Jason's Quarters, USS Portland
Sometime between Mission Six and Mission Seven
Authors: Lt. Jason Beauvoir, Alenis Nerys (played by Alenis Meru), Teneca Quinn (played by Jason Beauvoir)
Inside Jason's quarters, the holographic clone of Captain Alenis was trying to resolve her crisis of identity by getting in touch with her Bajoran side. Which meant that she was perusing religious texts, PADD in one hand and a Bajoran springwine in the other -- to calibrate her taste subroutines, or so she would tell Marcus -- when she heard the door open. Placing the glass of wine on the side table, she stood up and approached the new entrant.
"Hello, Jason," she said, a smile on her face as she placed her hands on his shoulders and gave him a little peck on the cheek. "How was your day?"
"Hello, mon amour. Not unpleasant, how about you?"
The hologram smiled at Jason. "Productive," she replied, somewhat ironically. Without much to do on the Portland and with only a few rooms rigged with holo-emitters for her, she had spent a lot of time over the past few months just hanging out in Jason's quarters, reading and wondering what to do with her life now that Starfleet Captain was becoming more remote of a possibility. "I think I've finally settled on a name for myself; what do you think of Alenis Nerys?"
Jason smiled. "I'm glad, Nerys is a beautiful name."
"Excellent," replied the hologram, kissing Jason gently once more. "Alenis Nerys it is."
Nerys broke off the embrace and sauntered over towards the kitchen. "I took the liberty of programming dinner into the replicator," she said, lighting a candle that she had placed next to a bucket containing ice and a bottle of springwine. "Makapa bread bruschetta and ratamba soup to start, followed by a main course of roast pork tenderloin with a foragia glaze and a side of grilled vegetable skewers, and for dessert, a hasperat souffle with moba and klaavatu fruit."
Nerys looked up from the table and smiled at Jason. "I've been studying Bajoran cooking."
"Sounds delicious." He said. Then feeling a little guilty after all the she'd been too, he asked. "Can we set another place, I invited a new member of my department to diner?"
Freezing at the mention of a new member of the department, Nerys paused for a moment and looked up at Jason. "I thought we were going to have dinner together tonight, just the two of us..."
“I know. I’m sorry, mon amour, but I was so engrossed talking to her that I asked her to join us.” Jason said. “I’ll make it up to you, I promise.”
"You better," replied Nerys in a tone that, while playful on the surface, betrayed a certain level of disappointment. She sighed and walked over to the replicator. "I suppose it's not too much of an alteration in the replicator recipe," she said, less than enthused at the change of plans. "So, who is this new scientist of yours?"
“Her name is Teneca Quinn, she’s a Materials Chemist from Proxima Colony, who left the Daystrom Institute to join the Portland.” Jason replied.
She. Alenis raised an eyebrow. Inviting new officers over for dinner was perhaps a friendly gesture, but went beyond the professional relationship that Starfleet officers would typically try to cultivate with each other. And she definitely wasn't expecting it to be another woman. "A materials chemist from the Daystrom Institute," she mused as she reprogrammed the replicator, "sounds like a nice girl."
Before Jason could respond, the door chime sounded. "Well you can see for yourself, that will be her." He said as he headed for the door.
Opening the door he was greeted by Teneca. "Good evening sir." She said. "I wasn't sure whether this was a working dinner or not, so I wore my uniform. I hope I'm not too early."
"You're fine, come in." Jason said. "Let me introduce you to my girlfriend. Ensign Teneca Quinn, this is Alenis Nerys.
"A pleasure to meet you, Nerys, are you Captain Alenis' sister?"
"Not exactly..." replied Nerys, as she looked Teneca up and down, upset at what she saw. The other woman was younger looking, with smoother skin and silkier hair than her own. And was a flesh and blood person, rather than a computer program. "Feel free to pour yourself a drink," she said, motioning towards the wine bottle, "I just have to reprogram the replicator. Jason didn't tell me were were having company tonight.."
Teneca smiled nervously.
"It is okay, so what were you working on at the Daystrom Institute, or is it hush, hush?" Jason asked.
"It's not top secret, I helped develop a material that is more resistant to the effects of energized plasma, that can be used to strengthen EPS conduits." Teneca said.
"Interesting, how did you did you cope with ionic degradation?" Jason asked with interest.
"We included a non-ionic resin." Teneca replied.
Nerys tried to eavesdrop and follow along, but found herself quickly lost in the technical mumbo-jumbo of material science. While Alenis had developed an appreciation for the sciences and a basic knowledge through her Starfleet training, the intricacies of material science was beyond her. She was trained as a tactical officer, so the one property that mattered to her was how resistant the material was to disruptor blasts. "Teneca," called out Nerys from the replicator, "you don't have any food allergies, do you? Specifically to Bajoran foods?"
"Not that I'm aware of. I'm not fond of seafood though, if that helps?" Teneca said.
"Hmmmm," mused Alenis as she put the finishing touches on her adjustments. "I guess it's good that I didn't go with the shrimp salad." With a couple more presses of the buttons, she materialized a plate of bruschetta, three soups, and an extra place setting. "Dinner is served!" she exclaimed, strolling towards the table with the food on a large tray. Placing it in front of Jason and Teneca, she paused for a moment. "Allow me to grab another chair..."
Jason and Teneca took their seats. "Nerys, It looks delicious." She said. "Tell me to mind my on business, if you like, but how did you and Jason meet?"
Nerys blushed; it was an awkward story to say the least, and she knew that Jason, like all Vulcans, was sensitive about that part of their anatomy. "Jason, why don't you tell the story," she said, part of her enjoying the idea of putting him on the spot as revenge for bringing an uninvited dinner guest to their quarters.
Jason blushed slightly. Then began. "Teneca, are you familiar with pon farr?" He asked.
"That's the Vulcan mating urge, isn't it?" She replied.
"That is correct. During an earlier mission, I went into pon farr and became infatuated with Captain Alenis. The Captain knew I was in danger of dying, but she was unable to mate with me, so a plan was devised. Several members of Senior Staff created a modified version of the EMH to act as a substitute. It worked and as a unforeseen circumstance the hologram, now named Nerys, gained sentience." Jason explained.
"You're a hologram?" Teneca asked Nerys, in astonishment.
"Guilty as charged," admitted Nerys, picking up one of the pieces of bruschetta. "Fortunately, my program didn't skimp on the taste subroutines."
"But you seem so alive." Teneca said. Then realising how that sounded, she added. "Sorry, I'm being rude aren't I?"
Jason just ate his bruschetta and said nothing.
Nerys shook her head. She didn't know if the taste subroutines in her program would also replicate the effects of a glass of wine or three, but tonight seemed like a good time to find out.
"Nerys, this bruschetta is delicious." Teneca said trying to make up for her social faux pas.
"Why thank you," replied the hologram. She glanced over at Jason for a moment, her eyes expressing her disappointment and frustration that he had brought over a younger woman to dinner. "Fortunately, the captain knows how to program a replicator." She took a sip of her wine. "And thus, so do I."
Jason recognised the disappointment and frustration in his girlfriend's eyes. Rising from his seat, he said. "Nerys, can I speak to you in the bedroom?"
"Sure, I suppose," replied Nerys. "If you'll excuse me for a moment," she added, getting up from the table.
Jason followed Nerys out of the room. "Nerys, mon amour, what's wrong?" He asked. "Is it Teneca? Would you like me to ask her to leave?
"Of course not, that would be rude," replied Nerys, before letting out a long sigh. "It's just... I had planned this night for just the two of us. You've been working late so much and I'm cooped up in about a dozen rooms, it's like we hardly get to see each other at all. And..." she paused for a moment. "I have to wonder if you invite all your officers to dinner in your quarters, or just the young, attractive blondes?"
"No, I invite the young attractive red-heads too." He joked.
Nerys was not impressed. "See, this is exactly what I was getting at," she replied, placing her hands on her hips. "I go to all this trouble to replicate a nice dinner for the two of us, and you're inviting women from your department over."
"I know, and I apologise both for my insensitivity and my poor sense of humour, mon amour." Jason said. "Nerys, you are the only woman, I want to be with."
"I suppose I can forgive you," said Nerys, wrapping her arms around Jason and giving him a little peck on the cheek. "This time." She smiled at Jason. "Let's show our guest a good time, then we can discuss this in the bedroom later."
"Agreed." Jason said smiling as he followed her back into the living area.