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Day 04 [1200 hrs.] An Unpleasant Bath

[ Lieutenant Frank Arnold | Fighter Assault Bay | Deck 16 | Vector 02 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @pcharing

As usual Frank was poking around where he shouldn’t have been. He couldn’t help it, he was curious, and after the macabre nature of the last couple of days, he needed to decompress. Besides the invitation to blow off some steam in Holodeck 05, he’d otherwise mostly been working, coordinating, or welding. The welding he didn’t mind of course, it was a passion of his, and occasionally he got an impish joy out of welding childish images on the inside of panels. But mostly, it was work, and while he enjoyed his work, it was still work. The was how Frank found himself poking around somewhere he shouldn’t have been, at least this time it wasn’t a Gorn’s wife.

He'd come down to the fighter bay to do a little work on something that moved. Ever since he’d lost his Triumph RX-45, he’d not had something to tinker with regularly. Sure he had his holodeck bike, but the holodecks were limited, and it didn’t smell the same. He had the Jackrabbit, but it was in pieces right now, and the long road ahead of it before it would fly again, made him want to cry. Besides, that had become a project of note, and as such he had to deal with the meddling of do-gooders. So, he’d slipped into a jumpsuit, left his pips in his fancy new quarters, and come down here to the fighter bay. Whether or not he was welcome was of little regard to Frank, after all, worst things worst he got a slap on the wrist and chased with a wrench, it still wasn’t a Gorn’s wife. No one was getting eaten today, well unless Sithick showed up, but Frank still reckoned he could outrun the man.

Frank waited for the next returning craft to pull into the bay, a Valravn back from a training flight. Unbeknownst to him for now, piloted by ‘Gemini’. He stood there, all smiles and spanners, and waited for the craft to pull in. Once it did, he wasted no time in watching the deck hands do the regular shutdown procedures and leave. He’d noted this was a training flight, and there was a small adjustment due ‘under the hood’. It really hadn’t taken that much convincing to get one of the regular deck hands to trade off knuckle busting for reading a digital novel and taking a thirty minute coffee break, instead of doing a recirculation pump fluid re-alignment.

Frank had taken the time to read about the procedure, virtually indistinguishable from the procedure with the same namesake he performed on the deuterium tanks every week, when he didn’t assign it to another engineer. He was confident when he popped the cowling before the pilot could even descend from the cockpit. What he hadn’t counted on was, these parts were significantly smaller than the ones he was used to working on. He knew he had to be careful, the re-circ fluid being particularly caustic if accidentally ingested, and not so good for anyone who got sprayed with it. An accident meant potential burns, but it also meant he’d have to spend much of his free leisure afternoon, in a decontamination chamber, being tongue-wagged by a nurse in sickbay for the fourteenth time. He pulled down his face shield, and got to work.

He finished most everything he could, but his fingers, bulbous and girthy as they were given his oversized mitts, were just a touch too large to re-connect the feed line. And so, he was forced to wait until the pilot disembarked, given he’d sent the regular ground maintainer for a break. Once ‘Gemini’ stepped off their craft, he’d hold up a greasy mitt, and offer, “Mind giving me a quick hand? It’s these damned lines, they’re a bit narrow at the connection point, and crowded to boot. I’m about done, I just need a hand seating the last connector, and your bird will be ready to soar once more.”

He didn’t figure he’d alarm the pilot with the particulars of not getting sprayed with the fluid, he assumed that they did train on the particulars of maintaining their crafts, even if they did not personally do all of the maintenance. Besides, the warning Frank figured would only serve to needlessly unnerve his assistant. He waited for them to join him, and then pointed to the narrow gold valve header, “All I need you to do is clip this hose…” He held the quick connect end up, “…to that nozzle, and we’re good. Problem is these sausages I call fingers, was born with the hands of a great ape.” He chuckled, and didn’t feel the need to add, ‘and make sure it’s tight or we’re both taking an unpleasant bath’. It was patronizing, and he came here to make friends.

Re: Day 04 [1200 Hrs] An Unpleasant Bath

Reply #1
[ Lieutenant “Reggie” Suder | Fighter Assault Bay | Deck 16 | Vector 02 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @uytrereee 

In Reggie’s experience, it was not often that deckhands were standing idle, waiting for her ship to pull in.  Sure the crews were always attentive to her needs and those of the other pilots she had flown with, but when someone stood by waiting for your return from a short training flight, that usually meant one of two things;  either they were about to send you right back out after a quick service run, or someone was trying to impress.

Considering that she did not recognize the deckie waiting for her she assumed it was the latter. 

It took her a little longer than usual to disembark and she was more than happy to let Kalil get out first.  As flight leader, she wanted to make sure the ship’s logs were backed up not only to Theurgy’s computer, but also to her own personal database.  The flight with Chaos and Wraith had been educational to say the least and she needed to ensure that the lessons learned were not forgotten, lest the progress they had made today be for nothing.

The deckhand working her ship was a larger man and it wasn’t until he flipped his face shield up, that she noticed he seemed a bit older than she might have expected for someone in the role.  No.  It wasn’t him that seemed old.  It was the grey in his beard.  He he probably had a handful of years on her, but not nearly as many as his beard might have suggested. 

Her Exosuit boot hit the deck with a thud, and as it did, he called her over and explained the situation.  He’d been servicing her recirculation pump fluid, but his fingers were just a little too big to work in the small space.  Fortunately, her fingers were longer and a bit more slender as well. 

At least they were without the Exosuit.  With the armored gloves she was about as useless as the deck hand.

“Sure,” she said.  “Not a problem.  I just need to get out of this armor.”

Without further fanfare, she set her helmet on the deck and de-coupled the gauntlets before sliding them off her arms, and lifting the entire torso piece off as well.  While it normally wouldn’t have been an issue for her to keep the chest piece on, she needed to de-pressurize the under layer so she could pull her hands free.  Once the body suit went baggy on her, she shrugged it off her shoulders and let it hang down by her waist.  It was not the first time she had worked on a ship in her tank top, and she suspected it would not be the last.

“Okay,” she said.  “Lets see what we’ve got here.”

She’d understood his direction well enough as well as the difficulty the larger man must have had trying to seat the hose to the nozzle.  Fortunately for him, she’d done this a few times in her career and the muscle memory came back to her.

“And done.”

She keyed the line to re-pressurize as she turned back to the deckhand.

“Nice to meet you, by the way.  I’m Reg…”

The hissing behind her drew her attention and she turned back just in time to see the leak.  She reached for it, extending her hand to the control panel, but she was too slow.  The pressure increased, shoving the hose she had just seated off the nozzle.  Fluid sprayed everywhere, flooding the small maintenance compartment on her fighter.  Instinct took her and she put her hand out to catch the hose, but Reggie was too late.

Alarms sounded as she turned away, falling to the deck and crying out as the caustic fluid burned into her skin.

Re: Day 04 [1200 Hrs] An Unpleasant Bath

Reply #2
[ Lieutenant Frank Arnold | Fighter Assault Bay | Deck 16 | Vector 02 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @P.C. Haring

Frank was here on a mission, whether or not it was to impress remained to be seen, but either way, he was here. The grey in his beard had come much earlier than age dictated, as it had in his father. Arnolds greyed early, likely because they refused to live easy lives, and stress took the color early on. As she snapped her helmet off, he was momentarily distracted by her face. He couldn't place exactly what it was, but the combination of all her features, drew his gaze. She checked his boxes so to speak, and he was distracted for a moment. Luckily he managed to keep his mouth closed, and off the deck.

As she snapped her armored chest off, he realized he was staring at the lines of her neck, collarbone, and chest, which was more than a little bit impolite, and with a brief flush of his cheeks, he turned back to the work at hand, letting her slide her hand in next to his, until she was on the money and he could pull his mitt out, "Like I said, it's these sausage fingers of mine, too many whacks with a hammer, least that's what I tell people." He chuckled gently at that, and watched over her shoulder, a bit close for comfort, but he wanted to see it done from beginning to end.

He watched as she coupled the line on to the nozzle, and he listened for the satisfying click that indicated a solid connection. Over the din of the bay, and the back-whir of the winding down flight reactor, he wasn't sure whether or not he heard it. He smiled, and then offered a single clap as she connected it, with a little, "Yessss" as she seated the connector. He offered a high five, and a polite, "Hey thank you! I appreciate it, I've not had to use the extension forceps in a while, and I figured it would just be better to ask for help, than bumble around with my fat fingers in that tight space like I didn't know what I was doing."

She went to pressurize the line again, and he turned his back to pick up his tools, and put the gloves away. She was introducing herself to him, and he listened, her name was Reg... And then without warning the valve blew. There were quite a few reasons it could happen. The first one was, that the nozzle wasn't properly seated. However, the valve, or nozzle could have been defective, the line could have been plugged and failed, the pressure spike could have been wrong, the list went on and on. Unfortunately it wasn't something that they had time to discuss. A world that had been wide with possibilities, suddenly became very small within a containment field.

Reggie took the brunt of the spray, less covered in her tank top as she was. She'd received a healthy spray of the caustic fluid across presumably her upper body. Frank was more fortunate, or more really lucky, the spray had painted a perfect line across his visor, which had been folded behind his head. The caustic substance was already burning a clean line through the exterior coating, as it was through the back of his jumpsuit, and the outer layers of skin on his neck and upper back as it ran down the back of his collar. He let out a loud cry of his own, and the pain took him to his knees.

For the briefest flash of time, he was on the USS Cortez again, pinned between a deuterium cycler and a bulkhead, plasma fire lashing over his arm and chest leaving searing pain, as he worked desperately to free himself and his crewmate. Just for a moment before he snapped out of it to the blare of a chemical alarm. He didn't know why at that moment, but his heart was pounding viciously in his chest, his breath short at his throat.  He clenched his eyes closed, just in case, and wiped at them furiously with his bare fingers until he was convinced he hadn't taken any caustic spray to the face. His back was on fire, the skin actively breaking down.

This was fortunately not Frank's first emergency, and once he opened his eyes, he turned his attention to Reggie, and followed his training. Step one, call for help, neither of them might be conscious in a moment, his vision was blurred by pain and the sweat that ran into his eyes. He slapped at his chest a few times until he heard the telltale chirp of his comm, and he called out, "Medical Emergency, chemical contamination, F-A-B Zero One, Deck Sixteen."

His next step was to pry himself to his feet, and stagger to the medical panel, and rip it open clumsily spilling a lot of contents on the ground, as he grabbed one piece of the spill kit. He turned towards Reggie, and tried to gracefully slide to his knees, which more so ended in a collapse as he landed next to her on his chest with a clumsy thud. He rolled on his side, and took the single bottle of flushing solution he'd grabbed, and through grit teeth offered as he laid his massive mitt on her forehead, "I know it's..hard...but try and lay still. This...won't help with the pain, but you won't go blind" If she allowed, he'd pour the solution over her face, her eyes primarily to preserve her vision in case she'd gotten it in her eyes, completely unaware of her bionic vision.

That was all he could muster, and with a bated breath he collapsed there, on his front, his back on fire, sapped off the last of his energy as the caustic substance robbed his skin and subcutaneous muscle of electrolytes, and waited for medical to arrive. Mercifully within a bare few minutes gurneys were on their way in, guided by hazmat suited medical personnel.

Re: Day 04 [1200 Hrs] An Unpleasant Bath

Reply #3
[ Lieutenant “Reggie” Suder | Fighter Assault Bay | Deck 16 | Vector 02 | USS Theurgy ] Attn:  @uytrereee 

Reggie cried out in pain as the caustic fluid burned into her face and chest.  Somewhere, she summoned the strength to lay as still as possible, to keep her hands away from the affected areas.

“This...won't help with the pain, but you won't go blind"

Despite the pain, she could still see as clearly as her occulars would permit.  The deckhand was on his side next to her, a wash bottle in his hand, hovering just above her eyes.

“Do it,” she cried out.

The rest came to her in a blur as the deckhand worked his first aid on her, the medics arriving, seperating the two of them.

“Sir,” one of the medics said, “We have her.  We need to tend to you now, Lieutenant.”

Sir… Sir?  What medic referred to a deckhand as ‘sir’…Lieutenant?  Who was this guy?

The brief distraction dulled the pain.  Or maybe it was the hypo against her corrodid.

“Check her eyes,” the medic ordered.  “Where is he exposed?”

“Her ocular implants are fine.”

“It’s all over Arnold’s back.”

Arnold…. Arnold?  Frank Arnold?  Wasn't he the new chief…

“Oh shhi….”

“Don’t speak, Lieutenant,” the medic working on her said.  “Can’t risk any ingestion.”

Hands pressed against her face and chest, working on her, hodling her in place.

“He’s stable.”

“Get them both to Decon, now!”

The hands came off her as the medics stepped back. 

“Computer, emergency transport.  Beam Lieutenants Suder and Arnold directly to Sickbay decontamination.”

The world around her faded and her vision went dark.

Re: Day 04 [1200 Hrs] An Unpleasant Bath

Reply #4
[ Lieutenant Frank Arnold | Main Sickbay | Deck 11 | Vector 02 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @P.C. Haring

Frank really didn't know how long he'd laid there for before the prep team came. Most circumstances they'd have been transported right to sickbay, but this was chemical exposure. There was no saying what they'd been coated in, so transporting them smack dab into medical was a no go until they could be triaged. His training told him it can't have been more than two minutes or so, but his instincts said longer. Primal survival instincts had the epinephrine coursing through their blood right now, as the caustic fluid tortured the layers of skin on his back. Frank knew there were three layers of skin, and he imagined he could feel each layer boiling away into a neat vapor, accompanied by a noxious gas.

In due time he was being fussed over by a medic. This little lunch jaunt had turned into a real fiasco, but he supposed in a very sick way this was what you got for messing where you shouldn't have been. He heard Reggie say 'Oh shhii..' but was quickly silenced by the medic. He couldn't help but let out a breathy chuckle then, and shook his head, not speaking as he imagined he'd be chided with the same advice, to avoid ingestion of inhalation, not that he could simply cease breathing.

In a moment, he felt the telltale sensation of transport, and in just another he was now laying on a grated floor, surrounded on three sides by transparent containment walls. This was decontamination, that made sense to Frank. Frank didn't know it, but by now Sickbay had likely determined what the agent on their skin was, the back of his suit had been cut open. Likely some of Reggie's coverings had been cut away too.

The telltale hiss and a computerized voice announcing, 'decontamination sequence commence' gave way to a rain shower of water laved with pain suppressant and neutralizing agent being sprayed over both of them, running down his body and hers and draining through the floor. At least the water was not cold, ejected at a neutral body temperature to not agitate the agent further. With a few moments the pain began to fade, and he could pry himself to sit up.

He angled his back towards the nearest spray nozzle, daring not to leave the path of a direct stream of soothing liquid. He did not desire to return to fire ants eating the flesh off of his back.

He let out a groan, and would offer over to Reggie, who hadn't really gotten to introduce herself, "Look, if you wanted to take a shower with me, all you had to do was ask." He let out a hoarse chuckle that was cut short by the pain stretching his skin made. He started to assess himself as they continued to get rained on, his back, back of his neck, back of his left arm, were all going to need some form of regeneration, less he end up with scars like his right arm.

He looked over to Reggie then, hopefully she was starting to feel better as well, "You feeling the pain suppressant yet? If you can bear it, try and let it get over as much of your burns as you can, you want to get that shit off you." He cleared his throat, "Don't worry, an unpleasant shower, couple hours tops with a regenerator, you'll be good as new."

Re: Day 04 [1200 Hrs] An Unpleasant Bath

Reply #5
[ Lieutenant “Reggie” Suder | Main Sickbay - Decon Chamber| Deck 11 | Vector 02 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @uytrereee

The blur continued, a rush of words, changes in environment.  No longer on the deck, now in someplace else.  Someplace darker, private.  Wet.  No not the beach at night.  Somewhere else.  Built, mechanical… aboard Theurgy.  No…that was not the best combination. 

"Look, if you wanted to take a shower with me, all you had to do was ask."

She laughed at the comment, a chuckle really followed by some sort of innuendo laced response, but all that she got out was a cough and a wet gurgle as, like a Terran turkey in the rain, she opened her mouth as the water came pouring down on her.  Reggie sat up, her abdomen clenching, forcing her upright and she coughed once, twice and a third time before the water found its way down her esophagus and into her stomach as opposed to her lungs.

"You feeling the pain suppressant yet? If you can bear it, try and let it get over as much of your burns as you can, you want to get that shit off you.  Don't worry, an unpleasant shower, couple hours tops with a regenerator, you'll be good as new."

It was then that she realized the searing pain she’d been experiencing had subsided considerably and she could move without feeling like her skin might be boiled off.  Between the Re-circ fluid and the medics, her tank top had been burned, the ribbon of fabric that should have been securing the garment over her left shoulder was severed in the front and without that support, the left side drooped down, hanging off her breast that, while still covered, was now far more exposed and revealed than she might have preferred.    On a personal level, she didn’t care.  Skin was skin of course and she had no shame in that regard, but the ‘half covered soaked through wet tank top contest’ look was not exactly the most professional of looks and certainly not how she had wanted to meet the ship’s Chief Engineer.  Especially since the skin across her breast had been left red, inflamed, and burned away in places.  Yup.  She would definitely need a dermal regeneration treatment before she left sickbay.  She wondered if Kate was on duty today.

She rolled to her knees and sat back, resting her butt on her heels and her back on the chamber wall, as the water continued to rain down on her.

“I’m sorry, Sir,” she said.  The formality was perhaps a bit out of place between two lieutenants, but as he held a position among the ship’s senior staff, she chose deference over practicality, especially given the situation.  “I wasn’t paying attention.”

She spat some water that had collected in her mouth back toward the floor drain.

“Certainly not how I wanted to meet the new Chief Engineer.”

OOC - For the mention of Kate Foster, I'm also tagging @Swift

Re: Day 04 [1200 Hrs] An Unpleasant Bath

Reply #6
[ Lieutenant Frank Arnold | Main Sickbay - Decon Chamber | Deck 11 | Vector 02 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @P.C. Haring 

Frank sat under his stream with his massive arms wrapped about his chest. He was watching Reggie more than he realized, his muscles tightly contracted his arms around his body, and he was tense. More tense than he realized too, as if he was holding his breath in anticipation of her pain, not his. It was odd for him.

He pried his arms away from his body as he broke his gaze from her, and reached up to the shoulders of his sundered jumpsuit, where he took hold of one side, and pulled, hard. With a few telltale rips, some grit teeth and the occasional groan, Frank peeled the suit down to his waist, and rolled it there, before he shed his tank top underneath, in tatters as it was. He sat there bare chested now, the right half of his torso heavily scarred from what looked like a previous set of burns.

With his back oriented to the stream once again he looked to Reggie, studying her. While given her form and features he'd have very much liked to shower with her in other circumstances, he did her the decency of keeping his eyes at her eye level after assessing she'd been involuntarily made part of the Spring Break wet tee shirt contest.

He let out a wet laugh over the sound of falling rain as she apologized, and would wave a massive mitt, "Don't be sorry. I was fiddling where I shouldn't have been. Not to mention, no one's done the failure analysis on that piece, could have been faulty and waiting to go. Don't be so eager to accept blame." He motioned around with arms raised and palms upward, "I suppose this is what you get for fiddling though." He turned back to her, "Call me Frank, everyone does anyway." He chuckled then, and asked, "Burn virgin?" with a raised brow and a look at her, "Your skin's too nice to not be. Or you've been near a medbay." He offered her a polite nod, and then reclined into his stream. He tried to catch her attention and then drug a demonstrating finger across the back of his left shoulder, then turned back towards her, and followed the trace over his peck, bicep, tricep, forearm, to his hand, "Not me."

And then in perfect Frank fashion, he had a tidbit, "You know they invented plastic surgery for pilots, back in the dog days of medicine." He nodded lowly, "Pilots in one of humanity's conflicts, would get trapped in their rudimentary cockpits, and were known for getting horrible facial burns in crashes. So a doctor in the British Empire, began crafting and grafting wax and plastic face prosthetics for Britain's War Heroes." He nodded gently, "And the term stuck." He groaned as he turned to her then, and raised a brow. "So when you think about it, you're following in a long vaunted tradition. Then again I think the fathers of aviation never imagined someone as fair as you flying. No offense intended, I'm far from a misogynist."

"So how did you want to meet the new Chief Engineer?" He looked her over, "I'm partial to black pencil skirts." He offered teasingly as he then realized he could be speaking to someone far above his station, "Then again you have me at a severe disadvantage, as you know who I am, but I don't know who you are."

He grunted and introduced himself again anyway, "Frank Arnold, Chief of Engineering Operations, and your showermate."

Re: Day 04 [1200 Hrs] An Unpleasant Bath

Reply #7
[ Lieutenant “Reggie” Suder | Main Sickbay - Decon Chamber| Deck 11 | Vector 02 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @uytrereee‍ 

Reggie chuckled to herself.  Oh if he only knew….  Then as the tension released from her shoulders she found herself relaxing.  Lieutenant Arnold…Frank seemed a nice enough person and didn’t seem all that troubled about the incident and was probably enjoying the time in a shared shower with someone of her stature.  That was… superficial on her part, but if the vibes she picked up from him were any indication, it also happened to be true.  Still, she sensed no ulterior motive from the officer and as such she decided to let her guard down.

“Oh,” she said with a sigh, “I’ve had my fair share of close calls and trips to Sickbay.  You don’t fly peregrine fighters against the Dominion and come out unscathed.”

For as good as she was, as decorated as she had been, she’d also found herself on the wrong end of the engagement more times than she could count.  Most of the injuries she’d sustained hadn’t required re-constructive surgery, but the ringer she’d been put through after the first battle of Chin’Toka would not  leave her memory any time soon.  Even after so many years, she often wondered if scar tissue had festered under the reconstruction and was just waiting to claw its way out of her.  It was silly, she knew.  But even so.

“I’ve also been lucky.  Not too many severe injuries over the past decade, and I’ve usually had good medical facilities either nearby or close enough to get me there in a stasis chamber.”

The Betazoid pushed herself to her feet and stepped over to the Engineer, extending her hand.  As she did the burned tank finally gave way and the brittle fabric that had once been her right shoulder strap gave way and broke, allowing gravity to do it’s work on her garment and leave her fully exposed down to her under-bust.  She didn’t try to stop it, nor did she attempt to cover up though she knew she should, especially when she noticed Frank making every effort to keep eye contact with her.

“Don’t worry about this, Frank,” she said, motioning to her bare skin and then to her eyes as she explained.  “I’m a Betazoid.  I’m not bothered if you decide to look at me.”  Her voice trailed off as she considered it might not be as much about her sense of modesty as it would be about his.  “If it helps you any, just think of yourself as about to attend a traditional Betazoid wedding.”

She pulled the remains of the tank over her head and discarded the destroyed garment with a purposeful toss into the corner.  Taking care as to not come across as though she were trying to make an advance on him…after all she had just met the man and even if she was interested…which she wasn’t really in a position to decide…her recent reunion with a certain Vulcan tactical officer made her want to focus her efforts there… at least until they figured out just what it was they had together.  Still, she sat on the bench next to him, as natural as could be expected under the circumstances.

“Honestly, I’m not sure exactly how I had ‘hoped’ to meet you.  Certainly a slightly more professional  situation than this.  Be that as it may,” she said as she extended a hand to Frank, her slender fingers a dramatic contrast to his chubbier hand.  “Lieutenant Regiene Suder.  But I insist you either call me ‘Reggie’ or my callsign, ‘Gemini.’  A pleasure to meet you.”

Re: Day 04 [1200 Hrs] An Unpleasant Bath

Reply #8
[ Lieutenant Frank Arnold | Main Sickbay - Decon Chamber | Deck 11 | Vector 02 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @P.C. Haring

Frank gave a slow nod then once more, and at her admission of a fair number of sorties against the Dominion, raised a brow. "Whereabouts did you fly?" He gave a low nod, and then thought, "I was an Ensign aboard the Cortez during the war. Just a junior officer then, right out of a research fellowship." He laughed gently, "Had no idea what I was getting into." He waited a moment, "We've got some time to kill, go on, tell me a war story." He winked at her as he rested back against the wall. Only to wince, and shoot back up to sitting straight backed. "Anesthetic's good, but not that good" he elaborated for her.

As she did reveal her bust, he couldn't help but look, just for a moment. Paragon of virtue as he might be, he wasn't saintly, nor particularly pious, and once she gave him the verbal all clear, he took a glance. Even with the caustic burns of recycled fluid, she was beautiful. Made in such a way that each curve lead into another, taut, but soft. He studied for longer than was polite, before he returned his gaze to her eyes. Her facial features seemed to draw him in just as well apparently, as he eventually settled on eye contact and a warm smile across his bearded visage.

He gave a slow chuckle then, "A Betazoid wedding." He knew she referred to the tradition of the guests and betrothed being completely naked, "I have to ask, the body hair grooming, is it as thorough an affair before those as I'd imagine? Because I'd need a good few hours with a sonic razer to get rid of my year round sweater." He burst into laughter then, trying to avert the embarrassment to him, even if she didn't appear particularly phased. She was well made, gorgeous even, and she knew it, Frank could tell, "For what it's worth, you're beautiful. Not appropriate to say, but it's true."

As she extended her hand, he wrapped it in a comically oversized mitt. Its rough palms spoke of years of hard work, and the busted knuckles spoke of a poor self care routine. He would give a slow nod then, "Reggie it is." He gave a nod, "I'm glad to meet you Reggie. If I had ran across you in the Officer's bar, I'd have taken a run at getting you to dinner. But I have to say, spraying me with caustic fluid, that's a bold strategy. Game recognize game." He teased then.

He eventually returned to the topic of injuries, and he pointed to the aggressive scars that ran down much of of the left torso of the Chief Engineer, "About sixteen hours before the battle for Deep Space Nine, the left nacelle of the Cortez caught fire. The blast killed the assistant chief, and the duty lieutenant, and isolated the firing chamber from access. I was the only officer left down there, me, and four enlisted personnel." He rolled his neck, "We fought the plasma fire for three hours before the bulkhead collapsed." He gave a nod, and pointed to his sternum, "Pinned me right here between bulkhead and fire, for six minutes before I could wriggle free."

He didn't mention how they'd manage to fight the disaster well enough to get the Cortez into the fight at DS9, or how he'd been given a commendation, that all seemed like bragging, and took away from his point. "I think as we continue to strike this path, to save the galaxy, we're going to have more and more close calls." He turned to her and offered her an out of kind look for Frank, sincere and severe.

He eventually added, "It's very nice to meet you Reggie Suder."

Re: Day 04 [1200 Hrs] An Unpleasant Bath

Reply #9
[ Lieutenant “Reggie” Suder | Main Sickbay - Decon Chamber| Deck 11 | Vector 02 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @uytrereee

She felt a blush rise in her cheeks.  Without the tank top she now wore nothing more than her panties.  Even so, it didn’t bother her. 

“Thanks,” she said in response to his compliment of her looks.  “Appropriate or not, I appreciate the comment.  Truly.”

Reggie shifted in her place as she listened to Frank’s comments and as she listened, she felt her own thoughts come together, especially as he spoke about the scars and body grooming.

“Betazoid weddings aren’t like that.  It’s not about getting naked to look good for everyone else.  We attend and participate nude because we feel it represents the love between the bride and groom.  It’s a purity of the form of oneself.  Body hair…scars…’imperfections’…none of that matters.  It’s about being who you are and being comfortable with yourself, not about conforming to the expectations of those around you.”

She leaned back, allowing her head to rest for a moment before opening her eyes again as he talked about his time on the Cortez.

“Damn, Frank.  You’re lucky to be alive after all that.  Even small plasma fires are no joke… if you were fighting one for three hours…”

Her voice trailed off as she suddenly felt a bit superficial.

“I don’t want you to think I’m some superficial fighter jock.  I’m not without my scars either.  The Borg gave me these,” she motioned to her eyes, “at sector 001.  I was a starship pilot at the time… my second posting after the Academy.  The cube hit us hard,” her voice trailed off as she willed herself to keep the story short and not dive into every detail.   “The bridge took a hit…literally left me blind.  So now I’ve got the ocular implants.  Kinda makes eye wash unnecessary when you get hit with caustic fluids."

She chuckled, but stymied it quickly enough as she leaned forward, resting her elbows on her knees as she continued.

“To answer your question about where I flew during the War, my squadron was active in many places, though we primarily operated out of the Kalandra sector.  We fought in the first battle of Chin’Toka…the one before the Breen showed up.  We took back Betazed, reinforced the front, trying to slow the enemy advance…defended civilians from the enemy’s terror campaigns…”

Her voice trailed off and she took in a shuddering breath as memories came back.

“I dunno,” she admitted.  “I don’t mean to sound arrogant.  Most of the scars I carry are up here,” she pointed to her temple. “They’re with me all the time so when it comes to my body… my physical scars.  I want those gone so at the very least I don’t have to see them when I look at myself in the mirror.”

She fell silent as she withdrew into herself.  This was so very unlike her.  Ever since she’d stepped aboard she’d been damn tense and introspective in a way she hadn’t experienced before and she was carrying far more tension than she’d expected.

Fuck…I need to get laid.

Re: Day 04 [1200 Hrs] An Unpleasant Bath

Reply #10
[ Lieutenant Frank Arnold | Main Sickbay - Decon Chamber| Deck 11 | Vector 02 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @P.C. Haring

Frank saw the blush, and it admittedly made him blush. He heard her thank him for the comment, and he offered with a slow wave of the hand, "Our little ride on this carousel only goes for so long." He smiled at her, "And not far long enough to let a pretty girl not know she's pretty." He nodded sagely at that as he washed his back, slowly getting to his feet to peel his jumpsuit back, getting the shredded thing off until he was in his Starfleet tank, which came off too. This left him in some skivvies, and his jumpsuit peeled to his waist. "I mean the worst thing that happens is she sprays you with acid, so I'm scot free." He winked at her.

The spoken of scars were clearly on display now, from the top of his shoulder to the tip of his left middle finger, discolored flesh made less apparent, but still very much so, by the withering of a decade. He gave a slow smile at her, and said, "Now we're even." He chuckled at that, and then listened to her explanation on Betazoid weddings, and then he offered, "Y'know the more I hear about Betazoids, the more I like them." He elaborated, "I was born on a mining vessel, thirty eight rough tough no bullshit deuterium miners. And they always used to say..." He adopted a gruff voice,  "no one gives a shit what you look like in the mine Franky, it's dark down there. They do care that you'll dig em out though." He slowly ambled his way over to Reggie, and sat down next to her then with a grunt and a thud. "I get the feeling you'd dig me out, am I right Reggie?"

As she said he was lucky to be alive, he nodded in affirmation, "Exceedingly. But the Cortez was mine that night, that was my engine room." He shivered as he thought about it, and with his eyes closed, the rushing of water almost sounded like fire, "Six souls. It was my responsibility." He waved it away again, and offered idly, "I was Twenty Six, too young for all that." He looked at her as she explained her scars, and he would touch her face if allowed, right next to one of her eyes, "That's the thing they don't tell you about war isn't it? We're all young." He shook his head and laughed then as she chuckled, "Guess that makes my saline stunt a little less liable to get me a second date eh?" He gave her a nudge with his elbow as he reclined into the wall, now numb enough to do so.

"That's not arrogant. It's very honest. Real, not a feel good line that people are used to. It makes you feel something, and so you worry it's arrogant." He thought about it some more, and would stroke his chin, trying to think of something impactful to say in the moment, even if it wasn't coming. He wouldn't spoil the moment with something trite, he had to think for a moment, but each time his mind came back to a particular passage, "When we open our hearts, we make ourselves vulnerable, our gates are down." He would reach over, and very deliberately point his fat finger and poke her sternum, avoiding either of her breasts, "That means we can be hurt, right there in your soul."

He would nod gently and take his hand back, "And you're thinking, 'well then Frank, why don't I just leave the gates closed?'" He rolled his shoulders, and let out a sigh, one that carried the weight of more than just this conversation, perhaps it was the essence of his soul, "Because it is the very risk of despair, that makes joy so delightful, that makes life worth living." He nodded slowly and thought of something, "My mother said that, or so my old man tells me." He clapped his hands together then, sending a spray of water in all directions, "So seize what you can!"

Re: Day 04 [1200 hrs.] An Unpleasant Bath

Reply #11
[ Lieutenant “Reggie” Suder | Main Sickbay - Decon Chamber| Deck 11 | Vector 02 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @uytrereee

Throughout her career, Reggie had been on the wrong end of male chauvinism.  One would have thought that in this day and age, issues of gender inequality would have long since gone extinct.  Yet it seemed that inevitably someone would come along who felt it acceptable to try and hit on the pretty girl and press his ‘agenda’ simply because she had a smashing ass or a lovely set of tits and a cute smile.  Her responses in such situations were…varied and most of them ended up with the would be lethario left red faced and embarrassed

But in the here and now, Reggie sat more or less in the nude and soaking wet with a fellow officer who had been complimentary of her but not officious.  He gave off the strongest sense of sincerity she had ever experienced in a situation like this and she loved and respected Frank Arnold because of it 

Not only did Reggie allow Frank to touch her face, but she practically leaned and melted into his hand.  His skin rough and calloused against the soft, young skin of her jaw and cheek bone and when he pulled away she almost reached back for him.  She had only known the man for a short time but already felt more comfortable with him than she did with some of her squad mates with whom she’d been working for several days now. 

“You’re god damned right I’d be there to dig you out of the shit.  Not only that but if I ever found out who was responsible for getting you into the shit in the first place, I’d stick them in the very spot I dug you out of, bury them in their own mess and make them dig their own sorry asses out.”

She shifted, curling her wet hair back behind her ear and met his eye.

“You’re right about opening our hearts too.  No reward without the risk.  I got burned pretty bad a decade ago, so I know that lesson pretty well.  And it took a bit before I was willing to open up again.  It takes too much effort to keep those gates closed, and to shut yourself out.  Plus, it’s not fun and life isn’t worth anything if there isn’t some fun in it.”

She shifted in her position, moving her foot so it dangled off the bench she sat on and in a small puddle of water that had collected.

“And for the record Frank, that saline wash was no stunt.  It was standard procedure, appropriate and showed concern for a fellow ship mate.  I much rather you did what you did and I not need it than you not do it and I have a problem with my vision.  Regardless, you can take me out to dinner whenever you want.”

Then, without any other warning, Reggie flicked her foot through the puddle kicking up a small splash of water that hit Frank in the chest and face as the Betazoid sat there with a mischievous grin plastered on her dripping wet face.

Re: Day 04 [1200 hrs.] An Unpleasant Bath

Reply #12
[ Lieutenant Frank Arnold | Main Sickbay - Decon Chamber| Deck 11 | Vector 02| USS Theurgy]

Attn: @P.C. Haring

Frank snorted as he smiled.  The big engineer considered the time spent in decon to be well worth it now as the pact of friendship was pretty much sealed and signed at this point.  Each would help the other move a body if necessary and make sure it was buried as unpleasantly as possible.  Being honest and having fun were always a good thing, though he still didn't quite agree with her assessment on the saline not being stunt, but it was necessary one. 

Frank was about to say something when he reflexively closed his eyes as Reggie's foot launched puddle of water came at him and after he felt the splash, he let out a big laugh as and he leaned forward and steepled his large calloused hands together to consider the young woman in front of him. "Well Reggie, you certainly know how to let your friends know they're going to have a good time!  Hopefully I've intimated to you that despite this battered war horse looking exterior, you've got a friend indeed."

Frank's features turned whistful for a moment as his mind took a turn down memory lane and a conversation he'd had with a particular brunette before well, and he smiled as blushed when his mind led him down to it's eventual conclusion.  "I think a lot of us are pretty new to the ship, and I didn't really expect myself to become Chief Engineer of this flying sledgehammer.  When we get some shore leave, I want to find out if the Klingons have amusement parks.  I do believe I owe someone that adventure and a Klingon version would be an experience for a lot us and a good way to get to know more of the people on the ship."

Frank turned to look at Reggie with a big grin at the idea of a Klingon amusement park and it being very amusing.  Also mischief had to beget mischief.  "Reggie, have you ever been to a water park?" And with that, Frank flipped the shower head up and covered several of the active nozzles, spraying the Betazoid pilot with high pressure shower water.

OOC: Sorry for this being short, still getting a feel for Frank

Re: Day 04 [1200 hrs.] An Unpleasant Bath

Reply #13
[ Lieutenant “Reggie” Suder | Main Sickbay - Decon Chamber| Deck 11 | Vector 02 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @RyeTanker‍ 

Reggie did not offer Frank any immediate reply to his affirmation of friendship, but the smile that creased her face should have been more than enough to communicate her appreciation of the sentiment.  Far too often in her career had she encountered people who really only cared enough about her to try and get into her pants.  Some had succeeded, of course, but the vast majority had not, but even so it was a welcome experience to meet someone who cared less about her physical appearance and more about her as a person.  Ironic that such a meeting happened in a moment where both were pretty much naked in each others presence.

She considered the quesiton about Klingon Amusement parks.  Given that the race enjoyed hitting themselves with painsticks, she could only imagine what they might do for ‘fun’…throw themselves into a volcano?

But she did not get the opportunity to respond, for as she was about to say something she heard Frank mention something about water parks, a mere second or two before a spray of water came rushing at her.  She shrieked in surprise as the water hit her chest and collar bone before she threw her hands up to shield her face from the evil evil sprays.

Finding an opporunity, she rolled off the bench and landed on the floor in a controlled fall, water sloshing as she came down.  Then, as she turned to scamper away, she threw her arms into the puddle of water thrusting forward to splash Frank’s legs.

Re: Day 04 [1200 hrs.] An Unpleasant Bath

Reply #14
[ Lieutenant Frank Arnold | Main Sickbay - Decon Chamber| Deck 11 | Vector 02| USS Theurgy]

Attn: @P.C. Haring

Reggie's high pitched shriek was much like the opening bell of the bout for Frank and he felt his lips pull back in a smile.  The pilot was fast as befitted her reflexes and Frank tried to adjust the nozzle, but it didn't quite seem to hit the madly evading Betazoid, either going over her head, or just short, though a few splashes may have got her.  It was very hard to tell with all the water in the decon chamber.  The pilot was good though as he felt some water splash on his legs and looked down for a moment before his smile grew bigger and a twinkle gleamed in his eyes.  Water was still flowing to another drain, but he had a massive foot on one drain and a respectable amount of water had built up. 

Taking his foot off and quickly side stepping, Frank managed to build up a respectable cock on his leg before letting go for a massive soccer kick.  Unfortunately for Frank, there were a few factors that served to save Reggie from the massive soaking.  Frank was a boxer, so most of his footwork usually revolved bouncing from side to side, thus resulting in him having only a basic understanding of how to soccer kick and as a result, having bad aim.  Next was his foot hit the back wall, throwing off his balance.  The third was  Reggie was low to the deck, so not easy to hit.  The aftermath was probably the luck of the ship, for as he released his foot, the decon chamber door hissed open revealing the alarmed form of Nurse Class Leticia Jones standing in the door way and she let out a scream to match Reggie's screech as the wall of cascading water drenched her from head to boot followed by a blubbering as she proceeded to cough and choke out shower water.

Frank stopped dead in a stylized after soccer kick pose as his blue eyes widened, his eyebrows attempted to climb into his hairline, and his mouth hung open stupidly at the turn of events. "Errrrr......  Uhmmmmm......... Nurse uhhh, did you come to join our rendition of the dance of the water faeries?"

OOC: Sorry this is short, but it's very action oriented. I'm gonna let PC manage the good nurse's reaction.

Re: Day 04 [1200 hrs.] An Unpleasant Bath

Reply #15
[ Lieutenant “Reggie” Suder | Main Sickbay - Decon Chamber| Deck 11 | Vector 02 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @RyeTanker‍ 

Reggie did indeed miss the brunt of Frank’s water splash, but turned suddenly at the shrieking of Nurse Jones as the wall of water hit her square on.  The poor woman looked like she’d been doused with a bucket of water and it took every ounce of control Reggie had to keep herself from busting out laughing. 

“Um….no…Lieutenants,” Jones replied, the anger seething though the forced calm in her voice to say nothing about the emotional aura she radiated right into the Betazoid’s telepathic conciousness.  “I came to tell you the decon cycle is complete and scans are showing you’re clear of the toxins.  You’re good to go.”

“Thanks,” Reggie said, confusion laced within her tone.  “Couldn’t have let us know via coms?”

“Yeah, about that,” Jones replied as she held up a PADD, it’s display shattered, rendering the device useless.  “Decon remote monitoring  unit was destroyed when Klingons boarded.  We haven’t had the chance to requisition a new one.”

This time Reggie let the chuckle out and rose to her full height, still showing no embarrassment at the fact she was naked.  But instead of heading for the exit, she turned back to Frank.

“Thanks for the great conversation and for being such a gentleman towards little ol’ me.”

Frank would have been correct had he detected a hint of playfulness in her voice, but she kept the tone as genuine as possible so as to not bury her sincerity with a flirty tease.  Still, his genuine nature was something she did not always see in other men and to suggest anything different was disingenuous.

Reggie pushed herself up on her tip toes and offered the Chief Engineer a quick peck on the cheek.  Was it insubordinate?  Maybe.  Probably.  Was it inappropriate?  Not a chance in hell.  Frank had earned it and, for Reggie, nothing earned was inappropriate when given.

“If you ever want me to take you up on that offer for dinner, let me know.”

She offered him a playful wink as she turned back to the open hatch, and confidently strode out, giving Jones an unabashed view of her coming, while Frank received an unabashed view of her going.  As it turned out, this bath had been quite pleasant indeed.

Re: Day 04 [1200 hrs.] An Unpleasant Bath

Reply #16
[ Lieutenant Frank Arnold | Main Sickbay - Decon Chamber| Deck 11 | Vector 02| USS Theurgy]   Attn: @P.C. Haring

Frank admitted to himself that he would have been lying through his teeth if anyone asked about the view Reggie was giving him on the way out.  Although he did feel something, when he looked down, an eye brow quirked at his body's relative lack of response.  "You're either getting old or being a total prick right now." he murmured to his uninterested member. Shaking his head and sighing, the Chief Engineer followed Reggie out and headed to go get a new set of clothes to put on. 

As Frank passed the seething and soaking nurse, he nodded to her and looked at the PADD in his state of total nudity, but was more embarrassed from having drenched Nurse Jones in water.  "Sorry about ummmm... covering you in water. Don't worry about requisitioning a new monitor, I'll have a new one put in tomorrow with an engineer to make sure it's working properly."  With that, Frank nodded and went to a locker with some towels and clothing.  Frank dried himself off absentmindedly as he thought about the peck that Reggie gave him on the cheek.  Definitely a friend then

His mind would betray him though as it wandered around the idea of romantic pursuits.  Having been completely naked with the Reggie Suder hadn't elicited a reaction, but another episode involving a brunette conn officer, a pile of jokes, carbs, and very amorous evening forced it's way into his conscious mind. As he snorted out a short laugh, his body reacted more appropriately causing him to sigh once more as he worked to bring his obvious state of arousal under control. That situation needs sorting out for sure.  First priority after I get all the work details sorted out for the repairs.  Hmmmm, maybe an evening in Dublin, or maybe that amusement park idea?  Do Klingon even have amusement parks?

Lieutenant Frank Arnold left sickbay with a smile on his face.  A new friend, a healed body, and a adventure to work on.  It was a very productive time in the bath after all.


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