First Impressions

At one of the edges at the “Event Horizon” bar and cantina there was a line of tables containing but two chairs and elaborate 3D chess set. Normally this part of the cantina was empty as few crewmembers enjoyed the game but this particular evening one of the tables was unexpectedly occupied.

The petite female Vulcan science officer observed the 3D chess set with her light eyes making adjustments here and there before sinking back into her chair and pondering the changes and possible future moves.

Below the ledge of the lounge that afforded survey of the station’s promenade floor a frizzy redheaded woman crawfishes walking backwards out of the main transporter room. Her arms raised pointing both of her index fingers in unison panning a wide vector of the open room scanning for affirmation from an unseen, annoyed transporter chief, and his frustratingly and finally abandoned given directions.

The dark-haired Vulcan quirked eyebrow towards the entrance briefly, before returning back to her endless calculations of 3D chess moves. It was indeed possible that the commotion was raised by the expected addition to USS Dragon’s officer set but logic dictated not to presume such things.

The woman pivots about on her heels. Her starry-eyed marvel of the promenade’s atrium eclipsed whatever was her preceding directive and she glides into the center of the space. She giggles as she turns around crossing the floor-view window, notices the entrance ramp to the Event Horizon, and proceeds bubbly upward.
The girl scans about recognizing a social forum. Spartan, being the present late morning’s attendance, she notices a Vulcan seemingly playing herself in chess.
The redhead approaches spritely.
“Be careful,” she cautions upliftingly, “when I play myself for practice, I usually get so defeated I can’t remember a thing I did. -Let alone learned.”

After moving yet another chess piece Vulcan turned her head to face the newcomer. Raising her pointy eyebrows, so black they had a bluish tint, she replied in a leveled voice. “Logically speaking you can’t defeat yourself and any accumulated experience is learning.” Pausing for a moment, her eyes resting on the notable Trill spots on the woman’s head and neck, she adds, “Per chance, would you be the new helm officer assigned to USS Dragon?”

Jeni blinks and returns to scrutinizing the chessboard hoping it would aid her comprehending the Vulcan’s remark. She soon abandons the effort and glides into a perky disposition. “Oh I hope so! My transfer hasn’t been completely approved yet.”

Neris’ facial features appeared as unperturbed as ever, moving yet another piece on the board she speaks in a calm tone. “At ease, Lieutenant. I’m the ship’s science officer, Lieutenant Neris, and I was told to expect a Trill transfer for the position. You fit the description so it’s only logical to assume that it was you. There aren’t too many freshly arrived Trills at this star base.”

Jeni frowns disappointedly. “Oh that’s a shame. -we’re usually a very hygienic people.”

Neris quirks eyebrow at the Trill. “’Freshly arrived’ as newly arrived, Lieutenant. Not as ‘recently scrubbed’.” Pausing for a moment she adds without blinking. “However if you so desire I’m certain I can arrange a quick sonic hose-down at the nearest shuttle dock, that would make you both fresh and new.”

Jeni embarrassingly lifts her collar and gives the inside of it a sniff contemplating the offer.
She pivots the conversation nodding at the chessboard. “You know….”
“I can tell you a trick if you are really interested in learning the game.”

There’s twinkle of amusement in Vulcan’s pale green eyes, her features however remaining immovable. “Of course, lieutenant, it would be illogical for me to decline such a generous offer.”

“Well!” Jeni begins proudly, “most people think it’s like checkers, but you’ll notice there are no red squares.” Jeni continues, “-and you see how these pieces are different shapes? That’s because they can each do different things!” Jeni peers back and forth to ensure there are no eavesdroppers about. She leans into Neris lowering her voice. “What I try to do is get my opponent to forget which pieces do which things.” she picks up a rook from off the board, “Like this little ashtray guy,” She grins devilishly, “I’ll use one of his special moves when my opponent isn’t paying attention.” Jeni’s devious expression changes to a perplexed one as she goes to return the piece to the board but fails to remember from where she picked it up. After a few moments of indecision, she hands the piece to Neris.

Neris simply opens her gloved palm, allowing the piece to fall into her hand before returning it to its exact spot. Her expression unreadable as she imitates Jani’s move, leans into the Trill and lowers her voice. “That would be a very good trick, lieutenant, there are however few logical problems with your approach.”


The touch of perfumed scent from the Vulcan could be sensed by the Trill due to their proximity. Keeping the low voice, the science officer continues. “One, it’s nothing like checkers. Two, Vulcans aren’t easily distracted, and we invented the game. Three, first you should work on not getting distracted yourself.”

Leaning back in her seat she raises her pointy eyebrows at Jeni. “Otherwise, your trick is absolutely flawless, lieutenant.”

Jeni squints at the board tonguing the inside of her cheek as she ingests the advice. “Yeah.” She ultimately agrees. She gestures to the open seat. “Mind if I watch?”

Neris flicks her wrist as she offers her a seat on the opposite side of the table. “Certainly, although I doubt it’ll be very interesting for you. I use it as a form of practice in logic.”
She picks one piece from the board and seems about ready to place it as she pauses mid-move and inquires. “You aren’t a joint Trill, if you don’t mind me asking, lieutenant?”

“Oh no,” Jeni assures as she takes the seat. “I was never that interested in getting approved for a joining.” As she goes to cross her legs her knee bumps the lowest plane knocking the pieces over. A few roll on the the floor. “Oops! I’ll get that!” She promptly begins standing them back up precariously then drops down on her hands and knees. She begins crawling around the table’s base collecting the fallen pieces. Her crawling leads her around the table eventually between Neris and the board as she bumps and nudges and pushes Neris’ knees together, apart, and aside, as she locates the last remaining pieces. “Got ‘em!” She calls out from below the table’s edge. Crawling past Neris’ legs, she starts to rise and stand back upright.
As she does she bumps the middle plane within the top of her head knocking all the pieces from that level off the game board. “Ooops!” She repeats as more pieces roll on to the floor. She scrambles to pile the pieces in hand onto the lower plane, drops back down to her hands and knees, and begins crawling around the table base through Neris’ legs in the same fashion, just the opposite direction.

Still on her knees Jeni’s head resurfaces above the table’s edge, several pieces held in her cupped hands. She blinks back and forth between the pieces and the board eventually her helpless eyes meeting Neris’ eyes. She extends her cupped hands towards the Vulcan.

Neris suffered through the whole ordeal with her species’ signature stoicism, allowing her legs to be shifted, moved, and turned only making a point to close her knees when the Trill’s maneuvers would result in a clear peek under her skirt. Glancing at the devastated 3D chess table she raised her pointy eyebrows at Jeni’s hapless expression before scooping the offered pieces in one fluid motion with her gloved hands.
With a measured tone of voice she told the other woman. “Lieutenant, get off the floor, and go wait for me at the bar, please.”

“Right.” Jeni bows her head. “I’m sorry about your…” She buttons her lips and subtly points toward the bar before heading off. “Right. The bar.”

The Vulcan methodically places the pieces back at the board, pausing only when dealing with a few more difficult positions. After a few minutes of that, and allowing for one good hard look of scrutiny, she stands up and straightens up her outfit as she heads to the bar. She’s wearing a standard issue Starfleet science officer uniform with a blue trim, a matching skirt, gloves, knee-high boots and stockings.

Sliding next to Jani she comments. “For a pilot prodigy it was logical for me to expect a bit more coordination from you, lieutenant.”

Rodak leans on the bar as she receives a tall-glass milkshake with a gaudy curly straw. “Hm? Oh! Well I usually don’t have the room to play chess in a cockpit.” She giggles.

Neris comments dryly. “It shows.” Looking at Swifty she adds. "Green tea please.

"So you’re the Chief Science Officer, Lieutenant…Nay-reese, was it?

“Quite so, it’s Neris and you are Lieutenant Rodak, if I’m not mistaken?”

The milkshake audibly gurgles through the curly-straw. She begins nodding excitedly. "Yeah. But everyone calls me Jeni.”

Neris nods at Swifty as her tea arrives. "Thank you.” She quirks eyebrow at Jeni. “And how do you prefer to be addressed when off-duty?”

Rodak pauses with a puzzled look. “You know I never thought of that!” She continues thinking. "What do you think about ‘Satchmo’?”

Neris adds excessive amount of sweetener in her tea, eliciting an odd look from Swifty. “No.” She refutes directly.

Rodak frowns. "Well, I guess Jeni until I can think of something better.”

“I’ll likely regret this question, but what is Satchmo?”

Rodak shrugs. "Ahdunno. -just the first thing that popped into my head.”

Nerisraises another eyebrow at Jeni as she adds even more sweetener in her tea. "Does that happen a lot, Jeni?”

Rodak gurgles more malt through the straw. "Does what happen?”

“Things pop into your mind and you say them aloud?” Neris asks continuing to twirl her teaspoon methodically in her tea.

Rodak laughs. "Oh thank goodness no! It’s usually pretty quiet most of the time.”

Neris looks at Jeni with her immovable features, but unlike most Vulcans she doesn’t seem to have a perpetual scowl on her face. "Usually, eh?”

Continuing to audibly slurp milkshake through her crazy-straw, Jeni eyes Neris’ tea. “What’s that?” she chirps with an excited look.

“It’s Rigellian Green Tea, normally it’s rather tart.” Neris takes a sip of what is by now likely more syrup than tea.

Rodak watches Neris take a sip monitoring her face awaiting for a telling expression of the woman’s approval of the drink. "Hmm. I have an idea!”

Neris features remain immovable as she gently places the teacup down on the bar. “If I wan’t a Vulcan I’d say I shudder at the prospect, Jeni.”

Rodak gestures to the bartender. He returns with another ridiculous and long curly-straw. Jeni takes it and plops the end into Neris’ cup. “Try it now!” She smiles widely. “These things are hilarious!” She giggles and waits with eager anticipation.

Neris props the straw with her fingers, the cup being too shallow to hold it properly. “Is there any particular reason why I’d want to use this, aside from ‘hilarity’”?

Rodak ponders the question. "Well…um…now we have something /else/ in common!”

Neris raises her pointy eyebrows. "Something else? And what was the first thing?”

Rodak snickers and pats Neris’ shoulder. "Being comparable Chess players of course!”

Neris’ eyebrows stay upwards. "I see, and the second thing we have in common?”

Rodak continues gurgling milkshake through her straw as she peers around. “This is a pretty nice…hm?” She returns her attention to Neris, “Oh. Um…” She frowns. "Maybe it was just the one thing.”

Neris plucks her straw out of the teacup, places it gently on the bar and takes a sip of her tea. "Logically we actually do share a few things in common, Jeni.”

Rodak beams. “See?! I think we’re going to get along great!” She finishes her milkshake with an ungracious long suck. After which she turns and smiles at Neris. Her face then scrunches into a discomforting wince as she pinches the bridge of her nose. "Ow!”

Neris features remain immovable. "What was that about?”

Rodak groans. “Mm. Brain-freeze.” She lowers her hand and returns to smiling. "Don’t worry though, it never seems to affect me for very long.”

Neris glances at Jeni with her pale green eyes. "How fortunate for you. Well, you’re right in time to ease yourself in the position. The crew of USS Dragon is scheduled for a vacation on Risa. I take it you’re familiar?”

“No, I haven’t been onboard yet.” Addie chirps. "Oh that reminds me; computer when is beta shift?”
The computer responds, "Beta Shift begins in 3 hours and 18 minutes.”
Rodak closes her eyes to commit the time to memory. “Kay.” She looks to Neris. "I’m meeting Captain Tungsten this afternoon.”

”In little more than three hours from now, I take it?”

Rodak nods.

“I meant familiar with Risa.” Neris redirects the Trill. “As a newly assigned officer you are slated for Risa.”

"Oh Risa! Yeah, I’ve heard some stories. Some of the designers at Utopia were always telling me to make sure I ask for a ‘Bucket of Nitrogen’ when I get there.”

”Excellent. Judging by your piloting record you should logically be a perfect fit. When not playing chess that is.” Neris blinks. "A bucket of what?”

Rodak shrugs. "They /also/ said the engineers there have a really cool device called a pipe-stretcher. They must be a pretty motivated and industrious population there.”