Fears of the Unknown

Posted on Wed Feb 22nd, 2023 @ 8:46pm by Lieutenant JG Hank Solomon & Senior Chief Petty Officer Alessia Oxford

Mission: The Fluidic Web
Location: USS Eminence - Deck 4 - Mess Hall
Timeline: Before the departure

[Deck 4 - Mess Hall]

The mess hall of the USS Eminence was quite busy with people buzzing here and there consuming their lunches as well as just having some off time chatting with friends and colleagues.

Alessia was sitting at one of the tables close to one of the windows showing the pitch-black outer space. A half-eaten sandwich was sitting on a dish in front of her while she sipped some from a Starfleet branded mug.

Her eyes darted towards the entrance of the room and smiled just as Hank made his appearance and headed towards the replicator to get something to eat.

The CSO closed in “Hey, is that place reserved?” he asked the black-haired woman nodding towards the empty chair in front of her.
“Hmm yes” she answered.
“Oh” the man countered, caught off guard while still holding the mug within his hands.
Alessia started laughing “it’s reserved for you” she said still unable to hold off her laughter and motioning him to sit.
Hank shook his head and frowned, showing off his asymmetric smile while sitting at the table. “That’s rude” he complained but couldn’t help but smile. “How is it? Not hungry?” he asked, noticing the half sandwich still laying on the table.

The Italian girl shrugged “Not really” she started “I was hungry but then I started overthinking and I kind of lost appetite.” Her face now showing a concerned look.
The science officer gently laid his mug on the table and calmly nodded to her “Anything particular you want to talk about?” he asked.

“Well, nothing….and everything” she said breathing the air out of her lungs before taking a sip from her drink.

“Go ahead then, speak freely” he told her while laying back into the seat of the chair.

Alessia seemed a bit uneasy “Well…” she breathed “I guess you heard about the new orders”. He simply nodded silently. “I…I am not” she tried to find the correct wording to express her thoughts “I’m not willing to go to war” she finally decided to settle with something easy and direct.
Hank’s lips shily curled on the upside revealing a warm smile “I don’t think anyone is, Alessia” he tried to reassure her.

“I know but it’s not a normal war…this is like a suicide” her rage and worrisome kicked in. “People speak, rumors spread.” she insisted “Heard rumors about abduction of officers, ships not coming back from patrol…what will be our fate? We already got a taste of what Specie 8472 is capable of and…we can’t win.”
The man moved his gaze from her eyes to the almost empty table, clearly lost in thoughts.

“Ale” he shortened her name “I know what you mean, and I’ve thought about that a lot since we got ambushed. At that time I thought you…” He stopped mid-sentence while playing with the mug within his hands unable to sustain her gaze.

The SCPO noticed and reached out for his hand, holding it tight and smiling softly.

Hank returned her smile slowly raising his gaze till he met her eyes. “The point is, the entire thing is beyond our control and we cannot do much except do our job and be damn good at it.” he shrugged “Starfleet Command gave us orders and we have an experienced captain, we’ll do just fine” he said trying to reassure her but also as a way of reassuring and convincing himself that all will be ok.

Alessia silently nodded and showed one of her best smiles.
“Now finish that sandwich and let’s get back to work, we’d better realign the sensors’ grid so we can have better eyes. Mind joining me right in the “belly of the beast” in deck A and B?” he asked with a wink.

The black haired woman took a bite of her snack and nodded “sure enough, sir” showing a broad smile.

The two kept chatting till the lunch of the female office and both drinks finished. They both exited the mess hall headed to work on the sensors’ array of the Eminence.

Lt. JG Hank Solomon
Chief Science Officer - USS Eminence

SCPO Alessia Oxford
Science Technician - USS Eminence