What Lies Within Us
Location: A side corridor on Deck 5
Timeline: Current, MD 4, afternoon
Around the corner from the lounge, within a side corridor not often used during the time between missions, a miniature golf course ran it's length. Wearing plaid golf knickers and a cap, Alex McKinney stared in concentration at his target. Making sure to only move from the hip up, he swung his club back perhaps a little further than he intended, hit the ball, which hit the wall and then went flying past him.
Coming out of the lounge with a PADD in his hand for his upcoming assignment, Jäger was caught off guard when a small hard ball knocked it from his hand and sent it flying. Stepping back, he coughed. "There are people walking the corridors out here, whoever you are."
Alex had hurried from around the corner and his mouth hung open as he saw Jäger. "Sorry, cobber..." he said rushing over, spinning around as he did, figuring out the ricochet path the golf ball must have taken.
"Cobber?" Jäger raised an eyebrow at the term as he bent to retrieve his PADD while watching the man's actions. "Actually, I'm Jäger Adler."
"Well bugger me!" Alex had spoken turning back as he approached him, and with an "oh!" expression, extended out a hand, "Alex McKinney, Commander...I heard you were aboard." and he turned slightly as he pointed back to the side corridor where he and the ball had flown out of, "Again I apologise 'n' I'll be placing a protective net there."
"Do what to you?" Jäger asked as he shook the mans hand with a firm shake. "Yes, a net might be called for. Who knows what would happen if you had hit the Captain?"
"Aye." Alex nodded back to him, having placed his hands on his hips. His eyebrows came together, "I'd be shot out an airlock." he said, studying the other man. It was hard to know if he was serious or was joking. "How's the PADD?" he gestured to it.
Jäger looked at the PADD and tapped the surface display of it. "It seems to be working okay. It could easily be replaced, though. It's my orders for the ship I'm heading to meet in the Delta Quadrant. Would the Captain really shoot someone out an airlock?"
Alex gave him a half smile, "Maybe, given the right conditions 'n' motivation. There's a wager on the ship..." he looked thoughtful, "Maybe someday we'll find out. Have you met him yet?"
"Not yet," Jäger said. "I've been pretty much holed up in my quarters since I came aboard. I have a lot of material to cover on the terrain and terrestrial species in the Delta Quadrant that wasn't covered in my S.A.R. training."
"S.A.R.? Well let me to shake your hand again on that, mate!" Alex extended his hand out to Jäger again, smiling widely.
Jäger took his hand and smiled. "I've been doing Search and Rescue for the past sixteen years and find it to be extremely rewarding work most of the time. It's given me opportunity to go places and do things that few have ever experienced. I take it you're familiar with S.A.R.?"
"Aye," Alex nodded, "I was part of Class Four of seventy-seven. A course 'n' a half short of graduating." He paused before explaining, "Family emergency." and then he smiled, "Join me for a drink, Commander?"
"That sounds like a plan," Jäger said. "Do you have any of the real stuff? Synthehol leaves a lot to be desired. If you don't, I have a bottle of Specht Slivovitz in my quarters."
"Specht Slivovitz..." Alex looked interested, "it's been a long time."
"You're familiar with it?" Jäger asked, looking a bit surprised.
"I am." Alex replied, "I was seventeen when I snuck into a Slivovitz Festival. I was caught...'n' my dad.." he shook his head, smiling wryly at the memory, "was as mad as a cut snake, something I will never forget."
Jäger raised an eyebrow; if he had to guess what Alex meant by some of his words, they'd be in the Delta Quadrant by the time they finished a single conversation. At any rate, he figured that a snake which was cut would be pretty mad. "I grew up taking sips from my Dad's bottle and replacing it with colored water. When he caught me, I had to drink an entire bottle and got sick as a dog. C'mon...we have some good times to remember." Grinning, he turned and headed back the way he had came.
"Sounds bonzer." Alex grinned back, and held up the golf club he'd been holding. "One moment." He walked over and placed it in the side corridor, and then returned to join his new friend.
Heading back to his quarters, Jäger entered his code and went in, waiting for Alex to join him. "Go ahead and have a seat," he said as he headed to a small trunk. Opening it, he pulled aside several handwoven blankets. Selecting one, he spread it open to reveal the bottle of Slivovitz. "Do you prefer chilled or room temperature?"
Pulling off his cap, Alex had done what Jäger suggested, and slightly leaned forward and against the side of the chair. "Room temp." he replied watching him, and he wondered, "So what is your new assignment?"
Jäger went to the replicator and had it create two drinking glasses before coming back with them and the bottle. Taking a seat, he filled the two glasses half full, offering one to Alex. "I'm heading to the Delta Quadrant to take the position of Chief of Security on the Storium," he said.
His brow furrowing, Alex nodded a thanks, accepting his glass and he leaned back. "I'm not familiar with her, what class?"
"She's a Prometheus class," Jäger said, taking a sip of the slivovitz. "I'm looking forward to serving on her, too. I've never been on a ship with multi-vector assault mode before."
"Aye, neither have I." Alex's eyes had widened with interest. "I should be getting my chance." he said and took a sip of his drink. "Mmmm", he smiled widely, looking at his glass, "this is definitely dinky di," his smile reaching his eyes, he looked back to Jäger, "the real thing." and took another drink.
"I'm going to miss it when we get to the Delta Quadrant," he said as he leaned back. "This bottle is the last one I'm going to get until another ship comes through the wormhole with supplies. Do you have any favorites?" He raised the glass and took another sip.
Alex watched him raise his glass and amused, suddenly laughed. "Which one, ship or bottle?"
"Take your pick," Jäger said, realizing that he wasn't specific.
Alex looked back to his drink as he thought about it. His face still angled downwards his eyes moved to lock with Jäger's. "Aldebaran whiskey 'n' in looks I'd like to say the Sovereign. From a damage control engineer's perspective, I'll say the Akira."
"In terms of looks, my favorite is the Galaxy. In terms of pure firepower, I'd have to go with a Sovereign, myself. What do you do here on the Armstrong?" Jäger asked him as he took another sip of his drink.
Alex took another drink and leaned back in his seat. "Damage control specialist, second officer, 'n' the S.C.E. Team ex-oh."
"I'm amazed that you have any time off at all," Jäger said with a dry chuckle. "Couldn't find any other duties to occupy the time?" He drained his glass and refilled it, offering to do the same for Alex's glass.
Looking amused again, Alex replied, "I have a hard time saying no." and is if to emphasize the point, he held out his glass for a refill.
Jäger refilled the glass and topped off his own before setting it down on the table again. "Maybe you should take up Search and Rescue. I was talking to Commander Thatcher and she's expressed an interest in it. If we could get enough interested people, a little training could go a long way in a virtually unexplored quadrant."
Alex nodded, "I'd be interested." and he looked thoughtful; it'd been years since he had completed the majority of the training. Refreshing his skills, getting a taste of what he had never completed... "Several months ago..." his brow furrowed, he suddenly had a faraway look, "we were on a mission which required some S.A.R. skills. It could of made a difference in the away mission if everyone on the team had of had the training."
"I'd be happy to teach a class when everyone can get together on a time," Jäger offered. "Every ship should have training or a S.A.R. team on it that's ready to respond in an emergency situation. Of course, with training, everyone can be a responder."
Obvious by his expression, Alex soaked in every word. "As part of the S.C.E. ship based corps, we are in essence an emergency response team." he said. "We're a different breed of Starfleet." One corner of his mouth lifted, "Not saying we're better, we're just different. Most of us wouldn't fit on any other type of ship." He paused, breathing in deeply. "Commissioned, enlisted, the few civilians on the S.C.E. Team; I don't see any man, woman," and he smiled again, thinking about Pasgen, "or Hermat not interested."
"Then with the authorized use of your holodeck, I will begin to set up a series of S.A.R. scenarios that will maximize the time that I will be on Armstrong," Jäger said. He was clearly enthusiastic about the prospect of training willing participants in Search and Rescue tactics.
Alex swallowed down half of his drink and replied, "We'll run it past the Captain." Then he grinned, "My brother is the academy commandant at the new campus in the DQ. You could get qualified to certify 'n' then we'll keep you with us."
"I finished my S.A.R. certifications before I came aboard Armstrong, actually," Jäger said. "As for me staying on board, I think that having a brother who is a commandant of an academy may give you some pull. We will see, though."
Alex leaned forward, lifting his glass. "I'll drink to that."
Jäger tapped his glass to Alex's and finished his drink. "Is there anything in particular that you would be interested in learning?"
Leaning on one arm of his chair as he ran a hand over his chin, Alex thought about it. "I could use a refresher in most things, but I would have to say..." he looked back over to him, "parachute insertions."
"High Altitude High Opening or High Altitude Low Opening?" Jäger asked him as he poured fresh drinks for them.
"Both," Alex answered, taking another drink and savoring it this time as he stared at his glass. "I went through the course of learning the basic skills, but never made it to the advanced training."
"You're in luck," Jäger said. "I've taken the full course ranging from the preparatory course to the specialist course. How is your swimming and medical skills?"
"My swimming skills are more than efficient 'n' I'm an expert scuba diver." Alex replied, "They were a normal part of growing up in a coastline community. Now my medical skills, " he reluctantly admitted, "could use some practice." He lifted his glass to his mouth, and added quietly, "My brother would kick me in the arse if he knew."
"Luckily, the EMT part of the training includes minor field surgery, pharmacology, combat trauma management, advanced airway management and military evacuation procedures,"Jäger said. "Why would your brother be upset?"
"More like disappointed. He's a doc." Alex smiled, revealing no doubts on how proud he was of the fact, "One of the best. What about you, any siblings?"
"He cannot be disappointed that you did not become a doctor anymore than you could be disappointed he is not an engineer," Jäger pointed out. "Ja, I have a younger brother, Ludwig. He is not Starfleet, though. He said one of us had to keep the family line going. I am the one who chose the stars. I find it peaceful out here. Do you have any other family in Starfleet?"
Alex raised a brow at Jäger's assumption towards him and his brother, on what Jäger seemed to think he needed pointed out to him. Allowing it to roll off, which wasn't easy as Alex had been more sensitive than normal when it came to his brother, he stared for a moment before answering, "My ex-wife 'n' my son are passengers to the DQ. They'll be living at Magellan Station."
Taking a sip of his slivovitz, Jäger took note of the raised eyebrow and stare, but made no mention of it. He decided to keep things more business than family. "My last assignment was on a starbase. I have noticed that people seem more comfortable on bases than they do on ships."
"Aye...it's not for me," Alex half smiled, "but I think it'll be bonza for my son. Magellan Station is in orbit of the new academy campus, so he'll have land underneath him part of the time." and then his smile sincerely widened, "Why don't you join us for breakfast tomorrow morning."
"Thank you, Alex," Jäger said with a smile as he finished his third drink. "I'd be honored. How long do they plan on staying there?"
Alex looked uncertain, "Aleysha, my ex-wife, was recently assigned there as a language/translation specialist. I think...she made that decision for our son." He became quiet again as something he'd been struggling with came back to him. Suddenly feeling the need to leave, he finished his drink and stood. "I should be going." He handed Jäger his glass, "Thank you." he smiled.
Taking the glass, Jäger nodded and stood. "Thank you for not whacking me with another golf ball," he chuckled. "What time and where should I be there for breakfast?"
"Ah..yeah." Alex slightly reddened as he chuckled back. "Won't happen again. Oh seven hundred hours in the messhall for breakfast." He started to turn to leave and then turned back. "I'll talk to the Captain about a meeting. I'm surprised you haven't heard from him already." he said, knowing how Carter was when it came to having extra people on the ship.
Jäger chuckled again as Alex reddened. "You know how Captain's are. Busy, busy, busy. Besides, I'm just a guest. I'll see you at seven hundred. Have a good night, Alex."
"You too." Alex waved at him with another smile, and was out the door.
Lt.Cmdr. Alex McKinney
SCE Team XO/Engineer