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SD41802.11 - Joint Duty Log - LtCmdr Smith, Lt Dai'xun & Lt Shran - Miss Communications, part 2

Posted on 241803.07 @ 16:35 by Lieutenant Commander John Smith & Lieutenant Anaxar Shran & Lieutenant Si'a Dai'xun
Edited on on 241803.12 @ 19:32

Mission: Lacuna
Location: Cold Station Theta
Timeline: 241803.07

Again Anaxar would've twitched his antennae if they hadn't been pressed down under mask and hood. He wasn't all that good with silliness and it took him a few seconds to recover. "Why not?" he asked in a serious tone, which was only partly played.

"Erm." the stranger replied, caught off guard by the terse answer. Again, it seemed he had run the conversation aground on a treacherous reef. It was good that these events were anonymous, for there was no chance he would have continued to press his luck here were his reputation on the line. Doubly good that he was a stranger, and that people did not know him well enough to see past the mask. Though for a moment he worried that his even, dignified pattern of speech would give him away if he were to meet these people afterwards.

"Because people have layers, and those layers have layers. To believe I know a person is to stop trying to understand them, and that is often where the understanding ends. Like skin, we grow new layers from the *inside*, and what was today your innermost self, might simply become a facade tomorrow; concealing the truth of your new inner self." the stranger prattled on, aware he was using far too many words to describe what should be a simple psychological concept.

Anaxar tilted his head. With the mask and all, there were very few ways of conveying emotions and thoughts without using words, so all gestures which normally bordered on the subliminal had to be exaggerated to be noticeable with the costume he wore. "Conceded," he replied. He could easily recall several such instances in his own life. Some good, some bad. And- "Though, some grow from the inside without any prompting, a reaction to growth and accumulated wisdom, others are thrust upon people, suddenly and without any warning."

"True." the stranger admitted, feeling the conversation start to take a somewhat darker tone. "Some people do have masks forced on them by others, or circumstance. Sustain the force for long enough, a person can forget their real face and accept the mask in its place, resisting all effort to remove it. That a person would do that to another is...reprehensible. Oh, look!" he exclaimed, diverting their conversation into lighter waters. "Here comes someone new, and truly beautiful. A friend of yours?" he asked, noting the way this newcomer seemed to be making a beeline straight for the raven.

Anaxar, for his part, was glad enough already that the conversation moved on from masks to other subjects, especially as it didn't take him long to notice to whom the man was referring. "Yes," he said, taking in the small, glowing star as it moved towards them. The warmth in his voice was unmistakable – he couldn't hide it if he tried.

Discomfort was something Si'a could feel radiating in waves. It wasn't from the masked stranger, that much she was certain. From him all she could sense was the steady ticking of his heart regardless of the excitement of the hour. He was in his element, enjoying what life could offer. The faintest flicker of interest caught itself within her oceanic eyes and the itsy bitsy Stenellis tipped her head in greeting about the same time she allowed an arm to glide around one of Anaxar's. The star, even glowing as she was, was such a little thing in such a very big world. A fact made all the more obvious by the difference in height and stature between her and the seven foot tall Andorian man cloaked as a black bird.

At least the discomfort was easing. "I heard something about masks?" She asked, her heavily accented voice lilting as she canted her head softly to one side, questioning the two of them more with her gaze and body language than spoken word could possibly hope to convey. Speaking with so called "strangers" was relatively dangerous, especially when she wasn't one hundred percent certain on how "Standard" worked. It was easier, at least that night, to play coy and demure lest they believe her to be an idiot or, worse, giving herself away to those who had no idea that the celestial being and the sea-child were the same person. Except for Anaxar, of course, she'd know him anywhere, and vice versa, regardless of disguises and silly frivolous parties.

"The masks we wear, under the surface, milady. Welcome to our little philosophical round table." said the man in the black mask, offering a cordial bow to the newcomer.

While his words painted a friendly picture, his thoughts were briefly indecent; seeing that the two lovely ladies appeared very familiar with each other. Perhaps they were friends in their daily lives, sharing secrets, swapping stories about celebrities, and very occasionally engaging in single-bed slumber parties. One would roll over, warm and sleepy under the covers, only to brush up against the other. The other would ignore it for a moment, feigning unconsciousness, before peering out through the faintest sliver of opened eyelid. The first would also pretend for a moment to be unaware of their proximity, but pounding heart would rouse them from their half-dreams, and would lock them both in a moment together. Hands would move under the covers, slowly at first, but growing faster and more confident as they stared intensely into each others eyes....

The stranger interrupted himself there as his mind threatened to carry him away with it. There were enough distractions here without conjuring more. Besides, what these two grown women chose to do in their own time was entirely their business, and he did them disrespect by reducing them to mere objects of fantasy. A blush of shame and...other stuff...coloured his face under the mask, and for a moment he regretted not getting a full face mask.

Anaxar's hand brushed against the little star's back, as much for his comfort as for hers. He was glad that she was here, that he was no longer alone with this odd man who kept on sending out certain signals which were hard to ignore, and which seemed so incredibly wrong. "Yes," he said quietly. "I'm glad you've joined us."

An almost wary eye fell upon the stranger as the starling's sensitive ears honed in on the tell tale hitch in the man's heart's giddyup. It thrummed a bit faster, steadier, hinting at the nature of what may course beneath the cool exterior she looked upon with a heavy measure of curiosity. Was that... Pink? She saw creeping along the contours of his jaw? Si'a cleared her throat softly, "I'm pleased to have joined," she nodded, settling closer to Anaxar, "Who knows what trouble there's left to get into." Masks worn under the surface, indeed. In a mere moment, or two, the clock would strike midnight and while the mask would come off, she'd still be a glowing figment of stardust. The raven would be an Andorian. The masked man would be...? Her lips quirked coyly at the thought. "How deep beneath the surface do they reside? We're about to see the one you present to the rest of the world when not parading around at parties." Oh she was proud of herself not not stumbling over a word or two.

Searching the crowd, the starling's eyes narrowed and her brow furrowed. The Ice Queen, the one she was certain was the red Commodore, had disappeared and left Cardracula behind. Something seemed a miss with what had happened with the Vulcans and the Empress. Something that left wee Si'a's gut in a jumble even though there was a proclamation that it had been some form of entertainment. "I don't see one of the costumes I'd guessed at... Disappointing."

This rang a bell in the stranger's mind, reminding him of the fiery young Doctor he'd promised to find again at midnight. In truth, he couldn't be certain she was a Doctor, or even Starfleet at all. If he was to find out, his only chance was fast approaching.

"Speaking of missing people, I'm afraid I must depart your erudite company." said the man in the black mask, adding layers of genteel politeness to compensate for the unworthy thoughts in his distracted mind. "My presence has been promised to another for the stroke of midnight. Please enjoy the rest of the ball."

On that note the stranger tucked one arm behind himself, and the other over his navel, before taking a polite bow and promptly vanishing in a swirl of gasses from a passing cluster of dry-icers.

And just like that, the man in the black mask was gone. Anaxar heaved a sigh of relief. "That was one seriously awkward encounter," he murmured, pressing closer to Si'a. Part of him had heard the commotion in the background, but his mind had been focused on other matters entirely. "It's nearly midnight," he added. Time for the unmasking here. And for another unmasking, a more private one, maybe, hopefully, later…

"You'll have to tell me all about it," Si'a replied with a happy little bobble of her head, watching the strange one disappear into the crowd. He was harmless, she decided, just a little awkward and who was age to judge anyway? A hand wove it's nimble little fingers between the Raven's and her smile won over the features of her face, "just a few seconds now." And there was no one she'd rather spend them with.

LtCMDR Stranger

Lt Raven aka Anaxar Shran
Chief Science Officer

Lieutenant Si'a Dai'xun
Stellar Cartographer


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