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Sparkle by Sparkle

Posted on Wed Jan 19th, 2022 @ 3:14pm by Lieutenant Commander Hamish Brott & Warrant Officer Valko Kostova & Lieutenant Skye MacLeod & Lieutenant JG Tilo Riehl & Lieutenant JG Katsumi Tanaka MD & Ensign Andrea Astor

1,740 words; about a 9 minute read

Mission: Ninety-Nine Bottles of Swill
Location: Bellwether Station | Cherry Blossom Lounge

Relay Station Bellwether had very little amenities - a bare bones communications subspace relay station slated to become fully automated in the near future over Lieutenant Commander Brott's dead blue body. If he had his way, of course, but for now Starfleet left Bellwether and its Station Commander well enough alone. There was no snazzy lounge like a Galaxy Class starship's ten forward nor the quaint dinning arrangement of an Intrepid class' Mess Hall.

What Bellwether had was the Cherry Blossom Lounge, the Sakura Lounge if you chose to call it such. It was less a lounge than it was a junction where several corridors poured out into an intersecting space where a small circular table suitable for six - elbow to elbow could be seated. The centre of the table had a holographic projector which when on idle, projected a small Japanese cherry tree. Brott often used the table as a place to meditate but also brief his crew. He had turned it more into a communal space by adding two small sofas on either side. A food and beverage replicator unit was the final touch.

He had hoped that his crew, his staff as they were, had all gotten a decent rest. Their Ferengi guests were aboard, having received medical treatment and those discharged by the Doctor had been assigned cots in a cargohold. It was as accommodating as he could be without surrendering crew bunks though some Ferengi were temporarily dorming with the Security Chief. He had the extra space.

Lieutenant Commander Brott had prepared mocktails for his crew, a pitcher of a cardinal red Shirley Temple sat there among several synthetic crystal glasses. For those not a fan of the fizzy grenadine colored marchino cherry beverage, Brott had a carafe of a Ferengi mixed beverage called a Black Hole. The liquid was a very deep and dark purple similar to that of an aubergine though the beverage itself gave off a citrusy floral scent, something like bergamot.

The jovial Bolian smiled when he heard the pitter-patter of Starfleet issue boots on the deck plating. His crew, all of them were approaching. Like a small horde of zombies, they rounded a corner and were heading straight for him. "Good morning my sweet peas and sugar snaps. I hope you all had a restful time in la la land."

Brott stood there with a silver platter cradled in his arms. Stacks of cheese danishes and crumpets were on the platter. "Help yourselves. There's butter and jams on the table for you. Shirley Temple in the pitcher and Ferengi Black Hole in the carafe, and the replicator is yours to use if nothing tickles your fancy."

Tanaka suppressed a groan. Why couldn't her commander be an anti social Nausiccan? pressed her lips together. Okay Nibble a bit on the food, then get out, She'd had a rough go with the farting Ferengi and frankly they smelled worse than a hoard of Klingons who hadn't showered for a year. Seriously it was like their farting was synchronized. She was glad most of the them were healed. She had pity for the person responsible for cleaning the waste facilities.

Skye smiled cheerfully as she came in. "Those look delicious. Thank you." She took a cheese danish and went over to the table. As she sat down to eat, she looked around, wondering if she could add to the space.

Tanaka studied Skye. She had met the Lieutenant a while ago but still had yet to fully talk to her. She found most of her crewmates fascinating yet most … illogical, to coin a Vulcan phrase.

Skye felt Tanaka's gaze, looked up, and smiled.

“Morning,” Andrea offered as she arrived, smothering a yawn. A morning person she was not. She helped herself to a snack as she sank into a chair.

As Lieutenant Commander Brott waited for the arrival of the men under his command, the Bolian sat the tray down, and grabbed himself a Shirley Temple. "Our Ferengi guests seem to be improving," he said looking at Tanaka. He mouthed a quick 'thank you' at her.

"However," he went on. "A few are still experiencing flatulence, and I can smell them all the way from the cots in the cargo hold. Ensign," Brott said to the operations officer. "Ventilation duty today. Whatever you can do to improve air quality and diffuse the odor."

“I suppose the air lock isn’t an option?” Andrea asked as she replicated a strong black coffee.

"Oh well that's just silly, Ensign. Opening the airlock would..." The Bolian stopped mid-sentence realizing the young officer's morbid and sarcastic humor. "That's just rude. The Ferengi are a guests. Could you just look at it today? It is starting to become a bit stale in here."

“I’ll sort it this morning,” the operations officer promised as she sank lower in her seat nursing her drink.

"There's a type of algae that could help with air filtration, but it'll take too long to get some sent in and then get it to promulgate, but it might help for next time," Skye said, hoping there wouldn't be a next time.

Riehl stumbled in, still not quite adjusted to the station's rhythms. He smiled gratefully as he saw the stacked plate of danishes and crumpets in the Bolian's hands. Picking up his own small plate he swiped a pair of crumpets and an oozing danish and sat down, looking for some coffee. Footsteps behind him indicated the other cause of his tiredness.

The Bolian smiled as he watched the man arriving and in tow, his suite mate. "Mister Kostova arrived overnight with our second shuttle. He will be stationed here as our pilot for the time being."

Kostova, a burly brute of Hungarian descent picked up a cheese danish and wink at the women, giving a bit of flex of muscle that caused Lieutenant Commander Brott to turn a lovely shade of rutabaga. "Good morning, ladies." The man took his danish, took a bit, and had a seat.

Skye chuckled and gave the new arrival a wave.

He looked at Brott. "I brought you more than just a shuttle."

The Trill looked the Hungarian over as he himself went on the hunt for the coffee, ending up replicating himself a cup before squeezing himself back in to his place around the table, smiling apologetically at his companions. Riehl glanced back in the direction of Kostova. Not a bad specimen at all, he thought to himself.

The Hungarian man retrieved a PaDD and tapped away on it causing the holographic display of the small cherry tree to disappear. In its place the the blueprint schematics for a robotic looking device. "Brought you all a little something special," the man said. "It is currently sitting in the shuttle waiting to be reassembled."

Lieutenant Commander Brott studied the projected image. It was a small thing, but larger than a tricorder. He had some passing knowledge of what it was. "That's an exocomp," commented Brott.

"Your exocomp if she," Kostova said gesturing to Andrea Astor. "If she can assemble it and fix it. It is secondhand maybe third hand, doesn't quite have the personality of the more advanced sentient ones."

“She can fix anything, muscles,” Andrea retorted, studying the display. And it would be much better than her first order of business, no question.

Muscles thought the Hungarian man. I can live with that nickname he thought to himself. "It doesn't have a rank, not much of a personality, but it can get the job done. Whatever job that you may have for it. With the right programming, one Exocomp can easily help with the maintenance and repairs of the shuttles and workbees that the station has. In a pinch, it can be use to your Doctor as a capable technician. I wouldn't trust it to do heart surgery yet, but in time?" Valko shrugged his wide bulky shoulders. "Probably could be helpful to any of you" he added.

"I'll consider creating a program so it can tend to the plants I plan to put on the ceiling," Skye said. "Maybe program it with some classical music, too."

Brott smiled. "You know, that is actually not a bad idea. Give it a feather duster while you're at it. It hasn't been cleaned up there in years. Last time I remember doing it, we had to decrease the artificial gravity to get up there."

Skye grinned. "I'll see what I can come up with." Dusting would be easy enough, but if she could find a way to actually clean, it would be much better.

"Make it so," replied Brott. The station honestly could use a good cleaning. The ventilation system was dated, and it was not just those that had seen better days. The station in general was aging. It needed routine maintenance to just keep it going. "Mister Kostova will be stationed here for the time being. We now will have a second shuttle in addition to the one we already had, and the four workbees."

Skye nodded, then glanced over to Kostova for a moment before turning back to her food. She had a lot more work to do and needed to do some research before getting started.

Looking at the exocomp, Riehl considered the possibilities it could offer him. Probably good as a second set of eyes and ears. Mine aren't quite as sharp as sensors. He looked up, 'for how long are you hear Mister Kostova?'

"A few months," the man replied. "At least for the time being. I may want to stay longer, but I'll try to cross that bridge if it comes."

'Plenty of time to get acquainted then,' replied Riehl with a wide smile.

The Bolian chuckled, amused and happy that his crew were getting along. "Yes, plenty of time for all of us to get to know one another. Now, we know the situation we have...Ferengi aboard the station, feeling a bit under the weather. So, after we partake our little breakfast, back to work for us all."

Soon, it would be back to business aboard the small little relay station. It may have been a tiny speck on a star chart, hardly a footnote for Admiralty at Starfleet Command, but for the crew of Bellwether Station, this is where the adventure was sparkle by sparkle.


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