Hip and Pip: Part 2
Posted on Mon Aug 13th, 2018 @ 12:32pm by Centurion Eilaea t'Keirianh & Lieutenant Delothian Miazami & Lieutenant T'Sai & Lieutenant JG Bethany O'Malley & Lieutenant Vriha t'Ehhelih & Lieutenant JG Tiberius Augusta
Mission 1: Unscheduled Madness
Location: Ten Forward
Timeline: MD 0 22:00 Hours
Bethany decided some fun was in order, she received an invitation for a party in ten forward and decided she should go. Her hair was pulled up loosely into a messy bun with tendrils curling framing her face. She wore a scarlet colored dress that was fitted at the top and had a flared skirt. It came to the top of her knees. She wore a nice pair of black 3 inch pumps, showing off her legs. It had a sweetheart neckline and was sleeveless. She stopped at the doors of ten forward and let the doors open. It looked a bit quiet. She stuck her head in and saw the Lt., she almost left but strolled in anyhow. The music was nice. She went to the bartender," Patron please double shot, NO training wheels"
Delothian had always loved gatherings, he was never one for the pomp of uniforms and suits etc. Therefore it was no surprise when he turned up in a t-shirt that stated 'I'm an Engineer. My Awesomeness Amazed Me Too Sometimes.' and a simply pair of jeans with brown smart dress shoes. He had also recently been to the ships barber to get his hair cut and beard trimmed in. On his left wrist he wore an old timepiece akin to an old Earth watch and on his right an El-Aurian made silver bracelet. Walking up to the bar he nodded to the person behind, they knew him from most nights he was in and slid a mug of ale his way.
Bethany lifted the shot glass and nodded to Delothian. "Cheers!"
Del smiled and raised his mug before deciding to walk over. "Getting straight into the swing of things Lieutenant?" he asked with a grin.
"No sense in wasting time the way I see it" with the statement the shot made it to her luscious red lips, and down the double went. It burned all the way down. The shot glass made the classic dink sound as it made contact with the bar top. "Keep make it another double" she smiled. "How about you Lt?" she smiled as she pushed the lock of hair behind her ear.
Bethany looked around ten forward at the diversity of the crew and then turned to the Lt. " How long have you been on the Orion?"
"Not too much long than yourself Ms O'Malley. Looks like we both transferred around the same time." he paused to take a swig of his ale. "Looks like a good bunch mind you..." he said referring to the group that amassed before them.
"My friends call me Beth for short, Ms. O'Malley sounds so formal. It does look like a fun group" looking at the collective group. She started feeling that warm fuzziness coming on.
"Just my nature, Beth." he replied almost forcing out her first name. "Aye as long as we keep their rooms warm and their food edible then we'll keep the monsters at bay." he added jovially. He then turned and nodded to the barman for a refill of his drink, "Care for another one of your 'shots' Beth?" he asked noting the blush in her cheeks.
"One more for me and then I call it quits. How about you Sir? " Her Irish blood help her tolerate the alcohol, or so she thought.
"Some say I have the blood of the Nordic people but I don't know that species? I'll take one and we can drink to our engineering partnership?" He offered whilst the two drinks appeared.
She smiled at the comment about Nordic persons. "Sounds wonderful" She raised her glass. " May our dilithium crystals never fail."
Ozzie arrived with two dozen of her leading security staff, both Officers and Enlisted. They all filed into ten forward wearing their dress uniforms and then glaring daggers back at their boss when they realized the event was informal. Shrugging, Ozzie laughed in the direction of CPO Vella beside her. "I thought it was a formal thing for the Captain. I guess I didn't read the memo close enough!"
Vella looked over the crowd as the security crew members started to mingle. There were enough members in dress uniform that at least it wasn't terribly awkward. In fact, it might have made a lot of others feel under dressed. "At least we're not alone."
"I'll buy you a drink, Chief." Ozzie offered ironically, seeing as she was sure there wasn't a charge.
"Generous." Vella shook her head at the younger woman.
On occasion, T'Sai did things that were of little interest to her. Events like this gave her a chance to show the rest of the crew that Intelligence Officers were not ghosts who attempted to extract every bit of personal data away from them to study. She had put on her dress uniform and made her way to her own little corner of the ship's lounge. Just the perfect place to be seen, but not near enough to the groupings of small talk to be pulled into their orbit.
"Hi," Asher smiled upon approaching T'Sai's table. He'd seen her sneak in and retreat to the corner of the room. Present and yet unnoticeable.
"Greetings," T'Sai responded to Asher. He really seemed to always find his way to T'Sai, which made her wonder if she had initiated some kind of signal unintentionally. Human mating rituals were sometimes difficult to comprehend.
"Am I disturbing you?" She wasn't exactly happy to see him, then again she was Vulcan, maybe she was happy in her own way. He stood there, unsure if he should bother her or let her fade into the background like she had intended.
"I am neither pleased nor displeased," T'Sai responded without emotion. "I simply expressed salutations as a response to your greetings." Humans were always looking to add meaning to vocal responses. Quickly looking around the room, she responded to his real question, "You are not disturbing me."
"Good!" Asher plopped himself down in a seat across from her. "Why do you look as if you're hiding in a corner? I get that not everyone likes a party but you didn't have to come to this one, it wasn't required."
“It is beneficial for crew morale for the Department Head officers to make appearances during celebratory occasions,” T’Sai responded as though this were a dull scientific discussion. “Intelligence carries negative connotations among some species, not coming would only serve to widen the perceived divide between us and them.”
"I see," Asher replied, trying very hard not to smile at her explanation. Smiles had always come easy to him, his family never kept anything from each other. "I have an idea that would further crew morale, if you allow me to explain?"
Giving a soft nod, T'Sai responded, "Explain." The Vulcan Chief of Intelligence could see the tension in Asher's face as he fought to hide an emotional outburst. His Vulcan almost like attention to supressing his emotions gave T'Sai a bit of pause as she began to become concerned to Asher's plans.
"Don't say no until you've thought about it." Asher began. "I have discovered something that is both enjoyable and usually makes it appear as if you are having fun which in turn makes the Commanding officer more at ease. Dancing." He said simply, holding out his hand to her.
Behind layers of Vulcan stoicism, if one knew what they were looking for, a slight look of horror was pushed back into the emotional bottle. "Dancing?" T'Sai repeated as if she had not heard him correctly.
"Yes. It will be painless, I promise." He assumed Vulcans never danced, that was all right with him, it was just an exercise in learning to be more comfortable surrounded by non-Vulcans. "Just the two of us and a little bit of music."
“I do not think that would be appropriate,” T’Sai responded. On the outside, she was unemotional yet on the inside she almost begged for a different line of dialogue. In an attempt to change topics, she stated, “How is your work proceeding? Has the cause of our current predicament been discovered?”
"Okay," Asher said, dropping his hand back to his side. He knew it had been a long shot but he couldn't help but be a tad disappointed anyway. "Work, right. Nothing new to report there. Everyone is still pulling their hair out though I did hear the XO got her hands dirty in engineering trying to help out."
"There should not be dirt in engineering," T'Sai joked. However, her Vulcan delivery would have made it impossible to tell the joke from a statement of fact.
He eyed her carefully trying to determine if she had actually meant to be funny or was being serious with him. He couldn't decide. Asher liked that about her, it was amusing. "Uh anyway, it doesn't look like anyone is closer to a solution though these things generally work out as soon as someone has had a good eight hours of sleep for their brain to mull things over."
"I have noticed that officers are more likely to discover a solution at the most critical moment," T'Sai stated. "Perhaps we are nearing that moment." She hoped that her statement had been taken as hopeful, it was a feeling that she was certainly not familiar with enough to ensure her meaning was carried through her verbalization.
"I hope so, otherwise people are going to start cracking like eggs." Asher yawned. "Well I feel like I've tortured you enough for one night. Maybe I should just call it a day?"
"I have not been tortured," T'Sai responded literally. Humans enjoyed metaphors for pain a bit much, she thought. They were so very emotional, just as she was fighting to keep from becoming. "Perhaps tomorrow morning would be best for your meal? Breakfast?"
Asher raised his eyebrows. "Sure, if you'd like. Shall I just meet you here then at say 0700?"
“That would be acceptable,” T’Sai responded as though she were RSVPing to a businessman.
"Good . . ." He seemed to linger for a moment as if there were something else he wanted to say. Then he nodded his head once and gave her a small smile. "Tomorrow then," and he moved away from the table and toward the exit.
T'Sai nodded her agreement. As the man walked toward the exit, she slowly began to grow apprehensive about what exactly she had gotten herself into. It seemed like this was more than just a breakfast meeting.
Vriha arrived slightly later than she had intended. She had become too absorbed in an interesting journal and then had to decide between rushing to the event or changing into dress uniform. Since this gathering was for the CO's promotion, she had decided to change first; while Starfleet might be more casual that the Galae showing up in anything less seemed wholly inappropriate, especially for a representative of the RSE. However, upon entering and looking around she had to wonder if she had misunderstood the concept of a promotion celebration - quite a few people seemed to be dressed casually, some even in civilian clothing! But she was already here and somewhat tardy, so there was nothing for it. Taking a breath and straightening her sash, she proceeded in with an dignified air. If nothing else, she imagined that erring on the side of formality would be understood and perhaps even appreciated as a show of respect.
She made her way to the edge of the crowd and what she judged to be an unobtrusive place to observe quietly. As a scientist observation was her strongest talent at a social event, where she was otherwise a kharah out of water. This was doubly true among aliens. She found herself torn between curiosity and apprehension, as when she met a Starfleeter for the first time. Kasim had been human, and very dark, much more so than the darkest complected Romulans, however, his personality had been surprisingly, almost shockingly, light. It was not the case with all of them of course - even limiting consideration to only humans both phenotype and attitudes had proven to be remarkably diverse. It was fascinating, but also unsettling. It made them difficult to predict, particularly on an individual level.
Eilaea had so far kept to the periphery of the event as well, for the most part, aside from a calculated degree of mingling, and a certain amount of appreciative comments from various officers when she had arrived and placed a bottle of brilliantly blue liquid on the bar. She too had been surprised by the informality of attire on some of those in attendance - had she mistaken the purpose of and reasons for this function, somehow? - not only lacking dress uniform, but any uniform at all; and from what little she had absorbed on human attire during her time on Earth, as civilian attire it was on the decided 'casual' end of the spectrum of such, not the formal one. She had caught several eyes observing her at times, and the rather more intricate and impressive dress uniform she wore, complete with careful draping of pieces across and over her shoulder and down her back and glittering gold and silver edging at key points, various awards glittering on the sash and belt. Not that she had not been giving such observational gazes in return herself...Several of the outfits around the room exposed degrees of skin she was not used to clothing revealing, and those around for the most part mingled with what seemed to be a highly physical interaction to her eyes, often touching one another freely and with seemingly little reservation and little cause.
Having finished a conversation with another security officer, Ozzie found herself between two of the Romulan officers millling on the outside of the party. "I haven't had the pleasure of introducing myself." She started up. "Lieutenant Ozanna Isuri, Chief of Security. You can call me Ozzie off duty." She tried to read their expressions, the younger and the older Romulan women seeming a bit stern in the face. Maybe that was an effect of the eyebrow arch that read a bit sinister or cynical or something. "Or not, Isuri is fine. Or Lieutenant. Just don't call me late for dinner." She took a drink to fill her pie hole for a second.
Eilaea tried to decipher the meaning of the last part of the other officer's statement, and finally decided to ignore it for the moment, hoping it would become clearer later. Humans had a great many extremely bizarre idioms, it had seemed to her on Earth...though also some sayings that might also have been borrow from her own people, such as 'Keep your friends close and your enemies closer'. The Security Chief was clad in a Federation dress uniform, which, if somewhat less ornate than the one which Eilaea herself wore, at least felt like the appropriate attire for the occasion, and Eilaea gave her a small smile back. "Lieutenant Eilaea t'Keirianh." She tilted her head slightly, indicating Vriha. "This is Sublieutenant Vriha t'Ehhleih. We are serving aboard in Operations and Science, respectively."
"We are pleased to meet you," Vriha added inclining her head in greeting. She was more familiar with Federation idioms, but had waited for the ranking officer to reply first, as was appropriate, and also welcome since it taken her a moment to 'wrap her head around' as earthers said the incongruity of dress uniform and such informal introduction. Now, however, given the officer's awkward discomfort, she felt it might be best to offer some gesture of reassurance. "You may call me Vriha, if you wish."
"Vriha. That's pretty." And they could smile. Ozzie reminded herself there was a difference between Romulans and the Vulcans, a few of which she'd known at the academy. She'd seen a couple of Romulans passing through, but never talked with any before. It all reminded her she was still a greenhorn, and she hated that feeling. "What kind of science do you specialize in?"
"Thank you. Ozanna is also a lovely name," Vriha replied. "My primary field is physics, but I am trained in all of the natural sciences, as well as applied mathematics, and to a lesser degree, some of what you might call 'social sciences', like behavioral psychology and linguistics. What is you area of specialty?"'
Ozzie looked impressed. "Wow. Uh, I just generalize. Law Enforcement. I worked on Terra Nova last, and this is my first shipboard post. Luckily I've got old hands like Chief Petty Officer Vella and some of the other enlisted pros to lean on. Seems a little bass ackwards being their boss, but I'm getting the feeling they're used to hand feeding the baby birds like myself."
Vriha was initially torn between whether to be shocked at such an admission or suspicious that the security officer was trying to downplay her talents to make her and Eilaea less wary. However, she recalled overhearing similar things expressed between Starfleeters, so it might simply be the odd sort of false modesty that seemed to be part of the culture. "I am sure your superior officers placed you based upon belief in your ability," she offered, but added with a commiserating half-smile. "But I understand the challenge to one's confidence. I too have been in the position of being placed in a lead role despite relative inexperience. Though in my case it was more a matter of necessity due to our losses after Hobus."
"That's pretty tough shakes." Ozzie agreed with a certain solemnity. "Did either of you have a lot of family and friends on Romulus?"
Vriha blinked slowly, somewhat taken aback by the blunt question but judging that it was not meant to come across as callous, she cast a glance at Eilaea indicating she would answer since the subject did not strike as close to her heart. "My clan is from a border world, so I was spared the degree of loss suffered by many others," she said, eyes darting briefly to Eilaea.
"Most of my family resided there." Eilaea replied with the sort of disconnect and control of her voice and words from her inner reactions learned over decades of practice. It felt bizarre to be discussing this subject with a Federation officer. "Though I have a surviving sister and brother; and a husband and child residing in the new capital."
"I'm glad you still have some family, but I'm sorry for your losses." She hesitated, having picked up on the nerve she was likely hitting, but it was the curiosity in her that was a part of her nature leading to her interest in investigations and law. Ozzie couldn't just leave well enough alone when she had the itch to know. "I never met any Romulans, person to person, before. So tell me off if I'm getting too nosy. I'm just curious, culturally, if you have any beliefs about an afterlife to hope for your loved ones?"
"There are...things we believe in." Eilaea replied, managing to keep the surprise off her face at such a forward inquiry into such a private matter. "I have not met many Betazoids before this, either; though I have heard you have a beautiful planet."
"No offense is taken," Vriha added politely. There was in fact some comfort in being asked since it implied (she hoped) that the information was not being read from their thoughts. "Your curiosity is understandable, but in some matters we are very private about our beliefs. It must be strange for you, coming from a planet of open telepaths to have to ask about such things."
"It is a beautiful world. I'd love to show you around if we ever have the chance! It's not really as 'open' telepathically as some might imagine. We have sort of etiquette, unwritten rules, the same way people do for any kind of communication or conduct. And some people are more or less free about it, or more or less easily offended. The culture ranges based on upbringing in different localities, and classes. There are some laws about extreme violations or privacy. It's actually some of the most common crime issues unique to Betazed and maybe some other telepathic races. Right now, in mixed company like this? I observe the most strict etiquette for telepathy. But there's some things I can't help but pick up, like ears hearing ambient sounds. For instance," She lowered her voice conspiratorially. "there's quite a bit of sexual tension at events like this one. But I doubt it takes telepathy to pick up those signals!"
"Those....signals...may vary by the species, I assume?" Eialea replied, eyes flicking around the room. The degree to which humans appeared to touch one another constantly, even outside the line of duty or established relations was strange; as a species they seemed to require or desire and tolerate an astounding degree of physical contact even with near-strangers.
"More or less, sure. But I tend to believe it's more varied by the individual. Some people feel their feelings more vibrantly than others and it comes out in all their body language. Others can even appear very stoic but still positively radiate emotion under all that repression."
"Indeed," Vriha cast a brief glance toward T'Sai. She strongly suspected that Vulcan emotional suppression was not nearly as complete as they pretended. "Though undoubtedly influenced by species and culture and other factors as well." She herself for instance, was less scandalized than Eilaea by the humanoid tendency toward casual physical contact, but she was much younger and unbonded, and her prior experience observing and working with them had helped to inure her to it.
Ozzie noticed the line-of-sight drawn between Vriha to T'Sai. She wondered if the Romulan was curious as to the Vulcan's emotional control. But it made Ozzie think, too. "Since I'm already at risk of foot in mouth and you kind ladies haven't skewered me for it yet, I'll go out on a limb and ask. Hopefully you'll set me straight if I'm way off base. Am I wrong to observe that Romulans as a people seem to have as much concern about ruling their passions as Vulcans do? It just seems to me like you've got a lot of pressure to maintain appearances."
One eyebrow quirked up ever so slightly on Eilaea’s face: The security chief was, it seemed, exceedingly observant; and she filed that fact away for later consideration...and caution as to whether the woman was perhaps more than just what she openly stated. “Perhaps a more accurate statement would be that we seek to channel our passions appropriately.” Eilaea said with a small smile that had perhaps more of an edge to it than some would be comfortable with. “To express them within the proper settings and realms and fashions, rather than to attempt to suppress them.”
"Makes hella sense. Repression can lead to loss of control and taping off a crime scene. Gotta have an outlet." Ozzie tipped her glass to her new friends and toasted off the cuff. "To passions, appropriately channeled." She drank.
"A worthy toast," Vriha replied lifting her glass and taking a sip.
“Perhaps you would care to sample what some of our people consider among the finest indulgence of such...” Eilaea moved to pour another glass from the small bottle of blue liquid she had brought to the event, offering it to the lieutenant.
"Thanks." Ozzie examined it with a swirl and a sniff and gave it a sip. Being her virgin experience with Romulan ale, her tongue went too numb to gauge the taste of the alcohol content, which told her it was honest-to-goddess the real deal. Probably too much of it would put you at the doc's in need of an emergency liver detox. Her expression as she judged the flavor of the after taste was more pleasant than the ale's shocking introduction. It took her a minute to find her voice. "Good stuff."
Vriha suppressed a sympathetic twinge at Ozzie's reaction. "It is. But it is strong, even for some Romulans," she admitted with a slight smile. Among her own kind, she was something of a 'lightweight' when it came to drink.
"It really packs a punch."
"So long as one does not drink so much they feel inclined to throw one." Eilaea said with a somewhat more obvious smile this time, taking another sip of hers.
Lieutenant Junior Grade Bethany O'Malley
Assistant Chief Engineering Officer, USS Orion
Lieutenant Junior Grade Ozanna Isuri
Chief Security/Tactical Officer, USS Orion
Lieutenant Eilaea t'Keirianh
Operations Officer, USS Orion
Lieutenant Delothian Miazami
Chief Engineering Officer, USS Orion
Sublieutenant Vriha t'Ehhelih
Science Officer, USS Orion
Chief Intelligence Officer, USS Orion