The Risky Business of Information (RP Log)
|05 Apr 2014|
Carey is standing outside Vrillak's shop, swiveling her head as if looking around, but with the blank stare of someone who is preoccupied or else just going through a motion with no clear intentions.
Carey blinks. "Huh? Oh!" She focuses her gaze finally. "Hi, Senka." She addresses you informally, noting your attire, and because she's also off duty and in civilian clothing, although her outfit can hardly be called informal.
Senka's gaze flicks over the nearest of the shops. "Did you have an unpleasantness with a merchant? You seem distracted."
"Unpleasantness? Oh, no, I was just...thinking." She smiles. "I think this is the first time I've ever seen you out of uniform, even off duty." Her smile becomes more genuine. "That's Katabban, isn't it?" she asks, pointing to the shirt.
Two Bajoran children race by in some sort of chasing game, the little girl shrieking as she chases the taller boy, who is carrying what can only be her doll by one arm. Aliyah steps smoothly in front of him, putting out her hands to gently but firmly catch him by the shoulders and keep him from plowing into her. "How about you give that back now?" she says calmly. Crestfallen, the youngster obliges, and both head toward a particular fruit vender at a more appropriate pace. She turns back to you as if nothing happened. "Sometimes the life of a shopkeeper looks so simple," she says with a smile that shows she's joking.
Senka raises an eyebrow. "How," he asks, puzzled, "does your observation about shopkeepers dovetail with your cautioning young humanoids?"
Carey starts to laugh. "It doesn't at all. But I know those kids. He's almost always unwatched and starting some kind of trouble, and he just loves to pick on her for some reason. The fruit-seller over there," she gestures, "is the little girl's mother.
"Actually," she adds, "to tell the perfect truth, there was some conversation at dinner the other night after you left that's left things...awkward, and my random thought was because that's what I was thinking about." She sighs. "It's sad. And probably my own fault."
Gesturing to a small table for two, he begins to lead the way. "Awkward in what sense?"
Carey follows you, grimacing. "Let's just say Vrillak is better at reading people than some telepaths I've known. But he was only able to read me so well because I gave him the information, partly at least without realizing it." Once again she's getting herself into a conversation probably better not had, but after your openness with her regarding Emily and Seryl, what else can she do but return it?
'I see," the Vulcan murmurs. Tilting his head, he probes a bit, "is he making unwelcome solicitations towards you, Miss Carey?"
Spots of pink appear in Aliyah's cheeks. She grips the back of the chair she was about to sit in and shakes her head. "No, no...nothing like that. And nothing related to the current...situation either. With the Cardassians, I mean. It's hard to explain and not important. I'm just...saddened to think that something may have come between his and my friendship." She finally sits, propping an elbow on the table and resting her chin on her hand, smoothing her skirt with the other hand.
Senka steeples his fingers. "As recent events have amply demonstrated, I know very little about the nature of emotions," he murmurs. "However, I have yet to hear anything that I would describe as potentially detrimental to a friendship."
"Oh, I'm sure he thinks the same thing, if he thinks of it at all," Aliyah says dryly. "May I ask you something? It's going to sound very blunt, but I don't mean it in a rude way. I'm honestly curious."
Senka says, "Please continue."
Carey lifts her head and meets your eyes. "Don't you get tired of this?" She gestures around, first to a patron bargaining with a vender, gesturing wildly as he proclaims with a heavy accent, "That eez redeekulous!" then to a mother hurrying by with a toddler who is clearly mid-tantrum over her shoulder (though this gesture is more discrete as she has no wish to embarrass the already flustered young woman by calling attention to her predicament), and finally to herself. "How can you stand it? All the emotion, all the time? Sometimes I can't even stand it, and I produce a ridiculous amount." She laughs a little. "I guess that's an absurd question, but I really am curious."
Senka shrugs one shoulder. "Unlike a Betazoid, I am not bombarded with the individual thoughts of passersby. I can sense the ... general gestalt of the passersby, attain general emotional or minor telepathic bits of data without making any effort as most Vulcans can. However, light mental shielding is sufficient for me in the presence of a largely non-telepathic station population."
Carey nods, taking this in. "You're a puzzle to me, still, though. I mean...how to put this..." She screws up her face in thought. "You've chosen to live by logic, and yet those you allow yourself to be close to are deeply emotional beings, either by nature or choice. And don't really shield that. I mean, I guess it just occurred to me that I was possibly about to bombard you with a lot of unwanted information if I actually explained the ridiculous situation I got into with Vrillak."
Senka considers you. "I do not perceive any ridiculous situation. And yes, you are correct. I am close to few Vulcans, in fact to none at present. Were the population of Vulcans here greater than it is, that might be different. Since it is not, I have forged my friendships with those with whom it was logical to do so, and as for their emotionality, I adhere to Surak's admonition to rejoice in our differences."
Carey smiles at you as you finish speaking and then is momentarily distracted by a soft chirp from her padd. She takes it out and reads the message it displays. "Neither does he, apparently," she murmurs. "And he sends his compliments to the doctor," she adds, looking up again.
Senka says, "Neither does who?"
Carey says, "Vrillak."
Senka says, "Ah. Then you appear to no longer have any difficulties. My compliments to Mr. Vrillak."
Carey smiles wryly but doesn't voice the thought behind it, if only that were true. "I'll pass them along. That was a clever bit of teamwork, verbally cornering me the other night, by the way." She grins, knowing it and acknowledging it for the joke it was. "I was impressed."
"There was no collusion," Senka deadpans.
Carey chuckles. "Oh, yes, there was. If it's ever essential for either one of you to win an argument just by talking, you should team up."
"I shall consider your advice," he deadpans again.
Carey grins again. "I won't give Vrillak the same advice. He'd take me up on it."
Senka says, "Would he indeed?"
Carey says, "Probably. And it would probably be in some unexpected way that would take everyone by surprise. I can't make him out sometimes...most of the time. He tells me he's cultivated such sharp people skills just by being a salesman. I don't believe it. I used to be a salesgirl of sorts, and a good one, if I do say so, but didn't pick up those kinds of skills until after I'd lived on Betazed for a while, and then only because I was trying to keep up with empath/telepaths.""
Senka says, "One supposes that it may depend upon what was being sold."
Carey's eyebrows arch slightly. "Yes...it would. I was thinking of clothing specifically, though."
Senka says, "It may also be that he is possessed of natural deductive skills to an unusual degree. That would certainly aid in his salesmanship."
Carey nods. "And allow him to play psychologist with amazing skill?"
Senka says, "Some would contend that sales is nothing except for applied psychology."
Carey smiles slightly. "That can be true. And often is, yes."
"Do you desire a romantic partnership with Mr. Vrillak, Miss Carey," the Vulcan asks guilelessly?
Carey stares at you for a minute with inscrutability almost worthy of Vulcan admiration. "I don't know," she finally says. She doesn't feel she's being teased now and has decided that if she is, she might as well dig the hole as deep as she can since she already can't get out of it.
Senka nods. "I would not pursue such things with undue haste,' he murmurs, "if, that is, I may proffer any advice. You recognize that you do not know him, nor do you know his situation to any degree that would make such a pursuit logical. Is that accurate?"
Carey nods. "I have no intention of pursuing anything. For the reasons you point out and because I simply don't know how."
Senka steeples his fingers. "By your latter statement, do you mean to suggest that you are unfamiliar with the courtship rituals of humans?"
Carey chuckles a little. "Yes, and no."
Senka asks, "How, yes and no? They are mutually exclusive alternatives."
Carey grins, but her eyes are sad. "Only on the surface. I'm familiar with the most...obvious ones, yes. It's hard to miss them. And I think most women make absolute fools of themselves using them, too. I mean, why is playing hard to get a good idea? If someone did that with me, I would assume he had no interest and try not to even give it another thought. But then, I'm unfamiliar with them in the sense that none of my knowledge is firsthand."
Senka nods. "I see," he murmurs.
Carey nods. "So...I wouldn't try. I mean, I never have. And because if I did, and it went wrong, I'd never even know. Major potential for humiliation there. Besides. Now we have all this nice pretty yellow lighting," she adds sarcastically. "I really don't believe he has anything to do with whatever their issue is, but even still..."
You are," Senka clarifies, "further disinclined to find him trustworthy because he may be connected with the events in the Valo system?"
Carey shakes her head. "No, actually. Which is probably illogical. But..." She hesitates, then continues in a quieter voice. "I once trusted too easily and regretted it for the next five years. I still regret it now, in a way. It did give me some instincts about that sort of thing that are usually good, though. I have no doubt Vrillak is skilled at...misdirection if he wants to be. But I believe he doesn't have anything to do with that based on recent conversations."
Senka nods. "Well enough. Otherwise, I would have had to contend that it would be illogical to mistrust an individual who happens to be Cardassian merely because there are strategic difficulties involving the Cardassian military at present."
Carey smiles her usual, open, genuine smile. "I think that, too."
"And yet," Senka muses, "The Cardassians as a people appear to be mistrusted by many, perhaps as encapsulated in the person of Mr. Vrillak."
Carey nods, her face softening into thoughtfulness. "Yes. I think it's very unfair. But...maybe I'm predisposed to be more trusting. The first and only Cardassian I knew before I met Vrillak was very kind to me. She saved my life, literally and figuratively."
"May I ask under what circumstances?"
Carey nods slowly. "I wouldn't like to discuss it out here, though." She glances toward a few children, among them the boy and girl she stopped from fighting earlier, playing nearby in sight of their parents eating together at another table.
Senka nods. "I understand.
Carey is seated at a small table across from Senka. They have apparently been talking and she is just about to rise from her chair.
"Ah, my dear doctor," Vrillak calls out as he crosses towards you. "And Aliyah. You'd almost think we've done this before." The Cardassian is smiling a relaxed smile. He carries a couple of parcels in his hands.
Senka gestures that the Cardassian would be welcome.
Carey grins. "Almost, you would. I got your note. Did you have a good trip?"
"I did. Aelia was looking for a few things, and since she's helping me with inventory, I ran over to Remi Saatchi's shop on the Kingdom of Eden Station."
Senka simply observes the conversation for now.
"Ah." Aliyah nods and smiles. "I hope to make it over there sometime, too."
"It's an interesting station. Remi sells bags and jewelry here and clothing and jewelry there, it seems," Vrillak offers, tucking the larger parcel under one arm.
Carey pats her satchel. "This came from her shop here. I like it much better than a standard-issue duffle."
Vrillak nods. "I know it did," he murmurs, leaving no doubt that he probably recognized it the moment he saw it on you.
Carey grins. "You're observant."
Vrillak nods. "Yes, I am," he says quietly. Then he adds, "It comes in handy in sales."
"Have you always sold clothing, Mr. Vrillak?"
Vrillak says, "No, my dear doctor. I was once a farmer. I used to harvest the raw materials, but I find I prefer selling the end products."
Carey waits to see what Senka makes of this.
"Indeed," Senka murmurs. "There is a wide variety of product to suit a wide variety of clientele, I am sure."
Vrillak nods. "How very true," he enthuses. "What's suitable for an Andorian businessman will be abhorrent to a Telarite sty mate."
Carey folds her hands in her lap, leaning back in her chair. "Quite," she says, not letting a hint of the fact that she thinks he's going overboard show on her face.
Vrillak nods, smiling. "Yes," he murmurs. "Very exacting people, Uridians. Punctual and precise in every way. I would think that as a Vulcan, you'd appreciate those qualities."
"Punctuality and precision are most logical traits to cultivate," the Vulcan officer agrees. "A curious oddity, Sir. Are you perhaps aware of the commodity most prized among Uridian merchants?"
Carey's eyes move back and forth between her two friends with interest.
"Well, I do know they make excellent fleece, but what are you referring to," the Cardassian asks?
Senka considers the Cardassian tailor. "Uridian merchants,' he murmurs, "pride themselves on their ability to traffic in information," he offers. "They consider information a most prized commodity."
"Is that so," Vrillak asks? "Yes, I suppose I can see where information would be valuable."
"I remember them now," Aliyah says suddenly. "And, yeah, they prize information above all else."
Senka nods. "Indeed," he murmurs.
"Well, I'm sure I've never had any information that a Uridian would find valuable, not unless he prizes knowing how to sheer a vrell. Now that, I could tell him all about. Or carding Katarian wool, perhaps. Beyond that," Vrillak chuckles. "I wouldn't know useful information if it bit me."
"Reeeally," Aliyah murmurs, her tone making it plain that here is something else she doesn't believe.
"My dear," the Cardassian murmurs with a smile. 'You're not ... intimating something, are you?"
Carey says, "Oh, yes. You would definitely know it if it bit you. You'd know it if it didn't, too. In fact, you know, I was just about to tell Senka here about the first Cardassian I ever met. I bet if I gave you details, you could tell me, eventually, what her name was and the circumstances she and I met under."
Senka raises an eyebrow, watching.
Vrillak bows to Carey. "My dear Aliyah, you do me entirely too much credit," he says.
Carey grins. "I don't. I do you too little, probably."
Vrillak says, "Entirely too much. I am a tailor, a humble tailor just trying to find a place for himself in the wide cosmos."
Carey shoots Senka a meaningful look.
Senka raises an eyebrow, not getting it, it seems.
Carey shrugs and shakes her head. "Let's put my credit to the test, shall we?"
Vrillak says, "In what way?"
Carey smiles. "Well, in, say, a week or a month or so...why don't you tell me about Allison Wright. She visited Cardassia II in...let's see, it would have been July, I think, of 2411. Her stay was in a medical center, but I don't know which one. I'm sure you'll have no problem locating it. She was there because, allegedly, she'd been in a fight with a Klingon. That should be obscure enough to test your skills but readily available enough that you have a chance, even if you know nothing about gathering information."
"But why," the Cardassian asks, still smiling, "would you even think I could find this information. And why would I myself want to do so?"
Carey shrugs, still with that serene smile. "Maybe you wouldn't want to. That's up to you."
Vrillak says, "but why would you even want me to? Why do you even think I can do this?""
"Those are valid questions,” the Vulcan puts in.
Carey shrugs again. "Well, information can be a minefield or a goldmine," she says cryptically. "And...maybe someone wants some of that information."
"And this someone believes, quite erroneously, that I can obtain it for them," the Cardassian asks culturedly?
Carey grins. "I believe you can. But maybe I'm not the one in search of it. I never said, you know."
"Interesting games you like to play, Aliyah," Vrillak comments. He looks amused.
Senka continues watching the conversation.
Carey breaks down and laughs. "I think so, too," she says.
Vrillak smiles. "You should be careful what you ask for, my dear." He stands and moves towards his shop. Unobtrusively, seemingly out of nowhere, or at least neither of you sees how it's done, a piece of flimsy ends up on the table in front of Carey. It's folded so that whatever's written upon it can't be read.
Carey blinks, then smiles admiringly at the bit of sleight-of-hand. She takes the paper and peeks at it.
- The writing appears to be printed in a standard form and appears, moreover, to be a copy of a copy, but still readable. The paper reads as follows.
- ***Official certificate of Death***
- I, Devanani Rasmuason, Warden of Rawk Prison, do hereby attest that the execution by firing squad of the being known to us as Alouicious Antonis Bailey, hereafter known as the condemned, was carried out at dusk on the date proscribed. The condemned stood accused and convicted of fraud, grand larceny and of kidnapping of a minor. Sentence was passed and has been realized in accordance with the statutes and decrees of the Deneb Assembly. Signed, Devanani Rasmuason, Warden, Rawk Prison, Deneb V. Standard Galactic Date: June 27, 2419.***.
Meanwhile, Vrillak is still heading for his shop and doesn't look back at your table.
Carey's jaw drops as her eyes move over the paper. As she takes in the words, the color drains from her face. She rereads it, now turning from pale to grey, and barely able to focus on the print because her hands are trembling. Bursts of emotion so strong that they might be felt by Senka even through his mental shielding emanate from her, intense but none encompassing any clear feeling. She sways where she sits and leans quickly forward, laying her head on her arms, her whole body visibly shaking.
"Ensign," Senka says a bit sharply. His med scanner starts whirring.
Carey clutches the edge of the table so hard that her knuckles turn white. For the moment, though, she is too shocked to answer or reassure you. Her breathing and heart rate are elevated, but otherwise she displays only the effects of a shock, perhaps one still running its course.
Taking the paper, Senka's eyes scan it quickly. "Is this a relative, Miss Carey?" His eyes track the withdrawing Cardassian.
Without raising her head, Aliyah murmurs, "Relative?" Then she starts to laugh, wildly, hysterically. "Relative? Oh no. No," she gasps between spasms of half laughter, half sobs.
"Ensign. Breathe deeply. Attempt to calm yourself." Senka watches you.
Carey at least tries to listen this time, pulling in a ragged breath, pushing it out too quickly, repeating. She is obviously familiar with deep breathing and is trying, but having difficulty slowing her breathing down enough to achieve the desired effect. "I think...I should get out of here," she says, still in that shaky, abstracted way. Depending on how much attention Senka is paying and his own mental shielding, it may or may not be obvious that she is dissociating almost completely at this moment.
"Return to your quarters, Miss Carey." After a beat Senka adds, "That is an order. I will assist you if needed."
The door leading to Vrillak's Finest Clothiers slides open.
Vrillak leaves for Vrillak's Finest Clothiers.
The door leading to Vrillak's Finest Clothiers slides closed.
Carey stands carefully, clinging to the table with both hands for support. The tremors are subsiding, but still strong enough that she makes the entire small table shake just by holding onto it.
Senka reaches out a hand and supports you, not something he'd normally do, but it beats letting you collapse to the deck.
Carey is present enough by now to be red from neck to forehead. "I'm so sorry," she whispers, reaching out to open the door as her vision blurs with tears.
Senka shakes his head, stolidly escorting you inside."
- Quarters C206 [Deep Space 9]
- << Yellow Alert >>
- These living quarters are very simple, but tastefully decorated in quiet, calming colors. The soft carpet underfoot is a cool, deep blue. The main room is furnished with a short sofa and matching arm chair, both in soft grey and adorned with pillows that match the carpet, with a side table made of some dark, glossy wood between them. In the back, a simple desk holding a compact computer terminal is tucked into a well-lit alcove, ready to be used at any time of the day or night. To the right is another alcove, this one holding a table, two chairs, and a food replicator. A small blue china vase graces the center of the table, the colorful flowers it contains seeming to pop in their muted surroundings. To the left, a door leads to the sleeping quarters, which look more lived-in than the rest of the apartment. A double bed covered with a soft, sage green comforter occupies the wall opposite the door. Next to it is a short dresser with a few folded articles of clothing and a small blue leather instrument case on top, along with a holograph of an elderly Betazoid woman with silver-white hair curling on her shoulders and a shorter, younger Carey with their arms around each other, gazing out of the past with serene smiles. At the foot of the bed, a sonic shower is separated from the rest of the room by a curtain that matches the comforter on the bed.
Carey arrives from Habitat Ring - Section C2.
Carey reaches out toward the nearest piece of furniture, which happens to be the sofa, and sinks onto it with none of her usual grace. The long skirt of her dress is a hindrance, but she barely notices that she's partially entangled in it. She leans sideways on to arm of the sofa and closes her eyes, face still burning with shame.
Carey to her quarters.
Senka examines you. "Jestral tea, extra strong," he tells the replicator. Placing the cup and saucer on your side table, the Vulcan watches you.
Carey rubs at her wet eyes with her knuckles like a child. "I'm so sorry," she murmurs again, her voice cracking. "I mean...thank you..." She finally manages to take a few proper deep breaths, and with them, the trembling subsides further, though it may take up to an hour to completely stop. She sits up slowly and reaches for the cup, resting her hand on it for a moment before she trusts herself to pick it up.
Senka nods. "Do you require further assistance, Miss Carey?"
Carey sips her tea, clutching the cup tightly in both hands. "The paper," she says, looking up at you. "It shouldn't be left out in the open."
Senka is holding it in his left hand, having swiped it from the table while assisting you. "Do you desire it? Or I can destroy it as you prefer."
Carey dares to let go of the cup with one hand, which she extends. "I'd like to have it, please," she says faintly. "I can't believe it's real. This can't be."
Senka places it in your hand. "May I assume," he asks neutrally, "that Mr. Vrillak obtained this information without your knowledge?"
Carey swallows hard and nods. "He knew about...about him, though. From me, I mean. I...I told him. I just...didn't think..." She shakes her head. "I think he meant to help. It does help. I mean, it will help." She clutches the paper in her hand as if to prove its existence to herself.
Senka asks, "You do not desire to attempt to file charges of invasion of privacy, then? Though if he obtained the information from a valid source ..."
Carey blinks at you in confusion. "Charges?"
Senka says, "If he invaded your privacy ... though it seems he may not have done so."
Carey shakes her head. "No...no. Some warning might have been nice. It's...a little hard, you know, to go from half expecting that someone like...that might eventually come to find you, to comprehending that he's gone. Completely." She waves the hand holding the paper a little wildly. "But it wasn't an invasion of privacy."
Senka nods. "I understand. Shall I leave you, then?"
Carey appears to nod, but keeps her head half bowed. "Thank you. And I *am* sorry," she murmurs.
"There is no need," he murmurs as he exits.