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JL - Swift/Deniaud/Zomaii

USS Hermes Lounge


by First Lieutenant Leonard Swift, Ensign Marielle Deniaud, Ensign Kiki Zomaii
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[Deniaud/Swift/Zomaii] Collaboration Log

Stardate: 201604.19 [19 April, 2016]

Weddings Mead With Coffee


Marielle watched with some interest as waves of engineers moved into the Hermes from Starbase 47. Many carried the standard engineer’s toolbox with them, but several dragged antigrav sleds that were overflowing with equipment and larger tools. It was a sight to see, and Marielle had to wonder exactly how much pull the Commodore had to have in order to manage such an extensive repair in such a short amount of time. When he had informed the Hermes engineering team that repairs were to take no more than a week, Marielle was ready to comment on the ludicracy of such a timeline. They were engineers, not miracle workers - despite what he may have thought after managing the crisis she liked to call “The Binary Doomy Death Holes and the Incredible Battery Magnet Worms”. It was only by Levani’s very gentle pleading did Marielle calm down enough to inform the Commodore, without uttering a single usual string of profanity, that he was simply asking too much of his team. That that point, Commodore Billings only smiled knowingly and informed her that the timeline was to remain. Apparently, they had a wedding to catch? Marielle scoffed as she watched another wave of engineers entered the Hermes, this one dragging an antigrav sled piled tall with several thick coils of conduit tubing.


It was from the corner of her eye that she caught sight of two crewmen moving towards her, each dragging an antigrav sled with each hand. They looked rather tired and put off as they pulled the sleds, each piled high with two stacks of three large storage crates. Marielle’s face lit up at the sight, and she jumped while rapidly clapping her hands when they finally reached her. “Yay! My coffee!” she squealed in a high-pitched voice. She didn’t notice the two crewmen gawk at her reaction nor did she notice them leaving while they grumbled about caffeine addiction. Marielle moved to a random antigrav sled and made quick work of the latch. The aroma of roasted coffee beans, each perfectly packaged, hit her lungs with full force the moment the lid of the top storage crate was flung open. She sighed loudly, the sound of utter contentment and peace, as the scent surrounded her and drowned out the smell of cold metal and the vastness of space.


At the time of the arrival of the coffee in arduous amounts, the tall Wolfen was walking back with his own antigrav sled, only… much smaller, and only one. Of course, as he happened upon the energetic engineer with her face all but buried in the case inhaling the beans, he’d smirk and calmly quip at her, “You know...They’re much better after you grind them and run water through them. ...Of course, when I smelled this amount of coffee from nearly the other end of the dock, I knew these were yours.” He’d nod, the mostly expressionless face of his back to normal.


Marielle chuckled, smiling brightly at the Wolfen who towered over her. From the corner of her eye, she caught sight of Kiki. The Zinri was a sight to behold, that was for sure. It dawned on the young engineer that she really should have noticed her immediately in the conference room during their near brush with death. Honestly, how could she have missed the being. Zomaii was exactly how she described herself over the communication system - the wolf-faced kangaroo centaur was really hard to miss. Marielle smiled brightly as she looked up at Leonard and made a show of shrugging as a puckish twinkle reflected in her expression. “I was going to share,” she teased. “I was going to give you an entire storage unit. Maybe even two.” Her lip pulled down into a fake pout. “Not sure after a comment like that.”

Leonard made a mock expression like he was about to panic. “Oh, nonono! Don’t take my coffee from me! I kid. You gotta get a nose like mine though. What you’re smelling right now? I smell from over there.” He almost grinned. “And you’ve got an interesting blend I don’t think I’ve tried before.”


“Just Jamacian Blue Mountain,” she replied with a smile.


“Not sure I know those grounds.”


Marielle just shrugged. “Some of the best beans on Earth,” she retorted.


Kiki grinned when she saw them as she collected her own shipment of apples, spices and glassware. “Coffee-grounds for divorce, if you ask me. Mulled cider is better for you in the long run.” She grinned as the two laughed at her comment. Her smile grew even bigger seeing the cask of honey that was so thoughtfully added to her order. “Hmmm maybe I’ll be able to try making mead at last.” She waved over to the others as she saw them collecting their own orders. “Hello, Ellie. Hello, Little Brother.”


Marielle smiled as Kiki waved while she approached them, and she finally took a moment to study the woman. Having been raised on Earth and unable to travel beyond the confines of her home planet, she could only compare aspects of Kiki’s appearance to the animals on her world. The lower portion of her body resembled that of a kangaroo, standing into a centaur-like being with the upper body and face that could have - if not for the kangaroo portion - been mistaken for a relative of the Wolfen doctor. Logos went about processing what she was seeing, trying desperately to pinpoint any information regarding the Zinri. The database was severely lacking, and Marielle resolved to fill the blanks whenever she could. All she could do was smile as she stared up at both of them. It was absolutely amazing, being dwarfed by the two officers who flanked her. This was everything and more she had hoped for when she joined Starfleet.


Swift looked on as Kiki came up to join the crowd, “Oh hey, Kiki,” he replied, having accepted his title as “little brother” by now. He gave up arguing it ages ago. “I like cider, but if they don’t get all the seeds out and it gets put into the mix, it can actually make me ill. I rather try to avoid processed apples.”


“That’s why I have the actual fruit and not the processed variety. Though you might like something a little stronger than that coffee of yours…” The eight foot tall wolf faced kangaroo centaur with the mischievous amber eyes teased him. She wasn’t wearing the usual coverall and was just wearing a tunic jacket on her upper torso.


“Nope, the only thing stronger than my coffee that I want is stronger coffee. Ensign Deniaud is making me a special blend. Or did. Or simply bought. I’m not sure.”


Marielle grinned, rocking back and forth from the balls of her feet to her heels. “Oh. It’s a mix. Some great hard to find blends, roasted the traditional ways. A few bags from my personal collection. My family’s chef is a bit of a coffee connoisseur, so he makes a batch for me. I’m not even sure what goes into them.”


Kiki chuckled, a rich throaty sound that seemed to tease just by its very sound. “Don’t you mean a coffee snob?”


She chuckled at Kiki, winking as she looked up at the centaur who kept her shadowed from the bulkhead lights. “Maybe just a little.” Marielle smiled fondly at the memory of the man. She missed him and his weird handlebar mustache and far too big pot belly that jiggled with his laugh. Her eyes drift to Kiki’s sled. “What do you have there?”


“Spices, honey, apples and glassware…. I’m going to try to make mead among other things.”


“Sounds like you could make a mean apple pie.”


Kiki grinned. ”I plan to do just that, in addition to everything else with those bushels of apples.”


“Oh,” Marielle whispered out, bliss floating on air. “I hope you share. If not, trade?”


With the two of them talking, Leonard looked at the starship longingly. He was eager to get back into the ship and take off. Their next destination… he looked forward to with great interest.


“Little Brother, Ellie, you need me to bring those antigravs to your quarters? I can probably take care of them all at one time.” Kiki told them as she laid an upper hand on each of their shoulders.


Swift chuckled at that, suddenly realizing that Kiki had mentioned mead just a few seconds ago. It was enough to pull his thoughts back into the conversation. “I’ll pretend I didn’t hear that. I won’t stop you, might partake, but just ah, don’t advertise. Remember, ‘synthahol only’ while out of port.”


Marielle glanced at Leonard. “Seriously? That’s a rule?”


Leonard sighed. “It’s a regulation, yes. I personally don’t care and have been known to imbibe,” he looked around and spoke quieter, “but I also know there are some bureaucratic paper pushers that if they caught wind, would haul the entire ship back to confiscate it. I’m all for it, just don’t speak so freely about it out here.”


Kiki pouted ”I only have one thing of yeast, all the rest was going to be small mead, no alcohol. Besides, I can’t have synthahol and alcohol doesn’t metabolize in my system. And of course I’ll share, Ellie.”


“I understand that. I just mean for the sake of not getting our ship grounded while the entire crew gets docked and checked, just keep it hush hush. Anyway, to answer your question earlier,” he continued, going back to normal speaking volume, “I think I’m good on taking my grav cart in myself. I’ve got a few very special things in there.”


“What things?” Marielle asked, blunt as ever. Her head moved to the storage crates, curiosity moving through her quickly as her eyes settled on the storage crates. Suddenly, they weren’t the standard grey storage units. They looked a little shinier and a little more interesting.


The Wolfen paused and looked at the cart with a knowing smirk. “Just a few things, really. Packaged meat of course, but also…”


“Some things for Mila?” Kiki asked being the usual direct type she was.


“Yes. More for.. Us. Our future. Plans for our next journey. We’re going to my homeworld, Korin’Thalis. A place I’ve never been in this universe, and a place I haven’t been for over forty years in my old universe.”


“Anything that I can help with on planning up this party of yours?” Kiki asked.


“Party?” Swift cocked his head at the Zinri. “Oh this isn’t a party...this is my wedding.”


Marielle eyed the storage crates, paying no mind to the conversation that was taking place quite literally over her head. She pinned her lip under her teeth as her imagination ran away with her. Were there little live animals for his meals? Did he even hunt for his meals? Did the Hermes even have a storage unit for live animals? Oh! Maybe they were Wolfen artifacts! Priceless antiques that were guarded secrets of his people? Or, was it simply a stash of antique surgical equipment? Oh! Maybe he was a madwolf who experimented on the live animals that were hidden in that very box?! “What things?” she repeated. Her body moved without her notice, and she closed the short distance in a matter of a few quick steps.


“Hrmm? Well, specifically, the meat, like I said, there may or may not be any bottles of Picard Merlot… those are for me, Mila can’t drink at the moment…”


Marielle laughed suddenly as she catches the name of the famous name. She stopped her approach to wink at Kiki. “He tells you to be careful, and there he is bringing merlot.”


“I was just saying to not speak so loudly about it,” clarified the Wolfen and turned his attention back to Zinri woman.


Kiki grinned. “I can get away with it as an experiment, however… It will still have to age some for the fermentation to work its magic in the bottles…”


Leonard continued. “Let’s see… leaves of Echinacea for Mila, and… well. Hah, a book. Baby names.”


“Like I said, a big sister always helps her little brother on something as momentous as his getting married.” She told him. “You got yourself adopted back on Rura Penthe, when I took you into my protection.”


Marielle placed a hand on a crate on Leonard’s antigrav sled without thinking, her hands making quick work of the latch. The movement didn’t go unnoticed.


Leonard’s head snapped to Marielle at the sound of the crate lid unlatching. “Hey! Wait, what are you--!” He watched her hands opened the crate easily and watched as she peered inside and sighed before turning his head back to Kiki. From the corner of his eye, he watched Marielle carefully.


“Alright also probably need a whole department store of diapers and other baby clothes and items. Do y’all use bottles for feeding the babies?” Kiki teased.


Leonard looked rather embarrassed now. “Well, actually, Mila’s wanting to.. Uhm.. feed more naturally. Well, at first. Before the teeth come in.”


“Probably for the best,” Kiki commented. “The colostrum is richer in antibodies than just formula.”


“Well, yes, I’m more than aware of what’s healthy and what isn’t.” His eyes darted to Marielle again.


Marielle kept quiet as they chatted, her eyes moving over the surface of the opened crate. While her curiosity had pulled her into opening, her instincts informed her that touching what she saw would undoubtedly ruin the budding friendship she had with the Wolfen. The carved statue was carefully cradled in foam, which was cut to mold around the curves of the work of art in efforts to keep it properly cushioned. The statue shimmered under the lights around them. While it shined like porcelain, Marielle could tell it was actually fired wood. Red and gold flecks gave the edges some depth to the rich and dark mahogany. Two figures, completely entwined, seemed to almost flow from one into another, with their arms wrapped around each other in a tight yet gentle embrace. It was the tails that caught her eye, the detailing of the wood grain made it appear as if they melded together as they twirled together until the tips blended from one to another near their feet. There were no faces on the statue, but the wolven shaped heads were bent so that their foreheads were pressed firmly against each other. The pointed wolven ears on each figure were bent towards the other, as if in submission to one another.


“Please don’t go through there too much, there are a few things that I do want to keep… personal.” Leonard watched Marielle with a bit of a concerned look. Not angry, just apprehensive.

“So is there anything that YOU need help with on this shindig, Little Brother?” Kiki asked.


“No.. Well, maybe. I don’t know. Honestly, Mila’s has to teach me my own culture for the most part. I’ve done a little reading on it when I’ve had the time from her database and personal recorders, but honestly, I don’t rightly know my people in this universe.” Leonard looked a bit dismayed. “Where I came from, we were really individual, go get what our dreams say to kind of people. At the same, time, we wanted purpose. Here, it’s more… the other way around. The Wolfen here need purpose. A fulfilment. With the wishes to chase dreams… of fulfilling the wishes of those they serve. And the more I look at it, the more I think about it… The more that line blurs.”


Kiki nodded. “Well I can try to help you with looking up stuff about your people and getting you the digest version if you want.”


“Good luck. Starfleet has really only the information I’ve given, supplied by Sei’roff before he departed back with Bubbachenko. Otherwise, we’re going to have to wait until we get to Korin’thalis to truly obtain data. In the meantime, I’ve been picking Mila’s brain. To the point I think it grows annoying at times, haha.”


Kiki chuckled as her eyes darted to Marielle, who remained standing and staring into the crate. “Ellie watch out for the rat trap in there… Doc, your place sounds a lot like mine so maybe I should talk to Mila about it and see how close they really are.”


“...My planet sounds like yours…? But I’ve never said a word about it,” he shot a questioning look to Kiki on that.


Marielle looked up, the statue’s hold breaking at Kiki’s voice. “What?” she asked suddenly. Her eyes couldn’t help but drift back to the statue. Her green eyes reflected the gold flecks as she tilted her head. She studied it, memorising the lines and filing them away into the filing cabinet in Logos that she had reserved for the Wolfen.


“Maybe not verbally but the non-verbal is very similar in some aspects, the way you do things as opposed to the way another culture does. For example, your healing and bedside method is like the Omaii of my people,” Kiki explained.


Leonard shook his head and shrugged. “You lost me.” With that, he headed to his box and looked inside at what Marielle was so carefully and so reverently studying. “...That’s going to be our Nyaelin Statue. Centuries ago they would be picked and hand carved out of a soft stone, but with technology as it is, and space faring, it’s been acceptable to replicate one, to not only illustrate one’s own artistic ability, but to show the strength of love one shares with his mate. This one is how I feel with her. Two spirits finding themselves against impossible odds, embracing that they may never let go and know loneliness again. Together, they are capable of moving even the heavens. I believe the human expression is more along the lines of ‘star crossed lovers’.”


Kiki nodded. “That was beautiful, I hope to find someone like that for myself someday.”


Marielle looked up at the term. “Star crossed lovers?” she repeated as her face scrunched with confusion. “I don’t think you mean star crossed lovers. At least, I really hope not.” It seemed so sad considering the beauty of the statue.


“Mmm? How come? Is that the wrong expression?”


“It usually is the term for some sort of tragic romance where everything goes wrong and no one winds up happy,” Kiki told him. “That one’s from Shakespeare and his play Romeo and Juliet, but I could see the term ‘star crossing lovers’ in that you crossed space and more to find each other,” she suggested.


“Oh! Oh, Dae’gra no. Dammit, while I know humans well enough, I admit there are some phrases that I don’t know the history behind,” Leonard said, a little flustered.


Marielle only chuckled, her eyes drifting back to the statue. “It’s beautiful,” she whispered mostly to herself. “Destined mates,” she muttered, “just as Plato had described it.”


Leonard looked down at Marielle. “Thank you. This is… I don’t design many things for replication but… you think she’ll like it?”


“If she doesn’t, she’s not worthy of you,” Kiki said, “but possibly ‘soul mates’?”


Swift looked upwards, pensive perhaps. “Hrmm...Possibly.” He said, thinking out loud. About that time though, before he could continue to mull it over, a few more carts began to show up. One of the stevedores stopped by the group.


“I’ve got a bunch of medical supplies for one ‘Doctor Swift’?”


Leonard turned to the worker, “Ah, yes, that would be me,” he answered, and his attention was lost to Marielle and Kiki, as he began going through an extensive list with the fellow to check that everything he ordered was there.


Marielle gently closed the lid of the storage crate, taking her time to latch it securely. She placed a hand on the surface, a gentle smile on her face. It was nice, seeing the doctor so happy. The young engineer hadn’t known him long, but she liked the Wolfen. He had welcomed her much more quickly than those in Engineering. Her eyes drifted to the Zinri, and she thought the same of Kiki. It made her smile.


Kiki grinned as the doctor was distracted by the dockworker. “ Ellie think we could talk to the Commodore about booting Peterson out the airlock? If not, busting him down to crewman? He deserves it for treating you like he did.”


She chuckled, smiling up at Kiki. It was nice having someone on her corner. “I can handle Peterson,” she nodded with determination, never once losing her smile. If nothing else, it only grew wider and brighter. “But, I appreciate the sentiment. It’s nice,” she said. It was nice to finally make friends, she thought to herself. It was a comforting thought.


“Well if he gets too bellicose and belligerent, let me know and I’ll tackle him on the mats. Little Brother, you may have a stupid looie to patch up. We’ll definitely need to notify his village as to where their idiot disappeared to and make arrangements after your nuptials to get him back to them.”


Marielle could only laugh. Yes. It really was good to finally be making friends. Her eyes moved to the antigrav sled and she skipped off a few feet to grab a wire from set of coiled ones on an antigrav sled nearby. No doubt, it was for the Hermes, and so technically it would still make it on board. She grabbed a tool from the nearby tool kit and cut off three long pieces of wire before skipping back to the pair. Marielle’s hands moved quickly, tying the handle of one sled to the end of another.


“Little Brother, tell your lady that she is also adopted into my clan by extension of being your mate. Marielle, you’re also getting adopted as well even though you don’t have a tail,” Kiki grinned to her and the doc, wholly accepting them into her world and family. “I’ll get those pies and small mead ready after we get back to the ship.”


Meanwhile, unfortunately for Kiki, most of the duration of her attempts to speak to Swift fell on deaf ears. Eventually though, the Wolfen nodded in satisfaction to the dockworker, he’d sign the docket, and point towards the ship, explaining just where to transport the goods.


Tying the last knot to create the makeshift antigrav train, Marielle shot up. She blinked once. Twice. Thrice. “Wait. What? What just happened?” she managed, asking her questions rapidly. Her eyes moved to the Zinri and travelled the span of her body until it settled on the kind looking wolf-like face. “Did I hear you right?” She twisted at the waist and stared at her behind. A tail? No, she would not look good with a tail, she determined.


“Anyone that can dish out to Peterson like you did, deserves a clan to back her and I happen to be the eldest daughter of mine which is kind of like second in command there,” Kiki explained.


Marielle’s face turned red. Her tirade on the lieutenant must have made its way through the rumour mill. “Uh,” she began, sheepish as she scratched the back of her neck, “Yeah. The Commodore told me to go easy on the guy.” She grinned at Kiki as she grabbed the handle and began pulling the train of antigrav sleds behind her so that they would line up properly. Her eyes flickered behind her to watch each sled, careful to not have them jostle around too much for fear of the crates toppling over suddenly. “Apparently what the Commodore says is final. Or something.” Her eyes drifted to the drones who continued to file into the Hermes. They rushed around her, Leonard, and Kiki as they moved up the ramp to enter the ship.


“...And make sure they are beamed to the sickbay waiting area. Just be sure to clarify there is an empty space. That’ll do, thank you.” With that, he’d head back to his antigrav cart with Marielle and Kiki. “Okay, sorry about that. I can finally restock my shelves. So, what’d I miss?” he asked, grabbing the handle and motioned towards the ship, starting to head that way. He only caught the end of the conversation when Kiki responded to Marielle.


“Usually it is but Peterson pushes that button much further and he’ll have those pips melted by the Commodore’s wrath alone.” Kiki giggled at the thought of Peterson being busted to about midshipman rank, IF even that. She grabbed the sled handle as well as a second, one for the Science Department and moved to bring the sleds into the line heading into the Hermes.

Marielle giggled with Kiki, smiling brightly as she continued to pull the antigrav sled on board the Hermes. Marielle walked backwards, pulling the train of antigrav sleds with her as she faced the Wolfen and the Zinri. “So, Doc. Wedding plans! Dish. I think Kiki and I want to hear all about it.”


Leonard laughed. “Well, It’ll be on my homeworld, so expect a lot of meat. Almost exclusively. With consideration to off-worlders, i.e. non-Wolfen, alternate meals items will be available, I’ll make sure of it…” He’d go on to list of things as he’d head into the ship.


“Well I might as well tell you, Little Brother that one packet of yeast is going for your wedding brew. It should be ready by the time we get to your homeworld,” Kiki confessed, “and heck yeah we want to hear ALL about the wedding plans…”


“Just remember, until Mila gives birth, she cannot imbibe,” reminded Swift.


“That’s why I was also doing the batches of small mead so you both could have some,” Kiki told him. “I AIN’T stupid like Peterson…”


With that, the three of them laughed as they disappeared into the ship carrying their belongings that were purchased and ordered - and smuggled - from the resupply stop.

   
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