Let's Get This Party Started
"Tamra, no." Visoca said.
"I didn't do anything."
"You've been festering all this meal, you've made it to desert don't have a tantrum now." Visoca took a bite of her rich chocolate mudcake, "We need to keep face."
"But look where they've put us." Tamra said through gritted teeth.
Visoca didn't have to look, she knew they were at the back corner of the room, they couldn't have been any further from the stage without being outside. Not exactly a place of honour.
"We're back here when we took more ships than any of the other crews. We're back here next to tables of soldiers when other mercenary crews are in the front row."
"I am aware of that Tamra, that doesn't change that you need to hold your temper."
"I heard them talking, the high ups think we fluked it and the soldiers think we couldn't have done it without them. Forgetting completely that they refused to help us."
Tamra stood up, "I'm going to the bathroom." she said before storming off.
Visoca sighed and stroked her forehead, such a small girl as Tamra could get them into a lot of trouble. She was first mate, and in a place like this a small girl with blonde hair would be unlikely to get the respect she deserved. Visoca had to admit she hadn't had as much trouble here, but when you were over seven feet tall and built like a bear people tended to show a little respect. Not that she got much the moment her hand came off her blades. She looked at the table, this end was populated by the bridge crew, used to Tamra and Visoca's arguments. Thankfully the rest of the table didn't seem to notice.
"Captain?" Came quietly from her left.
Trova was a demure woman, dressed in a severe skirt suit of emerald green. Her green hair was frizzy, and pulled back into a bun for this occasion, barely tamed. She looked uncomfortable.
"I'm thinking of leaving after the meal, this is a bit much." Trova said, "Maybe you could call me back for the ceremony?"
"Go Trova, its fine with me, and you don't need to come back if you don't want to. Its rare to see you off ship so having you here has been a pleasure."
"Thank you captain." Trova returned to her own desert.
Visoca glanced around the room, people were starting to get up from their seats and drifted towards the dance floor in front of the stage. Tables were already being pushed aside, and people still eating were joining the tables along the edge of the hall. Back here they had no issues with that though. Visoca pushed her plate away and got to her feet, a woman hurried over to collect her plate and take it to the kitchen. Only women, the serving staff had been only women, and they kept giving her crew some really nasty looks. Visoca shook her head and headed to the dance floor.
"Visoca!" The deep voice could be easily heard over the music and people talking.
Visoca smiled when she saw the man, he was as tall as she was with pale skin, red hair which could only be described as a mane, and a thick beard. His green eyes seemed to glitter as he smiled at her.
"Hello Edwar, its good to see you again. At last some sense in the crazy place."
"Me. Sense. Wow you must have been having a bad day."
"Tell me about it, I'm lucky none of the girls have caused a scene. One in particular."
"I know what you mean, she's just come back into the hall now."
"You have good eyes there," Visoca said, turning to spot Tamra.
"I'll admit I've been watching her, waiting for the show."
"I kind of wish she'd make a scene, but at the same time she's the First mate, she should know better. Maybe if one of the other girls did something."
"What if you said something?"
"Really? They've not wronged us properly yet, and not insulted us directly."
"They've done everything but insult you directly, wait what's happening there!"
Visoca looked to see Tamra being pulled into the lap of a soldier. There was a short tussle and the soldier managed to land a kiss on her ear. Tamra seemed to freeze and the soldier took this as permission to fondle her chest. Visoca looked away.
"Is he dead?" She asked Edwar.
"Surprisingly, no." Edwar said with a laugh, "But he won't be using that hand for a while, or that leg. Seriously you don't try to hold onto a woman after she's shot you once unless you have a death wish. He's lucky she was on his lap though, I think she had a different leg in mind for that last shot."
"I'm sure she did, what a wonderful way to cap off her night."
"It probably won't be the last either." Edwar said, "The girls serving us almost seemed surprised at how little of that they got from our table."
"Do you think he thought she was a serving girl?"
"I think he was too drunk to care."
"That's a feat, with the watered wine they've been giving us to prevent us making a drunken scene at the the ceremony."
"Watered wine?" Edwar frowned, "We had nothing of the sort, heck with the amount of strong drink on our table I'm surprised some of our smaller boys haven't passed out."
Visoca closed her eyes and took a deep breath, "Still doesn't really count as insulting us, but when the girls find out there almost certainly will be a scene. Hopefully that bar they're setting up will solve it for us."
"It won't." said a young man as he walked past, "I heard one woman ask what was on offer and they only offered wines."
"Thanks for the info Toby." Edwar said.
"The girls will definitely cause a scene." Visoca said with a groan.
"Not if we do something about it first, I think loud and showy, so they know they've wronged you."
"Oh no, don't you start a fight!" Visoca said.
"I meant nothing of the sort, I'm hurt you would think so."
"Really, I'm to believe that the king of brawls didn't plan to start one."
"I did not... King of brawls, is that what they are calling me now?" Edwar shook his head, "Wait that's not the point."
"Go on then, what's this master plan of yours?"
Edwar raised his voice so he could be heard by all the people around them, "Boys it seems these people will only serve our girls watered wine. How about you get them something more decent."
Nearby Helta, Visoca's lead engineer a woman some 70 years old tapped a younger man on the shoulder,"You heard him, let me tell you straight away I've been craving a vodka."
The man gulped and nodded, "Straight away Helta, on the rocks?"
The crowd at the bar grew tenfold, and for a while it seemed they were going to refuse to serve the men buying for the women. However a crowd of over a hundred heavily armed men and women persuaded them otherwise. Just.
"So you were planning to start a brawl."
"There's no brawl there, I don't see a brawl, do you see a brawl?" Edwar said defensively.
"It could have been a brawl, very easily."
"I know." Edwar said, "But these people do need some sense beaten into them. And you did come to me for some sense in this crazy place."
Visoca laughed, "I guess I did."