Quite the View
Episode 2: Inevitable
Location: Observation Deck, USS Defiant
The turbolift doors opened onto the observation deck and Veronica Rios was almost immediately overwhelmed. She'd heard talk of the location from various members of the crew, but the room itself was simply mesmerizing to see.
Tucked away just above the ventral sensor dome, the ring shaped room encircled the turbolift shaft and central sensor housing. It wasn't a very wide room at any point, but what it lacked in actual square footage, it made up for in grandeur. Small high seated tables were positioned along the outer window space, allowing those who entered to enjoy the view.
The ceilings, floors, and inner walls of the room were made from a dark reflective surface, which seemed to fill the entire room with the space outside the window. Standing still, the room seemed alight with stars. But at warp like they were currently? The room was a buzz with activity, starlines streaking by, around the room.
The inner wall housed a small food and drink preparation area, the turbo lift, and the only actual computer terminal on the deck. This wasn't a place for work. It was for rest or socialization. So it was somewhat funny that Veronica had wandered here alone. She was also a bit over dressed. Her position generally had her in a more formal style of uniform, and her blue shirt, black skirt combination stood her apart from those in the more standard duty uniforms.
Morgan sat at a table, alone save for the mini-mountain flimsies and PADD he'd brought with. Currently though, he had a ear-piece in his ear, listening to a recorded lecture/paper as he watched the star field. He'd mainly shuffled the other crew around him to the background but he caught a faint scent he didn't remember and blonde hair flashed in reflection and he turned. A woman he vaguely recognized from personnel files had entered and was looking about. When she didn't immediately begin searching for companions, Morgan waited until their eyes met and he waived her over.
"If you're looking for a seat, help yourself," he said affably, gesturing to the chair across from him. "If you don't mind the mess, you can help yourself to the cha'." Next to the work he'd brought with, was a small travel sized decanter with a brace of mugs, one of which was upturned and filled with a heated, rich brown beverage that smelled like coffee but with chocolate and caramel undertones. "Bittaran Cha'," he informed her, and I'm Doctor Lindsay, by the by."
"Veronica Rios, from the Diplomatic Department." the woman replied with a smile. It actually wasn't their first introduction, but it had been weeks since then. When she'd last seen him, she'd been badly dehydrated, in a set of coveralls matted in blood and soot, and adrift in a pod for several days. It wasn't her best look at the time. With her hair freshly dyed, her uniform in excellent condition, and with a bit more life in her, she looked like a wholly different person. "We've actually met, though it was a little while ago and I didn't exactly look myself. You actually saved my life when Defiant rescued my escape pod."
"Well, it is what I do," Morgan said evasively, taking another look at the woman and nodded. "Looks like I do good work," he finished with a slight wink. "Now that you mention it, I do recall our first meeting. You look like you're doing better. How's your recovery been?"
"Physically? I felt good as new a few days after I arrived," Veronica said, with an awkward pause after. "Mentally and emotionally? It's....it's still a bit of a work in progress."
"That's to be expected," Morgan assured her, "Sentients almost always are in a constant state of progressing. History tells us we're prone to repeat events as a whole if we don't adhere to lesson's previously learned." He paused for a moment, then grinned wryly, "But I think the saying I prefer is, "What doesn't kill us makes us stronger." He poured her some of the tea and then grew more serious, "Of course, if there's anything you'd like to talk about, I am a good listener."
"I think I'm feeling a bit lost," Veronica admitted, a little on the quiet side. "I fell better. But I think I'm somewhere between numb and confused. The crew has been welcoming, the ship is big and comfortable, and I do feel safe. But for some reason, I just feel...well, I guess adrift is a good term. Like the work is the only thing keeping me moving. I sorta feel like I'm going through the motions out of muscle memory. Not sure if that made sense."
"Sounds like a leaf in the river," Morgan said thoughtfully. "Floating along for the ride but not there for the view. People generally need to ground themselves into something, or someone, away from work which can be hard to do when we live atwork. What do you do in your off hours, other than conversing with mildly amusing doctors?"
The diplomatic officer attempted to play coy, but it was evident she knew her answer wasn't a good sign. "I've been mostly keeping to myself. Ventured out occasionally. I think I'm just adjusting."
Morgan nodded. "I get that. Trying to figure out where to dip your toe is as difficult as actually taking the plunge." Then he grinned, "Of course, my grandfather always made that comment about getting married. Got him to all sorts of trouble. Do you play any musical instruments? Sing? I've been thinking maybe Defiant needs a swing band."
"Your grandfather sounds like a character," Veronica replied with a laugh. "I don't usually do the creation portion of music, but I enjoy the results. I actually was part of a dance group on my first posting out of the academy."
"Usually..." Morgan said, thinking aloud as he put one elbow on the table, tapping his lips in thought. "You know, there used to be a custom where people, or small groups of people, would gather to sing to music they chose from popular lists. It was called Karaoke. They had night outings of it. Perhaps we could try something like that in the lounge one evening after duty." After voicing his thought he asked, "What kind of dance. Interpretive? Ballroom? Swing or maybe seductive?"
The last was asked with a hint of mischief in the Doctor's eyes.
"Depends on the mood...I've been known to do a bit of each of those," she said looking a little bit more smug and comfortable. The banter was helping with the nerves. "Karaoke does sound interesting though. I think I'd need a drink or two in me...and also to never face anyone I sing in front of again...But it could be fun to try."
"From what I understand, drinks are a time honored fuel," Morgan confirmed. "We should talk to the Captain. She's always looking at diversions for the crew and this could be very good." Then his eyes glinted again and he took a sip of his drink before commenting, "And with you volunteering to be among the first to go, well I think it will go over swimmingly."
"I suppose I am trained for first contact situations," Veronica bantered back. "Agreed though, we can approach the Captain and see if she's willing to allow us to commandeer the lounge."
"I think she'll be receptive," Morgan grinned, "We just won't tell her she's the second act until she's agreed." The doctor rubbed his hands together slyly then chuckled again. "That might get me pushed out a lock though. I suppose we'll see."
"Ooh, pulling the CO into it. Risky move," Veronica chuckled. "I can't wait to see where this goes!"
"Bah," Morgan said, making a depreciating gesture, "Starship Captains take themselves much too seriously sometimes." Chuckling then, he leaned back and took another drink.