Adventures and Misadventures (RP Log)
- Promenade - Section B [Deep Space 9]
- This part of the promenade is not quite as congested as the primary concourse, yet people course through the passages at a steady flow.
Carey appears to be on her way toward Section A of the promenade, but hs paused to look back and chat with an Andorian couple.
Vrillak falls silently into step behind you, out of range of your perepheral vision. He makes no noise and does nothing that would, as yet, give him away.
- Holosuite 1 [Deep Space 9]
- A simple, mathematical grid of holoemitters lines the walls.
Carey begins working with the computer to create a new program.
Carey finishes the program, and saves.
Carey pulls up some work in progress that she's saved and begins adding to it, so absorbed that she still doesn't know you're there. She seems to merely be adding finishing touches, however, as she finishes quickly and then loads the new program.
- Verdant farmland stretches out around you under a perfect blue sky. To the east and west are wide, tilled fields where crops grow in neat rows. To the north, a few cattle, horses, a donkey, and two goats graze peacefully in a fenced pasture. Southward, the green land rises in a hill, at the top of which is a pretty yard landscaped with beds of colorful Terran flowers in front of a red brick farmhouse. Behind the house are two large barns and a few smaller outbuildings.
- Wooden steps lead up to a screened porch at the front of the house, where rocking chairs and a wooden bench swing wait in the cool shade and wind chimes sing a mournful lullaby in the gentle breeze that wafts through the area, bringing the scent of animals and growing things and good earth.
- The front door of the house opens onto a short hallway. The living room and kitchen are immediately to the left and right. Farther down the hallway are a bathroom and closet, then two bedrooms. The decor would have been old-fashioned even as early as the twenty-first century, but has a charming look of antiquity. There are touches of true handiwork to be seen in every room, such as the floral embroidery that adorns the curtains at the windows and the patchwork quilts on the beds. At the far end of the hallway is a back door, which opens out onto a path that leads around each of the outbuildings and down a gentle slope to a pond at the edge of the woods behind the farm.
Carey looks around as the program shimmers into existance, finding herself in the exact center of the farm, perfectly positioned to take it in. Her face is unreadable as she surveys her work.
"Let me guess," a calm, cultured voice says from behind you. "Elva II, isn't it?"
Carey jumps with a yelp of surprise and whirls around, wide-eyed. "Oh, my goodness," she huffs when she sees you, then laughs a little. "You scared the living daylights out of me."
Vrillak's smile is warm. "I thought I'd surprise you. I decided to dock here instead."
Carey steps forward and wraps her arms around you. "I'm glad you're back," she says warmly. "And yes...this is where I was born, to the best of my ability."
Vrillak returns your embrace. "Yes, I thought maybe it would be based on some of the things you were saying in your last letter." He glances around. "Rather scenic," he comments.
Carey turns so that she's leaning backwards against you. "It's unnerving, how real it looks. I love playing with holo things and should be used to it by now. But this..." She trails off, and adds after a short silence, "I've wanted to show you this for a long time. As far as I know, those planets are wastelands now, so this is as close as I can get." She looks back at you and smiles. "There are no surprise holo characters this time, by the way."
Vrillak begins strolling about the environment. Entering the house, he asks, "So which sleeping chamber was yours?"
"This one." Aliyah pushes open the right-hand door, revealing a bedroom with a double bed, dresser, night table, and desk all of wood that has been painted a delicate white. There is also a matching rocking chair in one corner, presumably a relic from babyhood, adorned with pastel pink pillows. The patchwork quilt on the bed and woven rug just next to it are also done in feminine pastels. The bed is host to a number of small dolls and stuffed toys which appear handmade.
Vrillak studies the room silently. "Was your room your favorite place?"
Carey slips her hand into yours. "One of them," she says with a soft smile. "That bed became so many places in imagination."
Vrillak says, "Like where?"
Carey walks slowly toward the bed and sits on it. "A school...a church...just normal kid stuff," she murmurs, picking up a stuffed squirrel wearing a frilly apron with nuts tucked into the pockets. "Or my own house or castle, or sailing ship."
Vrillak nods thoughtfully. "I'm sure Deep Space 9 wasn't among your imaginings," he says with a faint smile.
Carey looks up at you and smiles. "I didn't even know places like this could exist then." She gently replaces the toy and straightens the ones that rolled out of place when she sat. "We were very sheltered, we children who were born there. But of course my parents knew differently. My mother did. And when she had so many problems having more children...this place lost its enchantment, I guess."
Vrillak nods. "Why did you recreate it? Just to show me?"
Carey stands and comes back over to you. "Partly. But also because there are good things. I mean, there were things about our lives there that were good. Maybe the colony wasn't founded on good, but there were parts of it that were good."
Vrillak asks, "What was the best thing to you, my dear?"
Carey grins. "Come on. I'll show you some of them." She leads you back out of the bedroom and closes the door softly behind you both. She leads the way out the back door and into one of the smaller outbuildings, and pauses next to a red four-wheeled motorbike with a wide black leather seat, large enough for two regular-sized adults.
Vrillak examines the vehicle. "Some form of transportation, I presume.
Carey's grin is wide and mischievous. "Oh, so, so much more, my love." She takes an elastic band from her pocket and uses it to bind up her hair before grabbing two helmets from a wall-mounted shelf. She puts one on and hands you the other.
Vrillak puts the helmet on with ease and watches you.
Carey disengages the kickstand and pushes the fourwheeler out of the utility building, then climbs onto it and starts the engine. It roars like a starving beast as she revs it, and the entire bike thrums visibly beneath her.
Vrillak studies the vehicle mistrustfully. Finally, he mounts behind you, wincing from the noise.
Carey looks over her shoulder and grins at you, then reaches behind her, takes your hands, and pulls your arms around her waist. "It's okay," she says, raising her voice to be heard over the roaring motor. "I'll start slow." And with that she begins driving along the path, zigzagging in and out of the buildings at a gentle pace. The ride is bumpier than you're likely used to, given the bike's antique spring shock absorbtion system, but tame overall as she lets you adjust.
Vrillak's knees grip the bike, squirming slightly as his groin vibrates in some unusual and not altogether pleasant ways. His arms tighten comfortably around you.
"Careful," Aliyah cautions you. "Don't let your calves touch because it gets hot and can burn you. Ready to see what this thing can really do?"
"What I can do," he bellows back. "Of course I can do it!"
Carey winces. "What *it* can do!" she shouts over the engine, turning her head to be sure you can hear her.
"Sure!" He bellows back.
Carey drives slowly to a clear area, then, with almost no warning, presses down on the throttle, sending the bike shooting forward in a roar of sound and wind and thrilling speed. The thrumming motor picks up, and air rushes over your face as she speeds along, up and down small hills and around turns.
Vrillak jostles on the bike, his breathing increasing, though you might not detect this. His eyes squinch shut and his complexion goes even more pale than usual.
As you're behind her, Aliyah doesn't see this, and she's obviously enjoying herself. Coming to one especially open area, she does circles around it, whooping with glee.
Vrillak hangs on for dear life. He suppresses small sounds, urk, ulp, etc. that you don't hear.
Carey finally slows up enough to look back at you. As she does, her wide grin fades. Rapidly. She slows to a stop right where she is. "Are you okay?" she asks in surprise over the idling engine.
Vrillak stumbles off the bike. Falling to one knee, he begins vomiting spectacularly. Unlike human puke, Cardassian puke is a colorful blend of blues, yellows, magentas, greens and purples. He heaves and heaves, his eyes closed. WHen he opens them and sees the mess, his expression becomes one of wide-eyed disgust and he rapidly turns away from the ejecta on the holographic ground.
Carey quickly kills the engine and pushes the kickstand into place with her foot even as she swings off the bike, which is now radiating heat. "Oh, no," she murmurs, stricken, as she kneels behind you. With the expertise that comes with nursing, she unfastens the helmet straps from beneath your chin and lifts the bulky thing off your head, then rubs your shoulders. "Oh, no," she says again. "I'm so sorry."
Vrillak moves away after a beat. Finally, he stands. His face is deathly pale, he's sweating lightly, and his hands are shaking. His voice retains a measure of its gentle, sardonic air. "My dear," he says, "Inirtial dampers and hover craft are the best things that ever happened to your people."
Carey gets to her feet, taking out her medical tricorder. "I'm so sorry," she repeats as she steps close enough to scan you. "I've never...I just...well, I didn't think..." She sighs. "I didn't think."
The scan would show nothing wrong with him. "It's alright, my dear. You didn't know. It's not like I could have told you either."
Carey turns off the tricorder and puts it away. "Why didn't you tell me to stop?" she asks gently.
Vrillak chuckles. "I figured that I would settle into the experience," he says with a gentle smile.
Carey smiles back. "Maybe...in your next life. Let's get you some water." She takes your hand and leads the way back up to the house."
Vrillak comes with you. In the house, he knocks back a pint or so of water. "I will have to recreate something from Cardassia Prime for you, my dear."
Carey smiles at you, standing at the sink and wetting a cloth with cool water. "I'd like that," she says, running it gently over your forehead and cheeks to wash away the perspiration. "I'd love to see your home."
Vrillak smiles. "I can arrange that."
Carey kisses you gently on the forehead. "Do you want to see the rest of what I loved about farm life, or is that enough?" She grins. "The rest is...not quite that exciting. And doesn't really involve motion."
Vrillak says, "Show me, my dear."
Carey takes your hand and leads you out to one of the large barns. The lowing of cows comes from inside. She pushes open the sliding door and enters. "Meet Clover and Violet," she says, reaching through the bars of the stalls to stroke the heads of the two gentle-looking cows.
"What are these ... creatures called," he asks curiously?
Carey smiles. "Cows. They give milk." She retrieves a bucket and a low stool and readies the larger of the two cows for milking, placing the stool next to her and the bucket beneath the utters. Sitting on the stool, she rests her head against the cow's warm side and talks softly to her as she milks. "This was my favorite thing to help with," she says to you.
Vrillak watches the milk flowing. "And could you drink it like so? Or did you have to cleanse it in some way?"
"Well, on earth, and other colony worlds, there are huge dairy farms," Aliyah says. "The cattle there don't get to graze in nice, clean pastures like ours did, so their milk goes through a process called pasturization, to make sure there's no harmful bacteria in it. But this is safe to drink just as it is. I used to drink it like this with breakfast, in fact, and right before bed, still warm and with the cream on top."
Vrillak nods. "That does sound rather appealing. So many humans like their drinks so ... cold."
Carey swivels her head to look at you as she finishes up. "Do Cardassians not drink cold things at all, then?"
"Well I wouldn't say not at all. But there's a definite preference for standing temperature or warm beverages, admittedly. Except in the hottest days of summer especially in the equatorial regions."
Carey nods and stands from the stool, setting the nearly full bucket aside. "Want to try with Violet over here?" She nods toward the other cow. Vrillak smiles. "I'll pass, my dear. I prefer observing."
Carey grinns. "Fair enough." She quickly finishes the milking and hefts the buckets, and leads the way back to the house. Dipping out two cups of the fresh, creamy milk, she offers you one.
Vrillak takes his cup and sips. Then he sips more appreciatively. "Excellent," he compliments.
Carey smiles. "I wish it were real," she says, drinking deeply of her own. "But this is as close to real as a replicator can get." Vrillak reaches out and caresses your hair.
"Do you like to swim?" Aliyah asks, smiling at you. "That was my other favorite thing...swimming in the pond out there." She gestures out the window.
Vrillak answers, "I do."
"Oh, good." She grins. "I made the water a touch warmer than it would otherwise be, just in case. And there are swimsuits in the master bedroom."
Vrillak heads that way. Finding swimming gear, he inspects it and then changes in front of you.
Carey finds her own and slips into it, folding her uniform on the bed. It's as modest as a swimsuit can be without being hideous.
Vrillak follows you out back. Finding the pond, he slips in.
Rather than just walking down the slope to the water, Aliyah clambers nimbly up onto a high rock. "Look out below!" she shouts, and springs into the air, diving toward the water.
Vrillak steps back so that you can enter the water, and he catches you in his arms.
Carey flails in surprise at being caught, then laughs and winds her arms and legs around you. "Warm enough?" she murmurs.
Vrillak murmurs in your ear, "always."
Carey lets go and treads water. "So, what do you think overall...the fourwheeler aside?"
Vrillak smiles. "Most pastural, my dear. Very quiet and scenic."
Carey leans back in the water, letting her hair, freed of its restraint, fan out around her in the blue-green water. "And very different from your urban upbringing," she observes with a smile. "I knew you were a city-dweller."
Vrillak smiles. "Most observant, my dear," he compliments.
Carey's smile turns to a grin. "I can't imagine you doing this, for instance." She takes a breath and dives underwater, all the way to the bottom of the pond, in fact. When she comes up again, she's holding a fistful of stringy, oozy, gooey muck from the bottom above her head. Streaks of it drip down her arm.
Vrillak looks with some mild distaste at the dredge in your hand. "Quite right, my dear," he says gamely.
Carey laughs and drops it back into the water. It separates and swirls slimily through the water near her as it settles back to the bottom. She shudders slightly, rinsing her arm. "We used to challenge each other to touch bottom when I was little. The rule was, you had to bring back a handful of that stuff to prove you could actually touch."
Vrillak smiles. "I see," he murmurs.
Carey checks that she doesn't have any traces of the mud remaining on her before she puts her arms around you again. "Overall, I prefer city, or station life. But now you know."
Vrillak kisses you deeply. "Thank you for showing me. Shall we?"
Carey returns your kiss as deeply and tenderly. "Mmm-hmm," she murmurs. Then, more clearly, "Computer, end program."