Officer's Lounge <Deck 30> [Gibraltar Station]
The Officer's Lounge is a quiet, subdued space, perfect for relaxing and socializing. The doors are ribbed mahogany, inlaid with circular windows, each with the Starfleet Delta etched in its center. They are placed to fore and aft of the room, on the port side. Between the doors is a long bar, swirled black marble supporting a white top rimmed with mahogany. The bar curves slightly at either end to enclose the area behind, where twin replicators serve the mundane orders. There is space under the bar for exotic liquors from many parts of the galaxy, and an Antarean ice-crystal sculpture is placed on the wall for decoration. Seven low stools, each made of dark metal with navy blue cushions, sit before the bar for use by the patrons. There is an open space starboard of the bar that extends for a few feet until a step up to a raised platform. Just before the steps are two tables, each a white quarter-wedge with two dark chairs. The room's fore and aft walls widen a bit at the platform to create a large seating area. Four square white tables, each ringed by four dark chairs, are the main seating. Couches built against the fore and aft walls provide more, each with a half-wedge white table before it. Three more small white tables complete the arrangement, each set in front of one of the windows, two dark chairs complementing every one. The central table of these three has a 3-D chess set upon it for use by the lounge's patrons. The windows themselves look out onto the black of space, providing an excellent view of the planet below. The carpeting is a deep blue, the walls paneled in a light gray that almost looks maroon under some lights. Soft mood lighting is provided by panels on the steps, decorative lights at the doors and behind the bar, and by hidden panels in the ceiling.
It would seem that the Officer's Lounge is the place to be at the moment. Everyone's there it seems. The Captain has just climbed down from a table, with the Chief of Engineering nearby. Not far from them, Volchenkov stands with a drink in his hand.
Walking into the officer's lounge is Commander Rose Ames. She quickly glances around the lounge, taking in the scenery, before walking over towards the replicators, ordering a glass of orange juice from them, then taking it in hand as she turns to decide where to sit.
Tremar lifts a brow as more and more people flood into the lounge. "Wow, is anyone left working or are we all just having one big party? Why not! Drinks on Mr.Volchenkov!"
The doors open a little while after Ames comes in and a young woman in sciences blue enters the room. She pauses a moment, looking around, a little ways inside.
Hawkins chuckles as she dusts off her hands and then the table. "I'm just having water, but thank you, Commander." The newly arrived officer gets a glance as well.
And the doors open once again as Danley steps through the opening. He glances around briefly before moving over to the replicator and punching up a bowl of popcorn.
Volchenkov shakes his head, glancing over at Tremar for a few moments. "As long as there's no Irish or Finnish folks here," he replies, lightly.
Tremar sinks down in her seat a bit, watching the others. Sometimes she feels so out of place among people even though she's nauseatingly friendly.
Hawkins raises a hand. "Welsh. Does that count? Well, by heritage, not birth, but I'm sure I could manage."
Ames grins at Tremar's joke, as she walks over towards Volchenkov. "I'm French myself, so you don't have to worry about me." She raises her glass, "Though I'm just having orange juice, myself."
The new officer notices a group of senior officers standing near the bar. She casually heads in their direction. Stopping near them, she lifts a hand and waves, "Hello sirs! My name is Jordan Andrews, and I'm new to the base."
Danley takes a handful of the popcorn and quietly munches as he moves towards the gathering of people.
Tremar blinks. "What do Irish and Finnish people have to do with it?" she asks, puzzling. "Wow... all kinds of new people on the base. We're going to be overrun pretty soon."
Volchenkov grins. "Many people claim they drink much," he remarks to Tremar.
The Captain nods to Volchenkov. "Certain human cultures from Earth have a reputation for imbibing great quantities of alcohol at social functions. Including the Irish, the Finnish, the Norse... my own ancestry, which would be Welsh and Scottish... and often those of Germanic descent. Commander Solvek has often pointed out that it is illogical to assume any tolerance for alcohol is inherited, and that these stereotypes are based on cultural mores. He's the xenobiologist, so I guess he'd know." Hawkins grins.
Ames glances at Jordan, her face going through a menagerie of emotions in the span of ten seconds at the introduction, "Ensign." She seems, for once, distinctly uncomfortable as she greets the new officer. After a break in her speech, she adds, "Welcome... welcome aboard Gibraltar."
Volchenkov has gone back to looking at the PADD rather carefully, expression a bit more saddened for the moment, as he sips his drink once more.
Danley pulls out a chair and plops himself down as he sets the popcorn on a table.
Jordan looks happy to be accepted into the group. "Do you mind if I join you all. It'd be nice to get to know my fellow crew mates!"
Hawkins waves a hand, though she looks to Ames curiously. "Of course, Ensign. I'm Captain Gwen Hawkins... the others can introduce themselves." She seems to be focusing on dinner at the moment. Mmm, sandwich.
Volchenkov finishes his drink, and looks around for a few moments. "I should be going," he says, after a few moments, getting to his feet.
Ames returns Hawkins' gaze, before turning to look at Jordan, "Commander Rose Ames." Her tone is soft, and she's attempting to be polite, yet her face deliberately held impassively, despite emotional turmoil that any empath could pick up. "I'm the Second Officer aboard Gibraltar."
Tremar hops from her seat and asks the crowd: "Anyone want me to bring them anything from the bar?" She's not that good a conversationalist, might as well play waitress!
Jordan seems almost unconcerned with the officers leaving the bar as her gaze is fixed on Ames. "You--You're Commander Ames. I--I can't believe it, I didn't expect to meet you so soon. Commander Ames, I'm your great-great granddaughter."
Danley reaches for the popcorn only to knock it all over the floor as Jordan introduces herself. Shaking his head a bit he looks between the two for a moment, "I'm sorry... I could have sworn you said great... great... granddaughter. I should head to Sickbay and get my hearing checked, I suppose."
And the reason behind why Ames seems so uncomfortable comes out. Ames smiles faintly. "I... I know, Ensign." She sighs at Danley's comment. Trust him to reach to the heart of the matter, "She did, Mister Danley." She then returns her focus to Jordan, "I've kept... tabs, so to speak... on my descendants since my return, but..." She leaves that last comment unsaid...
Hawkins blinks at Jordan, mouthing the words and then clearing her throat. "Well. Ahh. Welcome, then, Ms... Andrews, yes? I suppose you two will want to... catch up."
Jordan gives Danley a rather abashed look. "You heard me correctly... Captain?" She briefly looks at Hawkins. "If I may inform you, Commander Ames was pulled through a temporal rift while serving on the USS Bozeman. Her experience is seen as a great milestone of my family's history."
Danley reaches down and begins picking up the popcorn. "Descendants... temporal rifts. You 'fleeties are interesting people. You know... from a genetics standpoint, I wonder if that's far enough removed that birth defects wouldn't show up in offspring?"
Now it's Ames' turn to look surprised, "A... a great milestone?" This is obviously news to her, as she turns to gaze at Jordan for a short while before asking, "How... is it seen as a milestone? It was an accident... that's all..."
Hawkins raises her eyebrows, watching the conversation while finishing her sandwich.
"No, no... You did something that only a few people have achieved and survived." Jordan seems to not have paid attention to Danley's comment. "You traveled time! I, for one, would jump at the chance to experience such a thing! Accident or no." She is beaming as she speaks of her dreams.
Salvir comes through the door from Starboard Walkway <Deck
Salvir has arrived.
Tremar nods. "Me too. How neat would it be to get to see some of the first space travel efforts? Or the dawn of the machine age? That would be great."
Despite her discomfort, Ames can't help but smile at Jordan's enthusiasm, "Only in my case, Commander, I jumped forward in time, to an era I didn't know... barely a decade after serving aboard the Enterprise with Captain Kirk, I wind up aboard a ship that almost collides with its distant descendant. Quite a shock, I must tell you." At that point, her compin beeps, "Ops to Commander Ames." Ames looks to the others, "If you'll pardon me, I've got to take this." She wanders off to a quiet area, then, a few minutes later, heads out.
Danley shakes his head again, "Yeah... be the first... meet new things... Oh how do you do Picard, let me introduce you to the Borgp That worked out so well in being the first."
Hawkins raises an eyebrow. "Being the first is... quite exciting, but I don't know that I'd want to see the past. The future, perhaps. But as I'm sure Commander Ames would point out... I'd hate to leave my friends and family behind without a choice. Of course, we all know we have that risk, of leaving people behind, when we go out there..." That's directed to Danley as much as anyone else, and the Captain is frowning at the windows.
Salvir comes walking back into the lounge. He gives a smile and a nod to the Captain and Tremar. "Well, I think that's all the damage I can do for now."
Tremar rolls her eyes. "That's one event out of billions that occur every day. You have to look at the bigger picture. Not everything that happens is bad. Being second or third could turn out to be just as bad as being the first. I suppose that's not a real problem for me, Captain. I don't have any family. I for one am eager as anything to go out into space and see what technology we can discover."
Jordan, the young red-haired blueshirt near the bar, frowns after Ames as she leaves. "I guess so," she says to the other senior officers. She listens to them for a moment and then suddenly blinks. "Oh! The time! Oh, no, I'm late... so sorry... let's talk some more later, okay? Umm, Captain... Captain... Commander. Good evening!" With that, she heads out.
Danley takes the bowl of popcorn back to the replicator and disposes of it.
Hawkins waves as the girl leaves and then nods to Tremar. "Well, friends anyhow. That is the risk we take, though, joining Starfleet." She falls silent on the subject.
Salvir looks at the bartender, "Jestral tea, please." He turns to Hawkins and Tremar, "Well, there's risks enough even without being in Starfleet. But that might be too maudlin a topic."
Danley moves back tot he table and flops down again, "Starfleet's problem is it's too many things for too many people. Oh, someone's breaking the law, here comes Starfleet Security. Oh, the planet needs to be terraformed, here come the engineers. Oh, a singular anomaly. Here come the scientists. Oh look someone's subverting Starfleet, here come the spies. Oh! Wait, Starfleet isn't doing enough! Here comes Section 31. While they're all great ideas some poor scientist who should be safe in a lab is stationed on a ship that gets called to some battle and then put into a situation they should never be involved in. There should be some way of keeping those individuals out of harms way other then separating the saucer or something."
Tremar lifts the other brow. "You don't join Starfleet if you're not aware of the risks. I mean if you want to be safe, you join a civilian scientific team, not the military. You go into it knowing what you're getting into, so there's no need to feel sorry for anyone."
Hawkins quirks an eyebrow. "Section 31," she says harshly, firmly, "Is not a sanctioned part of Starfleet. They were a rogue organization whose actions were not sanctioned by Starfleet Command or any Starfleet officer worth the pips on their collar. As for scientists being in harm's way... both Commander Ames and Commander Solvek were science officers, as was Admiral Crawford. I know for a fact that the Admiral would be insulted at the thought that a Starfleet scientist should 'not be involved' in dangerous situations. Scientists who wish to avoid danger usually stay civilians." Pause. "If you have such problems with Starfleet, why in the world are you on a Starfleet installation?"
Salvir decides to stay quiet and watches the situation unfold.
Danley arches an eyebrow at Hawkins begins, "You seem to know a lot about Section 31. And you say they were a rogue organization? I thought they were still around. But better yet... how do you know they weren't sanctioned by a Starfleet officer? I mean just for the sake of argument, let's say Admiral Crawford was involved in Section 31. How would you know?"
"Admiral Crawford is the last person in Starfleet to be involved in Section 31. Trust me. I... have had to deal with getting rid of them before. While they may have been Starfleet officers in name, they were not upholding Starfleet's regulations or ideals." Hawkins pauses. "Starfleet Intelligence does many covert things, but if it were all to be declassified, every official Starfleet Intelligence operation would be within the bounds of the Starfleet charter, and the spirit of what Starfleet represents. It's an unfortunate fact that the Federation has enemies. That doesn't mean we have to become xenophobic conspiracy theorists looking for trouble around every corner. We're supposed to be about knowledge, research, going out into the unknown. Defense is... a necessary evil, and hopefully someday soon we can replace some of those phaser banks with sensor banks." No doubt what side of the "how much of a military do we stay" debate she's on.
Salvir says, "Okay, maybe we should all just take things easy here. It's been a rough time for all of us in the past few years, but arguing about things isn't going to help up move forward and it can't change what's happened in the past."
Danley laces his fingers behind his head and leans back, "See, I would think the person that people think would be the last person who would be involved in Section 31 would make their best agent. And I'm not saying we should be xenophobic or anything like that but I imagine there's more things that we have yet to discover in the primary star systems then what we've already discovered. We keep pushing the borders and can't protect what we have. We would have lost this last war if we didn't have so many allies. And the human race being forced to rely on the Romulans and the Cardassians? Who are we going to team up with next? The Borg? The Q?"
Hawkins shakes her head. "Alliances, Mr. Danley, the willingness to look past our differences and try to find common ground, are what makes the Federation great. I doubt we can ever do that with the Borg as they are... they desire us to become like them, no matter what we wish, and that is unacceptable. But if we can make peace with neighbors who may be willing to let us be as we are, and we let them be as they are... why not? War is tiring. Fighting is tiring. We do it because we must, but if we don't push back out there... what the hell was the point?"
Danley says, "Now see, I think we're more like the Borg than our other alliances. Take the Vulcans for example, great race, a lot smarter than us Humans. But we've assimilated them into our Starfleet. Why else is first contact so important? To keep adding to our collective that's why. Granted we've established a few rules about who we'll make contact with... after all they've gotta have warp drive. If they don't have warp drive then surely they won't have any technology we'd want to acquire. But yeah, fighting is tiring we assimilate through diplomatic channels."
Salvir looks at Danley, "Mr....Danley, right? I know that there are many that question what the Federation just went through. Some even in Starfleet question it. But we just fought a horrific defensive war. We all lost something out there, whether physical or mental. We have never had to fight an enemy like the Dominion before. Not even the Borg fall in the same category. There were horrible, brutal things done. Quite possibly on both sides. The sad fact, though, is that Starfleet, and the Federation, can never go back to how we were. Our childhood has ended quite abruptly. Our innocence is gone. Arguing who was right and who was wrong won't help us deal with the future. Because the sad fact is that when it comes down to the absolute of survival, sometimes principles get lost."
Hawkins shakes her head at Danley's comment and mutters, "I'd like to see you tell that to a Vulcan..." Louder, she says, "Besides your clear misunderstanding of the Prime Directive, you're entitled to your opinion of course, but I see you're not to be shaken. That's fine. Mr. Salvir here is right. We've all lost too much recently to do anything but pick up and move on, however we can manage. I don't need everyone in the Federation to like what I'm doing to keep on doing it."
Danley shrugs as he stands, "Yeah... that's what Section 31 seems to think. They don't need everyone in the Federation to like what they're doing to keep on doing it." And after a another moment Danley is out the door.
Salvir watches Danley leave and sighs. "So, that's our bartender, hmmmm? I can tell the debates around here will be anything but dull"
Hawkins shakes her head. "I suppose. Though he speaks of things he knows nothing about." She shrugs. "Everyone's entitled to an opinion. I'm too tired to do more than listen to the criticism and try and glean if there's any substance to it all."
Danley leaves through the door toward Starboard Walkway <Deck
Danley has left.
Salvir nods. "I can understand that. But I can also understand where his anger comes from. And he's talking like that because he is angry and needs to lash out. Unfortunately, he's not really crew so it's not like I can order him to have sessions with me." He chuckles a bit.
Hawkins shrugs in reply to that. "Perhaps so. I don't make excuses for lashing out in anger, however. Federation citizens should be past that, to say nothing of former Starfleet officers. I've seen plenty of angry people in my time... hurt people... but not only is it unhealthy to 'lash out' at people, he's going to find people not wanting to let him back into places. I've already heard three complaints about Mr. Danley trying to 'besmirch the reputation of command staff' and had one request that he not be allowed in the Officer's Lounge anymore." She shrugs. "He's not hurting anyone, and one request isn't enough to go on, but..."
Salvir nods. "You're right, of course. And I didn't say he had an excuse, just that I understood his reason. A reason is a cause for a behavior. An excuse is a reason that makes a socially unacceptable behavior acceptable. I don't excuse what he said either, but I can understand why he acts as he does."
Hawkins nods. "Well, all I know is that I don't like disruptive influences, and if I receive many more complaints I'll have to follow up on them. He seems to have a habit of bringing up possible problems with senior officers in public conversation, and threatening to spread rumors and incite the civilian population to make requests for information if people don't tell him what he wants to know." She shrugs. "Which I don't care about, as such, since everyone has a clear record. But I tend to watch people like that... they want to stir up trouble, and sometimes, if the hints and the threats don't do it, they move on to more. I hope not, but I'm not going to just ignore it either."
Salvir nods. "A wise decision. At any rate, if there's anything I can do to help, please let me know. I've already offered Lt. Commander Volchenkov my assistance if there's more trouble like what's been happening here recently."
Hawkins nods. "Thank you, Counselor. I'm sure I have to go in for my yearly evaluation soon, so you'll likely see me." She smiles a bit.
Salvir smiles, "Well, I've already reviewed the personnel files here and have a good idea of the problems some of the crew is dealing with, but you haven't popped up on my sensors yet, so to speak. That doesn't mean that you don't need counseling for something, just that I haven't found anything in your file to indicate what it would be yet."
Hawkins chuckles. "Besides commanding a front-line ship during the war?" She shrugs. "We'll see, I suppose."
Salvir nods. "Well, let me say that you seem well adjusted to that duty. Or you can put aside your personal problems better than most."
Hawkins nods. "One does not attain the rank of Captain, or even Commander, without being able to do so. Command has a very... efficient method of weeding out those who can't handle the pressure. Besides." She leans forward a bit, as if telling a secret. "I have a male friend who helps me keep sane while off-duty. Besides my other friends, of course."
Salvir chuckles and whispers back conspiratorially, "Well, having a mate or spouse does tend to alleviate some stress. As well as generate other stress, I've heard."
Hawkins nods in reply. "It would seem to be worth the effort and strain. Much like commanding a ship or base." She smiles. Pauses. The smile fades, and she lowers her voice. "I... would normally not make a request of this nature, but you reminded me, and this is a special circumstance... Commander Solvek, our XO, lost his wife during the war, about a year ago. She was carrying their first child. He has handled it well, outwardly, but he is half-Vulcan, and I fear the strain of not expressing his emotions, his grief, may become too much. I don't fear he won't do his duty... I fear he may become nothing but duty. He... is my best friend, and my exec, and I would appreciate it if you would ensure that he is recovering well. I'm sure there are many who need your attention, of course."
Salvir nods. "Of course. Commander Solvek was one of my primary concerns after reading his file. Not just for the massive grief that comes with such a loss, but also because of the Vulcans'... unique mating requirements, shall we say. If he doesn't deal with this in time for his next pon farr... he could become a serious threat to himself and others. During my sabbatical on Vulcan, I saw firsthand what happens when the plak tow, the blood fever, overcomes a Vulcan. I don't expect him to deal with his grief overnight, but I hope to help him to avoid such a fate."
"His next pon farr is around, ahh, three years away." This is stated matter-of-factly. "So we have some time before it becomes an issue. He's begun opening up to more people recently, but I think he's depending on meditation or drugs to get him past it, and... well, really, I'd hate to see him pass something up because he won't let go of T'Mar. But thank you, Counselor. I appreciate it." Hawkins begins gathering up her things.
Salvir smiles and nods. "Anytime, Captain. My door is always open to any of the crew in need of help or just to talk to. Like you said, I have my work cut out for me after reading the personnel files. Many of us lost so much in the War. I just hope I can help some of us get through the pain and loss."
Hawkins nods. "Of course. Thank you, Counselor. I need to be going, however... I have a prior, ahh, date." She shakes her head, smiles, and turns to head out.
Salvir chuckles. "Of course. Please enjoy your evening with your... friend." He gives her a sly smile, but a friendly one.