USS Adelphi


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Post 50 - Zero-Sum Drinks

Posted on Tue Jul 28th, 2020 @ 10:39pm by Ensign Adira Isan & Lieutenant Commander Karim MD & Lieutenant Timmoz & Debbie Gless
Edited on on Wed Jul 29th, 2020 @ 1:10pm

Mission: Episode 1 - The Metreon Paradox
Location: Ten-Forward, USS Adelphi
Timeline: Concurrent with Ten-Forward Post


With a heavy sigh, Debbie dropped into Timmoz’s booth opposite him, hypocritically crashing the party-of-one after so passive-aggressively criticizing Karim for doing the same. With a warm smile and sparkly eyes, she waited for the Orion to look up from his match to acknowledge her. Until if or when Timmoz did, though, the elderly woman was content to simply wait, her chin cupped by hands that were supported by her table-topped elbows. “Whatcha doing, baby?” she asked once the Orion looked her way, offering him a weary smile.

Timmoz's hologram froze in a particularly odd place- a Rigelian had just raked at a Nausicaan who had bent away and started to flex his hand into a fist for a comeback. He reached under his curls and pulled his ear pods from his verdant ears. Timmoz had known it was unlikely he'd be able to watch his match in solitude and that hadn't necessarily been his goal. But as Debbie dropped into his booth, he knew it was well over.

"Do you follow Tatharoc, Kaheedi?" He asked while he pocketed his devices. "I recorded these from the feed out of Verex before we went through the wormhole." He set the PADD on the table before him and fingered it off. He leaned into his cushion.

"Usually in these situations, the person asked somehow always seems to be a convenient expert in whatever random topic has come up. But an expert," Debbie clucked, "I am not. It's some kind of karate, isn't it? Or maybe it's like soccer..." she second guessed herself before shrugging. "Clearly I don't know...but you do. Maybe you could give the Kaheedi a primer?" she asked hopefully, genuinely interested. She took Timmoz' favorable response to her taking a seat as a good sign. Typically if people wanted to be alone, they stayed in their quarters. So the proprietor figured some company might be welcome, even if the earbuds and screen denoted otherwise.

"Karate?" Timmoz was unfamiliar with the word or its connotations. "It's a fighting sport." He explained, albeit briefly, "Developed to fend off people who succumbed to The Beast. And later," he shrugged, "dealing with groups like Nausicaans. Rigellian Kalar." His brows lifted, "I would've been surprised if you followed it..." he shrugged a hand, "Vaunted Federation ideals and all." He pushed it aside. He was no expert but like wrestling and boxing to ancient Humans, it sated the Orion spirit for bloodlust.

He settled back into the cushion behind him, head lulled slightly into it. His eyes studied the Human, smile on his face. "Isek for your thoughts."

"Oh! Not all of us are pacifist get-along-gangs," Debbie smirked back in response to the 'vaunted ideals' comment. "It sounds a little like karate, then. Well," she shrugged, "at least in terms of it being a fighting sport. It's fun to watch karate matches, though I imagine Tatharoc is probably a good deal more engaging," she smiled. "Maybe we could watch one of those downloaded matches sometime. Fair warning: I root pretty loudly," she snickered.

"Oh I'm reining it in," Timmoz said, with a gesture of his finger, swinging it around to indicate the room. He assented with a nod: they could sometime.

As Timmoz asked for her thoughts, though, the woman's smile faltered a bit. "This situation we're in is pushing a lot of folks to the edge. Myself included," Debbie admitted vulnerably. Where Nico was like a young, naive son to her, the older woman regarded Timmoz as an experienced, hardened adult. Which was probably why she worried for his younger paramour, though it wasn't exactly Timmoz' fault for being more experienced at life. "People are just trying to enjoy a little downtime in all this, but tensions are running high. And Mr. Sour Shorts over there isn't helping," she narrowed her eyes again towards Karim. "How about you, honey? Doing ok after your experience on that ship?"

Timmoz's gaze was surreptitious but noted how the room was neatly divided between a table of disgruntled Haakonians in uniform and a table of hypervigilant Talaxians who looked like they'd had too many methamphetamines. Both were trying very hard not to acknowledge the other- but the prize for hypervigilance went to the small security detail that was watching everyone. Timmoz smiled his charming smile, "Mmm, brotherhood, and peace in the galaxy has never felt more," he grinned wolfishly, "Well-protected. And segregated." Timmoz leaned some to Debbie, "That young Talaxian over there... the one who's on his second glass of real alcohol should be very careful before he gets us all spaced." He acknowledged. His eyes drifted to a young one, grasping his drink, who kept sending hate-looks to the Haakonians. "Karim is a thorn in a much larger bramble."

Timmoz sipped his consomme. "I'm fine," he lied lightheartedly, "And I'll be even finer when we drop our new friends off on the station." He grinned wolfishly again, "Or sooner if the case warrants it." His eyes dropped, "You look like you could use a massage, Kaheedi."

Debbie's eyes followed Timmoz', lingering on the two divided sections of patrons. "You and me both, mister," she admitted feeling similar to the Orion. "I know we're kind of in a tough spot with all this but I'll be glad to have some normalcy back. Just hope we don't screw everything up in the process." It was well known that the former First Officer turned Captain was her friend but that didn't mean she always agreed with him or his decisions.

"It appears much of the crew is divided on this matter," Karim then inserted, having lazily made his way from the table with leading engineer and nurse of the starship to the booth. "A house divided, to coin an apt Terran phrase." As he positioned himself at the booth, his appearance more comfortable than that expected of some Vulcanoids, he glanced pointedly at Timmoz. "How do you assess the verity of that claim, Lieutenant Timmoz? Interestingly, Mister Oliveria claims 'everything is fine'."

"Didn't I just leave this party?" Debbie asked under her breath, hopefully just loud enough for Timmoz to hear, before flashing Karim a sanguine smile. "Counselor, hello again. Guessing spaghetti and terse replies weren't on the menu?" Though Timmoz hardly needed it, a little of Debbie's big-sisterly protectiveness sprung to life like a force field. She looked to the Orion and reached out to pat him affectionately on the arm. She was here if he needed her. Eyes swept back to Karim then, looking at him with something less than warmth in her gaze.

The verdant one raised a raven-colored eyebrow, "I think one or more groups in this room wouldn't mind seeing a fight break out, to be honest Counselor," he attested. He smiled his easy smile at Debbie's arm pat, "We were talking about how tense it is in here. And how about half of us could use a massage." The green one added while he stood. His tall lankiness positioned itself behind Debbie. He took hold of her shoulders and, thumbs swiping at the myofascial points at her shoulder blades, he began to do just that: massage. "I think the damage's already done Kaheedi. We waded straight in." His brow lifted, his gaze on Karim, "One day maybe people will learn no good deed goes unpunished."

Debbie, for her part, let out a soft cry of surprise as nimble hands applied themselves to her shoulder blades. Timmoz had mentioned she looked in need of a massage but she hadn't imagined she'd be on the receiving end of one so soon. As the man applied his manual dexterity to the muscles in her back, he would no doubt feel an incredible amount of tension in knot-studded trouble areas borne of carrying heavy trays all day. Being a bit on the elderly side, other servers offered to save Debbie from the manual labor but she resisted, wanting to flit from table to table like an old Hollywood darling at a party of benefactors. But such celebrity came at the price of her body... For someone who never had trouble opening her mouth, the surprise massage had left Debbie -- for once -- utterly speechless. Instead, she kind of just...melted onto the table, completely under Timmoz' spell.

It was at that moment that the Bolian server returned, smiling wide at the sight of Debbie so completely enthralled. "Can't believe you got her to sit down, much less accept a massage," he offered Timmoz a very warm look. "Good for you, Deb," he chuckled down at the woman before looking to Karim. "Get you something, Counselor? Our full menu of syntheholic beverages is on tap. And Debbie's saved the good stuff for the senior staff," he noted. At a look from Debbie, though, he cleared his throat and said, "Actually, it's just the synthehol tonight. Sorry for the confusion," came a charmingly apologetic grin. "What's your preference?"

"More deception," the lieutenant commander observed. His tone, whilst ever-stoic, was almost threatening to reveal a certain hint of dismay, but it remained concealed under the vast layers of Vulcan indoctrination. Instead of speaking to the Bolian, he turned directly towards the hostess, perhaps seeing little point in addressing the blue-skinned mouthpiece. "Perhaps a goodwill brandy trade would satisfy you, Ms Gless," he said. "Access to your reserve of Acamarian brandy for myself, in exchange for a cask of my T'ralor Monastery Vulcan brandy in cargo bay three?"

Looking up at Karim like an ancient Earth mob boss conducting business during a massage, the Kaheedi considered the Vulcanoid's offer carefully. After a couple moments of thought, she nodded to the Bolian, sending him off to procure the drink for the Counselor in the wake of their newly-formed agreement. Despite her continued silence in the conversation, it would seem the Counselor had made an attractive amends offer of sorts.

Karim angled his eyes back up to Timmoz, who continued dutifully attending to the flame-haired human. "Whilst the Two-Hundredth and Eighty-Fifth Rule of Acquisition is derivative and reductive, Lieutenant," he began, although he glanced sideways briefly, with a small nod of affirmation, "it is accurate and logical. The Adelphi was put in a paradoxical position with no clear logical conclusion - not even a Vulcan Master would have drawn a suitable conclusion, when you consider the varying - and contending - elements to consider." He removed his combadge, inspected it for a moment, brushed away some blemishes, and then planted it onto the counter. "To take no action would have been antithetical to the morality governing Starfleet's venture, but by our actions, the Haakonians will be paying particular attention to our activities in the Delta Quadrant - Captain Va'trel, in particular."

The counsellor paused for a moment and briefly realigned the cuff of his tunic. "Perhaps it would have been more practical to have exterminated both upon realisation of the situation's dynamics, or to have executed the survivors after the loss of both vessels. A zero-sum game, if you will, our reputation untarnished."

"Re-examine your ethics?" Timmoz suggested in casual riposte, "Or at least differentiate between your ideals in an armchair versus your ethics when you find yourself in a street fight. You don't bring a scholar to a Tatharoc match." Timmoz nodded at the windows, "The Federation always mixes up the two. They treat their opponents how they wish to be treated, failing to understand that they must deal with any species on their terms. Learn from their posture and that posture dictates your response. It's gotten the Federation in trouble at least a few times a century. Especially in an area of space that they are neither welcome or known."

Timmoz applied new pressure to a knot between Debbie's shoulder blades before he gradually began to work on her neck, descending. "I had no idea Human women were made of concrete," he joked with a sly grin, "Though you have lovely skin Kaheedi. The Federation," he continued with a thoughtful look up, "Likes to laud Vulcan logic." he pursed his lip with a shrug, "Nothing wrong with that. But it is also derivative- of Human thinking. I'm not sure who assimilated who in those early days." He considered out loud, "Before Humans, Vulcans didn't explore and they didn't intervene in every little conflict that they came across." he grinned more wolfishly, "And they certainly knew how to say hello to a highly aggressive species. Just ask a Klingon." He smirked with a relaxed shrug, "But I suppose everyone changes over time. Laws of entropy and all."

Timmoz smiled at the Counselor, "So my answer is: when we boarded that Talaxian ship, our aid was conditional on going where we needed, to guarantee their benign-ness. They hampered our search for the radiation. And two, when the Haakonians fired on us, we should have disabled them. You cannot negotiate with xenophobes. Their approach doesn't come from a logical place." He ducked to Debbie's shoulder, "If I'd known I'd be doing this, I have some Betara Bark Oil in my quarters. It's a natural muscle relaxant with endorphin qualities." His brows popped, "And it smells nice." The Orion sighed, "So now... we're sitting in a room with two groups that would love to strangle one another. If they try, I'm fine with letting them- on the first habitable planet we find."

"I do like to smell nice," Debbie mumbled through the back-thumping and elbow-applied ablutions to her muscles. "And thank you for the compliment on my skin, baby," she looked back to smile at the Orion before lowering her head back onto the table. She could have said more -- maybe interjected herself into the debate currently raging -- but Debbie sensed that these two men needed to work things out together, on their own. So instead, she simply a rather legendary hostess on another ship had once taught her was paramount.

The Bolian server returned then, delicately placing Karim's drink in front of the man. "One Acamarian brandy. Where Debbie gets her stock, I'll never know. She refuses to tell..." he smirked down at the puddle of a woman collected on the table's surface. "Holler if you run dry," he then nodded to Karim and Timmoz before veering off back into the crowd.

"Professor Raza would have named my suggestion 'playing Devil's advocate', Lieutenant," Karim noted, as much satisfaction as could be mustered present in his mien, and he raised his newly-arrived drink to the Orion. "And I believe you and he would have enjoyed a positive relationship. And, as ever, I have enjoyed our exchange. Yours is a galactic view so rarely indulged in by many Federation citizens." He also made a faux-toasting gesture to Debbie, as well, and then took a sip, but cast his eyes towards behind the bar. "Have you ever considered command, Lieutenant Timmoz?" He asked, not looking directly at his and Debbie's companion.

Timmoz chuckled, "I toured Earth in Academy," he mused, "And noticed that in some of their cultures, I resemble their Devil. Or at least a demon," he grinned at that, "So I suppose we're both advocates that way. Speaking with our contrary views." He nodded his head as well as he had no drink in hand to toast- Timmoz always enjoyed a good mental exercise with the Counselor. "Command? No." He smiled at that. "I have every intention of taking the clout I get here and getting myself a shuttle. Maybe even a runabout. And heading wherever I desire." He began to work the nook of flesh at the crux of Debbie's neck and shoulder, "Right about now the Antares Interstellar Rally would be accepting applications. And I hear the neap tidal harmonies on Balosnee are very stimulating."

Karim begun to open his mouth to respond, but his eyes caught sight of a figure approaching from nearby. "This one does not appreciate my forthright intellect," he observed quietly to Debbie and Timmoz. "To engage would be futile for both parties. Ms Gless, I shall provide the details to obtain your brandy to one of your servers." He twisted himself away from them, as the newcomer drew closer.

Adira Isan walked over, with her tea in hand, and asked "Excuse me, Lieutenant Timmoz, would you be interested in joining Lieutenant Oliveria and I at our table. It seems our mutual friend could use your smiling countenance and support right now.?" Adira gave a slight wink to Timmoz, hoping that'll get his attention to "assist" in something productive instead of having to talk with the vulcanoid counselor. Adira, looked back at Nico for a moment, while resting her upper body over the back of the couch in front of her and took a sip of her cooling tea.

"Debbie, would you or one of your servers be so kind to rewarm our plates of food and get me a glass of springwine and another hot valerian root tea?" Adira, turned and asked of the proprietor.

For the briefest of moments, danger flashed in her eyes as Debbie regarded the person who dared interrupt her massage with an ask. But when she realized who the requestor was, her hawkish visage softened immensely. "Of course, baby," she nodded before rising from the table. In truth, she was glad for an excuse to exit the conversation, though the premature ending of her massage still irked. "Thank you, sweety," she beamed at Timmoz who -- whether he knew it or even cared -- had just scored a TON of points with the proprietor.

Timmoz glanced at the young woman with his pleasant Cluros-smile. He had sat alone to avoid his Aska, irate at his Human idealism. He was... such a Boy Scout, and it was presently chafing at his Orion ennui. And he'd wished for a night away from it. "Stop by later," Timmoz said with a lean in to the hostess, "I'll find that oil. And we'll have you oozing around the ship, Kaheedi." He nodded at Karim, "Counselor. Enjoy your drink."

"I'm looking forward to that, baby," Deb nodded to Timmoz. "Counselor," she smiled thinly to Karim before moving off. Several long strides saw her to the lunch counter itself, where she dispatched the Bolian to fulfill Adira's request.

Timmoz turned attention to the Nurse. "I doubt I'm what he needs right now."

Halfway back to the table, Adira whispered to Timmoz so only he could hear, "Maybe, maybe not but I thought you could use some way to get away from our irksome ship counselor. How he became a counselor is beyond my comprehension."

Adira looked to her table and noticed Nico had gotten up and left. A quick search eyed him heading out of another door. "It seems you may be correct. Anything you want to talk about? Like I told our engineer, I'll tell you. I'm here if you need to talk about anything. In the meantime, if you're interested in some company, you are quite welcome to join me...or you could return to the couches and Karim. Up to you."

The Bolian -- who, in fact, did have a name that someone surely knew -- arrived at the table with the afore-requested reheated plates and a fresh tea for Adira. Unsure if Nico would be returning, his plate had been re-heated as well, placed back in its original position. Not wanting to interrupt the conversation happening, the server faded back into the scenery until needed again.

"Irksome to some, refreshingly blunt to others," Timmoz murmured before he sat down. "You have to enjoy a good mental duel to appreciate him. He's a challenge on a ship of conformers." Timmoz sat down where Nico had been, his partner's plate remaining uncleared. It smelt of garlic and strong Italian spices. "I see Nico is stress-eating." He smiled and folded his arms on the table, "Was."

"I do enjoy a good intellectual conversation but I am quite tired and the way he pushed himself upon us was a bit rude, in my opinion." Adira replied, as she sat down to her rewarmed dinner and drinks before she continued. "Poor Nico, hope he is alright. He didn't eat much of his dinner. Not sure if it was because of Karim dropping in like he did or what."

She took a piece of the mapa bread and dunked it in the spaghetti sauce before bringing the sauce-laden morsel to her mouth. "What about you though? How are things with you?" She said before putting that scrumptious tidbit in her mouth, followed by a sip of the springwine.

Timmoz gave the Trill a sidelong glance, saying nothing more about her or his paramour's inability to deal with the counselor; it was not his business. Timmoz briefly studied the freckle-like spots on the side of her face closest him, watching while she ate her meal. "Nico will be fine," the green one attested. "Assuming he doesn't have heartburn." Timmoz pushed the plate of unpalatable flavors out from under his nose. "Too much garlic," he explained of his action, "And I don't see what Humans see in this tomato plant."

Timmoz turned his lean body, resting elbows on the bar, thin chest stretched. He studied the room. "I'm fine," he lied thoroughly well with his poker face smile, glancing at the Trill again. "Why do you ask?"

Adira looked up at Timmoz and said, "No reason, just trying to make conversation. As for the tomato, I was the same way until I tried it. It actually tastes real good by itself, let alone put into foods such as spaghetti. As for the garlic, its an interesting spice but I can only handle so much. Have you actually tried this spaghetti, its quite delicious. You should try it." Adira held up a forkful for Timmoz to try, a glint of challenge in her eye. "Can't knock it until you try it, as the human saying goes."

"I've learned Orions and Humans don't share much of a taste palate," Timmoz explained while he eyed the lumpy red gravy that was an Italian staple. "I don't eat tomatoes or chocolate and I'll never make Nico drink Lhoatat and eat ghost terrapin." He smiled again at the Trill, "I've eaten pasta. It's fine. It lacks texture." He tightened his arms and slumped some, "But enjoy yours."

Timmoz got up and walked to the replicator with Nico's discarded tray, "Fried Pipius Claw....extra gor'sracha." Timmoz glanced back at the Nurse while he deposited Nico's plate away, "That's a very Tranduus Vand attitude," Timmoz said of 'not knocking it til you try it.' He brought a small round plate of what looked vaguely like fried bits of gnarly, two-toed chicken feet and noduled calamari, in a blackish-red sauce. Atop it looked like strings of saffron and chunks of spicy kim chi. "Feel free to try some," Timmoz offered.

Adira took a look at the plate of food as she got a whiff of it. "It smells pretty good. Guess I need to take my own advice, eh? Hope it's not spicy, I don't handle spicy well this late at night." She took a very small piece and popped it in her mouth to eat it.

Timmoz was too late- he'd meant to warn her that it was spicy in a curry-like way, his mouth opening to begin speaking. But instead, he watched her just consume it. After a moment he grinned, "It's spicy."

Right after the first chew of the morsel and hearing that it was spicy, it hit her. Her mouth filled with fire and she spit it out into her napkin. Tears running from her eyes, she took her mapa bread and chewed a huge chunk out of it. After a bit of chewing and a few sips of her valerian root tea, the heat started to subside. "Well, that is an experience I never want to repeat. Is all Klingon food this spicy?" Adira asked of Timmoz.

He shrugged and picked up some of the cartilaginous rings with a heaping of the kimchi and black, irony sauce. He consumed it happily enough, eyeing it as decent. "It's not bad for Federation replicators. But fresh-caught pipius and fresh-made gor'sracha still warm from the animal's the key." He shrugged a shoulder, "It's one of the few Klingon foods I can stomach." Timmoz picked at his food, engaged in conversation with Isan for awhile longer.

Adira decided it was time to get some sleep. She stayed here a bit longer than she had planned. She bid Timmoz a good night and headed for the exit and her room for a good night's sleep.

A Post By:

Ensign Adira Isan


Lieutenant Nico Oliveria
Chief Engineer


Lieutenant JG Timmoz
Chief Helmsman


Lieutenant Commander Karim
Chief Counselor


Debbie Gless


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