A Little Redecoration
The Junk Heap
Location: Captain's Ready Room
The door slid a fraction of the way open and ground to a halt. It began to close, caught again, clunked and whirred, then backed up once more and every so slowly dragged itself open. It Caught here and there every few millimeters. The sound was collaboration of a nail down a chalkboard and a velociraptor high on crack getting it's tail caught in a blender while singing First Soprano.
Melanie resisted the urge to throw her weight into the damned door and heave it along it's way just to end the audio torture. When there was finally enough space for her to slip through into her quarters, she darted past, out of the corridor.
The door settled back into the wall with a groan and a thud. It shimmied and shook a few times, but didn't reappear. There was, however, a loud pop and an alarming puff of black, acrid smoke.
While it wasn't exactly StarFleet issue, in just a few moments Ever-Practical Melanie had her beaded curtains up while her quarters decided she was going to not have use of her door.
Her annunciator still worked (she hoped), and she'd just placed a repair order for her door in to Engineering. Hopefully it wouldn't take too long.
Aside from first impressions, over-all her quarters seemed to be in good repair. Nothing was broken. In fact, she was quite pleased with the size and state of her quarters. Even the replicator seemed to make better tea, if that were possible.
Yes, these quarters would do.
After the counselor had unpacked her few belongings she began to grow restless and decided that she could put it off no longer. She'd have to report in. This was where she'd find out just what she'd gotten herself into.
She didn't know anything about this Calvin Meyers. Oh, she knew what was in his record. What she was able to access, anyway. She knew he was given this crew. That told her to be wary of him. She'd really need to watch him, to get a good handle on him. He either was assigned this ship because he was very, very good or because he had screwed up royally.
Deciding against changing into her uniform, opting instead for her casual clothing - loose skirt at the hips, tube top both of a light, ivory silk spun by some arachnid on some moon who's name had long ago been forgotten, the counselor wanted to keep the vibe low-key. More like a friendly visit, not a work thing.
Better to get to the root of a person. Better to get them off-guard.
"I'd better bring some brownies." Melanie keyed in her own personal recipe, making sure specific key components weren't skipped. "Just in case."
With a sigh if resignation, she steeled herself, patted her hair, and walked through her curtains to the Captain's ready room.
Mel strode out from the turbolift onto the bridge and nodded to the bridge crew with her usual smile. There it was.
The Ready Room.
She knocked on the door.
From inside the CO's ready room, only a loud metallic banging could be heard.
Frowning slightly, but not in the least deterred, Mel rapped on the door a bit harder. Then again. With a sigh she finally gave in and tapped the annunciator.
More banging, followed by a flurry of obscenities and a howl of pain.
Hoping the office wasn't locked, Mel stepped into the door. With great relief she found it wasn't locked, and the office door slid wide open.
"Hey, are you OK? I heard a yelp, and... and... what the hell are you DOING?"
The captain, sweaty and tired looking, was leaning on his desk with a hammer in one hand and the other thumb in his mouth. He stared at the counselor for a second before pulling his thumb out, which was starting to bruise already, and asked, "Ever heard of knocking?" He asked, flatly.
Melanie frowned slightly. "I did, Sir. Well..." She walked over and without warning grabbed the hammer out of the CO's hand and began to inspect his thumb.
"Hmm. No real damage. Just a bit smooshed. Here.. I've got something for that." She reached into the small bag that she carried across her shoulders and pulled out a few small brownie bites.
"These pack a punch but you won't feel the pain from that." She grinned and placed a tiny, poppable square into Calvin's hand. My own recipe.
"Oh... no thanks," Calvin replied, sitting it down on his desk. The "pack a punch" part was disconcerting as it was, but he never had been able to stand chocolate. "Captain Myers... you are?" He asked, idly inspecting his thumb as he spoke to her.
"Lt. Melanie Henderson, Sir. Sure, save it for later." She placed the tiny square on his desk. "So. I'm here. I'm your Counselor. I'm not officially here yet, but as I'm sure you want everyone accounted for ASAP, I headed up here as soon as I got here."
She began to survey his handiwork.
"So... whatcha doin?" She placed her hands on her hips and came to stand beside the CO. "How can I help? " She nodded towards the hammer in his hand.
"I'm pretty good with a spanner myself!"
Calvin looked down at the deck plating on the floor, then lifted it up and tossed it noisily onto his desk, "Nothing as delicate as spanner work. The deck plating by my desk is warped... for some reason, and I can't get a requisition from the station to fix it, so I'm trying to see if I can unwarp it before I hassle engineering for something mundane... I'm pretty sure there's worse things wrong with this ship," He said. As if on cue, the ship gave a long, low groan. "Like... whatever that was..." Calvin said, warily.
"Well, I have no clue what that was, but I can smash a spanner into things with the best of 'em. If you want me to, I can help you." She reached into her bag and popped a cubic of chocolate goodness. "Anything to help." The Counselor began to survey the office and the decor. "So how're you doing, Sir? Feeling OK in the brain pan? Any need of my Shrinky Dink services?"
"No, but a medical doctor may be necessary," He said with a chuckle, before dropping the deck plating back into it's spot, eyes going wide as it fit in the hole just as it was supposed to, "Hah!" He said, sounding a bit too proud of himself.
"Oh hey, that's pretty good. So... what have you got on your desk? I like to see what my commanding officers display. It gives a lot of information about just who and what they are. Tell me about this stuff?" Melanie's eyes watched Calvin as she asked. Her question was more about his attachment to each object, not the object itself, and she wanted to watch his body language as he answered her.
So far his body language had told her his first priority was the ship itself, not getting to know the crew. He was a hands-on CO. This was good to know. She hated superiors who simply shouted orders but were too lazy to jump in when needed.
He was very focused, perhaps a bit bull-headed too, she mused, as she took into account his lack of pawning off this task to the proper department. This she could work with.
"That junk? Not mine. No idea what most of it is... might keep this one though... I think it's a Romulan bonding stone... very sacred from what I remember," He explained. "Rare in the Federation," He said. "But yeah, this is all the last CO's. He didn't want it anymore, so he just left it here. Starbase was supposed to pull it all out, but we didn't fall high enough on the requisition list... again," He explained.
"Interesting. So nothing of yours? Haven't had time yet or simply nothing of personal value to put out?" The counselor's eyes narrowed as she trained them on the Captain briefly looking for some clue to his inner thoughts.
It was obvious he didn't believe SF held him or this ship in and kind of affectionate regard. Her gaze fell back to the odd assortment on the desk.
She lightly traced the face on a small statue with her fingertips.
"I personally believe it lets your crew know what kind of CO they're dealing with. It's my professional opinion, Sir, that you should get a fish. Or a plant. Something alive, something that moves. Something to remind you that you're alive."
"Never been much for decorating offices... I guess I could get like... a fern or something," He said, pointing to the far corner of the room. "Maybe a fish... that could be cool..." He shrugged, "Always figured the office was for work, your quarters were for decoration," He explained.
"Absolutely understand, Sir. Tell you what, you just leave sprucing this place up to me. I won't go overboard. It'll be tasteful and manly. Worthy of you. I would consider it an honor if you'd allow me to, Captain. I promise it'll be very efficient, crisp with just a touch of color. Nothing too fancy or crazy..." As she assured the CO of her pure intentions, Melanie began to inspect and visually measure the room from every angle and viewpoint.
Lord, she hadn't been this excited over a project in years!
"All I need is about 3... Hmmm. No, better make it 4 hours. You're going to LOVE it in here!"
"Uh...," Calvin balked a bit at that, shuffling around the PaDDs on his desk. Odd request. Better than 'Fuck you.' right out the gate... but still. "Okay... uhm... sure? Just... professional, okay? Nothing fancy or gaudy?" He clarified.
"Absolutey, Sir. Nothing Fru-Fru. Don't worry. I decorated my father's study. He absolutely adored it, Sir. I'll do something similar for you. I'm seeing wood, metal, clean lines. Maybe a hint of nautical? Definitely something for stress. A fish, a small waterfall, small cascading lights... something tasteful."
Melanie was impressed. Maybe he was going to be easier to work with than she had feared at first. It was no small thing she was asking of him.
Calvin nodded slowly, "Yeah... sounds good. I wanted to go down and talk to our engineering team anyway, get a good handle on what's wrong with this bucket of rust. Think that'll give you enough time?"
"Well, if it'll take you about 3-4 hours, Sir, then yes." The counselor was already deep in thought. Color palettes and furniture layouts flashed through her mind in a frenzy of images. She waved him away.
"Go, go. I've got this. I'll need a few items from there ... OK, I can get that from him...OK so then I'll just have to replicate those..." Mentally she ticked off the major pieces in her mind and where she could procure them or replicate them.
The main reason for her visit had been completely lost during her excitement in decorating the CO's Ready Room. Much later on when she realized this she would literally facepalm. At this moment, however, all psychology thoughts had completely left the woman's brain. Henderson was at the moment more of an Interior Designer than a Ship's Counselor.
"Ah... okay... sure," Calvin stuttered before the door snapped shut behind him. He stood on the bridge, scratching his head. He turned back and looked at the bridge crew who were all staring at him oddly, then cleared his throat and marched authoritatively toward the turbolift and stepped inside. "Deck 16." He said, and the doors swished shut.