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Ensign
Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 24
". . . so I said, 'but I hardly emitter!'"

Gorel burst out laughing at that, the noise vanishing into the busy lunchtime dining room of Taron's Eatery. Even Niri was grinning; he was sure that the joke had made no sense to her, but Chief Macchia's smile and good humor were positively infectious. The man had taken the news of his transfer to the Yorktown well, and Gorel was already looking forward to having him as a part of his senior staff.

He saw Tadao looking around by the door, and waved one arm; the man smiled and began making his way over to their table. Taron's wasn't exactly highbrow, and its menu featured some distinctly Federation-influenced offerings, but its food had more soul than what you'd get at a replimat, and it was close enough to downtown Lakarian City to pull in a hefty lunch crowd. Gorel had thought it would make a perfect place for a little unofficial lunch meeting with his currently-present section chiefs.

"Hey, Tadao, glad you could make it." He smiled, and the younger man smiled and took the last seat at their table.

"I almost didn't, you weren't kidding when you said it was a little out of the way. But the directions were spot on, so thanks for that."

Gorel nodded. "Felix, this is Lieutenant Commander Iwaguchi Tadao, our future Chief Tactical Officer; Tadao, this is Senior Chief Petty Officer Felix Macchia, our future Chief of Operations. Niri said you two have already met?"

"Pleased to meet you," Tadao said with a friendly nod to Felix, before turning and smiling at Niri, "and yes, we came in on the Pullman together, although we didn't realize it until the ship was actually entering orbit."

"Well, it's better than nothing. Here's the menu; have you ever eaten Cardassian food before?"

"No, no, not even a little," Tadao said, scanning the menu. It was strange to see Captain Karn out of uniform. Niri and Felix, he'd barely met, but to him, Gorel was the Captain, secure in his throne on the bridge.

"I'd make a suggestion, but I think we have different palates. Chief, you've eaten here before, maybe you can help him out?"

"Sure thing. Do you prefer tea or coffee, Lieutenant Commander?"

"Just Tadao, please. And why do you ask?"

"Well, it's a quick test that I've found rarely fails. My wife likes coffee, so if you like that, I'll recommend what she'd like; my husband, though, he likes tea, so if that's what you prefer, then I can suggest what he'd have." Tadao blinked; no matter their orientation, most humans preferred two-partner marriages. He couldn't recall the last time he'd encountered someone with more.

"And what if I liked water?" The Chief smiled easily, his teeth brightly white against his cafe-au-lait skin.

"Well, that's more my style, so I'd just go with what I'd have. Are you a water guy?"

"Coffee, actually, but I was curious."

"Ahh, then I'd recommend the zabu steak sandwich with the yamok-curry-barbecue sauce. Sounds a bit strange, but it actually goes together well. Oh, and get the katterpod frites over the taspar egg salad, something about taspar eggs just tastes kind of metallic to me." Gorel and Niri shared a look of bemusement, and Felix rolled his eyes.

"Don't go all purist on me now." He shook his head and turned his attention to Tadao. "Can you believe that, for a people as obsessed with efficiency as the Cardassians, it took the Federation to introduce them to the sandwich? I mean, you put anything between two slices of bread and bam, instant quick meal."

"We love our efficiency, Chief, but we also love our families. A good stew can be a moment of home during the middle of the day, even if it is reheated or synthesized from a family program."

"Well, Captain, you're not wrong."

Tadao shrugged and set down the menu. "I'll just follow your advice, Chief. And I'll have water to drink." Gorel began tapping commands into the terminal set into the table, and Tadao addressed the older enlisted man.

"So, did I hear you say that you had a wife and a husband?"

"I do. Max is at the botanical research station of Devris B-IV, while Tila is part of the government on a little colony world in the Orion sector."

"I haven't known a lot of humans that go for three-partner arrangements; that must be interesting."

Felix chuckled, somewhat ruefully, and took a drink of what looked like iced tea.

"Oh, it is. It was just Max and I for about six years, and then we decided to bring in Tila. I love 'em both, couldn't imagine life without 'em, but having twice the love sometimes means getting in twice the trouble. They teamed up on me pretty well when I told them about getting transferred to the Yorktown."

"Not fans of Starfleet?"

"Oh, no, they like Starfleet just fine - Tila was enlisted for a few years, although ultimately she got out when she fell in love with Tangri colony. No, it's just that it's hard enough for us to get together with me on a shipbuilding team; if I'm on an active starship, it's going to be that much more difficult. Plus, with the situation with the Klingons, and the Romulans, and the Borg, it's not the safest time to be in Starfleet."

"Yeah, my mother was up to four messages per week before my father managed to get her to pull back a bit." Tad gave a half-smile. "Still, if they're at home, and the times are what they are, then I'd rather be in Starfleet than anywhere else. And if I'm in Starfleet, it sounds like there'll be few better places to be than on the Yorktown."

"Damn straight," said Felix, nodding firmly and lifting his glass.

"Hear, hear," murmured Niri, and Gorel lifted his own glass as a server dropped off Tadao's water.

"We may not have alcohol, but that sounds like a toast to me. To the Yorktown, may she bring safety to our homes and defeat to our enemies."

The four touched their glasses with a chorus of clinks, and there was a moment of silence.

"So, Tadao," Gorel asked, "where are Megan and Allie? I thought they were still supposed to be on the Paris?"

"Ahh, right. Well, they decided to take a couple of weeks of leave and go to Risa. They didn't figure they'd get a better opportunity than while the Paris was in yard hands, and they wanted to celebrate their anniversary."

"Allie on Risa? Hard to believe Megan got her to go for that. Although if anyone could, I suppose it'd be Megan."

Niri and Felix shared a helpless glance.

"Lieutenant Commander Megan Desano and Lieu . . . no, full Commander Allison McIntyre. On the Paris, Allie was the Ops Chief and Megan headed the Astrometrics section. They just got married a year ago." Tadao volunteered.

"Right, sorry. I asked for them as Chief Engineer and Chief Science Officer on the Yorktown. I had thought they would arrive with Tadao, but apparently they had other plans."

"Risa sounds nice," sighed Niri. Felix smiled and nodded, going along with the change in the conversation, not noticing the momentary eye contact between Niri and Gorel, nor Tadao's equally quick flick of the eyes between the two Cardassians.

"Oh, it is. Max and I went, must have been twelve years ago, now. Now that was a fun week. Sun, sand, water, and good company."

"Well, I hope they enjoy it, because once the trials are done, I'm planning on cutting you folks some leave, as much as I can, while those two bust their humps to get their sections in order."

Tadao grinned irrepressibly. "I'll drink to that."

Last edited by thesciencer; 03-29-2013 at 11:32 PM.