|TEABATE - A Short Star Trek Story|
|Written by Dee TS|
The morning coffee was the colour of ditch water and tasted worse. Kirk spat the bitter brew back into his cup and pushed it aside, wrinkling his short nose in disgust. Making a mental note to berate the galley chief before lunch, he suspected the state of the beverage was due more to the quality (or lack of it) of the product than the method of its brewing.
The three senior officers of the USS Enterprise were gathered around a table in the Officer’s Mess Hall, close to the single exit. There they watched a steady trail of dissatisfied ‘customers’ discard briefly sampled cups of ‘ditch water’ into the garbage disposal chute, then wander off back to their duty stations; voicing their concerns over the apparent steady decline in catering standards aboard ship. Doctor McCoy could sympathise with their dissatisfaction.
“The one thing any self-respecting, hard working officer on this ship can hopefully expect in the morning is a good cup of Columbian grade coffee. Without that, all hope for the galaxy is lost..” He grumbled, half choking on a mouthful of the brew. “We could just as well be drinking engineering lubricant. In fact I‘m sure we are.”
“I know, I know, Bones. I’ll take it up with the Procurements Officer,” Kirk promised. “Obviously we received a bad batch of beans in the ship’s last re-supply.”
“I wouldn’t mind so much,” McCoy lamented, “but it’s the one treat I allow myself to enjoy every day…besides the occasional brandy of course..”
“Of course..” Kirk sympathised.
“Tea is a far healthier alternative,” Spock stated, sipping at his herbal brew. “Particularly, the green varieties, Doctor, which have many natural benefits. Full of anti-oxidants. They aid digestion, lower cholesterol levels and help relax both body and mind. Perhaps you should try some..”
“Well, that may work for you, Mister Spock, but my system needs a kick in the morning to get me through all the trauma you and the Captain put me through every day.” McCoy responded testily. He was not surprised to see Kirk give his usual ‘What little old us?’ look and pointedly ignored it.
“The trauma you speak of, Doctor, is of your own making. You are by design a worrier. You see problems and danger in all around you and worry unnecessarily. The Captain and I merely carry out our duties as required by Starfleet for the good of the ship and the Federation. Coffee in our systems will not make that task any less difficult ..”
“And tea would, I suppose?” McCoy challenged.
“I cannot speak for the Captain, but imbibing certain herbal teas helps me to focus my energies in a relaxed and profitable manner. Thereby achieving successful results.”
“Bones I have to agree with Spock,” Kirk conceded. “Tea does have some healing qualities. I’ve found an occasional cup of camomile tea helps me to sleep..”
“Are you turning English on me, Jim? Next you’ll be serving cucumber sandwiches and scones, and holding tea dances in the Rec Room!”
“That would seem a very meritorious and civilised idea, Doctor,” Spock agreed and cocked a mischievous eyebrow in Kirk’s direction. The Captain did not disappoint.
“Yes, indeed it is, Mister Spock,” said Kirk, picking up the thread enthusiastically. “I‘m sure the crew would enjoy it. And the string section from the ship’s orchestra could use some practice. They might be persuaded to provide the dance music.”
McCoy slapped a hand to his forehead and wailed in disbelief.
“You have got to be joking! Of all the cock-a-mamy ideas!”
Kirk’s barely disguised grin, and Spock’s nod of approval told the Doctor that he was once again the butt of their amusement. The Captain he could understand, but the Vulcan..? Well he was half human and no doubt had half a sense of humour.
“You two could drive a man to drink..” McCoy concluded in defeat.
“TEA!?” The Captain an First Officer chorused, unashamedly.
“DITCH WATER!” McCoy replied.