((Freecloud, Stardust City))
This was unprecedented. After receiving the subspace message, Talia had jumped out of bed, and practically ran towards the transport room. The instructions were very specific, come alone, unarmed, and the...package had been painstakingly acquired and protected with a fervor of a mother to a most precious child. It had cost more credits than she had cared to admit, but this? It was worth it.
Stardust City certainly lived up to its name, and reputation. Although the lights could be seen from where the Arrow was currently in orbit above them. Given the unforgivably late hour, she was more than a little surprised at the constant milling about of several, highly inebriated patrons. Still, she followed the instructions to the letter, and before she knew it, the slate, clean, large metal door was before her. Taking a deep breath, Talia gave a series of knocks, followed by one swift kick. Her toes inside her boots protested a little, but she was soon rewarded with the upper slot opening, a pair of deepset eyes of a reptilian nature scanned her up and down, and once again, she was sure for measure.
Scruffy Voice: You got the goods?
She held the tightly wrapped brown package aloft.
Ohnari: Right here.
The slot slammed shut, and for a brief moment, she worried it wasn't good enough. However, her fears melted as she heard a series of locks being released. The door was opened just a crack, and before she could blink, a dark hood was placed over her head.
Ohnari: Is this really necessary...?
Scruffy voice: Orders. No one sees the goods in raw form.
This was ridiculous, but...the payoff would be worth it. Years and years of study, trying to recreate without the hands on knowledge....it was worth the itchy nose. It was hopeless trying to count her steps, and she was decidedly sure the unwashed, scruffy voiced escort was leading her in circles. After a maddening amount of turns she determined were fabricated, the hood was finally removed. blinking at the harsh lights, her eyes watered as she blinked herself back to complete vision.
Before her stood a stout, Bolian male wearing a starkly white chef's coat. For a moment, she was stunned into silence. Odaxor Gadiff, renowned pastry chef and notoriously private man. She had been sending him fan letters for years, and once she learned of their arrival, she just had to meet him at his famed 5 star patisserie.
Gadiff: ::heavily accented:: You have brought me my gold, yes?
Talia gestured towards the package. With ease and grace she hadn't expected from the squat little blue man, along with the aid of an extremely sharp looking knife, the Bolian cut the bindings, leaning in for a greedy sniff. The invitation didn't come without a steep entry fee: Pure, undiluted Andorion Butter. The butterflies in her stomach did a little fan-girl sigh.
Ohnari: 46.8 grams exactly, Chef. As requested.
Fighting the instinct to bow, and not trusting she wouldn't pass out just from elation, she just bowed her head with a revenant tilt.
Gadiff: Peerfect....now my little Mille Feuille....we can begin.
((((((((((((Several Hours Later)))))))))))))))
Talia was exhausted. Currently, she was coated in a fine dusting of flour. Given the unevenness of her gait, she had a bad feeling the squishing in her boots was possibly the Creme Pat that had been misplaced in the process. Also, having no idea how, she was almost certain there were egg shell fragments in places no egg shell fragments ought to be. None of that mattered. She had finally done it. In all her years of searching and experimenting, she had perfected the coveted Pain Au Chocolat. Perfect lamination of the butter between the flaky crust, unmitigated swirls of the finest chocolate Stardust City could replicate. It was in a word: Ambrosia. And she had seared every step into her brain. She might have sacrificed the memory of one of her siblings' birthdays...but it was worth it.
She was practically floating with joy...or the overload of sugar...but that was besides the point. Clutching her coveted basket of perfect croissants she gave into the giddy and did a happy little twirl. That was, until her basket made solid contact with something.
Ohanri: Oh I am so sor- oO No. Please Gods no. Oo Um....sir...I'm so sorry I...uh...
Her grey eyes were wide enough to tumble out of their sockets. Woodenly, she reached out and brushed a smattering of fine lavender sugar off the lapel of one Captain Randal Shayne.
For a moment, Talia wasn't sure if her vocal cords had frozen in horror, or if they had just exited her body in complete protest. For a moment, she just started, mouth slightly open as the only movement she could control, was the brushing off of the sugar.
Ohnari: Uh...Yea-Yes. Ensign Talia Ohnari...uh...Sir.
Ohnari: ::snatching her hand back:: Yes. Of course. Uh, sir. I didn't mean to...over brush you... oO Stop making this worse Oo
Ohnari: ::sheepishly:: Can I offer you some Pain Au Chocolat...? Freshly made...?
Talia prayed to whatever set of Gods were listening that she hadn't just signed her own court martial in a swirl of chocolate.
Ensign Talia Ohnari, MD