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Table Talk

Posted on Fri Apr 2nd, 2021 @ 8:36pm by Lieutenant J'remar Menun & Lieutenant Eklisa & Lieutenant JG Lukot & Lieutenant JG Aurelia Garrett & Kel

Mission: Swarm
Location: Arboretum, DS12, Big Kid Table
Timeline: During Soirée

It didn't take much to entertain or amuse Aurelia, but Ferangi might just be the most intriguing to her, especially their females, whom she had only ever met one. She refrained from questioning Kel if she wore clothes often or just aboard federation ships and stations. Side eyeing Menun, whom had disappointed her by sitting on the other side of the table, she bit her lip to hold back blurting out questions she knew he would disapprove of and consider inappropriate table talk. Keeping her bright smile she addressed the ferangi, "It's a pleasure to meet you both! How are you finding DS12 life?"

"Oh, it's very enjoyable! There's so much space - unlike Starbase 234. You couldn't swing a targ in that place without hitting a bulkhead!" Lukot joked.
Kel continued "We've both spent much of our lives aboard Federation bases - since Lukie works for Starfleet, and I ran a shipping business between the Federation, Klingon and Romulan territories."
"I must say, you all seem a lot friendlier than some of the Starfleet personnel on 234 - most of them couldn't even look us in the eye." Lukot finished talking, and smiled again.

"It is very spacious in here! You almost don't notice the arboretum isn't outside at first. We like to stay, if not friendly, at least welcoming to everyone who joins us." Eklisa nodded along, sipping from her glass, "It must be difficult to feel unwelcome where you live and work, and I hope you never feel that way here. Now, as for your shipping business, what do you transport primarily?"

"Oh, all sorts of things. It's more of an express courier service, really. I've shipped all sorts of crazy stuff - from live Sehlats to a 22nd century Federation shuttlepod."

Aurelia gave a distasteful look in regards to hearing how other Starfleet personnel had treated Lukot and Kel. She understood prejudice and why certain cultures and people felt the way they did towards one another, she just had zero tolerance for it. "I'm so sorry they made you feel that way, but I'm glad your here." Her tone took a more serious demeanor as she added, "If anyone makes you feel that way aboard DS12 you just let me know." She ended with a wink.

"Thank you for your kind words. They mean a lot", Lukot responded. Perhaps he had finally found a place he could call home, somewhere that he'd be comfortable, and not have his defenses up all the time.

"Of course! We've all got one another's backs, right J'remar?" Garrett shot Menun a sassy look across the table as she waited for him to agree.

"Of course, of course," J'remar said, trying to sound enthusiastic, lessening his frown slightly. He'd rather be anywhere but socializing, much less with Ferengi, but it would be rather interesting to make their acquaintance nonetheless.

"I assume I'll be seeing you a lot then Kel! Given the cargo inspections I lead. Does your shipping business take you from the station often? Or are you more of just the coordinator? Oh! I'll have to show you some of the items I've collected over the years. Perhaps you'll be able to help me add to my collection! There's really not a theme, I just like old weathered things." Aurelia giggled and brought her wine glass to her lips to stop her rambling.

"Oh, I like to do everything. I oversee three ships, one of which I directly command. It's good to get your lobes dirty once in a while." Kel paused to take a sip of her drink, before continuing "And as for nik-naks, I'll have to show you my collection. After all, what good is latinum if it just sits in the assay office collecting dust? I actually own an authentic copy of the old Earth game Monopoly from the 1940s. It's a fascinating game - invented by a women, no less"

"If you pardon the question, what would you do with a 450 year old 'board' game?" J'remar asked, genuinely curious. "No one uses those sorts of things anymore."

Lukot chose to answer. "Oh, we keep it in a statis field, on a shelf in our quarters. It's a very fragile antique - we've got a more modern set that we replicated. It helps make us feel more... Federation, I guess would be the right word for it - to have something so 'human' around." Lukot didn't pronounce human the way most Ferengi do.

"I'll have to play a round with you sometime! I'm afraid I haven't gotten to play many human board games. I like to think I've gotten to play the most popular board games from the alpha quadrant, but of course, there's only so many people who still play no stakes dice games rather than no stakes holoprograms. If I recall, Monopoly is modeled on becoming a landlord in a post-industrial revolution America? It sounds fascinating." Eklisa lamented at her choice of drink. Sunsets were pretty, but they didn't taste like much and had less alcohol than taste. She'd have to go get another drink soon enough.

Aurelia chuckled, "I've heard that game was the source of great rifts between family members and friends. Finishing a game wasn't common, players become too agitated when another player monopolized the board and would just quit the game! Society was money driven and greedy then...turning what could be a fun game into a rivalry. That being said I would love to play!"

"We should definitely do that! I can bring it to one of the recreation rooms at some point. You know, there's a lovely recreation area on Deck 117, facing towards New Holland." Lukot scratched behind his ear - something that he often does when he gets excited.

J'remar sighed a little inside. He had a ten-to-one feeling Aurelia would of course ask him to join in their "game". And, of course, he'd have to say yes otherwise she'd pester him unceasingly until he gave in. He took a long drink of his synthale, not having much to say right now.

Garrett gave Lukot a warm smile before finishing the contents of her glass, she quickly disregarded her yearn for another bloodwine. Even she knew her limits, when she chose to not ignore them. She hadn't been early to the event, but something seemed off, shouldn't the Nogura crew be present by now? Her eyes narrowed, scanning the crowds, the Captain was still not present either. Aurelia gave Menun a concerned look, he had to of noticed same as she that something was a miss.

The Orion had noticed the lack of Nogura personnel, more so Captain Xerix, a few minutes after he had entered the arboretum, but had decided against saying anything about it in case it caused a stir. He nodded almost imperceptibly at Aurelia, tilting his head to the side, away from the table, a sign that meant they needed to talk, out of earshot.

Aurelia's eyes dropped from Menun's then quickly returned, a silent sign of understanding and confirmation. Donning her bright smile she made a show of jiggling her empty class and glancing at the others drinks. Standing, cup in hand she said, "Menun, assist me in grabbing another round for the table?" Knowing full well he wouldn't decline she continued, addressing the others, "Any special requests?"

"I'd love some blood wine, if you don't mind, my dear!" Eklisa grinned, leaning over the table comfortably. She scanned the greenhouse carefully.

"I'm good, thank you. What about you, dear?", Kel asked. She had noticed the subtle gestures and figured that they were just looking for a reason to excuse themselves. She wondered if her husband had been as perceptive.
"Another Slug-o-cola, if you don't mind."
Apparently not.

The beaming carefree expression quickly dropped from her face the moment she turned from the table. She felt J'remar fall into step beside her. "Our guests should have been present by now, should they not?" She spoke low, her mouth barely moving, making it impossible for someone to read her lips.

"More importantly, the captain should have made an appearance several minutes ago as well," J'remar continued, assured that he and Aurelia were on the same page, like they usually were. "If not because etiquette demands it, but because she's always on time."

He looked around, trying to see if perhaps the captain or some of the Nogura guests had arrived in the meantime, but so far nothing came of it. "We'll give the captain a few more minutes, but if nothing happens, then we make an inquiry over the comlines. I trust the captain in all situations, but it's not like her to be late to a party."

"Not like the Captain indeed." As she approached the bar Aurelia's face quickly transformed into that of a carefree happy party goer in search of more potations. She recited the drink order to the barman who nodded before turning to retrieve them. Without facing Menun or altering her visage she asked, "My gut is telling me something is very we missed something..." She briefly made eye contact with a guest on the other end of the bar and winked before turning away. "Could be my paranoia, unless your instincts are telling you the same."

"I do not feel paranoia," Menun said, rather frankly. "But you're right, my instincts are telling me we need to figure out what's going on. Let's look at this logically."

He raised one finger on a hand. "One. This party was hosted to welcome the crew of the Nogura onto the station before they ventured into the Maelstrom. Two, all the guests have arrived except the Nogura's crew. Three," he trailed off, giving Aurelia a chance to pick up his line of thought.

Had Aurelia not known Menun as well as she did she would swear he was raised by Vulcans. Always laying out the logical explanations. "The Nogura isn't here." A sympathy of possible explanations for the crews tardiness flooded her mind all at once.

The barkeep set the beverages atop the bar in front of the two. Aurelia thanked him while picking up two drinks and handing them to Menun, then retrieving the other two. Heading back to the table slowly she added, "So then J'remar, do we allow the situation to play out or do we act now?" Garrett side eyed her superior officer with a look he had come to know meant she was ready to jump, he just had to say the word.

J'remar thought for a moment, crossing his arms and frowning a thoughtful, rather than annoyed, frown. This was an usual situation, but he had to put faith in the captain. There was no way either her or the Nogura had been detained by violent means, otherwise he would have been called to the scene. This must be some other sort of emergency.

"Let the night run it's course. The captain will have everything under control, I have no doubt. Come, we should return to the others, before any more suspicion is raised."


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