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Teatime and Talks

Posted on Monday March 29, 2021 @ 11:59am by Ewo’tOst Merrova [GM] & Madeleine De Saint Castine

Mission: Lower Decks
Location: Sickbay

Having shimed sideways through the door, Ewo paced carefully around sickbay, cautions because of the outsized oblong box she had hold of, both arms wrapped around the lower ends of the shorter sides. The case was a deep maroon colour, as opposed to the standards fleet gray, and had seen better days, scuffs and scratches covered it as did random decals, drawn on when the owner was a little bored. "Maddie, it's Ewo, are you here?"

"Just a second!" The voice that came back in response from the small section at the back of sickbay that served as Maddie's 'bedroom'. Though, in reality, referring to it as a 'bedroom' was something of a grand exaggeration. It was little more than a cell, a multi purpose cell at that. A desk and console in one corner gave her a space to work privately, a medical replicator and work bench in the adjacent corner, a bunk that served as a sofa/seating space should she need to speak privately to a patient, a small side table that would serve as additional workspace if she needed it, and a locker that housed all of her worldly possessions. All in a space barely twelve feet by twelve feet.

Emerging out into the main sickbay area, Maddie's gaze fell on Ewo and she frowned slightly. "Is everything okay? Is Ishacarr alright?" The concern was clearly evident in her voice as she spoke.

“Ishacarr is fine, as am I. Your concern is always heartening.” Ewo responded equally as genuinely, jumping straight to the purpose of her visit. “I am here to see how you are fairing.” Gong the case she carried a little shake. “And to offer to make you tea. Do you have time?”

"I always have time for tea," Maddie replied warmly, motioning to the bio beds next to them. "I'm afraid sickbay isn't really set up for receiving guests, but the bio beds are comfortable enough to sit on, or we can use my office, which ever you'd prefer."

"Biobeds seem perfect to me. Now, with this I can make you a custom brew, from scratch." Sliding the case onto the middle of the indicated bed, she flicked the pair of clasps open, pushing the lid up and over the hinges allowing it to rest against one side, then pulled the front down. Inside were a series of trays one with a clear beaker, a second with at least three cups housed in snug fitting padded moulds, and a third with a flames hotplate set in. Removing the hot plate setting it on the flat area provided by the drop down front, and setting the as yet empty beaker on top.

This revealed below, three rows and five columns of small lidded containers with a wide array of leaves in them. Along with a clear flask of water.

Siting herself down on the bed, her side resting against on end. "Now the water is Bolian Tonic Water, I have found it set off most blends very well, would you be okay with it being used?"

"Of course," Maddie sat on the biobed across from Ewo, watching with fascinated curiosity. "I don't think I've ever seen anyone actually brew tea, it seems very complex."

"It's not the most common activity I grant you that." She responded, pouring a measure of water from the flask into the beaker. "A family friend used to make a cup in the morning, for herself and for myself if we were together, once afternoon she showed me how too." Ewo explained, pausing just before describing the person as, a family friend, that was not how the relationship began but it was, Ewo felt, how they eventually parted. She moved the heat indicator to level two, to begin to heat the water gradually. "Now I want to make your a personal blend based on the answer to three questions. Would that be agreeable?"

"Of course, I trust you," Maddie replied with a warm smile. "What questions?"

Ones that will help pick out the flavours and sensations that appeal to you. I would say it’s best to answer without thinking to deeply.” She answer with a measured but warm tone, a little pleased with the compliment, and keen to share her particular interest. “First question, would you prefer a Earthy and smooth or Spicy and fragrant?”

"Earthy and smooth."

“Second when it comes to a citrus edge, would you lean towards zesty and lively or tangy and tart?”

"Tangy and tart I think."

“Thirdly could you chose between Creamy and vanilla-like or Sweet and fruity?”

"Oh, that's easy, definitely creamy and vanilla-like," Maddie's smile broke into a grin.

Ewo echoed the smile with one of her own. “An excellent taste, I find a smoothness to hot drinks to be essential.” Deliberately and carefully selecting a from three of the smaller containers, an amount of dried leaves and deposited them in a small ceramic bowl. Placing a hand over the top and giving a vigorous shake.

“In the subject area of the new, I found our first encounter to be a little more unknown than I had anticipated, but none-the-less quiet invigorating. How did you find it?” She broached as she held the bowl with the newer tea blend in the palm of the hand, waiting on the water which was almost but not quite at the boil meaning she could pause for a moment.

"Sticky," Maddie responded without pausing for consideration. "I still haven't gotten the smell out of my hair properly." She grimaced, recalling the smell and feel of the tacky residue on her skin. "Honestly, I would be quite happy to never be greeted like that again."

"That I can appreciate." Ewo replied, she had during the course of the last mission had feeling thoughts of how she would have felt being embraced by Laurisviola, a view informed by he amount of residue that was scooped off the *Cardinals* internals, concluding she would rather not have it happen. " As much as I appreciate diversity, I hope that sort of action by species is rare." At this point a roll of bubbles raced across the surface of the water in the beaker, show it having reached boiling point. She reached down placing a finger tips on the control while moving the bowl to the beaker neck, dillinger down the heat and tipping ingredients with a pair of practiced and fluid motions. Looking across at Maddie just before asking a fairly personal question. "The encounter altered my expectations for our travels taking us further out, how about yourself?"

"So long as we don't encounter the Borg, I'm okay with anything that comes our way," Maddie replied softly. "I mean, first contact with Laurisviola, it wasn't exactly unpleasant, not really. Aside from the slime and an awful mess that I'm still trying to clean up, we came out of it alive. Bumped, bruised and gooey, but alive. Unknown space..." she paused, watching the water bubbling in the beaker, each bubble rising to the top before popping, the assorted leaves being tossed about within the tempest. "It scares me," she finally confessed quietly.

"Scared can check a rush, potentially into disaster." Ewo offered, with enough time having elapsed she lifted the beaker, removed anot oddly utilitarian strainer, placing it over a cup and poured in silence, watching the pale amber liquid flow moving from container to container in a stream. Once there was enough placed the beaker down. Lifted of the strainer, before passing the cup handle first across to Maddie. "Your custom blend. Please be honest as to the taste, the little tweeks that may be needed are part of the enjoyable process."

Maddie took the cup, holding it for a moment, letting the warmth from the tea seep into her hands as she inhaled the scent. "It smells heavenly," she said, closing her eyes and taking a sip, allowing the liquid to linger on her tongue before she swallowed. "It tastes familiar, there's something in there..." she took another sip, again, closing her eyes and concentrating on the taste of the liquid. "It's beautiful," she finally said with a smile as she looked across at Ewo. "Is it chamomile blossoms?"

"It is partly, I find they sit well when combined with a base of Furegel Leaf from Andorra, which is a particularly smooth sensation and allows other flavors such as the Camomile such a delicate but smooth and warm flavour." Ewo picked out details in a mildly animated fashion, as would be expected of a person discussing a pursuit. "I love working familiar flavours into teas, I can set a mood, bring the familiar back to a person."

Maddie watched Ewo speak, enjoying the animated excitement as she sipped at her tea. "It's warm, it feels comforting." She sighed between sips, a sigh of contentment. "It's better than anything replicated I've ever tried." She paused, another sip. "You know, I would never have guessed you'd brew tea as a hobby," she finally said with a laugh.

“I appreciate that, I have been to events and gatherings for this activity, the range of persons that take an interest was surprising.” She replied letting out a laugh herself, beginning to select a few leaves and putting a fresh amount of water on to boil. “But that's the beauty of the galaxy and the people in it, and finding out what’s under the surface. If I may be impertinent, is there something you enjoy or pursue that you would perhaps keep close?”

"A lot of people don't believe in it, but I actually really enjoy holistic therapy. I guess it goes hand in hand with my job, but it's more than that. Essential oils, massage, meditation...." She paused, taking another sip of the tea, again savouring the taste. "When I was in rehab at Starfleet Medical I had a lot of time on my hands, so I started reading about it. It ended up becoming a way to relax for me, to center myself."

“No, I was not expecting you to say that.” Was Ewo initial response, perhaps slightly blunt but tempered she hoped with a wide and warm smile. The holistic approach brought up ideas of individuals or groups that lived apart, but here was life in star fleet confronting and challenging her own preconceptions. “The meditation aspect sounds intriguing and soothing, I can appreciate the centring aspect, particularly for life out here.” For the moment she skirted the mention of therapy, feeling now was not the time but feeling a great sense of trust for the mention of it in the first place. While this exchange had taken place she had selected her own preferred leaves and took this moment to shake them up in the small bowl, bring it up a little and giving it a small sniff, before reaching back to a container and sprinkling a small additional amount in.

Maddie watched Ewo move with well practiced ease as she made her own tea. "It helps with stressful situations. Learning to breathe, being able to focus, to maintain presence of mind no matter what's happening around you. It's helpful sometimes... you know, like when a giant fungi tries to turn you into it's pet."

Smiling at the anecdote from the prior mission, Ewo stopped, just as the water began to boil once more and then queries. “So the techniques are not just used in a quite room, as a way preparing yourself, they were usable right then and there, to aid you in the moment, so to speak?”

"It helped me remain calm, despite the circumstances. I was able to focus on my breathing, center myself, and focus on the bigger picture. It was helpful." Maddie shrugged slightly. "Though, I'll be honest, the breathing part was a bit hard. I still can't get rid of that smell."

“Perhaps your essential oils might help, do you think there would be one or a blend that might counter the smell.” She commented, noting it was the second or possibly the third time the lingering smell had been mentioned, just after tipping her blend of leaves into the water Ewo added. “Perhaps a aroma that had positive connection for you may also counter the residual memory.

Maddie laughed. "When I was in medical school I did a short internship in a body farm. There are some smells that even the strongest oils just can't mask... but, you're right, I can give it a try. It might help to at least subdue the scent."

Ewo smiled along, although her eyes widened a little at the mention of body farm, fairly sure from context it was as it sounded. “It seems to be that the oddest experience from past time seems to inform present oddest experiences.” Enough time had gone by for her to dial back the heat and let the water sit for a little longer, preferring a stronger brew. “And of course most things are worth trying once.” Strainer placed on cup. “Speaking of which, your mention of meditation techniques has intriguing me.” Beaker lifted and the contents poured, steam rising for a few moment. “Would you be open to teaching me?”

"Of course!" Maddie grinned. "I'd be happy to. Have you ever tried Yoga?" she took another sip of her tea and sighed again with the taste. "I find it ties in well with the meditation."

“Once when I was sixteen, but I was not I the right place to appreciate it then.” She admitted, unusually for herself. “Unlike now.” Taking up her own cup. “I’d certainly like to appreciate the tie in between the two, when can we start?”

"How about tomorrow morning? I've been using one of the cargo bays to do yoga, it's mostly empty and has a little more space. I can meet you there at zero six hundred if that suits you?"

"That would work well for me." Ewo'tOst responded positively and enthusiastically. "I would have to skip every three days, early watchstander, aside from that I will be there." Taking another sip. "Vulcan spice, Garu root, pinch of Bergamot. Hard to beat."


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