847: The Rogues Gallery

by Rada Dengar and Zanh Liis
Awhile after Full Swing

-=The Adventurer's Club party program, Holodeck One=-

Lair Kellyn smiled as she absorbed the atmosphere of this truly wonderful place. Dalton McKay was exchanging idioms with a famous psychiatrist. Dabin Reece was in the corner trying to force a name tag onto a respected General. Even February Grace had turned up though she just sat contently resting in a heavily cushioned pink chair by the wall which appeared to have been designed just for her and knowing Dabin it had been.

Poor Zander Blakeslee had only just finally gotten a chance to think without the entire crew clambering to say how great it was to see him looking so well and so he and his wife could actually start enjoying the entertainment which had been set up in his honour.

Kellyn was certainly grateful to see Zander up and about but the best sight of all was undoubtedly her husband enjoying the festivities in his own unique way. She could watch it for days and never lose the wonder that it was real; that he was truly Salvek again. Love had never seemed such an insufficient term.

The only person who seemed to be missing was Rada Dengar. Kellyn was briefly concerned knowing he wouldn’t willingly miss this but then she noticed that he’d arrived. It seemed he’d simply been immediately grabbed by Albert Einstein who was determined to convince anyone who’d listen of his theories. Kellyn laughed to herself as she overheard that Rada had indeed agreed to listen in exchange for Albert listening to some theories of his own about the politely smiling chef in the centre of the room.

She decided not to go over and interrupt what appeared to be a very amusing conversation. She and Rada; they’d already said everything they needed to say for the moment already, and she knew that if he had anything more to add, he'd seek her out when he was ready to do so.

Kellyn took the opportunity to take in the interactions among the rest of the crew more closely now, doing so with stealth movements and finding them immensely entertaining. She was put in mind of a phrase that Dabin often used, 'You can't buy entertainment like this'.

She strolled toward the bar, and found that in a corner tucked away behind it that Vol Tryst was engaged in a spirited conversation with two holocharacters. Reading the handy namebadges that Dabin had been running around like a maniac trying to affix to the photonics all night long, she observed that one man was called William Shakespeare another man who also appeared to be Terran, and bore the name Sigmund Freud.

"I don't see how you can't see that it means that, William, after all you wrote it. What were you on at the time?" Vol scoffed, turning toward Freud, seeking support for his opinion.

"I'm sorry, Mister Tryst," Freud said slowly, "But it is possible that Shakespeare wrote the aforementioned dialogue without being under the influence of any sort of hallucinogenic substance."

"Oh no it is not." Vol stated clearly, his intensely dark eyes boring through Shakespeare, who suddenly decided that he wished to move on, and did so.

Kellyn heard familiar laughter and turned toward The Mask Room now, where she found Arie chatting animatedly with a young Bajoran male that Kellyn could only assume had to be this Gillan Pace that Jariel had brought back with him from Bajor. He was bouncing a happy, pudgy little girl on his knee and Kellyn remembered Arie saying that Pace had a young sister.

Arie had bumped into Pace in the corridor earlier and asked if he would like her to give him a tour of the ship. She had taken him on that tour and then brought him and his sister along with her to the holodeck for the first hour or so of the festivities- after which Kellyn would send her back to quarters to catch up on the sleep she'd missed on the trip.

Kellyn's smiled mutated into confusion and then displeasure when she observed the baby Pace held for a moment longer and saw that the child was not speaking; she was trying to sign to those around her to communicate.

Suddenly, her chest felt heavy and she yearned to speak with Jariel. There was so much she wanted to ask him.

It had been so long- longer than they'd gone without speaking in years, and she hadn't heard a word from him personally the entire time he'd been on Bajor. Part of her understood that however, sometimes when you're in pain, you can manage to hold yourself together well in front of strangers; but if forced to try to keep the facade of calm up in front of those who, with one look, will surely know better, even the strongest of souls can crumble to dust.

Kellyn's eyes focused in tightly upon Arie again, as she appeared completely starstruck. The holographic representation of young Joe Jonas had handed her his guitar and seemed to be attempting to give her an impromptu music lesson. The two other Jonas brothers, Nick and Kevin respectively, sang in harmony with their brother and the amazed young girl, and then they all broke up into laughter at a joke that Kellyn was too far away to hear.

It did her heart good to see Arie so happy. It made her happy to see the serious mask of Vulcanness that the child wore so much of the time replaced for a moment by pure, uninhibited Bajoran wonder.

Kellyn stuck her head into the room and forced a smile back onto her face. "Having fun?" She asked.

"Having a blast!" Arie sounded very much like her adopted uncle Dabin. "Meet Pace, Tress, Nick, Kevin and...and..." in the moment, Arie couldn't even remember the last, and her favorite, Jonas' name.

"Joe." He filled in helpfully.

"Jooooe." Arie repeated, in a dreamy, sing-song fashion.

"Hello, everyone. I'm Arie's mother." Kellyn announced, since Arie was far too preoccupied to give further comment.

Pace stood up and brought Tress over for a proper introduction. Tress, upon seeing the ridges on Kellyn's nose, immediately began signing furiously.

[[Bajor! Bajor!]]

[[Yes, Bajor,]] Kellyn signed, and spoke the words aloud, since the teenager in front of her still seemed to be having trouble comprehending the signs.

[[Name Tress!]] The toddler then thumped her chest happily and then reached out to Kellyn, touching her softly without reservation. [[Name?]]

[[Kellyn,]] Lair responded, spelling it out a letter at a time.

"I have heard much about you, Commander Lair," Pace said, greeting her respectfully by her rank. "I am Gillan Pace. You've met my sister."

"Yes, I have." Kellyn smiled and patted the baby on the head. Her soft golden curls were almost too perfect to be believed. "I'm pleased to meet you Mister Gillan. So tell me, what has the Vedek been telling you about me?"

"He said that you're old friends."

"Yes, very old."

"But really, I heard more about you from Fleur than from the Vedek."

Interesting, thought Kellyn. "Speaking of Camen and Fleur, are they planning to stop by?"

"I thought so," Pace said, unable to hide his concern. "I think they had a few things that they needed to talk about first."

"Well. Have you gotten something to eat yet?" Kellyn asked, noting that holding onto Tress was taking up every bit of Pace's attention- and strength as she tried to squirm away from him.

"No, Ma'am. I made sure she had something, but I have not."

"Then you must. Would you like me to keep an eye on her for a little while?"

"Oh, I don't know," Pace knew that Jariel and Fleur trusted Lair, but it was Tress' reaction he worried about.

"We'll stay nearby. It'll be fine." Kellyn put her hand beneath Tress' adorable, dimpled double chin and tilted her face up. [[Tress, walk with Kellyn?]]

Tress emitted a squeal of delight and slid down out of Pace's arms. She held a tiny, roly-poly hand out toward Kellyn, and Kellyn smiled at Pace. "Enjoy your dinner."

"Thank you!" Pace said, sighing with gratitude as he headed over to the buffet.

The Adventurer's Club did not serve food, Reece found when he'd seen the program first, and so he had improvised by adding an additional, unnamed room to the side of the space and populated it with servers and a dazzling array of foods, courtesy of Angus McDougall and the crew of the Sera's own Illusions Lounge.

Pace could not believe, when he saw the sight, how long it had been since he'd seen so many varieties of food in one location.

Tress dragged Kellyn along with remarkable strength for such a small being, and a moment later the child came to an abrupt halt as she went running, face first, into what she believed to be the trunk of a very large tree.

She came to realize, only after looking up...and up...and up...that it was the leg of a man. A very, very big man wearing dark brown pants.

"Well hello there," Keiran laughed gently, looking down first at Tress, who scampered to hide behind the skirt of Kellyn's elegant gown, then at Lair. "Who's yer young friend, Commander Lair?"

"This," Kellyn turned her attention toward soothing startled Tress before answering. "Is the newest addition to civilian crew aboard ship, Gillan Tress. She came aboard with Vedek Jariel."

"Of course she did," Keiran couldn't believe that it had slipped his mind- what Liis had told him earlier in describing the child that Jariel had with him when they'd met in the hallway after his return.

[[It's okay, Tress.]] Kellyn signed. [[This is K-E-I-R-A-N. He is my friend. He keeps people safe.]] Kellyn tried to explain in the simplest of terms that Keiran was, first and foremost, an officer of the law.

[[Big!]] Tress signed, deep concern reflected in eyes that threatened tears.

[[A good man.]] Kellyn signed back. [[Don't be afraid.]]

Keiran, his heart in his throat at seeing the baby's fearful reaction, dropped down to one knee and brought his hands up to sign. He hadn't become as proficient at it as the rest of the senior staff during his previous tenure aboard the Sera, mostly because he found that he and the Vedek had little, it seemed, to say to each other, even before their memories had been restored of times in which they never had a word to say at all.

[[Friends?]] Keiran offered gently, keeping his distance and letting the child decide. She frowned, weighing her options, until someone else joined the conversation.

[[Z!]] Tress began to sign happily, recognizing Zanh but unable to remember the way to correctly sign her name. [[Z!]]

Liis laughed.

[[Hello, Tress.]] "Hello Kellyn." Zanh acknowledged Lair with a nod as she signed. "Jariel's got you babysitting already?"

"I volunteered. Her poor brother hadn't had a bite to eat all night."

[[Hat!!!]] Tress began to sign excitedly, pointing to Zanh's aviator's cap and goggles.

"You like it kid? It's all yours." Liis took the hat from her head and handed it to Keiran, who had risen back to his full height and seemed bewildered by his inability to get the child to accept him.

"Here, Keiran. Give her this." She handed the hat to him, and he held it out gently toward Tress, smiling. Tress analyzed the interaction between Zanh and Keiran carefully, remembering what Papa had said about Zanh running the whole big ship. If she liked the Big Man then, Tress supposed, he must be okay.

[[It's okay.]] Liis signed, encouraging Tress forward. She stepped closer to the seeming giant and Keiran gently placed the hat down on upon the child's head. It was, obviously, far too large and all three adults laughed as it slid forward, covering her eyes.

"Let's try this." Keiran said, gently taking the goggles, putting them down over Tress' eyes and tightening the strap behind, cinching the cap around her head in the process. Tress looked around the room through the goggles, eyes wide, and uttered a soft 'ooooo'. that again made those around her laugh.

Liis saluted the small pilot-in-training, and linked her arm with Keiran's a moment before moving away. "If you'll excuse me, I have to mingle."

"Right behind ya." Keiran said, smiling broadly. "I should do my bit for the cause as well. Was nice talkin' ta ya, Lair Kellyn. Yer little friend, too." He held large, gentle hands up once more to sign his farewell to Tress, but she was far too interested in the view of Lair's dress through her new goggles to notice him.

"Women." Keiran added with mock frustration, causing Lair to give a wry smile as she watched him walk away.

"I've already typed the whole crew, they just don't know it." Dalton McKay, now in a deeply informative conversation with a man wearing large glasses, said in a low tone of voice.

He raised an open hand and discreetly gestured toward various members of the crew nearby. "Idealist." McKay whispered, indicating Zanh Liis. "And that man is the very portrait of a Guardian if ever anybody painted one." He was of course indicating Keiran, who was walking just a step behind Zanh as if anticipating any need she could have, ready to act upon it.

Next, McKay gestured toward Rada Dengar, deep in discussion with Albert Einstein. "Rational." He pointed to Einstein, and he and the man he was conversing with spoke the same word in unison.



"The crew seems to be very well balanced as far as the temperament types." McKay observed, not noticing that Zanh Liis was now standing over his shoulder.

"That's not an accident, Dalton." Zanh chimed in. "Dr. Keirsey, I'm Zanh Liis." She extended her hand to the hologram beside the LMH.

"Captain." Keirsey replied, politely returning her handshake.

"I can't tell you what a pleasure it is to meet you, sir. Your work has had a profound effect not only on my view of the universe and the people in it, but on my style of command. Thank you."

Before Keirsey could say anything more, Zanh observed something happening across the room and frowned. "I'd love to speak with you at greater length later on, but at the moment I have a situation to...command. If you'll excuse me."

"I know that look." McKay informed Keirsey grimly. "She's about to open up a can of good old fashioned whoop-ass on somebody."

Liis moved with quickly directed steps toward the bar, where Keiran was getting her another Babylonia Brew- the Club's famous, non-alcoholic citrus punch.

A blonde, leggy photonic wearing a short skirt and a maid's apron had been watching Keiran for awhile, and this fact had not escaped Zanh's notice. She was now trying to drape her arm over the Irishman's shoulder, whispering in his ear even as she pretended to dust the bar with her feather duster.

"Thank ya, Beulah, yer very kind, but I-" Keiran said with a somewhat embarassed laugh, stepping back.

Zanh Liis took no time in sending the hologram on her way. "Step off, sister." Zanh waved, making a show of the rings on her left hand before pointing to Keiran's ring as well. "He's taken."
Beulah smiled a polite if irritated smile and, swaying her hips seductively slowly, sashayed away.

Keiran laughed out loud. "Now, now, Mrs. O'Sullivan. T'is only a part of her programmin'," he insisted, giving her a knowing wink and wicked grin.

"Yeah, well unless she wants to find her programmin' scrambled like tomorrow's breakfast eggs, she had better run along and hit on somebody else."

Lt. Commander Rada Dengar
Chief Engineering Officer
USS Serendipity NCC-2012


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

NRPG: Bless Dr. Keirsey. His work has had a profound effect on my life and the way I see everyone in it.~ZL