"Having A Ball"
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"I am and always will be the optimist. The hoper of far-flung hopes and the dreamer of improbable dreams."
The Doctor, Season 6, Episode 6

Setting: MASQUERADE DREAMS, Crystal Ballroom
Stardate: 30151.2100

The Native American stood in his finest civilian atirement, his eyes carefully scanning the gathered dignitaries and guests to this special ball while his hand held tight onto an elegant champagne glass.  To say that this had been a 'high-class' affair would have been a grave understatement, and the list of well known people within the room only served to reinforced this concept.

Most of these dignitaries Erik did not recognize, but for those he did, the undercover Captain had half wished that he had not been aware of their identities and of their personal histories.

The extensive list of questionable behaviours from the rebellious daughter of a high ranking Bolian diplomate for one had made Erik cringe as he figured that this setting would offer more than one occasion for the blue-skinned woman to add to this list.  On the other side of the dance floor, the Native American also recognized an Efrosian Ambassador who held the unfortunate reputation for not being overly discriminating when it came to casual partners to spend his nights with.

Given that the MASQUERADE DREAMS held 1500 passengers Captain Morningstar had managed to be pleased while considering the larger picture, after all it had not been everyday that he and the rest of his crew were set to spend the next three weeks on board a luxury Risian cruiser.  Had it not been for the numerous and more colourful individuals on board, the Intel gathering mission would not have been necessitated, so Erik decided to focus on the positive and make the best of the situation that he and his crew had been thrown into.

"ANI?" the civilian dressed undercover Starfleet Officer whispered under his breath.

=/\= Yes Captain, =/\= the Avatar replied, her words able to be heard only by the Captain.

"Testing," Erik added, again keeping his voice as low as possible so as to not drawn any unwanted attention for those immediately around him.

=/\= The subdermal communicators and transponders are working perfectly, =/\= the ANUBIS' Avatar confirmed.  =/\= I am currently tracking every member of the Senior Staff and monitoring their conversations.  Everyone in on board as required, and from your current position you should be able to see Lieutenant Dalziel who is currently having a conversation with a Ventaxian diplomatic delegate.

"Well done," the Commanding Officer offered, knowing very well that as long as ANI kept tabs on the crew, nothing major could take them by surprise.  Now all that Erik needed to do was to mingle a little more amongst those who had been invited to the Black and White Ball.

The Native American was startled when he felt a hand land onto his shoulder, but immediately relaxed when his gaze met that of his own Acting Executive Officer.  Shar'El said nothing so as to not give away her actual identity, only using the gesture to request without words for the man to permit her to gain access to the dance floor.  Erik did so with a gallant bow, noting to himself that the ILO had selected a rather exquisite dress for the occasion.

This mission had already started on a most interesting note leaving the Captain of the USS ANUBIS to only guess as to what would actually come from their time spent on the MASQUERADE DREAMS.


Setting: MASQUERADE DREAMS, Crystal Ballroom, another section
Stardate: 30151.2115

The the black haired Chief of Security headed for one of the tables after having enjoyed a first dance, the redheaded Chief of Engineering having been there waiting for her.

"I thought you would be having more fun than this," Ya'Han said as she lowered herself onto one of the vacant chairs.

"I have never been one to enjoy all of this fancy shmancy stuff," Sonja sighed in return.  "I would take a uniform and an engine to fix over this in a heartbeat."

"You need to learn to enjoy yourself a little more," the black haired woman stated.

"You have fun your way," the redhead huffed with a grin, "and I will have fun mine. This is not the type of setting that I have my most fun in.  Take me to as club where I can really get my booty shaking and I will show you some *real* fun."

"Speaking of fun," the Chief of Security said as she looked around the room, "where is Eve?"

"She's rubbing elbows with that Ventaxian delegate," Sonja replied as she gestured with her head in the general direction of the Counselor.  "Maybe she is trying to have herself pass as Ardra.  Might make things interesting if we had an all powerful deity on the team."

Although the three women had been set to be at the ball as individuals, it had been easy for them to gather at the same table without drawing anyone's attention.  Guests were after all expected to mingle and chat with both people they knew as well as complete strangers.

"I need something to drink," the undercover Engineer sighed as she rose from her chair.  "I just hope that they serve Blood Wine on this boat."

Ya'Han simply shook her head as she watched the redhead walk away, hopefully the Chief Engineer would find something to make the next three weeks more pleasant.

"Excuse me," a soft and delicate voice offered from the black haired woman's other side causing the Chief of Security to turn in her chair.  Ya'Han immediately froze as she noted the colour of the hair of the woman who had come to stand next to her; the green tint perfectly matching that of the members of her race who belonged to the field of Performing Arts.  "I am truly sorry for troubling you, but I could not help but wonder if you were someone that I knew."

"Very unlikely," Ya'Han promptly offered with a forced smile on her lips.  It had been a long time since she had been on home soil, and the daughter of the High Sovereign counted of those many years to help shield her true identity.

"You are right," the Nylaan woman stated with an unusual and unexpected deep curtsy of deference.  "The lady that I believed you to be would have had purple hair.  I am truly sorry for having bothered you in this manner.  My name is Ye'Lan and wish that the evening be a most pleasant one for you Milady."

The black haired Chief of Security watched with concern as the woman backed away for a few steps before walking away, certain that she had indeed recognized her to be whom Ya'Han actually was.

"Who was that?" Sonja inquired as she returned to the table, two glasses of champagne in her hands.

"A secret waiting to be revealed," Ya'Han cryptically replied as she accepted one of the glasses from the visibly puzzled Engineer.


Setting: MASQUERADE DREAMS, Crystal Ballroom, Upper Balcony
Stardate: 30151.2130

From this vantage point the Shillian could see pretty much the entire ballroom and those in attendance to the Black and White Ball.  Maya had noted that Andromeda has stayed in the vicinity of Admiral Balren and his wife for obvious reasons, the Vulcan/Terran hybrid having known them for quite some time.

As the evening progressed, the Scientist saw Jayson Stark making his way through the crowd, attracting the eyes of several women in attendance.  If his intent had been to pave the way for him to gather intel from any one of them, his task had seemed to be more than half done.

Maya's eyes stopped on one particular tables set against the furthest wall from the dance floor, what drew the Shillian's attention had been that there had been a single, lonely person sitting there by herself.

"ANI," Maya whispered to herself.  "If everything alright with Seska?"

=/\= All vital signs are nominal, =/\= the Avatar replied through the subdermal communicator.  =/\= I assumed that her being against the far wall and remaining quiet had been a purposeful method of gathering Intel on those around her, although I will admit that your own location is far more conducive to that purpose. =/\=

The Shillian nodded to no one in particular as she looked at the distant Chief Medical officer.  It was an undeniable fact that not everyone enjoyed being in such a busy and bustling environment.  Maya sighed to herself as she too would have preferred to being somewhere quieter, but the details of their mission had been to gather Intel and mingling with the passengers of the MASQUERADE DREAMS had only been the beginning of their latest mission which would stretch for a whole three weeks.


Francois Charette

Captain Erik Morningstar
Commanding Officer


Lt. Commander Elan Fairborn
Robotics Engineering Officer