Rao’s gaze remained focused on a particular spot ahead. In the frame of the door a faint blue light flickered every now and again signifying a defect- but not one with worth pointing out. Sensing his approaching presence her shoulders squared; a hand raising in warning as if her body were on autopilot. It was moments such as this which reminded her of similarities between Star Fleet and a regimented period in her upbringing. Both trainings were successful in different ways; sometimes bleeding into one another…it was a level of introspection she found pointless in doing nothing more than reaffirming her goals.
With a soft exhale she began to relax, looking at a now shortened Marcus. Her brows performed a dance of expressions at his words: mild confusion to compassion to neutral to surprise to irritation. As much as she would of preferred to relax it just wasn’t possible. He was completely missing the point!
As soon as the elevator doors she fell in line a step behind the attendant, waltzing directly into the room. It was gorgeous with a lavish interior, state of the are technology, and a view of the city she’d never dreamed of seeing before- but she barely registered it. Instead she stood waiting with her arms crossed.
“Marcus.” She sighed, looking to the ceiling as she racked her brain on how to best explain. “I need you to understand that I’m not mad because someone ‘popped off’ or something could of happened back there.Well- I am upset about the second thing, but I’ll get to that.” She ran her fingers through her hair. “I’m upset because I could of potentially endangered lives; including Zletka.” She stated flatly. “I didn’t conduct myself properly. I got carried away and comfortable. I forget where I was apparently. I…” Rao shrugged, “Sunsan was right. I shouldn’t have attended because I wasn’t vetted just like Wells pointed out and I’m not…” She winced internally at the memory of Sunsan calling her incompetent, “skilled in the mine field that is politics and these weird mind games where everyone is out to get you and pull some sort of rank. What if Wells didn’t act quickly enough and now they have something over you? Or even me?” The list of all her side projects and responsibilities ran through her mind. As cliche as it might of sounded- she really couldn’t afford certain things and she doubted he could either. He was more valuable! That’s when it hit her. “I’m not attending anymore parties, galas, or political events.” With that she stepped out of her heels and went into the bathroom.
Rao took her time wiping off her makeup. Having grown lost in through she inadvertently revealed a prominent scar starting just beneath her ear and curving under her jaw. Feeling the soft vibration on her wrist she saw a message from Zletka stating she was escorted back to campus. “That Betazoid is way too thorough sometimes.” She murmured to herself, a bit of a smile forming.
Tarique had placed his first foot on the platform for when his wrist band notified him of an incoming message. He read it quickly.
Thank you for updating me on tonight’s events. I will take proper action.
He promptly altered his course to appraise the situation from his fellow cadets perspectives. If his prior behavioral analysis of Cadet Rao was to be regarded, then her reaction would generally be lax though given the stakes of the event paired with his noted fluctuations in her reactions…any hypothesis was merely speculation.
Just as he reached their door he was greeted by the sight of Cadet Vinaa making her exit. The two held eye contact briefly with Vinaa merely offering a dubious smile to which he nodded politely. His opinion of Orions as a species was that their trading abilities were respectable- something he noticed Terrans tended to overlook in favor of what were termed immoral practices. When it came to Cadet Vinaa specifically he found her transition from slavery to cadet to be fascinating. Nonetheless they were in different factions of the academy and Cadet Vinaa had shown a propensity to keep very limited company. Returning his attention to the door he knocked once.
Zletka seemed relatively unsurprised by his presence. “Good evening, Cadet Zletka.” He nodded once. “Good evening, Cadet Tarique. She smiled in kind. “I was informed of the incident with Cadet Rao at the Romulan event this evening. Are you both in optimal states?” He inquired. By the lack of audible presence it seemed Cadet Rao wasn’t present. “I can’t speak for Rao, but I am.” Zletka noticed his stoic expression and continued, “I believe she’s still with Marcus in a hotel for the night. She should be back tomorrow after her shift at the shipyard.”
“Understood. Thank you for your insight. I apologize for keeping you from rest. Enjoy your evening.” Tarique made a note to locate Rao shortly after sunset the following day. He had previously never made a conscious effort to appraise Cadet Zletka in the same manner he had Rao. It had never been necessary in the past leaving most of his information to have been a result of peripheral observation. His interaction with Betazoids was limited though from what he’d gathered at the embassy they were expressive where Vulcans were traditionally restrained with the addition of being psi-capable humanoids.
“And you as well. Good night Tarique.” Fatigue was beginning to really set in for Zletka who saw him off. As soon as she door closed she slumped onto her bed. The break from lessons was fully in effect and yet all she could think of was the night’s events and her upcoming tasks for tomorrow.