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Second Impressions

Posted on Fri Oct 30th, 2015 @ 5:23pm by Lieutenant JG Paula Winchester

Mission: Resurrection Day
Location: Mess Hall

Three hours. That was all Zera had slept. His mind was active, thinking about the case and trying to crack it. It was hard enough that the department was stretched as thin as it was; everyone in there had worked overtime at least once. It was exhausting, he admitted that.

But he couldn't show it. Call it a sign of weakness or stupidity, but the Bajoran couldn't let the department or even Mercia see that he was tired. He had to hold himself to higher standards, to set an example, to not show the exhaustion. It was a damn Achilles heel. So as he entered the mess hall he straightened his back, stiffened the uniform, and put on a poker face for the crewmen present. Moving to the replicator, he ordered a raktajino before taking a seat by the window.

Paula sat in the Mess Hall having not long finished her first Shift on the bridge, Paula knew that things would settle down before long and she would get into a pattern and so would her Daughter, She picked up her mug of Coffee and started to take a sip of it when she noticed an Officer heading towards her.

Seeing his normal (as normal as it could be for a span of only a couple days) seat was taken, he sighed before looking around. The other seats were taken, and he bit his tongue to keep in the colorful words as he turned back to the table with the brunette who stole his spot. He recognized her from the Shuttlebay, arriving shortly after Mercia. "Mind if I sit?" He asked.

Paula looked back at the Lieutenant and replied," Please do Lieutenant," as she waved him to the empty chair, she looked back at him, She thought~ I hope he doesn't think I was showing him up in front of the XO earlier?~

The Bajoran took the seat opposite her, stone silent. He took a sip of the coffee, making a slight face at the temperature of the hot liquid. "Hopefully," he finally said, clearing his throat, "we can try to ease some of this tension. First impressions on a crime scene usually aren't the best." He supposed that by being friendly -however; that may be- he could attempt to make an acquaintance.

"Are you trying to flirt with me, Lieutenant?" asked Paula as she watched him sit down, She continued,"because it won't work you know, that is if you are trying to make up like that," as she took a sip of her own coffee.

He grimaced. "I am not trying to 'make up' for anything," he replied flatly, "nor would I flirt."

"oh good as you are not my type," replied, Paula taking another Sip of her hot drink, she continued," as for your tone of voice, I found that rather disturbing," as again she took another sip of the beverage.

"Well, I'm sorry for not appealing to her Highness," he hissed sarcastically.

"Nor do I like that Lieutenant," replied, Paula as she looked back at him, She continued," I am willing to let it go this once but show me up in front of the XO, I won't next time," she finished, "so just remember, Don't lose your head,"

"I'm not here to make friends," he replied coldly, "and I will not let a Security Officer tell me how to do my job." Realizing what was said, he took a deep breath and leaned back in his chair. "We can be of benefit to each other, but it will be difficult if we can't at least tolerate each other. I'm not asking a friendship, only mutual cooperation until this case is solved."

"May I remind you, Lieutenant, that I am the Assistant Chief of Security," remarked Paula, she continued, "I am willing to work with you Lieutenant However; I do not tolerate being shown up in front of the crew," She finished," Now how about we stop finishing talking shop and get to know one another shall we?"

"I am well aware of your position, Lieutenant, and it still doesn't disprove my previous statement. That aside, I do concur that we should get to know each other: we have plenty of time to push aside our differences. So," he folded his hands in front of him, "what do you want to know? We are off duty, so you may call me Zera if you wish."

She replied," and you may Call me Paula," she continued, " I would like to know everything," as she took another sip of her hot beverage/

Where to begin. The Bajoran mused for a moment, slowly swirling the coffee in his cup "I went into Starfleet Intelligence at 19... I never really had time to make acquaintances, I suppose. You could say it was the way I had been raised."

Paula looked up at him, "So you piss off everyone you work with " she replied knowing that the statement was a valid one but still true, she continued," that don't help you very much does it?" Paula knew that having Paul around had helped her somewhat. She finished," I do know how hard it is to make friends,"

Zera glowered at her, but inside he knew it was true. "I was raised to believe that those you befriend will abandon you, that I had to fend for myself. Be strong, or be crushed. I couldn't afford to have friends because they could be used against me. I was raised not to trust, not to give in to anything."

"That sounds like a load of BS to me," replied Paula as she kept her gaze upon him, she continued," I lost most of my friends when they found out that I fancy women, but I do have one friend who likes me for who I am,"

"You think I'm lying," he stated bluntly. "You at least had friends..."

"Yes I did, but they understood after a while for who I am," replied Paula looking back at him, she continued," and not because I like women," she took a sip of her coffee once more and finished,"Friends will be friends,"

Cute, he mused sarcastically. "What led you here, to this ship?" he asked, changing the subject.

"I got reassigned by Starfleet command to the Gladiator along with my Daughter Davina," Paula responded looking at Zera, she finished," this is her first movement with me," as she remembered Davina's birth mother and made a silent vow to keep her safe.

He nodded, taking a sip of his coffee. "How old?" He asked, attempting to lighten his tone some.

"What Davina?" she asked.

"Yes."

"She is 13 years old and her birth mother died in an earthquake on the original Colony before it moved," replied, Paula, as she remembered Anne and her talking as Paula had been trying to save the town, she finished," Her birth Mother saw that if anything were to happen to her, she asked that I have Davina,"

"I am sorry for her- and your- loss," the Bajoran replied.

"Thank you, Zera for your kind words," replied Paula looking at the intel officer, she continued," So what do you think of what happened on the shuttle bay?" as she wanted his thoughts on the matter at hand.

He gave a respectful nod. This whole socializing thing just might work out. "I think a lot of things," he replied. "A general statement, a specific thing, theories... take your pick. Not quite a typical morning conversation."

"Have you spoke to Engineering yet on who knew the time of the Maintenance," asked Paula getting back to shop talk, She thought~ Someone must have known when and what time the schedule was,~ as she looked back at Zera.

"Not yet," he replied. "Would you be able to get it? Perhaps we can meet sometime today and swap notes."

" I do know that Ops is in a shambles of a state at the moment," replied Paula as she remembered going to Operations when she first arrived, She continued," But I will go to see the chief Engineer later and will give you a call,"

"That would be great, thanks." Zera checked the time before standing, "I've got to go. I look forward to hearing from you."

"Very well, I will see you later," replied Paula as she stood up from her seat and started to head towards the door, Paula thought to herself~well that went well didn't it~ as she exited the room.

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