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LtCmdrs Merlin & Ethel Braul | "On A Hot Tin Roof", part 2

Posted on Wed Feb 27th, 2019 @ 7:08pm by Commander Evan Merlin

Mission: Lacuna
Location: Cold Station Theta
Timeline: SD 241902.27

Twiddling her fingers behind her back, the wayward counselor's eyes traced spirals of what looked like water damage on the ceiling of the lift. As usual, it crawled, slowly moving them to their desired destination. Food was definitely on her mind, visions of blueberry pancakes wafted through her psyche rather unbidden as a very powerful reminder that she was, in fact, half-starved having not taken a bite to eat since breakfast yesterday. "Eccentric is a good word for them. No the one I'd choose, but a good one." She acknowledged, stealing a sidelong glance at the strange man sharing the lift with her. Eccentric was a good word for him too.

"Yeah. Opinions differ on them. A lot of people used to find them a pain, but these days they're mostly quite well-behaved." There was that grin again. "They know they'll be replaced if they don't. And some people, mostly the oldtimers on the station, feel they're an integrated part of the station and her history. A touch of the old amidst the new. Of course, it helps they don't get stuck all the time now. All this rattling and bumping is mostly for show – isn't it, dear?" he added, placing one hand against the wall of the lift.

Amazingly, as if on cue, the shuddering stopped and the ride down continued smoothly. "I'll spare you the tour past all the Starfleet sights, it's not so different from a ship in that regard," the XO continued. "Let's hit the Promenade, we can choose a place there to brunch."

In her relatively short time of existence within both universes, Ethel had never seen something quite so strange... And that was saying a lot for things considering the mirror universe, her rightful home, was anything but easy or dull. Evan Merlin, or whatever his actual name was - probably Eg Nac - was maybe the strangest of the strange. "Luckily they listen to you, but yeah... Promenade sounds pretty good to me." She nodded with a polite smile and the fingers began twiddling again. The sooner she could stuff food down her throat, the sooner she could excuse herself back to the Vindicator and away from the second coming of David Copperfield.

"I've found that many things respond to a kind word or a kind touch, a bit of friendship," the weird XO said casually. There seemed to be no hidden meaning to his words, but with one such as he, who could tell? "Even, or sometimes especially, things or people you don't expect them to be… There was this Klingon once, who- Ah, we're here." The doors slid open and he bounced out. "Is there anything you particularly fancy?"

Ethel flashed him another polite smile and somehow managed to restrain herself from exploding off the turbo lift and away from his company. It wasn't that she feared the man, it was that he was an unfortunate nuisance that often knew entirely way too much about entirely way too much. "Blueberry pancakes, actually." The reply was honest and fresh, probably the easiest thing that had come out of her mouth in a good long while, "Anyway... You were saying something about a Klingon?" He could babble, she would listen as if hanging on his every word, and it would keep the event rather copacetic and benign until she could stave off her hunger and make her tactical withdrawal back to the ship.

"What Klingon?" the XO asked. "There's an excellent Klingon restaurant here, but they don't serve blueberry pancakes. Great raktajino, though. But pancakes… Ah!" He stuck a finger in the air, sounding triumphant. "I know just the place!"

He guided her past shops and bistros, restaurants and the occasional market stall. There was a fair amount of public here, a couple trying on jewelry and hats in a small, exclusive Ferengi shop, a trader who had just come in from a private vessel haggling wares (was that fur moving?) with one of the owners of a market stall, a big burly Klingon making his way to the Heart of Targ restaurant.

They arrived at the lunchroom where he had once met Commodore Aksel Ravnssons and shared an excellent breakfast with the man. That probably was another reason he brought her here, he reflected as they sat down, for the two people had something in common. Both the Commodore and the Commander he now brought here were more than met the eye. That was clear. Ethel was a riddle: nervous as a cat on a hot tin roof (such a deliciously quaint expression, though he could imagine that a cat on a hot tin roof would be extremely uncomfortable rather than nervous), for no reason that he could fathom.

He loved riddles.

LtCmdr. Evan 'Weirdo' Merlin
Executive Officer, Cold Station Theta


Lt Commander Ethel Baul
Rochelle Ivanova (MU)
Tal Shiar Agent


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