“Oh my god, he complimented me!” Rhys beamed, looking happier that Keyla had ever seen him. Happier, perhaps, than she’d ever seen any human being look.
“You did a good job,” Owosekun said as she stirred her oatmeal. She told Keyla that she’d just suddenly had a craving for it. Keyla suggested it might actually be a mental breakdown.
“I mean, at last. At last! This is it! Bring it on galaxy!” Rhys began throwing small punches at an invisible enemy.
“I’m so glad I wasn’t around when you lost your virginity,” Keyla said and took a bite of her chicken wrap.
“Be nice,” Owosekun chided her gently. “Han’s been waiting a long time to prove himself to the Captain.”
“And to think, he was just considering mutiny yesterday,” Keyla said.
“That was yesterday,” Rhys waved dismissively. “I’m ready to follow Lorca anywhere.”
“Gen loves Lor-ca,” Airiam chanted.
“Are you still on that?” Rhys asked her.
“Hey, that’s my man you’re talking about,” Keyla said, then caught Rhys’s look. “Lorca, not you.”
“Thanks for clarifying.”
“Are you willing to follow him all the way to Romulus?” Owosekun asked.
“Sure! Romulus, Qo’noS, whatever it takes.”
“You’d make a good German,” Keyla observed.
“I’d still like to know what the point of these strikes are,” Owosekun said. “Surely we could be better used elsewhere in the war.”
“I think it’s just a show of force,” Keyla said. “In case the Rommies get any ideas about throwing in with the Klingons.”
“What? It’s what they called them in the Romulan War.”
“I wonder what they look like,” Owosekun said thoughtfully. “I can’t believe we’ve still never seen on in a hundred years.”
“Humanoid,” Keyla said, “We know that from the bodies sighted during the war. But not much more than that.”
“Weird that no ship ever tried to take one aboard,” Rhys said. “Even just a corpse.”
“With the nuclear weapons they used at the time there was too much risk of radiation exposure,” Owosekun pointed out. “Remember, anti-rad drugs were still about twenty years from being discovered.”
“George Kirk saw one,” Airiam said.
“Who?” Rhys asked.
“Don’t tell me you believe that old story,” Keyla said, rolling her eyes.
“Who’s George Kirk?”
“He was the Chief of Security aboard the first Constitution-class ship under Robert April. He was aboard when it went for its shakedown cruise and there was some kind of a engagement. Starfleet’s records are sketchy about the whole thing, but that’s because subspace communication was notoriously poor at the time. Still, some people are convinced that they encountered the Romulans and Starfleet has hushed the whole thing up for some reason.”
“It’s a possibility,” Airiam said.
“It’s bullshit,” Keyla said. “I asked his son about it--he’s aboard the Farragut--and he said it was just a series of malfunctions in the ship’s systems. Part of the shakedown.”
“When were you aboard the Farragut?” Rhys asked, eyes alight.
“I wasn’t. Shenzhou parked at Starbase K-5 for resupply and Farragut was finishing up some kind of technical inspection. I met Jim in the rec facility.”
“Oh, too bad. I was hoping you could tell me what those Connies are like inside. Must be spacious.”
“The junior officer’s quarters are pretty cramped, but they don’t have roommates, so they’ve at least got privacy. The bunks are tiny, though.” She became aware that everyone was staring at her. “According to Jim,” she appended with forced nonchalance.
"Wow, nice." Rhys said. Owosekun still looked at her narrowly.
“Shut up,” Keyla told her. Owosekun just arched her eyebrows and made a show of going back to her food.