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Posted on Mon Sep 21st, 2020 @ 12:46am by Petty Officer 1st Class Gregory Serine & Lieutenant Balen Pibb
Edited on on Mon Sep 21st, 2020 @ 12:46am

Mission: Trial by Fire
Location: Mess Hall, USS Chuck Norris
Timeline: Current

Griz stepped into the Mess Hall, the cabin about the same size as the ship’s sickbay. The recreation facilities onboard were modest at best, often encouraging the crew to get creative with different ways to let off steam and decompress after a sixteen hour shift. Like most of the crew, Griz was new onboard and still settling in. In fact, the Chuck Norris was his first duty assignment after having successfully completed A School back on Earth. Albeit eager to begin his career with the fleet, Griz exuded a measured calm that betrayed a maturity well beyond his years, making him ideal for the role of medic and corpsman.

Approaching the nearest replicator, Griz ordered a large bowl of angel hair pasta with meaty marinara sauce, garlic bread, side salad, and glass of whole milk. While his meal materialized, he turned away from the device to glance around. Most of the tables were empty with most of the crew preparing the ship for its imminent departure or preferring to grab one last meal at one of the many available restaurants on station. Griz would’ve preferred the latter himself, but as he was one of the few medical personnel onboard, he couldn’t stray too far From the ship.

Retrieving his tray from the replicator, Griz took a seat at one of the empty tables. Dropping the cloth napkin over his lap, Griz stabbed the thin noddles with a fork and twisted the accoutrement until a bundle of saucy noodles were sufficiently curled around its prongs. Using a spoon to abut the fork, Griz took his first bite and savored the flavors. True, it wasn’t as good as the real thing, but it was more than adequate to fill his empty stomach.

As Griz dipped the slice of buttery garlic bread in the meat sauce, the Mess Hall doors parted, revealing Lieutenant Balen Pibb. Although Griz hadn’t met the ships Chief Security and Tactical Officer personally, he recognized the Betazoid from the image attached to the man’s medical records, which he’d reviewed and added to before stepping away for lunch.

The two men caught each other’s gaze, Griz nodded politely toward the commissioned officer. Pibb, for his part, returned the nod, his solid black eyes fixed on Griz’s as he approached the table, “Petty Officer Richardson?” Pibb asked. Instinctively, Griz rose from the chair and stood to attention. “Yes, sir.” He replied softly.

“At ease, Mister Richardson. May I join you?” The Lieutenant ordered before gesturing to one of the three empty chairs.

Griz immediately relaxed his posture, returning to his seat as he nodded, “of course, sir. May I get you anything?” Although his offer wasn’t customary, it was polite none-the-less, and Griz believed in keeping with good manners. When Pibb shook his head in response, Griz returned the napkin to his lap before asking, “How can I be of service, sir?”

“The Chuck Norris’s next mission is one of relative importance as it relates to the Defiant-classes’ viability within the fleet.” Pibb started explaining. “As you may be aware, there’s a limited number of Defiant-class starships, with ours being one of only a few in active service. Starfleet intends to test our capabilities to determine if the ship is ready for full production. As such, we’re preparing to participate in a war games scenario.”

Griz listened with apparent interest, nodding as the Lieutenant spoke, yet continuing to eat. A war games exercise sounded exciting, but Griz still wasn’t sure why Pibb was speaking to him directly about it. Of course, medical would be tested and evaluated like every department, but why was the Chief Security and Tactical Officer filling him in? Griz received his answer with Pibb’s very next statement.

“The exercises involve our retrieving an asset and safely returning them to Starbase 10. The Captain has asked that I assemble a Hazard Team for this purpose and we’re in need of a medic.”

“Say no more, Lieutenant,” Griz replied, smiling broadly as he set aside the fork and spoon he’d been holding moments ago. “I’m honored and would love to be a part of the team.”

The Betazoid’s serious expression softened, if ever so slightly, as he returned the smile. “Very good. The team will meet officially after we’ve disembarked the station, at which time I’ll provide further details.” With that, the man stood and extended his hand toward the young Nurse. Griz stood, taking the Lieutenant’s hand in his own and pumping it two or three times, “Welcome aboard, Mister Richardson.”

“Thank you so much for the opportunity, sir - I won’t let you down.” Griz reciprocated, feeling rstjer gritty about this turn of events. He knew that such an offer would never have been made had they a Chief Medical Officer onboard. But, whether by necessity or desperation, he’d felt privileged to have been asked, regardless.

“No, I don’t think you will. Look for my message after we depart. Until then, enjoy the rest of your meal.” Pibb didn’t wait for a response, the Betazoid turning on a heel and leaving the Mess Hall immediately.

Sitting back down, Griz retrieved his napkin from the floor and placed it on his lap. As he twirled another bite of noddles around the tongs of his fork, Griz couldn’t nor wouldn’t stop smiling.


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