USS Adelphi


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Post 24 - Room and Board

Posted on Tue Jan 5th, 2021 @ 4:21am by Lieutenant Emni t'Nai & Cadet Senior Grade Ezra Gonzalez
Edited on on Tue Jan 5th, 2021 @ 4:24am

Mission: Episode 2 - The Next Phage
Location: The Town
Timeline: Shortly after the team split into two

It had taken longer than Emni expected to find a reasonable way down from the escarpment where the away team had agreed to divide and concur the lodging and searching. By the time Emni and Ezra turned onto the first street that appeared to contained businesses the sun had just set below the horizon, filling the streets with shadow.

Streetlights winked on as they navigated the sidewalk trying to appear as though they knew where they were going while glancing in shop front windows and peering at signs. It had been a quiet trek so far, both officers lost in their own thoughts. Emni was keenly aware of Ezra's heightened disquiet, but found herself woefully uncertain of what words to offer that might ease the cadet's mind. So, rather than cause more concern by opening her mouth, she remained quiet for now.

Finally, conceding that there didn't appear to be any lodging on this block, Emni brought them to a halt, stepping back into the shadow of the building as locals hurried past.

"I think we may need to find an eating establishment and perhaps inquire for places to stay there." she said, offering Ezra a smile she hoped conveyed confidence and encouragement. "What do you think, Cadet?"

Ezra slowly nodded, unconsciously rubbing the alteration on one of his ears as he turned in a circle, taking in the buildings around him. "That sounds like a good idea. I think I saw a tavern of some kind back that way," he added, coming to a stop in the direction he indicated. He took a couple of steps forward, then caught himself halfway through a third step and swung back to look at Emni, raising his eyebrows in a silent request for permission.

"Lead the way." Emni said, falling into step with the cadet. "How are our surgeon's ministrations treating you?" she asked noting that Ezra had taken to unconsciously touching his ear. "I've got another round of the nerve hypo in my bag whenever the first one wears off. Just let me know."

"I'm actually doing okay so far," Ezra said. "I just do a lot of self-stimming unconsciously, especially if I've made a cosmetic change. I do the same thing all the time if I get a haircut or go to the dentist or something."

Ezra had been right about the tavern, Emni noted as they stopped in front of a building that looked as though it might get its most lucrative clientelle quite a few hours after dark. The door to the building was unremarkable, but a brightly lit sign advertised the place's name. An image of what Emni imagined was a drink lit up every few moments, drawing her attention.

"Well," she said, "might as well give it a try." And without waiting to she opened the door.

As they walked through the door, Ezra blinked and took a sharp breath. "Wow," he said quietly. The air inside the tavern was sickly-sweet, the aroma of cooking food mixing with the more sour smells of alcohol and sweat. Waitresses floated and weaved among pockets of laughter, lively conversation, and clinking glasses while a couple of musicians sat in a corner playing stringed instruments. A handful of heads turned as Ezra and Emni walked in, their eyes reflecting the lamps on the walls, but otherwise their arrival went mostly unnoticed.

Emni made a beeline for the bar, hoping that bartenders on this world fit the mold of any other she had been on as a helpful font of local knowledge. Doing her best impression of someone who was clearly familiar with the social mores of this culture, she settled herself in a seat indicating that Ezra should do the same.

After a few moments the bartender came over to them, a small pad of paper in one hand.

"What can I get you?" he asked, not much bothering to look at them. He had the air of a man who saw such a wide range of people in a week that one new face didn't much phase him.

"What's your specialty?" Emni asked.

The bartender mumbled a reply, evidently uninterested in talking up whatever drink he was best at preparing.

"Two of those please." The disguised Romulan ordered.

The bartender harrumphed his reply moving off to get the drinks.

"Well, this could be challenging," she said to Ezra.

Ezra shrugged. "Aside from not finding anything at the wreck, and whatever was happening in orbit, we haven't run into any major problems yet." He tilted his head, as if checking himself and rethinking what he just said. "Then again, in my short life I've learned that it's best not to say things like that too soon."

After a moment the bartender returned--two tankards of something unusually frothy occupying his hands. He set them down before them, rattling off a charge.

Emni dug around in the small hip purse she had been assigned, finding the correct currency and placing it on the bar. She held an additional coin in her hand.

"If you don't mind my asking, is there a hotel near here?" the bartender's very mild emotional imprint perked up slightly at her question, his interest piqued.

"New to the area?" he asked, settling his elbows on the bar and looking between the two of them.

Emni proferred an apologetic smile. "Just passing through. Our vehicle broke down and we're looking for a place to stay while we get it fixed. There's a few family members with us."

She turned to smile encouragingly at Ezra. "My brother and I drew the short straw and got the task of finding someplace to stay."

Ezra, who didn't smile very frequently, slid into what he hoped was a convincing one. "No success as of yet. Anything helps. Doesn't have to be fancy, though; as long as it has beds, a roof, and four walls, we'll take it."

Emni's answer seemed to placate the bartender and she felt his curiosity settle back into boredom.

"The Chorigon is four blocks down. Take a right on Yates and you can't miss it ahead on your left."

Emni nodded, "thank you." she said simply placing the additional coin on the bar and hoping this was a culture that utilized the concept of tips.

She took a long draught of her drink, enjoying the fizz of the beverage as it slid down her throat.

After they finished their drinks, they left the tavern and set off in the direction the bartender had indicated. As they walked, Ezra discreetly pulled his combadge from his pocket and tapped it. "Gonzalez to Lenek: We've found some shelter that should be sufficient, sir," he murmured. "It's a local hotel called the "Chorigon," not far from the local tavern. We're heading there now."

[Chorigon Hotel]
[Shortly after visiting the tavern]

The Chorigon Hotel was a cozy establishment. Splashes of warm color greeted Emni and Ezra as they entered the lobby. Some sort of stringed instrument was being piped throughout the room filling the space with a soothing melody. As they made their way to a desk at the rear of the lobby Emni noticed that the space was unexpectedly absent of activity. Only a young man, clearly bored, stood behind the desk.

"Hello." Emni called in greeting. The young man exuded the unenthused emotions of youth who are working, but would rather be elsewhere. He looked up slowly as if the doctor's call had reached him from quite far away.

Recognizing that there were customers in front of him a moment later than he should have, he straightened, plastering on a noticably fake smile. A peak of irritation spiked followed by the yellow feeling of urgency felt only with the goal of getting through something one didn't feel like doing. "How can I help you?" the youth asked, forgoing a greeting.

Emni glanced at the cadet next to her trying to hide her amusement. "We're seeking rooms for the night. Three close together if they're available. Our vehicle broke down and we need to wait out repairs."

The youth, having been given the requisite information, tapped away at a keyboard in front of him on the desk.

"Three rooms for one night," he repeated. "What name should I put them under?"

Emni paused at that. She hadn't considered needing a psuedonym for this mission so she grabbed at the first name that came to mind. "Susan Reed."

Tapping some more the young man handed her a set of cards. "Up the stairs and to the end of the hall. 205, 207, and 209." And as quickly as she took the key cards, the young man returned to his boredom.

"I suppose we should go check out our rooms," the disguised Romulan said as much for her own benefit as her companion's. "Shall we?"

As soon as the desk clerk was out of earshot, Ezra snorted as he tried not to laugh. "Susan Reed? I'm sorry, Doctor, I know you're my superior officer and laughing at you is out of line, that really the best you could come up with? Not that everyone was in the Tal Shiar, but as a member of a species who was famous for subterfuge and covert operations, I would think it would be easier for you to come up with a better cover than that. Failing that, you would think Commander Lenek would have had us do some digging to find out what this species' naming system is like so that we could be better prepared with false identities."

Emni grinned at the cadet. "Not out of line at all," she replied. "We'll have to blame my father's side of the family for my lack of creative naming." When she realized Ezra might not be aware of her mixed heritage she added, "My father was half Betazoid half Human. I'm afraid I can only blame a portion of my genetics on the Romulans."

The had been walking as the talked and reached the end of the short hallway abruptly. "This is our stop." The Romulan doctor handed her companion one of the keys. "Take a moment to freshen up? I'll contact Commander Lenek and then we can all go from there."

Inserting the key into the door she sighed when the tidy room opened up before her. Perhaps she would have enough time to take advantage of the shower before Lenek, Olivera, and Karim arrived. If nothing else, she could hope.

=/\= A mission post by =/\=

Lieutenant Commander Emni i-Rizz t'Nai
Chief Medical Officer


Cadet Senior Grade Ezra Gonzalez
Science Midshipman


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