The Trill Thrill

(Prelude to the The Interview)

Location: The ship’s bar of USS Dragon.

Drake Tungsten is at the bar, sipping a synthale.

Neris coughs politely. "Captain. I was told you are in the lounge, might I intrude on your time?

Drake Tungsten turns to her and smiles. "Of course, what’s on your mind, Lieutenant?

Neris: “A word with you about the new helm officer, sir.”

Drake Tungsten: "Ah of course. “How is she settling in?”

Neris keeps her stoic expression. "Quite well, as you can imagien a chatty Trill female isn’t likely to have many issues with finding company.”

Drake Tungsten chuckles "Good point. I’m sure that’s not what you wanted to bring up though”

Neris: “No, sir. I appreciate you authorizing my oversight. The lieutenant seems to be very eager and somewhat unusual in her behaviour.”

Drake Tungsten: "Oh, she’s definitely unusual for Starfleet. I suppose I find it a bit endearing, so long as it doesn’t interfere with her duties, and it hasn’t seemed to.”

Neris: “Quite so, sir. With your permission I’d like to keep an eye on her for that precise reason.”

Neris looks around the bar impassively. "Discreetly, naturally.”

Drake Tungsten: "Well, I don’t need you watching her every move. She could perhaps benefit from a little guidance here and there, but I don’t think she needs to be spied on, in anticipation of some problem.”

Neris: “Precisely that, sir. If you prefered a detailed 24-hour scrutiny I’d advise finding the adequate Romulan operative.”

Drake Tungsten: "I don’t. I guess I’m willing to put faith in her, in spite of her seeming a lot more free-spirited than most officers. I’m not upset at your recommendation either, but I just don’t think it will be necessary.”

Neris: ”Well, the lieutenant seems to be taking a certain appreciation for my company. So I’ll do it gently.”

Drake Tungsten: "Well, if you are appreciating her company as well, I highly encourage you to spend time with her. I think you’d be a good influence on her.”

Neris nods. "Thank you, sir. That was precisely my intention but I wanted to clear it with you.

Neris pauses a moment before adding. "Her company is… Intriguing in a way.”

Drake Tungsten: "Well, you don’t need my permission to spend time with another officer, especially off-duty. And you two do see a fair bit of each other on the bridge.”

Neris. “No, sir, I indeed do not. But this is combining on and off duty, I do belive we are in agreement then.”

Drake Tungsten: “Yes, I think we are, Lieutenant. I suppose I initially thought you were implying something else.” he grins.

Neris quirks eyebrow. "What did you think I was implying, sir?”

Drake Tungsten: "It sounded like you were asking to conduct surveilance of the poor girl, but if you’re talking about more of a mentorship role, I stand behind that.”

Neris: “No, sir. I have enough duties as is and like you I don’t think she needs to be surveillenced. And mentorship is a good defintion, let’s hope she proves receptive.”

Drake Tungsten chuckles a bit at himself "Yes, I clearly misunderstood you then, apologies. We are on the same page now. And I think it’s a great idea.”

Neris: “Thank you, sir. I take we’re both expected to share in the crew’s Risa vacation.”

Drake Tungsten: "Well, it’s not mandatory, but I highly encourage it, and we can make the shift rotations work on the ship.”

Neris Indeed. I examined the shift tables and we do have quite a lot of leeway in that regard

Neris: “Alternatively I can hold a summer school detailing the teachings of Surak.”

Drake Tungsten: “We have over twice as many crew as on the last ship. And it /is/ a much bigger ship, but it can still run on a skeleton crew for a while to give us some great flexibility…” he turns to Neris.

Neris looks Drake in the eye and continues in her measured voice. "I’m certain you could barely contain your excitement at the prospect.”

Drake Tungsten: “We want them to get some rest, not defect.” he grin

Neris: “What doesn’t kill us makes us stronger, sir.”

Drake Tungsten: “That doesn’t really apply to crew morale.” he grins again. "But I’m pretty sure some sun, fresh air, and other amenities on Risa will do us all some good.”
Neris: “Amenities, sir? You mean besides the whole Horga’hn-juggling exercise.”

Drake Tungsten: “Well, there’s plenty besides that, but I’m not going to write off the morale boost that seeking Jamahorron provides, either.” he snickers slightly.

Neris raises her pointy eyebrows. "A rather illogical custom but that’s certainly one way to describe it, sir.”

Drake Tungsten shrugs "I suppose it is, but the Doc would surely agree with me. Anyway, like I said, plenty else to do there from powerboarding, those rental jetpacks, just taking walks, the restaurants, just relaxing in a lounge chair with or without a good book… the environment makes it work better, I suppose.”

Neris nods at the bartender. "One Rigellian green tea, please.”

Neris: “Indeed, sir. I found it quite pleasing the last time I visited.”

The enlisted crewman behind the bar nods, and starts preparing Neris a Rigellian green tea, with care.

Neris nods at the bartender again as her tea arrives. "Thank you.”

Neris: “Might I inquire what’s your vacation preference.”

Drake Tungsten: "If you mean location, Risa /is/ one of my favorites.”

Neris: “Logically speaking I doubt it involves Klingon throat singing or Pakled riddles.”

Drake Tungsten laughs "No, definitely not.”

Neris pours excessive amount of sweetener into the tea before methodically starting to twirl the spoon in her cup.

Drake Tungsten nods. "Well, years ago when I was younger, I definitely made sure to buy a Horg’ahn at the gift shop, and put it out. Since going with this fleet last year though, I certainly spent more time socializing with Starfleet personnel rather than the locals, though. And some time for taking a good walk here or there, sitting out on the beach a little, too.”

Neris quirks eyebrow as she continues her methodical stirring. "I have yet to meet a human male that didn’t buy Horg’ahn on Risa. No disrespect meant, sir.”

Drake Tungsten: "None taken. It’s a lot of fun for us. And nobody’s feelings are getting hurt. I suppose it’s not as popular among Vulcans, though.”

Neris sips her syrup that somewhat resembles the tea. "Not quite sir, except during the Pon farr, which can be dangeroud in itself. And even then mostly among males.”

Neris also adds dryly. "Casual intercourse with strangers for “fun” is rather incompatible with our culture.”

Drake Tungsten: "I suppose it has at times been that way in human culture as well. But even emotional matters aside, there’s pretty powerful biological effects at work that make it enjoyable for us.”

Neris’s lip corner almost twitches. "Testing the hydraulics, sir?”

Drake Tungsten laughs a little "I guess that could be a good euphamism for it as well.”

Neris sips her painfully sweet tea. "What was that saying, what goes on Risa, stays on Risa, sir?”

Drake Tungsten: "I suppose it’s best when things work out that way. At least if they start on Risa.”

Neris: “Logically speaking it might cause issues with crews from various vessles practicing the mechanics, and then having to go their own separate ways.”

Drake Tungsten: "Not necessarily. I suppose I’m rather biased on this point, but I certainly think that dating someone from another ship that is seen frequently works pretty well. Avoids some of the chain of command issues that could arise on a single ship, though that’s not strictly prohibited, either.”

Neris: “Point taken, sir. Yet your lady and you are in close proximity and based at the same spot.”

Drake Tungsten nods. "And we are the same rank, so no real professional gray area. No need to waste any energy on making sure there’s no problem there.”

Neris nods. "Noted, sir. I was curious to hear your opinion on the matter.”

Drake Tungsten: “One I’m happy to give.” he grins "I’m also somewhat curious about your impression of Captain Grant, though feel free to decline if I’m putting you on the spot.”

Neris quirks eyebrow yet again. "I meet her but once, sir. Logic dictates to warn you my impressions are superificial at best.”

Drake Tungsten: "A first impression still counts for something.”

Neris raises her eyebrows. "I’ll have to agree with you, as illogical as it is.”

Neris finishes her tea. "Let’s just say I had some peculiar first meetings at the starbase.”

Drake Tungsten: "I would certainly agree with that, in my own experience.

Neris Not to change the subject, you asked for my first impressions of captain Grant

Drake Tungsten: “I did, and I am curious, but I didn’t want to press the issue.” he smile

Neris looks as unperturbed as usual. "The lady seems nice, certainly friendlier than some of my said encounters at the starbase. She also seemd a bit reserved, which is understandable and appreciated. Thirdly, she isn’t very formal.”

Pausing she adds. “Would that be adequate for your query, sir?”

Drake Tungsten: "I suppose so. Certainly accurate.”

Neris: “I’m also interested to hear her tea recommendations.”

Drake Tungsten: "I’m not much of a tea-drinker myself, so I couldn’t give you much insight there, except to say that she certainly doesn’t use as much sweetener as you.”

Neris quirks eyebrow. "I find that unsurprising, sir.I still recommend some brandy in your tea.”

Drake Tungsten: “I mean, there’s probably as much sugar in your tea cup as an entire chocolate cake.” he smiles.

Neris 's keeps her eyebrow raised. "Slightly more than one average slice, sir. Much less than the whole cake, providing we are talking about 15 inches diameter and 10 inches in height.

Logically speaking however this would also depend on the type of the sweetener, its potency, heat, humdity and few other factors.”

Drake Tungsten: "That… is a large cake. Still, I’m surprised the Doc hasn’t told you to cut back a bit, but if he’s happy, I’m happy.”

Neris: “Vulcan metabolism, sir. You have my medical files and to my knowledge nothing is out of the ordinary.”

Drake Tungsten shrugs "I won’t question it further from that standpoint, but I’m surprised you don’t find it cloying.”

Neris: “I don’t, sir. Besides, it’s not all I consume. Althoguh I can work a full shift at optimal capacity on one of these.”

Drake Tungsten: “Well, with my human metabolism, I would just get absolutely wired for about 20 minutes, and then crash hard, and need a nap.” he grins.

Neris 's lip corner almost twitches but her features remain immovable. "Duly noted, sir. Should I relate that to captain Grant at the next meeting? I’m certain she could find uses for such an information.”

Drake Tungsten chuckles "Fortunately, I think she’s happier when I’m awake.”

Neris: “A logical assumption, sir. I take it captain Grant will be joining you on Risa?”

Drake Tungsten: “Yes, she’s actually never been before, and she’s excited.” he smiles "Probably going to take some extra shore-leave days we’ve both been piling up later for a private trip, as well.”

Neris: “I’ll be discreet if and when I meet you two, but please let me know if I intrude.As you can imagine, judging human emotional connections is a rather illogical exercise. No offense meant, sir.”

Drake Tungsten: “If you see us about, you’re probably not intruding. But I’ll try to let you know subtlely if we need to be on our way.” he smiles. "And none taken.”

Neris: “Excellent, please do that, sir. And if lieutenant Rodak is around I’ll be sure to clarify for her also.Well, or engage her in 3D chess match.”

Drake Tungsten: "Thank you.I actually think Serah might enjoy meeting her, but I do think she might need a little assistance in taking a hint.”

Neris nods lightly. "Kindly leave it to me.”

Drake Tungsten: "But in any case, I think it will be kind of fun to see the place through new eyes, figuratively speaking, with Serah.”

Neris: “I was told there are Pakled belly-dancers by an acquaintance, providing it’s not a jest I’m illogically curious.”

Drake Tungsten: "I… have certainly never seen anything like that, or heard of it. If there are, they’re pretty well-hidden. They can stay that way for my part.”

Neris: “But where’s your scientific curiosity, sir? To boldly go where no one has gone before.”

Drake Tungsten: “Well, you’re the scientist, I’d hate to deprive you of making that discovery first.” he smiles.

Neris: “I’ll be certain to take lieutenant Rodak with me if such thing exists, sir. Logicall speaking her interpretation is bound to be intriguing.”

Drake Tungsten: "Now /that/ I might agree with you on.”

Neris: “By my estimates there’s about 42% chance she’d enjoy it.”

Drake Tungsten: "I think I’m already learning not to argue with your math.”

Neris quirks eyebrow. "Thank you, sir. I’ll take that as a compliment.”

Drake Tungsten: "As it was meant to be. I guess you do have me idly wondering if I’ve missed out on a whole seedy underground to Risa though.”

Neris purses her lips briefly. "Logically speaking you might not be too far off the mark, sir.”

Drake Tungsten: “I am both curious and terrified to imagine it.” he chuckles.

Neris: “Well, sir, Risa is a Federation world but now open to various other polities. The Klingons, the Ferengi, the Orions, the Romulans, to name just some.”

Drake Tungsten: "True, a resort planet that turns visitors away doesn’t seem like a recipe for success though, so I understand why. But a place that tightly controlled, you wonder how they’d get away with much.”

Neris: “So, we know that Starfleet provides extra security, as does Risian Council and likely Section 31. And exactly, sir.”

Neris continues. “Logically there have to be illegal activities happening due to sheer volume of various visitors. So, the seedy underground is a distinct possibility.”

Drake Tungsten: "Conversely, even if we’re just talking about the strange more than the illegal, you wonder what appetites aren’t being fulfilled by the local Risians, and then immediately want to stop wondering.”

Neris quirks eyebrow. "That’s an interesting way of putting it, sir. I suspect we aren’t talking just about cuisine and hydraulics?”

Drake Tungsten: “Possibly some terrifying combination of the two, among other horrors.” he chuckles.

Neris: “Vulcan resorts are quite enjoyable but likely much duller for msot other species in comparison.”

Drake Tungsten: "What exactly goes on at a Vulcan resort?

Neris: “Relaxation, meditation, art, nature enjoyment.”

Drake Tungsten: "I mean, that doesn’t sound awful.”

Neris: “No, sir, we don’t just sit in a circle while meditating on Surak for days. And indeed it isn’t, apparently quite a few non-Vulcans find the peace and quiet relaxing. The staff is not going to solicit you or pry in any way.”

Drake Tungsten: "I think I would too, honestly. But we get some of that on Risa, as well as other activities, too.”

Neris quirks eyebrow. "Although I’m rather certain that our lieutenant Rodak would implode after a few days.”

Drake Tungsten chuckles. "I think you’re right. She’s probably a little too exuberant for it. Then again, who knows? Maybe she’d surprise us both.”

Neris comments dryly. “I have been called jovial, sir, and it wasn’t meant as a compliment. And logic would dictate that your observation is correct.”

Drake Tungsten: "Well, it works well among most species. Joviality, that is.”

Neris Indeed, sir. It depends how you define the word

Drake Tungsten: "And I suppose that’s a sliding scale with different species.

Neris: “As I mentioned before, I find it illogical to expect other species to conform to Vulcan logic. As much as I’d appreciate it.”

Drake Tungsten: "It’s just not how we’re wired, so to speak. However, I do appreciate your logical perspective on things, even if I don’t always share it.”

Neris: “Thank you, sir. While logic is never wrong, premises leading to logical conlucsions might be erronous and thus the logic is flawed. Imagine if we were all Vulcans, sir. As much as we actually aren’t all as uniformed as many species assume.”

Drake Tungsten: "True, I think our people work well together precisely because we have different perspectives.”

Neris: “Indeed. And we actually have a cautionary example of extreme uniformity.”

Drake Tungsten: "The Borg?”

Neris looks at Drake with her light eyes. "Exactly. So this brings me to a logical problem.”

Drake Tungsten: "What problem is that?

Neris: “If we know how extreme uniformity ends, and we know that we do not want those results, why do some in Federation try so hard to impose it. One would think that variety is what makes the universe intriguing.”

Drake Tungsten: "Depends on what you mean by that, I suppose. I mean, we wear uniforms to feel part of a whole, same with some other guidelines. But yes, I’m sure there’s some crazy person out there who thinks controlling everyone else in such a way is a great idea, because they have some different spin on it that will work. It’s delusion, of course.”

Neris: “I’m a Starfleet officer, sir. Yet i don’t think trying to turn Klingons into Humans or Romulans into Vulcans is a good idea.”

Drake Tungsten: "Well, I’m glad to hear that, because I agree with you on that.”

Neris looks at Drake with her motionless features. "I appreciate it, sir.”

Drake Tungsten: "That said, I think we humans are often comforted when others act like us, so maybe we seek it too much. Even knowing that, it’s a hard habit to break.”

Neris: “So are Vulcans, sir. We just learned how to keep it under control. It does offer certain advantages, logically however it also provides certain disadvantages.”

Drake Tungsten: "How so?

Neris: “Simple, sir. We keep our emotions controlled, a Vulcan won’t panic in a crisis. The control of emotions however does limit our empathy, which some species hold in highest regards. Vulcan also won’t break in tears over a dead shipmate.”

Drake Tungsten: "Yes, I see your point. And also logic can make Vulcans predictable, whereas we humans often benefit from your logic to help us arrive at a better decision. Pros and cons all around.”

Neris: “Indeed, illogical means to logical ends, sir.”

Drake Tungsten: "Exactly.”