Wine & Dine
Location: Deck 10, Ten Forward
Timeline: Shortly After Departure From Earth
So far, Eilaea thought, she was less than impressed. It had taken more convincing than she felt appropriate to get the bartender to pour her a reasonable amount of the bar's bottle of Romulan ale; undoubtedly used to pouring no more than a half-glass lest they get someone thoroughly drunk who had to be on duty the following morning. Attempting to get the second glass had been ever harder, and it was at that point she had become somewhat less polite and pointed out that the beverage's effects on her as a member of the species which produced it were likely different than those the bartender was familiar with. All of which hadn't even led to a good drink; the quality of the bottles the Orion had aboard--and, she suspected, most of what was exported outside the Empire overall--were of what her father would have considered only a middling quality. The food was somewhat better; the replicator seemed to have issues producing (or recognizing) most of her favorite dishes, but a discussion with one of the waiters in the bar had led to a recommendation she try the "pad thai", which had been quite delicious.
She was, truth be told, somewhat confused as to what or where was the appropriate place aboard to eat--aboard a warbird, senior officers and department heads would dine each evening with the commander, while more junior officers dined together and enlisted crew in their own mess hall. She had heard that aboard larger Federation vessels such as this, however, many people dined in their own quarters, which struck her as...Odd. A search of information on the ship's infrastructure had done little to clear up the mystery; she was uncertain as to the nature of appropriate rank level of the mess hall on Deck 7 and so did not wish to risk visiting it if it were meant for those she far outranked...or those who far outranked her. So in the end, she was drawn back to the well-appointed bar and lounge she had visited earlier--it appeared to be open to all, and provided an interesting vantage point to observe the behavior and mannerisms of the Federation personnel and species, as well. A pair of Andorians had caught her attention earlier, arguing animatedly while drinking a pair of cocktails so cold ice had formed on the outside of the glasses. The Tellarite, on the other hand, she had had to look away from--Nevala had better table manners than that, and in fact had even when she had been even younger than she was now.
Eli was restless. The operations department was humming away beautifully even with the additions of a Romulan crew member. Crew member wasn't really the term as the officer wasn't a Starfleet officer. She was an exchange officer. Being the type of Chief that liked to keep her hands dirty Eli hadn't taken the time to introduce herself. She couldn't only imagine how sick of meeting new Starfleet personnel the new Romulan had to be.
Eli was no stranger to suspicion. Whether people did it intentionally or not, once they found out that she was ex-maquis, child or not, they instantly began to worry if she had access to the ships command codes. Logan was the first person she had met that just treated her like a person and an officer. Not a traitor. Grasping the squat glass with her slender fingers Eli raised the glass of rye whiskey to her lips. The fragrance not as smooth or enjoyable as the non-replicated versions, but it was good enough for the occasion. There she sat, simply watching the others in the lounge as the warmth of the amber liquid moved though her.
Eilaea had grown...if not necessarily "accustomed", then at least "used to"...being noticed and observed for a bit over the course of dinner. It was only natural; a human or Trill aboard a warbird would have gotten at least as many stares, even if they were allowed aboard. One of the more recent entrants to the bar, however she noticed, kept glancing back at her occasionally. The woman's gaze would move on here and there to others, but it always returned. Eilaea picked up her glass and stood as casually as she could manage to appear, as if she had simply desired a better view...Which as it it happened, she did. But not of the stars. Her previous view of the woman watching her had been as a reflection in the viewport window; hard to identify or get a better observation of. She waited until it seemed the eyes watching her were briefly directed elsewhere, then, slowly, she angled around to afford herself a clearer direct view...and stopped, one eyebrow rising a touch despite herself, on gaining it. She had made a point that afternoon to review certain files, or at least what of them she was able to access (which had been a shockingly wide variety and degree, honestly), and so recognized the face of the ship's operations chief. She took a moment to consider--normally she would certainly not consider it appropriate to simply accost a new superior in a public setting; she would wait for them to begin the interaction, or for them to be otherwise properly introduced. But very little aboard this ship had been...proper...to the way she had been trained such was, so far. And the other woman had honestly in some ways already "begun" an interaction indeed, by observing her so brazenly. Though somehow Eilaea doubted it was brazen by human standards; they were a very...forward...species for the most part.
Eli unashamedly watched the Romulan before setting the glass down on the bar. She thought for a moment before sliding off her chair and approaching the women. With her hands behind her back she tilted her head as she spoke" Aefvadh" She offered the traditional formal greeting making no attempt to shake hands. Her mother had always found it important to teach her and her brothers the proper greetings for many species, you never knew when it was going to come in handy.
Eilaea almost blinked in surprise; her understanding was most humans found her language difficult to learn and difficult to speak. The pronunciation hadn't actually been that bad, however. She dipped her head in return. "Jolan'tru. Thank you." The urge to slip back into her own tongue further was hard to resist, honestly; but as they were aboard a Federation ship, she resisted the temptation to test exactly how far Lieutenant Kelly's linguistics skills extended. "I am Lieutenant Eilaea t'Keirianh." The pause again, as she adjusted her first instincts on proper forms of address and such to the inevitable adjustment for alien vocal chords. "You may call me Eilaea if you wish, sir." The other woman also bore the same rank as her own translated to aboard; but as her immediate superior aboard, Eilaea found herself defaulting to how she might have addressed another officer in such a situation aboard a warbird; hoping that protocol on a Federation vessel was similar in such circumstances.
"Eli, Kelly, or Lieutenant." The Operations chief replied with a grin. "The whole grammatically correct 'sir' has never sat real well with me and I hate 'ma'am'." She finished with another smile. "I didn't mean to stare earlier, I have to admit that I haven't been around Romulans since I was a kid. Would you like to join me for a drink?"
"Certainly." said Eilaea with an agreeable dip of her head. "Though I am afraid my sampling of the ship's stock of Romulan ale leaves much to be desired from my tastes. I have found many Federation drinks to be insufficient, though I have enjoyed Saurian brandy. Perhaps you can recommend another worthy libation...?"
Eli thought for a moment. For a girl who drank and made bad choices like she was, she wasn't very adventurous when it came to consumption of alcohol. She nodded in agreement to the Romulan's assessment of federation Romulan Ale. "Most replicated beverages lack the nuance of the real thing." She replied with a grin. "I find the replicator and the bartender both make a decent Old Fashioned if you want to try."
"I believe I would prefer the bartender...Many of your replicators appear to take issue with producing actual alcohol."
"Then we are doing our jobs." Eli joked. "Since the replicators are programed to make synthetic alcohol. Shame really." She paused for a moment before motioning towards a table. "Shall we?"