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Childish Enthusiasm

Posted on Fri Sep 8th, 2017 @ 5:01pm by Commander Hadir Prenar & Cadet Junior Grade Wintrow Paragon
Edited on on Fri Sep 8th, 2017 @ 5:14pm

Mission: Episode 1 - Welcome to the Fearless
Location: Executive Officer's Office
Timeline: April 7 2394 1000 hrs
Tags: SD 71266.1000

Wintrow ran, even though the distance from the mess to the XO's office wasn't that far. He held something dark red and oddly shaped in his hands as his lithe and agile body dodged a crewman here and there.

There was a boyish look of determination and glee on his face as he simply barged into the office. Panting for breath he skidded to a halt just a fraction before he would've collided with the desk. A look of childlike pride crossed his young features as he held out what might've felt like a prize out to the Cardassian. "For you," the boy breathed, "I made it myself and I thought you might like Jumja.." Obviously, he mistakenly thought Jumja to be Cardassian.

Hadir sat at his desk as he was beginning to go over the updates on the repair work being done to the ship. The sound of the office doors opening raised his attention. In ran Cadet Paragon, holding a stick with a reddish what could only be described as a popsicle at the end of it.

Hadir's first thought was to chide the cadet for not knocking and then he saw the pride on his face. Hadir smiled "Thank you Cadet." He took the stick and then took a bite into the sweet confection. "Jumja is bittersweet for me as it reminds me of my time on Bajor."

The boy blinked in confusion before shock spread across his boyish featured. "Oh!" He exclaimed, face flushing. "I thought it was a Cardassian treat," he added slowly, feeling like an idiot now.

"Do not feel bad cadet it is a common mistake. However, when I was on Bajor I did rather enjoy them. They kept me and many others alive in the Bajoran wilderness. How did you learn how to make them?" Hadir said as he took the treat and started to eat.

"Uhm...I looked it up in the database, replicated the elements and them mixed them together according to what the recipe told me to do." He wrung his hands together, feeling the stickiness from the stick against his skin. He had made only one, but only after several attempts and making a mess of his quarters. Which of course he had cleaned up because he didn't want his roomie to think he was a clutter. "How did they keep people alive? Don't they get all sticky and ick after a while?"

Hadir chuckled a bit at the matter of fact way that Wintrow described making the treat. "If you manage to keep them cold they don't get sticky as quick. Also, Jumja is an excellent source of vitamin C. When you are laying low in the wilderness, scurvy is a horrible disease to catch. These little treats kept that at bay." Hadir paused as he took another bite. "You know Cadet there is an art to cooking, is there nothing of Wintrow Paragon in these. No little addition that you thought would taste good. Cooking is not an exact art there is no need to follow the directions to the letter. A recipe is a guideline not a set of orders."

"But not following the guideline can destroy a dish," Wintrow countered, "and how can I vary on something I'd never done before? I'm not a chef sir....I'm glad for the existence of ration packs, however foul they can be."

"Indeed rations can taste horrible, but they will keep you alive. Well, you certainly have a knack for cooking. You should keep it up, but embellish a little. Cooking as I said is an art you should add your own flair. You're young you should let your hair down." Hadir said and he thought that this young man was wound tight.

Almost automatically, the young cadet reached up to flatten his curls, frowning as he did so. "But I don't know how to cook," he objected, "which is why I follow the instructions when I do. If I don't....when i didn't..." He paused, looking away. "Things went wrong," he finished.

"Cooking mishaps can happen and sometimes often. You have to roll with the punches Wintrow. It is the same a flying often you have to fly by instinct, so it is with cooking you have to cook by instinct. What you think may work. So tell me what went so wrong the last time that you tried..." Hadir chuckled and made a mental note to check the Cadet's record and see if he could find out why he is wound so tight.

"P-punches?" the younger man stammered out, taking an involuntary step back. "I-I..." Another step back, taking him beyond arm's length. "The last time I really tried to cook a meal... I... got beaten... I spent several days in hospital..."

Hadir looked perplexed for the moment at the Cadet's reaction. "Wintrow roll with the punches is a turn of phrase, you are not actually going to get punched. It means to find the good in the bad, some of the greatest meals were prepared because of mistakes, or what seemed like a mistake at the time. That philosophy holds true with anything that you do. Such as flying, when you are flying if there is a special body that was not predicted, or a systems reaction that you did not anticipate. You have to keep the ship flying and find a way." Hadir was really worried for this young man, even Vulcans understood clich├ęs.

"Oh..." Now Wintrow felt worse for not even knowing that phrase. At least, know the phrase like that because he was familiar with 'just roll with it'. He wrapped his arms around himself, feeling stupid now. He just stood there, not quite sure what to do or say now. Finally, after several seconds, he made himself look up. "I never got out much as a child," he finally spoke, "never off the property unless it was to go to school. Always had to come straight home. If I was so much as a minute late..." He hesitated. "I don't like being late," he added.

Hadir felt for the man, he truly did. This man bust have had the most sheltered childhood of anyone in the history of humankind. "Wintrow, why don't you have seat. Care to talk about it?" Hadir never had children, at least not yet, but he tried his hardest to convey an air of paternal care and worry.

The young pilot sat, fidgeting nervously. How did they go from just doing something nice, to suddenly talking about his past? Every counselor already wanted a piece of him because of it, always asking if he was coping, how he was coping, how it would affect his job. His biggest worry, no really his biggest fear, was that the one thing he truly loved was going to be taken away from him: flying.

"Not really," he finally answered honestly, "but I will if I am required to." What he really wanted, was to learn how to just give this all a place and not be so jumpy and frightened of people. He was trying so hard to fit in and make friends and just be friendly and helpful.

"Listen, I am no ship's counselor and believe me when I say there are things that occurred in my childhood and past that would make your curly hair straight. I will never order you to reveal anything that you do not wish to, so long as your troubles are not endangering yourself, this crew, or this ship. I am your XO and as such part of my duty is seeing to your well being or at least that is how I see it. If you ever want to chat off the record, know that my door is always open and behind this desk sits a friend. You will never have cause to be anything but yourself around me. Do you understand?" Hadir leaned over his desk as he spoke.

As a response, Wintrow made an attempt to flatten his unruly hair yet again, something which he seemed to be doing a lot lately. But no amount of hairgel would make his curls lay flat! Abandoning the attempt, he nodded. "Yes sir, I understand." He licked his lips nervously, then leaned forward and whispered something to the XO.

When Wintrow had finished speaking Hadir's jaw dropped figuratively speaking, his mind was swimming. How could someone do things like that to a child no less. Hadir leaned back in his chair and sighed as he ran his hands through his hair. He reached across the table and took Win's hands and looked him right in the eye. "Nothing like that will ever happen again, not here on this ship, not in this fleet. You are your own man and together we will walk past that dark time." Small tears were welling in Hadir's green eyes.

"You can't make that promise sir, no commanding officer can make that promise because I know it's a promise that will be broken. Read my medical file sir...specifically from my service on the Galileo, and you'll understand why I say that." The hand that was held trembled. "Now you understand why I don't really want to talk about it. I'm trying very hard to move on but somehow it always comes up. I'm not a child that needs protecting sir, yet everywhere I go, people unintentionally treat me like a child. I know I can react very emotionally, I know I scare easy but I'm working on that sir, you have to trust that I am."

Hadir withdrew his hand, and took a mental note to read that section of the Cadet's record. "Very well Wintrow, I respect your want to get through this on your own, as well as your power of will to overcome. I want you to know that when or if you request I will be here to assist you. I would like you to heed this warning though, emotions can be a powerful thing, as can be fear. However, when you are on that bridge at the helm of this vessel there is no room for fear." Hadir looked at the man and in Hadir's eyes he had matured right that very second. He looked like a boy but was indeed older despite his years. Hadir smiled and leaned back in his chair. His demeanor had changed he spoke to an equal all but rank. "Well, Wintrow this jumja is delicious, and if you have any more culinary achievements please do not hesitate to invite me to the tastings." He said with a smile.

Wintrow nodded. "Flying is my passion sir, I promise you I'm not afraid when I fly." He paued. "As far as culinary goes...once we leave space dock how am I supposed to cook? For real I mean...this jumja I made a mess of my share room for...I bet my roommate will be mad though I did clean up. but if I'm to try make other things..."

Hadir chuckled briefly, "We have a mess hall m'boy. Schedule some time to use the kitchen with the ship's cook. I will let him know that you are going to contact him. He might even be willing to teach you a thing or two. Keeping clean while cooking will come with practice just like anything else."

Wintrow offered a careful smile. "That'd be awesome," he answered softly, "and I don't mind getting dirty, I just like a clean space when I'm done." He stood and drew in a deep breath. "You'll keep what I told you in confidence right? I don't want people to treat me like I'm made of china."

"Your secret is safe with me... The last thing I will tell you is if you want people to stop treating you like you are made of china as you put it, then you need to develop a thicker skin. There is no one on this ship more suited to assisting you in thickening your skin then Hollister. Basically I am saying take what she says with a grain of salt. When everything is done, so long as you prove yourself she will treat you like an equal. Trust me you'll see..." Hadir replied.

"I'm trying sir," Wintrow answered, "trust me, I'm trying."

"Very well Wintrow, once again thank you for the treat. However, I must continue to get this vessel ready for space." Hadir said with a smile.

The youth nodded and backtracked towards the door. "Glad you liked it sir. I should go do something useful too. Lieutenant Hollister wants me to run through simulations." He smiled, giving an oddly childish wave before disappearing. "Bye."

A Joint Post by:

Commander Hadir Prenar
Executive Officer, USS Fearless

Cadet Jr Wintrow Paragon
USS Fearless
pnpc Tyrion


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