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A Not So Wonky Knee, Part Three

Posted on Thu Aug 31, 2017 @ 8:14pm by Captain Edward Pearson & Goron jav Rork

Mission: The Eye Of Sin
Location: E Deck - Captain's Mess
Timeline: January 1, 2157 - 1900 Hours

New Year's Day didn't really turn out the way that Eddie expected it to. It started out as a celebration but quickly devolved into another episode that the crew needed to deal with. The probe that they stumbled upon, while seemingly harmless, certainly left an impact on them in the form of visions or dreams. Eddie still didn't really know what to officially describe them as. The only thing that he knew with certainty with regards to the one he experienced was that it felt real. That in turn meant that there was possibly some other version of him out there, somewhere.

That was the least of Eddie's problems for the moment though. Jeannie's vision brought about the first hurdle in their relationship. There was no question that he lied to her in May when he told her that she was his first choice for First Officer. She wasn't. He wasn't even going to attempt to deny it. Eddie said what he did because he needed her by his side. At the time, he felt as if Jeannie needed the extra convincing to join him on Endeavour. It was the wrong thing to do though. He had no idea what the repercussions of his actions were going to be in the long term. For tonight, at the very least, he was going to be dining alone.

Eddie sat in his usual seat in the Captain's Mess. It was a good vantage point for him to watch the computer monitor that was situated on the wall next to the door to the room. He put on a hockey game to watch while he waited for his dinner. The game was halfway through the first period when the door behind him opened. Eddie expected Crewman Soomekh, who was one of Chef Rork's stewards, to be the one bringing him his meal, but that wasn't the case. A couple of grubby, hairy hands put the plate of food and tall glass of beer on the table in front of him. Rork was serving dinner himself.

"Chef," Eddie greeted with a little concern as he looked up at the Tellarite. "What happened to Farhad? There isn't something wrong with my food is there?"

"It's your first meal of the year," Goron replied almost too cheerily. "I thought I'd bring it out to you personally. Crewman Soomekh is fine. He's in the galley preparing some snacks for the serving cases." He looked across the table from the Captain and noticed that the seat wasn't occupied this evening. "I was a little surprised when I received only one order. Is the Commander alright?" he asked.

Eddie smiled softly and nodded. "I think so. She has a little headache and opted to get a bit of rest instead."

"Hah! Seems like that's going around today," Rork said to him. "I had a dozen or so women stop by the galley making odd requests for nuts, brown rice, mushrooms, bananas and watermelon to try and combat their aching heads."

"That doesn't sound too odd," Eddie suggested. "For Humans, and I'd wager many other species too, food can have a comforting effect."

Rork patted his belly and nodded in agreement. "Perhaps a little too comforting at times, if you get my meaning," he quipped. "In any case, I hope that it doesn't become an epidemic or else they might bleed our stores dry."

"Hopefully it won't come to that," the Captain replied. "Sickbay is aware of it. They're keeping an eye on things."

"So they claim..." the Tellarite murmured. He then fumbled with his hands as he stood in place, looking very uncomfortable and awkward.

Noticing this, Eddie leaned back in his chair to give Goron his full attention. "Is there anything else?" he asked the Chef before pointing out teasingly, "You're being less argumentative than normal. I hope that we're not starting to rub off on you."

The Chef huffed. "There's no need to insult me, Captain. At least not until you've tried the food."

Pearson smiled and then leaned in forward to dig in with his fork. After eating a bit of his meal, he nodded his approval. It was delicious, but really, he expected nothing less from Rork by now. Eddie hated to admit it, but the Tellarite was definitely better than the original chef they left Earth with six months ago, bless his soul.

"I was a little skeptical about the quality of the meat that Ensign Sahar's mangy canine friend was going to provide for my cooking... but it turned out alright, don't you think?" Goron asked, with a very wide grin.

Upon hearing that the meat could be of canine origin, Eddie immediately felt sick to his stomach and he reached for his napkin just in case he brought up the little he'd just eaten. The Chef, however, reached out with his hand and stopped him. "You Humans are so squeamish. I was just kidding," he said with a chuckle.

Relief was visibly painted on Eddie's face. "Thank goodness..." he exhaled. He really didn't want to eat anything dog-related ever again in his life. Once his stomach had settled, and he had taken a few breaths to recover, Eddie returned to the matter at hand. "You never answered my question," he told him.

"Ah, yes. Well... there is something..." Goron said with much difficulty.

"What is it?" the Captain prodded further, trying to get whatever that was troubling him out in the open.

"You are a sporting man, aren't you?" the Chef asked. He then turned to the monitor and pointed to the screen. "You played that game many years ago."

"Ice hockey," Eddie confirmed. "As well as a handful of other sports. But hockey was my main focus for most of my adolescent life."

"Did you ever suffer any lasting injuries?" Goron went on.

"I was pretty lucky when I played. The worst one I ever got was a broken wrist from a slash I took to the hands," Eddie pointed to the area on his right wrist where the injury occurred. "Are you interested in playing hockey?" he asked Rork.

"What? No! Can you imagine me trying to go around on that ice? I'd have something worse than a broken wrist I think," he replied. Goron pulled out the chair from the other end of the table and sat in it. "I was an athlete too once upon a time but it came to an end when I hurt my knee. Doctor Olgesh told me that I could never mud wrestle again."

Mud wrestling? It was difficult to imagine the Chef taking part in such a sport and Eddie was doing his best to stop himself from bursting out in laughter at the thought. He'd heard about Tellarite mud wrestling whilst Endeavour was at Ugliri II but he never even entertained the notion that Rork, of all people, could have been a wrestler in his youth. But what did this revelation have to do with him? "There are many careers that come to an end because of bad knees," he said.

"Yes," the Chef agreed. "The problem is that Olgesh lied to me. He was paid many truffs by my former coach to do so. I discovered this in... some kind of dream today. Doctor Rigby said that others had these dreams as well. I'm not making it up. Rigby said that my knee was fine! I had her check it."

"I can see why you were a bit apprehensive at the start," the Captain said to him with understanding. Rork was evidently shaken by this experience, just as many of them were. "Are you wondering what you should do with your newfound knowledge?"

"Yes!" Goron returned, nearly pleading.

Eddie took a moment to consider his answer. "Well, one thing that I believe you should consider is that this information wouldn't change what has already happened. You're a Chef. A pretty damned goo... terrible one too. If you managed to find tangible evidence that what happened to you is true and you released it to the public, would it really make a difference? Do either of them even still hold their jobs anymore?"

"Hmmmm.... probably not," Goron replied with disappointment.

"What would happen if you tried to press charges against them for falsifying official medical documents?" the Captain asked.

"I don't know," the Chef answered. "By the time the arguments have all been heard, it would probably be too late. Money can't replace what I've lost anyhow. I have plenty of truffs thanks to my businesses and restaurants. More of it won't really do anything for me."

"You could confront them face to face. Tell Doctor Olgesh and your former coach that you know the truth. It might make you feel better afterwards. It sounds like they robbed you of an opportunity in your life," Eddie recognized. "Despite what happened though, you also have to look at what you've accomplished. You're an extremely successful Chef. Not to mention that there aren't many Tellarites who can lay claim to residing aboard one of Earth's premier starships."

"Hah! Your puny ship isn't that memorable. I'd forget about it a week after I was gone," Rork said in jest. He stood up from his chair and pushed it back in. Again, he began to fiddle uncomfortably with his hands. "I do... eh... I appreciate your advice however. You've given me much to ponder."

"It's no problem," Eddie told him and he smiled. "I just hope that it helped."

"We'll have to wait and see about that," the Chef replied. He leaned forward and grabbed the plate that he'd brought in several minutes earlier. "Your food is probably getting cold by now. Let me go and reheat it for you." Before Pearson could argue against him doing so, the Tellarite had already left the room with his food in hand.

Although the year may not have started the way that Eddie envisioned, one thing was certain. 2157, thus far, had been quite stimulating in every sense of the word. The Captain couldn't help but wonder what tomorrow would bring, and if they would ever find out where the probe came from and what its purpose was for. But perhaps most importantly of all, could they all move forward following the visions they experienced? Goron jav Rork was certainly on the right path, but would he and Jeannie ever walk the same one together again? Like the Chef, Eddie would have to wait and see about that.

 

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