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Commodore Oddas Aria: Sanitizing a Thousand Cuts

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OOC: I particularly enjoyed the 'explanation'. 😄




(( Astra Aura, Downtown, Denali Station ))

Harford: I suppose this is where we change? Into what exactly, Sir? And then we step back out into the hallway? Or will they come and retrieve us?

oO Prophets, never let it be said I am not social with the Junior Officers. Oo

She stood in front of the furthest door as Trej disappeared down the hallway.  

Harford: I'm sorry, Sir. That was a lot of questions. I'm a very protocol driven person.

Oddas: Honestly, that's refreshing among the crew - but for this, try to relax.  There's a robe in the room, change into whatever makes you comfortable, the staff is aiming to cater to you, not to ask you to make you uncomfortable.  They'll come get you, wherever you are.

Harford: Yes, Sir. Thank you. I'll uh, see you in a moment then.

Aria entered into her own room, a small wooden room that she knew would be tied to her own biometrics, anything she left would remain, the door would lock to anyone but her - including the staff that would not think about violating the staff.  She removed her uniform, folded it up, stretching her arm in the process.   She was looking forward to the day.

The thick white robe felt good as she slipped it on, until she pulled the arm on, causing her to wince.

She let out a deep sigh.

There was a soft knock on the door, evidently it was time to go.  Aria pulled her robe tight and opened the door to Trej's smiling face and Harford just beyond.

Trej:  Right this way, Doctors.

She would never admit it, but there were times she liked being addressed by her academic title.  She followed the man down the small hallway, the one she knew Ke’ToQ would be administered.  Inside it was a small, a few meters on several sides, with three low benches on all sides of a tank approximately 1 meter tall - currently covered by a thick silver cloth.  Aria knew it was to keep the fish calm.

On the open side of the tank, hanging from the wall, was a view screen and a small ceremonial tank of blood wine.  

A tall Vulcanoid woman entered - Aria had never decided if they were Vulcan, Romulan, or some combination.  She gestured for them to sit on the benches.

T'Pri: Thank you for joining, we will start with a quick animation for our new comers, it is necessary for your safety.

Aria smiled and sat on one of the side benches - she could hear the swimming and lapping of the Ke'ToQ fish in the tank in front of them.

Harford: Response

T'Pri nodded and the animation began, the screen springing to life showing a stylized and animated, cartoonish version of the tank currently in front of them.

Narrator: Thank you for coming to our traditional Ke'ToQ ceremony.  It is with great pleasure we welcome you and invite you to an ancient tradition practiced by Klingon Warriors since the time of Kahless to improve their performance in battle, and it made them look pretty snazzy too.

On the screen two cartoon Klingons appeared - one male and one female, smiling, sticking their legs into the tank, grimacing, followed by some bubbling, and then pulled out smooth legs.  They smiled wide, exaggerated, cartoonish smiles, drew their knives, and ran off into battle.

It was quite the different explanation then when Aria first got the explanation of how this ritual began, much more, polished and sanitized.

She glanced to the Ensign.

Harford: Response

Narrator: Of course, it is not for the faint of heart, the Ke'ToQ fish is a scary looking fish ...

A very real picture of the fish appeared on the screen, gross, scaly, and with teeth that did not fit in its mouth.  Its fins were more like hard bones, and its eyes were small and beady, and it looked like something out a nightmare.  The measurements on the screen showed them to be around 75mm nose to tail.

Aria chuckled.

Oddas: At least they show you a real picture of that.

Narrator: The Ke'ToQ have a curious predilection, and love to rub up against the skin of anything you place in with the tank, pulling and removing all the little loose bits that you don't want anyway.

The screen changed again, this time showing an underwater view, for legs underwater, with a dozen of the fish - an all cartoon version this time including fish, water, and legs, not moving at first, then slowly, noticing the legs, and touching, bumping the legs, each other, and gradually picking up speed,   As they did, they began to pick hit the legs with more frequency and velocity, over and over, as they did their scales, bone fins, and the edges of their teeth, and their bodies were pulling bits of skin from the legs, then slurping it down.

The animation made it clear their mouths were too big to actually bit anything directly, but Aria knew from experience it would feel as if they were trying to eat your legs to the bone.

Narrator: After just two standard minutes, they have done their job, but don't be as heroic as the two in our video - seven standard minutes is the maximum, and the time required for the celebratory blood wine.

On the video, the two Klingons were back, this time running a hand over their obviously smooth legs and toasting each other with bloodwine.

Narrator: Remember, while it can be painful, you can pull your legs out at any time, and our staff is available to assist.  Plenty of our patrons get enrichment, enjoyment, and benefit from 1 minute, 3 minutes, or less of the treatment.  There is no shame in deciding this is not for you, and of course, Astra Aura assumes no risk or responsibility if you begin the ceremony.

The animation ended, and the screen went dark, and Aria noted two more attendants had entered the room - an Orion woman and a man of the same species as Krel, dark blue skin and large eyes.  They positioned themselves behind the Aria and the Ensign, she knew in case someone panicked they could be pulled out in a moment's notice.

Trej: Doctors, ready?

Harford: Response

Oddas: Ready

She moved forward and gripped the edges of the bench as Trej pulled the cover off the tank - the clear water showing a much more densely populated tank than the animation implied.  At this moment, she always felt a moment of trepidation.

oO Irina, Cada, Jazmine, Katya, Brayden, Toni, Rahman, Alea, T'Sara, Teevin, T'Lea, Stelek Oo

She lowered her legs into the tank, one after the other, pulling the robe back to keep it out of the water.    She bit her lower lip as the first fish began rubbing up against her leg.

Harford: Response



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