Error in Judgement
Mission 4: Letting the Hair Down
Timeline: MD 06 - 1015 Hours
Statzia adjusted the horga'hn on the chain around her neck. After a few days of carrying around a far-more-noticable statuette, she had opted for the more portable version for her afternoon on the beach. Besides, she was developing faint tan lines from the backpack she'd been using to carry the horga'hn, and now that the proper melanin was returning to her injury scars, she was going to take full advantage of as many days of skimpy bikinis as she could before returning to uniform.
It was then that she spotted him--a nicely tanned chest, muscular arms behind his head, a hat covering his face... and a horga'hn on the table next to his beverage.
She had to admit that her inclinations this week had leaned towards more feminine companionship--and popping an experience cherry for the First Officer had been enjoyable. Perhaps a slightly rougher romp around her suite could be arranged for the evening.
She unhooked her forearms from the crutches and seated herself on the adjacent lounge chair. Statzia bit her lip in thought, eyeing the beverage on the table. The ice hadn't completely melted. She quietly fished an ice cube out of the glass, popping out into her mouth. Holding the ice between her teeth, she leaned over the sleeping man's abdomen and allowed the warmth of her breath to melt the ice and sent a drop of cool water falling onto his skin.
Logan had lost track of how much time he had been lounging in the chair as he dozed off for a spell or two. The distant sound of the ocean waves lulling him into a contented sleep. He felt the cold water drops on his chest and his mouth curled into a huge grin, though he didn't otherwise acknowledge whoever had paid him a visit. "Keep that up and it'll land you in trouble."
"Based on the horgh'an next to you, I thought trouble is exactly what you're looking for." Statzia crunched her ice cube in half, taking half of the ice and using her fingers to trail it in a line from the man's neck to navel.
Logan felt the cold sensation run down his body and was initially puzzled by that statement, as he had in fact not put any horgh'an on display. Then again, he was on Risa. So many of those damned things were floating around, it didn't surprise him that he either didn't notice it when he sat down or someone had placed it there without his knowledge. "Oh, I don't need a statue to find trouble..."
"We just stumble into your lap, do we?" Statzia gave a coy chuckle as she lifted the hat off the man's face.
Her face quickly went from one of pleasure to one of embarrassment. "Oh gods!" Statzia was so surprised by the face under the hat that she dropped the hat on his chest. Her cheeks flushed. "I--"
"Oh my..." It was all he could think to blurt out in response to seeing the seductive voice turn out to be his operations chief looking down at him. He picked up his hat and put it on his head and swiveled his body to a sitting position.
Statzia pulled the ice cube out of her mouth, letting it drop into the hot sand. "I--I'm sorry, sir. I saw the horgh'an, and I didn't see your face, and--"
Logan, for his part, blinked mildly as she stumbled and tried to offer a legitimate explanation for trying to seduce the last person she expected. He slowly picked up his drink and took a large gulp of bourbon, the ice softly clinking against the glass as he set it back down. All the while, he kept his eyes on hers. Eventually, he held up a hand to pause her. "It's alright, lieutenant. Crazier things have happened before." He nodded at the empty lounge chair oppose the small table next to his lounger. "Care to join me?"
Statzia nodded, flagging down a waiter and ordered something and frozen and blended. "So, the horgh'an on the table?" She seemed a little more put together now that the initial shock had worn off.
"Oh, do you need it?" He reached over and picked it up and swung it around to within her reach. "I think it's a little silly, personally. I mean, aren't most people on Risa open to jamaharon as a general rule?"
Statzia waved off the statue, pointing to the one hanging on the cord around her neck. "You would be surprise how--unadventurous some of the visitors can be." For a brief second, her gaze shifted to the glass of bourbon and ice sitting on the table, before her attention came back to the captain.
He arched one eyebrow as a smirk crept into the side of his mouth. "That's fascinating to me. I've had a very different experience." He folded his hands behind his head. "I'd say it's close to a 'skin buffet'."
By then, Statzia's drink had been delivered, and she took a sip. "Oh, there's no shortage of lonely travelers far from home, fresh off the ship and looking for companionship. I was simply commenting on the lack of adventurous company."
"Keep digging, Statzia. You're bound to find something or someone of interest. You've always been resourceful about what you want." He grabbed his drink and took a cold sip from it, feeling the condensation on his fingers from the glass before setting it back down.
She chuckled. "I've been negotiating business deals with Ferengi since I was eleven. Hu-mans-" she said with the Ferengi inflection, "couldn't spot a good business deal if it fell into their laps." She ran a finger around the sugared rim of her glass.
Logan let out a small chuckle at the imitation. "So they say." He craned his neck over to her and asked, "Then again, maybe you already have a deal with Mis?"
There was an ever-so-slight raise of her eyebrow. "With your first officer?" A grin played at the corner of Statzia's lips. "I told her that I am not looking for any kind of commitment. I have learned the dangers in engaging in committed relationships in our line of work--a lesson we've both learned, from what I understand." She took a sip of her drink, letting the thought linger for just a moment. "I've since found that it's far less--complicated--to satiate the need or desire as it arises." At that, she let her eyes do a little... wandering.
Logan bristled ever so slightly at the mention of his past prior to her arrival aboard the Orion. He deliberately let the comment slide and made a mental note to inquire about what she knew from Mis directly. It wasn't anything that needed to be brought up right now, though the memories of that encounter came to the surface as an unfriendly reminder about the realities of his position.
"That's a very practical approach, lieutenant," he offered with a nod. He closed his eyes once again and pushed the hat forward to cover the top of his face.
Statzia gave a quiet sigh. She had struck a nerve. "It is hard to be in a place like this without them, isn't it?" She slid herself up so that she could recline on the lounge chair she was seated in. "Although, I suppose Tallin would spend most of his time complaining about the sand, or worrying about his lobes being sunburned. And he would certainly have something to say about the women still wearing too much clothing while off-duty." She chuckled softly at the thought.
As if she had planned it, a young couple walked past, hand in hand, giggling over something said between them. Statzia let them pass before continuing. "Places like Risa are just a twist of the knife. Happy couples, drinking and dancing, sunset walks on the beach, all to remind you that at the end of the night, you are just as alone as when you started."
Logan tilted his hat up again. "That's all in the perception. Sure, you can look at it like that. Or you can look at it as something to aspire to achieve, and work on that goal. It's all how you look at it. Use the envy in a positive way."
"Such as meeting you XO at dawn for breakfast?" Statzia picked up her drink, raising it in a toast. "Glad you know I'm not the only one who ignores the counselor's advice."
Logan didn't want to tread into those weeds. He smiled and nodded curtly in response but didn't want to get involved in what he walked into earlier. "She definitely has her work cut out for her."
Statzia took a sip of her drink. "I would be more concerned about you. Put a lonely ship's captain in the middle of a of a skin buffet--" she gestured to the crowd meandering around the beach, "and you aren't indulging in the feast." She pondered for a minute. "Which likely means it's not the feast that you miss. It's the comfort of a home-cooked meal. The comfort of monotony, the routine. You don't miss the buffet, do you? It's the routine of falling asleep wrapped in a feeling of comfort. Curling up together with a book or a long conversation." Another sip of her drink. "You miss being safe with someone."
He mulled over her words carefully as she spoke them. The topic brought back the past, of the life he had shared with Betty. It caused him to reflect on how his life had changed since her disappearance and how much time had passed and how his life had changed since then. "Perhaps...," he allowed himself to say. Then again, he had seemed pretty good about hiding the topic while having a few random encounters in the past.
"Well, life goes on. Can't dwell on the past forever otherwise it clouds the present." He smiled and glanced at the glass on the side table, reaching out to it before pausing. He had already finished it without noticing. "Thanks for the chat. I should get going." He rose from his chair and grabbed the towel that was resting on the back of it, slinging it over his shoulder.
Statzia picked up one of her crutches, standing and balancing with just one. "If that is what you tell yourself when you sleep at night." Her free hand reached out to momentarily take his, slipping a rectangular piece of plastic into his hand. "But, if you're like me, and none of the platitudes ever change the fact that you still can't fall asleep at night with the other half of the bed empty--" She let the thought trail off. "And if you're not interested, just slip the keycard under my door, and I'll never mention our encounter." Her hand reached up to gently brush a wisp of hair off of his brow, before she picked up her second crutch, and made her way further down the beach.
Logan stood there a moment, feeling the card in his hand as he brought it up to look at it. He glanced back at Statzia as she made her way alone through the sand. He gripped the card hard for a moment before swallowing and turning to head back inside the resort.
Captain Logan Barrett
Commanding Officer, USS Orion
Lieutenant JG Anastatzia Liski
Chief Operations Officer, USS Orion