OOC Time: Sun Jun 17 05:16:56 2007
Earth Time: Apr 24 22:33:23 2376
Star Time: 53312.2 01:18:42
Main Sickbay <Deck 16> [Gibraltar Station]
The Main Patient Ward of Sickbay is an ovular room, wider at the aft than at the fore. The main door is in the aft wall, and directly to its right is a wall unit with receptacle for PADDs and a low counter upon which are arrayed fluid suspension modules. Against the starboard wall, next to the counter and receptacle, is the first of four biobeds, each in its own tiny alcove, heads to starboard, one by one to the aft wall. The biobeds are bluish gray, with a shimmering multicolored blanket on each which can keep a patient warm when necessary. At the head of each bed is a small monitor and a gray chair sits to the left, or aft, of each bed. To port of the main door is a large white display panel, beneath which is a counter supporting a variety of medical instruments. In the center of the room is a single biobed, bluish gray like the others, with that same blanket, but boasting a surgical support frame that creates an arch over the middle of the bed. The frame can be opened to allow patients to be moved if need be. Port, there is an alcove leading to an office and the Med Lab. Fore of this is a large bio display which can show the readouts of any patient in the ward. Fore again, there is a door leading to the Second Ward, next to which is a small utility cart and another counter with fluid suspension modules beneath a wall receptacle. The room is lit both by a large assembly over the central bed, which is in actually a sensor cluster meant to aid medical procedures, and also by lighting panels in the rest of the ceiling. Alert tracers line the wall above each biobed.
(The scene opens on Sickbay; Solvek lies on a biobed, his face nad arm bandaged, while Hawkins walks in.)
Hawkins walks over to sit in a chair next to the biobed. "I came and checked by earlier, but you and Fred were both asleep. I figured it best to let you stay that way." Which means she didn't wake up Brooks and make her go to her own bed. Tsk. "Where is she, anyhow?"
Solvek stifles a frown. "Fred went to have breakfast and refresh herself." He pauses. "I appreciate your concern, Gwen, but I can assure you, I am quite fine. Doctor Omtala has proven her ability as a medical officer. She assures me that there will be no scarring from the burns, or any other permanent damage." His tone seems mildly annoyed.
Hawkins reaches up to pat Solvek's hand gently. "I'm not here to hover, Solvek. Fred has that all wrapped up." She grins. "I trust Doctor Omtala, which is why I haven't been bombarding her or the medical staff with questions about how my First Officer is doing. However, I did come down to visit. It's what friends do." She produces a PADD. "I also brought along the last thing I knew you were reading... those Antarean cultural reports. I figure meditation will only occupy you for so long."
Solvek takes the PADD, a grateful expression on his face. "Thank you, Gwen. You are correct in your assumption, as meditation at this moment is quite difficult." He makes a slight nod to his bandaged arm.
Hawkins shakes her head as she peers at the arm. "So... how long are you in here for?"
Solvek shakes his head slowly. "I am unsure. However, if I were to make an educated observation; I would approximate no more than 3 days." He pauses, "Is there something more on your mind Gwen? You seem... preoccupied at the moment."
Hawkins shakes her head. "Solvek, my best friend is in Sickbay for an extended period for the first time since I've known him. You had a pretty close call, you know. The last of the adrenaline rush and worry's still leeching out of me... Thomas had to work late last night, so I got to toss and turn. There's a difference between being worry occupying your thoughts and having concern for a friend in the back of your mind." That's not everything, though.
Solvek looks expectantly at Gwen. "There is more, I presume?"
Hawkins sighs. "Oh, alright, alright. How are things going between you and Fred? I'm dying to know, and Vulcans just don't gossip."
A slight smirk appears on Solvek's face. "Fred and I are fine, Gwen. There is nothing to 'gossip' about. Our relationship is still in its preliminary form."
A team of medics begin prepping a biobed. From their hurry, it's likely an emergency.
Hawkins glances to the medics for a moment, curious, then looks back. "Then what was all of that when she left? And her sleeping here all night? That seem a little... ahh... progressed to me."
Solvek looks to the Captain. "I do admit that Fred's enthusiasm in response to our relationship has made her rather nervous. The terms of our relationship are indistinct as of yet, and--" He is interrupted as the medical team rush in with Jordan on the hover stretcher.
Hawkins has a wry sort of smile on her face until she looks over to where Andrews lies. Then her expression becomes one of concern. She stands. "Excuse me a moment, Solvek." She goes over the medics. "What's going on?"
The medical officer in charge turns to the Captain. "Preliminary reports show a possible case of radiation poisoning. It appears that she took too long in coming in for her treatment."
Hawkins looks to the medic. "Will she recover?"
The medic turns to the Captain. "We won't know until we can get medicine in her and see how she responds. We need to set up an isolation chamber to be sure any contamination does not spread." He gestures a bit.. clearly wanting the Captain to move.
Hawkins nods in satisfaction. "Take care of her, and let me know how it goes." She then goes back to sit in the chair next to Solvek again.
The medic gives an affirmative nod. "Yes, sir." They continue to set up the isolation lab. Once finished, they steer Andrews to it and transfer her to the biobed there. Two of the personnel emerge from a sterilization room and enter the lab, they begin administering the selected medicines.
Solvek stares at the ceiling, a contemplative expression on his face.
Hawkins looks over at Solvek, "Hey," she says softly, "what are you thinking about?"
Solvek continues to stare upward as he responds, "I was attempting to remember if I was ever in the same position as Ensign Andrews is. If I was as absentminded and worried in the months after my graduation."
Hawkins nods slowly. "I was pretty worried, but then, I was put straight into Intelligence. I'm not sure what's gotten into Andrews, but I'll have Lieutenant Alexandria look into it." She pauses. "We need to find her an assistant, too."
Solvek also nods. "It appears that our previous conversation has lost its interest. Is there anything else you wish to speak with me about, Gwen?"
Hawkins raises her eyebrows. "I never said I'd lost interest. As I recall, you were saying Fred was nervous, and the status of your relationship is as yet indistinct...?" Trust Gwen to push.
Solvek sighs a bit, "I was saying the terms of our relationship were indistinct. We are unsure at what pace we wish to take this. I would prefer to 'take it slow' and I believe she is having some difficulty in deciding what I mean by that term."
"Why don't you just tell her?" Gwen pauses, "So you're saying she is worried about moving too fast for a Vulcan?"
"The only obstacle in that course of action is... I am not sure of the pace I wish to take." Solvek furrows his brows... or at least the one that is visible.
Hawkins stares at Solvek a moment and then laughs, if softly. "Oh, Solvek... I'm sorry. You're almost 60, sometimes I forget that Vulcans don't have to go through all of this. You get bonded young and then just marry when pon farr hits. I admit, it sounds a lot easier." She sighs. "Why aren't you sure?"
Again with the brow. Solvek seems mildly irritated with himself, "Again, I am not sure. I believe this is part of the hormonal imbalances that the doctor spoke to me about."
Hawkins says, "Hormonal imbalances?"
"When I went in for my physical examination, Doctor Omtala noticed a slight imbalance in various human chemicals that are present in my bloodstream. She referred to the transition as being akin to pon farr, but without the plak tow that accompanies the Vulcan version." Solvek's tone is very analytical. Like he is studying himself.
"Wait, wait. So you're saying... you're going through puberty?" Gwen laughs again at this, unable to help herself. Then suddenly sobers. "Oh, God. Does this mean you'll be acting like an adolescent human male?" That thought evidently inspires terror.
"I believe that was the term she used." Solvek's tone is still analytical. He apparently does not care that the Captain finds his plight amusing. "She said there may be 'bouts of uncontrollable aggression' and 'emotional urges' of a sexual nature. She informed me that pon farr is much more unstable than this 'puberty' but my Vulcan mentality may be tested during it's course."
Hawkins takes a deep breath. "Well, pon farr lasts a few weeks, at most... puberty can take years. Hopefully that won't be the case here." Pause. "So... why is it that this is making you unsure as to how quickly you want things to go?"
The expression on Solvek's face falters as a flash of horror overtakes it. Quickly stifling this fear Solvek simply replies, "There are flashes of thoughts that are causing me to question my motivations. I will not deny that I have affectionate feelings for Fred. However, these 'flashes' are something I seem to have no control over."
Hawkins quirks a brow. "So you're attracted to her." Way to be blunt, Gwen. "And you're afraid that's all there is, just attraction, and that your hormones are kicking in and making you go after her because she's obviously into you?" She shakes her head. "Do you enjoy spending time around her?"
Solvek thinks for a brief moment. "Yes, her company is pleasant. There is much to talk of between us. Beyond the scientific research, of course. I feel 'comfortable' when she is nearby."
Hawkins nods to this. "And would you spend time with her even if you knew you would never, ever have anything remotely resembling a sexual relationship?"
"Of course, Gwen." Solvek looks slightly aghast at the Captain's bluntness. "However forceful these 'flashes' are they are nothing more than that. Their affect is irritating, yes, but they are easily dismissed with enough concentration."
"Then where the hell is the problem, Solvek? You like spending time around her. You get along. You're comfortable. She likes you. You're attracted to her. So... where's the problem with your motivations?" Yes, Gwen's being blunt. And unapologetic about it, too.
Solvek says, "There is no problem. I am merely being distracted by these 'outbursts.'" He pauses as if questioning his next statement. "A similar experience occurred during the second ball. Fred absently kissed Ensign Bellows on the cheek. This action incited a fury within me to strike the young Ensign, something that you know I would never do."
Hawkins peers at Solvek a moment and then says, "Jealousy. Perfectly natural. You didn't act on it, which is what matters." She sighs. "So what would be so terrible about acting on these impulses you have, these 'outbursts?' I'm not suggesting you do that. I'm trying to help you figure this out."
Solvek pauses before speaking. His pace is slow, "Gwen, I am Vulcan. Sexual actions, outside pon farr are not something that just 'happens.' There is deliberation and planning involved. It is a matter of intimacy, an expression of one's true s--" He stops suddenly, his face falling into a state of concentration.
Hawkins raises an eyebrow. "So you don't want to cheapen the relationship by moving too fast, then?" She pauses, peers at Solvek. "Hey, are you alright?"
It takes a bit of time before Solvek answers, "I am fine, Gwen. I am beginning to understand something. May I ask a question of a personal nature of you?"
"Always. What is it?" Gwen can't help but look concerned.
"What do you feel emotionally when you and Commander Church spend intimate time with each other?" Solvek's tone is bland and scientific as usual.
Hawkins shrugs. "I feel... happy, content. Excited or anxious, sometimes. Comfortable. I feel..." She stops, clears her throat. "I feel in love." Which is clearly something she's not willing to say out loud very much. "Why?"
"I needed to clarify an issue, thank you. Another question, what does it feel when a human is in love? Scientifically I wish to know if the view is different among different species." It is apparently Solvek's turn to be blunt.
Hawkins blinks at this question. "Well... ummm.... it feels... it's like... you miss the person when they're gone. You're happy when they're around. You want what's best for them, and if someone or something hurts them you want to hurt it back. It's exciting, and terrifying too, because... sometimes you seem to lose a part of yourself in it all. Even when it's a comfortable thing you've had for years, sometimes you wake in the middle of the night up and... and wonder what you'll do if they're ever gone. How you'll possibly ever love anyone else that much, want anyone else that much. It's this strange combination of desire and longing and caring and possession, even when you aren't really possessive. You belong to each other because you just... do... not that you control each other, but that you become so intertwined that you just can't help it."
Solvek thinks for a long while. "Thank you, Gwen. You have helped. The puzzlement is not gone, but I believe it will be easier to understand my 'urges' with this knowledge."
Hawkins nods to Solvek slowly. "You're welcome," she says. "I still want to know what you're going to do about it."
Solvek pauses, "As of this moment. Nothing, Gwen. I am going to do nothing. In order to fully understand what it is to be... what I am," it seems as if he had to muster up the will to say the last part, "I need to allow this 'puberty' to progress within me."
Hawkins closes her eyes and then looks up to the ceiling with a 'give me patience' kind of expression. "And Fred? Solvek... you're a wonderful person... but you need to remember she's not Vulcan. She's Human. And clearly very confused, and nervous, and used to quite different things societally, even if she is an anthropologist."
Solvek nods, "I am well aware of her emotional state. This experience will assist her as well. I believe that this 'puberty' will allow us to see each other in a 'different light.' If our relationship is still whole after the experience it will allow us to progress much more easily in the future."
Hawkins raises her eyebrows. "Are you going to talk to her about all of this?"
"If the need to arises, yes." Solvek almost seems to smirk at his own comment.
Hawkins tilts her head a bit. "Well, it's your relationship. Just... be careful, Solvek. She's not a Vulcan. I don't know her all that well, but I know Humans. We take great stock in displays of emotion, and both sexes go through hormonal cycles once a month or so. She has an incredible drive to procreate running the engine of her body, and however much she says she doesn't care that you don't display emotion, she does. I'm glad we figured out that Human men and women just project all these impulses in different ways and got over the whole 'battle of the sexes' thing generations ago. Unfortunately, you seem to be about to relive it." She pauses, ponders. "Perhaps I should find you some of that old 'how to understand Human women' material somewhere."
"I am confident in my ability to control myself in this situation. However, to use a Human phrase 'Whatever happens.. happens.'" Solvek's tone carries a slight undertone of excitement in it. It then changes, "If things become too erratic, on either side, the matter will be discussed."
Hawkins sighs softly. "That's as may be, just... Solvek... think about the girl, okay?" She looks at him directly. "I'll tell you something I used to tell guys in school with me who were going through puberty. And that part of your brain can listen." Pause. "If you only think about yourself, you're going to wind up moving too fast, and she'll be miserable, and you'll lose her as a friend and a love interest. Think about her first, and you'll get laid every day for the rest of your life." Gwen Hawkins, WTF?!
Solvek almost laughs... Almost. "I... Your language is becoming quite vulgar, Gwen. Regardless, I assure you Fred's feelings are a primary concern that I will keep foremost in my mind."
Hawkins sits back a bit. "Good. As long as it stays that way." Her good deed for womankind done for the day, she sighs. "You know, this is the happiest I've seen you in a while."
"I believe I am beginning to come to terms with T'Mar's death." Holy crap Solvek said her name!
Hawkins blinks at Solvek, obviously at a loss for words. "Really?" is all she manages.
"Yes. I will always love her, but I am understanding that she would wish for my happiness." Solvek's face holds a somber expression, regardless of his matter-of-fact tone.
Hawkins nods slowly. "I.... I'm glad. Really, I am." Suddenly, she says, all in a rush, "Solvek, I... I miss her too. She was my friend... and... I was afraid I was going to lose both of you, when she died. I've been afraid of that for a while. I'm happy to see that you're doing better. Really, really, I am."
Solvek nods. "I understand your concern, and I am comforted by the fact that it is beginning to lessen."
Hawkins nods, and seems content to say nothing more for the moment. Hurrah for companionable silence.
Area 51 Bar <Deck 31> [Gibraltar Station]
The Area 51 bar is a gathering place for residents and visitors of the station alike. The door to the promenade looks to be made of wood, with a transparent aluminum window in the top half. There are several windows in the wall of the door which allow one to look out onto the Promenade. The interior has been decorated in the style of a bar from Old Earth. There are wooden tables with wooden chairs surrounding them, a well-polished bar with several cushioned stools along its length, and a few dart boards and other such games toward the back. Behind the bar is a long mirror in front of which are shelves of liqours from across the galaxy and a replicator for more mundane requests. The lighting is subdued, lending an atmosphere of comfort and relaxation.
It's clear that the place has come under new management recently. The decor on the walls involves strange, almost comical depictions of saucer-shaped space vehicles alongside the older advertisements for ancient Earth liqours. The windows in the front have been tinted so that while it is still easy to look out it is very difficult to look in from the promenade. The place has a definite feel of change, though it is still a comfortable and popular watering hole.
Tremar nods, smiling. "Yeah, thanks. I don't need to eat much. I suppose one day I'll figure out what exactly I am and stuff but for now I'm happy."
Aventino shrugs, picking up the third chicken wing and dipping it in the already widely orange-stained bleu cheese, less rabidly than the first two, but still licking at her lower lip a bit and eyeing the chicken before attacking it, listening to Tremar as she works the chicken from the bone easily. "Yeah, you know, I was kind of wondering, but I didn't want to be that guy who's like, "Hey, what planet do you come from?"
Aventino is sitting with Tremar at a table near the dartboards. Aventino has buffalo sauce all over her mouth, and some on the tip of her chin.
Brooks comes in looking... resolute. She's going to come in here and enjoy herself, damn it, and not... well... hover. Hovering bad! So she makes her way to the bar, goes to the person attending, and says, "The usual." The man nods and moves to the replicator.
Tremar looks up and waves. "Hey... join us if you want. I just learned what buffalo chicken is."
Aventino wipes her hands on the napkin again, then on a second one, and wipes off her mouth and chin, grabbing up her pop and drinking from it as she looks over to the bar and the object of Tremar's address. "Wow, I can't feel my mouth," she decides people need to know, "That's some good hot sauce."
Brooks turns from the bar with a large plate of what appear to be tacos in one hand and a glass of some brown liquid in the other. "Buffalo chicken? Oh, wow, hot wings? Those are good." This declaration is followed by the woman making her way over to the table and taking a seat. "Thanks. Umm. I just figured I'd supplement my breakfast. I'm starving. Lieutenant J.G. Winifred Brooks, science," she offers to the woman she doesn't know.
Aventino's attention swerves from the Lieutenant to her platter as she comes closer, "Ooh, tacos, I was thinking of tacos," she admits, then, grinning, "Lieutenant J.G. Bunni Aventino," she introduces herself, "And I'll trade you this last chicken wing for some taco," she offers with both brows raised and a grin, "They look fantastic, and the wings are good as advertised."
Brooks blinks at Aventino's name. Twice. Makes no mention of it. "Sure thing." The platter looks big enough for two people anyhow. "I haven't had the chicken wings here yet." She picks up one of the tacos and hands it over. "You were in the shuttlebay last night, weren't you?"
Aventino grins at the blinkage, "Yeah, yeah, you're free to write my parents an official letter of protest, but I don't think it'll get anywhere with them. Besides, I got off lucky compared to some of my brothers," she winks, taking the taco on her plate and forking over the last chicken wing and the remainder of the bleu cheese sauce. "And yeah, last night, late last night, even later last night, this morning... really just up until about ten minutes ago," she shakes her head and takes a bite of taco, "Hmm, 's good," she utters muffledly before swallowing and washing it down with some pop.
Tremar watches as Aventino takes on more spicy food. "The shuttle is almost back to normal."
Brooks has a taco, too, having decided to start in them first. Bite, chew, swallow. "Sorry. It's just an odd name. For a Human." She wrinkles her nose. "Oh, wow, sorry about that. You shouldn't have stayed up all night. I know I didn't... well... I slept on a chair in Sickbay, which probably wasn't a good idea either..." More taco! Taco good.
Aventino waves a hand dismissively, "I'll sleep some other day," she promises, "And the good Lieutenant Commander exaggerates, if slightly. We've got nav systems up, but there's still no propulsion. Life support's up, but not the shields. So really it could kind of hover in space and you could live in there as long as you don't get hit by any more Maelstrom phantoms or whatever," she smiles, finishing up the taco and pushes aside the plate, "Okay, enough filling up on bread and salad. Time for the main course," she glances about for the waitress.
Tremar smiles and slides to her feet. "I'm sorry, but I'd better get back to work. I'll see you two later!"
Tremar leaves through the door to Aft Walkway <Deck 31>.
Tremar has left
Brooks waves to Tremar. "Have a good day," she calls, then looks back to Aventino. "We're lucky we made it out alive. Most ships that have gone past the radiation belt never made it back out. And the vortex... forget it." She shudders, yet also sounds strangely excited. "It was worth it. Well. Not entirely. The shuttle was worth it. Not the injuries." She sounds... annoyed. "I'd sacrifice a shuttle for what we found, but not Solvek and Commander Tremar."
Aventino nods to Tremar, "Take care," she calls, then, looking back to Winifred, "Hey, shuttles are people too," she posits, then, chipper gaze turning a little toward sad, "Besides, you didn't sacrifice the shuttle. And Tremar seems perfectly fine, did--" she furrows her brow, "Commander Solvek--?" she asks, suddenly sounding a little worried.
Taco halfway to her mouth, Brooks blinks at Aventino and then shakes her head. "Oh no! Solvek's just fine. Well, I mean, except for the burns and the being in Sickbay for a few days. But we all could've died. That's not something you forget too easy. And I said it was worth it and then I realized that even a discovery as big as the one we made wouldn't be worth the life of one of our people." She shrugs. "Mostly I'm reminding myself so I don't make bad decisions in the future."
Aventino lets out a held breath at the answer, "Oh, whew, you had me worried for a sec," she smiles, "And hey, you could die choking on a taco. No reason not to have tacos," she points out, shrugging it off as the waitress comes over, "Yeah, I'll have..." she thinks, "Mmm, a shot of tequila," she smiles, then, "No... make that two," she smiles, and looks over toward Brooks again, "You drinking? I'll buy you a round and you can tell me about this big discovery of yours. I've been itching with curiosity ever since I downloaded the sensor logs off the Copernicus."
Brooks eyes the waitress and then nods firmly. "Two shots, please," she says. She looks back to Aventino. "Not saying I won't go out there again. Just not going to make bad decisions just to try to get evidence of something." She takes a big bite of her taco and then conituens, "Oh! The discovery. So, we bumped into something. Quite literally. I dunno if it was a probe or a border marker or what, but it wasn't ours and it wasn't any configuration I know of. It wasn't like anything I've seen before. Except something about it nags at the back of my mind. I dunno, haven't had a chance to study the logs much yet. I was in Sickbay all night, and then I'm going back in a while."
Aventino picks up her pop and finishes it up while she listens and waits for the next drinks to be brought. "Weird, weird..." she agrees, "What, and it wasn't getting sucked into the Maelstrom itself?" she asks. "And was that what gave off the energy discharge?"
"Well, the energy discharge came while we were in the energy belt... this was in the radiation belt, hidden by the clouds. It's possible to just sit there, but it's pretty hard. It did give off a burst of some sort that propelled us out of the whole thing, though. Didn't seem to damage the shuttle." Brooks shrugs. "I mean, maybe it'll turn out to be some Ferengi communications buoy. But I doubt it. I've got this nagging feeling, you know like when you've got an itch at the back of your neck? And if I could just find the right cross-reference I could scratch it."
Aventino scratches at the back of her neck, smiling, "Now you're giving me goosebumps," she accuses playfully, "I had almost managed to let you convince me it wasn't the big spooky ghost-monster in the storm people are making it out to be. I guess you're going to be glues to a computer screen for a few months once you're let out of sickbay, huh?" she smiles at the waitress as the two platters of drink come, each neatly appointed with two shots, two lime wedges, and a saltshaker. "Ah, good," she says, rubbing her palms together and then setting them down to either side of the tray by her.
"Oh, I'm not sick, it's just my day off, so I have some free time." Which... she's going to spend in Sickbay. Uh-huh. Brooks looks over as the trays come and sighs. "Haven't done this in a while..."
Aventino looks confused a moment, but drops it for the moment in favor of arranging the items on the tray to her satisfaction, picking up a lime wedge and tucking it between her thumb and the side of her palm, "Ah, it's like riding a bike," she smiles, sticking out her tongue and licking over the knuckle of her thumb and the back of her hand and salting the wet spot with the saltshaker. "To new discoveries," she says as she sets down the shaker and lifts a shot, licking the salty patch on the back of her hand and then shooting the tequila back, quickly shoving the lime wedge into her mouth and biting down on it.
Brooks nods in reply to this. "To new discoveries." She copies Aventino's movements with ease... maybe it's been a while, but she's done this before. When she's done sucking on the lime, she shakes her head. "God, I forgot how awful tequila tastes." She doesn't hesitate to set up the second shot, however.
Aventino chuckles a bit through the lime, chewing the fruit out of the center until she's left with the rind covering her teeth like a toothguard. She then sucks one tip of it into her mouth, sucking the peel in and then spitting it out longwise into the empty shotglass and setting it down, "Spoken like someone who's had a patented Bad Tequila Morning," she grins, beginning to set up the second shot. "I've never been so lucky."
Brooks shrugs. "One of my roommates at the Academy liked tequila. She even got a Vulcan to drink regularly, which is kind of like making gravity reverse." She grins a bit.
Aventino grins, just sitting there with the second lime wedge in the crook of her hand, gesturing with it slightly, "I saw a drunk Vulcan once. Looked just like a sober Vulcan, I was so very disappointed," she explains, casually licking herself (as casually as one could ever be said to lick oneself) and salting up.
Brooks shakes her head. "That's when they drink alcohol. It doesn't really affect them. There's something they brew on Vulcan that actually intoxicates them. It's... interesting." Is that a blush? Yeah, there's a blush there. She covers it by preparing the salt.
Aventino catches that blush, grinning almost wickedly and taking her second shot, not eating the lime, this time, but simply sucking it flat and spitting it into the glass before scooting closer, "Oh, no, no no," she grins, "I saw that. Details. Stat," she chuckles, scooting her chair a little closer, cheeks warming with the tequila.
Brooks does her second shot, sucks on the lime, and spits it out. "Ugh. Well. There was the wake, right... after the bombings. I managed to meet Commander Solvek after, and he was drinking Vulcan brandy, and became a bit... looser than usual for Vulcans."
"Uh-huh..." Bunni grins, goading her on, looking to see if she can spot another blush aside from the general ruddiness of drinking. "So, he was loose, eh? And had you been loosening up a bit, yourself?" She chuckles, teasing details out of the story that she may only be imagining under the influence of no sleep and a belly full of chicken wings and liquor. But she's smiling warmly, and seems to be all in fun, without malicious intent behind her insinuations.
Brooks shakes her head. "I was drinking tea. He said he thought the Captain and I were more attractive than Melanie Travers... this gorgeous science officer who got court-martialed for being a bitch and striking a civilian... and then got all stammery when I mentioned I'd never managed to observe a Vulcan in pon farr before. I haven't, but I have these theories... anyhow. I was gonna go, and he asked me to stay. I... ran away." She shrugs a bit, then says, "It's alright, we get along now. " And that's when the blush hits.
Aventino purses her lips a bit as the story gets positively juicy, then lets out a sort of, "Hmm," when it comes to the bit about running away. She lifts a hand and rests it on Brooks' shoulder, "Well, it's good it all worked out, I guess," she offers, "No hurt feelings and all. Maybe next time save the theorizing about pon farr for when he's not on the prowl," she smiles warmly, voice teasing, but gently. "It is a little funny, after all, that the conversation should come around to that right about then, after he was done telling you how pretty you are," she notes, again, with that soft feather of teasing stroking along behind her words, "You sure you didn't have something on your mind that night?" she asks, head tilting, dark eyes shimmering a little as she tries to peek for any non-verbal indications yes or no.
Brooks shrugs. "It's an academic interest. Why do Vulcans go through pon farr and Romulans don't? No one's really bothered asking. Actually, Mr. Danley's the one who brought it up, and Solvek pointed out that Vulcans don't only copulate during pon farr, since that would be an illogical way to ensure the survival of a species." Funnily enough, Brooks says all of this deadpan, if rather rapidly (and a Texan speaking rapidly is something to behold, oy). "That's when I put in about testing theories, and he... well... I think he almost offered to let me observe, and then realized what he said." She clears her throat. "It was a bad night, I think. He... ahh... well, I'm pretty sure he wasn't looking for a date. It was a funeral. And I'm not really sure coming up to him and telling him a paper he wrote when I was 10 was completely wrong and unfounded and misguided was the best way to approach him, either. Stupid, hmm?"
Aventino lets out a long, somewhat vocalised breath, not quite a sigh, "No, people don't usually look for dates at funerals. But they do look for... you know... comfort," she subtly emphazises the word. "And I'm sure he appreciated you bringing a fresh point of view to his studies," she pats Brookn' shoulder a little bit, "Hey, it's better than just letting him sit there being wrong," she points out, waving toward the waitress and pointing down to the two trays in turn to indicate the need for a second round. "But anyway, like you said, no harm done, nothing worth blushing over," she asserts. "Is that why you're spending your free time in sickbay? Your research on pon farr?" she asks.
Brooks face geos bright red. "No. No, that's not for ano... I mean... gah." She buries her face in her hands. "I've just admired him for so long. I started reading his work with Crawford on the Maelstrom when I was 7. Hell, I joined Starfleet partly because their work was so fascinating. And... and he's such an expert on the Maelstrom, and he did such amazing work in first contact with Dominion races, and he's just... he's... he's old enough to be my father." She sighs. "I am so stupid."
Aventino leans back as the spent trays are taken away and fresh trays put in place, "Oh, come on, he's a Vulcan, that so doesn't even apply," she waves a hand and starts putting together her next shot slowly. "I think it's cute you've got a little crush," she says, smiling a bit, "A little kinky sort of cute, like when my mom used to sit on dad's lap at Christmastime when he was dressed up as Santa," she reminisces, shaking salt on the back of her hand, "And you obviously have good reason to admire him, it's not even just like a physical thing," she shrugs, "Not that there's anything wrong with just a physical thing." She takes her third shot.
"Is it just a crush?" This seems to bother Brooks, and she frowns. Peers at the next tray. Shrugs and prepares for the next drink. "It doesn't feel like a crush. When he got injured, I... I wanted to punch Jordan in the face, the little idiot." Woah, slow down there, girl. She takes a deep breath. "Oh, God, I'm babbling and I don't even know you. I'm so sorry."
Aventino waves it off with a sweet smile of bright green peel as she sucks out that sour pulp and swallows it. "Ptuh," she spits out the peel and moves her somewhat salty hand back to Brooks' back. "Don't worry about it. And hey, it's more than a crush, it's more than a crush, but you'd know that better than me. Maybe it was a crush, back when you were devouring all of his papers. Maybe it's more, now," she shrugs, "And he certainly sounded interested..." she trails off with a smile.
Brooks takes another drink. Ha! She can do that too. Wait a minute. One tequila, two... anyhow. Brooks shakes her head. "He's a Vulcan. And the First Officer. And... and I'm just silly. He says he's interested, but what if it's just the Captain pushing him?" She shakes her head again. "Gah, I can't figure men out. Or women. People are strange. Cultures, I understand. Not people. I get Vulcans. I just don't get this Vulcan. And he's half-Human, too, and that's even more confusing."
Aventino mmms and shakes her head a bit, "You're thinking about it too much," she offers, "Men aren't for figuring out. They have better uses to be put to," she promises with a wink and a laugh, then leans closer, "No, seriously. Do you really think that he'd pursue a romantic relationship with you just to make the Captain happy? I mean, doesn't that seem a little..." she tries not to say it, tries not to say it, "Illogical?" finally comes bubbling up, "I mean, really."
"She's his best friend. Closer than his sister." Brooks sighs. "It's just... he says he's interested... but there wasn't anything in his mind that indicated he felt anything really... his family and the Captain and T'Mar, but not me. Oh, God, T'Mar. I'm not even getting into that." Uncaring whether she's lost Bunni or not, the blueshirt forges on. "Damn Vulcans. Can't figure 'em out, wtih the logic and the emotions and... everything."
Aventino lifts both her hands up off the table, "Well, maybe he just wants a little action. I can't say I blame him, you're pretty hot," she offers, picking up the fourth section of lime and slowly getting it where it needs to go, obviously having to focus a little on the precision of the action. "It wouldn't be the first time a guy's said stuff like that to a girl. So, really, if you want some, and he's offering, grab some. If you don't--well, don't." She shakes her salt already, not bothering to lick the still damp patch on her hand again. "It's not as if the world will end if you bang him once. And sometimes a guy's gotta get a good taste before he really bites the big L. You know, like a fish... has to eat the worm before he gets hooked."
Aventino giggles, "Eat the worm. If only we were talking about a girl falling for a guy that'd be so much more hilarious."
Brooks gapes at Aventino. "He... no... he's a Vulcan. They don't do that. And... and..." She shakes her head. "I... can't do that. Just... sleep with someone, just like that? No, no, I don't even know if I can... I mean, why are people so into that anyhow? It hurts, and..." She shakes her head, as if trying to clear it. "I don't want him just one time," she mutters.
Aventino shrugs, still salting her hand, getting a nice white pile up there. "Like you said, half-Vulcan, and hard to figure out. A-- It-- it hurts? I-- I think you're doing it wrong," she offers out there. "Oh, fuck!" she grunts at herself, spilling salt from her hand and then tossing the rest of the surplus back over her shoulder, taking her fourth shot with the grains stuck to her damp skin. "Well, tell 'im that, then." she mutters muffledly around her lime, "Just tell 'im --pthh-- how you feel and see what he says."
"He knows," Brooks says softly. "And we're... starting a relationship... sort of... it's just... he told me he didn't have feelings for me, and then later he said he did. How could he hide something in a mind meld? Why would he lie later? It just doesn't make any sense." This is all quite drawling, and slurry, as Fred reaches to put together her fourth drink. Which she's not doing incredibly well either.
Aventino closes her eyes for a moment, "So... so you are starting a relationship," she repeats, thrown for a bit of a loop as she'd thought this whole conversation had been about whether to start up a relationship or not. She's a bit slurry, herself, feeling it, but handling herself remarkably well for four shots of tequila. She's obviously a fairly regular drinker. She chuckles a little bit as she opens her eyes, "Well, I guess all that's left for me to say is good luck, then. You'll have to let me know how things go, eh? Where are your quarters, I'm on deck 39, we ought to hang out sometime," she smiles. "You're good people."
Brooks nods in reply. "I'm on Deck 39, too. 3901." Brooks is frowning at the last shot of tequila. "I am not a rebound, damn it." She drinks it. So there.
Aventino's eyes widen, "Holy crap, I'm in 3902... we're right next door to one another. Or.... right across the hall, depending on how the numbers go..." she tries to remember. "Are you in a window?" she asks, sort of elliptically, but still fairly sensibly.
Brooks shakes her head. "I hate windows. Too much space outside. Too dangerous. So, no, I think it's across the hall."
Aventino hmmmms, "Get the old space queasies, huh, staring out there into the big ol' nothing. I like to get up on the window and lay against it with my arms out and there's nothing I can see but stars and black and the queer faces on the people in the shuttles going past."
"People looking in on you." Brooks shivers. "I don't mind space. Or windows. Just not in my quarters." Tacos! She still has tacos. She grabs up another one.
Aventino waves a hand, "I was just being silly, there's no one outside," she offers, and leans back in her chair, "Dare," she looks up at the ceiling, "I indulge in another double?" she looks to her side, "Would you split one with me if I bought it? Make it an even five?" Aventino seems well aware of the humor in her last two words, by the inflection she puts on them.
Brooks shrugs. "Why not? If I'm going to fall on my face I'm going to fall on my face, by this time. May as well go all the way."
Aventino grins, "That's the spirit," she lifts a hand to the waitress, who already has a tray ready, "And here they come. Hey, why don't I take one off you, and you take one off me? I haven't done a body shot in forever."
Brooks blinks a few times. "A... body shot?" Poor sheltered blueshirt.
Aventino gives a little mischievous grin, "It won't hurt, promise. You might even like it. Just, here I'll show you, first, then you can try. Just take this," she holds up a lime wedge for Brooks to take by the rind, "And hold it up, and tilt your head to the the side," she demonstrates, stretching out the side of her neck. "Like that."
Brooks takes the lime wedge, tilts her head. "You know, you remind me of Lisa. She was fun. Is fun. I guess she's still fun." She waits expectantly, curious as to what this entails exactly.
Aventino scoots her chair closer, briefly, settling down on it before she loses balance from standing. "Who's Lisa?" she wonders, before matter-of-factly enough leaning forward, close to Brooks, and sticks her tongue out, flattening it against the side of her neck and drawing it in a long warm line along the skin there before leaning back again and beginning to salt the wet patch she's made.
"My roommate at the Academy." She blinks as Bunni licks her and peers over at the other woman. "That's... kind of pleasant." Pause. "You know, it occurs to me we should charge admission."
"Huh?" Bunni wonders, glancing askance, "Oh, bah, anyone here who's never seen two girls take shots off of one another before... well," she loses her train of thought, and kind of grins, "They're going to see it now!" she finishes up, lifting one of the paired shot glasses in a toast, "To that weird itchy thing," she toasts, and leans to again, working all the salt off of Brooks skin with her tongue, before leaning back, taking the shot, and leaning to her hand to snag the lime.
Danley comes through the door from Aft Walkway <Deck 31>.
Danley has arrived.
Brooks sits at a table, evidently... doing body shots with some other chick. She blinks and giggles, pressing the lime in her hand to Bunni's teeth. "Okay, I like this. I do it now?" Yes, she's enjoying being licked by another girl. Who knew?
Danley rubs at his eyes as he steps into the bar, "Computer, it's Mar..." and then he stops dead in his tracks before quietly moving over to a companel.
Aventino grins, giggling a little herself as Winifred suddenly drops the shy I-have-no-idea-how-body-shots-work act. She opens her teeth and takes the lime rind between them, unfastening just the very top of her uniform jacket to expose a little more neck as she leans to the side with a mischievous shimmer in her dark eyes.
Danley talks quietly into the com on the wall.
Danley runs his hand through his hair as he continues to talk.
Brooks has five shots of tequila in her, whaddya want? She copies Bunni's actions of earlier, licking the other woman's neck and then leaning back to grab the salt. "Y'know, I always thought people stopped doing these kinds of things after the Academy." She sprinkles the salt on Aventino's neck as she says this.
Danley shakes his head and punches the com off before he heads behind the bar.
Omtala comes through the door from Aft Walkway <Deck 31>.
Omtala has arrived.
Alexandria comes through the door from Aft Walkway <Deck 31>.
Alexandria has arrived.
Aventino doesn't say anything, for the moment, not wanting to risk dropping the lime, only sort of makes a vague noise of semi-agreement, not seeming to mind the licking, much, either.
Danley calls out from behind the bar, "You know... a rum cream would work better than tequila for those."
Alexandria follows Omtala into the bar, she looks very non-descript.
Brooks does not notice senior officers come in, for she has four shots of tequila in her and is in civvies anyhow. "Too late, Ed," she calls back. "Maybe next time?" Wow. Who's this and where'd Winifred Brooks go? The blueshirt leans forward, licks the salt off Aventino's neck, and then takes the shot of tequila. The fifth. Ha. And then takes the lime in her teeth, 'cause tequila is nasty.
Omtala regards the scene with a quirked brow and an amused smirk on her face. Approaching the bar, she looks to Danley. "Alright Ed. Why am I here again and why don't I have a drink in front of me?" She sits on a stool with a sweep of her dress to keep it from bunching.
Aventino releases the lime into Winifred's teeth, then licks her own teeth and lips a bit, getting the lime flavor up, "Right," she tells the bartender, agreeing with her drinking companion, "Maybe next time," she smiles and sits up straight, for once, re-fastening the very top of her uniform jacket and giving a contented-sounding sigh, "That was rather nice. I wonder if I can stand up," she continues, in something of a non sequitur. "How're you holding up, Winifred?" she asks.
Danley glances over to Brooks as he reaches under the bar and pulls a bottle of blue liquid along with a cup. Setting both down in front of Omtala, "Just tell me that doesn't seem damn odd for her. They way she's acting you'd think she was... was..." He runs his hand through his hair and mutters, "I don't know... almost normal. But that's odd for her! I mean she finds Vulcans attractive after all, how much more boring could you be?"
Alexandria whispers to Omtala, "That's not... that's not Ms. Brooks... it looks like her, but the Ms. Brooks I know... would never... she's too much like me... and I would never!"
"It's Fred" Brooks says firmly. "My mother calls me Winifred. Even Solvek doesn't call me that anymore. So it's Fred." Pause. "Umm. I think I can walk. Maybe. If not, I'll just sit here until I can." Then she peers at Danley. "Hey, Vulcans aren't boring. They just seem boring if you don't want to bother. They're smart. Smart people aren't boring, 'cause I'm not boring." She looks to Aventino for backup on this one.
"Oh, sorry, Fred," Bunni corrects herself, wrinkling her nose disdainfully at a thought, then, leaning back against the back of her chair, legs kicked out under the table, "No, I wouldn't say you're boring in the least. Neither are Vulcans. Just.... complicated, that's all. Both of you."
Omtala picks up the drink and sips it. "There's no accounting for taste, Ed, and if you call me doctor one more time tonight you're going to wear this drink of mine." She lifts it towards him for emphasis. "Katheran, please. Oh, and this is Katherine." Odd how the pronounciation is almost identical. "But then you've met her and called her by some official title or another. She needs a man in her life." That said, she continues her surveyal of Brooks.
Alexandria winces slightly, and sits down staring at Brooks, and wondering more about what happened, "Sir?" looking at Danley, and then she catches what Omtala said, "I don't need a man..." she looks at Danley again, "Sir? I am sorry, but can you tell me when Ms. Brooks came into this establishment?"
Aventino takes a deep breath and pulls up her knees, sitting up straight and then standing up, "Yeah, I think I'll be alright. Need someone with legs to help get you home, Fred, or are you going to sleep it off here?"
Brooks shakes her head. "Like I said, I'll wait until some of it goes away." She gestures to the plate of tacos she still has in front of her. "These'll help soak it up. I'll be fine. I told Solvek I'd go visit him in Sickbay some more, and I'm gonna. Just letting him and the Cap'n have a chat." She peers over at the others. "Afternoon, Doctor Omtala, Lieutenant."
Danley rolls his eyes as Omtala mentions Alexandria's need but shakes his head to the question, "I just got here myself. After working on my holonovel I went back to my quarters and slept in. When I walked in and saw the two of them I figured I better call someone on senior staff. I thought the docto... er... our blue friend here would be the best bet. Because she's gotta be possessed. I mean that's..." As Brooks speaks up again he simply waves, "How you doing Winifred? Getting ready to pose for another holo program are we?"
Alexandria nods politely, "Ms. Brooks? Are you alright?"
"Okay, well I'd better get back to the quarters and crash--" Aventino begins, then sort of turns toward the cluster of folk near the bar, "Is there a big deal here I don't know about? We had a few drinks, that's all, you guys are acting like we were humping each other on the table or something."
Omtala taps the counter. "Don't think you've gotten out of it, Ed. I'll get you yet. As for Brooks. Keep an eye on her hmm? I'm going to have a talk with someone. I think I know what's behind this." She finishes her drink, eyes the empty glass with longing, offers a small sigh, then heads for the door.
Brooks sticks her tongue out at Danley, then replies, "I'm older and wiser now, and Lisa ain't around to talk me into stupid things like that. And it's Fred." She pauses, and looks to Alexandria. "I believe I am a bit drunk, but otherwise I'm fine. Really. See, Bunni, I'm usually this shy shut-in that doesn't talk to people much, except I'm not, they just don't know what I was like before the whole crash landing on the planet thing." She shrugs. "I feel more normal than I have in a long time, actually. Except that there ain't anyone to discuss particle theory with." She seems a bit crestfallen at that.
Alexandria looks a bit shocked, "Excuse me, I know quite a bit about particle theories... so, I take offense to that statement. I didn't get to be Chief of Science on this station for just knowing how to catalogue spore samples!"
Danley reaches under the bar and pulls out a rag. Throwing the rag onto the bar he shakes his head as he waves to Omtala, "I'll try. I've got a phaser around here somewhere if I need it." Using the rag he begins to scrub the bar, "Now Lieutenants. If you two are going to argue and fight let me a least replicate a few pounds of gelatin and a ring. Maybe sell a few tickets."
Aventino's exit seems delayed, yet again, as she turns back to Fred to listen, "Well, you know, glad I could help. If you ever need an ear, you know where I live. Or." She pauses, and points to her com badge, "That. Whatever. Okay, I've really got to get some sleep, the Copernicus is going to need my attention again in the morning. Thanks for the company, Fred, it was great to meet you."
Aventino leaves through the door toward Aft Walkway <Deck
Aventino has left.
Omtala sighs, looking to Alexandria. "Lieutenant. Deep breath." She turns for the door and starts walking.
"Oh, I'm sorry! Well, then, d'you want to have a few drinks, and talk about it?" Brooks pauses, frowns. "Oh... but I promised Solvek I'd keep him company. And theory discussions can take hours." She sighs. "Maybe we can talk about it another time? I think I need to eat my tacos and get sober enough to walk around." She nods to Aventino. "Thanks... and good to meet you! Have a good night."
Omtala leaves through the door toward Aft Walkway <Deck 31>.
Omtala has left.
Alexandria shakes her head, "I most certainly do not!" Her haughty attitude is not becoming. "To be honest Ms. Brooks, I am disappointed in your behavior, while you are not in uniform you are still a member of my department." She sighs. "Perhaps, yes perhaps it was a very wise choice to have you step down as supervisor... a supervisor or even a department head in my opinion needs to show dignity and respect, for you never know who's watching."
Brooks shrugs in reply. "I didn't ask to become supervisor," is her reply. "I had no training or experience. I did the best I could, and obviously I'm not cut out for the position. If you want to demote me off the project, you go right ahead, and let the science suffer because you're feeling petty. I don't give a shit about all that political crap. I'm a scientist, and if people have a problem with me having a drink off-duty 'cause I'm a little stressed, well, so be it. I have no intention of getting into a supervisory position, because how good your research is stops mattering. I don't care, okay? I just want to figure out why the Maelstrom's acting the way it is. That's all. If I get a promotion, great. If not, if I'm a J.G. for the rest of my career, who cares? I get to be in a place with the best technology in the galaxy. That's all that matters to me. So don't bother with threats, sir. They ain't gonna work."
Danley arches an eyebrow at Katherine's response to Brooks, "Now wait a second Kat. Can I call you Kat? Anyway, Just wait a second. Now you're stepping on my toes. The only reason I called the Doctor was I was worried that Winifred my have encounter some strange life form or something. There's nothing wrong with going to a bar in your offtime. And if you're worried about what people think when you're allowed to be Human maybe I should talk to the doc about having them surgically removing that stick you've got shoved up your rectum."
Alexandria takes a moment, in utter silence, and then without warning lets out a painful ear piercing scream, how far it's heard is beyond her... she just screams. "I don't have anything up my, my, my..." She starts wailing again... she covers her ears and just sobs. "I don't hate anyone, I just don't trust anyone, because people keep talking about me behind my back..." She starts to calm down a little, shocked by what she just did which sends her reeling again with pent up emotion and hurt. "People keep talking about me... I never did anything to them..." she looks at Brooks, "I am jealous of you, and your friends... I haven't been in the Fleet as long as you, and I never expected this... but I wanted to give everyone a chance." She cowers over to a corner. Most people in the room at this hour either don't care or are just disturbed.
Brooks blinks. "Friends? I only got friends 'cause I practically insulted Solvek, and that was only 'cause I've read his papers for years. And 'cause he was wrong." He was, dammit! "I ain't talking about anyone behind their backs, and for the love of God, you don't want to be jealous of me, I can't even have feelings for someone without making a fool of myself in a puddle all over the floor. No one from my last posting even remembers my name 'cause I never left my quarters, and I still hide in my room 'cause it feels safer than dealing with people who might hurt me." She frowns. "If Selek weren't dead I'd go find him and beat him up for that one." She steels herself. "Anyhow, I have plenty of reason to not trust anyone, but you gotta if you want to... be anything but lonely. You ought to talk to Counselor Salvir, he actually does his job pretty well. Unlike half the stupid Counselors in the fleet, pushing for details that ain't none of their business."
Danley sticks his pinky in his ear and wiggles it a bit, "Ya know, I'm no head shrink or anything along those lines. But... you do act as if you had something shoved somewhere most people wouldn't care for. The real question I've got for ya is why ya don't trust anyone. I wouldn't say I hear everything on the station but I've yet to hear anything about you. Other than that gal that slapped me. There was talk about that. Course that's to be expected. But are you jealous of Winifred because of her friends? Or because she's a female? Do you have issues with males in your department? Or just woman?"
Alexandria glares at the lot of them, "I don't need a counselor... I am having enough troubles of my own without having to sort through them." she tries to collect herself as she tries to make her way to the door, her head spinning. "Just, fine..." her hands flail about her head as if trying to get rid of a few flies buzzing around, "Just... fine..."
Brooks sighs. "I'm too drunk to deal with this," she mutters, then says, more loudly, "D'you need some help, Lieutenant?"
Danley coughs as Kat heads for the door, "Hey ahh Kat, I would suggest you talk to a counselor. Part of the deal I had to cut with the Captain was to report any possible issues the crew may have. I'd look better if you'd talk to 'em instead of me having to tell someone... ya know... paranoid delusions and senior staff don't mix that well."
Alexandria sighs, "I don't care who you tell, perhaps your report will get there after my resignation..."
Brooks shakes her head. Damn her conscience getting the better of her. "You ought to talk to the Captain before you do that, Lieutenant. There ain't no reason for you to resign. You do your job. You just need to... be more sociable. And relax. Don't work so much. Ha! Who'm I kidding, I work too much."
Danley shrugs, "Fleet ain't for everyone. I quit after all. Nothing wrong with quiting."
Alexandria says, "I'm going to bed."
Brooks slams her fist down on the bar. "Yes there is! You don't just... give up 'cause something's hard. Life's hard. You don't just lay down and die, you get up and you live. 'Cause what else are you gonna do? Hide in your room or your work, pretend the world don't exist?" Pause. "Alright, so I've been doing that. But I ain't anymore. So... there." Yeah. 'Cause that made sense. "Night, Lieutenant. I'll be kinda disappointed if you ain't there tomorrow, but enh. What's my opinion matter?"
Alexandria sighs, "I can't resign... I still have 2.56 million samples to catalogue... and then I have 5 other projects that need to be completed."
Danley shakes his head as he goes back to polishing the bar, "Quit, don't quit. Don't matter to me.. just come and spend your latinum here at my bar."
Brooks shrugs. "Alright, then. You're a good chief. Like I said, you just gotta relax some. Maybe you should meditate." She starts eating a taco. Must... sober... up.
Alexandria nods and mumbles, "I have been getting a lot of that lately."
Danley places his elbows on the bar as he leans over it, "Ya know. I imagine we could take you to sickbay and the doc could give you a shot or something to help counteract that stuff in your system."
"Well, I'm going back to Sickbay anyhow. But I wanted to be able to, y'know, walk." Fred seems to be a surprisingly coherent drunk. Just a very... talkative one. "Meditation helps, Lieutenant. Except when you're drunk. I can't seem to wrap my emotions up right now. Kind of annoying."
Alexandria leaves quietly.
Alexandria leaves through the door toward Aft Walkway <Deck
Alexandria has left.
Danley shrugs a bit, "Ya know I thought the emergency medical transporters were designed just for this purpose. Just declare a medical emergency, tap that lil badge and say one to sickbay. No need to walk. Or I could always help you walk down there."
Brooks rolls her eyes. "I ain't abusing the transporters. There's people with real emengencies need that." Pause. "I s'pose you could help, if you'd like."
Danley steps out from behind the bar, "Ya wanna lean on me.. Or ya want me to carry you?"
"Pfft. I can walk sorta. I'll lean on you." Never let it be said Brooks lacks pride. "I bet I'll be sober enough to walk by the time we get there." Uh-huh. With that frame? Riiight.
Danley shrugs and offers his arm to the woman.
Brooks stands slowly, manages to stay upright, and takes the arm.
Danley rolls his eyes as Brooks tries to stand and in one swift movement attempts to scoop the waif girl up in his arms to carry her to sickbay.
Brooks can't really stop Danley... but protests. "Hey! I can walk!"
Danley says, "Yeah... I know... but it's easier this way. Now hush."
Danley leaves through the door toward Aft Walkway <Deck 31>.
Danley has left.
(The scene moves back to Sickbay...)
Omtala comes through the door from Corridor <Deck 16>.
Omtala has arrived.
Omtala comes into sickbay not long after her abortive hail. A quick survey of sickbay tells her that all is as she left it. She goes to get a stool and rolls it over to Solvek's bed where she sits opposite the captain. "Save me." She asks of both. "Of a side note, I think Brooks isn't handling this well. I may clear you for some supervised holodeck time. Provided that its not used for rock climbing or other illogical pursuits while recovering." She winks at Solvek then looks to the captain. "I'm suddenly reminded why I haven't had any children yet. I have too many already."
Solvek would quirk an eyebrow if it was possible with the bandages. "I am uncertain as to your meaning, Doctor. She left in good spirits, to change clothing, get some food, and refresh herself. She had slept in Sickbay all night, in that chair." He gestures with his good hand to the chair Hawkins sits in. "Has a problem arisen since her departure?"
Hawkins peers across the biobed at Omtala. "Tell me she hasn't gone and done something utterly stupid."
Omtala shakes her head. "Not much more than get drunk. The classic denial of life's reality situation. She's worried about Solvek and is trying to revel in life and play the part of the life of the party because she's finally been faced with her own mortality. I've only seen it play out a billion times with war veterans. Mostly, she may be picking on Alexandria's nerves without knowing it. The lieutenant is a burgeoning empath and isn't used to accepting that people's thoughts and emotions are theirs. So... it may require some intervention if things go south. I'll leave that to you. I'm not in her coc and while I'm going to try to get her to understand her new situation... its going to take time. Anyway, not here to talk about Alexandria. I'm just telling Solvek here that Brooks is interested in him and if he reciprocates in any way he's going to have to see to her emotional needs too." She pokes his biobed. "Anyway, enough of business. I'm off duty damn it and I'm sitting here in sickbay in my favorite dress grousing over people being children. Can I talk to two adults now?" Her eyes flit from Solvek to Hawkins.
Solvek sits up in the biobed. His face holds an expression of open irritation. "Doctor, I am not entirely certain you fully grasp the pain that Fred has gone through in her life. Her awareness of her own mortality is not an issue. She faced that for a year while stranded on a planet in an area controlled by cannibals. Her actions are most likely the product of her need to relax. I fully support her in these actions. If she wishes to have fun while off-duty, she can do so. That is her prerogative. I find it comforting to know that she is actually being social during her off-time. I would appreciate it if you would stop patronizing her and start listening. As for Lieutenant Alexandria, empathic abilities that she cannot control explain her attitude toward her crew mates. I hope that if she can learn to control them, she can become a more stable person. As for Fred's emotional attraction to me, I am already well aware, and we are developing a relationship. But I must insist that others stay out of that relationship." He seems to direct that last part toward the Captain as well, then blinks and seems to shake himself. A look of concern and shame spread on his face.
Hawkins watches Solvek say all of this with a raised eyebrow and then replies, with raised hands, "I just worry about my best friend, that's all." She glances to Omtala. "I have no emotional outbursts for you, Katheran, don't worry. I save those for Thomas."
Omtala lifts a vulcanesque brow at Solvek's outburst. "Ahh, a few points. One, despite mister Danley hailing me to come play nursemaid and drag Fred out of the bar, I didn't. I knew exactly why she was there within five minutes of arriving. And I approve. We all need to blow off steam. I'm happy she's doing it. What I didn't know is that you two were beginning a relationship. Now that it's settled, sure, I'll butt out. Excepting where either of you want to talk about it. Which is fine by me. My next point, lay back down. You'll strain the newly formed skin and scar yourself horridly. Third point, don't worry about it. I know where the outburst came from and can deal. Passion is an Andorian thing. Something you know a little about now I'm sure." She smiles enigmatically before looking to the Captain. "How is that working out anyway?"
Solvek stares at some point on the floor. His expression is layered with confusion. "I must apologize for that outburst. It was unnecessary and rude. Your opinion is worth much to me, Doctor."
Hawkins shakes her head, reaches out to put a hand on Solvek's good arm. "Puberty, remember? This is perfectly normal. You should've seen the screaming matches I used to have with my mother." She exerts gentle but firm pressure. "The Doctor said lie down."
Omtala smiles at the Vulcan. "Solvek, it takes quite a bit to piss me off. Of course press the right buttons and I'll gut you like a fish... thankfully I doubt you'll ever be inclined to push them." She looks to Hawkins then. "On the other hand, the Captain is very good at evading questions. She's probably just not used to someone as dogged as I am."
Solvek still appears mildly shocked at his own actions as he lies back on the biobed. "Is an outburst of that level of severity common during this transitional period you spoke of?"
"Thomas and I are fine, Doctor. As long as I don't strangle his mother." Hawkins sighs, and then raises an eyebrow. "From what I remember, it's usually worse. Screaming, shouting, slamming doors... declaring that people don't understand you and hate you and such."
Danley comes through the door from Corridor <Deck 16>.
Danley has arrived.
Brooks comes through the door from Corridor <Deck 16>.
Brooks has arrived.
Danley walks into sickbay carrying Winifred in his arms. Moving over to an empty bed he plops her into it.
Omtala shrugs. "Oh that's an easy one. I'll never understand Vulcans. Not for lack of trying. I just never could wrap my head around why anyone would deny themselves so much that they only let go once every seven years." She coughs lightly. "Ahh. Mother. Yes. That, I think, is a conversation for another day." She nods to Solvek then. "About like what she said. You'll be years before you're sane again. Decades maybe. Who knows what with the extended life the Vulcan genome gives you. The genes may never de-express. You could be a teenager for the rest of your life. Yep, pimples, cracking voice, wet dreams... you're in for a real insight into the rest of us."
Brooks does not seem happy at this. "I said I can wa--ooof. Hey!" She sits up on the bed, glaring at Danley.
Solvek turns to Omtala. "I must correct you; Vulcans are quite capable of sexual intimacy outside of pon farr. Men, however, are not able to procreate until the onset of their first." Noticing Danley and Brooks enter, he inhales deeply. His entire frame seems to tense and he softly says, "Doctor, I am going to have to ask you to restrain me before I decide to dismember Mr. Danley."
Hawkins quite calmly says, "Solvek, if you move, I will punch you again. In the arm, this time." She sounds like she means it, and then turns to Omtala. "Please tell me you're joking. I can't have my Exec acting like this for decades."
Omtala rolls her eyes, getting up from her chair. "I'm joking. Or at least I think I am. I'm going off of Ambassador Spock for a reference here. He's perfectly sane so far as the Federation knows." She begins walking over towards Brooks. "Alright. So let me get this straight. She drank the real stuff and not synthehol?" She doesn't look at Danley, but she seems to be talking to him.
Brooks sighs softly. "Yes, I did. Not a big deal, I'll be fine, we just thought maybe you could give me something to help sober up. He," at this she glares at Danley, "carried me all the way up here, which was ridiculous, I just needed an arm to help. If you want to let me 'work it off' go right ahead, not like I ain't been drunk or had hangovers or anything before. Did my second-year final with a hangover. Got the best score in the class." Talkative, isn't she? If you can understand her past the slurring of the drawl.
Danley shakes his head as he steps out of the reach of Brooks, "Yeah I know what you said Winifred. But it was easier to carry ya then watch you stumble and fall. Maybe break something. That would require forms to be filled out and a general pain. And you should hush Solvek just put your jealousy aside or I may have to start selling some interesting holo program I acquired from Lisa. Then you'd have something to be jealous about." Nodding to Omtala, "Yeah, and the cheep version of it to. The stuff I mainly use for cleaning. While you've got her on the biobed. I would sure feel better if ya scanned her and compare it to an earlier scan. I still say she's not right in the head." And with that he turns to Hawkins, "Speaking of not right in the head, your head of science is having paranoid delusions, offering to quit and doesn't want to see a counselor about it. Other than that it's been a normal day at Area 51."
Solvek does his best to lie on the bed. His form is visibly shaking. However, his voice is calm as he says, "Captain, am I correct in assuming that Mr. Danley is offering to sell pornographic material of my--of one of our officers?"
Hawkins relaxes visibly at Omtala's statement that she's joking, and watches the proceedings with a highly amused look on her face. "I have no clue, Solvek. Why don't you ask him? Or her." Yup, the Captain finds this all quite amusing. For the moment, anyhow.
Omtala takes a deep breath. "Ed, you know I won't discuss medical cases. Thank you for bringing her up." Having a well trained staff is good. She doesn't even have to ask one of the interns to bring over the appropriate sobering agent. "The restroom is around behind my office. I'll give you... about six minutes before the urge to go will be overwhelming. Just part of the purge process. Better on your liver to do it this way than to let it process all of that alcohol. If you want to see the liver of an alcoholic, I can show you one." She looks around. "You know. I think I'm going to leave. I was looking for a few minutes free of drama and it seems to have chased me down."
Brooks gasps and glares at Danley even more. "You didn't!! She didn't... she wouldn't... ohh... if you're serious I am gonna call her up and we are gonna have words. Real strong words. She told me all the copies got deleted!" She shakes her head. "You let your roommates talk you into one stupid thing at the Academy and it haunts you forever, I swear, I am gonna kill Lisa, and Art, and Sel... ek..." She blinks, and takes a deep breath, and presses her hands to her eyes for a moment before opening them again. "I'm sorry, Doctor. I don't drink that much, really. Just when my brain goes into overload. Didn't mean to cause drama or anything." She shrugs, and sits to wait for the agent to kick in.
Danley reaches into a pocket and pulls out a small PADD where he pulls up the response he got from Lisa. Of course the holo file has long since been removed stored in a safe place. He offers the PADD to Brooks, "Go ahead and take a read. And no Commander, I'm not offering to sell it... yet. Lisa and I were talking about starting a holonovel company. I thought it might be a good story to start with... but I haven't decided yet." Turning back to Hawkins he runs his hand through his hair, "You really
Solvek seems to regain control of himself. "Doctor, I apologize once again for my actions, and I look forward to seeing you again tomorrow. If there is anything you need, an ear to listen or someone to simply give a different perspective on a situation, I will be here."
Hawkins shakes her head, looks to Omtala. "You expect freedom from drama? You are clearly an optimist, Katheran." She smiles. "I think we need to get the crew busy with... something. I have some ideas. I'll run them by you and Commander Salvir." She glances over at Danley. "I don't want holodeck programs with likenesses of officers running without their consent. Mostly because I don't want to have to deal with the complaints." Aww, she ruins all the fun... "I'll be sure that Lieutenant Alexandria is seen to. I'm sure that her... breakdown has a perfectly good explanation and we can be sure it doesn't happen again."
Omtala shrugs gamely. "I'm an eternal optimist? Alright so that's a lie. I'd just rather not kill anyone today if its just the same to you. Or have anyone die for that matter. Death is messy. I always have to pick up after it. Good night everyone." The joys of gamma shift.
Brooks frowns at the PADD and then at Danley. She shakes her head. "That just ain't right. She lied to me about there not being any copies and now you're gonna release that, and images of people you don't even know? Just... ain't right." She folds her arms across her chest, then sighs and unfolds them, letting herself down off the biobed. Holds herself up there, quiet well thanks. For the moment.
Omtala leaves through the door toward Corridor <Deck 16>.
Omtala has left.
Danley shrugs a bit, "Did I say I was going to? 'Sides I'm sure Lisa got some sort of consent to release before you all went to work on this. And isn't it better for you to find out this way then to wonder onto some strange station and find yourself as an attraction? I imagine you could always offer to make some sort of deal with us in exchange for it not being released. But I may be getting ahead of myself." Glancing around a bit Danley moves in the direction of the isolab, "And don't worry, Cap... I'm sure we wouldn't run it here. I imagine I could find some docked ship with a holodeck that we could test it on. 'Course... They may want to keep a copy in exchange for holo time. But that shouldn't be a biggie."
Solvek lies on the biobed and does his best to ignore the conversation. Obviously, he doesn't want another outburst to occur.
Hawkins shakes her head. "I can't control what you do outside the station." She looks to Solvek. "I need to go back on duty soon. You'll be fine here, hmm?"
Brooks is shaking as Danley speaks. "I am not some... commodity for you to sell. I am not some toy for men and women I don't even know to play with. When Lisa made that program she told us it'd never be released. It was a joke, a lark, and no one but our friends saw it. She told me all the copies had been destroyed, assured me no one else would ever see it. I don't know if this is her idea of a prank, but it's a damn bad one." She shakes a finger at Danley. "I never gave no permission for my likeness to be resold or distributed, and so help me, if you sell me, I will make your life as miserable as I can. I--am--not--a--thing--to--be--sold!!" With that she turns and storms to the restroom, crying.
Danley shakes his head as he continues to look in the isolab, "Geez, people always assume that I'm going to do the worst thing possible. The better question I would have is who else has Lisa given it to or shown it to? What else has she lied to you about? And why did she keep copies of it? What was she planning to do with it? Ehh... I'm not the bad guy here. You should be thanking me for finding out for ya."
"Due to certain unavoidable situations, my control over my baser emotions is limited. I do not want to cause a scene in Doctor Omtala's Sickbay. That being said, Mr. Danley, I would rather you not taunt Ms. Brooks further, as your actions are obviously upsetting her, and therefore upsetting me." Solvek's tone is gentle, but is laced with rage.
Hawkins steps closer to Solvek and wraps a hand around his good wrist slowly, yet forcefully. She says something under her breath to the Vulcan, then to Danley, "I really think we've had enough... drama for one day. Why don't you go back to the bar, I'll go back on-duty, and we can let Commander Solvek rest and Lieutenant Brooks calm down, hmm?"
Danley steps away from the isolab and heads to the door, "Well if you all need me you know where I'll be."
Danley leaves through the door toward Corridor <Deck 16>.
Danley has left.
Brooks comes back out of the restroom with her eyes dry. She still looks upset, but heads toward Solvek's bed, mostly ignoring Danley, her face becoming more composed as she goes.
Solvek nods. His eyes shift to Gwen as he seems to calm down as Danley leaves. "Thank you, Gwen. I did not want to experience more pain than I am already experiencing." Turning to Fred, his voice is tinged with concern and compassion. "I am sorry that Mr. Danley upset you. I will do all that I can to ensure that this program does not leave his possession. On a separate topic, I am glad that you were able to socialize comfortably during your off-duty time."
Hawkins lets go of Solvek's wrist and pats his shoulder gently. "I'll check in tomorrow. Have a good day, you two." With that, the Captain makes her way out.
Hawkins leaves through the door toward Corridor <Deck 16>.
Hawkins has left.
Brooks comes over and takes Solvek's good hand. "I tried too hard," she says with a sigh. "And I told off Lieutenant Alexandria... God, I'm such an idiot. But I do like Bunni. Hopefully we can be friends." She pauses, eyes Solvek, and then girds up the courage to say, "Solvek.... I've been wondering something... why didn't I see any feelings for me in the mind meld? Why'd you tell me, then, that you didn't have any?"
Solvek's expression is flat once again. "I did, but you were unaware of it. The final layer of your journey was a completely white room, and two figures in the middle of it. I was one of those figures; the other was you." After pausing, his expression becomes slightly amused. "Who is 'Bunni'?"
Brooks ignores that last for a moment. "That was me?" She shakes her head. "Didn't look like me. She was prettier. But... if you say so. Is that why you shut me out of that part?" Though her tone tries to be casual, she's clearly looking for reassurance of some sort, and not entirely happy about needing to look for it. "Oh, Bunni... an Operations officer I met. She's the one who got me drinking. Yes, that's her real name. She's pretty nice."
Solvek seems to consider something for a moment. He slowly reaches his hand to touch the side of Brooks' face. As he makes contact, his eyes seem to glaze over. Removing his hand after a few moments, he states, "Yes, that was you. I pushed you away because at the time I was ashamed of my feelings for you."
Brooks leans into the touch a bit, closing her own eyes as Solvek's glaze over. As he speaks, she opens them, and smiles. "Thank you," she says. "I'm sorry, I just... you know me. I need fifty kinds of proof to believe anything, and I won't accept a theory that doesn't fit the facts." She keeps on smiling, and almost leans down, but stops, biting her lip.
"You do not need to hold back your actions. Do what you feel you want to do. If that means expressing your affection in various ways, I will not hinder you." Solvek slowly but determindedly reaches and grasps Brooks' hand once more.
Brooks shakes her head. "It's not that. Besides being in public, in Sickbay. It's... me. I'm nervous, is all. I... I'm afraid, and I don't want to mess anything up, and I want to be close to you but it scares me, too. In general. Not you. I trust you." She takes a deep breath and leans down, kissing Solvek with her eyes closed. Ha! She can manage that much.
Solvek returns the kiss, albiet sligthly detached. Once she disengages, he speaks. "I am appreciative of your trust in me, and I am glad that we have taken this step in our relationship." You gotta hand it to Vulcans. They know just what to say to break a mood.
Brooks smiles in return, not really expecting anything else. She sits in the chair, still holding his hand. Since the mood's broken anyway... "So... did you want to review that data we got from the away mission?" So it's work in Sickbay. Who cares?
Solvek nods. "I will assist as much as I am able, although with one eye I may not be as astute as one may wish."
Brooks shrugs. "I'll read you the data." She pulls out a PADD and begins chattering away...