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Topic: Day 20 [2100 hrs.] Poker Faces  (Read 110 times) previous topic - next topic

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Day 20 [2100 hrs.] Poker Faces
STARDATE 57607.55
MARCH 30, 2381
2100 HRS

[ Lt Evoras | Holodeck 03 | Deck 21 | Vector 03 | USS Theurgy | Not Invented Here ] attn: @fiendfall @Fife @Numen

The call from Commander Hathev had been unexpected, late yesterday, but Evoras could appreciate the probable reasons she had been invited to the event. Cross was to be there, and over the last couple of weeks they had developed an amicable working relationship... though, often, based upon exasperation at the ongoing repairs and the crews responsible. Less thrilling prospects involved Hathev herself and another counsellor, Ensign Seren. Both were the exact sorts of Vulcans who could be relied upon to treat her with suspicion and disdain... though there was a better-than-usual chance that they would be able to see past their preconceptions, given their experiences both in Counselling and with Commander Cross.

She hoped.

The ritual in question was a social one - another anomaly for her - but it had been several years since she had participated. A test of logical deduction amidst uncertain variables, as well as ongoing interaction with and probing of one's peers in that environment. Another reason for her to both want to avoid it and accept that her socialisation had suffered a great deal lately. Ida was her only real friend aboard, these days, and the Andorian deputy was almost impossible to pry out of her routine. If she only interacted with people in a professional setting her health could well deteriorate.

So, to the holodecks Evoras dutifully trooped. She was the first to arrive, and so started the program. Vulcans had been engaging in this particular exercise for the last couple of centuries or so, and while the environs varied according to custom or necessity, they were often embarked upon in their traditional locale. In this case, she chose such an establishment, the felted tables filling in to the large, open room. The lighting was dim and close, but lights with conical shades hung relatively low over each table to keep them brightly illuminated.

An extended counter ran along one wall, decorated with bottles of spirits from a hundred worlds. The custodians and other participants would not be filled in by this particular instance of the program - they were to engage with the scenario alone.

Evoras retrieved a peaked transparent green visor and a steaming mug of Hell tea (still partial to the new blend introduced to her by Ms O'Riley) before returning to the main table picked out for them. The steam coiled towards the light in a twisting white stream, as she tucked some of her wayward hair behind one ear before pulling the cap down to shade her eyes from the harsh light. A deck of cards materialised at her elbow, and the small trenches along the edges of the table filled in with circular tokens.

She shuffled the deck with a sharp snap while she waited - which wasn't for long. Evoras inclined her head in greeting, before gesturing to the empty seats at the table with the deck as a whole and then flicking individual cards face-down one at a time to the other Vulcans.

"Five-card stud, deuces wild... ante up."
  • Last Edit: November 27, 2019, 05:20:18 PM by Top Hat
Nator 159:
Ranaan Ducote:

Re: Day 20 [2100 hrs.] Poker Faces
Reply #1
[Ensign Seren | Seren Personal Quarters > Holodeck 03 | Deck 15 > Deck 21 | Vector 1 > Vector 03 | USS Theurgy | Complying with tradition ]
att: @Top Hat @Fife @fiendfall

His Savensu had summoned him to attend a ritual and Seren had been able only to acquiesce. So he had adjusted his customary routine to adequately prepare for the event. After all, although he knew the tradition theoretically and had been a witness of it a couple of times, he had never partaken in it before. As with any baptism of fire, it deserved that he devote a great deal of detail to the whole process.

So, he groomed himself with particular diligence, paying careful attention to even out the length of his hair and spending time to ensure that no single hair exceeded 0.3 centimeters in length. Once his head was properly shaved, he replicated a new uniform and clothed himself with the utmost attention, ensuring that no rebellious wrinkles spoiled his neat appearance before he placed the combadge exactly in the statutory placement over his chest. Lastly, he unlocked one of the drawers next to his bed and extracted a single golden pip. As he rolled the small ornament between his fingers, he realized that this was the first time he had fastened it to his clothes since he had come out of the ice. The occasion well deserved it.

Before he abandoned the room, he spent a few minutes to check the condition of the two plants that cohabited with him there. Their status was overall satisfactory, although one of them still displayed the detrimental effects of the treatment to which it had been subjected. However, Lyras had assured him that it would restore its initial leafiness in the future. Ultimately, he approached the replicator to materialize some edible seeds. As he had researched, it was common to consume small portions of food in some forms of the ritual. The technical name of such food pieces was 'snacks'. From the long list of the most common ones, he had selected that leguminous variety since it was the most suited to the dietary preference of the greatest number of those attending without entailing a high risk of arterial obstruction.

The replicator provided him with a russet bag that featured a simplified depiction of the Arachis Hypogaea seed that, for some reason he could not fathom, portrayed a broad human grin. Seren wrinkled his nose a bit as he attempted to convey a meaning to that stylization of the vegetable. However, he desisted in such endeavour when he realized that nothing related to a food whose common name was erroneous could be logic: they were neither nuts nor peas, and yet they were clearly designated as such under the illustration dancing feet. He had to accept it as it was in its incoherence.

With the bag firmly secured under his right arm and the expression measurably restrained, Seren headed to the nearest transporter room.

Barely a few minutes later the door of holodeck 3 opened in front of him, revealing a colourful setting, albeit with no other people than Lieutenant Evoras. Seren barely knew the other Vulcan, whereas both had served on board the Theurgy for almost the same time span and the fact that he had shallowly surveyed her profile, ultimately they had scarcely met face to face. This fact and the formal circumstances that surrounded them only encouraged that the young man behave as correctly as possible. Therefore, before he deposited the bag of wrongly termed nuts on the table, he raised his left hand in the traditional greeting. "Dif-tor heh smusma" he solemnly added just before he sat down on Evoras' right. In front of him a bowl of plastic and an extremely saturated yellow material take shape and Seren proceeded to pour the contents of the bag into it methodically.

Savensu → teacher
Dif-tor heh smusma → long life and prosper
  • Last Edit: November 28, 2019, 04:54:03 PM by Numen
Lt. JG Khorin Douglas [Show/Hide]
Lt. JG. Izar Bila [Show/Hide]
Ensign Seren [Show/Hide]

Re: Day 20 [2100 hrs.] Poker Faces
Reply #2
[ Lt. Cmdr. Cross | Corridors Outside Holodeck 03 | Deck 21 | Vector 03 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @fiendfall @Numen @Top Hat
[Show/Hide]Cross glanced at Hathev, the Theurgy's Chief Counsellor walking next to him as they made their way through the corridors towards the holodeck. Cross had been happy when Hathev had initially suggested spending the evening together, the former hybrid looking forward to spending time with the woman who, following a series of unexpected events which at times had bordered on insanity, had wormed her way into his heart. Cross felt a sense of calm as he glanced at Hathev, the calm laced with a good deal of affection. He also felt a streak of irritation, the diminutive ship's counsellor having left out certain details of her plans for the evening until after he had agreed. Part of Cross suspected that had been Hathev's plan from the very beginning, the counsellor knowing him all too well after the events which had unfolded five days previous.

"When you suggested spending the evening together, I didn't expect it to involve being stuck in a hajari room full of Vulcans." Cross grumbled, his pale eyes peering down at Hathev from the corner of his eyes. "Well... not more than two Vulcans, at least." With those words, Cross swung his arm wide, lightly brushing Hathev's hand with his own. For the briefest moment, he sensed Hathev, the calm serenity of the woman seeming unshakable, though Cross knew otherwise. In her defense though, that had been his fault. He also sensed a certain level of satisfaction through he brief contact, Hathev having expressed her belief that interaction with other Vulcans would benefit the emotionally unstable former hybrid. Cross was well aware that Hathev would be able to sense his undisguised affection through the brief touch, as well as the mild irritation. She would also likely sense some level of amusement from Cross, the tactical officer doubting whether Hathev knew of Evoras' unconventional nature. He would not be the only non-traditional Vulcan at the poker table today.

Cross glanced as Hathev again as they neared the doors to the holodeck, his pale gaze studying the other Vulcan's features. "It would probably be best not to let Seren find out about this." Cross said softly, gently brushing Hathev's hand again. "The stuffy haja would probably have a hajari stroke if he sees you making googly eyes at a riolozhikaik mutt like me!" Cross chuckled again, both at the mental image of Seren's face trying to maintain it's serenity as his mind erupted in catastrophic disbelief, and at the stern look of indignation which Hathev directed his way, though the contact of her hand with his told him her displeasure was only skin-deep.


The Vulcan word felt strange on Cross' tongue, so different was it from both the Federation Standard and Kardasi which he was accustomed to. He had begun to try and familiarize himself with some Vulcan words, both for the fact that he was growing increasingly closer to one of the languages native speakers, as well as for the added bonus of being able to insult Seren in the man's native tongue.

Was it illogical? Oh, probably. But it was going to be fun.

Letting his hand fall away from Hathev's, Cross pulled his gaze away from her and faced the doors before pressing the button which sent them hissing open. Pausing to allow Hathev to enter first, Cross' eyes took in their surroundings as he follow close on her heels. Evoras and Seren were both present and seated at a table, Evoras shuffling a deck of cards with a peaked green visor atop her head. The sight made Cross grin slightly as he nodded a greeting to his fellow tactical officer before turning his attention to Seren and giving another nod. "Evoras. Seren."

Turning and making his way to the bar, Cross poured two coffees from a cafetiere which sat on the bar before returning to the table where the others sat. Cross placed one coffee before Hathev, then took his seat and sipped his own. It was only as Evoras started explaining what they would be playing that it occurred to Cross that he might have made a mistake, his eyes briefly flitting between Hathev and Seren as he tossed his ante into the center of the table and took up his cards.

Kardasi Translation:
Hajari - Fucking
Haja - Fuck

Vulcan Translation:
riolozhikaik - Illogical
Lt. Cmdr. Cross     [Show/Hide]Ensign Isel "Foxfire" Nix     [Show/Hide]PO1 Scruffy LeBlanc      [Show/Hide]

Re: Day 20 [2100 hrs.] Poker Faces
Reply #3
[ Lt. Cmdr. Hathev | Corridors Outside Holodeck 03 | Deck 21 | Vector 03 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @Top Hat @Numen @Fife

Hathev's reasoning for arranging such an event was purely logical: it was a continuation of Cross' Vulcan education, an opportunity for cross-departmental socialising between others of their species. Furthermore, although this was neither the primary goal nor indeed even a major motivation, it would provide a setting wherein the divisions between Seren and Cross, as had been established during their previous meetings, might be eased. Although her affiliation with Cross was only unofficial, she was nevertheless aware that both counsellor and patient had found their sessions somewhat trying, and in her capacity as Chief Counsellor it befit her to assist in the smoothing of such a thing where possible.

Of course, she had no other motivations for wishing the relationship between the two men eased, as such a thing would be unprofessional. She neither expected nor required a boy not even sharing her genetic coding to approve of her actions or company.  Such a thing was hardly necessary.

Should it be proffered, however, it might be appreciated.

Thus, the meeting had been arranged. It was, after all, purely logical.

Under normal circumstances Hathev would have arrived three minutes early that she might initiate the correct program and arrange the table correctly to receive her invited guests; however the Vulcan accompanying her to Holodeck 3 had rather dashed those intentions. On reflection, perhaps concealing the true nature of the evening from him had been less than prudent, as on discovery of the fact they were to have company Cross had become markedly recalcitrant. Nevertheless, she had foreseen a 78% chance of outright refusal to attend had she imparted her intentions any earlier, and given such a refusal would have been made on purely illogical grounds she saw fit to simply omit the pertinent details until an opportune moment.

Such a decision had cost her several minutes, but not Cross' attendance, and thus she still considered the outcome to be a success, if only in part.

'I am more than aware of your expectations,' she said in response to Cross' grumbling. 'Just as I am aware that, despite your insistence to the contrary, this evening will prove beneficial for you.' She caught his eye, a sly glint in her own. 'If not outright enjoyable.'

The touch, when it came, was still new enough to prove almost unexpected, despite extrapolation from prior evidence pointing to its continued appearance. Physical contact remained a rare occurrence in Hathev's life, as it had been throughout her entire existence; for one to initiate such a thing so casually, so gently, almost as if in passing... Yet this was nothing when compared to the realisation that she did not altogether dislike it.

Curious. A subject for further study, perhaps.

The emotional transference she received from Cross was no longer the barely-contained turbulence of yore; the feelings received were muted and mild, yet Hathev could still parse their meaning. There was a warmth there she recognised from her own more unguarded moments.

For a moment, she considered chasing his hand with her own -- for purposes of analysis, of course. The entrance to the holodeck neared, however, and Cross' comments on Seren required attention, and thus she dispelled such whims in favour of a more professional demeanour.

'My ocular organs have never been the slightest googly,' she said sternly. It was not an adjective with which she was entirely familiar, and yet from the way in which Cross used the word she was confident in her assessment. 'Furthermore, lying is illogical, Commander,' she admonished.

Yet there was wisdom in his words. She did not wish to undermine any potential acquaintances that might be formed as a result of tonight's festivities with distractions over her own private life, which remained, of course, completely irrelevant.

Thus she relented somewhat: 'I see no reason for any announcement. Perhaps a judicious use of discretion is called for.' An archness overcame her, and she looked up at the man to her side. 'I will take it under advisement. You are Tactical Chief, are you not?'

It was only as they continued that she realised Cross had spoken in Vulcan. The knowledge resonated somewhere amongst her ribs, along with a thought that was quite riolozhikaik in its own right.

No, she was merely pleased to hear Cross embracing more of his heritage. That was a reasonable response, after all. And she was nothing if not reasonable.

She entered the holodeck the image of professionalism, crossing the threshold first as befit her position as organiser of the meeting and maintaining a correct 45 centimetre distance between herself and her colleague at all times. Lieutenant Evoras and Ensign Seren were already present and seated beside one another; Hathev chose the chair to Seren's right and arranged herself within.

'Apologies for my tardiness,' she said; no doubt Seren would bristle at the unnecessary colloquialism, but Hathev was not familiar with Lieutenant Evoras. Thus she would err on the side of politeness until she saw reason to do otherwise.

Cross had not yet seated himself, but Hathev saw no reason for concern and thus busied herself with more pressing duties. The table had already been arranged correctly, complete with a bowl of legumes she recognised as the Earth variety Arachis Hypogaea. A pleasant addition.

Such arrangements were of a duty which should have been Hathev's, had she not been delayed. Her own mistake, nevertheless it was unfortunate that it had been foisted upon another due to her own inadequacy as host. She could only anticipate that such a thing would not be held against her by either of her guests.

Finally, Cross returned to the table, seating himself in the final space and offering her a beverage -- the reason for his delay, no doubt. It somewhat contradicted his earlier desire to operate in a clandestine fashion, and she had not intended to spurn the tea already laid out upon the table, yet the aroma of coffee emanating from the cup was persuasive in itself. She nodded her thanks, and took a sip.

It was not prepared exactly to her preferred specifications, yet it was apparent an effort to do so had been made. It was an effort that was appreciated, and which required some effort of her own not to express such a thing with another glance at the donor.

Lieutenant Evoras initiated the evening's activities, designating herself dealer in the process; Hathev was content with this development. She was not unfamiliar with the game, of course, but could boast little experience, and none from recent years. It had been an activity chosen with her guests' enjoyment in mind, rather than her own; for these purposes it served perfectly.

Accordingly she took up her own cards, and prepared for the recreational undertaking.
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 20 [2100 hrs.] Poker Faces
Reply #4
[ Lt Evoras | Holodeck 03 | Deck 21 | Vector 03 | USS Theurgy | Not Invented Here ] attn: @fiendfall @Fife @Numen

Seren produced snacks, Cross produced a pair of coffees for himself and Hathev. A curious development; most Vulcans she knew disdained the beverage, only exceptions like Cross finding enjoyment in it (and that likely explained by his less fortunate upbringing). The coils of steam from the various hot drinks around the table formed ephemeral pillars under the harsh light over the table, emulating the tobacco smoke from what must have been the poker halls of old Earth.

The particular challenge of engaging in this particular activity with one's average Vulcan (insofar as such a thing existed) was that they were all capable of keeping track of which cards were where to a reasonable degree of accuracy - while they would only see forty percent of the deck in any given game, the number of cards visible to the entire table meant that there was little point banking on statistical vagaries in order to win each hand.

Evoras herself had drawn a deuce as her first face-up card, but thanks to it being a wildcard it may as well have been an ace. As such, the first bet was not hers; she had the strongest start possible, despite the card underneath being a seven. She herself favoured an aggressive stance regardless. When the bet passed to her, she chipped in. "Raise," she said simply, coolly regarding her peers.

She was making a particular effort to keep her face still, though not because of the game. She knew that any microexpression would be picked up in short order by the counsellors, and she would far rather make the effort to contain herself than be drawn into a conflict over philosophy. Hathev in particular may already know from which monastery and seminary she hailed, but there was no need to accelerate matters if she hadn't already read her file.

She decided that there was no particular person here whom she wished in particular to beat - rather, she wanted to be the last person standing. Evoras would never admit that Cross' thievery of the killing blow against the Cube still stung, and she needed no excuse for the other two beyond their being traditionalists and, thus, avatars in a distant way of the mistreatment she had ever received from most members of their species.

The betting round finished. Evoras dealt the next face-up cards. She herself received a jack, which was less than ideal. Assuming no duplicates, the best she could hope for was a jack-high straight given that her cards so far were all of different suits. Not that it mattered in this game. Vulcan poker was almost entirely a game of bluff and misdirection because of the degree of certainty possible in determining each others' hands.

Now that the hands were being revealed, the betting switched from the worst to the best hand. A (visible) deuce and a jack was numerically-high but not the strongest at the table, so she again wasn't first to bet. Evoras spent the time inspecting the other faces for their tells, to try and gauge who might have something worth betting on, and who might simply be playing the numbers game and be about to fold. One of these hands in particular was, as some of her acquaintances might describe it, 'hot garbage'. The bet passed to her.

She pushed another few chips into the pile amidst the table. 

Nator 159:
Ranaan Ducote: