((Starbase 118 - Verriar’s Bar & Establishment))
Yael: When in doubt, acquire and retreat. The cards can be improved, but the dice are random. If you think you have the best hand, confront.
The Denobulan caught the gaze of the Andorian woman again, and he glanced down, realizing he was being watched closely. The size of his opening bet probably helped in that regard as well. She took a slow sip of some sort of drink that she’d procured for Verriar and lounged at the bar, watching the table with a semblance of interest. Alora didn’t even notice - she was paying too much attention to what was happening at the table.
DeVeau: Uh...I guess I’ll acquire and retreat.
Yael: Acquire. ::he nodded to the dealer::
The other players set their bets and cards flew and the table was spun, but there was no winner.
Yael: Until there’s a winner, the pot increases exponentially. If there’s no winner in three spins, the house takes the pot.
DeVeau: Uh...uh...Acquire and retreat.
Yael: ::to the dealer:: Acquire, and index the margin.
He paused, catching the Andorians sky blue eyes again. Once more, the woman nodded, then lazily sipped at her drink, watching the game with interest.
Yael: A round of drinks for the table, on me.
There was a spattering of appreciative noises at his generosity, and Verriar began to pour the round of drinks… and two teas for him and Alora.
Alora picked up her tea and sipped at it thoughtfully. What should she do? Honestly, she had no idea, she didn’t even know what the different moves meant.
DeVeau: What does index the margin mean?
She queried to Ashley, and he started another long winded diatribe about the obscurities of the rules of Tongo. He knew the game almost down to a fault.
As the cards were dealt and the dice rolled, Ashley picked up another Terellian spice bean, popped it in his mouth, and chewed slowly. He was a little more prepared for the burning sensation and blast of flavour.
DeVeau: I….acquire and...index the margin?
Alora was literally making guesses about every single move she was supposed to make. If you could call it a move. It wasn’t really a move, but more like calling a bluff or raising in poker, but it seemed far more complicated than that. She glanced at Ashley, silently seeking his approval of disproval, then turned back to the wheel, her brow furrowed in confusion.
For his investment in the game, he did notice Alora being a bit lost. Technically he couldn’t “help” another player, but he could encourage her.
Yael: Are your cards good? Be bold and acquire or confront if you think they are.
From the bar, the Andorian finished her drink then turned to request another from the Terellian. Once more, she worked on it, savouring it, but her interest was still on the game, and who was playing.
He was going to give Alora more advice, but he couldn’t stop glancing at the beautiful Andorian woman. She seemed interested in the game, mostly, or his imagination was playing tricks on him.
The wheel was spun and the cards were played, and it struck dirt. Alora’s hand won the round, and the group shouted out “TONGO” in unison at her win. Ashley gave her a knowing glance, his eyes darting to the Ferengi who had fixed it so she would win, likely to boost her confidence and get her to play more.
Yael: ::chuckling lightly:: Congrats. Do you want to tap out now while you’re ahead?
DeVeau: Yeah, I think that might be best until I learn what I’m doing.
Alora laughed and shook her head, collecting her winnings, even though the man running the table attempted to convince her to play more. Instead, she just took what she got while she had it and turned to Ashley. I’m gonna get some more tea. Want anything?
Yael: Tell Verriar to surprise me. ::he said this as he put down another sizeable bet for the next round::
DeVeau: Okay. Try not to lose everything.
With that, the scientist left the spot and trotted over to the bar. The Andorian took the opportunity to rise, sauntered over and slipped into the seat Alora had previously occupied before setting down a bet to match Ashley’s.
Yael: ::taking his dealt cards:: Acquire.
He glanced to the very sky blue woman now sitting next to him and smiled.
Yael: Can I buy you a drink?
The woman didn’t respond right away, but took up her cards and glanced at them before calling out,
Sh'shelor: I wouldn’t say no to a drink.
Her voice was low, a warm alton that seemed to well up from the deep. She glanced at the man beside her. Reaching into the small bowl, he picked another Terellian spice bean, popped it in his mouth, and crunched it between his teeth, enjoying the rush of the heat that followed. Then he slid the bowl slightly closer to her, silently making an offering.
The woman’s eyes slid to the bowl, slipped up to Yael’s face, then back to the bowl before she reached in and grasped a couple of beans only to toss them into her mouth and chew. Abruptly, the woman jumped up, the cards fluttering to the ground and she opened her mouth, eyes wide, fanning wildly while coughing. Stumbling back, she knocked the chair over and it clattered to the floor, spurring several to their feet at the sound.
Sh'shelor: Water! ::She managed to choke out.:: Water!
Ashley had actually just gotten a new cup of tea, and instantly offered it over, surprised at the reaction and the sudden tossing of chairs. The woman grabbed the tea and guzzled it down. Alora, who’d also procured another tall, cold glass hurried over and that one, too, was quickly dealt with.
Verriar snapped a finger on one of her hands and two bar staff came over instantly to reset the chairs and other knocked over items.
Yael: Are you alright? ::he tried to keep his smile in place… if he’d been quicker to think, he could have warned her:: I’m sorry, I thought you knew.
It was difficult to say where it came from. One moment, the woman was bent over, gasping for breath. The next, a small phaser pistol seemed to materialise in her hand and she pressed it in the sensitive flesh between Yael’s jawline and neck. Leaning forward, she almost growled, the spiciness still lingering upon her breath, and a string of Andorian curses upon her lips.
Behind the bar, Verriar shouted something about no weapons in her establishment, but it went ignored.
Sh'shelor: Are you trying to kill me?
DeVeau: Whoa! Wait! Stop!
Alora started to step forward, but the woman simply dug the pistol in further, and the scientist retreated, though her eyes remained trained on the woman’s form, watching for an opportunity.
Ashley, for his part, managed only to freeze as the cold metal pressed into his skin. As Alora tried to intervene but stepped back, his amethyst eyes set on the Andorians blue ones, and he lifted his hands to show open, empty palms. He was at her mercy, but he wasn’t out of ideas. When he spoke, it was as calmly as he could, soft-spoken so she would have to *listen* to hear him… and a streak of fear as undercurrent.
Yael: No poison. Terellian spiced beans. Quite spicy, but harmless.
Though his breath had caught in his chest and he knew there was a good chance he was about to be shot by a passionate Andorian woman, a small smile still played at his lips before he spoke again. The fear ran down his spine, but… so did a little thrill of excitement.
Yael: And I *did* give you a drink.
DeVeau: He ate them too.
Alora pointed out, then motioned to herself.
DeVeau: So did I. They’re just /really/ spicy. Promise.
The woman narrowed her eyes, then seemed to realised that it was stupid to think they would attempt to poison themselves. With a growl, she withdrew the pistol and shoved it down her boot.
Sh'shelor: My mistake. ::She spat out.::
The Denobulan hybrid breathed a sigh of relief, running a hand against his neck that was now phaser free, had a massive dose of adrenaline running through him, and then...
Yael: No problem. My fault entirely. ::he smiled at her again:: Now. What are you drinking?
There was no way he was letting this gloriously temperamental woman leave without having a drink with him.
Alora breathed a sigh of relief, but didn’t retreat. She wasn’t sure she wanted to leave Ashley alone with that Andorian still there.
The woman narrowed her eyes at the Denobulan, then stated with a little less venom.
Sh'shelor: Saurian brandy.
The Terellian woman, now putting down her *four* defensive weapons that had been hidden behind the bar, quickly produced the drink and, with a bit of a nose in the air, slid it down the bar to the Andorian who caught it with barely a thought. She lifted it and threw back her head to down it in one fell swoop. Alora leaned over and whispered.
DeVeau: Certainly one way to make an impression, Ash.
Yael: ::quietly, still grinning:: Oh… I *like* her.
Ensign Ashley Yael
Starbase 118 Ops
Lt. Cmdr. Alora DeVeau
Starbase 118 Ops