New Years Eve
Yayoi carefully undid the straps and placed the wrapped bundle on the new item she requisitioned from the fabricators before she got dressed for the party and quietly walked out.
Upbeat music thumped in the wardroom and champagne was passed around as the crew celebrated the end of YE 44 aboard the ship. It was heavily snowing outside but on the ship, all systems were now up and running again and the air was nice and warm. The scent of pork roast, greens, black-eyed peas, fruit pies, and other goodies drifted out from the kitchen. Everything in the wardroom was new, as it had to be replaced after the fire. The ceiling was covered in red ribbons with kanji characters written on them with hopes for the new year, and all crew members were welcome to hop in an join as long as they wanted for the rolling party that went on from lunch to late in the evening.
Poppy arrived wearing a form-fitting glittering black dress with a big slit on one leg, and thigh high black leather boots. She paid her respects to the captain, who was greeting everyone by the door, and then took a booth seat near her roommates Euikoshi, Pidole, and Cassie. Pidole was hundred over her table feeding her large blue beetle peach cobbler out of a spoon.
It was a party to make up for all the parties she had missed while she was busy with her pharmacy specialist certificate program. Chiasa arrived clad in a pink bodycon mini dress with matching high heels that added six inches to her height. Her pointed, elf-style ears were bedecked with oversized hoop earrings and her neck had a black choker styled in the manner of a BDSM collar. After acknowledging the captain with a short bow, Chiasa made her way to the drinks area and poured herself a glass of lemonade, before floating over to the booths.
Shortly thereafter, Thia arrived. Rather than her usual pleated skirt uniform and combat boots, she was wearing a volumetric dress that looked like fire was dancing from the valleys of her body and licking at her hills. The fire trailed behind her in a long dress that fell to the floor but left no singe marks where it ought to. Something in her hair made it float and dance as if it were also made of flames. Ahead of her, she saw Chiasa and smiled, looking forward to catching up with her after the break.
As Thia passed Aoba, she was never sure if she should salute or bow, but in the end she chose a deep, respectful bow. "Thank you for having me, Captain. It's great to be here."
Unlike the women of his department, Vec couldn't be arsed to dress up further than required. Over an army-issued thermal undershirt, the CMO wore faded SH DEATH shirt and called it a day.
Yayoi silently walked in while dressed in her dress uniform. Her eyes looked around the room to those arriving. Vec was spotted immediately, as was Thia and Chiasa before she made her way to Vec. "doc" she said simply.
Nanook ducked through the entryway to the wardroom. His right shoulder and chest was bare, a purple sash running from his left shoulder to his waist. A pair of purple baggy pants covered his legs, his clawed toes and furry feet open to the air. A braided leather and brass circlet adorned the crown of his head. He glanced around the room apprehensively, he felt, out of his element.
After returning Asakura's nod, Vec made a beeline towards the food with eyes locked on the collard greens. He hoped they had a good hot sauce.
Yayoi pondered how to say it, as she followed to where the food were. "By the way.. I'll need you to give a.. check up on someone later on, oh, and it isnt me" she said in passing to Vec, and Poppy as she moved to get her food.
Freezing with a clump of greens clamped between tongs, Vec looked at the ranger. "Go on," he said quickly sliding back into doctor mode.
Yayoi placed food on her tray and for a moment she pondered taking something back to her cabin. "i.. have a youngling currently she's sleeping but I wanted to make sure she's healthy and nothing is of concern." She said simply "I plan on telling Poppy if you prefer she handle it"
Vec sighed, was there some sort of standing 'Resurgence must have one child at all times' order he wasn't aware of? "I can handle it," Vec said. "I won't pry, but is this something the Captain is aware of?"
Yayoi focused on her food gathering, and got distracted by Beryl and Sakuko before she could respond.
Returning to loading down his plate Vec muttered, "If this is a fucking dry party, I'm taking this plate back to my cabin."
As the crew started to gather, Beryl and Sakuko arrived with a large number of Type 36 Holiday Kits and passed one out to everyone. "I'm sorry we didn't get these out earlier but everyone was on leave," Beryl explained loud enough for everyone to hear her. The kits contained a number of Yule-related supplies for Star Army soldiers.
Once she was inside and the formal greetings were out of the way, Thia followed shortly behind Chiasa. She played at being stealthy, but it was hard to be inconspicuous when her dress was literally made of fire. Before she caught up, Beryl intercepted her and she took one of the holiday kits. "Thank you, sweetie," she smiled at the supply specialist before continuing her hunt for Chiasa.
Euikoshi made her way over to the huge Kodian to introduce herself. "Hello! I'm Euikoshi, your friendly science wizard! Is this your first day aboard?" she asked Nanook.
Unfortunately, Thia's attempt at stealth was an utter failure! As she moved over to the booths, Chiasa pointed ears perked up upon registering the familiar, syrupy-smooth notes of Thia's voice. Suddenly, the tiny Nekovalkyrja spun around in mid-air, her eyes going wide as she threw herself into the taller woman's arms, nearly splashing her lemonade in the process!
"Thia! Oh Empress, I'm sorry I couldn't go the the Winter Solstice thing with you! It's been so long!" Chiasa began, her tone high-pitched and dramatic. "I wish I could have made the time, but..." The tiny Nekovalkyrja gave a soft sigh. "I feel like I just threw my time management skills out the window." She finished with a frown.
Thia laughed and wrapped her arms around Chiasa, careful not to hit her with the holiday kit. "It's good to see you too, honey," Thia practically purred. "Don't worry about the Solstice thing, I ended up spending most of the time with Vec in the end. Although I'm not sure if that makes it much better."
With a deep intake of air, Chiasa withdrew from the hug before glancing up to take in Thia's fiery volumetric outfit. Her jaw formed an O-shape as she gazed at the flames licking and dancing across the lithe curves of the Counselor's slender form and the crown of flames in her lustrous brown hair. It went without saying that the tiny Nekovalkyrja was stunned by the Nepleslian's outfit, but reaction might also have been an expected one.
"You look stunning Thia, but...oh my gosh, we have to take a selfie, right now!" The tiny Nekovalkyrja squealed.
"You look fantastic yourself! Pink really suits you. We absolutely need a selfie," Thia replied immediately, then looked down at her holiday kit. "Unless there's a camera in here, I don't have one. Unless we can find a mirror, then I can take a pic with my cybernetics."
"Here, I'll just take one of you right now!" Chiasa said. Suddenly, the tiny Nekovalkyrja fished her Type 36 Communicator seemingly out of nowhere from the bosom of her dress. Then, floating a couple meters back, she brought the device up and pointed it towards the Counselor.
"Okay, hand under your chin, like so!" Chiasa said, as she placed the backside of her hand under her own chin to demonstrate. "Good! Now, framing your face! Throw your hips out!" She added. From there, the tiny Nekovalkyrja didn't stop until she had recorded Thia in what might have seemed like every pose possible, shouting out encouragement and directions as she did.
Thia felt her cheeks grow warm for the first time she could remember in years. Thankfully, a little blush didn't show up very easily on her dark skin, especially when she was wearing a fire dress. But along with the blush, she also felt her cheeks start to hurt from smiling too hard.
Nanook watched the green haired Minkan woman approach with a sense of trepidation. He wasn't sure if he should simply stand at his full height or not, so he took a knee to bring his bulk closer to her level. "It is indeed" he said in a deep baritone. "Quite the gathering here, care for a bite?" Nanook motioned towards the food with his outstretched arm.
"Sure," Euikoshi grinned. "I hope it doesn't seem rude to say that you look extremely cuddly," she laughed as she joined the buffet line. "But I'm also glad you're on our side. Good luck finding one of the crew to spar with in the dojo. It's not going to be me!" she giggled with a hint of nervousness.
Yayoi silently observed the gift giving, and glanced over to Thia and Chiasa then to the newcomer she'd spotted, "Welcome to the Resurgence" she said "i am Itto Heisho Asakura" she said to the giant before her. She glanced towards Eukoshi as she made her comment about him looking extremely cuddly.
Nanook managed to say, "Thank you, it is an honor to join this crew." in response to Yayoi before turning back to Euikoshi. " I...uh....uhm. I try to keep my fur clean...." His mouth worked trying to form additional words, but the brain to mouth barrier seemed to have been compromised. Nanook quickly grabbed a large loave of bread, and stuffed the entire thing in his mouth to cover for his awkwardness as he chewed.
Poppy went over to Vec. "I guess we didn't miss each other much, but I hope we can get a fresh start with the new year," she told him. "I want us to be able to trust each other."
Stopping with a fork full of food halfway to his mouth, he lowered the food to address Poppy. "I don't really have any ill will towards you, never have," he said. "We did get off to a rough start. Where that stands... well, we've got more important things to deal with most of the time."
Yayoi didn't know how to respond so she said nothing, Though she was concerned over Euikoshi talking to Nanook.
"Do you like humanoid women?" Euikoshi asked Nanook. "Are you seeing anyone right now? You know, Yayoi is single, I think."
Yayoi chokes on her apple juice.
Nanook choked on the partially chewed loaf of bread in his maw, a cough sent a huge chunk of partially masticated bread covered in Kodian saliva into Yayois face. "Oh...oh shit.." Nanook attempted to find something to give the woman to wipe her face, in his panic he grabbed the first thing he saw. The table cloth.......
Yayoi gasped as not only did Euikoshi cause her to choke on her juice, but now thanks to the goofball, she caused Nakook to make a mess on her face. oh crap She thought as Nanook made to take the tablecloth. "stop!" she said in a firm tone of voice as she took a napkin from her pocket and wiped her face.
Delmira entered the wardroom finally wearing a shirt and shorts and gave a yawn. She looked around before heading to the food.
Kinie perked up and went over to Delmira, planting a black lipstick kiss on her cheek, and giving her a smile. "Happy new year!"
Yayoi fixed Euikoshi with a icy glare before Delmira's arrival.
Nanooks ears twitched wildly in embarrassment as the woman wiped his food from her face. "I...I am so sorry. I don't know what...I...uh...." Another coughing fit came over him as he tired to breath. He watched as the woman dodged away, smart move. He quickly grabbed for a bottle of liquid, upending it into his mouth to attempt to clear away the bread debris. The liquid was warm as it washed over his tongue......really warm. It was actually hot. It burned. Glancing at the bottle he saw the label, Wasabi.
Delmira purred softly. "There was a party? I thought it was just a holiday meal." She said and looked at Kinie.
"Of course," Kinie laughed. "Hey, look, I'm sorry that Frank didn't make it," she said, giving Delmira hand a reassuring squeeze. "You're gonna be okay. Let's have a good night and start the new year on a fresh note."
"Alright," Thia said, pulling herself upright and putting her hands on her hips as she marched over to Chiasa with a stern expression on her face, despite her continuing smile. With one fluid movement, she reached her hand up and hooked a finger into Chiasa's choker, pulling her close. "I want one of us together, now."
Chiasa squeaked, before a wicked grin manifested across her features as Thia pulled her in close by her choker. Then, as if on cue, a FARS Drone appeared in front of the two women, at which point Chiasa pushed herself up against Thia's taller form to drink in the lovely scent of the Counselor's perfume, before shifting her gaze to the camera!
"Oh, it's gonna be more than just one." Chiasa purred, a soft giggle escaping from her lips as the drone snapped one picture after the other!
"Good," Thia replied, still grinning. She couldn't help but be infected by Chiasa's excitement. Was this what it was like to have someone she cared about whom she saw more than once? Thia thought to herself that she could get used to the feeling.
"I've got plans for this later," Thia whispered into Chiasa's ear before finally letting go of her collar.
"Later?" Chiasa purred as the FARS Drone floated off. "What about..." The tiny Nekovalkyrja placed her fingers under her chin in mock contemplation. "Now?" She finished. While it went without saying that they couldn't much more than just kiss, cuddle, or if they were brave, grind in this context, Chiasa wanted nothing more than to get a rise out of Thia, dutifully playing the part of the perpetually-lustful Nekovalkyrja!
"Not brave enough for it, hmm?" She added, a bold-faced attempt to tease the taller Nepleslian.
"Ha!" Thia laughed far too loudly and quickly covered her mouth before letting out a gentle giggle that was like an aftershock from her initial eruption. "I'm brave enough for this," she said as she hooked Chiasa's collar again and leaned down to give her a kiss. "You'll have to wait until later for the rest."
Yayoi grunted as she quickly dodged back away from Nanook as she didn't want to get anything more on her face. Yayoi found herself too late to warn him about the Wasabi, and silently handed him the ingredient that would take care of it before she moved on.
Poppy gave Vec a nod, looking into his eyes curiously for a moment before giving him a little smile and heading back to her table with her food, her big pink ponytail swaying behind her. When she got back there, Pidole and Cassie were busy decorating their miniature Yule Tree with ornaments right in the middle of their dining table. Of course that beetle was in the tree.
Delmira smiled at Kinie. "Thanks." She said and the short neko was suddenly wearing a maxi dress with a thigh high slit and some cutout lace along her hips which hugged her form nicely and was a shade of gray that matched her hair. Her smile turned into a grin. "Shall we go stuff our faces with food and then enjoy a food coma together?"
"Sure!" Kinie laughed.
As Poppy left, Vec tucked into his food with gusto. Part of... most of him wanted to just go back to his quarters but he knew Thia wouldn't let him hear the end of it. Maybe he should say hey to the new crewman, the Kodian.
Tears streamed from Nanooks eyes as he gratefully accepted the jug of milk from Yayois hand. He managed a brief smile and nod to her before quickly excusing himself to a secluded area of the wardroom to nurse his mortally wounded ego, and burning pallet.
"What's his deal?" Euikoshi asked as Nanook ran off, shrugging and returning to her table.
Yayoi glanced to Chiasa and Thia, and for a moment she pondered if they were lovers. Delmira and Kinie were next to be thought of before she walked and soon found herself approaching Poppy, at Pidole, and Cassie's table. She almost smiled as she watched the cute display before her.
Approaching the hulking Kodian, Vec caught sight of the man's distress, "You ok soldier?" he asked looking all the way up at the Kodian.
Poppy, who had just sat down, was having to do that awkward thing where you have to get up to let someone into the booth, namely Eukoshi. She gave Yayoi a little bow of respect before she sat down again. Meanwhile Pidole and Cassie were admiring the tree. "It's beautiful! What do you think, Yayoi?"
Yayoi nodded to Poppy, then turned her attention to Pidole and Cassie. "Agreed, it is beautiful" she said as she thought about another beautiful subject a second.
Nanook watched the dark skinned man approach, "My people subsist on fish and berries. I don't know what this devilry is, but it shouldn't be ingested by any intelligent creature." He took a long pull on the jug of milk. "I shudder to think what fate awaits me with its passage later....."
"I got pretty acquainted with Kodian diet a few years back," Vec said splashing a bit of hot sauce on his greens. "What'ed you just eat?"
"Thanks for getting some photos," captain Aoba thanked Chiasa. "I'm hoping you'll be able to get everyone counseled once the new year starts," he told Thia.
Nanook's eyes were wet and bloodshot as he responded to Vec, "It said WASABI on the bottle. It was as if I were pouring lava into my mouth. I don't understand why such a hazardous thing would be among the food."
"You don't eat it straight, it's a bit of a spice, toss a little on the food. A very little. Don't worry, I made the same mistake oh, what nearly twenty years ago," Vec said before tucking into his food.
"A mistake it was", Nanook intoned as he glanced towards Asakura, "I hope that Ms. Asakura doesn't smell of fish for the rest of the evening. I had a rather potent rock salmon fillet earlier. They are known for thier....aroma."
"She's a ranger, she's probably crawled through worse for training," Vec said. "But yeah, that would probably suck a little." Looking back up at the man, Vec said, "Oh yeah, I'm Vec, CMO on this boat. Come see me at some point for your checkup, and Thia, the lady in the flame dress over there for your psych eval. But don't worry too much about that tonight. I'm basically off duty unless I see somebody choking."
Yayoi glanced around and spotted the Captain, and wondered if he got her message, though unsure about the reliability of the communications technology. She nodded to the other girls, and made her way to Aoba, Chiasa and Thia.
Chiasa was just about to pout, but the tiny Nekovalkyrja straightened herself out as she saw the Captain approaching. Running a hand through her hair to work out the kinks, Chiasa offered the Minkan a pure, innocent smile, as if she hadn't just finished begging Thia to bang her in public!
"Oh! It's a pleasure, sir. Happy New Years!" Chiasa offered a casual bow. "Thank you for hosting the party!"
"Thank you Captain," Thia followed Chiasa's lead, turning to smile at Aoba. "I am working through the crew list slowly, but surely. The CMO specifically wanted medical staff to be first, so I made them my priority."
Yayoi nodded her head in greeting"Chiasa, Thia, Captain, Happy Year end to you three" she said to them before adding "Captain, considering how late it was, i was wondering if you got my last message? about my...guest in my cabin?" she asked.
Thia smiled at Yayoi, and seemed to notice her for the first time, though she was relatively certain she'd seen her at their truth or dare game. Thia's hazel cybernetic eye glowed slightly brighter as she inspected Yayoi's own heterochromia. "Happy year end to you too," she added quietly, not wanting to interrupt the Neko's more serious-sounding question to the Captain.
"The Resurgence is your workplace and sometimes a combat zone. It is not your house. No one is allowed on this ship without my permission," Aoba answered. "Only the the crew may come with us on our missions. You'll have to make arrangements. I can give you extra leave if you need it."
Yes sir" Yayoi said thinking she'll need to make other arrangements.
Nanook nodded to Vec and emptied the jug of milk in his paw. "I believe the young lady with the pink fur was looking forward to an exam with me. Perhaps she is excited to see a Kodian."
"Yeah..." Vec said in a noncommittal tone. "So about that salmon, got any more?"
Delmira smiled and sat down at the table with her plate of food. "We do need to have a talk later but for now lets just enjoy ourselves." Delmira said to Kinie
"Okay," Kinie said. She curled up next to Delmira and sipped a glass of wine.
Delmira purred and leaned into Kinie as she ate her meal.
Nanook produced a container nearly a foot long and four inches wide, strips of dried rock salmon visible inside, handing it to Vec, "Help yourself, I do advise caution, the smell can be...overwhelming."
"Translation: Packed with umami," Vec said eyes fixed on the box. He hadn't had Kodian cuisine in about three years. "Let me grab some booze and we can make this a party, drinking anything harder than milk soldier?"
Nanook lifted a flask of dark amber liquid, "Kodian Blood Mead, care for some?"
"My man," Vec said with a grin before opening the box. "I wish I had something to trade, but thus is life."
Nanook procured a pair of tumblers from a nearby table, filling them as he and Vec attempted to destroy each others livers.
As per Yamatai traditions, Vec poured shots of the thick mead for himself and Nanook. "Kanpai!" he said raising his glass. From his experience, the stuff was a bit on the strong and sweet side, not really something to sip.
A chirp issued from Nanooks personal dataslate. I glanced down at it. His face took on a stony expression. Without looking at Vec he simply said, "Keep it, I'll make more. Excuse me." As Nanook climbed to his feet, rushing towards the exit to his bunk on Deck Two. He read the headline over and over. "Chemical attack in Gashmere City, thousands injured and dead."
"You good, soldier?" Vec said reaching a hand out to stop the man. It was too late, to stop the man, so he simply packed up the fish, tucked the box under his arm and took off after the man, mead in hand. He took off after the soldier. Something was wrong, and his job as CMO was to keep an eye on his crew's wellbeing.
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OOC: JP by Wes, Ajax, Charaa, Cowboy, Soresu, Soban, Spaceeye, Shadowwalker, Ethereal, Yuuki, Zanven, Locke, Damaske, Hyralt, Immortal Cyan, Ame, Dana