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CH 2: S [Day 01 | 1857 hrs] Expectations

[CPO Avandar Lok | Fighter Assault Bay | Deck 16 | Vector 02 | USS Theurgy] Attn: @Ellen Fitz

Lok had been in the process of refurbishing a few magnetic constrictors for the fighters when his stomach growled rather loudly. A great protest at having not eaten anything all day and only subsisting on large mugs of coffee. He had intended on getting something after being let out of sickbay, but the news of his unintended stay in the ice-box had bothered him enough that he just threw himself back on duty rather than take time to process everything. With a glance at the time, he noted that it was close to 1900, a good time as any for a bit of late dinner. He set the parts and tools down then headed to the locker room across the flight deck to wash his hands.

He was barely halfway across when Ensign Herrold sprinted over to him holding a stack of PADDS.

“Hey Chief, hold up!” he shouted as he approached. Lok stopped and turned to face him as he continued, “can you take these to Commander Cross, he needs to sign them.”

“I was about to go eat”, Lok responded directly with a bit of annoyance in his voice.

“Well I need you to do it as ACOD please, Janus is riding my arse about repairs, it won’t take you long, besides you go off shift here soon I think anyway.”

Lok took a moment to decide his course of action, but ultimately settled on doing a solid for Herrold. He picked up the bunch of PADDs, seven in total, in one of his large hands then made his way to the turbolift. Once there he asked the computer, “Computer, locate Commander Cross.”

“Lieutenant Commander Cross is in the Arboretum, Vector 3, Deck 21.”

“Alright, turbolift me to the Arboretum.”

The computer beeped in response and the turbolift started to make its way down the several decks to the Arboretum. This better not take too long, Lok thought to himself, his stomach growling again in protest at remaining empty for so long of anything actually nourishing. He also wondered who Commander Cross was exactly, he hadn’t had time to be introduced to any senior officers, except the Chief Engineer and for a brief moment the Squadron Commander, not that he particularly cared to meet senior officers. He could actually count on his fingers, of which he only had eight if you counted his thumbs, the amount of times he ever talked to the captain of a ship or went to the bridge for any reason.

[Arboretum | Deck 21 | Vector 03 | USS Theurgy]

The doors swished open and a rush of fresh plant air entered the turbolift. Lok was momentarily taken aback by it, the scents of trees, flowers, soil, grass, water; things he had not experienced in several years. He had not had a chance to visit Earth while Perseus was space docked and he never actually visited the arboretum on that ship, always too busy or just not interested. He took a moment to collect himself then stepped out of the turbolift and followed the stone path. It was then that he realized he should have asked Herrold what this Commander Cross even looked like. He scanned around the area until he spotted a wall with names on and a bald officer with what looked to be lieutenant commander’s pips on his unfortunately red collar near it. His keen eyes also noted the Vulcan ears. Shit that’s the last thing I need is a Vulcan giving me grief. He glanced down at his grease and dirt covered coveralls and also noticed that the PADDs now had black fingerprints all over them. With a shrug he walked over to where the Vulcan was sitting.
CPO Avandar Lok | Head of Fighter Propulsion & Asst. COD - "The world I have known is lost in shadow..."

Re: CH 2: S [Day 01 | 1857 hrs] Expectations

Reply #1
[ Lt. Cmdr. Cross | Memorial Wall | D. 21 | V. 3 | “Ranger” of USS Theurgy] Attn: @joshs1000

Brows furrowed in thought, Cross sat on the bench with his elbows on his knees. A headache still pressed at the edges of his skull, but overall, Cross felt much better than when he’d briefly checked in with Sickbay earlier in the day. His head had felt close to splitting in two then, but after a checkup and some pointers and meds from the nurse practitioner on how to deal more effectively with his hormonal fluctuations—thanks to the damnable Savi with that fucking change to full-blooded Vulcan from his hybrid status—he’d been slated fit to resume his duties and had done so.

Cross had a few hours before reporting back to the bridge, during which he should eat, shower, and sleep. But Cross sometimes—often—rarely did what he should when he should. Being in Sickbay earlier had placed an eerie sense of emptiness in Cross’s mind now that Hathev was off on an equally fucked mission to Romulus proper. They were both professional officers and had duties and responsibilities before their personal preferences. But that didn’t stop Cross’s stomach from clenching in disquiet as he imagined an only recently recovered Hathev taking on well-armed Tal’Shiar agents should shit hit the proverbial fan during their mission.

He heaved a sigh, pushing up to lean against the back of the bench, narrow gaze tracing over the wall of names. Some he’d never known, and some he’d known almost intimately. Likely, this building pain was more psychologically based than physical. He rarely came here. Cross doubted many aside from the Wall Keeper made it a habit to come by on the regular. But he’d felt the need to today, the eve of their initial press into Romulan space on a mission that seemed of the highest fuckery.

Cross knew death was inevitable for every mission they were embarking on. That happened with direct and multi-pronged approaches, even when the odds were relatively in your favor. Right now, they had fuck all in their favor. Rolling his neck and pulling back his shoulders in a quick stretch, Cross nodded to himself. He had good people working on this ship, well-trained and dedicated. His job was the narrow the losses as much as possible, to work to keep this wall from getting any fucking bigger.

His instincts kicked in then, and Cross turned, feeling a presence approach. It was one of the Kzinti personnel recently pulled out of stasis. The one in engineering based on his attire. Hell of a time to be pulled out of stasis. Cross inwardly snorted. Hell of a time to be alive. Spotting the number of PADDs cradled in the man’s massive paw, Cross refrained from rolling his eyes. “Paperwork” was the true burden of leadership as it kept you tethered to a fucking desk and prevented you from doing your job.

“Evening, Chief,” Cross got to his feet and faced the brown-furred man. After a quick glance at the chronometer close to the memorial wall, Cross chuckled. “Whoever asked you to drop those off with me before hitting the mess hall has got to be hazing you.” Cross held out his hands for the PADDs. “Just leave them with me, and I will get them back to engineering after I eat dinner.” Hearing a familiar growl, Cross first glanced at his stomach, then at the Kzinti’s. He laughed, dropping his hands to his side. “Better yet, did you have dinner plans? The café just up there,” he pointed to the balcony of the arboretum café, “has some good fare. Was planning on hitting that up instead of the mess hall for a change. Would you like to join me?”

Re: CH 2: S [Day 01 | 1857 hrs] Expectations

Reply #2
[CPO Avandar Lok | Memorial Wall | Deck 21 | Vector 03 | USS Theurgy] Attn: @Ellen Fitz

Lok on the other hand was not so amused by the Commander’s comments, though he was a bit put off right away by the fact that the clearly Vulcan Cross was…chuckling. All the Vulcans he met before were quite stoic, he never met the truly emotionless ones, but had never seen one chuckle or smile. Holding out the PADDs with one hand he introduced himself.

“Chief Lok, sir. And no this isn’t from engineering, Ensign Herrold wanted you to sign off on some stuff for the flight deck since the Captain is I guess not here at the moment.”

Once Cross took the PADDs, Lok continued to stand, though in a far more relaxed manner than he should have been in the presence of a senior officer, as he waited to be dismissed so he could go eat. However, much to his surprise and continued putting off, Cross laughed, maybe this Vulcan’s starship has orbited the planet too many times, and invited him to eat at the cafe that Lok was unaware existed until now. This ship has more comforts than a Galaxy class. Figuring that at least he could eat something and also not wanting to get on a senior officer’s bad side, well not by refusing to join him for dinner anyway, Lok shrugged his shoulders and agreed.

“Yeah I guess I could see what they have.”

He fell in step with the Commander as they made their way to the cafe. He wasn’t thrilled about it but again he didn’t want to piss off a senior officer on his first day, and besides it might even keep the man off his back in the future. Well off his back in the not fun way, he was certainly handsome for a Vulcan, pointy ears were always attractive to him, and there was something about a bald man that just kind of worked sometimes.

Lok’s issues with officers goes back quite a ways, perhaps even a symptom of his teenage years. Despite wanting to go the Academy and become an officer, he actually used to draw pictures of himself in a captain’s uniform, he didn’t have the level of intelligence that Starfleet considered acceptable, among other things. When it came time to apply, hoping despite his poor grades that perhaps his determination would gain him entry, he was turned away by the Academy liaison before he even had a chance, recommending that he enlist instead and perhaps with some years of practical experience try again or even rise up through the ranks enough to transition into being an officer. At the time this made sense to Lok, he wanted to join Starfleet so bad it hadn’t even crossed his mind that he was written off so casually.

It took several years for him to realize this and it has left him embittered at the Academy ever since. Further years of experience also showed him that officers were not as smart as they thought they were. Causing all kinds of trouble for the ship and then not batting an eye as they order the enlisted to clean up the mess while they attended a violin concerto. While he wasn’t planning on laying this all out to Cross, it certainly would account for his current hostility that the man was perhaps sensing. Though he could also just think it was because Lok was some hulking Kzinti on the verge of going berserk, apparently a rumor had already gotten around that he was violent.

“I’ll need a place to wash my hands", he says, holding up his large grease-covered furry mits for the Commander to see, the brown fur stained black.
CPO Avandar Lok | Head of Fighter Propulsion & Asst. COD - "The world I have known is lost in shadow..."

Re: CH 2: S [Day 01 | 1857 hrs] Expectations

Reply #3
[ Lt. Cmdr. Cross | Arboretum Cafe| D. 20 | V. 3 | “Ranger” of USS Theurgy] Attn: @joshs1000

Lok’s wary stance was not lost on Cross. He knew there were precious few species in the galaxy, as far as they knew at least, who exhibited enough commonalities among each individual to be seen as a cohesive group, where how one behaved would be understood to be how the other behaved. The Borg were the first to come to mind as one such group, but they were not fully organic and were quite the exception to the rule. Meeting a second Kzinti on the same day and having such a dramatic shift in initial interactions intrigued Cross, but he’d never excelled at diplomacy or interspecies relations.

While Winters had accepted Cross’ “eccentric for an officer” nature at face value, and they’d even found much in common in their views towards idiots, it seemed Lok was less keen on being as straightforward from the start as the pilot had been. No doubt it had more to do with service background and personality than species, as only a narrow-minded wingbat would assume species as the end-all-be-all for differences.

“There’s a sink over there,” Cross pointed toward the closest lavatory adjacent to the café. I’ll get a seat over by the railing overlooking the arboretum proper. “He pointed to the open table that allowed an easy view of the café's entrance while also sporting a spectacular view of the foliage below. “Do you want me to go ahead and order anything to drink for you?”

Cross waited for Lok’s response before nodding and heading to the table. Wait staff came by to hand over the PADD listing what they were serving, and after a moment, Cross went ahead and placed his order, though he kept the PADD for Lok to look over.

“Commander Cross,” Cross looked up from his idle musings while staring at the flowers below at the sound of his name being called. “Haven’t seen you around here with a certain dark-haired beauty in some time.” Before Cross could offer an explanation, the civilian cultural entertainer placed herself in his lap and looped her arms around his neck. He’d nearly forgotten how much Kamila Patel enjoyed making him blush. “If you’re here alone, does that mean there’s a chance for me yet?”

She began to stroke her fingers along his ears, eliciting a stammering effort to respond from Cross as his hands hovered in the air around her torso, trying to figure out the best way to get her out of his lap without appearing rude. Lok reappeared then, and the woman’s honey-colored eyes traced the length and breadth of the towering Kzinti. She let out a purring-like noise then, lightly slapping Cross’ chest before pushing out of his lap and leaning over the table, giving him ample view of her cleavage.

“Or have you taken a liking for the strong, masculine, silent type?” She feigned a pout, only standing up straight when the wait staff returned with the order. “I’ll sing a love ballad just for your two.” She blew both men a kiss before sashaying away, not giving either a chance to get a word in edgewise.

Cross grunted, the sound almost more growl-like than grunt, as he grabbed his drink and took a long sip of it. Eyeing Lox over the edge of his glass, Cross again mused what it was about his personal demeanor or presence that seemed to have set the Kzinti in wary mode. Or perhaps it wasn’t Cross at all but his species? His rank? He closed his eyes and enjoyed another sip before putting down the half-drunk glass of juice.

“Not much a love ballad type,” he leaned his forearms on the table and nodded toward the dais where Patel began setting up to sing, “what about you?”

Re: CH 2: S [Day 01 | 1857 hrs] Expectations

Reply #4
[CPO Avandar Lok | Arboretum Cafe | Deck 20 | Vector 03 | USS Theurgy] Attn: @Ellen Fitz

“Coffee, black, the biggest size they have”, he responds simply before making his way over to the sink.

Having fur complicated cleaning a lot more than a non-furred person would probably think. However, Lok was used to it as he gently scrubbed his fingers, the black grime dripping off and down the sink along with the now gray tinted suds of soap. What took the longest was usually his forearms where his fur gradually thickened and got longer. Finally he finished off by cleaning his razor sharp claws, he didn’t want to risk getting an infection if dirt got trapped under them while retracted. After a quick dry with a handy towel Lok made his way back over to where Commander Cross had found a seat.

Curiously a woman had taken a seat in Cross’s lap and seemed to be playing with his ears. As he got closer he could sense the man’s slight embarrassment which left Lok with a small smirk. The flirtatious woman then turned her momentary attention to Lok, the large feline noted that while outwardly she was certainly flirtatious and sensual, her emotions were well guarded. He gave a kind nod to her as she departed and took his seat across from Cross, having to turn sideways because his knees would not fit under the small cafe table. He glanced down at his coffee, I guess they thought I was joking when I said the biggest size they have. Trying his best not to look disappointed, he picked up the steaming cup, it looked like a dixie cup in his large mit, and took a sip.

The familiar pleasant bitter taste and near scalding heat filled him. He always enjoyed coffee, particularly the bitter taste. It was always odd to him that most other humanoids would waste their time trying to mask it with sugars, creams, and other flavors; and then there was iced coffee, why bother drinking it at that point, he always thought. His moment of ritualistic coffee bliss was interrupted by the flirty woman singing some sort of love ballad. The Commander mentioned he didn’t care much for them and while Lok didn’t particularly like the song sung currently, he was a romantic, not that he would ever admit it to somebody like Cross, at least not yet.

“Eh, they're ok sometimes I guess”, he responded, “not this one though.” His bat-like ears folded back in response to try and block out some of the noise. He took another “sip” of his coffee leaving very little left. I should have brought my damn cup with me.

He picked up the menu PADD and started to cycle through it. “So what’s good here”, he asked Cross without looking up. He was greeted by an assortment of pastries and sweet items that he had no interest in. Hoping that perhaps they at least had a sandwich or like a cheese platter with an assortment of cured meats, he pressed on. Finally on the last page there was a section labeled, “hot sandwiches”. When the server came back over to see if they wanted anything else, Lok first waited for Cross to ask for anything then gave his order.

“Yeah I’d like an entire pot of coffee to drink and three -no- four hot turkey sandwiches.” The server looked a little perplexed by the order but left to fill it anyway. Lok turned his attention back to Commander Cross, sitting quietly. He really wasn’t sure exactly what he should say, what do the department heads talk about anyway? The only thing he ever knew that the senior staff did on any ship when off duty was when he served aboard the Helios, apparently they got together in the captain’s quarters to watch old Earth films. Glancing at the stack of grimy Kzinti fingerprint covered PADDs next to Cross, he figured he might as well just default to work.

“So uh”, he started, “Valkyrie 5027, the one for that other Kzinti pilot, Atlas, it's ready to go.” He thought a moment more then added, “Oh, so we had a small coolant leak on Valkyrie 5022, I think it’s reported on one of those PADDs, not a big deal, just a bad seal on the regulator for the upline.”
CPO Avandar Lok | Head of Fighter Propulsion & Asst. COD - "The world I have known is lost in shadow..."

Re: CH 2: S [Day 01 | 1857 hrs] Expectations

Reply #5
[ Lt. Cmdr. Cross | Arboretum Cafe | D. 20 | V. 3 | “Ranger” of USS Theurgy] Attn: @joshs1000

Cross nodded. “I’m more of a 19th- and early 20th-century Terran love song fan. They were more coy with their innuendos, and the tunes were more,” he gave a half-shrug, “more lively in a different sort of way.” He scoffed at himself almost immediately, mentally applauding the intelligence of his sentences.

“They’ve got good sandwiches and soups, but if you want something really hard and hearty, the lounges are better for that,” Cross answered Lok’s question as the Kzinti looked through the menu, “I’m getting the cheesesteak sandwich and a tomato soup.”

Almost as soon as he finished, the server arrived, and Cross repeated himself, adding another mint julip for his drink, with Lok quickly adding in his order as well. Cross had to duck his head to hide the bemused smile Lok’s “pot of coffee” order elicited. In truth, it didn’t surprise the Vulcan. Lok was the second Kzinti he’d ever met, and both were large men who undoubtedly burned through a fuck ton of calories merely by breathing. Watching the server wander off to complete their order, Cross frowned in thought. Surely, they had Kzinti-sized portions and utensils and other such things. While Winters was a transfer, Lok had been on the ship for some time already, long enough for the captain to have ordered stock to accommodate the much larger crewmen.

“I’ll check on that later.” Cross grimaced when he realized he’d spoken aloud, quickly adding. “The portions and sizes of things. You’ve been a crewman for a while, and whatever accommodations were slated to be set in place before you went into stasis should be put back in place now.” He waved a hand. “And since Winters transferred in, all the more reason to do so.”

Lok’s comments regarding the Valkyries elicited a few nods from the Vulcan, who almost immediately thought of the specs of the various interceptors and shuttles onboard.

"You're part of a good team. If you need any more resources or support, let me know." A small smile began to tug at the corner of his lips. “I’m not sure if you have a ‘favorite’ weapons unit among the crafts you service, but I have to admit I have a thing for the mass-driver twin-mount turrets, the M142 RF on the Knight and Valkyries, and especially the M158 on the Reaver." He leaned back as the server brought their drinks. “Have you had much experience working with the Reaver yet?”

Re: CH 2: S [Day 01 | 1857 hrs] Expectations

Reply #6
[CPO Avandar Lok | Arboretum Cafe | Deck 20| Vector 03 | USS Theurgy] Attn: @Ellen Fitz

Lok nodded in response to Cross’s mention of his size accommodations, it wasn’t quite something that had been on his mind. He did briefly note that the bed in his quarters appeared to be standard size, about two meters in length, which was fine and all but even if he slid himself all the way up, his large feet would hang off the end. Other things like tools meant for his large hands he already replicated when going on duty earlier. The burden of being over two meters tall and having the body of a furry brick wall could be a little frustrating.

Their conversation turned to more technical matters now as their drinks arrived. Lok’s steaming pot of coffee was set in front of him and he immediately picked it up, it almost looked like just a slightly oversized coffee thermos in his clawed hand.

“Thanks Commander, yeah they seem like good guys”, he responded before taking a sip of the nearly scalding liquid. Though to him their standards needed to be raised, whoever was overseeing the propulsion mechanics before let them get a bit sloppy. I’ll have them whipped into shape in no time, he thought to himself. It would however be more beneficial if he could see them in action during a major launch and recovery operation, spotting birds on the deck and getting them launched can be a truly harrowing experience, especially if you are also ensuring the safety of your crewmates.

Cross, meanwhile, had brought up the topic of favorite weapons systems. “Hm I can’t say I have a favorite”, Lok answered while rubbing his chin, “guns have always just been tools to me, whatever gets the job done the best I suppose.”

“Now if you want to talk engines I still couldn’t give you a straight answer, but that’s because there are so many good ones it’s hard to choose.”

He chuckled a little. The food arrived moments later. Lok’s turkey sandwiches certainly looked pretty inviting, well for a humanoid anyway, but the Kzin had been in such a rush to give his order he forgot to tell them to hold off on any of the veggies. He made a bit of a face at the delectable and perfectly placed tomatoes, onions, and lettuce then opened up the tops of the sandwiches to remove these ingredients to a nearby napkin. He didn’t like to be wasteful but he also didn’t want to get sick either by eating a bit of lettuce. Now left with a bit of meat,cheese, and condiments, Lok picked up his sandwich and took a big bite. The effect was almost instantaneous, the Kzin’s body remembering how hungry it was, taking several more big bites before finally responding to Cross’s question.

“Reaver?” he said still with a bit of a mouthful, he swallowed it down then continued, “-uh no I don’t think I’ve taken a look at it yet, must be the thing under the tarp they have tucked off to the side, I was wondering what that was.”
CPO Avandar Lok | Head of Fighter Propulsion & Asst. COD - "The world I have known is lost in shadow..."

Re: CH 2: S [Day 01 | 1857 hrs] Expectations

Reply #7
[ Lt. Cmdr. Cross | Arboretum Cafe | D. 20 | V. 3 | “Ranger” of USS Theurgy] Attn: @joshs1000

“When you get a chance, I highly recommend you take a look at the Reaver. Especially as an engine connoisseur.” Cross was silent for a few moments, enjoying the first bites of food to take the edge off his hunger. Patel shifted her singing from love ballads to a more upbeat blues style, and Cross inwardly sighed. Much more preferred in these circumstances. Wiping his mouth with the napkin, Cross paused in the meal to continue the conversation. “If you can, what are the primary elements that must be present in an engine to make it particularly ‘good’ or noteworthy?”

After taking a lengthy sip of his drink, Cross expanded further from his position. “Let’s take guns. A tool I have to have ready or employ often from my position. Granted, I’m sure it’s the same with an engine as it is with a gun; not one gun suits all circumstances, so context for purpose and use comes into play. But some basics would be a good weight of the weapon to the carrier, the ergonomics of shape and ease of use, which is connected to overall size, the trigger mechanisms, sights, slide manipulation if it is present, rate of fire, and type of fire. But all that aside, the materials used to make the components and materials of the gun also impact all that.” Cross gave a half shrug. “I’m picky on the barrel finish, the sights, the lock time, and slide if it has one.” Cross drew an intricate pattern in the condensation on the outside of his glass. “I used a gun once that had this barrel finish and firing that thing,” his lips pulled back in a smile of feigned physical pleasure, “It was one of the most pleasurable experiences I’ve ever had with a gun. As odd as that might sound.”

Leaning forward again to tuck back into the remainder of his meal, Cross nodded toward Lok’s plate, “I can take the unwanted bits if you like.” He indicated the discarded vegetables.

Re: CH 2: S [Day 01 | 1857 hrs] Expectations

Reply #8
[CPO Avandar Lok | Arboretum Cafe | Deck 20| Vector 03 | USS Theurgy] Attn: @Ellen Fitz

“I’ll take a look next time I’m back down there”, he offered. He didn’t want to sound too dismissive but he also was just trying to figure out what this bald officer was all about. A Vulcan who smiled was already a bit strange but he had never known any senior officers so interested in talking to some lowly NCO like himself. Of course it wasn’t exactly like he was just some human who could blend in, he had plenty of other external features that people noticed first. Being an over two meter tall cat person, people tended to notice that first. This Reaver better live up to the hype, he thought to himself, as he focused his mind back to the conversation at hand.

Having finished his first sandwich, Lok picked up the next one and started to gobble it down. Cross meanwhile had asked about engine types, more specifically, getting down to the specifics of what made a specific engine specifically good. The Vulcan then proceeded to use various firearms as an example of what he meant.

For Lok, guns had never been of much interest. As he told the Commander, he thought of them as a tool, broken out when needed; the personal wrinkle for Lok however was he didn’t think there was ever a need for a gun…one that killed anyway. This wasn’t some idealized opinion he had from watching a few politically driven ads in favor of banning phasers, but rather formed from his own experience in the War when he was forced to kill several Jem'Hadar to defend his crewmates. One particular memory that always made him sick to his stomach was during an enemy boarding, a Jem'Hadar he shot didn't die right away and instead suffered for several minutes, convulsing on the floor.

As Cross continued, describing in great detail his fondness of guns from their looks to their function, Lok showed some bit of discomfort but just silently ate his sandwich, not wishing to be rude. Finally when he was finished, Lok swallowed his mouthful of rather good tasting turkey and thought on the original question about “what makes an engine good”. There were many things really, but he figured this was probably more of an opinion based question, getting an idea of Lok personal preferences.

“Well”, he started, “I guess the best thing is reliability…a fast ship is only as reliable as its engines, and if that engine isn’t reliable then that ship isn’t all that fast.” He smiled a little as he remembered the similar quote told to him by his mentor what feels like a lifetime ago now.

“But, it’s like you said, different applications have different requirements.”

He nodded in approval to Cross’s request about taking his discarded veggies then continued. “For a ship like this, you want something very powerful, as fast as you can make it without sacrificing too much reliability or efficiency. That’s something that Starfleet has perfected over the past two centuries, fast reliable ships, and as a bonus, the ships have highly adaptable systems.”

“Then take a class like the Freedom Class, they were not designed for speed but rather for reliability, owing to their duties as workhorses, spending more time traveling short distances between worlds, courier duties, low level transportation, supply runs, and all that. So you had a very stout engine that wasn’t pushing the margins one bit. It was rare for those ships to suffer issues.” Despite their rather uninteresting and underwhelming capabilities, Lok did have a bit of fondness for the Freedoms, one of them was his first ship after all.

“Now if we are talking about fighters, those are all speed, you want to push those margins as close to the edge as possible without the whole thing just exploding. Basically they are all intentionally designed with too much engine for their size, whether it is warp or impulse.”
CPO Avandar Lok | Head of Fighter Propulsion & Asst. COD - "The world I have known is lost in shadow..."

Re: CH 2: S [Day 01 | 1857 hrs] Expectations

Reply #9
[ Lt. Cmdr. Cross | Arboretum Cafe | D. 20 | V. 3 | “Ranger” of USS Theurgy] Attn: @joshs1000

Lok’s subtle unease was not lost on the Vulcan, but he’d be damned if he could pinpoint what brought it on. So many factors were at play, from the topic of conversation to the music, food, etc., it could truly be anything. Whatever it was, the Kzin moved passed it easily enough and began speaking of engines once Cross shut the fuck long enough to allow him.

Cross listened intently, appreciating the man’s view on engines and how he broke it down for someone obviously not in the same field. While he’d never been keen on spending much time with engines, Cross had always respected them and those who worked with them. He knew how to pilot of course, though not every class of ship, and likewise knew the basics of how to fix certain things if they malfunctioned, but he was no renaissance man. His expertise was tactical and he relished that there were different departments that likewise excelled in their own areas, coming together to make a perfect team.

As Lok drew to a close, Cross approached the topic from a slightly different angle. But only after ordering a banana pudding and another drink.

“What about the engines from other races? The Cardassians? Klingons? Denobulans? Have you spent much time looking into their specs to do a comparison? I’m certain they’re similar to what you’ve just mentioned in that depending on their class and function, you can just make a general blanket statement of comparison. But with that said, have you noted anything interesting?”

The pudding came out faster than their meal had and Cross angled a smile at the Kzin before he tucked into the dessert, happy to have something sweet to munch on while getting more acquainted.

Re: CH 2: S [Day 01 | 1857 hrs] Expectations

Reply #10
[CPO Avandar Lok | Arboretum Cafe | Deck 20| Vector 03 | USS Theurgy] Attn: @Ellen Fitz

Lok had by now finished his sandwiches but was already considering getting something later from the replicator in his quarters…he would just have the program the damn thing. Hopefully the computer was not stubborn or argumentative. That was the last thing he wanted to deal with today.

“Uh that’s a good question, I guess it really comes down to personal preference if I’m being honest”, Lok replied to Cross’s question while reaching up to scratch his furred chin with his clawed fingers. His ears twitched a little as he looked off a bit in thought.

“I’m honestly not that well versed on anything but Federation technology -I mean I can figure an engine out, they are all basically the same, but as to how those compared to ours I don’t know if I'm the right guy to ask.”

Perhaps the ship’s engineer knew more about that than him. Sure he had come across lots of alien species in his sixteen years of service but very few needed him to muck around in their systems. Anything major and they sent over the chief engineer and his special entourage of preferred juniors. Lok was only ever called up to perhaps fix some minor issue on a visiting dignitary’s shuttlecraft. Granted it wasn’t all that, and thanks to the War he had some stories he could furnish to Cross.

“The only things I guess I ever really got a look at were some Cardassian and Klingon ships during the War.” He watched as the pudding was set down in front of Cross, he understood it was supposed to be a sweet human dessert, not something he would ever eat or even could eat for that matter. His keen nose picked up the scent but not the wonderful fruitiness, just sort of an organic plant smell and whatever non-sweet ingredients were used to make it. After handing his empty plate over to the server and requesting some more coffee, he continued.

“Klingons have some rather quality equipment, despite what a more uninformed person might think, but it’s very simple and straightforward -easy to fix in a pinch…which I guess is why they use it so effectively in their wars -not to mention it lasts forever.” He smiled as a memory came back to him, one Cross might get a small kick out of, considering their current mission. “I actually got to meet then General Martok once”, he began, his smile turning to a toothy grin, though he made sure to not show his sharp teeth, a habit to keep himself from coming across as intimidating. He continued as his fresh pot of coffee arrived, “He was doing a sort of goodwill tour of the ships in our combat sector, though I think he just wanted to get a closer look at one of the new Sovereigns, anyway, he walked through the flight deck to get a look at our fighters, we just got the new Gryphons in, well new at the time. He went around asking some guys stuff, looking tough, finally he got to me, didn’t say anything, just sort of looked me up and down then chuckled and walked off.”
CPO Avandar Lok | Head of Fighter Propulsion & Asst. COD - "The world I have known is lost in shadow..."

Re: CH 2: S [Day 01 | 1857 hrs] Expectations

Reply #11
[ Lt. Cmdr. Cross | Arboretum Cafe | D. 20 | V. 3 | “Ranger” of USS Theurgy] Attn: @joshs1000

“I’d have to agree with you regarding the Klingons. Even before our more recent missions, I’d worked with them more than a few times over the years and appreciated how straightforward their tech was and how well-trained even the most supposedly ‘insignificant’ crewman was with nearly all the tech on the ship. I doubt our Intelligence department could pick up the slack in the Engineering department if a crisis happened, at least not to the same efficiency as what I saw displayed among the Klingons.”

Cross noticed the smile as Lok strayed into his memories and could only smile in response. Lok was a far cry from Winters in many ways, but the smile made the Kzin seem more approachable. Finishing his pudding as Lok finished his tale, Cross gave a breathy chuckle at the mental image of Martok’s interaction with Lok.

“Not surprising coming from Martok, though I am surprised none of his female aides made snarling passes at you. For a Klingon, you hit basically all the marks of virility and would be seen as a desirous romantic partner.” Cross laughed again. “The closest I came to a naked Klingon was at an art museum on Qo’Nos, as surprising as that may sound. They were protesting something, and I and a few others of our crew ended up in the middle of a scuffle between the art museum staff and a dozen irate and nude older Klingon females.” He rolled his shoulders at the memory. “Wiry into their wisened ages, I can testify to that.”

Re: CH 2: S [Day 01 | 1857 hrs] Expectations

Reply #12
[CPO Avandar Lok | Arboretum Cafe | Deck 20| Vector 03 | USS Theurgy] Attn: @Ellen Fitz

Lok nodded in agreement with Cross’s statement about the efficiency of Klingon crews. He himself was usually pretty quick to leap to their defense when more ignorant minded people attempted to disparage them for being Klingon. Granted such instances of prejudice were rare these days among Starfleet personnel but were a bit more common among certain sects of the civilian population. At least such prejudices weren’t nearly as bad as they say a century ago.

Then Cross brought up the topic of what was essentially Klingon flirting. Luckily Lok had fur or the senior officer would have been able to see the redness of his cheeks, but his ears did fold back a bit and felt hot from embarrassment.

“Well I uh…I mean sure -uh yeah, I’ve…been on the receiving end of that from some Klingon women in the past, but I let them know politely I wasn’t interested”, he replied, trying to dodge the topic. One of Martok’s aide’s did in fact make a pass at him, though he, the aide, preferred the more traditional role of a Klingon male in such things and instead read Lok some old fashioned love poetry he had written. The two didn’t meet properly then, it actually was a few weeks later while Lok was on leave at Deep Space 9 where they hit it off. Who knew there could also be a softer side to a Klingon? They hadn’t spoken in a number of years, not since Lok’s father passed. Lok wouldn’t tell any of this to Cross of course, he barely knew the man after all. He did add though as a way to perhaps add a bit of humor to his response, “...I only had my jaw broken by one of those women once for rejecting them so I think I came out of it ok.”

“As for Martok though”, he further added, “I think he was just sizing me up as a worthy adversary of some kind…at least that is what I was told…and I think his chuckle was probably him concluding he would win. I’m not really a trained fighter so he was probably right.”

He grinned and listened as Cross told his own story about what must have been a rather strange if ridiculous affair at a Klingon museum. “Well at least it made the museum interesting”, Lok responded with a chuckle. “Did you get in any trouble for it? Damaging property and all that.”

“I’ve never run into anything like that since I joined, but they also don’t send knuckle draggers and grease monkeys like myself to museums.”
CPO Avandar Lok | Head of Fighter Propulsion & Asst. COD - "The world I have known is lost in shadow..."

Re: CH 2: S [Day 01 | 1857 hrs] Expectations

Reply #13
[ Lt. Cmdr. Cross | Arboretum Cafe | D. 20 | V. 3 | “Ranger” of USS Theurgy] Attn: @joshs1000

“Only a broken jaw? Yeah, she was just teasing you, mate.” Cross chuckled at the mental image of a horny Klingon woman taking a swing at Lok. “As for our escapade at the museum, no we didn’t get into trouble. We didn’t start it, and we certainly didn’t finish it. Tried to get out of it and ended up being in the middle of it sort of thing. I don’t think any of our diplomats were required to smooth things over.”

The server returned to collect the empty plates and cups. Cross sipped at the water he’d set aside earlier, mulling over Lok’s self-description as a grease monkey.

“There are a lot of tours on Qo’Nos that are open to be taken by anyone. I certainly wasn’t sent to the museum in a delegation or anything. Just explored on my own. Next time we’re in port somewhere, you should go planetside in your free time. No need to wait until you’re sent to explore new places.”

Eyes darting over what he could see of the Kzin Cross cocked his head to the side, “Do you not like fighting? I mean grappling for the sake of training and exercise. And I’m not trying to come off as an obtuse git, assuming you’d relish a good fight because of your size. I would assume you have some basic hand-to-hand skills, given its standard for Starfleet training, but then again, assuming could make me out to be an ass.”

Re: CH 2: S [Day 01 | 1857 hrs] Expectations

Reply #14
[CPO Avandar Lok | Arboretum Cafe | Deck 20| Vector 03 | USS Theurgy] Attn: @Ellen Fitz

Lok smiled to himself with a half hearted laugh at the mention of him going planetside. Not that he didn’t like going down to explore new planets, it was just that he never had much interest in going to planets that had people on them. To him the perfect away mission was to some world that had never been touched by technology or people. A little odd considering his own love of any kind of technology he could get his claws on to tinker with, but sometimes he just wanted to appreciate some unspoiled nature.

About the time the plates were cleared away was when Lok finally felt full from his many sandwiches and multiple liters of coffee. It wasn’t quite the dinner he had planned but it was better than he had expected; same with Commander Cross, not as bad as he expected for an officer. The man could honestly pass for a non-com, maybe this guy was alri-

“Do you not like fighting?” Cross began once again, turning the topic back to the martial arts.

Lok took a moment to think of his response, partially wondering if perhaps Cross was trying to see if Lok was dodging some sort of training program.

“Well…I just don’t like to do it, I will if I have to and I know my stuff from basic training, but if I’m being honest, Commander, I’d prefer if I never had to again. Bad experiences in my childhood and bad experiences during the War.” He closed his eyes for a moment as he took a drink of the last bit of coffee he had left; the distant taste and scent of Jem’Hadar and Cardassian blood passed over his mind that sent a cold shiver running down to his hands. He suddenly gulped down the last of his coffee in an attempt to wash it away.

“If the ship is ever attacked, you can count on me sir, I’ll do what I have to do”, he said finally after a long pause. In an attempt to perhaps change the topic he smiled at Cross and asked, “I bet you know some of that Vulcan-fu stuff I’ve seen in the past.” He punctuates his point with a little chopping motion in the air. “I saw a competition on Vulcan once, pretty neat….I mean other than the fighting it was pretty boring but you know, still kind of interesting to see.”
CPO Avandar Lok | Head of Fighter Propulsion & Asst. COD - "The world I have known is lost in shadow..."

Re: CH 2: S [Day 01 | 1857 hrs] Expectations

Reply #15
[ Lt. Cmdr. Cross | Arboretum Cafe | D. 20 | V. 3 | “Ranger” of USS Theurgy] Attn: @joshs1000

The Vulcan gave a nod of understanding. “Our youth galvanizes us in one way or another.” He pushed away from the back of his chair, dropping his elbows on the table to lean closer. “When people find out I was created by Cardassian scientists in a lab whose purpose was to create hybrid super soldiers, they automatically assume I hate Cardassians.” He snorted. “Truth is, I was young enough at the time and knew nothing else but the Cardassians in a caretaker role. When the Bajoran prisoners rebelled and killed all the Cardassians, broke into the lab, and likewise killed the older Cardassian guard who’d been like a drunk uncle figure to my lab sister and I, well, suffice to say I have found it far more difficult to reconcile my disquiet around hyper-vigilant and religious Bajorans than any Cardassian. It was the Bajorans who killed the guard and my sister, and if it weren’t for Starfleet personnel showing up right at the last, they would’ve killed me too.”

Cross gave Lok a reassuring smile of acknowledgment. “Though this is the first we’ve met, I have read over your file, and I believe you, Lok.” When the Kzin brought up the Vulcan fighting styles, he chuckled. “I practice sha’mura, among many other martial art forms. I was never keen on the meditation-style movements or the mind puzzles my mentors tried to get me to embrace while I was still a hybrid. Much preferred the ‘application’ style movements like sha’mura. But now that the Savi were ‘kind’ enough to make me a full-blooded Vulcan, I’ve had to explore the meditation shit to get a wrap on my new biochemistry.” He gave a nonchalant shrug. “What about you? Not so much, what style of fighting do you like, but what helps you relax and get out of ‘work mode?’”

Re: CH 2: S [Day 01 | 1857 hrs] Expectations

Reply #16
[CPO Avandar Lok | Arboretum Cafe | Deck 20| Vector 03 | USS Theurgy] Attn: @Ellen Fitz

Lok listened silently as Cross told his story. It certainly was one that the larger man was loath to reply to with his own childhood story in kind. Sure he was bullied here and there and got into trouble but he had a life of ease and privilege on Betazed whereas Cross, as he somewhat hinted to, simply did not. It did however explain why he wasn’t acting like all the other Vulcans that Lok had met throughout the years. This filled him with some sense of ease and perhaps a bit of kinship at not being the only one who was raised by another species. Visibility Lok relaxed somewhat, he showed a bit more of a smile and took a bit more of a relaxed stance in his chair…well more relaxed than he already was anyway.

Leaning back in his chair, Lok continued to listen and nod attentively while Cross explained his own bout with martial arts. He was genuinely curious and engaged as Cross talked. He was actually unaware that there was more to Vulcan martial arts than just fighting, though he shouldn’t have been surprised considering that Vulcans never liked to do things simple.

“Never been one for meditating myself either”, Lok responded with a small chuckle before the conversation turned back to him and what he liked to do to unwind.

“Oh I like all kinds of stuff”, he began, “drawing landscapes, people, stuff like that; uh I like to cook, mostly meats…but you know- Kzin - so can’t really have anything else, a good roast or steak is my specialty.” The meat talk reminded Lok he had intended to try and replicate steaks for his dinner rather than the turkey sandwiches he ended up with, but the thought of a juicy steak did cause him to absentmindedly lick his large sharp fangs. “I also try to stay in shape by lifting weights or go swimming if the holodeck is free or if there is a pool or an ocean or lake.”

“-And yes before you say anything I know the Earth joke about cats and water, well this felinoid likes the water.”

He crossed his arms in a show of playful defiance to stereotypes before continuing, “other than that I really just like to tinker with stuff, old tech, new tech, scrap parts…I used to help my mother fix up her vintage hovercars. I also used to make these little alarm clocks out of a bunch of old duotronic transtators, but I don't think I’ll find anything like that on this brand new ship without replicating them, which takes away half the fun of finding old gadgets laying around.”

Lok also liked to drink and party, but he figured he’d keep that to himself for the time being. He may have gotten a better understanding of Cross, but the man was also a member of the senior staff and no doubt wouldn’t want members of his crew unfit due to drink. Granted it seemed a good number of the crew had a bit of a drinking problem, who could blame them.

“What about you, sir? I guess since you aren’t quite a regular Vulcan you don’t do the normal Vulcan stuff to unwind, no Kal’toh or whatever.”
CPO Avandar Lok | Head of Fighter Propulsion & Asst. COD - "The world I have known is lost in shadow..."

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