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Breakfasts at Harvey's -- JPL: Cnslr Rinaldi and Cadet Barak Rel

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by Lieutenant Commander Lucia Rinaldi & Cadet Barak Rel
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Breakfasts at Harvey's
JPL:  Cnslr Rinaldi and Cadet Barak Rel

(This log takes place during the week before the Halloween Gala.)

Up on the top floor of The Gateway condominium building in the Embarcadero district of San Francisco, Lucia Rinaldi put her feet up on a tufted hassock as she relaxed in one of the wooden Adirondack chairs out on her balcony. The sky over the water had begun separate into colorful streaks and before long the sky in front of her was shot-through with pinks, lavenders and blues.When she blinked briefly,she found that the sun had crept up and began spreading a magnificent coating of gold over the horizon. Lucia shielded her eyes with a hand, not wanting to miss another second of the magnificent transition from night to day. She had seen sunrises on a number of planets but her favorite was on Earth.

She sat for a few minutes more enjoying the crisp morning air and the warmth of the new day’s sun as she sipped from a frosty glass filled with a blend of strawberry and orange juices that mimicked the shades of the sunrise that she had just enjoyed.’’


All too soon she would need to bring herself out of the relaxing interlude and to prepare for her day. Just thinking about the day ahead, Lucia’s mind began to review what was on her agenda. She had appointments with a number of cadets, a daily briefing with the Dean Janseen and she wanted to squeeze in a visit to the Farmer’s Market, before 0900 if possible since the best fruits and vegetables always got snatched up early.’


Cadet Barak Rel tossed and turned in bed all night seeing his room mate so sick in the morning. Charlie still had not come home and night was giving away to day outside.


He quickly and quietly dressed to see the sunrise...if he had to go without sleep the Trill once told him greet the sun no matter the planet you are on and it will help to revitalize you for the coming day.


There were still several hours left till he had to be in class so he requested a morning pass to get breakfast at a small establishment his feline roommate had told him of.


He grabbed a duffel and headed out in search of the perfect breakfast hideaway that only the locals knew about where the prices were fair and the food was in great quantity. He hopped a bus at the campus gate and was headed for an area known as the Castro district.


He too was enjoying the sunrise.


Her smoke alarm started going off in the middle of picking what to wear. Lucia rushed out to see smoke pouring from her kitchen and quickly realized that she had incinerated her bagel. She opened the balcony door and fanned the air until the smoke dissipated, then scraped up the remains of her breakfast and tossed them into the recycler. She didn’t care for getting used to a different kitchen but she made the effort to put up with the hassle anyway because she disliked the taste of replicated breakfast foods, among others. The blare of the alarm finally ceased at the same time she realized that her pantry was bare.


With at least two hours to go before her first meeting, she considered her options. Breakfast at the Academy Commons Cafeteria would definitely be replicated. She hadn’t met any of the neighbors in the building yet and had no clue where to get a good non-replicated breakfast in this part, or in any part, of San Francisco.


She racked her brain as she finished getting ready. A clear visual of a plate of green eggs and ham popped into her thoughts and it was a second before she remembered why that was floating around in her thoughts.


Originally, it had been a meal and a catchphrase from a popular children’s book, way back in the twentieth century. She suspected that as the generation of kids who had been entertained by the book became adults, they decided to recreate the foods in any number of epicurean ways, Both the children’s book and the adult food-styling of the dish had stood the test of time. Lucia had told Rel that she could cook him a version and she did in fact know a good recipe for it.


Not likely that he’ll ever come over for breakfast. She thought letting her mind wander to the enigmatic man. She found his complex and unique nature intriguing. If we ever try another meld, I wonder what kind of things I’ll see?


Abruptly, Lucia felt herself back in the dream-like state which she had experienced in the mind meld. She could see Rel. He was off campus, walking somewhere in the city. A part of her rejected what she thought she saw. After the recent incident, all cadets had been warned not to leave campus without a pass. Rel didn’t seem like a rebel but with nine previous hosts and a symbiont, who knew what the Vulcan host might do? She wasn’t even sure she was really seeing him. Maybe it was just a residual effect from their meld. Rel! What are you doing? She shouted telepathically anyway.


Rel was startled by the contact. Then he realized the voice was someone he knew. He had just found a spot to enjoy breakfast. He responded I am getting some breakfast with a morning pass here. His mind flashed an image of the joint - HARVEY'S.


Now Lucia jumped. Before the meld her ability to access her telepathic abilities had been very limited. She’d had little success previously in exerting direct control over it and with that kind of limitations she’d ceased trying to work on it long ago. Rel had suggested that the way she had been able to both experience his thoughts and to show him hers, might mean she had given up too soon.


And just now, she accomplished what she never before been able to do.


~~I can find that place.~~ She replied with confidence. ~~Order me a coffee, black please?~~


Rel entered the establishment. He found a table and sat down facing the door. Within a few minutes a waitress was over to his table. She handed him a menu.


“I am expecting a guest.” He said, “She asked me to order a coffee for her. He looked over the beverages quickly. “I’ll try the hot apple cider..” he informed the waitress.


The restaurant had a 1980’d feel a and listened to the music.  The lighting was subdued and provided by three globe shaped chandeliers over the bar.Someone had recently picked “Duke of Earl”. Somehow the song felt right as to how he was feeling this morning.


Lucia was feeling conflicted. Part of her wanted to push this new development away. A few incidents of extra-sensory perception here and there over the years had been fine. She had always been comfortable when in contact with telepaths and had eagerly anticipated and participated in the mind meld with Rel. But she hadn’t considered that contact could lead to her tapping into that latent ability. She wasn't afraid per se but because she was a trained psychological professional she didn't want the added burdens and expectations that came with being actively telepathic.


She hadn’t needed to consult a map or ask for directions. She just focused her thoughts on Rel and she knew where to go and how to get there.


When she arrived she was feeling unsettled. Lucia hoped that because Rel was a touch-telepath that he wouldn’t sense her distress. She spotted him just as a server sat two beverages on the table where he was seated. She took a few breaths and slid into the other chair.


Her eyes looked worried and maybe a bit scared.


Rel didn’t need his telepathy to understand what he saw in those eyes. He wanted to say something of comfort but was at a loss for words. He decided it was better if he let her broach the subject if she so chose to this morning.


His mind however could sense the frustration and fear.


The Trill found the words for him… “Have no fear. A fragmentary link can be a good thing for both of us. We can alert each other of danger if such an event were to happen. I know it IS scary at first. Don’t worry no malice is meant by it.”


The Vulcan thought “The link only happens 3 to 5 percent of the time with individuals other than Vulcans, Your mind is unusually strong for a human.”


“The effects may wear off in a week or could last a lifetime.” the trill added.” Welcome to the 4th dimension of reality.” it added.


Lucia had been listening so intently that she absentmindedly poured the sugar onto the table instead of in her coffee cup. She looked less out-of-sorts after listening to what he had explained.


The server appeared with a coffee canister in hand. He did notice what she had done with the sugar and he silently sweep it up, whisked it away and replaced her cup with a fresh one.


“I’m sorry, guess you could tell that I'm discombobulated by this telepathy thing. I have a tendency to overthink things and that leads me to overreact at times. ” She sipped the coffee without sugar. “It’s my Italian roots. I've always been melodramatic.” She smiled, “It's probably the exact opposite of what a Vulcan would do. She laughed. And if you want drama, you should be there when all four of my sisters and I get together!


An image of Lucia and her sisters flashed in Rel’s head. The five girls, in their early to late teens descended like a flock of honking geese on the unsuspecting merchants at an outdoor market. They tore through the stalls, “looking” at the items for sale using their hands. Scarves flew one way, hats another, bracelets were dangled and all the while the group was loudly and enthusiastically chattering and modeling the merchandise. They kept it up for a few minutes before pressing payment into the merchant’s hands and flitting off, leaving the outdoor market to clean up after Hurricane Rinaldi.


“The noise and hand gestures alone might probably look like something was going terribly wrong!” She told him.


Rel smiled understanding what she meant.


He saw the waiter returning for their orders. “Do you know what you want? I am having a tall order of “flap jacks” he stated.


Lucia giggled. It felt silly to hear a Vulcan as for flap jacks. Slowly, her worries and stress level we're going down.


“I’ll have the same.” She told the waiter.


When she looked back at Rel, she realized something, In a crowded restaurant, she could only sense one. She was even more confused by how that realization made her feel.


Five pancakes arrived for each of them with the customary jams, jellies, butter and syrup. Rel finally sipped his cider. The sweet taste made him even hungrier for the meal before him.


Lucia lifted each pancake and added a pat of butter and a splash of syrup between them. She ate them with a good bit of gusto and didn't interrupt the meal with more talking. About halfway through the stack she set her fork down and push the plate away.


“Delicious and filling! She said looking over the table at Rel. Something besides his class schedule seemed to be on his mind. “Question for you.” She asked, mainly as a way to shift the topic from her own worries. “What do you want me to call you? Barak, Teven or Rel?”


The Vulcanoid swallowed his last mouthful of his own breakfast. “Most of my friends call me Barak due to the fact that is my stronger persona.* he reasoned. Rel works in more formal situations such as class. He wanted to say more but the ethics of her profession made his next comment a moot point until graduation at least.


He picked up his apple cider and again took a drink. The cup was almost empty.


He sat back in the chair and gave her a half smile. The image of breakfast with the family flashed in his head. He in turn offered an image of his Vulcan wife making breakfast in his “home.”


Barak closed his eyes. He wanted her to see him at peace with the moment but a nervous twitch gave away that something else was on the vulcan’s mind.


“They do make good pancakes here,  I will definitely have to visit again.”   She took a breath.  Lucia had “heard” a lot in his pauses and omissions,  She was genuinely touched to have him share a very personal memory of his wife and she felt a fleeting feeling of...joy...seeing his half-smile.  Lucia could also tell that beneath all those layers, something more close to the surface was troubling him.  It wasn’t as personal, but something was causing him to be worried.


She decided to be straightforward and hope that her forthrightness would make him more inclined to share. “What’s wrong?”  She said.


“It’s complicated. There is the Hatfield issue and there are unsettling rumors because of my advanced age.” he forced himself to relate to her.


She started to reach across the table and to cover his hand with her own but stopped herself.


“That’s right, Charlie Hatfield is one of your roommates. I’m still trying to figure out what motivates him or causes him to lash out like he does.  I’m pretty sure a lot of …”


“Charlie hates aliens. That much he has made perfectly clear. I don’t know why.” the vulcanoid reciprocated. “Have you seen the way he looks at the Andorians on campus?… There is a thousand mile stare if I ever saw one. Kobor and I  have seen worse than that. Saturday night he was tossing and turning all night. When the alarm sounded he was up swinging only half awake. He was muttering something about off worlders being assassins and worse, mutants.”


“Charlie has hidden his problems so long he is a walking volcano of rage.” he added. “But Charlie isn’t my only worry… He is a known threat and that can be dealt with easier than the unknown… Rumor is that certain individuals have made disparaging remarks about me because of my age. They find me creepy or worse believe me to be some kind of predator.” The Vulcanoid shook his head.


“Lastly I have my own issues. I am legally dead on both of my home worlds. The Trill government actually held a  four .month court case to see if the symbiont should be removed from me because I did not go through the proper procedures being Vulcan, therefore ineligible to host the Rel symbiont. Teven's life as they saw it was over… The argument that saved my life was from Teven himself. Separation would be a double death sentence.”


Every time Lucia had started to comment or reply during Rel’’s recounting of what was “wrong” she silenced herself.  She had even made sure to keep her face neutral and to avoid making a sound.  


And when he finished, she was hard-pressed to know where to begin.

Charlie Hatfield’s actions were the most alarming.  It was uncommon, but those who had suppressed their anger to the degree it appeared that Charlie had, could become dangerous to himself and others.   But when dealing with the human psyche, things were rarely as the appeared to be on the surface.  All of the anger and resentment Charlie was displaying could be a subconscious way of protecting himself from being hurt again.  By exaggerating his hatreds he effectively pushed away those around him and kept anyone from caring or getting close,   After all, he HAD passed the rigorous psychological testing required to get into the Academy.  If his case were what it appeared, he would have washed out…..


Lucia realized that she had been lost in her thoughts for several minutes.  Rel had been patiently sitting there the whole time.


“Sorry to get lost in my thoughts, you gave me a lot to think about….and your roommate’s behavior would trouble any one.  For privacy concerns, I can’t speak about the details of his situation but I’m grateful that you’ve made me aware of the extent of his potential issues so that I can better address and get to the bottom of things.”


“Regarding those ridiculous rumors, my suggestion would be to do your best to let it slide.  It’s in the nature of most humanoids to fear differences or to a least be wary of them in others.  Just as I’m 100% sure their fears are baseless, I’m just as confident that making a big to-do over them  could backfire. But, if you are threatened, or find the situation escalating, don’t hesitate for a nanosecond to get security involved immediately and once you’re safe, make sure the dean and I are contacted.”


“And the problems you’ve endured as a result of the joining….I don’t know where to start and if I did Harvey’s wouldn’t be a good spot to begin.”


She shifted to telepathy.  ~~But I can assist you in becoming more at peace with it and in gaining a firmer understanding of your place in the galaxy,~~  She projected an image of herself dressed in a gauzy flowing dress standing on a rocky outcropping looking over cerulean blue waters.  She pulled the dress over her head and underneath she was clad in a solid blue swimsuit that matched the water.


She then turned and offered “him” her hand.


~~Come on Teven, sometimes you just have to trust yourself and JUMP.~~


Which is what she did, flying off the cliff she dove into the calm water below.


Then she spoke aloud.  The waiter had brought their check and she had paid,


“I’m going to get a quick trip into the farmer’s market before I go to campus.” She told him.
“I’d invite you to come along but I don’t want to contribute to your truancy.”  She laughed.


“See you on campus………..”


Barak had just enough time to make it back for morning roll call. Kobor was stirring but Charlie’s bed was still empty.


END



   
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