((Interior. Shor's Shoals. Casperia Prime.))
Jacin: What does that exactly do though? Environmental control? Replicator?
Collins: What do you know of the ancient and noble art of...karaoke?
Jacin: Err it’s a Klingon dish isn’t it? Like Gagh, but aquatic of origin?
Quentin laughed out loud as he continued to fuss with the haptic controls. Ayemet realised she had got it hideously wrong, and normally she would retreat into her introverted world as her cheeks turned the brightest shade of red this side of Bajor, but not this time. The smile on Quention’s face was more than enough to ensure that far from being g embarrassed as she would expect to be, she actually felt a warm glow of happiness as her companion seemed that little bit lighter, that little bit less brought down by whatever worries usually plagued him. Instead of bolting for the door, mumbling a poorly thought apology she laughed, a wide smile on her face as she watched him work.
Collins: HA, well, top marks for effort at least. It's something we humans are somewhat fond of. Well, the COOL humans that is...::he said with a self-deprecating snort.::
Jacin: You’re cool!
Ayemet laughed in protest at his self deprecating remark. She took another drink of the green liquid, her head just that little bit more fuzzy as he turned round.
Quentin turned round and was about to say something when the door to the tavern opened and in strode a Klingon. Ayemet recognised him as the same Klingon she had briefly caught a glimpse of in the hurry to evacuate the Midnight Planet. She had yet to speak to him, but realised that logic dictated he was an exchange officer of some kind.
He approached the stage with a causal contriteness that Quentin greeted warmly from the smallish stage.
Tro'k: Would you mind some extra company?
Collins: Mister Tro'k! Of course, of course! Please! Join us! Have a drink should you wish!
The Chief Scientist casually pointed his way.
Collins: Jacin Ayemet, may I introduce Mister Tro'k? Another recent arrival to us and someone with wonderful taste in gagh, come to mention it!
He gave a gruffly curt nod, which was offset somewhat by the large grin on his face.
Tro'k: Tro'k, son of Bk'na. KDF exchange officer, Ops.
Jacin: Jacin Ayemet, Daughter of Zeril Sedor, Science Officer, sitting on this stool!
She laughed and extended her hand,
Jacin: But my friends call me Ayemet. Pleased to meet you Tro’k!
Collins/ Tro’k: Response.
A few button taps later and Commander Collins was ready to do, whatever he was about to do, which involved a microphone.
Collins: This is...an old favorite...
Ayemet smiled at the Klingon, unsure if he found her effervence, perhaps fulled by the strange beverage she was consuming, beuiglling or annoying , but she had found solace, no more than that; happiness, in the tavern, the green drink, and most of all Quentin Collin’s company, and at least for this moment she had consigned her worries to another day and another time.
A few more movements from the lanky and tall man, and a song that sounded much unlike anything Tro'k would purposefully listen to began to play. But Quentin seemed to enjoy it. Or so his smile seemed to indicate.
Collins: Thought that I was going craaaa-zay/
Just havin' ONE of those days, yeah/
Didn't know whaaat to dooooo/
Then there was yooooooOOOu!
Ayemet whooped with joy and did her best to whistle, although for some strange reason she always had difficulty in mastering that particular skill. Nisha had always playfully teased her about it, and said that it was one of the reasons she loved her friend. That always made Ayemet feel special own some weird way, as if her inability to do something was not a weakness, but some kind of strange attraction.
Quentin seemed to be pointing towards the general direction of the bar.
Collins: Then everything went from WRONG to RIGHT/
And the stars came out and filled up the sky/
The music you were playin' really BLEW my mind/
It was LOVE (love) at first sight!
While still not Tro'k's kind of music, there no was denying the admirable passion and emotion in the man's performance.
((Some time later))
Collins: It...it's s-something like that....
Ayemet leapt to her feel, applauding wildly , whilst others clapped politely , or merely ignored the small group that had formed around the strange machine. This was so unexpected to find Quentin enjoying an activity that required him to not only interact with others, but to entertain them, to bear a little of his soul, or perhaps that was Ayemet’s misinterpretation. She didn’t care, not tonight. Quentin was happy and she was astonished at how good he was.
Jacin: That was amazing!! : Woo!!
A few more of the tavern’s patron’s had turned their attention to the proceedings, with a great Barkeep busily serving them drinks, a smile of relief on her face, and the sort of happiness that came from seeing people simply enjoying themselves, casting their doubts or worries aside and fully immersing themselves in the absurdity and sheer joyfulness of singing.
Tro'k joined in the applause, as it seemed to be the polite thing to do, and Commander Collins had indeed given it his all.
Jacin: Ladies and gentlemen! The amazing Quentin Collins!! Call me for any bookings and if you want a signed holopic!
Tro'k: It was a very spirited performance.
Ayemet snorted as she tried to surprise a laugh at the Klingon’s response. She found it utterly charming that he was almost giving it a tactical analysis, whilst in such a relaxed social event. Another person who was being exactly who they were, and she always found those sorts of people, her favourite kind of people.
Jacin: Come on Mister Tro’k. Your turn now!! Time for you to share with us something from your oeuvre.
Tro'k: I don't know. I doubt that they have any Klingon Thrash Metal.
Jacin: Why would you want to thrash metal? We’re singing here. Doing :thinking for the correct word: Okey cokey.
Tro'k guffawed, doubling over in laughter.
Ayemet realised she had got the wrong word, and felt her cheeks turning red once more, as she sunk a little into the stool, embarrassed but far from humiliated. She was too happy, for whatever reason, to resort to her normal response of retreating to a solitary existence.
Tro'k: Oh no, Klingon Opera is for old men!
Ayemet slid off her stool, downing the remains of whatever was in her glass. She tightened her sarong around her waist to prevent herself walking through the tavern in. Nothing but a bikini, and slapped both Quentin and Tro’k playfully on their thighs.
Jacin: Gentlemen, Let this girl show the boys how it’s done. Unless you want to go first Mister Tro’k?
Ensign Jacin Ayemet