A Lower Decks Dish
Posted on Sat Jul 17th, 2021 @ 3:58am by Ensign Jyl-eel Tor & Petty Officer 1st Class Kotri Tesren & Petty Officer 1st Class Amber Hartree & Petty Officer 2nd Class Joselyn Brand & Crewman Mateo Longhorse & Ensign Noah Balsam
Edited on on Tue Jul 20th, 2021 @ 5:28pm
The Place of Skulls
Location: Debbie's Diner; Deck Seven-Aft
Timeline: Mission Day 2 at 2200
[Day 2; 2200 Hours]
[Concurrent to "Mood Pizza"]
"Prophets... she's so beautiful isn't she?" A soda slurped up through a straw, "I'll call." The sound of plastic chips clinked and rattled against the cold surface of a diner booth. "Two Romulan Ales? I'd totally want to hit that, knowing me," There were soft chuckles around the gathering of five. It was late, the shank of evening ready to pass the torch to the next day. Brown eyes behind a frame of thick, wavy black hair glanced to her left. She tugged on her ear, adjusting her nickel-colored D'Jarra earring.
"Wouldn't you just kill for skin like that?"
Amber Hartree turned her head- half-shaven with a clean, prim waterfall of red hair down the other side. Her eyes, obviously blue and mechanical, took in the target. She stared- albeit briefly- as the woman in question sat down at one of the two-person tables. Amber skewed her mouth and then pouted. "I can see why." She turned back. "Great skin. I wonder what she uses?" Amber combed her hair flow behind her ear and fidgeted with her chips. "I'm in. Call." Chips lifted and clattered in the growing pile.
She rested her chin on her wrist. "Your turn." She glanced at her adjacent- another young woman with ashy gray hair. She had a pinched look to her features, and a long, thin nose that, in another area, would have almost certainly had half-moon eyeglasses perched on them. Strands of her wiry hair had fallen loose from her bun. "She's Risian," she said bluntly without looking up. "She's the Chief Flight Control Officer so watch what you stare at."
"Expensive tastes, Kotri," someone else teased with a chuckle. The brown-eyed Bajoran, her own skin a beautiful caramel, grinned toothily around that. "You eyed a Chief."
"I thought the Chief Flight Controller was an Orion? Tall, lanky, bushy hair?" The half-hawk redhead asked, the eyebrowless countenance of her face knitting confusion. She smirked, "Wears a Man-Skant. Are you calling or what?" She asked the ashen one.
"I think he left?" The Bajoran commented.
"He got in trouble with Security. I had to archive the incident," the ashen one said. "Maybe they asked him to leave."
"OK times up Joselyn. Call, raise or fold." Someone said. Joselyn nibbled a pale lip.
"Fine. Fold. I fold." She began to neatly tap her cards into a precise pile of five and then set it directly perpendicular to her body. She reached for her drink and sipped it, finding her coffee had gone tepid. "And I wouldn't do it." She eyed her Bajoran companion, "Non-Coms and Department Heads don't... cavort. It's against regulations."
"It's against regulations to not report it," said someone near the window, opposite the Bajoran. "People are going to people. This isn't the military." The straw was slurped on again with an audible swallow. "They don't care if you put your boots together in the same bunk as long as you report it."
"Well. I'd love to knock boots with her," the Bajoran said, craning her head back for a brief glance. "Damn. Someone's sitting in the way. get out of my view, Din-Ka." Din-Ka was Bajoran for, "Dead Tree."
"Jyl-eel? It's your turn." Kotri and Hartree both looked across the table to a young woman with a robust build: jade green eyes were staring at her cards. On either side of her forehead and temples, pale Valtese splotches framed her hairline.
"Call," Jyl-eel said with the clatter of plastics on the end of an easy wrist toss. She breasted her cards with a smirk. "I wasn't paying attention. Who's Kotri panting over?" A sly smile turned in the Bajoran's way. Jyl-eel waggled her eyebrows.
"The Chief of Flight Control," Amber retold.
Jyl-eel enthusiastically smiled, "Oh? Doesn't she have the most beautiful skin?"
Hartree chuckled, "I literally just said that a couple of minutes ago."
"Try and keep up," the Bajoran teased with a disappointed head shake.
"Well then it must be true," Jyl-eel conceded, her fingers pushing at wayward coils of her dark brown hair away from her face. Like Joselyn, her utilitarian on-duty bun had come loose. But unlike Joselyn- who was taking a moment to pull out a clasp and began bunching it back up to restore a prim appearance, Jyl-eel was comfortable with an off-duty dishevel.
"Call," the sole remainder said from his spot at the window. Then he slurped on his drink and with a loud snort, the straw warned him that he was nearing the end of his beverage. He lifted it up with a waggle, "Hey can I get one more please?" He announced to the pleasantly rotund woman that seemed to run the place.
"Cards?" The Bajoran said, picking up the deck, ready to dole out a change to everyone save Joselyn. "I can't believe you folded in the first round," she added. The ashen Joselyn gave her a sour sneer with narrow eyes Then she again nursed her drink.
"Just one for me," said Hartree. She slipped it Kotri's way and took up the replacement.
"Two," Jyl-eel said. She set them down in from of the Bajoran and took two back.
"Two also," said the young man in the corner, casually rubbing a geometric tattoo on his temple. He perched on a couple of fingers and frowned at what he was given. "Ugh I fold. Na che-che." He waved them away.
Jyl-eel elbowed him while Hartree and Kotri broke into a disjointed chuckle, "You can't fold until it's your turn," Kotri said. "But, spoiler alert. Longhorse folds." Amber was fidgeting her cards from front to back and then decisively went for her chips while Kotri examined her own cards. "Ten." She said, dropping them into the pot.
"Ten, and ten more," Amber countered. "So does anyone know where we're actually going?" She flipped at her cascade of her again, "Course-wise?" She smirked, "You could go ask hottie-flyer."
Kotri chuckled and mouth a poignant No. "When I oriented the comm array for a subspace relay, the closest were Tulgana, Xarantine or Archanis," Joselyn said, having neatly folded her hands in her lap where she was fidgeting with her napkin.
"Klingon border. Interesting," Longhorse commented. "Yellow alert. Everyone learn how to block a Bat'leth. Unless you hate your neck or something," he muttered morosely. "I could probably throw a rock and hit my home planet from here."
"Where's that?" Jyl-eel asked with bright-eyed curiosity.
"Gault. I was glad to leave. Ten thousand people on the whole planet in the middle of nowhere? I'd rather be on Deneva."
"Or back on Risa." Kotri agreed with a head bob. "Jyl-eel? Are you in?"
Amber drawled with bemusement, still rearranging her cards, "I think I saw more bare buns on Risa than Doctor t'Nai will see this entire voyage. And I was only there for half a day." She glanced at Joselyn just to take in the sour, "who put this poo under my nose" sneer at her disapproval. But it wasn't there. Joselyn shrugged with a coquettish tilt of a smile.
Jyl-eel was again nibbling her plush bottom lip. She winced. "Not with this hand. I'm out... you say fold?" She said. Amber bobbed her head in an almost plastic-flexible way, affirmatively. Jyl-eel turned her cards down. "I fold," she sighed, "And I'm getting another drink. Does anyone want something?" She asked. Kotri waved it off, lifting her half-drunk beverage. Amber muttered something about a Bolian tonic. Joselyn shook her head. Longhorse pointed at his drink.
Jyl-eel moved toward the replicators, seeing that the Matron of the establishment looked busily cooking. "Good evening Ma'am," she greeted Lieutenant Irynya as she do-see-do-ed around the superior officer's path to the door. Jyl-eel watched after the beauty and the inevitable swish shut of the lounge's doors. It was almost like a passing of a moment in the diner as the music changed to something called, "Suspicious Minds."
"One Bolian Tonic, one Strawberry Soda and one..." Jyl-eel paused with a thoughtfulness.
"Please restate your request," the computer prompted when she took too long.
Jyl-eel tugged her uniform top down into place over her matronly stomach and folded fingers before her, "Bolian tonic, strawberry soda, and Delavian hot chocolate." The computer chirped and whirred. With cool white and a swizzle of energy, three drinks appeared on a tray. Jyl-eel took them up carefully, nestling a corner of it in the nook of her elbow. "Pretend they're samples," she said to herself with a cupid-lipped grin.
She could see her friends were chatting animatedly and Amber was scooping chips toward her. Her green gaze shifted to the long, lean, all-leg form that had been sitting with the Risian lieutenant. Under a mop of dark curls, she caught a view of a large nose and kind eyes. Long fingers pushed earbuds into his obscured ears and he leaned knuckles into a cheek. He was quite pale. Jyl-eel watched him for the last few safe paces back to the booth.
"Here we are." The Valtese said. "Tonic," she handed it to Amber. "Soda," Jyl-eel handed the creamy liquid to Longhorse. "And Delavian chocolate for me." She smiled, "Who won?" She concluded, cupping her hands around the earthenware mug.
Amber rose her hand, "My flush beat Kotri's pair. Longhorse folded- yeah, spoiler alert.." Amber followed Jyl-eel's sustained gaze. Then she grinned widely as her cybernetic gaze scanned the body of the person, registering body heat, respiration, the works. "The Cricket?"
Jyl-eel's eyes rounded, "The... Cricket?" Jyl-eel didn't understand the word and looked to the other Humans. It was Longhorse who spoke up from around his straw.
"An Earth insect with long legs. They rub them together to make a sound." Jyl-eel sideglanced at the back of the so-named one. His hair was very curly.
"You're calling him a bug?" Jyl-eel turned a face with an uncomfortable chortle, 'That's sort of mean."
Amber dropped a hand on Jyl-eel's, "Oh I didn't mean it as mean. It's just..." She shrugged with a grimace, "Kind of looks like a cricket to me. I'm just waiting for him to rub his legs together to see if it sounds like a violin."
Jyl-eel uneasily sipped her chocolate, finally smiling at the earthen edge of her cup. So it was just teasing. Humans loved their nicknames. She sipped her drink, the luxurious silky velvet of Delavian chocolate a coating, almost alive with complex, layered flavor and texture. "Does anyone know his name?"
The table shook their collective of heads and inevitably looked at Joselyn one by one. The ashen one blinked some surprise when she realized over her drink she was being eyed. She folded her arms, "Hey I don't know him. I'm in the Yeoman Pool so I'm supposed to know everyone? He looks like a Betazoid."
"Why do you say that?" Kotri asked. Joselyn pointed at her eyes.
"Black eyes," Joselyn said with a tilt-up of her nose that just begged for her to sagely adjust a pair of glasses from tip to bridge.
"Mmm, shit," Longhorse smirked, "If he is, he knows what you've been thinking... you better watch out." He guffawed around his straw which he stickily pulled away with a thin line of connective spit.
"Oh stop!" Jyl-eel laughed, flushing. "OK, I'm taking my drink and going to bed. I need to trim my orchids-"
"- Is that a euphemism?" Kotri interjected, leaning expectantly over the table. Her thickish but manicured black eyebrows waggled.
Jyl-eel spread a wide, plush grin while the warm milky mocha of her cheeks were rosied, "Uhh, a little bit," she wryly smacked her lips in a tut, a put-upon eye roll with it, "I need to trim my orchids. I'm on staff tomorrow at 0700." A murmur of goodnight followed and Jyl-eel brought her cup to her lips. She breathed in the spice and thick, sweet bitterness of her drink. She stopped and slowly approached the bent-over, thin being resting on his cheek. Jeez, he had long hands, like an artist or a doctor should.
"Excuse me?" When the youth didn't reply she reached out and touched his shoulder, "Hi. Excuse me." Noah Balsam blinked with a soft, warm knit of confusion on his face. He pulled his earbuds out yet again.
"Hi, uh... hi?" He said. Unlike Irynya, he didn't know this person.
"Are you a Betazoid?" She asked with an expectant blink. Noah blinked too, processing. His eyes narrowed while his mouth turned down at the corners.
"Uh... nuh-no, sorry. I'm Human." He blinked again, the confusion reigning on his apple-cheeked but angular face.
"Alright. Thanks," Jyl-eel smiled and stepped away. Noah watched her go as he had Irynya, and stuffed his earbud back into his ear.
It wasn't the first time he'd been asked that... but he still wasn't sure why. Jyl-eel sipped her drink while she steadily glided through the door. The ambient, dry cool of the corridor was a waft of air, bereft of the diner smells inside. Well whatever he was, The Cricket did have kind eyes.
A Post By:
Ensign Jyl-eel Tor
Petty Officer Joselyn Brand
Petty Officer Amber Hartree
Petty Officer Kotri Tesren
Crewman 1st Class Mateo Longhorse
Midshipman Noah Balsam
Lieutenant JG Irynya (mentioned)
Debbie Gless (mentioned)