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 A hard drink after a long day

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Tal'Ara

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PostSubject: A hard drink after a long day   Tue May 13, 2014 6:16 pm

Once Commander Rai's tour of the station finished, Tal'Ara decided a stiff drink was in order. She cautiously approached the bar, leering at the scattered and inebriated patrons. Upon finding a suitable bar stool, she sat down. The surface of the bar was somewhat sticky - a quality Tal'Ara found rather disturbing.

"Ugh," she scoffed. "Can someone come and clean this? How am I supposed to enjoy a drink in these conditions?"

Tal'Ara loudly rapped her fingers on the bar as she looked around, somewhat frustratedly, for the bartender. Her tender skin gently tugged back on the bar's sticky surface with each impatient tap. Yes, she was being rude, but she did not care. She needed to get someone's - anyone's - attention.
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T'Pren Inabnet

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PostSubject: Re: A hard drink after a long day   Tue May 13, 2014 7:49 pm

It had been a whirlwind first week for Lieutenant Inabnet, with station events and places and people pushing just about every one of her buttons in the worst and best ways possible. But finally, finally, she felt that she was achieving a kind of equilibrium. And all it took was a little torture.

With her shift recently ended for the day and a certainty that she could hold her liquor with some kind of dignity for the first time since she arrived, T'Pren found herself wandering through the entrance to the Eel, still outfitted in her impeccable science officer uniform and with a PADD in one hand. Her hair, as usual, was loose and long, covering any hint of those Vulcan ears.

Without bothering to search the bar, she dropped onto a stool near the door at the end of the counter, setting her PADD down in front of her with every intention of getting some work done, since her quarters made her panic.

"HJ?" she asked the air.

A rudimentary holographic bartender flickered into existence in front of her. "May I please have a spiked Vulcan?"

Technically the drink bore her name, but it felt narcissistic to ask for it that way.
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Tal'Ara

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PostSubject: Re: A hard drink after a long day   Tue May 13, 2014 11:21 pm

Tal'Ara shot her head to the side at the sound of this.

"The hair isn't fooling anyone, Lieutenant T'Pren Inabet," she sneered. "But then again, your not a real Vulcan anyway... you've got some Human in you - I read your file. I'm Lieutenant Commander Tal'Ara. Shall we have a drink to celebrate our common ancestry?

Before T'Pren had time to answer, Tal'Ara slouched her way over to the other side of the bar, joining her very distant relative.

"Though, I as far as I'm aware," she continued. "Your Federation replicators are incapable of producing any semblance of fine Romulan Ale... hmm, I suppose I'll have to bring a bottle or two from my quarters to keep behind the bar..."

Her voice trailed off, and her eyes listlessly grazed around the ceiling, as if lost in thought.
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T'Pren Inabnet

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PostSubject: Re: A hard drink after a long day   Tue May 13, 2014 11:35 pm

So much for equilibrium. But at least the assault on her Vulcan side hadn't begun before now or she might have actually fallen apart. As it stood, T'Pren's cheeks burned practically emerald and her jaw set hard, her human molars pushing together at the back of her mouth. All this before she even looked up.

The lieutenant gave herself time to finish studying her PADD, although she had ceased to actually read anything from it the moment the commentary began. It was, regardless, a handy way for T'Pren to collect herself so that when she did slowly lift her chin to meet Tal'Ara's gaze, it was with some level of dignity. Some level of green-blushing dignity.

"Lieutenant Commander," she greeted carefully. Her expression was controlled and neutral, but not because she was trying to be Vulcan. Oh, no. It was because she was trying not to look vulnerable or snide while meeting her new superior. Rai failed to mention the incoming Romulan would be ranked above her.

So she didn't say anything about her hair or her supposedly faux Vulcanry. Instead, she stated simply, "Commander Rai mentioned we'd be acquiring a Romulan today."

HJ set her cup of Vulcan spiced tea, touched up with some booze and some sugar, steaming in front of her. She ignored it in favor of hopeful -- but not too hopeful -- diplomatic overtures: "I believe Falten, the owner of the Eel, keeps Romulan Ale. She doesn't replicate her drinks."
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Tal'Ara

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PostSubject: Re: A hard drink after a long day   Tue May 13, 2014 11:44 pm

Tal'Ara took a moment and studied her half-Vulcan barmate, before she let out a playful laugh.

"Well, I imagine it would be rather impolite of me to go behind her bar and get it for myself... Andorians are prideful creatures, after all," she paused. "So, this is the station's proverbial watering hole?"
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T'Pren Inabnet

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PostSubject: Re: A hard drink after a long day   Tue May 13, 2014 11:53 pm

When the Romulan started laughing, her half-human counterpart couldn't stop herself from staring. Was this some kind of test? Was T'Pren supposed to be friendly now that the lieutenant commander was no longer insulting her?

Better safe than sorry, she decided, and let some of her tension go. There was less grinding of teeth now and more humanity in the expressiveness of her face. Not much, but some.

"This is it, yes. The Ceti Eel. It only just opened a few days ago."

For the time being, T'Pren kept her answers concise and light, just in case Tal'Ara got mean again.
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Tal'Ara

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PostSubject: Re: A hard drink after a long day   Wed May 14, 2014 12:11 am

"That would explain the hundreds of patrons clamoring for a seat at the bar," Tal'Ara said, sarcastically.

And in an instant, a very sweet look swept across Tal'Ara's rigid face. She motioned to the hair that was covering T'Pren's ears.

"Can I see?" she asked, in a soft, sincere voice.
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T'Pren Inabnet

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PostSubject: Re: A hard drink after a long day   Wed May 14, 2014 12:18 am

"The first night after things settled down following our red alert, you couldn't find a seat," T'Pren countered, glancing around the not-very-full room for the first time. "It's still early. I imagine it will fill up soon."

Speaking of red alerts, the change in Tal'Ara's visage set off alarm bells in the lieutenant's head. Something terrible was about to happen, she was sure of it. But she was also curious about what it would be and unsure how to tell her senior officer that, no, she couldn't see her ears.

While this was going on in her mind, T'Pren's expression was one of surprised bewilderment. "See? My ears?" Her slanted brow bunched up uncertainly, but she tucked her hair behind her pointed ears nevertheless. And waited for the kill shot.
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Akhil

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PostSubject: Re: A hard drink after a long day   Wed May 14, 2014 12:32 am

Ship's Counselor Akhil had had a long day. A sleepless night, command meetings, new staff - and that's before he had to re-arrange his entire schedule to accommodate the mandatory counseling appointments assigned by the Commander. His Klingon blood made him more resilient to fatigue, but even so, he wanted a drink before he turned in. The bar would also be a good place to gage the mood of the station's inhabitants.

He had been drinking by himself, reviewing Lieutenant Inabnet's file for the second time when he spotted the new Romulan Executive Officer sidled up to the bar. He had met her only in passing during the woman's tour of the station, and even so she raised his hackles. That she was Romulan was bad enough, no matter how hard Akhil worked on himself to be less prejudiced against them. Her attitude was less ingratiating still.

His attention strayed from the file and focused on Tal'Ara fully when she made her move towards the small figure tucked away behind a table, which Akhil recognized as Lieutenant Inabnet. His thick eyebrows furrowed deeply, casting a dangerous shadow over his deep set eyes. Akhil took a swig of his blood wine.
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Tal'Ara

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PostSubject: Re: A hard drink after a long day   Wed May 14, 2014 12:42 am

Tal'Ara looked hard at T'Pren's exposed ears. She didn't say anything for at first - just silently looked at those familiar pointy sculptures of flesh and cartilage.

"They're beautiful," she said tenderly, and without blinking. "Why do you keep the covered up, if you don't mind me asking?"



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T'Pren Inabnet

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PostSubject: Re: A hard drink after a long day   Wed May 14, 2014 12:57 am

What. Is. Going. On.

T'Pren didn't even bother trying to hide the completely baffled expression she was now wearing, complete with her mouth slightly hanging open. Was the Romulan lying? Why would the Romulan lie? Why wouldn't the Romulan lie?

This is so surreal, the half-Vulcan thought, and let out a breathy burst of laugh. Her slanted brows were as high as they can go on her forehead while the lieutenant commander studied T'Pren's ears. This allowed the science officer the opportunity to stare out at the room at large, at which point her wide-eyed gaze hooked on Akhil's. She wasn't necessarily asking for help, so much as she was sharing with him just how weird the situation was.

"Thanks," she answered awkwardly, clearly unsure of whether or not getting her ears complimented was a thing among the pointy-eared lot. She let her attention slide back to Tal'Ara at the question, though, and accompanied the transition with a helpless shrug.

"I haven't been around Vulcans since I was fourteen," T'Pren explained matter-of-factly, "and I spent my adolescence with the Obsidian Order. They weren't exactly keen to let me study Surak." There was the tiniest of smirks to go with that thought. "The Vulcans I've met since then don't particularly appreciate my emotions, but no one cares when they think I'm human."
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Akhil

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PostSubject: Re: A hard drink after a long day   Wed May 14, 2014 1:07 am

Akhil acknowledged her look. He took another drink, seemingly returning to his reading, but keeping his eye on the Romulan.
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Tal'Ara

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PostSubject: Re: A hard drink after a long day   Wed May 14, 2014 1:39 am

"That doesn't surprise me, Vulcans do tend not to appreciate the value of emotions. Ironic isn't it, that the great Surak once said, 'I am pleased to see that we have differences. May we together become
greater than the sum of both of us.'," she grinned. "You'd think that all Vulcans were deprived of their Surak by the Obsidan Order."

After saying this, Tal'Ara noticed the subtle eye movements T'Pren was making towards the other side of the room. She didn't have to turn around to know who was there - his breathing alone was enough to give him away. However, she decided to ignore him and continue focusing on T'Pren.
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T'Pren Inabnet

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PostSubject: Re: A hard drink after a long day   Wed May 14, 2014 1:50 am

All T'Pren really wanted to do now that there had been so much attention paid to her ears was to cover them back up with her long locks, but that probably wouldn't look very good in context...so she reached back with both hands and quickly braided her hair back, leaving her ears exposed.

While she did so, she listened thoughtfully to Tal'Ara, even going so far as to give the Romulan a small, wry smile. "Needless to say the Vulcan cadets at the Academy wanted absolutely nothing to do with me."

Her lips rolled in against each other as she gave another glance to Akhil, and though she was feeling more confident that she wasn't about to get shivved by the new officer, she nodded in the Klingon's direction. "Have you met our counselor, Akhil?"
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Tal'Ara

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PostSubject: Re: A hard drink after a long day   Wed May 14, 2014 1:59 am

"We met very briefly on my tour of the station. Shall we invite him over for a drink?" she said, thoughtfully.

She looked down at her hands and perked an eyebrow up.

"Though, I suppose that would require me to actually have a drink... what was the name you said, 'HJ'? HJ, I'd like a glass of whatever excuse for Romulan Ale you keep behind the bar."

As the hologram appeared and began to prepare her drink, Tal'Ara motioned over to Akhil.

"Counselor, instead of pretending to read, why don't you join us?"
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Tal'Ara

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PostSubject: Re: A hard drink after a long day   Wed May 14, 2014 2:23 am

HJ handed the glass of Romulan Ale to Tal'Ara. It was a common shade of royal blue, with a decent amount of effervescence.

Tal'Ara swished it around in her glass, before bringing it close to her face.

"You know...this stuff is illegal," she said, with a sense of smug satisfaction.

Then, she examined it and took in its scent. Her upper lip furrowed a bit before parting her lips and letting a small amount of the intoxicant into her mouth. She allowed it to expand on her tongue and then swallowed.

"It is a bit young, and the finish is just a tad off. Not terrible, considering the circumstances. But I will have to bring some of my private collection here."

Tal'Ara took another sip and asked T'Pren, "Have you ever tried Romulan Ale?"
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Akhil

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PostSubject: Re: A hard drink after a long day   Wed May 14, 2014 11:47 am

The Klingon's frown deepened at being noticed. He should have expected it, at his size, but it was still irritating. He rose and came closer to the table. "I did not wish to intrude."
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Tal'Ara

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PostSubject: Re: A hard drink after a long day   Wed May 14, 2014 12:37 pm

"Not at all, Counselor. This shoulld be a wonderful opportunity to get a head start on my psychological profile," she said with a light smirk.

She raised her glass and took a large gulp, whilst eying Akhil.

"I see you favor your Klingon side, at least in terms of alcoholic preference."
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Lyfalten zh'Undaag

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PostSubject: Re: A hard drink after a long day   Wed May 14, 2014 12:50 pm

Falten had been in the back, fixing one of the taps and refreshing the supply of Earl Grey tea. She'd finagled with HJ earlier in the day, and he had finally stopped repeating himself, and seemed capable of serving customers if she didn't get back out behind the bar in time.

Her antennae pricked as she sensed the confrontational nature pushing at her bar, and she frowned sharply. Inabnet was there, as well as the counselor, a half-Klingon whose nature she enjoyed very much, and someone new, someone full of edge and conflict and no small amount of presence. Romulan.

She tossed her white braid back over her shoulder and swept out from the back, scanning the bar swiftly with her eyes and antennae. A tattooed Romulan held the center of attention between Inabnet and the counselor, a glass of Romulan ale in her pale hand. Federation, high rank, very, very sharp.

"Sorry for the wait, hope HJ wasn't too useless." She offered a thin smile and came towards them. "Evening, counselor, Inabnet. Ma'am." She gave a nod of welcome to each. She felt the rigid judgement prickling from the Romulan, and she felt herself matching it. There would be no bullshit on her watch.
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T'Pren Inabnet

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PostSubject: Re: A hard drink after a long day   Wed May 14, 2014 1:05 pm

With the way Tal'Ara bulldozed through a conversation, T'Pren found herself not actually having to respond much at all, a habit for which she found herself grateful. It gave her the time she needed to rediscover what little equilibrium she'd made in the past several days and to check in with herself to make sure she was okay. The half-Vulcan had a lingering feeling that she might at any moment be murdered by the new lieutenant commander, but otherwise she was fairly stable. It was a realization so delightful that she gave Akhil's approach a particularly friendly smile.

"You're not intruding," she promised, enjoying the fact that the bar stool made it less necessary to look up quite so much at the Klingon.

As for Tal'Ara's blue drink, she shook her head. "There wasn't much opportunity to try it at the Academy, understandably. My human father used to keep a bottle or two around when I was a child, though."

"Falten," she greeted the bartender, and this time there's nothing particularly broken or fragile about her to be sensed. "HJ was fine."

This was suddenly so social! And with backup against the Romulan just in case of nasty surprises, the awkward little halfie was feeling confident and comfortable in a way she hadn't at all since arriving. So she grinned at Akhil, who clearly had already earned her affection. "There was plenty of bloodwine at the Academy, though, for anyone willing to try it."
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Tal'Ara

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PostSubject: Re: A hard drink after a long day   Wed May 14, 2014 1:28 pm

"Yes, HJ was more than sufficent, though I am pleased to meet the real thing," she said the Andorian, charmingly. "Tell me, if I were to bring a few bottles from my private collection," said Tal'Ara, motioning to her drink. "Would you be willing to keep them behind the bar for me? It can be our little secret."

She then addressed the issue of the Blood Wine, "I never much acquired a taste for Blood Wine. I always found it a bit... saccharine for my taste."


Last edited by Tal'Ara on Wed May 14, 2014 6:34 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Lyfalten zh'Undaag

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PostSubject: Re: A hard drink after a long day   Wed May 14, 2014 1:38 pm

Falten smiled at the young officer, pleased to feel that a little balance had been built up in her nervous mind. The Klingon was a good influence.

"Let me know if you need another hit," She gave a small nod towards Inabnet's tea. "HJ has a tendency to go light on the liquor. Probably some cautionary programming to prevent drunken disasters, but I haven't found it yet to delete the damn thing."

Falten looked over at the Romulan, intrigued and still very on guard.

"Private stock isn't usually my deal," She arched a brow. "But help me out and I can keep the good stuff in stock, maybe cut you a discount." She smiled warmly.

"Love the ink," She said, with a genuinely approving nod. "Where'd you get it?" She tilted her head to expose the dark lettering down her neck. "Klingon's did me here." Her shirt was low cut, and an intricate dark blue series of scars made delicate patterns creeping up from her deep sternum and across her chest. She ran her fingers over them lightly. "I don't remember who did these, but I think she was part human."
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Akhil

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PostSubject: Re: A hard drink after a long day   Wed May 14, 2014 1:51 pm

"It is one of the many ways in which I take after my Klingon side," Akhil replied gruffly, "But Blood wine does not agree with every constitution," he added with a short-lived wry smile. He sat down, nodding to Lieutenant Inabnet, then turned his attention to the bartender. Falten's presence was a welcome diffuser.
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T'Pren Inabnet

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PostSubject: Re: A hard drink after a long day   Wed May 14, 2014 1:59 pm

"I haven't even tasted it yet," T'Pren admitted to Falten, followed by a wry smile, "but I can already tell you I'll take it stronger. And sweeter."

Which led her to her point about bloodwine: "And some of our constitutions require sweeter things to actually do any good."

Despite the fact that her drink was probably not perfect, she took a first sip and visibly relaxed a little more, even if inside was still wary of Tal'Ara.
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Lyfalten zh'Undaag

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PostSubject: Re: A hard drink after a long day   Wed May 14, 2014 2:15 pm

"Atta girl," Falten grinned at the Officer and pulled up a vial of glucose syrup and a bottle of Altair Water. "How much of each? I'll fire HJ if he keeps fucking with my regulars like this." She added amusedly, and the hologram turned her way.

"My apologies, may I correct any mistakes, Lyfalten zh'Undaag?"

"Shut the hell up, HJ." She said it sharper than she'd meant to, but softened it with a half smile. She had taken her full name out of his fucking programming at least five times now, but if he was linked to the mainframe then clearly it was no use. "I'll fix it. You can go on standby."

HJ flickered and vanished, his panel still glowing softly in standby mode.
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