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The Blowout - Part II

Posted on 21 Jun 2019 @ 12:38am by Lieutenant Joey Geisler & Lieutenant JG Daniella Blake & Captain Harvey Geisler & Commander Thiago Teixeira & Lieutenant Commander Terry Walsh & Lieutenant Commander Jayla Kij & Lieutenant Commander Arjin Djinx & Lieutenant Gemma Alexander & Lieutenant Camila Di Pasquale & Senior Chief Petty Officer Alexander Rylan & Lieutenant JG Ian Beckett & Ensign Aidan Crehan & Senior Chief Petty Officer Mila Rasputin

Mission: Truth and Justice
Location: Holodeck 3
Timeline: MD 10 || 1800 Hours

As each guest entered the holodeck, they found themselves standing on a dock surrounded by the crystal clear waters of Waikiki Beach. There were no boats present, save for one anchored at the very end. A ramp was present, allowing guests a means to board the vessel, which was already occupied by a few individuals standing on the main deck. Each person held a tray that contained various types of cocktails chosen specifically for such an occasion, as well as one that contained champagne.

On a post off to the side of the ramp was a sign, proudly proclaiming the event that everyone was there for.



Mila had arrived early even though she had told Aidan when the part was due to start. It was more a matter of making sure that everything was perfect, as was her wont and she was determined to make this a very special birthday party for her Captain. She wore a purple dress with bare shoulders and carried a thin square present with a red bow on top of blue wrapping paper in one hand and stopped to inspect the sign as she waited for the others to begin to show up.

Camila hadn't planned on going, but it was for the Captain, so she searched the database for suitable gifts before she selected one, even though it had taken the bigger replicators to produce. She was satisfied with the results and wrapped it in blue wrapping paper, put it on a hover platform and got ready for the party. She wore a colorful island dress which showed off her legs and wore her hair loose. She had asked Ian to come with her, and now waited on him outside of the holodeck with the platform with the Captain's gift.

A birthday party for the Captain on the holodeck. Ian had only met the man a handful of times and had no idea what to get him. He had a small box under his arm with a generic gift in it as he rounded the corner. He was wearing a pair of black shorts that doubled as swim trunks and a light-weight, white, button down shirt flopping in the slight breeze. A pair slip on beach shoes complemented his ensemble.

When Camila had invited him as her plus one, he'd readily accepted. Hanging out in the holodeck seemed to be the thing for them to do lately. When he approached the door to the holodeck, he saw Camila standing there in her colorful dress. "Hey there, hotshot," he called out.

Camila turned and smiled when she saw Ian. "There he is, the Huntsman of the Holodeck. I didn't know if you'd make it on time, but it looks like we're early."

Ian laughed. "Huntsman of the Holodeck...I like it. Yeah, I was able to cut out on time from my duty shift. Not too much going on for us junior guys in transporter rooms."

Aidan came up and saw the two standing there. He nodded and walked by them, entering the holodeck. Mila had given him the starting time, but he knew that she would be there early. It was custom with her and it was a custom that he appreciated. What he saw when he walked in took his breath away. She was beautiful in her purple dress. The beach and scenery weren't too bad either. If there had been a breeze catching her hair, it would have taken him back to when she stepped off the shuttle where they first met.

When the science Ensign walked by and into the holodeck, Camila looked at Ian. "There's no time like the present," she said and indicated the door. "Shall we?"

Ian chuckled and looked at the two gifts. "The present, heh, nice. Sure let's go ahead. He stepped in front of the door so that it could open. "Wow, this looks like a nice place to retire."

"Look at that beautiful boat," Camila said after she saw the sign and the Captain's Yeoman. "That looks like our destination."

Ian looked over towards the sign. "Then let's go, hotshot. We can see what all this fancy boat has to offer and who else is also here."

She smiled and started to reach for his hand, then changed her mind at the last second. She wasn't sure how she felt about him yet, but she knew she liked him. "Onward, Huntsman, onward!"

"Well onward then it is!" Ian exclaimed. He took off running up the ramp and slid to a stop about halfway. "Well what are you waiting on slowpoke? C'mon!"

Camila laughed and headed after him while pushing her hover cart ahead of her. "You aren't the one with a cart to push," she said.

He watched her push the cart up the ramp towards him. "Yeah, I did cheat a little there, didn't I? Here, let me make it up to you." He moved to her side and took hold of the cart along with her. "Let's do it, hotshot."

With a smile and another laugh, the ombre haired woman jumped onto the cart and looked back at him. "Get to moving!"

Ian burst out laughing and took a few seconds to catch his breath. "Admirals of Fun, I believe it was. So let's hop to it!" He put a little extra push behind the cart. "Onward to party and fun! Stand aside as Admiral of Fun Di Pasquale's coach approaches!" Ian finished pushing it up the ramp and onto the boat. What a sight that must have been, though. The Security Chief on an anti-grav cart being pushed by a transporter operator.

Camila laughed. "Fun speed ahead, Admiral of Fun Beckett!" she called cheerfully as she balanced herself on the antigrav platform.

Ian smiled the whole way. Having so much fun off duty was great. Having a surprise birthday party for the Captain with everything going on was relaxing. Having some time off was refreshing. And spending some more time with Camila was...something. He wasn't quite sure how to describe it. Ian pushed the platform, the crate, and the Camila up to the table of gifts. "We'll just park it right here," he said as he put at the end of the table. He looked around at some of the others who'd gathered there to drop off their gifts and nodded. Then he walked to the platform and lifted up his hands as if he were going to lift Camila up and set her off the platform.

Camila nearly blushed, but allowed him to help her off the platform even though she could have easily stepped down off of it. She didn't know how she felt about him, but he was definitely earning positive points in her book. "Why thank you," she said with a warm smile. "I had no idea that chivalry was still a thing."

"No problem," replied Ian. "And I doubt that chivalry still is, for the most part. But hey, I like archery, have my own bow and arrow, and the leather gear of a huntsman to go with it. I like the era when a little of it still existed. So I guess it kinda rubs off." He looked around the lower deck of the ship and nodded. "Not bad. So, mingle or find something to drink first. I bet they have pineapple or mango something around here someplace."

"Let's go see," Camila said.

Mila smiled when she saw Aidan and headed over to him. "I am being glad you are able to come, Aidan," she said as she raised up to place a kiss on his cheek. "You are looking very handsome."

Aidan returned the kiss, only on her forehead. "I would not miss this for the world. And you are looking spectacular as always." He looked to the ship on the water. "An interesting choice for a birthday party. However, for a starship Captain, it might be fitting."

"I am seeing that others are showing up," Mila said when the holodeck doors opened and several people cam in. "Is being good. Let us be going to boat, da?"

"Da," said Aidan, repeating her native Russian. "Perhaps we can begin to mingle with those are arriving." He put his arm around her, suggesting they walk side by side up the ramp.

Mila smiled and put an arm around his waist and walked with him. "I am not being able to wait to see look on Harvey's face. Is being big surprise."

"I cannot imagine what that will be like," he replied. "Does he like surprises? Well, surprises that have nothing to do with missions or assignments or the like. I don't think he'd like those too much." Aidan still hadn't gotten comfortable enough to call the man by his given name.

"Is something which I am thinking he will be liking," the Russian said. "The past is meeting the present in what I am getting him."

"You are still quite the dark and mysterious woman, Mila. Even with birthday parties and presents," he said. "I can't fathom what you could possibly have gotten where the past and present come together. Perhaps a first edition temporal mechanics textbook?" Aidan's sense of humor had left a lot to be desired for many, many years.

Mila raised up on her toes and whispered what it was in his ear. "See? Past is meeting present."

"Ahhh," he said, as the realization struck him. "I understand now. I do believe that Captain Geisler will be very appreciative of it. Perhaps you might even see it in his ready room sometime."

"I am having hope it will be," the Russian Yeoman said. "He is not yet taking down remains of Kermit wallpaper me and Joey covered his ready room in."

Aidan chuckled and shook his head. "It's still on the walls... Perhaps you two can replicate one of these Kermits on a small scale and place it in his ready room chair. I suspect that something like that might last a little longer than the wallpaper."

Mila laughed. "Is being good idea. Come. Let us place gifts and be getting ready. I an Joey set most of this up and I am wishing to see how it is being received by Harvey when he is showing up."

"From what I can see, you two did a fantastic job." Aidan looked to the doors at the sound of the swooshing. "And I do not think you'll have to wait too long, my dear. He's here."

Finding a gift hadn't been easy. In fact, Jayla had given up on finding one and instead, opted to make one. It was big and a bit awkward to carry, but Alex had, of course, offered to carry it for her. He was honestly altogether too helpful. "Well," she said as they entered the holodeck together. "We're about to be public. No more rumors."

Alex grinned despite the heavy, awkward load. "I'll trying to embarrass you." he said. "Gotta admit, I actually feel a little nervous. Some of the officers on this ship are a little uptight, present company excluded, of course."

"Don't worry about them," Jayla told him. "You just have to get to know them a bit. Looks like we're supposed to get on the boat. Are you sure you don't want me to carry it for awhile?"

"Nah, I got it," Alex said. "But that doesn't mean that as soon as I find a place to put it I'm not going to be grateful."

"Just don't let the cover slip," she said, twitching a corner of it. "I don't want anybody to see it until it's time."

"Don't worry," Alex said. "I didn't get to carry your books for you when we were in school, mostly because almost every one of them was in digital form on your PaDD, but I never carried that for you either. Think of this as me making up for that all at once. So relax, I've got this."

"I probably would have smacked you with it if you tried," she replied with a grin. "Oh, it looks like gifts are over there. Uh... I guess just lean it against the wall?"

"Sure," Alex said. He carefully leaned the gift up against the wall and made sure it wasn't going to fall before he let go of it. "There you go." Alex chuckled. "Yeah, that was a weird time. But I wouldn't have missed out on knowing you back then for anything. Those experiences led me to a lot of good decisions in my life, which brought me to the Black Hawk and back to you. The Great Bird of the Galaxy moves in mysterious ways." Alex pulled his Great Bird of the Galaxy pendant he wore around his neck out from under his shirt, kissed it, and slipped it back into his shirt. He held out his arm to Jayla. "Shall we mingle?"

With a nervous grin, she took his arm. “Let’s,” she said and immediately began searching for her friends.

Terry had his arm around Dani's shoulders as they walked up to the holodeck. He was wearing some classic island beach wear which made him feel more relaxed. "It was nice of Mrs. Geisler to give the invite to the Captain's birthday."

Dani, who was wearing a sundress and had her hair pulled back, smiled. "It was nice of her, and I'm glad we were able to attend," she said, gesturing in front of them. "Shall we head inside and see what's in store for us?"

"Sure, let's hit the beach. Or the boat." He walked in to the holodeck and shook his head. "Now this is nice. Real nice. Looks like we're in the right place, though," he added gesturing to the sign.

"I've never been on a boat this big, inside a holodeck or otherwise. This is going to be interesting," Dani said, looking toward the sign. "Yep, we're definitely in the right place."

"Let's go on down get aboard," said Terry. "Maybe we can find a drink. Though, not alcoholic; I might wanna take a dip later and plan on having all my senses."

Dani smiled. "That sounds like a good idea to me. Let's go see what's offered."

Terry took her by the hand and led Dani up the ramp. The entrance to the boat was amazing. He could only imagine what the rest had to offer.

"It's beautiful. I know what we need to do on our next shore leave," the petite woman said with a bright smile.

"Hey, now that sounds like a plan," he answered. As he walked on in, he saw that there were quite a lot of people already gathering. He recognized Gemma, barely. It wasn't often that he saw his pilots out of uniform. And there was Doctor Kij and a man that he didn't know. As a matter of fact, he saw most of the senior staff as he looked around the room. "Looks like the place if filling up."

Dani took note of the faces present. She wasn't at all surprised to see just how many people had showed up for their beloved Captain's party. But, what did surprise her was the wide variety of food and drinks present. Whoever planned this had spent some time on it. "We should mingle. Who do we go see first?"

Before he could say anything, a shrill set of whistles cut through the air. He looked in the general direction and then heard the announcement. "I think mingling will have to wait, hun. The man of the hour is here."

"We should go say hi," the nurse said, gesturing for Terry to lead the way. After all, he knew Harvey better than she did, but she'd chased the man down to fix up his leg after he'd been injured some months back.

Terry nodded. "At the very least, wish him a happy one. Let's go." The Squadron Commander led her towards the general area of the Captain.

Lt. Gemma Alexander was running late, she'd gotten caught up in an interesting article about the latest coming from Starfleet flight engineers. By the time she arrived many were already there but as she did not see the Captain she figured she was on time enough. She wore a comfortable but nice civilian outfit as she carried a box, placing it on the table with the other gifts.

Jayla spotted Gemma almost as soon as she arrived and thought the two weren’t quite what one would call friends, they had spoken on occasion. So, she dragged Alex in that direction. “Hi, Gemma!” she said cheerfully. “How are you?”

Alex kept up with Jayla and waited to be introduced like both a good boyfriend and an experienced Senior NCO who didn't strike up conversations with people when he didn't know whether they were an officer or not.

Gemma turned at the voice after putting the wrapped present down, grinning, "Doctor Jay, pretty good. Been to any good sing alongs lately?" She gently joked, remembering the Les Misérables flash mob Gemma had been a part of in the lounge where she'd actually gotten to meet the CMO outside of work. She nodded politely to Alex, unsure if she knew him or not.

"Not lately," Jayla laughed. "Probably much to everyone's relief. Oh, Alex, this is Gemma Alexander. Gemma, Alex Rylan."

Well, Jayla my lovely, that intro wasn't very helpful at all, Alex said to himself, amused. Their situation was still new to them, and this was the first time they were any kind of public function together as a couple. Eventually, they'd get into a routine, and Alex wouldn't be left wondering where he fit in the food chain. Or maybe I'll bite the bullet and become a Physician Assistant so I can get a commission. I read there's a pilot program just for qualified Independent Duty Corpsmen where the didactic and labs are offered through holoclasses and the clinicals can be done in Sickbay, since IDCs already have most of the training and education PA-Cs get, it's an accelerated program. When we get back, I'll have to check it out. He grinned. "Nice to meet you, Gemma," he said.

Gemma smiled back her eyes going from him to Jayla with a fleetingly considering expression. Her smile widened a little as she considered this must be Jayla's date. "Well good for you." she thought. "Good to meet you as well." She said in her Earth British accented English. She glanced around, "Looks like all the ship who could turned out for this one." She was happy to see it. They needed something to celebrate after the recent rough patches.

"Well, everyone loves Captain Geisler," Jayla replied with a grin and roll of her eyes. "I guess it's because he's so grandfatherly or something."

Gemma laughed, "Yeah right, I can totally see him giving advice from his rocking chair." In a tone that said the complete opposite. Their Skipper was a lot of of things, he was ok and that high praise in Alexander's book, but sedate he was not.

Jayla giggled, imagining the Captain sitting in a rocking chair with an afghan in his lap. "He'd probably start every sentence with 'back in my day,'" she said.

Arjin looked at himself in the mirror before he would depart towards the captains birthday party. The person that looked back at him wore slim fitting cotton pants with the boards rolled up slightly. He had chosen for a light beige colour since it would be a beach party. Underneath he had chosen for dark blue loafers. Instead of the native colourful printed shirt, he had opted for a unicolour shirt in a dark pink shade. The shirt was not too slim fitted nor too wide. But the iridescent fabric made his muscles stand out whenever he moved. After pulling a comb through his hair, he picked up his present which was wrapped in blue paper. A short walk took him to the holodeck. The setting was as he had expected. The boat more pretty than he had hoped. Stepping on the deck, he mingled with the crowd.

He'd been uncertain of what to wear, but Thiago had finally settled on white linen pants, a pale red muscle shirt with a tropical print camp shirt, unbuttoned. Simple brown boat shoes covered his feet. As he entered the holodeck, he was impressed by what he saw. He slowly walked down the dock towards the boat, a wrapped gift under his arm. He slipped onto the boat and joined those who had already convened.

"This is great," he said to no one in particular.

“Yes it is Commander.”, Arjin replied. Approaching commander Teixeira with a drink in his hand.

Looking towards the source of the voice, Thiago saw the Trill Science Chief. "How are you doing, Djinx?"

"I am fine.", Arjin replied. One could even say I am enjoying myself here. But keep it quiet though. Word could spread out that I do.", he added jokingly.

Thiago smiled. "My lips are sealed. Wouldn't want you to get a reputation." He looked around at the others in attendance. He saw several junior officers. "How's Doctor Jennin working out? From his service record, he seems like an....interesting fellow."

Arjin looked to where the Commander did. He had heard the name, but did not know the Doctor himself. "Seems quite special from what I can see from here. But I am afraid I did not meet him yet.", he replied. "What is so interresting in his service record then?"

***


Joey carefully made her way onto the deck of the yacht and stepped aside so the man of the hour could make his way on board. Among the crowd of people mingling, waitstaff were carrying trays of hor d'ourves and various cocktails. A smile formed on her face. The turnout was even better than she could have hoped, but given who the guest of honor was, she wasn't at all surprised. Harvey, whether he knew it or not, was much loved by quite a bit of the crew. And yet, he still had no idea that there were going to be more than just the two of them. That brought her nerves forth again, but would he really mind so much? Joey didn't really think so.

Cap... Harvey... stepped onto the deck of the yacht. Ever since he'd known Joey, Harvey quickly learned that she had a flair for the dramatic, the expected, and the extravagant. Somehow, in this one event, she managed to out-do herself on all three fronts. He, naturally, wondered how much of the waitstaff were holograms, and he wondered how much of the crew she'd invited to the shendig.

When Aidan told Mila that the Captain was there, she turned her attention towards the entrance of the holodeck and smiled. Then she raised two fingers to her lips and let out a short piercing whistle, following by a shriller long whistle and a short long whistle. "Birthday Man is on deck!" she called out after the whistle.

Camila jerked her head around at the whistle to see who had such lungs, then saw it was the Captain's Yeoman and heard her announcement. She looked and smiled when she saw the Captain. "Drinks will have to wait a moment, Ian," she said.

Ian wrenched his face at the first whistle. It caught him off guard but then he relaxed as the short bursts followed. He looked in the general direction and then nodded. "Yeah, I think they will."

Harvey had half a mind to direct the crew present at attention, if for no other reason than to determine how much of the waitstaff was indeed real. And, either a certain member of the waitstaff was real, or the computerized representation of that member was quite intuitive, as it brought over a flute of champagne for him and sparkling juice for the mother-to-be beside him. Harvey accepted both, and handed one to Joey.

He then turned back to the crowd, recognizing each person and taking the time to look at the eyes of each one. Thiago. Jayla. Walsh. Arjin. Gemma. Camila. Rylan. Avery. Ian. Blake. Grandpa. Mila. And many more. "The current vessel not withstanding, when I first received my orders to assume command of the USS Black Hawk, I was sitting in a bar on Betazed, thinking that my life had gone so far without meaning that I would continue to live and eventually die a shell of my former self."

Harvey looked down at the open end of the flute, watching the bubbles float to the top and pop. Finally, he looked back at up at his motley crew, he added with a quiver in his voice and a soft smile on his face, "I had no idea how wrong I was. Today, you all honor me. Thank you all for putting up with me through both thick and thin."

Joey accepted the glass of juice from her husband and smiled. "There is no one more deserving of being celebrated than you, and I'm sure I can speak for nearly everyone here when I say we will be with you every step of the way," she began, looking to their guests. "I want to thank you all for coming to help celebrate Harvey's birthday. It truly means a lot, and it just wouldn't have been the same without those closest to us."

"You are being great Captain," Mila said. "But you are being better friend and I am wishing you a very happy birthday, Harvey."

"Happy Birthday, Captain!" Camila called out next. His words had struck a chord in her and she vowed to redouble her efforts to protect him.

"Happy birthday, sir," added Jayla, raising her own glass to him.

Gemma had no glass to raise and quickly grabbed one from a passing waiter, "Happy Birthday Skipper!" She smiled, bit off a wise crack about him being a decent Old Man that they'd admit to in public as she was trying to behave.

"Happy birthday!" Alex said.

In keeping with tradition, Ian called out a 'happy birthday' despite not really knowing the man outside of duty. "Happy birthday, Captain!"

Aidan smiled at the young man. "May your day be a wonderful one and may you have many more to celebrate, Captain."

Terry had approached the group with Dani near him. "Lá Breithe Shona dhuit!" he called out in Gaelic, which the universal translator interpreted as 'Happy Birthday to you!' Then he followed with a traditional toast, "May the doctor never earn a credit from you!" He chuckled a bit as remembered that Doc Kij was nearby. "Sorry Doc!" he called out.

He stood back, watching the attendees flock around the Captain. Though he hadn't been on the ship as long as most of the others, Thiago shared their feelings towards Harvey. He considered himself fortunate to be serving under a thoughtful, caring, principled CO. There would be ample time to tell Harvey those sorts of things later. For now, he just looked on as the Black Hawk's crew shared their adoration and appreciation for Captain Geisler.

"Health, Happiness and Love.", Arjin toasted. "Happy coming into the world day, Captain"

"Thank you all," Harvey stated with a smile. "Now, stop looking at me. This is a party. Please, enjoy yourselves." He gazed over the crowd once more, finding Thiago's gaze, and giving his XO a thankful nod. He then turned back to Joey. "You did all of this? How much help did you have?"

"I did," Joey told her husband, glancing toward Mila with a smile. "Mila helped with organizing and execution so I could get you here without you suspecting anything."

"I can't say I'm surprised." Harvey waved Mila over, whom he knew she was watching. "Of course, with my nose in that padd, you probably could have pulled off more than you give yourself credit for."

Mila came over with a mischievous smile and gave a lighthearted shrug at his comment. "If not for me getting PADD to you, you would not be noticing at all," she joked.

"A PADD that's currently in my possession for safe keeping," his wife stated. And really, the only reason she'd taken it in the first place was because Joey wanted him to enjoy himself. There would be time for duty related things after his party. But now... she had something she needed to do. "If you two will excuse me for a just a bit, I need to speak to the Captain about setting sail." She pressed a kiss his Harvey's cheek and gave Mila a hug, then made her way toward the front of the boat.

"That's rather devious, Mila," Harvey cautioned jokingly. "Deceiving a Captain is a pretty major offense, especially when it's his birthday."

"I am hoping that you will not be too hard on Joey," Mila said, playing dirty. "After all, she is one putting me up to this. Now, let us go and be having fun, eating and opening presents. Da?"

After all that had transpired thus far, he still found himself surprised that they'd gone all out on this shindig. "Presents? You didn't have to do that." He, of course, wasn't going to refuse.

Mila looked around for Joey, then motioned for Harvey to lead the way. "Come. Is big party, and you are being guest of honor. Be moving your pips, now."

"What pips?" Harvey quipped quietly. "I can't move what I left in my quarters, Mila."

"Ass, Harvey," Mila stated calmly. "Be moving your ass. Now, before you are getting birthday spankings."

Teixeira couldn't help but chuckle; the dynamic between Harvey and his Yeoman was rather enjoyable. Like a comedy duo from the late twentieth century.

"And just where exactly should I be moving my ass too, Mila?" Harvey asked, walking in the direction she indicated, and still chuckling while shaking his head.

"To place where everyone will smash forty-two cakes in your face for being ass," Mila laughed. "Go, have fun. I am friend here, not Yeoman, so you will be getting it yourself. Now go, капитан!" she said, the Universal Translator analyzed the last word and provided the translation of 'old man' instead of Captain.

She led him onto the boat to a huge dining room that had a cake on a table in the middle of it with smaller identical cakes on other tables around the room. "Everyone be gathering around!" she called out.

From somewhere toward the very top of the ship, a loud horn sounded as Joey made her way back inside where everyone was gathering. "We're setting sail now," she said, moving toward the others. "And, I believe we should probably go ahead and sing to the birthday boy so the real fun can begin." With that being said, the pregnant woman moved over to the cake settled in the middle of the table and began to light the candles. All forty-two of them just before she began to sing 'Happy Birthday'.

Mila joined in on the song and then Camila added her voice to it and looked around to motion others to join in.

The loud horn had made Ian jump a little when it sounded. But the announcement and candle lighting had taken care of any further jumps go away. The party seemed to have officially start with the Captain's arrival and the the singing. Ian joined in after Camila.

Aidan had enjoyed watching the witty repartee between Mila and the Captain. It was good to see both people relaxing in an off duty environment. But when the singing began, and the Security Chief motioned for the others, he added his voice to the mix.

Terry nodded as things looked like they were starting to pick up. He couldn't wait for the time to open the gifts. In his family, it has always been a tradition for at least one person to give a joke gift. Part of him wondered if someone actually had the guts to do something like that to the Captain. When the birthday song began, he joined in quieter than everyone else. Singing was not his strong suit.

Arjin joined in with the others in singing Happy Birthday to the Captain. although he kept his voice low as he knew he could not hold a tune, even a simple one.

As nice as it was being celebrated, Harvey was not a fan of all of the sudden attention. It was one thing when he'd stepped on board the ship within a ship and saw those in attendance. But between the speech and the song, he wanted to slip away to a quiet corner to overlook the sea. Alas, he was here now, so he smiled as they sang before his eyes drifted down to the forty-plus flames on the large pastry before him. He wondered how he might extinguish all of them in multiple breaths without becoming light headed, but then he spotted an empty platter at the edge of the table. Harvey picked it up and flicked it with a quick motion above the cake, presenting just enough force to blow out all but two of the candles. Smiling, he leaned down and gave them both a quick single blow, snuffing them out and leaving the smoke from all of the candles to rise upward.

Jayla knew better than to add her voice to the chorus of Happy Birthday- she couldn't carry a turn to save her life- but she made up for it by cheering the loudest when the Captain blew out his candles. She also couldn't wait for him to open his gifts; she wanted to see his reaction to hers.

Joey knew her husband, and knew he was feeling a bit uncomfortable with all eyes on him, which meant it was time to divert attention elsewhere for a little while. "Everyone," she said, pulling the attention her way. "There's a ton of food for you all to enjoy, and a wide variety at that. Seafood of all kinds, steaks and much more, as well as a fully stocked bar. So please, help yourselves and enjoy. We'll be reaching our destination in about an hour." After she'd spoken, music began to play from speakers hidden around the room. It was a bit upbeat and definitely fitting to their surroundings. She looked to her husband. "Care to dance?"

Harvey smiled, reaching out for her hand. "Of course," he said, before leading her over to the dance floor.

Terry thought about the options that had just been put out before them. Dancing would be...interesting with his build. In fact, he hadn't really danced to this kind of upbeat music before. "Well Dani, what do you think?"

"Absolutely, but I can't promise I won't step on your feet a time or two," Dani answered with a grin.

"Eh, I can handle the feet being stepped on," he said. "But dancing to this kind of music is going to be a first for me. So I hope I don't embarrass you."

"I don't think you could ever embarrass me," Dani said with a smile. However, she wasn't accustomed to dancing to this type of music, either, which meant there was sure to be a dance like nobody's watching moment.

Terry laughed. "Hang around long enough and I bet I could." He put his arm on her shoulder and walked out to the dance floor.

"It's not quite the kind of dancing I've experienced before," said Aidan to Mila. "But I would be willing to give it a try. I can't promise that I won't look like Chow trying to parkour a bowl of pistachios from the top shelf, though."

Mila laughed at the mental image that conjured for her. "Just be following my lead and you will not be having to parkour anything. Is easy. Come." She too his hand and headed for the dance floor.

Aidan smiled widely, hoping to always make her laugh. As she took his hand, he replied, "I shall do so, then." He followed her lead to the dance floor and then after that.

The Russian led the El Aurian onto the dance floor and listened to the music for a moment before she began to move her hips to the beat and brought her arms up from her sides to raise in the air. "Do not be shaking hips like this or people will be thinking you are ugly woman," she joked. "Be moving in own style but similar."

Aidan laughed. "Well we most certainly don't want that." He kept in mind not to shake his hips in the fashion that Mila was doing, but began to slowly move to the music. He lifted his arms up to his shoulders and started moving in his own style.

"That is what I am talking about," Mila said as she got into the beat and started to match Aidan's moves.

As he danced, he watched her begin to match him. And boy, could that woman dance! He had a feeling that if he had met that petite Russian anywhere other than a shuttle, he would be in a line of people just to get close to her. "Wow, you have some moves! I had no idea you could dance like that, Mila."

"I am learning from you," the Russian woman pointed out with a laugh. "Is being your moves with my body."

"Seafood, steaks, stocked bar, and...and...well I just can't think of an 's' for dancing," said Ian. "I'm up for any of it," he said to Camila. "But if we go for dancing to this music, we might want to find an obscure corner of the floor. Wouldn't want to show off, would we?" he added with a wink.

"Show off my ability to trip over my own two feet?" Camila asked. "I can go through a area criss crossed with phaser fire and not get hit. Put me on the dance floor and I'll be the first casualty."

"Well crap," said Ian. "I was planning on riding your shirt tales through the whole thing. I couldn't dance if my life depended on it."

"It's funny," the ombre haired woman said. "I know parkour, can play the electric violin, run, swim, mountain climb, go orbital skydiving, practice Jiu Jitsu and I'd still break a bone no one has every heard of if I tried to dance."

"Well I suppose it's the seafood and steak and then," replied Ian. "Unless you want to start with something light to drink."

"Seafood and steak sounds great," Camila said. "It's better to drink on a full stomach, anyway. It soaks up the alcohol if it's real."

"Good point," he said. "I don't know if it is or not, real, I mean." He walked up to the buffet area and looked it over. "Wow, what a spread. Must be good to be the king. They bring everything out." He picked up a plate and handed it to Camila. "Meat or fish?"

"Fish to start," Camila said with a smile.

Alexander headed for the dance floor, as long as the beat was hopping she was good. She could always step out of the band got slow, slowing dancing without a partner was just weird.

After dancing so much her feet hurt, Joey looked toward the man of the hour, wanting nothing more to sit down for a few minutes. "How about presents?"

Harvey was impressed with how long Joey had managed to keep up with the group as a whole on the dance floor. "You're the party committee," he teased with a smile. "I'm just along for the ride and the fun."

Joey grinned at his teasing and turned toward the guests. "We're going to do presents. Who'd like to go first?" Of course, if there weren't any volunteers, she'd start. While waiting to see if anyone spoke up, though, she gestured to a chair for him to settle down in, then took a seat not too far away herself.

"I'll volunteer," Camila said as she set her plate down and went to the antigrav cart to retrieve her package and brought it to Harvey. "Happy Birthday, Captain," she said with a smile.

The first note Harvey recorded of the gift was the matte red wrapping tenderly hiding whatever was underneath. It had been too long of a while since he had attended, or much else been the fixture at one of these gatherings. Harvey found himself, therefore, a bit uncertain on how to proceed. He carefully removed the paper, revealing a simple wooden crate. Its lid was not firmly affixed, and removing it revealed several jerkies and tasty vittles. "Thank you, Camila," Harvey said with a smile as he tried to plot ways to hide these not from Joey, but Rico and Pequeno.

Mila got her much flatter gift next and offered it to him. "From the past comes the present, and you are to be leading us into future. May the wisdom come with your years, Harvey," she said fondly. "Happy Birthday."

This too was wrapped in red, but the wrapping had a satin finish to it. Harvey carefully unwrapped this one as well, trying his hardest with the circular shape. At last he revealed an old fashioned chronometer. Lacquered into the finish was a beautiful view of the Black Hawk, along with images of two compasses. "Thank you, Mila. I believe I know just where to put this on my Ready Room wall."

Alexander stood nearby with her wrapped gift. It took both hands as it was larger but still pretty portable. "Hope you like it Sir." She was smiling.

"Thank you, Gemma," Harvey said as he accepted the item, taking care to use everyone's first names and not rank for once. He unwrapped it carefully and opened the case that it contained.

She'd constructed it from parts herself and tested it, had to make sure it worked after all, that was her story and she was sticking to it. It was a remote controlled model of an exact duplicate of a 21st century U.S Army Sikorsky UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter at 1/35 scale. Controlled by a specialized helmsman PADD that duplicated the actual controls, or one could go for a more basic mode, in the case that housed the helicopter and its parts.

"It also fires training beams at remote hover balls you can program" she pointed to the other side of the case where there were 4 metal balls about baseball sized. If it were hit by the hover balls, or it hit the hover balls, that would land and turn itself off for 10 seconds, you could just record hits as points, or anyone of a number of options.

"Very nice!" Harvey declared, lifting the helicopter out of the case to examine it more closely. Given his living conditions, this would have to be left in his Ready Room until both the dogs and their kids would be mature enough to treat it with respect. Plus, this might be a good method of stress relief in the ready room. "It's been years since I've used anything like this."

Gemma beamed "A little stress relief is always good for the mind." She said pleased he liked it. She moved to the side to the next person in the long line could step forward.

A small box wrapped in some funky wrapping paper with a note that said "To the Boss, Happy Escape Day! From K,K:. The box only measured an inch by an inch, but inside was something custom tailored to him with his Academy years embossed on the right side and the Starfleet Medical logo on the left side. The top of it held the chevrons and symbol of the UFP, slightly embossed as well.

"Escape day," Harvey muttered as he removed the ring from the box. "It's interesting," he remarked, trying the ring on. "During the Dominion War, I lost everything except for a couple knick knacks, including my class ring. I honestly never thought I'd be wearing one again."

Jayla, who had been nervously chewing her lower lip as she watched the gifts being opened, breathed a sigh of relief. She had thought maybe her gift was a little too personal, but the class ring was close to the same level, maybe even exactly the same. So, with a grin, she turned to retrieve hers, but found Alex there, like she'd known she would.

Alex had the painting reading to give to the Captain. "Here you go," he said to Jayla.

"Thanks," she said with a grin. "Computer, add an easel." Once it appeared, she motioned Alex to put the portrait on it. "Well," she said, chewing her lip once more. "I, um... I hope you like it. I didn't really know what to get you and... and everything I could think of seemed so impersonal. Anyway..." she trailed off, then removed the drop cloth covering the portrait.

The portrait was of the Captain and Joey on their wedding day. It looked almost like a photograph, but the brushstrokes gave it away for what it was. Jayla had never quite managed to get that perfect quality that some artists did, but she wasn't sure she ever wanted to; after all, if everyone thought her paintings were photographs, they would think she was a photographer.

"Oh, that's beautiful," Harvey said, standing up in order to give the painting a closer inspection. "Jayla, it always amazes me how incredible your art and talent has become. Thank you so much. And you too, Alexander."

There weren't very many times where Joey was rendered speechless, but this was one of those times. She looked to the painting and began to fan her face, blaming the welling tears on hormones. "Jayla... it's gorgeous," she said, moving toward the doctor to give her a hug.

“I’m glad you both like it,” Jayla replies as she returned Joey’s hug. “I was a bit worried about it. Thought it might be a little too personal.”

"No, it's perfect," Joey said, pulling back with a smile. "Thank you. And thank you, too, Mister Rylan."

Arjin slowly approached the captain, his gift in his hand. He had done some research before comming onto the Black Hawk. For if just an occasion like this would present itself. He had pulled some strings with some friends to get the item. He handed the wrapped gift to his Captain. Inside was a leather bound paper book. A second edition of "The hound of the Baskervilles". A first edition he had not been able to find any more.

Harvey unwrapped the small parcel to find a book concealed under the wrapping, an older volume in fact. It had been well cared for, but it didn’t stop him from feeling like he could damage it on accident. He carefully turned it over to read the title. “Hound of the Baskervilles,” he read aloud. “One of my favorites. Thank you.” It was really starting to impress him how much the crew really knew their captain. He felt himself now at a disadvantage with them all. It was high time he started telling them how much he cared for them too.

It wasn't until the other gifts had been given to Harvey that his wife had reached for one of the last remaining presents that were wrapped in identical Kermit the Frog wrapping paper she'd covered his ready room in. "Okay," she began. "Before you open these, I need you to keep in mind that they're for display purposes, and they're actually pretty old, too." With that, she placed gift one and gift two where he could reach them. "And there is another one waiting for you in the cargo bay. I'm sure you might have liked to have it before now, but it's a rather large supply of your coffee. The real stuff. Not the replicated stuff."

“Just don’t get it mixed up with mine!” quipped Jayla with a grin.

The Captain chuckled as he started to remove the frog-adorned wrapping to reveal two ancient medical kits, one a doctors bag and the other seemed to be an apothecary set with some of the liquids still in their jars. “Oh wow,” he remarked, thinking that these would have to be relocated to his office as well to keep away from chubby little fingers. “And I shall look forward to a fresh cup of Wilkins in the morning.”

To the whole group, he said, “Thank you all. I know none of you had to do this, and it makes it all the more special.”

The gifts were given, but that didn't mean the party was over. Not by a long shot. Now, everyone could focus on having a bit of fun and leaving the mission behind for a little while. "Again, I want to thank you all for coming, and for making this a birthday to remember for such an amazing man. However, the fun isn't over. Everyone, help yourselves to food, cocktails and whatever else happens to catch your eye. Jet skis, swimming in the ocean and other activities will be available once we reach our destination," Joey said, raising her glass. It was going to be quite the adventure, and she knew they all deserved it.

 

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