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Christmas Cheer (Part II)

Posted on Wed Feb 16th, 2022 @ 10:59pm by Lieutenant Paul Michael & Lieutenant Commander Alyssa Maren & Major Cornelius Tremble & Ensign Auba Lyna & Staff Warrant Officer Mira Jayna & Chief Petty Officer Llaxia & Helena Moreno & Lieutenant Josh Randall & Lieutenant Junior Grade Zhara Rynn
Edited on on Thu Mar 24th, 2022 @ 2:01am

Mission: Episode 12 - Risin' To Risa
Location: Crew Lounge
Timeline: December 23rd 2396 2130 hrs


[PREVIOUSLY]


Turning at the voice, Neil took in the brown-haired woman and nodded. "Counselor. Getting your Christmas cheer on I see." Casting his eyes back toward the gathering he said, "It seems the concept isn't overly hard to grasp by other races. I suppose most races share something similar, somewhere along their historical lines."

[CONTINUED]


"Yes, or adopted Terran ones," she re plied, raising her glass to him. "Most have some sort of end-of-year celebration, but the Terran Christmas has nice overtones."

Sipping at his Slush, Neil considered the counselor's words and said, "Considering its origins and the twists and turns it took through our species. I think the worst part of is how it became commercialized for profit. I know a few Ferengi who were actually impressed by that era in Earth's history.

She considered that for a moment as she took a sip of her wine. "That is an interesting perspective. I like the more traditional meaning with decorated trees, candlelight, fireplaces, and all the trimmings." She raised her glass to indicate the decorations. "But this is very nice."

"I agree," Neil said, his eyes tracking over the festivities. "Taking some of the traditional and adding in your own is more to the spirit." After another sip from his drink, he grinned, "Although I should add a campaign ribbon to the tree to commemorate old companions."

Glancing at Zhara he asked, "What would you add to the spirit of the festive, if you chose to do so?"

"You know, that might be interesting. Allow the crew to add a ribbon to the tree for an old companion as a tribute. It would add a...personal aspect and help us remember." Zhara took another drink as she considered his question. "I think what I would change would involve a holodeck. I like snow at Christmas, and that's only available on a holodeck. Then you could have sleigh rides and a reason for a large fireplace in a cottage or Victorian house." She smiled. "As I said, I'm a bit old-fashioned."

Grinning, Neil said. "You'd love Nalujuit Night, counselor. In northern Labrador, on Earth Epiphany Night, or Old Christmas Day, is also known as Nalajuit Night. On this night teenagers and adults dress up in costumes and creepy masks and, waving sticks, chase young children through the streets—all in fun, of course." Neil chuckled, his eyes taking on a faraway look as he recalled another time.

"According to tradition, if a child was caught by a Nalujuk, he or she had to sing a song in Inuktitut. If they sang the right song, they were rewarded with candy or a treat, he finished, chuckling. "Sounds barbaric, yeah?"

She chuckled. "That would depend on what happened if they sang the wrong song. Although I'm not so sure about chasing children through the street. I can see situations where that could be...harmful." She shook her head. "Then again, Earth's Great Britain used to tell ghost stories on Christmas, so scaring people does seem to be part of the Christmas tradition."

"Scaring youngsters is part of a lot of old earth traditions. And if you boil things back far enough, you find the same of many species, Neil commented. "People need to know how to deal with fear and understand that it's a good thing to be afraid. Understanding fear and being able to function despite it is a good thing."

Neil smiled wider then, "And what happened if the kiddos didn't know the song, depended on the kiddo. Usually, it was benign. I think the first time I screwed it up I got tossed in the harbor."

Paul and Lyna walked around the room, looking at the decorations and the food. Lyna looked at a bowl with some liquid. "Paul. What is this?" He looked, turned to her and responded. "It's called Eggnog. It's a traditional Christmas drink." Lyna looked at him. "Should I try it?" "It does contain alcohol, so be careful." Lyna picked up a glass, and dipped it into the liquid. She then raised the glass to her lips and took a sip. "My that is interesting...interesting nice...but interesting." She glupped down the remainder of her glass, and refilled it.


Paul, seeing that Lyna was a little worse for wear, guided her to a table, then went and got some food. He returned and placed the plate before her. "What's this?", she asked. "Food. Eat it." Paul responded. "Can I get another eggnog?" she asked. "Not right now." said Paul. Lyna then started to nibble what was on the plate.

Josh Randle, the ship's surgeon, entered the room and looked around.

Bustling about with bundles of mistletoe, Gus noticed the surgeon enter and paused to wave one of the bundles his way. "Hey ya, doc," the marine said cheerfully. "Welcome to the bash!"

Watching the surgeon wander deeper into the party without comment, Gus shrugged and went upon his appointed rounds, delivering presents from the Cure.

Looking for her mother, Helena found herself standing in front of a table with a Deltan woman sitting there alone.

"Hi, my name's Helena. Don't you like Christmas?" She said to the woman.

"No, we don't celebrate it on my world, Helena." Llaxia said, "and I've never been one for parties, my twin sister, Jedeli was the party girl."

"Was? Is she gone?" Helena asked.

"Yes, and no, it’s complicated." Llaxia said.

Helena closed her eyes and concentrated briefly. Opening her eyes, she asked. "Jedeli, you're here too, ain't you?"

Llaxia thought about lying to the girl, but instead she said. "Yes, she is. She can't communicate with you, but she can see you and hear you through my eyes and ears." The Deltan paused. "And she wants to know how you know?"

"My grandmother is Betazoid and she taught me how to use my empathic abilities, and I could sense two sets of emotions coming off you, and I put things together.

"Smart girl, I like her." Jedeli said.

"Jedeli likes you, Helena." Llaxia said.

"I'm glad. Merry Christmas, both of you." Helena replied.

====

Jayna didn't normally attend parties, but she was feeling a bit lonely without her sister. They'd been apart for years, but the short time they'd both served on the Pioneer had brought back their old closeness. At least the Christmas party would give her a chance to meet some of the new crew. She paused, noticing an unfamiliar face, then moved toward her when she connected it with the list of new officers. "Lieutenant Maren?"

Alyssa turned to look at the Vulcan approaching her. "Yes?" She didn't recognize the other woman, and as she was dressed in a black leather jumpsuit, she didn't know what department she was in, either.

"I'm Mira Jayna. I work in intel." She smiled, noting the surprise that flashed in the scientist's eyes for a moment before it was replaced by a smile in return. "Or just Jayna. Welcome aboard."

"Thank you. "I don't think I've met anyone from intel yet. But then, it's not a large department, is it?"

"No, there isn't a need for many of us here." Jayna liked the smaller department.

"Science is relatively small as well. But then, Intrepids don't need the number of the larger classes. It's more...homey." Alyssa shrugged. "At least on first impression. I haven't been here very long." She cocked her head to one side. "Mira Jayna isn't a Vulcan name..."

"No. My father was Bajoran." Because her parent's blood was incompatible, she was physiologically Vulcan, but she was still proud of her heritage.

"Ah. That makes sense," Alyssa replied. "I'm a hybrid myself. It can be problematic in some ways, but I like having two different cultures to draw from."

"Indeed." Jayna inclined her head in agreement.

====

Lyna looked at Paul. She put her arms around his neck. "Has anyone ever told you you're a sexy man?"

Paul looked at her. "Yes."

Lyna looked back at him with a worried look. "Who was it? I'll break their legs!"

"It was you." Paul answered.

Lyna whispered, "Maybe we should back to our quarters now." She nibbled on his ear.

Paul stood up, took her by the hand, and they left and headed back to their quarters.

====

Jayna walked around, chatting from time to time. When she passed the bar, she spoke softly over Tremble's shoulder. "Merry Christmas, Neil."

Smiling into the mouth of his glass, he finished taking a sip and turned to see Jayna. "Well hello Jayna," he replied. "Sneaking up on an old marine? And yes, Merry Christmas indeed. What do you think of the festivities?

"Walking quietly is not sneaking." She grinned. She knew from working with him that he was far too observant to be caught off guard that easily. She glanced around the room. "The place looks great. Enjoying yourself?"

Instead of instantly replying, Neil thought about that for a moment and then nodded. "Aye," he said, "Though kind of remotely. People gather into small groups at these kinds of functions and I find myself taking on a spectator roll a large chunk of the time."

She nodded. She generally played spectator, too.

Taking another drink, Neil thought about those words then amended, "Well, in the past. Now with my new role, I feel sort of compelled to ensure others have fun and can take part in some things." After yet another sip of his slush, he ghosted a wink at Jayna and asked, "Feel like singing?"

Jayna had no idea what he had in mind, but it was Christmas and she was feeling adventurous. She raised an eyebrow and then smiled. "Sure. What are you thinking of, specifically?"

Smiling, Neil crooked a finger at her and wandered over to where a piano sat, nestled into an alcove near a viewport. Sliding onto the bench and opening the key cover.

Running fingers over the keys experimentally, he asked Jayna, "So, any requests?"

Thinking for a moment, Jayna asked, "Do you know I'll Be Home for Christmas?" It was a very old song, but fit her mood.

Neil nodded and started into the piece, trying to shut down his brain and let muscle memory do the work. "I'll try and sing background," he remarked, his tone half amused.

She nodded and began to sing the old Bing Crosby song. Jayna enjoyed Terran Christmas songs, but she rarely indulged in public. She had to admit, she liked singing with Neil. He had a good ear.

By the time the two finished the song, Alyssa had joined them at the piano. "That was beautiful. How about Jingle Bells?"

Neil's fingers wandered over the keys and he nodded to Alyssa. "Ok Alyssa. Let's get the group going, hey?" Then he began playing the requested Jingle Bells loudly on the piano.

Alyssa began to sing. A measure later, Jayna joined in with the harmony.

By the end of the song, several others came to join them, taking their turn to request favorite carols. Zhara brought over a tray of drinks and set them on the back of the piano for everyone, then joined in herself. Carols always went better with a good drink or two. Especially with good company.

A Post by

Major Cornelius Tremble
Executive Officer, USS Pioneer
Commanding Officer, The Cure


Lieutenant Alyssa Maren
Chief Science Officer, USS Pioneer


Staff Warrant Officer Mira Jayna
Assistant Chief Intelligence Officer, USS Pioneer


Lieutenant Junior Grade Zhara Rynn
Counselor, USS Pioneer


Chief Petty Officer Llaxia
Structural/Environmental Specialist, USS Pioneer


Major Cornelius Tremble
Executive Officer, USS Pioneer
Commanding Officer, The Cure


Corporal Tyrigus Fry
Rifleman RFT 1, USS Pioneer


Lieutenant Paul Michael
Chief Flight Control Officer, USS Pioneer


Helena Moreno
Child, USS Pioneer


Ensign Auba Lyna
Security Officer, USS Pioneer


Lieutenant Josh Randall
Suregeon, USS Pioneer

 

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