The diminutive young woman closed her eyes to the low hanging clouds above and lowered the colorfully patterned scarf that covered her sensitive snout. She drank deeply of the Promenade's atmosphere. It was heavenly. Filtered. Sanitized to a mercifully subtle degree, but Heavenly none the less. She was blissfully overwhelmed with the deliciously competing aromas of several nearby food vendors, the chorus of personal scents (mostly the acrid tang of her Terran cousins) and so many odors still as yet undefined. She opened her eyes reluctantly and gave a bittersweet sniffle. And her with hardly an hour left to explore this wondrously vast market place. With a decisive grunt she brought out her PADD. She could sulk later. She had business to finish before reporting. Tapping deftly, she wondered if she could make a reasonable argument for voice interfaced PADDs. Probably not, as she envisioned a room full of crew members over talking each other so they might manage their datapads with Ferengi and Vulcan peers falling in pained heaps as they succumbed to sonorous cacophony. Okay. Maybe not her best idea, then. It didn't matter. She had just found her desired destination! Ęlopii Azul, or rather Cadet Azul, practically skipped off in a distinctively Tellarite stride, freeing her shoulder length, chestnut hair from it's duty bound bun as she went. No time to waste as she was already considering how swiftly she might make way back to the duty station in one of those dreadfully crowded turbolifts. With a grin, she considered how difficult it would be to talk Security into transporting her there. She had read residents had rations for such purposes and Ęlopii could only hope that cadets received similar consideration. It hadn't taken her long to dance through the crowds. All it cost were several impactive invasions of personal space, a goodly number of dirty looks and a few choice comments that the Station's Universal Translator didn't deem fit to parse out. When she arrived, the eager cadet deemed the transgressions well invested. The store was simply... divine. As she walked reverently through the entry arch to Sss'Ra's Fabrics, Ęlopii breathlessly scanned the host of textiles, some familiar as old friends with others unfamiliar, suggesting adventures waiting to happen. She did a slow twirl through the widely spaced racks in an attempt to take it all in. The enchanted cadet reached out for a raven's black swatch to hold against the dull saffron of her uniform top. The tacky yellow was sooo not her color and for the twenty-seventh time since leaving the Academy she wistfully wondered if her new assignment might adopt the less garish grays some crews used. Primary colors, indeed! She snorted derisively at the thought. “'Ello Sssissst'ra...,” a long-necked saurian of indeterminate species offered obsequiously, “May one be of ssservisss?” Ęlopii looked...up... with a surprised snort, startled by the abrupt invasion of her own delicate fondling of the shop's merchandise. “Why yes indeed! I half considered this was some fashion of self-service store. I take by your offer that this is not the case. Your prior absence was, no doubt, due to some matter of greater importance than assisting your customers.” The saurian drew it's angular head back, it's height giving the cadet a moment to reflect on the nature of the liberally vaulted ceilings in a starbase's vendor accommodation. Blinking slowly, it appeared the helpful creature was having some difficulty processing her retort. 'Typical saurian', the cadet snorted. “Look here, my good vendor! I am seeking a particular sort of fabric. A microporous cloth, such as Vulcan Enabi Silk or Klingon Bloodweave, but in some other color then flat black or that gaudy plum they seem so very, very fond of.” Ęlopii snuffled sadly, sure that the saurian vendor was not up to the challenge. Already wallowing in the despair of defeat, she looked one last time over the beautiful merchandise around her. “For the purposss, may one asssk? Desss'rt dussst? Ssssporra filtra'ing? Fume abrogating?” The large eyed creature loomed closer again causing the cadet to consider how pretty it's eyes were and if they evolved as some sort of distracting element to gain advantage over their prey... or their customers.” “The latter,” Ęlopii replied enthusiastically. “Fumes, that is! Noxious, persistent... most unseemly odors.” A deep throaty cackle escaped from the creature taking time to rumble up it's long neck and finally pass out it's tapered snout like a distant rolling thunder. “Yes, Sssissst'ra. Most undra'ssstood.” The cadet couldn't help but wonder if the saurian's 'understanding' was in part from the long nasal cavities that lined each side of it's long angular head. “Indeed? Very well then, what do you have?” “Callo'sssium Wool,” the saurian barked softly in it's raspy fashion and reached over to present a bolt of the very same fabric. A shimmering rust colored cloth rife with curious shadows in the incandescence of store's muted lighting. It fell like a exquisitely, delicate suede, the young woman considered. Draping the thick, velvety, dark russet weave over her face, Ęlopii drew in a slow, purposeful breadth. She shook her head in sincere disappointment, “Might as well be a fine shamy...” Sniffling curiously, she asked lamentably, “Does this come in a thinner weave?” “Sssuch can be ordra'ed, Sssisst'ra.” Immediately brightening, Ęlopii almost squealed in delight as she hopped happily in place. It really was a lovely material. Her momentary pleasure was vaporized when the alarm went off on her PADD. She had fifteen minutes to report to her new assignment. “Oh... stars,” the cadet nearly cursed from her ever increasing lexicon of interstellar expletives. Again the saurian let loose a gentle thunder of throaty cackling, “Sssissst'ra's Duty callasss to her.” Ęlopii snorted in amusement as she looked at the saurian with the rise of an impressed brow. Perhaps the creature was far more savvy then she had guessed. “Indeed.” “Thisss One'sss catalog isss lissst'da,” the creature helpfully rasped. “Bessst to fly Sssissst'ra. Your Massst'rasss are not renown for pay'shunsss.” At that point, Ęlopii couldn't help but laugh in the human way, a response she normally reserved for special occasions and trusted company. The sound trickled so much more lightly then her normal snorts and snuffles. She actually covered her mouth, embarrassed at the frivolity it. Such an unintended display made her feel quite vulnerable. She thought in quick passing that were she Klingon, she would have to dispatch the kind vendor for witnessing such weakness. If Romulan or Cardassian, a simple poisoning might suffice. Instead she took a page from her seldom used Terran Playbook and just pretended like it never happened. Simply no time for the application of a good, distracting disputation. “Your quite right of course,” Ęlopii demurred making a sudden (albeit reluctant) departure. With a final glance back, she added, “I shall return to discuss more equitable pricing, Vender Sss'raa. May you profit well til then.” It was half warning, half kindness and entirely sincere. As the young cadet rushed out, she almost missed the saurian drawing back, rapidly blinking and seemingly pondering the girl's final words with a puzzled tilt of the head. Rather then risk a potentially time consuming argument with local Security for transporter usage, Ęlopii darted in her distinctively Tellarite fashion to one of the large turbolifts conveniently available. She tried not to breath too deeply as she approached the small anxiously waiting crowd already present. She sidled away from a small Andorian child of indeterminate gender that smelled suspiciously sticky only to almost bump into a bloated Ktarian female(?) who had the aroma of needing desperate medical attention. In the brief, interminable wait, the cadet noted her own appearance in the shiny access panel before them and deftly respun her previously unleashed hair back into a passingly professional bun. Maybe she should just get it cut short she snuffled woefully. As the panel opened and purged itself of the steaming stew of occupants within, the young cadet gave a disgruntled snort and rolled her eyes. Gathering her scarf across her face she entered, closed her eyes and tried to find her 'happy place'. Maybe she she could argue for an added ration of transporter use... strictly for medicinal reasons, of course.