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 A gathering of the crew

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Capt Darren Rai

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PostSubject: A gathering of the crew   Sat May 10, 2014 12:30 am

For the first time in days, Commander Rai was not wearing a dress uniform. No, tonight it was slacks and a loose draping gray shirt with a cowl neck. Nothing pinched, nothing rode up on him, and the top he wore was produced by our own on-station tailor. Secreted, more like. But it breathed like a dream!
He sidled up to the bar, seeking out the new Bartender; both to introduce himself, and to order an Arcturian Fizz.
He raised his voice so the bar goers could hear him.
"Drinks are on me tonight! We lived through a bad one!"
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Akhil

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PostSubject: Re: A gathering of the crew   Sat May 10, 2014 12:43 am

"That's a dangerous offer to make, Commander," he heard a rough voice behind him. A mountain of a man lowered itself on the seat beside him. The ship's counselor, Akhil, had had just as stressful a day as the rest of the crew, spending the early morning in the Infirmary helping with emergency relief, and the latter part of the day in group and one-on-one counseling sessions with the frightened civilians. He seemed to have taken it in stride, and gratefully downed a pitcher-sized glass of Klingon firewine.
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Capt Darren Rai

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PostSubject: Re: A gathering of the crew   Sat May 10, 2014 12:55 am

"I see you've settled in fairly well. I'm going to advise everyone to meet with you this week that hasn't yet. You've got your work cut out for you, now."
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Akhil

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PostSubject: Re: A gathering of the crew   Sat May 10, 2014 1:02 am

Akhil grunted, wiping his mouth. "Though the circumstances are unfortunate, I am glad to be useful." He gestured for a second helping of the wine, noting the new bartender. "Any information on what caused the disturbance? It appears to have been dealt with very quickly."
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T'Pren Inabnet

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PostSubject: Re: A gathering of the crew   Sat May 10, 2014 1:03 am

The swelling music was what had driven T'Pren out in the first place. After her conversation with Val and then leaving him to his business and/or pleasure, she had taken her little hardcover book on a walk around the Promenade and through the rest of the station (her first time through it not at a sprint), hoping to distract herself but mostly just finding that everything worth distracting herself with was apparently at the bar.

So now she was back, the little worn hardcover in one hand, her hair in loose waves over her ears, and dressed in a simple pair of black leggings with an oversized navy sweater. It was with trepidation that she peeked back into the crowded bar, searching the back for another of those out-of-the-way tables. Hers had been taken over by an amorous Ferengi and an Orion girl who was way out of his league.
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Capt Darren Rai

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PostSubject: Re: A gathering of the crew   Sat May 10, 2014 1:12 am

"It was all due to the Orb of Serenity and a bitter old Cardassian spy. Nothing we couldn't handle," he paused, peering over Akhil's enormous shoulder. Spotting T'Pren, he raised his glass to her.
"Isn't that right Lieutenant?" he said, pulling her out of her gloom into his conversation. "Come over here, I'll get you a victory tea!" he said, and turned back to Akhil.
"Have you spoken with the Klingon diplomats from the Summit? I understand they haven't left yet. They might come here later," he said. He sipped the Arcturian fizz, wrinkling his nose at the pink bubbles.
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Akhil

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PostSubject: Re: A gathering of the crew   Sat May 10, 2014 1:23 am

"I'm certain they will. They wanted to have a celebratory drink," meaning they meant to drink bloodwine until they either passed out or until it was time to leave, "But I still have duties to attend to tonight." Akhil did not elaborate further on what duties he could possibly have this late, and instead turned his attention to the approaching young woman. In his towering shadow, she seemed even more diminutive. He did not recognize the apparently new Lieutenant, and waited for an introduction.
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T'Pren Inabnet

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PostSubject: Re: A gathering of the crew   Sat May 10, 2014 1:25 am

The poor, tired half-Vulcan had spotted the commander and was just turning to leave when he called out to her. She hesitated for a moment, trying to decide whether or not it would be better to just pretend she didn't hear him, but in the end T'Pren let out a sigh and took a step into the bar.

There's a thick, fog-like calm that may be partly exhaustion between her and her emotions, but they're there, lying in wait, ready to demolish everything in their path like many nuclear bombs. The kind with count-down clocks. But for now, at least, the clocks have plenty of time on them.

And then T'Pren had to calm down the awkward human part of her brain that worried that the commander was offering her tea and not alcohol because he could sense her fragility. Which was not at all what she wanted out of her first day on the station, much less her first day on duty.

She let out a long sigh. Fuck it, she thought. It was still better than going back to her room. So she slowly picked her way through the crowd to the bar, looking more than a little out of place. "I'm afraid I'm not very good company today, sir," she admitted, and as if to prove it, most definitely did not make a move to introduce herself to the Klingon. She did, however, look up at him. Up and up and up.
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Capt Darren Rai

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PostSubject: Re: A gathering of the crew   Sat May 10, 2014 1:30 am

"Fair enough Lieutenant. I'm sorry, you haven't been introduced, have you? Lieutenant T'Pren Inabnet, this is Counselor Akhil, Akhil, Lieutenant Inabnet. We'll let you get back to it, then!" He threw back the remainder of his drink.
"Another please!" he blurted over the bar.
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Akhil

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PostSubject: Re: A gathering of the crew   Sat May 10, 2014 1:35 am

Akhil watched the Commander out of the corner of his eye. His human father wasn't much of a drinker, and it took him a while to realize that what was considered normal drinking habits to Klingons could constitute a problem in humans. But this was a conversation for another time - if the Commander ever felt like opening up about it.

The counselor extended his hand to the Lieutenant. "It is a pleasure to meet you, Lieutenant," Akhil declaimed, "Was this your first day on the station?"
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T'Pren Inabnet

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PostSubject: Re: A gathering of the crew   Sat May 10, 2014 1:44 am

Though T'Pren didn't quite hesitate at taking Akhil's hand, she did take a moment to think about it, like gearing up for something that wasn't quite natural but was obviously expected. Her pale hand was probably comically dwarfed in the Klingon's. She got many things from her Vulcan father, but size was not one of them. "That it was, Counselor." Those slanted brows quirked slightly with the word 'counselor' but otherwise her expression remained impassive. Because while she and Regan might have a good laugh in private about a Klingon therapist, there was no way she was going to show she thought it was anything out of the ordinary in front of anyone else.

The Commander got a small, sideways smile for his trouble. "I didn't say I wasn't going to be company, sir, just that I wasn't going to be good company."
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Capt Darren Rai

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PostSubject: Re: A gathering of the crew   Sat May 10, 2014 1:56 am

"To bad company!" he said, raising his glass.
"Counselor Akhil," he said, "I've noticed that Klingons always tell such wonderful stories. Tell me about a victory won by your house?" his speech was slightly slurred. He clinked a cocktail glass with an ensign passing by.
"Eyyyyy!"
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Akhil

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PostSubject: Re: A gathering of the crew   Sat May 10, 2014 2:08 am

The ensign saluted, then scampered away looking perturbed. Akhil rumbled low in his throat, carefully taking the empty glass away the moment Commander Rai set it down. He gave the bartender a significant look. "Why don't I tell you the story of my ancestors feats in the war with the Romulans, of which there are many. But it is getting late. So perhaps it would be better if I told you on the way back to your quarters." Akhil said this in a tone of polite suggestion - or at least as polite and suggestive as Klingon speech patterns allowed - but the heavy hand that landed on Rai's shoulder was leaving little room for argument.
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Capt Darren Rai

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PostSubject: Re: A gathering of the crew   Sat May 10, 2014 2:16 am

"Look at those huge hands!" he said, peering down at Akhil's hand on his shoulder.
"Is it that time already? Oh well," he said. "Time to sleep it off."
And for a few hours, he would do exactly that.
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T'Pren Inabnet

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PostSubject: Re: A gathering of the crew   Sat May 10, 2014 2:17 am

"Vulcan spice tea, please," T'Pren ordered when she got the chance, determined not to have any more alcohol tonight. Not that she'd had much to begin with. But when the Commander started clinking glasses with ensigns and slurring his speech, she called after, "And spike and sugar it!" Not because she wanted to catch up so much as she figured she'd need a little more just to make it through.

While she was waiting on her drink, she studied the Klingon and the Betazoid with that tired, expressionless face, weighing both of them in turn but passing no judgments. At least until Rai agreed to leave. Her brows shot up at that, but there are no feelings to accompany it...just the distant throbbing wounds from the day behind a carefully controlled haze.
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Akhil

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PostSubject: Re: A gathering of the crew   Sat May 10, 2014 2:24 am

While the Commander negotiated himself off the tall bar stool, Akhil turned to the small lieutenant. "Excuse me. It is best that I escort the Commander to his quarters, and then I must report for duty," he rumbled, then added in a tone of surprisingly heartfelt sincerity, "It was a pleasure to meet you, lieutenant. I hope we will get a chance to become better acquainted soon."
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Capt Darren Rai

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PostSubject: Re: A gathering of the crew   Sat May 10, 2014 2:33 am

Rai rose to his feet, shook his head, and sobered a little. Just enough to excuse himself to his quarters.
"Goodnight! Everyone put it on my tab!"
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T'Pren Inabnet

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PostSubject: Re: A gathering of the crew   Sat May 10, 2014 2:41 am

T'Pren's brows knit in the tiniest show of surprise at Akhil's particularly un-Klingon farewell, and in response he received a gently sad smile. "If you're the station's counselor, I imagine we'll be getting acquainted at least once a week from now on."

While Rai is being generous, she added softly, "Will you need help with him at all?"

Sure, the Klingon was almost a foot taller than she, but T'Pren could totally help in other ways!
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Akhil

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PostSubject: Re: A gathering of the crew   Sat May 10, 2014 2:49 am

"I can manage." Akhil could have easily carried the Commander in one arm if he so chose. T'Pren's earlier words confirmed his suspicions about the sad, vulnerable-looking young lady. He thought he noticed Vulcan traits, but her demeanor disabused him of the notion. He wondered if she was mixed, like him. "You can find me in my quarters most days. If you would like, we could set up a time for your visits," Akhil added.
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PostSubject: Re: A gathering of the crew   Sat May 10, 2014 2:54 am

That sadness only deepened, and though the smile stayed, there was more than a touch of embarrassment joining it. T'Pren took another cautious glance at the Commander before requesting seriously, "If we could start as soon as possible, I would be very appreciative." She shifted uncomfortably. "I mean that quite literally: as soon as physically possible."
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Akhil

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PostSubject: Re: A gathering of the crew   Sat May 10, 2014 2:58 am

Akhil did not appear perturbed in the slightest by the urgency of this request. "I will be on duty tonight, and tomorrow I imagine you will be as well. Why don't we set up an appointment when you are free tomorrow evening."
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T'Pren Inabnet

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PostSubject: Re: A gathering of the crew   Sat May 10, 2014 3:02 am

Tomorrow evening?! That was so far away!

T'Pren swallowed back a moment of panic at the thought and did her best to stay Vulcan-y calm. And because she didn't want to completely disgrace herself to everyone on the station in her first twenty-four hours, she gave a nod. "I'll send you my availability." The availability that wasn't just 'NOW NOW NOW'.

"...Thank you," she added sincerely.
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Akhil

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PostSubject: Re: A gathering of the crew   Sat May 10, 2014 3:09 am

The counselor nodded and held up the swaying Commander. "If it's an emergency," he added suddenly, "You can find me in the South corridor of the Habitat Ring tonight. Do not hesitate to do so, if you need." He left her with that.
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