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Ens Drake & Fabla - "Beyond The Moon You See The Stars"

Posted on 2016-08-09 19:39 by Fabla & Lieutenant JG Harper Drake M.D., Ph.D.

Mission: Black, White & Red All Over

The bar that was selected to hunt their mark was in the style of a speakeasy, hidden under one of the older buildings near Union Square. With a little searching through the Federation historical database, Fabla had pulled together an outfit that was anachronistically historical in nature — it was clearly inspired by the mid 21st century, but it was still of modern make and underlying design. A word breathed into the ear of a bouncer, a slip of gold pressed latinum palmed to him, and the two women were inside the dim bar quickly.

"I shall order us drinks, and you select a table for us to wait at?" Fabla suggested softly to the much taller human woman as they cleared the doorway. Only a handful of people lingered, as it was late in the evening. All men, mostly human, their attention was drawn by the two women invading the space. Even with the shadows cast by the small lamps at each table preventing eye contact, Fabla knew it would not be long before their attention turned more personal.

"Sure," Harper replied, casually scanning the bar for a preferred place to sit but also passively assessing potential threats. If any of the other patrons took note of her caution, Drake wasn't worried, as caution would be entirely expected from two women in the company of mostly men. At the same time, however, Drake took care to make sure her outward demeanor relaxed she finally settled on a table toward the back of the room but not all the way back so as not to draw too much attention. They were supposed to be two women out for an evening of fun, after all.

Fabla didn't linger long at the bar. She picked up two glasses of a young Bajoran springwine, and crossed to the table that Harper had selected. As she weaved between the tables, she smiled warmly at anyone who paid her attention, but was careful to stay out of any of their reach. While she wanted them to know she was there looking for a good time, it would not help their goal if they had to lose their attention when their mark arrived. Besides, she knew that playing coy would only encourage them. Drinks would soon follow if their wait was long.

"This is a favorite of mine, out of the Kendra Province," Fabla explained as she set the glasses down before joining Harper at the table. She leaned close, and spoke softly. "I do not know how well you stave off the affects of intoxication, but that is not my strong suit. I shall be, how do you humans put it, nursing my drinks tonight?"

Harper smiled wryly. "Don't worry, I will be as well. Frankly, I'm not much of a drinker, but I do appreciate trying new things," she added, accepting the glass.

"Like many wines, this one has a low alcohol content," Fabla explained, and took a sip. "I had not had this particular vintage yet, but I may get us a bottle when we have nursed these two glasses to completion. Easier to stave off uninvited gift drinks if we are clearly working on a bottle, after all." Fabla's eyes flitted towards the entrance, and she hid her glance behind another sip. "I believe that is Maya."

A petite blond had just entered, and made a bee line for the bar. While almost no one had noticeably looked up when she'd entered, an intangible wave of disappointment washed over them after they all casually tired to scope who'd just arrived and recognized her.

Harper looked over casually, so as not to draw attention. "That looks like her. Someone's had a rough day," Drake replied, finding herself curious about what the blonde would order. As they observed quietly, Harper turned back to Fabla. "That's a good idea about the bottle. You clearly know your stuff. I'm sorry if I ever give you the impression I thought otherwise."

"Do not worry about it," Fabla dismissed. "There are plenty of people who lie in the universe, so you have no way to know how truthful I am until you get to know me. Healthy skepticism is a good thing to have." As she took another sip of her wine, she glanced towards the bar and their mark. "Do you think one of us should approach her, invite her to join us, or should we wait and see what she does?" As Fabla asked this, a cloudy pink drink in a martini glass was set down in front of the blond woman. She picked it up and took a sip as she turned and let her eyes lazily scan the occupants of the room.

Harper considered the question for a moment. "How about we wait a few minutes longer just to see what happens? We always have the option to approach her, but we might notice something that will benefit us later if we wait just a little bit."

"It could also make us look too eager for her company if we do not give her a moment before we approach her," Fabla agreed. The woman's gaze lingered on Harper and Fabla for a long moment before she sat down at a table near the bar which was already occupied by a pair of men. The three spoke in hushed tones for a few minutes, each taking turns to glance at Harper and Fabla.

"Think we've been made?" Harper whispered before taking a casual sip from her glass. It seemed probable even though Drake knew intellectually there could be a million other reasons why they were getting the stare down. Harper said a silent prayer she wouldn't have to draw her weapon. Of course, she was well trained and was a decent shot, but that didn't mean it was second nature to her.

"It is more likely that we are the only ones here who are not regulars. That alone is likely to draw us attention," Fabla insisted, though she could not be sure this was the case. The provided information about the bar had not indicated that it had a tight knit group of regulars, but that is what it appeared. Would that change later, Fabla wondered as she glanced over to see the blond leaving the table she'd been sitting at and head towards them.

"If you're not careful, the local wildlife will eat you alive," she quipped as she approached Harper and Fabla's table.

"Perhaps we need a local guide?" Fabla suggested, directing a look at Harper that danced between asking permission and saying I told you so.

Harper shared the look with Fabla and inwardly noted they were either incredibly lucky or about to wish they were. "Perhaps we do," Drake offered with careful consideration. "Might you be interested?" She asked the blond.

"I might," the blond answered, her eyes moving from the two ladies' wine glasses to Harper and Fabla in turn. She smiled wide. "If the conversation is as friendly as I hope. Otherwise, I might just throw you to the wolves. I'm Maya."

"Nice to meet you, Maya. I'm Amelie," Harper introduced, deciding to use her middle name. "What are you drinking?" She asked casually. Drake didn't want to speak for Fabla in case she wanted to go by a different name.

"I am Kylie," Fabla introduced herself with a warm smile, pulling an old alias out in turn to follow Harper's lead.

"This? Toby calls it a Hot Pink Handgun. One of the wolves asked him to make me something spy themed when they figured out that's my hobby... it wasn't half bad, so it's become a regular," Maya grabbed a chair from a nearby table and sat down. "We don't often gets strangers in here when it's not a theme night, what brings you ladies through?"

"We had heard of the theme nights, and wanted to inspect the place before the festivities," Fabla offered.

Harper was glad Fabla had answered for both of them, as she didn't want to risk getting them off page even for something simple. Amelie nodded. "A lot of theme nights and other bars can be rather lame, but we heard they were decent here. Of course, a bar is only as good as the booze it serves, right?" Amelie paused, then added, "You've got your own drink in this place. Are you a local celebrity in this place?"

"This isn't my drink, Toby scrounged up the recipe from some antique cocktail book," Maya dismissed with a laugh and a grin. "They treat me as a bit of a mascot around here though, since none of them are woman enough to bed me." She yelled that last part over her shoulder, and got a rowdy cheer and raised glasses from the rest of the bar. "If I don't scare you away, you should come back for the spy night in a couple days. I've lost count of how many covers of the James Bond theme they've found from the Federation archives, not to mention all the old spy TV shows and movies that get holo-projected from the ceiling all night."

"Spy night was the one I was most interested in. I have only just started learning about this antique popular human culture, and had asked Amelie to help me find more people likewise interested," Fabla said before taking a sip of her springwine.

"I wasn't interested in spying or espionage at first," Amelie (Harper) replied. "I thought it was for all for those combat junkie types. You know the ones, all muscle, bragging about all the weapons they have hidden in their orifices and how many forms of martial art they know," and at this Amelie rolled her eyes. "But then Kylie taught me more about it and how it actually takes more intellect than muscle."

"It really does," Maya agreed, sitting up straighter and grinning. "Did you know that sometimes the easiest way to get somewhere you shouldn't be is just act like you belong there? People are amazingly gullible." She laughed, and Fabla directed a look at Harper.

Harper's gentle smile never left her face even as inside, she was telling herself not to panic. Were Maya's words an indication that she was on to them? Drake pushed the thought aside, reminding herself there was no evidence of that and that nothing good could come out of assuming there was. "I don't know if I would say people are gullible," Harper replied casually. "I just think most people focus on themselves and what's going on in their own lives most of the time." She felt the heat of Fabla's gaze, but didn't want to draw more attention to it.

"Self absorbed, gullible, in the end it is the same... you can slide under their noses," Fabla observed. "Have you done such a thing, or have you only learned about it because it is your hobby?"

"You could say I have a professional interest too," Maya admitted. "Though they've mostly kept me pushing papers."

As Fabla opened her mouth to respond, her bracelet lit up and played a little tune. She glanced at it, then at Harper and Maya. "Uh, excuse me... it is probably my new boss. I signed up to fly a Bolian freighter, and while it is not due to ship out for a week, the captain has been calling me all hours of the day. I am tempted to quit. Let me get rid of him?" She then stood up, and moved to a quiet corner of the bar.

Harper barely looked in the other woman's direction as she stood up from the table. She figured for the sake of their cover, it was best if she feigned disinterest. What was interesting about a potential job anyway? "Pushing papers? That sounds terribly boring."

"It is," Maya agreed as she leaned in closer with an elbow on the table. "When they recruited me at the Academy, they made it sound like I'd be like double oh seven himself, but on alien worlds and alien bikini clad babes. My aptitude test placed me in an analyst position instead, but by the time that happened, it was too late to change my major at the Academy."

Harper nodded. "I suppose it can be exciting, though. Like putting a giant puzzle together. I don't know that I'd be too good at putting together information," she admitted. "I'm more of a people person."

"I wish I was a people person. While I'm good with solving the puzzles I don't enjoy it," Maya grumbled. "I try to hone my people skills at the bar, keep retaking the field agent aptitude test... Take Toby for example," she said with a nod of her head towards the bar tender. "I found out he's had three wives already, and he's only twenty-seven. All of them had been decades older than him and in Starfleet. He's a widower thrice over! Don't say anything though, no one here knows but me, and now you."

Fabla returned to the table with an apologetic smile. "I believe I have bought myself a little time, but the captain was adamant. He wants to leave now, and I need to collect my things from your apartment, Amelie." Fabla leaned close to Harper and whispered in her ear, "Persephone has pulled our plug."

Nodding and offering a small chuckle that suggested Fabla had said something not meant for all to hear, Harper offered an apologetic smile to Maya. "I would much rather enjoy good drinks and good company with you," she explained, "but I'm afraid my time is not my own. Have a great night."

"I hope to see you at the spy theme night, if your girlfriend?" Maya paused a moment to make the presumed title a question as her eyes flitted between the two ladies. "If you're allowed."

Not necessarily wanting or needing to complicate matters by challenging Maya's assumptions, Harper chuckled and offered simply, "She doesn't tell me what to do, but my work is a cruel mistress. Still, perhaps I will see you again."

"If I were to dare tell Amelie who she could and could not spend her time with when I was away, I believe she would not spend her time with me when I was here," Fabla insisted with a gracious smile. "I do hope we shall meet again when I am back on Earth. Have a good night."

"Night, ladies," Maya said with a smile, turning to rejoin the table she'd been at earlier.

=/\= End Log =/\=

Ensign Harper Drake, M.D., Ph.D. A.k.a. Amelie
Forensic Psychologist
USS Joshua Norton

Fabla (Kylie)
The Pelican


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