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Re: Day 04 [1157 hrs.] Living Out Loud

Reply #25
[Lt (JG) XamotZark zh’Ptrell (Lt. Zark) | Below Decks Lounge | Deck 28 | Vector 03 | Holosuite 01| USS Theurgy]   Attn: @Ellen Fitz‍

Zark appreciated the discretion, even in jest, that Enyd was practicing.  She was pretty sure that once Doctor Hernandez had finished patching her up, he'd start pestering her to visit the counsellor's and have her head checked as well.   Since she'd worked out several of her own frustrations and didn't feel like making a habit of picking up bruises or worse, the medico felt it was under control.  Enyd seemed to feel the same way, so it was better to let sleeping dogs lie at this point the Andorian thought to herself as she went to the cabinets to grab all the accoutrements of a hearty stew lunch.  Setting the bowls, plates, and cutlery on the island, the medico opened a cabinet that housed a drinks fridge, and selected a dark lager as her drink of choice.  Waiting for the requisite bottle to materialize, she precariously balanced the lot and carried it over to the coffee table that Enyd was intent on using as a the venue of consumption.

Whatever the stew was, it smelled delicious and Zark took her time in laying out the bowls, plates, and cutlery out for the two lunching ladies.  Zark waited till Enyd sat down cross legged before joining her and popped the top on her bottle.  The bottle never left the table though when Enyd asked if Zark needed help with her bruised abdomen and the medicos hand automatically moved to the affected area as her eyes began to track the movement of the beautiful if dishevelled brunette.

The Zhen opened and closed her mouth as the emerald eyed woman sat down next to her and Zark had to make conscious effort to move her hand away from her belly.   There was the simple answer; she'd already taken care of most of the damage in the snow, and was in much better shape thank you very much.  And it was the answer that wouldn't come out as her antennae began to swirl as they pointed at human.  Slightly wide blue green eyes stared intently into emerald green searching for an answer to a question that plagued many living beings throughout life.  Questions of the heart were the worst in the medico's mind for they potentially invited so much joy, yet had the high probability of even more pain, and she now found herself at a fork in the road because of her heart wanted to know.  There was the road of passion, and a significant part of her being yearned to simply lean in and taste those burgundy lips that were so tantalizingly close, press her body in and embrace what could possibly be with the ethereal form next to her, damn whatever happened next. Then there was the path of the test, and Zark had been trained to draw on all her resources to determine if what was in front of her was what she thought it really was.

The security officer's instincts reluctantly trundled down the second path as she read the diplomat's facial expression, body language, and interaction; and her mind reached a reluctant conclusion.  It was always in the face, more specifically, the eyes.  They were bright with concern, yet that very indescribable yet known something, the smouldering, or the spark, seemed to be missing.  At the very least, it wasn't there at moment.  Mere seconds had passed when the Andorian took a deep breath and picked up her bottle before taking a healthy swig before smiling graciously once more and pulling the dermal regenerator out of her pocket and handing it over.  "Well Enyd, I think we can do more than the basics, though if you try to tickle me too much, my other hand attached to this here pillow may suffer an inexplicable collision with your head."  Chuckling a bit, Zark's smile became slightly more professional.  "Seriously though, there's more to a dermal regenerator than just waving it over the injured area.  First off..."  the medico continued as cobalt hands enclosed pale ones and guided the device in the act of healing.
Lieutenant (JG) XamotZark zh’Ptrell (Lt. Zark), Combat Medic [Show/Hide]

Lieutenant Frank Arnold, Chief Engineer [Show/Hide]

Re: Day 04 [1157 hrs.] Living Out Loud

Reply #26
[ Lt Enyd Isolde Madsen | Below Decks Lounge | D. 28 | V. 3 | Holosuite 02 | USS Theurgy ] attn: @RyeTanker

Enyd’s background knowledge of antennae interpretation was minimal, though she had fared better at reading the additional body signal whilst on Andoria for training than many of her peers. She recognized that Zark was deep in thought, even beyond the antennae movement, and deduced that the thought process had much to do with her, and potentially her offering to assist. There had been other instances in their brief acquaintance where something she’d said or done had caused the Andorian woman to grow still like this, seemingly both hyper aware and deep in thought, and it brought Enyd to wonder more than a few things. They had not yet brought up the topic of significant others, as really that hadn’t been part of anything they’d said or done so far, but IF Zark was inclined to be attracted to females as well as males, or just females, and she was unattached, then Enyd could understand how their present circumstances could be construed as potentially romantic.

Enyd blushed. She stalled for time as she tucked her hair behind her slightly pointed ears. It was only at that moment that she realized how difficult the situation would be for her right now if she’d been Drauc and Zark had been her. At least Andorians weren’t mind readers or empaths like Drauc was otherwise Enyd was certain Zark would possibly injure herself more in her efforts to beat a hasty retreat from Enyd’s present deductive assumptions. But…there was always the chance that it was entirely unrelated to her and to their sitting in a cozy cabin in a spectacular area, red-faced from exertion, sharing a delicious meal, both barely clothed by more uptight Federation standards.

She laughed at Zark’s threat once the woman responded, handing over the dermal regenerator, “Oh no! Not the pillow!”

Being a quick learner, and with some basic background in the use of the regenerator, Enyd was diligent and thorough as she passed the device over Zark’s injuries and working until it seemed Zark was at greater ease once more.

“Have you ever gotten drunk with a Romulan?” Enyd asked once her task was finished and she handed the device back. “Lieutenant Valyn Amarik, she’s transferred onboard the same day as me, same route too. We didn’t intend on getting drunk, and in reality, we were tipsy more than drunk. Ended up raiding the pantry, so to speak, on our first night aboard Theurgy.” Enyd gave Zark a playful grin as she grabbed her mead and held it aloft for a toast. “To many more adventures such as these with friends, old and new.”

Post-toast, Enyd dug into the first few bites of stew with gusto more befitting a bovine than a human but she was hungry and she had been cold and it was good, so all worthy excuses to do away with etiquette for at least a few first bites. The worst of the hunger abated, and after another healthy swallow of mead, Enyd leaned back to force a pause in her eating. Her eyes moved between the crackling fire and the view outdoors, forcing herself not to stare at Zark. Enyd knew she had a bad habit of staring at people, trying to figure out their thoughts and emotions and connect them to past and present actions while predicting what came next. Rude, is what her grandmother called it. And then there were other adjectives tossed at her other the years more colorful than that, but at least a few of her professors had appreciated it.

“It seems to me that we both have a habit of working through things through physicality.” Enyd broke her gaze with the fire long enough to nod towards Zark abdomen. “When I was on Vulcan post-Cardassia fiasco that got my fiance murdered in my arms, I was in a very dark place. Nearly got kicked out of Starfleet actually, for drunken disorderliness. It seems my colleague did like my Orion dance on his desk. He was such an uptight prat, no regrets. It wasn’t until Admiral Anderson manipulated me through some distant relatives that I got my act together.” Enyd took another deep sip of her mead, settling against the pillows at her back as she continued. “Granted, it was the positive kind of manipulation in the end. He knew me well enough, having worked with both my parents, to know that I needed to get my arse kicked physically in order to get my head space right. I ended up going on the traditional Vulcan pilgrimage through the Forge, as if I was going to perform the Kolinahr ritual, and while I made it to the platform on Mount Selaya, I passed out and woke up again at the hospital where Anderson explained what he’d done and why. That was the butt kick I needed to get my act together. Granted, I obviously still imbibe, but there’s no risk of my going off the deep end. At least not with drink. I still feel a pull towards needed to work out the mental kinks through painful physical experiences though. Not always fighting. Sometimes just hard treks in the mountains.” Enyd gave a half shrug as she leaned forward to put her glass back on the table, her eyes traveling over her friend’s form. “What about you?”

Re: Day 04 [1157 hrs.] Living Out Loud

Reply #27
[Lt (JG) XamotZark zh’Ptrell (Lt. Zark) | Below Decks Lounge | Deck 28 | Vector 03 | Holosuite 01| USS Theurgy]   Attn: @Ellen Fitz‍

Zark had done her level best to be as professional in her impromptu medical class with Enyd, and it had worked. Mostly.  The steady guidance of the pale hands in her blue ones acted much like a masseuse on her aches and pains, and there was a certain sensuality to the movements that couldn't be avoided.   If the movements were too quick, the regenerator field wouldn't properly take hold. Too slow and one was wasting energy.  The relief that the Andorian medico was feeling was very welcome and like any good massage, one felt easy and free afterwards.  Zark took a moment as Enyd got the hang of the operating the regenerator to appreciate the sheer good looks of the diplomat, and she caught herself before switching back to watching her guide the device in unknotting and repairing the bruises and contusions with skill that belied her experience.  The scantily clad Andorian was also quite aware of both their states of near undress and she blushed at the thought of someone walking in on them at this moment.  Truth be told, the merciless innuendo she'd use on the interloper would be totally worth it since the medico was sure Enyd would utilize her diplomatic repertoire to increase the witty carnage that would be inflicted on the unfortunate soul.

With the pain effectively gone and her abdomen mostly back to normal, Zark sighed in relief and gratefully took back the medical device as Enyd brought up a non-sequitur and the Security Officer had to plunge into the depths of memory to remember who she was, which was thoroughly interrupted causing a snigger of laughter at the idea of the diplomat and the intelligence 'analyst' stealing consumables after a bout of inebriation. Zark was about to ask how much they got away with and whether she should report their escapade when Enyd used her skills to preempt Zark with a salute, and ploughed into the stew and mead with a gusto.  The hungry Andorian saw no need to turn away the well wishes as she grabbed her bottle and clinked back before joining in inhaling the stew.  Zark generally not being concerned with niceties when she was hungry gave a most unlady like demonstration as she did her best to imitate a black hole and rapidly shovelled down the bowl's contents while her jaw moved at high speed and her cheeks became like those of a terran rodent known as a chipmunk. 

With half the bowl's contents gone, Zark was sufficiently satisfied that she could put the stew down and grabbed a napkin.  As Enyd spun her tale, Zark's cleanup took on completely opposite traits to the one's she used for eating.  Delicate and deliberate as her mind turned towards digesting the new information she was hearing.  It was an emotional story and the Andorian was taken on an emotional roller coaster as her head turned to watch the diplomat spin her tale of despair, struggle, and rebirth.  The description really was quite matter of fact as Enyd plumbed the depths of her experience while using the flame in the middle of the living room as a focus, but the Andorian's imagination supplied all the emotion that helped give life to the summary, and it took an act of sheer will to stop herself from jumping out of her seat to grab the forthright brunette in a comforting embrace.   When Enyd asked her question though, Zark had to give it some thought and her head tilted to one side before staring up at the ceiling to ponder her laundry list of various coping mechanisms.  A cobalt finger began lightly tapping on the medicos chin before she began. "Well, if a mountain trek is available, I'd definitely go on one of those, but since Security has to be around the ship quite a bit, I usually spend most of it on the holodeck.  There are the more peaceful pursuits of meditating, reading with a nice glass of wine, watching a movie, or playing music."  The blue green gaze came back down towards the diplomat and lips became pursed in thought before continuing.  "The thing is, what you saw earlier is probably the most intense of the options for working through whatever is bugging me.  It never really gets that bad since I get I'm working it out in the security centre's gym all the time."  The combat medic suddenly turned sullen as she brought her knees to her head and laid her head on top.  The beer was starting to take hold and it freed various thought paths for contemplation.  "It's just that with everything that makes up this crazy train, sometimes, I'm not sure what to make of it."

The Andorian's voice went distant as soulful blue green eyes turned to emerald ones.  "Do you know, I've almost been killed twice since the ship left Aldea?"  Zark pointed at a spot on her abdomen. "I got shot by something that went through my armour like it was paper the first time.  Turns out the Federation ambassador to Breen was an Infested and determined to blow up something to wipe out the capital."  Pursed blue lips blew out air. "Barely survived that one. Had to operate on myself to get all the fragments out and patch all the holes inside."  Waving a hand to forestall any questions. "Don't worry, the Savi put me back together.  Then there was Qo'nos.  Lor'Vela knows how many hours that was of straight up combat to rescue the crew of the Sabine...... Lost a lot of good people on that jaunt as well.  VanVinter pulled my butt out of that one after I got shot again, and that was after a Klingon flattened my original nose." Sighing more.  "You're right about the physicality of it all.  I was wondering if I lost the edge, but after that bout with the hologram, it doesn't seem like it."

After that admission of vulnerability, Zark wiped away a stray tear that was gathering in her eye.  Still it wasn't quite enough for Zark for she was very alone on the ship and she needed someone to turn to, and like a dam ready to burst its levees, she reached over to grab Enyd in a hug as she buried her head in the human's neck.  "Thank you for listening and being here with me." The Andorian quietly told her friend before eventually letting go and taking a breath.
Lieutenant (JG) XamotZark zh’Ptrell (Lt. Zark), Combat Medic [Show/Hide]

Lieutenant Frank Arnold, Chief Engineer [Show/Hide]

Re: Day 04 [1157 hrs.] Living Out Loud

Reply #28
[ Lt Enyd Isolde Madsen | Below Decks Lounge | D. 28 | V. 3 | Holosuite 02 | USS Theurgy ] attn: @RyeTanker

Enyd finished off her food as she listened to Zark’s reply. Despite the differences in their backgrounds and training, they seemet they had much in common in how they dealt with anxiety or stress. Granted, Enyd couldn’t remember the last time she’d meditated, but she enjoyed quiet moments spent mulling over thoughts while sipping at a warm drink. Perhaps that was a form of meditation. Enyd was finished with her food and back to sipping at her mead by the time Zark shifted to her own confessional. She refrained from reaching out to touch the Andorian woman just yet, but she knew already they would end this with an embrace. There was no way two women could share so much without tears shed and bodies embracing.

She hadn’t thought to ask Zark what sort of mischief she’d been up to during the initial mission on Qo’Nos, but she had her answer anyway. While Enyd had been tossed like confetti across the Great Hall, Zark had been slugging it to rescue their colleagues. The mentioning of Victor had Enyd’s lips upturning for a brief second. She was glad he’d been there as it seemed they’d helped each other out of that mess. Enyd leaned forward to set her glass down as Zark drew to a close. Just in time, it turned out, as Zark’s arms tugged her into a tight hug seconds later.

Enyd remembered how her grandmother would cradle the back of her head with one hand while smoothing the other up and down her back with the other and how calming that had been to Enyd during her crying fests. Mimicking the woman who raised her, Enyd held Zark until her friend’s breathing evened out, and Zark whispered her thanks against her neck. Zark’s lips tickled Enyd’s sensitive flesh, and she couldn’t help the rush of goosebumps that prickled her skin in response.

“Thank YOU for listening to me as well, Zark. It goes both ways.” Enyd kept her hand on Zark’s shoulder even once the Andorian pulled back to recover herself. “I am thankful you have made it this far, for I know already my life is better for knowing you.”

She shifted away long enough to grab the unused napkin on the table and passed it over. Zark’s pain was more recent, more raw, and her tears had not been planned; that much was obvious.

“Oh, fun fact, Van Vinter and I were once engaged.” Enyd grinned at Zark’s response but said nothing more as she stood and resumed the clean-up process.

Enyd continued to dance around the room, cleaning up after their meal, and ordering another glass of mead until finally, she took pity on Zark and explained further.

“We met on Vulcan a lifetime ago. I was a civilian, getting my Masters at the Metternich, and he was on leave. Our innocent first date nearly got us both killed.” Enyd laughed at the memory of facing down the sea monster, among other things. “But, with both of us hopeless romantics and suckers for chaos, we struck up a ridiculous correspondence. I say ridiculous only because we were ridiculous. We were both writing on real paper.” She shook her head at the memory as she sipped generously at the mead. “We met a few times over the years, got engaged, and were set to get married once things settled on Cardassia enough for me to meet him on Bajor. But…” Enyd smile fell to a resigned grimace, and she polished off the last of her mead in one rush, as if it were a shot. “Emotions are complicated; we who are still living are complicated. I didn’t mean to fall in love with Javec, but I did, and I certainly didn’t mean to get caught up in the subterfuge of the Directorate against the pro-Federation fledgling government. But my doing a favor for an old family friend got me caught, my fiance murdered, and my engagement to Victor ended, with our relationship severed for his own protection.”

Enyd realized she was sharing far more than was polite, but she had begun drinking on an empty stomach, and she’d forgotten the strength of mead. She’d also forgotten to ask Zark about the food settings, whether or not the beverages would be rated at expected levels or were altered for safety. It seemed, based on her loose tongue and Zark’s earlier tears, the safeties were little to none for their booze. Shaking herself, Enyd smiled, reaching out to squeeze Zark’s shoulder before the Andorian could potentially fret.

“Neither of us realized we were on the same ship until just after the fireworks died down on the planet. We’ve since reconciled are have plans to meet up again later this week to air out our proverbial closets. But, regardless, Victor is the finest of men, and I am glad he was there for you when you needed him.”

Re: Day 04 [1157 hrs.] Living Out Loud

Reply #29
[Lt (JG) XamotZark zh’Ptrell (Lt. Zark) | Below Decks Lounge | Deck 28 | Vector 03 | Holosuite 01| USS Theurgy]   Attn: @Ellen Fitz‍

Platinum tresses hung over her Zark's blue green eyes as she wiped away a few tears that formed from her embrace of Enyd with her thumb.  If pressed to admit it, the embrace had more comforting than she'd realized, especially when her back was being rubbed and she felt the comforting hand on her head. It was a feeling of warmth and care she hadn't felt in a very very long time long time.  Even her occasional lovers had not held her in such a fashion, and she wasn't sure what to make of it, just that it felt really nice.  Zark reset her hair around her antennae as Enyd thanked her for the company as well and smiled even as she worked to get a couple of sniffles out of the way before clearing her throat.  As she watched Enyd begin to clean up, the much relieved medico spied her beer bottle and tipped it to her lips to finish it off.

Which put her in the exact wrong position when Enyd dropped her little bomb shell about her engagement.  "Pfffbbbbb!" was the only answer the Andorian could give as her shock was total and a spray of beer went flying back into the bottle and out the rim.  The bottle was slammed down as Zark began choking and thumping her chest rapidly as she loudly coughed dark lager out of her airway.  "Hoooooo!!" Hack! "Ughhh!"  "By" Hack! "Lor'vela!" Sucking of air to refill lungs. "Give a girl some warning before you decide to tell someone that!  Ahhhhhhh."  Zark frantically began wiping herself and the surrounding down as Enyd grabbed another mead and the Andorian went to the fridge to grab a bottle of water before joining Enyd again on the couch and taking a healthy slug of water to clear her throat and mouth.  "Now, what's this about an engagement that you're clearly not in any more."  and cobalt hands made a gimme gesture as she leaned forward, eyes bright, to take in the details what could have been Mrs. VanVinter.

Zark really wanted to laugh a the story. The beginning matched her experience with the Warp Fighter Chief, and the mayhem Enyd seemed to attract from their short interaction made it a virtual guarantee that the two would experience something far out of proportion for 'simple' first date.  The truncated version of the romance though quickly took a horrible turn and the Security Officer was shocked at how the diplomat's posting had become romantic and awry so quickly.  That explained the bruises that the Andorian had spotted earlier, but had exercised her discretion in not mentioning them.

The medico felt the shoulder on her hand and smiled that the two would be on their way towards a reconciliation soon.  Still, it seemed that mayhem would exact it's price one way or another. It was many years too late, but Zark couldn't help herself as she hugged the diplomat one more time before leaning in to her ear. "I know it was a long time ago, but still, I'm sorry you had to go through all that pain and loss.  I couldn't be there, but I wish I could have been there for you."  The Andorian held on just a little bit longer, for after Enyd's reaction to her first hug, the Andorian figured at this point, she needed a friend more than anything, and kissing her on their first day of meeting would cause all sorts of problems she didn't want.  "Unfortunately, I wouldn't have been anywhere in the area to help you."  The Andorian started as she leaned back.  "After I graduated from Starfleet medical, I spent three years on the Spector helping to stabilize the border."   Deep sigh. "That was complicated with the holdouts, and various rogue factions trying to carve up little fiefdoms for themselves, or tearing up the ones they were in.  I wasn't on the senior staff, so I only really got called in when a hammer was called for, or on rescue mission."   With that summation, Zark realized she'd fallen down a bit of a potential rabbit hole of her own.  "I think I'm gonna tell you about those ones another time."

Feeling the energy in the room shift, Zark felt there were other problems she was more than happy to bring up instead and she would probably curse the aftermath, but she stood up, waving Enyd to stay seated while she made her way to the food replicator once more. "Just gimme a moment."  Damning the calories, fats, carbs, and everything else.  "Computer, one moose track mountain on warm brownies, two spoons, and a bottle of Michter 21 year old, ice, water, and two glasses."  Silently thanking the fact they were in dry dock once again, the soon to be stuffed Andorian brought the whole heaping pile of white ice cream with various shades of chocolatey brown, and booze to the table.  The fact it needed multiple trips was not lost on the platinum haired woman as she plopped herself down at the coffee table and poured a couple of very generous fingers for the two of them and placed a spoon in the diplomat's hand. "Enyd, the main thing with whiskey is that bourbon is the only one that really has the sweetness to stand up to all the flavours in this sundae.  We're also going to celebrate the sweet fact that we're alive, in my case courtesy of Victor, and friends now in with this ridiculous representation of the good stuff of life."

OOC: Moose Track Ice Cream is made up of vanilla ice cream with chocolate peanut butter cups swirled with Moose Tracks® fudge.
Lieutenant (JG) XamotZark zh’Ptrell (Lt. Zark), Combat Medic [Show/Hide]

Lieutenant Frank Arnold, Chief Engineer [Show/Hide]

Re: Day 04 [1157 hrs.] Living Out Loud

Reply #30
[ Lt Enyd Isolde Madsen | Below Decks Lounge | D. 28 | V. 3 | Holosuite 02 | USS Theurgy ] attn: @RyeTanker

“Now, what kind of a diplomat would I be if I walked around warning everyone whenever I intended to drop a strategic information bomb?” Enyd was kind enough to offer assistance in cleaning her Andorian friend, and the immediate vicinity caught in the crossfire of her spit-take of surprise.

Enyd was grateful for the long hug Zark offered and squeezed her arms around the woman’s svelte waist before letting go. When Zark shared some of her own past, it was Enyd’s turn to reach out and lightly brush her hand over her friend’s arm in comfort and encouragement. It seemed that no one came through the Dominion War and the time just after without a few scars of some kind of another.

“Will those stories require more or less alcohol?” Enyd held up her glass with a mischievous smirk.

Zark shifted from mere drinks to dessert and drinks. Enyd watched and listened with an appreciative smile as the Andorian ordered ice cream and bourbon and made multiple trips to place the extensively sweet and boozy spread in front of them. She was already sitting upright, leaning forward, eager, when Zark placed the spoon in her hand and gave a short speech on why they were justified in eating this many calories in one sitting.

Clinging her spoon against Zark’s, Enyd gave a conspiratory salute before digging into the gooey, melty, creamy goodness before her. She was only three bites and two lingering sips into the sundae when both the accumulated alcohol and the sugar hit her. Hard. Giggling like a five year old, Enyd shoveled more of the sundae into her mouth, not caring that a dollop of chocolate missed her mouth and left a trailing mark down the side of her mouth before plopping onto her collarbone.

“Okay, Zark, I’ve got a conundrum question for you. I’m curious how you would’ve handled it.” Enyd licked at her lips, smearing the top portion of the chocolate trail while completely ignoring the bit of chocolate on her clavicle. “Victor and I were never physically intimate.” Enyd paused, smirk in place, ready to dodge in case bourbon or ice cream came flying her direction. “We kissed, held hands, hugged, but we never consummated our relationship. Ours was a union of souls and minds, not bodies. And he made it clear to me that if I ever wanted to request such from him he’d comply because he loved me or if I wanted to pursue something physical with someone else, he’d respect that as well.” She paused long enough to finish her bourbon and hold out the glass for more, shameless in every way. “Javec and I started off clashing but eventually grew into a mutual respect and admiration for each other, which led to an unexpected physical relationship that was far more passionate and…distracting than what I had had with Victor.” Enyd sipped again at the bourbon, pausing in her ice cream shoveling competition for the time being. “Would you have still pursued Javec?”

Enyd realized she was revealing far more to Zark now than she had to her required counselor years ago when Javec first died. Perhaps it was the booze, the sugar, the fact that she’d been able to “bury the hatchet” a bit with Victor after so many years and had since survived a bout with an Infested…or a glorious combination of all of the above. Regardless, it felt freeing to speak so openly about this part of her life. She’d never been able to share with her grandmother, for the woman had been dead when Enyd was freed from the Directorate. Victor had also gone from her life. And it had surprised Enyd just how small her inner circle was when she’d gotten out of her own arse of grief long enough to look around and take note of her present reality. Sitting here with Zark, it occurred to Enyd that it had be literal years since she’d had a friend like this. To have been reunited with Victor and have met Valyn and Zark in such a short amount of time, on the same ship, made coming against the Infested seem worth it.

As she waited for Zark’s reply, Enyd resumed picking at the sundae, trying not to eat too much though she very much wanted to tip the bowl up and drop the entirety of the sundae directly into her belly. Enyd smiled. Oh yes, she was feeling the alcohol. Her appetite always increased when she was tipsy.

Re: Day 04 [1157 hrs.] Living Out Loud

Reply #31
[Lt (JG) XamotZark zh’Ptrell (Lt. Zark) | Below Decks Lounge | Deck 28 | Vector 03 | Holosuite 01| USS Theurgy]   Attn: @Ellen Fitz‍

Zark turned a sly smile on Enyd when asked about stories after the war.  "A lot more before I'm even ready to think about telling anyone about it.  Some are funny, some aren't, but most aren't too bad."  A slender finger tapped the cobalt chin for a moment.  "The easy ones to remember are the nasty ones, and I don't wanna go there."

The clinking of the spoons was a welcome relief as she the two began digging out sweet sugary frozen cream and brownies.  In contrast to Enyd's inner child coming out, Zark leaned her back, closed her eyes, and sighed as the wondrous combination of vanilla and chocolate coated her senses.  Drinking some of the heady Kentucky buttered caramel, the liquid seemed to evaporate into her sinuses and a warmth suffused her throat and chest quickly.  Zark cracked an eye open, then the other very quickly and was startled as Enyd seemed to be picking up the pace of her consumption, even becoming a little sloppy as a bit of chocolate fell on the diplomat's collar.  Zark sat on her maternal instincts to clean the mess up.  Ah, so she's a hungry drunk, wait a minute!  That's my sundae too! "Hey! Leave some for me!." The medico indignantly laughed as she dug in to the gooey and fudgey concoction in an attempt to catch up.

The Andorian had to pause mid bite as Enyd raised her question and the pace at which she was eating slowed down dramatically as she had to think about what was being asked before tossing her drink back and filling both glasses with several generous fingers of amber inebriant.   The Zhen listened, then scooped more dessert into her mouth, before she began chewing, then sucking on the spoon, causing it to waggle side to side as she thought as to how best answer an obviously interesting conundrum.  After making a valiant attempt to draw water from metal,  Zark took the spoon out and covered her mouth as she let out a small burp. 

"Weeellllll" When the Andorian began to drawl, it was a good sign she was getting drunk for sure. "Heeere's the thing.  Uhmmmmm, ya seeee.  By Andorian standards, I'm a married woman."  Zark stuck her tongue out as she fumbled at a silver link chain on her collar for a second before pulling out pulled out a block of clear resin that held 4 locks of white hair arranged in a diamond from between her breasts. "This is ma Shapla!"  Zark held it between herself Enyd as her mind considered her bond mates.  "It's like a wedding ring for you.  Ya see, when the government on Andoria determined that I was gonna be setup with ma bond mates, we all got genetically tested to see how well I would eventually make babies, then we were all designated as each other's bond mates.  The main thing with that was to see how well we'd all get along to make a good family unit in the future."  Intensely salacious smile. "Good home environment in the future for all kiddies we're supposed to produce, which for me is when I turn 30." 

The block of resin continued to spin in the deft cobalt fingers before the index finger shot up to hold off any questions. While taking another sip of booze. "I'm getting to the point.  You seeeee, because there are four of us, we generally have to share anyway, so I don't see a problem with you, Victor, and Javec as long as you all agree to it."  The Andorian's Index fingered waggled back and forth to indicate don't say anything just yet before taking another sip.  "The thing is, what I consider acceptable, may not be for you, so it depends on how badly you wanted one or the other for the rest of your life.  I have to be able to handle at least two men in my life at once, and from their societal upbringing, they can't complain too much unless someone was really possessive, then we'd have problems." Bigger sip and another glass refill. 

Zark's smile turned very fond and soft as she stared at the locks of hair that were locked away and preserved essentially forever. She gave the block one last squeeze before letting it settle on her chest and turning her gaze back on Enyd. "Ya know. hic. When I joined Starfleet, my Zhavey and Shreva, or mom's in your case, made it clear that with me going off to Starfleet, I would be away for loooong periods of time.  Luckily, I'd been with my bond mates for years already and we all love each other.  But Zhavey and Shreva made it clear to Shrav, Ryn, and Ryzit that they had better not expect me to be celibate, since it was easier for them to get some at home, and I wouldn't."  Zark blushed a bit as the topic of conversation haphazardly wandered into the unexpected realm of different species mating practices and she was fast running out of innuendos to dance around the topic.  "Well, Ryn always did have a bit of stick up his ass, and he complained when I told him about then Cadet Wilkins.  I ended up using a bunch of stuff she taught me on him and the other two.  Didn't seem to think it was such a bad idea afterwards for me to explore more afterwards.  I think Ryzit enjoyed it more....... and I'm sinking fast into TMI territory here. Sorry."

Zark's head dropped in embarrassment at the realization that she'd opened the curtains of her own bedroom to Enyd without realizing it.  Quickly looking for something distracting to do, the Zhen grabbed a napkin and poured some water on it  before kneeling in front of Enyd and talking while gently cleaning chocolate stains off her.  "I guess the answer to your questions is if I had to choose one, then I'd pick the one I was willing to sacrifice everything for, and if the answer is the same for both, then it sucks to ask, but do you know here." and slender fingers moved to tap the human's heart "Would he do the same and make you feel alive about it?  The questions and permutations are endless, but in the end, this bit here is what will guide you, or I guess it did at any rate."  With a final wipe, Enyd was clean again, and Zark sat back down to take another sip of bourbon as she scooped up the fast melting sundae.
Lieutenant (JG) XamotZark zh’Ptrell (Lt. Zark), Combat Medic [Show/Hide]

Lieutenant Frank Arnold, Chief Engineer [Show/Hide]


Re: Day 04 [1157 hrs.] Living Out Loud

Reply #32
[ Lt Enyd Isolde Madsen | Below Decks Lounge | D. 28 | V. 3 | Holosuite 02 | USS Theurgy ] attn: @RyeTanker

Enyd eagerly nodded as she listened to Zark respond to her question, recalling conversations and experiences she’d had with her colleagues on Andoria. Determining to share those later, perhaps with another bit of liquor, Enyd maintained her focus on Zark as the Andorian shared her insight and personal life. Enyd’s slim fingers wrapped around the shapla and leaned closer to examine the jewelry. She had never exchanged engagement rings with Victor, and aside from public pledges, there had been no jewels traded between her and Javec either. The only thing tangible she had to reflect her relationship was her medal, and that was not something she intended to wear anytime soon. Letting go of the chain and straightening, Enyd smiled.

“I respect and appreciate your feedback, Zark. And I highly respect your ‘moms’ for their looking out for your physical needs like that. Consideration can manifest in many forms and it goes a long way in almost every culture.”

She knew of the population concerns the Andorian culture was facing. Enyd had been privy to quite a few conversations regarding this issue with Ethis and his quad group.

“My partner in my interspecies ethics class during my time on Andoria was an Andorian named Ethis. He introduced me to his quad group and let me tell you, being the “third wheel” to an Andorian quad group as a human diplomat is a dream come true for cultural exchange.” Enyd giggled, hiccuped, blushed, and giggled again.

Enyd couldn’t help the blush intensifying in fascination and interest when Zark veered into “TMI” territory. She’d only ever been intimate with Javec, sharing kisses and hugs with Victor, so the concept of being so openly intimate and actively gleaning sexual tactics to use on one’s partner was a foreign concept altogether. Not unpleasant. Just…different. Enyd couldn’t put a finger on if she would be as keen on doing the same thing if Javec was still alive, moving between him and Victor, applying physical insights from one on the other. Bajoran and Cardassian customs were so drastically different from Andorian, and even then, from human. And even among humans, it was dependent upon your place of origin. Her grandmother had been fairly conservative on such matters and Enyd knew her own outlook on such things were heavily influenced by the matron of the family.

“Zark, you don’t need to apologize for sharing things like that. If you are belligerent to me, intentionally hurt me, or open a door in my face, I can understand an apology. But something like this,” Enyd gave an exaggerated wave to the area around them, “It is wasted breath. I wouldn’t be here if I didn’t want to know you more.” To help break the ice further, Enyd quipped, “I’ve slept with one man in all my life, and he was a Cardassian, so pointers from you could prove useful considering I am quite unattached and it looks like this posting will keep me isolated from other options outside the ship for a good while yet.” She gave a playful wink over her glass, finishing it off and setting the empty glass near the bottle, a subtle sign that she’d like yet another refill.
Enyd was momentarily startled when Zark leaned forward and began to clean her. It was only then that Enyd realized how messy she’d been while eating the sundae. Giving a snorting laugh, Enyd sat diligently like a child while Zark continued her ministrations until it satisfied the Andorian woman that Enyd was yet again presentable. Enyd gave her own response to Zark’s rhetorical as the Andorian tucked back into the sundae.

“Javec died for me. He killed for me too.” Enyd shook her head, the heartfelt sigh sinking her further against the pillows she’d propped herself against. “I believe Victor would have died for me, but I don’t think he would have killed for me. Not to say that means he loves, or loved, me any less. But he comes from a different background and culture and assuredly does not problem-solve like a Cardassian.” Enyd snorted at the last, for a second trying to picture Victor approaching life like Javec and failing to see something that far-fetched.

Choosing to steer the conversation back to lighter territory, Enyd leaned forward and pointed to various areas on her face as she spoke. “I had to have skin grafts here after a training exercise on Andoria. Can you tell?” Enyd waited for Zark to study her before she gave a light smile and added, “I had to have respiratory therapy too after I formed ice crystals in my sinuses and lungs. The storm my partner, a Vulcan, and I faced was off the charts even by Andorian standards. We were on our own for the exercise and Sonik startled a young makra. Got terribly clawed and with our comms down because of the storm, and no way of getting help given our locale, I used an old Earth trick. Didn’t think it would work, but thankfully it did. Sonik had weakened the makra enough that by the time he turned his sights on me, I was able to finish it off with the ushann-tor I’d been issued for the exercise. With Sonik in a meditative healing trance, I cut open the makra, cleaned out its guts, cut out its trachea, and then stripped down to my skivvies, Sonik too, and put our clothes in a dry bag that I tied to one of the makra’s legs. I pushed Sonik in first, then I crawled in, using the trachea as a breathing tube, and holding the seam shut as much as I could. The next thing I knew I was in the hospital getting skin grafts and my Andorian partner, Ethis, was congratulating me on finally becoming an Andorian adult. The cheeky bastard.”

Enyd shrugged, answering the question she assumed Zark would ask, “My officer training program was longer than some, given my lack of Starfleet training beforehand. It started on Psi Upsilon III, then I spent half a year on Tella, a full year on Andora, and then I finished on Earth. I really enjoyed Andoria and hope to go back again.”

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