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LtJG Lexil, LtJG Broll & Katara Cretak - "Everybody's Somebody's Fool"

Posted on 2018-12-18 15:17 by Katara Cretak & Lieutenant JG Lexil & Lieutenant JG Lem Broll M.D.

Mission: Ozma

Whispers rippled through the crowd, starting at the end of the ballroom near security and spreading outward from there. Cretak was the name that was on everyone's lips. There had been a marked improvement in her ale over the last months, and it was among the favorites in the crowd tonight. The redhead sashayed through the party in a dress of shimmery emerald green with a square neckline and a trumpet skirt that showed off her curves until it swept outwards to occupy a surprising amount of floor space around her. Soon she stood in front of her ale's table and smiled graciously to all who were nearby, exchanging small talk and gratitude to those who paid her compliments. Most who lingered near her table were Romulan, and she frowned as she noted that hers was the only table so afflicted — most of the others had a mix of other species in front of it. She may be a staunch supporter of Romulans before all others, but she was no fool — trade with others was part of what success was hinged on. She spotted a Bolian nearby, and collected one of the glasses from her table as she approached him.

"Have you had the chance to try the Cretak Ale yet?" She held the glass out and smiled widely at him.

Similar whispers had started in the crowd about an eccentric blue man that was attending tonight, he had already dazzled one of the attendees with a simple card trick. Not that it was uncommon to pull a little trick here and there, it was the mere fact that he did it at a formal event like this that stood out. Dashing in his experimentally textured suit, he graciously smiled as the redheaded woman came towards him. A little nod to notify that he indeed saw her coming.

"Cretak Ale? Why no, I've had many ales, yes so many. Some you couldn't dream of having, probably, then again people dream a lot." He shook his head quickly. "No, I have not had it yet." As he accepted the glass he took in a whiff of the scent. "Hmm... It smells delicious already, Miss...?"

"Katara Cretak, the proprietress of the distillery responsible."

Another small nod. "Oh, well..." He quickly tasted the ale and smiled. "Ah, it is as if I stand under a waterfall and the drops hit my tongue with the sweet and savory of the fresh waters that melted only just in the salted glaciers." He chuckled a little and shook his head at her. "It's very good, Miss Cretak."

"I hope that means you'll tell your friends and business contacts?" She looked around, trying to see if there were any others nearby who were not Romulan. She couldn't tactfully move on yet, but it certainly didn't hurt to think two steps ahead. A waiter passed by, and held out a tray of hors d'oeuvre.

"Oh, so this was a marketing trick! Good one, yes." He took a deviled klingon egg and continued. "See, I often do things like that to keep people from running away in a hurry from the clinic. Nobody wants to be a patient, but sometimes they should." He peered at her for a moment. "Why are you in such a hurry, hm? If the ale is this good, it will sell itself."

"Marketing trick?" Katara took half a step backward and shook her head. "Do not be so crass. I do not market myself, Cretak Ale is some of the best the Empire has ever seen."

"Well, you hand me a free sample and then ask me to spread the word. That is marketing." He gave her a small nod again. "Now, wouldn't it be more fun if you would take me down the rabbit hole and show the wonderland that is ale making."

"I don't know what manners are like on your soft little Federation world, but here? Under the raptor's wings? We are not so crude as to discuss business at a fine event like this, especially not with the head of a very powerful old family." Katara stepped forward. "If the Empress were not the lapdog of your Federation, you would be getting more than just sharp words to educate you."

"No discussing of business? Didn't you just ask me to spread the word? That is exactly what business is." He took the last sip from his glass. "All I wanted to say that the ale is as beautiful tasting as its creator intended it to be. My well meant compliments."

Lem did not budge as she stepped in, merely squinted his eyes. "Or was this a dueling challenge you just so happen to push me to?"

"How much Ale have you had?"

"This is actually my first glass. I don't drink much at all. Great at making a hot chocolate though. Always does well at parties."

"What is hot chocolate? It sounds like a Terran drink." Katara wrinkled her nose.

"Oh, hm. Yes it is an earth drink, I add a little savory tone to it with a little bit of dried salted meat essence that I add. Ooh, I can tell you, it is grand. You must taste it." Lem looked her up and down for a moment. "Well, it has been decided, you and I are going to eat everything here and find the perfect food pairing for your wonderful ale."

Elsewhere in the hall another of the undercover crew had also noticed the ripples of conversation that followed a certain person clad in a green more emphatic even than the marble that made up the ballroom itself. Lexil spotted the profile of Katara Cretak making her way through the crowd. If something was afoot Cretak could well be involved. It occurred to the Denobulan that investigation was probably a good idea and it would give her an excuse to get away from the two initially quite charming persons who were currently engaged in a verbal duel for her attention, engaged to the extent they may not even notice her absence. Even so Lexil had the manners to formally excuse herself on the premise of trying more Ales and speaking to more people, a reason she intended to adhere to albeit directed in a more particular direction than they might expect.

Lexil made her way to an adjacent table and positioned herself so she could see around the proprietor who had kindly offered her a glass and keep an eye on Cretak. She made Ale related small talk for a short while, observing the interactions between Dr. Broll and the increasingly confused looking Cretak.

"I must move on," she said politely to the stall-keeper, "I still have much to try, but I shall certainly keep you in mind for my next event. Thank you." Lexil picked up her skirts with her right hand and glided over to sample what Cretak had to offer, looking over the stall with interest and in plain view of the owner.

It was hard to miss Lexil in more mundane circumstances, but dressed up for the party as she was, she drew the attention of those around her without any effort. Katara Cretak was no exception — anyone who could draw as much attention as herself warranted as much.

"Sample everything here? Even ignoring the need to cleanse the palate between, in order to get a proper taste for pairings, do you know how many types of morsels the Empress is having her catering staff parade around this ball in the style of the Federation?" Katara sneered as she spoke at the Bollian Doctor, but her attention was firmly on Lexil. She was trying to figure out the best way to disengage from this conversation without causing issues, and get into the orbit of the Denobulan who was drawing the sort of crowd that could bring the attention to Cretak ale if worked right.

"Ah well. If that's too much of a challenge for you, to beat a Bank of Bolias member would raise some eyebrows. We are known for our excellent tastes and well ...economical prowess." He softly chuckled while making up a small backstory for himself to keep her interest. Perhaps a title would increase attention span to him, so his colleague could work on her own things.

Katara raised one fiery eyebrow at the Bolian, then shook her head. "No one within the Federation even has the slightest idea of what economical prowess is. Excuse me." She started back towards the Cretak ale table.

Lem just shrugged, apparently she had never heard about the geniuses at the Bank of Bolias, or he was just mistaking his love for Bolians as skill.

Lexil looked up from the display as she spied its owner making her way over.

"Katara Cretak… such a pleasure, I was hoping to meet you here."

A wide smile spread across the lips of the fiery Romulan as she came to a stop next to Lexil. "The pleasure is all yours, but I am afraid you have me at a disadvantage, Miss...?"

"Fessta. I think you stand an excellent chance of winning if I may say, I have sampled many fine things today and before but this..." Lexil indicated with her sample glass of Cretak ale " really something. Divine!"

"If this were a fair contest, you may well be right, but I do appreciate the kind words none the less." Katara directed a look across the ballroom to where the Empress stood, and shook her head. Lexil followed her gaze.

"Ah. Well, I'm no expert in how these things work in the RSE but I'm sure the Empress will choose a winner who... best serves the interests of her Empire...?" She replied to Cretak with a slightly sarcastic look.

"That is one way to put it..." The lights above dimmed as the stage was bathed in green light. "It looks that we now get to see what the empress believes those interests to be." Katara set her jaw as she looked to the stage.

"Good luck," Lexil replied with a quick glance to Lem. She resolved to stay near Cretak, she had the excuse now and she was definitely someone to be monitored.

Lem glanced back with a small nod over the rim of his glass, it was recently filled. He never decided to chase, since he knew this wasn't his strong suit. He was a distraction, not an extractor. He was good at creating a scene or charming his way into people to keep them busy.

=/\= End Log =/\=
Lieutenant JG Lexil
Acting Chief Science Officer
USS Joshua Norton

Lieutenant Junior Grade Lem Broll M.D.
USS Joshua Norton, NCC-74819-A

Katara Cretak
Cretak Family


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