== Lounge – USS Charon ==
Vae's red eyes skimmed the room once she finally built the courage to actually walk into the room. There seemed to be nothing really special about the Lounge, but for the abundance of Crew who decided to grace the place with their presence. Something Vae could have surely done without, you mix so many different bodies together, and add the effects of alcohol, it never ends well.
Still, she was determined to mingle with the crew, she has been your hermit type for far too long. It was about time she broke out of the shell she called her quarters and emerged into the public eye. Even if the public's eye was not accustomed to someone like her.
The uncertainty of the current situation made the normally calm and collected Ensign, uneasy.
Taking an empty seat at the bar she ordered a water and kept to herself. However, her ears listening to the random conversations around her, her senses picking up on the multitude of different emotions and stray thoughts which filled the atmosphere. It was interesting listening to what they had to say, yet they all thought something different. It was hard to believe that there were so many liars in such a close proximity to each other. She found herself wishing that just once she could meet someone who did not lie.
There was a sudden rise in anger in the room, which concerned her and made her turn in her stool and skim the room for the source. How surprising. Two Marines seemed to be in a argument over a simple game. 'Why must people always resort to violence?' She thought to herself before slipping from the stool and made her way over to the escalating situation. If no one else was going to try to defuse the situation, she might as well give it a try. She just can't stand how violence is the first thing everyone on this ship seems to resort too. Perhaps not everyone, she's still waiting for someone to change that view.
When the taller of the two men swung his pool cue towards the shorter was when she stepped between the two, wincing as the stick broke over her forearm. Used to harsher punishment, it still hurt her, the man was stronger then she expected. "Please calm down before you both end up in the brig..." Her red eyes settled on the larger man and she could feel his anger rise as his attempt was foiled.
He stalled a moment, perhaps surprised by her appearance, or by the fact that someone of her frame would try to get in the way. But, it did not stop him from calling her a 'bitch' of sorts and perhaps more forcefully then needed shoving her to the ground, causing her to hit her eyebrow on the corner of the table leg. The man was indeed stronger then she had thought.
Ambassador Lamont quietly sat in a far corner of the lounge sipping a decidedly average glass of what the barkeep had said was scotch. It wasn’t quite swill, but it was far from something Lamont would ever serve patrons. Of course few aboard save perhaps the captain had a palate refined enough to appreciate a fine wine or other spirits. The ice cubes in his glass, watering down his beverage, was its only redeeming quality as he took another sip enveloped in reading several new diplomatic cables on the current state of affairs. Diplomatic efforts with Romulan envoys were not progressing well. Starfleet, despite direct orders, was quietly posturing itself for action. They claimed it was in response to recent events and to enhance security, however no one in the diplomatic corps was buying the excuses.
Setting down a padd and grabbing another, Lamont sipped his scotch when a disturbance in the corner of the lounge caught his attention. A female whom he couldn’t identify in the distance appeared to be engaged with some rough looking marine apes. Some words were exchanged and Lamont witnessed the woman knocked to her knees as her head impacted the corner of a table.
“Is there no chivalry remaining in this universe”, Lamont cursed dropping his padd and drink to his table. He cared little for violence or involving himself in the petty affairs of others, however he could not sit by as a gentleman as Marine gorillas assaulted a female officer who had attempted to keep the peace.
He walked toward the scene of the crime as the Marines laughed at the misfortune of the woman as if her injury was somehow comical. Had these men no sense of honor? Of course not – Marines were just blunt instruments incapable of rational thought outside of killing, maiming, or destroying.
Lamont quietly drew a pool cue from a nearby rack spinning it slightly to judge its balance and weight. It was a poor substitute for a long sword, rapier, or foil, but it would do given the cicumstances. “Excuse me”, Lamont said firmly tapping the marine who had caused the woman’s misfortune on the back.
The tall man turned and raised a brow towards the Ambassador, " What do -you- want 'Pretty Boy'?" Him and his drunken companion chuckled, " Come to the little freaks rescue?"
“I find it quite remarkable that you would find pleasure in the misfortune and injury of another. Well, I’m actually not all that surprised given that the typical marine has the intellectual capability of an ant and destroys almost everything it comes into contact with. Why don’t you leave the good lady out of this and try taking up your grievances with me? I believe you men need a lesson in something called self-control, followed up with a refresher in respect.”
The two men looked to each other, and then back to the man who'd take it upon himself the 'teach them a lesson'. Laughing historically this time. " I'd like to see you try pretty boy..." So they've seemed to have dubbed him.
Vae was dazed from the injury on her forehead, taking the back of her hand, she used it to wipe the line of blood from her eye before turning to see who'd distracted the Marines. Her eyes widening when she recognized the man as Ambassador Lamont, the man who seemed to easily effect her the last time they met.
Biting her lip, she moved out of harm’s way and stood on the other side of the table, keeping a close eye on the Marines and Lamont, waiting for the perfect time to step in again. They were bigger then her, and even with her added strength could easily take her if they were not distracted. The Ambassador offered a distraction and she just hoped he would not suffer too much bodily harm on her account... No one had ever stood up for her before.
Lamont stood quietly holding the pool stick evaluating the marines as he considered his strategy. Provoking them was and had been easy. Countering their advances was his main objective while waiting for small windows of opportunity to counterstrike. While skilled with a sword and technically proficient with his fists he was not fool enough to take on a group of marines without a carefully considered plan.
“You men had no difficulty assaulting the woman”, Lamont stated carefully shifting the weight on his feet. “So why then do you hesitate with me? Surely you aren’t afraid? Or are you?” Clutching the pool stick with both hands Ian waited for his carefully chosen words to take effect.
A scowl came to the big marine as he looked at the testing man, " You know what? You annoy me pretty boy...." He growled before he balled his hands into fists and launched himself towards the man, counting on his size to take the man down so that he could pummel him with his fists.
Lamont deftly sidestepped the lunging marine and brought the handle of the pool stick against the man’s back with a loud crack. The marine fell forward and crashed into a nearby table and chairs ending up in a heap of limbs, spilled drinks, and overturned furniture. Pivoting on his feet, Lamont turned to face the other marine stick at the ready. He estimated he had about twenty seconds to deal with this oaf before the other one regained his footing emboldened by wounded pride and robust anger.
Vae had watched everything unfold, the marine lunging, the Ambassador beating him down into a heap. That was her chance, she could not let the man get up and have a second chance while Lamont was busy with his companion. She moved towards the marine who had been knocked down, and out of the corner of her eye she saw the second one attack Lamont.
" You Bastard...." The smaller of the two marines growled before he too took his chance at the Ambassador. Managing to land a punch on that pretty face of his, a satisfied smile on his face as he shook out his hand. Then followed that by lifting his knee towards him.
The stars cleared from Lamont’s vision as he found himself on the floor having been on the receiving end of a marine’s iron fist.
Reaching up Lamont touched the corner of his lips. Glancing at his finger tips he noticed they were smeared with tiny droplets of his own blood. The marine had landed a lucky punch and for that he would exact justice. Pulling himself back to his feet, Lamont balanced his weight on the balls of his feet taking care to remain agile. This marine was dangerous, but he would be unable to strike what he could not catch. He didn’t have time to worry about the other marine he had recently sent crashing into a nearby table. For the moment the man was otherwise occupied which left Lamont free to focus upon only one adversary.
Vae had her hand positioned perfectly to pinch the marine's neck, almost applying the pressure before she felt a big hand wrap around her wrist and squeeze. She bit her lip as the big man stood, looking down into her red eyes with rage.
"You trying to knock me out you Vulcan freak?" He squeezed the woman's wrist as he twisted her arm behind her back and placed his arm around her neck, squeezing. " You can watch as my buddy there slaughters your pretty knight..."
Lamont dodged a swift jab, followed by another…and another.
“Stand still and fight pretty boy”, the marine bellowed. Lamont remained silent content to duck and weave between flurries of powerful attacks. Throwing a powerful hook, Lamont dodged the attack and saw his opening to counter. Gripping the pool stick in both hands, Ian drove it like a bat into the marine’s exposed upper body. The force of the blow sent the marine flying backwards as the pool cue snapped and splintered in Lamont’s hands.
Ian gazed at the shattered wooden stump in his grasp his advantage all but gone now that his weapon had failed him. He was a skilled fencing champion and was deadly with a sword, but without his weapon he was decidedly average to poor in hand-to-hand combat. He typically left fist fighting to those with more pedestrian sensibilities.
He needed a plan B and quickly before the angry marine regained his footing. If he didn’t come up with a plan in the next five seconds there was a high probability that creamed Ambassador would soon be on the galley menu as the daily special.
The grip around her tightened as the marine holding her felt concern for his friend, it was a mistake because it gave her the room she needed to bring her head forward and then back with a forceful hit to the man's nose. As he reeled in pain, she growled and using the agility her Betazoid side offered, brought up her leg and gave him a swift kick to the side of the head. Knocking the man to the ground where she was finally able to subdue him with the -oh so reliable- neck pinch.
One down, one to go.
Gently she checked the cut on her brow before turned her attention to Lamont, he seemed to have the situation with the second marine handled. Though she was skilled in hand to hand combat, she would only step into his fight when, or if, he needed it.
The marine slowly staggered to his feet and looked to the Ambassador, his hand nursing the wound left by the broken pool cue. " That all you--- Got-- Pretty boy?!" He growled, his posture wavering as he was starting to lose. Yet, his marine pride left him too stubborn to back down.
“I happen to be a Federation ambassador, a Starfleet commander, and am most certainly older and more respectful than the likes of you”, Lamont fired back. “If anyone is a boy here it is most certainly you and your childish and immature behavior. After I am done cleaning your chronometer, I’ll decide whether or not to have you and your friend the gorilla, court-martialed. That is unless you care to concede now?”
Vae watched helplessly as she was unable to prevent the marine from charging the Ambassador and taking him down to a table, the marines fists pounding into him.
Lamont was unable to sidestep the charging marine who caught the ambassador by the torso picking him up as the two crashed into a nearby table and chairs whose seats were still occupied by lounge patrons. Attempting to regain his breath that had been knocked from him the ambassador was subjected to the phenomenon known as ‘ground and pound’. As he was being beaten senseless, Lamont realized things had escalated somewhat beyond a gentlemen’s dual. Unable to defend himself from the onslaught above him, Lamont altered his tactics opting to abandon any pretense of gentlemen’s conduct for the moment. With a swift and precise attack, Lamont went for the Marine’s crown jewels which immediately and abruptly halted the pummeling that was turning him into a bloody pulp. He tried to free himself, but the heavy marine sitting on his chest could not be moved with what strength the ambassador had remaining. Lamont fumbled around on heap of debris and furniture for something to use when his fingers touched something cool, solid, and decidedly perfect.
Wrapping his fingers around the top of a spilled wine bottle, Lamont quickly brought it up and smashed it against the howling marine’s head. Thousands of green splinters exploded above him followed by a heavy, unconscious marine collapsing on top of him. It wasn’t quite as elegant or as subtle as a Vulcan nerve pinch, but it would do. Worse still it would be quite ironic if the marine managed to suffocate or crush him in his unconscious state.
“SOMEONE HELP GET HIM OFF ME”, Lamont managed to shout as hands pulled the marine off of him. Fresh air suddenly hit him and his face, already burning and pulsing with pain, stung at the sudden coolness. It was highly likely he wouldn’t be winning any beauty contests any time soon. Someone helped Lamont into a chair as the lounge spun around him.
“Someone should call sickbay”, he managed to mutter. “Oh waiter…check please.” The lounge went dark as the ambassador slumped forward in the chair.
Using as much strength as she could muster she pulled the marine off Lamont and carelessly dropped him to the side, motioning to the newly arriving security guards to take them to the brig. Her attention more on the Ambassador as she slowly wrapped her arms around his chest and lifted him into a nearby chair.
Running to get the medkit she frowned as she returned to him unconscious, a gentle hand placed against his bruised cheek, " Why on Betazed would you bother to help me?" She whispered though he could not hear. " Now look at you..." Her frown deepened as her eyes skimmed over his swollen face, she felt responsible for his current state, and she was not sure if she would forgive herself. She should be the one broken and bloodied, not him. It would not be the first time she suffered a beating like that, ' Why get into it? No one has done that for me before... Why now?' her minds was a fury of questions.
Once the dermal regenerator had worked to heal the cuts, she asked a waiter for a nice cool cloth. When he handed her one, she slowly, and carefully started to gently wash away the blood from his face. " Ambassador? Do you hear me?" She asked lightly, no response.
" Ambassador?" She shook him, still no answer.
" Ambassador!?" She winced as she did the next best thing and gently slapped his cheek. Seeing a bit of reaction she continued with questions, " Ambassador... Do you know where you are? Whats your name? What ship are you on?" And more.
Lamont opened his eyes to someone slapping him in the face and demanding that he answer silly questions about the date, year, name, rank, what ship he was on. For a moment he thought he was dreaming. After several moments his head slowly cleared and reality again took hold.
“Charon, Lamont, Ambassador”, he stopped for a moment. “Did I get him?” He looked up with a weak smile only to see a pair of red eyes staring back at him.
“YOU”, he blurted recognizing the face of the ship’s new counselor who he had already become acquainted with. “What are YOU doing here”, he asked sitting up as his senses slowly regained their acuity and the pain of the recent fight reasserted itself. “Now is not the time for an anger management session counselor! Ask anyone around. I didn’t start this and in fact came to the aid of an innocent female officer who was viciously assaulted by two marines. I hope she is alright. Have you seen her?”
Raising a brow she looked into his eyes at his questions about the supposed -other- female officer. Suddenly she understood that he never even knew it was her who was in the middle of it. Using the back of her hand she wiped some sweat from her forehead where he could now notice the bruise and cut on her brow.
"Surely I have as much right as anyone else to be in here Ambassador..." Gently she raised the cloth to blot more blood away from his face, he would also notice the nasty looking welt on her forearm from the cue the marine had hit her with. She did not answer his questions about the officer, instead she waited for him to notice. He was a smart man.
Lamont was about to say more, but bit his tongue and said nothing further. She was treating his injuries. He could trade barbed comments with her at a later time. As she tended to his swelling face, Ian noticed a large wound on her own arm. Funny that she should be…
“Turn to the right Ambassador”, she said gently pushing his head to the side so she could further blot his cheek. Lamont looked up and noticed a gash above her eye that was still caked with dried blood. His eyes suddenly widened. “You? That was you the marines struck?” He asked in disbelief only wanting her words to confirm what he already knew. Would he have intervened if he had known it was her?
She paused from gently dabbing his face with the cloth, looking into his swollen face a moment before she shook her head and grabbed another cloth, this one wrapped around some ice. Hoping it would reduce the swelling that was currently plaguing that handsome face of his. " I supose that is what happens when someone tries to keep the peace around here...."
“I..I am glad to see you are not badly injured counselor. Those marine ruffians had it coming to them treating a woman, or anyone for that matter, in such a way. I will insist the scoundrels receive a harsh punishment for their behavior and will further demand they present you a full apology. If they refuse I will demand court-martial proceedings be held. Drunk or not, those men should be ashamed of themselves and their behavior. Perhaps you and your department can offer them counseling on dealing with anger and aggression?”
Moving the ice away she placed her hand on his skin to warm it, ice can start to hurt instead of sooth should it be on the skin too long, then, once again she placed the ice on the wound. " I'm not sure... People like them never change... They are trained to attack and kill things that are alien to them..."
Her hand shook as she moved the ice to the other side of his face, but she did not shake because she was cold. More because of the flood of emotion she was holding back at the moment. " I have been beaten and bloodied so many times before.... Never once has anyone come to help me..."
Lamont had no idea how to respond to such a personal admission. It was quite obvious the counselor had very openly exposed a vulnerable area to him, but why? Was it simply any accident brought about by the recent fight? Lamont swallowed. He hoped that was all it was, but something told him it was not. While his own, newfound, telepathic abilities were decidedly weak and horribly undisciplined he thought he could feel something from her though with his own senses in overdirve after being pummeled into the deck perhaps he was only imagining things…
Once again she moved the ice and replaced it with the warmth of her hand, " Look at me Ambassador... I am a monster to most people... A freak of society that no one has ever taken a moment to understand..." The ice was placed on his face again.
“Monster? Well after our last encounter I might be somewhat inclined to agree, however, I highly doubt anyone aboard considers you a monster, myself included. A tad forward perhaps, but nothing so decidedly frightening. I am by no means qualified to counsel a counselor, but for what it is worth, you could use some confidence and self-esteem. I believe you handled that marine rather well given the circumstances. My face and body thank you. If you hadn’t dispatched angry marine number one I think I would be much better acquainted with the carpeting about now, which is a decidedly average color I might add. I have no idea what you’ve been through, but give yourself some credit. I might even be interested in learning that Vulcan neck trick from you."
" And I would be more than willing to teach it to you... Along with any other Vulcan tricks you may want to learn in relation to the Vulcan nerve pinch... There is also the Death grip...Many other different things in relation to pressure points... Even a massage referred to as Neuropressure... I just hope you will have the time to master them... It will take more than simply showing you..." She bit her lip.
Lamont’s eyebrow arched. Was she flirting with him? He hadn’t realized he had made such an impression, or had he? His entire body hurt from being pounded and he couldn’t be sure his powers of perception were giving him the right signals or if he was interpreting them correctly. “Perhaps I’ll take you up on that offer”, he replied.
A frown graced her lips as she moved the ice to his forehead next, " I am thankful for you bothering to come to help... But forgive me if I am not used it... I hardly know how to thank someone properly..." A sigh left her as she moved the ice to his chin and took his hand to hold it himself.
"Part of me feels responsible for the state you are in now... Broken and bloodied when I should be the one who is in your state..." She asked the barkeep for a glass of what the Ambassador was drinking and held it out to him in her delicate hands. " But, a majority of my being feeling I should give thanks..."
Lamont took the glass and took a long sip of the alcohol. The warm tingle of the poor scotch was welcome even if the quality was not. “Only the majority is thankful”, Lamont asked. “Not all?” He put a hand up and flashed a weak smile. “You are responsible for nothing more than your own actions. I made the decision to intervene and assumed the risk of doing so. I suspected things might become tense, but I couldn’t allow those scoundrels to walk away after such behavior. You are not responsible for my injuries. As for the face I’m sure sickbay can repair the damage. It isn’t the first time I’ve been hit you know. Won’t be the last, I’m sure”, he jokingly stated trying to lighten the counselor’s subdued almost depressed demeanor.
A genuine smile came to her lips as she listened to him, brightening her features before she looked at his face again. "It is still a shame that they focused so much on that face of yours... The first time or not... It is still unfortunate..." Yes, she just complimented him.
He was quite positive that he had not been reading too much into her words. She had just complimented him.
What had he gotten himself into? As a gentleman he and his family aspired to the ancient practice of chivalry. Upon seeing the marines strike another out of malice he had to intervene. He had anticipated the possibility of cuts, bruises, possibly a broken nose – but he had not accounted for affection. It was his internal code that had driven his actions…not misguided attempts at finding romance. He wasn’t sure how to proceed. He didn’t want to offend her by saying nothing.
“It was a small price to pay. Cuts, bruises, and black eyes look better on me anyway. The crew will have plenty of fresh scuttlebutt for weeks because of this incident, I’m sure. I’m sure most people aboard would much rather see a politician like myself with a black eye rather than their counselor.”
Lamont reached up and wiped some of the dried blood from the counselor’s temple where she had been cut. “I can’t speak from experience, but you look much better unruffled than..ruffled. In any case, chivalry isn’t dead just yet Ensign. Well at least not until I die anyway.”
She looked into his eyes a moment, flinching when he went to touch her brow, almost as if she anticipated he would strike her. Stopping just in time to feel his gentle brush instead of a harsh hit. Her eyes widening in surprise as he did so, almost left unsure of what to say about not only that, but his compliment.
" Thank the four Deities that you are not dead yet... For you are the only one I know who has bothered even for an instant to come to my aid..." There was a silence as she nodded to him. " I will await a message from you signaling when you would be interested in your first lesson... Taking into account your injuries... I would hope it is sooner rather than later... It could very well help with some of the pain you could be in later."
Lamont, his swollen cheeks turning an even darker shade of red, smiled softly. “I have a busy schedule given the serious intergalactic troubles with the Romulans, but I’ll see if I can break away sometime soon.”
Standing again she looked down at him, offering him another smile, "I thank you once again Ambassador..."
“It was my honor ma’m”, Lamont replied with a curt nod. “I should probably get myself to sickbay to have this looked after. No doubt I’ll be required to file a full report documenting this evening’s events. Though I cannot imagine how, I’m sure the captain will find a way to blame this on me.”
Standing, Lamont softly bowed, before turning and heading toward the exit.
Only a few moments ago he wouldn’t have bothered to give the time to the counselor and he assumed she would reciprocate in kind and yet now she wanted to see him again after recent events. He very much questioned her professional motivations for wanting to see him and worse he was himself somewhat tempted to pay her another visit.
To Be Continued….???
Ambassador Ian Lamont
Ensign Vae Dwellon