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((Flashback - Trill - 11 years ago 2379))

Vivan Laxyn: Keep your head up.

The firm voice of the older man cut through the air close to Jalana's ear and without hesitation she raised her head again, keeping it straight. Her deep and vivid green eyes wandered over the company they had and felt this nervous tingle in her belly. She was not a fan of those gatherings, but with her father being who he was she had to participate. ::

V. Laxyn: And don't forget to smile, we don't want them to think that I keep you hostage.

Jalana Laxyn: oO It would be true though Oo Of course not father.

She put on a smile that was just as fake as those of many people around. While communicating and gather for such occasions was normal and required for diplomatic purposes, not many really enjoyed them. They might like that they got something free to eat and drink and did not have to sit alone at home or bury themselves in work again, but it was not a real pleasure. At leat that was what Jalana thought all those people from different parts of the galaxy must think.::
They all looked like they had to hold back, well maybe not the Vulcans. But she did not see Klingons breaking out in songs or lout laughter, no Ferengi starting to haggle over the price of something since it was all free and a few of the other wilder races all behaved splendidly although from their customs something was missing. There were those who loved to eat living insects but pretended that the dead ones were just as good, those who usually are with their feet but were considerate enough to use cutlery, even the betazoids left their gong to give thanks for the food at home. It was just a big mass of pretending. And she was one of them, pretending that she wanted to be here, to learn from her father to step into his footsteps one day. ::

V. Laxyn: Much better. Now remember. Be friendly, modest, listen carefully and avoid...

J. Laxyn: ... faux pas. I know father.

She supressed a sigh because that would have ended in discussions she really wanted to avoid and took a glass of Lumerian Berry wine, offered to her by one of the waiters, and strolled through the banquet hall. She had seen most of the faces before, which was no wonder since she had been at her father's side at those gatherings since she could walk. She nodded to the one or another and halted in her stops with a shiver when she heard one of the voices that grated on her nerves. ::

Krall: Ah, little Jalana. It would not be the same without your angelic appearance.

She turned her head and saw a blue ball heading for her. Not only his skin but also the long and wide robes where of the same blue, so one could wonder if he wore anything at all, if he didn't move at least. The Bolian Ambassador had a more than overwhelming love for all kinds of foods from all different worlds. No matter if alive, dead, plants or whatever they served. That was clearly visible in his body shape, he resembled a mutated blueberry, just that she would never tell him that. The same with telling him, that she was neither little anymore and that his crowded her space everytime they met. Instead she smiled, just as her father taught her, she knew he would be watching her.::

J. Laxyn: Ambassador Krall. It would not be the same without your bubbling personality either.

Krall: You always know how to charm an old man, my dear. Gagh?

He held up a plate with worms up to her, they moved slightly, sliding around each other and while she knew they didn't taste that bad, she surely did not want to eat from his plate. ::

J. Laxyn: Thank you, but I am already stuffed. The buffet is too empting, even for me.

He laughed, with a belly shake and stepped next to her, wrapping his arm around her shoulder. ::

Krall: You should eat more, you are skin and bones, my dear.

The Trill did her best to keep her smile. He was a touchy person, everyone knew that, but the others were smart enough to avoid to talk with him long enough to experience it. While she had learned all those theoretical things from her father and also visited the gatherins for many many years she still did not feel comfortable at these events. She was just not made to be a diplomat to this extend and one day she would have the courage to tell her father. ::