Post 35 - It's All in the Hips
Posted on Mon Apr 26th, 2021 @ 6:11pm by Lieutenant Commander Emni t'Nai & Lieutenant JG Irynya & Captain Björn Kodak & Lieutenant Timmoz & Lieutenant Nico Oliveria & Lieutenant Kennedy Ryan Walsh & Ensign Ezra Gonzalez & Andrew Munro & Lieutenant Sovaan & Ensign Tamblem Dravor & Ensign Sheldon Parsons & Ensign Sheila Mulhern & Debbie Gless
The Waiting Game
Location: Grand Delphinium, Delphi, Risa
Timeline: MD 87 - 2000 Hours (1.5 Hours after the start of the party)
[Grand Delphinium Resort, Delphi, Risa]
[Mission Day 87 - 2000 Hours]
It was an intimate gathering as the newly assigned crew of the USS Sojourner mingled. Food and drink made easy the connection with those new and old who had seen each other months or maybe only hours earlier. The warm sands and slowly setting sun created the impression of a carved out space--one that belonged just to the Starfleet officers and their civilian counterparts.
A dinner had been laid out following the appetizers and the crew had enjoyed the opportunity to eat and drink their fill, strewn about the space set aside for them. A few had taken the time to dip into the warm waters of the ocean, others settling into some of the nearby pools, while others found places to sit and converse--catching up and sharing their anticipation of the upcoming mission.
As Irynya had flitted from group to group she had warned them not to get too comfortable in their spaces as surprises were still in store. And so it was that she stood, decked in the garb of traditional Risian dancers, and holding a large conical shell. Her garb, though extensive, left very little to the imagination. A long skirt giving the distinct impression that it was made of long pink, orange, and yellow flower petals flowed to her ankles. Slits on either side of the skirt reached to her thighs showing off her long legs. Her feet were bare though each ankle was encircled with bracelets loosely hung with shells. A halter top made up of strings of tiny shells sewn atop fabrics perfectly matched to her skirt fell to her sternum, leaving her midriff completely bare. Her wrists bore bracelets similar to her ankles with the added embellishment of brightly colored feathers which swirled around her. Lastly, an intricate headpiece sat atop her long dark hair, pinning it behind her shoulders and drawing deliberate attention to the coin-shaped mark in the center of her forehead.
A nod from a group of young Risians who had set up with a series of drums and other percussion instruments to the side of the circle of blankets which had been set up much earlier. Catching the nod she lifted the shell to her lips and blew.
A long hornlike sound emanated from the shell. She blew on it again, this time in rapid succession, a series of punctuated sounds sending forth followed by another long tone. As the last sounds of the note drew to a close she stepped forward, hips moving as the drummers picked up an energetic beat.
"Crew of the USS Sojourner," she exclaimed in a voice that projected far better than should have been possible, "Come! Join us!"
She made her way to the center of the semi-circle of blankets, drawing Sheldon, Tamblem, and a young man she had been introduced to as the new ACMO to a spot to one side and then beckoning with a swirl of feathers and wrist movements to others. Her hips never once paused from the beat.
As the crew gathered, a group of similarly attired dancers made their way onto the sand, brilliant smiles on their faces.
Over the course of the night, Björn had loosened up a great deal. Several real cocktails in, he'd gone swimming with some of the crew, floating on a pool noodle and thankful not to have to worry about stepping on some kind of spiny fish...again. His foot still smarted from the experience, even if it was only a phantom pain stemming from his brain instead of reality. But after awhile, folks began leaving the pool to dress again and return to main party area for gnoshing and more cocktails. And so Björn and his paramour had followed suit, fresh vessels of fruity-alcohol held in-hand. Not having bothered to button his very real shirt, the garment fluttered in the breeze, the soft hair there attempting to dry itself in the wind.
Kodak had been tapping his feet to rhythm of the drums, enjoying their playful beating, when Irynya suddenly started ushering members of the crew into the semi-circle O' fun. Sharing a look with the handsome, bearded man at his side, the Chameloid's eyes opened wide. "Um...what exactly is happening here?" he asked of Andrew and Irynya both, anticipating that the Risian and a longtime resident of the world in question would be able to answer. He noted that the latter's dress had changed since he last saw her: Björn could only assume that such outlandish attire was historically accurate to the ritual that now seemed to be unfolding. Taking Andrew's hand while awaiting an answer, Björn allowed himself to be swept into formation.
Hips and wrists never losing the beat Irynya grinned, her eyes glittering mischievously. "Why Captain Kodak, have you not participated in a traditional Risian hula dance before?" she asked. Then, just before sweeping off to draw others in, she added, "Don't worry, just follow the rhythm. Hips are a good place to start!"
Andrew had been led into the semi-circle by Björn as the burly Chameloid was ushered in. He'd seen this kind of dancing a few times, but always from a safe distance. With numerous cocktails suppressing any self-consciousness, he tried to imitate the moves the dancers were making. The shimmying hip movements were almost there, but they were making his pudgy bits jiggle, somewhat distractingly.
Luckily for Andrew, Björn enjoyed seeing the motions ripple the man's skin. Grinning to him, the Chameloid pulled Andrew even closer, undulating his own hips in an attempt to keep the rhythm as Irynya had instructed. It was...not exactly right but he was trying, at least. That was good for something, right?
Ezra took a few careful steps toward the dancing ring, then stopped, subconsciously wringing his hands. He realized he was stuck in the middle and froze, not feeling brave enough to go dance but unsure if he should go back to the main area. Sovaan clapped him gently on the shoulder as he passed, striding confidently toward the ring. "Are you coming, my young friend?" He didn't wait for a response as he joined the other dancers. "Oh, I... I'm not very good at..."
"...dancing..." Ezra quietly said to Sovaan's back. He wrung his hands even harder and made a small nervous noise, glancing back to the party. Maybe Emni would know what to do?
The Romulan doctor came up next to Ezra as if summoned, although her arrival was more coincidence than anything. She stopped next to the younger man, arms crossed over her chest and a playful smile on her face contrasting strongly with the anxiety washing over her from Ezra. "I suspect you don't have to be good at it," she said. She continued to face forward, a chuckle slipping from her as she watched a few of their crew mates attempt a complex hip movement that Irynya was pulling off as if her hips had been designed for the move. Perhaps they had been if this was a traditional Risian dance. After standing quietly for a few minutes she let herself lean to the side, bumping the scientist lightly with her shoulder. "Shall we?" she asked. "You can stick with me."
"I can try..." Ezra ventured shyly. "But I haven't tried to do anything like this since high school. I only ever went to one or two of the formals at the Academy, and they weren't anything like that," he said, indicating the dizzying tornado of pelvises. "I think even phaser training was easier than trying to dance. But my dad used to say there's a first time for everything." He unclasped his hands and very awkwardly held one out to her. "I guess I can give it a shot."
Emni chuckled as she pulled the younger man into the group. She wasn't a terrible dancer herself although nothing of the level that Irynya and the Risian dancers were performing. "I'm sure you'll be fine," she told Ezra as the joined the circle. I'm pretty sure the only requirement here is to try and have fun.
Kennedy was mesmerized by the young Risian woman leading the Sojourner crew to dance. He hadn't caught her name when introductions were made. He looked over to Sheldon Parsons, "Uh, Sheldon... uh... who's that again?"
Parsons looked almost crestfallen that Kennedy was asking about Irynya. But then again, the man had ignored the flashing of Sheldon's fertility statue earlier and certainly showed no signs of attraction. Maybe that spilled drink had really been an accident after all? One could hardly blame the young engineer for thinking otherwise, though. Two other "spilled drinks" had led to quite a bit of fun in the days leading up to the luau. "That is Lieutenant Junior Grade Irynya. Secondary Flight Controller. Part of The Second Stringers, as they've come to be called." He referred, of course, to the higher up officers who normally manned the stations when the senior officers went on away missions.
"She's Risian, you know," Sheldon prissily commented, wondering where the hell Sheila had gone. Why had she left him alone with this man who was now so focused on Ms. Boobs-a-lot? "Very flirty and free with her affections. I'm sure she'd be very happy to meet you. In fact," he made shoo-ing motions, "you should go say hello. Go on, she won't bite. Well actually," his tipsy-fueled derision overrode his awkwardness, "she probably would if you asked her to."
"Dance with me, Shelly!" came a voice from behind. It was Sheila, who'd returned with two brand new drinks and was already gyrating her hips. One of the watermelon-smelling concoctions was handed over to Sheldon while Sheila tried and failed to collect a full sip from her own glass. The rest dribbled down her chin, which she seemed not-at-all embarrassed to wipe away with her sleeve. Grabbing Sheldon's free hand, she turned to Kennedy and said, "Scuse us!" before pulling her friend into the line of dancers forming.
Kennedy watched Sheila pull Sheldon away to the dance line. He was amused as he watched them join the line and start to laugh. He watched the line grow with his future shipmates before he took a few steps forward, his looked at his feet oddly as they started to betray him but before he realized he had another drink in hand and joined the line of dancers on his own.
Noah Balsam stumbled, catching one of his long feet under the ankle and calf that, when studied by the young Engineer, belonged to an actual Orion. An actual Orion, like the kinds you saw in a cultural study seminar, or in those seedy holo-novels. "S-sorry," Noah waved an apology to the Orion man who, with a glazed-eyed smirk at the boy, returned to what he was doing. He had some kind of strange, knobbled-looking resin candy on a stick.
Midshipman Balsam had changed out of his uniform in a Hawaiian-inspired shirt and some loose-fitting white shorts that came up to just below his knees. When the evening breeze caught, it was enough to catch his clothes and to accentuate the tall, willowy frailty that he was trying to disguise under those billowy clothes.
Noah righted his walking after his stumble, shoving his hands into his pockets. So this was Risa.
Timmoz watched with muted interest the skinny backside of a new face that looked utterly lost. The dark-haired, dark-eyed person looked Betazoid to Timmoz but, his attention only briefly diverted, he turned back to his companion: Debbie Gless. To rest his tired hands from giving her shoulders and neck a massage, he picked up a candied resin on a stick, "Here. Have you had Kualja before, Kaheedi?"
Timmoz' massages had become something of a legend on the Adelphi. Debbie'd talked them up every chance she got to anyone who'd listen. Have you felt those long, nimble green fingers loosening up your shoulders knots yet? No? Boy are you missing out! she'd say, laughing heartily and feeling special that she had felt them. And today was no different. The older woman -- older by some 30 years but possessing an inner flame that was almost blinding -- had reveled under Timmoz' touch until the massage ended and the curious confection was offered.
Debbie took the stick, eyeing the resign even as she smiled and thanks Timmoz for his expert ministrations. "I can't say I have, baby! What is it? Some kind of candy?" She immediately and without question stuck the hardened goop into her mouth, letting its flavors wash against her tongue as her saliva began to break down the resin. "It tastes like...well, I'm not even sure, to be honest," the woman mouthed around the Kualja stick. "What's it supposed to taste like?" Debbie asked, strongly slurping up the juices beginning to pool in her mouth.
The Kaheedi -- or clan mother -- as she'd come to be called by Timmoz was moving her hips to the beat as well now...and pretty damned in tune with the rhythmic drumming at that. From many, many years of doing the mambo and the samba, dancing had pretty much become ingrained in her Italian blood. She danced in place as she waited for the green-skinned vessel for her adoration to answer her question, a buzzing feeling tickling at the back of her brain from all the alcohol she'd consumed already.
The taste was odd and alien- subtle of something flowery and tart, almost lavender like. But then it had a ginger and cumin highlight as well. "It's an aphrodisiac," Timmoz said, taking his turn to lick the resin. "You might like it more with the fruit resins but..." he coyly smiled, "You know us Orions and sweet things." He looked on into the crowd and the beat of the drums that had enraptured the matron. "It stimulates endorphins and relaxes some of the inner muscles of the body." His brows rose, and he moved his hands, "And the vapor trails seem to sing..."
"An aphrodisiac?" the older woman asked, looking surprised. "No wonder it tastes like sex and flowers," she chuckled, shaking her head. "Guess I should start asking more questions before just putting things in my mouth, eh baby?" Debbie grinned, her eyes sparkling. There was a bit of glassiness to them, as if the beginnings of the resign might just be taking hold. "Good thing I wore a sarong. Sa'right move," she laughed lightly at her own joke, "for giving easy access, if you know what I mean!" She guffawed at that, the staccato of her boisterous laughter indicating that yes -- lots of alcohol and now abject drugs were indeed coursing through her system.
Over in the circle of dancers the drum tempo wrapped up with a sudden loud unison beat from the drummers. Iry had left the group to retrieve her conch and stood now on a small platform that elevated her about two feet above the rest of the dancers.
A fresh drum beat, a touch slower, but setting out motion in counts of three started up as she lifted the shell to her lips again. "On Risa what is ours is also yours," she began with a flourish. "Among Risians we count hellos and goodbyes both as gifts. They remind us to enjoy the moments with each other, value those among us, and remember those we love even when we are separated. And more than that they remind us that there is no ending without beginning and so we mark these occasions with a meal and with dancing."
With that the dancers, who had receded to the background, surged forward, hips swaying as they did so. They found those who were not already paired with a fellow officer and began a paired dance, encouraging others to follow.
Irynya set her conch down on the platform and hopped off the back of it, then scanned the group before landing on a younger man she didn't know. She had met him in passing and recognized him as Emni's new ACMO, but knew very little about him. With a start she realized that the brightly colored button down shirt bore the same flowers woven into her dancers skirt and headdress. And so, with a look of mischief, she made her way over to him, taking both his hands in hers, hips swaying a one - two - pop, as she pulled him inward from the edge of the circle.
"Welcome to the crew!" she exclaimed, grinning. "May I?" She had dropped his hands at that stage, her wrists twisting with the tempo. Somehow not breaking the motion she gestured at Kennedy's own hips as if suggesting she might be about to place both hands on them.
"I, uh.. uhm.." Kennedy was mesmerized by the woman as she took his hands into her own. He couldn't form a coherent response as she took his hands into her own. He offered her a smile, a very anxious yet shy smile as her hands made a gesture to his hips. He started to buck them back and forth very awkwardly to the tempo of her dancing but extremely off.
The giggle that escaped Irynya's lips was a bubble of iridescent laughter. It had been so long since she'd played this role that she couldn't help but enjoy the moment. The new ACMO's dancing was far from his best feature, but he was giving it a solid effort and she had to appreciate that he hadn't simply begged off her invitation to dance. Sensing that he might not be entirely comfortable if she were to help guide his steps into the beat she opted not to touch him further, instead settling into the rhythm of the dance, dipping and bobbing, stamping her feet and snaking her arms with the drums. A light sheen of sweat had developed on her skin by this point having the unfair effect of making her shine lustrously rather than the slick wetness that many experienced. Every few measures of the song she shot a glance over to her dancing partner, flashing him an enormous grin and the occasional wink.
"I'm not, the, uh, best dancer. Here," Kennedy mumbled over his words. He closed his eyes as tried to focus. Normally, he was able to articulate and string coherent sentences together but wasn't able too with Sheldon Parsons and now particularly Irynya. "I, uh, have been told, on, uh more than, ah, one occasion... that I'm a bad... I'm bad at kissing, uh, I mean dancing, Yeah.." Kennedy looked away wiping the sweat on his forehead through his hair but he couldn't keep an eye off of her.
The second song wound down ending with a loud thud of the drums and Irynya's hands came together with a clap that matched the beat. Drummers began to rearrange giving dancers a brief reprieve between songs. Iry had not missed the ACMO's verbal gaff, but decided rather than address it in the moment to wait until they had stopped moving. Leaning over so that only Kennedy would hear her she spoke in a half whisper. "It's really a shame that I left my horga'hn in my room tonight. Thank you for the dance." Then she kissed him lightly on the cheek and headed over to where the drum circle sat to see if they needed any help.
Kennedy's mouth dropped, he was flabbergasted at her comment regarding her horga'hn. He blinked while her lips pressed lightly against his cheek while she broke off from their dance to join those at the drum circle, "What just happened?" He looked around. He decided that it was time to find a booth and a drink for hydration and possible further reflection.
Nico slipped from the crowd of dancers sans tank top. He still sported his billowy unbuttoned shirt, but he had lost the undershirt at some point, having worked up a sweat from all the dancing. The ice clinked in his frosted glass as the Vegan took a sip of the Risian cocktail. His gaze caught sight of Debbie receiving one of Timmoz's famous massages, and he nibbled at his bottom lip as the memories of receiving those same massages filtered through his mind. "Having a good time?" he asked her, sparing a glance at the Verdant one towering over her.
"I am," Debbie nodded back, keenly feeling the gulf between the two men. "How about you?" she asked, still dancing in place to the rhythm of the drums. She might not be with the others -- losing themselves in the throng of dance -- but clearly the older woman wasn't letting that stop her enjoyment of the movements. "You uh...gonna just stand there gawking, kiddo?" Debbie asked, her voice kind but also somehow firm. "Maybe you want a massage too, huh?" She didn't know the full extent of what was going on between the two but she had a fair idea. She could tell Nico missed Timmoz and surmised the reserve was also true...even if the pair weren't ready to admit it.
The Orion smirked when he was deliberately given such a cold-shouldered look from Nico. He kissed Debbie's cheek, "He'll have to find another set of hands. Mine are tired." he gave Nico a Cluros smile. Timmoz got up and brushed the sand off his butt. "And I never give my best massages when I'm kept on a leash."
Nico rolled his eyes, "It's Risa. There are plenty of willing hands, and as for leashes, I think Starfleet seems to have you leashed quite well enough." He took a sip of his drink and mumbled, "Guy gets beamed across the planet to a missing ship in orbit, and I'm the crazy one."
There was some fire there. Like the smoldering burn of a log aflame from the inside out. But Debbie wasn't going to be the one to coax the flames to the surface. Also, why was Timmoz looking so much like a delectable treat at the moment? Oh right, the resin, the woman had to mentally remind herself. The effect of the drug was heady; Timmoz had been right about the trails she was now beginning to see. But it was the yearning in her blood that Debbie now focused on. She could feel her inner cougar waking up and wanting to stalk and hunt some prey. After all, this was a party so why not find a target and go after him?
Looking around, though, Debbie shook her head. These were all her crewmates. And it was their last night on Risa. This was not the best time to bed and shed company from the crew. "You know, babies," Deb regarded both Nico and Timmoz, "I'm feeling like I've not quite gotten enough flesh on this visit. Think we could convince some of these drummers to do their thing naked?" With a smirk, she gestured with her head to one musician in particular. He was tall but well-toned, his skin perfectly bronzed from many kisses of the Risian suns.
Timmoz gaze slid from his angry paramour back to the matron, "He's not bad. But if you need some naked bodies Kaheedi, I learned about a little place in the Old Town District of Hymara District. Awhile back."
This most certainly perked up the older woman. "You mean like a strip joint or sumthin'?" Debbie asked, popping her bubble gum rather loudly. The tacky substance had originally been blue but the resin and her crimson drink had stained it brown. "Count me in, baby! I wonder if anyone else would want to come?" she asked, looking around the crowd. "Tell you what! You just tell me what time and where to meet you, ok? I'll pass the word around and see who else might want to come. This is gonna be fun!" she exclaimed before fading into the crowd, excitement fueling her motions.
"More..." Timmoz smiled into a cheek, "Artistic. But yes."
"Enjoy your naked bodies, Ashka," Nico stated with a tilt of his glass as he headed back into the crowd, alone.
Timmoz eyed Nico with a pop of his brows up under his curls, "You could come with us, you know. If you're done being angry about things out of my control."
The Human didn't pause or reply to Timmoz's comment and continued into the crowd, ruminating aloud, "That's not even what I was upset about." But he knew it would be there later that evening. He knew he wouldn't be able to stay away.
Timmoz smiled wryly after him and turned to overly- curious Risian passerby with an- at least on the surface- bemused and irreverent headshake, "He's mad at me. You shouldn't talk to me, I'm bad." He jested toward her. Timmoz looked on and, deciding against melding into the crowd, he went alone toward the beach.
[Later in the evening]
With the hula dancing officially over and bellies now full, Kodak anticipated people would soon begin branching off in various directions: some to finish packing ahead of the morning ship out, others -- like himself -- to enjoy the precious last few hours of the night elsewhere. So it was important to get their attention before everyone drifted into the four winds, the Captain felt. Snagging Irynya's conk shell -- which had sat forgotten on a nearby table -- the Chameloid governed his tipsiness to ascend the stage that'd been erected. As he'd practiced with Irynya some nights prior, Kodak blew a long, haunting note through the shell, enjoying the sight of everyone turning his way as he did so.
"Friends! Before we all leave," he rasped loudly, smiling wide, "we have just one more bit of business here tonight. Senior Cadet Ezra Gonzalez. Would you please join me up here?" the Captain asked, mischief playing across his facial features.
Ezra froze, a bite of food hovering halfway between his plate and his mouth. "Me?" He put the fork and plate down on the table and carefully stood, shuffling over to the stage. He suddenly felt very exposed as he looked out at the crowd, faces of every color imaginable staring back at him expectantly. He gave a small, nervous wave and tried to force a smile.
When Ezra had finally joined him up on the stage, Kodak reached out to shake the young man's hand. His voice still loud enough to project, he said, "Senior Cadet Ezra Gonzalez. For your bravery and helpful thinking -- as called out by Doctor Emni t'Nai during our last mission," he clarified, smiling down at Emni for a moment before looking back to Ezra, "and in recognition for all you have accomplished during your Academy studies, I am honored to award you with this." Setting the conk shell aside, the Captain produced a small, felt-lined black box. Opening it, a single, shiny silver pip sparkled under the lights. "Congratulations, Ensign Gonzalez. We're happy to have you aboard the Sojo," he said, offering the little box to Ezra, who currently wore no uniform to affix the pip to.
Ezra took the box and stared in disbelief. "I--how--what--I--I mean..." he stammered, feeling more awkward than ever. He studied the box for a moment, then looked back up. "Thank you, Sir. I...I don't know what to say...I won't let you down. I mean...I'll try not to." Rather than it going away, he felt the awkwardness intensify as he stood holding the box, unsure of what to do next.
"Of that, I have no doubt, Ensign," Kodak grinned widely, gesturing back down to the crowd below. "I do believe you have some well-wishes who'll want to congratulate you. Best not keep them waiting, eh?" The Chameloid watched as Ezra descended from the stage and -- as predicted -- waded into the throng of folks clapping for him. "One last thing, everyone. While I have your attention," Kodak waved his hands, trying to steal back some of the focus on Ezra below. "Don't forget that we're all shipping out on the Sojo tomorrow at 0900 hours. Enjoy your last night of vacation! But don't enjoy it too much," he chuckled. "There's work to be done in the morning, after all!" And with that, the Captain descended back down himself.
[MD 88 - 0000 Hours]
Somehow, midnight arrived as it usually did--quietly and with little fuss. Even though dawn was still hours away, Emni felt a deep rooted anticipation. The sense of something impending and yet unknown. A next step. A new ship. A return to a space that they had only barely touched before.
Weeks on Risa had both reinvigorated and taken their toll on the former Adelphi crew. Few Starfleet officers craved such long periods on a planet that was not their home, but merely a stop over in the course of their travels. And so it was that their small band--whittled down from weeks of reassignments--would move into their new home within only a matter of hours.
Emni stood at the top of the beach again--the same place she and Irynya had stood hours earlier declaring the party ready--and surveyed the end result. Risians tended to fires and tiki torches, removing the cards indicating the space as reserved and returning it to the larger space that made up the resort's beach front.
She was the last to leave the party, a few remaining crew members backs retreating along the walk way in front of her. Perhaps headed to bed or for one last Risian experience or for further clandestine encounters before returning to the rigor and routine of life aboard a starship.
Taking a deep breath, the Romulan woman filled her lungs with the smell and taste of ocean air. She closed her eyes and savored it on her skin. It was hard to say when they would next experience air or light that was not the recycled or artificial artifact of their new ship.
"Bedah," she breathed to no one and nothing in particular. Perhaps to the planet itself. Goodbye. And then she turned and made her way back to her room for the last time. If she was going to be on duty tomorrow she was going to need some sleep.
=/\= A mission post by =/\=
Captain Bjorn Kodak
Lieutenant Nico Oliveria
Chief Engineering Officer
Lieutenant Emni t'Nai
Chief Medical Officer
Lieutenant JG Heather Kowal
Chief Operations Officer
Lieutenant JG Kennedy Ryan Walsh
Assistant Chief Medical Officer
Ensign Ezra Gonzalez
And a veritable bevvy of NPCs including:
Lieutenant JG Irynya (Assistant Chief Flight Officer)
Lieutenant JG Sovaan (Chief Security Officer)
Ensign Tamblem Dravor (Security Officer)
Lieutenant JG Chaali (Assistant Chief Operations Officer)
Ensign Peldon Sharsons (Engineering Officer)
Midshipman Noah Balsam (Computer Systems Specialist)
Debbie Gless (Chef and Hostess Extraordinaire)