USS Lantau
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Istanbul Sunset

Posted on Fri Jul 5th, 2019 @ 12:22am by Commander Finchley Kerr & Lieutenant Commander J'Loni Mo'Bri & Lieutenant Jaton Alyl & Ensign Rostra Tang

Mission: Side Posts
Location: Holodeck 1
Timeline: Current.

Jaton was off duty and a bit bored. He had wandered the ship a bit and was looking for more engaging entertainment. And that’s when he stumbled onto an empty holodeck. Pulling up the schedule, he could see that it wasn’t booked for the rest of the day. He smiled. He was about to punch up one of his favourite beaches, but then thought maybe a change of pace might be nice.

“Computer,” he began, “begin new program. Earth, Istanbul, the Kapalıçarşı and its surroundings, 1729 AD. Populate with appropriate characters. Provide appropriate costume for all users. Set program as open invitation.”

“Program complete, enter when ready.”

Jaton smiled. This should be quite interesting. He walked through the door onto a bustling street of the Tulip Era. He looked down at himself and saw that his Starfleet uniform had been replaced with that of a junior officer of the Janissaries. The sun was still high in the sky, but the shadows were just beginning to lengthen. A street performer was off to his left, performing “Üsküdar’a Gider Iken,” and there was a steady flow of people in and out of the gate that led into the maze of stalls and shops that was the Grand Bazaar. Jaton decided it was high time for a proper cup of Turkish coffee and set off through the gate to see what he could find.

If nothing else, Dalacari were driven by curiosity. An open invite? Earth history? This practically yelled at her to investigate. So with that being the case, the twin forms of Rostra Tang entered into the holodeck and walked into history. She found herself garbed in strange wrappings, a dress of sorts that went down to her ankles with a bit of a fringe on the bottom. Long sleeves, high collar, she looked at herself for a moment and just took in the sight. She had to look down, and found that the system had even replaced her specialty footwear with sandals. Oh they felt so weird! The whole outfit just had a flowing feel to it, it was wonderful. She roamed down around the market, so crowded and full of life. To think that this was actually a part of Earth's history. The booming city of Istanbul! She had to see more, and she found herself being almost magnetically drawn to the great gate of the bazaar.

Jaton looked back over his shoulder and saw the twin forms of a Dalacari had entered. He backtracked and went to greet them.

“Ah İstanbul’a hoş geldiniz! Well, the Istanbul of the 18th century. It’s lovely to meet you. I’m Lt Alyl, the new CSO.”

The pair gave Alyl a smile each, careful not to show teeth. She remembered in her readings that not many of the species of the Federation appreciated seeing a mouth full of teeth. At his greeting in a foreign language, she smiled just a bit wider. "Oh, what a lovely sounding language. Oh this is fantastic, really it is." she seemed awestruck by the grandeur of the bazaar. Even just the crowd of the gates was enough to catch her curiosity.

"Oh, I'm so sorry. It's excellent to meet you too! My name's Rostra. Rostra Tang. I'm..." and she stopped talking.

Her twin picked up the conversation almost instantly, "... an Ensign in the science division sir. Thank you for leaving this simulation open."

In his quarters, Finchley lay on his bed starring up at the ceiling. Rest and relaxation weren't things that came to him readily, but, he'd been told that's what was required, so here he was....bored out of his wits.

His console made a noise informing him an message had been sent, so up he got, wandered across to seat in front of the console and say down.

"Computer, display the message that's just arrived" he said.

The message appeared on the screen, and as he read it, a smile appeared on his face "That's wonderful, just what the doctor ordered, so to speak anyway" he said to himself.

He made his way to the holodeck that he'd invited to and the doors opened up. Stepping through, he was amazed at what was before him, people hustled and bustled before him, with call outs for everyone to come and buy fresh wears and food. He stepped forward and stumbled a little, then looked down. He hadn't even realised that his clothing had changed to suit the period he was now in.

"Well I never..." he said quietly to himself. He had to admit, it was the first time he'd worn knee length trousers tied at the knee, long socks and what appeared to be leather big buckled shoes....with a high square heel, well, when he thought high, perhaps two inches t most, but still, enough for him to stumble. Along with this ensemble, he wore a cape, an actual cape!

Looking around himself surreptitiously, just to make sure no-one was really paying any attention to him, he gave the cape a quick swooooosh back and forth a couple of times. It felt great, but he thought better of it doing it again, just in case anyone saw him. To cap it all off, as if the clothing were not enough, he had a thin rapier sword. He pulled it out a couple of inches from it's place at his waste, and ran his thumb down the blade, instantly regretting doing so as it cut into his skin.

"Yeeow!" he muttered under his breath as he stuck his thumb immediately in his mouth and sucked the blood off, hoping to stop the cut from bleeding. Deciding that he wanted to see more of this programme, Finchley began walking down the street, thumb still in his mouth and occasionally making a "Wow!" noise.

The yowl of pain made Jaton turn his head. He saw the newcomer a little way off and trotted over to him. “Are you alright? I could’ve sworn the safeties were engaged.”

Finchley, thumb still in his mouth, smiled at the man asking him and answered "Yesh thanksh, itsh jusht gave me a bwit ov a fwight, thatsh all."

Rostra turned towards the yowl as well, ears perked up against the shawl she wore and peeking out between the lengths of fabric. "That... that sounded like it hurt. Let's go check it out." and the pair followed Jaton. "Huh, well safeties or not, it's clearly a demonstration of Callin's Paradox." one of her forms started.

"Callin was a scientist, studied sociology and artificial logic. Double major. No pun intended." she giggled. "He theorized that in a situation where a computer that was built..."

"... to perform a task was expected to perform that task while being told not to perform that task, it was default to the behavior of the greatest expectation."

Rostra took note of the man's thumb in his mouth, "I guess you tested the blade to see if it was sharp?" she asked. "A dull blade wouldn't be a proper expectation. Though, Callin wasn't working with Federation model..."

"... systems. His theories are based on the architecture of our Thinking Engines." a pause, "But ... are you alright?"

Turning to face the Dalacari he said "Yesh, I'wm fwine, thanksh fwor askwing."

To that, the binary lifeform offered only a pair of smiles, and a nod each.

J'Loni walked into the holodeck and found herself in a warriors uniform made for a woman. The metal was shaped around her body like a glove only exposing certain areas of skin that gave her an overall very enticing visoon of beauty. The sword she wore looked very thin and not strong but when she felt the was very sharp. Her cape was velvet black with gold trim and the collar had a fur roll around the neck. "Q'apla", she said aloud, swishing the blade through the air.

Strolling through the street she happened upon Lt. Alyl, "This is a brilliant program. The wardrobe is excellent and proper", J'Loni said looking around the street.

"Oh wow. That looks amazing on you." Rostra offered as a compliment. Also, another blade. Time to test a theory? Nahh, let's not ruin the moment. "So, what can you tell me about this place, and this time?" she asked, her silent twin looking around. Oooo, a bird. Ooo, something shiny. She was terrible at this whole 'Paying Total Attention' at the moment. So many beautiful distractions.

"Why thank you Rostra. I must confess, it is pretty awesome. It is almost as cool as my battle dress", J'Loni said smiling. Turning to Lt. Alyl, "Where did you get the idea for this program? It is awesome", she added.

"Well," Jaton said, beginning to walk forward, gesturing for his companions to follow him, "during my secondary education, I spent three years doing an exchange on Earth. I lived with a family in Kayseri, a city about 800 kilometers from here. And for the end of Ramadan my first year there, we came to Istanbul for the Eid celebrations. So I've been here before. Just 700 years ago. This is the Earth calendar year of 1729 CE, the end of the Tulip Period. And if I'm not mistaken--"

"Allāhu ʾakbar, Allāhu ʾakbar!" The melodic sound of the late afternoon call to prayer drifted down to the group from the minarets of the mosque on the opposite side of the square.

"Ah ha! Just in time for the afternoon prayer. Today is the last day of Ramadan, and in a couple hours, the last iftar of the year will begin and the Eid celebrations will kick off."

"Celebrations? Oh how wonderful....I could do with a good bit of celebrating", J'Loni said walking along with the rest.

Rostra perked up a bit when the concept of celebrations was brought up. "Oooo, that sounds fun." Such a festive and religious people, these folks were. "This is fascinating. Could you tell us a little more about what to expect? And what's expected..."

"... of us?" a pause, "And by us, I kinda mean me."

Finchley, thumb now out of his mouth, asked "If you don't mind me asking, what is this Ramadan you just mentioned?"

"Well, Ramadan is a holy month in Islam. Through the whole month, people refrain from eating or drinking anything during daylight hours in order to remember to be grateful for what they have and to remember those less fortunate. It's one of the five core tenets of their faith. And tonight, the month ends. And tomorrow kicks off a great festival. Tonight however is a smaller scale celebration of the end of Ramadan and the last iftar, the fast breaking after sunset. It's not going to be as big as tomorrow, but I'm sure we'll see great rejoicing tonight nonetheless."

Jaton walked past a few stalls, slowing up just in case any of his companions saw something that caught their fancy. "I figure we can do a little shopping before the feast. And I for one think I'm going to stop by the hamam as well."

"Hamam?" Finchley asked questioningly.

"Feast?" Rostra's twin forms inquired simultaneously. Her ears perked up, her whole forms perked up. Seems food was something the Dalacari was very curious about.

"Computer, define what a hamam is" Finchley asked out loud.

==^==A hamam is a public bathing area, known to be historically associated with the Earth Ottoman Empire==^== the computer answered.

"Well, you learn something new every day as the old saying goes" Finchley said.

"Shopping and food, you're talking fluent Dalacarin right there." a pause from the Dalacari, "Though, the Haman... I might pass on. Sorry, no offense but, it's public." she seemed a bit shy about the prospect.

Finchley was intrigued by some of the people walking past them.

"Tell me, every now and again, someone walks past us with a little vessel in their hand which they put up to their mouth, suck on and then blow out what looks like a little cloud. What are they doing, and how do they manage to make a small cloud come out of their mouths?" he asked bewildered.

Rostra gave a pair of giggles, "Are you telling me you don't have anything like that back home?" she offered, slightly teasing. "We have respiratory recreational substances back home." one admitted.

"We're not really supposed to use them, especially not without a doctor's advise, but well, teenagers will be teenagers. The trick is to make sure each form gets..."

"... roughly the same dose. Otherwise, it's very disconcerting." she then looked to Jaton as they walked. "Something like that?"

“Yes, it’s similar. It’s called nargile and it’s flavoured tobacco smoke. Obviously it’s not very common these days but up through the 21st century the Turks very much enjoyed tobacco smoke, both flavoured and unflavoured. I’ve never partaken myself and I’m not sure if I’d like to though. The connection between host and symbiont is delicate enough as it is. I think I’ll stick to the bath and the hamam. Would anyone like to join me?”

"Sure I will join you if you will have me. It sounds like fun", J'Loni said chuckling.

Rostra looked to either side, a cute sight considering there were two of her. "I ... think I'll catch up with you all post-hamam. You know, where the food is." she managed a smile.

"Well......Jaton, it would be my pleasure to join you for this......hamam and bath is it?", J'Loni said smiling. "It should prove i teresting indeed!", she added.

"I'm going to see where I can get me one of those" he said, pointing towards the man with the pipe "I'll see you at the hamam shortly" he added, moving off.

"Alright," Jaton said, waving him off. He turned to J'Loni. "Shall we? I should tell you though that as this is a quite modest society, the hamam is segregated by gender."

"That is very interesting because betazoids get married in the nude so modesty is handled quite well. If it is anything like women with women and men with men, it is quite alright. It will be interesting indeed. I have a good figure", J'Loni said smiling at Jaton.

"I'm sure you do," Jaton said, returning a halfway flirtatious smile. "But I'll have to leave you here. The bath entrance is here. Men to this side, women to that."

"Oh......that's no fun at all, but.....see you in a little while then Jaton", J'Loni said as she walked through the door.

Finchley had just about caught up with the man he'd seen with the little vessel in his hand, and was just about to stop him and ask where he could get one, when his COMM badge chirruped and a message was relayed to him."

"Commander Kerr, it's Karadis Sir, there's a Priority One message for you from Admiral Lexton from Intelligence Headquarters" Finchley's number two said.

Sighing as he tapped his COMM badge, Finchley replied "Ok Karadis, thank you, I'll be there shortly." Sad that he had to go, as he'd been enjoying the holodeck programme, Finchley said "Computer, exit."

The exit doors materialised, and as he made his way towards them, the doors opened and Finchley exited. The doors closed smoothly behind him again and then disappeared as the programme carried on....


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