A Party, A Problem, and A Plan

* Thursday, July 3rd, 2071. 7:30 pm on Citidas Station, and a waxing Saturn is high in the station's viewports as the night shift gets ready to begin.

* Tina bounces around in her quarters, trying to get some value of nicely dressed. And ignoring the smartass comentary from the small cage on the desk in the meantime.

*Narnian* [Hotaru] {scrub scrub scrub} . o 0 ( damned ) {scrub scrub scrub} . o 0 ( Disturbance ) {scrub scrub scrub} . o 0 ( scuffing the ) {scrub scrub scrub} . o 0 ( paint )

-} *Narnian* *BREAK*

* Val goes about the business of getting nicely dressed in her own quarters, not having to contend with commentary. Elsewhere, Ian does similarly.

* Tina ponders. Ponder ponder ponder.

* The clock continues to tick down on its digital display. Saturn glows in its ocher and tan glory. The air handlers recycler NO2 for your breathing pleasure.

* Tina ponders....finding Ian and Val!

* Tau is doing his Dead Hamster imitation in the middle of the cage, on his back with four rigid little paws in the air. "About that time?"

{Tina} Yeah. You two be okay here?

{Tau} Yah. I don't think we'd be all that much good for recon at this point anyway and we might be a liiiiittle too obvious if we go with you. I can manage something if I really need to scope the Grove though. By the way, you look good.

* Tina looks down at herself, in her best little Grad Intern Business suit, given her choice of clothing was by necessity limited when coming to Citidas. She blushes a bit. "Thanks.'

* Tau grins with about four little rodent teeth. "We'll just be here, and I'll be here with Muon to give the rundown if you find anything juicy." He pauses, dropping his voice. "And if you have any problems with....*that*....give me a holler. We'll see what we can do."

* Muon, also imitating Rigid Dead Hamster, only on his side with his rigid little paws sticking out, pokes up his head to nod. "Right. {mutters darkly about Shedim} Y'take care."

* Tina grins a tiny bit. "Right. Thanks...later, guys."

* Tina waves a bit and heads out the door, in direction of Val's room, she being the closer.

* Val's room is easily reached, being really nearby and all. The lights of the hallway are at 75%, signifying the beginning of the evening cycle on the station.

* Tina knocks on de Door of de Seraph!

* The door opens, and apparently Val was about ready to step out. She's looking appropriately elegant in her suit.

{Val} Ah, hello Tina. *ss*

* Tina blinks, and feels extremely ungainly and short compared to Val's blonde Seraphic elegance for a moment. "Heya, Val." {sheepish grin} "I think it's about that time. "

{Val} I believe you're right, yes. Shall we?

* FYI, Tina's in a blue navy suit, with nicely cut blazer and knee-length skirt and flats, pink and silver silk scarf through a metal bolo holder, her hair back in a loose chignon, face discreetly made up. Just for future reference.

{Tina} We shall!

* Val therefore takes point and heads in the direction of the upcoming gathering.

* Tina follows the Most Holy, naturalishly.

* The direction of the upcoming gathering leads to the outermost lounge area on the edge of Gamma Quadrant Exec Level, while several other folks are waiting for the elevator that leads, airlock fasion, to the Gamma Grove proper.

{Tina} And...wait....should we try to find Brian first, or meet him there?

{Val} I believe meeting him there would be most efficient. He is undoubtedly on his way.

{Tina} Right. Pity my idea of efficiency was always doing right angles to linear thought.

* FYI, Val is attired similarly to Tina, save that her suit is a lighter shade of blue and the scarf around her neck is a nice maroon color.

* Val hehs a bit, and continues the thing of heading for the party.

* Tina smiles wryly.

* Tina then walks with.

* Soon they reach the lounge in question. Several folks mill about, none of them particularly recognizeable to either Tina or Val.

* Tina blinkies, looking around. And feeling oddly naked for some strange reason without a rodent in her pockets. Not that she hasn't worked this whole week with rodents in her pockets, but...

* There -is- a more recognizable beefy guy in a nice black suit approaching.

* Tina brightens and waves. "Hey there!"

* Ian sees Tina and smiles, waving back as he approaches. "Hey yourself. You look absolutely lovely tonight."

* Tina blushes. "Thank you, kind sir. You're not looking so bad yourself.

* Ian hehs. "Thanks. And you're looking very nice as well, Val."

{Val} My thanks, Ian. *ss*

* There's a ding as the elevator at the end of the lounge opens, and folks file in, some more eager than others.

* Ian looks in that general direction, people-watching.

## INServ rolled 3d6 = 12 (6 3 3).

* Tina blinkies that way too, just for the heckofit.

* The folks are all familar to Ian, less-so to Tina, and one of the women in there, in TriOp Security garb, waves at them. "Hey, Brian! You and your friends coming? Got room for three more!"

* Brian looks to Tina and Val. "Are we going?" *g*

{Tina} I'm good! Val?

{Val} Sounds good to me. *ss*

{Brian} In that case, we're coming. *g*

* The TriOp security woman hold the door for the last three to squeeze in.

* Tina squeeeezes in, sucking in breath.

* Val and Brian are right behind. It is a bit of a squeeze, yes, so unfortunately Tina will have to stay real close to Brian for a while. Tragic.

* The woman snakes her arm in, and the door closes. The psuedo-samba music plays as the elevator ascends, everybody packed in like sardenes.

* Tina is so overcome with grief by this. You can tell by the way she happily plasters herself next to him.

* Val refrains from comment and waits for the elevator to finish doing its job.

* The elevator finishes its ascent, and opens... Val, Tina, and Brian, having been the last in, are the first out, and here they see the Gamma Grove spread out around them... a series of small terraces and ramps, all grassed over and bushes around, with patterened walls covered with growing vines. It'd be a little slice of earth in space, if it wasn't for the mechanical nature of those walls, the access doors, the security cameras set around the periphery of the grove, and the very large domed skylight above, showing Saturn high in the sky. But at least they were trying...

* Tina isn't minding. Is rather homesick for anything that looks like grass by this point. "Ooo."

{Brian} Nice, isn't it?

{Tina} Very, yes. It's not Earth, but...

{Val} But very comforting.

{Tina} Yep. I forgot how homesick I am. {wry grin}

* Brian gives Tina's hand a gentle squeeze.

* Tina squeezes back, gratefully, walking slowly into the Grove.

* Brian, being hand in hand, goes with. Val also follows, at a more discreet distance.

* Over by one side of the grove, several tables have been set up with munchies and punch thanks to the catering staff. There's the low mumble of conversation and discussion... one of the folks there, a black woman with short hair in a business suit waves to the newcomers. "Hello, there! Come and join us!"

{Tina} {automatically} Food!

* Brian hehs.

{Tina} And hi there!

* The black woman smiles. "Hello there... Tina Manoa-Perez, isn't it?" She offers her hand. "Rosemary Kanawah, director of human resources on Citidas. Glad you could make it here tonight." She nods to Brian. "And you of course, officer Scheurs."

* Tina nodnods. "That's me. {shakes} And pleasure to meet you, Ms. Kanawah."

{Brian} *nods* "Always a pleasure, Ms. Kanawah."

* Rosemary chuckles, and releases Tina's hand. "Well now, don't let me stop you... go and fill out a name tag and mingle, mingle, mingle!" She grins, and indicates where the stick-on nametags are, as well as markers, and then goes to inform one of the serv-bots that it needs to get more food from the commizsaries.

{Tina} Right! Thanks!

* Tina takes a couple stickers, handing them to the others, before scrawling her name on hers.

* Brian and Val accept the stickers and go about the business of scrawling names.

* Tina refrains from splatting her sticker on her forehead, choosing a more conventional locale on her blazer.

* Val and Brian follow suit. [Brian] There, no hiding now. *wl*

{Tina} Nope. {wry smile} Shall we circulate now?

{Val} Excellent idea. *wl*

{Tina} Right. {wry smile} With me, Brian, or you want to hobnob on your own?

{Brian} I'd be happy to accompany you, fair lady. *g*

* Tina blushes. "Why thank you, good sir. {smile} {w} and i'd be rather freaked about being in a group containing demons by myself."

{Brian} *w* True enough. *smile back*

* Tina dimples at him, and takes any arm he offers, and if not, still wanders with him into the crowd.

* There's several 'clumps' of folks discussing latest station business, scientific developments, news of the world, etcetera, with others cycling between them or towards the food. Over by one side, where a small pond is recycling water with a waterfall, the japanese woman and her associate are currenltly taking some notes on the plantlife there... some digging has already occured, but they're not doing that right now, as well-attired as the rest of the party (which is business-casual).

* Brian did indeed offer an arm at the appropriate moment. Val meanwhile tags along at a discreet distance; best to have friends nearby in case of Uncomfortable Questions(tm).

* Tina keeps an eye on Val too, yes. And gestures with her eyes questioningly at Brian in the direction of the gardeners.

* Brian looks in that direction, and nods subtly back at Tina and Val.

* Tina nods. Which somehow conveys "wanna go ahead and talk?"

* Brian nods in a way that not-so-subtly conveys a yes.

* Tina starts to tug her way over, then!

* And as they tug over, they stumble into a Fork.

* The japanese woman glances over at the newcomers to the small pond as they approach. She quirks a smile, and nods to them. "Ah, Ms. Manoa-Perez. Ms. Ellison. Mr. Scheurs. So glad you could come to the party."

{Brian} Yeah, it's a nice break from everything. *ss*

* Kyoko nods, smiling slightly, and regarding the pool next to them, as the water falls and adds a bit of white noise. "Indeed. People need to remember that the rest times as as importaint as the work they do... so many don't these days."

* Tina nods, smiling. "And yeah, that's true."

* Archie Ormund, Kyoko's associate, nods to them as they approach. "Welcome, again. And yes. We hope to successfuly renovate the Groves here... while they are a start, they're not optimally arranged for maximum plant distribution..."

* Kyoko chuckles. "Enough, Archie.. they don't need to hear the minutia of our plans here... and please, sit, sit..." She smoothly sits on a bench next to the pool.

* Tina nodnods and plops down. Somewhere in here she seems to have grabbled several munchies and is noshing away with vigor.

{Val} Sounds as if you've got a highly efficient plan in the works. *ws*

{Kyoko} That we do, we hope... and as for you and your associates, Val?

*R-Type* Remind me again where/what Val's working?

-} *R-Type* She's working secretarial for the Science level... specifically for Nathan D'Arcy, I think.

*R-Type* Ook.

* Tina glances over to Val, arching her eyebrows in inquiry.

{Val} My plan is simply to do my assigned work in Science as well as I can, if that's what you mean. That and keep everyone honest. *ss*

* Kyoko nods. "A good start, and hopefully you'll be able to determine whom among them are behaving oddly, if you're able to smooth over any possible disturbances while there. And you, Tina?"

* Tina ponders.

{Tina} Do what I can in my department, check to make sure things are running well, be there for my friends and boyfriend. {eyes twinkle}

* Tina emphasizes this by munching vehemently on a carrot.

* Ian hehs a bit. "And that about sums up my purpose here too, save that I get to pound on anyone who causes too much trouble." *ws*

{R-Type} Brian does. argh.

* Kyoko chuckles, looking between Tina and Brian. "Very very, good..." She then mmms, and quirks an eyebrow. "After one makes sure that the right cause is being pounded, and all other avenues are taken care of, of course, Brian."

{Brian} Granted. Though usually once I've been called in it's clear who needs to be pounded. *ws*

* Tina grins a bit.

{Ormund} If that is the most objective path, so be it. *he smiles, slightly, and eats a carrot stick as well.*

{Tina} Heh. Efficiency, objectivity, I think I just spend my life trying to muddle through it and make the best of it somehow...

{Brian} Seems to be working so far. *ss*

{Kyoko} One needs must do as one can, of course. *her eyes twinkle* Are you sure you want to keep working for your current boss? *she smiles, and sips a nearby glass of clear water.*

* Tina arches eyebrows and indicates herself, then Brian in a "who, me or him?" gesture?

{Kyoko} Either or both, really. *she chuckles, and makes a dismissive gesture* My apologies, both. I shouldn't poach. Clearly, your boss is supportive of your skils, given his trust in your duities.

* Tina smiles a bit. "I honestly can't really think of working for anybody else, to be honest."

{Brian} What she said.

{Kyoko} Of course, of course. *she smiles, looking up at the 'sky', revealing saturn* And hrm. Anything else that we should know about? It would disadvantageous for us to be working at accidental-cross purposes, if there were problems incipient.

* Ormund, by now, has nudged several plants that had gotten out of alignment back into place.

*R-Type* I'm trying to think of a nice loaded way of describing Ripley and Giri's arrival. *wl*

-} *R-Type* Something about one of Tina's distant relations having arrived, who was concerned about her, and an associate of his (really eager). I think that'd work.

*R-Type* Cool. Danke.

{Brian} Hm. Now that I think of it, one of our recently arrived officers turned out to be a distant relation to Tina. He had a very, very eager fellow with him, trainee pilot if I recall correctly.

* Tina *blinks* over at Brian, in surprise. After a few moments she recovers herself.

{Tina} And he never even *wrote* me to tell me he was coming? Bastard.

{Brian} *shrug* Maybe he wanted to surprise you... geez, I hope I didn't just blow that. *vswl*

{Tina} If he's the relative I'm thinking of, remind me to hit him later.

* Kyoko chuckles. "Only if it's mutual, of course. And with a suitable blunt instrument."

{Brian} Right. *wl*

-} *Tina* and if you wish to mention the suspicion of Shedim here, now would be the time to do it, too.

{Tina} Ooo....I'll just hit him with a laptop. {pause} Preferably without anything in it. {very significant flick of eyes in Kyoko's direction...and there's real fear and revulsion in them}

* Kyoko mmmms, catching that glance, and nods. She reaches over, and rests a hand comfortingly on Tina's arm. "I'm certain that you'll be able to find one, Tina."

*R-Type* [["Are you afraid? What is it you fear? ThE eNNd of your trIVIaL eXIsssstenNNcE?"]]

* Ormund does appear to take note of those as well, understated.

-} *R-Type* Hehehehhehehhe. Later, -later-.... ^_-;

* Tina relaxes a tiny bit, smiling a little and darting a glance around. "Sure I can. I'll just have to look."

*R-Type* heh *swl*

* Brian gives Tina's shoulder a reassuring squeeze.

* Tina smiles up at him, relaxing.

* Kyoko nods. "And... well." She hrms, consider the state of her plate. "I do beleive I had best go and refill my plate, and I suspect you'd best go and mingle with the others, and get to know your coworkers better." She smiles. "But I'm sure we'll see each other again soon, hm?"

{Tina} Hope so. {slight smile} A pleasure meeting you, Ms. Nakamura, Mr. Ormund.

{Kyoko} And you as well. *she offers her hand*

* Tina takes it, shaking.

* Val and Brian both do the thing of handshaking as well, if a hand is offered.

* Kyoko does, and then gets up, heading for the buffet table...

* Tina looks around. "Well...who next?"

{Brian} Let's hit the buffet table again and work it from there. *wg*

{Tina} {automatically} Food. Food cures all ills.

* Val refrains from comment. Brian hehs.

{Tina} I'm not a pig, I just know all the hor d'orves I like!

{Brian} We'll take your word for it. *grins, heads for the table*

* Food is available! A group of folks have been congrgating around it, discussing the various goings-on of the station and developments in the sciences, especially the pharmogological fields...

* One young lovely flits from place to place, defying Brownian crowd motion as she seems to spiral with grace through the others, chatting and charming...

* Tina snarfs some of the better stuff and tries to overhear anything....and the lovely does catch her eye, a bit, more in her standoutingness than anything.

* The folks there, both male and female, react positively to the woman... after all, she's a popular coworker, and certainly makes the functioning of the departments go easier, if the conversational babble is any indication.

* Val hms, watching.

* Tina does as well. {q} "you thinking something too, Val?"

-} *R-Type* She's familiar to you, but not by much... Penelope Morgan, she works as Liason for the Science sections. Mostly by hearing her name and seeing her enter one time while at work.

*R-Type* Righto.

{Val} *q* Penelope Morgan, liaison for Sciences. I haven't met her myself but I've seen her in the division.

* Tina nods a bit. {q} "Something's sort of hitting me weird with her. Maybe just paranoid."

{Brian} *q* What're you feeling?

{Tina} {q} Behaviorial traits. Too chummy.

{Brian} *q* Hm. Keep watching, then.

* Tina nods, still downing the veggie dip at epic rates. {q} "Not too obviously, or she'll take notice."

{Brian} *q* Granted. *wl*

* Tina leans on Brian, all romantic couple to anybody's gaze as she looks up at him with big brown eyes. {w} "it seems a bit too like....what i did. used to do."

* Penelope continues her motions, laughing amongst them, enjoying the limelight.. a butterfly at ease only when at flight.

* Tina keeps snorking away stuff.

{Brian} *w* Mm. *leans back a bit* That, or a lot of being charming, with a capital C...

{Tina} {w} Occured to me too. {is trying to pitch so Val can hear}

* Val did hear that, yes, being fairly close by and all. *w* "Definitely need to monitor, then."

{Tina} {w} Don't go near for now.

* Val nods silently, as does Brian.

* Penelope's eyes alight upon the others... her mouth curves up into a smile of welcome as she takes her fluted drink and meanders towards the new blood.

{Tina} {w} no choice now, though. {she blinks and smiles at the newcomer} Heya. I don't think I've seen you before.

* Penelope smiles to Tina, hand gently touching her arm in welcome. "Hello, and welcome. I don't think I've seen you around either. It's *delightful* to have new faces around here. It gives such a break from the ordinary." She glances at the others. "And aren't you going to introduce me to your friends?'

* Tina grins. "Hey. I'm Tina Manoa-Perez. This is Valerie Ellison, and this is Brian Scheurs, my boyfriend. " {big blush} "And you are?"

* Brian subtly takes hold of Tina's hand. Val's eyes narrow very slightly.

{Penelope} Penelope. *flash of a smile* Penelope Morgan at your service. Hello Valerie... and Brian. Boyfriend? *wink* What a shame...

{Tina} Pleasure to meet you, Penelope. And yup. {grin}

* Brian blushes a bit at the boyfriend commentary, eyerolling. And trying for a quick eye contact.

{Penelope} Still, congratulations. YOu two make a *very* lovely couple.

* Penelope's eyes constantly dart about... he can catch for amoment, but it's like trying to make full contact with a mayfly on speed.

* Tina grins widely. "He's lovelier." {blush more, winks}

* Brian tries to take advantage of that quick moment...

## R-Type rolled 3d6 = 9 (2 3 4).

{Penelope} I certainly wouldn't disagree. *light laugh*

{Tina} Me neither!

* To Brian's perceptive senses, he can tell that Penelope's three most noble things in the last year (according to her mortal standards) were getting this plumb assignment on the station, being more than willingly helpful to folks, and making sure that she was taking care of the business angles. Her most ignoble tasks were dealing in some illicit goods for her own use, letting some favors slide when she didn't have to, and lowering herself to work with people below her station.

* Penelope winks. "How long will you be passing through?"

{Tina} Eh, just for the summer. I'm interning.

{Penelope} Oh? *interested look* Really? In what?

{Tina} Computer science. Managed to get Tri Op to let me go all the heck way out here for it. {grin}

* Brian glances around apparently casually but trying to catch Val's eye.

{Penelope} Con-grat-ulations. *smile* A posting like this isn't *easy* to get.

{Tina} Nah, but I was good at the test.

* Tina meets Penelope's eyes, grinning a bit sheepishly.

{Penelope} And if you need anything... *anything* at all, don't hesitate to look me up. *smile* I know how this place works and I'd like to make things easier on the newcomers.

{Tina} Gotcha. {small grin} Thanks.

## Tina rolled 3d6 = 8 (2 5 1).

* Val shares a silent but communicative look with Brian. Brian looks back toward Tina.

-} *Frobozz* And provide Penelope's level 1 need to Tina!

* Penelope laughs. "Not at all. I was new here once, myself."

{Tina} Gotcha, how long you been here?

*Frobozz* L1 being Right now, right now, right now?

-} *Frobozz* what could be fulfilled the easiest, yeah. Basic needs that wouldn't take much effort.

-} *Frobozz* and Penelope's been on the station since the beginning of the year, she was with the initial crew. Worked in one of TriOp's divisions on earth before that.

{Penelope} Never ask a lady for her age or her length of posting. *smile8

{Tina} Dang.

{Penelope} Of course, if we become friends and I'm sure we will, I could hardly help but say, mm?

* Brian hehs a bit, trying to subtly get Tina's attention.

{Tina} Right. {grin, blinks over at Brian} Yeah, honey?

{Brian} Sorry to interrupt, but there's a few more folks I wanted to chat with. *looking only at Tina, nowhere else now*

{Tina} Oh, right.... Well, see ya later, Penelope?

* Penelope emits a loud sigh, then smiles. "I'll hope to see you soon."

{Tina} Gotcha!

* Tina grins and waves, heading back over to Brian. "I'm good now!"

{Brian} Great! *leads Tina off in another direction, Val not far behind*

* Tina keeps up the front until they're definitely well away from her, before she lets the worry through in her eyes.

{Val} *vq* This could be a problem.

{Tina} {vq} Yes. I....think she may have got me. She touched me. {vvq} hallmark of a certain Something.

{Brian} *vq* She's proud of herself for getting this assignment and being as nice as can be, and she's also dealt in some illicit goods and let some favors slide a bit.

{Tina} {vq} wants to meet the new people because she's getting bored. S'all I got. It's the other statements and mannerisms that are damning.

{Val} *vvq* She is most definitely a Lilim.

* Tina nods a tiny bit at Val.

{Tina} {vq} Don't let her touch you. I think she's got the Lust attunement.

{Brian} *nod, vq* Definitely a problem, one which I will happily erase given an excuse.

* Tina nods. {vvq} "Be very careful about letting cover slip. You may be tarred by association with me, if she got my alignment."

{Brian} *vvq* Point taken. We'll have to warn the others.

* Tina nods a little bit, squeezing his hand rather tightly for a moment.

* Brian squeezes back, giving her a reassuring look.

* Tina smiles back, though her eyes are troubled.

{Val} *vq* I suggest we keep together whenever possible, lest one of us get cornered.

{Tina} {vq} I like this plan. I'm proud to be part of it.

{Brian} *nods, then louder* Okay, let's see, who else -did- we need to mingle with around here?

{Tina} Um.....people!

* There's several other clumps of folks chatting about... one of them, centered around one businessman who appears to be regaling his companions with a tale of business fun.

{Val} *hehs a bit* Obviously. Hm... *focuses a bit more attention in that direction*

{Tina} Oh, interesting?

{Brian} I wonder if the pastor's around? He's always good for conversation.

## INServ rolled 3d6 = 10 (3 3 4).

* Well, Father Detricht can be seen sitting over a ways, chatting with another group of folks...

* Tina blinks. "Hmmm?"

* Brian nods. "Yeah, there's a man everybody should talk with more." *wl*

{Tina} Goooooootcha.

{Val} So who do you recommend we meet first, Brian? *wl*

{Brian} heh. Well, I always touch base with Father Deitricht when I get a little overwhelmed, but we can do that anytime we want, really. *wg*

{Tina} {vq} though he probably wants to know about some stuff? {wink with concerned eye}

{Brian} *vq* Yeah, he always wants to know when stuff is going on.

* Tina nodnodnodnodnodnods.

{Brian} In that case, shall we go chat? *wg*

{Tina} Yay!

* Brian nods, and heads in the general direction of the friendly neighborhood man of the cloth.

*R-Type* I guess the Regaling Businessman will have to wait a bit. *wl*

* Tina follows in the direction of the BF, obviously.

* Fr. Deitricht smiles and waves to the two women who were chatting with him as they leave, and then he looks up and grins, standing up and offering his hands to those who approach. "Ah, Brian! So good of you to come." He looks between Val and Tina. "Now, which one of these is Tina, hmm?"

-} *R-Type* Ahwell!

* Brian hehs and indicates the lovely dark-haired lady. "This would be Tina, Father." *sws*

* Tina blushed. "Hello, Father!"

*R-Type* Ahwell indeed. At least we can start confirming Diabolicals and stuff. *wl*

* Deitricht offers his hand to Tina. "A pleasure to meet you at last, Tina. Brian here holds you in quite the regard..."

{Brian} And this is Valerie Ellison, Father. Another colleague of mine. *blushes a bit at that remark*

* Tina goes way into blush territory this time, and takes it, almost gratefully. {a bit mumbled} "I did not know this. Er. Well. You know what I mean."

## Deitricht rolled 3d6 = 15 (5 6 4).

* Val eyerolls a bit at the antics, but offers her hand. "Hello, Father Deitricht. I've been told you're the best person to speak to in time of need." *ss*

* Deitricht smiles. "Of course, of course. And a pleasure to meet you as well, Valerie. I'm flattered that I'm held in such regard." He shakes as well. "Care to sit?"

## Deitricht rolled 3d6 = 12 (5 6 1).

{Tina} I like sitting.

* Brian and Val seem to think this is a good idea too and so sit.

* Tina does this thing, yanking a bit at Brian to join her.

* And yes, Brian does sit next to Tina in a way that allows leaning and such. *wg*

* Tina does this leaning thing, seeming rather grateful for it.

* Deitricht chuckles softly, and sits as well, watching them. "So, Tina. What do you think of our station so far, hm?"]

{Tina} It's very large. And without grass, except for here. But rather nice, except for the distance from home. {wry grin}

* Deitricht mms, and nods. "That appears to be a common concern among those who talk to me."

* Tina arches her eyebrows. "It is? The homesickness?"

* Deitricht mms, and nods, sadly. "In a larger station, I hear, it would not so be so bad, of course... but a signifigant percentage of my efforts are directed towards counteracting it."

* Tina nodnods. "Heh. I can feel it...and I've only been here a week or so."

{Brian} And it doesn't help when some people try to aggravate the problem. *wl*

{Deitricht} If you need to talk about it in more detail, you can always come by for confessional, of course. *he then mmms, and nods at Brian* Indeed, Mr. Sheurs.

* Tina nods, sobering and glancing in Brian's direction.

* Tina then glances back at the good padre, nodding a bit.

{Brian} *nods* Yeah, I think we could all use that, actually. There's... things that need to be talked about.

* Deitricht nods. "Of course. Come by my office tomorrow when you are both off-shift?"

{Tina} I can do that, yes.

* Brian nods. "Shouldn't be a problem. Val, did you want to come along?"

* Val nods. "It might be wise, yes."

{Deitricht} Very well, then. I'll be sure to be available.

{Brian} Thanks, Father. We appreciate that a great deal.

{Deitricht} Of course. *he smiles* Go with the grace of God, all of you.

{Tina} Thank you, Father.

{Val} Thank you, Father. *ss*

* Deitricht nods where he's sitting.

* Brian gets up with Tina; Val gets up as well.

* And as they get up... we fork.

{Val} *vq* Well, that will be helpful.

{Tina} {vq} Yup. We just have to not be too obvious about it, or they *will* start suspecting.

{Brian} *vq* *shrug* I go to confession all the time so I don't think that'll draw much attention. I suppose we could approach from different directions. *wl*

{Tina} {vq} Riiiight. {nod} I'm paranoid though. Fault of my upbringing. {glances in the direction of the businessman}

* The businessman is still chatting with his little group, and clearly it is a funny story, as the members of the group are laughing... Some of the overheard conversation would appear to imply he has some technical know-how as well.

* Tina tries to not-obviously overhear.

{Val} *vq* I find it unlikely that anyone would question your devotion to your boyfriend. *sws, pays more attention to the conversation also*

{Tina} {vq} Relationship counseling!

{Val} Exactly.

* Tina's eyes twinkle a bit as she looks over at Val, nodnodding.

* Brian smiles and gives Tina's hand a quick squeeze.

* Tina squeezes back.

{Businessman} ... so, you see, we managed to get the contract -after all-!

* There is more polite and good laughter.

{Tina} . o O (Damn. No good stuff.)

* If Tina and Co were to get closer, they could presumably hear more of what he's talking about....

* Brian is good at getting closer without drawing attention, and so does this thing.

* Tina does a thing of quietly drifting over, expression all interest, doing an unobstrusively mousy aura too.

* Val, naturally, drifts with them.

* The businessman chuckles. "So, who wants more drinks?" he smiles, all geniality, his suit neatly and crisply pressed, not a hair out of place. The only marring of that is his stuck-on nametag, reading "A. Nelson, E.". He notices the drifters, and waves to them. "Hello there! Welcome! Care for some drinks?"

-} *R-Type* Ian knows that he's one of the scientists down in Science Level, haven't really -met- him per-se, mostly while assigned on shift down there when his rotation came up. Val has heard of him, never met him.

*R-Type* ook. *nod*

-} *R-Type* All the times Ian's resonated him, he's gotten minor CD's, nothing really telling. He's corporate and scientific, but not much more that that.

* Tina grins a little bit, indicating her cup. "Got some already, but thanks."

* Brian hehs. "I could use a refill, myself." *g*

*R-Type* oook. *nodnod*

{Nelson} You certain? Ahwell. *he smiles* Ah good, good! Officer Schuers, isn't it? Been a while since you've been down in Science Delta... *he takes Brian's cup and refills it* Care to introduce me to your -lovely- companions?

* Nelson smiles, every tooth brushed.

* Tina blushes a bit, cutely.

{Brian} Heh. Yeah, my shifts have had me going everywhere else. This is Tina Manoa-Perez, my girlfriend, and this is Valerie Ellison.

* Nelson chuckles, and bows, smiling. "Abraham Nelson, Esquire; Director of Artifical Gravity Research here on Citidas Station. A pleasure to meet the two of you." He stands. "And might I ask what divisions you'll be working in, hmm?"

{Brian} . o O (...-hmmm-.) *he doesn't react outwardly, of course*

*R-Type* And what section of Sciences is Val in again (or does it matter)?

-} *R-Type* General systems admin/secretarial. She works under Dr. Nathan D'Arcy, who was one of the primary designers of the station.

*R-Type* Gotcha.

-} *R-Type* (he's also a researcher, Systems Engineering and Integration.)

{Tina} Oh, with Mr. Ritchie. He's a cool boss. {slight grin}

* Tina is going hmm too. She's just not showing it. And she's well and truly paranoid by this point too, so.

{Val} I'm working under Dr. d'Arcy. A very capable researcher.

-} *R-Type* Oh, and Ian likely knew that Nelson was the director of AG research or at least was -one- of the researchers, but resonations up to this point didn't show anything TOTALLY untoward.

*R-Type* True enough. Still, it's properly dramatic. *swg*

* Nelson ahhhs, and nods, smiling and clapping his hands together. "Ahh, our systems adminstrator and our systems integrations specialist. Both good men, and I'm proud to work for them." He looks at them, sipping his refilled glass. "I'm -quite- certain that we'll be good friends and work well together... after all, we're all together on this station..."

## Nelson rolled 3d6 = 11 (1 5 5).

-} *Tina* Will Roll for Tina.

-} *R-Type* Will roll for Ian, then Val. Val gets a Celforce bonus to her Will.

*R-Type* Ook. (funny, was just contemplating Val and/or Ian trying to make eye contact) *swg*

## Tina rolled 3d6 = 8 (3 4 1).

-} *R-Type* Well, Ian doesn't -need- to make eye-contact, as I recall....

## R-Type rolled 3d6 = 4 (2 1 1).

## R-Type rolled 3d6 = 6 (2 1 3).

*R-Type* oh yeah, that's right, duh. keep forgetting that. ^_-;;

-} *Tina* Congrats! You manage to resist his rather convicing prattle for an hour.

-} *R-Type* Ian is free and clear of BalLies for an hour... Val's good for 3. At least this particular balseraph.....

* Tina grins a bit, blinking a little. "Well, we're all in this together..."]

-} *R-Type* [Ayrie patpats Larry, and points him back to the Core book. ^_^]

*R-Type* oooook.

{Brian} heh. Yeah, isn't too good if you can't get along, is it? *wg*

* Nelson chuckles a bit. "Oh, of course, of course. That's why we've got such a fine working staff, and wonderful working conditions..." He fiddles a bit with his cufflink.

* Tina grins a little bit, eyes flicking to the cufflink-messing a moment.

*R-Type* Ok, back, and I think Val and then Ian are going to try for their respective resonances.

* Nelson stops fiddling, and takes another drink of his beverage. "Well, in any case, I do imagine we'll be seeing each other again real soon, Ms. Manoa-Perez, Ms. Ellison..."

{Tina} Yeah, well, figures. {small grin} Small station.

{Val} No doubt of that. *attempts to make eye contact*

{Brian} What she said. *wg*

-} *R-Type* and I don't think Seraphim need it either, actually. ^_-; They can even use their resonances on printed matter, and stuff.

*R-Type* *sigh* Don't mind me. ^_-;;

## R-Type rolled 3d6 = 14 (5 5 4).

-} *R-Type* But roll, anyway. (it's Lilim resonances that -need- eye contact, save for Brights....)

## R-Type rolled 3d6 = 13 (6 5 2).

*R-Type* moot point, I guess. :P

-} *R-Type* Ahwell. *shrug* At least you resisted the first part. *wg*

*R-Type* oook. *swl* Yeah, Val would be very displeased with herself otherwise. ^_-;

-} *R-Type* Well, yeah. *wg*

{Nelson} Of course. *he smiles* Good evening, then.

* Nelson nods, and heads off to get some munchies and other people to chat with.

*** Nelson is now known as INServ.

*R-Type* Come to think of it, that Bal must be well-shielded if Ian can't even sniff him out because he's a Bal. *wl*

* Val watches him go, her eyes narrowing ever so slightly.

* Tina glances to Val. {vq} "mm?

-} *R-Type* Nooo, not necc. Sometimes your perception just doesn't help, and even on a success, it's a 1-in-6 chance that it'll hit the magic "Balseraph Button".

{Val} *vq* Something is definitely not right there.

*R-Type* Ah. Gotcha. *wl*

{Tina} {vq} Gosh, you too? My mannerisms detector is going bing again.

{Brian} *vq, muttered* "Would be nice if I could get anything meaningful..."

* Tina pats his hand, squeezing. {vq} "I should have looked too, but my bad. Still, my detector is going bing about him. Rather a lot."

{Val} *nod, vq* No proof... but that was too much like... looking into a dark mirror. *very slight shiver*

* Tina blinks, and pales a notch.

{Tina} {w} I've seen similar mannerisms before, Val. And he's ridiculously well kept. And he's got the freakin' hair.

{Brian} *m* now i -really- want something more meaningful.

* Val nods, finally forcing herself to look in some other direction, still looking a bit out of sorts.

{Tina} {vq} I know of two Bands, if he's what I think he is, that are that....smarmily conscientious in their physical upkeep.

* Fortuantely, there are other places to look.

* Val is glad for that, yes.

{Tina} {vq} And if your gut reaction is any guess.... {trails off, chews her lip}

{Val} *vq* I'll definitely be needing that confession, Brian.

* Tina nods.

{Brian} *vq* Mm. *nod*

* Tina nods a tiny bit. {vq} "Take no joy on your resonance, love?"

{Brian} *vq* Nope. The few times I -have- gotten him it's always been superficial. Missed it completely this time.

{Tina} {vq} Damn. If you could, it'd probably confirm some suspicions.

{Brian} *nod, vq* Gonna try again every chance I get, you can bet.

{Tina} {vq} Meanwhile, I suspect not listening to him too hard would be smart.

{Val} *vq* Indeed.

* Nearby, a blonde, well-kempt young lady in wireframe glasses, pretty in a studious manner, pokes through the refreshments.

{Val} *vvq* "...there but for the grace of the Almighty..." *sighs heavily and composes herself, casting eyes toward the young lady*

* The young woman munches on some carrot sticks, apparently oblivious to them at the moment.

* Brian casts eyes that way too to see if it's anyone familiar or not.

-} *R-Type* Gimme an Int Roll...

## R-Type rolled 3d6 = 12 (2 5 5).

*R-Type* [["Now give 'em a small burp."]]

-} *R-Type* Aaah, -nice-. That's Sandra 'Sunny' Rawlins, a very nice lady, known to work down mostly in Sciences Div, sometimes with Nelson, sometimes with others. Very friendly. Nohing majotly standing out via resonance when you've done so before...

{Brian} *vq* Hm... that'd be Sandra 'Sunny' Rawlins. Works very closely with our friend Mr. Nelson in Sciences. Very friendly.

* Tina blinks, and a slight facial tic twitches across her face a moment. "..Uh huh?"

{Val} *q* Anything of particular note?

{Brian} *vq* Nothing of note... then again, I've proven to be rather poor at reading folks of late. *swl*

{Tina} {vq, a trace shakily} Sometimes, common sense helps...

* Tina's hand seems a bit cold in Ian's.

* Brian squeezes a bit more.

{Tina} {vq, tiny voice} Ian? Think you can ping her? And then we can like, get away?

{Brian} *vvq* -Brian-, sweetheart. And I'll try.

{Tina} {vq} Oh *shit*. {squeezes convulsively.} sorry...

* Brian focuses, trying not to blow this one...

{Tina} {vq} Better get back for a moment. I'm feeling...upset.

* Tina lets go after another squeeze and shifts back towards Val. She seems a bit pale, which given her complexion says something.

-} *R-Type* And roll for per.

##} R-Type rolled 3d6 = 5 (2 1 2).

-} *R-Type* Okay, ask Amy for the most ignoble and noble things the person you resonated has done that week, according to her own standards.

*R-Type* oook.

* Brian's eyes harden. Val meanwhile looks over at Tina.

* Tina tries to smile at Val. It's....as Val can tell...not entirely Truthful. She doesn't see Brian's back stiffen.

* Val doesn't wince, though her look is knowing, and understanding given the circumstances.

* Brian slowly turns back toward them, stiffly. *vvvq* "Impudite."

* Tina goes whiter.

{Tina} {vq} we....we'd better get out of here, guys.

{Val} *vq* I concur. Do whatever you feel is necessary. *wl*

{Tina} {vq} as soon's we can, without calling attention. before...s...she sees us.

{Brian} *vvq* Right... do you have a headache right now?

{Tina} {vvq} *worse*. *please*, Brian. {her eyes are pleading, frantic...}

* The party seems to have not really noticed the little emotional drama playing out in their corner... and fortunately, nobody's at the elevator at right this moment...

{Brian} *vvq* right, pretend you've got a migraine. *a bit louder but not much* You okay, hon?

* Tina nods, putting hand to temple. {vq} "y-yeah....hell, must've been the cheese..."

* Tina whimpers a bit. "...head feels like icepick taken to it..."

{Brian} *vq* Damn. C'mon, let's get you someplace dark and quiet. *escorts her quietly toward the nice elevator*

* Tina goes with, gratefully, leaning against him, and he can feel her shake.

* Val follows Brian as he gets her into the elevator and hits the button for the crew level.

* The elevator descends... with the psuedo-samba music... back down to the Exec-level Gamma Grove Lobby.

* Sandra blinks, turns, and looks confused a moment before beaming after the three, then looking concerned. "Are you...{elevator door closes} .oh...all right, it's under control..."

{Brian} *vvq* That was close. *holds Tina close*

* Tina's trembling becomes more pronounced as they're shut from view. {vq} "oh....dammit... *dammit*."

{Brian} *vq* "shhh... it's all right..."

{Tina} {vq, shaking} Need to find privacy, guys. could be just a coincidence...but...

*R-Type* Tina's quarters good? They can update the Hamsters. *wg*

* The door to the lobby opens. The station is now well on its way in the middle of the nigh tshift, and the only things about are serv- and maint-bots, and the occasional security camera.

-} *R-Type* Assume the way is nice and clear.

-} *R-Type* (and works for me.)

*R-Type* *nodnod*

* Brian continues holding Tina, gently guiding her back toward her quarters, the path to which is mercifully clear of obstructions.

* Tina goes with, rather quickly. {w} "We need to talk."

{Brian} *w* I know. *they reach her door shortly afterward*

* Tina nods, and gets in. Fast.

* Brian and Val are right behind, Val closing and locking the door once they're in.

* Tau and Muon poke their heads up, blinking at the sudden light. "Hey, guys, how was....uh."

* Tina plops onto her bed, now really shaking, back rigid. "...Not good. At all."

{Val} We have... at least two problems.

* Muon nods quietly, and in proof that Tau *has* taught him a few tricks of the trade, reaches out and grabs all monitoring in the room. {q} "We're clean."

{Tina} {q, flat} At least.

{Ian} *q* I've confirmed that we have a Lilim and an Impudite aboard... and there's no proof but I strongly suspect a Balseraph.

* Tau goes still. "....Greeeaaat. Any idea of Superior?"

{Tina} {still flat} I think Technology. In fact I'm quite very *sure* of it.

{Val} *q* I concur.

{Tina} {brightly, between teeth} Wanna know why?

{Ian} ...we're not going to like this, are we? *vswl*

{Tina} {still brightly} Oh, wait, Ian, what'd you resonate from the Taker?

{Tina} *Brian*. Sorry, I'm a bit upset. Shit. God*dammit*.... {closes eyes, takes several very, very deep breaths}

{Ian} She was happy that she'd encouraged a coworker to keep his nose away from what she and Nelson were doing in the A/G lab and getting some essence for 'The Cause' in the process. She's annoyed at herself for attracting the attention of that coworker in the first place.

{Ian} And yes, please be careful with that. *vswl*

{Tina} {tightly} Sounds about right. How to put this. I knew of an Impudite nicknamed 'Sunny' while working for Tech.

* Tau seems to have gone rather quiet.

{Tina} Now, granted, there may just be some kind of amazing coincidence, but I don't believe in that a whole hell of a lot.

{Val} It could be valuable intelligence if that is so. *wl*

* Tina looks pretty damned sick. "It's more than that, Val. Kindly resonate on this?"

* Val does.

{Tina} {vq} She was my best friend there. I trusted her. Stupid mistake.

* Tina looks up. Her expression....is ugly. More Malakite than Lilim, and is unlike anything before seen on her face by Valanna or Ian.

{Tina} {vq, hissed} *The bitch betrayed me to the Game.*

* Val closes her eyes. *q* "...You speak the Truth."

* Tina nods, tightly.

* Ian... winces.

{Tau} ....oh, gee, thanks, Murphy.

* Tina looks down, trembling. {barely collected} "We don't have just the Void to worry about."

{Val} *quiet nod* "The situation has become much more complicated."

* Ian meanwhile steps over to hold Tina, if she wishes to be held.

* Tina does, suddenly collapsing against him a bit, hugging *very* tightly, still taken by intermittent shakes.

{Tau} ....{sigh} Joy. Any *good* news?

* Ian holds her tightly, whispering soothingly in her ear.

* Muon paws way out of the cage and onto the desk, pattering over to the others, worry in his fuzzy little bearing.

*R-Type* aagh... what were the gardeners' names again?

* Tina listens, rubbing his back and clinging close to him.

-} *R-Type* Kyoko Nakamura and Archie Ormund.

*R-Type* Right, no Cel names... I'll just keep it to the known Cels. *wl*

{Val} Two agents of the Sword have arrived recently, and we were able to make contact with the Power in the Role of Father Deitricht; we'll be informing him of all this tomorrow.

* Tau nodnods? {vq} "Right."

{Tina} {vq, gaining control of herself} Take one of them's Big Brother G-er, Gary?

{Val} That would be True. *ss*

{Tina} {vq} Thought so. He's badass too.

{Tina} {vq} ...who's other?

{Val} This is good. Any firepower at all will be beneficial... I suspect there are more Celestials, on both sides, here.

{Ian} *q* His name was Ripley, if I'm remembering correctly, and from his manner I believe he is a Wheel.

{Muon} {thoughtfully} ...given this, probably not just Tech *or* Void.

* Tina nods against his chest. {q} "Well, the eager thing got me thinking that."

{Val} Perhaps.

{Tina} {vq} Met Kyoko Nakamura too. She's of Flowers, I think.

{Ian} M: But even if there aren't other Diabolical factions, are they working together?

{Muon} {scrubs face with paw} S'not likely. F' they are, probably stabbing each other in back all the way. S'what I understand.

{Ian} *nods* Indeed. Still, it would be unwise to rule anything out. *wl*

* Muon nods his fuzzy little head.

{Muon} I don't have the experience. {wry whisker twitch}

* Val nods. "At any rate, we first need to make contact and coordinate with our own people as quickly and quietly as we can. Then we'll be able to plan more effectively."

{Tau} So seeing the Padre tomorrow, then?

{Ian} That's item one, yeah, soon as we get off shifts.

* Tina nods a bit. "I get off at five. You?"

{Val} The same.

{Tina} Brian?

{Brian} Should be able to get that without too much trouble; you -were- a little sick, after all. *swg*

* Tina hehs, nodding a tiny bit. {q} "Just not for the reasons they think."

* Brian hehs, and hugholds Tina.

* Tina mms, leaning against him, having shifted mercurially from fear to rage to drained in a rather short period of time.

{Val} *sighs a bit* Beyond that, there's little more we can do tonight.

* Tina nods a bit. {muttered} "It was rather productive, in an entirely unpleasant way."

{R-Type} [Val hehs faintly. "True. I suggest we all get our rest, so to speak, and keep our full measure of Essence."

* Tina mutters something about not letting the {expletive unmentionable} Takers rip it off too.

{Val} *q* Exactly. *wl*

* Tau squeaks a soft snrk.

{Val} And on that note, did you two want to stay together for the evening?

* Tina flushes a bit, and nods slightly, not having moved from her and Brian's mutual embrace.

{Val} It might be best if I kept the hamsters for the evening, so that none of us is alone.

{Tina} {q} That works. Every girl needs at least one or two Vicious Attack Hamsters. {little grin}

* Muon immediately stands up, trying to bristle, attempting to make growling "rar" noises. It completely fails.

* Val hehs a bit. "Save it for later, Muon. I suggest we give them the space they certainly need right now."

* Muon looks chastened, and nods. He proceeds to scuttle back into the cage with Tau, who looks very quiet and rather wry. {q} "Gotcha."

* Val picks up the hamster cage. *q* "We'll be next door if you need us."

* Tina nods. {q} "Thank you. G'night."

* Tau waves a paw a bit, then subsides.

* Val nods, smiling faintly, then takes the hamster cage, keys open the door and, after checking for anything unusual outside, departs.

* Tina sighs, still hugging Ian^H^H^HBrian close.

* Brian continues hugholding Tina just as close. *vvq* "I'm here for you, dearest love."

{Tina} {vvq} I know. Thank you. {snuggles a bit} ....sorry about earlier.

{Brian} *vq* s'okay, nobody heard...

{Tina} {vq} I was upset. And angry, and....god, I'm still angry. Thought I put that behind me and...

{Brian} We'll fix it. One way or another.

* Tina nods. {vq} "Believe in you. Just....don't like thinking about my past much."

{Brian} *vq* Don't blame you for that. *hughold*

{Tina} {vq} part of it's....don't think badly of me?

{Brian} *vq* Say it.

{Tina} {vq} I'm....scared if you see what's really there, you'll be disgusted. I wasn't always the happy Bright who divebombed the Windies, you know.

{Brian} *vq* I know that... and it's what was, not what is. That was then.

{Tina} {vq} I know that, intellectually. But it leaves....scars. Even now, I feel so dirty, sometimes. Sick n' vile and used. And I'm not even, say, Ume.

{R-Type} [Brian sighs a tiny bit, holding Tina closer. *vq* "Anything that I can do to help erase that pain, just ask." *soft kiss*

* Tina mmms, kissing back desperately. {vq} "just....be here? And put up with me when I get like this, and...love me?"

{Brian} *vq* "I will be here. (kiss) I will help you through any trial. (kiss) And I will love you always, no matter what. (kiss) "

* Tina blushes a little bit more at each kiss, the usual Tina coming through now if thinly, and, well, she just *has* to reciprocate. {vq} "Ditto. Always."

* Brian kisses her more, gently and lovingly.

* Tina kisses back, rubbing his back a bit. Notes her discomfort with the stupid blazer, shrugs out of it, and then proceeds to hug him more.

* Brian gently caresses her back in kind, still holding close.

{Tina} {q} What now?

{Brian} *q* "Entirely up to you, my love." *ss*

{Tina} {q} Snuggling good. Snuggling all night good. 'Specially if you have an excuse to be in my room. {tiny wink}

{Brian} *q* You're my girlfriend, so I think I do. *wink* And better than being alone.

{Tina} {q} Yup. And you're my boyfriend. {wink, sobers} 'Specially now. We have to keep the lines of communication open.

{Brian} Definitely. *snuggle*

{Tina} {q} Aaaand keep stupid interWord prejudices at a low. {mutter} With our luck we'll get Factions too, yay.

{Brian} *q* Don't jinx it. *vswl*

{Tina} {q} Me n' my big yap. {pause} Keep it shut for me? {little eyetwinkle}

{Brian} *sg, q* If you insist. *keeps her quiet with a nice kiss*

* Tina mms and is happily shut up.

* And on that development, we Fade...

In Nomine 2070