On the Menu (RP Log)
- Quarters B103 [Deep Space 9]
- In layout these officers' quarters appear like those of any other quarters in this part of the Habitat Ring. Particularly noticeable are the floor to ceiling windows in the sitting room which offer a view of the stars rotating as the station turns on its axis. Several pieces have replaced the standard furnishings and color scheme, among them a handmade pair of Vulcan-designed side tables that sit on either end of a Betazoid-designed sectional sofa. you see a stone slab suitable for a single adult male of average height in one corner of the sitting room, while a small display case holding several traditional Vulcan ceremonial weapons, among them a senapa, a lirpa, and an ahn-woon, stands in another corner. Several paintings adorn the walls, the centerpiece being a masterful reproduction of Marc Chagall's Adam and Eve's Expulsion From Paradise. A cooking console and storage cabinets line one wall. Through the bedroom door, you see a standard-issue bed and clothing racks containing dress uniforms and civilian clothing. From what you can see, the bedroom is neat and fastidious.
The door leading to Out slides open.
Alkris arrives from Habitat Ring - Section B1.
The door leading to Out slides closed.
Senka has been working at his cooking console. He's finishing laying out an aray of jumbo Vulcan mollusks and Krala, a type of Vulcan bread. A bottle of Vulcan brandy stands waiting on the countertop.
Alkris enters with arms full of boxes the smell is likely to be unpleasant to those who are unaccustomed to it. She approaches the dining area and places the boxes on the table.
Senka turns to you and raises a hand in the Vulcan salute. He speaks in Standard, though his words have a ceremonial feel. "I welcome you to my home. Take of me fire and water, and to you I extend guest right."
Alkris raises a single brow, confused about what she is experiencing but she continues to open the boxes revealing a selection of Klingon delicacies, the more bearable ones anyway. She parts her lips slightly thinking how to reply, "This is a Vulcan tradition?" She enquires as she stops and looks toward him with a graceful bow of her head.
Looking at you, Senka explains calmly, "It is rarely observed. To extend an offer of fire and water is an ancient symbolic gesture of hospitality. It once had a practical meaning, as you would be offering your guest shelter and refreshment on our desert world. Guestright is a concept as ancient. When it was an actual law on Vulcan, some 2 millennia ago, the statute required the host who extended the right to stand surity for the conduct of his guest. He was responsible for his guest's actions and his guest's debts, to the point that should his guest commit a crime worthy of death, he, the hoast, must offer his life in lou of seeing his guest executed. However, he also became responsible for protecting his guest, even including and up to offering his life in his or her defense."
Alkris lifts her head slightly as she listens to his explaination. "That is most honourable of you," She begins as she steps away from the table, her jinaq now fastened around her neck, "So I am your responsibility now?"
Senka nods. "As long as you remain in my quarters, my life answers in your defense. That is correct. Not," he adds, 'that I expect any form of attack whatsoever. It is a ceremonial honor, unless the station were boarded, for example. That is vanishingly unlikely."
Alkris lowers her chin again with a quiet laugh, "Stranger things have happened Sen-ka." She answers as she moves toward him surveying his offerings. "I am honoured none the less." She adds.
Senka carries the mollusks and the bread over to the table, adding it to the buffet you've set out. He pours you a glass of the potent brandy and places it in your hand. "What have you brought, Alkris?"
Alkris moves back to the table, "There is a selection of the more ... favourable Klingon foods. Gladst," She gestures to a brown leafy box open and covered in a sauce, "Pipius claw," her hand moves on to something that would resemble a two clawed chicken foot, "Krada," She taps the edge of a box which contains small pairs of roasted legs similar to the french frogs legs. "Heart of Targ and a selection of Gagh." She explains as her fingers curl around the back of a chair, "There is also Zilm'kach." She smiles faintly toward a punnet of elongated looking apricots.
Senka nods. "Is there any ceremony or ritual that we should undertake, or shall we begin to eat." He points to what he's set out. "These mollusks are a delicacy from the Greater Sea on Vulcan. Following the planet's destruction by the Borg, they were cloaned and reintroduced on several colony worlds. And this," to the bread, "is a staple bread found at almost any Vulcan meal. They were the dishes I thought you would find most to your liking."
Alkris shakes her head gently, "We drink and eat in good company, you have music?" She suggests pulling out a chair and sitting before tearing into the bread with a grin.
"Computer," Senka calls out. "Access Klingon cultural archives." He then instructs the computer to begin playing selections from a Klingon opera of the late 23rd century, one that would be known to any Klingon with any sense of their own culture's history. "I have indeed," he murmurs. Considering the selections before him, he reaches first for the gladst.
Alkris tears a bite from the chunk of bread with her teeth, accessing the flavour before removing her blade from its sheath to slice into the heart. She lays a piece of targ on her bread and rumbles approvingly, she wondered if she should use cutlery hesitating as she finishes her mouthful. "Maj, we have done well. A feast worthy of the finest warriors."
Finishing his gladst, Senka reaches for a mollusk and a wriggling gagh. The mollusk, he eats in short order. He regards the gagh impassively. "Do I kill it first," he asks?
Alkris raises her brows at Senka and his choice, "You chew or swallow." She explains, she collects a fork and dips into the small selection of Gagh, some fall from the fork before they reach her mouth but she lowers it and removes the fork. She chews before swallowing and follows it with a bite of the bread before looking over the brandy.
Suspecting this to be a test, Senka's gaze remains on you as he impassively places the gagh in his mouth, bites it in half, chews and swallows. That the damned thing is the most revolting thing he's ever eaten may be true, but it doesn't show on his face or in his voice as he replies, having swallowed, "Indeed." he takes another.
Alkris chuckles to herself, "Once is enough Sen-ka." She smirks, "This isn't a test, it is a selection of items that would compose a feast." She states, her eyes fall to a single unopened box. "Would you do the honour?" She asks, inside is a fresh octopus and a small dish of dark salt laiden liquor similar to soy.
Taking the box in his hands, Senka opens it, revealing the squidlike creature and the salty liquor. Removing both, he sets the box aside and begins pouring the liquor over the octapus. Whereas a human might cry out in shock and possibly drop the liquor when the octapus begins to spasm and wriggle, Senka's hand remains steady and his face doesn't change expression in the slightest. Having finished, he slides it to you so that you can have first choice.
Blade in hand Alkris bows her head to him, she divides the creature in two casting aside the inedible parts. A feast reminded her of home and her brothers, or brother. She felt invigourated as she collects a mollusk, placing it in her mouth with a chew and swallow.
Senka begins eating the half of the creature passed to him. "Computer," he says after a bite, "Access Vulcan musical archives. T'Saya's Journey." The sounds of three harps and clashing percussion replace the Klingon operatics. A soltry-sounding alto begins singing in Old High Vulcan.
Alkris' smirk turns to a smile, it feels unusual to her but she embraces it. She takes another bite of the bread as she watches him, with her fork she collects some gladst and delicately pulls the fork from her closed lips. Setting the cutlery down and her blade she lifts the glass of potent brandy and sniffs once but sharply. The glass touches her lips, she draws in a mouthful and a satisfied AHH erupts from her as she leans back in her seat.
Senka sips his own brandy between bites of the octapus. "What is that device you wear," he asks, pointing to your jinaq. "I have not seen it before."
Slowly Alkris lowers the glass from her lips letting it linger and savouring the taste, "It is a Jinaq," she begins to explain. "It is passed on by mothers to their daughters as a sign of being worthy to mate."
Senka nods. "What criteria make a Klingon woman worthy to mate?"
"She will have begun jak'tahla, a Klingon form of puberty. There is growth that enables her to birth a child. My mother is Mistress of our house, Ma'al, she is responsible to agreeing to marriages for those within the house. She has high standards." Alkris explains with a sneer, she held little feeling for her mother. "I completed my first Rite of Ascension, MajQa and enlisted in Starfleet before she deemed me worthy."
Senka says, "And now, do you look to her for approval of your next mate, or do you make your own selection regardless of her opinion?"
Alkris watches him with an incline of her head, "Once Jinaq is bestowed it cannot be taken back." She states.
Senka nods. "Meaning that you are both free to make your own choice and expected to choose wisely," Senka interprets. After a beat and the last bite of his liquor-laden octapus, Senka asks, "Now then, what would you like know of myself and my own people, Alkris?"
Alkris pauses a moment in thought before picking up her blade and slicing the Cephalopod into neat ribbons, she lays it aside and collects her fork after adding a moulusk and some more bread. "You mentioned a bondmate, is that some kind of mental bond?" She asks before eating with a little more decorum.
Taking up some of the targ hart and the pipius claw along with another couple of mollusks, Senka nods. "Indeed it is. Vulcans are touch telepaths. At one time, it was traditional to betroth children at the age of 7, who would then marry when they reached maturity. Over the last 120 years and particularly following the Borg destruction of Vulcan, this tradition of childhood became somewhat less prevalent. My parents did not elect it." He has a hard time with the pipius claw, finally managing it. In the background, another Vulcan selection plays, a powerful tenor voice filling the room as a background counterpoint to the conversation. "I bonded as an adult approximately 18 months ago. That bond was severed by a telepathic attack, and we had not rebonded given the psychological consequences that needed to be coped with. However, you ask in general terms." More gladst and some bread. "The bond links mates in a telepathic connection that enhances both communication and intimacy," he concludes his explanation.
Alkris nods gently as she continues to eat between the occasional mouthful of brandy, "You mentioned you were thinking about trying to rekindle your affairs with this bondmate, she is a Vulcan crewman?" She asks candidly with a raise of a brow before leaning forward to sample some more of the imported Gagh.
"More accurately," Senka replies, "she is half Vulcan half Betazoid and raised on earth. You are correct, however. I had been considering it. She also, though she was also attempting to decide whether a certain Terran officer would have made a more suitable mate. An unfavorable situation. It will not happen, however, and she is affecting a transfer."
Alkris raises both brows after the mention of a transfer, "Has she made her choice, the Terran officer I would assume?" She sniffs quietly finishing the last of her Brandy. "It will be her loss, there must be many a woman who would jump at the chance of an honourable, talented doctor such as yourself." Her words are more indicative of her Starfleet service than her race. "What is it those Terran's say? There are plenty more fish in the sea?"
Senka shrugs. "Her choice is irrelevant. She can be with neither of us as we are both serving officers here. I believe her transfer is being sought to place distance between her and the situation." He sips his brandy. "The situation is what it is. I will eventually choose a mate when a logical opportunity and choice presents itself."
"Indecisive," Alkris states her opinion clearly, she is sated for the moment, "You mentioned other Vulcan drinks, may I sample those?" Again her fleet curiousity surfaces to question new tastes.
Standing, Senka pours a couple of small glasses for you. One is a winelike beverage, the other, a strong port. Setting each before you, he resumes his seat and begins sampling the Zilm'kach.
Alkris nods appreciatively, "Thank you." Carefully she lifts the glass containing the winelike substance sniffing it before taking a sip, "It is rare to find someone so understanding of someone like me, it is a shame that our paths didn't cross earlier in our careers."
"Why do you say so," he asks curiously. As you finish off the little glasses of port and wine and the last of the main dishes disappears, Senka takes it upon himself to divide the Zilm'kach between you. He adds a small selection of Vulcan spicecakes and places a pot of Vulcan spiced tea on the table, pouring a cup for each of you.
"A long standing friend such as yourself may have saved me from the events that unfolded." Alkris explains as she picks up a spicecake and examines it before taking a bite.
Senka says, "You refer to your assault upon another officer, specifically?"
Alkris shrugs a little, "I was career driven and tried to balance this with the demands of a Klingon house, I lost so much because I didn't turn to anyone when I suffered. Drex could only help so much." She explains before taking another bite, she finishes before speaking again. "He did well and I couldn't have asked for more from him, he gave me everything."
Senka nods. "And here you are, presented with fresh opportunities. Your culture and mine share one thing in common. We do not reflect often on past mistakes except in so far as understanding those errors enable us to make better and more logical choices in future. Is this not so, Alkris?" Another bite and a sip of his tea.
Alkris raises her glass of port toward him, "To the future and may your blood scream loudly." She grins with an incline of her head.
"Depending on what happens to it, it may," he murmurs, draining his port and reaching for his tea. "I find it regretable that your family declared you an outcast based on a single assault. There are portions of your culture's honor ethic that I find difficult to comprehend, Alkris."
Alkris raises her brows but gives no verbal response. "What is your plan now that you have 'lost' your mate?" She changes the subject.
Taking another piece of zilm'kach, Senka raises an eyebrow. "I will attend to my duties. There is no other choice I can see that would be logical."
Alkris laughs softly as she eats a zilm'kach and removes the stone from her mouth, placing it into an empty box. "That is a given." She states, "Do you see yourself trying again? I didn't think I would need to wear my Jinaq again, not before we had children and the rest of it."
"There are several key differences," Senka replies. "You and your mate were married and of long standing. You had every reason to suppose a permanent indefinite arrangement as long as you should remain alive. Emily and I were not yet married when our bond was severed, and we had not renewed our bond when this difficulty arose. Therefore, in answer to your question, certainly I shall make another attempt at the right time. There is no logical reason why I should foresware a bondmate indefinitely," he murmurs, sipping his tea.
Alkris nods gently and finishes her spicecake before eating another zilm'kach, "Then I wish you all the best with that." She wets her lips a moment as she watches him, "The pendulum blade you had, was it weighted?" She asks curiously.
"The circumstances are what they are. She will doubtless choose another mate, and I will have to as well," he says logically. Standing, he crosses to the weapons case and takes down the lirpa. "Strictly speaking, it is not a blade in the way that a mek'leth is a blade." He shows you the staff, the blade on one end, the heavy metal weight on the other. "It can function as either blade or blunt instrument or both. And by klingon standards, it is not terribly burdensome. You could wield it with only moderate effort." He turns it over in his hands.
Alkris sits, knowing she shouldn't be playing with weaponry after surgery, especially so soon. "Perhaps that should be our next challenge." She suggests with an incline of her head, she pours herself a tea and sniffs it before sipping.
Senka places the weapon back in its case. He takes his seat across from you. "Indeed. We have found some common cultural ground between us: the combat training, certain notions of honorable conduct. I think, however, it would be potentially as illuminating for us to explore those areas where our cultures differ sharply. Logic versus emotional response. You may find the reason my people chose the way of logic to be interesting. Reason and discourse versus honor combat as a means of conflict resolution. The discussions are likely to prove ... intriguing."
Alkris laughs softly, "I am more than combat, drink and honour." She answers with a grin and a raise of her brows, "Vulcan logic ... so where do we begin?"
"Indeed, you are," he says in reply to your first comment. "I commend you for not displaying the contempt for intellect that I have encountered in a number of other Klingons. Indeed, it seems that to some Klingons, the only species more detestable than my own are the humans and the Telarites. I find it encouraging that you do not share this view." THis is delivered in a light, conversational tone as he sips his tea.
Alkris nods again, "Prejudices frustrate me as you may be able to tell." She wets her lips, "I know K'mpok would never have faced a doctor if he was in my situation, but then he has never suffered in the way I have." She explains with a quiet sigh.
Senka shrugs one shoulder. "I have only met Lieutenant K'mpok three times in the line of duty," he says. "To summarize our history in brief, my people were once an impassioned race who gave free vent to their emotions, like many peoples still do including yours. However, whereas most species find a balance and its members learn to coexist with a reasonable degree of peace, mine did not. My world has known more ward per capita than most others, and the only response we could devise was to choose to control our emotions, to master our passions. This has led to the widespread myth that we have no emotions. It is not so. We do have them, but we almost destroyed ourselves because of them. Hence, our decision, made both societally and individually, to control them."
"It is evident from our time together that this is not the case, have you laughed before? Out loud? Is it not something you have felt the urge to do? I imagine that on a more intimate scale your more loving nature would be unusual to see." Alkris admits honestly, "You tend to hear more about the unstable ones than the ones within their cultural limits, I use that word 'limits' as a measurable scale than a supposedly derrogative term."
Senka considers you. "My emotional control is average for a Vulcan. Some have more refined control, particularly anyone who has successfully complited Kolinahr, the total purging of emotion. It is a discipline that few undertake. As for laughter, I have not laughed since I was a child and just learning emotional control."
Alkris raises her brows and inclines her head toward him, "Since you were a child?" She repeats back, "I suppose you don't know any other way, it is something you have practiced since childhood." She explains to herself, "It is getting late, we have feasted well and learnt much. I have enjoyed my evening with you."
Offering you a brief bow of the head, he answers, "I am who I am." A quirk of one eyebrow. "That does not make me incapable of discussing my emotions or, on extremely rare occasions, of allowing myself to display them." He stands. "You will continue to rest for your proscribed week. After that time, we can arrange your introduction to the lirpa," a nod to the weapon.
Alkris grins slightly as she stands, "Yes Doctor." She states, "Thank you Sen-ka, I appreciate what you have done for me."
Senka raises an eyebrow. "You have spent too much time around humans," he observes in a tone that you may recognize as gentle teasing. "Your appreciation is obvious, or you would not be here. True?"
Alkris sniffs, "You are right, I will see that is corrected." She bows her head and makes her way out.
"Live long, and prosper, daughter of Nmak."
The door leading to Out slides open.
Alkris leaves for Habitat Ring - Section B1.
The door leading to Out slides closed.