engage in conversation, but had a feeling of being obligated to do so. Outside of Engineering, she knew very little of the ship's compliment. In fact, it wasn't until this very moment that she realized Marines were aboard. "I'm Jenni Matthews," she greeted. "Just came aboard a couple days ago. Do you command the Marine Contingent on board?" Jenni stabbed her salad and brought a small bite up to her lips.

Elena smiled. "Lieutenant Colonel Elena Kristina Wright, I am the Executive Officer actually. You are the Chief Engineer right?" She asked before taking a sip of water.

Jenni paused her chewing for a beat. Out of all of the people in the Mess Hall, she just had to be sitting with the XO. She collected herself quickly and downed the remainder of the bite, nodding in acknowledgement to the Marine's question. "Colonel," Jenni said, bearing a nervous smile. She paused, realizing how much the introduction had startled her. After a moment of fighting to regain her composure, Jenni finally said, "Forgive me, Colonel. I'm sorry. It's just... I've never seen a Marine in a Command position before." Even as she said it, Jenni hoped she didn't offend the XO. If she did, their next few encounters would become increasingly awkward.

Elena laughed, quite enjoying the awkwardness of the conversation. Opting not to let the Engineer suffer she would respond. "It is okay Commander, Marines in command positions are still rare enough that it is an understandable mistake" She said while putting down her glass on the table again.

The engineer was thankful for the XO's lightheartedness, though it was doing little to curb her nervousness. "Well," Jenni said, diverting her gaze to fiddle with her salad. "As XO, you know I haven't been here long." Jenni smiled and shook her head, thinking about how dumb that sounded. "How about you? Been with the Unification for a while?" She pierced a carrot and a couple small leaves of kale as she looked back up to Elena.

Elena had just finished her gumbo when Jenni asked the question "Not at all actually, I was previously assigned to the USS Hawk as Executive Officer and was only supposed to stay here as a consultant. However with the massive loss of crew on the previous Unification the Admiral assigned me to the XO spot. I've been on the ship for maybe a few weeks"

Jenni's eyebrows arched at the mention of heavy losses. Death was always in the back of the minds of most, after all, it was an occupational hazard. She'd been fortunate over the years to receive nothing more than a scratch or a burn. Her day would come eventually, she was sure. "Seems like a good ship," Jenni said, slightly changing the subject. "The engineering team is functioning as a well-knit unit, a credit to the previous Chief Engineer. Hopefully, we'll keep the Unification together longer than the last one."

Elena smiled "Yes I do hope so too, but I am glad to hear things are going well in Engineering. Are you integrating well into the crew in general?"

Shrugging while finishing a bite, Jenni confessed, "I guess so. I spent a lot of time finishing the refit that I'm just starting to get out of the engine room for once. I suppose that'll just come with time."

Elena nodded. "Oh definitely, in my experience the larger the ship the longer it takes and this is a very large ship. I take it your shift is over for today as well?"

"It is," Jenni said, looking down at the pile of PADDs that littered the table. "And it looks like yours is just beginning."

"Sadly this is homework, though I do think I might delegate some of these down the chain of command" Elena said looking at the pile as well, not really wanting to start with any.

Jenni nodded, finishing her salad. "I know what you mean. There are a few tech manuals calling my name, but after spending two days in Jefferies tubes, I'm ready to stretch my legs. I hear the Arboretum aboard is lovely."

"Admittedly I haven't been there yet but I have heard similar stories. There is just so much to explore on this ship" Elena responded.

"Well don't spend too much time buried in paperwork that you miss it." Jenni looked down at the PADDs once more and saw a report that she had filed that morning. "I'll help you with this one," she said, picking it up and holding so that the screen faced the XO. "This one basically says that the ship is working and nothing is broke anymore." She placed it off to the side. "There. You just gained back thirty minutes this evening."

"Thank you Commander, at least that is a start" Elena responded with a smile.

Jenni smiled. Though she often preferred to be on her own, she was enjoying this impromptu session with the XO. "Well, I won't keep you any longer, Colonel. It was a pleasure to meet you."

"The pleasure was all mine Commander" Elena responded.

Nodding with a smile, Jenni stood and left the room, but not before returning her empty bowl and glass into the replicator. She wasn't quite sold on visiting the arboretum, but a nice stroll around the ship before calling it a night was definitely in order.

As soon as Jenni left Elena would continue with her work.


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