Summary: In the mess hall, Reed and Zaharis talk about Rhea, Muskeg, and general shadiness. Reed claims he's not so innocent. Zaharis will see.
Date: 27 ACH
Related Logs: Making Peace

Mess Hall Genesis - Deck 9
27 ACH 6735 Souls

The Mess Hall on the Genesis is quite large and able to hold over 300 personnel at a time. Tables are staggered in some areas and set against the wall in others. The mess hall begins near the hatch with an area for trays and silverware, then moves through the line for the cooks to dish up whatever is on the menu for the day. There are also snack machines at the end of the line, past the huge coffee urns and water dispensers.

Reed enters the Mess hall in uniform, sidearm on his hip, faintly trailing the smell of spent rounds as he steps to the lines getting food. He's taking a look around with some interest as he doesn't get around this way too often.

"Major." A tray plunks on the metal railing behind Reed's place, attached to a hand. Attached to a wrist. Attached to a fatigue-clad arm…oh no, it's Zaharis. "Slumming today?"

Reed smiles as he looks behind himself, and gestures to some of the food selections, choosing, oh, lets see, the eel! "Just took advantage of your firing range, and decided to stop here, and see what you've been avoiding all the time you come over to my station."

Zaharis raises his head, making a sniffing sound a few times. "PAS' chow hall tends to smell less like day-old sweat. A little. Plus your coffee's still better." He slides his tray along, passing by a couple of entree selections. "How was target practice?"

Reed nods, moving along, making a few selections, "Better, actually, no embarrassing shooting of the target clips or the celings. I think I'm getting a feel for this stuff. Need to keep up with it."

"Practice, practice." Zaharis decides on soup, carefully ladling some thick stew concoction into a bowl on his tray. Bread's next. "I won't say makes perfect, but at least avoids holes in the walls."

Reed takes a plate of fillets in a thick sauce, nodding, "Indeed it does, and it seems to be working." He smiles, "So, what's new with you?" He asks, gettung a roll, and a rebottled water.

Zaharis shakes his head, picking up one of the cups of juice lined up in a shallow bed of crushed ice. "Mainly waiting on the Marines to finish their mine fun down below so we can get back in for those papers. What about you?"

Reed nods, "Reading reports intently, wondering about connections. Muskegs far more interesting than I thought with all the finds." He leaves the line, and waits for the Doctor, "your ship, Doctor, you select a place to sit."

Zaharis also grabs a cup of coffee, then balances his tray on his hand. He motions with coffee-hand towards the right side of the mess hall and starts walking. "Yeah, definitely more interesting these days. Far moreso than my medics becoming intent on barbecuing giant rats."

Reed nods, moving with the Doctor. "Yes, amongst other things, seem that mammalian life has shown itself after a fashion." He smirks, shaking his head, "Figures. now that I call the biological research, something new shows, still not the time fo that.

"Never enough time for anything nowadays." Zaharis plants the tray flag on the first table that's relatively quiet, brushing a few crumbs off the edge from the last occupant. "Still, if they call an all-clear before that team comes back from Leonis, you might get your hands on something after all."

Reed settles down opposite the CMO, nodding, "Yes, well, I'm not getting overly excited yet. It's certainly not my operation anymore, and I'm pleased with that. the professionals and specialists have it." He cuts off some eel with the edge of his fork and tries it, nodding, "Not bad." He comments.

"Oh, keep your hopes up. Mine are up." Zaharis stirs his stew, glancing at the chunks that drift to the surface. Best not to know. "If something's going to end up frakked it'll be frakked whether you're excited or not, so might as well be optimistic to pass the time."

Reed nods, "Oh, I'm ready to get my hands on new finds, and see if I can find anything out about them. Still, I'm tempering optimism with just taking what I can get from the planet. When they haul up what they find, I'll be in the science lab, polishing a receptacle bay, ready to get to work."

"Tempering, schmempering. Life's too short for that." Zaharis gives Reed a very faint grin before arranging a spoonful of stew and eating it. The taste, whether good or bad, goes largely ignored. "Maybe we'll figure this all out. Maybe we won't. Either way we'll know more than before about -something-."

Reed smiles, "Agreed. We'll just hope it's useful information." He smirks, "I take it this was Rheas first time enjoying the sights, sounds and smells of Muskeg." He grins and takes another bite, chewing and swallowing, "Need to ask her what she thought of it."

"Think it was. Sounds like intriguing dinner conversation," Zaharis makes a slightly dramatic face on the word 'intriguing', but his tone isn't sarcastic.

Reed looks at Zaharis for a moment, before smirking, and he continues eating for the moment, appearing thoughtful as he consumes the eel in front of him.

Zaharis smirks, himself. It's short-lived, and he too grows a little thoughtful as he stirs and then continues to eat his stew. One bite, then two. "She's doing better."

Reed nods, "She seems to be. I talked with her after Reighner, but since then I haven't had much chance. She knows I'm there. And it's good to know she's pulling through."

"Really no choice around here," Zaharis picks up his bread, tearing off a piece. "Time doesn't stop. People don't stop needing her. Which is good, in its way."

Reed nods, "She thrives off the work. Putting things together helps her put herself together. It's wonderfully symbolic. Sloan would approve."

Zaharis smirks, sweeping the edge of the bread around the bowl. "She's not quite that simplistic, Reed."

Reed swallows, taking a drink of water, "Oh, I know, but I think it has something to it. not the whole story, naturally."

"Yeah, that's an understatement." Zaharis bites off the sopped part of the bread. "But don't be too tempted to sterilize someone's grief into something symbolically beautiful. You'll end up cheating yourself out of knowing her for who she is underneath it."

Reed smiles to Zaharis, shaking his head, "I'd never do that. Not with her. The last thing I want from her is a sterilized version of anything." he takes a thoughtful drink of water.

Zaharis smiles a little. "You just did it, though. And I've heard you do it before. It's an easy thing to do, and I think we all end up cheating ourselves out of each other sometimes. I'm just pointing it out because I don't want it to happen to you and her."

Reed shrugs, "I'm just generalizing, and we're talking aobut her, not with her, the easiest way to break preconceptions is have the person in question do it for you."

Zaharis half-smiles. "Stop generalizing. It's against human nature to stop, but…it's what ultimately turns us into people and not profiles."

Reed chuckles, nodding, "Okay, so what non generalizations can we say about how Rheas doing? Think Reece being on the PAS is helping? I'm not exactly his bestest friend, but I think it's because I'm the CO and he gets that if someone has to be authority there, it's me.

Zaharis eats another torn piece of bread as Reed talks. "Yes, I think it helps." He brushes his fingers together. "The last time I talked to her, about two nights ago, we talked about things that she didn't get to say. Even the bad things, because let's face it. Death doesn't turn everyone into a saint." He pushes the empty bowl aside and pulls over his coffee cup. "She wrote some letters to people. More than to Ephraim; it's not just about him."

Reed nods, "Her family, I would imagine. There's a lot unsaid there. I can relate. I hope the letters did good. I can't imagine they wouldn't." He takes a thoughtful drink of water.

"Maybe." Zaharis sips his coffee, not clarifying exactly what part of Reed's statements he's talking about. His hand pats his pockets for his cigarettes, finally locating the pack. "I gave her some privacy to do her writing, and we were busy last night so didn't get to talk. It may have helped. People are different."

Reed nods, "True. Well, hopefully it did, and hopefully we can get more answers from the paperwork on the planet. More pieces to that puzzle, and they might start fitting soon."

"Just waiting on the all-clear." Zaharis lights his cigarette, setting the lighter on the table. "We're ready like a whore with a velcro bra."

Reed pauses mid drink, and lowers the bottle swallowing, "Like a whore with a velcro bra." He nods, slowly, "Must remember that one. that's good."

Zaharis smirks slightly. "Wish I could say it had no basis in reality, but the universe is a strange place."

Reed chuckles, "Well, that sounds like a story just waiting to be told, right there."

"Not while sober, trust me." Zaharis makes a pained face, ashing the cigarette. "And possibly not without a signed affidavit of confidentiality."

Reed grins, "Sober, I can cure. the affidavit, we'll see if we can work around with an understanding of the value of generalization in such circumstances."

Zaharis smirks. "Promise that upon any retellings, my name becomes 'this friend of a friend', and you've got a deal."

Reed nods, "How about, 'this guy I knew once.' Would that suffice?"

"I don't know." Zaharis takes a drag off the cigarette. "Sure that's not too much hint? Or do you know more formerly-shady types than you let on?"

Reed grins, "I'll have to let you decide that. my formerly shady friends all seem to be not here, so you'll have to work that out yourself."

Zaharis tilts his head down, just giving Reed an amused 'yeah, okay' kind of look.

Reed grins. "Do I give off a completely virtuous and innocent air about me? even when smelling of spent ammo?"

Zaharis smiles a little bit. "To someone that grew up on the streets? Yeah, you kinda do. But I'm willing to make the attempt to change my mind. Not often someone tries to -sully- their reputation, should be fun."

Reed smirks, "Well, we'll see what happens when the alcohol starts flowing freely." He chuckles, "At least once we have the kind of quiet time needed for such wanton intoxication."

Zaharis grins slightly. "We'll find some time. I'm determined now, I want to hear some stories."

Reed chuckles, nodding, "I have a couple to share, if you bring some of yours."

Zaharis just smiles, instead of agreeing. He glances at his watch and gets a last drag off the cigarette, putting it out into the ashtray. "Okay, I should get back to Sickbay. Enjoy the rest of your dinner."

Reed nods, "Okay, enjoy the rest of your shift, and I'll just finish and head home."

"Sounds like a plan. Catch you later." Zaharis stands up and takes his tray, loading his bowl and cups back on and then heading towards the bins.

You head towards Corridor 9B.

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