New Chief, part II
Captain's Ready Room, USS Portland
Authors: Alenis Meru, Ash Sullivan
After completing his workout, Ash jogged back to his room and showered, before changing into a fresh clean uniform. Walking across the bridge he waved to the security officer on duty before proceeding to the door to captain's ready room. Holding a small, gift wrapped box in one hand he pressed the chime and nervously straightened his tunic.
"Come in," called out the voice on the other side of the door, a voice that was unmistakably that of Captain Alenis.
"Good afternoon Captain. You said to drop by?" Ash said simply. Having been told about this promotion while being pinned to a mat on the holodeck, he wasn't sure how formal this ceremony would be.
"Yes, I did." Meru fumbled with her PADDs for a moment, trying to find the right one, before reaching for a small jewelry box. "Ah, here it is, the official documentation. As of today, stardate 69811.4, I hereby promote you to--"
Freezing in place, Meru stared down into the empty jewelry box. "Your pips... they were just here. I don't know where..."
Trailing off, she stared over at Ko-ko. The bird tilted her head and stared back. Meru sighed.
"Actually I brought something for Ensign Ko-ko." Ash said as he held out the box he had brought with him. "When I was down on Trill a merchant showed me this local herb that they mix in with tea leaves that's supposed to be very relaxing. The smell reminded me of mint but its quite sweet. I bought some for myself to try in my tea but I remembered how much our moral officer liked mint leaves so I got her a box." He explained placing the gift wrapped box down on the captain's desk.
Meru smiled. "That's so thoughtful," she said, before looking around the room again. "Why don't you distract her with her gift while I search her perch for the pip. She likes to collect small, shiny things..."
Ash laughed at the unique circumstances of his promotion. "Yes ma'am." He said as he began unwrapping the small box. The box popped open with a small hiss and the sweet smell of mint slowly wafted through the room. Ash pinched a few leaves between his fingers before resealing the box and placing it down on the desk in front of him. "Ensign Ko-ko? I have something for you." He said in a warm tone as he placed the leaves in his left palm and held it out towards the bird, close enough for her to smell it but far enough that she'd need to leave her perch to get to it.
As Ko-ko jumped down from her perch onto the desk and curiously towards the pleasant smelling leaves, Meru got up and headed for Ko-ko's perch. The bird turned her head at Meru, detecting her presence and her movement, but continued towards the leaves anyways, more interested by the potential for treats. She paused for a second, attempting to read Ash to determine if he had any threatening thoughts. Detecting none, she stepped forward and took a nibble of the minty leaves.
After getting a small taste, Ko-ko excitedly picked at the remainder, eating out of Ash's hand, not even getting distracted when Meru exclaimed "found it!" behind her.
"She seems to like them." Ash said with a smile as Ko-ko finished off her leaves and looked up at him expectantly.
"That's good," repled Alenis, stepping close towards Ash to pin the pips on his collar. "Congratulations. As your commanding officer, I officially appoint you as Lieutenant Junior Grade Ash Sullivan."
"Thank you ma'am." Ash said with a sharp salute.
"You're welcome. You've earned it." Meru stepped back and returned the salute. "Now, unless you have anything else, you are dismissed. I think I need to take Ko-ko for a walk..."
"Aye captain." Ash replied simply before turning and leaving the office.