Information is Power
Ghost Ship
Stardate 249680

Ghost Ship

Mission Day:
Day 1
Academy Days


  • Heading to sector 715

  • Speed:
  • Warp 5

  • Shields:
  • 100%

  • Hull:
  • 100%

  • Systems:
  • Operational

  • Search Engine Submission - AddMe

    Previous Next

    Guess who's coming to dinner...

    Posted on Friday 20 September 2019 @ 20:53 by Commander Melody Jones & Lieutenant JG Hayley Godding & Lieutenant JG Ricardo Draxx

    Mission: The New Collective
    Location: Melodys' quarters


    Lieutenant Godding had only recently come onboard and had missed the dinner party Melody had held for senior staff. Melody decided to invite her for dinner to officially welcome her to the Merlin and also, to get to know her new chief of security better.

    Having only been on the ship a short period of time, Hayley was a little surprised to receive an invitation to an informal dinner with the First Officer barely a few days into her tenure. The invite was innocent enough, the XO wanted to get to know her new CSec and felt that the best way to achieve this was with a quiet get together where uniforms were dropped figuratively, not literally. The dress code stated less formal attire, but Hayley felt that it was important to make a good impression - even at this kind of function. She adorned a figure hugging red dress with matching red heels after having had a nice long hot shower and straightening her hair. Unsure what someone brought to such a function, Hayley had prepared (well, asked the computer to prepare) a nice apple pie which she brought along for dessert.

    Arriving outside the First Officer's quarters, feeling a little conspicuous at her appearance in the corridor, but it was quite quiet and there weren't many people about to oggle her. She tapped the chime and waited patiently.

    Melody was just putting the finishing toutches on the main course when Sansa walked in from her room. “Mmmmmmm, something smells nice.”

    Melody looked up. “Ahhh, sweetie, can you feed Nibbles please?”

    A small nose popped up from inside he hedgehog habitat, just as Draxx walked in carrying a PADD.

    "What smells so good?" Draxx asked pulling a lid off a pan smiling and then grabbing a spoon deciding to go in for a taste.

    Melody slapped Draxx on the wrist. “Oi you! I’ve told you before to keep out of my cooking!”

    "Ouch …" he groused. "Okay okay I'm going to work anyway. See you later," he pulled her into a tight embrace and kissed her.

    Melody drew Drax close to her and practically melted into his arms for a moment before he stepped back and headed for the door.

    The chime went just as he was about to exit their quarters. His mouth opened and closed quickly again at the sight of her red dress. Probably for the best he wasn't around for dinner, he mused. Melody would no doubt be clapping him round the ears but it was a little bit difficult not to notice that dress.

    "Hi. You must be our new security chief. Lieutenant Ricardo Draxx," he said introduced himself extending his hand to shake hers. "I'm one of the Ops officers, Melody's partner and Sansa's father."

    Hayley smiled and accepted the offered hand. "Lieutenant Hayley Godding." She replied. "Nice to see that the First Officer has a human side to her after all. Conventional wisdom says that XO's tend to be machines."

    Draxx cocked an eyebrow and shook her hand. "I never was one for convention. Welcome onboard Lieutenant. Sorry to be leaving but I have a shift to get too. Enjoy dinner."

    Melody saw the Lieutenant standing behind Draxx “Ahh good evening Hayley, come in please. Dinner is almost ready. Drink?” Then to Draxx added “I’ll see you later Sweetie.”

    Hayley came into the quarters on invitation and looked around at the homely space. It certainly had a 'lived in' feel to it, unlike conventional Starfleet accommodation that gave off a very sterile and functional vibe. There were mementos and knick-knacks around the place, as well as plenty of holo-photos of happy moments. There was a cage on the side that contained something that was snuffling around under some straw that Hayley couldn't identify. It was in her nature, mostly due to her security training, to fully take in a space that she entered and analyse it for its potential threats and defensible locations. It wasn't something you turned off, no matter the circumstances. Even in this seemingly benign setting of a private meal with her supervising officer, you could never tell. It was her job after all.

    "I'd love a peach water." Hayley replied, as she offered up the pie. "Mother always told me to never come to a party without a pie. Everyone loves pie."

    "One peach water coming up." Melody said as she moved over to the replicator. As she came back and handed the glass to Hayley, Sansa re-entered with a small bowel of food.

    "Oh Hello, You're new onboard."

    Melody made some introductions. "Sansa this is our new Chief of security, Lieutenant Hayley Godding. Hayley this is my daughter Sansa."

    Sansa smiled warmly "It's a pleasure to meet you. I've just got someone to feed." She bent over and open the hatch on the habitat. Reaching in, she pulled out a small ball of prickles which slowly uncurled to reveal an African pygmy hedgehog which started sniffing intensely in the direction of the bowl Sansa was holding in her other hand.

    "Aww! He's so cute!" Hayley said, demonstrating a degree of girliness she seldom exercised. "What's his name?"

    Melody looked up from her kitchen holding a bottle of brandy. "Her name is Nibbles due to her fondness of chewing on my boots."

    Sansa offered up the small mammal which was now burrowing her face in the bowl "Would you like to hold her?"

    "Just keep her over there for a few moments...." Melody added before addressing the computer. "Computer! Suspend the fire suppression system in these quarters for the next 5 minutes. Authorization Jones Alpha five five nine two."

    "Authorization confirmed. Fire suppression system suspended."

    Melody then poured the brandy into one of the pans and deliberately set it on fire with a whoosh. "I forgot to do that the first time I tried this...." She explained, then added "That was awkward."

    Hayley accepted the proffered spikey ball of hedgehog and admired her whilst trying not to be too put out by the fact that the XO was deliberately setting fire to her frying pan. It was what was referred to as 'flambe' cooking, which was incredibly difficult to do, but clearly Commander Jones was quite the talented mistress of the kitchen. Hayley admired the skill from afar as she turned her attention to Sansa, who was the spitting image of her mother with a few minor differences, presumably from her father. "So, if you don't mind the impertinence of the question, how old are you?" Hayley asked the younger red-headed girl.

    Sansa glanced over at Melody with a concerted look. “Mom?”

    Melody continued organising her pan but answered “It’s ok Sweetie. i’m Sure Hayley will use discretion with this information. As a baby I found myself at the hospitality of the Borg when they assimilated my parents and placed me in a maturation chamber. I was rescued by a Starfleet crew but my body chemistry had already been affected and I was now 12 years old. Apparently this affected Sansa when I was expecting her.”

    Melody continued setting the table as she spoke. “My pregnancy lasted about 4 weeks and Sansa’s ageing has been...... somewhat faster than normal. I’ve been in on that with Starfleet Medical and Starfleet Command and they both have been kept informed . They sent a barrage of test to see how Sansa was developed mentally. Their conclusion is that she has the mental abilities of any normal 18 year old, eve though chronologically she’s nearly only 3. She’ll always be my baby girl but she looks 18 and acts 18 and Starfleet medical have signed off so that’s good enough for me, her friends and the people who know her so i’ll Thank you to leave it at that.”

    She'd always known that parents were very defensive of their children, but even to Hayley, Melody seemed incredibly defensive on the point of her daughter's age. It had been a casual question because Sansa looked almost as old as her mother did, so she'd been curious if she'd matured faster than her years dictated - as young females tended to do. Hayley had however been shocked at the veracity of Melody's retort, especially with how she ended it basically commanding her to drop it. Not exactly keen to antagonise her new superior officer, Hayley rose her hands up in a gesture of surrender. "Okay, just curious, I'll let it go."

    A small timer pinged and Melody clasped her hands together. “And dinner is ready. We’re having steak diane with new potatoes, deep-fried courgettes, carrots and peas. Sansa Sweetie can you pass that bottle of wine that I opened earlier to breathe. It’s a rather nice Rioja that should go very nicely. Sansa will be joining us so please have a seat Hayley.”

    Hayley, already feeling appropriately chastised already, did as she was beckoned and elected to try and pass through dinner as quietly as possible so as to avoid causing any further offense to the first officer, nay, acting captain. She sat down at the table and waited for the plate to be brought over. Deciding to wait to answer direct questions and to limit her own queries to professional matters rather than anything remotely personal or inquisitive.

    The younger officer seemed to shy up and go quiet and Melody realized she had rather bitten her head off. She smiled as she filled a wine glass and handed it to her. “I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to come across so prickly. It’s a bit of a sore point. I lost my parents and childhood to the Borg and now Sansa has lost a lot of hers too.” She tousled Sansa’s hair which resulted in a “Momm.....” from Sansa.

    Melody continued “I love my daughter and I feel I've Lost so much precious time with her. I’ve also had Starfleet breathing down my neck with all those questions. On top of all that we recently lost Captain Barstow.... I guess all of that has been building and I didn’t mean to release it all at you and I apologise.”

    She passed Hayley her plate. “I’m normally a lot more friendly.” she added.

    Hayley accepted the offered plate and offered a smile. She could understand wanting to protect someone you cared deeply for, especially with a trauma of your own to cloud things up more. "I honestly don't have any ulterior motive for enquiring as I did." Hayley replied. "I've found through personal experience that girls tend to mature a lot faster than boys do, so whilst they look older they're actually younger. Mind you, I suppose in your case, you've gone the full extreme." She gave Sansa a playful smirk. "Usually it's young men who mistake twelve year olds for sixteen year olds, but you've certainly got them beat."

    "I've always been inquisitive, which is partly what drew me to Security. One would think that having a security officer that doesn't take what they see at face value would be an asset." Hayley said, directed at Melody. "So, what happened to the Captain?"

    Melody took a deep drink of her wine. "We were tracking a Borg cube that was under the control of the Puppet Master. The Captain and I tried to plant a tracking device on the Cube from a fighter shuttle. We were captured and beamed onboard. The Merlin came to the rescue but the Puppet Master blew up the cube in a last resort move to prevent us from getting any information. I was beamed back to the ship. The Captain...... was not so lucky."

    "I'm sorry to hear that." Hayley replied. "Questionable decision for both the Captain and the First Officer to perform such a risky operation, to be sure." She needed to tread very carefully here, as she didn't want to offend Melody. "So, I imagine that Starfleet is going to offer you command once we get back to the starbase then unless they plan to bring on a new Captain."

    “The Captain insisted on leading the mission himself and I wasn’t going to let him go alone.” Melody took a sip of her wine. As for what going to happen, I’m not sure what the plan is beyond the shore leave that has been granted for the crew. There is one thing though. We picked up two survivors from a federation colony that was attacked. They were recovering in sickbay. Something about them has me ..... uneasy. I want you to keep close tabs on them.”

    Hayley reached for her glass and took a sip of the wine. It had a very strong aroma with a fruity hint to it. "Certainly ma'am. Anything about them I should know about beyond simply having a pair of strapping male beef-cakes standing nearby with hand-phasers on their waists?" She asked, a sparkle in her eye of mischeviousness.

    Melody frowned "It could just be they are suffering from shock but my instincts tell me its something else. See if you can dig into their background a bit more." She took a bite of her meal "And speaking for backgrounds, tell me some more about yourself. Did you always want to be in security? I myself started off as a helm officer since flying is my passion."

    Hayley took a bite of the steak, which was extremely tasty. "Actually, when I was in the academy, I had no idea what I wanted to do. My instructors were pulling me from pillar to post as I showed aptitude in several fields. Since I was doing extremely well in Ops, Engineering, Tactical, Security and Flight Ops..." She gave Melody a smirk. "I took advanced classes in all of them. In the end, I went security as that's where Starfleet assigned me first, although I did do a stint as an Operations Officer on the Xavier for a while. Otherwise, I've mostly just done Security. I'm pretty good at it, but I can do other things as well, situation depending. I like to think of myself as a multi-purpose officer who can do what is needed in a pinch. Provided of course, it isn't sciency. I hate sciency stuff - makes my head hurt."

    “It sounds like you have many talents so I’m sure you’ll fit right in on the Merlin.” Melody said as she cleared her plate, lacing her knife and fork together on it. “Can I interest you in some dessert?”

    "Well, I did bring a nice pie, be a shame not to have any." Hayley replied, smiling.

    "That does sound good." Melody noticed the empty bottle of wine "And I think a drop of Aldebaran whiskey should go very nicely with it."

    It might have been a rocky first meeting, but from the sounds of it, it was going to end on a good note, Hayley thought to herself.


    ●●● Commander Melody Jones
    Executive Officer
    USS Merlin

    Lieutenant JG Ricardo Draxx
    Ops officer

    ●○ Lieutenant JG Hayley Godding
    Chief Security/Tactical Officer
    USS Merlin


    Previous Next