Mallora Vossti/Burning Together
((Lower Beach, Cochtois Lagoon, Deluvia IV))
It felt significantly cooler on the beach at night. Mallora ambled easily across the sand from the transporter pad toward the bright, dancing light of the bonfire down the shore. It was a rare sight in her experience. She had heard that some cadets had done something similar while she was at the Academy, but she had elected not to attend the event. Instead, she and Navoth had remained indoors and helped each other study yet again.
Mallora had elected to go barefoot, and was wearing a flowing longyi in shimmering greens and blues. She had her new shoulder bag of iridescent purple slung over her shoulder, with her medical tricorder tucked securely inside – just in case.
As she walked closer, she could pick out individual sparks shooting up from the blaze, rising high up into the still air on columns of updraft. Then the yellow-orange light of the fire started to embrace her with its warmth as well, though she knew it was a cold, impersonal warmth. Her eyes darted to the other people merrily sitting or standing or cruising around the controlled inferno. She recognized a handful of them, but she understood that as one of the newest members of the Gorkon crew, she didn't really know any of them well.
She determined to throw herself into the social situation regardless of her station on the ship's metaphorical totem pole. She walked up to the little standing bar someone had set up and turned to a random nearby person.
Vossti: What sort of drink would you recommend for someone like me? I'd fancy something alcoholic as long as it has some sweetness as well.
A familiar Lieutenant appeared suddenly by her side, this time sporting a vibrant scarlet wig styled into a single long braid.
Fortune: Ah! I think you'll like some ale...seems that's what's been brought, anyway. I liked it!
Vossti: Hmm. That sounds interesting. I'll take one. ::she flashed a bright smile::
The Lieutenant laughed, sliding a cup to her full of the bright blue ale.
Fortune: My, how time flies! Feels like we only saw each other yesterday. Were you spying on me? ::she joked, taking a glass of cold water.::
She held the drink in her hand, but didn't bring it to her lips yet. Her eyes were fixed on her companion.
Vossti: Don't worry, I almost never read people's minds without their permission. ::she grinned, then took a swig of the drink she was holding.
Fortune; oh, almost never, got it. I'll remember that. ::she chuckled, leaning against the bar as they talked.:: Are you going to join?
Vossti: I think so, yes. I just wanted to get a drink first. ::she took another healthy swallow of the ale::
Fortune: it's actually an exercise I learned in Academy. Forgot about it until someone reminded me. ::she took a drink, chewing on some ice.:: You write down what's bothering you, or your hopes or maybe an angry letter, and then you let it burn up in the fire, releasing the energies to the cosmos.
Vossti: I'm sure I could write down a few things that I could stand to have burn away in a fire. ::she took another gulp of the blue ale::
Fortune: A tad bit like journaling, but less permanent. On the other hand, perhaps we as beings just like burning things. I know I do. I had fun setting it up!
Mallora looked back at the impressively large bonfire, then allowed her gaze to glide over the crowd around it, chatting and dancing and generally moving in the chaotic way that crowds do. Then she spotted one person who appeared out of place, still in the sea of movement. And she was looking at them.
Vossti: ::nodding in the direction of the Trill:: Who is that woman? Is she a friend of yours?
Fortune: Hm? Oh! ::she stood up, laughing as she waved at Safine.:: That's Safine! Safine! Over here!
Mallora shrugged, realizing she was starting to feel the effects of the alcohol. Impulsively, she waved the woman over to them.
Vossti: Hello there. I'm Mallora Vossti; this is my friend, Corliss Fortune. Welcome to the party!
Rael: ::Nodding warmly to Corliss:: Hah, we've met, but thank you. ::She turned her attention back to the doctor.:: Evening, Doctor. I'm Safine Rael. A civilian onboard.
Fortune: It's quite the turn out, I'm happy with it! Ale? ::she slid over a glass with much less ease than a moment ago, feeling 'three sheets to the sky' as they say.
Vossti: Do you want a drink? There are a wilde variety of intoxicants and mixlers here. ::her smile beamed brighter than usual due to her growing inebriation. She took another draught, draining the cup of ale, then started looking for another drink.::
Corliss happily shared the glass and Mallora could feel the effects of the alcohol starting to loosen what few inhibitions the cousellor still had.
Rael: Actually, I brought my own; some fire hazard that's strong enough to clean plasma injectors. You having anything, Corliss?
Fortune: Oooooohhh I've onlyyyyy had....pfft. ::she started to giggle, the empty cup sliding to the table from her hand. She'd already drained it.:: Shouldn't have dranked that fast!
Vossti: The ale was okhay, but I could go for something more like ... rum. ::she couldn't stop herself from cracking up giggling at her non-joke::
Safine raised her mug.
Rael: ::Slightly too loudly,:: To the couple! Горько!¹ ¹ lit, "Bitter", a traditional Russian toast to the bride and groom, with additional attached traditions that a half-cut Trill wouldn't bother too much about.
Safine threw her head back, and Corliss burst out in a laugh, quickly taking a sip of her own refilled glass.
Fortune: To good fortune and hap-happy times!
Vossti: To good fortune and good faith in all your future endeavors! ::she took a big gulp of something in her cup that she didn't even know was refilled. It was some kind of liquor that she couldn't identify by taste::
Rael: So, Doctor... ::She saluted with her mug.:: Rumour around the ship was that in your first forty-five minutes as a member of the crew you managed to save eight hundred lives. Pretty sure that's a new Starfleet record. ::Laughing,:: The flagship really attracts the best of the best of the best, doesn't it?
The beach dipped a little, causing Mallora to hold on to the bar so she wouldn't topple onto the sand. She blinked a few times to try to focus on the Trill woman and to process what she'd just said.
Vossti: I'm not the best and the brightest by any stretch. ::she glanced briefly back into her cup trying to decide whether to take another drink:: I jus' barely gradjujated from Med School, and if Commander Nkai hadn't been there holding my hand, there's an eighty percent chance I'd have pissed my pants that day!
Safine just laughed uproariously, perhaps a smidgeon too loud.
Fortune: Th' Gork is really amazin'! ::she laughed, giggling a little too hard as she plopped her head on her arms.:: Mallora pulled us through! We should celebrate!
Mallora didn't want to let go of the bar for fear that she'd tip over, so instead she gently eased herself into a seated position on the sand at the foot of the bar. This way she could look up at Safine and was passively aware that Corliss was somewhere above her. She took another sip of the unknown alcohol.
Safine cackled mirthfully. She watched Mallora lower herself to the sand and radiated a happy satisfaction.
Vossti: I'm a Shtarfleet Offisher and a doctor!!
Rael: Goddamn, yeah you are! We all are! Or were. Whatever. ::She burst into song, surprisingly tuneful.:: ♪ We're Star-fleeeeeeeeet, doing Starfleet things around the Alpha Quadrant, ♫ oh yeah!
Fortune: Oh, right! ::she pushed her drink away:: We're always up ta somethin' here. Jus' don't let it scare you away. We don't have many drinkin' buds in the medbay!
Mallora felt the beach slowly spinning around her and decided that she should sit down. Then she remembered that she was already sitting down.
Vossti: Oh yeah. If you're gonna be drinkin', you should eat somfing first. That's real advishe from a real doctor, too.
Safine swigged more from her flask-mug-thing.
Rael: Yeah! Gotta drink on a full stomach. ::She hiccuped.:: Or you'll get damn sick. Medicine!
Fortune: Medws! ::she burst into giggles, flopping on the table and snorting out her laughs.
Mallora tipped the cup back so its contents trickled mostly into her mouth, but partly down her chin and onto her top as well. She looked into the empty cup, then looked around her trying to figure out where the bar was so she could get a little more of whatever that second cup was. She tried to stand up, but quickly fell back down on her hands and knees.
Vossti: Where's the – I mean where's bar?
Rael: ::Laughing,:: I'm pretty sure everywphere is a bar right now. ::A thought popped into her mind.:: Hey! I had to go the to bar! To learn legal... stuff! ::Gasping,:: I'm the bar!
Fortune: Eeehhh? You're not made of woooood.
She reached out, prodding Safine curiously. No, no wood here. What did that mean, the bar? What was a bar?
She could hear the sounds of partiers closer to where the huge bonfire still roared. She started to crawl toward the fire, but almost immediately bumped face-first into Safine and her wheelchair.
She tried to figure out how to crawl past this obstacle while the world tilted crazily around her.
Giggling incessantly (something that just happened when she was drunk), Safine unbuckled herself, pushed herself out of the chair and off to one side, drunkenly falling into the sand.
Rael: ::In a weird accent,:: Doctor... I dare say, you are legless. And it takes one to know one!
Mallora opened her mouth to answer her new friend, but she just couldn't figure out what she meant by "legless". She was pretty sure she had legs, and she saw almost as clearly that Safine had legs. Maybe the Trill was having trouble finding her legs.
Vossti: You've got legsh! There're right here. ::she placed her hand on Safine's thigh, then realized that the contact might be suggestive and burst into a fit of giggles::
Corliss plopped down beside them, burying her legs into the sand and slowly burying herself up as they talked.
Safine moved closer to Vossti, beckoning Corliss to sit with them on the warm sand. She squirmed around until she was sitting, reaching down and rearranging her legs until she was satisfied with their arrangement.
Rael: Hah! You know, this is pretty nice. Sitting on a beach. Life's a beach! ::She considered.:: We should sing! What seengs do we know? Something from the afcademy?
Fortune: I know I know I knoooow...yo ho, a man and his treasure, soon paaaaarted froooom being rich! ::she burst into giggles, plunking backwards and getting her hair sandy.:: Poor man, poor man indeed!
The beach tilted and spun a bit, so Mallora closed her eyes. She began to feel a wave of fatigue wash over her. She felt Safine's thigh under her hand still, and used it as a guide; she carefully lowered her head down until it was resting on the Trill's lap.
Rael: ♫ La la lah lah, murmurmur, something about treasure, da da da, rich rich! Poooor guy! ♬
Fortune; One of my roomies...she liked to gamble!
Mallora could feel the carefree joy radiating off of the two women beside her, and she relaxed completely. She quickly drifted off into the most relaxing and restful sleep she'd had in years.
Rael: Gamble... rolling the... ::Slowly becoming more tuneful,:: ♬ diice, playing dom-jot, playing cards, spinning the dabo wheel...! ♫
As the music became more distant, the emotional landscape became a bit more complex. Mallora could sense a deep passion as Safine stroked her hair and spoke to her. There was comfort, but also frustration and a repressed sadness and anger and finally a buoyant hope that accompanied Mallora into her peaceful reverie.