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writing role play

Prologue - Quiet Relections 

by Bud Walker

Bud entered the mess hall and quickly surveyed his surroundings. Even though he kept telling himself that he was in a safe place, Bud still preferred to eat alone and with his back against the wall. But sitting alone at a table seemed to be an invitation to his crewmates to approach and offer their company. Bud did not want to antagonize anyone and often agreed to let others join him, despite his preferences. Bud then spied a Vulcan lieutenant named T-Ploth sitting at a table by herself. Just at that moment a crewmember approached her and said something. T-Ploth looked up from her PADD and shook her head. The crewmember then walked away. An idea came to Bud in a flash.

Bud went over to the replicator and retrieved his meal and then walked over to T-Ploth’s table.

She must has sensed his approach because she looked up with the barest hint of annoyance on her face. 

 

“As I have already said several times, I do not desire companionship as I ingest my meal.”

 

Bud did not move but cleared his throat instead.

“I understand Lieutenant but sitting alone amongst humans is considered odd and only invites them to offer their company as a favor to you,” Bud said.

 

“Well, Lieutenant, I am hardly concerned with what humans consider to be odd,” T-Ploth replied.

 

Bud winced slightly as she was clearly annoyed.

 

Bud stated, “My apologies. But I have a proposal for you. And if you reject it, I will cease bothering you.”

 

T-Ploth raised an eyebrow but said nothing.

Bud continued, “I submit that despite your preference for solitude during your meal, you will continue to be interrupted for some time to come. As it happens, I also prefer to be alone while I eat but know that I will be interrupted as well. I suggest that we sit together for the purpose of discouraging others from feeling the need to relieve either of us from our perceived loneliness. And we would agree to say nothing to each other and allow ourselves to enjoy the quiet and solitude of our own thoughts or to read.”

 

T-Ploth looked at Bud without expression for several moments. She then spoke slowly, almost reluctantly.

 

“That is a surprisingly logical proposition.”

 

T’Ploth considered for a moment and then continued, “Your proposal is acceptable.” 

 

T’Ploth returned her eyes to her PADD and said nothing further. Bud knew that was all the permission he was going to receive, so he put his tray on the table and sat down. True to his word, he ate his meal in silence as T’Ploth read and occasionally took a bite of her salad. Bud’s plan worked, as no-one approached the pair from that moment on. After finishing their respective meals, Bud and T’Ploth stood and nodded to each other without comment and returned their trays. As Bud left the mess hall, he thought to himself, “That was the first relaxing meal I have had since I boarded the Heimdal.”

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