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The duty logs, weekly status reports and sim logs of the USS Darmok.
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  Lieutenant Commander Desiree Thibodeaux & Ensign Dean Spearhorse, SD
A Mess in the Mess -- DL: Ensign Dean Spearhorse plus Nurse Drew et. al.

A Mess in the Mess
DL: Ensign Dean Spearhorse as himself and as Ensign Lodovico Vargas as well as assorted Security Detail members plus Nurse Grace Drew & CPO Canpu by Dr. Thibodeaux. (uncredited)

(This slightly overlaps the end of the last sim and goes on from there....)

On the bridge of the Darmok Ensign Lodovico Vargas was stationed at tactical. The alpha shift crew were enjoying a holiday meal in the officers mess.The admiral was in her ready room and the everything seemed to be running smoothly. 

Famous last words...

With many of the officers eating their holiday meal and most of the non-com crew in the mess hall for their own feast,  Vargas commed to sick bay to see if they could spare someone to bring up a couple of platters for the bridge crew. 

Nurse Grace Drew had been enjoying the silence of being on duty in a sickbay where no one was sick.  A rare occurrence.  She was catching up on her studies while relaxing on a biobed.  Wherever did Dr. T. get these mattresses? She thought. They're so comfy!    

When her comm badge chirped  Grace was so engrossed in A Comparative Analysis of Similarities Between Injuries Incurred During The Mating Rituals of Tellarites and Klingons that she didn't hear the alert..

Or, maybe she ignored it. Grace did that sometimes.  When it chirped again, she tapped it and answered in  a nasal monotone.

“Sickbay here, please state the nature of your medical emergency.”      

Lodovico was not amused. He knew that voice too well. She lived just across the hall from him. ”Drew, get your head out of those dang data padds for just one minute and come back to the real world.”

Gracie slid her legs around the side of the bed and pulled herself up.  “Awe geeze Vico, can't a girl have ANY fun around here.  Did you know that when Tellarites...oh wait, sorry.  You did comm sickbay... Is somebody in need of medical attention?”  Grace had shifted from silly to serious in a flash and was on her feet just as quickly.  She had her hands on a portable medikit and was halfway to the exit before he could reply.

“No, no. Nothing that serious.” he said with a hint of sarcasm in his voice. “We just have a hungry bridge crew and no one is available to relieve us because they are all having a feast in one place or another. Have you had the time to stop by and get a bite to eat yourself?  If not, could ya maybe grab some grub for us and bring it up.  It's either that, or we shove down replicated rubber bird that tastes like it has sawdust for dressing."  He  hoped his plea would appeal to her more nurturing side.

Over the comm Vargas heard a loud thud as Grace slammed the medikit onto the counter.

“You commed me for THAT?”  Her voice lowered to a whisper. “Is the admiral or the XO on the bridge right now?”   She asked hoarsely.

He replied “No, not at the moment. Why?”      

She kept her voice low.  “Then you can STUFF IT Vico Vargas and I don't mean the BIRD!  If you''re peckish and the replicator up there is on the fritz, you should inform engineering. not sickbay. And unless you want to BE a patient, stay off the medical-comm! Somebody could be sick for reals!”  She shut the comm line off abruptly    

Dang it! Grace didn't know what was worse. That she had let time get away from her and she was missing the holiday feasting, or that Vargas seemed to think she was his  personal delivery service! . Then again,  She thought, there's no reason I have to miss the tail end of the festivities, I'll just fill up a plate and come back to sickbay. It's take ten minutes tops..

She activated the actual EMH program to handle things in her absence and quickly made her way to the mess.  There were undoubtedly loads of leftovers and she was hungry.

As Grace approached the mess she heard what sounded like something smashing onto the floor in the distance, followed by wet, splatting sounds much closer.  The door opened and one of the engineers stumbled out wielding a large turkey drumstick like a spanner.  He belched at her impressively.  “Sorry sweetheart, I don't think you want to go in there right now.” he suggested as he chomped on his turkey leg and started to move down the corridor in the direction of the turbolift.

Grace heard the festive music inside the mess hall grind to a halt and followed by a cascade of items clattering.   “HEY!” She called out to the fleeing CPO.  “What's going on in there?”

“You don't want to know, missy but I'd get back to sickbay..” He answered as he hopped into the safety of the …€Β˜lift car.  “It's probably going to get real busy down there soon.”  His voice echoed as the doors slid shut.
Grace went from perplexed to amused to annoyed in three seconds. Was there something strange in the air tonight?  First, Vargas tries to send  me to fetch him a plate of food, then, I find this engineering dude escaping -- for lack of a better word -- the mess while absconding with a turkey drumstick like a little kid stealing a lollipop.  What is going on inside there?

Noises and sounds and smells that were coming out of there didn't quite fit what should accompany a sit down meal…€…..

And she also didn't appreciate anyone calling her sweetheart and missy, unless they were in a holo-sim, and what she hated the MOST of all was when people told her what to do, unless  they outranked her, and she didn't even like it then!  

Grace was tempted to take a telepathic "peek" inside but instead took several deep breaths, shrugged, and entered.

A sodden mass of mashed potatoes and gravy flew directly at her as the doors slid open. In a fleeting nanosecond of clarity, she got a glimpse of two crew members grappling on the table, rolling around where the turkey should have been. 

Grace didn't even have a chance to back up into exit before the potatoes and gravy  found their mark splattering wetly all over her favorite pair of heels.  She dodged a barrage of buns that had been lobbed from her right but she couldn't avoid being pummeled by a hail of peas and carrots which sailed in from her left.

No amount of calming breaths could help Grace now.  She put two fingers between her lips and whistled louder than any bosun's call.

The raucous clamor ceased instantly and all eyes bored into her.  Grace scanned the faces of her crew mates who were participants in this party-gone-wrong, trying to sort out what she was witnessing.  A full third of the miscreants were female, so she couldn't even blame this mess in the mess on a runaway testosterone train.

“What's going on in here?” She shouted at the crowd.

One of the table-top wrestlers raised his head slightly and replied “We were in the middle of a rematch!” and he then proceeded to reach for the other man.

“You shouldn't be doing this!” Grace objected leaning over the table, intent on stopping the fight. She managed to get a hold of one of the men by the back of his collar and because it was so slippery with squished food and spilled drink,  he slid toward her and right off of the table. In the process, he knocked his head into the table's sharp edge before landing at Grace's feet.  A trickle of blood dripped off his forehead.

“Now you've done it missy.”  He growled and tapped his comm badge.  “Security to Crew Mess.  This is Chief Petty Officer Canpu. I've been assaulted.”

Vargas got the call at his station. An assault in the crew mess, that kind of thing could get messy fast. The beta shift tactical and security officer decided he needed to inform the officers' mess. He.did so and then sent a security detail to assist.

Tapping the comm once again he called to Grace.

“Bridge to Grace, you may want to suspend that...uhh...suggestion to bring some food up here. There seems to be some trouble in the mess.” he offered.

Canpu heard the nurse's comm badge chirp and he shook his head No to discourage her from answering Vargas. She started to speak anyway but then stopped.   Inside, she was fuming.  He had called her missy! She hadn't assaulted him, she was trying to break up a fight!  Grace had half a mind to smack the other side of his head into the table edge.

“I was only trying to help." She explained. Please, at least let me take a look and stop the bleeding?”  She asked softly.  Grace performed a visual exam. The CPO's blood loss was minor and had already slowed to a tiny trickle allowing her to see a clean slice above the eye.  Years ago, such a cut would have left him with a small scar but once he was examined in Sickbay to rule out any serious damage under the surface such as a fracture to the orbital socket or a concussion, a few passes of the dermal regenerator would erase any sign of the injury. The only thing  the man would have to remind him of his cut would be the story.  Grace reached toward him to get a better look at his wound.

Canpu moved back from her, keeping her at arms length.  “Uh uh…€….” He told her.  …€Β˜Don't touch me.  Wait for security to get here.  I want them to see what you did.”

The young nurse backed off.  She kept her mouth shut but her mind was racing.  Lodovico Vargas, this is ALL your fault!  She thought.  I was in sickbay, minding my own biz, reading up on medical procedures.  Why did you have to comm me to come down here to get you some food? Why did I decide to be a good neighbor?  She glanced down at the shoes on her feet and sighed. Her favorite pair of heels were totally trashed.  Mashed potatoes AND gravy? Really?  A food fight didn't even come close to describing this meal.  Trouble in the mess sure did.

She just wished that the mess in the mess, didn't also describe her circumstances so well.

In the corridor the security officers assembled waiting permission to enter from the head of the detail. It was during this brief interlude that Ensign Spearhorse arrived with another set of security personnel. “Alpha team, secure the room. Bravo team take reports. “Barry”, he said to the head of the Bravo shift detail “You and I will look into the reported assault.

Alpha team took point on entry and saw the disaster zone. Surveying the situation, Crewman Reed wasn't watching where he was walking, stepped into the remains of a pecan pie and his ankle gave way. He fell backwards into Jones who flailed futilely trying to find his footing in spilled cranberry sauce and flat-out slammed into Geebs and Collins, who toppled like dominoes.  It would have been funny if this had been a  Keystone Cops holovid, but it was for real. And a third of the crew  seemed to be involved in this lovely mess.

Before they could react buns began flying again. The next group of security officers had been able to better assess the situation and made it to the far side of the room.  They saw who was throwing the baked goods and the four of them branched out into the room to confront the ones who started tossing the crap and their presence quelled the impending response from the pea-and-carrot brigade.

Beta team moved in and posted themselves around the room where they could begin collecting info.

Lastly Spearhorse and Barry entered. Barry was a man of few words but when he saw the security detail picking themselves from the floor he barked at them “Another fine mess ya got yourselves into…€… go get cleaned up.”

Spearhorse approached the crewman with blood on his forehead. “What is your story?”

Canpu glared and pointed accusingly at Grace.   “She did it.”

Grace looked at Canpu and stifled a snort.  The man was a foot taller than she was and at least fifty or more pounds heavier.  But she kept her mouth shut.  She HAD done it, as unlikely as it sounded.

“Razza'tal and I were just having a friendly wrestling match when she came in here and started whistling and shouting and nagging at me like my mother. Then she freakin' pulled me off the table and WHAM!  I smacked my head.  Sheesh, it hurts.”  He rubbed the area right above the injury.

Spearhorse looked at the man then at Grace and then around the entire room. “Looks like that wasn't all that was going on here! A food fight!? What the hell are you all thinking? I should bring up the whole bunch of you up on charges.” he said loudly enough for the whole room to hear.

He looked to the nurse. “What is your part in this mess?”

No matter what she said, Grace had a growing feeling that there was no answer that would work out well. The last thing she wanted to do was to point a finger back at Canpu. That was so juvenile and nothing good would come of getting in a spitting match with the chief petty officer.  She certainly didn't want to make an enemy of him or of the rest of the crew staring at the group.  She supposed that she could “fall on her sword” and just take all the blame. Heck, her good shoes were totally ruined, how much worse could this day get?  Oh yeah, Dr. T.   The CMO was a good boss. Dr. T. managed to make Grace feel valued and intelligent and even encouraged her to stretch her abilities and add to her knowledge and even better the doc didn't insist that Grace had to be prim and proper all the time.  Dr. T. was already going to be so disappointed in her.  She liked being able to have fun in sickbay, this was probably going to ruin all that too.

“I'm…€….not..sure sir.  I came down to get some chow.  There seemed to be some a kinda wild party going on.” She shook her head and some peas and carrots fell out of her hair.  “Anyone can tell you that I  enjoy a party as much as anyone…€…” She began and then Grace's words started tumbling out rapid-fire. getting more and more jumbled in the process.  “butIwasconfusedandthoughtthechiefpettyofficerandtheotherguywerereallyfightingandthatsomeonemightgethurtandIgrabbedhim…€…” She had to pause for a breath.  “And, it was all slippery, I accidentally pulled him too hard and he whacked his head just like he said..”  Grace sighed. “I'm sorry, I don't usually go around beating people up.  Normally, I do the opposite…€….” She looked contrite.

“Well see if you can get him patched up.” the ensign said looking at the two.

“Hear this,” he said to the guests of the feast. “There is one place on this ship where you can have a food fight and not worry about the repercussions. This is not it. When you do Christmas dinner we will do it in…€… cancel that…€… if the admiral allows you to have a Christmas meal together you'll be lucky.”

Turning back to Canpu…€… “So, if you had not been brawling would Nurse Grace have had to break you up?”

Canpu looked at Grace, then back at Ensign Spearhorse.  He was still angry with her for busting up the wrestling match and making him cut his head but on the other hand,  she had taken responsibility and hadn't tried to make it seem like he was at fault.  All things considered, he decided that he was willing to lose a bit of face to avoid more unpleasant consequences and to keep the peace.

“Uh, no and yes sir.  She saw a friendly wrestling match and thought it was a fight.  It wasn't, but I can understand how Nurse Drew might think that.  I withdraw my complaint, it seems like it was just a misunderstanding.  Uh, I should go to sickbay for that scan you mentioned anyway right?” He looked at Grace.

She nodded.

“You two, go."  Spearhorse ordered. "Get out of my sight before I change my mind. Barry you go with them…€… if he has anything other than a minor abrasion on the head let me know and get the other wrestler too.”

He turned to the rest of the room. “You have ten minutes to get this room ship shape, white glove spotless or the individuals wearing food will be put on report for the food fight...15 minutes I want you to report to your division heads for inspection. Class As ladies and gents. If you don't pass, you don't get out of jail free. Ever hear of KP duty?”

The formerly raucous revelers started to slowly move about, picking up what they could, avoiding pools of goo.

Grace motioned for Canpu to go ahead and looked back at Spearhorse and whispered “Thank you.” to Spearhorse as she slipped out the door.

Spearhorse watched the trio leave.  Before he could turn back around to coordinate the clean-up, a stale bun sailed through the air and pinged off of his buns.  A voice from the back of the room shouted:


Grace stopped short just outside the door and tiled her head.  “Herbert?.

She looked at Canpu and the security officer with a perplexed expression.

"I thought Ensign Spearhorse's  first name was Dean?”.

The END...or is it?

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