What Little Statues Mean
Mission 4: Letting the Hair Down
Location: Risa beach
Vriha had wandered along the busy beach area until she found a less crowded spot. This was a different environment from the spa they had initially visited - many more people and much more active. It was also quite interesting from an environmental engineering perspective, since she knew a lot of the planet had been engineered required active geo-stabilization. She still wished she could get a tour of the control center, but she was trying to take the advice to simply enjoy the results of their efforts.
The white sand was warm and the water was a lovely clear shade of aquamarine. She wasn't entirely comfortable with the idea of entering it though. Not because she couldn't swim - she was in fact a very good swimmer - but because stripping down to a bathing suit among so many strangers ran counter to the Romulan standards of modesty she'd been raised with. So for now, she wore a light kaftan that covered her arms and her body from shoulder to mid-calf, and just looked at the water.
Statzia scanned the rows of chairs along the beachfront, unsure of exactly what she wanted or what she was looking for. She had already determined--in her time in rehabilitation on Risa--that trying to swim with one leg was more effort than she was really in the mood for. But the sun was warm, and the cool ocean breeze made the wispy shrug over her swimsuit flutter around her. It was then that she spotted a familiar face sitting alone.
"Is this seat taken?" she asked the Romulan, nodding to the seat next to her.
"To the best of my knowledge it is not," Vriha replied, inclining her head in polite welcome.
Lyras too had returned to the beach, finding the quiet more acceptable than the busy and crowded shopping centers of the resort. The warmth was akin to what he was used to even if it was a little more humid than he liked. He spotted the two women and beelined for them as there was still one chair unoccupied where he could leave his belongings if he was to go for a swim. He was barefoot and wearing only his swim shorts and a loose shirt. His blue eyes sparkled as they caught the light of the sun. "May I join you?" he asked, not wanting to interrupt something.
Statzia tucked the crutches under the lounge chair before swinging all 1.5 of her legs into place. "It's alright with me, if--" she nodded to Vriha, asking her approval as well."
Vriha's eyes flickered over the vulcanoid, reflexively assessing possible threat from a stranger, but he was quite young and posture and movement indicated he wasn't particularly well trained in martial arts, hence unlikely to be Tal'Shiar. "I have no objection," she replied with a smile.
Lyras could feel he was being inspected and he offered the slightest of smiles in return. "I am Lyras," he introduced himself as he situated himself on the last vacant bed, "recently assigned to the Orion."
Her brows lifted slightly. "Vriha t'Ehhelih, currently assigned to the Orion as a science officer."
Statzia nodded. "Statzia Liski, Orion's Chief of Operations." She reached into her shoulder bag, pulling out a horga'hn statue and placing it on the small table next to her seat.
His eyes were instantly drawn to he odd statue. "What is that?" he asked, already forgetting he hadn't even given his position. Not that he really cared, it didn't really matter until they were back aboard, did it?
Vriha edged away from the statue as soon as it came out. She didn't know precisely what it signified, but knew enough to know she didn't want to be associated with the offer.
"This?" Statzia held up the statue. "This is a horga'hn--it's a Risian symbol of fertility. Displaying it indicates that you are interested in--" how to say this tactfully, "--company for the evening, and opens the door for interested parties to approach."
"I see..." Lyras held out his hand as he sat back up on his sunbed. "May I see it? I have never seen anything like it before."
Not wanting to be taken as part of a incipient threesome, Vriha quietly took another step back.
Before Statzia could hand him the statue for inspection, Lyras saw the other woman step back. Misunderstanding why, the young doctor turned and reached to touch her arm. "it is just a statue, it is nothing to be afraid of."
On pure reflex, Vriha caught the hand in lock grip - fingers wrapped around the meat of his thumb and her thumb pressed into the back of his pinky knuckle - and twisted, hard, while pulling forward and down to lock his whole arm. "Do not touch me," she nearly growled, then registering what he'd said, widened her eyes at him. "I am offended, not afraid."
However, realizing she had yanked the man halfway out of his chair, and possibly dislocated something in his arm, she released her hold. "If you require a medic I will call one." That was as close as she would come to an apology since from her standpoint it had been entirely his fault.
Statzia paused, looking between her two crew members for a moment before extending the statue. "I promise, the stature isn't contagious. And you only display one if you are wanting the company." She offered a reassuring smile. "Sometimes, the company is a welcome distraction."
Lyras yelped in a very un-Vulcan manner as his arm was twisted. In reflex he tried to yank his arm back as he was lifted from his seat. Eyes watering, he glared at the woman. "I am a medic," he answered, carefully probing his wrist as he had felt something shift.
Vriha blinked in surprise, not at him being a medic but at his reaction. No Vulcan would cry out like that for such a small injury. Honestly, no normal Romulan would either, but he was showing more emotion than any Vulcan. "I do not want company," she stated, looking first at Statzia and then Lyras. "And if you're Romulan you should know better than to try to touch a woman without permission."
Nokomis had been headed back to her quarters after a fiasco with a waiter. She'd been sitting on the beach minding her own business when he'd twisted his ankle in the sand and dropped an entire drink on top of her head. The stickiness was now beginning to dry. But, she'd heard Lyras yelp and decided to investigate since it seemed to be her crew that was involved. "Everything alright?"
Statzia turned at the sound of the Commander's voice. "I think we're alright, Commander--I think there's just a misunderstanding about this--" She paused, setting the statue in her lap. "Umm...Commander?" Her eye caught sight of the mess in the woman's hair, and she patted the lower end of her lounge chair. "It looks like your hair had a mishap."
"Half Romulan," Lyras bit at the science officer, while still examining his wrist. Approaching footsteps made him look up in the other direction, eyes widening at the sight of the woman. "Perhaps...we should ask you that question instead," he offered.
"Uh yes." Mis said as she touched her head, pulling chunks of pineapple out. "Waiter meets hot sand and unsure footing. Gave me a bit of a shock but maybe fruit is good for the hair follicles?" From the scent on her fingers she thought it probably tasted pretty good but she wasn't about to eat stuff out of her hair. "So I was headed to the shower and I heard a noise."
"It is nothing," Lyras answered, looking to Vriha. "Just a misunderstanding, correct?"
"Yes." Vriha agreed, feeling confident it wasn't something he'd misunderstand again. 'Half Romulan' sparked some questions, but they were better asked elsewhere. "Nothing that hold up a shower. I would find that sort of thing in my hair quite unpleasant."
"As would anyone," Lyras added, "though I believe Miss Liski was going to give you that statue?" He nodded towards the statue the other woman was still holding.
One Romulan eyebrow ascended to a height that made most people wonder if vulcanoids had extra muscles in their foreheads. "No," Vriha said flatly.
Statzia was in the process of waiving Nokomis closer so that she could pull a tiny pink umbrella from the woman's hair--but stopped short at hearing Lyras' comment. "I was--explaining the purpose of the horga'hn to our crewmates, and--" she flushed slightly, "I had just taken it out. I hadn't received any inquiries yet."
Nokomis glanced down to see what they were talking about and frowned slightly. "Ah." She said completely unsure of how to respond. "Got a bit more than you bargained for with these two as well." The umbrella finally fell, right in front of her vision, making her jump until she realized what it was. She sighed, plucked it the rest of the way from her hair and said, "Shower . . . . and maybe some chocolate. I hope fruit juice doesn't change the color of my hair," she said absentmindedly as she turned to walk away.
"There's an out-of-the-way cafe that has a killer dessert list." Statzia commented, catching her before she left. "It's off the main stretch, but they make a chocolate soufflé that melts in your mouth. You have lunch plans?"
Mis blinked. "No, not really. Not unless the Captain needs something from me. But shower first. I could meet you there. Thirty minutes?"
Statzia chuckled. "Tell the Captain you're on shore leave." She grinned. "How about I meet you in the resort lobby? I'll probably change, too."
"Actually I Beamed down here with him so he's around here somewhere. What could possibly go wrong?," she joked. "Sure, in the lobby then. The rest of you enjoy your afternoon."
Left behind with Vriha, Lyras stared after the departing women. He felt he actually had more questions, than answers now in regards to the statue because he didn't feel he'd seen a working purpose other than that it came up in discussion.
Well, this is awkward... Vriha thought as she realized she was left standing with Lyras, a half-Romulan with some sort of horga'hn obsession.
Lieutenant Vriha t'Ehhelih
Science Officer, USS Orion
Commander Nokomis Diza
Executive Officer, USS Orion
Lieutenant JG Anastatzia Liski
Chief Operations Officer, USS Orion