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Bad Grub

Posted on Thu Jan 7th, 2021 @ 7:22pm by Harissa Pepper & Commander Savar cha'Salik hei-Surak Talek-sen-deen & Lieutenant JG Sarah Wilson

Mission: Healing of Minds
Location: Mess Hall

With the inoculations now fully underway and the majority of the crew starting to feel better, Dr Sarah Wilson took it upon herself to investigate the cause of the illness. Everyone afflicted had eaten at the mess hall within the last few hours. She decided to head down there and ask a few questions herself.

Harissa was feeling fairly horrible herself. She had already closed the kitchen and started scanning and throwing out all the supplies that were contaminated. She knew how to make sure nothing got tossed that didn't need to be. But working while trying to keep down lunch wasn't fun, and for some reason her body just couldn't get behind the idea of said lunch already having departed.

"Hey" Sarah said by way of introduction as she looked at the Chef knee deep in somewhat questionable supplies - who also looked green. "You look like you need one of these." She held up the hypo with the inoculation that they had been distributing around the ship.

"Yes, please, I feel horrible", Harissa said. "I don't know how the spoilt food got here but I had no way of knowing before I prepared it."

"The rumour is a questionable transaction with a questionable Ferengi on Vulcan" Sarah replied, stepping forward with the hypospray and injecting the Chef in the arm. "You should feel better soon."

"Please spread that rumour far and wide", Harissa said. "I want people to keep trusting my good. It's no good if they're afraid I'll make them sick." She pointed at the huge box of things already on their way out. "I'll throw them in the replicator and we'll need to get fresh supplies from Bajor now."

Sarah took an experimental sniff of some of the stuff from the box and wrinkled her nose, resisting the urge to gag. "Ugh that smells vile."

After leaving Aurora in charge of the bridge with the promise to call him immediately if something unforeseen came up, Savar headed to the mess hall to see if he could get some answers. Upon arriving he found Dr. Wilson talking to a civilian. "I concur its smell is most objectionable."

"Glad it's not just my nose - then again I've been knee deep in vomit all morning so that could be questionable" Sarah snorted, standing up again. "How are you feeling Captain?" She asked the towering Vulcan - not having seen him in sickbay.

"I am suffering no ill effects from the epidemic that has swept the ship. Thank you for asking Doctor and yourself?" Savar questioned the medical officer.

" Jabbed up and back at it" Wilson replied with a smile. Thankfully she had only a mild case of nausea that was easily quashed with the influx of work that had walked into sickbay.

While the officers talked, Harissa went back to scanning the stores, and tossing what the tricorder said was affected. The larder was swiftly depleted, this did not look good. Would she have to resort to cheating using replicated ingredients? She hoped not, that would conflict with her work ethics. Almost as bad as during the war.

Savar looked past Sarah and to where Pepper was scanning the food stores. "Miss Pepper? A word if you do not mind.''

"Ferengi!" Harissa responded. "How's that for a word? Never trust the little goblins!"

"Yes. Hindsight is often twenty-twenty. However you are the head chef for the Liberty. The kitchen and mess hall are your domain. I expect better from you Miss Pepper. From this moment forward all food purchased from a third party will undergo a complete screening to rule out a repeat of this episode. Do I make myself clear?"

"Perfectly!" Harissa snarled. "Now tell that to the person who got me these. I'm just as much a victim here as you are. I expect everything I get shipped to go through screening before being beamed aboard. How am I supposed to know this has not been done, huh?!" She was clearly upset, and with the hypospray helping her recover, her anger at this situation came through much stronger.

Savar was unfazed by Pepper's anger. "Miss Pepper, you are the final word in the kitchen. You made the make of assuming and this was the result. I repeat all third party purchases will undergo a thorough screening. If you feel I am being too harsh you may lodge a protest with the Captain upon her return. In the mean time you will follow my orders or we can terminate your employment."

"It's the quartermaster staff's job to screen these!" Harissa's temper was rising, not falling. "I'm a chef, not a bloody merchant, and no biohazard inspector either!" She did not feel responsible for the quality of any of the items someone else sent into her kitchen. "I've been working on Starfleet ships for twenty years. Twenty years! And this has never happened before!"

"The Quartermaster is the next on my list to see." Savar replied with infuriating calmness. "When food stuffs arrive in the kitchen they are your responsibility as you oversee their final preparation. Is that not so? Yes or No?"

"When I prepare food, I depend on the ingredients to be in good condition. I ordered pristine, organically grown fruit and vegetables. I was told this is what I got, by your people." It was a different question when it came to meat, for there just wasn't a way to justify slaughtering animals when there was a replicator available, but then with the right preparation, Harissa could make sure nobody would notice anything different. "I'm responsible for food preparation, not food safety. And I can assure you, once it gets here, it gets treated with respect." The huge container in the background, where lots of things had just been tossed into, spoke a different language, but these were special circumstances.

"Incorrect. As head chef you are responsible for both food preparation and its safety. If you feel you are unable to fulfill these requirements, you are free to vacate the position of head chef aboard the Liberty." Savar replied coolly.

"Ahhh excuse me... shouldn't we be filing a complaint against the Ferengi?" Sarah piped up, feeling more than a little uncomfortable with the whole situation.

Savar favored Sarah with a glance. "A complaint is in the process of being lodged as we speak Doctor. Seeking restitution of foodstuffs or their equivalent in Federation currency." Savar informed her.

"Oh.. sorry" She blushed, realising just how much she didn't know about this CO. Then again, she hadn't really gotten to knew the previous one either. She really should do something about that in future before opening her mouth.

"Then get me my own biofilters installed down here, and I can do that", Harissa responded. This man was infuriating, trying to lay the blame on her even though she had just done her job.

Savar replied with insufferable calmness, "Biofilters will be installed within the hour Miss Pepper. Now, the reason for the crew getting sick cannot be spoiled or improperly cooked food."

"My food is always properly cooked! I might not be among the high and mighty up on the bridge but I'm just as good at my job as you are at yours. Maybe better." While he hadn't claimed her food hadn't been prepared well, that didn't stop her from interpreting, and she hated being challenged.

Savar didn't take the challenge, he just appraised her with cool eyes. "Indeed. Time will tell. As you have nowhere to go but up after this incident."

"As this incident was caused by bad supplies. I'd like to see you take accurate sensor readings with a corrupt sensor palette." Harissa challenged.

"A bad sensor pallet? I have seen no evidence of a bad sensor pallet. As of now all I have is the word of an upset chef." Savar replied his coolness a direct contrast to Harissa's anger.

"Hypothetically! The best chef can't make a good meal if she's given poor ingredients", Harissa explained, making a dismissive gesture before returning to her work of checking the various food stocks. "Go find the one responsible, and do not question my art."

"I am confident we will talk again Miss. Pepper as it is your art we will be discussing." Savar replied with glacial coolness.

Harissa harrumphed. This man was insufferable! "If you say so..."

"Indeed. I do Miss Pepper." Savar replied. "Indeed, I do."


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