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Hanakotoba

Posted on Thu Jan 14th, 2021 @ 8:46pm by Ensign Viradi & Lieutenant J'remar Menun & Lieutenant Dean Marks & Lieutenant JG Alex Lockwood & Lieutenant JG Mai Lestra & Lieutenant Eklisa & Lieutenant JG Aurelia Garrett

Mission: http://ds12.16thfleet.com/index.php/sim/missions/id/4
Location: Cargo Bay Beta-9, Deep Space Twelve

Ensign Viradi sat back and admired his handiwork. He and a team of engineering technicians, botanists, and vendors had transformed the massive cargo bay into a nightclub. But a nightclub unlike any other. The widest variety of flowers the young man had ever seen. The formerly drab space was now, lush, colorful, and filled with the scent of flowers.

In the center of the room was a dance floor, with dazzling lights and a DJ playing a variety of music. Chairs and tables were scattered about the room, and bars were located on each end near the entrances.

Viradi himself was bedecked in a cerulean jumpsuit with a large spray of lily-of-the-valley pinned to one side of his collar. The tiny white flowers danced and shook with his every movement.

This was going to be an amazing party!

Lieutenant Taldrah Loh walked into the venue and was so impressed by the decorating that she forgot how nervous she was about being there. Brushing some hair behind her ear, she looked around with her mouth hanging slightly open while she admired all of the lights and flowers. The cherry blossoms she had randomly pinned through out her hair paled in comparison to the beautiful bouquets that now surrounded her. The smell was overwhelming, but in the best way.

The Bajoran Operations Officer had arrived earlier than she would normally like to arrive to a party. While she preferred to be fashionably late, Taldrah had missed the Christmas themed festivities due to a pre-planned trip to Bajor. She wanted to make sure to put the appropriate amount of time in tonight getting to know the rest of the crew.

Not knowing what to do with her hands, she decided to keep them busy with a drink. As she looked around in search of the bar, her black sequin dress sparkled underneath the lights. It was a little shorter than she would have liked, ending about 2 inches above her knees, but she hadn’t had a chance to try it on before tonight. Her hair was slightly curled and pinned up with some strands she left out intentionally falling around her face. Her hazel eyes sparkled as they fell upon the bar. Waking faster than any woman in black, strappy heels probably should, she headed for the bar in the hopes a drink would calm her nerves.

Eklisa laughed heartily over her drink, flowers braided into her hair and into a crown. The flowers reminded her of her second father's fruit farm in bloom- the lights and the music were simply added pleasures. She had a color scheme going in her flowers, with Bluebells, Blue hyacinth, and cornflowers propped into peaks of a crown, and yellow Zinnia, chamomile, and sorrel filling out the base and pinned to her lapel. She sat at the bar, her suit unbuttoned low over her chest to cool off from the drinks she was enjoying. Even the drinks in this venue were colorful.
She wore simple black flats under her long loose black pants. Her jacket was decorated in embroidery the same grey tone as the fabric, catching the light barely at the right angles. She remembered what her brother Grax once told her about flowers. Plants worked to be so beautiful only to die quickly, so he must be in for a nice, long life. He'd followed it up with several compliments, but Eklisa knew he was sad he'd been born so skinny and awkward.

Taking a deep breath to block the resurfacing shyness she felt, Lestra walked through the doors of the cargo-bay-turned-nightclub. It was fabulous. She was amazed at the transformation the cargo bay had gone through. The lights, the sounds, but most importantly the FLOWERS. So, so many beautiful flowers. She took a few steps further into the room, clasping her hands together nervously. She'd never been to many real parties, so this was all new to her. She was wearing her mother's old formal party gown, made of a shimmering navy blue silk that was as soft as it was fashionable. Her hair was braided into one long braid that hung down to just below her shoulders. She had tucked a few dark asters into the braid, as well as fashioned a bracelet made of white daisies that she wore on her wrist.

Taking another breath, the Bajoran counselor headed for the first person she recognized, Lieutenant Eklisa.

Eklisa raised her glass to the Counselor, flashing a (narrow, Bajoran-sized) grin. People watching would get more intersting soon, and discussing body language with Lestra could be counted on to be interesting.
"Lestra! Aren't the flowers lovely? Remind you of anywhere on Bajor?"

Lestra smiled shyly as Eklisa spoke, hands still clasped in front of her nervously. When she spoke, she spoke very softly, yet still clearly, like wind rustling through the branches of trees.

"Oh, well, some of the monasteries in the Bajoran mountains are very beautiful in the spring, but I've never seen such a...concentrated amount of flowers in one place," she said, looking around her and admiring the work that went into turning this place into a wonderland. "What about you? Are there any places on Denobula this reminds you of?"

"Quite a few, actually, dear. Mostly orchards and gardens, of course, the precision and density of beauty is hard to find naturally. Of course, I speak only of plantlife there. Natural beauty is remarkably precise in humanoid faces, and when combined with these flowers I see no reason to claim it to be rare." Eklisa sat back, admiring the people passing by, then turned back to Lestra, "Your own accents are well cosen, aren't they? The asters really suit your hair and daisies your wrist, and both fit well with your dress. It's an older style, isn't it?"

The young woman smiled and looked down at her dress, twisting to the side to let the dress shift back and forth, catching the light and making it shimmer brightly, but not too brightly. "It's my mother's, from when she and my father went to their first dance together. She gave it to me a few years ago when she had to have surgery on her legs, preventing her from dancing anymore. This is actually the first chance I've had to use it."

"It suits you. Simple, classic even, but perfectly lovely. Did your mother enjoy dancing?" Eklisa's eyes seemed to be focusing, like a thousand trains of thought were halting so she could give Lestra more of her attention. It was rare for her to look at anything but complex math this way. She continued to casually lean on the bar, sipping her drink, but she stopped glancing to other people.

Lestra sighed, the memory of days long gone washing over her. She stared off behind Eklisa, not locking onto anything particular, her eyes donning a dreamy, disconnected look.

"She was a wonderful dancer, always so graceful, so confident, and so very beautiful," she replied wistfully, slowly sitting down on a chair, seemingly unaware she had done so. "Our home village on Bajor used to have a sort of local dancing tradition on the eve of the Gratitude Festival, and every year my mother stole the show, though she always said she never meant to. She was never off pace or off beat, never once misdoing a move, always the perfect dancer. It was her favorite thing in the world."

Sighing again, though more mournfully this time, she continued. "She was devastated after the doctors on Earth told her she needed to have surgery to fix some sort of infection that had spread on her legs from a rare space virus, or something. The surgery allowed them to save her legs, but she could never dance again...so she gave her dress to me...though I could never even begin to try and dance like she did..."

“It is always so unfortunate to lose something one loves so dearly. One of my brothers had to give up his passion for painting to focus on his medicine for his father, it was something of a dying wish you see, and he’s never quite been the same since. I used to take him to art galleries when we could find the time between both of our classes and he’d sit and stare as long as the clerk let him. Passion is rare, and fragile.” Eklisa turned back in her seat to look out over the cargo bay, reminded now of how artificial the club in it was, and how quickly it would be broken down when the party was over.

Aurelia followed the thrum of music to the cargo bay, the music drowned out the sound of her heels clicking on the floor. She wore a black ball gown with dangerous slits down the front and back, along with slits on both sides of her legs reaching as far up her thigh. The fabric bellowed out around her as she moved giving the impression there was wind lifting her skirts about. Her hair was pulled back into an elegant bun with several twists holding three larger then normal tiger lily's. The flowers were a vibrant orange with red tips and brown spots covering the petals. She wore no jewelry but had done her makeup in a way she came off much more fierce then normal.

Her green eyes quickly scouted out the bars and the guest already in attendance, before she would join her friends she caught sight of Viradi and made her way over to him. "Viradi, well done my friend! This place looks amazing!!"

Sipping a pina-colada with an enormous umbrella, he smiled at the woman. “Thank you! You look stunning!” He replied.

Aurelia took a bow, "Thank you! As do you! That color suits you well." She glanced around again admiring the flowers but also noting the flashing lights on the dance floor. "Care for a dance later? Looks like we might need to be the ones to break in that dance floor."

Marks had heard of the party; he had on the black slacks and shiny shoes with a red turtleneck to be finalized with the black vest left unbuttoned. The black felt Fedora and red band with yellow feather appropriate tro the old style hat. He had brought what the sociological rules called for and even had the "Dancing Shoes' upon his feet. He had decided that tap shoes were not what the tradition called for when he had checked the computer for the correct style of attire for such a party.

Truth be known; he knew a few dances he had to learn for the Formal Diplomatic gatherings but the more Cotemporary or; as they call it , 'Hip' steps were not in his skill set. Though he did find the conversion of a simple Cargo Bay into this very entertaining setting was just short of an Engineering feat with the running of lighting and the power connections to run the concessions was far more complex than just the ornamental ascetics of the place upon first observation. He moved to the bar and too an open seat.

"Something Festive if I could please." He asked of the person tending the bar, being the new guy he would have to hope someone noticed him?

Eklisa heard him order and plucked a yellow rose from a bouquet nearby to tuck beside the feather in his hat. "There you go, Festive. Drink up and then find yourself someone to dance with. Doesn't he look a little better suited to the club, Lestra? Everyone needs at least one flower." She hadn't touched him nearly at all, just his hat for the barest moment, but her smile was warm and inviting.

Tipping the hat as Gentlemen should he returned the smile. "I am glad to be more in fashion." Marks chuckled a little. "I tend to be a great judge of dancing in a artistic fashion but as to performing..." HE almost had more color in his face. "Let's say I would hate to step on anyone's toes, I need a learned dance partner." He smiled. "Any suggestions?"

She scanned the room quickly and hummed. “Let’s just say I don’t know the dancing skillsets of our coworkers. No one’s danced yet, but once they start, I’ll be able to tell you more.” Eklisa didn’t dance unless she was alone or in a crowd, and then she only really baltered, “Aurelia always moves with grace typical of a practiced fighter or a skilled dancer, and I wouldn’t put it past her to be both. Lestara, would you be comfortable showing me what dancing skills you do have this evening?”

"Please forgive my bad manners." He offered a handshake. "I am Dean Marks, pleasure to meet you."

Lestra smiled shyly and took Dean's hand, shaking it softly. "A pleasure as well," she said in her voice that would be reminiscent of the accent of old earth's India. She looked back to Eklisa, blushing slightly. "I'm afraid my skills aren't nearly as graceful or competent as my mother's. I might step one someone's foot, or trip, or...something..." she finished, getting quieter.

With the warmth of a couple drinks running through her veins, Lieutenant Taldrah Loh decided to wander in hopes of finding Aurelia. This was her best chance at a smooth transition from the “loner at the bar” stage to the “mingling and meeting people” stage. She tried not to look too awkward as she combed the crowds with her eyes in search of her friend.

As she was leaving the bar, she couldn’t help but notice another Bajoran woman in a blue dress with a long braid and daisy bracelet. Maybe it was the liquid courage or maybe she was just feeling bolder than usual, but Taldrah decided to walk up and introduce herself. She noticed that the woman was in conversation. Timing her approach so that she would only be within sight during a break in the conversation, Taldrah felt a small spark of confidence as she approached the woman in the blue dress.

“Hello, I hope I’m not interrupting,” she smiled less awkwardly than usual, “I just wanted to introduce myself. I’m Lieutenant Taldrah Loh. Always happy to meet another Bajoran on the station. Are you enjoying the party so far?”

Eklisa quietly turned and ordered another drink for herself, enjoying the company that she’d found. Two lovely Bajorans and Lieutenant Marks and occasionally the barkeep, almost snug in this corner of the cargo bay. Her blue eyes flit between conversants quickly.

Lestra turned her head to face the newcomer, and was pleasantly surprised to find that she was another Bajoran. "Oh, hello Taldrah, I'm Mai Lestra. I didn't realize there was another Bajoran on the station either, but that's probably because I spend most of my time counseling the station's civilians or assisting our chief counselor." She looked around the cargo bay, seeing more people had arrived and smiled. "This party, it's really quite something. I've never been to a real party of any sort, so all of this is quite the wonderful experience I hoped it'd be."

“It really is amazing,” Taldrah responded as she looked around again at the impressive decorations and beautiful flower arrangements. “I actually just arrived back on the station after a wonderful trip back home to Bajor,” her eyes lit up as she talked about home with another Bajoran. “Have you had a chance to go back at all lately?”

Lestra shook her head wistfully. "I've been a lot busier than I thought for the past few months. Last time I was on Bajor was...oh, must have been three years ago," she said, tilting her head, thinking. "Ever since my family moved to Earth we've visited Bajor less and less. It's not all bad, though. I actually enjoy Earth, but I do miss being so close to the Prophets," she said warmly.

Aurelia was pleased to see the group gathering near the bar and that Taldroh was among them. She snuck up behind Eklisa, "So what are we drinking tonight?!" She gave the group a cheeky smile.

Taldrah beamed at the site of her friend. She was grateful they finally ran into each other as she was hoping to meet more people, and having Aurelia around was a sure way to do that.

“Oh hey! Wow - you look stunning, my dear,” she said looking her up and down. The dress really did look fantastic on her petite figure. “I’ve had a couple of fruity flower something or others...”

"I'm having something called a Volcanic Spew. Would you like one, Aurelia?" Eklisa smiled warmly at her friend, turning in her chair to welcome her. She raised a lightly misting drink slightly in a sort of salute. This was a party now. It was interesting to hear about Bajor from Bajorans, and she was happy just to be here celebrating with everyone.

"Mmmm... it does look interesting. I think I will! Though I need you all to do me a tremendous favor," She looked over to make sure the Bajoran's and Dean were listening before she proceeded. "I don't think I will be able to stay unless we all participate." Aurelia put on her best puppy dog face.

Eklisa's smile turned conspiratorial as she turned to the rest of the group. "I must warn you, as a tellarite drink it's a little stronger than some might be used to." She would love to share a round with the group. Then it occurred to her Aurelia might've meant participate as in to dance. "Unless you meant we should all dance rather than crowd the bar, of course."

Aurelia shook her head attempting to hold back a grin but failing miserably. She pointed at Eklisa responding to her guess, "Eventually I will drag you all out there but before that happens we need to start this party with a round of shots!"

Alex Lockwood made an appearance at the event having decided to show up after much debate, he did not care for these sort of events but he made an appearance none the less, he'd be seen to be partaking in these festivities and disappear at the earliest convenience, as he doubted there would be much to keep his interest happening at the event.

Aurelia caught sight of Alex entering the cargo bay and waved him over to the bar, "ALEX!" she shouted over the music. She turned leaning over the bar and giving the bar keep instructions for the shots she wanted to celebrate with and added Alex to the number of she ordered.

Alex crossed the space to where Aurelia was positioned at the bar, he studied the array of drinks laid out "That is a lot of drinks to have by yourself," he commented knowing full well that they were not solely for her consumption but her said it as a 'joke'.

"Well then I guess you'll have to assist me then wont you Lockwood!" She handed Alex the first shot then proceeded to dish out the rest to the group.'

Alex took his shot and downed it one go, it was still difficult to discern any taste in food or drink but whatever was in the glass had some effect on his body.

Taldrah could hold her liquor well, but she had a feeling this wasn’t the first group shot to be had tonight. As Aurelia handed her the mystery shot, Taldrah turned to her friend to ask for some introductions.

“Girlfriend, can you please introduce me to some of the crew? I’m having trouble keeping together who is who, and that is probably only going to get more difficult as the night goes on,” she said in a slight whisper, just loud enough to be heard over the music.

Aurelia laughed and first gestured to the denobulan at the bar, "That is my good friend Eklisa," she leaned closer to Talhdrahs ear. "You're going to adore her as much as I do, trust me."

When gestured at, Eklisa turned quickly to be sure Aurelia hadn't meant to get her attention. "Welcome to the party!"

Aurelia turned Taldrahs attention to the brown eyed man also seated at the bar, "That uncharacteristically quiet fellow over there is Dean Marks." She spoke quiet again so that just her friend could hear, "He just arrived, but cute right?"

He wasn’t really her type, but she humored her friend. “Oh yeah, real cute,” Taldrah winked. She took the shot and felt the warmth rush through her body. At this rate, she’d be dancing soon without caring too much about who anyone was.

"Please avoid anything that will cause me to forget what a Warp Core is." Marks replied as he took the offered shot and slammed it, the warmth going down his throat. " Wow..." He managed not to cough. "Where did I put my Fruity Drink?" He needed the sweet to chase away the taste of the strong shot, as a shot and the fruit drink would be nearing his capacity, he was no Montgomery Scott.

Eklisa downed her drink suddenly and clacked the glass back onto the bar, then took quick stock of who all was nearby. Any would be perfectly fun to dance with but she also saw a few without flowers. She plucked a few geranium from a bouquet and popped one behind Alex's ear and one into Taldrah's hair, then she turned and ordered another drink for herself.

Alex ignored the flower ordering whatever Aurelia and Eklisa were drinking he had to learn to socialize again, and now was the perfect time to do so, and try not to get too too drunk.

Lestra, really not one for drinking, contented herself to watch her fellow crewmates down several shots and watch the effects of inebriation set in, albeit very slowly. She was slightly worried that she'd have a major counseling situation if the drinking continued for too long, but she trusted everyone here had some semblance of self-control.

Noticing the human who had refrained from all the drinking like herself, she walked over to him, sitting at the barstool beside him. "Lieutenant Lockwood, is it? I'm Lestra," she said, stretching out her hand to him as was the human custom.

Viradi’s soft, melodic voice made itself heard over the music and chatter thanks to the sound amplifiers in the corners of the room. “Attention! We have two minutes till midnight. Please gather in the center of the room for the countdown. Thank you” he said. The Angeleno was a bit too squiffy to be embarrassed about speaking to so large a gathering.

Eklisa laughed genuinely and excused herself from the bar to lead the group towards the center. If anything, she was buzzed, not drunk, despite having a few more drinks than most had. She took Aurelia's hand, but didn't tug her along.

Aurelia pecked over her shoulder to make sure the others were following as well. "Its almost time!" She shouted to the rest of the group as she allowed Eklisa who led them to the middle of the room.

Marks made his way out; he would toast the New Year with it and then milk it for all it was worth.

"How many of the Traditions will be celebrated I wonder?" Marks mused as he follow the crowd. "I hope they project the lyrics as I am quite rusty on them?"

Lestra, slightly giddy for the upcoming excitement, followed the rest of her crewmates and friends. Even if she couldn't dance very well, she could still enjoy watching the others steal the dancefloor.

Enormous, holographic numbers appeared in the middle of the air, hovering above the heads of the revelers. Starting from ten, they counted down until earth’s new year would begin. The crowd counted down with them. “..Five, four, three, two, one, HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!”

It was at this point that Viradi’s work showed itself. A rainbow of fluttering wings descended from the ceiling, butterflies from seven different planets, who gracefully targeted the flowers all around the room, including those worn by the party-goers.

Eklissa absolutely giggled in delight and kissed Aurella's hand. If people started signing, she didn't notice. She stared at the flurry of butterflies as they sought the flowers, tempted to reach out and catch one just to watch it go. What a way to start the year!

Lights flashing, butterflies soaring, people laughing, Lestra was breathless from the sheer beauty of it. Several butterflies seemed to have taken an interest in the asters woven into her hair, flitting about her. She smiled and laughed brightly, looking around at her fellow crewmates. "This is wonderful!" She cried, to no one in particular, just something she wanted to get out. "Happy new year indeed!"

Aurelia kissed Eklisa's hand in return before turning to take Taldrah's face in both her hands and pressing her lips to her friends for a mere five seconds. "HAPPY NEW YEAR FRIENDS!" she shouted before looking up and gasping at the beautiful winged creatures that fluttered about. She reached her hands out in hopes one would land in her palm. To her surprise a cerulean winged one did, she brought her palm down closer to her face to admire the butterfly up close but it quickly flew away. She closed her eyes and began to sway gently at first to the thrum of the music, her hands outstretched above her she spun in a circle allowing the euphoria of the moment engulf her.

Alex feeling uncomfortable with what was going on slipped away from the group making for the exit, it was a little too emotional for his liking, he'd shown his face at the event but it was now time to go and do what he did best now be alone if possible.

Viradi marveled at the soirée. It was nice to see so much work come off without any disasters. The Angeleno joined his friends on the dance floor, and thanked the void that he wasn’t on duty after this party.

 

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