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Afternoon Tea

Posted on Sat Aug 31st, 2019 @ 2:02pm by Lieutenant Commander Arthur Talbot

Mission: Brief Respite
Location: Talbot's Quarters
Timeline: Mission Day 1 at 1430

With a familiar swish, the door panels closed behind Artie, encapsulating him in his quarters for the first time since he could remember. For the last several months, Altai had been his home, starting with the modifications he’d been charged to perform on the warp drive and then all the way through the wild missions that followed. Nothing had unfolded like he anticipated. The warp drive project had been rushed. The Bardeezi crisis required he stay on the bridge. Then the Qlo’ka business kept him rather occupied.

Life had moved so fast, Artie never really had the time to process the change in uniform. A single gold uniform still hung in the closet for memory’s sake, but it would never be worn again. Until today, his quarters had just been a place to sleep. Both his office and Engineering had been places to live and operate. Life in Starfleet required untold amounts of dedication, and as he had no significant other or plans to find one, he had no reason to spend time off duty.

Docked at the Starbase, however, Artie quickly ran out of things to do. Today seemed like a good time to actually have a cup of tea in his own domain.

Replicated nonsense wouldn’t do today. It honestly wasn’t his preference day in and day out, but it was what he drank while on duty or in a moment of solitude in his office. Beside the replicator in his quarters was a small table he’d placed there after first transferring to the Altai. On it was a kettle, three small containers of tea leaves, and a set of clear glass mugs, each possessing a logo from a prior assignment. He selected the Epsilon, a Saber class overlaid over the Greek letter and placed it next to the kettle. Artie keyed in the desired water temperature and activated the kettle. It would take a couple minutes to heat the water, long enough for Artie to select his tea.

The containers were unlabeled. Normally, the color coordination would serve as the quick identifier to Artie as to their contents, but today his nose would have to assist. He lifted the blue container and removed the lid. A quick sniff revealed the tea to be a breakfast tea, robust and full of flavor. He moved on to the next container, a silver one, and inhaled a light and floral aroma as his mind identified it as Darjeeling. The third tea nearly punched his nose with its strong, fruity aroma. Strength was not needed today, and Artie quickly capped that orange container.

He put both the blue and orange containers back and prepared an infuser with Darjeeling. Artie then moved to the replicator and placed an order for a small container of cream. By the time the container materialized, the kettle spat out a loud beep, indicating that the water was ready. Artie inserted the infuser into the glass mug and poured hot water over it. For about a minute, he swirled the metal device inside the mug, seeping the tea and strengthening its flavor. Artie then lifted the infuser out of the liquid, let it hang and drip nearly dry, and placed it on a small dish in front of the kettle for reuse. He then poured a small amount of cream into the mug and used a metal stir stick to thoroughly mix the tea.

Five minutes had passed by now. Artie took his tea over to the couch which faced the window. He sat down, cradling the mug in his hands until he was comfortable enough to sample its contents. A smile creeped onto his face, enjoying a taste he hadn’t experienced in months.

Yes, he decided. He should definitely have time to himself more often. Or at least take the time to enjoy a proper cup of tea.

 

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