849: Armed and Fabulous

by Lara Valera Ryn and Zanh Liis
During the Party

-=Holodeck One, USS Serendipity

Zanh Liis was watching with amusement as one of the holograms, a General George S. Patton, stood regaling TC Blane with stories of strategy and tales of battles won. Though the look on his face remained neutral, Zanh wondered who was having more fun with the exercise; Patton, or Blane.

February Grace, carrying a plate covered with assorted vegetables and a small dollop of what appeared to be Ranch Dressing to dip them in, passed by and Zanh begged her attention.

"Evening Gracie. Listen, I have yet to meet our newest representative from Trill belonging to the Sciences. Have you seen her?"

"Oh yes. I've seen her." Bru said, her expression somewhere between a smile and a look of concern. "The one over there, with the whip."

"Nice hat. I thought she was part of the program." Zanh said, patting Grace on the back. "Thanks Bru. Having a good time?"

"Having a wonderful time Captain, thank you."

Zanh nodded and, adjusting her scarf so it was hanging straightly once again, moved toward the opposite end of the bar, where a blond with a bullwhip attached to her belt was holding court.

"I beg to differ with you," Lara said to what appeared to be Lord Acton, as she absent-mindedly traced the contours of the whip strapped to her belt.

"And I with you, young lady," came the hologram's response. "I was a contemporary of Heinrich Schliemann. I most certainly know what he did at the site of Troy and the significance of those events for history and," he pointedly added, "archaeology."

Lara smirked in response. It was clear she was having just a little fun having it out with someone. There was a slight feistiness in her voice as she replied. "You were not a contemporary. You are a hologram of a contemporary."

"Be that as it may, I am still programmed with the knowledge of Lord Acton."

"Only the knowledge that we know about him and can program in."

"Touche," he admitted. "But your knowledge is no less flawed. It is several centuries out of date. You only have the interpretations of Schliemann's actions by others to go on."

Lara paused for a moment and then said, "Well, my Lord, I shall have to reread some of those interpretations and then get back to you."

"I look forward to a second round," Turning to Zanh he added, "I believe that the Captain could see for that to be arranged. Don't you?" Now it was Acton who was having a little bit of fun with the "organic," knowing that the woman behind him was the Captain, and his debating opponent, not.

"Oh, I don't know. She's quite a piece of work. She probably would never waste her time arranging for a hologram to do anything." Zanh replied to Acton, barely controlling the sarcasm in her voice.

"Another Bajoran," Lara said, looking up but not really looking Zanh in the face as she scanned the room.

"Yeah, the place is lousy with 'em." Zanh remarked, widening her eyes. "What can you do?"

"I thought there were a lot of Trills aboard but the last time I saw this many Bajorans... I... was on..." Lara watched as a squealing toddler with tell-tale nose ridges streaked past, dragging the Vedek in her wake, with a rather large pair of goggles over her eyes.

"Bajor?" Liis asked.

"Actually I was going to say the colony at Prophet's Landing. It was settled by Bajorans, near the Cardassian border."

"I see. Well, I think your buddy went off to seek an easier conversationalist."

"What a wimp." Lara realized she should probably introduce herself to whomever this woman was, just in case she was someone she might have to take an order from at some point... "Lara Valera Ryn. Science."

Liis extended her hand. "Nice hardware, Lieutenant." She grinned and nodded toward Lara's whip.

"Thank you," Lara said slowly, wondering how the woman knew her rank when she hadn't given it.

"Zanh Liis. Commanding Officer."

"Ah, so you're the Captain around here. You do have quite a reputation, you know."

Liis could not help but laugh; she knew her crew all too well and could only imagine what her 'reputation' was among some crew members. "And just who exactly have you been speaking with?" The tone of her voice was light, but she actually was slightly curious.

"Now, now, just because I am new around here," Lara patted her whip. "Besides, talking about this is more fun. It is real, and let me just say, it is fun to swing across small rivers and ravines with this thing."

"Yeah, sure. If you want to do it the hard way."

"You'd prefer poisoned blow darts?" Lara asked, thinking back to her conversation with Grace.

"Those are for people who like to do it the hard way. Besides, if you inhale instead of exhale, you're screwed." Zanh shrugged and pulled out her own prop weaponry, a replica of a vintage revolver. "Frankly, I'd just rather shoot somebody and get it over with."

Lara looked over the item and nodded with satisfaction. "I see your reputation is well earned, Captain."

"I see you're well on your way to earning one around here yourself." Zanh noticed Lance Hartcort sizing Ryn up from across the room, and sighed. She was going to have her hands full with that one. "Just watch out for the restless natives. They have a bit of a wild streak."

"Well I'm a Human slash Trill and I may not have spots, but I do have a few streaks myself." Lara replied with a broad grin. It began to fade a moment later when she wondered, though, just what 'spots' may be on her record involving her hospital stay, and just how much Zanh Liis knew.

Whatever the woman did or did not know as yet about her history, Lara found that thankfully, she seemed to be a woman of great personal discretion. Additionally, Zanh's response, more the tone of her voice than her words, were a clear attempt to put her at ease.

"Don't we all." Zanh's eyes held a look that Lara could only have defined as one of someone who had taken a few knocks herself and had the resultant wisdom to prove it. Even if it was true what she'd heard that Zanh was a bit crazy, she was also more than just a bit sane.

The Captain held her hand out to offer in an official greeting gesture.

"Welcome aboard the Serendipty, Lieutenant. I think you're going to do just fine here."


LT. Lara Valera Ryn
Science Officer
USS Serendipity NCC-2012


-=/\=- Zanh Liis O'Sullivan
Commanding Officer
USS Serendipity NCC-2012