Truth or Dare - Part 2
Posted on Tue Mar 14th, 2023 @ 4:56pm by Lieutenant JG Irynya & Lieutenant JG Kestrel & Ensign Mei Ratthi & Midshipman Noah Balsam & Andrew Munro & Lieutenant Timmoz & Ensign Sheldon Parsons & Ensign Jyl-eel Tor
A Camping We Will Go
Location: Second String Camp
Timeline: Mission Day 2 at 2200
[Second String Camp]
[MD 2: 2200 Hours]
Noah too looked to Irynya as a new form entered the circle. She was girthy and beautiful, her Valtese spots pale against the toffee warmth of her skin. She smiled and sat next to Noah. "Can Ensign Tor, um, join?"
"Or I can watch," Jyl-eel said, her mouth and serpentine green eyes smiling while she raised her hands.
Irynya's eyes danced as Jyl-eel entered the circle. "Join," she said decisively. "We're glad to have you Jyl-eel." She then turned and, with theatrical timing looked each person seated around the ring in the eyes, holding eye contact with each as a broad grin spread slowly across her face.
"Tonight," she said with warm mischief, "we are playing Truth or Dare."
Although the Risian bore a studied nonchalance she paid close attention to the reactions of the group. "For those who haven't played before you go around the circle. When it's your turn you choose Truth or Dare. If you choose Truth then someone in the circle gets to ask you a question and you are required to answer truthfully no matter what the question is. If you choose Dare then someone in the circle gets to challenge you to something and you have to do it no matter what the dare is." She watched while this sunk in with those who were unfamiliar with the game and then eyed Sheldon and Noah specifically. "It's not a drinking game, so you only drink as much as you like, but some... liquid courage can be helpful when it's your turn. Does anyone need a refill before we get started?"
She was already pouring a rum and coke for Tor which she handed across to Noah to pass on to the Valtese on his opposite side.
Jyl-eel raised an eyebrow at this curious game. It certainly had the hallmarks of a Risian invention- uninhibited truths and what it sounded like, questionably dignified dares. "Is this a Risian ritual?" She asked Noah.
Noah shook his head. "It's... well... it might be. But it's-it's mostly a game played with friends. It gets... um..." Noah's face skewed into a grimace. "I-I guess what happens on Gentris IV stays on Gentris IV?"
Noah shook his head at the need of Irynya's liquid courage.
"How do people decide who they will... question?" Jyl-eel asked, rising into a stand as if she was in a science forum addressing her peers. "Are there rules that the same person cannot be chosen in a row?"
"We go in a circle," Irynya explained. "So each person gets a turn. So if it starts to me it goes to Mei or Noah next." Here she pointed to the two officers on either side of her. "After I complete my truth or dare of course. And then on to the next person in whichever direction we go. Usually it's the first person who can think up a question or a dare that calls it out for the person who is on the spot. It's pretty relaxed in that sense." She eyed Noah and Mei both with mischief as if weighing which direction to send the line.
"I'll go first so everyone can see how it works," Iry decided. "And I pick truth."
"So... who gives you a truth? Opposite end of the circle?" Noah asked tentatively. He eyed the group and that would have been Sheldon.
"The first person to think of one," Irynya clarified with a smirk. "It doesn't matter who does the asking, although you're certainly allowed to discuss amongst yourself if you've got competing ideas."
"Shall I get us started?" The voice came from Andrew, who was wearing his mischievous grin. "I suggest we ask," he paused as he glanced around the circle, "Have you ever been arrested?"
Sheldon suddenly perked up in his chair, looking supremely uncomfortable. "Um...so we don't all have to answer that, right?" He recalled the Never Have I Ever game, where each person had to drink to admit they'd done something. Seeing a head shake to the contrary, the engineer slid down in his chair again, huffing out a "whew." But then he became interested in Iry's answer and, with the tight beginnings of a smile, he leaned forward to hear the Risian's possible admission better. "Let me guess," he narrowed his eyes, "you were picked up for lewd, topless dancing in a Bajoran convent somewhere?"
From behind the crowd, there was a harsh waft of snakeroot smoke, "Someone make sure to ask Parsons if he was arrested," the husked drawl of the resident Orion suggested.
Irynya took them all in with an amused smirk, popping her eyebrows at Timmoz's suggestion before taking a long gulp from her rum and coke. "I haven't been arrested," she said, with a chuckle. "But I was temporarily detained." Her eyes sparked with laughter at the memory. "Apparently the officers were looking for a brown haired girl with a gold circle on her forehead who had made off with a diplomat's family heirloom. Or something like that. There's only so many people running around with gold disks..."
Here she pointed at her ja'risia, "So when I was seen in the neighborhood I was brought in to be part of a lineup." She giggled, taking another sip before continuing. "The diplomat was a Tellarite with a penchant for dark-haired women and he tried to ask me out after the lineup..." She made a face. "I never did find out if there was an actual issue or if he was just trying to find a way to get women who all looked alike in the same place for him to pick from a menu..."
Again from the peanut gallery came Timmoz's voice, "Clever Tellarite."
"Men are disgusting sometimes," Sheldon replied, shaking his head. As to Timmoz' comment to ask him about arrests, the engineer responded not, though he did crouch into his chair as if to make himself appear small.
"So he wanted to make up for the inconvenience he caused you?" laughed Andrew, flicking his eyebrows to accentuate the innuendo.
Irynya's smirk deepened, mirroring Andrew's suggestiveness. "He did. I assured him I was alright and suggested maybe others would be interested in compensation for their inconvenience. Thankfully he wasn't persistent. Never could get excited about the prospect of a Tellarite trying to engage in Jamaharon.". Pulling an exaggerated grossed out face she scanned the circle finally settling on Mei where she sat next to her.
"Ok, everyone gets the idea..." She began, popping her eyebrows at the scientist. "Truth or dare, Mei?"
Mei took a long sip of her drink, partially hiding her face behind the cup as she pondered the question. Slowly, she lowered the cup and locked gazes with Irynya, her eyes sparkling in the firelight. "Truth."
The Risian held her new friend's gaze for a moment, a slow lazy sort of grin spreading across her face as she did. Before she spoke, though, she did a quick once over of the circle in case anyone was going to jump in. When no one offered something up, though, she took a quick sip of her drink and then laid out the question she'd come up with. "Ok, what's the grossest specimen you've ever had to work with?"
"Oooh," Sheldon said, leaning forward with his drink in hand. "That's a good question. Do you really work with gross stuff as an anthropologist? People can be pretty gross as a rule, I suppose," he added as an afterthought.
"Well, yeah, though most of the time when we're dealing with artifacts, they're not the real thing. It's generally not acceptable to take items from their place of origin, so we work with replicas or holographic representations. And 'gross' really is relative. There's a society, oh, I forget their name right now. But they use a certain kind of dung to dress their hair. Most of us here would probably find that revolting, but it's normal for them. It helps keep a nasty parasite away, and when it dries, it turns their hair a color they find beautiful." Mei shrugged. "So what's gross is relative. My mentor is an Aenar woman-- Dr. Athroti. She thinks cheese is utterly revolting and was horrified that I would eat such a thing, even if it was replicated. 'It's old milk that has things growing in it!' she'd say. But I still eat it. And because the food we eat is part of our various cultures, from a certain perspective, you could say that the grossest artifact I've ever worked with is a block of cheese."
"The only way cheese is palatable is either on pizza or in a cheese stick," Sheldon winked at Noah, knowing the young cadet's proclivities for the latter. "Someone once tried to get me to eat cheese with visible mold on its surface. They said the mold was perfectly fine to eat and gave the cheese flavor. I know various medicines have come from mold but," he said in Parsons-Prissy fashion, "I'm not going to rub fuzzy mold all over my tongue, thank you very much. So I definitely get it," he said to Mei with a huff, nodding his head vehemently to her notion that cheese was, in fact, gross.
"I said cheese was considered gross from a certain perspective, not that it was my perspective! I have no problem eating cheese!" Mei said cheekily. "But maybe not cheese with obvious mold on it. That's a little more than I'm willing to put up with."
Irynya was watching the exchange between Mei and her roommate with some amusement, a look of appreciation particularly reserved for Mei. The anthropologist was intriguing and she was glad that Mei had agreed to join their camping site. With a chuckle, she reached over and poked Noah, smirking at him slightly. The dish that he'd introduced her to, saag paneer, was made up of bits of cheese that squeaked when you ate them and she knew the cadet's penchant for fried mozzarella sticks.
When the group quieted after a moment she stepped in to move the game forward, looking over at the biologist and her fellow Risian local. "Andrew," she said drawing his name out as if she had just spotted something delightful. "Truth or Dare?"
Andrew grinned back and narrowed his eyes. "Dare!" He took a sip of his drink and eyed the circle, wondering who would be the one to deal it and if they would be wicked
When her fellow scientist exclaimed dare, Jyl-eel chortled. He looked at Noah. "How are your dirty limericks, Dr. Munro?" She asked. "We Valtese love poetry... and a good bawdy one. So I dare you to make us a dirty limerick about..." She sipped her brew and looked around the group. Her eyes settled on the two people that her only other connection to the group- Noah- talked about. That was Irynya and Timmoz. "Our Orion friend smoking his snakeroot."
Timmoz smiled around the mouthpiece of his pipe. "Oh I see. I'm in the game now?"
At the verdant one's comment Irynya snorted, rolling her eyes in absolutely put upon affection. "That snakeroot addled your brain if you thought you weren't already, Qash," she chirped at him, popping her eyebrows suggestively at him before turning to Tor and hitting the woman with a brilliant grin. "Jyl-eel, we clearly need to spend more time together."
Timmoz Cheshired an almost arrogant Orion smile around his pipe clenched in his teeth. With a hiss, he breathed the bluish-gray smoke out between his teeth. "I see," he chuckled. "Kava. My desire to be Lenek or Karim for an evening has gone out of orbit." The lanky one rose, lean muscles purring. "Very well," he strode past the fire and squatted down before Dr. Munro. He smiled his Cluros smile at him. "Bite gently Doctor. I'm new to your campfire games."
"Technically so are we," Sheldon offered to Timmoz. "Well, I mean," he cleared his throat, "this is the first time we've done them around a campfire. Usually Iry makes us play in our quarters. No fire to drunkenly fall into there. It's a bit...safer?" he said, gulping down a little air. He brought his glass up to his lips and took a swig while Munro seemed to contemplate the dirty poem he'd been dared to come up with. "Penis rhymes with Venus," he offered to the man helpfully. "Just in case, you know, you need ideas," Sheldon chuckled.
Timmoz chuckled as well.
"Okay, I think I understand what is required here." Andrew shifted his gaze from Sheldon to the uncomfortably close Timmoz and broke out in a cheeky grin as rude words swirled in his mind.
"Our flyboy’s enigmatic, no doubt
His love of snakeroot we all know about
But the question right quick
Is how green is his dick?
Shall we dare him to get it all out?"
Timmoz chuckled and rose, extending to his full towering and willowy height. "We'll see," he husked. He sat back down in his place and picked up his snakeroot.
Jyl-eel smiled on at her fellow scientist. "That was well done for off the cuff, Doctor," she praised.
From her blanket nest of her chair, Irynya giggled. "Very nice Andrew. More rum and coke for you, Qash," she chided, popping her eyebrows suggestively, "not that you need it to be convinced to undress."
"Drinking and n-nakedness," Sheldon stammered. "These parties just get wilder and wilder," he mused, leaning back to sip again from his drink. The firelight danced across his besmirked face as he looked around, wondering if he was next.
As the collective appreciation for Andrew's limerick calmed, Irynya turned her eyes to Sheldon, huddled in his high-backed camp chair. "Sheldo-on," she called sing song. Truth or dare?"
"Wha-watch out Shelly," Noah encouraged, earning a sly glare from Timmoz. But Noah, with only a slight waver, was ultimately undaunted, "They-could get you either way."
"And you as well, Cadet Balsam," Timmoz breathed swirls of sweet smelling, odd snakeroot smoke up, "I am not the only one who might end up getting his," he gestured at Munro and his colloquial phrase, while an Incubus smile curled in the firelight "Dick out, I believe the word was."
"My reproductive organ shall remain safely enshrouded in these sweatpants, thank you very much," Sheldon replied matter-of-factly to Timmoz. It was to Noah, though, that the engineer dipped his head in agreement. "It does seem like you get screwed either way. But I agreed to play along so..." he trailed off, becoming thoughtful for a few moments, "I pick...truth, then." He sat back in his campfire throne, the chair comically large compared to the others in the semi-circle around the fire. Being tall wasn't always the most blending-in of traits, it seemed.
"Is it my turn to ask the question, then?" Mei asked, glancing around at her companions, eyebrows raised. "No objections?" She gave them about half a second to respond, then gave an impish grin. "Okay. What could I possibly ask Sheldon that would completely adhere to the spirit of this game?" She touched a finger to her lip and gave him an appraising look, though her mind was awhirl. She'd only met him that afternoon and knew hardly anything about him.
Before her silence stretched out too long, though Irynya leaned over a whispered something into her ear. Something that prompted the sort of smile a cat might have had when it found itself staring down an unwary little bird. "Sheldon," Mei all but purred, "how many times have you had sex with Dravor?"
Noah looked on in muted trepidation. He knew the game. The game was about making you twist. But Noah still sympathized with Sheldon. He wouldn't want to answer a question like that.
Sheldon had, initially, smiled when it was Mei who spoke up. After all, he'd only met her...what possibly embarrassing question could she ask? But then Iry was leaning over and whispering to Mei and dread settled in the pit of the engineer's stomach. Why did he play these games again? When the actual question was given voice, Sheldon looked positively shocked. "Th-that's pretty personal," he stammered, knowing it was futile to state such but saying it anyway. He did agree to the game, though, and had had a chance to duck out after he saw the kinds of shenanigans happening. It was his own fault for staying put in his chair and thus, Sheldon had to answer.
"Just once. On Risa," the man clarified. When unblinking eyes stared at him from around the semi-circle, Sheldon sensed they wanted more and gulped. "I-I wouldn't be opposed to doing it again, mind. But then he went away for awhile and only just got back with Chief Oliveria. It's been kind of busy since then and," he gathered up steam, gesticulating with his hands, "I'd kind of hoped he'd come down here and camp with all of us. I was going to put my tent next to his if I could and hopefully find a reason to talk to him." With each word, his cheeks burned hotter -- either an after effect of the alcohol, the explosion of vulnerability, or both. "Buuuuut he chose to stay on the ship and here I am drinking a rum and coke and going back to an empty tent tonight..." Sheldon sighed quietly.
Irynya's gaze, originally impish, on her roommate softened as he spoke. She'd thought there was something there in the way the two men glanced at each other as if they were trying not to be caught looking when they'd played Never Have I Ever. She was surprised, as well, to find that the number was only once. From the way the two had walked away together she would have guessed they might have found an excuse to do so more than once on their vacation. She'd basically given them both a get out of jail free card in explaining that Jamaharon required no commitments between the two of them. But that hadn't meant they couldn't repeat themselves. She tried to catch her friends eye, giving him an encouraging look.
"Sympathies, Parsons," Timmoz said. "I too am going back to a cold tent." He Cluros smiled at the engineer, the waft of cool smoke about his features as he took a break from the small sublimator pipe. "He has a certain sexual magnetism." He agreed with a sniff about the absent Trill. The Orion's eyebrows perked under his curly bangs, "In fact I believe the only one here with a warm tent is the Doctor," he chin-jutted at Munro. "Unless Tor and Kestrel have been holding out on us," he glanced at the two ladies.
Tor blushed and gently shook her head.
Unlike Tor, Kestrel smirked back at the Orion. "Sadly, I am not holding out on you."
Timmoz chuckled again, and shook his head, "Next time, Tahedrin needs to take us to a pleasure world and not a cold forest." His eyes then fixed on the cadet. And Noah straightened. "Alright Balsam." Timmoz injected. "Truth or dare."
Noah blushed and nibbled his lip. "Uh...."
"Stalling will get you nowhere," Timmoz smiled toothily with a head tilt. In the warm firefight, surrounded in dark, Noah shivered and feel the small hairs on his nape rise. Timmoz looked like a demon just then. The Orion chuckled and played the waiting game while the youth anxiously calculated which was a safe course. Neither did.
"Truth," Noah finally said.
Timmoz chuckled. "Coward," he teased in the same firelight. His eyes swept the gathering. "Who has a question for our other Engineer?"
There was a thoughtful silence around the circle before Kestrel piped up, leaning forward and propping her elbows on her knees while cupping her palms around wither side of her face. With a quirk of her lips she offered up a question. "What," she began, drawing out the word, "is the most awkward time you have ever been caught naked?"
Noah flushed. "Um." He decided it was a bandaid situation. Do it fast. "A friend walked in on me in the bathroom.. Aand-and pretty much saw everything." He looked at Kestrel and the gathering. "Who's next? That has to choose, I mean."
Irynya shot a glance to her side, noting Noah's reddening cheeks. Somehow she hadn't anticipated that she had been his most awkward encounter. Careful not to let on that she knew more than anyone else her eyes scanned the assembled circle settling on the three remaining participants in turn.
"Dare," Kestrel piped up before adding, "I haven't gone yet."
Sheldon afforded Noah a comforting -- or so he hoped -- smile. It wasn't easy to talk about these things and some of the questions were downright uncomfortable. He was proud of his friend, though, for being game enough to play along. He was about to voice that when, suddenly, Kestrel put herself in the hot seat. Looking around, the engineer decided it was his turn to provide the asked-for Dare. "I dare you to..." he began, the wheels turning in his head, churning through ideas, "I dare you to drink a whole cup of the rum in one go. No sipping: we're talking full guzzle."
Noah smiled- more grimaced- back. "Oof," said a still-flustered Noah, shaking his head with squinted eyes. "Red alert on that one. This stuff i-isn't much better than the Tellarite stuff." He looked an apologetic sidelong at Irynya next to him, "S-sorry Iry, but it's true."
The Risian chuckled and shrugged at Noah's comment before directing her gaze to Kestrel. The cups she'd selected for their games were, thankfully, not massive. She didn't know much about alcohol tolerance in Argelians, but she knew enough about alcohol generally to know that at some point the volume became dangerous. She waited to see if the dark haired woman would try to beg off the dare.
A glance at the cup she already had and Kestrel was thankful that she'd consumed very little of the rum and coke she'd been served. She surveyed the group quietly, more for effect than anything else, then stood and made her way over to Irynya, sticking out her hand for a cup. The two women's eyes met for only a moment; Irynya's hazel holding just the smallest hesitation while Kestrel's brown held steel. With another shrug, the Risian filled a cup and passed it over.
Raising the glass to the circle, Kestrel offered them a wry grin. "To games with friends and the inevitable hangover tomorrow," she remarked dryly then tipped the cup back and, as Sheldon described, guzzled it. It took a moment, and her eyes were watering by the time she was done from the way the liquid burned in her throat, but she managed to get it down, raising her glass with a ridiculous grin and whooping in triumph before sputtering into a cough.
"Satisfactory?" she asked when she regained her composure and could pass the empty cup to Sheldon.
"Very much so," the preening engineer smiled sardonically. "Well done! I thought for sure you'd gag or vomit," Sheldon admitted. "Maybe you still will? We'll keep an eye out," he smirked.
Noah half-humorously started to get up, "I-I'll go get Doctor Chiara..." he deadpanned before his too-wide smile broke over his face. He sat down. "Tha-that must've been terrible."
The Argelian pinned Noah with a half grin and then, carefully picked her way to her chair answering as she went. "I've had worse but... yeah... no one else drink a cup full of the rum." The drink was already curling warmly in her belly making her feel loose and relaxed. "Who's next?" she asked.
"Who's left?" Noah asked as he relayed a smile, shyishly, and re-settled at his seat. "To go I mean. Before the next round." He glanced at Jyl-eel who genteely put her hands up. Noah nudged her in the ribs with his elbows. "You have to go," he muttered at her and she shook her head.
Jyl-eel batted and then grappled Noah's arms away. "Alright alright..." Jyl-eel said via translation from her Valtese tongue. She sighed and leaned on her hand. "I'll take a dare as well." She nodded at Kestrel.
Kestrel grinned back at the Valt, feeling the warm uncoiling of the liquor she'd just drunk continue and finding herself thankful that she'd sat as quickly as she did. Her head had started to feel fuzzy and everyone was blurring slightly if she turned her head too fast. She made a mental note to look into the affects of rum on Argelians and then, promptly, forgot that she'd done so.
Irynya, as the originator of the game, scanned the circle, gaze thoughtful as it landed back on Tor. "I dare you," she said, drawing out the word you as she spoke, "to sing a love song to someone in the group. You have to serenade them. Convince them of the words. But dealers choice on who you sing to." She glanced at Noah briefly before returning her attention to the Valt. "We never did get to hear you sing at karaoke."
"Ugh." Tor said- or a Valtese-equivalent sound which seemed similar. Her eyes rolled. She sighed tersely. "Humans have weird games." She stood up and set her drink down. Then she braced fingers on Noah's shoulder while she looked down at him. He smiled wide at her, his nose wrinkled in a silent apology.
Tor walked over to Irynya, got down on one knee and sang. Her singing voice, while mostly untrained, had range and depth. And the song she sung was in, presumably Valtese. It sounded closer to a lullaby.
Playing into the dare she had set, Irynya leaned forward in her chair, fingers laced though her palms remained open as she propped her elbows on her knees. She cocked her head to the side, listening, and her gaze, holding what many might have thought an unexpected fondness considering how little she knew the scientist, remained fixedly on Jyl-eel.
The corners of her lips quirked up slightly in a small, almost shy, smile--an emotion that the Risian was definitely not known for. When the song came to an end, her smile broadened and she offered Jyl-eel a hand to help her off her knee. "That was beautiful Tor. What was the song about?"
As Tor got up, with a bashful smile, she replied. "Ah. It's from a fable. A Queen's Maiden who has fallen in love with her Queen, but must choose between love and duty."
The Risian hadn't yet released the other woman's hand, and squeezed it affectionately before releasing her and performing a half bow from within her chair. "Well, I am honored to be your chosen subject this evening." She waited for the other woman to return to her seat and then her gaze shifted again, the affectionate moving away from its softness to something more mischievous. "I believe that you are the last one, Qash," she said with mirth.
Timmoz smirked at that, Tor crossing his line of vision to her only briefly. Noah leaned in to murmur something unintelligible to Tor, who smiled. Timmoz puffed on his snakeroot. "Dare, of course." He said.
If anyone in the circle was prepared with a dare for the Orion pilot they didn't come forward. Irynya let the silence stretch long, though, just in case. She didn't want to monopolize, but she also was aware of the effect Timmoz tended to have on people. Finally she shook her head. "Ok, Qash, pick a partner... and dance for them... with them if they're willing."
Timmoz chuckled. His brow rose. He eyed the crowd. "Keep in mind I am not an entertainer. My days of entertaining my Kaheedi's clientele are way behind me." He said as he rose. His eyes fell on Noah but he saw no reason to torment the lad. Irynya was too lackluster and blase. His eyes set on Munro and on Mei Ratthi. "You two." Timmoz gestured.
Andrew rose slowly, hoping that he'd figure out what was expected of him by the time he'd completed the motion. It didn't work. He glanced from Timmoz to Irynya and then to Mei, looking for a lead to follow.
Mei was too comfortable in her chair's embrace to want to leave it for anything less than a Major Shoreleave Event. Still, she wasn't so tipsy that he wanted to alienate new friends-- or potential new friends. She set her drink down and, not quite reluctantly, got to her feet. "Okay. Now what?"
From the comfort of her chair Irynya watched as Timmoz moved fluidly into the dare. She'd known how well he could dance to begin with, his leonine grace lending itself toward sensuality without even a thought. Eyes traveling the circle she couldn't help but appreciate each person who was there and she found her gaze lingering on each, hoping they knew how much they were appreciated.
It took more than a moment for Timmoz's dare to come to its natural conclusion and as it did the Risian clapped her hands together and grinned broadly at those around her.
"Who needs a refill?"
=/\= Shoreleave Shenanigans By =/\=
Lieutenant JG Irynya
Asst. Chief Helmswoman
Lieutenant JG Kestrel
Ensign Mei Ratthi
Ensign Sheldon Parsons
Ensign Jyl-eel Tor
Midshipman Noah Balsam