((Bajoran Temple – StarBase 118))
The scent of floral incense filled the air as the Starfleet senior staff took their places and the gates were opened. Four thousand spectators calmly moved in, ushered by acolytes and security. The atmosphere was respectful but electric. Visitors brought bells and flags to greet the vedek, with the faithful having elaborate flags decorate with symbols of their families and regions from Bajor, and traditional bells and chimes handed down generation to generation. As the temple grounds filled, the reflecting pool glittered under the morning sunlight.
Low drums started up, a slow steady beat that was very soft at first, mimicking a heartbeat, as if the station itself was coming alive. The drumming continued, very slowly growing in volume and complexity until it was a vibrant thriving music filling the temple grounds.
The crowd started to clap to the beat and on the Vedek’s signal the bells started. The ringing cascaded through the air in a joyous melody, accenting but not overpowering the drums.
This built for almost a minute before a minute before the flags started to wave and the already electric atmosphere burst with color, the sound seemingly coming alive with the movement of the fabric. And through it all the people were silent. No cheering or singing – the bells, the drums and the percussion of the clapping was enough.
Vedek Lova Pali was av extremely tall woman with long gray hair that was intricately braided. She wore vibrant crimson robes with a fan-like headpiece that was set against her steely hair. She was at once stern, powerful and calm, having a relaxed expression that a Vulcan would envy as she moved from the temple, onto the landing to see the festival beyond.
Prylar Hanak stepped forward, bringing the music to a silence and the flags to a still with a grand gesture.
Hanak: Peldor joi! None of us shall walk alone, we greet you Vedek Lova Pali of the Order of Lor’suth
Durial: We welcome your arrival to our temple! ::He offered with an earnest fervor.::
The Vedek stepped out and gave a nod to the crowd, and then turned to the wings to see the Starfleet officers waiting.
Sal Taybrim stepped forward, with Nijil just behind him. The Betazoid had an easy, well-practiced diplomatic comfort to his posture and tone.
Taybrim: Welcome to StarBase 118, Vedek Lova. We also welcome you to our StarBase, where this temple is a valued part of out community.
Lova tipped her head and while her lips did not smile, her eyes sparkled in appreciation.
Lova: I am honored to receive such a blessed greeting. ::She turned towards the gathered mass of people and stepped forward onto the front of the stage.:: And in turn I welcome you. Faithful and friends. ::She took in a deep breath and called out in sonorous tones the traditional opening for the festival.:: Tesra Peldor impatri bren. Bentel vetan ullon sten...
The drumming started back up again while every available acolyte and several others from the commercial center hired to help walked around with large trays of drinks – Jumja brew which was sweet and thick and non-alcoholic, and Spring wine which was light and sweet and alcoholic. Both had a lovely aroma, enticing with notes of citrus and caramel.
Lova: Today we give thanks for what we have. Today we show gratitude for those around us. Today we release our irrational anger and wish for peace and tranquility. To enjoy each moment as it comes and not to dwell on what could have been or might be, but what is. Join me, in a toast! For all my faithful flock, may the Prophets guide you and keep you! For our friends, may the Prophets bless you in whatever way you hold dear.
She lifted her glass and all around the grounds glasses lifted in turn.
And then everyone drank.
The effects were not instantaneous. Not at all. Whether the drink one had included the love draught or not, the drinks were delicious and made one feel good. The atmosphere was upbeat and lively.
Lova: May the festival begin!
Upbeat music started, and the crowd started to move. The senior staff of StarBase 118 was allowed to relax and move n and mingle. And as everyone moved and broke and started to celebrate, that’s when it started to kick in.
Peldor joi, indeed…
OOC – The love potion is out and about! Everyone is welcome to pick up with the effects after the ceremony, and please let me know if you need tags!
Fleet Captain Sal Taybrim
StarBase 118 Ops