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Girl's Night

Posted on 14 Jul 2021 @ 11:51pm by Lieutenant Commander Camila Di Pasquale & Lieutenant Commander Joey Geisler & Lieutenant Commander Gemma Alexander & Lieutenant Avery Stuart Ph.D.

2,005 words; about a 10 minute read

Mission: Extinction
Location: Holodeck
Timeline: Mission Day 1 at 0000

Smoothing down her royal blue sundress, Avery looked over at the buffet table one more time. She had managed to replicate a variety of snacks and heavy hors d'oeuvres, which she hoped would suit some people's tastes. Stuart wasn't an alcohol drinker, but she made sure the holodeck's re-creation of one of her favorite sports bars from home included a holographic bartender along with its pool table, dartboard and jukebox.

After her meeting with T'Mari, Avery couldn't help but feel for her. Pregnant and a board by herself, she'd somehow managed to leave people feeling more suspicious about her than they might have already been given their last new counselor. Avery knew she couldn't control what other people thought, but she could at least facilitate an icebreaker while providing an opportunity for several female members of the crew to get together and relax. Selfishly, Avery also saw it as a way to relax and enjoy the company of others for a while.

The invitation had been a simple offer of fun, food, good music and perhaps friendly competition at trivia, darts, pool, or whatever games struck their fancy. Slick Mick's, or at least this replication of it, boasted all of that and more, including the best cheesesteaks and chicken wings Avery had ever tasted.

Gemma Alexander in green cargo pants, black shoes, plain shirt and a waist length brown leather jacket, entered. hair tied back and out of her way in her usual practical style. She looked around, "Guess I'm early." She muttered, hands in pockets.

Camila had been a bit reluctant to come, especially after what had transpired with the Counselor and her own deep rooted loathing of that particular department. Still, this was supposed to be off duty, she she put on a pair of black slacks and shirt, a pair of black running shoes and headed where the invite said to be. She rang the chime and waited to be allowed entrance.

Avery turned at the sound of Gemma's voice and smiled. "No worries. The others should be here shortly." Stuart offered her hand. "Avery Stuart. It's a pleasure to meet you. Thanks for coming. Feel free to head over to the bar and there's all sorts of food on the buffet."

At the sound of the chime, the holodeck doors opened admitting Camilla. Avery's smile widened. "Hey. Thanks so much for coming. I wasn't sure you'd be able to get away but I'm hoping to make this a fun night for everyone."

"I'll try not to make things awkward," Camila said. "Thanks for the invite, though."

"You are most welcome," Avery offered sincerely. "Just be yourself tonight. My intention is to make this a pressure free evening where we can all eat, chat, and maybe even play some games. I thought perhaps this would also be a good way for Lieutenant T'Mari to socialize some. Obviously, she's new here, and doesn't know too many people well, and at the same time, it's been a while since I've connected with any of you outside of work, so I thought this would kill two birds with one stone so to speak. Feel free to grab a drink and some hors d'oeuvres, unless you'd like to order something from the menu. This is a great place that I've visited a lot at home. They have fantastic pizza and even better cheesesteaks."

Gemma smiled and nodded at Avery before the other woman headed for the door then went over to the buffet and poured a glass of water.

Joey made her way inside and took a quick look around. A few of the ladies had already arrived, and she recognized all of them thus far. Still, she already missed her husband and kids, and she hadn't even been gone a full ten minutes yet. Maybe she'd duck out early after mingling a bit. With that in mind, the off duty Intelligence Chief surveyed her surroundings briefly before she approached the bar.

"Hi, Joey, evening Gemma," Camila said politely as she got a tropical, alcohol-free drink from the bar.

Joey ordered a pina colada, then turned her attention to the voice. "Camila, nice to see you in civilian clothes," she said with a smile. "Gemma... looks like we got that girl's night out sooner than we anticipated. Avery, thank you for the invite."

"Of course," Avery replied with a grin. "I'm just so glad all of you could make it. How long does it been since any of you have had any downtime?"

Gemma saluted Camilia with her glass of water and smiled at Joey in agreement before returning her attention to Avery, "Here and there." She replied.

"What's downtime?" Camila asked as she took a sip of her drink.

Joey looked thoughtful. She couldn't really recall the last time she had any kind of downtime alone, and truth be told, she was missing her family pretty bad. "It's been a while for me," she said. "Well, if you mean without the family, then it's been a while. If you mean with the family, then it happens pretty regularly."

Avery chuckled. "I imagine with two young children vying for your attention, it would be pretty hard not to do things with the family, not that you wouldn't want to of course." To Camilla, she offered, "You bring up an excellent question.
What is downtime? I think far too many of us have forgotten or at least have not gotten as much as we need. That's another reason why I wanted to set this up tonight. I know intellectually that it's important to take time to unwind and socialize, but you guys know, with recent events, at times, the need for relaxation was practically a voice screaming in my ear," she added with a smile. "So, what would you guys like to do? Are you hungry? As I was saying earlier, this place has some great food, but nothing terribly healthy, so no one tell anyone else in the medical department."

"Let's eat and then invade the holodeck," Camila suggested. "I found a Swedish masseuse program that I think everyone here will love."

Joey perked up. "Did someone say massage?"

Gemma perked up as well. "Food and a massage. I'm in."

"I can't think of a better way to spend the evening," Avery agreed with a wide smile. "Nothing says relaxation quite like a massage and some comfort food. Remind me not to eat too much, though. A full stomach and a massage could be a recipe for falling asleep." She then turned her attention to grabbing some menus. "I wasn't sure what everyone would like, so in addition to the replicated hors d'oeuvres, I made sure you could order just about anything from the menu. Anything in particular sound good?"

"I highly suggest Anna Tasca Lanza," Camila said. "It's the national dish where I came from in Sicily."

"Is it fattening?" Joey found herself asking. "I could definitely do with something fattening."

"It's a traditional pasta dish served with a sauce made with fresh sardines and wild fennel," the Camila told Joey. "Loaded with proteins."

"So answer is yes, quite fattening." Gemma commented with a grin, "Never met a carb a didn't I like, in this case that sounds good but so do several other things." She continued looking down at the menu, trying to decide.

"You lost me at sardines," Joey said as she fought against wrinkling her nose. "However, you ladies enjoy. I'll go with something like carbonara."

"I was kidding," the Security Chief said. "I don't do sardines, either. How about some gelato?"

Joey seemed to be relieved that Camila was only joking. "I can definitely get behind gelato."

"I think I will have the pasta with the tiny fish. In Britain we'll eat most anything from the sea, long as it doesn't eat us first." She politely didn't mention Jellied Eel, a traditional delicacy from her homeland. "And do they put Gelato on a cake slice? Or is that just for regular ice cream?" Gemma asked curiously, putting down the menu.

"Gelato is best with fresh peaches, blueberries, strawberries, and spiced apples or pears," Camila responded.

Avery consulted her menu, but really attended to the conversation around her. She enjoyed hearing everyone converse about things other than work or the trauma they had been through. " Life is short. What would you say if we ordered gelato first?"

Gemma nodded her thanks at Camila, she knew enough about food that sometimes it was best to pair them with certain things but not always what. Gemma was a big cake fan but was always up to try most any combo. "I'm game, my mum can't get here in time to stop me..." She glanced around, "Nope I'm safe."

Camila laughed. "Gelato is it," she said and headed to the replicator. "If you'll allow me, ladies." She entered a generic command for gelato and leaned against the wall. A moment later, the replicator gave a tone and a bowl of something which appeared greenish with blooms in dark purple hues and covered by fiery orange hairs and a shiny white coating of crystal resin. A sweet, herbal scent arose from it.

Joey watched Camila as she replicated something that didn't resemble any form of tasty treat she'd ever seen before. Her curiosity got the better of her. "What do you have there? It smells... different." And she wasn't sure if that was a good thing or a bad one.

Camila turned and blinked when she didn't see the delicious gelato she had been expecting. She picked up the bowl of dense green vegetable matter and sniffed it. " not gelato. Computer, identify."

After a moment, the computer beeped. "The product requested is Gelato, also known as "Larry Bird" and "Gelato #42" is an evenly-balanced hybrid marijuana strain made from a crossing of Sunset Sherbet and Thin Mint Girl Scout Cookies...."

"Stop. Marijuana?" The Security Chief blinked. "Who replaced gelato with...this?" She looked around.

"I can say with one hundred percent certainty that it was not me," the off duty Intelligence Chief said. "It should be pretty easy to figure out, though."

"Computer, list personnel who made changes to gelato," Camila requested with a hint of annoyance. The computer paused. And paused longer before it beeped.

"Holographic Assistance and Support Avatar changed the code on stardate..." It listed the exact day and time.

"Shit! That thing made changes that still haven't been fully fixed," Camila growled. "Computer, delete gelato from the LCARS and any changes made by HASA." She gave her authorization codes and the computer beeped.

"Changes removed," the computer intoned.

"HASA the gift that keeps on giving..." Gemma muttered, mildly annoyed.

Avery shook her head and offered a dry humorless laugh. "Are we to believe our holographic pain in the ass needed medical marijuana to address holographic anxiety or perhaps glaucoma?"

"It clearly needed something," Joey said with a laugh that mirrored Avery's. She wanted to have fun... she really did, but things didn't seem to be going in that direction for her. Especially since she missed Harvey and their kids. "I'm sorry, ladies, but I think it's time for me to tap out. I do hope you all have fun, though."

"Forget the gelato, let's just go to the holodeck and get Sweded," Camila offered.

"I'm game. Come on Joey, let's at least do a massage before you go eh?" Gemma tossed in encouragingly. Her friend should get out at least a bit, if they were going to be denied awesome ice cream, least they could get was some buff person massaging out some tension. She figured they could all use that.

Joey could tell her decision to leave early caused a little disappointment among her friends. She didn't want that. "Okay," she conceded. "I'll stay for a while longer."

"Then let's go," Camila said. "There's hunks to manhandle our tired muscles and forget for a while."

"Onward and flatward...." Gemma replied with a smile and started for the doorway.


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