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Getting to Know the Squad

Posted on Sun Apr 10th, 2016 @ 3:35pm by

Mission: Hemlock's Field 2391 [USS Resolute-A]

ON:

Entering the bar he had found by chance when meandering about earlier, Zera took in the musky smell and looked around. It was relatively busy, and there was an atmosphere of chatter and the occasional clink of glasses that filled the air, making a perfect environment for a conversation to go unheard. Spotting a table in the corner, he weaved through the people, pausing to let a young woman carrying drinks pass, before removing his jacket (the only part, other than his shoes, that was not part of the prototype he was wearing) and draping it over the back of a seat before sitting himself down in the chair.

He was hoping to meet up with Tayla and get to know her before things got too hectic. Sitting with his back to the wall, he could see almost everything that happened in the room. Between the noise and the seclusion that the corner provided, it was very unlikely that someone would overhear them unless they got close to the table, which would alert the two immediately to change topics. Rotating his chair a little, he allowed himself to take on a relaxed position, his ankle resting on the other knee, and fingers quietly drumming on the table as he waited. He knew she'd show up soon.

The trill strolled in, wearing a tight halter red halter top and a brown leather skirt over red lace stockings. the belt she wore loose around her hips was made up of gears. Her boots matched her skirt and belt, which made her strange, mildly steam punk look complete. Tayla spotted her target and headed over to the corner. She'd been eager to get off the ship for a while, and away from Hayter, who was being as pompous as usual. Sliding in to the booth she grinned, "So you showed...."

"I was the one who extended the invitation, Hana," he replied, watching her sit and letting a small smirk slide onto his features. "... it would be rude for me to not follow through. Drink?" Catching the eye of a server the Bajoran waved her over.

she shrugged her shoulders, "Wouldn't be the first time I was stood up for a drink Oani." she said. When the waitress stopped by she ordered a drink popular on trill, but was known for being rather stout. It had been a favorite of Carrebs, her last host. She'd not liked the drink before joining, but the craving for it grew strong after joining, and now she was used to it.

Zera got himself a beer, sticking to his character's preferences. "Wouldn't be the first time my offer to get one got turned down, so I guess we're about even." He gently scratched his nose, between the eyebrows before looking her over. "You got a unique style there," he mentioned, gesturing with his index finger.

She shrugged, "I had a few strange previous hosts. Believe me.. in other circumstances I would be far more comfortable in a totally different dress with more of this style integrated." she chuckled. "I fit in though. Kind of sleek... sexy... don't you think?" she winked.

Zera chuckled, his eyes doing a brief look down and back up. "Well I think it fits your charm," he commented. Goin back to lightly drumming on the table he asked, "so, what for you into this 'Smoky Fixture' of a job?" The two words were used to refer to Starfleet without actually saying it. Many operatives he met in the past used various different phrases but they all had a thing in common: the first letter.

"The need to get away from home." Tayla said honestly. She'd been smart. Hana's history was similiar to her own, and a common enough past. It made it easier to lie because it was fewer details she had to lie about. "When I joined i just couldn't stay home. There was so much drive from the symbyont I just couldn't stay and be some boring accountant on Trill."

Zera raised his eyebrows in response, nodding to the server when their drinks came. He took a swig from the bottle before replying, "I've read a little on the relationship between host and symbiont, quite interesting. But in any case, exploring space has more benefit to the soul than some accounting job planetside I suppose. Plus you get to meet all sorts of people." He gestured with his finger around the bar.

"Which is part of the experiance for the sym." she said as she picked up her glass and took a drink. "It can be argued that a calm peaceful life would be an experience as well... but Zixja has had two hosts who led more peaceful lives... Its more than enough time for Zixja to have some fun." she winked.

Zera gave a smile in response. "Makes sense." He then asked, "what’s it like, being joined? I've worked some jobs with Trills before but never had the time to ask."

She took a deep breath, "Thats an odd questions to be sure. I feel more whole. Not that I wasn't whole before, but I am even more so now. I have memories, instincts, knowledge, and craving that I did not have before, but they are a part of me. I am a new person. In truth. Hana died when Zixja joined with her. Who we are is a knew person, and I don't really know what its like to NOT be joined."

The Bajoran nodded as he listened. "That’s interesting," he simply responded, taking a swig of his drink. He then waved his hand, gesturing around them. "What do you think of this place so far?"

"Seems like my kind of environment. But I've got to learn about you now... How did you end up where you are?" she asked. "I never did get a chance to ask you before." Tayla said as she sipped her drink.

He swirled the glass in his hand for a moment as he figured out how to answer. "What happened during the Occupation basically ruined any chance of building a life on Bajor. I ended up here because I figured that someone would have a use for my skills and what I can do."

Tayla shrugged, "Makes sense." she said. "I don't know if I could stick around a planet where all those horrible things happened. I'd run like hell too." she commented.

Zera couldn't help but chuckle. "Depending on who you're running from, death may be the better option. But I didn't willingly leave Bajor." He paused to take a long drink before adding, "I was kicked off. The Bajoran Council put me in a shuttle and told me to never come back. Personally I think that's a worse fate."

Tayla tipped her head, "Why did they kick you off? What the hell did you do to them?" she asked him. "Leaving a home means you can find a new home, death is so final. Well... sort of." she commented.

"I was told to leave because what I did was unforgivable. If you know the Cardassians like I do," he replied, "especially the handful who were ruthless to their prisoners, you would rather they kill you than catch you running. Some were good at finding those who escaped, which meant that once you started running you could never stop or else you would be caught." The Bajoran kept his voice low as he spoke, low enough so that the other tables wouldn't overhear. Not that they would; the background music could barely be heard over the chatter. Some tension was evident in his voice, and his hand had tightened a little around his glass, but other than that he appeared calm, as if he were talking about the loss at last week's sports game.

"DId you help them find runners?" she asked trying to figure out what it could be that he did that was so unforgivable.

"No," he lied, making eye contact with her. He sighed as his eyes examined her, as if determining if she was worthy enough to hear his story. It wasn't for the faint of heart, and if he did spill his secret then he wouldn't know what it could do to his career. The rumors and stories had already distanced him from many, namely his family and the friends he had managed to make. Besides, he was a runner himself, in a manner of speaking; after his father died the Bajoran had escaped and freed his mother and sisters, along with some twenty other Bajoran prisoners. The efforts were overlooked, however, because the crime was greater, the way he-

Zera shook his head, pushing the memories back as he took another long swig of his drink. It was in the past, and that's where he intended to keep it.

Tayla humphed, "I've lived way too long to be lied to." she said. "Well... my symbont has at least. One of my hosts was a laywer, I can tell when someone lies to me. You're good, eye contact, no hesitation... but I have good insticts."

Zera put a hand on his chest, as if he were hurt. "I should be good, it's my job. I'd be terrible at all the spy stuff if I couldn't lie." He crossed his arms before adding, "I don't have to give details anyways. It's easier that way."

Tayla laughed fondly. "Oh you're not bad.. Well may be you are bad." She winked, But you're good at what you do. Doesn't mean you're good at back pedaling when you imply the worst kind of crime a Bajoran can commit against another."

"Well, Hana," he replied, lightly tapping his fingers against his arm, "I wouldn't bother poking for answers, because you certainly ain't going to get them from me. You asked, I gave an answer, that should be satisfactory enough. And how is the mention of not going into detail a sign of backpedaling?"

"You implied that you were a rat to the Cardies and then went all coy. Thats back pedaling." Tayla laughed and took a sip of her drink.

Zera replied with a roll of his eyes before taking a sip of his drink as well. "Fine. I was a rat to them, alright?" He paused before adding, "But that was after I was caught after I had escaped a second time." Figuring that he might as well go on instead of letting the conversation drop, he continued. She was probably going to ask anyways. "I went to the Resistance, got put into Resistance cell Epsilon, and once every week our group infiltrated the Cardassian bases to try and liberate Bajorans. Some died, others were captured and punished." It was there where he stopped his story, and waved at the server, motioning to his glass.

Tayla just finished off her first drink and watched the table top. The man didn't need to say any more. She could recall how Carreb had poured over reports of the crimes done against the Bajorans, wishing that d'Jax was still in Ledrexa... the sense of justice and the drive of compassion was strong in Carreb. He had been sentimental, and he cared deeply. She had read enough to not need to ask Zera what else may have happened to him. "I'm glad you found your way to this project." she commented. "You've been very valuable... Like with those new outfits you have been toying with. I'd love to see more devlopment od those." she said changing the subject.

"I am too." The Bajoran gave a hint of a smile as he corrected with a wink, "outfit. Just one. All part of the package." His wristband beeped, and his eyes flicked down to his wrist before allowing the small holoscreen pop up. "Oh good, my afternoon client decided to get back to me. Bout damn time..." He skimmed the message before pressing his thumb to the side, making the partially translucent screen disappear before the server arrived, giving her a lopsided smile before the young woman left. "I got a client named Thomas Tester, I set up some business with him." He didn't have to explain that it was part of his cover, and the Bajoran took a sip of the filled glass that the server had left at the table with him.

"Thomas Tester... could he be more obvious?" Tayla rolled her eyes. She sipped at her new drink and chuckled. "Do you need to go meet him?"

The Bajoran shook his head, giving a small chuckle. "Nope, still in the negotiations part. I call him Double T when I reference him to others." He chose the name because there was a dealer with the same alias, and although he wasn't a major player in the game his name still got around, which made quite a few recognize the name. Silently, he was glad for the change in subject. The memories of the Occupation were not ones he would like to relive, and he watched her as she took a sip of her drink. Another beep came from his wristband, and he looked at the message before typing a quick response.

"Hey!" she said slapping his hands hands. "If you're on a date with me you don't get to by texting." she teased him. "I'm too beautiful for that."

Her hand slapped the wristband, which made the holoscreen disappear, and he lifted his eyes to give her a look that asked, 'are you kidding me?' before giving a sigh and leaning back in his chair. "We are not on a date," he countered, raising his eyebrows, "if we were I would've tried to impress you by now."

"That much is obvious, and I'm not easily impressed. What you don't think I'm hot enough to try and impress?" Tayla smirked.

The Bajoran rolled his eyes. He knew he couldn't answer that without getting in trouble one way or another. "I am not thinking that," he replied carefully.

Tayla could sense something was up, maybe it was d'Jax having raised six half Betazoid children, and being married to a batazoid woman when with Carreb. Or maybe it was instinct from when d'Jax was with Ledrexa as an interspeicies lawyer... but she knew she was messing with him, and she could not help but to continue. "Well then my dear..." she slid her hand across the table and took his and met his eyes. "give me some attention... and maybe you'll end up with some attention as well." she grinned.

A light blush crept onto Zera's cheeks. He needed an escape from the proverbial corner he was backed into. Almost immediately, Zeti came to mind. "As entertaining as the offer sounds," the Bajoran began, keeping a straight face, "I'm taken. Nice try, though."

Tayla laughed, "Oh is that a fact?" she asked him. She had only been trying to mess with the man any way. It was so fun to see him blush. "And how is the lucky lady... or is fellow?"

"She is great," the Bajoran replied calmly. On the inside, he was trying to maintain his composure. Oh, if Zeti heard about this he wouldn't hear the end of it, both for using her like that and for not making any advances. He took a sip of his drink, "why? You jealous?"

Tayla shrugged, "just trying to figure out if you think i'm ugly or you're a player." she said pouting. Inside she was resisting a giggle, this was too much fun.

"Neither. You're just not my type," Leyar countered, with a tone of finality that suggested the conversation was over. Leaning back, he then asked, "what are your plans after this job?"

She laughed, "This job is going to take years, I've no plans at this point. I figure if I stay the course more will come at me through time. I'm not looking for any thing else after this job." she said. "You?"

"I'm going to look into a missing person file that recently came up," he replied. "I know the higher ups probably have it under control, but she's a close friend of mine and I'm curious." He decided to not give details about the case, primarily because of their surroundings. "Other than that..." the Bajoran finished the sentence with a shrug, implying that he didn't have any plans set in stone.

"A friends gone missing?" she asked. "Sounds like something you shouldn't do alone. You let me know if you need help. I'll at least get some connections involved, an ear to the ground." she said.

Zera gave her a nod. "I'll keep your offer in mind. I got a hunch that her disappearance is part of a bigger picture, but I won't dive into it here." Checking his wristband, he concluded, "well, I'm going to go do some exploring. Catch you around sometime." With that, he stood and gave her a pat on the back before starting to walk off.

"Hey what about paying for your...." Tayla said turning around fast, but Zera was already gone. He asked her out for drinks and left her with the entire bill. "Ass hole." she grumbled as she forked out the credits.


~fin

 

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