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Lunch Among Friends

Posted on Tue Mar 15th, 2022 @ 2:39pm by Lieutenant JG Siora Carberos & Lieutenant Hadir Prenar

Mission: A New Beginning
Location: General Mess - Deck 9
3346 words - 6.7 OF Standard Post Measure

After spending the morning checking in and being poked and prodded by medical there was nothing Hadir wanted more than a good meal. He headed to the Mess Hall and took a look around. It seemed that he was not the only one with this idea, all of the tables were filled. Hadir Prenar knew that most people did not want to associate with him, the stigma of being a fish out of water, of being a Cardassian in Starfleet. In fact he could feel the eyes of a few Bajoran crew members boring into him. He hoped that once he got his food a seat would have opened up.

However, after he retrieved his bowl of sabu stew, with yamok sauce, a hunk of bread and a glass of kanar, he found that there was no tables empty. There was a seat available with a woman with pink streaks in her hair. Hadir recognized the woman from her Intel file. She was the Chief of Operations for the ship. He walked over to the table and smiled in that way that only Cardassians could. The smile that either made you feel welcome, or made you feel like a target. "Good afternoon Lieutenant. Is this seat taken?"

Siora looked up and for a moment was a little caught off guard by the sight of a Cardassian before her. Even now there were still few of them and it was as odd a sight as if a Klingon was to approach you clad in the Starfleet uniform. Truthfully she had only ever met Worf a couple of times but he was a nice blend of Human upbringing and Klingon nature.

"No, that at all." she said not realizing she still had food in her mouth. "Sorry, please sit. I wouldn't want you to be a casualty of the mess hall for standing for so long." she joked as she watched the room and the mound of watchful eyes. It was almost as if they were watching to see what she would do, but she held no prejudice for an entire species for the actions of their leaders. "You do get a lot of attention, Lieutenant?" she asked.

"Its the height..." Hadir began making light of the stares he got. "...And please call me Hadir. I am Hadir Prenar Starfleet's first Cardassian." He sat down and set his food in front of him. "I think the attention is perhaps for both of us. Your hair is indeed a jubilant expression." His green eyes flashed at the woman and he took a spoonful of his food. It was not the same as at home, but it was better than non Cardassian food he thought. "So tell me all about the Majestic..."

"Yes well, you are a sight, and you can call me Siora." she replied. Siora herself was quite short. She looked around at the others in the room and it seemed Hadir was correct. "A jubilant expression is a nice way of saying loud and attention grabbing." She grinned in almost admission that she was indeed that.

"As for the Majestic, I cannot tell you much as I am not long here myself. Most of the crew are quite welcoming and nice, or that has been my experience. I get by with most people thinking me Human, a small quite chirpy Human at that and they are quite surprised that I am nearly 300... I moisturize." she joked.

"Well I must have the moisturizer you use. If you are 300 that must be strong stuff. I would not have put you a day over 30. But such are El Aurians I guess. Captain Rutherford seems like one of the good ones. Although I am curious why he requested an Intelligence Officer. It seems that this ship has gone quite some time without one." Hadir laughed at his joke before taking another bite of food.

"Maybe he has plans for you." she said spindling her fingers together in a mischievous manner whilst trying to look plans were going through her mind of what to do with him. "I have known Cardassians to be be quite laser focussed on tasks that require subtlety and finesse." Siora remarked.

He smiled broadly "That is one stereotype I am proud to say is true. If the Captain has any plans for me then he has not told me yet..." The thought occurred to Hadir that the plan for him here may have not come from Captain Rutherford at all. "Although it is possible that Starfleet sent me here to be rid of me." He said with a tone of loss in his voice.

"Oh I am sure there are plenty of stereotypes that are highly inaccurate too. However, I like a person who has attention to detail when it comes to taking care of me so." Siora said with a little smirk. "Why would Starfleet want to get rid of you? You causing problems mister?" she said placing her hands on her hips.

"No... Nothing like that. As I said there are a lot of people in the fleet who would sooner see me hang than wear this uniform. Despite the image the Federation, and by extension Starfleet can be a very close minded place. It is possible that rather than deal with any possible problems they send me out here where they won't hear from me." Hadir replied deadpan.

"I can appreciate how you feel, somewhat." Siora replied. "When I came to this quadrant it was off the back of the destruction of my world. So, I came here and started to warn people about the Borg and was branded mad by nearly everyone here. Half man, half machine was something so far fetched to them that they chose not to believe... look how that turned out when Picard met them face to face thanks to that awful Q..." she said as a shiver ran up her spine at the mere mention of him. "Starfleet then came to me, playing the 'we didn't call you mad' card because those that had done were retired many decades before." she rolled her eyes. "I don't paint you with the same brush Hadir." she smiled softly. "We are what people see, but I choose to see what is underneath and not simply what my eyes show."

If Cardassians could blush, Hadir would be blushing right now. "Thank you for the kind words I do appreciate it..." He paused for a moment as he allowed the compliment she gave to hang in the air as it were. "So tell me what the hell people do around these parts for fun. It can't be all work all of the time."

"I have no idea." she laughed. "I feel like all I've done here is eat and try and not get lost. Although I suppose they must have a bar on here... can't honestly expect us to stay dry on this ship." she almost exclaimed.

"I find the bars on starships to be lacking of one very important thing. So I keep a stash in my quarters. You have not lived until you have savored the licorice like flavor of kanar. I will admit it is an acquired taste, but everyone should acquire it. If I have to imbibe without it I tend to have scotch. It is the only thing humans drink that packs enough punch." Hadir smiled as he sipped his replicated kanar which paled in comparison to the real thing.

"I had a feeling you were going to say kanar." Siora giggled a little. "Why is it every Cardassian I have known always as a 'stash' somewhere close by?" she asked rhetorically. "I have tried it a few times, and it is not that bad... the colour on the other hand could use some work. Also, if it is one things Humans got right it is there variety of alcoholic drinks. Makes you wonder how they got out of their system with all the ways they damage themselves." she laughed inwardly.

Hadir laughed heartily at her joke. "Yes indeed I have asked myself that hundreds of times. As for why we keep a stash close by, that is because you can't get the good stuff off world. It all stays on Cardassia Prime. It is the same with food, I would kill to have a decent zabu stew."

"Ah so all Cardassians keep their good stuff on their own world." she asked before placing her hand over her heart. "Breaks my heart that you do not share with all the lovely other species in this quadrant." Siora said with a sarcastic grin. "I get it though, I don't like sharing my nice toys or things either unless its for my advantage."

"Most of my people are exceptionally ethnocentric. It is why our past is checkered to say the very least. I hope that in the near future we can pull our collective heads out of our butts and join the galaxy. But then again there is not much I can do about that seeing as I am here and not allowed to return to my world. But that is another story for another time. Tell me, what do you miss most about your youth? I mean someone as long lived as yourself has to miss a lot." Hadir dug into his lunch for a few more bites. He found this Siora interesting to say the very least.

"A story you will need to tell me over some zabu stew and hot chocolate for me." Siora said with a soft smile knowing not to press such a story on a first meeting. She could use her El Aurian ability to get it out of him but she chose to keep that under wraps more recently. Humans honestly spill their guts at the drop of a hat and she finds them quite overwhelming at times.

"Well I am still young Mister Prenar. Not quite adolescent age, but young adult but I do miss a more care-free lifestyle. Not that I had much of that either growing up. My father was... quite pushy and knew what he wanted for his children. He was a General in our military, my mother was an engineer so she was quite happy when I showed an aptitude during our testing for her skills too. She still is, but I know she wishes I'd help my people more than others, or myself. I miss many things but not the same way other shorter lived people do. I know I'll have time, should the Gods permit me, to come back around to things in my past again." she said taking a sip of her drink.

Hadir nodded sagely as she spoke. If anyone knew about coming back around to things it was him. "It is true that life has a tendency of giving you exactly what you need when you need it. It is perhaps why I wound up in Starfleet, life wants me to show everyone that a Cardassian can be a lot more than the sum of their parts. Please call me Hadir, only the Captain should call me Mr Prenar." He laughed heartily at his joke.

"Well who am I to know what kinks Cardassians have?" she half asked teasingly. The Cardassians did love power, or even the appearance of such, so Siora smiled at the thought of calling him other things in the privacy of her own mind. "But if you want to be called Hadir then I am happy to do so. I'm not a Captain yet." she grinned.

If he did not know better Hadir would have thought that the woman flirted with him. But that could not be possible, she was rather attractive and could hold her own in a conversation. The latter being something that Cardassians prized in a mate, however, this would have to be something he explored later if at all. "I have the utmost faith that at some point you will have those pips and I will be calling you Captain Carberos or ma'am of course." He spoke the last words with a trademark Cardassian smile on his face. The kind of smile that Caradassians were known for that took up their whole face.

"Oh no... too much power and responsibility for me. Don't get me wrong, the office they get is nice and you have all the lovely peons running around doing your bidding, but then you are actually in charge of their wellbeing." Siora replied with a shiver and a weird yuck noise came from her mouth. "I'll just stick to getting my hands dirty and leave the four pips for you Hadir... and you should only call me ma'am if you've been bad. Are you going to be naughty on this ship mister?" she asked leaning her head forward in mock teacher as if asking a troublesome child a rhetorical question, although this question she did want an answer.

Hadir leaned forward to close the space between her face and his. The smile on his face was both knowing and flirtatious. "Well m'dear you know us Cardassians. When we are good, we are good. But when we are bad we are very bad..." After holding his head there for a moment he winked and pulled his head back to have another bite of his food.

Siora was caught a little off guard by the quick move of his head, as his face was not too far from hers. The smile on his face seemed to be a Cardassian trademark, or so she thought to herself, they always had something going on inside that head of theirs. "Good thing you aren't good all that often." she joked. "I like a bad boy, but often they don't last long enough." she sighed. Hadir could take from that what he wanted, it had so many meanings she did not care to explain exactly what she meant. Best let male heads think it out.

What started out as a humdrum lunch was certainly turning into a good lunch after all. "Well m'dear I think you have just not found the right bad boy as it were. I will say this much I certainly like my woman as forward as possible." Hadir continued to speak with the flirtatious tone in his voice. For the time being he wanted to see where this went, and did not feel the need to tell her fully about his father and such things. Besides that feud was lightyears away.

"Oddly that is what most bad boys say." she said in defiance of the comment. "Often they are proved wrong by such confident and 'forward' women of any species. Cardassians like to play bad boys in their sleep, sometimes when they are awake they don't quite match up to their bravado." Siora almost puffed her chest out making her point. "I do like those that try though."

Hadir feigned pain as he raised his hands to his chest. "You wound me... I will say this much, this Cardassian lives up to his bravado. I mean do you know how much it took just to get the privilege to wear this uniform?" Hadir wondered if she knew that banter like this was the equivalent of foreplay to a Cardassian. Hadir enjoyed it too much to tell her, so he allowed the conversation to run its course.

"I'd say probably a couple of crates of bourbon and a well placed handshake with the Humans." Siora teased. "They are quite pliable when a few alcoholic drinks pass their lips, or is this where you tell me that you worked hard and were a good little boy for the mummy and daddy Admirals waiting for you to fall?" she asked rhetorically. She didn't know why she wanted to tease him, she enjoyed the game. Verbal sparring with someone who could return it was a hobby that she enjoyed but rarely found equal opposition.

"Well there was no amount of alcohol that could allow them to let me into the Academy. It took a lot of favors, and a lot of questioning. But you wouldn't know about hard work to get what you want. I know a little about El Aurians, and they live quite a long time. So long in fact that if you got it wrong the first time, you could just get it right in your second life, or third, or what have you." Hadir grinned as he spoke. He had arrived at the conclusion that she did not know that her banter was considered a romantic gesture. However, Hadir would not tell her. It had been some time since he sparred verbally with a woman of equal value.

The Cardassian, Hadir she should say to herself, was quite an interesting man. Dare she say it quite attractive in certain ways, well to Siora anyway... but most people of intelligence and wit were to her. She never did get hung up on appearance or position.

"We do live a long time, but don't mistaken longevity for laziness my dear man." Siora rebutted. "I have worked extremely hard for the past 200 years fighting off mechanical demons, losing a planet, rebuilding my life and starting a business to now working with Starfleet because it suits me." She said quite proudly before leaning in and whispering, "but I do like multiple goes at things." She hinted.

"Two hundred and here I would not have put you a day past one hundred and fifty..." Hadir began with a chuckle. For once in his life Hadir decided to through caution into the wind. "So tell me Siora what do you do around these parts for dinner and fun?" He would test the water as it were and see where it went from there.

"Charmer." she teased. "I still think I am in my 70's... ask my family." she laughed to herself more than anything.

"For now I don't do much." Siora shrugged. "I am as new as you are here, but I guess we will need to find places for dinner and fun. Depends if you are up to the challenge." she grinned. "Got to boldly go, haven't we?"

"Well if you intend to go boldly I will offer you up a proposal of sorts. I can do with my fair share of brushing up on ship operations, the why things work the way they do. If you teach me that I will gladly provide you with a homecooked Cardassian meal, as opposed to this replicated swill and anything you would want to know about me and my people." Hadir intended the offer to me more of a date than a lesson, but that would depend upon how she took it.

"Are you sure that your delicate suspicious mind can handle all my technobabble?" she teased. "I'm kidding, just ask me to dinner Hadir." she playfully slapped his arm. "I don't bite until at least the second date." she added before looking all innocent at him. "Although if you really want to know how things work then I will do my best not to bore you to death whilst you cook for me."

"Very well m'dear..." Hadir began as he wiped the remains of his lunch from his mouth. "...Dinner, this Saturday, my quarters. Just a word of advice you may want to dress for warm weather. We Cardassians tend to keep our quarters on the warm side." He smiled devilishly again.

"Trying to undress me already." Siora replied with a smirk. "I will be there, and I do like it warm so you have already got points there." she said finishing up her meal and looking at Hadir. "I'm looking forward to Saturday already."

"Same here beautiful lady... Until then duty calls." Hadir said with a smile as he cleaned up his tray. When he arrived at the Majestic he knew that things would be different. However, he did not expect them to be this different and good. This would be one assignment that he believed he would enjoy.


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