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Part of USS Mercy: Mission 1 – “Life as a House”

I Owe You One

Officer's Lounge
Aug. 16, 2400 @20:00
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Dougal wasn’t tired.  He’d spent too much time cooped up “resting”.  Aimee on the other hand had been dead on her feet when she made it to their quarters and fell asleep on the couch mid-sentence.  He carried her to bed, and then decided to leave entirely so as not to wake her. And so, it was this reason he found himself walking into the officer’s lounge. 

Seeing a familiar face Dougal smiled and approached Neva,  “Good evening lass. Cannae get you a wee dram?”

Neva smiled brightly at Dougal and nodded. “That sounds great, thank you. What scotch do you have?” She set her tray aside as a wave of embarrassment came over her. “I apologize. That slipped out weird.” Neva put her hand over her mouth in surprise before continuing. “I DO enjoy scotches and whiskies, actually. I was ‘taught’ by a Sommelier ways to enjoy that aqua vitae and know what to look for. Since then, I appreciate a good ‘dram’ now and then.” She sighed. “I wish I could have a ‘real’ one instead of synthehol.”

“A lass after me heart,” he said with a jovial grin.  He went to a nearby replicator and returned with a pair of whiskey glasses and a pitcher of water.  Sitting down he withdrew a flask from his pocket he poured each of them two fingers. Cutting his own drink with a splash of water he raised his glass, “Slàinte mhath.”

Neva raised her own glass and smiled and tried to repeat his toast, which sounded more like “Slaw man.” She took a sip and  her and closed her eyes, a look of bliss on her face. After a minute, she opened her eyes. “This is amazing! Is it real?” She held up her glass and looked at the amber liquid in the light. “How did you GET this?” She took another sip, setting it back on the table and wrapped her hands around the glass. “Thank you for this, Dougal.”

“Lass,” he said teasing, “I’m Scottish.   Whiskey and a Highlander go together like a fish and water.” He took a sip, and shrugged, “But, in this case my brother makes it. I have a few wee bottles hidden away7 in my quarters.”

Neva raised her glass to him, chuckling. “Forgive me then for my unintentional bragging. I’ve just had to explain my enjoyment in the past.” She took another sip, holding a moment before swallowing. “ Is it possible to ask you to get an extra bottle? I’ll DEFINITELY pay for the effort.” 

Neva set her glass down and put her fingers over her mouth, eyes wide. “I’m sorry. I shouldn’t be so presumptuous.”

Dougal smirked,  “Since we’re heading for Earth I’ll give you one of mine. No charge for someone who saved me life.”

Neva’s eyes bugged out of her head at both his offer and admission. “What do you mean about saving your life? I did what anyone would do. But you’re welcome just the same.” Neva cocked her head  and looked confused at the offer. “Dougal, are you SURE about this? I…I…” Her head fell to her chest for a second, then she looked up. “I didn’t mean to gush. Thank you.” She took another sip from her glass and set it down with both hands holding it.

Dougal withdrew a sealed Petri dish from a pocket, “Just a wee bauble that might interest a lass such as yer-sef.” He said and slid the dish over to her. Inside looked like a black powder not to dissimilar to bits of iron collected from the earth only more uniform and granular. 

Neva turned the petrie dish up, down, and sideways. Looking closer, she gasped. “No…you didn’t…oh man, are these what I think they are?”

“Borg nanites,” he replied. “Dinnae be concerned. The wee beasties are deactivated.”

Neva’s eyes widened again as she shook the dish. “Wow, I didn’t think I’d get to see these up close in a million years!” She sat there, shaking the dish once more. “Dougal, wow…thank you!” She set the dish down and looked at him in sheer shock. “How…”?” she asked in a whisper. 

“My wife extracted them from me. I was almost of one the blighters after our encounter with the Borg drone on the station… which is why I am thankful ye got the Mercy operational.  I dinnae ken I’d be here without your quick efforts.”  He finished off his drink and pushed away from the table and smiled genuinely at her. “Thank you.  It cannae been easy with Death running around in yer heid, but you fought through it.  I dinnae ken if it would impress a Klingon,  but it sure has impressed Dougal, War Chieftain of Clan MacDonald, of Teangue. A good evening to you lass,” he said with a theatrical bow. “I shall take my leave of you.”

Neva nodded and smiled. “Thanks Dougal, for everything. I hope your night is filled with happy dreams.” She waved back and looked down at her almost empty glass. ‘Wow…’ She thought. She grabbed the peitre dish and held it against her eye. The “dust” just slipped down the dish to pool at the bottom. She put it down again and looked at the flask. ‘By the Gods, this is amazing!’ 

Neva picked up her glass and downed the last of it. She got up and grabbed her “booty,” managing to balance all of it to hit the replicator. When she got to her quarters, she took the gifts and put them on a shelf “just so.” 

‘I never thought I’d see a day when I’d get a promotion AND a…a..just WOW!’ She scanned the room then yawned. What a day!