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Posted on Fri Dec 18th, 2020 @ 12:27pm by Lieutenant Anna S. Thesia M.D. & Lieutenant Bonnie "Bon-Bon" Durnell

Mission: Healing of Minds
Location: Bonnie's Quarters
Timeline: evening after EMH reprogramming

Anna had looked long and hard for a design she could put on her mugs that would include a word play on cocoa, but her mind had come up empty, and the computer hadn’t been any help either. It didn’t understand wordplay to begin with. No, her experience was with tea, and so she had to go a different route with the cocoa.

Eventually, she had settled on a flask in the shape of cacao fruits, and two mugs in the shape of cacao beans. Not as funny, but she liked the design. It was better than metal cylinders and plain porcelain mugs, at any rate. To round it off, she was wearing a dress that accentuated her green skin to give herself an overall appearance that reminded people in the know of a cacao tree. The full monty, so to speak.

Dressed like this and bearing gifts, she rang the doorbell to Bonnie’s quarters.

Bonnie looked up from her copy of Quantum Cores and More and rolled her eyes at the thought of a tertiary power redundancy to supplement the level 26 cache when everyone knew the primary power core already supplied enough power for twice that many. To add a tertiary just seemed excessive. And while Bonnie had her moments of extra, she was far from what she would call excessive.

The door chimed and she peered at it quizzically. Someone was at her door? This would be a first considering she had not interacted with many people since she came on board. Maybe it was Remal with some more Jumja sticks. Those were simply tasty.

She stood, her satin pajamas falling loosely around her. She always wore a size larger just for the comfort. "Come." She spoke to the door once she had sufficiently composed her appearance.

The doors parted revealing a smiling Anna in a dress and sporting gifts in the shape of a cacao nut. Bonnie blinked and then shook off the strange sight before her, remembering her manners. "Um… come in."

Anna walked in, all smiles and cheer. “Hey, I dug into the computer’s files a little and found just what I needed. You said you like chocolate? Here it comes.” She put her basket down on the closest table to start unpacking its contents. “Nice outfit, shiny and comfortable. You know how to live, you say?”

"Um." Bonnie was at a loss for words. "I like hot cocoa, yes." She looked Anna up and down.
"Why are you dressed like a tree?" This felt like a 'white people are crazy' trope her papa used to tell her about even though Anna was green tinted. The gifts Anna carried in were in the shape of cacao fruits and nuts leading Bonnie to ask herself Is this woman dressed like a cacao tree simply because I mentioned hot chocolate?

“I like trees”, Anna said. “And my skin colour doesn’t clash with foliage, unlike with most other colours.” She smirked. “Besides, what better pattern for a dress than a nature motif?” She put a mug down in front of Bonnie and opened the flask, letting the scent of hot chocolate out into the air, betraying also a hint of vanilla. “I’ve got a duck costume, but I thought that might be weird.”

The nature pattern was nice. As the aroma struck her nose , Bonnie exclaimed, "Is that chocolate?" Her eyes grew wide in amazement. She almost licked her lips as they began to salivate at the thought. "Like real chocolate?" She didn't even stop to question the duck costume as it seemed immaterial to the hot chocolate Anna had brought with her.

“What else would it be?” Anna grinned. “I assure you, while I’m dressed like a cocoa tree, this is not actually made from anything my body produces. It’s merely symbolic.” She snickered as she filled both mugs with the delightful liquid.

Bonnie accepted the cocoa gracefully, bringing it to her nose first. The steam rising off brought with it an invigorating aroma of silky smooth chocolate. It was a bit too hot to drink yet so she simply savored the smell. Cocoa always brought her back to simpler times. Times before she ventured into space, when her Papa would give her chocolate milk with "Tiny marshmallows!" She blurted out. She moved to her replicator and spoke, "Computer, 1 bowl of mini marshmallows please."

The computer chirped its compliance and a bowl of mini marshmallows appeared on the replicator tray. She picked it up carefully and dropped several into her cup, taking a moment to watch them melt slowly. Then she remembered Anna and her manners, "Sorry, would you like some?"

Anna popped one into her mouth. “Oh, creamy sugar?” She nodded and put some into her cup. “Yes, absolutely.” She chewed it some more, then asked, “Those are an earth food, aren’t they? I seem to remember the taste from some treats human campers took with them to roast over the fire, in the cooler parts of Risa.” She smirked. “I spent lots of time in Risa’s woods, and you meet the strangest people there.”

Nodding, Bonnie responded "Those are probably the larger ones. Papa and I used to roast them over our firepit. I like catching them on fire and then blowing them out. It made for a crispy edge which according to him was an acquired taste. So, why were you always in the woods? I've never been to Risa but from what I gather most people flock to the beaches."

She took her first sip and felt the warmth slide down into her stomach. She allowed her eyes to close briefly, savoring the flavor. Then she motioned for Anna to come in and sit, while giving a side glance at the chaps in the corner she hoped Anna wouldn't notice. Why hadn't she done something with them yet?

“The beaches?” Anna shrugged. “They’re nice, yes. But if you’re at the beach every day, it gets boring.” She got comfortable opposite Bonnie. “Besides, if you want to see the wildlife, you’ve got to go where there are fewer people around, and move quietly about.” She snickered as she remembered a few amusing encounters. “Some of the hikers must have thought I’m a wood nymph or something. There were some times, especially during the war, where I wished I’d remained in civilian practice on Risa, and never joined Starfleet. The peace and quiet, if you know where to go, is beyond compare.”

An admirer of peace and quiet places, Bonnie was intrigued. “So, what made you choose to give up being a wood nymph and join Starfleet, especially during wartime?” She looked over Anna and debated her age. She didn’t look old enough to have been in the Cardassian war, so it must have been the Dominion or something having to do with them which brought her out of the folds of the woods and onto the frontlines. Every story was a unique one, like reading a book, only she was reading a person.

“I was on Bajor, they had great need for medical personnel in the first few years after the occupation”, Anna said. “Then the evacuation order came, things turned to shit and they needed surgeons on the hospital ships. A demanding job, and I’m not saying there weren’t times that I enjoyed it, but now I’m hoping I’ll get to see some of the more peaceful aspects of this galaxy.” She took a sip of the cocoa. “I’ve got a field commission, which has been upheld because... well, there’s still a bit of a manpower shortage. So here I am.”

"So here you are." Bonnie repeated. She sipped her cocoa enjoying the flavor, then chose to break the silence. "Do you think you'll ever go back to just hiding out in the woods? I mean you seem to enjoy being here, at least as far as I've noticed." She had never been good at small talk but she had learned one thing in her short lifespan, ask questions that keep others talking about themselves and they will hardly notice you aren't talking about yourself much at all.

“Who knows?” Anna shrugged. “Not for the time being, maybe when I’m old and feeble?” She smirked at Bonnie. “Though, can’t move too far away from the emergency nursing home holograms, or whatever it is they’ll come up with in time.” Then her eyes fell on something odd in the corner. She had no idea what chaps were, or what they would be used for, so she simply pointed and asked, “What are those, by the way?”

Bonnie internally gave a mini freak out. "Um… those… well those are a mistake… um and a reminder… and a bit of a story I suppose. Probably something you're not interested in really." She skirted in an effort to redirect the conversation back to Anna.

“Are you kidding?” Anna asked. “A mistake, a reminder *and* a story? Those are the ingredients that go into ‘interesting’. You could flavour it a bit with some embarrassment, but those three are the basics.” Anna could tell that this particular flavouring was present, and wanted to put Bonnie at ease with her remark.

There was deffinetly some embarrassment in the whole situation, but perhaps this was an opportunity to chat about it with someone else other than the CO/Counselor. She fumbled for words as she tried to begin at the beginning in an effort to get off her chest her moment of betrayal.

"I have never been very…" she shook her shoulders and dived right to the heart of the matter. "Lucky, per say. Throughout my life weird things have been at the center of who I am. So when I was transported to Fresno instead of San Francisco and missed my transport to the Liberty, I thought nothing of it." She paused long enough to sip her cocoa which was maintaining its perfect temperature.

"But that's when HE walked into my life." The line of all lines for a woman scorned. She knew she was vague and so elaborated with a snide grimace. "Mr. Cody Devilrall and his shuttle named Debbie." She got a little snotty at the shuttle name as she recalled the rough ride she had to endure.

“A name fit for a warship”, Anna joked, having learnt enough about Terran mythology that she knew Debbie was short for Deborah, a warrior queen from Jewish mythology. “But if the story’s going where I think it’s going, it’s kinky leather for fun times? Yet you don’t seem to remember this too fondly.”

Her eyes grew wide, "Oh no none of that happened, at least not like that, at least not yet, not really." She paused and collected her thoughts then began once more.

"So during the ride we conversed about luck. He tried to convince me that while I may be unlucky, it is all a matter of perspective and that others around me might be having good luck." She half heartedly chuckled. "It became a game of heads or tails. Where when something bad happened he would call tails. We were only together for a short time but I began to feel like he understood me."

"Well then after I accidently destroyed his shuttle, the hard ass Commander at the starbase threw Cody in jail. Then I met Remal and an Orion spy named Lucy and we broke Cody out of jail, well technically that was Lucy who took us hostage and then we stole an Orion Interceptor." She was rushing and becoming animated with her hand gesture. Without spilling a drop of her cocoa. She could see the perplexed look on Anna's face so she paused, "Follow so far?"

Anna grinned and nodded. “Yes, I like where this is going. Shenanigans and fun times of a different sort.” Breaking someone out of jail? Anna was surprised Bonnie hadn’t been busted for that. But on the other hand, Starfleet was short of personnel at the moment, and possibly more lenient now than it used to be?

"So the next part is where the chaps come into play." She then double backed, "Well first the Interceptor was a former Orion pleasure craft. There were gadgets and harnesses all throughout the ship. Well Lucy wanted to use me to decrypt some files on board the Liberty which was being attacked by Orion pirates but Remal conked her in the head with a dildo and we tied her up in a swing."

"Then we boarded the pirates' ship in disguise." She smiled at the thought and with a slight chuckle added, "Cody put on a pair of assless chaps to, um, act as a distraction. Cutest little cheeks you've ever seen." She fawned and her cheeks went red.

Then she grew more somber. "That was his last 'tails' moment." She said making air quotes. She sipped her last drop of cocoa and continued in a less animated andore somber tone. "We got in, disabled the dampening field and got out without much issue. When we finally got to the Liberty, everything was under control. Lucy was placed in the brig with some other pirates until the Captain could figure out what to do with her while Cody stayed on the Interceptor."

She sighed as she realized she was approaching the climax of her tale. Her eyes began tearing up as she continued. "Turns out he was using the opportunity to download a backup containing the files." She shook her head. "He used me to get on board. He later confessed that he and Lucy had planned everything and I was a target because I could decrypt the files he needed."

She threw her hands up, "And then he used me again to break out of the brig and then shot the guard and myself. I mean technically I shot the guard, but he definitely shot me. And then he escaped the ship." She glanced at the chaps in the corner. "But before he left he managed to send those to me as a message, mocking me in the process." She shrugged, "I just haven't figured out how to dispose of them yet."

That tale had certainly taken a surprising turn. “So I was right, in a way”, Anna said. “They are meant for display purposes, at least originally.” She smirked. “Well, I’m glad you got out of this unharmed, though getting shot isn’t any fun. Don’t be annoyed with yourself. It is better to trust and have your trust abused, than to always be suspicious of everyone and never find any friends.” With her own mug also empty, Anna put it on the table before her. “Maybe you should keep them, just somewhere out of sight to not be reminded of them all the time, and hand them back to him once he gets caught?”

"I was thinking of torching them on the first planet we came to but your idea sounds better. And I know I need to open up but I keep racking my brain about how open and honest he seemed to be, but it was a ruse. I mean how much of it was real and how much was fake?" She shrugged and got quiet, going to her thinking space. There was always that little space inside her mind where she liked to visit, tranquil and filled with only the best gadgets. Unfortunately it left her looking glassy eyed and zoned out to the world around her.

“You’re going to get your sweet revenge”, Anna said. “And in the meantime, at least you know you’re in a tight group of people who stand up for each other.” She made a gesture meant to encompass the ship and, more importantly, her crew. “Just don’t close yourself up to your crewmates, that would only add insult to injury.”

"I haven't closed myself off. I let you in and you're dressed like a tree." She gestured towards Anna's dress with an amused look on her face. "Though you did barter entry with hot chocolate. I would probably let my worst enemy in, if I had one that is, if they brought hot cocoa to me." She thought about her papa and what he would say about her introversion.

"Besides I met Remal, we ate Jumja sticks and now I've met you. I would say I'm doing well so far." She was thinking hard about the truth in that statement, second guessing her own denial in the matter.

“Yes, I think you might at that”, Anna smiled. “I’m hoping to make some friends aboard here myself, and I’d be delighted if you were one of them. I can be a friend with great benefits, you see?” She pointed at the cocoa and winked.

Bonnie smiled, "I do indeed." She leaned in and shook her cup, "Got any more, um, cocoa or stories you wish to share?"

“I’m, well, I’m not a good story teller”, Anna admitted, opening the flask and pouring another two cups. “But I’m definitely a good foodie. I exercise specifically so I can eat comfort foods, even though I dislike sports.”

"I am not coordinated enough to participate in most sports but I do enjoy basic exercise. Mostly stuff that won’t get me or anyone else hurt." She remembered the monkey bar incident that put her and five others in the hospital and sighed. "I don't mind a good early morning jog though. If you are ever in the mood, we could um, run together or something. I'd even let you choose the terrain. I mean if you want?" She savoured another soothing sip.

“If you don’t mind going slow?” Anna asked. “I’m a dancer, but I’m not sure I’ve got the endurance for running.” She smiled. “Hiking, on the other hand... I’ve got a few holodeck programmes, pristine, natural landscapes that are just a joy to walk, run, swim or do whatever else in. Do you like mountains? Or jungles? Or moors?”

Her eyes lit up, "I don't know about jungles but I've been to the moors of Scotland, an Earth province, and I fell in love with the landscape there. They also have a beautiful mountain range."

“Perfect!” Anna was clearly excited. “And the peat bogs are great for skincare, should we fall into one of them.” She was delighted with the prospect. “No bagpipes, though, okay?”

Bonnie chuckled, "I'm okay with that, hard to run to bagpipe music anyway. No beat to speak of. So running in Scotland, I can't wait." She held up her mug, "Thanks again for the cocoa and conversation. I have a morning shift tomorrow though and don't wish to keep you." She immediately realized that line sounded personal and potentially bad. "Um, not that you are property to be kept or anything."

Anna stuck her green tongue out at Bonnie. “I don’t play for keeps this soon anyway.” She laughed and stood, collecting the things she had brought, now empty, and stuck them into the replicator to be recycled, rather than carrying them back home with her. “Sleep well, Bonnie”, she said with a wave of her hand.

"Thanks. Um, you too." She stood and waved back awkwardly. "And thanks again for the cocoa." Once Anna passed through the doors and they closed behind her, Bonnie walked over to the corner and picked up the chaps. She then asked the replicator for a box large enough. After taking a moment to take in their meaning one last time she folded them away and closed the lid then filed the box under her bed for a later time. Revenge, being what it was, would rear its ugly head when the time was right.


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