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CH04: S [D04|1300] The Emerald City

Chapter 04: Supplemental [ Day 04 | 1300 hrs. ] The Emerald City

[ Ens. Krystal "Meony" Tancredi | Biology Lab | Deck 9 | Vector 02, The Sword | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @Arista
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Having picked up a habit from Sinead towards the latter year of their journey through Hell Sector, Meony had developed a taste for preparing her own meals. Taking satisfaction in the effort and the work of making a delicious meal, at least when she succeeded in pulling it off. Thanks to Zelosa Ejek, Meony knew how to prepare Sem'hal stew, which was something she had made today, along with her own meal of beans, bacon and lard. Remembering to grab some Yamok sauce to go with the Sem'hal stew, Meony left her quarters with the packed meals and beverages (Rokassa Juice and some whiskey), the containers specially made to keep the food nice and hot, she made her way towards the Biology Lab on Deck Nine.

Getting to the deck via turbolift was nearly an adventure in and of itself, due to the computers having difficulty trying to comprehend what the hell Meony was trying to say to them.

“Fer th' love o' Sam Hill, Ah said Duck Nahn!”

“Unable to comply, please try again.”

“Ah swear t' Gawd, ye're just doin' this on purpose! Dieck Nahn!”

“Unable to comply, please try again.”

DEHK NEIN!!!

Eventually, Meony had cycled through “AAGH! AH'M GONNA KILL YA! DEIK NA'AN! DACK MINE! DECK NINE! DARK LINE!” when the lift recognized a location and sent her to where she wanted. Before she exited, the redhead kicked vengefully at the walls on one side. “Stupid...fuckin'...decimal spaces...”

There in the lab, she found her quarry, and announced her presence with a greeting, “Howdy, sugah! Hope it's yer launch tahm, 'cause Ah brought th' lunch!” She raised the bags to show the containers within. “Also hope ya lahk Rokassa juice, that's th' only drink Ah got fer ya t'day.” The labs were fairly empty today, so it looked as good a place as any to share a meal and drinks, and if Silim Parnak was like any self-respecting Cardassian, the meal time was promising to be a conversational one, since they loved to talk and share knowledge over food as a sort of dance of dominance. Well Meony could talk nineteen to the dozen too if she so wished, but today, she just wanted to see how things went.

Re: Chapter 04: Supplemental [ Day 04 | 1300 ] The Emerald City

Reply #1
[ Dr. Silim Parnak | Biology Lab | Deck 9 | Vector 02 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @Triage
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Looking across the lab, Parnak couldn’t help but have the tiniest of smiles. He had gotten near enough everything he had wanted. He had the suitable sized living quarters, a conversation buddy in the form of another Cardassian – Ejek, and now a research space. It was not as big as he would have liked, nor was it was well stocked, but it was adequate. For now, adequate would do.

Silim knew he should be working, but work was the furthest thing from his mind. Shortly, he would be taking a stroll down the corridors following an enigmatic message to see what it would bring. Until such time Parnak needed to entertain himself and entertain himself he did. Mumbling, Silim rolled a couple of a vials between his fingers. The cool clear cylinders were his puppets and he was the puppet master. On the table in front of him the tubes stood in pairs, as if at some form of cocktail party. Words quietly left his lips as he weaved the scene together in his mind’s eye.

The murder of Archduke Montesano. It was a delightful little piece of theatre. Short, but not overly so, with a couple of songs that stuck with you – eidetic memory or not. Carefully, Parnak slid one of the vials from his hands into place. The mistress returned to the scene of the crime to announce herself as the secret lover of the late Archduke and, according to this latest will, the heir apparent to his fortune.

Opening his mouth, Silim prepared himself for the falsetto voice he had been using to regurgitate the mistress’ lines from his memory when he was interrupted by the accent he could place anywhere. Like a small boy caught sneaking treats from the cookie jar, Parnak’s hands flew out, knocking down the vials and scattering the scene before him. Ignoring the destruction he just caused to the archduke’s parlour, Silim turned to greet his guest with a warm albeit slightly guilty grin.

“Princess!” He exclaimed over the sound of a couple of the tubes rolling from the desk and tumbling to the deck plate. “This is an unexpected surprise. What can I do for you?

“Oh, Lunch?” He mused, leaving the clutter behind and settling the distance between the two with a few quick strides. “Yes. I suppose it would be that time.”

In truth, he had forgotten all about eating. Distracted first by his work, then the little self-indulgent show he was putting on. It was quite common for him to go all day without eating, so it was pleasant for someone to bring him something. It had been years since someone had been inclined to do so.

That’s right. It was years. So, what was the game here? Why was this attractive redhead, whose very relationship had been one of erotic contention, suddenly playing housewife? Nevermind, it was rude to look a gift riding horse in the mouth. Besides, she had Rokassa juice. That means effort must have been made. Looking between the bags and then back to his guest. Silim assessed her with glee.

“What delights have you brought my way?”

Re: Chapter 04: Supplemental [ Day 04 | 1300 ] The Emerald City

Reply #2
[ Ens. Krystal "Meony" Tancredi | Biology Lab | Deck 9 | Vector 02, The Sword | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @Arista
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It seemed she had startled the Cardassian out of his reverie, causing him to knock down vials and all that sort of thing, making the slender redhead cringe a little, “Awh dang, Ah hope that wasn't anything lethal!”

Well he seemed none the worse for wear, nor in a state of melting or decay from exposure to some super-acidic material in a vial, so that was good. She rolled her eyes good-naturedly at him when he called her a princess. She no longer took offence, now that she knew the reasoning behind why he called her that. It still wasn't something she was entirely comfortable with, or accepted. But she allowed it, out of gratefulness to him for what he did for her. “Geez man, don't ya know when ta eat? Ya ain't gonna be no good t' nobody if ya starved t' death.”

She saw the look of glee in his face, and it made her smile, feeling better than ever that she thought to bring this scatterbrained fellow something to eat. Apparently he was one of those kinds that needed to be dragged away from work or he'd forget to look after himself. That actually made her worry a little. She raised the bag with the food for him, “Not sure 'ow correct it is, but it's s'pposed to be Sem'hal stew and yamok sauce. Me Ah got meself beans, bacon 'n' lard.”

She set the bags down on an empty table and pulled a chair up for herself, “So, what're ya workin' on 'ere? Did Ah interrupt somethin' important?”

Re: Chapter 04: Supplemental [ Day 04 | 1300 ] The Emerald City

Reply #3
[ Dr. Silim Parnak | Biology Lab | Deck 9 | Vector 02 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @Triage
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“Sem’hal stew?” Parnak responded, fishing out containers from the bags while Tancredi brought herself a chair. “Where on prime did you get Sem’hal stew?”

He knew the replicators didn’t had the meal and even if they did, he doubted it would resemble the sem’hal stew he had known. The Federation prided itself on being good at many things. Replicated cuisine was not one of these. Had she made these meals? If so, why? Just before placing the final container onto the workbench, Parnak eyed it carefully.

“Bacon, beans and lard?” He queried, stomach turning at the very concept. He placed the slop, it wasn’t right to call it a meal, without care onto the workbench before him. The container landed with a light thud. “With a diet like this, it’s a wonder you’re able to function at all.”

With his own food, Parnak had much more due care and attention. Carefully peeling back the lid, He moved a hand to waft the smell towards his nose. It was best to get some enjoyment before Tancredi opened the other container. If he had his way, he’d dump the offending item into the replicator and share his stew with the poor girl. However, that all changed when he smelled what was before him. The stew smelt authentic and it gave him an unexpected but very welcome smell of home. One that he hadn’t had in a very long time.

The topic moved onto something closer to his heart than well-cooked cuisine of his homeland – his work. It was as if Tancredi was tugging at all the threads of his interest, hoping to make him dance like a puppet. Silim gave her another look over, raising an eye-ridge with doubt creeping into his mind. What exactly was going on here? A nice meal, asking questions about his work. Was this a thank-you for helping mend her bones or was there some form or ulterior motive?  Best to confront it, he concluded, this wasn’t some Cardassian parlour game and no matter the answer, he’d be able to enjoy the meal once he knew.

“Are you actually interested in my work, or just being polite?”

Re: Chapter 04: Supplemental [ Day 04 | 1300 ] The Emerald City

Reply #4
[ Ens. Krystal "Meony" Tancredi | Biology Lab | Deck 9 | Vector 02, The Sword | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @Arista
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She smiled at his response. As she suspected, Silim would be surprised at a Cardassian hand-cooked meal. She was lucky though to find the ingredients available. She had a worried feeling there wouldn't be enough to make it. As it was, she couldn't just stop off at a market or something if she needed it. So she hoped, really hoped to God that she got it right. And at his reaction, to her own choice of meal, she gave him a stern look with a quickly snapped “Don't judge.”

She settled in her seat and watched the Cardassian cautiously inspect her work. It seemed he approved, if his brief reaction to the smells was anything to go by. Smiling, she was about to open her own container, but hesitated when he asked her what her motivations were. She frowned at first, thinking this rather a paranoid reaction, until she remembered the events of a few days ago, with one A'vura Zeshryr. The Orion had told Meony of it, and the Texan girl laughed, realizing what had happened, which the poor former Chief of Ops couldn't even see.

She knew enough about Cardassians to realize that Silim's background and upbringing would be vastly different from human norms. They might have similarities, but there was always variables and unforeseen factors. Hell, he might have thought shooting Meony was a polite gesture for all she knew.

“Both, doc.” said Meony. “Ah'm bein' interested in yer work, cause Ah am, an' Ah'm bein' polite becos' that's what friends are ta each othah, raht? We're uh...well, Ah teenk of ya as mah friend, and Lord knows Ah owe ya one for jus' bein' there when...ya know...that.”

She rubbed the back of her head, looking away. She still had nightmares about it, and she wouldn't admit to anyone but Jimmy how scared she was. Plus, now there was the sleepwalking and all the dizzy spells. It was possibly the malignant tumour in her brain, and that needed to be dealt with soon. The protective coil could only work so long before it ruptured clean through and finished its intended job. Her eyes wandered back to the Cardassian and she decided to clarify their positions right then and there.

“Lissen, don' get th' wrong ah-deah, hon, Ah ain't hittin' on ya or interested in havin' a good humpin', Ah've got a boyfriend-not th' one ya saw in Starbase, mahnd. 'is name's Jimmy, an' 'e's in Vector Three at th' moment...facin' God knows what kahnda dangers an' all...” she shook her head, “...anyway, Ah made ya somethin' from yer home, figger'd ya'd lahk that.” she smiled at him, “Plus Ah guessed as much ye're one-a those tahps that needta be dragged away from yer work or ye'll dang-well ferget to feed yerself. When was th' last tahm ya stepped outta 'ere to even think of food? Ya ain't a robot, ya know?”

She grinned mischievously then, “Or were ya that keen on yer research on Tarkalean fleas?”

She made the deliberate reference to refresh his memory. “Gals' gonna talk, sugah. Okay, so Ah had anotha "ulterior" motive fer t'day. Ah teenk ya had some 'ssumptions bout mah friend, A'vura. Ah'm hopin' ya'd be interested t'know, mebbe clear th' air?” she gestured to his stew, “an' mebbe enjoy mah cookin' 'fore it gets too dang cold?” She took out the yamok sauce and placed it next to his food, and the Rokassa juice.

Re: Chapter 04: Supplemental [ Day 04 | 1300 ] The Emerald City

Reply #5
[ Dr. Silim Parnak | Biology Lab | Deck 9 | Vector 02 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @Triage
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Watching her as she spoke, Parnak’s brow crinkled in a light frown. Both? What was it with Humans and their wish to keep all options open? It was much akin to that idiom of having a cake and eating it. If you didn’t have a cake, how could you eat it? Furthermore, if you did had a cake, why wouldn’t you want to eat it? The conundrum was mind boggling to say the least. Still though, it was best to pay it no mind. Tancredi was pressing on.

Apparently, the human was still mostly skilled in the art of communication. Using the opportunity, she declared herself uninterested in his advances, minimal that they had been. For the briefest of moments, Parnak was disappointed. He hadn’t been over the top. After all, he was a gentleman. All the subtly, all the friction, gone. Just like that.

That was, at least, until she suddenly mentioned this mysterious boyfriend. Much like a light being switched on, it finally dawned on Parnak what was going on. She had concocted an aberration in an attempt to get a rise. It was quite clever, albeit juvenile. The major flaw in her plan was that she dived straight in, rather than laid the groundwork, slowly building the reveal up over a number of days. It was clumsy and reminded him of his youth, where many young boys who, when returning from a school break, had the uncanny ability to have acquired a girlfriend from Larcola City – a municipality northern enough that travel was infrequent but populated enough to be feasible. He hadn’t believed them then, and he didn’t believe her now. Even the name she had picked was obvious. Jimmy. Who in the right mind would be called Jimmy?

The game, it appeared, was still afoot. This was something he could get behind. He took in her news regarding her lover with a small, knowing, smile. Internally, Parnak was formulating a plan. Testing it over and over, until he found one that worked. Only half listening, Silim slipped away to gather some of the equipment needed to show off his work. She had, after all, wanted to see it.

A few samples would do. He concluded, grabbing the items in question. Palming over a couple pieces of test equipment before grasping the holo-imager. he twisted, turning back to the girl. That was, when she made her move. The interruption could only be described as a low blow.

Tarkalean fleas? He played back the comment in his mind, mouth slightly agape with incredulity. Well then, it seemed this vole could still bite. Parnak would have to be more careful in the future. Gossip seemed to travel in the ship. With little else to do, Silim gave a short predatory smirk back to the human, speaking simply in retort.  “Princess, pettiness is such an ugly look for you.”

Closing the gap between them, Silim set down the various components of his work he had collected and took his seat once more. Tancredi had seemingly managed to acquire some Yamok sauce. Something that Silim had long since run out trying to spice up the many, many bland replicator meals he suffered through during his time in Federation space. He pondered if she realised what a valuable commodity she had. Not that she was going to get it back. As Parnak took it in his long grey fingers, he thought about pocketing it to save for later.

“Fine, first we eat.” He said, trying to appease the girl whose conversation topics had roamed lightyears in a matter of seconds. “Then I show you my work.”

Re: Chapter 04: Supplemental [ Day 04 | 1300 hrs. ] The Emerald City

Reply #6
[ Ens. Krystal "Meony" Tancredi | Biology Lab | Deck 9 | Vector 02, The Sword | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @Arista
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She wasn't sure, but initially, Meony thought there was something rather off about Silim's smile, the way it had a knowing aspect about it. There wasn't any subtlety about what she'd said, no hidden agenda. She'd laid everything out on the table for him clear as frickin' day. So what was with that knowing look? Or was she just paranoid and reading too much into things? Considering her mental state, the messed up aneurysm in her brain, and the last three years of her life, she decided on the latter. That was the likely reason for her overthinking the simplest of things.

She'd started munching on her bacon and a mouthful of beans when Silim made his comment about pettiness and she swallowed her food down the wrong pipe. Chocking and gagging violently, she pounded on her chest with a fist and drank down some whiskey, not sure if that made it better or worse. “Dafuq ya talkin' about?!?” she managed after a while.

Oh now he wanted to eat and show her his work?!? The fuck with that! She wanted to know what he was going on about her being petty and whatnot. How the hell did that even come about? She tried to replay whatever she'd said to him. It seemed pretty clear to her and on the up and up. But he was a Cardassian through and through. Maybe that was the problem. He was making assumptions based on his own nature. Which as she was quickly learning, could clash with human social and cultural norms.

“Doc...Ah hope ya ain't gettin' sum braht ah-deahs about what Ah said....an' don't ya wan' t'know about the whole confusion dat happened 'tween you an' A'vura? Because Ah'm startin' t' think Ah know how dat happened...”

Re: Chapter 04: Supplemental [ Day 04 | 1300 ] The Emerald City

Reply #7
[ Dr. Silim Parnak | Biology Lab | Deck 9 | Vector 02 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @Triage
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“Are you?” Silim replied, picking up the bowel and taking a spoon to his container of food. “Are you sure you understand all the variables in play here?”

He was going to leave the topic there, no point ruining a good gesture on his misgivings. That was the plan; however, Parnak had found himself more riled than expected. How dare the green skinned girl try to use her friend to once again poke the open wound. Did her treachery and deceit know no bounds? With an elaborate flourish, the spoon went back into his stew. Before he had even tasted it, it had left a bitter flavor in his mouth.

“Let’s review, shall we?” He was being pedantic and obtuse. This he knew, but his irritation had gotten the better of him. There was no doubt, in Silim’s mind, that he would not be able to enjoy the meal until he had said his piece.

“Your friend shot my research subject without warning or provocation.” He started the story. The pedantry gave his tone a slightly disgruntled quality, although it was still calm and reasoned. “Thus, she removed any further ability to do any work with it, as well as invalidating any incomplete work I had already done. In one swift action, she set back months of research.”

“On top of that…” He continued, cutting off any chance of a reply from his guest. She would get her turn. He had no doubt about that. First though, she had to hear everything. That way she would weigh up how she wanted to proceed. “…she then kept the creature, in secret, even though she was present to my conversation with Kendrick about how my use for the bat was now defunct.”

“That alone is not so much of a problem. What I hold the largest issue with is the fact she then waited. She waited and held onto the animal, before lulling me to her quarters. There she waxed lyrical on my virtues. Only to present the blasted thing back to me.” The calmness in his voice started to slip. More and more annoyance began to creep in as he spoke. The volume slowly increasing with the tone change. “The sheer audacity of the act! She single handedly destroyed my very purpose for being here and then thought the most appropriate action was to revel in my misfortune by her own hand.”

“Thanks to your friend, I have now not only wasted my time travelling across the Federation but also the hours of study I had put into the project.” Any more and he risked turning the explanation into a rant. Then that rant into a lecture. And then that lecture into a series. Come along, he almost cried, come to the Biology labs and listen to a multipart series titled ’What the hell is wrong with A’vura Zeshryr’. Instead he sighed.

“Can you perhaps see why, princess, that I wasn’t best pleased?” He spat out with the last of his venom. “To be honest, I expected better of you too. Allowing yourself to be used by her as another method to exact revenge against is quite uncouth.”

Leaning back into his chair. Parnak folded his arms across his chest. A deep frown across his brow. There was the chance he had just ruined everything. The die, however, had been cast and there was no way to get it back. Watching, he awaited Tancredi’s reaction.

Now, he concluded indignantly, now is the time that I get told about how I am wrong.

Re: Chapter 04: Supplemental [ Day 04 | 1300 hrs. ] The Emerald City

Reply #8
[ Ens. Krystal "Meony" Tancredi | Biology Lab | Deck 9 | Vector 02, The Sword | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @Arista
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Meony watched the Cardassian as he began to speak, and truly express himself. Throughout this, she started eating her food in earnest, having a suspicious feeling in the pit of her stomach that she would probably be down one friend or any friendly welcome from the good Silim Parnak. She was reminded by him of her reaction to the bat from hell. That creature was a source of contention it seemed, and maybe A'vura would have done better if she had just left the stupid thing to blow up with the Resolve, but that just wasn't in the Orion's nature to do so. She managed to get a fair bit of her steak and beans eaten by the time her grey friend had finished, and Meony's eyes were fairly wide, especially when he included her in the blamethrowing session.

She swallowed her last mouthful, and pushed her plate away, looking at Silim silently for a metaphorical minute (it was probably about five or six seconds of stupid blinking and staring, really), before she slapped a palm against her forehead, resting the elbow on the table, “Ah geez...” said the cowgirl. Diplomacy was not her forte, what the hell was she thinking? Trying to play peacemaker wasn't going to be easy, especially with both parties seemingly at an impasse, not fully understanding one another. “...Doc, ya gotta believe me when Ah say this: but 'vura don't have nothin' against ya, and Ah ain't here on some fucked up revenge plan on 'er behalf.”

She pointed at his stew and the yamok sauce, “Ah didn't make that ta torture ya. Hell Ah rarely cook for anybody, not even Jimmy - mostly 'cause he's a fuckin' great cook himself - so please, please, fer th' love'a all that's holy an' good, don' think Ah'm here t' be mean t' ya, 'kay?”

She slid out of her seat and knelt down beside the scientist, taking one of his hands in hers, her eyes locked with his, “What ya need t' understand next is...we don' think lahk Cardassians, shit Ah don' know th' first thing 'bout yer people's culture and habits, so Ah hope ya'll forgive me if Ah'm doin' anythin' wrong or unacceptable 'ere, but Ah'm doin' everythin' in all honesty and from th' bottom of mah heart. On behalf of A'vura an' me, we're sorry, for the bat, for...fuck, for everythin'.”

She let go of his hand and looked down, before continuing to speak, “A'vura's not yer run of the mill Orion.”

She looked up at Silim, “She was adopted an' raised bah humans since she was a baby. Ya unnerstand? Whatever ya maht assume 'bout Orions? Practically none o' that applahs t' her. Hell, didja know she's still a virgin? How many Orions at th' age of twenty-four ya know that's still a virgin? Bet ya cain't count on more'n one hand. Anyway, yeah, sure, shootin' that bat was on her, and she musta forgotten what ya said at th' meetin' - please don't hate her, we all went through hell that day.”

She got up and moved uncertainly to sit in her chair once more, remembering something, “So, again, Ah ain't sure what'cha thinkin' raht now, but if ye're thinkin' Ah've got sum agenda b'sides eatin' an' talkin' yer ears off 'bout mah friend an' 'er unintentional offenses t' ya...well, no, Ah don't. It's th' simple truth.” She looked at him seriously then, “After what we went through, and how we both nearly lost our lives? Ah ain't gonna beat 'round th' bush with ya, 'kay? Nothin' but th' simple truth of things. Ah came 'ere 'cause Ah wanted t' thank ya fer what ya did, an' make somethin' from yer home in gratitude.” She said a lot, but she felt Silim needed to hear this.

Re: Chapter 04: Supplemental [ Day 04 | 1300 ] The Emerald City

Reply #9
[ Dr. Silim Parnak | Biology Lab | Deck 9 | Vector 02 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @Triage
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And there it was. Apparently, he was wrong. Again.

What a surprise. Not moving, Silim waited and listened, his eyes peering out from under the frown. It didn’t lighten at all when she spoke of the imaginary boyfriend. He would be a great cook. Of course, he would be. Why make up someone who is terrible?

He resisted the urge to scoff when she told him that she didn’t think like a Cardassian. That much was obvious. It was just like saying that she didn’t look like a Horta. Silim was formulating a sufficiently accurate quip when the conversation took at unexpected turn. The apology was a surprise. He hadn’t expected that. However, before he could address it, his guest moved on. Humans were prone to what has been told was called ‘Motor Mouth’ and Tancredi was no exception.  

Staring deep towards his guest, Parnak waited for her to finish rambling and mulled over the words she used. Without a word of reply, the Cardassian took a spoonful of the stew and placed it in his mouth. He savoured the bite, testing it for flavour and consistency. Deliberately taking his time to contemplate the meal, eventually he swallowed.

“Thank you.” He said simply. Whether it was to the apology or to the food, that would be something only Parnak would know. Part of him wanted to acknowledge and reciprocate her feelings. The human had bared part of her soul. Then again, she had said other things and Silim wasn’t about to let them lie.

“Now I may be wrong…” He started with an element of sarcasm. “But I think your friend might not enjoy you sharing facets of their sex life, or lack thereof.”

Re: Chapter 04: Supplemental [ Day 04 | 1300 hrs. ] The Emerald City

Reply #10
[ Ens. Krystal "Meony" Tancredi | Biology Lab | Deck 9 | Vector 02, The Sword | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @Arista
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Awkward silence time! Meony tilted her head to one side as she watched Silim eat his meal. He had frowned through most of her dialogue, and then he proceeded to enjoy the meal she'd made for him, but left her stewing in worry that he's going to have an outburst or chase her out of the room or...

...he could focus solely on the fact that she had brought up A'vura's non-existent sex life. But he did thank her. “You're...welcome...”, she wasn't sure what it was for though. At his comment, she raised her right hand, index finger pointed upwards, and her lips parted to say something, but she thought about it and her shoulders sagged, arm flapping back down, “Okay ya got me there.”

She didn't quite know how to go from there, since she banked everything on her long-winded speech to at least garner a longer more thought-out response. Maybe it was a Cardassian thing. Sighing, she gestured helplessly with her hands, “Ah guess uhm...that's that. Yeah...hey, ya likin' it?” she looked at his stew, then back at him. If nothing else she supposed she'd like to know if her cooking skills was borderline disastrous or survivable. If it was enjoyable, then she'd be surprised.

“Ah got th' recipe an' all, trahd makin' it from scratch. Problem was Ah wasn't sure if Ah share th' same taste buds or preferences.” She swallowed a little and shifted in her seat, seemingly nervous with anticipation. She decided to let the matters drop since the scientist was clearly not interested in continuing down that path.

Re: Chapter 04: Supplemental [ Day 04 | 1300 ] The Emerald City

Reply #11
[ Dr. Silim Parnak | Biology Lab | Deck 9 | Vector 02 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @Triage
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Silim Parnak couldn’t help but grin as the human before him conceded defeat. The posturing and rapport had all been worth it in the end. As the Cardassian enjoyed a victory spoonful of the stew, his guest followed up once again with the question of her culinary skills. It appeared this was a sensitive subject or at least one she did indeed care more about that what she had initially indicated.

Carefully he thought about his reply. It would have been easy for him to be pedantic, stating that if she had gotten and followed a proper recipe currently, then it would definitely have been seasoned for the Cardassian palate. That, however, would be cruel. Especially as she had apparently gone to quick the effort to prepare this. Instead he followed a different tactic.

“It’s quite a good semblance of Sem’hal Stew.” He said, in earnest. It was a very good approximation “I’m not going to submit your names to the culinary houses in Torr just yet, but it is a pleasing taste of home.”

Taking another spoonful, he contemplated the meal further. Cardassians didn’t eat quickly. Thus, this became the unfortunate situation that held most interspecies dining. One party finished before the other and was just sat, watching.

“If this is the quality of your work.” Silim began, with a cheeky grin. “I think I would enjoy tempting my taste buds exploring what other of your flavours you held.”

Re: Chapter 04: Supplemental [ Day 04 | 1300 hrs. ] The Emerald City

Reply #12
[ Ens. Krystal "Meony" Tancredi | Biology Lab | Deck 9 | Vector 02, The Sword | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @Arista
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Meony realized she must've looked like quite the pig, with the haste in which she had eaten her food. But then, she wasn't normally this quick an eater; she simply anticipated getting chased out for offending him or some such. This was why diplomacy was not her forte. She knew nothing about reading people or understanding cultural norms or social standards. But to her relief, he found her cooking to be at least remindful of the food from home, even if it wasn't the best.

After his last statement, she smiled and waved her hand as she spoke, “Glad it weren't a to'al disaster then. Ah wasn't sure how yer taste buds work compared't ours, and Ejek's pretty much th' only one who could tell'n' 'parently her sense'a taste's pretty unique.”

She looked at him thoughtfully, before the last part of his answer registered itself officially and set up shop in her mind. “What?”

Did he just...? she jabbed her thumb at her chest, “Were ya just flirtin' with meh? Didja not hear what Ah said earliah? What part of 'Ah have a boahfriend' are ya not gettin'?!?” She pulled down the zip of her uniform, knowing full well how that looked to him right now in his state of mind but there was nothing to be done about it. She stuck her hand inside, quickly pulling out a old-fashioned print of an image, which showed Meony grinning, in the arms of a man in the uniform of a security officer. “Ya see that yellow-banded freak raht there? That's mah Jimmy, Ah'm not sahm desprayt gal that needs t'hahd behahnd'a pretend boahfriend or nothin', y'hear? We're tryn'a be exclusive'n'all so yah needta stop widda flirtin' an' all dat.” She finally paused to draw in breath.

“Whah th' hell did Ah just say all that?!?” she looked down at her mostly finished container of food, “Whut th' hell's in mah food?!?” She raised a hand to rub her temples, seemingly massaging a headache that cropped up, if her slightly pained expression was any indication. Her mind was jumping everywhere.

Re: Chapter 04: Supplemental [ Day 04 | 1300 ] The Emerald City

Reply #13
[ Dr. Silim Parnak | Biology Lab | Deck 9 | Vector 02 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @Triage
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It took most of his restraint not to laugh in the poor girl’s face when she had her moment of realisation. Yes, he had been saying flirtatious comments, as he had throughout their entire history. One could say that courting was like a dance, in some cases it was great to find a partner who could keep you moving on your toes, other times it was pleasant to dazzle with an overwhelmingly better ability. Parnak and Tancredi was the latter. Though obviously talented, the human didn’t provide the verbal stimulus of others, but there was no way Silim was going to let that stop him enjoying whatever he could with her.

Placing down his meal once more, the Cardassian watched with anticipation as the woman reached for the fastening of her uniform. Was this finally it? Had she eventually clocked onto his desires?

Excitement quickly turned to disappointment with only a passing glimpse of the soft, white, flesh of her bosom as apparently the Larcola city boyfriend was, in fact, real. Not only that, but it seemed that Silim had finally pushed too far. He didn’t flinch at the sudden raised voice, but it was unexpected. Raising his hand, he prepared to start his method of calming. With little to no warning, much like the shouting from his guest, the topic moved on to confusion. In mere moments, Parnak was no longer disappointed but concerned.

Not taking his gaze from the girl, Parnak used a hand to slide open a drawer and retrieve a tricorder. He didn’t ask permission to scan her, but instead immediately began to work the machine over her.

“I don’t think it’s your food.” Parnak commented, having forgotten his own meal. As he waved the tricorder around her temple, he frowned at the results coming through the display. “Is this the first time you’ve found yourself confused by what you’re saying?”

The flirtations were done, the dance stopped. Held, until it could be picked up again. Silim cast his mind back to what he had previously seen during their time in the human’s quarters. The tumour. It was different.

“I think it’s time you tell me more about what’s going on inside your head.”


Re: Chapter 04: Supplemental [ Day 04 | 1300 hrs. ] The Emerald City

Reply #14
[ Ens. Krystal "Meony" Tancredi | Biology Lab | Deck 9 | Vector 02, The Sword | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @Arista
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She had actually passed out for a split second, or more, whilst remaining seated and her eyes glazed over, but when she came to, Silim was running a tricorder over her. She'd forgotten he's a scientist, with a well-earned title of doctor, and their last time together had him running a tricorder over her much like he was doing now. She knew what he had seen. He hadn't made much, if any, comment on what he found. But since then, the thing, having found its temporary prison of a coil getting weakened, began to aggressively expand once more. His scans likely would show that it was once again in action, and it was only a matter of time. Why deny it any longer? That would be stupid.

“Y-yeah,” said Meony, her voice a bit shaky, much like it was after she narrowly survived fighting the Devoted alongside Silim, “used t' be just the nightmares and th' mother o' all headaches...guess ya cain add crazy t' the list now.”

She looked nervously at the Cardassian, “Ya didn't even say nothin' 'bout Jimmy, did ya? Sorry.”

Studying her hands for a moment, she sighed and leaned back, looking at the man squarely, “'bout a month or so back, 'fore we came outta Hell Sector, we ran inta some really disgustin' and nasty aliens, kinda had an octopus for a head and a humanoid but still-fishy body.” she waved her hands animatedly as she regaled her tale, “Someone called 'em Illithids or Mind-Flayers. Seemed kinda appropriate since they showed signs o' telepathy, an' had all these gross bioweapons. Well, they shot me with one, put one'a them or somethin' like them in mah 'ead. They said it's th' Screamin' Death an' Ah have a short tahm t' live. See, best as th' Captain could figure, it grows in th' brain, reaches all its tentacles inta mah brain stem? Sticks inta all th' nerve clusters, makes me think Ah'm in hell and tortures me...ta death. Ah'm 'spected t' be screamin' for days on end. Least that's 'ow it's s'pposed t' work, they execute or torture prisoners on their world like that. Sometimes, they just do it fer fun...so Ah heard.”

She looked away and wiped a stray tear as she thought of Captain Kendrick. “Mah captain, Kendrick...he was a doctor 'fore he was a captain...he trahd t' save mah lahf. Trahd t' operate an' all...it damn near killed me raht away then, so 'e put a coil 'round it, stopped it from expandin', 'till they could get meh t' a better equipped facility. Least, that was th' plan, ya know how things went since. It's killin' me, an' not really much Ah cain do 'bout it, ya know? Figured if Ah'm punchin' mah ticket from 'ere, Ah maht as well make mahself useful as possible, stick it until Ah cain't no more...”

Re: Chapter 04: Supplemental [ Day 04 | 1300 ] The Emerald City

Reply #15
[ Dr. Silim Parnak | Biology Lab | Deck 9 | Vector 02 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @Triage
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As she spoke, Parnak took a number of different scans with his tricorder, looking over the results and watching the girl for any additional signs of mental decay. To his relief, she maintained her balance despite her gesticulation and managed to rationally tell a story. Though he’d never admit it, it had been a small test to check her memory and motor functions.

“Going crazy isn’t on the cards for today, I’m afraid.” Silim replied, closing his tricorder with one hand. The tell-tale ratcheting sound of Starfleet models was possibly their most appealing function. “It appears these ‘tendrils’ have extended themselves into a new area of your brain. Because of this they are activating some areas and inhibiting others, which has caused the unexpected emotional outburst you just experienced.

“Despite the valiant efforts of the late Captain Kendrick; Until something is done, your condition will continue.” The Cardassian placed down his scanning device and looked amongst the assembled tools. As he did so, he continued to talk. “You promised to get treatment at a better facility, and from what I remember on my time on the Resolve, this ship does have a considerably better research and medical complex.

“Ah.” He said, picking up the holoimager. With deft hands he adjusts a few settings before looking up to the pilot. “I must say, Princess I am a little disappointed.”

Without a moment’s notice, Parnak pressed the shutter control, instantly capturing the human’s image down the metabolic level. With a wry grin, he checked the snapshot on a small viewer on the back of the device before standing.

“There is no need to give up just yet.” He couldn’t help by smirk. “Still plenty can be done to help understand, control and treat your condition.

“Come.” He beckoned, like he was speaking to a trained domestic animal. Without waiting to see if she followed or not, Parnak padded across to a small table in the corner of the laboratory. “Exobiology is the the study of synthesizing and manipulating biological devices and systems alien to that of your home world. With your luck, I am Cardassian and the Human species does indeed count as extra-terrestrial.”

Transferring the data from the holoimager to simulation station in front of him, Parnak pulled up the holograph. What materialised was an exact photonic duplicate of the Tancredi from the shoulders up. With a few presses on his control panel built into the station, the image zoomed in, then again, and again until they were seeing the tumour in a larger than life representation. Visible to the trained eye was the tubing constricting the black mass as well as the small hairline breaks which had allowed the tendrils to push out through. Turning his head from side to side, Parnak appraised the situation. He could definitely work on this, it would just take time. Looking his guest, he confirmed his initial appraisal. “This is not the end of the journey. Not yet.

“Besides, working yourself to death isn’t as noble of an ideal at it can initially sound.”


Re: Chapter 04: Supplemental [ Day 04 | 1300 hrs. ] The Emerald City

Reply #16
[ Ens. Krystal "Meony" Tancredi | Biology Lab | Deck 9 | Vector 02, The Sword | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @Arista
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“Ah suppose so...” said Meony softly, and she sighed. When Silim started speaking after her little report regarding her deteriorating condition, she'd had the most miserable look imaginable, as his explanation confirmed her fears and suspicions. The coil was no longer sufficient. Right then even, she could feel a niggling sensation in her brain, sudden phantom sensations of pain or aches, the urge to twitch, to scream or jump. Even her emotions were jumping, and she felt anger, fear, joy, and of course, confusion. It was going to be a fight to keep sane and identify reality from imagination.

“...ain't so much 'bout workin' t' death as jus' havin' somethin' t' do. T' keep mah focus off pain and th' fear.”

It was more than she wanted to admit to him, but what was the point hiding it? Maybe he could help, even. She'd followed him at his beckon, after a moment of thought, and she studied the thing that was within her brain. Despite herself, she shuddered at the sight of it. It was in her, and it was trying to kill her, no hesitation, no regrets. It was designed to torture as well as to eventually kill, no fear for the probability that it will die along with her once her body and mind expired from its constant attacks. “Ya ever come 'cross anythin' like this?” She asked.

Pointing at the longest tendril that had leeched out of the coil onto her brain, Meony inquired, “This thing's the one that's causing alla that emotional outburts, ain't it?”

Re: Chapter 04: Supplemental [ Day 04 | 1300 ] The Emerald City

Reply #17
[ Dr. Silim Parnak | Biology Lab | Deck 9 | Vector 02 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @Triage
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Watching the human as she reached into a holographic representation of her own brain. There was something strangle and oddly compelling about the sight. After all, when else would you see someone manipulating their own brain matter, albeit in a clumsy fashion.

Pressing a few buttons on the controls, the holographic representation of the girl’s brain shifted in colour. Now it was easier to see, bringing a dull muted translucent grey colour to everything except the tumour itself, which was a bright, angry red.

“You are correct. I would hazard a guess that the amount of nerve clusters which are being impeded are causing the unexpected verbalisation.” 
 
Parnak raked one hand through the long black strands on his hair. His own mind was ablaze, trying to formulate hypotheses and plans of attack. Though he supposed he could leave this issue to the medical staff aboard Theurgy, the fact that Tancredi has been reluctant to see them already said something to the man.

Right now, the girl needed comfort. That was something even the most socially oblivious person could tell. The way she commented on the need for focus, alongside her pushing for answers. Silim would give her what he could.

“This isn’t the first time I’ve seen something abnormal growing in a cranium.” While accurate, Parnak omitted certain truths. There was no need to worry her with the differences, no matter how large or small. Instead, he placed a hand on her shoulder and, with a smirk, quipped. “Besides, if you wanted something to keep yourself busy. I am always on the look out for an assistant.”

Joking aside, he did care for the human. It was somewhat of a puzzle for him. Why did he care so much? Was it latent feelings of attraction from their encounters, even if she did have a lover? Was it a level of comradery from their assault? Was it that he was so starved for attention, he would make friends wherever he could? He knew that he wasn’t going to let her situation get any worse, no matter the real reason. He would save Krystal Tancredi, if it was the last thing he did.

Meanwhile, sat congealing on an empty bench, the food behind the pair was long forgotten.

Re: Chapter 04: Supplemental [ Day 04 | 1300 hrs. ] The Emerald City

Reply #18
[ Ens. Krystal "Meony" Tancredi | Biology Lab | Deck 9 | Vector 02, The Sword | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @Arista
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It was terrifying to see. Those monsters from Hell Sector perfected their art of torment and death to such a degree. Like it was a wonderful thing. A part of her imagined that even Silim had a morbid fascination for it. But was it true? Or just the paranoia instigated by that creature inside her skull? She decided it was better to believe the latter for the time being, until she could tell reality from fantasy, or she simply lost the ability to think. She smiled, even barked a mirthless laugh against the despair trying to well up inside her. But the tears in her eyes told her lone audience all he needed to know about how she really felt.

Meony was the most terrified being on board, and that was the truth. Well, maybe after Suq...

Only a few people ever really saw Meony when she'd let her guard down, when she allowed her true self to show under all that hot temper, bravado and beligerent behaviour. Silim was well on the way to having the honour of seeing this as well, though mostly by virtue of the fact she could barely maintain control of her emotions and thoughts. When he offered to let her be his assistant, she turned and wrapped her arms around him, pulling herself close, quite uninvited, and buried her face in his chest. She didn't even know if he tried to push her back or not, because she became so momentarily lost in drawing comfort and strength from him, then she slowly pulled away.

“Much obliged, sugah, but Ah doubt yer lab'll survahve me in mah current state,” said Meony as she gestured with a shaking hand, which suddenly froze and stopped, then she lifted her other hand, which was now shaking. Hazel eyes tilted from a still head to look at the Cardassian, “Mah tahm's runnin' out. Ah cain still do some things, but th' sooner th' vectors reunite, th' better. In th' meantime, maybe we can learn all that we can, an' we get it t' th' docs...”

She managed to remain only a little while longer, before her migraines became too much for her to bear, and she was stumbling out the door even as they made some headway into the intricate details of the Screaming Death's physiology and pattern of behaviour, leaving the Cardassian to uncover what other mysteries it might hold.

-FIN

 
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