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Part of Endeavour: Where Angels Fear To Tread

Making A Meal Out Of It!

Endeavour NX-06
Thursday 12th May, 2157
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“Hold the door, will you?” 

Looking up from where he stood in the lift doorway, Branson smiled when he noticed who it was. Placing his free right hand on the door to stop the sensors from automatically closing it, he welcomed the woman who sprinted a bit to enter the lift. 

“Monica, how are you doing?” Branson asked the chief armoury officer.

Taking a moment to compose herself, Gasset adjusted herself slightly before answering. “Well, thanks, Ed. And yourself? Settled into your new sickbay, okay?” 

The doctor nodded after letting go of the door and allowing it to shut itself. “No qualms from me, you with the armoury?”

“Perfectly fine.” She replied as she looked him up and down. “I’m glad you’re wearing something casual; I wasn’t sure if this was appropriate.” She indicated the beige blouse she wore along with the black leggings and cream-coloured high-heel shoes.

He gestured towards his clothes, an open-collared salmon shirt with dark blue skinny trousers and similar coloured shoes. “Do you think this is okay?” He asked.

“It’s fine, Ed,” She replied, “I have to admit, I’ve never been called to the captain’s private dining room for a casual meal, are we meant to bring a bottle of something?”

Considering her idea for a second, the young doctor thought about it, “No,” He shook his head, “the memo said it was a casual sit-down meal with the captain and his husband.”

“I hope so,” Gasset stated. “I mean, it did say no uniform to be worn just civilian attire.”   

The lift stopped on deck five, where the mess hall was along with the captain’s dining room. As they stepped out, their journey didn’t take long to approach the door to the mess hall, to the point they bumped into Lieutenant Commander Shu. 

“Commander Shu,” Branson greeted the new chief engineer.

“Ma’am,” Gasset added after Branson, “are you heading to the captain’s mess as well?”

“Ah, it’s Commander Xiang. Family name, then given,” Shu said, correcting Branson with a smile. “Might be an Aussie, but some traditions still hold true. And yah got a dinner invite that was a bit more tempting than the mess hall. Shall we?” For her own part, Shu had opted for a pair of khaki slacks and a somewhat tight-cut short-sleeve blue silk blouse paired with simple black dress shoes that bore a few scuffs along the sides.

The three stepped into the room and across the mess hall. Branson tapped the door chime button, followed by the captain’s voice on the other side of the door telling them to come in. The door automatically opened for them, and the sight revealed Captain Campbell standing with a drink in his hand, talking and laughing with his husband, First Lieutenant Fynn Trommler. Campbell was wearing a khaki-coloured long-sleeved top with black trousers, while Trommler wore an ochre-coloured short-sleeved shirt with similar trousers to what Branson had on. 

Seeing their guests arrive, the couple stopped to greet them. 

“Glad to see, Romeo, got the memo to you all in not wearing your jumpsuits,” Campbell noted. “Please come in.” He gestured to the trio with his free hand. 

“Thank you, sir,” Branson smiled.

Trommler looked at Campbell when Branson called him ‘sir’ and smirked. Campbell responded in a soft tone. “Let’s keep tonight informal if we can. Please, no calling me ‘sir’.” The captain requested. 

“He hates being called, sir; it makes him feel old!” Trommler added with a cheeky wink and smirk.

Campbell glared at his husband in a sort of teasing way. 

“How shall we address you,” Gasset stopped herself from saying ‘sir’ and instead added “captain” at the end of her question. 

“That’ll do,” Campbell replied, “Please can we get you some drinks? Iced tea?” He gestured towards the drink pitcher on the table with the empty glasses around the side of it.

“Aye, that’ll be fine, thank you,” Branson replied.

“Thank you, captain,” Gasset stated. 

“Actually that sounds lovely. Splash a lemon with it?” Shu asked, craning her neck to look past Branson at the drinks. “And any of that lovely whiskey for later by chance?”

“I like this one,” Trommler said, motioning towards the chief engineer with a smirk. 

Campbell ended up pouring them all drinks and handing them their glasses. Raising his own, which he refilled as well as Trommler’s, he then prepared a speech. “To the first day of a new assignment and meeting new colleagues.”

They all echoed the captain’s sentiments before taking a sip of their drinks. 

“So, how have your first days gone so far?” Campbell asked as he lowered his glass.

“The fun and games of working out personalities, skillsets and then listening to defences of previous repairs,” Shu said after a sip of her drink. “But otherwise all good. Few things I’m already willing to change, few I think I need to understand why they are the way they are before I’ll touch them. Things like processes, rosters, some of the adhoc repairs.” She offered a genuine smile to the gathered individuals. “Got a pretty solid base of folks aboard ship here Cap.”

Appreciating the compliment, Campbell smirked at his new chief engineer. “Endeavour has gone through a lot in the last year and a half. You may find that some of those repairs maybe something to do with the refit when she was upgraded to the Columbia-class specifications, or the damage sustained when the Orions took the ship a few months ago.”

“That wasn’t the greatest moment of Endeavour‘s history,” Trommler commented as he took a sip from his drink. 

Intrigued by that, Branson spoke up. “Lieutenant Ricci stated that…” He paused as he considered his next word carefully, “event brought the crew together. Were the Orions really hired by the Romulans to capture the ship?”

 “They were,” Campbell answered as he recalled the torture he and others went through under the green hands of their attackers, “I’m not sure it was quite the team-building exercise I had wanted for the crew but there was some satisfaction in retaking the ship.”

“I read in your report that you faked a warp core breach,” Gasset stated in between sips and looked to Xiang, “maybe those scars are still present on the ship?”

“Not that I’ve seen,” Shu spoke up as she set her drink down, the better to speak with her hands as well. “Then again, I haven’t exactly suited up to go outside and take a look. Faking a breach, if done right, might have left some carbon scoring, or discolouration of the outer hull panels along the nacelles. I’d wager some cleaning and maintenance afterwards hide or made good the worst of it.”

“It wouldn’t surprise me if some systems were properly looked at when we used the Risian repair yard,” Campbell replied. “Anyway, let’s talk about food. Do any of you have any preferences to food?”

Branson shook his head, “As long as it’s edible, captain.”

“Anything as long as it’s from Earth,” Shu added. “I don’t know what it is, but certain off-world cuisines and I are not friends. Would love a proper barbeque, but I’m going to tell you right now, open flames anywhere on the ship that isn’t the galley is a no go.”

“Talking of barbeques, does the ship have themed evenings for meals?” Gasset asked as she sipped more of her drink. 

Trommler nodded, “Depends how creative chef is feeling.” He answered.

“Well then, if that’s the case, tonight’s speciality is tacos!” Campbell said with a smile. 

“Hope you don’t mind my asking Captain, Lieutenant,” Shu aimed the last title to Trommler, “but how does married life work on a starship? Does it cause any sort of, I don’t know, relationship conflicts? Please, feel free to tell me if I’m out of line.”

Campbell and Trommler exchanged a look with one another before Trommler answered. “I suppose with me being a MACO, Ollie isn’t in my direct chain of command, that said it is his ship, so I have to follow his orders. Over the last year though, we’ve worked out a decent routine on how it works.”

“And so far the brass don’t have any issue with it,” Campbell replied. “Are any of you in relationships?”

“Don’t look at me,” Shu said with a slight chuckle and raised hands in defence. “I’m terrible with relationships. Heck, I transferred off the Guangdong because of a relationship going south.” She chuckled slightly once more. “Take a small starship, pack it to the framing members with personnel, then give them weeks and weeks and weeks of transit just to get anywhere and tell you aren’t going to have problems.” A shrug of her shoulders and then she reached for her drink again. “Not to worry though Cap,” she addressed Campbell, “I learned my lesson and won’t let feelings get in the way again.”

There were a few chuckles from Shu’s story sharing before both Gasset shared she had no one while Branson avoided the question by changing the subject. 

“There is one thing, I was wondering, captain if you don’t mind me asking and that’s do you have any good stories about Rear Admiral Paulsen? You were her first officer for some time and I’m assuming you’re friends?” Branson asked the captain before taking a sip from his drink. 

“Too many stories, I’m afraid,” Campbell answered just as the stewards walked in with their meals. “Where shall I start?” 

“Anything saucy that the rest of the admiralty aren’t aware of?” Branson questioned as they watched the stewards lay their table. 

Chuckling, Campbell shook his head. “Nothing that I can remember of.”

“We’ve had a few drunken evenings with her and her husband,” Trommler reminded his husband. 

“You guys and Defence Secretary Vanderbilt?” Gasset said, sounding surprised. 

“He wasn’t the defence secretary then,” Campbell assured his armoury officer. “But yeah we’re good friends with them both.” He smiled at Trommler before looking at their meal. “Ladies and gents, shall we take our seats and enjoy this great meal that our chef has prepared for us?”

They all agreed and their evening meal commenced. As Campbell sat down, he wondered just how long these three would remain on the Endeavour. He hoped a lot longer than their predecessors, he was starting to like them.