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EPI: S [D04|0600] Beans, Bacon, Whiskey, and Lard

[ Lieutenant Frank Arnold | Main Sickbay | ICU | Vector 02 | Deck 11 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @Swift
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Since he’d given the bridge report, Frank’s life had gotten even more busy that it had been for the past, however long it had been since they started their foray into the unknown with the Allegiant. Whether it had been two hours, two weeks, or two months, Frank hadn’t been keeping good track. What he did know was, time was of the essence. They had plenty of work to do between now and the 3 week looming deadline that had been presented at the bridge meeting between the Ives, the Captain of the Oneida, and the Klingons. They had a list of jobs a mile long to take care of, and at least a quarter of the Engineers were laid up from the most recent battle. Some were stubborn enough to try and work, but their staffing was critical, to say the least.
 
In short, Frank was having a very tough time justifying why he was headed towards sickbay, for some gallivanting. He was sure Jaya would tell him, that this sort of activity, meeting a friend, perhaps one of the only ones he still had living, was a worthwhile venture. Maybe he could square it with someone else, under the guise of reporting on the drone. But the reality was, he couldn’t square that with himself, he was here to see a friend.
 
He'd decided that a little lighthearted spy play of his own was in order when he went to see Fisher. He was sure that the man had enough broody conversation and debriefing to come, Frank came armed with fun. He’d ‘borrowed’ a medical uniform that he’d replicated himself, as well as a surgeon’s mask and gown, a hat, and a mobility chair. So when he stepped into the Sickbay, he did not look out of place, and even if he had, he wasn’t sure that the various medical personnel would have even had time to bother with him by the time he got done taking stock. If anyone was more busy than the engineers, it was the nurses and doctors. 
 
Medical looked like a madhouse. Even though the triage was done, the remnant of activity, the lasting impression of shipboard combat was all around. The fatigue hung in the air as strong as the smell of antibacterial sprays. Frank perused each bed, trying to find a notion of which one Fisher was in, until he gave up, flagged down the nearest nurse, and boldly asked, “I’m here to do imaging on Commander Fisher, can you point me to his bed?”
 
And so he went, whistling all the while, right up to Fisher’s bedside. He let out a low whistle before he stopped making idle noise, looking Andrew over whether he was conscious or not. He gave a light, “Come on Andy, time for your sponge bath. We want to get you looking all spick and span for the ladies, and let’s be honest, right now you look like shit. What, did some Klingons do a round robin game of, ‘Guess My Fist’ on you? Guess you should have paid me my money then huh?” He stroked his chin, “Too soon?”
 
If the game wasn’t already up, Frank lowered his surgeon’s mask, and revealed a wide smile, that was only revealed as requiring effort by the crows feet that troubled the corners of his eyes, and the wrinkles across his forehead. He kept his voice low as he said, “I’m breaking you out of here for a little breakfast, because well, I’m bored.” He sniggered to himself, “So come on lazy, we have some titty bars to hit, they have great breakfasts.” He grunted again, and then offered, “I’d take you to the holodeck but, we’ll we’re remodeling.” He shrugged, “Besides, I crashed your drone so, I sorta owe you homemade breakfast.”

Re: EPI: S [Day 04 | 0600] Beans, Bacon, Whiskey, and Lard

Reply #1
[ Lt. Cmdr. Andrew Fisher | Intensive Care Unit | Main Sickbay | Deck 11 | Vector 02 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @uytrereee

Sleep.

What little of it Fisher had managed, had come with quite the load of baggage. Neuron pathways compromised by the persistence of whatever drug was still coursing it’s way through his system were lit up firing in a veritable spider’s web of confusion dreams and nightmares playing out in shuffle mode. It had only taken a few minutes of actual sleep for Fisher to recognize the signs of an overactive subconscious, and thus surmise that he was indeed dreaming, but wherein someone else might have been granted special capabilities during such a session of unconscious clairvoyant awareness, otherwise known as a lucid dream, Fisher was left mired in the very strangest and sometimes worst things his brain could imagine. And no matter how hard he tried to convince himself to awaken from a dream he recognized, but couldn’t control, he wouldn’t. Instead, the reality he was lost within continued onward without relent, dragging him along for the kind of trip most junkies would have killed to experience. To an extent even, the spy had expected his dreams to be of the especially weird variety, but he knew he couldn’t avoid them forever, and certainly not if he ever hoped to fully recover from the damage done to him.

An overriding notion carried on for him as he experienced this torrent of vivid visualizations; that sooner or later, someone might come to his rescue and save him from the very worst of it by returning him to the real world. Though, accompanying this reassuring thought, was a somewhat disconcerting one that would remind him that his grasp on what was real, and what wasn’t was tenuous at best. All he could do, was hope that whoever it was that did spring him, was of such mundane stock that he would immediately and innately recognize it as too plain to be one of his colorfully haunting manifestations.

“What the shit?!” He groggily blurted out aloud, eyelids opening as all about him the world seemed to be moving.

Was he flying? No. Flying usually meant being up above everyone, and also generally didn’t involve being in a sitting position. It also didn’t entail a deep baritone voice, though the voice was familiar and did pique something in his sluggish consciousness that caused a slight grin to cross his face. Peering about, he saw who the voice belonged to, confirming what he’d figured, though given the attire it seemed all wrong. It was Frank Arnold. Frank wasn’t a Doctor. Or a Nurse. He also wasn’t the one to give sponge baths, nor was Fisher of the sort to be so accepting of one from the man. “Guess my fist?” he repeated slowly, surprised, and very much annoyed at how long it was taking for him to feel like he was fully awake. ‘Maybe that’s because we’re still dreaming?’ he thought to himself, desperate to try and make sense of what his visual and auditory input was telling him. Then again, maybe it really was Frank, and this was the Engineer’s cheeky attempt at an escape from the doldrums of sickbay and an overly attentive medical staff.

Though, said medical staff had already lost track of him once, during the wee hours of the morning when he’d snuck off for a drink or two with the latest addition to his Intelligence team. Internally, he reminded himself of the sincere hope that she would last longer than some of the others placed under his command.

“F... Fffff...” wait, what was happening to him again? Where was he? Was this a dream? “....Foster!” he all but shouted just as he and the Engineer had managed to clear the doors, out into the corridor. No. Foster wasn’t right, he thought. That was the name of his annoying surgeon. Bringing a hand to his face, Fisher slapped himself hard on the right cheek in the hopes that it might set him a little more on course. “Frank... Frank?” He blinked rapidly, a train of conscious considerations besieging him as though they someone had cleared a pipe obstruction. “Wait... what, Frank? Where the hell? What the hell?” He sat upright on the mobility chair, glancing back at the man as he was pushing against a mobility chair, wheeling him down a corridor past some very confused looking crewmen. Soon enough, the backlog of information Frank had imparted during his explanation fit into place, and Fisher could make heads and tails of what the deal was. He still wasn’t entirely convinced of the veracity of it all and was wondering if or when the stage might shift from one dream setting to the next, but at least for the moment, he wasn’t feeling an urge to dismiss or fight away whatever this scenario was.

“Okay... I’m pretty sure this isn’t a dream.” He said aloud, hoping Frank might confirm that for him, though the manifestations he’d been experiencing might well have done the same. Still, it seemed a prudent point to make. “Wait... crashed my drone?” he asked, slumping back into the chair as they entered a turbolift, yet against occupied by another confused looking crewman. There was so much to digest hitting him all at once, though as his stomach grumbled rather loudly, it began to dawn on him that he hadn’t had anything to eat in well over a day. “Breakfast actually sounds pretty good.” He admitted, catching glimpse of the young man standing beside both him and Frank. When the turbolift came to a stop, evidently the deck in which Frank had intended to take him, Fisher couldn’t help but swipe a finger across his throat while looking at the crewman, barely able to contain a chortle of laughter.

“You didn’t see anything! Understood?”

Re: EPI: S [Day 04 | 0600] Beans, Bacon, Whiskey, and Lard

Reply #2
[ Lieutenant Frank Arnold | Auxiliary Deuterium Tanks Access Corridor | Deck 07 | Vector 01 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @Swift
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Frank had thought Fisher might be a bit groggy, hospitalization seemed to have that effect on people, if imprisonment by the Klingons wasn't jarring enough. But this Fisher, well, he was particularly groggy and disoriented. Well at least Frank had thought so, until he so expertly put name to voice, and Frank remembered that this was Theurgy's head super spy. He smiled gently and would shake his head, "Not Foster, although a Fosters does sound kind of nice right no...Whoah!" He'd reach out to try and grab the man's hand in vain as he slapped himself across the face, "Hey hey whoah, if you need someone to whip on you, you still owe me a sparring match. And with you like this, it might even be fair" He chuckled, and once they were clear of sickbay he offered, "This was my lame attempt at trying to make you feel more at home, after all you are our interplanetary man of mystery. I should have figured your brains might be a bit scrambled" He grinned, and lazily ditched the scrub cap and mask into the hallway as they continued on their walk.

As they stepped into the turbolift, his attention turned to the other occupant, and he offered him a stern look that very much indicated silence was in order. He slowly turned his attention back to Andrew and offered, "It was a necessary sacrifice." He gave a slow nod, "I'll tell you about it over breakfast, but you should have seen her soar." He patted himself as if excitedly trying to find something, "I know I saved the footage somewhere...where is it?" He reached into every pocket before he realized that this uniform was medical teal, and not engineering gold, "Right, these are re-appropriated." He looked to the crewman and offered, "That's a polite term that officers use for stolen." He nodded matter of factly, and once Fisher had offered his notions of see-no-evil, he pushed the mobility chair into a dimly lit hallway. "She'll fly again, but it's going to be a lot of work." He gave a long sigh, "You should have seen her though, she was magnificent. I've been thinking that the Jackrabbit isn't a good name. It's not elegant enough."

Slowly he guided them towards an area that had been taped off for 'emergency repairs' but was suspiciously quiet. He cleared his throat as they came to a semi-translucent curtain of butcher's plastic, which Frank promptly peeled back to reveal the pleasantly lit dead end, which he'd transformed into a breakfast nook, complete with a small table for two, and off to the side a hotplate, hastily wired into a wall conduit, as well as a bench with a bucket of ice, and six replicated beers, Guinness, sticking out. He pushed Andrew up to the table side, but turned him to face the hot plate, and then he sidled up to the instrument, and began cracking eggs.

"How do you like your eggs?" Frank cracked two of his own, "I prefer one over soft for toast, and one over hard for afters, myself." He raised a brow at the man, holding two eggs which he'd promptly crack onto the skillet when Andrew passed his order. Afterwards he laid some bacon on the skillet, which stopped him in his tracks. He offered gently under his breath, spoken as if he was in a place far away from here, "The real stuff tastes better. The last person I made breakfast for told me that." He nodded gently, "She was kind, really kind, but very troubled." He thought about it for a minute, "She gave me branches for my woodshop, I was working on a gift for her to say thank you. A wooden rose." He shook his head slowly, and sighed. "Far too troubled for a young woman. She's gone now."

He looked over to Andrew, and continued making breakfast, "You might be about the only friend I have left, you know that?" He chuckled, but for some reason the usually warm gesture from Frank ran hollow. He waved a hand as if dismissing the unwelcome thought, and then donned a tired smile once more, "For what it's worth, I'm very glad you're okay. If I hadn't been away, I'd have come to get you myself." He shrugged, "Then again that's more your trade than mine isn't it?" He chuckled, this time far more truly as he picked up two cans of Guinness, cracking the top of each, listening to the widget rapidly sink to the bottom and start the nucleation of the bubbles within the nitrogenated beer. He didn't ask Andrew if he wanted one, he simply poured each can into a frosted mug, stored conveniently behind the ice bucket, and then offered one of the two stouts over. He'd say, "Slàinte (slan-ja)" and then take a sip, which deposited foam in his mustache.

He cleared his throat as he plated up each of their breakfasts, two eggs made to order, bacon on the soft side of crispy, and buttered white toast, "It probably sounds like a silly question, but how are you doing?" He raised a brow as he set the plate in Andrew's place, and then turned him to face it, before he sat down himself, "And don't be polite. I'll be honest, I haven't slept a decent rest since Andor, except for one evening, which truly was about three hours" which also happened to be the same evening he spent with Jaya in a makeshift fort waiting to affect a rescue that was ultimately fruitless.

Eventually he let out a long sigh and offered, almost as if it was an afterthought, and at the same time the only thing sitting on his mind, "I lost two members of my team," Isley and Valkra, he thought "another one of them will never fly again." Nix. He rolled his head, he'd never forget those names, they were tattooed on his soul, "First time since the War. Still figuring out how I'll square that with myself. They don't mention that part in the Academy do they?" He sighed, "Dulce et decorum est" He raised his frosted mug, and had another sip, and then tried a weak smile, "Sorry I know you're banged up, just don't have anyone to talk with these days, well anyone that doesn't make me lay down and tries to give me a lobotomy."

Re: EPI: S [Day 04 | 0600] Beans, Bacon, Whiskey, and Lard

Reply #3
[ Lt. Cmdr. Andrew Fisher | Auxiliary Deuterium Tanks Access Corridor | Deck 07 | Vector 01 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @uytrereee

This decidedly, wasn’t a dream.

No, Fisher’s dreams were rarely as oddly concocted as whatever this was. This, by far, was one of the stranger occurrences he’d experienced in recency, but that in itself wasn’t a bad thing. When you dealt with as grim a profession as Fisher’s, spending most of your life hiding in shadows, both figuratively and literally, it was nice to occasionally emerge from the dark into the lighter side of life. In this case, it was a pseudo-jailhouse break from the confines of Main Sickbay by who else, but the one and only Frank Arnold. Amusing didn’t even come close to describing what was going on, though it would have to suffice as descriptor of the yet as to still recovering Chief of Intelligence was wheeled down the winding corridors of Theurgy in the wee morning hours. Stifling a bout of laughter in accordance to his gradual understanding of what the mad Engineer had in mind, Fisher couldn’t entirely hide the smirk from his own face, though he was grateful that as early as it was in the day, the corridors were for the most part, empty. Mystique, and intimidation were important tools and weapons in the arsenal of any spy, and he could only imagine how those would wither away and diminish if tale of this hilarity got around.

And though he trusted Frank not to go spilling the beans like some sort of gossip obsessed raw recruit, he still knew that the walls could talk aboard a Starfleet ship, especially when that ship was essentially living, as Theurgy technically was.

“Damn. I’m not usually partial to Australian Beers, but right now, that doesn’t sound bad at all.” He commented absently as Frank turned Fisher’s momentary bout of confusion into a reference of the giant-canned beverage famously from the land down-under back on Earth. As if on cue, his stomach grumbled to accentuate the apparent need for sustenance, it having been several hours since he and Rutherford had shared an impromptu dinner of Beef Wellington. Recovery took a lot of calories to maintain for someone in the degree of physical conditioning as Fisher, a necessity for the job, at least as long as you wanted to survive long enough to at some point enjoy the rest of your life. “I think you overestimate my boxing prowess. Like I said before, the thing about spies is, we rarely fight clean, and in a squared circle, with a referee... so longs that referee isn’t blind... you’d have me at a severe disadvantage.” He responded, chuckling a little as Frank turned corner sharply, leaving the stuffy Medical ward behind them in the process.

“Besides, with those mitts, I bet you have a wallop of a haymaker.”

A few hastened strides later, they’d been through a turbolift, left a crewman behind them in a state of supreme intimidation, and emerged into a dimly lit hallway, Frank’s explanation that while the drone had seen better days, it would be back in working fashion eventually, put some trepidation at ease for Fisher. After all, he more than recognized the benefit of reliable air-support when conduction ground operations and given the piss-poor survival rate of the Lone Wolves, he felt a little more comfortable having something a little more subtle in the sky, like Frank’s drone. “Jackrabbit?” he repeated, raising one eyebrow higher than the other once they’d come to a stop in an area seemingly taped off for repairs. “Is that what you’ve been calling it? Or did one of the upper-brass give it the moniker?” he glanced with obvious bemusement at the apparent breakfast situation that Frank had put together in advance of whatever this was. The sight of a bucket of cold canned Guinness was immediately appreciated by the spy, who only momentarily withdrew his attention from them when Frank asked for a preference of cooked eggs from him.

“Over easy, please.” He answered, exhaling deeply as he leant back in the chair that he’d been wheeled down in.

The scent of bacon though, be it replicated or butchered from a once living hog, was one of those that got the blood of any right-minded person pumping, call it a primal reaction to the nourishment which meat represented in the ancient cortex of humankind. A little more at ease as Frank went about cooking up what he assumed to be a damned fine meal for the pair of them, Fisher listened intently on the story shared. He’d not known the woman Frank was referring to, if she had been a member of Theurgy, or was someone from his past; but that didn’t stop him from being able to empathize with the man. Loss was loss, and Fisher knew well enough, both in the distant past, and in the now, what that could do to someone, and how it could re-clarify what was important in life. Opting for silence as Frank continued to speak, Fisher afforded a man a nod and an appreciative smile with regard to the apparent friendship they had developed. “My trade sure, but usually I’m the one doing the door kicking, rather than being the one sought after by the door-kickers.” In his career, he’d been captured a few times, it was one of those things that may well have been an eventuality, rather than something you could avoid forever. Thankfully, fate had thus far seen him brought back each time he’d found himself in such a situation, though it did make him wonder when, not if, the tides would turn against him.

"Slàinte” he responded in kind, the settling of the dark stout from it’s hazy brown to blacker than coffee having just completed, leaving a nice foamy tan head at the lip of the mug when Frank took a sip, Fisher following suit an instant later.

Letting the earthy tones of the smooth nitrogenated beer linger fresh in his mind for a moment, Fisher drew back to admire the perfection of flavor, wondering for a good moment if it had been replicated, and thus consisted of synthehol, or if Frank had somehow managed to get a handle on some imports from Dublin, back on Earth. Regardless, it was about as perfect a potion for healing the soul on a morning like this one, wherein an almost omnipresent malaise of bittersweet gratitude for one’s own survival mixed with the inescapable sense of personal loss, culminating in a permeated looming cloud of shit throughout the atmosphere of the ship and it’s crew. He surmised that many of his fellows had struggled to find the peace of sleep the night before, just as he had; the memory of the day’s events too recent to forget, and the sting of loss haunting them like some asshole bird, quoth nevermore. “Fuck the Raven.” He commented, barely audible under the whisper of his breath as he took a second sip of the restorative brew, internally echoing the sentiment of comradeship that Frank had expressed a moment earlier in their conversation.

Now leaning back as Frank finished the preparation of their breakfast, Fisher set the mug down unto the table beside the plate of graciously offered food, fingers immediately snatching up one of the strips of bacon. “Well...” he began to answer, first taking a bite of the salty piece of pork belly. “...like your guys, we lost a few people. I hadn’t even barely come to know them, beyond their personnel dossiers.” Looking across the table at Frank for a scant second, he realized that death wasn’t something that Engineers regularly came to deal with, at least not to the degree that Fisher and his sort did. In a lot of ways, Frank’s expertise was in the creation of something; the exact opposite of a prominent part of Fisher’s expertise, which called for the destruction of that something. Sure, Intelligence wasn’t always assassinations, sabotage, and the like; there was plenty to do that didn’t involve the elimination of life, but in these days, especially since the Dominion War, it had felt like the ratios had skewed in favor of the former, rather than the latter.

“Pro patria mori” he added in reciprocation of Frank’s impromptu toast, like wise raising his mug in salute.

“No, it’s... it’s fine, really.” He reassured the Engineer, whom he suddenly realized was in fact, the Chief Engineer now. Necessity having prompted a promotion of the man in the wake of the death of another name he’d barely known personally. “The Academy seems like such a long time ago for me, to be honest, but I don’t remember much beyond the basic mourning and reconciliation courses they have us take.” Grinning ironically at the course in question, a series of short seminars that are required of all Starfleet Academy Cadets, wherein Counseling Officers attempt to teach techniques to deal with personal loss, grief, and the regrets that develop as a result of having to make difficult decisions that might cost lives; Fisher could distinctly remember thinking the courses were bull shit, and in need of serious updating for the modern era. “But I do remember one of the quotes my old Captain regaled of me, back when I was regular old Security Officer, before I put on the proverbial cloak and picked up a dagger.” Settling his mug down once more, Fisher recalled the words in his mind, not wishing to incorrectly deliver them.

“He said... It is foolish and wrong to mourn the men who died. Rather we should thank God such men lived.”

Letting the immortal words of George Patton sit, those which had been quoted to him by Captain Musgrave during Fisher’s days aboard the USS Diamondback,  the spy nodded succinctly in acknowledgement of their meaning, aware that his own feelings of anger regarding the loss of fine people the previous day and beyond, would have been better re-directed into gratitude at having known them, for however brief it may have been for some; and to try and be grateful for the sacrifices they made on behalf of the living, like Frank, like Fisher, and like the rest of Theurgy. “He also taught me, that the burden of remembering those who died under our stead, is one we should not only accept, but embrace. For as comrades, we can hope to assuage and alleviate the feelings of loss for loved one’s impatiently waiting at home for news of the deceased, and in that we can replay a small portion of the debt owed.” Reaching a triangle of toast from the plate, he took a bite, silently running through all of the names he’d written letters of condolences for during the night, before training the gaze of his sage-green eyes to Frank sitting across from him, a deathly serious expression evident in his face.

“...and no matter how they might have truthfully died, be it meaningful or not, we remember them as heroes to a cause greater than themselves.” He of course knew all too well, that sometimes, to remember someone as a hero for the benefit of the bereaved, meant spinning a lie, but as someone who so regularly saw just blurred the line between lie and truth was, to the point of it being nearly unrecognizable in the end, he also knew that such delineations were overrated in the end.

“How we... you and I, who know better, deal with the loss, is a different story.” He admitted, painfully.

Re: EPI: S [Day 04 | 0600] Beans, Bacon, Whiskey, and Lard

Reply #4
[ Lieutenant Frank Arnold | Auxiliary Deuterium Tanks Access Corridor | Deck 07 | Vector 01 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @Swift 
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Frank hadn't taken the time to really analyze how bizarre this was. He rarely did analyze his ideas once he got invested in them. This was one of his better ones as of late, at least in his own esteemed opinion. He liked breakfast food, it was warm, and fatty, and strangely comforting. The kind of food that made you happy to wake up on a Sunday morning, well, mostly. This day decidedly felt like a Sunday morning, if any day had in a while. The week structure of space was odd, artificial like most everything in space. Time, gravity, light, air, food, and the week. But, it was a day of rest after an intense flood of happenings, and here they were having breakfast. It was a good enough day as any to think of as a Sunday, at least for the simple reasonings of Frank Arnold.

He gave a slow shrug back to Andrew as he tucked into breakfast, remarking, "It's been over a decade since I boxed an opponent, I mean really boxed them." He thought about it, "I've sparred sure, and I've fought a fair number of very well programmed photonic opponents, to stay in decent form. But to fight another opponent, of comparable skill, in an environment with rules, there's not another thing like it. Makes you figure out how good you really are." He smiled, and stroked his chin, seemingly reminiscing over the topic, "I boxed in the Academy you know, I was even good, lean, fast, and yes..." He looked at his hands, "These do help."

He chuckled softly then, and thought about it for a bit longer, and decided Andrew might know all that. He was Big Brother after all, he very likely had read at least some of his record. He took a ponderous gaze, one he was prone to when he was tired and thinking as he stroked his beard, "Thirteen and three, eleven knockouts. I never really liked decisions, didn't like being judged at that age." He laughed genuinely laughed, "Still don't. Good enough to try for the cruiserweight belt, semi-am inter-Federation at least, not quite good enough to get it." He chuckled gently at that, "But that was a long time ago now."

He gave a slow nod, "Rarely fight fair, but I bet you win a lot." He laughed gently, "Actually I imagine to be as old as you are and still doing what you do, you must have had to."

He laughed as Fisher picked up on the name, nodding excitedly as he shoveled the decidedly replicated bacon into his face hole, and spoke with a half full mouth, "Yeah! I figured it fit her, she's scrappy, small, quick, and survives by evading the gaze of bigger predators and running fast." He shook his head vehemently, "No way brass gets to name our baby." He motioned between them, "She's in a sorry state right now, but that's okay, I've always enjoyed a project." He rubbed his eyes, still a bit tired, "Although I reckon I'm going to have plenty of those in weeks to come. If Ives decides to make me Chief, even more so."

He returned the appreciative smile, and decided to return the favor, and watch and listen, just for a little while. He nodded at Andrew's remark at being the one who knocked, not the one who got the door kicked in on them. But he privately mused that perhaps sometimes this was the way it went. He picked up his own mug for another long pull that left his mustache washed from the previous foam as the head of the beer settled down and gave way to the still darkness and subtle foam of a dark beer. Fisher muttered something under his breath he couldn't hear, and he wasn't adept at reading lips, so he left it, but he'd pay closer attention next time for sure.

He nodded and then pointed at Andrew and offered as the conversation turned to the macabre once more, "I'm in the same boat. I was so new to this bucket, well, still am really, when we left Aldea in a hurry. I just figured I'd have more time, time to learn Blue, time to learn the officers, the enlisted, the routines. Then again I suppose so did she." He gave a shrug, "Now I'm the most senior officer in a department in which I know no one personally, and almost no one professionally. It's going to be..." Frank didn't have a good adjective for what it was going to be. Hard, but that didn't really capture it either, Shit, but that wasn't true because it would eventually give way to well reasoned purpose, and so he let the thought disappear into a sip of dark beer.

Death was not something that Engineers dealt with at all. In fact while many of the systems they worked on and developed had a direct tactical purpose, their involvement was almost entirely abstract. Death lingered in the periphery behind nice words such as 'tactical effectiveness', 'target neutralization', and many of the other niceties thought up by command. The last time Frank had faced death was during the Dominion war, and this recent episode had calcified something for him. This wasn't a nasty jaunt, a vicious away mission, they were at war for the very right to exist against the parasitic menace. It would be a long war at that.

As Fisher finished his quote, he was brought back to reality, and he gave a nod, "I almost never paid attention in those classes. I was more interested in girls, and things that went fast. I came from a ship of thirty nine men and then an almost exclusively male prep program after all. I'm not sure they would have been much help, but it'd be nice to know how the brass thinks we're supposed to feel." He thought about it, and offered, "I'm not sure how that is. I've never been a very violent man, always had too warm a disposition for it I think, it's why I like boxing, it's a controlled expression of skill. It's not about the violence, not really." He paused for a minute and said in a deadly serious tone, "But I know I want to wipe out every last parasite." He didn't mention how Blue had been in the brig, near the infested Nicander when she'd been killed, and perhaps if that distraction wasn't aboard, tragedy might have been avoided. Perhaps it wasn't fair to lay the blame there either, he hadn't made up his mind.

He listened to the quote Fisher provided, and absorbed it. It didn't make him feel better right then, but it settled in his mind for reflection, perhaps with time it would. He gave a slow roll of the neck, and thought on it, "I'm not sure it helps, but your willingness to share it does." He gave a nod at the second part of the lesson, and he gave another sigh, "I doubt I'll ever be able to forget them Andrew. And I'll certainly be doing my best to help what will presumably become my team." He chuckled then, and it was so out of the moment, "You know, I have nicknames for almost everyone. But not you. Drew, Andy, the Big D, it really doesn't fit. For someone who uses monikers in their line of work, I think Andrew is just fine."

He gave a slow nod, and then looked across the table, raised his mug to his lips with that, and took another long draw before he said, "Silly as it sounds, I think the best way to start dealing with a thing, in this case sorrow, guilt, the burden of command, is just to start doing it." He thought about it and then laughed at himself again, "Sorry, Engineers aren't known for their depth of prose, or command of wordy words." He did follow on with, "There has never been a woe so horrible, that it could not start to be salved with the copious application of bacon, beans, eggs, and a little bit of whiskey. In our case, dark beer. And I can shovel a lot of breakfast food down our necks."

And with that for a moment, he burst into a deep and genuine course of laughter that extended far beyond the punctuated chuckles that he was known for, and when he was done, his soul felt a little lighter. "Are they treating you okay in sickbay? Plenty of busty nurses?"

Re: EPI: S [Day 04 | 0600] Beans, Bacon, Whiskey, and Lard

Reply #5
[ Lt. Cmdr. Andrew Fisher | Auxiliary Deuterium Tanks Access Corridor | Deck 07 | Vector 01 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @uytrereee @stardust

Similarly, though without necessarily offering it up outwardly, Fisher had found himself in a somewhat contemplative mood in the wake of all that had happened over the course of the previous days, or more specifically day. He had of course been through many trying days during his career, especially considering he’d spent a good portion of that career skulking about in the shadows on some of the least desirable worlds known, dealing with unsavory types you tended to avoid even walking on the same side of the street as. But that didn’t meant that there weren’t sometimes outliers in that regard, and that all which had transpired the day before would be so easily forgotten or glossed over. No, there would be scars, both physically and mentally speaking, and he imagined that he’d carry them like added bags of weight on his shoulders for quite some time still, yet all the same, Fisher was determined to let his problems be his. No one else’s, no matter how many orders from Counseling Officers he had to disregard in order to do so.

Sam however, had already started to delve into his mind, peeling back the layers of defenses and in the process had uncovered some of the wicked things which haunted his mind, though she had done so incidentally, or at least he assumed it to have been incidental. It was the first time in years anyone had started to understand the manner in which the cogs of his mind turned.

And while Fisher preferred not to disclose, with her, it wasn’t as painful an experience.

Then again, they’d recently started to share a bed together, and with that often came sharing more of one’s past, present, and future, a prospect which he suddenly found himself surprisingly at ease with. She had been there for him on several occasions now, providing the sort of spiritual care he’d not experienced in a long while, not to mention the fact that she’d quite literally been there in a physical sense, having coordinated and even personally led the mission to rescue him from imprisonment on Qo’noS. For that, and more he’d found himself at ease when it came to revealing parts of himself, which was something of a rarity given his profession. Hell, there were hundreds of people out there which only knew him under any number of assumed alias’ and or codenames, and while he operated openly with his real name while aboard Theurgy, his past and the checkered parts of it weren’t exactly common knowledge among anyone.

And for a faint moment, he pondered over just how much of himself he might open up to a friend like Frank, not out of mistrust for the Engineer, but rather to protect him from a truth which could sometimes be difficult to cope with. Though, as his fellow bearded comrade made additional light of his past as a pugilist, and reference to the maws he called hands, Fisher figured the man could handle his fair share of tales of shadowy figures, and knives in the dark. There itself was a moderately comforting thought, as to a degree, he’d started to have doubts about the mental and emotional fortitude of many of his brothers and sisters in uniform. It wasn’t that Fisher didn’t approve of letting your feelings be known, and confiding in the comfort of others, but he did find it somewhat annoying how quickly some of them seemed crumble under even the slightest bit of external pressure, all but screaming for a Counselor to read them a lullaby or pat them on the back for a job well tried.

Sometimes, you needed to just suck it up, and offer a safe harbor to that pain; letting it fuel and feed your ambitions and drive to succeed in whatever it was you were doing. Proverbially crushing lemons into lemonade, as it were. Or more appropriately, as he could detect from the seriousness in Frank’s voice regarding the parasites, crushing every last one of them into oblivion.

A sentiment he more than echoed.

Letting a short instance of silence linger on after he’d offered up the wisdom passed down unto him by far more studied individuals and leaders of men, Fisher fed another piece of thick cut bacon into face, before a relevant memory sparked in his mind which he felt obliged to share. “On point of not forgetting, I actually spent a bit of time in the squared circle just a few days ago.” He reached out to reclaim the pint of pitch-black nectar from where it had come to a rest just a minute or so earlier, it’s honey-hued foam clinging to the inside edge of the glass as it swirled around in his hand. “I guess you can call it an impromptu ass-kicking clinic down in one of the ship’s gyms.” He grinned as he recalled the taunting of his opponents and their supporters as he faced off against them, one after the next. Taking a prolonged sip of his Guinness in order to properly savor the malty perfection for a brief instance before continuing, he then shook his head at the moderate absurdity of it all. “Taught a couple of wet-behind-the-ears Security brats that it’s best not to tempt the resident, Chief spook.”

He winked wryly across at Frank, willing to enjoy some element of smug satisfaction over his victories.

Though, pausing a second time, he let his gaze trail down and disappear into the black abyss of the Irish stout, a moderately disheartening realization hitting him as he further remembered the series of fights, the lone opponent that had bested him, and how that man’s name had appeared on a list this morning. “Lieutenant Veradin stepped in as a pseudo-champion for those I’d already taken down to the mat. And I’ll tell you what, that Trill had some serious gruff to him. Kid put me through my paces, and surprise of surprises, even found a way to come out on the top in the end, his fists raised high instead of mine.” With reverence evident in the features of his face, Fisher raised the pint in gesture of a toasting memoriam to their fallen Chief of the CONN, whom he’d known with some familiarity and would indeed miss to some degree or another. “Going to be a few absent faces the next time Commander Stark puts together one of her cocktail mixers.”

“To absent friends.” He said softly before taking another sip, drawing their conversation back to the importance of remembering those who were no longer with them.

“Hmm? Oh... well, so long as you don’t call me George, it’s all fair.” He explained, without necessarily explaining as he dipped a pointed edge of his toast into the yolk of an Egg. “To be entirely honest, it’s not often that I get to use my real name for an extended period of time, though now that I think about it, it might’ve been better to have used an alternative, given I’m likely a wanted criminal by now.” A bite of thoroughly yolk laden toast later, he narrowed his eyes in contemplation over the matter. “I wonder if SFI has even noticed that I’m not where their official orders had me going. If they’ve listed me as AWOL by now. Last I checked, I was still in the green, but that was a few days ago. Transit times for that assignment were just about long enough to cover my journey to Aldea.” Shrugging as he realized it wasn’t necessarily the most important, or interesting topic to focus on, he took another bite of the toast before once more reaching for the pint of beer to wash it down.

“Cheers to that.” He once more raised his half-empty pint to approval and appreciate of the shared bit of personal wisdom the Engineer had offered, understanding how sometimes the simplest of salves could indeed be the most effective, like an impromptu rescue from the doldrums of Sickbay, and an exceedingly unhealthy breakfast of all the staples you could ask for.

Nearly coughing up the beer he’d just sipped, Fisher couldn’t help but laugh a little at the mention of ‘busty nurses’. In truth, there was something of a wealth of lovely women prowling the corridors of sickbay, especially so aboard this ship, he had previously marveled over at some point. But comparative to the company that had been kept to him on recency, they generally paled to the point of nonexistence, though he understood there was no way Frank would’ve been privy to such knowledge. In fact, Fisher imagined that the number of crew who might’ve had an inkling as to his budding romance with the Chief Diplomat numbered in the single digits, if even that. After all, it’d only been a few days since he and she had consummated the arrangement, though in a most sporadic of occurrences. For now though, he had appreciated the relative peace afforded to him by the nonawareness of the crew at large but imagined it wouldn’t take long for rumor mills to start spreading the news.

“To be honest, I hadn’t really been looking.” He admitted to Frank, deciding on the fly that he might as well be somewhat transparent about the matter, before it did eventually make the usual gossip rounds. It was probably already spreading like wildfire through the Medical staff since Sam had spent a good portion of time with him there upon his being stabilized. “I don’t think Commander Rutherford would have appreciated my looking elsewhere. If you catch my drift.” Bringing an index finger to his lips as if to impress the importance of maintaining some semblance of unknowing on the matter, Fisher knew he couldn’t prevent the rumor mill from turning, but he also knew that rumors were one thing, and outright admittance of an affair between two Senior Officers was another. Before he and Sam could really be forthwith about their relationship, they’d owed an explanation to the Captain, as was traditional, and in fact something of an official rule regarding such instances.

“How ‘bout you, anyone ringing your number for repeat repairs these days?” He jested.

Re: EPI: S [D04|0600] Beans, Bacon, Whiskey, and Lard

Reply #6
[ Lieutenant Frank Arnold | Auxiliary Deuterium Tanks Access Corridor | Deck 07 | Vector 01 | USS Theurgy]

Attn: @Swift 

Frank sipped his beer as he listened with both ears and savoured the rich combination of flavours only roasted malts could provide.  When Andrew toasted Absent Friends, Frank followed and made sure to clink the glass for it was bad luck to leave a glass hanging, or something along those lines. "Absent Companions.  It's really too bad.  I think I would have liked him and to take him on in a couple a rounds in the ring.  Haven't had to don the gloves in a while, but it's a lot like riding a bicycle.  The big engineer snorted as a thought struck him. "Seems like he won after first two had to wear you down a bit before he got to you.  Maybe going against him fresh might have been a good chance to work up a sweat.  Yeah, it could have been good."  Frank sighed as he consigned that idea to the What If pile of life and left it at that.

Frank could only shrug as he accepted that SFI was probably going to have fits wondering what happened to one of their most capable operatives.  "Saw this in a movie once, but welcome back to the warm is the expression they used.  You get to be well, you for hopefully much longer than when you had to go under cover.  I'm sure there's enough confusion coming from this side of the border to keep your status as an unknown.  Wouldn't be bad thing to keep an eye on your status, who knows how much longer any information conduits you have will keep up."

The most interesting tidbit for chewing the fat though was his indirect admission that himself and Rutherford were together and Frank made a motion with his beer across his lips indicating that the spook's secret was sealed away.  Having gotten his question in first, Frank pretty much expected the same in reply and didn't splutter into his beer about the question, but did snort at the euphemism that the spook had decided to use on him.  A mischievous gleam twinkled in the blue eyes as his mouth turned up in delight.  "Ah Andrew, you've discovered the real reason for this breakfast outing.  You see, I needed your company to pass the time as part of an elaborate plan to get away from the bevy of exhausted ladies who have been the recipients of my tender ministrations.  I think by the time I got to you, some of them should be waking in their beds and wondering where their source of relief and pleasure has run off to and will probably come looking for more.  Gotta hide somewhere before they fall victim to the epic beard once more."  Frank shrugged matter of factly as he stretched and laid a foot on a crate before draining the beer to give his mouth something to do before he broke out laughing.



OOC: Sorry it's short, but I'm still getting used to Frank and I wanted to have a little fun here first.

Re: EPI: S [D04|0600] Beans, Bacon, Whiskey, and Lard

Reply #7
[ Lt. Cmdr. Andrew Fisher | Auxiliary Deuterium Tanks Access Corridor | Deck 07 | Vector 01 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @RyeTanker

More than mildly amused by the antics of his friend, Fisher leant back comfortably in his chair still situated at the makeshift breakfast table and felt a modest sense of peace. Given the arduousness of what he’d been through over the course of the previous day, it was exactly the escape from sickbay, and from an oft-overactive subconscious that he’d really needed.

“Maybe.” He acknowledged Frank’s hypothetical regarding the lost spar he’d engaged with the late Veradin, but Fisher knew better, that the reason he’d lost was his deteriorating physical condition; specifically, the damage to his lower-back that had never truly or fully healed. “But Derik wasn’t a slouch.” He added, his green-eyes finding a focus of the malty black abyss contained within his pint glass, a deeper thought of consideration nagging at the back of his conscious affirmation. “But then again, I’m not exactly getting any younger either. Don’t get me wrong, I keep myself in shape, but... not everything can be maintained through physical training and a generally healthy diet. This breakfast not included.” He afforded a wry wink to his fellow bearded man before bringing the last of the earthy brew to his lips and downing it with enthusiasm. “Sooner or later though, old pangs, be they of the physical or emotional sort, catch up to you. And when the do...” He let his thought trail off unfinished, deciding it better if he didn’t focus on the very real and very unnerving prospects that he and everyone else on this mission were facing.

“Oh?” He shifted in his place once Frank began describing something he’d seen in a film, a scenario he himself was relatively familiar with, but which he’d understood to be less than accurate, despite how much he’d wished they were. “Confusion can be a spy’s best friend. I can confirm that.” He admitted plainly, a hand going for a pointed piece of toast. “...and who knows, maybe luck’s with me still. Brought me back from Gorka’s dungeon. Even brought me an impromptu breakfast complete with Guinness.” Again, he let a cheeky grin cross the features of his face as he chomped down into his toast. There were of course other fortunate tidings he’d been the recipient of since his mission aboard the General’s ship had gone down, and chief among them in his mind, though he was appreciative of the Engineer’s hysterical attempt at a prisonbreak from Sickbay, would’ve still been the serenely sweet dinner he’d shared with Sam at the side of his bio-bed. It was safe to say, that any time he’d spent with his counterpart in the Diplomatic Department was the time he’d cherish the most moving forward.

Chortling now as Frank went into a most amusingly fictitious anecdote about his own exploits with the fairer sex, Fisher imagined there was still some truth hidden in the deliberately humorous lies. Frank wasn’t necessarily of the character sort to ward off company, far from it. In the short time Fisher had come to know him, he’d surmised the breadth of heart and charm exuded by the Chief Engineer and knew it only a matter when the man would similarly find someone to share in the more intimate and comforting company of. “I don’t know Frank; you might need more than me in order to stave off the eventual tide of ladies that’ll be coming after that beard.” He enjoined the Engineer with his own laughter, leaning back in his chair once more as any further worries or concerns that had been haranguing at him since his return to Theurgy melted away into the recesses of his subconscious.

“I needed this, Frank. Thanks.” He said simply.

Re: EPI: S [D04|0600] Beans, Bacon, Whiskey, and Lard

Reply #8
[ Lieutenant Frank Arnold | Auxiliary Deuterium Tanks Access Corridor | Deck 07 | Vector 01 | USS Theurgy]

Attn: @Swift 

Frank could only nod as Andrew reminded him of how odds never played fair and always became more stacked against someone the longer they continued to take risks.  "It's a fair assessment of our life expectancy at this rate Andrew.  Look at us, we're going into our second, third war? and we're both pushing forty.  If we were both Klingon, I'd say this universe is trying to get us into Sto-vo-kor." Frank shook his head at the comparison before he stretched a bit before letting out his own chortle at how even the formidable spook wouldn't be enough to keep the ladies away from his facial hair.

Looking up at a chronometer in the passage way, the Chief Engineer figured that his friend was in a good enough mood and it was about time to get him back to the care of the medicos.  Probably lots of screaming and gnashing teeth at their disappeared patient.  "I'm surprised Security didn't come after us for this." the big engineer mused as he planted his feet on the deck and flipped open the case to pull out a couple of bronze banded crystal glasses and a positively archaic looking green bottle with a parchment label on it.  Frank smirked as he turned to the Chief Spook and gently removed the beer from his hands and replacing it with one of the glasses. "Thank you for enjoying your breakfast trip Andrew.  You just relax and when you're ready to head back, I'll take care of it."  Pulling the cork off, the aromas of fruit, caramel, vanilla, and peat smoke wafted out.  The Chief Engineer poured each a generous finger or two of Scotch before sealing the bottle. "I hope this Lagavulin works out like the real stuff, but I think we'll just enjoy that we have it at all."  Raising his glass for a toast. "To Life, Hope, the ladies who always wish us one more day to stay, and the crew of the good ship Theurgy"

With that, the two comrades clinked their glasses to the future.

- FIN

 
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