Posted by Ensign Kastarak (Doctor / Counsellor) in Risa - Trust Me, I’m a Chef (Tag Kastarak)
Posted by Crewman Ngokav Sega’a (Yeoman / Steward) in Risa - Trust Me, I’m a Chef (Tag Kastarak)
“Dear… no,” Sega’a clenched his jaw and tapped delete until his finger throbbed. He had not anticipated a simple, five-second task devolving into a nightmare of greetings and second-guessing. Would Kastarak appreciate ‘hello’ more than ‘to whom it may concern’? Did he prefer succinct, emotionless messages to flowery invitations? Did Vulcans even write invitations? Sega’a grappled with these questions until his mind simply could not stand to debate them any longer.
He yanked his hands from the keyboard and sank into his chair with an exasperated groan. “It’s a letter,” he rubbed his face, “not rocket science.”
Ngokav closed his eyes and marinated in his self-pity, but a disgruntled growl forced him to peek through his fingers not seconds later. His gaze traveled from the monitor to a fluffy, pillow-adorned bed and its grouchy inhabitant. A ball of unkempt fur, hooked nails and a tooth permanently stuck on her lip made the creature somewhat… terrifying. He dressed her in the finest fabrics, but even her snazzy vest couldn’t detract from her wrinkled face and beady eyes. Sega’a adored her all the same.
“Yes, Hago?” He leaned over to scratch behind her ears, earning him a ‘loving’ snarl. “Hey! Don’t talk to me like that. I know I’m being foolish, but you must understand that I need to get this right. I don’t want to scare him off.” He shot Hago an indigant look when she huffed. “He doesn’t even know about you! What if he doesn’t like–!”
Hago scooted back in her bed and promptly turned around to do what she did best: pout.
“Aww, don’t be like that. I just want to make sure your day is as special as you…” he reached out to pet her but she scooted further away. Sega’a was starting to think ‘Hago’ was something for ‘petty’, but she had a point. His beating around the proverbial bush wasn’t doing anyone any good. Besides, the party was less than a day away. If he wanted Kastarak to attend, he needed to rip off the proverbial bandaid. Ha! He was getting good at these human metaphors.
Subject: Invitation - Hago’s Birthday!
From: Ngokav Sega’a
I am hosting a small gathering for Hago tomorrow at 1700. She is turning seven! I’ll make dinner and desert, but otherwise it will be casual. I know folks have plans for shore leave, so please feel free to decline, but I figured I would extent the invitation if you’re free. Even if she’s oblivious, I’ll enjoy your company.
You don’t have to bring anything (except yourself). Let me know what you think!
Questions were all over Kastarak’s brain upon this sudden invitation. He was invited to a “small gathering” to celebrate a child’s birthday.
Kastarak examined the message. The child would turn 7 – assuming it was Earth years, but the message was written in Federation Standard.. But it did seem like a child, as the object of honour of this gathering was “oblivious”. Were Orion children really still oblivious at the age of 7 Earth years? Or could it be Orion years? How long was an Orion year?
Then… did Sega’a have a child? Sega’a had spoken of his parents before, and of his siblings. Kastarak knew also, in passing, of Andreas, Sega’a’s ex-partner. Never was a child mentioned. Perhaps keeping children, while still oblivious, secret until they reach consciousness was an Orion custom?
Kastarak realized he knew very little of Orion customs. He noticed emotions of guilt and frustration and immediately purged them from his experienced reality. He understood immediately their significance: Guilt because he knew so very little of his friend’s culture and worldview. He needed to change this. Frustration because he did not understand how to act or behave at a gathering in honour of someone he did not knew – albeit an oblivious person of honour.
Kastarak did know that he could not dishonour his friend or the person whom this gathering would honour. Moreover, Sega’a had wrote that he would enjoy Kastarak’s company. Re-reading that, Kastarak noticed a fluttering sensation in his gut, not too far from his heart. Was this an emotion? Most probably not, he concluded. It helped all Kastarak’s questions, due to his lack of proper Orion cultural etiquette, that Sega’a recommended not bringing any gifts to the person of honour.
He quickly replied.
Subject: Re: Invitation - Hago’s Birthday!
To: Ngokav Sega’a
I will attend. Send me the location details.
– Kastarak (on shore leave)
Elated as he was by Kastarak’s answer, Sega’a contained his excitement in a broad grin and delivered a swift reply.
Subject: Re: Invitation - Hago’s Birthday!
From: Ngokav Sega’a
I’ve attached the coordinates below. I’ll meet you on the beach around 1655 and we can head in from there, if that works for you?
Ngokav relaxed into his chair and tossed his not-so-furry friend an warm smile. He hadn’t expected Kastarak to accept his invitation, trusting the good Doctor had better use of his time than celebrating a seven-year-old. Seven-year-old. His eyes widened as he lurched from his seat, beads of sweat gathering at his temples as if he’d done something horribly wrong. And maybe he had.
“He know what you are, right?” Ngokav furrowed his eyebrows in a failed attempt to reassure himself. “I must have mentioned it when we talked about you,” he pinched his nose as concern crept into his dark eyes, “gods… no I didn’t! What if he thinks you’re my child? I can’t mention it now. ‘Oh, by the way, Hago is a creature I picked up in my reporting days. Thought you should know.’ Ugh!”
Ngokav balled his fists as his heart quickened, blood rushing from his head. He sat before the self-induced lightheadedness did it for him and glanced at Hago, earning him a peeved glare. Her looks were telling and this one suggested he needed to calm down… at least, that was how he interpreted it. Sega’a took in a soft breath and plopped beside Hago, running a hand down her largely hairless back. “I suppose you’re right,” he said, “we can address that when we get there. For now… we’ve got a party to set-up!”
Sega’a lost himself in yellow ribbons and pet-friendly sprinkles, dancing to the music that played endlessly in his thoughts. If it wasn’t for the trio of alarms he cleverly set up in five-minute intervals, he might have neglected to meet Kastarak aside. He threw off his apron as the last alarm echoed and kissed Hago farewell before slipping outside the small (and now rather… loud) room he arranged for her festivities.
It wasn’t long before Sega’a stepped from the lobby to the small sidewalk that separated their hotel from the shore. He folded his arms comfortably across his chest and wandered down the path, searching for a familiar face.
OOC: River, feel free to jump in at any point!
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