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The Russian and The Borg (Backlog)

Posted on Sat Nov 24th, 2018 @ 9:35am by Lieutenant Commander Jael Steiger & Ensign Day Smith

Mission: Spoilt Settlers
Location: Crew Lounge

The Russian was taking advantage of the generous offer of hospitality and a free ride back to his and his people’s home. So much so that he practically lived in the crew lounge, enjoying meeting the rather interesting crew of the Centaurus. His people enjoyed themselves as well, feeling less alone in the galaxy after being pushed out of their careers by rather unsightly Starfleet brass.

Today was no different.

Filling up a good portion of the lounge tables, The Russian and his group circled around the game of Tongo (the wheel was specially created by one of the female Engineering officers aboard, and The Russian’s new crush of the day) and tossed in their credits and rounds of drinks if they were short any.

Over the past few days, it had been a little more crowded in the crew lounge than Day liked. Their engineer had even set up a tongo wheel at the centre of the room. People gathering around it and making ill-advised investments on weak hands.

She happened to catch a glance at the current state of the board let out a heavy sigh when someone upped the stakes. Heading for the exit she thought it wouldn't be any harm to help one of them out, she walked closely by the Russian, "Confront" it was not as subtle as you would expect but it was quiet enough not to cause a ruckus.

The Russian scoffed at the suggestion coming from his side, “Confront? You’re crazy, Sweethea-,” he did a double take as he saw where the voice came from. A very uniquely beautiful woman was standing next to him, her eyes focused on the wheel in front of them. His lips tilted up in peaked curiosity as the poised woman kept her focus away from him. “Alright, confront!” He tossed in his credits as the wheel settled on matching his cards, giving him a victory over his opponents. As the grumbles and tossing of cards echoed underneath his cheer of excitement, The Russian turned back to Day and gave her a smile and a nod. “What’s your name, Sweetheart?”

There was a moment of excitement in Day as the wheel landed where she had expected it to. The others didn't seem as impressed as the guy she had helped. She wanted to make a hasty exit when she realised that the question was aimed at her, "my name is Day. I should go." She pointed at the door but hesitated in her step.

The Russian shook his head quickly as he gently grabbed onto Day's upper arm before she could make a break for it. "Oh no, you're my little whiz kid, Miss Day. You're not going anywhere!" He gave the dealer time to reset the board as he felt the shyness emanate from his new teammate. "So, what's your story, Miss Day? Besides helping random strangers win back their hard earned credits?"

The excitement turned to a bit of anxiety as he grabbed her by the arm, "No story. I'm the Chief of Science." She gently pulled her arm free of the man's grasp and looked at the board as it was reset. "We used to play this back..." She hesitated a moment, "home." The doctors thought it was a good idea to train their social skills and commercial insights. She never really got either of those.

The Russian's smile dropped slightly as she stiffened at his touch. He quickly dropped his hand to the table. "I apologize if I overstepped my bounds, Miss Day. Sometimes I'm a little too intense upon first meeting. You should've seen the look on Steiger's face the first time I called her 'Sweetheart'... I thought she was gonna rip my heart out of my chest and eat it in front of me!" He let out a chuckle in hopes to ease the awkwardness that had built up between them. "I would like to grab you a drink, that is if you don't mind?" She intrigued him, especially as she was feeling torn about whether to stay or run for the hills. "You got a good story, Miss Day. I can tell."

"We all have stories, mister..." Day realised he hadn't introduced himself yet. "It's just that I'm not really much of a storyteller." She saw someone give up their seat for her, though she hadn't realised anyone asked them to do so. She sat herself down next to the rather intense man and looked at the board. "Ferengi like to pretend this is all about business acumen, while it's nothing more than simple statistics."

The Russian looked down at her as he took his own seat next to her. "Simple statistics to you, maybe," The Russian's boyish smile returned, "but not for a dumb ape like me." The Russian was no dumb ape but he kept his true skills hidden from somewhat innocent-appearing women he had only just met. "But, also, I've learned to never trust a Ferengi when there's latinum on the line. Learned my lesson on a trip to Fereginar a number of years ago. Think you could help me learn a new thing or two? I promise I'll repay for your time."

"We do not work for our own financial gain. We work for the betterment of the species." It was not someone that said this from the bottom of her heart or truly believed in this philosophy. It was clear that it was something that was taught to her and she was simply reciting it. "Have you familiarised yourself with the rules of acquisition?" Day leaned forward and looked at the Tongo wheel, it was a very nicely made one, she could see a lot of effort was put into it to make it. "Ferengi are very trustworthy if you take into account their motivations. You can always trust a Ferengi to chase the latinum."

The Russian couldn’t help but let out a loud chuckle. The girl was trying hard to be something she wasn’t, but he couldn’t figure out who that was or why. He was only going to be on the ship for another day and would need far more time to figure out the puzzle that is Miss Day. While he wasn’t looking for that type of conquest, he made it his new goal to break this woman out of her shell a bit. “I have, or at least I thought I was familiar with their ideologies. I guess I have a lot to learn from you, Miss Day.” He then turned to his friend who had passed him on the way to the bar. “Can you grab me a beer, amigo?” He then looked at Day, “What’re ya drinkin’, Miss Day?”

"I would like a Lemon iced tea, please." Day smiled, she never really liked the taste of alcohol and the fact that it made lose control of her sensibilities reminded her a bit too much of the feeling of losing control of her autonomy.

The Russian gave her a wink. “And a lemon iced tea for the lady.” As the friend gave him a nod, The Russian leaned back a bit in his seat. “Where’d you learn so much about the Ferengi, Miss Day?”

"We studied a lot of cultures." Day was really not comfortable discussing her entire lifetime in the institute with someone she just barely met. "Acquire." She pointed at the Tongo wheel, forgetting for a moment to cover up the Borg tech on her hand.

The Russian’s eyes moved to her sudden movement, but kept his mouth shut. There was no better way to force his new friend to run for the hills than for him to point out the insecurity caused by the implant she was trying to cover up. Instead he nodded at her suggestion and tossed in some credits. “In the Academy? I must’ve slept through that class!” He lightened the mood a bit with his easy chuckle. “Or did you learn elsewhere?”

"I followed a specialised curriculum. When were you in the academy?" Day looked at him with a bit of suspicion. He was certainly nothing like the Starfleet officers she had met. That said, most of the officers on the Centaurus were not like any others she had met.

“I’d tell you but that would show how old I actually am.” He gave her another wink as he took a pull from the beer that had been placed in front of him a few moments before. “Though I will say that I used to work with Steiger and her husband before they came here.”

Day had done a bit of research on her XO and hadn't found anything. All of the information was classified or redacted. So this didn't really tell her anything. She reached for the glass of iced tea and looked at the man, "I'll be sure to ask them about you." She smiled a bit, which seemed more like an awkward grin, before sipping the sweet drink through the straw. She liked the combination of flavours with the cold and sourness of the lemon. She looked at the Tongo wheel again, as the turn landed back on them, "Evade."

The Russian kept his smile wide but questioned the girl’s suggestion. She had done him well so far, but it seemed she may have missed the slight movement from the other players that suggested they were bluffing. He was no Tongo master but he sure knew how to catch people with their pants smoldering. He could stand to lose a few credits if it kept her there next to him and talking. He raised his hand up to show he was evading and looked at her again before the inevitable reveal that he should’ve pressed on with the game. “How long have you been on the ship, Miss Day?”

A very subtle smile came to the corners of her mouth as the wheel turned again. Then a look of confusion wiped that smirk out when the other players revealed their cards. They would've probably won that round if they had acquired. She wondered how she had missed that. "Oh." She went over it again in her head but remained confused about how the game had developed. "I apologise." She then looked around the table before leaning in and whispering, "I think we can win back our losses in the next round."

"I would very much enjoy that, Miss Day, as long as you don't avoid my questions," The Russian's warm blue eyes looked over Day as he leaned in with a quiet voice. "Don't worry, Miss Day, you'd probably be more scared of me if you knew about the things I've done than I would be knowing the things that you've done."

Day her forehead crumpled up in a concerned frown as he said that to her. "I am not sure how that is supposed to be a comforting thought." There was really no way for her to interpret that as a friendly remark.

The Russian eased back a bit, finding a bit of humor in Day's difficulty interpreting his remark. She was a smart girl, a smart Borg, who was still trying to learn human behavior. He still kept his voice quiet so as to avoid anyone listening in to what was about to become a rather private conversation. "I meant it in the nicest way possible. You don't need to be ashamed of your implants, Miss Day. I have my own battle wounds. They make us who we are and give us a bit of flavor. I would love to hear more about where you come from and how you ended up here sitting next to me."

"You asked me to help you with Tongo and offered me a drink in return." The corner of Day's mouth curled up slightly at the remark. "I've been on the ship since we left Starbase One. I keep to myself mostly." The only reason she was in the lounge in the first place was that she had an agreement with her therapist that she would actively seek out human interaction outside of work situations on a daily basis.

“Damn shame, Miss Day,” The Russian looked at the revolving wheel and the players eyeing their own hands. “An intelligent woman such as yourself shouldn’t feel like you need to do that.” He gave her a playful nudge on her shoulder. “Consider yourself having successfully made a new friend, and not just because you helped me win some credits back.”

Day gave a small nod at that, "Noted." It was hard for her to acknowledge the feeling she got from the remark. Something to take up with the counsellor in their next session. "Perhaps we can end this evening net positive for you." She turned back to the table and focused on the turn of the Tongo wheel.


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