Title: The Messhall Incident
Author: Annette Welsh-Shinya 12/98
Codes: P/T, J/C, K/7, T, Vorick, Parsons, Ayalla, Wildman...The whole darn "B" crew - Luv ya redshirts!
Summary: Spoilers for 30 Days. A small, but significant incident in the Messhall makes it into Cmdr. Chakotay's log. This is the third in the 'Our Ship Voyager' series. Part 1 - The Gentlemen of the Club, Part 2 - The Stardust Trail.
Disclaimer: So much Trek, so little time, I wanted to make this rhyme. I don't get a profit, I'm not from Ferenginar, Paramount don't sue me, I'm just a humble bard. Gentle readers please pursue, this my offer humble , placed on the altar of fanfic, for your funny bone to tumble.
Warning: This is humour folks...or at least me trying to be funny.
Feedback: Encouragement/criticism gladly responded to. Flames will be consigned to the nearest airlock where proper venting procedures per Starfleet Engineering regulations will be followed.
Posting: OK to ASC, ASCEM, BLTS, & PT Fever. Please notify me if posting anywhere else...I love to see my name in lights!
"First Officer's log update. The new safety drill protocols are in place, and we have been conducting unannounced drills for the past week. Response times are within desired parameters, but the Captain and I agree that we could do better. We will be having review sessions with all departments conducted by the department heads and then another series of drills will take place. The Captain's personal request that no surprise drills at 0330 be conducted without her prior knowledge has been noted, and I agree with her reason that command presence cannot expect to be maintained when one is in a satin nighty.
Another warpcorp refit is behind us. Lt. Torres reports that warpcore efficiency has been upped by 2.3%, for a total of 97.47% total efficiency. It is B'Elanna's opinion that we cannot achieve anything higher without a complete Starfleet dry-dock overhaul. Ensign Vorick has recovered from his recent ordeal, and has been detailed to track down the mysterious powergrid overloads that have been occurring. Requests for stress-leave from Engineering have leveled off in the past week, and Lt. Carey reports that the support groups have helped.
Conn reports have been unremarkable for the past week, and Ensign Paris has been spending equal amounts of time on the Bridge and at his Sickbay duties. The Doctor reports good progress in his studies, and he may be ready for Second Level Medic certification by the end of the month. He also added, "God help us all."
The bi-annual complete overhaul of the sensors is underway. Ensign Kim is coordinating with Seven of Nine for a more comprehensive tie-in with the Ops and Astrometrics departments to save time and increase efficiency in crisis situations. The project is progressing; however, Ensign Wildman has reported several rather loud discussions, and one tussle over some isolinear chips resulting in Mr. Kim being struck by a bulkhead. When consulted, Mr. Kim stated that, he slipped on a datapadd, and the bulkhead somehow hit him. Seven also was unclear as to the actual course of events. When last seen, they were in deep conference over the issue in the Astrometrics lab supply closet.
Mr. Neelix reports that he has assured the crew that Leolaroot Conquistador will not be making a return appearance on the menu. A suggestion box for new menu items has been set up in the Messhall, and so far, most of the ideas have been viable ones. Neelix says he will get on the new menus as soon as the repairs crews have finished.
Lt.Comdr. Tuvok reports that he has revised the rotation of the Security schedule to accommodate the necessary overlap of requests for personnel cross-training from other departments. He has designated Mr. Ayalla as Chief of Security Pro Tem for the duration of his incarceration in the Brig..." Chakotay cleared his throat here. "Ah, Computer, halt log recording," and he got up and crossed over to his replicator and ordered a glass of water. He took a long drink, cleared his throat again, and sighed.
He sat back down, "Computer, resume log. Regarding the...uh, Incident in the Messhall, I will state for the record that it was Cmdr. Tuvok's insistence that he be confined for at least the minimum sentence for his conduct in the matter. The Captain and I were reluctant to do that, but Tuvok insisted that, since Mr. Paris has received the full wrath, Mmm, strike that last. Mr. Tuvok stated that, in light of Mr. Paris receiving full punishment for his recent transgression, he would be loath that there even be a hint that he was receiving preferential treatment. The Captain and I expressed our concerns, but in the end, Tuvok's wish was granted. Let the record show that Mr. Paris, when consulted in the Senior Staff meeting regarding the incident, was very much against Tuvok serving any time at all. He mentioned something about it being worth the price of admission just to hear about the whole thing. At any rate, Tuvok will be released tomorrow, and the whole matter has been recorded in the official log, but, should there ever be any questions about the investigation, which I conducted, I would like to set the whole matter down in my own log. As it has been noted, it happened one week ago..."
The caves were dripping moisture; the gravelly ground had puddles all through the caverns. There were sounds of Bat'leths clinking together, grunts and howls of strain filtered through the scene. Around a corner burst a tall, blond, blue-eyed, lithe, very sweaty Human and a passionate, tousled brunette, whipcord strong, Klingon/Human who was cursing a blue streak as she grinned with utter malice. She had him on the run, and she was ready for the kill. The man halted his strategic retreat and gave a grin of his own. Uh-oh, thought she, I don't like the looks of that, but she attacked anyway, no quarter asked, none given. Just as she was ready to make the final thrust, the Human made a strange move that was not in the Bat'leth combat maneuvers book. It looked like he just dropped to the ground, and pivoted his body by one hand, spun around and hopped back up again, and with a little twist of that hand, he said, "Ole!"
Then, two events happened almost simultaneously: The power-grid on the holodeck fluctuated and the Klingon's kill move proceeded through the atmosphere of the holodeck. With nothing to prevent it from contacting the next available surface, the upper edge of the Bat'leth struck the holomatrix grid with the force of a Ferenginar spring rainstorm. The resulting explosions and flash of light momentarily blinded the two occupants of the holodeck. When it had died down, the two looked at each other, then said, "Wow." From that moment on, a flashflood of events occurred on Voyager.
The Bridge immediately began receiving alarms from all over the ship. Systems fluctuated, power came and went, malfunctions galore everywhere. Minutes prior to that particular moment, in the Messhall Neelix was proudly placing his latest gourmet creation on the trays of the innocents lined up for lunch that day.
"Uh, Neelix," said Harry, looking down at the tray. "What is it?"
"I call it -- Leolaroot Conquistador," Neelix beamed magnificently. "I put it together after studying the Earth recipe database. It's actually based on several different recipes, with my own special Talaxian touch, I may add..."
"Sounds great, Neelix," said Harry, cutting him off with pretty obviously feigned enthusiasm. Harry walked past the lined up crewmembers and said, "Next victim." There came a collective sigh as the line moved up, and looks of envy at the few lucky souls who were lined up for a replicated lunch.
Tuvok entered the Messhall just then, and got in line at the replicators. He intended to have a bowl of very plain, nutritious, satisfyingly Vulcan Plomik soup. He waited behind Ensign Vorick and Crewman Burns for his turn at the replicator, going over Security status logs on his padd. The exact chain of events got hazy after that.
Crewman Lisle stated that she very definitely heard Tuvok order Plomik soup from the second replicator on the right. Then, there was a power surge, which apparently caused the inertial dampers to go off-line for a moment or two. At the same time, there appeared in the replicator receiving area a large, round white object, approximately 24 centimeters in diameter, and it was mounded in the center. Tuvok, momentarily losing his balance, reached up to the wall with one hand to steady himself, and dropped his padd in the process. He bent down to get the padd, and then the inertial dampers went off line again and the ship shuddered and the lights flickered. The angle of the ship caused the object to slide out of the receiving tray just as Tuvok straightened up from picking up his padd. The object slid onto the hand carrying the pad as the ship bucked for a third time. Tuvok went down, and the object went sailing and struck Ensign Parsons, who waiting at the next replicator, in the face.
Parsons turned and eyed Tuvok with absolute amazement. Coconut creme pie streamed down the Ensign's face onto his uniform. Then, he saw that the whole row of replicators had begun churning out the pies at a furious rate. A glint appeared in Parsons eyes and as the lights flickered again, he bent down and picked up a pie and let it go with a mighty heave in Tuvok's general direction. The desire to return fire, Parsons later privately admitted, stemmed mostly from the less than complimentary review he had received that morning from Tuvok, and the pie had just added insult to injury.
As might be expected, the missile failed to achieve its desired target, and struck a heretofore unsuspecting Crewman Sawra, and the fallout from the explosion decorated the uniforms of Crewmans Burns, Sparks, and Lawrence. At this point, pies began flying in every direction. The occupants of the Messhall had roughly aligned themselves on two sides with access to the replicated pies on the end of each line. They very efficiently passed the pies down to one another and heaved away. On the left, mostly Engineering and Reclamation Systems, on the right, Security and Steller Cartography, the odd Helm and Ops officer mixed in.
Harry Kim stood on one side near the end, Seven on the other. She looked positively baffled as Harry struck her dead on with a pie, laughing with glee. She perceived this as a direct threat to her person, and sprang at Harry, who was helplessly convulsed with laughter. Thud! She took him down to the Messhall floor, and they rolled around for a moment, pies flying through the air above them. A pie fell on Harry just as Seven hit his chest and they rolled. She got a face full. She gasped for breath and the some of the pie got in her mouth. Her expression changed to curiosity, and then to intent. She began scooping off the pie from Harry's uniform. They rolled again, and she was laying on top of Harry, alternately scooping off creme and licking it off her hands. Then, when his uniform was relatively clean of pie, she began licking it off his face and neck. After that, it was reported that apparently Seven believed that some of the creme had gotten into the Ensign's mouth, and she was desperately attempting to retrieve it. The Ensign was not heard to have voiced any complaints.
The lights were flickering on and off, there were shouts of triumphs, groans of defeat, and an overall spirit of joie de vivre. Then, Neelix appeared and shouted, "Please, everyone, stop!" They turned as one, minus Tuvok who was still trying to absorb it all, and the entire group flung its pies at Neelix, some shouting, "Death to Leolaroot" others screaming, "Perish the Pleekarinds", others still began a chant of, "Cease the soyburgers, cease the soyburgers." Neelix hit the deck and cowered behind his arms. The pies thrown missed Neelix and struck Vorick as he attempted to exit the combat zone to get help. Due to this, he lost his footing and slid into the Messhall door, causing him to receive a mild concussion, and damaging the doors such as they had to be pried open later.
At this point, all track was lost of Harry Kim and Seven, although Ensign Baytart swore he saw two people crawling on all fours to the exit through Neelix's kitchen. But, as he was busily engaged in rubbing a pie into Ensign Logan's face at the time, little credence was given to his statement.
After an undetermined amount of time, Tuvok, generously covered with sticky goo, regained his voice authoritatively, if a bit too late, and shouted, "Cease and desist this action!" There was a last volley of pies, then the room grew very quiet. The only sounds were of the replicators tirelessly pumping out pies that slid to the floor of the Messhall with little thuds and squishes. The group stood at attention then, those who had been residing on the floor for a defensive posture regained their feet on the somewhat precarious surface. Tuvok then hit his combadge and called for assistance, but his combadge wasn't working, being covered with coconut creme. He gestured to Crewman B'tall and requested the use of her combadge, as it appeared to be relatively creme-free. It was, and Tuvok called for Ensign Paris, who was unable to attend the festivities due to being incarcerated on the holodeck. His voice was heard to not contain much dismay, and there was a definite strained quality to it. Also, growls could be heard in the background. Tuvok then called Cmdr. Chakotay, and requested that he come to the Messhall with all dispatch. Chakotay told Tuvok that they were a little busy up on the Bridge with all the mysterious malfunctions and power fluctuations, and couldn't he handle it himself?
"With all due respect, Cmdr.," replied Tuvok. "I must place myself under arrest, and the next ranking officer that is not involved in this matter is Ensign Paris, who is, almost unbelievably, not a party to this, and currently unavailable."
Cmdr. Chakotay then stated that he'd be right down. Tuvok also requested a team from Engineering to come work on the Messhall doors. The team that was working on the malfunctioning holodeck doors was reassigned immediately. It has been reported that Lt. Torres and Ensign Paris were trapped behind doors on the holodeck, the circuitry fried by the surge through the ship's systems. The repair/rescue crew swore they heard sounds like, "Get the Hell away!" and "P'taq's, if you open that door now, I'll have you degaussing the entire warpcorp system for the next 6 years!" and loud thuds coming from the holodeck prior to them leaving. When consulted later, the Senior Officers stated that they had been playing twenty questions during the whole time, and had heard nothing of the sort from their side of the door. It was noted that Ensign Paris' face appeared to have a large abrasion on one cheek, but when questioned on the matter, Paris replied that he'd slipped on a Bat'leth and the bulkhead had hit him.
When the doors to the Messhall were finally opened, Cmdr. Chakotay and the Security found the entire room awash with slowly congealing creme pies and the crew at excruciating attention. Lt. Cmdr. Tuvok walked carefully over to meet Chakotay and said, "Sir, I must place myself under arrest for conduct unbecoming an officer."
Chakotay just looked at Tuvok for a moment, the around the room, finally coming upon Neelix, who was still cowering on the floor. He moved over and helped Neelix up, the Talaxian quivering. "Are you OK, Neelix?" said Chakotay with concern.
"Oh, it was horrible," said Neelix, his voice horse with remembered terror. "K'talvikin death orbs, flying around the room. I thought I was a goner."
"It's OK, Neelix, they were just banana creme pies," said Chakotay, patting his arm with reassurance.
"Coconut," said Tuvok.
"What?" said Chakotay.
"Pies?" said Neelix.
"They were coconut creme pies," replied the Vulcan. "You will wish to have the correct details for your report."
"Coconut creme pies," nodded Chakotay, wondering if anyone else was feeling pretty much like they'd dropped in on Alice for a quick spot of tea with the Hatter and Company. As a group, the crew nodded and then a few grins broke out, then a chuckle, then a raft of giggles. Tuvok looked pained, in a Vulcan sort of way. Chakotay was speechless for a moment, then grinned like a fool. Then, recollecting himself, he cleared his throat and said, "Well, Cmdr. Tuvok, it appears that we have more than a simple case of conduct unbecoming here. Don't you think we need to arrest a few more people involved in this? I don't think even a Vulcan could have thrown all these pies."
"Sir, I must repeat that I was the instigator of the event. The others were merely acting in a defensive capacity, and therefore, no fault can be found with them," replied Tuvok.
Chakotay nodded gravely, then motioned to Security, who accompanied Tuvok out of the Messhall. Clean-up crews were called out, and the assembled members of the crew filed out to get cleaned up and report to duty stations. In the meantime, the Engineering repair crew had finally freed Paris and Torres from the holodeck, and they had each gone their separate ways.
Torres was reported to have walked into Engineering carrying a Bat'leth shouting about power relays and a glorious death, and there were reports of hyperventilation and anxiety attacks in three Engineering crew members. Repairs were underway and Cmdr. Chakotay had plans to make a Counselor-call to the department the next day.
Mr. Paris, who initially reported to the Bridge, was re-directed to Sickbay to assist the Doctor in the assorted slip and fall injuries that resulted from contact of uniform boots, coconut creme pies, and the standard issue Messhall floor covering. He was seen to be taking an extensive medical history from Ensign Vorick and occasionally having to pause for breath between bouts of laughter.
In his report to the Captain, Cmdr. Chakotay made note of the details he could confirm, then allowed that there was a great deal of confusion as to what had exactly happened pretty much all around the ship. The Captain sat on her couch and thought for a minute, then said, "Coconut creme pies."
"Yes, Ma'am," was all the Commander could get out without totally breaking down in front of his superior.
"Hmmm," said Janeway raising her eyebrows. "I'm sorry to have missed it," and grinned at Chakotay.
Chakotay gave a brilliant laugh and said, "Oh, it was a sight of a lifetime, Kathryn. Tuvok standing with a crew of Voyager's finest, covered in the stickiest, gooiest mess you have ever seen."
"And Tuvok, taking credit for the whole fight? It's too much," shot Janeway back.
They both laughed and leaned back on the couch together. Their eyes met and held. The sparkle in Chakotay's was captivating to her. The silence lengthened. She spoke, "Vorick is going to be all right?"
"Yes, the Doctor said he had a mild concussion, and the he was being treated by Paris. He said that Tom was giving Vorick treatment because he was such an authority on concussions," allowed Chakotay, still looking intently into Kathryn's eyes.
"Mmmn," was all Kathryn could nod. "That's good," she continued inanely.
"Uh-huh," said Chakotay, totally losing track of the thread of the conversation.
"So, you had dinner yet, Chakotay?" Kathryn breathed.
"Not yet," he said shaking his head slowly. "I've got some rations left this week, we could replicate something at my place."
"Pie and coffee afterwards?" nodded Kathryn, a slow smile lighting up her face.
"Only if it's apple," said Chakotay deadpan.
"Apple is good," nodded Kathryn with speculation in her eyes.
The next day in the brig, Tuvok had a visitor. Tom Paris leaned up against the side of his cell with one arm and cocked his head to one side and said, "Tuvok, Tuvok, Tuvok...Have I taught you nothing about not getting caught?"
Tuvok looked at Paris and said, "I will endeavor to apply your lessons, should I ever run into circumstances that require them."
Tom looked at Tuvok and grinned. "Well, I'm outta here, I just stopped by for a quick visit before I head to the Bridge for my shift. I took the liberty of ordering you some lunch. Plomik soup. Enjoy," he said with a wave and was gone. A few minutes later a tray was delivered to Tuvok by the guard on duty, who did not make eye contact with Tuvok once.
Tuvok lifted the lid on the bowl of soup. It smelled all right, tasted just fine. He lifted the other covers. Coffee, water, a piece of Vulcan style bread, and a small dish of sliced fruit. Underneath the fruit dish was a datapadd. He picked up the dish and recovered the padd. Paging down it, there was just one short entry.
Hope you weren't expecting me to include a piece of pie on your tray. I wouldn't want to be *that* predictable. Here's a padd for your period of incarceration. Take it from me, the Brig's not the most inspiring place, but I thought you could get a head start on your Security report.
P.S. I've suggested that Harry and Seven be in charge of the repairs to the Messhall as a sort of learning experience for them. The Commander and the Captain have agreed, and the other combatants are spending a little quality time refinishing decks and repairing replicators.
Tuvok leaned back into the wall behind his bunk and nodded. He began to dictate his Security report, carefully saving the message from Tom before doing so.
The sound of his doorchime interrupted Chakotay's entry into his log. He called, "Come."
Ensign Vorick entered and walked over to where Chakotay sat. He said, "I was om. ed by Lt. Torres to report my findings to you regarding the recent power overloads and shorts in the system, sir."
"Well, Ensign," said Chakotay with curiosity. "What did you find out?"
"As you may know, I have spent the last week investigating the various shorts. I trailed them all back to one event that occurred approximately 4.7 hours before any of the others," said Vorick with precision.
"OK, Vorick," said Chakotay, looking at him. The Vulcan was acting strangely, even for him.
"Well, sir," said Vorick. "The cause of the shorts was a power relay that had been chewed through, causing the power network to surge and short out throughout the ship at various intervals."
"Chewed?" said Chakotay, nonplused.
"Yes sir," said Vorick earnestly. "I tracked the creature responsible and have apprehended it."
"Creature?" was all Chakotay could get out.
"Yes sir," replied Vorick. "With Ensign Paris' help, I caught it in Jefferies tube 16. The creature was not injured during the maneuver."
"Not injured," nodded Chakotay.
"It turns out that it belongs to Crewman B'tall, who acquired it on the Emar Homeworld two months ago when we stopped for supplies there. It's a kala-mouse. She named it Gene. It has been returned to her and she has been cautioned to keep it in its habitat."
"Of course," said Chakotay reasonably.
"Well, if that's all sir," said Vorick. "I have to get ready for this week's book club meeting. I finally finished 'One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish' and want to get my notes down while the impression is still fresh."
"That's all, Ensign. Dismissed."
"Thank you, sir," said Vorick and left the room.
Chakotay sat back in his chair and slowly shook his head from side to side. He may have been heard to be chanting weird is part of the job, but the words were mumbled.
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