Posted by Ensign Kalani Kāne (Science Officer) in Tis the Time of the Season - Crew Christmas Party (open)
Posted by Lieutenant Junior Grade Hannah Lori Asimina (Doctor) in Tis the Time of the Season - Crew Christmas Party (open)
Posted by Ensign Kalani Kāne (Science Officer) in Tis the Time of the Season - Crew Christmas Party (open)
Posted by… suppressed (6) by the Post Ghost! 👻
Once again that time of (Earth) year had come around. The one where people met with their friends and families where they could and celebrated a fat guy in a red snowsuit climbing down peoples chimneys in the middle of the night to eat their food and leave his junk lying around. Dante knew there was far more to it than that, but that was how a certain Tellarite acquaintance of his called Gruv Skallig had described the Human Christmas to him at one point, and Dante had never been able to get it out of his head in that fashion since.
This year, was a special one to Dante and Natasha. They had Oscar. It was going to be Oscars first Christmas on the Saracen and Dante had decided that this year he was going to invite the crew to a relaxed gathering, provide food and ask people to bring something called a Secret Santa to add to a pile under the tree, and a decoration they could hang on it.
Dante was particularly proud of the tree itself. Natasha had been adamant, she wanted a real tree this year. Not a fake one, not one with fibre-optic lights that would keep Bruce mesmerized for hours, not a replicated one. A real one. She wanted a real Christmas Tree, in space, hundreds of Light Years away from Earth. Dante had found a Ferengi that was peddling something he called authentic Hooman Krispmas Trees and while they kind of looked right, Dante didn’t really want to part with an arm and a leg just to afford it. So he did the next best thing.
Dante had assembled an away team and visited a nearby planet that happened to have a Class M atmosphere and was uninhabited. After some searching and artistic adjustments with a phaser, they had returned to the Saracen with something that resembled a Pine Tree that reached the roof of the cargo bay that Dante was arranging the party in. Mostly decorated with tinsel, Christmas Baubles and lights there was plenty of space for the crew to hand their small special additions.
With the time having arrived for people the gathering to begin, Dante watched as several crew filled tables with foods from all over the Federation, inspected that the Ambrosia Pudding was made correctly and not to Natasha’s recipe, and paused and looked at Bruce. Bruce, Dante and Natasha’s three metre long Asian Monitor Lizard pet had been helping Dante decorate, making sure any of the round christmas baubles that fell on the ground and tried to escape, were rounded up, chewed and convinced never again to escape. That Bruce was wearing a red and green Christmas Sweater had made the lizards efforts to destroy the christmas baubles all that much more satisfying to him, and he was plotting revenge against Babushka, Natasha’s grandmother for having made it for him.
=/\= Nat, it’s Dante. We’re ready here, where are you? I thought you were coming to help decorate love? =/\=
Captain Knight, CO
OOC: Okay everyone, this here is a ‘small’ thread where you can feel free to post, meet other people in the crew and relax a little as these holidays arrive and we may find some peoples posting slows down and some side sims might not be enough to keep green. Feel free to join us, relax and have some fun. This isn’t a serious thread, and you are more than welcome to come enjoy the party and relax.
=/\=Coming baby. I had to requisition a hover sled to get your gifts to the crew there. It’s not like I am a pack mule. You know that right?=/\= Natasha’s tone had an edge to it but how could it not. Dante had spent the past two days working instead of helping her for the annual Christmas party. She had regretted putting her foot down about a real tree. Dante had spent the last week trying to find her one and yet came up empty-handed. Next year she would not groan or roll her eyes when he replicated the perfect tree, at least outwardly.
It wasn’t long after the tree had gone up that the big Scottish Security Chief came in carrying a very large open topped crate. The sound of glass tinking came from inside as he walked across the bay to a bulkhead near the tree. Looking at Knight, he said “I knew you’d forget me, so I bright tha booze and all the fixins’ for traditional Egg Nog, Skipper.” and he winked as he began pulling out bottle after bottle of whiskey… and ingredients.... and glasses… and more whiskey.
Bruce came scampering up to the COS like a human child. The metal deck plating though was causing more mobility issues for Bruce than he cared to admit. Instead of being able to stop as he scampered across the floor towards Sinclair’s box, Bruce careened into the side causing more tinkling of the glass inside. The large box Sinclair was unpacking had to hold something of value for him in it. He hoped it was one of those meat and cheese platters that seemed to show up every time someone entered the Knight’s quarters. Not only was it yummy but each person knew to slice the meats and only use crackers that were round. Round was his favorite shape. It also permitted things to roll off the plates when they were jostled about. With Sinclair being a male that also meant he probably didn’t bring some kind of pudding, veggie tray, or dip. Not having a true opposable thumb meant dipping was problematic for a snack hungry lizard.
Seeing the contents however, caused Bruce to lock eyes on Sinclair. A slow deliberate tongue flick followed. Dude what is this. Where are the sausages? Where is the beef? I thought for sure you would be bringing pepperoni, salami, and meat. You know I just died inside right. Not the small death but the soul-crushing my life is over kinda death. Look around us dude. We are standing in the threshold of a woman’s grazing snack hell. Carrots and celery and broccoli oh my. Cauliflower and peppers and mini tomatoes oh my. Why? Why have you resigned us to this. You....you were someone I thought was going to pull through for us. Instead, you have killed my heart buddy. Bruce’s monologue was a silent one since no one but his family and at times that Kalani chick could seem to understand. Still, Sinclair had to know or at least sense his disappointment with the contents of the box.
Looking at his father Bruce let out a huge squawk. The sound was familiar to those close to the Knights. It was the sound many would recognize as sounding like a velociraptor call. This was appropriate because like his primordial brethren, Bruce was mad. Come out to the hangar. We will have a few snacks. We will have a few laughs. Dad I am starving and there is only rabbit food. Hell, I would be happy to eat the rabbit that brought the food but there is not even that. Where’s mom? I’m telling, he belted out a few more squawks before heading back to the tree. With the way the ornaments were falling off, someone had to man the area around it. All the round ornaments were his by law since they were round. If he left his spot too long, he would miss it when one fell and not have a chance to catch it before a human stuck it back on the tree.
Hannah arrived to the party, expecting to be late since the dish she had made to share took longer to make than she remembered. The table with food was not hard to find. Hannah had made her mother’s roasted nut roast. On Catawba they were not vegetarians, but meat was not something that had been in huge supply at times so they would often have nuts as a source of protein. And, Hannah knew, that many species frowned upon eating meat. So she’d made this, it reminded her of home, and if no one else liked it she’d happily take it home with her. (https://pescetarian.kitchen/christmas-nut-roast-recipe/).
She’d brought an ornament, they’d never decorated a tree at home, but it was a tradition she enjoyed since the first one she’d seen at the Academy. The ornament she brought was a model of a Behemoth from home. It looked similar to an ankylosaur from Earth. Except instead of scales it was covered in fur and long hair trailing off the end of the tail. She approached the tree to hang the ornament and come feet to nose with Bruce. She looked down at the 3 meter lizard, and totally undaunted she knelt down and observed him and the ornaments he was catching. “You’re king of the ship aren’t you?” she asked in her strange accent. Hannah stood back up hanging the image of the Behemoth higher than the lizard’s reach. She nodded to a couple of medical staff she knew speaking to a few of them.
Lt. jg Asimina, Doctor
Bruce looked at Hannah and flicked out his tongue long and quick. His eyes took in everything. Unfortunately, the woman did not bring the two things in the world that endeared him to someone: snack food or a ball. Glancing at the ornament he looked back at her wondering why she had not understood that as the king of the ship and the first son of the captain certain things were due him. Namely, a gift that was round and preferably bounced. He had no problem that she had put something on the tree. His issue was that there was nothing under the tree.
Reaching up with his hind foot, Bruce dug a toenail into the collar of the red and green knitted monstrosity his mother had shoved him into. The first-year Natasha had brought out the horrible sweater it had been a pure battle of wills between him and the wool; however, like all good battles after a time, a ceasefire was drawn. The peace accords, verbally stated by his dad two years ago, indicated that when the sweater was on his body food would be provided along with copious ball tossing. So far all he had gotten was a large pine smelling plant in the hangar. Another tongue flick showed how Bruce was quickly becoming bored with the event.
Hannah watched the disgruntled actions of the poor animal. “Don’t they have any treats for you around here?” She looked around not seeing anything close by. She had no idea what the animal ate, but was more than willing to spoil someone else’s pet if she knew what was safe to give to it. “What’s your name anyway, huh?” She chuckled as the unnamed Bruce took off for the arrival of the Dr. Knight.
Bruce looked up at the woman and took a step back. This was not the first time he had to introduce himself to others. Part of him always thought that his father should carry him about on his hip like he did Oscar but that would also mean he would lose the freedom to explore and scamper about. Flopping on his side, Bruce rolled onto his back letting his legs drop to the side. Never had he felt that the design on his tummy was worth anything until he realized it helped others understand who he was and his position on the ship.
Was emblazoned in knitted script for Hannah to read. Gazing around at the upside-down world, he waited for Hannah to begin laying on the accolades. It always happened and Bruce was due for a little loving.
Hannah grinned at the lizard, sprawled on his back showing off his sweater to her question. She knelt down and grabbing a foot, shook it. “I bet you’re smarter than most humans give you credit for.” Thought most might be abrehensive about a giant lizard and the ‘claws’ that he had for toes, Bruce was small compared to what Hannah was used to seeing back home. Though it was rare to actually get close to one. She took several minutes to shower Bruce in as much attention as he could handle. She glanced up at the table and back at Bruce. “You can’t even steal from the table can you? Hmmmm....well back home our giant lizards like insects and meat.” She spotted an offering of meatballs and then sausage balls on the table and took a few of each and then held out the plate to Bruce. “Now if I give you these you have to promise if you smell something you aren’t supposed to have that you turn your nose up at it.” Hannah put the plate down about the time that Dr. Knight appeared and Bruce ran off. She laughed and slid it out of the way where no one would step on his treats.
The soft swish of the pneumatic doors opening pulled Bruce’s attention away from the food table and square present pile. Instantly his eyes became bright as he ran full bore towards his approaching mother and brother. Mom....mom…dad hasn’t fed me. I am starving. I think I am no going to make it. Did you bring bacon? Burgers? Anything? Bruce’s speed and squawking however were utterly ignored by the loud scream echoing from Natasha’s lips. It only took a second for Bruce to realize that her yells completely drowned out Bruce’s squawks. It also was immediately apparent that he would not be able to stop his forward momentum in time to not slide out the hangar door as Natasha bolted through it. Scrabbling at the slick metal, the last thing Bruce saw as he slid out of the hangar and Natasha entered it was the large metal doors sliding close. Bumping into the wall Bruce did not attempt to get up. He simply tapped a long-nailed finger on the metal surface grumpy and annoyed.
Bruce the starving and presentless lizard
“Oh my god Dante. Dante. Dante,” Natasha’s voice continued to rise into a crescendo only women could master. While the shrill sound of it diminished as they aged, the twangy excited happiness never left. Leaving the hover sled piled with bottles of Vodka and vodka infused candy at the door and completely stepping over Bruce careening toward her, Natasha speed walked, skipped and then ran towards Dante. Not caring who was next to her, Natasha passed the baby out of her hands the second she was within striking distance of Dante. Jumping into the air, she leaped onto her husband’s chest with the reckless abandon from their academy years wrapping her arms around his neck and smothering him in kisses. This was probably not the most dignified greeting between a captain and his wife, yet Natasha did not care. For so many years they had been apart resulting in the two completely forgetting they were in public when he arrived on the Outpost between assignments. Right now, Natasha did not feel like a mother and chief medical officer in Starfleet. She felt like a girlfriend whose boyfriend had done the most romantic thing to win her heart.
“You got me a tree. A real tree. Oh my god when,” she peppered his cheeks and threw out questions so rapidly Dante would have trouble replying and returning the affection. “I take back everything I muttered about you in Russian all week,” she laughed slowly letting him put her down. “You mister are now on St. Nat’s good list and you know what that means,” she wagged her eyebrows enticingly. Locking her fingers in his hands, Natasha stared at the tree letting out a deep happy sigh. Dante and her had a few bumps since the baby had been born. She was ready to leave Starfleet which Dante was not. He had promised that he could give her the life she envisioned. She just needed to trust him. Tonight Natasha realized Dante was right. He could give her the universe as long as she could give him patience.
“You did good baby. You did real good,” she squeezed his hand.
“Uh sir,” a crewman cleared her throat holding out Oscar to the captain. It was not that she didn’t want to hold the baby. It was more she wanted to give the cap and his family a quiet moment alone.
“Woah,” Oscar said in a soft tone as his eyes opened wide. He had never seen anything so big in his life. Reaching out with the blind trust only children have, Oscar tumbled towards his father. If anyone was brave enough to take a closer peak at the green giant, it would be his dad. His dad was the bravest man on the ship. That is why everyone nodded at him when they passed him in the halls. It was probably also why everyone called him sir. His Dad had to have slayed a dragon or stopped that man Gargamel from the movie with the tiny blue smurf people. Oscar still wasn’t sure why the crew didn’t call him King instead of Captain. His dad had his throne as his mom called it but that was another question for another day. Right now he wanted to see the tree.
Looking at his dad, Oscar repeated the word with a shocked look. “Woah,” he said again and made a jerking motion with his body towards the tree. For as smart as his dad tended to be, Oscar often needed to mime what he wanted for the man to figure it out.
“So where did you set up the fortune telling table,” Natasha asked looking around. Dante had to have set up the fortune-telling table. I was the one Russian Christms tradition she loved even if it was not the most traditional of holiday activities. Moving slightly to the left she saw it set up just like Babushka’s table was in her childhood home on Lake Baikal. Moving over towards the table Natasha smiled. Everything was set up exactly the way it needed to be, even with an old woman glad in the traditional red and white clothes.
“Care to have your fortune read,” the woman spoke to Natasha beckoning for her to take a seat.
“One second. Dante…Dante,” she waved for him to come over with her. It would not be a fortune telling session if he wasn’t there pointing out the flaws in the system but this year like every year, Nat would store every nugget and use it a ammo for all the events of the next year.
Natasha Knight So happy she got a tree.
“You sure you can use thins thing?” Dante grinned. “Remember the time in the Academy we went to one of these things, and the woman reckoned we would have six kids by the time I got my first command? I told you I could smell tequila on her breath.”
DaVinci rounded the corner to see Bruce the Lizard sitting in a pile against the bulkhead with a look (as far as he could tell) of annoyance.
Don’t even start. I am having a bad day, Bruce’s tongue flicked out of his mouth passing briefly to wrap around the tip of his nose before slowly being retracted. It was his annoyed stare. Looking at the officer in front of him, Bruce let out the equivalent of a sigh which caused a burbling sound to escape his lips. This DaVinci was a smart man and observant…for a human. The look he was giving Bruce made the lizard feel a kinship as if somehow the man knew what was on his mind.
“You get kicked out of the party already, Bruce? That wasn’t very nice of them. You should get to enjoy Christmas as much as the rest of us.”
DaVinci you are so right and you have no idea how hard it is to be only eighteen inches high. People always complaining I am underfoot but if I am not underfoot how am I supposed to be in middle of everything. How about you doing a guy a solid and punching that button on the control pad so I can get back into that hanger. I have on my list to talk to that Jarred guy about dropping the entrance pads to the doors on the high priority rooms. You know the ones like the mess hall, rec center, saunas, pool, and that sweet little vivarium the hot science chick built. Lemme tell you DaVinci that place is like a lizard heaven. Water…heat lamps…snacks....when that Kalani is not looking of course. Besides she is studying Darwinism so if the Bajoran Swamp frog is no match for me it’s not my fault. Bruce felt better talking to DaVinci even if the man could not literally read his mind. But you are right....I should get to enjoy Christmas as much as the two-legged sugar-coated kids of the rest of the crew.
He knelt down in front of the lizard and pulled something from behind his back. “I know you like to play ball, but this is a different kind of ball. It’s my favorite kind of ball. It’s a football and you can have a lot of fun with it. I always did.”
Wait a minute now. You have a ball you say. You have been holding out on me Colter my friend, Bruce’s eyes got glassy and his tail started a slow wag back and forth indicating a level of happiness. Bruce stared at the oblong leather toy and then back up at Colter. While it had a similar shape to the greatest shape god ever created, the ends poked out in a way that made Bruce wonder about the rollability index of the toy.
Colter looked to the doors of the hangar bay and then back to Bruce. “I was going to give this one to your little brother, but he might be just a bit to little to appreciate it, so . . . . ” The hangar doors swooshed open and he tossed the ball into the middle of the large bay. The ball bounced and floundered in awkward rolls and angles, “If you can get it, it’s your.”
Bruce did not wait nor thank Colter for the gift. He couldn’t remember his manners now. Not when a ball that defied the very laws of Einstien’s Rules of Rollability seemed to exist. You task me. You task me and I shall have you! I’ll chase him ‘round the moons of Nibia and ‘round the Antares Maelstrom of me taking off this sweater later and ‘round perdition’s flames of that Christmas tree that before I give you up! Oh round device o’ the devil you are mine! Bruce monologued as he chased down the rolling an flopping leather ball Colter had tossed into the melee of people. It flopped end over end. It slid across the floor. It rolled around people’s feet and Bruce kept up the chase.
His tongue flapped like a flag in a breeze outside as Bruce entered the deathmatch with the football. It was going to be him or the brown monstrosity. Never had Bruce felt that alive as he pounced on the ball rolling with it pinned to his chest under a table.
Bruce vs the Football.
After ten minutes Bruce flopped to the ground keeping his one good eye on the football as he rested from the workout. Luckily he was not like the lesser creatures of the animal world like humans that sweat and smelled after a workout. If he had been unlucky enough to be a humanoid that perspired his already hideous sweater would be stuck to him like a wet towel. Bruce however was a reptile and far more evolutionary advanced to have to worry about such trivial things. As he let his gaze scan the room it fell back on Sinclair.
So we meet again my rabbit food loving friend. How is that cauliflower, Bruce thought. If one could read his expressions they would see a smug smile gracing his lips.
Sinclair ignored the cacophony of juice starting up around him, but did see the gkare from the lizard and smiled as he made his rounds. “Just you wait, my sclay friend. When you come to your senses you’ll be back, and then…” and he lifted the whole roasted turkey leg from the airtight container and set it on the wood feeding tray Royal had embossed with a burned Celtics knot pattern and “THE BRUCE” along the bottom; along with an inlaid tartan of the Sinclair Modern Hunting pattern.
The room seemed to pause. All noise was sucked into a void as the smug expression slid from Bruce’s face. Sinclair was holding the mother of all delicacies. Meat…glorious meat and not only a piece as was often offered at the dinner table but the entire leg of a turkey. It was then he noticed the tray. BRUCE but not only BRUCE but THE BRUCE. A title of honor and dignity. Bruce had misjudged Sinclair. For the first time in his life, Bruce wished to have the trivial water issues of a human. If he had tears, they would be streaming down his cheeks in pure joy mimicking how his mom looked watching the Galaxytime Movie Network. Sinclair not only was offering him food but had hand engraved a platter just for him. There would be no sharing or stealing of morsels. All that ventured to the table would see that that plate belonged to him. With glassy eyes and a dopey smile Bruce charged towards Sinclair.
My brother. My brother I have wronged you. As he reaching Sinclair, Bruce wrapped his front arms around the large Scottsman’s ankle hugging it tightly. You are one of us. I had only dared hoped but then I realized the carrot that crossed your lips was only to appease one of those veg-a-terrorists that fill out plates with fodder. You had to suffer for the both of us my brother and for that, Bruce looked up, I bow to your sacrifice. Laying his head down slowly on the large man’s foot, Bruce genuflected to his brother in food battle. Not only had he secured Bruce the tastiest morsel, he also wadded through the war of green and orange to protect those around them from the foul leaf sprouting spawns of Satan.
Finishing up the Egg Nog, he poured the almost three gallons of drunken caraousing- inducing festival libation into a crystal bowl and began laying out cups and a ladle.
Dad....Dahhhh…duh, Ralph’s legs kicked out a bit as his hands carefully pawed at the death grip around his neck from the crook of Lizzie’s arm. He loved when Lizzie snatched him up and took him places. They always got there faster and often had far more excitement than his sister Maxine did hanging with his mom or Jarred. Still, there were times like this when a nice palm under his butt helped his respiration.
God can you stop embarrassing us. You always have to cause a scene and this is the first time we are coming as a family to something official. Stop making that sound, Maxine chastised her Fennec Fox brother. She fluttered her wings a bit making sure to keep her head straight. Lizzie had placed a bow on her head that matched the one the little girl was wearing. Luckily Jar…her new father had come in and found a way better than a rubber band or staples. It was secure with a twisty tie but still, she didn’t want it to fall. That was why she opted for Jarred to bring her to the party.
Hey I am not embarrassing us. Dad tell Maxine to stop saying mean things to me, Ralph barked back finally getting higher on Lizzie’s arm to that he could vocalize.
Dad tell Ralph to stop screaming like he got his tail caught in the door again. It’s embarrassing, Maxine let out a softer but still firm few squawks next to Jarred’s ear.
“Oh my god Daddy they did bring Bruce,” Lizzie squealed darting off with a bobbing Ralph in her arms. “Bruce…Bruce....Hiya Bruce,” Lizzie yelled and waved weaving between the people as if seeing someone she had not seen in forever.
Jarred and Kalani came as Elizabeth lead the charge holding tightly Ralph in her hands as she stopped to see bruce, the joy in her eyes as she meets the Captains “son” was clear as Jarred stopped Kalani a bit as he looked on his pocket which held Maxine the fruit bat whom Jarred had grown a fondness to as he took out a piece of fruit and let her eat it as he looked at Kalani. “You sure Bruce won’t try to eat them?” he asked with a worried sound to his voice. He wasn’t surely bringing the animals was wise, even if Natasha had requested it.
Hannah watched Dr Knight and the captain with a grin on her face. Hannah was a hopeless romantic, though she tried to keep that to herself, so the scene unfolding before them all made her extremely happy for them, but she felt like it deserved privacy. She turned away, deftly side stepping around a wobbling football, without thinking about it, and walked over to the table with the eggnog. She poured just a bit into a glass, smelling the not subtle at all smell of whisky. She sipped it, grinned happily and added more to make a full glass. Then she stepped slightly away from the table to let the next person have room while she scanned the crowd for anyone she knew.
Lt. jg Asimina, Doctor
OCC: Fixing a split.
Bruce finally raised his head after a very long and perfectly timed bow of reverence to Sinclair. Seeing Hannah next to him, he decided to try and help free her too from the evil ways of the veg-a-terrorists loaming in every corner. Hello Hannah I think we should talk about how yahhhhhhh, Bruce never got to finish his sentence before Lizzie slide into his side with all the precision of a professional baseball player scoring the winning run.
Hannah had just about reached down to give Bruce more attention when he was grabbed by a very enthusiastic young girl. Hannah chuckled, took her eggnog and moved out of the way of the building jumble of child and animals.
“Bruce Merry Christmas,” Lizzie hoisted the lizard up into the other crook of her arm on the floor so that she had Bruce in one arm and Ralph in the other. The two animals noses were mere inches apart as Lizzie began to kiss Bruce on the head.
Bruce, Ralph greeted his reptile friend. He was a bit cross-eyed as Bruce was too close to really focus on his friend’s face clearly.
Ralph, Bruce replied back closing one eye as he received a kiss.
“You sure Bruce won’t try to eat them?” Jarred asked with a worried sound to his voice. He wasn’t surely bringing the animals was wise, even if Natasha had requested it.
“Monitor lizards are carnivorous, eating eggs, smaller reptiles, fish, birds, insects, and small mammals but I don’t think it is a problem. He tends to only eat the things in my vivarium and not his friends,” Kalani waved off Jarred’s concern as they walked toward Hannah and Sinclair. Most parents might be hesitant to have their children rolling around with a lizard that weighed and was as tall as their child yet Bruce was not exactly a wild lizard. “Besides he is wearing a sweater and plays with a ball. The worst that can happen is you have to wrench open Bruce’s mouth and drag Ralph out.”
“Merry Christmas,” Kalani hugged Hannah when she reached the table.
Hannah looked a little surprised, “Oh, Merry Christmas.” She laughed a little, happy and a little embarrassed. She had no idea who this woman was, but she smiled genuinely anyway. She back up out of the way for the woman and the man with the Scottish brogue.
Moving to her right, she did the same to Sinclair but had to rise onto her toes. “Merry Christmas. Got a wee nip for a thirsty lass,” she teased him.
Sinclair grinned and said “Oh aye… you can be the first to taste.” He half-filled a glass cup with frothy and aromatic yellow-bronzish liquid. “Egg Nog… in the traditional style, of course.” the big Scot said, his brogue sending the words out in a baritone tone roll of old-world charm. “And be careful, lass… if I did it right, it’ll pack a kick.” and he winked and chuckled.
“Oh my god I love this stuff,” Kalani happily took the glass. “Most people don’t know it but it gets cold up in the mountains at night and pretty much anywhere in winter. Not hat and scarf cold but most of our homes don’t have heat. We rarely need it so we tend to have fireplaces to take the chill off. When we were home for the holidays my dad would make a fire and,” Kalani happily shared her story as she took a large swig of the cold creamy beverage. Abruptly she reached her hand out grabbing Jarred’s forearm. “Jesus Mary and Joseph is there any egg in this or just nog.” Kalani’s mouth puckered as she blinked rapidly.
“It’s guhd,” she coughed out a response. “Not expecting it but it’s good. Just need to sip…it..a bit. Not chug…sip.” Kalani could not help but laugh at how ridiculous she must have looked. The egg nog was exquisite but the large Scottsman did not skimp on the booze. “Is there…a hint of…peach,” she asked feeling a warm sensation already spreading through her body as if she had done half a dozen shots in a row. She would definitely have to pace herself of Jarred would be peeling her off the floor.
“Well, it isn’t a Christmas party if someone doesn’t get sloshed while drinking the punch and end up mounting the inflatable reindeer carrying mistletoe over their head as they try and get people to give them a good sleigh tonight…” Jarred said with a sly smirk as he took a drink as he had a slight kick and smile “Woooo… that just might be me tonight now that I had a nip of this, need you to go find me some mistletoe Lani and I’ll hunt down a reindeer.” he said with a smirk as he went back for another sip as he felt the warmness flood slowly over him.
“I wonder if we can do karaoke… we can find out how well everyone can hold a tune… or how fast we can clear a room with the sounds of screeching Talarian mating calls.” Jarred said with a bemused look, he was having a good time as this was the first party with Kalani and Jarred as a married couple. It felt good to just be out and enjoy the friends they had grown to call family.
Hannah chuckled and looked at Sinclair. “I promise not to attempt any karaoke, but I’ll take a glass.” Hannah couldn’t sing, she loved music and could listen all day, but sing was not something she’d ever been able to get her voice to do. But she was all for watching everyone else attempt it.
Lt. jg Asimina, Doctor
“Drink more than two of these and we might start the can can with the karaoke,” Kalani filled up her glass again. “So Hannah how are things in medical. Nat tells me you guys had your hands full with that Kevin McBalister kid that shoved not one but two marbles up his nose. Why do boys always seem to want to shove things in holes?” Kalani rose up on her toes looking for Elizabeth. It was not like she could get lost on a starship but losing sight of a five year old was never a good thing.
Kalani Kane science
“I love medical. It’s refreshing to be in a new sickbay.” Hannah’s voice might be mistaken, with it’s strange accent, for being slurred from the eggnog, but it was just her normal voice. “Oh, well it seems to be typical of children to get into things they shouldn’t.” Hannah wouldn’t comment. Anything having to do with a patient fell under the Federations HIPPA laws. Hannah would not violate a pateint’s privacy no matter how hilarious the incident might have been. She saw the woman looking around and had seen her enter with the small girl who had tackled Bruce. “If you’re looking for your little girl, I saw her over there near the food table with Bruce a few minutes ago.”
“Doesn’t surprise me,” Kalani relaxed a bit. Jarred always seemed far more laid back in these situations with Lizzie than she was. It was probably because she was still adjusting to being a mom. “She keeps begging us to get a lizard like Bruce but I keep reminding her that Bruce is a one of a kind lizard. I am not sure what Dante and Kelly did to make him like a dog but I have a helluva good time studying him.”
“If you want to study giant reptiles and mammals, you should visit Catawba colony some time. We have amazing study blinds there that you can watch the prehistoric wildlife. They are really beyond stunning. Much more intelligent than paleontological studies previously indicated. Of course the lizards on Catawba make Bruce look like a baby,” Hannah commented.
“Sounds like an amazing place for a working vacation,” Kalani could not help but struggle to contain her interest. After the Vespa trip, she promised no more working shore leaves but it wasn’t like Catawba was as desolite as Vespa.
“So are you liking the ship,” she asked Hannah
Hannah nodded, “I am. This transfer has been much more than I imagined it would be. I’m really happy that I took the transfer when it was offered. How long have you been on board?”
“Almost two years,” Kalani replied. “Before that, I was on the USS Darwin. There was an incident with poachers on an away mission. I only survived from dumb luck. When the poachers open fired on the base camp they hit me in the hip and I fell back into the tent. Hit my head off a crate and knocked myself out cold. They saw the blood and me not moving so they took what they needed and moved on.” A small pawing at her leg forced Kalani to bend down and pick up Ralph. “That is where I met this guy.” Scratching behind his ears Ralph flattened them out and wore what could only be described as a sheepish grin. “He was in the crate I took out with my forehead. He was barely two weeks old. They took his momma so I became his momma didn’t I.” Kalani’s voice took on a high pitch that was so often associated with talking to a small child or baby.
“He and Maxine go everywhere with me. Her story is not as colorful as Ralph’s but the end result is the same. I tried numerous times to refamiliarize them with their own kind in the hope of getting them back to the wild yet no luck.” As Kalani talked she let Ralph settle into her arms for a quick nap.
Like I am ever going anywhere they don’t serve pizza Ralph thought to himself as he let out a long yawn. Keeping up with Lizzie was a full-time job. Since she was off playing with some other kids, now was the time to get a quick nap before something more interesting happened.
“Is this the first time you have been away from your family for the holidays?” Kalani had no idea if the woman even celebrated Christmas but since she had shown up it was a good chance she participated in the festivities of the season on some level. “Even if you don’t say you do to get some of Nat’s vodka. She gives it out as Christmas gifts from her and the captain. I don’t know how she does it but try to get the yellow-colored one. It is infused with cinnamon and pears.”
Hannah looked around to see if she saw anyone else she might know. She didn’t know many of the crew, and normally large gatherings didn’t bother her, but she was eager to get away from these people who might try to coerce her into singing and she absolutely did not want to do that. She saw Cori and excused herself. “If you’ll excuse me I see a friend and I should go say hi.”
She wasn’t sure what the clothing protocol was like for such an event but the beauty of her existence is that she could dress however she liked and change it on a whim if she cared to. So it was with a confident swing of her hips that Cori stepped into the party wearing a long black velvet gown with a generous V-cut neck and back. It hugged her torso and hips before flaring out slightly, the dense fabric waving slightly as she moved. Her raven hair was long and straight and she surveyed the scene with her electric blue eyes.
And it wasn’t that her confidence dissipated exactly as Cori found herself in a social situation she hadn’t been for an exceptionally long time. When was the last time she had been around so many of the crew? Certainly not anytime recently, and not since she had ‘returned’ from the ether, escaping from her prison the Douwd had crafted within the Saracen’s computer. But she decided that regardless of who was here and how they might or might now perceive her, she was going to treat this like a little game. She could play a role, like an actress and see if anything felt okay. And if it became too much, she would simply slip away and she doubted anyone would be the wiser.
Moving through the space, Dalton was slightly nonchalant, though she was keenly aware that there was the potential for awkwardness with a certain element present, but this wasn’t the time or place. At least she didn’t think so.
Hannah walked up and smiled, “Cori, I’m glad you’re here!” Cori’s body language looked a little…apprehensive. She didn’t want to make the woman more nervous, but what were friends for other than to help add a buffer to odd and awkward situations. Of course the one person she was hoping to see she hadn’t spotted yet. “What do you think? The captain certainly planned a grand affair didn’t he?”
Lt jg Asimina, Doctor
At the sight of Hannah Cori gave a genuine smile. “That he did. This looks great. Not that I ever celebrated this particular holiday but the nice thing about essentially being the computer is that it takes no time to look things up,” she said with a gleam in her already electric blue eyes.
“I never celebrated it either back home. The first time I heard of it was at the Academy. But the first time I actually celebrated it was,” she smiles, her gaze far away in the memory, “5 and half years ago.” She sips at the eggnog, “Okay so I don’t know the guy who made this, but too much more and the whole crew will be so intoxicated we could be boarded and no one would know for 3 days.” She grins though, “It’s really good. Nice to know someone can make a decent drink. Did you bring an ornament for the tree?”
Lt. jg Asimina, Doctor
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