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Merry Christmas

Posted on Tue Dec 29th, 2020 @ 7:41pm by Lieutenant JG Aurelia Garrett & Captain Indrala Xerix & Lieutenant J'remar Menun & Lieutenant Dean Marks & Lieutenant JG Scott Harrison & Lieutenant JG Alex Lockwood & Lieutenant Eklisa

Mission: http://ds12.16thfleet.com/index.php/sim/missions/id/4
Location: Ds 12- Promenade- Stefano's
Timeline: MD 1

The promenade was extremely busy, everyone fluttering about purchasing last minute gifts or headed towards festive gatherings. There were quite a few businesses promoting Christmas themed events and stands offering the most delicious hot chocolate. Giant sparkling silver and white snowflakes dangled from the ceiling while red and green streamers stretched as far as the eye could see. Multicolored lights were strung up outside numerous businesses lighting up the promenade this evening.

Aurelia walked past a flashing digital sign that stated part of the abortorium had been designated as a winter wonderland, promising fluffy snow and an ice rink for skating. The idea peaked her interest but she was set on meeting others of the Falchion's crew at a popular American Italian based restaurant called Stefano's. She frequented the location when off duty and looked forward to seeing how it would celebrate the earth event. For the occasion she donned a dark red halter dress and black stiletto's, Aurelia wasn't one for an ugly Christmas sweater and looked forward any chance to dress elegantly.

The best part about spending time on the station was the community. Everyone was cloistered in groups, talking among themselves, playing games, making jokes, it was almost like Eklisa was back home on Denobula. From her seat in Stefano's she could hear a family talking about the myth of santa, newlyweds tittering over their plans, conspiratory discussions of where to place a poisonous berry to entrap as many people as possible. It was all sociologically fascinating. Eklisa herself was participating in ugly sweaters. Hers was the fluffiest she could find, white and green, with metalic ornaments and embroidered 'christmas lights' at random over her body.

Alex Lockwood had been strolling along the promenade it had been a long time since he 'celebrated' christmas but it was high time that he explored the station in more detail, he was casually dressed but nothing festive, it was better than a Starfleet uniform, but nowhere near as festive as what some of the others were wearing.

To Eklisa, eggnog was equally fascinating to the conversations. It smelled like milk and cinnamon, but it tasted creamy and soured and warmed her up. She could actually feel her capillaries opening closer to the surface of her skin. Maybe she'd have to take a cold shower later, but for now, she was content to blush like a baby and purr quietly.

"Does anyone mind holding this?" She asked, holding her closed hand up.

"Holding what?" Ellis asked confused having just joined the stations senior officers.

"This!" Eklisa waved her closed fist in the air.

Aurelia snuck up behind Ellis and addressed Eliska with a concerned expression, "Has someone upset you or are you waving to someone?" She glanced around.

"Hold this?" Eklisa held her fist out toward Aurelia, smiling broadly.

Aurelia scrunched her face with suspicion before nudging Ellis with her elbow lightly, “Blake wants to hold it.”

Eklisa moved her hand to offer whatever was in it to Ellis, her smile not shifting an inch. "It's not gross or anything."

Indrala entered the dining establishment, dressed in a crisp white collared shirt and a black shantung ballgown skirt. The communicator in her pocket was the only nod to her career...besides the hulking form of a Deltan protection officer lurking behind her.

Stepping towards her crew she flashed a rare smile. “Do go on, Blake.” She addressed her first officer by his given name, which was an equally rare event.

Walking down the promenade, J'remar was busy scrolling through a PADD detailing the next month's duty roster for security and tactical positions. He would rather be in his quarters to do this, and in fact, he'd rather be off the station for the next few days, but Ensign Garrett had quite literally begged him to come down to the promenade today. All around him were strange decorations, strange smells, and humans wearing strange clothing. He never understood the human fascination with this....unusual holiday called 'Christmas.' He'd done some research on it last night, and he had concluded it was a waste of time and resources. Even the captain, usually so brisk and formal, was taken in by all these 'festivities.'

Walking into the human restaurant called Stefano's, where many of the other crew, including the captain, were gathered. He took a few steps into the establishment, but only looked up from his PADD very occasionally. He was still wearing his starfleet uniform, and given his views on this holiday, he would be very unlikely to change into something else.

"Well, what do you want me to do?" Blake asked still not grasping what he was needed to do.

"Hold this!" Eklisa insistently held her closed fist toward the Lt. Commander, grinning.

Aurelia's curiosity grew and her impatience stunk waiting for the commander to accept whatever it was Eklisa was holding in her palm. She stepped forward and held her hand palm up towards Eklisa. “Ugh here give it to me!”

Eklisa unfolded her hand to drop a bracelet into Aurelia's palm. It was composed of blue and green crystal beads obviously hand-carved and strung on some elastic. "I grew some crystals in my quarters, figured I'd give it to the first person who accepted a present from me! Hardest part was tying the knot in the band." She swirled her eggnog in her other hand and smiled, looking shyly into her glass.

"OH! This is beautiful Eklisa!!" Aurelia exclaimed as she slid the bracelet onto her right wrist, turning it over admiring the gleam of the crystal beads. She gave the Denobulan a grateful smile, withholding the urge to wrap her in a friendly embrace. "Thank you so much."

"You're very welcome!" Eklisa looked up to smile at her, then finished her eggnog.

Going to the gathering was a surprise impulse to Marks; he had spent the better part of the day painting the project and checking the mechanisms. Aurelia's invitation was more of a shock after their tentative meeting; not often a pretty lady has a phaser in hand to meet him at the door; in a manner of speaking, but she is one of the few he had spoken to and wanted to show he held her as a professional and he did not like leaving a nice person thinking he is a total … Engineer. He waited until she had taken notice of him and hoped she would not be irritated with him?

Marks entered the gathering holding what looked like a present in the first glance. exception being that it was a tin skinned box about 15 centimeters squared. The red tin that was used for the shape had the typical 'folding on two sides with the entirety cut and folded from a single sheet. The green Ribbon covered the four sides with a typical 12 pedal bow in the center, the color was a high enamel that shone slightly in the light. With several layers of paint and a sealer that he had given a light 'brush strokes' to the drying sealant imbued the texture to the ribbon.

Going to the only person he really knew ; had met when actually arriving he smiled as he wait to be acknowledged..

"Thanks you for the invitation, and Merry Christmas." Then extended the small metallic present. "You twist the center bow clockwise for the present's gift." He told her.

In her peripheral vision Aurelia saw Lieutenant Dean Marks approach the group. Her eyes immediately shifted to the metal box Dean was presenting to her. The attention was slightly overwhelming but she braved a smile accepting the gift timidly. "You did not have to gift me anything Dean! I am glad you decided to join us! Can I open it now?" When Aurelia looked up from the gift she caught sight of Lieutenant Menun in the background, his nose in a PADD as she had expecting he would be, regardless of his surroundings. She noted to keep her eye on him until she was free to make her way through the crowd. Smiling back as Marks she waited for his response.

"Once you twist the bow clock-wise it will start the mechanism." Marks remarked. "It is a music box." He smiled. "It plays Silent Night..."

Aurelia gave Dean a genuine smile before turning the bow atop the box in a clock-wise notion. She could hear the tiny gears grinding and turning before the gentle music filled the air around them. The atmosphere seemed to shift into a dreamy holiday scene filled with joy. Aurelia felt the weight of a gift she had hidden away in a pocket in the folds of her dress, now that she had spotted her target she needed to break away from the group inconspicuously.

"Thank you Dean, it reminds me of Christmas at home. If you'll excuse me for just a minute."

She moved towards the bar, asking the bartender she was familiar with to store Deans present for her behind the bar until the end of the evening. He took the present and gave her two steaming mugs decorated with cinnamon sticks that she carried over to where Menun was standing trying his best to ignore the festivities around him. She offered him a mug, "Try this."

J'remar, indeed trying to ignore the 'festivities', looked up from his datapad then down at Ensign Garrett. "If you insist," He said morosely. He took the mug, peering into the liquid. "What is this beverage Ensign?"

"Its a spiced cider, with a just a hint of brandy. My favorite holiday beverage." She blew on the top of her mug in an attempt to cool it faster. Normally the warmth from the mug would be welcome to bat a winter chill, something she missed from her home world.

Finished with her eggnog, Eklisa stopped at the bar and ordered a mulled wine, then followed Aurelia to Menun. "Do you mind if I join you? Your cider smells strongly enough to mask the conflicting scents everywhere else. It's getting a little much."

The Orion shrugged and took a small sip of the cider. Aside from it's hot temperature, it was a surprising mix of sweet and almost sour tastes, something J'remar couldn't describe. He glanced up at Aurelia. "Most intriguing," He said. "But must it be so hot? It's almost unbearable."

Laughing she responded to Menun, "It's meant to warm you during the winter, so yes it must be so hot." Turning to Eklisa she smiled, "Of course! Would you like mine? I haven't taken a sip yet. I guess I didn't realize what the unusual fragrances would do to different species." She offered the beverage to Eklisa as a sort of sorry.

"No, you ordered it for yourself! I have my wine," she raised her steaming mug, "and I intend to dull my senses just a little more. Until then, I'd like to stay here and smell only your cider, rather than everything in the room. Pleasant as the holiday spices may be, I find it much easier to focus when there aren't so many. Aren't hot drinks so curious? Does it get cold enough on Orion to warrant warm drinks, lieutenant?"

"On average, the winter temperatures on Orion are much warmer than those of Earth," J'remar replied. "As such, I'm unaccustomed to drinks outside the range of cold to room temperature." He looked around the bar again, noticing it fill up with several more civilians as well as Falchion officers. "Ensign Garrett, I've looked through the database and done as much research on this interesting you humans have, but could you explain its purpose in your own words?"

Aurelia's face lit up with joy as she recalled all the Christmas's in her family's manor house back on earth. "It's centered around the birth of Earths most popular deity Jesus Christ, but as years past it became more of a celebration of Santa Clause and giving to the poor and needy without expectation of receiving anything in return. For me personally, it was the only time of year my family came together. It was filled with traditions, bliss, and magic." She took a sip of her cider inhaling the deep cinnamon aroma that reminded her heavily of home. "Speaking of gifts." Aurelia pulled a PADD from the hidden pocket of her dress, the PADD was decorated with a simple green bow and red ribbon. She handed it to Menun.

"Merry Christmas J'remar. I had a few earth novels loaded onto it for you."

The Lieutenant looked down at the PADD, then to Aurelia. "The giving and receiving of gifts is the most notable part of this holiday, I've noticed," J'remar said, clasping the PADD between his hands behind his back. "Unfortunately I have nothing to give you. I never expected to receive...a 'gift' from anyone today, so I never got something for any of you. But..." he continued, nodding in gratitude. "I appreciate the gesture."

Aurelia laughed, "I expect nothing, but gifting is my favorite part. Especially when its least expected! I hope you enjoy the gift." Aurelia looked to Eklisa and suddenly remembered they were to take a trip to visit Aurelia's home the next day, the more the merrier right? "MENUN! I have the best idea, come with us to Earth tomorrow. Eklisa and I are traveling to my home world to visit my parents for the holiday, my family owns a cider mill and apple orchards there. Come with us?" Aurelia half pleaded for J'remar to agree. She looked to Eklisa for back up.

"It would be much more relaxing if I weren't the only stranger there. We could learn about Aurelia's family traditions together! I'm sure you know how more companions on a trip can make it more fun." Eklisa joined forces with the human to convince him, sincerely hoping he'd join. She didn't feel close with enough people on the ship or on the station for it to feel like home yet, even getting to know one more person a little better was preferable. Her mulled wine was already half-down. "If you're worried about earth being too cold at this time of year, don't, I'm sure we can spend time indoors and bundle up well enough to stay comfortable. You know my homeworld is a tropical planet, I wouldn't go if I thought we'd be too cold."

J'remar sighed. "I suppose you won't take no for an answer?" He asked Aurelia. "There are many more productive things I could do with my time instead of...celebrating a strange human holiday."

"You know me so well!" Aurelia chuckled, "The purpose of Shore leave is to be unproductive, to relax, recharge, re-center ones self. Besides, there's much about this strange human holiday that gets lost in translation. The only way to really appreciate it is to experience it. The transport leaves at 0900 tomorrow."

He rubbed the bridge of his nose. "Alright, fine, I'll go. Can't promise I'll enjoy it, but if it makes you happy I'll go."

Having done his delivery of a present; what is half a day hand crafting a Music Box that plays Silent night; it was a relaxing endeavor and he could now enjoy the social gathering the way he liked best. Taking a random drink that was out for the plucking he made his way off towards a corner with a window that also gave him a good view of the crowd. From here he could quietly observe and try to figure out his new crew. Ensign Garret was kind to him as the first impression; well a woman with a phaser in hand might not be deemed as a good 'Omen' until it was pondered that she is Security and the Captain herself had made it quite clear that Mars had made a mistake.

Taking a sip of his drink he decided that whatever it was, he is not going to have another as the potency burned almost harshly on the way down. He is not one for drinking and so he could just milk tis one and be content aside. he had wished he thought to bring a PADD; there were some modifications to Frankie that he had ponder just a little time on the possibilities. Looking at the schematic in his head it was doubtful he could make it work on such a small vessel; at minimum a Runabout would be a test subject but a full star ship would be a better bet. Probably one that was not old and had the systems to take a 'jolt' if required? He dare not do it on the Falchion; sacrileges to harm a glistening new refitted ship, no he might relay his ideas to Daystrom.

Pondering the possible adaptations occupy the back of his mind while he sat back and just look out at the people reveling in the party. It was a time when women were not wearing uniforms; they were being themselves. HE had a Sociology Instructor once remark that clothing and how a woman did her makeup and accessories was an art of expression. While Marks had not noticed it before that he did start to note the diversity of how a woman dressed and accessorized like an artist looking at a painting; the subtle brush strokes with the blush like that foundation brushing of a painting, the highlighting of areas with eye makeup and especially like a great work of art the Shading was the dramatics of the look.

Marks was admiring the artistic way the lovely ladies of the crew adorn themselves for the party, a glimpse into their personals being brighter in the way they dress or darker tones that showed the mood.

It was a fine way to relax.

Alex Lockwood ought to have felt right at home amongst the crew gathered together, it was eerily reminiscent of life as a Borg Drone, crammed into a Borg vessel with countless other drones, and yet it was both too similar and different in that everyone was talking and doing their own thing, which was in total contrast to a Borg vessel, he didn't feel comfortable being with the others.

Scott Harrison Perused the Promenade. He'd only just arrived, and He had some time before his actual meeting with the station Commander to report in, so he figured he'd wander around for a spell. He walked down the way and saw a flashing sign that reads "Stefano's". This restaurant piqued his interest so he went ahead and proceeded inside. He found himself overtaken by the Christmas decorations, and proceeded to find himself a spot at the bar.

Once the wine had seeped in and Menun had agreed to come on their trip, it was time for Eklisa to greet more individuals. That was the point of a party, right? To familiarize oneself with those invited? She rejoined the bar, ordering an irish coffee. There were people in Stefano's that weren't part of the party, but who she might meet again if she spent time on the station.

"Hello, I'm Eklisa! Do you enjoy the decorations? They're so colorful, aren't they!" She leaned into the personal space of the person nearest her.

"Hi, Eliksa, Scott Harrison," He replied, adjusting himself on the bar stool, "The decorations are lovely. I have to say, I haven't seen Christmas decorations like this since I was a boy," Harrison then took another swig of the Scotch he'd Ordered, "I've only just arrived on board the station."

"I've seen christmas decorations a couple times, now, but the station is especially excited, isn't it? It's a pleasure to meet you! I haven't been here very long myself. Did you live somewhere cold, Scott Harrison?" She used his full name, smiling and swinging her legs.

"I was raised in Colorado on Earth, and sometimes, yes, it got very cold." He responded, "And you can just call me Scott, or Scotty if you prefer. The Bakersfield dropped me off only moments ago, I have a meeting with Captain Xerix later, which I'll admit, has me a bit nervous."

"Colorado. Intriguing! It never gets very cold on Denobula. Don't worry about meeting with Captain Xerix, she already knows how nervous you are when you walk in. Very little you could do or say would upset her. Maybe be careful not to tell any lies, though, I've heard that can give Betaoids headaches. No one wants to give the captain a headache. She's actually just over there," Eklisa pointed subtly to the beautiful betazoid among the other officers, "You've managed to walk into the seniot officer's chosen venue for our christmas party, Scott!"

Alex sat in the corner of the room watching the others interact, he was glad to be there and not still a mindless drone, but he needed time to get used to socializing, once he was used to that he'd be better suited to these sort of events, he'd always been somewhat of a loner before he had been assimilated, so going it alone now was not unusual.

Aurelia made her way through the growing crowd, slipping this way and that, careful not to spill her drink. When she emerged from the mass of bodies her sights lay on the loner, former borg, Alex. She plopped down next to him, flushed a but already from her drink. Nudging him with a smile, "Why the long face Lockwood?"

Alex looked at Aurelia for a few moments "It is times like these i'm forced to relive certain unpleasant memories of my last incarnation, crammed on a Borg vessel filled with thousands like me powerless to resist, i prefer some semblance of solitude," he told her "One person i can handle dozens not so much," he added.

“Hmmm” Aurelia looked down at her drink, swirled it once then in two big gulps the drink was finished. She made a show of stretching her legs before standing again. She looked down to Alex, “So I think I’m going to stroll the promenade and enjoy the holiday lights strung about. I also hear there’s SNOW in the arboretum.” She paused smiling down at him. “Would you like to accompany me?”

Alex looked at Aurelia for a few moments before rising from his seat "Why not, anything to get out of this place," he told her, he didn't care much for the lights or the snow, but on this occasion they were likely more interesting than the party "Lead on," he added.

 

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