1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

[LSDF] Tropical Paradise - The First Slice of Life

Discussion in 'Lorath Matriarchy' started by Eistheid, Nov 15, 2018.

  1. Eistheid

    Eistheid Administrator Staff Member

    Research Facility "Tropical Paradise", Residential Sub-Basement 3, Block 47, Room 21

    The time between Isthmau's answers and Ei'ika's reply was filled by a casual observation of the Occhestian woman as she worked. Sutble shifts in body language, heart rate, pupil dialation, and breathing were all noted and filed away for future reference. As she made her observations Isthmau noted that given the nature of their working relationship and the facility as a whole, none of what she observed was likely to be of any value. At least she preferred to pretend that was the case.

    Thoughts of unlikely and potentially implausible scenarios were distracted by the request for an ashtray. A request that Isthmau could not remember an instance in which she'd had to supply such an object, but one which thankfully LSDF standardization had left her equipped to handle. Retrieving the small ceramic object from its position in one of the nearby drawers, Isthmau set the dull grey ashtray beside Ei'ika taking a moment to tap it gently a few milimeters closer for convenience before retreating to her resting position to continue to listen.

    What had been spoken did much to alleviate the few motes of worry that had gathered in her mind, and the prospect of trying out new hardware was one that always had something of an appeal. To this end it was easy for Isthmau to voice her appreciation when the time came.

    "I must thank you again Lili, your attention to detail and efforts to ensure both professional potency but also to assure personal peace of mind is praise worthy. I find myself looking forward to being able to work along side you in the coming days, as well as in the future should our paths ever cross again.

    "As for your more immediate curiosity, I did previously assure Effervescence, or as you put it our local TP, that I would be attending the social gathering that will be beginning in a few hours. I felt it was appropriate to attend both to introduce myself, and to learn a little of those who work here. It is... Important to cultivate healthy social connections, is it not?" As she spoke her final words a short lived knowing look crept into Isthmau's expression before being replaced with one of gentle sympathy.

    Wiggling the ear which functioned as it should, Isthmau paused a short moment looking at her hands before commenting, "I suppose we should part ways for now? As much as I regret to cut short our present meeting, I should probably secure an outfit a bit more casual than a uniform to attend the party in."

    Looking to Ei'ika's pink-tinted eyes, Isthmau asked, "Do you have any objections Lili?"
     
  2. Luca

    Luca Administrator Staff Member

    Research Facility "Tropical Paradise", Residential Sub-Basement 3, 2nd Quarter Personnel Baths
    The blonde man took the advice to be gentle on notice, he drew a cup of bathwater over Kay'lana's soapy wing, and applied a pre-rinse to the other one, getting ready to begin repeating the wing-sponging process. Danny reached down to grab a sponge, and he heaved a sigh as he straightened up. "I thought he'd passed out in the bath," was his retort to Kay'lana's accusation of picking a fight, and the truthiest explanation he could come up with so far.

    There was an omission to say that Danny was merely matching the pace of the other staff him, but it had come to him subconsciously - as Danny knew how seriously the Lorath took their rituals, routine, and society. "I joked at his expense and he didn't like it..." Danny continued his recall of the preceding events as he sponged the fyunnen's vestigial wing, which only left the way he'd been spotted speaking differently.

    As Danny was figuring out how to explain his situation, Kay'lana was chastising his poor behaviour - but it seemed like awarding sensitive and delicate process was perhaps a poor idea, as she explained aloud. He paused his sponging, and applied a gentle pressure to bend the wing a little. "My my, I thought you were getting me to do this to flex on me." With that, he drew the soapy sponge across her wing, down into the small of her back, then slapped the sponge against the grain of her feathers, ruffling them good. "Are you having second thoughts now" Danny chuckled, "or was this all part of your imaginary scenario?"
     
  3. Jimmy

    Jimmy Member

    Kay'lana's back shot bolt straight as Danny twinged her wings, then he felt the shudder pass up and down her spine as he ruffled her feathers, her back arching as shoulder muscles flexed and tensed, giving the man an excellent view of her definition. With jerky motions her head slowly turned back to look at him once more, and the look in her amber eye was shot straight at him.

    "You better fix those feathers, mister. With a little massage into the down feathers, too." She said in a tense, dark voice through a stiff jaw.

    She would not be cowed and bent so easily for her generosity. Perhaps she had underestimated the man Danny, he had seemed rather placid and perhaps dull when she first met him, but she found herself enjoying this side of him despite herself. It proved he was worthy. Not that she was going to let him know that right now.
     
  4. DocTomoe

    DocTomoe Administrator Staff Member

    Research Facility "Tropical Paradise", Residential Sub-Basement 3, Block 47, Room 21

    “That sounds more like a question I should ask you.” Ei’ika responded when asked if she had any objections. Considering rank and position it was something that she felt was a courtesy she should have extended to her mechanical comrade. Even considering the difference in rank and status she was in Isthmau’s quarters, it was not too far-fetched to have the shoe on the other foot, so Ei’ika’s tone in responding was one that carried a tint of amusement, the inflection making it clear she was not bothered by the machine-person’s courtesy.

    The matter of clothing however was one not just present for the blue-tinted sentient machine, but also for the winged technician as Ei’ika’s mind went to the contents of her baggage as she tapped a length of ash into the provided ash tray, before returning her indulgence to her lips and taking a long draw. She had packed for a professional assignment, not for festivities and social gatherings. “You raise a valid point however in the matter of attire, and for creating those social connections.” She spoke, smoke rising from her lips in the process. “I am going to need to visit the shops here, either try to find something in the local stocks that fits to my preferences, or get a container of pico-jelly and work from there. Considering your want to create those healthy social connections, perhaps we should not necessarily part ways. I would like to offer, and am offering you the opportunity to shop with me if you would like to, unless you would prefer otherwise. There is no expectation, nor obligation for you to accept the offer.” She was careful in her way of positioning the option, considering decorum, and the malfunctioning processes of the mechanical woman.

    While the Occhestian spoke, her words remained clear, well composed in structure and speech. Precision was still very much present in her, even as the autonomic functions which were so readily observed by Isthmau had been impacted by the narcotic substance which left its smoke hanging heavy in the air. Pulse and blood pressure both had decreased, respiration was slowed to a degree, as breath came slower, but was still deep and full. Even with blood shot whites of her eyes, and pupils which were considerably dilated, she remained keenly focused. There was however a curl at the corners of her lips, the hint of a semi-involuntary smile as a euphoria tugged at her consciousness, but it would have to wrestle against the expertise which Ei’ika had in exercising her control over the chemically induced state of being, a match that Ei’ika would win any day with what she was currently indulging in.

    There was enough of a smile to show teeth, there was a moment of quiet, before she took one more long draw, the sound of a steady flow of air being drawn through the narrow passage of ash and plant matter mingled with the faint sizzle of hydrogen atoms being torn away leaving lonesome carbon atoms in their absence. Then, a crunch, as Ei’ika snuffed out the smoke she had enjoyed, crushing it into the ash tray before she stood, making her way in the direction of the door. She waited for a response from Isthmau for a moment’s time, refusal or acceptance, either way would have Ei’ika out the door and to the shops, with a courteous bow of her head in respect to leaving the private quarters.
     
  5. Luca

    Luca Administrator Staff Member

    Research Facility "Tropical Paradise", Residential Sub-Basement 3, 2nd Quarter Personnel Baths
    "Right right, now hold still. For real this time." Danny brought a renewed lightness of touch, flowing from the wrist and gingerly setting each feather back into grain with a single pass, in stark contrast to Robert's all-thumbed handling of Kay'lana's wings. Duality was the man's draw as he started with the complementary massage, thumbs and fingertips preserving the order of the Fyunnen's feathers and working those awful sensations away in the small of her back.

    Danny had to put his back into massaging the Fyunnen, her tightly striated bands of muscle and thicker skin required an equally forceful, but measured touch for optimum massage. That stint as a masseuse came in handy, what do you know... Danny ruminated, and after a couple of minutes of rolling pinpointed fingertips and knuckles against wet skin, he decided to call it. He and Robert been in the bath-house longer than he'd wanted, and after ruffling feathers and an upcoming ... get-together? Meet and greet? Dinner? Orgy? All of the above?

    The blonde shook his head and rolled his eyes - that line of speculative thought laid toward overthinking it, and becoming frightened by their own expectations. A party's a party: if there's finger food, water, and somewhere to sit, then why worry? The rinse to get the last of the soap out of Kay'lana's wings was done swiftly as he drew the bucket over the Fyunnen's back, water cascading down and splashing onto tiles and into channels toward a drain.

    At any point in the room, the floor was on a slight incline towards the wall, enough to make water flow reliably down it by its own power, or with a broom and hose when the place needed to be cleaned up. Danny stood up now that he'd finished his stint, looking towards the baskets on the wall and wiping his fringe out of his eyes to get a better look. "I'm heading back to my quarters now that I'm freshed." Danny said, slight wobble in his inflection due to vocal limitations and growing thirst, and forgetting to use a past prefix on the adjective.

    Language was full of surprises - a man's soapy grip on Lorath Ly'thir for but a moment in the bathing area of a research facility upon a snowball orbiting a star only the Lorath knew of. Danny gave Kay'lana a couple of taps on the bicep, nodding upwards at her with a half-smile "See you at the party, 'kay?" the smile turned full before he turned away, heading for the change rooms with his belongings and back to his quarters later.


    Research Facility 'Tropical Paradise', Residential Sub-Level 3, Danny's Room
    The blonde was seated on his bed wearing fresh undergarments, drinking a bottle of cold water - he was sweating throughout his stint in the bathroom, in the water and out, and he'd worked up a light sweat massaging the Fyunnen. Despite being surrounded by water in both liquid and gaseous form, he was losing more than he could stand breathing in.

    Condensation from the bottled water was dripping between the man's, and a fresh change of clothing Danny had grown fond of carrying was with him: The SQUID infiltration and sneaking suit. Of the possessions in Danny's inventory, this collection of thick, duck blue altex fibres woven into the shape of a man suffered the least setbacks through detranslation on the Herald, perhaps due to its Sourcian-derived 'altex' construction. Danny didn't know what a Sourcian was exactly, but presumed they were here too - whatever they were.

    Fixing the chameleon-skinned qualities of the suit was done shortly after his journey on the Herald. He slipped into it and kept the hood down, omitting the suit's hard armour padding, mesh-webbing and slipping his LSDF uniform shirt and jacket on over the 'naked suit'. All in all, he was a member of the Defence Force with a bodysuit under their uniform - not an uncommon aesthetic choice. This second skin offered little in the way of physical protection, but it anchored Danny's peace of mind at a comfortable location as he got ready to leave for the ... party.

    A party's a party.
     
  6. Jimmy

    Jimmy Member

    Kay'lana nodded satisfactorially as the feathers were fixed up and accepted the massage he gave her with only the barest of groans. He was really rather good at that. She was pulled from her reverire suddenly as Danny pulled away and skipped out of the bathroom as her surprised blinking eyes followed him, giving him a little wave as she left. He'd given her the slip.

    Kay'lana gathered herself back together and then decided she'd had enough for now as well, toweling herself off and walking back to her quarters in one of the big fluffy dressing gowns provided. Stooping into her quarters she let her skin air out for a while as she gathered her uniform for the party.

    A uniform to a party seemed rather verbose, looking down at the heavy clothing as it lay on her bed infront of her. Well, she wouldn't need the jacket. She decided she would dress a up a little as much as her uniform allowed her. It was a social occasion, she could accessorize.

    Gold-copper ornaments came out as she went to work, first her hair, carefully combing and letting it air. Slipping on her uniform after she finished drying she carefully brought up two dark gold ear chains, securing them to her lobes and clamping the end of the chains near the tips of each of her pointed ears. Next, a small of gossamer red lace, which was with utmost care set upon her head and then held in place by a gold-copper head band that sat upon her hair. Finally, a small band of the same metal around her neck as a choker. She turned her head in the mirror, testing the ornamentation before nodding in satisfaction.

    She stood up gingerly, making sure not to bump her head and expensive (for her) accessories on the ceiling. She stood straight outside her quarters and adjusted her clothes before turning towards Danny's door to knock and escort him to the party.

    Time to retrieve her arm-warmer, AKA Danny.
     
  7. Eistheid

    Eistheid Administrator Staff Member

    Research Facility "Tropical Paradise", Residential Sub-Basement 3, Block 47, Room 21

    As she listened to Ei'ika's responses a look of contemplation slipped over Isthmau's features, her head tilting to the right as she considered what had been said. The maintained dialogue of courtesy and offered consideration was greatly appreciated, an effort which was particularly notable given the marked degree of thoughtfulness and composure managed by Ei'ika as she visibly kept herself on the edge of slipping into a more languid and placid state.

    The offered question and decision to be made was a fairly simple one, thankfully. Beginning to answer the question before she spoke Isthmau took a moment to retrieve her field cap, pulling it onto her head to pin down and camouflage her long fluffy ears once again. Returning her full attention to Ei'ika, she spoke with a mirrored smile, "I'd only be regretting it later if I turned down your offer Lili. As such, I'll be more than happy to accompany you to the facility's promenade."

    Stepping through the threshold of her quarters a moment behind Ei'ika, Isthmau spared a brief glance for the white sphere that she left sitting upon the room's desk before closing the door and falling into step along side the taller Occhestian woman. Taking up what appeared to be a surprisingly easy gait, doing well to compensate for the mechanical failings of her body, Isthmau did her best to match pace with Ei'ika. Making their way toward access to the upper levels they passed among a slow, steady, sporadic, cycling, crowd of primarily lorath personnel which moved to and from their rooms in varying states of hurry and undress.

    Boots on floor plates. It was something that was inescapable as soon as anyone left the comfort of a planetside assignment, at least, a civilized locale such as Hici'emi, Nyli, or Lor. Locations such as those, there was the opportunity to step upon soil, wood, even stone. What existed beneath Ei'ika and Isthmau in the majority as they moved from quarters to shopping venues were the nearly inescapable plates, and the sound, the sound that could not be mistaken. Ei'ika listened to it, even among the comings and goings of personnel between quarters, washrooms, and other destinations within the facility, she listened to the machine-woman beside her.

    There was something in the cadence. Gait for many humanoids was a rhythmic one, one that the humans from where Danny hailed from even had a parody of a marching tune set to; 'Left, left, left, right, left' on a steady beat. That rhythmic beat was ever so slightly off, and it caught the attentive ear of the Occhestian as she looked to her 'patient'. "Keeping up okay?" Ei'ika asked as she consulted her memory on the correct path to take to get back to the shops the arriving group had seen barely a Lor-standard hour prior, what marked the 'correct' path she remembered, was carpet, which they transitioned onto.

    In the midst of studying the architectural choices taken with the joining of the ceiling to the wall in the section they were passing through, Isthmau's wide eyed gaze swung down from the area above to study Ei'ika's face for a moment. Blinking once slowly, Isthmau replied with an easy smile, "Just fine~ Thank you for your consideration Lili."

    "Though," Pausing for a moment Isthmau turned her gaze to the path ahead of them once again studying the structure they moved through while counting the muffled steps on the carpeted flooring before continuing, "On a note more relevant to your professional engagements, I have not noticed in changes in my gait which would suggest that I am presently deteriorating. At least, not to a degree that would be considered non-negligible in our present circumstances and those likely in our near future."

    Shaking her head a little Isthmau considered her words carefully and after finding nothing else she wanted to add for the moment, she changed the subject, "Do you have any particular styles of apparel in mind for our festive commitment?"

    "Not presently deteriorating" Ei'ika weighed those words spoken by Isthmau, they were telling in how they were chosen, there were issues present, but none that were in the progress of worsening. It was another item to add to the list, the proverbial list at least, as Ei'ika had not formalized a plan of action as of yet, but had a loose vision in mind for the work ahead. Mechanics would call it an overhaul, a dentist would call it a 'root canal', a beautician would refer to it as a 'total makeover'. So many problems from head to toe, it was no small wonder she was called in as a specialist for the work which could only be called a project at that point. Her thoughts however were dragged from the thoughts of stimulants, sleepless nights, and a mechanical body opened up like a slaughtered fatted calf, by the voice of the fatted calf, no, the person in question.

    "Mmm." Ei'ika sounded as she thought on the matter of fashion, it was a constantly changing matter, even amongst the Lorath, it moved like ocean currents, an ebb and flow, bringing with each wave a new trend. "With social trends as of late, chokers that appear too much like collars are something of a faux pas." A phrase slipped into Ei'ika's vernacular, she had no memory of where it came from, it felt alien, but it was what her cybernetically assisted translation matrix provided for her to speak seamlessly with the machine-woman. "With the recent uptick in Helashio domestication and processing, to appear to wear anything kin to a collar is bordering distasteful as it appears demeaning, at least to people in my social strata." With that, Ei'ika gave a flip of her silvery hair and with the flip, each strand captured the corridor lighting like a layer of cellophane or the surface of an optical storage medium. What was on display was not the range of color the added pigments to her hair provided, but the length itself, which spoke of her social standing even more than the rank pins on her uniform.

    "I am thinking, perhaps a sweater with a high collar, as your people would call a 'turtle neck'. Perhaps paired with a long skirt, or slacks, depending on what we see. In my position, I must remain conservatively dressed, I'm sure you understand." Ei'ika spoke, dropping the hint that her choices were limited, but Isthmau's were not. "I must say however, this place may have a unique style we are not aware of, as every ship and base does develop its own culture, which we will need to observe."

    As much attention was paid to the time spent between responses as to the responses themselves, contributing a model of just who Ei'ika was and what could be expected from the Occhestian woman. Among these observances was just how much Isthmau herself had failed to keep an eye on the progression and shift in lorath fashions of late. Pointed out, much of what Ei'ika conveyed made sense and Isthmau was able to form an understanding that gave her a fair degree of confidence that she wouldn't likely run afoul of current cultural trends among the Lorath, as well as any conversational mistakes that could possibly have come of it.

    What caught Isthmau's attention more than the subject of fashion, however, was the hint of vanity displayed by Ei'ika toward the length of her hair. This had a dual result of giving Isthmau a curiously intense feeling that she'd gained a glimmer of information that would be important going forward, as well as a distinct sense of intense self awareness relating to the length of her own hair. A moment passed, and Isthmau found herself drawn inward wanting to examine the depths of just what her observations meant, after all there was much to learn about herself in the moment, and through this self reflection she would likely be able to glean a better understanding of her present and future company.

    Before she could indulge in her desires for protracted self examination and scrutiny she slowed her pace and came to a stop. Pushing herself up onto her tip toes, swaying a little as she tried to compensate for the shift in balance that was required, she dropped to the flats of her feet again as she took note of the way that the population density of their surroundings had crept up on her. Waiting for a clearing in the moderate foot traffic that flowed in a myriad of directions in a surprisingly well coordinated display of organic organization, Isthmau finally extended her arm to point out a fairly simple sign of black lettering mimicking, or perhaps genuinely an example of hand painted calligraphy indicating a store simply titled, "The Blessed Dressed."

    Turning to look at Ei'ika, fixing the Occhestian with her large green eyes, Isthmau inquired softly, "Do you care to peruse this shop?"

    Ei'ika easily fell into the flow of fellow Lorath, and even Helashio, moving to and from various shops and kiosks, a cursory review of the duty roster and shift scheduling of the facility indicated they had happened upon the promenade during shift-change, a busy period as personnel took care of shopping as they were freed from their duties, or rushed to get shopping done prior to getting to their stations. Even so, it was clear the market area of the facility was designed with the quantity of persons in mind, it was not too terribly crowded, at least to Ei'ika, as she halted when her shopping companion did, as not to lose track of her; after all, the diminutive height of the blue-clad machine would certainly be an obstacle in finding her in the crowd.

    Amber gaze went in the direction indicated by Isthmau, eying the name of the shop, she had seen shops bearing the same name in other locations, it was a franchise she recognized, and if anything, she did recall much of their fashions fit to her tastes. "Certainly is a promising option, let's take a look." Ei'ika spoke, and with her words, she took a step against the flow of 'traffic'.

    It was sudden, like an aneurysm, perhaps even closer to a stroke, the flow was disrupted the moment that Ei'ika stepped in the path of a Fyunnen woman of equal service rank, but with hair cropped several inches shorter. There was a brief moment where eyes locked between the two, before the Fyunnen gave a subtle bow of her head and spoke; "Pardon me, please, feel free." She gestured with a hand in the direction of the shop, notably, she came to a halt, stopping all foot traffic behind her, resulting in the flow parting for Ei'ika and Isthmau to pass through. It was, for lack of a better term, a sign of pecking order.

    Ei'ika gave a gentle smile to the Fyunnen; "Certainly, Goddess bless." she spoke in thanks and acknowledgement, as she gave a gentle tap to Isthmau, encouraging her to step through the gap first.

    The initial flicker of contentment that she had managed to find a potentially useful showroom for their purposes was derailed with near as dramatic a result as the events which occurred as Ei'ika stepped into the stream of foot traffic. Stepping forward at Ei'ika's urging in stark contrast with Isthmau's instinct to follow along quietly and blend with the crowd, she spoke a quiet, "Thank you Lili," before offering up a smile and an echoed, "Goddess bless," for the Fyunnen woman who had stopped for them.

    Walking toward the storefront, Isthmau mulled over the social interaction she'd witnessed. She knew fairly intimately the meaning, effects, and interactions indicated by hair length within Matriarchy society, however, due to her somewhat reclusive or perhaps more accurately timid, disposition as well as her status as an outsider, she hadn't seen many first hand examples of the manner in which the social structure played out in practice. Of particular note stemming from the experience was the now firsthand knowledge that status indicated by hair length outweighed official rankings, at least in a casual setting such as the promenade.

    As she continued to ruminate on the new source of firsthand information, Isthmau stepped over the threshold and into The Blessed Dressed proper. As space was at a premium given the nature of the facility, the primary mode of display were racks upon racks of clothing some of which were accompanied by a rolling ladder used to access upper levels. Taking in the tone and disposition of the largely modest, especially by Matriarchy standards, clothing Isthmau's gaze swept the room as a cheerful, lanky Lmanel man sequestered behind a simple gray plastic counter-top called out, "Welcome~ How may I be of service today?"

    About to answer, Isthmau caught herself a moment of uncertainty gripping her mind as she came to a stop next to a rack of garments featuring slashes and pannels of red. Turning Isthmau looked to Ei'ika with a mixture of questioning and hesitation on her face, not feeling confident enough in herself to put to voice a response or a question.

    Upon stepping into the shop, Ei'ika's gaze went over the gathered selection. It was clear that the franchise store tried its best to offer selection, while maintaining a small footprint due to limited space allocations. Display space was tight, and clothing was racked in a way which was not exactly inviting to browsing at a glance. It provided Ei'ika a good starting place to provide the response which Isthmau did not have available in that moment.

    "What we could use is a display tablet to review your selection of in-stock merchandise." Ei'ika replied, as she looked over what offerings were easy to access, eying the same attire with such vivid red emblazoned upon it. No, no, too sanguine she figured. She resumed speaking to the shop keeper, in native Lorath dialect, but the majority of the words were readily able to be translated by Isthmau's translation capabilities, except for one word "Oh, and something which I did not quite catch on the orientation tour; are these shops purely credit allocation based or p'enn?" The single word which eluded direct translation was 'P'enn', but it did have a meaning behind it, with minimal effort the meaning could be looked up.

    P'enn': noun, A symbolic token as part of a symbolic exchange system used to indicate appreciation for a material object's intrinsic value and/or actual value. Not considered a monetary form of tender, but used to mark a transaction which can be documented by a merchant, which is later able to be compensated in the form of Matriarchy allocated credits intended for recognition of productivity or exchange of goods which can later be used in monetary exchanges.

    "Of course!" The response was made cheerfully followed by the faint but recognizable sound of a drawer gliding open as the shop keeper produced a simple data tablet from within, "As for payment, I will accept P'enn or credits at your discretion."

    "Thank you, twice over." Ei'ika spoke with a clear tone of satisfaction, inflections on her words largely favoring a higher octave, indicating an enthusiasm. With the data tablet in hand, Ei'ika's biometric information was immediately referenced in the Matriarchy's public database, resulting in her public profile being temporarily logged into with the tablet. Once synchronized to the public database she approached approached one of the racks. Ei'ika's fingers gently grasped a tag in hand, before moving the data tablet vaguely in the direction of the tag, and with that a virtual mannequin matching to her own dimensions appeared on the display, with the garment on. "Good to see this working out here on the frontier. The little conveniences, I suppose." A curiosity came to the Occhestian, as she looked to Isthmau.

    "I am curious, do you have an active link to our database, or would you like one of these tablets for yourself?" It was a combination of a question, and an offer of consideration as Ei'ika held out the data tablet she was currently holding, offering it, figuring full well that the shop keeper would have another on hand; after all, across space, time, cultures, and species, females rarely shopped alone.

    A moment of indecision plagued Isthmau as she debated accepting the offer of the tablet for social reasons, weighed against being honest in the moment. Two seconds was all it took before Isthmau raised her hands in a gesture conveying that she didn't require the tablet as she spoke up honestly, "I have an uplink available to me, though I appreciate your thoughtfulness."

    In truth Isthmau had already evaluated much of the store's offerings and had a fairly solid idea of what she was likely to acquire. For the moment though, she made a show of considering the racks as she spoke up again, "I find myself eager to see what you will pick out Lili. Perhaps it will give me a new perspective, I may even find my tastes influenced. It's an exciting prospect."

    With a smile and a nod given to the shopkeeper as her gaze passed over him, Isthmau shifted her positioning in the store giving Ei'ika the space to pursue her outfit needs freely, while also remaining near enough to be available should any input or interaction be desired.

    Two seconds, it was an eternity to a machine, or even a cyborg. Ei'ika could clearly tell there was a moment of indecision on Isthmau's part, it raised the question of if it was simple modesty, and based on how eager the machine-woman was to participate in the interaction, it was clearly a hope to 'fit in', and Ei'ika was not about to take that from someone who tried with such earnesty to integrate and not be a source of disruption. Culturally, among her people, and even the Helashio as well, such a willingness to conform to social expectations was treasured, and appreciated.

    "I'm open to your perspective as well Isthmau, please don't hesitate to provide feedback if any comes to mind." Ei'ika encouraged, as she casually took to moving through the store, directing the data tablet toward any specific item immediately brought up a small preview image which lingered over the garment, allowing for rapid review of the selection. Even with everything at a fingertip, there was still something that was somewhat of a hurdle.

    "I don't know what our ever-so-cheerful host has planned for these festivities. I know casual would be favorable... but just how casual is the question. Lmanel, they're... more... ah... social than Occhestians tend to be, and that does impact their party planning." Ei'ika spoke, and did not even mind the shop keeper hearing those words, because it was a truth that was culturally acknowledged throughout the Matriarchy. "This leaves me to shop for optimal situational compatibility, while not looking like a novice in the clergy." On those words, Ei'ika picked out a light blue sleeveless ribbed turtleneck sweater which displayed on her virtual fittingroom-self as form-fitting, complimenting her body well, but not fitting in a way which was unimaginative either. "A sweater without sleeves though... it seems kind of counter intuitve, unless paired with another garment, don't you think?"

    Letting the fabric of a garment she had been inspecting slip through her fingers, Isthmau turned on her heel and made her way across the short distance with as much enthusiasm as her damaged body could manage. Coming to a stop near enough to see clearly, while also being conscious of Ei'ika's personal space, Isthmau considered the image carefully before replying, "In a purely practical sense, you would be correct. Though, given that it is unlikely that we will be exposed to any degree of cold lacking the sleeves might prove beneficial for your overall comfort, assuming you do not feel exposed while wearing it. Also, as you suggested a second shirt could be paired with it, perhaps offering a complimentary or contrasting color of fabric if you desire to be more eye catching."

    Taking a moment to glance at Ei'ika's face, Isthmau smiled and added, "I feel that the color would go nicely with your hair and compliment your eyes. At the very least I feel certain that it is an excellent choice by that criteria."

    With the feedback from her shopping companion, Ei'ika weighed the notion of the sweater, finding it to have a distinctive degree of appeal that was certainly present. "You're right, it does compliment me well." She spoke in agreement, nodding lightly at the notion, before she decided on what was needed to go with it. "Gloves, light gloves. Perhaps fingerless." She spoke aloud, deciding the matter as she consulted the manifest of gloves available from the retailer, and certainly enough, a matching pair of opera length fingerless gloves were available. They were comprised of a synthetic polymer which imitated the appearance of ribbed woolen cloth, while fitting like silicone or rubber.

    "Well, that takes care of that." Ei'ika mused, but still was lacking a proper bottom to go with the sweater. "If I was more comfortable with this place, perhaps I would take this sweater in a mini-dress length and wear it as a one-piece item, but, I don't think that that would work well for the occasion. I think conservative would be best... slacks, it would have to be slacks." Ei'ika figured, as she went to the section of the store where the various forms of slacks, pants, trousers, and other full length bottom garments were kept, before she pulled a pair of capri pants, cut to a form-hugging fit, comprised of a softened stonethread polymer blend that kept the garment wrinkle free, durable, and able to be rather thin at the same time. "This could work... and what about you? What were you planning on?" Ei'ika asked, as she barely started to drape her selections over her arm, before the Lmanel shopkeeper approached, spiriting away the items to be held at the front counter.

    Having watched Ei'ika's shopping process proceed from the point of input to completion with open curiosity, Isthmau found herself feeling a mixture of wonder and appreciation for the pragmatic decision-making that went into the completion of the outfit. When prompted as to her own choice Isthmau's reply was a little self-conscious, "I was considering a full length plain, pale gray dress. Perhaps with a heavy cowl to go along with it... Though I suppose that would fall firmly in the realm of... How did you put it? Like a novice in the clergy? It would be cozy though..."

    Trailing off Isthmau wandered a short distance away, parting the clothing on one of the racks to reveal the garment in question. It was an action that was curiously rooted in the material for an individual who was so intrinsically tied to computational considerations. Taking a moment to gently feel the fabric between her fingers and thumb, a thoughtful expression overtaking her features, Isthmau looked back to Ei'ika, eyes suddenly bright as she inquired, "Do you think something else would suit me better?"

    "Yes and no." Ei'ika stated outright, yet, did not cut to the heart of the matter directly. It was something which needed further elaboration, and she did provide it as she stepped over and eyed the garment. It was certainly appealing, but her words soon clarified her feelings; "It's perfect for you, but not perfect for the occasion. It has a formal length, the hood would be rather conspicuous in a social gathering, and it may actually work to make you look smaller due to the cut. If I were to make an opinion; it seems like the ideal dress for someone wanting to minimize their presence. Not quite in a fitting in sort of way, but, the hiding in plain sight sort of way." It was a considerable assessment from the Occhestian, however, it was just a matter of pieces and how they fit together.

    It was then time to be constructive, Ei'ika figured, as she followed up her analysis with a suggestion; "Perhaps, something a few inches shorter in the skirt, and without a hood? It is a lovely cut otherwise, and the color compliments you well, you just need to show some of you to get that effect." She provided her opinion on the matter, of course, it was all up to Isthmau if she wanted to follow the provided insight.

    Listening to Ei'ika's words, Isthmau's head tipped to the right settling there for a moment as a contemplative expression settled in place. Letting the dress slip through her fingers Isthmau straightened as a blinking light appeared on the tablet's interface indicating a received packet of data. What had been sent by Isthmau was a shorter dress of similar color and fabric, one that would have probably rested at just above the knees and upper arm length on a larger woman, but for the smaller frame indicated in the simulation it had the inverse, covering her to just below her knees, as well as providing loose sleeves that rested just below elbow length. In addition to the simple loose dress was a length of sunny, yellow ribbon wrapped around the waist and tied in the back in a large bow.

    There was a moment where Isthmau looked Ei'ika, her wide eyes unblinking before she smiled self-consciously and looked away. Eventually her gaze returned and she inquired softly, "Do you think that would be fitting for the event?"

    Isthmau's silence was something which Ei'ika weighed in the moment, unsure how the mechanical-woman would take her feedback, that was until the display on her data tablet updated, and she took a look at the image. A smile formed on the Occhestian's lips, as she gave an approving nod. "That's an excellent choice, much more personable, it is still reserved, but the splash of color keeps it engaging. I think that would be quite appropriate." Ei'ika's approval was clear, as she did have one further realization; "We need shoes. We would look absurd in service boots wearing either of these outfits." It was certainly true, while the insult 'Your mother wears army boots!' did not exist in Lorath culture, there was still a sense of the aesthetic, and the way in which such gear did not fit to a social arrangement of garments. "I don't think we need anything in a heel though, considering we're going casual."

    There was a moment of consideration, it was clear in the speed of Ei'ika's shopping practices, the Occhestian caste was no where near the behavior of humans, or even their fellow Lorath, the degree of practicality even made clothing and shoe shopping a practice of efficiency as Ei'ika brought up an image on her data tablet of a simple mass-production semi-rigid pair of flats, comprised of a stonethread polymer as well, creating a faux canvas of sorts, but far more durable. "These are rather popular, they come in any color and even patterns and prints." She suggested, holding out the data tablet so Isthmau could take a look.

    Taking a step forward to get a better look at the tablet, a gesture rather than a necessity even with her deteriorated body, Isthmau examined the proposed footwear and estimated the appearance in a few colors before nodding and replying, "I think these will work, in a matching grey for myself at the very least. Thank you again for your suggestion Lili, admittedly I hadn't considered footwear."

    A glance towards the racks sent Isthmau back toward her initial dress pick, pulling it down and hugging it as she crossed the store offering a brief justification as she passed Ei'ika, "For another occasion." As she made her way to collect the shorter dress and request the length of ribbon she'd need from the shop keeper as she deposited her selection at the counter.

    Making her way back over to Ei'ika, a moment was given before she inquired, "Do you think that will be everything we need Lili?"

    "Considering these clothing items have pockets we should be fine enough to carry anything else we need. I would loathe to have to work out a way to carry our communication devices we've been assigned." As a passing thought, on approaching the counter, Ei'ika picked out a simple belt to go with her new pants, black in color, and also indicated an order for shoes of a matching color to the belt. Easily fabricated from a base set, dyed with a pigment infusion by a simple fabrication device located off of the sales floor.

    Ei'ika thought on the matter for a moment longer, weighing the knowledge she had of social interactions across castes. "Because this is being handled by our TP in regard to organization and material considerations, it would not be an occasion for us to bring our own party favors. Really, we should just bring ourselves more than anything else." It seemed the most sensible approach, considering the facts of the situation. "Though, I just wish I had some time to make some repairs to you, so we could avoid any undue exertion on your part."

    As she was speaking, Ei'ika casually and without a single consideration went about picking up a biometric reader from the counter-top, gesturing to the shopkeeper that she was paying for both orders, and pressed her thumbprint against the scanner to confirm the transaction in exchange for Matriarchy allocated credits. As the garments were packaged, a scent of hydrocarbon based plastic sheeting caught Ei'ika's nose, and brought on a realization; "Would you like any sort of perfume to provide a scent for yourself? I realize you don't ah... seem to have one."

    Listening to Ei'ika as she went over both their purchases benefits and their future expectations for the upcoming social gathering Isthmau found her head tipping to the right as she considered why it felt notable that their clothing had pockets. Dismissing the thought in time to realize that Ei'ika had paid for her clothing choices before she had an opportunity to protest Isthmau frowned slightly before assuring cheerfully, "I'm sure that I'll be able to make it through the party without incident. This body was built to endure open combat. Even worn down as it is, I'm sure that it will be able to handle a night of socializing without incurring further damage."

    Hoping that her words were reassuring enough Isthmau proceeded to address the other question, "As for a scent? I'd honestly rather go without for this event... I'm not exactly looking to encourage any intimate encounters, so being uninteresting is fine. As I don't believe that interacting with delicate anatomy in a state where I can't guarantee reliable stability with my fine motions or unexpected component failures would be wise... The last thing I want is to have to fill out paperwork detailing how my failing body accidentally maimed someone, let alone my emotional qualms."

    Smiling awkwardly, Isthmau stared a the ground between her feet for a moment eyes distant with thought before she looked up, almost as if she had forgotten where she was. Then her bright smile returned, "I appreciate your care and kind efforts even if I can't make use of them Lili."

    Taking her own bag in hand, and presenting Isthmau with her bag, Ei'ika stepped toward the front end of the shop to leave, but at a casual pace, as to keep with conversation that was still being had, a conversation which took a minor detour into a direction which brought on a raised brow from the Occhestian. "Confident in your body being engineered for open combat, but not confident to have it function sufficiently for what you would consider an intimate encounter? Interesting, to say the least." It created an imaginative spark in Ei'ika, but only a minor one, such considerations were not high on the priority list of the Occhestian. It did however give her a better understanding of Isthmau's scope of behavior, it was something she would need to keep in mind while working on repairs.

    "You are very welcome, I endeavor to provide the best for a patient, a project, a client, a patient, and a subordinate... all in one really. This does give you quite the unique importance, at least in regard to my own personal ethos." Ei'ika mused as she turned and flashed a beaming smile at Isthmau, it was a sign of her amusement in the matter, and if anything, a sign that the Occhestian loved her work. "I do hope to satisfy you in each of those capacities." It was a statement which from many folk was open to uncertain interpretations, however coming from an Occhestian, it did not bleed over into a flirtation, at least not with the mannerisms which Ei'ika displayed to accompany her words.

    "Now stick close, we got in easy, let's try to get back out easy." Ei'ika spoke, the crowds were not nearly as thick as before they entered the shop, but it would still be easy to lose the tiny machine-woman. "If you feel we've got what we need, are you planning on heading directly to your quarters to get ready, or do you need to fit in some grooming?" Ei'ika asked, not to pry, but to work out just which way to guide them through the promenade to make headway.

    Much that could have been said went unsaid, instead Isthmau feel into stride and did what she was most comfortable with and listened to what Ei'ika was saying. She appreciated the effort and care that the Occhestian woman was putting into their relationship, appreciating the largely professional nature of it, as well as the little bits of interpersonal kindness mixed in. It was one of the few things that Isthmau could confidently say were comforting.

    Giving her attention to the main question posed, Isthmau spoke up to ensure she
    d be heard, "I will be heading to my quarters, I do not need to make use of any other facilities to accomplish what I need to do."

    "If you need to split off for your own needs, feel free to. I have managed to look after myself this long, and a short time before a party will not be a difficult thing. I would feel remiss to take up more of your time than I require." Smiling kindly as settled into comfortable silence, Isthmau walked along side Ei'ika, careful to keep close in the crowd as they moved toward the access to the lower levels and their eventual respective residences.

    With the reduced density of the wandering crowd, Ei'ika was able to navigate along with Isthmau back the way they had came, light conversation regarding their attire dotted the trip, as Ei'ika reached her quarters first. "I invite you to come to my quarters on the way to the party, we can arrive together. I am certain that arriving with me simultaneously will eliminate a portion of possible unwanted social contacts that would risk activities which you do not feel prepared for." She spoke, before opening the door to her own quarters; "Isthmau, I look forward to working on, and with you. I will see you soon." Ei'ika paused, allowing time for Isthmau to give her own parting words, before closing the door to the corridor, bringing an end to the interaction between her and Isthmau; at least until they would meet again for the party.

    ***

    Later...

    As previously indicated a message detailing the location, time, and even intended maximum duration of the party had been forwarded to Ei'ika's assigned communicator. At the same time a similar message had been forwarded to Danny and Kay'lana providing less concrete information, opting instead to detail party games, provided food and beverage suitable to all attendees, and emphasizing a casual social gathering intended to allow for honest and genuine fun. It seemed that despite concerns and reservations about the competence of Aid'el'heid that the party would be something at least a bit more lively than an awkward occupational mixer.

    Exactly half an hour before the party was to begin, a tone signaled a visitor outside of Ei'ika's doorway. Outside of the door Isthmau stood waiting in the freshly purchased dress, complete with ribbon bow, a picture of nervous energy mixed with uncomfortable self awareness. A brief exchange followed including a reminder that Ei'ika had promised Aid'el'heid some pre-party aid which Isthmau indicated she'd be willing to help with before the pair made their way once again to an upper level of the facility and their destination in a large multipurpose recreational room which was already in the process of being populated with entertaining diversions, food, drink, as well as more practical conveniences such as a sectioned off area for any Lmanel companions that would be attending, and even a high speed induction charging station should it be required for any personal electronics.

    Upon entering the room, Aid'el'heid appeared with an abrupt swiftness that put to mind images of unnatural apparitions and shades in stark contrast to the beaming joy at seeing the latest two arrivals. Greeting Isthmau and Ei'ika, the bubbly, plush, Lmanel managed to convey a surprising amount of empathy to the pair's dispositions indicating somewhat uncomfortably that the "TP" was good enough at her job to see through presented facades, or at least do her reading on personnel files. The greeting and slight mollification of worries preceded a small tour of introductions of people of note, including the Priestess Rai'elir “Auspice” La'elu'en Lmanel who had also arrived to help with the preparations of the party, as well as some introductions made with a tactful hint of warning such as one Clerk She'zann "Iron" Fi'cher Fyunnen and older individual who was indicated to have been in her position for over four decades.

    After being swept up in the whirlwind of Aid'el'heid's networking and introductory efforts, Ei'ika and Isthmau found themselves assigned various tasks from helping with the set up of sound booths for social singing endeavors, the general party sound equipment including an attached public address system. Though simple, the tasks kept the pair engaged and provided a feeling of accomplishment as they were completed in the time leading up to the start of the party while also keeping them somewhat socially insulated avoiding any awkward social engagements that might have put them in a sour mood before the party had even began.

    ***

    Research Facility "Tropical Paradise", Recreational Sub-Basement, Party Room A

    At the time of the party, a small crowd had gathered outside of the room's sealed doors the muffled sound of an Occhestian electronic composition setting a background before the doors were opened inward and locked against the walls leaving the passage into the warmly lit interior of the room unhindered and welcoming. With the opening of the doors, wafted the scent of various complementary foods and drinks, many familiar and a few unusual brought out as a point of novelty and exploration for the party. With the doors opening the first groups of lorath, helashio, and humans filtered into the room, friends spotting each other, introductions being made to acquaintances and co-workers, and slowly the social crowd began to fill out and flow as people cycled through the space both to mingle as well as to explore the offered amusements.

    Though relatively quiet and low energy for the moment, the party had begun.
     
  8. Luca

    Luca Administrator Staff Member

    Research Facility 'Tropical Paradise', Residential Sub-Level 3, Danny's Room
    Danny was just thinking about leaving when there was a knock on the door. He slid it open and was face to face with Kay'lana's midsection. This prompted the blonde to step back and look up, grimacing before the jewellery caught his eye. Tones of rich copper and vibrant crimson around her face and neck was her look off duty - shining gemstones laid pleasingly always caught the blonde's eye.

    "Kay!" Danny greeted the fyunnen, who he considered a self-appointed and spirited valet. "I take it we're heading out together?" The short answer was yes. The fyunnen woman put a hand down on the human's shoulder and lifted him out of his room by the arm, eliciting a yelp of surprise and a grumble of protest. Kay'lana eventually set Danny on his feet, and together they followed the map linked on the invitation.


    Research Facility "Tropical Paradise", Recreational Sub-Basement, Party Room A
    Following the sound of synthetic Occhestian music with its tom-toms, bass thumps and speakerbox vocals once they were in the vicinity of the party, Danny and Kay'lana arrived at the doors. Now amid guests, Danny realised his date was dressed quite formally for the occasion, though tastefully decorated and a common theme he saw throughout the crowd: Uniform with embellishments. This contrasted with Danny's personalised bodysuit and Lorath uniform jacket sans combat attachments: A fashion rocked by occhestians he'd met: mostly pilots, scientists, designers, party DJs and other such methodical eggheads.

    Tapping his finger against his side to the sound of the beat from the party room, Danny double checked his digital invitation on his datapad. "Seems languid." Danny told his partner for this outing, taking note of the overall mood as he was looking for the end of the queue. Tasteful velvet ropes suspended on shining pylons guided the couple, giving them some time to chatter before heading in.

    Small talk wasn't really Danny's strong suit, but he tried his best to faff with inoffensive topics, "This usually how Lorath party?" He asked. The communal roots of the a positively charged gathering seemed to be amplified throughout living with the Lorath. "Invite the entire block for good times, food, drink, and other fun?"
     
  9. Jimmy

    Jimmy Member

    Kay'lana looked around at the crowd as they were slowly ushered in to the low energy party. She worried she might be somewhat overdressed as the crowd gathered, but contented herself knowing she could become much less formal if the party picked up. As Danny asked she looked down at him next to her.

    "Hmm, I guess because it's a work-party and most of us are strangers to each other. We should try to make some social contacts while the parties lulling. I think that's what our host was planning." She replied gently.

    She automatically looked around for any other fyunnen women of similar status, hoping to get in before circles formed, but then she remembered she had Danny with her. Quickly she reassessed her calculations, her gaze turning down to him again.

    He was uncultured despite his time in the matriarchy, but his former deeds gave him a leg up on any social encounter. But he hadn't even grow his hair out. The hummed thoughtfully and decided he wasn't that far above her, maybe that was why she'd been sent to look out for him, to help him integrate a little better. Either way, socialization would help.

    She resumed her search for socially acceptable strangers.
     
  10. DocTomoe

    DocTomoe Administrator Staff Member

    Research Facility "Tropical Paradise"



    [(x)(y)/d] * t = Time in which Person or Objects have spent within a specified proximity to each other, roughly able to be served as an indicator of potential familiarity.



    When the door to her quarters opened, Ei’ika looked upon Isthmau, glad to see she had stuck with the intent to wear the dress they had chosen. It was something of a shame, Ei’ika figured, that she did not know the mechanical woman better as to determine how the situation fit to her normal method of operations. Quite simply, they had not had enough time in each other’s company for Ei’ika to formulate a feeling beyond purely aesthetic appreciation. It was ordinary enough of a moment as not to hinder Ei’ika’s departure with Ishmau and their expedient arrival to the gathering as Ei’ika had already clad herself in the slacks, sleeveless sweater, and gloves she had originally intended, and had preened herself to a presentable standard.



    On arriving to the party, there was no surprise from Ei’ika as she was approached by their local ‘TP’ to begin work on preparations. It was simply a universal Lorath tradition; when in a position of authority, seniority, or capacity during a social event, it became the responsibility of those with the means to facilitate the occasion to do so. With rank in mind, Ei’ika did not think twice as she assisted with setting up for the occasion, working quickly with others who were gathered, managing to conclude the ‘heavy lifting’ of preparations before the guest arrivals.



    When they filtered in, Ei’ika positioned herself between the most stocked food and drink tables, not to indulge, but to watch and make sure no one was being too much of a hog for specific items, which would deprive others who had not had their own fill. Her gaze largely lingered on the Helashio and Human members of the crew, an opinion bubbling inside of her on a combination of lingering fragments of memories and cultural bias.



    While watching closely, and waiting for her own turn to gather food and drink toward the end of the flow of attendees, Ei’ika could not help but to wonder what methods would be used to encourage interaction, but outside of wondering, Ei’ika did know she was nowhere near intoxicated or impaired enough to begin to genuinely interact with the personnel gathered, and as an officer, that was a good thing. With that same officer mentality, Ei’ika’s gaze remained alert, watchful for her assignment, patient, and project all in one, curious how she would be handling the social event.