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T'Pren Inabnet

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PostSubject: Still Drinking   Fri May 09, 2014 11:20 am

As the evening wore on, more and more of the residents of DS15 had ventured outside their rooms to meet up with each other and gossip about what had transpired earlier. When they realized that the bar now had an actual bartender, they moved in in small groups until it was no longer feasible for T'Pren to have a conversation with Falten. This was probably for the best, since the half-Vulcan was growing slightly uncomfortable with the Andorian's intuition.

So with another cup of tea, barely spiked at all, the young lieutenant took her book back to her original secluded seat and tried very hard to look as uninteresting as possible to everyone around her.
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Val Etilen

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PostSubject: Re: Still Drinking   Fri May 09, 2014 3:51 pm

Val Etilen came into the bar, looking the space over delightedly. Finally this place was up and running properly and not just a sad dive for the skeleton crew to outpour their sorrows.
He wore a fine black suit with a wide neck which exposed his shoulders and collar bone, evidently manufactured for Cardassian throats, but coming across daringly exposed on a Bajoran's physique. Metal disks woven into the fabric reflected the light when he moved.

He scanned the bar for prospects briefly before sliding onto a barstool where he dropped a strip of latinum in front of the barkeep.

"Kanar and soda please." he grinned - for it wasn't very often he paid for his own drinks and felt good about it.
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T'Pren Inabnet

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PostSubject: Re: Still Drinking   Fri May 09, 2014 4:06 pm

Just because T'Pren was hiding away from strange eyes in a back corner didn't mean she wasn't keeping her strange eyes on everyone else. It was a skill learned quickly when surrounded by the Obsidian Order. There were multiple people of interest she was hoping might come by...the good doctor, for instance, or any Cardassian, but most especially she was stalking Bajoran sex worker prey.

And there he was. She wasn't quite sure at first, but by the time he was getting his drink at the bar, the half-Vulcan was convinced. But she was loathe to give up her seat in the increasingly crowded bar, so instead she asked a passerby to give him a message.

The chosen resident, a dopey-looking Tellurite, sidled up to Val, clearly enjoying the noir nature of the request: "The human lady in the back there says she'd like to buy you your next drink."
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Val Etilen

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PostSubject: Re: Still Drinking   Fri May 09, 2014 4:54 pm

Val glanced back at her with a smile. He had always liked humans, even if his experience with them was limited. The first humans he'd ever seen were a ship full of independent relief corps sent directly from Earth to provide supplies to his city on Bajor. They were terribly nice, and obviously came from a world that wanted for nothing.

He downed his diluted kanar and brought a fresh one over to the young woman. He joined her in her secluded alcove and sat close, but did not touch.

"Hi, sweetheart. What's your name?"

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T'Pren Inabnet

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PostSubject: Re: Still Drinking   Fri May 09, 2014 5:05 pm

The human woman watched the Bajoran male approach appraisingly but remained otherwise aloof. She maintained this right up until he called her sweetheart. And then, despite herself and the tenuous nature of her emotional hold, T'Pren smiled, both amiable and amused.

"I'm Lieutenant Inabnet, the new Chief Science Officer," she informed Val not unkindly, but making it clear that she wasn't an interested client. "I owe you a scarf."
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Val Etilen

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PostSubject: Re: Still Drinking   Fri May 09, 2014 5:12 pm

"Pleased to meet you." Val looked impressed by her rank, but this was not a reason for him to write her off entirely as a prospect.

"So you were the one in my room. And I've got you to thank for disabling the bomb, I take it?"
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T'Pren Inabnet

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PostSubject: Re: Still Drinking   Fri May 09, 2014 5:24 pm

"And you're Val Etilen," the lieutenant said, introducing the Bajoran to herself. She was still studying him appraisingly, so maybe it wasn't so far-fetched to imagine she was entirely out of bounds.

That smile T'Pren couldn't avoid turned wry and slid slightly off-kilter when he used the word 'disabling'. "Obsidian Order bombs like the one in your quarters are...difficult to disable. We couldn't get a lock on it so I had to beam into your room and attach it to my comm badge so we could beam it into space and detonate it." She tilted her head a little in acknowledgement, "So I suppose it is disabled."
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Capt Darren Rai

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PostSubject: Re: Still Drinking   Fri May 09, 2014 8:08 pm

Over T'Pren's comm badge, she could hear a message:
"Attention all Starfleet, Bajoran, and senior crew: We now have a real bartender over at the watering hole-- aptly named the Ceti Eel. Drinks are on me for the rest of the night! Hope to see you there!"
He hoped this would be enough to get everyone to shake their fears away, even with the possibility of another conflict on the horizon.
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Val Etilen

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PostSubject: Re: Still Drinking   Fri May 09, 2014 8:35 pm

"I sometimes wish I could be that brave," Val said, leaning his head on his hand. "So you'd like to buy me something pretty?"

He was interrupted by the Commander's announcement, which he heard through her badge, and laughed.
"You're all set, then."
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T'Pren Inabnet

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PostSubject: Re: Still Drinking   Fri May 09, 2014 10:07 pm

T'Pren's smile faded and she regarded Val with something a little more sincere and vulnerable. "Is that bravery?" she wondered, somewhere between earnestness and philosophy. "It's duty and it's necessary. It's logical." In the end, she shrugged and gave the Bajoran a light, pensive-tinged smile. "I'd like to buy you something pretty."

Which was when the announcement came through and T'Pren lifted her brows without enthusiasm. "Free drinks when I can't imbibe. That seems about right."


Last edited by T'Pren Inabnet on Sat May 10, 2014 1:29 am; edited 1 time in total
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Val Etilen

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PostSubject: Re: Still Drinking   Fri May 09, 2014 10:41 pm

Val smiled at her.
"I run in the opposite direction of a bomb - you run toward it. That's bravery." He placed his arm around the top of her chair. "You can't imbibe? You can keep buying drinks for me, then."
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T'Pren Inabnet

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PostSubject: Re: Still Drinking   Fri May 09, 2014 11:27 pm

T'Pren returned Val's smile with one that was almost sweet. "Society depends on many kinds of people. Some people must run and some must give them the time to run." She presented it as nothing more than reason and shrugged to dismiss it. Then she grinned, "Besides, if I didn't go to the bomb, I'd lose my job. Or die. Or both."

The lieutenant watched the Bajoran's arm move around her with all the naïveté of a girl who has no idea she's on her first date and then tilted her head at him curiously. Then that, too, turned into a grin, this one sly, "I'll buy you all the drinks you want if you'll explain to me why they tried to kill you."


Last edited by T'Pren Inabnet on Sat May 10, 2014 1:29 am; edited 1 time in total
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Val Etilen

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PostSubject: Re: Still Drinking   Fri May 09, 2014 11:52 pm

Val licked his lips and thought about this request, then his pride forced him to answer.

"My mother was the most beautiful woman on Bajor. Perhaps she would have been the most beautiful in the quadrant if the Cardassians had opened off-planet transport." He waved over a waiter and ordered another drink on T'Pren's tab. "No one could resist her. When she wanted your attention, she got it. I take after her, you know."
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T'Pren Inabnet

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PostSubject: Re: Still Drinking   Fri May 09, 2014 11:58 pm

While Val talked, T'Pren took the opportunity to sip at her Vulcan spice tea with its little edge of sugar and booze. She studied him thoughtfully from behind the cup with the air of a scientist...but also of someone who appreciates a good story.

"The Cardassian woman told me your mother was a rival. But I know for a fact that she was Obsidian Order, so I have a hard time imagining it was about who was the fairest of them all."
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Val Etilen

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PostSubject: Re: Still Drinking   Sat May 10, 2014 3:10 am

Val laughed. "She flatters herself. From what I gather, the good doctor's husband was desperately bored and left her when he became enchanted with my mother," his brow furrowed a bit. "Though she never told me about that. Mum always said a good courtesan strengthens a marriage my providing a vessel for unattended affection, and spice where there is blandness. That woman must have been extremely cold." He grinned. "But then all the serious suitors were cut off. Just like that! My mother stopped seeing anyone, because a handsome, well-off Bajoran jewellery merchant named Val had bought exclusive rights to her."
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T'Pren Inabnet

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PostSubject: Re: Still Drinking   Sat May 10, 2014 3:14 am

It was a lovely and timeless story, T'Pren was sure: man buys woman, woman bears son, mother and son run a family prostitution business. But at the moment, she was much, much more interested in something Val had said in passing.

Those Vulcan brows shot straight up her forehead: "'The good doctor'," she repeated. "Why do you say that?"
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Val Etilen

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PostSubject: Re: Still Drinking   Sat May 10, 2014 3:19 am

Val went ahead and touched the girl's shoulder, giving her an amiable side-hugs.
"That's what she said. The Kai. Her name is Doctor Mila Tahain."
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T'Pren Inabnet

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PostSubject: Re: Still Drinking   Sat May 10, 2014 3:33 am

It was almost imperceptible, the way T'Pren tensed at Val's touch. The way her whole body went rigid without moving away. The way she stopped breathing. Almost imperceptible, but still there.

Either someone wasn't keen on being touched or the name froze her insides. Or both.

"What else did she say to you?" the lieutenant demanded when she could breathe again. "In as much detail as you can recall."

She glanced at the arm around her, her whole body quivering just once, and then added softly, "Please."
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Lyfalten zh'Undaag

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PostSubject: Re: Still Drinking   Sat May 10, 2014 9:39 am

Falten had finally slowed from her breakneck pace earlier. The bar had become a hot spot, now that the attendant was no longer digital, and she had been mixing non-stop. It had slowed at last, and she had time to observe people between drink orders. She didn't approach the Lieutenant and the Bajoran, but she listened.
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Val Etilen

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PostSubject: Re: Still Drinking   Sat May 10, 2014 11:21 am

Val withdrew his arm from her shoulders and frowned, finding it difficult to ascertain what exactly this young woman would like from him, if even the most casually affectionate touch was greeted with stiffness.
"She said my mother had broken up her family, so she wanted to kill me in turn. And that she wouldn't mind if she started a war in the process. Why, do you know this crone too?"
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T'Pren Inabnet

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PostSubject: Re: Still Drinking   Sat May 10, 2014 11:29 am

Even once Val removed his arm, T'Pren still looked particularly awkward and uncomfortable, although now she was also blushing a pale green. "I'm sorry," she mumbled, and the green grew brighter. "I'm not...used to being touched."

It's not easy being green. So when the opportunity arises to jump on another subject, the lieutenant took it gladly. At least until she realized what the subject was. Poor, poor Pren. "I don't know her. But I know her voice."

The half-human took a very long draught from her spiked tea.
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Val Etilen

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PostSubject: Re: Still Drinking   Sat May 10, 2014 11:47 am

"All right," Val said gently. "I won't touch you unless you tell me to, how's that?"

Thinking back on it, all the humans he'd come in contact with we're red blooded and didn't tend to blush green. He thought it might be rude to mention.

"Do you want to tell me about it? Or would you like to be distracted?"
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T'Pren Inabnet

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PostSubject: Re: Still Drinking   Sat May 10, 2014 11:53 am

For a moment, T'Pren looked taken aback, but then her brow knit and her wheels were visibly turning. Could she do complex calculations in her head on a moment's notice? Absolutely. Could she figure out what this Val character was about? Debatable.

The green slowly left her cheeks and with it, her discomfort. Because she actually got what was going on. She was finally caught up. "Oh," she said softly, and then gave the Bajoran a gentle smile. "You don't have to work. All I want is to find out what the Cardassians -- or these Cardassians -- are planning. You can just be yourself."
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Lyfalten zh'Undaag

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PostSubject: Re: Still Drinking   Sat May 10, 2014 12:03 pm

More pain from the Lieutenant. Falten had gotten almost nothing but pain from her since she had first sensed her walking in earlier that day.

The Bajoran seemed less viscerally burned, rather business oriented, but sweet. She had a feeling she'd be seeing him around plenty, and she didn't mind.

She slid down towards them gesturing lightly at their cups. "Can I get you two anything else? Commander's tab is still open." She was far enough back so as not to intrude. None of her business.
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Val Etilen

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PostSubject: Re: Still Drinking   Sat May 10, 2014 12:20 pm

T'Pren Inabnet wrote:
"Oh," she said softly, and then gave the Bajoran a gentle smile. "You don't have to work. All I want is to find out what the Cardassians -- or these Cardassians -- are planning. You can just be yourself."

Val blinked at her vacantly. Had he been someone else?
"Well.. Officer.. I think I've told you everything I know. I assume they were also responsible for murdering my Daimon friend, since I'm no longer in the brig. Were they just framing me? Did it have to do with the Bajor-Ferenginar trade agreements? I don't know. And it's not really my business to know."

Val looked up at the barkeep.
"Kanar on ice please, gorgeous," he said, sensing his time there was limited since the shy girl had no real interest in him.
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