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Posted on Thu Apr 13th, 2017 @ 3:35pm by Captain Claudia Ainscow & Lieutenant Commander Martha Cusack & Lieutenant JG Amber Zuzan & Lieutenant JG Nealey Snowdon & Lieutenant JG Lucia Cusack & Petty Officer 3rd Class Rebecca Ainscow & Commander Akiva ben-Avram & Major Storr Garlake & Lieutenant Tabetha Relton & Lieutenant No Name & Ensign Asher Maddison MD
Edited on on Thu Apr 13th, 2017 @ 3:36pm

Mission: S1E5 - Unknown Territory
Location: Quark's Bar; Deep Space 9
Timeline: Mission Day 74; 19:00

Claudia and Rebecca were first to arrive - with Claudia ordering an orange juice for herself and a cocktail for her fiancée. With their drinks in hand they headed upstairs to find Nealey was already there and she's finished decorating the room - albeit with different decorations to the one that were initially planned for the room.

"Hi Nealey - I love what you've done with the room" Claudia said.

Nealey smiled cutely. "Thanks Captain. You're both looking rather hot tonight"

Becky giggled. "Thanks...but look who's talking. I'm glad you're still with us though sweetie"

Becky walked up to Nealey and gave her a hug before separating and sitting down at the nearest table with her wife to be whilst Nealey went off to get herself a drink.

"I'm glad we could make the most of this reservation CeCe. I would have been a real shame to waste it - and I doubt that you get refunds at Quark's" Becky said.

Claudia grinned. "No I doubt you do - but yeah - I'm glad we did"

Cat arrived a few minutes later and while she saw the Captain and Becky, she saw that the two of them only had eyes for each other. Instead, she went to the bar and ordered a Risan Sunset and toyed with the drink once it had been mixed and the colors exploded into vibrant reds and oranges.

Nealey was at the other end of the bar and spotted a familiar face at the other end playing with her drink. Silently moving up to Cat the young Operations Officer stood next to her - glad to see her again in more relaxed surroundings rather than in that hole in the ground on Veloz Prime.

"Hey Cat. How did the meeting with the Captain go?" Nealey asked.

Cat looked up and smiled when she heard Nealey's voice before she saw the young woman. "Well, I'm a full fledged Lieutenant now, and the Chief of Intelligence if that's any indicator," she said. "How are you doing?"

"Congratulations sweetie - clearly the Captain has been very impressed with your performance since you arrived. I'm alright thanks - but I'm better now I've bumped into you and I have an excuse to have a few drinks. Just a pain in the arse I'm on duty tomorrow morning now the Captain wants me to consider a move to Security - shall we head upstairs before Quark tells us to stop loitering at the bar?" Nealey beamed.

Cat held up her Risan Sunset and smirked. "I have a drink and I'm a paying customer. Security, huh? Does that mean you'll arrest me if I do something bad?"

"Hey me too - but you know what he's like if he's in a bad mood. But I bet you'd love me to arrest you Catalina - but if you're a good girl tonight then I'll let you off...seeing as I don't officially start my trial until tomorrow morning" Nealey giggled.

Cat laughed and took a sip of her drink. "If who is in a bad mood?" she asked. "I've been so busy getting my department in order that I've barely had time to meet other department heads."

"Well - most likely Quark but I'm known to be a moody bitch when I want to be. Seeing as it's you and you're looking cute tonight then I won't tell him if you don't. looks like he's gone off somewhere so I think we're safe for now. I'm not sure if Commander Cusack wants me as her deputy or the Captain feels I'm better suited there know" Nealey replied.

"Thanks," Cat said. "So are you. I wouldn't worry about Quark or anyone else here. If someone gives me trouble, I'll just let them know that they're under an investigation by Starfleet Intelligence and then get free drinks all night."

Nealey giggled. "I'd love you forever if you managed to get us free drinks all night. I doubt 'Starfleet Operations but working for Security from tomorrow' will have the same effect. And thanks - I like to dress to impress - especially Starfleet Intel officers"

"I got this," Cat assured her. "Trust, watch and learn. I'll steal you from Security and you'll be my ace in the hole."

Nealey grinned. "Normally I'd say no but if you're so keen on stealing me then I might just let you. Want to head upstairs before or after we finish these?"

"Upstairs is just the holosuites and bar area," Cat pointed out. "I was thinking a private room."

Nealey smiled. "There is a private room that isn't being used if you'd prefer a more private surrounding instead of the hustle and bustle of the room the Captain's hired - or do you want to go and say hello to your cute friend Becky Fuentes first?"

"I'll see her back on the ship," Cat said as she finished her drink and got up. "C'mon, let's go find that private room."

Nealey grinned and took Cat's hand - dragging her towards the private room. She'd longed to see Cat but with the amount of work she'd been asked to take on as well as the additional counselling sessions Nealey hadn't had the time to see her.

Akiva made his way into Quark's and stopped a few steps inside the threshold. The bustling chaos felt like a warp core breach to him. For a moment he seriously considered slipping out the way he'd come, but then a group of Nausicaan gamblers pressed up behind him.

Muttering in protest, he fought to keep his balance as he found himself pushed closer to the bar. He smoothed out imagined wrinkles from his uniform while shooting the oblivious Nausicaans a glare. In but a moment, a couple of irate Ferengis were forcing them out as peacefully and quickly as possible. Akiva snorted in contempt and took a seat at the nearest table. When he planted his jaw on his hand and pivoted on his elbow, he turned to see a smirking Tactical officer seated across from him.

"Ah, well, hello," Akiva said with a start, not realizing Amber had been seated at the table, but caught himself before he made that admission. "I didn't... um... hello."

Having just arrived herself and sat down at the table next to Claudia and Rebecca's the Tactical Officer watched as she had a sip of her drink through a straw whilst Akiva approached and introduced himself.

Amber giggled. "Hello Commander. Please - sit down"

"I think I will," Akiva said just as he realized he already was. Before he could blow it any further, he waved at a nearby waiter for a drink. Any drink. When he met Amber's sparkling eyes again, he snatched two flutes from the passing waiter. He downed the first in a single gulp.

"So... nice party."

He nursed the second flute a bit slower, buying time for the first one to settle his nerves. The shape of her mouth as she alternated between giggling and grinning captivated him. Any higher thought was all but denied him.


He took yet another sip. This did not seem to be going well.

Amber raised her eyebrows and sipped on her cocktail again. She did like Akiva but clearly this was very new to him - so she wasn't going to
be judgemental of that.

"So far - yep. How's life on the old collar with a heavier third pip on it?" Amber asked.

"Oh, this?" Akiva tugged on his collar to disguise scratching an itch. "It feels surreal, like much of my time aboard the Vindex." He sipped his drink again to clear his throat without coughing. "Most of my assignments involved keeping things as boring as possible, and I thrived. I know Ops isn't as exciting as other departments, but I loved it."

He absently set his drink down while his eyes began to glaze with recollection.

"Ever since I was a boy, I was taking things apart and putting them back together. We lived and died on our machinery up until the day we reunited with Earth. Had Starfleet never darkened our sky, then I would probably have..." His face turned grave. "Well, there's no telling." He finished his flute and set it next to the other one.

"I couldn't have made it this far without reliable peers," he said, starting over. "You know, I truly admire the way you handle yourself." He immediately blushed at the potential double entendre, and quickly added, "That is to say, you do an admirable job."

Amber chuckled. "I just try my best Commander - my parents always said just try my best and if I do but it still doesn't work then at least I gave it my best. But really I'm who I am in whatever situations are thrown at us. I can't be a good Starfleet officer if I don't handle myself in the way that's expected of one from the start to the end of my duty shift each day"

"I owe you a rain check from before," Akiva said. "I should make my rounds among the others, but maybe I could cash that soon? Perhaps on our way back to DS11."

Amber grinned. "Cash it in whenever you want Commander - it's not like I'll be doing anything - other than assisting Miss Snowdon with her trial in Security. Maybe she can guard the door to stop any undesirables disturbing us sampling your wonderful cooking?"

"Excellent." Akiva stood up and dipped his head. "Until next time, Ms. Zuzan." As he walked away toward Claudia's group, Amber's parting comments finally registered in his brain. Guarded door? Cooking? He was way out of his league here.

Storr and Jaya arrived, her arm in his, looking all the part of a happy, devoted couple. The glorious thing was that they were. The large Afrikaner might have dwarfed his date to the party but the smile that they shared as they entered the room left little doubt as to who he thought the largest object of his affection would be.

"Seems things have already started in earnest," he quipped, nodding to the Nausicaans that ambled past the two on their way out the door. The MCO shielded the counselor with his bulk and pressed their way through the already sizable crowd to the bar.

"Two Van Der Hum," Garlake requested, purposely ignoring the Ferengi behind the bar's muttering about esoteric Earthen drinks. Noticing the Jaya's raised brow from his peripheral vision, he grinned and leaned against the bartop, addressing her more straightforward. "It's a South African liquor that combines spices, herbs, sugar, tangerines, potstill brandy and diluted wine. I think you'll like it, though I know you'll enjoy it even more when we get there in a week," he said with a wink.

"Well, I'm not on duty," Jaya said, then tossed back a drink. Her eyes bulged out. "That burns more than I expected." She gave the barkeep a mock cross look. "I suppose I'm not the only acquired taste around here," she added with a wink.

The MCO grinned and leaned down to whisper huskily in her ear.

"Not yet acquired nor tasted...but soon,"

She giggled softly, then pulled on his arm so her lips brushed against his ear lobe. "Just you wait," she breathed more than whispered. Then she slapped his backside. "Come on, there's a whole party we're missing."

Straightening up with a smug grin, Storr noticed the large-ish gathering consisting of at least the Captain and Akiva on the other side of the Dabo tables. Quickly whisking two flutes of a sparkling beverage from a passing Dabo girl's tray, he passed one to the beautiful Lieutenant on his arm before gesturing forward with his jaw. "Shall we?"

"Yes, please." Her winning smile turned sultry. "Then we leave on the next transport to Earth."

Asher, wearing a t shirt, shorts and tights, entered the bar and ordered a glass of red wine, paying for it and then commencing her search for her colleagues. Asher had only just finished her shift for the day, and she was delighted to hear about the party the Captain had organised for the senior staff, and others, at Quark's Bar.

Finally finding her colleagues, Asher walked up to the Captain's table.

"Hello," Asher said, enthusiastically, "Captain, Commander, Ms Fuentes"

Becky beamed. "Good evening Doctor. I love your outfit"

"I'm glad you could make it Doctor - please make yourself at home for now until the food gets here. Mr Foster is going to be beaming it over shortly" Claudia replied - smiling.

"Welcome, Doctor." Akiva raised his glass to Asher with a smile.

Asher blushed, compliments weren't always her thing, but she was happy Rebecca's approval of her fashion sense was forthcoming. Tabetha hadn't arrived yet, but the brunette woman Asher shared a night of passion with had committed to coming as her 'plus one'.

"Thank you, I hope you are all well." Asher responded, continuing to smile cutely.

"As well as can be," Akiva muttered absently while staring across the room at Amber, who had taken up small talk with someone else. He shook his head and returned his attention to Asher. "It's really great of you to take on so much on your first assignment. I was wondering if I could speak to you in private for a moment?"

Akiva lightly placed an arm on Asher's shoulder and led her a few steps away from the crowd.
"So here is my dilemma," he said in low tones. "I have regular sessions with Counselor Maera, but seeing as how she will be away for some time, I was hoping you could step into her role... at least until she gets back. I am not fond of counseling, but I've come to...recognize its value." He risked a quick glance back at Amber, then realized his arm was still on Asher's houlder. It was withdrawn immediately.

Asher listened, it was clear to her Akiva was in need of extra support in the absence of his usual counselor. She didn't like to 'steal' patients from her colleagues, but as Jaya was away, this was different and Asher didn't want to refuse help to someone who obviously needed it.

"Okay," Asher said, quietly, "I can fit you in at any time between 9 and 11 o'clock each day except Wednesday, because that's our mid week review day. We can use my office for a private consultation, and I will give you as much support as you need until Ms Maera gets back."

"Excellent," Akiva said. "And I appreciate your discretion."

Martha led Lucia into Quark's and after ordering themselves a large bottle of non-alcoholic wine they took it upstairs and immediately Martha chose a table in the corner away from the crowds. With her mood turning on its head thanks to some faulty apparatus delaying the installation of the new torpedo launcher upgrades for another two hours she just wanted to be alone - but she didn't want to let Claudia down so she agreed with Lucia to go along for an hour just to be sociable and then head back.

Lucia poured two glasses out of the bottle and placed it back in the ice bucket it came in - passing one glass to her wife and pulling the other towards herself. Picking her glass up Lucia looked at her wife adoringly and smiled.

"I'm glad you agreed to come beautiful. Cheers" Lucia said.

Martha smiled weakly and lifted her glass up - tapping it against Lucia's.

Martha replied. "Cheers principessa"

She then took a slightly longer than usual sip from it. It was quite nice so she took another before placing the glass back down on the table.

"Someone's thirsty tonight" Lucia commented.

Martha tittered. "It's nice and I've had a long day. They're my excuses"

Tabbie finally arrived, scanning the room for her date, who after a few seconds of searching Tabetha saw Asher was in conversation with Akiva. After their conversation was over, Tabetha walked up to the young blonde doctor, admiring her choice of outfit for the evening.

"Hello Doctor, how are you?" Tabetha asked. "I'm sorry for my tardiness, I lost track of time and I'm ashamed to admit I got lost on the day here too, but I'm here now."

'Finally, I thought she wasn't coming....' Asher thought, looking towards Tabbie as she offered her apologies for being late. With the brunette now stood opposite her, Asher needed to calm herself down, Tabbie was there now.

"I'm okay, thank you," Asher replied, "how are you, Tabbie?"

Almost gazing into Asher's eyes, Tabbie already knew she wanted to go further with her at some stage, but right now she wanted Asher to know the two women were just friends until they were ready to step up to the next level.

"Better now I'm here, thank you," Tabbie replied. "and you're here. I'll go and get us a couple of drinks, stay right there and don't move an inch."

With all the attendees present Claudia stood up and called for everyone's attention. After a few moments Claudia smiled and picking up her glass of orange juice from the table in preparation to raise it in toast - she broke into a speech - but this time it was a bit different.

"Thanks to you all for coming - unfortunately I was supposed to be married to the beautiful woman sat next to me but sadly we've had to delay it because Commodore Hutchinson was due to officiate was sent away yesterday afternoon back to the Gamma Quadrant. But one thing he did before he left was put some credits behind the bar for us all to enjoy the evening - so please do feel free to help yourself to drinks. There should be enough for a few drinks each for you all - so let's toast to Commodore Hutchinson and providing us with some free drinks" Claudia said - raising her glass the rest of the way.

Martha was all too happy to drink to that - and she lifted her glass up in a toast to the Commodore before finishing off the contents of her glass. She watched as Lucia did the same and then giggled as she noticed Martha's glass was already empty.

When Claudia began speaking, Akiva noticed Amber was between conversations. He sidled up next to her and raised his glass to join the toast for the commodore.

Amber finished talking with Robbie O'Donnell - the new officer responsible for the torpedo launchers - who went to introduce himself to other attendees and then turned to face Akiva who stood next to her. With her glass of wine in her hand she smiled at the Commander who Amber began to think was quite taken with her.

"Oh hello again. What can I do for you?" Amber asked.

"Oh, hello yourself," Akiva said, trying and failing to act surprised. He mentally slapped himself. "I, uh, saw you by yourself and thought you could use the company."

Amber smiled. "You thought right Commander. Once everyone's finished toasting why don't we go and talk somewhere a bit less crowded? I know there's not that many people here but still - still plenty of people around to hear what we're talking about"

Storr raised his glass with the Captain and the rest of the crew, leading a hearty "Hear hear!" that reverberated throughout the room thanks to the Cardassian architecture's favoritism towards sharp angles and metal beams. Draining the glass in a long, slow pull, he straightened up and sighed.

"That hit the spot. Care for another?" he asked Jaya, already half to the bar and signaling for two more drinks. Who was he to let the Commodore's money go to waste? Especially given some of the horrible drinks that he saw floating around the room already...

"Slow down, sailor. You've got a lot of open water to cover." Jaya winked at him, though she allowed herself to be towed by the hand toward the bar.

The MCO returned Jaya's wink, half-finishing the new scotch in his hand in one gulp. "Better get started then!" he playfully retorted, scanning the room to determine if he wanted to join in conversation elsewhere or stay together where they were at.

Tabbie sat next to Asher at the table next to Captain Ainscow's, very pleased the next few drinks were paid for thanks to the Commodore. She could tell there were a lot of couples on the senior staff of the Vindex, Claudia and Rebecca, Martha and Lucia and Storr and Jaya.

"The Vindex should be called the Love Boat, I've never seen so many couples in the command staff before." Tabetha said, giggling and looking at her date.

Secretly, Tabbie hoped that herself and Asher would become a couple some time soon, but on the other hand, she was prepared to wait for the Vindex's senior doctor to be ready for a relationship if she had to. Right now though, Tabetha planned to enjoy the evening before setting off through the wormhole tomorrow morning.

Half way through having some of her drink when Tabbie commented about the Vindex being a 'love boat', Asher giggled, and this caused some of her cocktail to go down the wrong way, resulting in a few splutters.

"I know right Tabbie," Asher replied, cutely. "but no making me giggle when I'm drinking, that's not cool."

Tabbie broke into uncontrollable laughter and squeezed Asher's leg with her left hand apologetically, although she was hesitant to let go even after she'd stopped laughing until she was given a gentle 'that's enough' look from Asher.

"Oh, sorry, you want another drink?" Tabetha asked, removing her hand from Asher's leg quicker than a flash.

Asher smiled sympathetically, it was easy to lose control of your self control in a more relaxed surrounding, more so when she could see how much Tabetha had drunk. Asher was still enjoying herself though, and hoped that moment hadn't spoilt Tabbie's night.

"Sure, I'll go and get them, I won't be long." Asher replied, standing up and departing the room to get the next round. Asher knew she had to be careful not to drink too much in case there was an emergency, so after this one, she would be going back onto soft drinks.

Seeing the new CMO approach the bar, Storr extended a hand. "Major Storr Garlake, Marine Commanding Officer. I've seen you out-and-about but haven't had a chance to properly introduce myself. And this amazing woman on my arm is the beautiful counselor Jaya Maera, the future Misses Garlake," His grin was slightly too wide and speech slightly more flowing than usual, thanks to the liquid relaxant flowing freely from the bar.

Seeing Storr's hand extend towards her, Asher turned to face him and accepted the hand shake offered to her. This reminded her to remind him his medical check was soon due up, and he needed to make an appointment.

"Hello, Storr Garlake." Asher replied, smiling. "Your name sounds familiar, and that's because it's on my list of people to book annual medical checks for. Yours is due in about three weeks, so don't forget drop in when you two love birds come back from your wedding."

The MCO's expression flattened for a moment as he thought back to the somewhat traumatic indoc physical he had received from the...ambitious...Ensign Takahashi. She had nearly single-handedly changed his positive disposition towards the medical corp but was glad that it didn't; not-so oddly enough, it returned when the nurse suddenly departed.

"I'll be sure to put it at the top of my list," he said with a wink.

Asher leaned against the bar after placing her order, and by the sounds of it, the now absent Nurse Takahashi was an interesting character. Nurses were in short supply in her department, but Asher was confident they could all chip in and make things work like a well oiled machine.

"You are a sport," Asher replied, grinning, "because I might have to call Lieutenant Commander Cusack to bring you down and tie you to the bed if you weren't so willing. But to be serious and before I get too drunk or I forget to say, many congratulations to you and your bride, I'm sorry I can't be there to celebrate with you."

"We're getting married on Earth to be with Storr's family, but we'll be back on the Vindex before the honeymoon," Jaya explained. "We just... didn't want to wait any longer." She smirked as she cast a sensuous glance Storr's way. "Believe me, Counselor A, I fully support him being declared fit for duty before we take our extended honeymoon."

Storr waggled his eyebrows at Jaya's comment, trying not to seem too lecherous though more than likely failing. Clearing his throat, he nodded to Asher before continuing, "With that, good doctor, I'll leave you to your drinks...we have a few more rounds to make ourselves."

The MCO scooped up the last flute of a bubbly liquid from a passing waitress, took a sip which immediately caused his face to pucker and quickly (yet surreptitiously) placed the glass amongst others on a crowded dabo table. Heading towards the Captain, he again had to lament the choice of drink choices the Ferengi offered...

"Come on, big guy," Jaya said as she pulled Storr away from the bar toward the door. "I think we need to get you to bed. We have an early start tomorrow."

Storr grumbled incoherently and put up only superficial resistance before ambling alongside the diminutive (yet voluptuous) counselor. His first attempt to snag a nightcap was rebuffed by a scantily clad Betazoid waitress but her human waitress partner must have had pity on the MCO and slipped him a short glass of a smoking purple liquid. Garlake downed it in one shot and placed the now-empty vessel back on her tray with a wink. Exaggeratingly saluting Captain Ainscow with a grin in parting, the two rounded the corner, not to be seen by the crew for the next three weeks.

The waitress received a terse glare from Jaya for her effort, though the counselor put it behind her as she found herself supporting more of Storr's weight than she intended. The man was agile as a cat, but at the moment he couldn't walk a straight line to save his life.

Jaya glanced her over shoulder and gave an apologetic look to everyone in the room before blowing a kiss to one and all. This ignominious exit wasn't exactly the sort of parting goodbye she had held in mind, but at least they had a good time.


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