Wednesday, October 24, 2012

'Tis Charity to Show Chapter III Part 2


Charity to Show
Chapter III
Part 2


The landing party was meeting in a room that was situated in the very middle of the main building where the archeologists had lived.  It was a large square room filled with a motley collection of portable furniture; chairs, tables, shelves and crates placed haphazardly around the area, some of the pieces either lying on their sides or overturned.  It was as if the archeologists, in their haste, had toppled over furniture while escaping from some unknown terror. 

The color of the room was a dingy grayish-brown, quite a stark contrast to the beauty of
 the planet itself.  It gave off an atmosphere of utilitarianism; work, schedules to be met, storage to keep track of.  While there were games on the shelves like Chess, cards, and Mahjong, there was no sense of play, fun, or comaraderie in these interiors.  Doorless rectangular passageways on either side of the room lead to long dark halls to other rooms in the building. 

The landing party busied itself with straightening out the furniture and picking up pieces of games that have strayed out of their boxes on the shelves.  When Scotty had entered the room, everyone else stopped what they were doing and gathered together around him and Spock. 

“Well, now you have central heating on, but it’s gonna take a wee bit of time before the place even begins to warm up.  And you’ll be glad to know that the portable water tanks are filled with enough water to last us awhile.  Couple that with the extra water we brought from the ship, we’re good to go,” said Scotty, holding a wrench in his hand.

“Thank you, Mr. Scott.  Hopefully, the heating process will not take too much time,” said Spock.

“I don’t know about you guys, but I sure could use a cup of joe just about now,” said Riley, vigorously rubbing his hands. 

Rand, who was standing next to Riley, smiled and turned to him.

“I think that can be arranged,” she chirped.

Rand turned and walked out the back door, which led to a lengthy, half-lit hallway.  Turning a corner, Rand spotted the kitchen and hurried towards it. 

“Can’t make them all wait,” she thought as she trotted towards the bright light of the kitchen, which emanated the corridor. 

The kitchen was a white, low-ceiling, stretch of interior with a long counter in front of a serving window.  Right beneath this window stood a coffee pot, one that had obviously belonged to the archeologists, as the coffee pot from the Enterprise was still sitting unpacked in one of their crates.

“All the more convenient,” she said aloud to herself as she whisked herself behind the counter, took the coffee pot, and went behind the serving window to the narrow cooking area with its stove, oven, cooking and eating utensils and cabinets. 

Rand went over to a cabinet, which was right over the other side of the serving window, and reached up, opened it, spotted a tin of coffee right on the bottom shelf, and grabbed it.

“Good, plenty still in here,” she said to herself after opening up the lid and peeking inside the tin. 

Rand removed the filter from the coffee pot and opened it, rinsed it out in the sink right below the cabinet, filled it with coffee grinds, replaced the filter lid, and put it aside as she placed the coffee pot under the one-notch faucet, allowing cold water to shoot into the pot.  When the pot was filled up she placed the filter back in it and closed the top.  Putting the pot down on the ledge of the serving window, she pulled out her phaser from its holster and set it to stun, aimed it, and fired.

The coffee pot glowed a bright orange-yellow under the phaser fire.  Rand could smell the rich aroma of coffee emanating from the stainless steel pot.  When she was satisfied, she released her thumb, ceasing fire.

While Rand waited for the pot to cool down, she replaced her phaser in her holster, reached for a tray, a carafe, cups, saucers, spoons and rinsed them, reached for small packets of condiments and carried all of these items over to the front counter to set them up. 

Rand went back over to the server window to check on the pot.  It had cooled down, as the glow from the laser had faded.  She promptly took the handle and picked up the pot, carrying it over to the tray, flipped open the carafe top and poured the coffee into it. 

After setting the empty coffee pot back onto the hot plate, Rand gripped the sides of the tray and its contents and carefully picked them all up, carrying everything out the kitchen and into the hall, heading back to the meeting room where everyone else sat in the cold brought about by the desert evening.

“Oh my God, please tell me I’m not seeing things!” exclaimed Riley with a huge joyful smile on his face when he turned to see Rand enter the meeting room with the big tray of coffee, cups and saucers, which she placed gingerly on one of the tables in the room.

The landing party eagerly gathered around the tray, exclamations of relief from the cold filling the room as Rand poured each person a cup of coffee from the carafe and handed one to each of the crewmembers.

“Thank you, Janice!” You’re an angel!” said Dr. Begay, taking the cup of hot coffee and cradling it reverently between the palms of his hands and inhaling the nutty, glorious aroma. 

“You’re very welcome, Mathias,” said Rand.

“Goodness, Lassie!  Hot coffee!  How in God’s name did you finagle this without any power around here yet?” asked Scotty, eagerly taking the cup of coffee offered to him, like an excited child.

Rand shrugged her shoulders, clearly proud of her small feat.

“I simply filled up the coffee pot with coffee grinds and water, zapped it with my phaser, and presto-chango, coffee!  Now, mind you, you may end up glowing in the dark after drinking the stuff, but at least it’s hot.”

Rand’s quip was followed by grateful, relaxed chuckles from the rest of the landing party, all except for Mr. Spock, who waved away Rand’s gesture
of offering.

“I fail to see how drinking coffee that has been heated with a phaser will actually make one glow in the dark,” he said with an incredulousness that only he could deliver.

Rand, after taking Spock’s coffee for herself, looked at him with a deadpan expression on her face and said: “That was a joke, Mr. Spock.”

Spock nodded his head, as if doing so would make him eventually understand, but the final raise of an eyebrow indicated a clear mark of defeat in ever getting the joke.

   

















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