The Real Slim Shady
(The scene shifts to the Officer's Lounge, where Solvek and Danley are still talking.)
Officer's Lounge <Deck 30> [Gibraltar Station]
The Officer's Lounge is a quiet, subdued space, perfect for relaxing and socializing. The doors are ribbed mahogany, inlaid with circular windows, each with the Starfleet Delta etched in its center. They are placed to fore and aft of the room, on the port side. Between the doors is a long bar, swirled black marble supporting a white top rimmed with mahogany. The bar curves slightly at either end to enclose the area behind, where twin replicators serve the mundane orders. There is space under the bar for exotic liquors from many parts of the galaxy, and an Antarean ice-crystal sculpture is placed on the wall for decoration. Seven low stools, each made of dark metal with navy blue cushions, sit before the bar for use by the patrons. There is an open space starboard of the bar that extends for a few feet until a step up to a raised platform. Just before the steps are two tables, each a white quarter-wedge with two dark chairs. The room's fore and aft walls widen a bit at the platform to create a large seating area. Four square white tables, each ringed by four dark chairs, are the main seating. Couches built against the fore and aft walls provide more, each with a half-wedge white table before it. Three more small white tables complete the arrangement, each set in front of one of the windows, two dark chairs complementing every one. The central table of these three has a 3-D chess set upon it for use by the lounge's patrons. The windows themselves look out onto the black of space, providing an excellent view of the planet below. The carpeting is a deep blue, the walls paneled in a light gray that almost looks maroon under some lights. Soft mood lighting is provided by panels on the steps, decorative lights at the doors and behind the bar, and by hidden panels in the ceiling.
Aventino bounces along into the Lounge, a low, rambling half-tune rolling from her lips, "I'm the Slim Shady, yes I'm the real Shady, all you other Slim Shadies are just imitating, now won't the real Slim Shady please stand up, please stand up, please stand up," it seems caught in her head, the way she keeps pattering it to herself. Hey, look, people! She wanders in the direction of the 3D chess table.
Solvek watches Aventino as she enters the room, his left eyebrow raising to its fullest limit. "Mr. Danley, I am not entirely certain how Humans behave when they are intoxicated. Would you presume that the actions of this junior officer are sufficient to determine this state?"
Danley watches Aventino for a moment and then shrugs, "Hard to say. Maybe. You really need a base line to determine that sort of thing. Alas I'm not sure what normal would be for the subject. You could always offer to give her a breathalyser test but I'm afraid what she might think you'd be insinuating."
Aventino laughs aloud at Danley's comment, walking straight to Solvek and spinning on a heel, plopping square down on his lap, "Yeeeah, I probably got a couple screws up in my head loose," she raps, "But no worse than what's going on inside your parents' bedrooms," she cuts herself off with a brief snort. "No, I'm fine, I just came off duty," she offers quite as plainly as if she weren't sitting in Solvek's lap, thighs tensing and untensing a bit as she slips an arm around his neck and starts moving his bits around. On the chessboard, you pervs.
Volchenkov steps in from the corridor outside, looking around for a few moments. He then steps further into the room, moving rather slowly.
Solvek looks at Aventino with a quizzical expression on his face. "I'm sorry, Ms. Aventino, but you and I both very well know that Fred would not approve of your actions. Would you kindly remove yourself from my lap?" He lifts her and sets her down next to Danley.
Danley shakes his head as he watches Aventino, "I swear at this rate I'm gonna hafta put a catwalk and a brass pole in the bar."
Ahh, serendipity. Fred manages to walk in to the Lounge right as Bunni plops herself into Solvek's lap. She frowns, pausing over by the door for a minute before coming further in as Solvek lifts and moves the other woman. She walks up next to Danley on the other side, still frowning. "Umm... hey... that relic got in," she comments. Still looking at Aventino oddly.
Aventino laughs a bit more, "Are you asking me to stand up?" she 'eep!'s a little as she's lifted, "Won't the real Slim Shady please stand up, please stand up, please stand up?" she asks, toppling forward as she's set on her somewhat unsteady feet and grabbing at Danley, grinning at him wickedly, "Oh, man, that'd be insane. Let's do it. Seriously," she grins as she hangs on Danley, gaining her feet again quickly.
Volchenkov blinks a little as he watches the crowd, and listens to what's being said. Pausing for a few moments as he looks back towards the door.
Solvek looks up and sees Fred standing next to Danley. "It is good to see you, Fred. Why don't you have a seat?" He beckons her to sit in the chair he has pulled beside him.
Brooks tilts her head at Aventino as she settles herself in the chair. "What song is that?" she asks. The others get smiles... Danley, Volchenkov, and Solvek, of course.
Danley rolls his eyes a bit as he tries to ignore Aventino's grabbing, "Good lord, that's the last thing I need. I mean I've already got an Orion slave girl working for me."
Volchenkov nods a little to the people present, before he decides that this thing some people call an 'orderly retreat' seems to be what'll be working best now. And so... off he goes for the door again.
Aventino draws her form up against Danley's, not really in any attempt to seduce so much as to enjoy the sensation herself, looking into his eyes, "Then why did you bring it up?" she pokes his nose and sticks her tongue out at him, eyebrows rising in tandem as she spots Volchenkov, and she grins, giving pursuit as he goes for retreat, "Hey, hey! Misha!" she calls, "We still on for a game of darts? First drink's on me," she smiles, trying to catch up to him enough to tuck an arm around his shoulders on the way out the door.
Solvek leans over to Fred, frowning. "Has she been acting this way all day, or is this a strange occurrence to you as well? By the way, you look very good today. Have you done something different with your hair?"
Volchenkov nods a little as he hears that, "Of course, but right now I have a few matters to attend to," he replies, sidestepping a little to avoid that arm around his shoulders, for now.
Brooks glances to Aventino and then shrugs. "It's Bunni... she's always a little odd. We were playing a... rock concert in the holodeck earlier." She glances to Solvek and smiles. "And... no, not really, I usually just pull it up and back like this. But thanks."
Danley watches Aventino walk away and shakes his head, "That girl either needs to find a guy with a lot of stamina... or a guy with a lot of thorazine. I wonder why she acts like that. I she's gotta be over compensating for something."
Aventino smiles brightly as she gets dodged, "Right, sure, I'll see you around." She turns from her attack on poor Misha and bites her lip, stifling a giggle as she heads off elsewhere.
Solvek seems to relax and throws an arm around Fred's shoulders. "Well, no matter, if she's in a good mood, I guess it is better than her fretting over something. If only everybody could be like that." Solvek turns to Danley. "You seem to have quite a bit of stamina, Mr. Danley..."
Brooks blinks at Solvek for a moment but doesn't seem to mind the arm. "Umm... I don't know if Mr. Danley really wants to get tangled up in such things right now. Not that Bunni's a bad person or anything, I really like her, just..." She shrugs, peers at Danley a moment.
Danley frowns a bit as he glances between Solvek and Brooks before scratching his chin as a small smirk appears, "First off it's either Ed or Danley. The only mister I ever knew was my dad. Second the last thing I need in my life is some sort of emotional entanglement. If replicators are going to be exploding around me all the time then I'd hate to give someone a reason to mourn my death when my margarita mix goes awry."
"Of course... Ed. I was just making a bit of conversation." Solvek stands abruptly. "Here, how about I get us all a drink and we can 'shoot the breeze.' There is nothing more enjoyable than sitting with your girl, a good friend, and a nice glass of Vulcan brandy just passing the time away. It is not likely the ship will explode and I think we should all just relax and let our minds wander."
Brooks peers at Solvek a moment. Reaches out and feels at his forehead... then giggles softly. "You spend too much time around the Captain," she comments. "Because that sounds like something Thomas would say, and he spends a lot of time with her." Up on the gossip, she is. "I never have had Vulcan brandy... d'you want some... Ed?" See, she can be nice too.
Danley shakes his head, "I'm good thanks Winifred. Wait... Thomas has..." Ed's eyes shoot up the corner right corner as he quietly thinks, "You mean Thomas from engineering? Funny... he seemed a bit old and pudgy. I would have thought the cap would have gone for someone more like... umm... Volchenkov maybe..."
"No, no, no, Ed, she means Thomas Church, the diplomatic officer. Him and Gwen go way back, to her SFI days. Oddly enough, he ended up on her station and they hit it off fairly well when they met up again." Solvek pours two glasses of Vulcan brandy and brings them back over, handing one to Fred and lifting his own in toast. "To good friends and better lovers."
Brooks presses her lips together for a moment, closes her eyes... and then takes the drink and sips at it. "Indeed. Umm. Yeah. Thomas and I've kind of started becoming friends. Ever since he helped stop that bomb from going off in the science lab." She's eying Solvek, but it's not in a 'what the hell is wrong with yo' kinda way... more in an amused kind of way.
Danley quietly rocks in his chair as Solvek explains which Thomas they are talking about until the mention of SFI. Danley waves his arms wildly as he loses his balance from rocking back to far and ends up falling over backwards onto the floor. Without moving from the chair Ed just stares at the ceiling, "Hawk was in SFI? And Thomas and Gwen go way back. I didn't see that one coming. That is... and a ship explodes... and evidence is destroyed... taking it to Church's mommy... Would she have... that's just... odd."
"I think you're blowing certain things out of proportion, Ed. The explosion on the Queen Mary was just a freak accident and nothing more. It is terrible that all that evidence was lost, but I really doubt that a high-ranking Admiral, or a Captain, would cause such a fiasco over the actions of a random terrorist group." Solvek stands up and looks over Danley. "Are you sure you don't want something to drink?"
Brooks frowns a bit, peers at Danley. "You ain't insinuatin' that the Captain..." Unlike Solvek, Fred makes no effort to draw attention away from the Admiral. Then she shrugs, sips at her drink. "Hey, this is pretty good."
Danley stands up and picks up his chair as he rubs the back of his skull, "Naw I'm good thanks. But... I'm sure you're right. It was just a freak accident. So is it public knowledge that she worked in SFI?"
"Yes, it's public knowledge. It's on her record, right there--10 years in Starfleet Intelligence. What she did during those years is classified, but the fact of the matter is, she started her Intelligence training in the academy, so that's kind of hard to hide. She transferred to Security 10 years ago, though." Solvek grabs another glass and fills it, handing the drink to Danley. "Here. There's no alcohol. I am the only one likely to be affected."
"Huh. I didn't know that. Did I?" Fred frowns, trying to remember, as she drinks the Vulcan brandy. "No, I didn't. Anyway. What's all this got to do with anything?"
Danley frowns a bit as he heads towards the door, "Well.. I hate to run a good party. But, I think I'm going to have my head checked out. I must have hit it fairly hard."
Solvek shrugs. "Well, alright. Take care of yourself. Hope nothing too serious happened." He quickly downs the glass he was handing to Danley. "I hope we can have more relaxed conversations in the future."
Brooks waves to Danley as he heads out. "Take care of yourself," she calls. She stands and walks over to Solvek, experimentally slipping an arm around his waist. "Umm, so... I've got some free time, since Bunni wandered off and I'm waiting for data to process. You want to go do something?"
"Sure. I have this strange urge to go and buy you something. Shall we go to the Promenade?" Solvek wraps his own arm around Brooks' waist and absentmindedly drags her out the door.
Brooks blinks at Solvek. "Buy me something? Was this Gwen's idea? Or the Counselor's?" She gets dragged, but again, doesn't really seem to mind...
(The camera follows the officers out the door and down the walkway.)
Starboard Walkway <Deck 30> [Gibraltar Station]
The Promenade is an airy, open cylinder that stretches for five decks. Around the outside of this cylinder on each deck are walkways that allow for easy foot traffic between the various establishments lining the walls. The outer wall of these walkways are paneled in light gray except where interrupted by doors and openings. Some establishments are open to the Promenade, allowing one to look inside before entering, while some merely have a door with a plaque declaring what is beyond. The inner side is bordered by a low rail. Beyond this rail one can look down at the trees of the garden below or up at the higher levels of the Promenade. The lighting on the Promenade adjusts according to the time--by day it is quite bright, dimming at around 1800 until its darkest point (though still light enough to see clearly) at midnight. From here it slowly brightens until reaching its full, daytime brightness once more at 0600. Vertical alert tracers line the doors and other openings, showing the status of the station.
"It was my idea. I just thought of it. It's been bothering me all day that you do not have a more alluring set of nightclothes. So, I have decided," Solvek throws a hand in the air, "that I will buy you a proper set."
Brooks blinks up at Solvek. "Um... are you feeling alright, hon? I do have different night clothing, just, I figured you wouldn't want... well... we're not bonded yet and all. Even promised to be bonded. You know what I mean."
"Regardless of being bonded or not, I think it is nice for me to just look at you sometimes. I mean, even without clothes, I mean... you know. Nothing too heavy, just... to look at you." Solvek pushes Fred to arm's length by the shoulders and steps back. "You are an almost perfect image of human beauty."
Brooks gapes at Solvek. "Wh--what? I'm... I'm not... I mean... I'm not that pretty, Solvek, I... you want to look at me?" She seems more flabbergasted than anything. "Is this your hormones talking, or some weird bit of Vulcan mating rituals I've never heard of?"
Solvek ponders for a moment. "I think that it might just be your effect on me, Fred. Anyway, enough of that. Let's go get you some clothing."
Brooks steps back a bit. "No... wait, please. Explain this to me. You're not acting remotely normal. It's not that I mind... I'm not scared or anything. I just want to know why. You're still you, right? Is this permanent? I... I still want to be able to discuss scientific things, and..." She frowns, clearly confused.
Solvek turns to look at Brooks, compassion etched on his face. "Honey, I'm sorry that I've confused you. It's just... when Aventino sat on my lap in the Lounge, it made me understand that I wasn't showing enough affection toward you in public. I believe that I've been too cold and too callous to your feelings for anyone to really understand that you're the person I want to be with. We can still talk about scientific things. I will always be a scientist."
Brooks tilts her head, still frowning. "But... your speech patterns... are..." She pauses. "Are like they were in the mind meld, I guess. That's not so bad."
"I guess I've just resigned myself to this change." Solvek shrugs. "If it affects my speech patterns, it affects my speech patterns. There's nothing that I can do to stop or postpone this transition, so I might as well accept it." He takes Fred's arm and links it with his. "Shall we?"
Brooks sighs softly and grasps Solvek's arm. "Alright, then... let's go. What... exactly did you have in mind? And why buy... why not replicate?"
"Because replicating Ferengi silk is quite difficult for the computer to perfect." Solvek states in his most matter-of-fact tone, "And I was thinking something in red."
Brooks almost chokes. "F--Ferengi silk?? Solvek... do you have any idea how expensive... and how... how... that's not... I mean... I don't think I could even hold one of those things up, I'm way too bony." Riiiight, Fred.
Solvek turns to Fred as they walk. He stops, turns to her, tilts his head to the side, and then leans down and kisses her. After a moment, he pulls away.
Solvek's voice can be heard in Brooks' mind during the kiss, "Quit stammering... You're not going to be a sex object. I just want you to look nice and feel nice about yourself. You won't be wearing this constantly--hence the term nightclothes."
"Somewhere in the area of a hundred bars of latinum. Easily affordable as I don't buy anything for myself or anyone else for that matter. I have a great deal saved up, and the exchange rate is currently very favorable. Besides," Solvek eyes her. "You can easily hold up what I have in mind. You're not 'too bony.'"
Brooks seems like she can't quite stand up after that kiss. "Mmmkay," she replies, smiling up at Solvek with that dreamy, girl-in-love kind of expression. Looks like he won her over. "So where are we going?" She links her arm back with his, leaning on it a bit.
"I was thinking of... this shop, to be exact." Solvek points to a unobtrusive door.
Brooks blinks at the sign and then peers at Solvek. "You're sure?"
"Yes I'm sure. I've already checked this place out, and it clears my expectations." With that, Solvek goes in.
Behind Closed Doors <Deck 30> [Gibraltar Station]
This shop is discreet and tasteful, the atmosphere one of calm. The shop is well-lit, though not glaringly bright, allowing one to peruse the inventory without too much trouble. The items the shop sells are arranged in various displays, and consist of a selection of "intimate" wear meant both for sleeping and other activities. There are items for males and females of a wide variety of species and cultures. It's clear that one is to peruse the selection and then inquire about price and availability. There is a room to one side where measurements can be taken, with a fitting room beside. In the back is a small office for the shop's owner.
The shopkeeper appears to have another set of customers as the two officers come in, but has the customer service skills to look over and say, "I'll be with you in just a moment."
Brooks grasps Solvek's arm a bit more tightly at seeing... other people in the store. She doesn't say anything, just looks around with wide eyes.
Solvek nods to the shopkeeper. "We'll just look around for a bit, then." He takes Brooks' arm and starts to lead her through the store, stopping at various places to eye certain articles.
Brooks narrows her eyes as she peers at everything. "That's Bajoran," she comments idly. "And that's one's... Klingon. Ahh, no." Blink, blink. "Isn't that Vulcan writing?" Anthropologist, yup.
"You are correct, Fred. That is an example of Vulcan mating garb. But I'm not here for that. For you, only the best Human style will do." Solvek picks through a couple of other items, idly quirking his brow from time to time.
Brooks grins lightly. "Well... I didn't want to wear it. Just... commenting."
The other customers leave and the owner comes over. He blinks as he suddenly realizes just who he has in his store and puts on his best smile. "Commander Solvek. I hardly expected to see you in my store. And who might this be, Lieutenant...?"
"This is Lieutenant Winifred Brooks, Mr. Patterson. We were looking for a Human night garment, in particular, something in red Ferengi silk." Solvek turns to Fred. "And I want it to match her measurements."
Patterson looks to Fred and nods slowly. "Do you have any preferences as to style, Miss Brooks?"
Brooks blinks at Patterson. "I... don't really know. I mean, I... I've never really bought or... worn anything like this before."
Solvek turns to Fred, "Have you seen anything in here that caught your eye? Perhaps we can start from a broad selection and work our way down? I mean, I'm here, and I can help you choose something that fits your figure properly."
Brooks looks... completely at a loss. Really. "I don't really know. It's hard to think of what they'd look like on me." She looks at Solvek a moment with a pleading expression.
Patterson smiles. "Perhaps we can start with your measurements. There are certain styles that work better on certain body types, and that will give us a narrower range."
Solvek smiles. "That sounds like an excellent idea. Are you comfortable with that, Fred?"
Brooks nods slowly. "I suppose so, sure."
Patterson gestures to a private dressing area as the scene fades out.
(The next scene opens on the Antarean Embassy...)
Aventino is assuring the person at the front embassy desk that she is a personal friend of the Ambassador, and just wants to know which quarters he lives in so she can tell him something very important. And no, she can't tell you, it's for the Ambassador's ears only. The secretary, oddly enough, is having trouble believing the obviously intoxicated female.
The Ambassador comes out of his office and stops as he comes by the front desk. "Ms. Bunni, how good to see you. Is there a problem?"
Aventino sighs in relief, and goes to give the Ambassador a warm hug, "G'Mar, we need to talk. In private," she rubs her hands down his back as she speaks, then a little lower, giving his ass a squeeze and not really caring who sees.
The Ambassador seems... surprised, at first, and then a smile spreads across his face. "Of course. I was just heading to my quarters for some dinner... would you care to join me?" Proprieties and all. Even if his staff is sure to catch the hint.
Aventino looks up, her eyes full of sad-drunk, and she doesn't seem to be able to pull herself away from the Ambassador, but she nods her head. "Yes, please, let's do that."
Katsulock wraps an arm around Bunni's waist and leads her to his quarters...
The Ambassador's quarters are decorated in an Antarean style, which is to say, somehow both austere yet luxurious. Think East Asian, with those clean lines and simple elegance.
"Would you like anything?" G'Mar asks as they enter.
Aventino hardly lets the Ambassador get her inside before she rather forcefully turns and tries to pin him to the wall, not, of course, in a threatening way, her legs straining to let her lips meet his, ending up standing on one toe, arms snaking around his neck. "I need to talk to you, seriously," she murmurs, though her lips may already trail across his lips as she speaks. "It's about the Queen Mary."
G'Mar... blinks, as if confused. Here the girl's coming on to him, and he's glad to respond, but... "Yes. The Queen Mary exploded. I am aware. Is something wrong, Bunni?"
Aventino looks into his eyes, a deadly sort of seriousness coming into them, not often seen there. "I think Starfleet was responsible for destroying the vessel. And I'm not the only one who thinks so. For some reason, Starfleet, or certain high ranking members of Starfleet, want to keep the motive and group behind the Embassy bombing under wraps. Want to do so so much that they murdered a ship full of innocent people to do it," her eyes keen toward sad, "G'Mar, please, don't be mad at me, I swear I had no idea what they were planning," she cries out, grinding her body against his absentmindedly.
G'Mar looks... shocked, now, is the only word. "High-ranking... is the Captain involved in this?" He manages to mostly ignore the grinding, actually, though he's holding Bunni lightly, his mind mostly on the matter at hand. Err. You know. The Queen Mary. "What makes you think this?"
Aventino grunts, "Nnooo," she manages, "Higher than that. Admiral Church," she sighs as she keeps rubbing against him, a flush at her cheeks as she enjoys herself a bit, "And a lot of things, just... little things that didn't add up along the way... Starfleet's 'reasoning' for wanting to take over the case... the way they demanded that the evidence be completely transferred instead of us being able to keep some of it or even copies of the data... hell, Starfleet was supposed to provide the security for the Queen Mary-- don't you think that if they wanted that evidence as badly as they seemed to during negotiations... they would have found that bomb? They knew it was sensitive material, they knew people might be after it, and with all Starfleet's forces focused on the project of bringing that data home.... bam. It's gone. It's fucking gone."
G'Mar is obviously distressed by this. "I will speak to the Captain about this. As soon as she is available, of course. Ahh... of course... that will be... later." He looks down at the woman with the flush on her cheeks. "Perhaps we could speak of... other things?"
Aventino nods, "Yeah, you're right," she pants, "Where's your john?" she asks, moving her hands from around his neck and beginning to unfasten her uniform top, "Let's bang like weasels and never stop." A stark contrast to the way the Ambassador keeps euphemizing things.
G'Mar smiles widely and gladly complies with Bunni's request.