((OOC- This occurs prior to DeVeau’s promotion.))
(( Starbase 118 Ops - Trinity City - “Hook, Line & Sinker”))
Rhyl followed behind the very *perky* Lieutenant Commander, reminding himself that many Humans were very emotive so this was surely still normal behavior. Despite having not wanted to be out with his commanding officer, he *was* starving now that he could smell the food. The heavy scent of seafood, fish, and shelled tasties wafted from the restaurant's doorway. Even if this was forced socializing, he could at least eat well.
They were shown to a two seated booth near the interior wall, beneath some of the oceanic decor, which included several large mock sharks hanging from the ceiling. They might have been serious looking except for the googly eyes comically planted on them.
Ch’cachra: ::in that bland tone he always used:: It’s… charming.
DeVeau: Isn’t it though?
Alora slid into the booth and shifted toward the middle of it. She tapped at the emitter which immediately lit up with the menu.
DeVeau: So you said you’ve been in ops for several months, but where were you before?
He took a breath as he slipped into the alternate seat, which was a little snug on his frame but still fairly comfortable.
Ch’cachra: I spent four months on Jupiter Station… debugging their archaic systems, before being assigned to 118.
A Ferengi waiter made his way to the table, hissing his name at them and asking what they wanted to drink.
DeVeau: Just water please.
Alora would probably get some chocolate milk, but later. That wasn’t the sort of drink that really went with seafood.
Ch’cachra: I’d like a Frozen Nebula.
The Andorian ordered the serious alcoholic beverage, assuming he would *need* it to get through this dinner with his boundaries intact… he didn’t drink every day, so he had a relatively low tolerance for when he needed it to work.
DeVeau: I’m ready to order my food too.
Alora arched an eyebrow at her Andorian companion, silently asking if he had chosen what he wanted.
Ch’cachra: I’ll have… ::eyeing the menu::... the shellfish and crab platter, with a double side of lobster.
DeVeau: And I’ll have the daily special
Once the Ferengi took their orders and stalked off, Alora tapped the emitter so the menu disappeared, then turned her full attention to the man across from her. Leaning her elbows upon the table and lacing her hands, she rested her chin upon him, studying him.
DeVeau: How archaic?
His neutral expression firmly in place, his antennae both focused on her for a moment, though his actual gaze was out across the restaurant, eyeing the other diners and the staff suspiciously.
Ch’cachra: Excuse me?
DeVeau: You called the systems at Jupiter archaic. How archaic? How out of date? What did you have to do to bring them up to speed?
To some, a certain amount of age wouldn’t be considered archaic. Alora had a feeling the systems probably weren’t that old by her standards, but she also wasn’t an engineer. And she was curious, too, to see where he stood on that.
Ch’cachra: ::glad she was asking work related questions:: I’m sure they were fine by routine standards. Everything *worked*. But I have higher standards than most, and there were inefficiencies in almost every subroutine in their system. Years of small fixes cobbled together that interwove a system of chaos into a working coagulated mess.
A mess, but why did Alora have a feeling that deep down inside the Andorian officer had enjoyed that particular assignment? Engineers had a way of delving into things, into machines, wanting to know how they ticked, making them more efficient. Making them better.
Ch’cachra: They… probably got tired of me. I was reassigned as soon as the refit was completed. ::adding quickly:: Which is fine. 118 has a *lot* to work with.
DeVeau: Well then, we’re fortunate to have you. I’m also looking forward to seeing what you do with the science department’s database.
The drinks arrived, and Rhyl quickly claimed his large glass, which left a trail of mist in its wake as the waiter set it down, along with a complimentary basket of some sort of biscuits. He claimed one and tasted it, realizing there was some sort of cheese mixed into the warm, slightly crunchy dough.
Ch’cachra: I haven’t been here before. ::pausing, then more quietly:: These are pretty good.
DeVeau: Cheesy biscuits. Watch out, they’re addictive.
Alora plucked one from the basket and tore it in half before popping one side into her mouth. Her eyes closed and she sighed softly as she chewed. Oh yeah. Even if the seafood hadn’t been good, the place would have been worth it just for those biscuits. Every time she went there, she always ordered at least a dozen to go.
DeVeau: It’s like cheesy heaven in my mouth.
Ch’cachra: ::chewing the biscuit, he dared to ask:: Why?
DeVeau: Why? I mean, just taste them. So soft. So buttery. So cheesy. I mean, they just melt in your mouth. And there’s garlic. Everything tastes better with garlic. It’s the perfect blend of bread with species and…
Evidently that’s not what he meant, and the man interrupted her little ode to cheese biscuits.
Ch’cachra: I’m an *Ensign.* We’re not friends. So… why are we here?
He asked in that blunt manner, avoiding her eye contact while keeping an antennae trained on her almost cautiously. His tone insinuated there must be some reason beyond frivolity, and he wasn’t afraid to ask, despite her rank. He popped the rest of the first biscuit in his mouth and picked up a second before he finished chewing it..
One cheek puffed out as Alora paused in her chewing, the biscuit still in her mouth, the flavour savoured and enjoyed. His question, however, caught her off guard, and after a moment, her brain restarted the mastication process, and she finally swallowed.
DeVeau: Why not?
Rhyl took a long draw of his drink, not caring he had a mostly empty stomach, but he had no external reaction to the strong alcoholic mixture despite the burn it left down into his stomach.
Ch’cachra: It’s just not typical. ::glancing at her shortly before looking away again:: I don’t get asked out a lot.
It wasn’t a lack of confidence in his lack of eye contact, but something else entirely. There seemed to be a lot of surface scatter, or small waves on top of the surface, obscuring the reason that lay beneath. He was perfectly content to be alone, and didn’t care if she knew he preferred that.
DeVeau: Maybe you just haven’t been around the right people, hm?
The waiter was watched with anticipation by one of Rhyl’s antennae as he appeared from a doorway back into the kitchen with plates covered high in food, and made a bee-line toward their booth. The Ferengi scuttled toward them and slid their plates onto the table from the large round serving tray. Alora’s daily special was a well made and scented plate of Edosian suckerfish, whereas Rhyl’s was an almost absurd amount of shellfish, crab legs sticking out in awkward directions, with two healthy sized lobsters flanking the entire thing.
The waiter had barely walked away before Rhyl was opening a large crab claw and leg with his bare hands, easily cracking the exoskeleton and discarding it on a side plate provided for the shells, before dipping the meat in the butter and eating it in one bite. Apparently the provided utensils were just in the way, and in pure engineer fashion he was going to eat the most efficient way possible. With his hands.
DeVeau: Oh that looks good. So you prefer shellfish?
Alora was not going to take the same route. While his meal did allow him to use his hands, hers would be far too messy to do so. Instead, she picked up the fork provided and began to work at her own food. She allowed a couple of minutes of silence, which gave them each a chance to get some of that delicious meal into their bellies. All the while, she silently wondered about the engineer. Why was he so standoffish? What was going on in that brain of his? She had a feeling that there was more to him than met the eye, and it drove her curiosity.
DeVeau: Do you, perchance, like plants?
Ch’cachra: ::without hesitation:: Yeah, they taste fine. Just not that green stuff from Earth… cilantro. Awful. Humans put it in the weirdest places.
The Andorian ripped one of the hunks of lobster meat out of the casing, depositing the shell to the side and not bothering to tear the meat into smaller pieces. He dipped and then bit off a large bite directly, holding the rest of the tail in his hand as he chewed, table manners obviously not his strong suit.
For a moment, Alora stared at him, then quickly put a hand over her mouth, doing her best to stifle her giggles. She couldn’t help it. The man was funny, even if he wasn’t trying to be .
Ch’cachra: ::his antennae training on her and lifting:: Something is funny?
DeVeau: No...it’s just, when I asked if you liked plants, I didn’t mean the ones you eat. I mean the kind you keep in your quarters. Like flowers.
Ch’cachra: Flowers… for garnishment? ::his eyebrow lifted, not understanding:: There is an aeroponics bay for growing food.
There was another giggle and Alora shook her head.
DeVeau: No. Flowers that you would keep in your quarters. To brighten things up.
Ch’cachra: For… decoration? ::pausing:: I suppose they might help scrub the air of toxic additives. Plants can purify the air. But we have triple-redundant systems for oxygen purification.
The blue man finished decimating the lobster tail he’d started, and then lifted his drink, taking a strong draught of his Frozen Nebula. In two large drinks he had finished two thirds of the large glass, and he sighed in appreciation as this second drink sated his thirst. He hadn’t realized how hungry and thirsty he’d gotten… that happened when he was nose deep into an interesting project.
DeVeau: Yes. Yes, they can do that.
The Andorian began to systematically break open each shelled, delicious morsel of food left on his plate, piling the meat up as he chewed an unshelled oyster, eyes set on his plate and one antennae scanning the room, while keeping one on his eating partner.
Alora watched him, letting in a little more silence as she pondered a bit more, perhaps giving him a break from her chatter. After a few more bites, however, she picked up where she left off with a seemingly random question, though in her mind it was far from that. Then again, her mind wandered in so many directions, sometimes people had trouble keeping up with her.
DeVeau: What’s your favourite colour?
Ch’cachra: Color. ::he glanced up from his pile of meat and shells:: They’re all the same…
His hands paused and something seemed to come to mind, making him think for a brief moment. Then he spoke a bit more softly.
Ch’cachra: … but if I were to choose one, it would be the color of the ocean.
DeVeau: The colour of the ocean?
That was...actually kind of sweet, really. Almost romantic, though Alora harboured no notions in that department.
Ch’cachra: ::more to himself, the alcohol loosening his tongue:: I could go for a swim.
DeVeau: Really? I wouldn’t mind going for a swim myself. I enjoy swimming.
Honey colored eyes landed on her, suddenly widening as he realized what she’d said.
Ch’cachra: No, I… I meant... myself, not...
DeVeau: How often do you go swimming? I don’t go as much as I would like, and it’s more fun doing it with someone. Where do you want to swim?
He seemed caught out now that she’d been “invited,” and he couldn’t very well UNinvite her, though clearly he’d like to try. Where, then? He usually swam alone, in his holodeck program. Where else was there where there weren’t *people* everywhere?
Ch’cachra: I… don’t like crowds. … the holodeck is preferable...
DeVeau: Sounds good, though you really should check out Little Risa some time.
It was a lovely place to go and walk, but also to swim. Alora hadn’t quite made it to the opposite side of the man made sea, but she planned to do that some time. She had yet to explore all the depths either. Whomever had created the area had gone to great lengths to make it authentic. If one took the time to look below the surface, there were more treasures to be found as well.
Shoulders slumped slightly, but Rhyl lifted a piece of crab leg meat and ate the large piece whole as he realized he’d been enlisted for an evening swim with the Lieutenant Commander. She was throwing him off his game, and he was recalculating how long her project was going to take if she would make him quit early each day, then take up his evening with frivolities.
Ch’cachra: … or I could get a few more hours work in on your system, so that it’s ready on time?
This was a rare question, he didn’t *ask* for things often, and he left the door open for her to uninvite herself on whatever slim chance she would walk through it.
DeVeau: On time? When I first made the request, I expected weeks. You’ve far exceeded my expectations. I think you can slow down and breathe a little bit.
Ch’cachra: ::back to his blunt self:: I breathe just fine. ::softening:: Are you… alright with animals?
His swimming program didn’t have him so much “alone” as it was heavily populated with sea creatures. Drinking the rest of his Frozen Nebula down, he sent his eyes across the room again.
Ch’cachra: Sea life.
Alora’s eyes widened along with her smile. The light shone even more brightly then before and she leaned forward.
DeVeau: I adore animals. Of all kinds.
Ch’cachra: ::nodding almost imperceptibly:: Good.
Ensign Rhyl Ch’cachra
Starbase 118 Ops
Lt. Cmdr. Alora DeVeau
Chief Science Officer
Starbase 118 Ops