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Topic: Day 02 [1920 hrs.] Sphenopalatine Ganglioneuralgia (Read 603 times) previous topic - next topic

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Day 02 [1920 hrs.] Sphenopalatine Ganglioneuralgia
[ Lt Cmdr Hathev | Below Decks Lounge | Deck 28 | Vector 03 | USS Theurgy | Aldea ] Attn: @Arista

Hathev was not an individual one might be tempted to classify as 'social'. She had no difficulty interacting with others, of course, and even found a certain satisfaction in the pursuit of rewarding and productive relationships. However she found the process often classed by humans and other similarly indulgent species as 'being social' was one of their dreaded 'passtimes': a pursuit that seemed to be not only unconcerned with its own pointlessness but entirely designed with the pursuit of meaningless in mind. Interaction for its own sake was a frivolous and wasteful practice, a filibustering of one's own time, and not something she would ever personally entertain.

Unfortunately, however, her understanding of human sociology meant she was similarly familiar with the great merit they placed upon appearances. As a newcomer to the vessel, were she to present the appearance of one uninterested in their little culture it might be detrimental to any future working relationships she wished to cultivate, which might in turn have negative affects on her work aboard. Indeed, in their eternal and unfaiing habit of making judgements while lacking any real data, emotional species often entertained their own pre-conceived notions of her as a Vulcan and a counsellor. These were often unflattering and untrue, and if she sought to rectify these judgements too late she would likely find herself quite unable to undo all the damage they had wrought. Thus, though she might have wished it were not so, in these circumstances the dreaded passtime might in fact serve a purpose, and one worth striving to serve.

It had been an extraordinarily long few days and she wished for little more than to spend some time alone in her quarters, studying or reading or pursuing any such similarly useful activity, all the while quite unmolested by company. But she had impressed upon her new assistants the importance of integration, and she would be a poor superior who did not lead by example. And so when she left her office for the day it was not towards her suite that she turned her steps, but rather towards Deck 28, and the establishment known as the Below Decks Lounge.

She had chosen this particular lounge, of all the recreational areas boasted by the Theurgy, because if she was to force herself to engage in this activity she could at least ensure it served more than one purpose the pursuit of which justified the action. She was still interested in observing her new crewmates so as to allow her to draw further conclusions on the general level of psychological health and stability they posessed, and the Below Decks' open doors to those of all stations and ranks would better afford her a meaningful sample size and cross-section of the crew from which to draw in her analyses. The decision to place herself in this particular lounge, however,  was one she almost questioned as she stepped inside, finding the area far larger and with more space allowed for such questionable activities as dancing than she had anticipated. It was fortunate indeed that, presumably, the hour was early enough that even the decadence of the lounge was held in check and instead of appearing as the nightclub it was clearly able to serve as, it was lit and presented more akin to a restaurant or bar; had it been prepared in any other manner she would likely have directed herself elsewhere so as to spare herself that spectacle.

As it was, however, she made her way to a table from which vantage point she could survey the surrounding area. The lounge was hardly busy, although it had enough occupants that she would not be out of place. Moments after she situated herself, she was veritably leapt upon by a gaudily-garbed hologram offering her a beverage; her first instinct was to turn it away, but after calculating the relevant positives and negatives she ordered a glass of wine (Sicilian, red, 1837). To sit alone and without a drink would merely be to draw attention to herself, she posited; better to maintain the appearance of relaxation, as much as could be allowed by her refusal to compromise her ramrod-straight position. She would very much have preferred to be in her quarters; there, at least, it would not have been a pretence, and she could have allowed herself a few precious moments of repose.

Yet she was here, and she would not waste the time and effort taken to reach this point. The glass procured, she sat, sipped, and watched.
CPO Morgan Song - Engineering - Chief of Maintenance (V2) [Show/Hide]
Lt Cmdr Hathev - Counselling - Chief Counsellor [Show/Hide]
Ensign Inej 'Avi' Avirim - Security - Investigations Officer [Show/Hide]

Re: Day 02 [1920 hrs] Sphenopalatine Ganglioneuralgia
Reply #1
[ Dr. Silim Parnak |  Below Decks Lounge | Deck 28 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @fiendfall 
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"Strange. Aren't they?" Came a voice from behind the Vulcan.

He doubted he would have made her jump; She probably already chose her seat with the knowledge that he was here. Or, at least, would continue the guise of an all-seeing, all-knowing, Vulcan.

Parnak moved himself into view, stepping to be alongside the blue collared officer. He, however, didn't turn to face her. Instead he looked out over the small crowd, idly rotating an ornate, diagonal cut glass tumbler in his hand. Inside a golden, highly viscous liquid swirled as much as it could under the rotational force, betraying it as Kanar.

He barely drank the beverage back on Cardassia, yet here it was that a small semblance of home. Much like the intoxicating company of Ejek. He would grab hold of any slip of familiarity within this bedlam of Federation mediocracy.

"These hominids managed to become the apex predator of their planet, using tools, creating fire, then, in time, they enclosed themselves into metal cans and flung themselves across the galaxy in faster than light velocities." He continued to vocalise his train of thought to the target of his attention. "They preach on their own enlightenment, yet they continue to be drawn to their baser instincts."

Looking down to the Vulcan, he wanted to ensure that she was still listening rather than just tuning out his rambling. He wasn't drunk, just reflective and rhetorical. Once he assessed she wasn't paying him due attention, Parnak indicated to the others, stretching a finger from a hold on his glass.

"Across this universe, creatures barely on the cusp of sentience engage in the same activities. Collecting together in groups, for safety, social traditions or to attempt in fornication. Yet when you call these 'great apes' on this fact, they get on a proverbial high horse." He shrugged, swallowing a small flavour of the beverage he cradled. "How odd."

Mulling over his verbal verbosity, Silim wondered if this was what his lot in life had come to. Accosting others in public places just to hear the sound of his own voice. He missed teaching. Moulding minds and challenging conceptions. Now he only got that when some dared to enter into his allocated workspace. Perhaps he should get an apprentice?
 
"Parnak." He finally said, by way of introduction, pulling himself from his muster. Pausing merely to take a sip of the Kanar, Silim turned to his Vulcan companion and gave a small, joyful smirk. "Doctor Parnak, should you subscribe to the nomenclature of prefixes."

He didn't bother to try to offer her the traditional Vulcan salute. He always struggled to separate his fingers correctly.
Dr. Silim Parnak
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Re: Day 02 [1920 hrs] Sphenopalatine Ganglioneuralgia
Reply #2
[ Lt Cmdr Hathev | Below Decks Lounge | Deck 28 | Vector 03 | USS Theurgy | Aldea ] Attn: @Arista 

The wine was rich and full-bodied, with the barest hint of acidity from the limestone ground upon which the vineyards of its provenance had stood. She had developed a taste for the peculiar human beverage honeymooning in the area, and it had quickly become something of a favourite for the memories it was able to engender, stimulation of the senses being a powerful link to cognitive function as it was. Tonight she had gravitated towards the drink almost without due consideration; it was what she would have chosen to drink had she been alone in her quarters, but here it served as an unnecessary distraction. Still, there was no purpose in wasting such a fine vintage; she drained the glass and sat back, observing the room with a dispassionate gaze.

A movement at her shoulder caused her to glance upwards, irritation itching at her -- most likely the hologram back to bother her once more. She was therefore surprised to find it was no gaudy host but rather a Cardassian civilian, and one who apparently saw fit to share his musings with her. Why he had chosen to impart his thoughts to her in particular she did not know, nor did she particularly appreciate the attention; she was here to fulfill a purpose and she had no interest in diverting it any further. She had come here to see and be seen, not to engage on an interpersonal level -- and certainly not to interact with civilians.

As an officer she owed him nothing, a man of a species repugnant in its violence and without even the uniform of Starfleet to command respect; however she understood enough of human laws of decorum to realise simply dismissing him would be an error on her part. He was clearly a guest aboard this vessel, and as such she was forced to treat him in a manner befitting his status. Unfortunate though it was, she hoped at least it could be turned to her advantage. She had wished to be seen as attempting cordiality, and this certainly was an opportunity to present as such. There was also perhaps something to be said for speaking to a civilian: the man's slight detachment from the crew might lend him a certain perspective on them not otherwise afforded to those within the group.

She leaned back slightly, positioning herself to better regard him as he spoke. His observations on humanity were basic but correct -- refreshingly so for one who had been thoroughly surrounded by the homo sapiens as Hathev had recently been. Her analyses had been swaddled these last few days, and she had been declawed in her attempts to mollify the humans she was to work alongside. To hear another speak so candidly on their nature was novel, especially one with the academic timbre the Cardassian boasted. If Lieutenant Ejek reminded Hathev of her early years as a counsellor, there was something in this man's musings that reminded her of her years as a professor at the Academy.

When his name was proffered, she nodded slightly in acceptance, raising a salute in greeting. 'Hathev,' she replied. 'Of your sister profession.' His erudite aspect was explained by his title; medical studies were the most intensive any could pursue, and required a sharp and scholarly mind. 'Sit, if you wish,' she said, motioning slightly to the empty seat across from her.

She regarded him with veiled curiosity. 'You have an astute eye. Humans have been the study of my life's work and yet their inner workings continue to elude me. There is little logical to them, barely above the beasts as they are; it is little wonder they struggle so.'
CPO Morgan Song - Engineering - Chief of Maintenance (V2) [Show/Hide]
Lt Cmdr Hathev - Counselling - Chief Counsellor [Show/Hide]
Ensign Inej 'Avi' Avirim - Security - Investigations Officer [Show/Hide]

Re: Day 02 [1920 hrs] Sphenopalatine Ganglioneuralgia
Reply #3
[ Dr. Silim Parnak |  Below Decks Lounge | Deck 28 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @fiendfall 
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As expected from a Vulcan, the woman gave a long, appraising look as he spoke. Then, finally, there was the tiniest of nods. Acceptance. She had decided his presence was tolerable. Parnak couldn't help but let his grin grow wider. Of course, He knew she would, there was none in the galaxy who could resist his charms. Many had tried and failed. Now, he just needed to play his part correctly and the show could continue.

If there were others here, Parnak wondered if they would query why he was bothering with the Vulcan. The fact of the matter was, simply, lively conversation and pleasant company seemed to be predominantly lacking aboard the ship. As much as probably like, he couldn't just hole up in his quarters with Ejek; He was a social creature after all. Likewise, Parnak would have inflicted himself on and bemused himself with Tancredi, but she had yet to reply to the message he had sent her. So, like a social pariah, Silim would have to schlep down to the lounge and make new friends.

When he had arrived at the bar, He had hoped to see either the Andorian horn dog or his succulent companion from that past night, but neither were here. Instead, he had spotted someone going through the motions as if she was a paint by numbers. As if on cue, she then offered the seat across. Vulcan's were nothing if not predictable.

Hathev was concise with her words, as expected. What made Parnak chuckle however was her declaration that studying humans was her life's work.

"I imagine that many have devoted their energy to that insurmountable feat." He chortled. "That is not to say it is without merit. Just must be difficult with such an unpredictable species. I prefer my research subjects to have a lower level of sentience."

Looking across the table, he had a devious thought. However, like most thoughts of that nature, it was hard to step away. It was better to embrace it, Silim always found. Besides these events always tended to have a way of working out.

"For all their faults." Parnak paused, taking a sip of Kanar. He swirled the liquid in his mouth, savouring the taste before swallowing it down and carried on, teasingly "They did do something right..." 
Dr. Silim Parnak
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Re: Day 02 [1920 hrs] Sphenopalatine Ganglioneuralgia
Reply #4
[ Lt Cmdr Hathev | Below Decks Lounge | Deck 28 | Vector 03 | USS Theurgy | Aldea ] Attn: @Arista

She would have been content to sit in silence, contemplating the scene before them until Parnak's glass was emptied and she could reasonably excuse herself. However it seemed the Cardassian wished to continue on his line of musing, and as Hathev had tacitly encouraged him she could hardly complain now. Rather the opposite, in fact; she found his whittering a welcome distraction from the maudlin atmosphere she had drawn around herself. As he talked, she straightened her back imperceptibly -- imperceptible because it had already been ramrod by most standards -- and inclined her head at the correct junctures, not simply making an effort to appear engaged as she had been before.

Small talk, although inane, could serve a purpose, and she bent it to her will now. 'You are a researcher?' she asked. 'What subjects do you study?'

Her interest was twofold, the conversation proving useful both as an exercise in gathering information on her new companion and in keeping her mind sharp and properly focused. Parnak himself was something of a curiosity to her, and a means by which to occupy her thoughts, at the very least until one more worthy presented itself. His own intellect was surprisingly inscrutable, although of course that could have been a result of inebriation; whatever the cause, she found him difficult to predict with the current data pool and it would likely prove a reawrding intellectual exercise to attempt to follow, and later predict, his train of thought.

The shift back to the original subject was one such mental divert she did not expect. Parnak spoke as if to himself, but the undertone in his voice suggested he expected a response -- indeed, it suggested he desired one, was waiting for one. He had deliberately left his sentence dangling and he wished her to rise to the bait. Curious. Perhaps he aimed to exert control over the conversational topic, or even over her specifically; or perhaps he desired the attention be focused on him, theatrical and dramatic as his delivery seemed; or perhaps he simply wished to pique her interest and engage her further in the conversation.

None of the options for the Cardassian's motives appeared malicious or harmful in any way, and yet Hathev had little desire to capitulate to such barefaced manipulation so easily. She raised a single eyebrow very slightly. 'I have no intention of playing a guessing game with you, Doctor, but if you have something you wish to say I shall listen.'
CPO Morgan Song - Engineering - Chief of Maintenance (V2) [Show/Hide]
Lt Cmdr Hathev - Counselling - Chief Counsellor [Show/Hide]
Ensign Inej 'Avi' Avirim - Security - Investigations Officer [Show/Hide]

Re: Day 02 [1920 hrs] Sphenopalatine Ganglioneuralgia
Reply #5
[ Dr. Silim Parnak |  Below Decks Lounge | Deck 28 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @fiendfall 
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Parnak chuckled, a small amount of mirth at the situation as it unfolded. Of course, the Vulcan wouldn't bite at the hanging sentence like others, but she still took the bait.

"Apologies." He said, with a smile and a hint on insincerity. "I'm sure you'll agree that we live amongst a species that appreciates the flair for the dramatic"

And it wasn't going to stop there. Without taking his eyes off his Vulcan companion, Parnak raised a hand; a couple of fingers extended. Within moments, the photonic apparition that was this lounge bar's server appeared beside him. Smirking, Silim flexed the outstretched fingers in a motion he could only describe as 'come hither'.  Of course, the hologram complied, bending until Parnak could bring his lips close to the simulated ear.

He whispered. So as to his tablemate couldn't ascertain his order. After all, it was a surprise. A surprise without the surprise was, well, nothing. When Parnak finished, the computerised wait staff nodded in receipt of the order and moved off with pace, busy with the task of collecting what was ordered.

"I am an Exobiologist by trade." Silim said, returning to a conversation topic from before. His attention was now fully back on the Vulcan. "I study life that is not native to Cardassia prime."

As he spoke, Parnak watched and observed. The idle way in which she held her glass. The off the cuff attitude, if you could call it that, and the premeditated nonchalance that only a real Vulcan could muster. He wondered if it was exhausting having to work to look so relaxed.

"I guess you could fall into that category." Silim mused with a lighthearted chuckle. "Though, I suspect you'll be relieved to know that I have no intention of trying to delve into your inner workings. As previous said, I prefer a lower level of sentience."

He was going to suggest that she's be pleased to not be the subject of study, if only to irritate by trying to place feelings into her mouth. After all, it was cute when Vulcans got all blustery and defensive. Often, they seemed to get reactive in trying to refute any sentiment or emotion.

"What about you? What made you desire to learn more on the human psyche?" The small talk was pleasant and on a topic that Parnak did find himself actually interested in. Personal histories and justification for one's passions could always provide more entertaining. That said, he couldn't resist getting in the occasional jibe. "One could argue that, in fact, you are closer to my field than your own. Humans are not native to Vulcan after all."

Before his companion could answer, there was a flurry of activity out of the corner of his eye. The hologram had returned with a small round tray. Quickly the items upon it were served to the table between the two.

"Ah ha!" Parnak laughed loudly as the dishes were served. "Now this, right here, is the peak of Human civilization. In hundreds of years, they have yet to surpass this achievement."

In front of the Vulcan, the photonic waiter placed a clear, oval bowl. It was shallow and tapered out towards to the ends. Inside sat six curled scoops of an obviously dairy based concoction. Each was a different colour. Pink, purple, beige, light green, dark brown and one was mixed - brunette chunks swirled through magnolia. Over the top of each was a lashing of some thick, deep, dark umber syrup. Placed precariously upon each mount was a peak of whipped cream, followed by a light dusting of small, hickory coloured candy decorations and one, garishly bright, red fruit.

For his own treat, Parnak had chosen something more modest. Inside a small flared glass standing on a single thick stem, were three identical sandstone balls of the same dairy foodstuff. Alongside was an etched glass tumbler, a refill of his Kanar. Picking up the beverage, the Cardassian proceeded to tip it over the human delicacy.

"Consider this a furtherment to your studies." He grinned, almost unnaturally wide as he drizzled the viscous, amber liquid over the already melting dairy spheres. "A fully fledged induction to the human condition."
  • Last Edit: August 09, 2019, 01:23:49 AM by Arista
Dr. Silim Parnak
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Re: Day 02 [1920 hrs] Sphenopalatine Ganglioneuralgia
Reply #6
[ Lt Cmdr Hathev | Below Decks Lounge | Deck 28 | Vector 03 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @Arista

It was the Cardassian's desire for the dramatic that had driven his obvious and failed attempt to entice a particular reaction from her, then; a fact made obvious by the manner in which he continued his performance. Indeed it could only be called such, considering the way he demanded mastery of her attention in his speech and movements. She found his actions, and the secrecy under which they were performed, somewhat irksome, and was glad when the man returned to the subject at hand.

As he continued, she found there was something curious in the coupling of his statement of specialism and the attention he turned to her, his detached observation. He clearly attempted to study her in this moment, his gaze travelling over her as microscope, though what he attempted to discover she could not ascertain. Those who were not of her species had difficulty deciphering a Vulcan's aspect to glean any real data, and there was nothing about her that could not be found in her personnel file; but then, he was unlikely to have access to such a document in his remit as a civillian. Perhaps he simply wished her to feel his eyes upon her; yet that too was hardly a logical course of action considering nothing she 'felt' in the manner of her senses would affect any kind of inner 'feeling' within her. Yet she knew there were some who found diversion in the attempt to illicit a reaction from their Vulcan compatriots; if Parnak proved among them, it would seem she had given his intelligence too much credit.

He ascribed relief to her in his statement that he would not be studying her -- something of an untruth, considering the observation she was subjected to. She opted to ignore such a statement, allowing him to continue in his speech. There was untold merit in allowing a talkative individual the space they required, as they would often reveal far more than they intended simply by dint of being left to talk themselves into a corner.

Unfortunately Parnak did not comply, instead posing questions to her in return. Disappointing.

'Humanity is not my sole subject of study,' she said, 'yet it comprises the greater part, given the relative abundance of humans I have been surrounded by during my career. I study brain injury as a result of psychological and emotional trauma; such a subject being already widely-documented for my species, I found Vulcan psychology posed little challenge. The study of emotional species, with all their little illogicalities, has proved a better direction for my intellect.'

If she had expected a reasonable response she was to be frustrated, as instead of adding any meaningful or interesting comment to the inane small talk to which she was now subjected, Parnak instead opted to classify her field of study as similar to his own; a gross oversimplification, and if her judgement of his intelligence was correct, he was aware of that fact. She had little opportunity to disabuse him of his error, however, as the eternally ill-timed and over-familiar holographic host returned once more, bearing a small tray from which it decanted a bowl for each of the table's occupants. Parnak's serving was of a number of beige spheres in a dish that was, frankly, ostentatious, but otherwise inoffensive. He laughed loudly as he was served, crowing over to her that he had discovered and would now proceed to share what he believed to be the 'peak of human civilisation', a fact she doubted very much.

And then she herself was served.

The bowl, at least, was more modest than that of her companion. This fact was noted almost distantly, in the back of her mind, as the greater part of her consciousness was caught in the closest thing to horror it was possible for her to experience. Her gaze roamed over the dish before her, for once uncertain where to focus as every option seemed as detestable as the last.

Of course, she was familiar with the human concept of ice cream: a food typically constructed of mammalian or plant milk combined with a fruit flavouring, sweeteners, and stabilizers made necessary by the illogicality of its preparation. Such a concoction would be mixed and kept at sub-zero temperatures and would then require partial melting before it could be consumed. She had been introduced to the concept in Sicily when Triss had sourced a lemon-flavoured example of the subsection of the ice cream family known as sorbet; she had found the temperature unpleasant but the texture had been surprisingly satisfying and the flavour gently refined. That dish had been presented reasonably, however, as the sorbet had been a clean white in colour and unmolested by any extraneous trappings.

This example of the culinary family from which sorbet hailed, however, was an egregious perversion of that dessert she had once enjoyed, being so over-embellished as to be positively bilious in comparison. In broad strokes, the concoction she was faced with was a veritable explosion of the brightest and most unnecessarily colourful dairy dessert she had ever laid eyes upon. The sheer range of colours was almost unfathomable in its decadence, staining each individual curl a different shade. This would have been decadent enough, yet it was also decked out with swirls of cream reaching a truly unnecessary height, atop of which rested a facsimile of a cherry so garish as to be almost upsetting. To finish the nightmare, tiny shards of something clearly synthetic and also coloured in a truly excessive range of shades were sprinkled across the top in a display of culinary arrogance that was startling in its brazenness.

'You cannot truly consider this humanity's greatest achievement,' she said, any cleverer words lost to the wayside in the face of the abomination with which she was presented. Parnak simply grinned at her in an obscene display of emotion; how had she ever considered them alike?

His next words were uttered almost flippantly, clearly intended to convey something of humour if not to her than to himself; however as she went to mentally dismiss them something gave her pause. There was a certain perverse truth to his words: humans were every bit as illogical and over-indulgent as the dessert placed before her. They had created it, after all. Was Parnak not therefore arguably correct in his diagnosis of the human condition as being represented, at least in part, by the decadence of the ice cream creation he had ordered for her?

It was a ridiculous thought, and not a comparison she herself would ever have thought to draw. Yet it was not an entirely unworthy comment to make. She regarded Parnak with veiled interest. He was clearly either a mad genius or a theatrical fool, and she was having great difficulty classifying him as entirely within either category.

'Are all your scientific studies so unconventional?' she asked, somewhat archly. 'Forgive me if I doubt the veracity of your judgement if that is so.'
CPO Morgan Song - Engineering - Chief of Maintenance (V2) [Show/Hide]
Lt Cmdr Hathev - Counselling - Chief Counsellor [Show/Hide]
Ensign Inej 'Avi' Avirim - Security - Investigations Officer [Show/Hide]

Re: Day 02 [1920 hrs] Sphenopalatine Ganglioneuralgia
Reply #7
[ Dr. Silim Parnak |  Below Decks Lounge | Deck 28 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @fiendfall 
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 Parnak was enjoying himself immensely. What had started off as an opportunity to get out of the usual dull routines had paid great dividends. Now, he sat across from an interesting and not unattractive companion. So far, their conversations had been pleasing and he had derived much mirth towards her reactions to his outlandish statements.

The pièce de résistance was, by far, her response to the culinary dish placed before her. Silim had never seen a Vulcan seemingly so lost for words before. He believed the colloquial term was gobsmacked. He had to admit, the hologram had outdone itself. The dessert was loud, gaudy, and ostentatious. Everything he had wanted it to be.

Satisfied, Parnak used a delicate long handled silver spoon to scoop a portion of his more modest treat and brought it to his lips. He had found that a simple drizzle of Kanar made the human delicacy entirely more palatable, and not just for the alcoholic aftertaste.

Ice cream, amongst many other things, had made their way to Cardassia Prime following the Dominion war. The cross contamination of cultures knew no bounds and while it brought many positives, there remains a staunch portion of the population who believe anything non-Cardassian in origin would bring down the state.

However, Parnak didn't have time to ponder, yet again, on the validity of such claims. He had a dinner guest. In fact, she had managed to come to her senses enough to give a cutting remark back on the validity of his research. Easily, Parnak could have gone on the defensive, reliving his viva. Where was the fun in that? Instead, he could flip the glib remark without worry.

"I think you'll find my academic prowess most robust" He retorted, a sly twinkle his eye. It was almost too easy. "Unless, of course, you seek unconventionality?"

Letting his comment sink in, Parnak sat back in his chair. Casual, yet in self-perceived control.

"If you have a better opinion on humanity's greatest achievement, I'd be glad to hear it." Pausing, Parnak gestured to his companion's food. "It is always delightful to engage in informed conversation."

The meaning was subtle, but he was sure it was clear enough for the woman sitting across the table.  To argue, she'd need to at least try the frozen confection. He would hate to have to resort to being so uncouth that he'd need to vocalise the inaccuracy of any logic that would suggest allowing food to go to waste.

  • Last Edit: August 26, 2019, 12:08:26 AM by Arista
Dr. Silim Parnak
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Re: Day 02 [1920 hrs] Sphenopalatine Ganglioneuralgia
Reply #8
[ Lt Cmdr Hathev | Below Decks Lounge | Deck 28 | Vector 03 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @Arista

In hindsight, Hathev should not have expected a serious response out of the man responsible for the abomination she was faced with. Nevertheless, his assertion that his prowess was, apparently, 'most robust', with little evidence to support such a claim, was almost as ridiculous as the slight contortion of the facial muscles that accompanied it, resulting in an almost lurid expression. It was so uncalled for that it forced her to re-evaulate the man's words, searching for the hidden meaning he had clearly slipped within. She had no familiarity with his work and so could not tell if he had made some reference to a paper he had written; perhaps 'robust' here referred to the vitality of his species?

It occurred to her that his words could have been construed as a crude innuendo, where 'prowess' could mean his sexual ability and (inferred) accolades, or even more distatefully, his external intromittent organ; this, at least, would explain the spasms of his facial muscles. But surely one such as he would not stoop to such depths of uncivilised depravity in a mere attempt to wrongfoot here -- for that must be its intended purpose. She could not believe a fellow academic would behave thus.

'I seek accuracy and reason,' she said, her tone carefully neutral. 'Thus far I have seen nothing to indicate you are capable of providing such things.'

Her words broke upon him like waves upon the shore; he was perpetually unaffected in a manner that the uneducated might have been tempted to call Vulcan, were it not for the barely-concealed pride in his own intellect he harboured. Perhaps she should have expected no less from one of his species.

'I contest your assertion that I must present an alternative before I may offer my disagreement with your claim,' she said, somewhat primly. In truth she had little interest in the question of 'humanity's greatest achivement'; the constraints were too broad, the result so necessarily subjective in nature as to render it arbitrary. It was a pointless pursuit; nevertheless, she would admit to some curiosity as to how the doctor might defend his claim, indefensible as it was. She had enjoyed little opportunity for intellectual debate, and even one so pointless as this could be employed as practice that her skills would not dull from lack of use.

As if aware of her thoughts, Parnak dutifully presented her with an example of her skills' corrosion: his own logic was sound, and unfortunately it seemed she had backed herself into a corner with her own request for accuracy. She could hardly debate his thesis without full and proper understanding of the crux of his argument, and she could hardly claim that without familiarity of the dessert in question.

She picked up her spoon calmly, although it might have been a dead rat for all her willingness. 'Is it this... creation in particular you consider the achievement,' she asked, partly to defer the moment of ingestion, 'or do you extend such judgement to all Ostwald-ripened desserts?'

The frozen foodstuff sat before her like the sword of Damocles. She had little choice if she was not to capitulate to the doctor's argument, and she could hardly suffer such an illogical gambit to best her. Duly, she selected the least offensive portion -- a sphere of beige ice cream mostly unmolested by the infernal trappings placed atop its bretheren -- and carefully excavated the correct amount for consumption.

Meeting the Cardassian's eye, she brought it to her mouth delicately. It was indescribably sweet, bursting across her tongue with a sickly flavour that was most unnecessary in its vigour; this was accompanied by an overpowering taste of vanilla pods and a synthetic hint that she assumed accounted for the toppings she had been unable to entirely avoid.

It was, in a word, disgusting. But should she stop at a mere spoonful, Parnak could argue she had not properly acquainted herself with the dish. Thus it was with a great effort of self-discipline that she raised her implement once more, this time sampling a sphere that was a lurid green. It took all her strength to bring this to her lips; ingesting it was even more difficult. The flavour was a parody of mint, cold and clear, yet again so sickeningly sweetened as to be foul beyond comprehension. This was humanity's greatest achievement? It was their greatest affront!

She swallowed with effort. The dessert seemed to mock her, the bright colours shining vibrantly. She had never seen such a gaudy array of hues, certainly never masquerading as sustenance. To be certain Parnak could not compel her to consume more, she reached out with a hand to pluck a round, pink-red fruit emulation from the top of one of the cream towers, and consumed it with a deliberate control that she was quite content with. It was as disgusting as the other tastes of the dessert she had been subjected to, if not more so: the synthetic flavour unmistakable in its potency. A replicator could produce any kind of substance and this was what humans had forced it to create. Incomprehensible.

She brought up a napkin to dab demurely at her mouth, wishing she yet retained her drink that she may wash the detestable flavour from her mouth.

'You may consider me unconvinced,' she said.
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Re: Day 02 [1920 hrs] Sphenopalatine Ganglioneuralgia
Reply #9
[ Dr. Silim Parnak |  Below Decks Lounge | Deck 28 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @fiendfall 
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Perhaps he shouldn't have been surprised with the Vulcan being a bit standoffish and disinclined to agree with him in regard to the Human delicacy he had presented her with.

"Oh, I think you will find that, yes, the first bite of it will be a tad cloying, perhaps even a vile nightmare of sweetness that assaults the palette and makes you weep for the species," he said with a chuckle and ate some of his own, which he'd admittedly ruined in the eyes of all Humans by adding Kanar to it, "nonetheless it remains and acquired taste, and once you do acquire a taste for it, I am afraid that the insidious nature of the dish will stick with you, just like the ideals of the Federation."

Should he mention the lack of extent in which he'd acquired a taste for the latter? Perhaps it would be unwise, given how the Vulcan wore that particular uniform. In fact, if he wasn't mistaken, she could actually be one of the new members in the Senior Staff. Perhaps it was better to change topics? Perhaps not, he wasn't entirely sure how far he ought to push his allegory. It depended on her receptiveness, of course.

"Though clearly you think Starfleet isn't so bad, is it?" he said with a grin, maintaining eye-contact. "By that standard, should you be so willing, please learn to like it, since at a glance you and this delicacy has a lot in common. With or without the uniform, I'd imagine."

Preferably without, of course. Wouldn't that be grand, if he could use the high sucrose-contents to talk her out of it?

Re: Day 02 [1920 hrs.] Sphenopalatine Ganglioneuralgia
Reply #10
[ Lt Cmdr Hathev | Below Decks Lounge | Deck 28 | Vector 03 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @Arista

It was quite ridiculous that the man before her would not only still attempt to defend his position, but would to do by first admitting the horror of the sustenance he had veritably forced her to consume. If even he considered the dessert, if indeed it could be awarded such a title, to be detestable, what possible reasoning could he espouse for calling it humanity's greatest achievement? She severely doubted it could be considered an acquired taste; Hathev was certain that she, at least, would never acquire such a thing.

The comparison to Federation ideals was jarring in its unexpectedness; had Hathev overlooked an indication that Parnak's thoughts were bent thus, or was it truly as much a non-sequitur as it seemed? Whichever the case, such a comparison was markedly uncalled for, and one which would earn him no compassion from her.

'Do I take it you are less than enamoured with Starfleet yourself, then?' she said, her words somewhat sharp. 'Is it your own planet's ideals you prefer, or merely your own?'

She should not have expected to find a kindred mind in a Cardassian; certainly, there were those among the species that were entirely reasonable, but their behaviour as a whole left much to be desired, to put it lightly. She had little desire to enter into a philosophical debate with him, certainly not over Starfleet, not at this particular time. Had he asked her a mere week ago she would have been contentedly fixed in her opinion and beliefs; of course, since then such things had been questioned more than once, if not shaken to their very core. But such thoughts were meaningless and unhelpful; discussing them with one so insidious and proud as the Cardassian before her would be actively detrimental.

No, she had no desire to do such a thing. Certainly not with the foul taste of the synthetic substance still so prevalent in her mouth. Accordingly, she flagged one of the infernal holographic servers to request another glass of wine. Belatedly, she realised than in doing so she had essentially trapped herself at this table with the infernal Parnak; had she merely excused herself, she could have retired to her quarters as had been her original intention. It was an oversight that was glaring in its egregiousness, and testament to how distracted she had allowed herself to become this evening. Under normal circumstances, she would never have made such an obvious mistake.

Attempting to rectify the situation, she turned back to Parnak. 'What particularities of study drew you to this vessel, then, if the governing body does not appeal to your sensibilities?' Academia was the most reasonable subject they could hope to alight upon, and thus she steered them to it with a steely determination.

The wine, when it came, provided a welcome break from the intensity of the Cardassian's gaze; she sipped it lightly, despite the expedient impulse to down it in a single moment that she might escape more quickly. She forced herself to return the glass to the table unfinished, however, and occupied her hands with the spoon she had laid neatly upon the folded napkin on the table, absently testing its edge against her thumb.

It was only when she found another bite on her tongue that she realised her mistake; yet perhaps her memory was mistaken, in that the synthetic sweetness was considerably dulled compared to her recollection of the taste. Perhaps she had been over-harsh in her criticism after all; while hardly humanity's greatest achievement as Parnak had argued, the dessert was not as detestably foul as she had originally considered it to be.

Another taste, then, that she could be certain. No, while it was certainly not pleasant, the flavour was hardly offensive, and on second try the texture was almost agreeable. Certainly this was what Parnak had wished all along, and it galled her that she was playing so easily into his hands; she returned back to her wine, affecting disgust.

'Certainly a taste I shall never acquire,' she stated definitively, annunciating her words carefully. Yet, in the name of thoroughness...
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Re: Day 02 [1920 hrs] Sphenopalatine Ganglioneuralgia
Reply #11
[ Dr. Silim Parnak |  Below Decks Lounge | Deck 28 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @fiendfall 
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Watching the Vulcan openly, Silim Parnak smirked. A curl at the corner of his lip betraying his amusement and satisfaction over the control of the events unfolding. Taking his spoon between his fingers, he placed another small scoop into his mouth and savoured the thick bitter syrup against the sweetness of the dairy confection. It tasted, quite simply, like victory.

"And yet here we are, on your fifth bite." He mused aloud, chuckling at his own conclusion.

He drew in a long, soft breath of air, as if getting ready to orate at length. Parnak knew it was a habit from his time as a lecturing academic, but he still found himself falling into old routines. They were comforting, if redundant for the amount he expected to vocalise.

"In my profession, I spend a lot of time observing, my dear." He began, weaving his words as the master playwright pens the brilliance of the theatre. "Subtle chances here and there, small tweaks that allow the educated mind to delve deeper."

Looking over, he took a moment to assess the cold, emotionless Vulcan - remembering how he found her hiding behind her long black hair and a glass of wine.

"In you I see this. A woman who, when first presented with this dish, gave afront to its saccharine nature. Now, if I were a Ferengi, I would bet heavily that with each taste that you have grown more accustomed to its intensity, its bubbliness, its happiness." He paused, dramatically, to relish a small sip of Kanar from the crystal cut glass on the table.

"Humanity, in its guises, has done exactly the same. I remember reading that the first Vulcans to live alongside humans used nasal numbing agents to alleviate the smell." The next question was designed to be rhetorical. There was a slim chance that he was wrong, but Parnak pushed anyway. "Tell me, Counselor, do you use such a medicine?

"Nevermind."
He said quickly, raising a hand before his tablemate could answer. "It's not important. What is important is similarities. Humanity is equally surreptitious.

"You study the human condition, yet I would doubt your relationship with them is purely professional. I would even hazard that, just like the iced treat on your palate; Humans have wormed their way in some of, if not all, the most intimate areas of your personal being?"


Leaning back, Parnak gloated - confident in his assumptions. He was having too much fun. The Cardassian had built his argument, revelled in the reaction, and now he reached his conclusion.

"And if that is the case then surely their greatest achievement, their lasting mark on this universe, would reflect the same?"

Twisted as it may be; it was, only logical.
Dr. Silim Parnak
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Re: Day 02 [1920 hrs.] Sphenopalatine Ganglioneuralgia
Reply #12
[ Lt Cmmdr Hahtev | Below Decks Louneg | Deck 28 | Vector 3 | USS THeugr ] Attn: @Arista

Parnak seemed damnably pleased with himself, as she had suspected he would be; the gloating pride upon his face was unmistakable, and she regarded it with the disapproval it deserved. His observation that she had sampled five spoonfuls of the dessert surprised her somewhat -- had it truly been so many? -- and yet mattered little; whatever he believed such a thing to prove, he was mistaken.

She told him as much. 'Had you a point to make no doubt you would have offered it,' she said, somewhat testily. 'That you have not supplied one--' she almost tripped over the word 'supplied', and was sure to pronounce the remainder of her sentence correctly, '--suggests you are grasping at straws; this, at least, I can believe.'

His indrawn breath signified a change of topic, seemingly to one even more desperately incorrect than the last. She regarded him coolly.

'If you have something you wish to say may I suggest you do so, before I grow tired of the wait.' Her bluntness was not intended, but she did not entirely disagree with its presence.

As the man spoke once more, Hathev filled the moments with another taste of the saccharine dish before her; truly, she had been hasty with her initial judgement of it. There was a satisfaction to the texture that she found herself most appreciative of, especially now she realised the flavour was not so egregious as she had originally determined.

'Egregious'. A pleasing word in itself; she could taste it upon her tongue, rich and rolling. Although perhaps that was the aftereffects of the chocolate.

Realising her distraction, she attempted to draw her focus to Parnak once more; he sipped from his glass with a self-satisfaction that riled her. She had missed some of his speech, but she could not help but think that was no small loss; she very much doubted he had said anything of much interest or scholarly value.

He began to orate once more, although Hathev found his argument difficult to follow; certainly due to his manner of delivering it, which seemed now to have moved to historical anecdote. Did he consider such a thing to be a persuasive technique, when it was, as far as she could determine, entirely incidental to the matter at hand? Had they not been discussing ice cream?

Her attention had wandered once more; she drew it back to Parnak's words sharply.

'You study the human condition, yet I would doubt your relationship with them is purely professional. I would even hazard that, just like the iced treat on your palate; Humans have wormed their way in some of, if not all, the most intimate areas of your personal being?'

The indignity of the suggestion surprised her, and she found herself almost at a loss for words. How dare he insinuate such a thing? No matter that he was, of course, correct -- she had married a human, had she not? -- the boldness of the accusation was improper to the extreme. 'The most intimate areas of her personal being', indeed!

'You show a great interest in matters that do not concern you,' she said, coldly, although the effect was rather undermined by the lack of separation between some of the words. Was the cold of the dessert inhibiting her oral functions?

No matter. 'You consider humanity's greatest achievement to be their ability to overcome other species' disgust of them, then?' she asked. 'A shame your own countrymen could not learn to do the same.'

An uncharacteristic indiscretion, to be sure; for a moment she was surprised at herself. And yet had not Parnak been equally bold only moments before, inserting himself into personal matters wherein he had no jurisdiction? And had he not been detestable for the majority of this ill-advised meeting?

She drained her wine, and made to leave; there was little point in prolonging the unpleasantries. Yet as she moved to stand, she found her physical co-ordination lacking in a manner most stunning; her vision seemed unusually bright, almost blurred in places, her legs unusually weak. Duly she reseated herself, lest the pitching of the deck unbalance her further. Blinking slightly against the sudden light, she peered around the room in an attempt to glean some meaning for such a thing.

After a moment's investigation, she could find no reason for her sudden disorientation. The other inhabitants of the area seemed entirely unaffected; certainly Parnak was as unruffled as ever, frustratingly so. Hathev moved to grip the table, with the thought that she might stand once more; yet her knuckles brushed the table edge a significant number of seconds before she had predicted they would, the distance seemingly shorter than she had calculated.

Was she ill? She turned her gaze inwards to evaluate her bodily functions; here, at last, she found her answer.

She was perfectly inebriated.

The fact was entirely shocking to her; she had not been in such a state for perhaps a hundred years, and it was completely unfamiliar in its effects and potency. Even more surprising was the fact that it had occurred at all: she had consumed no sucrose, to her knowledge, and there were precious few other substances that would engender such an effect upon a Vulcan. Certainly the wine was innocent in this.

Her gaze fell upon the dessert lying innocent and half-consumed upon the table.

Of course.

She flicked her eyes to meet Parnak's, her expression stony. 'This is your doing,' she said, her words injected with an icy venom even as they found themselves slurring slightly. 'Whatever you hoped to gain, you shall find me most un-- unob--' she struggled over the word '--unobliging.'

Mangled though her diction may have been, her gaze remained strong; despite the amorphous slippage of sight towards the edges of her vision, of course.
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Re: Day 02 [1920 hrs] Sphenopalatine Ganglioneuralgia
Reply #13
[ Dr. Silim Parnak |  Below Decks Lounge | Deck 28 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @fiendfall 
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Sitting across from the Vulcan, Silim Parnak reveled in the response he had elicited. The man allowed his grin to take on almost Cheshire like qualities as she berated him for speaking of matters that shouldn't concern him. Likewise, he chuckled openly when we resorted to slurs against all Cardassians. It was the desperate lashing of someone with no articulate arguments to make, instead falling back on the old favourite - Racism.

Silim didn't say anything further on the subject, bemused as he was. He had struck a nerve there, and now that he knew it, he filed it away for later use. No point, after all, blowing one's load prematurely.

The Vulcan drank up and Parnak did the same. Looking over, it appeared that she was going to leave half of her dessert untouched. A shame. Even in this day and age, resources were checked, administered and rationed carefully on Cardassia Prime. No use wasting, after all, so much of Cardassian history revolved around such scarcity.

As if she was reading his thoughts, and Parnak knew she wasn't, the Vulcan gave a closer inspection towards her dish before more accusations flew. Even with her wobbly gait and slurring, it did nothing to taper the spite laden in ever word as she snapped at him.

"My dear, I did nothing." Silim retorted, calm and collected. There was no defensiveness in his reply. "I merely wanted the pleasure of engaging conversation and some intellectual company. You certainly provided that."

Lifting a napkin, Parnak meticulously folded it in half before dabbing at the corner of his mouth. Afterwards, he wrapped the napkin within itself and placed it to the side of his dish. The Cardassian was careful in his motions.

"I suspect you wanted the same. After all, why else would you be here, alone, with a glass of wine? You certainly weren't meeting friends and, when you could imbibe in your quarters, there must have been a higher reason to be out." Constructing yet another argument out of his suspicions, he supposed the Vulcan would try to tear that down, again. Might as well enjoy it while it lasts, he chuckled. "Likewise, I very much doubt you were looking for a for Kal-toh partner?"

Silim stood and smoothed out any wrinkles from his tunic before stepping around the table to close the distance between the two. There was a height difference between them, as there tended to be with most he met, but the Cardassian wouldn't let that bother him.

"Now come." He said, offering his elbow to allow Hathev to place her hand around his arm. "Let's get your back to your quarters, before you fall foul of some fiend."
  • Last Edit: December 02, 2019, 06:48:15 PM by Arista
Dr. Silim Parnak
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