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Day 07 [1630 hrs.] An Evening in the Big Easy

| Rylan Sil | Deck 21, Holodeck 4 | U.S.S. Theurgy | @Tae

During the years since Rylan left his homeworld, Risa, he’d spent time on a lot of starships, both Starfleet and otherwise. The Theurgy was by far the largest and most advanced of them all. With that level of advancement apparently came a certain degree of luxury as well. With its tidy multifunctional interiors, plush navy blue carpets, and the sheer number of amenities available onboard it was the rival of even the most opulent Risian starliners. He had spent the last hour or so wandering the lower decks of the ship, giving himself an improvised tour of the areas he had access to, and considering the decision he had made to even come aboard.

He was sure that his editor was going to be incensed when he found out. There was value for FNN in him being there though, Rylan reminded himself as he continued down the corridor on deck 21. “You know what?” Rylan said to no one in particular as he passed the first in a row of holodecks, “It’s too quiet to think.” He skidded to a stop in front of holodeck four and finding it unoccupied tapped the access panel to the side of the arch quickly scrolling through a list of the available programs. Like the corridors of the ship the list was seemingly endless.

Then he spotted it: Washington Square, New Orleans, Earth. While he’d been based on Earth the city had quickly become one of his favorites on the planet. The place had a culture all its own and was a marvel of old-world architecture, authentic food, and a bustling nightlife. Washington Square Park was one of the most idyllic parts of the city, especially on a clear spring night when the street musicians were playing and a gentle breeze whispered through the historic oak trees. "That one," he said and touched the line on the screen, then set a few variables and the program began load just as a familiar face turned the corner.

It was the scientist from the atrium briefing earlier in the week. The one he had jumped ahead of to question the captains. "Hey..." he said, unsure whether to approach her or not, ""

Re: Day 7 [1630 hrs.] An Evening in the Big Easy

Reply #1
CM1 Nara Nueva | Deck 21, Holodeck 04 | U.S.S. Theurgy | Attn: @oberonfrost

Nara needed a night off after the week she had, and having been exiled far into the lower decks on Deck 17 she preferred to stick to the lower reaches of the ship for her off-duty time when she got it. So she'd dressed reasonably casually in a pair of tan shorts and a blue tank top that one of her academy peers had said made her look like 'Lara Croft' whoever that was. All Nara knew was that she liked how the outfit looked on her athletic frame. The auburn-haired woman did everything she could to give herself a good night off. So going for a little "walk" as she thought of it in the Holodeck, maybe somewhere in Tokyo, or someplace else that would be good to practice parkour.

So when she came around the corner to the holodecks and heard a vaguely familiar voice speaking to her Nara looked up and scanned the man's face for a moment. She didn't immediately recognize the reporter since Rylan being on the Theurgy was highly out of context for her. Nara seemed to stiffen for a moment. And then the sound of New Orleans jazz coming out of the Holodeck, the casual attire, it all sent the message that Rylan was off duty as well. The athletic woman forces herself to relax, and she leans against the nearest bulkhead, a sardonic smile coming to her lips as she crosses her lean arms across her chest.

"Hey yourself... looks like you're going to explore New Orleans. Unless you're going to do a bar crawl down Bourbon Street I'll join you. I'm Nara. Good to meet you, just no interviews about my career." Nara's accent was odd, not a typical Terran accent. Her particular inflection almost hissed and clipped. Vega was an older Human colony and had developed its own culture and dialect, but most people didn't commonly hear her particular accent even inside Starfleet. Making up her mind to be friendly with Rylan, she extended a calloused hand to the only slightly shorter man, and a smile tugged at the corner of her lips. The last part of her comment to Rylan was typically a joke, but from the serious look in her eyes, it would be evident that Nara wasn't joking, not that she even knew if Rylan knew who she was. After all, there weren't too many Vegan scientists that had promising high profile careers and then disappeared into oblivion.

"Come on, let's grab a bite to eat. Muffulettas or crawfish etouffe?" The question one that she would absolutely judge Rylan on the answer he gave. Maybe it was the sound of the Jazz, or the spicy aromas of the crawfish boil just inside, hell perhaps just the chatter of the happy sounds that accompanied public drunkenness, but Nara was in the mood to be friendly and relaxed. So comments about interviews aside, she looked wistfully to the holodeck reliving some fond memories from her time on Earth during her academy years. This would be a good night whether or not she spent it alone or in the company of Rylan.

Re: Day 7 [1630 hrs.] An Evening in the Big Easy

Reply #2
| Rylan Sil | Deck 21, Holodeck 4 | U.S.S. Theurgy | @Tae

"Etouffe, if I have to choose," Rylan said as the pair started stroll under the oaks, "but to be honest I was craving boudin balls when I picked the program." He didn't recognize the song, but the saxophone melody droned on hauntingly as they turned a corner and made a beeline for the restaurant with the enticing simulated aromas.

Rylan hoped that she wouldn't be upset at the way he'd cut her off in front of the captain. "No camera and everything is off the record the record. That said, this whole thing is kinda crazy, right?" He signaled to the hostess that they needed a table for two and the holographic server led them through the tangled oyster house to a small table deep in the back. "Parasites and Borg, who knows what else."

Just then a waitress sat down glasses of water and a basket of cheesy biscuits. Rylan motioned for Nara to order first, then followed suit. With their orders placed he went on. "I don't think I actually caught your name...?" Maybe she had said it back at the embassy and he missed it, preoccupied with the impromptu presentation he had accidentally attended.

Re: Day 7 [1630 hrs.] An Evening in the Big Easy

Reply #3
CM1 Nara Nueva | Deck 21, Holodeck 04 | U.S.S. Theurgy | Attn: @oberonfrost

Nara had done some thinking while walking with Rylan through the muggy New Orleans night. She'd been relatively quiet as she thought about what to discuss with the reporter. Small talk would be kind of course, it always was with reporters, and eventually, she'd have her story out with Rylan. So it was with a concluded conscience, Nara found it best to have this be her own narrative. There was no reason for her decision, really.

The brassy New Orleans Jazz moved through her and through the scenery of the holographic town, the deep notes of the jubilant Tubas so endemic to New Orleans jazz played counterpoint to the near-constant drone of the cicadas. The holographic town was coming alive with the oppressive warmth of a late summer night. The holographic world around them a dead-ringer for the real thing except for the omission of mosquitos.

Nara followed alongside Rylan silently as they walked, her expression a mildly somber one. Rylan mentioned the parasites, the Borg. He'd been in the Embassy Hall the same day as her. and Initially, she'd been wary of the man, but indeed him being aboard meant that he wouldn't be doing smearing of Captain Ives. At the absolute least, that meant that Rylan would be polite. And if Nara was willing to trust the crew and the other members of Starfleet, and Rylan was doing the same, she should trust him. Sitting down to dinner with the reporter then, she didn't even look at the menu and smiled at the holographic waitress.

"Aubergine stew, with a side of fried okra, please. And sweet tea."

She kicked herself mentally, realizing she was stalling, and sat up straight, just barely resting against her chair, muscular shoulders squared and poised.

"Doctor Nara Nueva, formerly of the Daystrom Institute, winner of the 2371 Zee-Magnees prize in Astrophysics and Particle Physics also formerly lieutenant. And I was researching Thalaron radiation before Shinzon's coup." She lets that pronouncement hang in the air. From the set of her jaw and the care in which she spoke to minimize her Vegan accent, it would be clear that this talk could be on the record. It wasn't like she gave that complete introduction to just anyone, much less what she had done to warrant her demotion.

Re: Day 7 [1630 hrs.] An Evening in the Big Easy

Reply #4
| Rylan Sil | Deck 21, Holodeck 4| U.S.S. Theurgy | @Tae

The salt and umami of the cheesy biscuit hit Rylan’s tongue as Nara began her introduction. It seemed like an impressive background, but the thalaron radiation mentioned made it clear why the crash from lieutenant to crewman had happened. He swallowed the lump of tasty bread and looked at his companion with a naive grin, “What’s a Z Magnets prize?” He chuckled. “I never really did science reporting, so I’m sorry I’m not familiar with it. I do wars, reconstruction, politics, culture… that kinda thing. Thalaron though - that means you were a weapons researcher then?”

He took a drink from his glass and then wiped it across his brow, the cool condensation chasing away the sweat that had broken out in the recreated heat and humidity. Rylan listened as Nara started to explain about her research, but they were interrupted by the arrival of their entrees. “Thanks,” he said to the holographic waitress, more out of habit than any need for manners with the computer program.

Rylan popped one of the boudin balls in his mouth and gave it a chew as he motioned for Nara to continue with her story.

Re: Day 7 [1630 hrs.] An Evening in the Big Easy

Reply #5
CM1 Nara Nueva | Deck 21, Holodeck 04 | U.S.S. Theurgy | Attn: @oberonfrost

Nara smiled at Rylan then, and chuckled at his explanation. She seemed to sigh to herself then and focused on her beverage of choice before saying anything further. The athletic woman picked her next words carefully.

"Right, so then even with my introduction, it means that you have no idea who I am. That's fine, not everyone does science reporting, but the Zee-Magnees prize is a prestigious award given for discoveries in the sciences. And I never officially worked on weapons. My doctorate is in High energy physics, which, yes, does have applications to weapons research. What I was trying to do with my research was to understand how Thalaron radiation worked and how we can defend against it. Just because we made it illegal doesn't mean that others, notably the Romulans. But It wasn't like I had approval for what I was doing because we'd decided to bury our head in the sand regarding that technology. While we shouldn't ever use it, we need to understand how it works to allow us a defense against it."

Nara shrugged then and took some time to focus on her meal. And while she ate, she thought about what to say next. She'd never sat down with a reporter before, even something as casual as this. So, what was there to talk about with a reporter, someone she didn't know? Small talk, there was always that.

"So, why be a reporter? I'm curious to know why you decided to join the ship? I mean, you're taking the risk of your career never going anywhere. You're throwing away a whole career. Mine's already shot, but you, I think I've read some of your pieces, you always come off as honest, but as you said, you do wars, politics, that whole scene. And while we're wrapped up in this something highly political.."

She frowned then, trailing off, not sure ifs he'd just shoved her foot into her mouth.

Re: Day 7 [1630 hrs.] An Evening in the Big Easy

Reply #6
| Rylan Sil | Deck 21, Holodeck 04 | U.S.S. Theurgy | @Tae

"People say I'm cynical..." Rylan said then popped the last bit of bread into his mouth, chewed quickly and swallowed with a nearly audible gulp.  "...but that's a very pessimistic way looking at it. The way I see it though, this is the opportunity of a lifetime. If what we've been told over the last week is true, I might get a fancy prize with a silly name." Even as he said it he wondered if that joke was going to land well with Nara. "So you see a career end-er, I see a career maker. Guess time will tell which one of us is right, huh?

"Here, try the boudin," he tilted the basket of sausage balls toward Nara. He plucked one out for himself and savored the flavor as he tilted his chair back on two legs, using his heels to balance. He let the silence hang between them for a moment, the bustle of the artificial atmosphere and the jazz surrounding them.

After the pause, punctuated by piano and trombone, he leveled his gaze back on his companion. She was lovely woman, completely not his type. "I'm curious about something though," he said finally. "Surely you've got people... a boyfriend, family... whatever - a lot of people on the ship do. How's that work with the whole turning into a renegade on the run? Do you worry what they're going to think about you being involved in all this?"

Re: Day 7 [1630 hrs.] An Evening in the Big Easy

Reply #7
CM1 Nara Nueva | Deck 21, Holodeck 04 | U.S.S. Theurgy | Attn: @oberonfrost

Nara shrugged a little, sipping on her beverage,  and she took up one of the boudin balls and popped it into her mouth. Chewing on the large ball gave her plenty of time to consider her response and think about making a response to Rylan. It was something to think about, and she hadn't considered before taking this leap.

"Honestly, Rylan, since I got demoted, I haven't spoken to my parents. And while I had a relationship at the institute that ended the very moment that I got busted for what I did." She shrugged her lean shoulders, taking a second to look around the simulation of New Orleans. She took a moment to think about how Rylan viewed his situation and realized that she indeed agreed on that one.

"I think I can see where you're coming from, telling the truth of the situation and all of what that entails. Here's hoping that your work gets through and that you'll have the reach to get through to people. Honestly, I'll wish you the best, of course."

She paused then and focused on her meal once that came, enjoying the spicy aromas and tastes before her. While it wasn't 'real', food in New Orleans constantly improved someone's mood. She looked across the square and looked across the table to Rylan.

"Did you ever manage to get a table at Sisko's? I kept trying to get one while I was on Earth and later at the institute, but I could never get one to save my life. If you did, was it worth it?"


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