((Starbase 118 Ops - Commercial Sector))
There were so many bodies, some rushing, some casual, others really taking their time. Ariana was trying to process the situation at hand, but there was so much to take in. The various buildings which she had no real idea of what they held. She knew there were four museums somewhere, the Botanical gardens and the lake. But she couldn’t remember in which direction they were. As the last time she was here for her tour with her Captain, Taybrim. She was busy either conversing with him, looking at the many things he pointed out, or at the things that naturally caught her eye. How could anyone take in so much information on just one visit? It was the reason she came to explore a little more, well one of them. That and trying to contain her fear of crowds, after all, they are unavoidable now. She can’t just stay hidden in her room until duty called, at least that’s what she promised herself that she wouldn’t do.
Ariana decided to try and cut across the crowds, to see if she could get a better visual of her surroundings, taking a good couple of deep breaths and mentally preparing herself she made her way through. Dodging this way and that, it was one skill she had picked up through her fear, how to manoeuvre through a crowd with little effort. She made it through one stream and paused to assess the next. As she did so she noticed a brown haired woman approaching her. As she got closer she noticed the stranger was smiling, which met her green eyes.
The Starbase was an enormous place. Although she’d been there for several months thus far, Alora didn’t think she’d managed to explore even half of it. Every time she went, there was a new shoppe she hadn’t visited, a new restaurant she hadn’t tried, a new vendor she hadn’t perused. Then there were the amount of people in a rainbow of colours that traversed through the area. The sea of bodies seemed never ending, constantly in motion, the soft roar of voices overshadowing the hum of the station. Then there was the construction of the boundaries of the station, the walls that were distant mountains in the horizon and arched over them, the ceiling masked by an imitation sky that cycled from sunrise to sunset, from sunset to sunrise. The quietest time was only very late at night, when just a trickle of people might linger in any of the areas. At its peak, however, the scene could be overwhelming for anyone.
When she got to that point, Alora knew she’d had a long day, or it was a reaction to a bad night’s sleep. When she got to that point, even she wanted to avoid the rush and hubbub of the commercial sector. When she got to that point, Alora had to retreat and recharge.
However, she was not at that point quite yet, and so the scientist made her way to the commercial sector in search of something to eat. While replicators were readily available, freshly cooked food was always preferable, and there was such an abundance of options, as much as what the replicator had to offer. As she joined the throb of bodies, however, she couldn't help but notice one who didn’t. A young woman - very young, and the pip that marked her as an Ensign gave rise to thought that, perhaps, she was only recently made a full officer, stood there, a fish out of water in a sea of sand. Stepping out of the rhythm, Alora made her way over to her, offering a wide, warm smile.
DeVeau: Hello there.
Ariana smiled at her.
Amaase: Hey. ::She didn’t know what else to say so she stood a little awkward::
DeVeau: I’m Alora.
Alora offered a hand in a standard Earth greeting. Ariana took the ladies hand and shook it twice before taking her hand back gently, feeling a little relieved.
Amaase: Nice to meet you Alora, that’s a pretty name. I’m Ariana. ::She glanced nervously at the crowds looking for an escape route::
DeVeau: Well, thank you. Ariana’s just as beautiful.
Alora noticed the way the woman’s eyes shifted about with an air of anxiousness. While Alora thrived in a variety of environments, including those with a lot of people, not everyone did. When someone was new to Starbase 118, it could also be overwhelming.
DeVeau: Are you doing all right?
Ariana frowned slightly. oO Well there’s big crowds and I’m scared I’ll get lost, I’m just overthinking everything which doesn’t help. Oo She shook her head at her thoughts.
Amaase: Erm.. yes I’m fine. ::She paused biting her lip:: Actually, I’m a little lost. I don’t suppose you have a moment? ::She looked at her hopefully::
DeVeau: Actually, I do! How can I help?
Ariana smiled relieved.
Amaase: Thank you. I appreciate it. I think if we navigate through the crowd, it may help.
Ariana started to move forward then stopped, sensing Alora maybe had another idea.
Ariana: Sorry. Do you have a better plan?
DeVeau: Weeeell...if you tell me where you’re going, then it might help navigate the crowd in that direction.
Ariana nods and smiles.
Amaase: Right you are then. So I’m looking for the Botanical gardens. ::She glanced around hoping to see a glimpse of where she was headed:: But I think I’ve come the wrong way. ::She brushed a stray strand of hair behind her ear::
DeVeau: Ooo! Lovely choice! I do enjoy the gardens! Yes, where we are is the Commercial sector, and there are several gardens that you can go to. You might be referring to the ones on the outskirts of the Commercial Sector itself, so let’s go there. Follow me!
Alora motioned for the woman to join her, then angled the direction so they could fall into the flow of foot traffic easily. Noting the nervousness of her companion, she tried to keep toward the outside edges so Ariana didn’t feel so crowded.
Ariana followed her, thankful she didn't get too thick into the crowd. She now had easier escape routes, and there was less dodging out of the way.
DeVeau: So how do you like Ops thus far?
Ariana glanced at her a second before turning back to see where she was going.
Amaase: It's really welcoming. Captain Taybrim made me feel very welcome on my first day, Nalni made me feel very welcome at the ball. :: She paused to smile at that:: You've stopped to help me today. ::She smiled:: So other than feeling a little lost amongst all the people, it's been a good experience thus far.
DeVeau: You just graduated right? Weren’t you the lovely little duck at the Masquerade party?
Ariana giggled softly at the last part.
Amaase: Indeed, 8 days ago. ::She said matter of factly:: It was indeed. I made that costume myself. ::She smiled::
DeVeau: I loved it! You pulled it off perfectly!
Ariana put her hand to her face in a shy manner. Realising she had, she lowered her hand.
Amaase: Thank you. I just thought it would be a little fun and different. I like odd clothing. If you couldn't tell. ::She gestured a hand towards her outfit::
She had a knitted hat on her head which resembled a badgers head, she had dangling wine bottle cork earrings in, a necklace that looked like corn to the middle with an orange chain affixed around the back, then three tops layering each other a brown long sleeved shirt, a white short sleeved shirt and a pink vest top. On her legs she wore mustard yellow jeans, and her glittery purple flat pumps, which showed her odd socks. One stripey and the other had a floral print.
DeVeau: Hey, whatever floats your boat. If you like it, then go for it!
Ariana shrugged, smiling.
Amaase: Clothing is fun. I'm not much bothered about being coordinated, unless it's important of course. ::As she spoke her hands punctuated the conversation::
DeVeau: Oh yes, and it can be so much fun to dress up too.
That had been one of the best things about the masquerade - it had presented an opportunity for people to dress up. Not just in fancy clothes, which people certainly could have done, but also in costumes, or in crazy stuff they wouldn’t normally wear. That made it fun and exciting in a different way, and Alora had loved seeing all the creativity creep out onto the ballroom floor.
Ariana looked at Alora.
Amaase: So what am I actually keeping you from?
::She asked interestedly a small smile of wonder on her face::
DeVeau: What are you keeping me from?
Alora laughed pleasantly and she shook her head.
DeVeau: Boredom. You’re keeping me from boredom. It’s my day off. I was actually literally just walking around and was thinking about /possibly/ getting some food, but honestly, I’m not starving, and going to some gardens sounds like a /lovely/ idea. I mean...after all, it’s kind of a passion.
Amaase: Gardens are your passion? How come?
DeVeau: I’m actually a botanist. And a zoologist. So plants are definitely my thing.
Ariana nodded, a thoughtful expression on her face.
Amaase: Well that makes a lot of sense.
DeVeau: What about you? What sparks your interest? What ignites your passion?
Amaase: Nature. It relaxes me. Water more so than anything. ::She blushed a little:: It's just what grounds me, makes me feel safe. ::She half shrugged::
Ariana looked at Alora, chewing the inside of her cheek.
Amaase: I wouldn't mind a bite to eat. If there's somewhere on the way? I've not eaten since this morning.
DeVeau: Well, there’s the food court. There are little stands where they sell food. They have a much more limited menu than full out restaurants, but they’re quick, and it’s the kind of food that’s easy to take with you - so we could take it to the gardens!
Ariana smiled warmly.
Amaase: That sounds great. Wouldn't it be nice to just sit and have a picnic? ::She paused:: Obviously not now as I have nothing and.. Oh just ignore me. ::She laughed awkwardly::
Picnics were indeed lovely, and Alora didn’t mind changing her plans, which were no plans at all, so hey, now she had a plan.
DeVeau: Yes, definitely. A picnic it is! Mind if I join you?
Ariana glanced at Alora whilst fidgeting with her hands.
Amaase: Really? You'd do that?
DeVeau: Why not?
Alora paused, then motioned across the flow of traffic. The people continued to cross the path they were going to have to cut through in order to get to some of the vendors that lay just on the other side of the river of bodies.
DeVeau: Gotta get across, then we can grab a quick bite to go and head over to the gardens.
Ariana studied the crowd, it seemed thicker than before.
Amaase: Okay. ::She bit her lip surveying her surroundings she noticed the tell tale glimmer of the reflecting pool:: Is that the gardens?
Alora nodded, looking between the far bank and the woman beside her.
DeVeau: Yeah, it is.
Ariana took a deep breath.
Amaase: It's going to be a struggle to get through this. I mean ::she paused to take a deep breath:: I'm fast, but these are more dense than before. ::She glanced nervously::
Ensign Ariana Amaase
Lt. Cmdr. Alora DeVeau
Starbase 118 Ops