Mallora Vossti/Covert Counselling

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((Upper Beach, Cochtois Lagoon, Deluvia IV))

Ensign Vossti had never visited Deluvia IV, but she was quite familiar with beaches like this on from her almost monthly visits to Risa in her youth. This beach was nearly as charming, but lacked the Risian attendants … and her doting grandmother. She shook her head at the memory, but kept the smile it had summoned as she trudged across the warm sands.

She had been instructed to look for “the woman with the pink hair” and to her surprise, such simple instructions worked perfectly. Lieutenant Fortune did indeed have beautiful, bright floral pink hair which stood out brilliantly against the terrain around her and easily marked her as unique among the beach-goers on this day. She looked relaxed, and Mallora felt a little awkward about interrupting the other officer's sunbathing, but it had to be done sooner or later.

Vossti: I'm sorry to bother you, sir.  ::She made sure to announce her presence far enough away that she wouldn't be startled.:: I'm Ensign Mallora Vossti. I wanted to introduce myself and maybe talk to you a little about my situation now that I've been assigned to the Gorkon.

Fortune: Oh! ::she sat up quickly, pushing her sunglasses to her hair with a grin.:: Our new Ensign! It's wonderful to meet you, come, sit, sit. Take a drink too, it's much too hot not to.

The Lieutenant took a sip of a her icy drink with a decorative umbrella. Mallora decided that she probably would get something similar later.

Vossti: ::Smiles more broadly at the Lieutenant's kind words before turning serious.:: As you know, I'm a medical doctor, but I had a somewhat difficult time during those years at Starfleet Medical School. It wasn't bad enough that I didn't graduate, but it was a hard time for me. I developed a bit of insomnia, which I'm afraid I haven't shaken off yet. It would be unethical for me to prescribe medications for myself, so I was hoping that you could help me get some sedatives so that I can get regular, restful sleep.

Lieutenant Fortune swung her legs off the end of the beach chair and motioned for her new acquaintance to take a seat beside her.

Fortune: I can't say I'm too fond of sedatives. The negatives far outweigh the benefits, plus the risk of withdrawal or even becoming intolerant to a dosage. But if you've tried other things in the past, and sedatives-for now-help, then I'll be happy to oblige.

Vossti: ::Sitting awkwardly on the nearby chair:: I haven't tried much on my own so far. In Medical School, I sometimes found that I had an easier time falling asleep in the library than in my quarters, but the staff really didn't like that and worked to make sure it didn't become a habit. I know that alcohol and other substances have significant long-term side effects, so I've stayed away from them.

Fortune: Hmm...::she pulled her sunglasses down, tapping the arm of it against her lips.:: I'll send a notation in your file to start you on a low dosage of Melorazine if possible. It doesn't have the effect of becoming useless when you're taking other meds, and you're not in any pain that you've told me about so I can't reasonably give you Rexlin.

Vossti: ::Smiling comfortably:: That's exactly what I would recommend for a patient of mine with these symptoms. It's basically just insomnia leading to fatigue and a lack of appetite. I'm already taking vitamin supplements, and I plan to start a regular exercise routine as soon as I can figure out where the ship's gym is.

Fortune: I think you could also benefit from a nice, easy shore leave. ::she winked, crossing one ankle over the other, making a hole in the sand with a chuckle.:: Academy at any level is fast-paced, not even to speak of Medical School. So, if one of the others in Medical agree, then that's where we'll start off. Some de-stress, some good nights of sleep, and before you know it, we'll have that insomnia kicked to the...staircase!

Vossti: Honestly, I didn't have that bad a time at the Academy until I started at Starfleet Medical.  ::She shrugged:: I guess there was something about the transition that messed with my ability to sleep properly.

Fortune: Kicked out of the Gorkon, that's for sure. ::she plunked her glasses back on with a smile.:: You've just gotten aboard, yes? You might want to take some time to create a schedule of when you sleep. Our bodies react better when things are on a timely schedule than when we get surprised by falling asleep in...the hall. ::she let out a nervous chuckle.:: Or on a desk.

The counselor joked about the ship-wide telepathic attack which had rendered nearly the entire crew unconscious and locked in a shared nightmare for several hours. Mallora's experience was different, since she was one of those who helped to resolve the crisis.

Vossti: ::She chuckled sympathetically:: Yeah, my first few hours aboard were pretty frantic, but that seems to have passed now. I moved my stuff into my quarters, figured out how to order my favorite foods and drinks from the replicators, and even found my way to the transporter room to come down here and spend a bit of time with you.

Fortune: How sweet of you! Mostly as I tend to fall asleep and I'd rather not appear nice and red back in the cool air of the Gorkon. That would undoubtedly be painful.

Mallora sat back, relaxing into the beach chair. She looked out at the rest of the beach, then back at her Betazoid companion. oO It wouldn't be terrible to spend a few more minutes here, chatting and maybe making a friend. Oo

Vossti: Do you suppose Lieutenant Vorin is down here somewhere? I know Vulcan's take shore leave, but he didn't strike me as the kind of man to lie on a beach and sip drinks with little umbrellas in them.  ::She giggled at her own conjured image, and hoped that the Lieutenant beside her would find it just as funny.::

Fortune: ::Hiding a grin, but clearly amused by the image:: I have high hopes that he's relaxing about somewhere. He's quite the friendly man once you...mention fictional stories.

Vossti: ::Interested:: Vorin likes fiction? What direction do his tastes take him, I wonder? My mother played the role of Sister Zun in an amateur production of Darkening Dreams when I was a teen; it's one of my favorite operas even now.

Fortune: Romance, but more...over the top. You'll have to show me sometime, I confess operas were never my favorite...they tended to be long and I, young and antsy, did not stand for sitting about at the time.

She tapped the glass lightly, humming.

Fortune: He might come by some time or another. I've already seen a few of the others amble by. Mister Cobbe ran by, but from what I could tell, a small dog was chasing him...?

Mallora had no idea who “Mister Cobbe” was, so she merely glanced around the Upper Beach to see if anyone was being chased by a small dog. When she didn't see anyone like that, she merely shrugged and waited for her companion to continue on.

Fortune: They're around here somewhere...  ::She glanced around her even more briefly, then shrugged, sinking back in her chair.:: Oh well. Now...let's see...what do you like to do on your shift off? Sometimes I'm painting or tending to my wigs. ::she slid a hand through the pink curls slowly with a grin.:: I'm not sure what others may think, but keeping them in shape and up to standard is both relaxing yet time consuming!

Vossti: ::Shocked:: That's a wig? I had thought your hair was dyed. It's so beautiful, I guess I was hoping that it was your real hair.

She laughed at that, one arm laying on the armrest now as she tilted her head to look at the Mallora with a grin.

Fortune: Really now? That's quite kind of you to say! It takes quite the effort to make a wig appear natural, you know?

Vossti: As far as off time, I haven't really had any for close to eight years now, so I'm not really sure what I'd do. My mother is a musician and taught me to appreciate good music, and my grandmother is a writer and encouraged me to read a lot. I suppose I'll do a little of those if I ever get down time.

Fortune: Hmm... ::she nodded slowly, tapping her cheek idly.:: Could read, write...Mek would adore having someone sing in his bar. You could lug a piano that way, really surprise some folk.

Vossti: ::Her mood darkened a bit:: Oh, I listen to music; I don't have the talent to play or sing.  ::She paused, shifting topics:: And I know that I need regular exercise as well. Physical training was something that was required in the Academy, but not in Medical School, so I don't think I've done any real exercise in – well, in about four years. ::She brightened again:: I really will try to change that when we are ready to leave Deluvia IV, I promise.

Fortune: There's a track onboard. It's in our best interests, of course, to keep healthy, but you don't have to overdo yourself. If you'd like, you can pop by and walk around with me. Or, you might catch Lieutenant Stoyer or Toran Sevo in there. They like lifting weights that weigh so much more than I do.  ::She sighed in amusement mixed with confusion about the crew she referred to.::

Mallora tried to imagine herself deadlifting enormous barbells, but the idea was too ridiculous.

Fortune: Well, if you'd ever like to start weightlifting, they're your ticket. Ayiana likes punching's a great excuse to talk with the others, if you wanted one.

Vossti: I can't imagine that I'll ever be much of a weightlifter. It's really endurance that I need to work on more than strength. I used to enjoy swimming, though I don't imagine the Gorkon has a pool. Punching bags? I don't know how I feel about that, though I suppose it would be more pleasant if there was someone friendly to walk me through the training....

Fortune: The second part of being counselor is also improving morale, and I'm of the opinion that bonding with others in things that they like helps build those relationships. Besides, you never know what you'll like. ::she laid back in the chair, humming.:: Like skydiving.

Vossti: Yes, forming close friendships – ::She nearly choked:: Skydiving!? Oh, no no no, I don't think I could ever – I think there are much safer ways that I could interact and bond with my new crewmates.  ::She broke out into a nervous sweat:: I, um, I'm sure you're joking about that. Or, you must mean in some sort of holodeck simulation. That would still be... not really my speed.

She tilted her glasses back curiously, looking over at Mallora.

Fortune: Simulation? That's not much fun, no. I went with Jhy, she's quite fun, although we both ended up screaming on the way down. ::she slid the glasses back down, relaxing into the seat again.:: Ayiana does swimming, now that you mentioned a pool. I remember her talking about it one time.

Vossti: I still haven't met very many of the crew yet. And most of those I have met only because they came through sickbay in the hour or so after everyone woke up from … whatever that was. I guess it was a kind of ship-wide shared nightmare.

The Lieutenant let out a breath at that, one arm curling behind her head as she moved her leg up, tapping her foot idly.

Fortune: Mm. Third time it's happened. If you're not fond of sleeping, you've come to the wrong ship. ::she gave a wry grin, chuckling.:: But yes...that's what it was. Sadly it was dear Genkos who brought it on. I can't imagine how he's doing...

Vossti:  ::Looking down the beach toward the crashing waves:: My down time in the immediate future is probably going to involve studying and writing up a paper about the Psychic Parasite that we isolated and removed from Commander Adea.  ::She sighed:: That isn't particularly conducive to being a social butterfly.

Fortune: Well, you might not find it on-board, but some in the scientific community would be immensely curious to your paper. ::she turned her head, looking over at Mallora:: If you're of the type to do small debates, you might find yourself looking into an upcoming convention. That is, if you're interested.

Vossti: Debates seem awfully confrontational to me. I wasn't even able to – ::she stopped herself and blushed, turning away from her companion and practically radiating her embarrassment.:: Um, probably not debates. But I wouldn't be opposed to attending a scientific conference or two.

Fortune: They're quite fun! I went once to a psychology seminar. Two people got in a circular argument of the old nature versus nurture debate, someone had to blow a whistle, and someone suggested I try some kind of energy drink?

Vossti: oO I can't see how that could be a fun time for me. Oo I guess I could see how that might be fun … oO for someone who isn't me. Oo

Fortune: Loxley told me if I ever tried it, I might end up breaching the hull of the Gorkon from so much energy, so I think I'll refrain. ::she chuckled, shifting to turn on her side, one arm dangling down to the sand.:: Of course, there's no hurry nor rush to find what you like. Do something new, try something out. But for today...beach day, yes?

Vossti: A beach day sounds lovely, especially if it involves spending time with someone as kind as you, sir.  ::She wondered if the Lieutenant would take offense at being called 'sir' while they were on shore leave, but decided that it was probably better to let her superior officer decide what level of formality was best for the situation. Especially since she didn't know the Lieutenant's given name anyway.::

The Lieutenant nearly blushed, clearly appreciating the compliment. She grinned, waving a hand lightly.

Fortune: You're too sweet, honestly. Call me Corliss, if you'd like. I'm one for first name basis, unless the other party says otherwise...or if it's a serious matter.

Vossti: Tomorrow, I'm hoping to go into Iyira to do some window shopping and see how the restaurants there compare to what I remember from Risa. I spent quite a few vacations on Risa, you know. My grandmother retired there.  ::Introspectively:: I should probably go visit her there someday.

Fortune: You should! ::she pushed her glasses down a little to look over at Mallora.:: If you miss her, I mean. Or give her a call. I tend to do the round robin calling when we're on shore leave, it's really the only time we have.

Vossti: But beyond a quick bout of relaxation here, I still need to check in with most of the senior officers of the Gorkon, since I think the highest ranking person I've met there so far is Lieutenant Commander Nkai. He seems very nice, but a little guarded.  ::She paused, considering that 'guarded' might not be the most accurate word.:: Anyway, I'm guessing that the CO, the XO, and the security chief will probably have some suggestions for what I could do with my free time as well.  ::She gave a small chuckle that she didn't entirely feel.::

Corliss slipped her glasses back up, humming as the sun moved slightly in the sky, some shade passing by courtesy of a cloud.

Fortune: Caedan is...guarded, yes, but he's a fine fellow. Makes pastries! And the Admiral speaks highly of him, and to me, that gives him another good mark in my book. ::She hummed softly, clicking her tongue.:: They might. Maybe training, or a few things for you to do to get in the swing of things.

Vossti: Oh, and I know that Commander Adea isn't assigned to the Gorkon. The senior medical officer is listed as a Lieutenant Loxley, but I haven't seen them anywhere, on the ship or here. Do you have any idea where they might be?

Fortune: Oh! ::she sat up, snapping her glasses off her face with a grin, crossing her legs on the chair.:: You're right! Genkos was transferred not long ago but he's been visiting. Loxley's been busy with the sudden...well, everything, but we've got a beach house set up for when he comes down.

Vossti: ::Mallora quirked her eyebrow at the other woman's odd phrasing.:: You mean you got him a beach house? Maybe I will get the chance to meet him before I return to the ship.

Fortune: You can come visit if you'd like, he promised to help build the castle for Smog. I painted the door red, red is a very bold color, don't you think?

Vossti: oO I guess Smog is some sort of pet of Lieutenant Fortune's? And she painted the pet's door red, I suppose? Oo I suppose I don't have any objections to the color red, I just find I prefer more floral and pastel colors like rose and lavender.

Fortune: I ran out of pink paint, and any other color seems to clash too much, or gets washed out. I think I have some pale blue somewhere....

Mallora felt her appetite begin to come to the fore and remembered a certain beach-side shack which sold traditional Risan spicy kebab. She sat up and smiled pleasantly at her companion.

Vossti: I'm starting to get hungry. Would you like to join me for some local imitation of Risan cuisine? I spotted a little kebab shack just before I came down to the beach; it's just a few hundred meters that way.  ::She pointed away from the shore, toward Sedge Road.:: I know it's not yet dinnertime, but many Risans make a habit of eating a late lunch and then a late supper. What do you say?

Fortune: ::She grinned enthusiastically:: Absolutely! I follow the sound of my stomach, and it says...time to eat!

Vostti: Wonderful!  ::She stood up and waited for Corliss to do the same.:: Have you had Risan cuisine before? Not the stuff that they serve to tourists, but the native dishes?

Corliss got up with a hop, sunglasses back on and stretching. She was pretty sure she hadn't stood in a while, and it certainly felt that way.

Fortune: Mm, can't say, exactly. I don't think so?

Vossti: I find the food very similar to Vulcan cuisine, only less salty and without the Vulcan Tosha'en spice.  ::Even mentioning the spice that Navoth had shared with her brought up intense sense-memory of disgust. She shook her head to rid it of that incident.:: But it's just as floral and complex.

Fortune: Oh that actually sounds really delicious! Sweet things are nice but I like trying new things out. And you say it's good so that's good enough for me to try!

Corliss whistled, arms behind her back with little hops to her steps. She seemed entirely relaxed and carefree to Mallora, and the ensign experienced a small wave of envy as the two walked beyond the stretch of warm, sandy beach and onto the side of Sedge Road.

((Sedge Road, Cochtois Lagoon, Deluvia IV))

The two Betazoid women casually ambled away from the Upper Beach toward the outskirts of the more commercial segment of the famous Cochtois Lagoon. Just beyond the dry, yellow sands and a well-maintained row of lively green bushes and trees lay Sedge Road. There were tiny shops and eateries interspersed with cheap hotels and rental bungalows. On the far south end of the road was a petting zoo where young children and their parents could spend their time and energy.

Mallora aimed herself and her companion toward a collection of semi-outdoor kitchens, one of which she had noted specialized in Risan cuisine.

Fortune: So...are you planning on going swimming?

Vossti: I … Maybe?  ::She shrugged:: I guess it depends on how long we will be here on leave. I still need to get acquainted with the ship and the sickbay I'll be working in when there isn't a crisis going on. I guess if we're here for an entire week, then sure, I'll have time to go swimming.

Fortune: I hear there's something about scuba diving, but that means being around sea creatures and I'm not exactly keen on that right now. ::she laughed.:: But, everyone says it's quite fun!

Vossti: I swim on occasion, but I've never done scuba diving. That could be  ::she smiled nervously:: difficult, or even hazardous.

Fortune: Mm, that's fair, although it could be argued being in space is far more hazardous...not sure by how much, however. It's probably equal.

The two women arrived at the small wood building. It was painted in white and pink, and the entire front side facing the beach was open. There was also a tantalizing scent of tangy fruits and aromatic spices wafting from the kitchen behind the counter. A young man dressed only in baggy yellow shorts and wearing a ja'risia smiled at them as they approached.

Cook: How can I help you lovlies today?

Vossti: Everything smells delicious. I'd like a Thevesi sandwich and a large Chukeh with ice to drink please.

Mallora and the cook both looked to Corliss to see what she would order.

Fortune: Mm, I think I'll have the same then, sounds delicious!

Cook: Comin' right up!

He headed off with a wink, and Corliss turned back to Mallora, leaning on the stand with a sigh.

Fortune: Well, if you need anything, I'm quite literally around the corner.

Vossti: ::Puzzled:: What do you mean?

She realized what the counselor meant almost as soon as she asked the question, but Corliss answered just as quickly.

Fortune: Sickbay and my office are neighbors! It's quite useful when there's an emergency or when I want to come by and see if Tali's finally managed to get the rest of her collection.

Vossti: Doctor Namura? I haven't had much chance to do more than say hello to her. What is it that she collects?

Fortune: Oh, she hasn't said precisely what she's collecting, but it has to do with bones...I think. Anyway, if you'd like to come by, I have a stash of sweets for when a pick-me-up is needed!

Vossti: I wonder if she'll open up with me about her collecting.  ::She shrugged, then smiled:: In any case, I will of course come visit you when I have free moments,  ::she lowered her voice conspiratorially:: or if I need one of your sugary snacks.

Fortune: You and the Admiral both on that one then. I'll run out of peanut brittle at this rate! Ah, but it's a good thing.

The cook returned with their Thevesi sandwiches, stepped away for a single breath, then returned with a pair of tall iced drinks with an aquamarine hue. The sandwiches were still quite hot, radiating a strong scent of peppercorns with hints of several other flavors mixed in.

Mallora picked her sandwich up and breathed in the aroma. Her eyes closed and a broad smile grew on her face.

Vossti: This brings back memories. My family used to go on walks through Suraya just at sunset when the restaurants were all getting ready for the supper rush. It smelled very much like this.  ::She opened her eyes again and looked at her companion:: I'm sorry, I didn't mean to lose myself in nostalgia. You just can't get food like this out of a replicator, and certainly not at Starfleet Academy.

Fortune: Oh, you're absolutely right. Never time to sit and cook but my, replicators just...don't have that touch, I suppose is the word for it.

Corliss scooped up the sandwich, sinking her teeth into it. She stole a napkin to wipe her chin a bit from the bit of grease.

Vossti:  ::Hesitantly:: Did you … grow up on Betazed? I came to realize some time ago that where someone was raised often can have a profound effect on their tastes and personality.

Fortune: I did! Lived near the Loneel mountains my entire life. ::she took another bite, rocking on her heels a bit.:: My that's good! Why were you asking?

Vossti: I've just found that there is a fairly wide gulf in the outlooks and philosophies of people who were born and raised on a planet's surface, particularly a homeworld like Betazed. People raised on colony worlds or starbases and so forth have such different experiences that it shapes their whole personality.

Mallora took another bite of her Thevesi sandwich, savoring the rich mix of flavors and scents. Her pleasant smile was still there, but a little guarded as she watched Corliss and hoped that her words hadn't been taken as any kind of insult.

Fortune: You're right on that, technically. It's a hotly debated topic, nature versus nurture, which I won't drag you into of course. ::she took a sip of the drink, shivering at the slight chill.:: Whoo. That's good! I take it from your question, however, that you weren't?

Vossti: No, I was born and raised on a starship. One that regularly visited both Betazed and Risa as well as Starbase Twelve. After joining Starfleet Academy and getting to know my classmates there... well, I guess you could say that I am firmly on the 'nurture' side of the debate. I don't think I would be recognizably me if I was raised on a planet.

The counselor pushed her sunglasses back up into her hair, twiddling with the straw in her drink with a soft whistle, a bird hopping nearby on a wooden walkway.

Fortune: My mother absconded to Earth not very long after I started school. That was her posting anyway, but great-grandmother other was old fashioned, you know? 'Betazed born and raised' and all that.

Vossti: So you were raised on Betazed by your great-grandmother? I'll bet that was a strange experience.

Fortune: My brother and I were, essentially. My dad worked, which meant staying in a greenhouse, but, well...::she shrugged, stirring the drink lightly.:: She had her views on things and he had his.

Vossti: I admit that my own childhood was unusual. I spent my entire youth on starships except for brief shore excursions and visits with my grandmother on Risa. ::She laughed to herself at a memory:: I almost got arrested by Starfleet security once when I was thirteen, but that only sparked my interest in Starfleet and eventually led to my application to the Academy.

Fortune: That's certainly one way to be interested! ::she laughed, taking another bite of her sandwich, finishing it off.:: Sounds like an exciting race...or, maybe less a race, and more a chase.

Mallora finished her sandwich with a satisfied smile. She looked up and down the road they were next to, then back at Corliss.

Vossti: Do you want to stroll further up Sedge Road? Or would you like to find someplace comfortable to sit and talk some more? Or ….

Fortune: Hmm...well, we could walk down a bit, see what catches our eye to abscond back on the ship with. Perhaps we'll even find something to surprise Tali with!

Vossti: I can't imagine what we could get her. Neither of us know what she collects, and I haven't even met her yet to get an idea of what she might like.

Corliss hopped away from the little stall, stretching her arms above her, luxuriating in the combination of warm sun and cool breeze. Mallora felt her companion's joy wash over her.

Vossti: oO She either has no cares in the galaxy right now, or she is actively trying to entrance me into friendship with her. Honestly, she does seem like a wonderful person to become friends with. Oo

Fortune: Besides, maybe we'll see something fun to sign up for!

Vossti: Is that wise? I mean, I don't remember the Admiral mentioning how long we'd be here on shore leave. Also, I still need to get acquainted with the sickbay and check in with the other senior officers.

Fortune: I saw some people playing with a ball and a net, but I don't really feel like doing all that now. ::she groaned, patting her stomach with a sigh.:: Actually, perhaps I aim for a nap now. Full of food and sunlight, huh? Oh, but! There might be a trinket shop!

Vossti: ::Looking up and down the road at the shops:: It looks like almost half of them are eateries and the other half sell clothing.  ::She paused, squinting:: I wonder what that one sells.

Mallora pointed up Sedge Road leading back toward the center of the town. About two blocks up was a small shop with strangely angular architecture and painted in dark hues. The sign atop the awning read “Sto'vo'Coral”.

Fortune: 'Sto-vo'...hmm. That's Klingon that I can tell, but I can't figure the other part?

Vossti: Well, I'm intrigued. Nautical and Klingon themes mixed? I've got to see what they have in stock!  ::She resisted the sudden urge to hold the lieutenant's hand as they hurried toward the strange shop.::

Fortune: Let's go!

The two strolled up toward the shop at a more or less leisurely pace.

Everything was dark blue with vibrant purple tones. There were pretty shells decorated in swirls, a large coral spear with an odd pearl adornment on the top, a chandelier with clinking sea glass and the smell of something sweet in the air. Two people at the desk were chatting, so Corliss ducked to the side, looking at the spear.

Mallora found herself looking at a collection of small knives which were far more decorative than useful in any fight. She found one with a carving in Federation Standard on the handle which read, “Swimming is just flying in water”.

Fortune: Hmmm.

Vossti:  ::showing the knife to Corliss:: What do you think of this one? Do you think Lieutenant Namura would like this?

Fortune: Mm, Vaala might care for it, for the aesthetic perhaps. Not a very useful weapon although, anything can be in a fight. Like a boot!

Vossti: There have got to be better choices in almost any reasonable circumstance, right? Why would anyone use a boot for a weapon?

Fortune: It's quite a long story involving carnivorous birds and one robot raven. I try not to run barefoot in mud now, you know?

Vossti: Well, now I think you have to tell that story.  ::She grinned at the expectation of a wild tale:: I think I'm going to get this as a gift for Namura and hope she likes it.

Fortune: Tali would adore it, absolutely! She'd find a way to use it one way or another. ::She reached up, poking the tip of the spear cautiously. Not at all sharp.:: Huh. Anyway yes, the tale of the robot raven!

She launched into the story, although she teetered off into talking more about tiny baby dinosaurs for a moment before winding back to the true terror of the mission: birds.

She looked around the shop a little further, hoping to see if there was anything that interested her to buy for herself. There were various bits of clothing styled to look like Klingon armor pieces, but when Mallora walked past those, she found something a bit more intriguing. There was a set of shoulder bags in several iridescent hues. She picked up one bag which shifted between purples, blues, and greens.

Fortune:  ::Finishing her story:: And now I have fancy boots Tulosten made me! He was so sweet, I should get him some boots in return...

Vossti: Ooh, I like this one! Do you like it? They have several more here.

Fortune: Oh that's nice! What will you put in it?

Mallora smiled and shrugged her shoulders. Then she took the knife and the bag up to the checkout counter. She looked back to Corliss to see how close she was to checking out. The lieutenant brought the spear she'd picked out up to the checkout counter as well.

Vossti: Don't forget, there are other shops we can visit all along Sedge Road.

Fortune: At this rate we'll be lost and they'll have to send out a search party for us!

Vossti: I'm not terribly worried. The layout of this part of town is very similar to how many neighborhoods on Risa are structured. If for some reason we get really lost, I've got my com badge here to call the transporter room.

Fortune: I guess there's a reason they call them 'tourist traps'. Although, I've yet to really see the 'trap' part of the touristing.

The person at the desk hid a snort of laughter, easily bagging up their items for them and wishing them a good day (although, can't exactly bag a spear). Corliss maneuvered it around a bit before ending with the pointy end pointing at the ground, holding it under her arm so as not to bump into other people.

Fortune: Heavy! I wasn't expecting that.

Vossti: I remember a supplemental reading I pulled from the Academy library that said spears were one of the best weapons for the more poorly trained soldiers. They're cheap to produce, not difficult to use, don't require a lot of raw strength, and have the potential to do a lot of damage on a solid hit.  ::She paused:: I'm barely trained in how to use a phaser, so a simple weapon wouldn't be a bad idea for someone like me, I guess.  ::She shrugged, then gave her companion an embarrassed grin::

Fortune: I've used a baton before, but not a spear. Feels like you trade momentum for force. Not sure I like that so much. ::she paused, thinking.:: ...we may have to return and put these away lest we be accused of holding up the next store, yes?

Vossti:  ::She watched Corliss awkwardly carrying the long spear:: Yeah, I guess that won't fit in my new bag.  ::She chuckled quietly:: All right, let's head back to the transporter site on the beach.

Mallora held the shop's door open for Corliss, and the two women ambled back out onto the sunny road. The ensign slung her iridescent bag over her shoulder as she walked, admiring how the natural light caused rippling waves of colors to shine and sparkle; this way looked a bit more green, but that way sparked more purples and metallic pinks. The two also had a chance to look into the windows of the shops which they had hurried past in their rush to investigate the one with the Klingon and nautical themes.

Vossti:  ::Pointing to one window they were passing:: I guess that shop is dedicated to selling clothes and jewelry to people who just adore the color turquoise?

Fortune: Oh my. Well, turquoise is quite pretty....::she eyed one part of it curiously.:: Not so sure about a belt version...

Vossti:  ::Nodding toward a medium-size eatery they were passing:: That one is advertising Vulcan foods. I don't recommend trying real Vulcan cuisine unless you know what you're getting into. I learned my lesson the hard way back at the Academy.  ::She laughed at the memory::

Fortune: I like the soup! It's fairly nice. What did you have?

Vossti: It wasn't a particular food; it was a Vulcan spice that I later learned was called Tosha'en. Even the tiniest part of it made me feel like my mouth was full of hornets for almost a minute. My roommate did the Vulcan version of laughing at me.

They continued to chat as they turned back towards the beach.

((Upper Beach, Cochtois Lagoon, Deluvia IV))

They reached the turn taking them away from Sedge Road and back to the Upper Beach near where the had met, just a couple of hours earlier. Mallora looked further down the road, then glanced up at the sky and noted the sun rapidly descending toward the horizon.

Vossti:  ::Sighing wistfully:: I guess we don't have time to do much more exploring today, anyhow. I'm expected back on duty in the main sickbay by 1800 hours.

Fortune: Oh bother. I understand that though. I think it's time to head back onboard as it is.

Corliss touched her wrist, gauging whether she had tanned or burned. She chuckled.

Fortune: Well, I have two meetings at 2000 hours, guess I'll head back too and shower off.

There was a three-meter wide circular platform that had been cleared of sand at the head of the Upper Beach. The two Betazoid women stepped up onto the platform. Mallora pulled her com badge out of her pocket and tapped it while looking at her companion. There was a wistful smile on her face as she spoke.

Vossti: =/\= Ensign Vossti to Gorkon transporter room. Two to beam up. =/\=

Fortune: This has been utmost fun! If you have time later we should explore some more!

Vossti: I would love to. I had a really good time with you today!

Fortune: Here or on the Gorkon. I can show you a nice place you can see the stars at. I mostly draw there when I need a moment away. ::she laughed, waving a hand and shifting the spear to her other arm.:: I'm sure we'll be busy soon enough as it is, huh?

Crewman: =/\= Stand by for transport. =/\=

Mallora felt the transporter beam take hold of her almost as soon as the crewman had stopped speaking. She closed her eyes so as to avoid the nausea that she sometimes felt when transported to a very different environment.

((Transporter Room 2, Deck 8, USS Gorkon))

When she felt the beam fade, she opened her eyes again and saw she and Lieutenant Fortune were in one of the main transporter rooms of the Gorkon. She stepped off the transporter pad and smiled at her companion.

Vossti: I would be thrilled to have you as my tour guide aboard the Gorkon, and if we can arrange it, down on shore leave also.

Fortune: If anything at the end of the week or so, everyone tends to find some big thing to do together as a crew. Who knows, maybe it'll be another luau? With ah...the back bending game! That'll be fun!

Vossti: A beach party sounds like a lot of fun, though the "back-bending" game sound like it might be painful. In any case, let's please find more excuses to hang out together. I had so much fun.

Mallora stepped close to give the counsellor a hug before remembering that she was a superior officer, and it might not be considered appropriate. Embarrassed, Mallora retreated to the door.

Vossti: I hope to see you soon.

Then she hurried through the doors and down the corridor.