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Stardate: 16008.04 [04 August, 2016]
Dom took a seat in the mess hall, bottle of wine in hand with two glasses. He always brought an extra, just in case an unexpected guest decided to join him. Today, it was his family's Moscato d’Asti, his personal favorite. He popped the cork and poured himself a glass, then as was customary for him, he poured some wine into the other glass. It seemed like an odd custom, but it always worked as an excellent icebreaker. He slid the glass to the opposite side of the table and took a sip from his glass. It had been an interesting first day, from the abbreviated liberty, to meeting the Engineering crew. There were dynamics at play that he was yet to figure out down in Main Engineering which piqued his curiosity, and he was intent on figuring those out, if only for his day to day survival.
Ensign Cana Graves, one of the assistant medics who worked in Sickbay, meandered towards the table, her eyes resting on the filled glass of wine. “Do you normally double fist your alcohol?” The brunette fell into the seat across from him. “You’re the new guy, right?” she asked, her fingers toying with the base of the wine glass.
He looked up to see the fellow Ensign across from him. He offered a welcoming smile. “Normally yes, but this glass is for anyone gracious enough to seek the company of the brand new crewmember.” He offered his hand across the table. “My name is Dominico Savastano”.
She took it, giving him a firm handshake before taking a sip of the wine before her. “Well, well, well. This is pretty damn fine wine.” The compliment slipped past her lips easily as she leaned back into the chair and threw her legs up onto the table, her legs crossing at the ankles. “Cana Graves. Medic extraordinaire.” Cana lifted the glass to the light, smiling before she took another nice long sip.
“Extraordinaire, I’ll remember that next time I’m in need of medical attention” he said with a smirk. “A pleasure Cana...and my family thanks you for the compliment”.
Cana winked at him. “I thank your family for tonight’s libations.” She took another long sip. “How do you like the Hermes so far?”
“I’m enjoying myself so far. Engineering definitely has a...flavor...all its own it seems” he said, taking another sip of his wine before leaning back in his chair. “Of course, I’m sure the same could be said for most departments”.
She chuckled, spinning the glass by its base as it sat on her knees. “It’s the Hermes. ‘Flavour’ is putting it mildly. If these walls could talk,” she paused and started laughing, “Oh, but they can. ALICE is awesome like that.”
“I thought they could.” he said, taking a look around the mess. “Through your little supercomputer...ALICE is it? She sounds like she has her hands in all the pies around here”.
“Don’t get caught calling ALICE a computer, even a supercomputer. You’ll get an earful.” Cana slid her legs off the table and helped herself to another full glass of wine before turning to her previous posture - legs stretched out over the corner of the table, feet crossed at the ankles. “But yeah. ALICE keeps the systems running. I don’t know all the details. You’ll have to ask one of the other warp monkeys.” Her face was a healthy shade of pink as she hiccuped.
“Indeed I will” he said, helping himself to another glass as well. “Though I’m still learning the ropes down there. Much to learn down there...about the systems and the people”.
Cana chuckled. “That doesn’t surprise me,” she quipped. “You’re in drama central, which is saying a lot on this ship. Everyone’s got a story here.” She took a long sip, almost downing the entirety of the wine in her glass. “Like. Lila Troi? Have you met her? She’s a princess.” The medic again leaned forward and happily poured herself a third glass. “And, Jana Grimsdottir has this reputation of walking out of a conference if she’s pissed off at whatever a delegate may say. Just ups and leaves. Don’t know much about that Elkhorn lady yet. She’s new too. Commander Kayshl’s rumoured to have a liquor cabinet that makes the gods jealous. It’s my mission to get into it. Doctor Swift is apparently the saviour of his people.” There was a beat of silence as she took another sip. “Or something. And, man oh man. Kiki Zomaii is the best. Apparently, the Commodore had his daughter get into her pouch as they tried to escape some trouble. We just love having our own giant wolf-kangaroo.”
Dom smiled, wondering if Cana’s verbal freedom is a result of her normal personality or the wine. “Well, we all have our personality quirks”. He didn't want to encourage her, but didn't want to discourage her either.
“Quirks?” she smirked. “Sure. Quirks.” Cana sipped her wine. “I guess you could call this ship quirky, with our quirky missions and our quirky people. Your department is full of quirky people, but I’m guessing you figured that out already.” She chuckled as if she was laughing at some known joke and shook her head in disbelief.
“I’ve met a couple of people down there. Ellie, and Peterson are the main two I’ve had interactions with so far”. He sipped his glass, he was well behind Cana in terms of amount imbibed so far, and it didn’t look like she was stopping. “Ellie seems nice enough,” he said, his voice trailing off a bit. She had most definitely come across as pleasant. But something in Peterson’s warnings about her rang in his head. “Peterson seems to be his own bird though”.
Cana shrugged. “Peterson’s got a reputation, well earned, for being an ass,” she supplied easily, sipping her wine before she continued, “He was running Engineering for a long while, the de facto Chief Engineer until the Commodore assigned someone, until Deniaud was assigned. As I hear it, she wheeled her stuff straight into the Chief Engineer’s office. Something about needing the space for her thesis and not being able to work in the Fishbowl.” Cana laughed. “I heard Commander Kayshl tried to talk to her about it, and Deniaud just annoyed her so much with questions as to why she had to vacate the room that the Commander let her keep the damn office, with most of the Engineering staff agreeing to it.”
Dom poured his third glass, this time setting the bottle a little closer to him than in the middle of the table where it had been. “Hence Peterson’s prickly demeanor. Well, at least I assume it made him more prickly that he naturally is”. He took a sip “I suppose I’d feel similar if someone took over my office space...if I ever had an office, that is”. He smiled, studying Cana carefully, making the call that it was indeed the wine opening her up.
She shook her head. “Wasn’t his office though,” she corrected, pausing to take a long sip. “That room had been empty for, damn, I don’t even know how long.” Cana finished the rest of her wine and waved the empty glass at his direction. “But, that was really the start of it. We got caught in the gravitational pull of binary black holes. Peterson failed to step up, and Deniaud showed him up by fixing the damaged systems. The Commodore put her in charge of the repairs. Apparently Peterson wasn’t having it, and they had it out in the middle of Engineering, where Deniaud put him in his place.” Cana’s legs slipped from the corner of the table and she leaned over the edge, placing the wine glass before her folded arms. “Ensign Nobody still talks about it. Damn… What’s that phrase he keeps repeating?”
Against his better judgement, he reached over and poured Cana another glass. “Who, Nobody or Peterson?” he asked, setting the bottle down. “Peterson has repeated on more than one occasion to ‘stay away from that one’ in reference to Ellie, if that’s what you mean”. He took another sip of his glass. “I don’t know, the friction between the two more than evident, and it seems as if the rest of the team is just trying to steer as clear of it as best they possibly can”.
“Stupid collapsed into a singularity where even the stupons have collapsed into a stuponium!” Cana slammed her hand flat on the table, shaking it with the force of her smack. She giggled as the glasses rattled. “That’s what Deniaud called Peterson.” She took hold of her newly filled glass and played with the stem. “To get even, Peterson apparently set off a glitter bomb in the Chief Engineer office when she was still in it, and Deniaud dyed his skin blue soon after. So, yeah. I’d say it’d probably be best to stay clear of the trouble. Especially now.”
“Oh? That’s good to know” he leaned in closer, his elbows on the table. “You are certainly a wealth of knowledge, Cana.” he said, smiling. “The waters of the engineering ocean seem that much clearer now than they were before you sat down.” He picked up his glass and raised it playfully towards her.
Cana winked at him and laughed, holding her own glass up towards him. “You keep me supplied with this fantastic wine, and I’ll be happy to spill the dish any time.” She sipped her wine as he did.
“Consider it done. It’s always nice to share the Moscato with good company.” he leaned back in his chair, his equilibrium shifting just a tiny bit as a result of the wine. “Particularly those with good taste in wine, and even more so, those with valuable information”.
Cana grinned again. “Oh honey. I am the queen of information,” she informed him. Her eyes fell on the bottle, which was rather empty. “Oh this won’t do.” She turned and waved her arm. “Sam! We’ll take the Cana Special! I want to see how well the new guy holds his liquor!” Turning, she looked at him as her smile turned mischievous. “Welcome to the Hermes, Mr. Savastano.”
“A pleasure to be here, Ms. Graves.” he clinked the base of his glass against the top of hers. “The ‘Cana Special’? I’m almost afraid to ask.” he smiled.