Episode 4.5 - Shore Leave
Location: USS Arcadia, In Orbit of Andoria
Timeline: 1012 Hours, MD 1 (May 23, 2393)
A wing of raptors emerged from warp near the Arcadia and approached it. "Hey Pariah..." One of Eva's pilots chimed in. "You know the skipper on this boat. The scuttlebutt says you and him were close? Tell us the details."
"Choppy." Eva stated. "The next time I catch you telling stories. You will be on lavatory duty until the year 2400"
"Alright. Alright. Sheez." Choppy noted.
"Better not touch the bosses' nerves right now. She might decided to shoot you down and claim equipment malfunction." Lt. Lucielle Frost noted. Eva chimed in. "Frosty. I don't have to shoot any of you down. All I have to do is remote-activate your self destruct."
Choppy spoke. "You can do that."
Eva gave a few seconds of complete silence.
"Uhh... Commander.... I'd like to formally apologize for being an asshole."
"And people think I don't have a sense of humor." Eva mentioned. "USS Arcadia actual, this is Lt. Commander Eva Steiner. Requesting clearance for me and my Squadron." She sent over the coms, in the most ice cold professional tone she could muster. It had been years, She was still pissed at him, enough to be a ultra professional bitch.
=/\= This is Arcadia flight control, you are cleared for landing in hangar bay 3. Welcome aboard, Commander. =/\=
::Hangar Bay 3::
Korra climbed out of the cockpit of her Valkyrie and down the ladder just as the squadron of Raptors approached the opening hangar bay doors. The Marine set her feet down on the deck and watched the Raptors pass through the force field that protected the entire flight deck from the vacuum of space. One by one and with practiced precision, they touched down on the flight deck before taxing away to their own assigned spots to the sides of the bay. Without taking off her flight vest, the Marine pilot walked over to where the lead Raptor had just parked.
As the other pilot climbed out of the cockpit, Korra said with a small smirk. "Commander Steiner, we were just wondering this morning why you and your squadron were a few hours behind schedule. In fact, we were so worried that we started a pool. Please tell me you guys made a wrong turn at Starbase 41. Ten credits are on the line here."
"Impressive. Captain. They finally taught you jarheads how to count. Keep it up and one day you, and your jarheads might actually graduate from elementary school." Eva shot her a grin and walked towards the turbolift.
The Marine grinned in kind as the other woman walked past her.
"I believe the captain is expecting you, Commander. He even made his famous tulaberry muffins. And I know how much you love muffins."
"Whatever..." Eva entered the turbolift and took it to the bridge. She then pushed the door chime and waited.
"Enter." said Oliver as he popped a tulaberry into his mouth.
Eva walked in and stood in front of him, folding her arms. "Guten Tag, Herr Kapitän." She said simply.
Oliver straightened his uniform jacket with a tug and leaned forward from his chair. If it were any other officers, he might have been irked by the less than respectful body language, but the woman standing in front of her was not just any officers. He knew her well. At least he did once. Resting his hands on the desk, he smirked slightly.
"Still don't care much for protocols respecting a superior officer, do you, Commander?"
"I always respect 'superior' officers." Eva mentioned. "I respect both the outstanding superior officers and the terrible ones equally. However, with all due respect, I care more about the people I lead rather than 'superior' officers." She continued to stand.
Oliver motioned her to take a seat.
"The outstanding and the terrible ones equally, eh? Which group do I fall into?"
She sat down. "I think you know the answer to that question. Besides, from what I understand, I believe we're going to have a promotion ceremony soon. I have a request." She smiled. "I'd like your Grandfather to pin my next pip on me. pull me into his office and question my loyalty."
"It has been twelve years."
"A Steiner remembers, Captain." She noted simply.
Oliver reached out to his bowl of tulaberries and considered the request.
"The Admiral is a busy man, Commander. Besides, why do I want him on my ship?" Popping a juicy berry into his mouth, he savored the sweetness and continued, "If the Deputy Chief of Starfleet Operations wants to come to the Arcadia, I can't stop him, but why in the four quadrants would I voluntarily invite the old man? He's retiring, Eva, and all I need to do is to hold out for another few months, and after that, every time he asks to come, I can just politely tell him to get lost."
Leaning forward from his chair, he rested his hands on the desk. "For the sake of argument, say I invite him. If he comes for the promotion ceremony, I guarantee you he will stay for our transit through the gateway and find a way to ruin it for me more than Illora already has - yes, our 'favorite' Cardassian is coming with us for the expedition. So, tell me, why would I want to invite the bane of my existence to my ship?"
She looked up. "Because you like the old man's torment almost as much as my grandfather dose. And the thought of seeing a Steiner as a Commander will drive him so crazy, he'd beg to be let on the next garbage scowl, which is an agreeable outcome. Him travelling with garbage." She picked up a Tullaberry and popped it into her mouth. Curious how they tasted. "These taste like old grapes." She continued. "But now you tell me Illora is here. Permission to seal that Cardassian know-it-all in her own probes and launch her into the gateway? I imagine she plans on getting us killed instead of her pets."
"They are an acquired taste." retorted Oliver as he picked up a few more tulaberrie for himself. "Officially, Illora is here as a mission advisor since she was the one who discovered the gateway and she spent quite some time studying it, but if you ask me, the old man sent his protege to keep an eye on me. Either way, as tempting as it sounds, I can't let anything happen to my arch nemesis, or my grandfather will haunt me for the rest of my life, retired or not." A pause." I know you were joking, but in case you weren't, hands off Captain Marritza. That's an order."
Finishing up the last few tulaberries in the bowl, he continued, "But you did make a compelling case regarding the admiral, so against my better judgement, I'll invite him. But it will be a herculean task convincing the old man to pin that pip on your collar and considering how much headache his presence will cause me, I will need something in return."
Eva spoke. "And what can I possibly give you that you didn't have Captain Lee?"
Oliver stood up from his chair behind the desk and straightened his uniform jacket.
"Well, it wouldn't be fun if I told you now, would it?" He smirked as he walked to the coffee table where a covered plate sat. "But we can start with something simple."
Bringing the plate back to Eva, he removed the cover, revealing an assortment of cookies.
"I had Commander Elbrun try these. She said she liked them, but maybe she was just being polite. You, on the other hand, I know I can trust you being brutally honest." Noticing a hint of hesitation, he added, "Come on, my baking has improved quite a bit since the Banana Incident." A pause. "Korra called me a traitor for making these cookies instead of muffins, so at the very least, try the chocolate chip."
She examined it and took a bite, seemingly munching on it before she picked up a PADD and spat it out. "I have made dark chocolate, milk chocolate, white chocolate, jimbalian fudge, Andorian Blue Ciffa, and even Betazoid Blue Chocolate. This abomination reminds me of the time I looked at my training squadron on Bajor. They were the crumbiest, most disgusting pile of desiccated excrement I have ever seen. Could not cook for the life of them, and were damn lightweights. Drank awful cheap drinks that mock the wine and beer that were once brewed on my father's land before the wineries were used for Kanar. My father may have been a revolutionary and a free man who fought for what was in his heart, but he got his food from the fields, not from reprocessed liederhausen from Federation Replicators, and loved more in one day than any Cardassian would in his or her lifetime." She concluded her rant. "And that bitch and her probes are no exception. Do you wanna know how to cook in a way that would make Gordon Ramsey proud?"
Oliver raised a slight eyebrow. "I have no idea who Gordon Ramsey is, but that escalated quickly." Rolling his eyes, he continued, "Don't be so dramatic. These are not that bad." Picking up one of the cookies on the plate, he continued, "And for your information, Captain Marritza is from Kansas, and frankly I don't think she has ever been to Cardassia. So hands off her, Commander."
Taking a bite of the cookie, his creation and his pride, the Arcadia's commanding officer munched on it, for a second at least, before spitting it right back onto the plate. The look on his face was disgust and disappointment in equal measure.
Captain Oliver A. Lee
USS Arcadia NCC-89015
Lieutenant Commander Eva "Pariah" Steiner
Starflighter Wing Commander, CVW-28
USS Arcadia NCC-89015