Part of USS Atlantis: Mission 7: The lost ship of Atlantis

4 – Enough to hinder logical decision making

Risa, Grand Haven Rise Report and Spa
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The benefit of a weather control network on the weather of key locales of any given world can’t be better displayed than at the tropical resorts spread all across the surface of Risa. Or the alpine, arboreal and desert resorts either. Weather scheduled on demand for maximal client enjoyment and environmental maintenance.

It was for this reason that Gabrielle had decided to come to Risa for her leave, combined with some spatial relationship values that meant a trip to and from Risa wouldn’t be too difficult and such up to much of her leave. As she’d been boarding the transport she’d run into T’Val and after a few hours of talking, both women had opted to turn their holiday into a joint holiday, mainly at her own insistence and because she knew T’Val would at least be responsible enough for both of them to make sure she got off-world on time.

The morning air around the Grand Haven Risa Resort and Spa had that crisp, cool and humid feel following a brief pre-dawn squall that delivered a perfectly regulated amount of rain to help with the flora across the entire island. A gentle warm breeze was already starting to blow through, right on schedule, such that within the hour Gabrielle knew the beaches would be packed as the temperature climbed to an absolutely perfect point.

Right now however her attention was on breakfast which she was sharing with none other than T’Val on the balcony of the unit they were sharing. “Okay, I’m going to admit, I was under the impression Vulcan food was supposed to be bland and boring. Nutritionally satisfactory and nothing more. But this,” she said, using her spoon to indicate the bowl in front of her, “this is delicious girl.”

“It is also,” T’Val said blandly, “nutritionally satisfactory. Just because it is desirable to be so, there is no reason why it can’t be flavoursome. Vulcans have a refined sense of taste and most would prefer a delicate flavour profile.”

The bowls of breakfast that T’Val had prepared for both of them were at their core cereal, yoghurt and mixed fruits, but all of Vulcan origin. There were of course additional spices and flavours added to bring additional profiles to the meal that Gabrielle would have expected more from her human or Denobulan friends, not Vulcans.

“Most? Are you saying you’re more…flavour experimental?” she asked before another mouthful of the simple but incredibly tasteful breakfast.

“I have found my time on Earth and aboard Starfleet vessels enlightening as to expanded palettes,” T’Val answered. “I am particularly fond of certain cuisines and find myself more and more experimenting with traditional Vulcan dishes.”

She stopped and looked at her Vulcan companion, an eyebrow-raising, saving her follow up until, by the manners taught to her by her grandmother, she’d finished chewing. “And how would you rate your culinary skills?”

“Adequate to satisfy my needs.”

“If this is adequate, then you’re going to make someone a very happy person one day by food alone.” She offered T’Val a cheeky grin before looking back at the nearly empty bowl. “Tasty, filling, low GI. I could eat this most mornings honestly.”

“I would be happy to continue making breakfast for the rest of our trip.”

And so, as breakfast wrapped up and both women ventured forth from the resort to the small tourist trap town that served no less than a dozen resorts, the weather naturally improved. Slightly patchy skies, gentle warm breeze, humidity just right – perfect beach weather on demand. “You still haven’t told me why you were coming to Risa for your leave. Don’t Vulcans take their leave at say, places of contemplation and mediative calm?” Gabrielle asked as they perused a beachside market., dozens and dozens of stalls hawking wares from the blatantly typical to unique hand-crafted treasures.

“A stereotype,” T’Val replied as she inspected a small hand-carved animal totem. “I desired to broaden my experiences with a warm, tropical environment. It was only logical to choose Risa for its proximity to Memory Alpha and Beta Antares. Also, aren’t you essentially meditating while getting a tan?”

“Yes, no, maybe?” she found herself running through the responses. “It’s…relaxing. Turn your brain off, enjoy the sunshine, let the world just flow around you.”

“While exposing yourself to potentially harmful levels of UV radiation is illogical, you have described in crude terms, meditation.” T’Val stopped, setting the totem down. “Perhaps I shall join you this morning. Try a different form of meditation.”

“Okay, but there’s another part of it called Mai Tais. And no, I won’t accept drinking alcohol as illogical, it’s part of the experience.”

Hours later and both women were appropriately attired for the sun. Loungers had been claimed, drinks requested from staff and supplied. And supplied again, and again. “If the purpose of this endeavour was to lay in the sun and get drunk, there are more efficient methods towards intoxication,” T’Val opined after Gabrielle ordered another drink from a passing staff member of the resort.

“It’s not, but I find it helps. The purpose is to empty your mind, enjoy the sun, get a tan and perhaps, just perhaps get some desirable attention.”

“Ah, mating rituals.”

“Got it on one,” Gabrielle added. “I haven’t been this drunk in years. Been too busy with my career and shore leave was usually over before I fully decompressed.”

“Your mental wellbeing is important to your efficacy. You should perhaps prioritise it more.” As a staff member walked past, it was T’Val that waved at the woman. “Your most intoxicating beverage please,” she asked.

With those words, Gabrielle opened her eyes to look at her companion, disbelief on her face as the Risian woman walked away with the order. “Most intoxicating?”

“I am conducting an impromptu experiment on altered behavioural and perceptive states. I would like to see if perhaps they would improve the overall experience, inspired by the general level of alcoholic consumption.”

“And this experiment started when?” she asked of T’Val.

“Just now.”

She stared at T’Val for a moment more, then smiled and laid back down fully on the lounger. “I am not going to match a Vulcan drink for drink, but girl, we are going out tonight.”

“Not matching drinks would be a logical choice. Your tolerance will be less than mine,” T’Val replied as both women went back to just relaxing in the sun.

Day became evening, became night, became morning again and Gabrielle, nursing an actual hangover when she emerged from her room, found T’Val already sitting on the balcony with breakfast. With a muttering of thanks as she sat down, she spotted two pills next to her orange juice and recognising them from many nights of misbegotten youth, scoffed them with a mouthful of juice. “I both love and hate you right now.”

“It was your inebriated decision to eventually try and match me drink for drink,” T’Val said over her morning cup of tea.

“Ugh, don’t remind me,” Gabrielle said, willing the anti-intoxicants to work faster. “Wait, why is there a third bowl?”

“You had a lot to drink,” T’Val answered, deadpanned.

“Aw shit,” Gabrielle said, as the rest of last night came back to her. “Wait…”

“I had…enough to hinder logical decision making.”

Silence fell over both women momentarily. “Let’s uh, never talk of this again,” Gabrielle said after a minute.

“Talk about what?” came a third voice as a prime specimen of Risian masculinity emerged onto the balcony, fresh from a shower by the look of things.

“Shoot me,” Gabrielle muttered, her cheeks flushing as breakfast became an all-consuming matter at this time.