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Nijil tr'Korjata

A Fine Mess VI: Back from the Rock

A Fine Mess VI: Back from the Rock

(Joint log of Jylliene and Nijil)




Back again. The Aegean’s mess hall was a welcome sight for Nijil, even with the crowded tables. One thing the Federation and Romulan alliance on this vessel forgot: a properly sized mess hall. Even so it did not matter. The engineer/pilot/doctor of a Rihan simply stared into his cup of warm liquid. He asked at the counter what everyone else got that day and ordered the same. Klingon coffee. Sure, the Romulans had a version of this, even his parents grew it on their massive farm, but this brew must have been laden with bloodwine. He drank.



Jylliene pulled up a chair next to Nijil and rubbed his shoulder. “I’m afraid to ask what we’re drinking,” she said, as she gazed in her own cup.



Nijil smiled at her touch. “Klingon coffee and my elements it is very strong. I can appreciate why many Federation personnel drink it. Thanks for joining me on short notice. Many debriefings.”



She nodded back to him. “Glad to be here with you,” she replied with a gentle smile.



He reached out and held her hand as it rested on the table, did not make eye contact and spoke. “It’s too bad they don’t have any kind of method to emotionally debrief. I would not have made a good security officer. I’ve never seen so much death so close.” He drank more and winched a little.



Jylliene embraced his shoulders. “I hope we can all find what peace we need when we return to Aegis.”



Nijil choked as he thought of something. He squeezed her hand harder. “I hope so. This Mist station can’t be the entirety of the rebel population.”



“No, I’m sure it isn’t. But I hope we can at least enjoy a reprieve before we need to deal with any more. Perhaps it will be for others to handle,” she sighed, not quite believing herself that there wouldn’t be further for their own crew to deal with.



“Would you like something to eat? I never know when the next debriefing will occur.” He release her hand to tap on his PADD to look for food. He hoped a full stomach would ease his current state.



Jylliene nodded. “That would be appreciated.”



“I think I have chosen,” he handed the PADD to her. “I don’t know what ‘Shepherd's Pie’ is, but it sounds like something my mother would fix.” He paused a bit to think. “Favorite foods from your childhood?”



She pondered that. “I don’t recall anything specific - no, wait. There was a poultry dish that we always had if we had a bad day. I remember we had it fairly often when my mother was trying for tenure for the first time,” she chuckled. Her expression turning serious, she added, “They also had it the night I left for the Academy.”



“A bird? The Romulan people hold all birds in high regard and would never consume them. Had I known you participated in this type of animals for food ritual...” Nijil looked shocked.



She shrugged. “Many cultures have their own specific lines they draw around what plants and animals are considered in such a way. Some would even say that though a particular animal or plant is considered too sacred for normal consumption, certain rituals would include...” she peered at him quizzically, then rolled her eyes. “You’re trying to be funny,” she chuckled.



“And you are not making it easy for me. We ate birds all of the time. It’s the hunting birds we hold dear. I can’t imagine the nei’rrh bird was a species highly regarded until they got their own shuttle.” He looked at her. “So, do they have that dish?”



“I think this one is similar,” she said, pointing to a listed casserole.



He peered at the PADD, nodding. “You should get that, though I’m not sure this is a particularly special time special occasion foods” He gestured with both hands at the mass of people in the mess hall. “Having you here is special enough. Let me know when you are ready.”



“I am - did you want me to get the food so that you can keep our seats secure?” she asked.



“Yes, I will stab anyone who attempts to sit in your place.”



Jylliene grinned and went to get their food.



While she did so, Nijil thought back to the station, partly because of their promise to each other, but also of one item left behind: Annisha. The mission timing could not have been worse. The girl would be gone long before getting back. Her new home is far and no immediate method of contact. Perhaps she composed a letter or funny picture for him. He could see Jylliene returning with their food.



Placing the food on the table, Jylliene retook her seat. “Dig in,” she said, indicating the meal before them.



“Looks good for replication.” He started into his meal of meat, a starch and a vegetable. He smiled and hoped her meal was fine. He considered her for a moment and stared at her Trill spots.



She peered up at him quizzically as she ate. “Something wrong?”



“No, not at all...” His mind raced a bit after being caught looking. “Kids?” He coughed.



She blinked at him. “Here, now? I would prefer some privacy if we’re going to work on that,” she replied with a grin.



“What? No, no. I mean, well. Interest in kids?” Why did he speak? He took more of his meal into his mouth to prevent further outbursts. Did they speak of their respective siblings? He could not remember.



“Eventually. And you?” she asked, wondering where his line of thinking had suddenly appeared from, but willing to follow along.



“Yes. It’s been on my mind a lot.” His eyes went wide. “With my family mostly gone and watching Annisha. But she’s gone I suppose.” Another bite. He could scare her away with these questions.



Jylliene nodded. “She very likely is,” she answered, and quickly took a bite of her own food to try to stifle the sorrow she felt over not seeing the girl off. Or indeed, over not seeing the girl remain with a family on Aegis.



Quite a conversation stopper Nijil. He continued to finish his meal. “Well, that is great to hear. I mean not that we are bonded or anything...yet or if, you know. One does not want to be on opposite pages on the issue of children.” He threw a mental punch at himself where on the one hand he wanted kids, but said no to Annisha asking him to adopt her.



Smiling affectionately at Nijil, Jylliene just chortled inwardly. She leaned toward him and whispered in his ear...

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