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JP: Lt. Cmdr. Sinda Essen & Lt. (JG) Solaris McLaren - Bowled over.


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(( Starbase 11 - Strike Lanes Bowling Alley ))


:: After Rustyy had left to settle the tab and perhaps throw some balls himself, Sol turned back to Essen with a grin. ::


McLaren: So, you ready to give this a shot?


Sinda: I guess so. I’m only gonna regret it if I don’t.


McLaren: Alright. I’ll go get the shoes…


Sinda: Thanks Sol.


:: Sol nodded, and headed up to the counter to get them both some incredibly tacky footwear. She soon returned, holding out a pair to Essen ::


Sinda: Classy. ::dryly::


:: She leaned back in the seat and plonked her boots on the tabletop. Unlacing them took some time but she finally slipped on the colourful shoes and promptly skidded on the floor, grabbing onto Sol for support. ::


McLaren: :: Sol reached out, helping to steady Essen. :: That better?


Sinda: Thanks! Seems you’re always there when I need you...


McLaren: :: Sol smiled. :: Thats what friends are do.


:: Essen opened her mouth to speak. Sol had thrown herself in front of a laser to protect Ess on the last mission, an act of incredible self-sacrifice. All the more so as Ess usually assumed she’d be the one putting herself in front of the gun to protect the crew - she was the Security Chief, after all, that was her job. She’d never even considered that someone would do it for her, and that was going to take a little while to process. But not here, in the middle of a noisy bowling alley. ::


Sinda: Sorry, I was thinking of something else. Okay, so how does this game work?


:: Sol nodded sitting herself down to put on her shoes, looked up at Essen as she did. ::


McLaren: The basics of it are you take one of the balls, theyre all different weights, so find you one thats appropriate for you. And your goal is to get it down to the other end of the lane, and knock down all the pins. And you get two throws to do it.


Sinda: Any special tricks to the run up? I’m pretty sure I saw the captain skipping up to the line earlier.


McLaren: Not really… everyone sort of develops their own style.


:: Shrugging, Essen picked up one of the lighter balls and flung it down the wooden aisle. It bounced a couple of times with loud thuds before dropping into the gutter at the side. ::


Sinda: So, not like that then?


McLaren: :: Sol laughed, not at Essen exactly, but at the whole thing. :: Hmmm, not exactly. Though… that is what my first go looked like...


Sinda: Ah, well I’m in good company then! ::grinning::


:: Sol stood and moved just behind Essen, gently taking her wrist. She was close enough to take in Essen’s scent, the faintest odour of sharp, bitter smoke mixed with old leather, and she found it slightly intoxicating. ::


McLaren: The way it was explained to me a long time ago… was that you want it to be a smooth motion in time with your steps, :: Sol mimed a smooth swing as she explained. :: and you want the ball to sort of naturally roll from your grip…


Sinda: ‘Smooth’ and me don’t usually go well together.


:: Sol stepped back, grinning ::


McLaren: Though… I was never able to actually put that into practice… so for all I know the person who told me that could have been full of crap…


:: Ess watched Sol for a moment as the other woman talked. Her wrist still tingled from where Sol had held it - Ess couldn’t actually remember the last time someone had touched her, it was that long ago. With affection, anyway. Bar room brawls probably didn’t count. ::


Sinda: Guess there’s one way to find out.


:: Taking a new ball, Ess took a couple of slow steps towards the lane and released the ball so smoothly it barely skimmed the surface. This time it made it almost all the way to the end before falling into the gutter. ::


Sinda: Yeah, I reckon they were full of crap. ::She quirked an eyebrow at Sol:: So who was it who told you?


McLaren: An acquaintance back on Earth… Im pretty sure he was just full of crap...


Sinda: You know Humans have this reputation for just kicking back and playing games. It’s a wonder you ever found time to found the Federation. I’m serious! You ask any alien and they’ll say the same. Humans are the most laid back race out there. All you guys do is have fun and rest on your laurels.


McLaren: :: Sol crossed her arms. :: Not all of us are like that! :: she laughed::


Sinda: Hey I’m just saying! ::she held up her hands:: Anyway, pretty sure it’s your go.


McLaren: :: Sol nodded. :: It would appear that way.


:: Sol collected a ball, testing its weight. She reached up and tucked a strand of loose hair behind her ear, setting herself up for her first throw. She sent the ball rolling down the lane, watching is it made it nearly to the end before tumbling off into the gutter, only knocking over 2 pins. She frowned. ::


:: Essen waited while Sol collected her ball and was concentrating on her run up. She found herself smiling at the way Sol absentmindedly tucked a stray strand of her white hair behind her ear. She was undeniably attractive. Ess was still hesitant though. Fun was one thing, and there had been plenty of ‘fun’ at the Academy, but what if Sol wanted more?

The ball veered off a little at the end but it was still enough to knock over a few of the pins. Ess shook her head slightly as the sound brought her back into the present - again, more thoughts for another time. Right now, there was fun to be had. ::


Sinda: Are you hustling me?


McLaren: :: She shook her head. :: No. I’m really just not that good.


Sinda: It’s a good job I still have some tricks up my sleeve.


McLaren: Oh really? Like what?


Sinda: You’ll see.


McLaren: :: Sol [...]ed an eyebrow. :: If you say so…


:: This time Ess stayed close while Sol collected her ball. Just as she was about to bowl, Ess gave her a sharp pinch on the bum. ::


:: Sol retrieved the ball as it came up from the return and then set up again, starting off on her next throw. A sharp pain in her rear cause her to jump, sending the ball down the lane. It stayed on for a moment, before careening off into the gutter. ::


McLaren: Hey! What was that for?


Sinda: Oh what a shame, you seem to have missed…


McLaren: It would appear that way. :: She grinned. :: So this was the trick you were talking about.


Sinda: Well as you’re great tactician Sun Tzu once said, “if at first you don’t succeed, cheat.”


McLaren: :: Sol blinked. :: I dont think he said it quite like that...


Sinda: ::shrugging:: He might have said it when no-one was listening.


McLaren: :: She laughed. :: Fair point. :: Sol gestured to the lane. :: Your turn Ess. :: She winked. She had nothing planned, but thought just the idea that she did might throw Essen off. ::


Sinda: Just remember, while you’re planning whatever it is that you’re planning, that I can have you arrested.


:: The hybrid selected a heavier ball this time, testing its weight. Satisfied with her choice, she rolled it straight down the middle, knocking over all but two pins at either side. ::


:: Sol took a seat watching Essen as she got ready for her next throw. She wondered just what Essen thought of their relationship, and found herself wondering where it would lead. She knew her hopes, but could also only hope they were realistic. She was jolted from her thoughts by the sound of pins falling. ::


McLaren: Who’s hustling who, Ess?


Sinda: I must have slipped or something.


McLaren: A likely story. :: She laughed. ::


Sinda: Either that or Earth games are just so easy to learn there’s no real skill involved?


McLaren: So Ive been told.  :: She nodded. :: Come on then, Ess. Lets see if you can get some more.


:: Sol again sat back, watching Essen again. She moved with a sort of calculated elegance, that Sol was almost sure was unintentional. She let her eyes trace over Essen’s form, appreciating her thin build.  She made sure to not be openly ogling when Essen turned around after her throw. She had missed how many pins she had gotten though. ::


McLaren: oO Youre getting distracted Sol… but what a fantastic distraction… Oo Nice shot.


Sinda: Is that sarcasm? I missed them both.


:: She threw herself down on the seat opposite Solaris with her usual lack of grace. ::


McLaren: :: Sol blushed, caught in her distraction. :: Well, they were nice attempts… :: She was quick to cover, chuckling. ::


(( Several frames of bowling later. ))


Sinda: It’s getting late. I have some work I need to sort out back on the ship.


:: She bent down and started unlacing the bowling shoes. ::


McLaren: Oh? Need any help?


Sinda: I appreciate the offer, but it’s something a bit… private.  Nothing serious, just a thing I need to look into.


McLaren: :: Sol nodded. :: Fair enough, still, let me know if you do.


Sinda: Looks like just your final frame left. ::she gestured at the scores:: Unless you completely mess it up, I reckon you’ve got me beat.


McLaren: :: Sol glanced at the scores, seeing that it was the truth. Her last ball would decided who won or lost, or even if they tied. :: It would seem that way...


Sinda: There was one last trick, actually. I wasn’t sure about using it but figure what the hells.


McLaren: Well… this I have to see...


:: Ess stepped close to Sol until their bodies were touching and in one swift movement slid her arms around the other woman and kissed her. Not a gentle, affectionate kiss but aggressive and passionate, like everything else Essen did.

It lasted less than half a minute but felt much longer. Finally Ess stepped back with an impish look in her dark eyes. ::


:: Sol was startled for a moment, before feeling herself ease into the kiss. She found herself wishing it had lasted longer when Essen stepped away. ::


McLaren: oO ifreann Fola… Oo :: She blinked, still processing what had just happened. :: ( OOC: Roughly: Bloody hell…)


Sinda: ‘Night Solaris. Good luck with your last ball. Hope you’re not too distracted…


:: Bare-footed and with her boots in one hand, Essen spun on her heel and wandered towards the exit. ::


McLaren: ‘Night, Ess... :: Sol watched her retreating form for a moment, then looked back to the lane. Suddenly the game was the furthest thing from her mind. :: Right focus… ball. Down lane. :: Sol picked up the ball she had been using and readied herself. She started her run up and sent the ball down the lane. And then she turned away, almost not wanting to see the final score. She turned back though, and grinned. :: 140-140… After that… thats about what I expected…


:: Sol sat down and removed her own shoes, switching into her boots and making her way out of the alley, letting her thoughts wander as she made her way back to the ship. ::




Lieutenant (JG) Solaris McLaren

Chief Intelligence Officer

U.S.S. Constitution NCC-9012-B





Lt Commander Sinda Essen

Chief of Security

USS Constitution-B


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