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The Spark Of Something Bookish

Posted on Tue Oct 17, 2017 @ 8:39pm by Ensign Eli Avirett & Ensign Kathryn Bell
Edited on on Tue Oct 17, 2017 @ 9:07pm

Mission: The Eye Of Sin
Location: E Deck - Mess Hall
Timeline: January 3, 2157 - 1130 Hours

Checking her cabin's chronometer, Kate decided she had the time. There wasn't anything pressing at the moment, and frankly, a cup of something hot sounded good about now.

"Bell to Avirett. I know its pretty early, but are you busy?"

Eli had just come out of the shower. He walked to the comm panel on his desk. "I'm free, Kate. What do you need?"

"Well, I was wondering if you'd finished that book I gave you? I've finished yours and I was going to ask if you wanted to meet in the mess hall to talk about them? Over coffee or something, you know." She tried to keep the blush out of her voice, even as she went a bit red.

"Sounds great. See you there in 10 minutes?"

"Sure. If I beat you there, I'll be sitting at one of the corner tables by the big viewports." It was her favorite spot for eating, reading or just sitting and watching fellow crewmembers. Nobody said you couldn't people-watch if you had the time and inclination to do so.

10 minutes later, Eli walked into the mess hall. He was wearing his off duty clothes, and carrying a book. He looked around and saw Kate sitting at a corner table. As he headed to the table, he said hello to several members of the crew.

He finally reached the table and sat next to her. "Hope I didn't keep you waiting too long."

Kate grinned at him. "Hardly." She gestured to the coffee in front of her. "Want me to get you something?"

"I'll get it. You want a refill?" Eli stood up.

"I'm good, but I'm not that good." Kate chuckled. "If you could grab me one of those excellent scones of Chef's though, that would be appreciated."

"Be right back." Eli walked over to the counter, and placed 2 scones on a plate. He then picked up an iced green tea for himself. He returned to the table, and placed the plate between them, placed his drink down, then sat. "Here you go." He placed his hand on hers, looked at her and said, "I'm so glad you called."

Kate picked up her scone and took a bite, trying not to react at the funny feelings his hand on hers created within her. Despite it being more than she was usually comfortable with--if this were a date or something--she found it oddly comforting.

After she'd swallowed her piece of scone, she responded to him, "Me too. Sorry--I'm not much for conversation before I've had coffee and preferably some food as well."

Eli laughed slightly. "Then let me know when you want another scone."

Kate chuckled. "I will, though I'll probably get it myself." She looked at him. "So, how did you like Revalis? I find his style... difficult, but rewarding just the same. I had time yesterday during that whole mess with that probe thing--not much to do except monitor folks--so I finished it. By the way, good job with the sedative. I'm glad I wasn't caught up in the whole bridge thing; that could have been awkward. I really hope this doesn't cause problems for anyone."

Eli smiled, but deep inside he still felt terror at the entire incident. "I just thought that we should try to find a non-lethal way to subdue the ladies for their own good. The sedative seemed the logical solution." He took a sip of his drink. "Then the whole thing about beaming down to the planet....still gives me nightmares."

"If you can't sleep, try mint tea... Anyway, onto more pleasant matters... Revalis?"

"His writing does provoke some thought. I did read it when I was younger, so rereading it again was interesting."

Kate nodded. "I hadn't read it until now, but I'm very impressed. What did you think of the dinner scene in Part 2?"

"I thought it was a very romantic scene. What did you think of it? Is that something you see yourself enjoying?"

Kate looked at him softly. "Perhaps, with the right person. Unfortunately, I don't think shipboard facilities would be adequate for that, particularly for low-ranking crew like us."

"Probably not." He took a sip of his drink, then looked at her. "What did you think about your book?"

"Well..." She considered for a moment. "Page 73 was quite an eye-opener. I don't think the translator really got at what the Andorian really said... I recognized a few words, so I asked T'Lar to look over it for me. I'm not sure she can blush, but boy, was the look on her face funny... On a more serious note, I really enjoyed it. I may have interpreted things differently than most, but that's probably because of my upbringing... What did you think, and, if you don't mind me asking, what was your childhood like? I just realized we don't really know each other all that well."

She gently squeezed his hand at this, trying to let him know she was interested in getting to know the Ensign without being too obvious about it.

Eli was surprised at her squeezing his hand. "Truthfully the computer has a hard time translating the Andorian properly into standard. Remember, Andorians mate in groups of 3. Maybe we can discuss your interpretations of the poems at a later, more intimate setting."

Kate smiled at that, then listened attentively as he continued.

"My upbringing? Only child of a surgeon father and a scientist mother. Father was the chief of surgery at the Royal London Hospital. Mother was assigned to the London office of Starfleet Medical. Being the only child, I was doted on. From an early age I had tutors. We didn't have to travel much....medical seminars to France or Spain. Parents didn't like to travel in space. Completed the equivalent of a college masters at age 15. Applied to the academy at 17. Finished medical training at 24. And......only had 1 girlfriend in my life. You?"

Without them realizing it, it was already approaching a busy period and the mess started filling up.

"Not much to tell, really. My mother died just after I was born--killed by my father, I think. I was adopted by a couple of friends of hers, as was my sister. They're a good family, as far as it goes. I excelled in academics, but only joined Starfleet after completing my postgraduate degree at Oxford... I went to Exeter for undergrad... On a more personal note, I've had only one serious relationship as well--I think that's because I'm trying to find who I am still, romantically, I mean."

"Such a hard life for such a young person." He looked around the room. "Getting crowded here now. So.....anything else about your book you want to talk about? Or would you rather continue this discussion in my quarters? I have some snacks and a bottle of wine."

Kate checked her chrono. "Hmmm, I'm on duty in a bit, but tonight would be wonderful. Shall we say 21:00?"

"Excellent. I'm looking forward to it."

Kate rose. "See you then." She picked up the book Eli had given her for Christmas and left the mess hall, a slight spring in her step.


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