Queen's Gambit
Queen's Gambit
Summary: Adele and Zaharis play a game of chess, and Adele shows herself capable of some dirty tricks.
Date: 6 BCH (7 November 2008)
Related Logs: None

Cafeteria Support Station PAS - Deck 3
6 BCH 2235 Souls

This cafeteria is quite large and able to hold a hundred people if needed. Tables dot the area with chairs in neat rows. There is an ability to look out the viewport as the station turns at a very slow degree. A kitchen area and serving line begins not far from the hatch. The large coffee urns are always filled and some snack is available when the regular meals aren't being served.

Adele is just settling in at a table, the tray in front of her holding a cup of soup, a salad, and some yogurt. The weird thing is, she's wearing jeans. And a polo. And her hair is down. It makes her look younger, and at first glance… she might not even be recognizable as Adele.

Zaharis has much less of a flexible wardrobe, relying on whether his collar button is open or closed to be the big change in his look. Carrying an electronic tablet that he's trying to read at the same time as drift his way through the coffee line, he shuffles forward with everyone else until he reaches the urn of caffeine, filling a cup. As he then heads to find a seat he's not at all actually looking for where he's going, still reading. One could plausibly thing he intends to just drift from one end of the caf and back while drinking and reviewing files.

Adele is in the process of lifting a spoon to her mouth when she glances up to see Zaharis go wandering by, tablet in hand. She watches him for a moment, the spoon poised in front of her lips, which twitch upward slowly. When he's in danger of moving out of polite talking distance, she speaks up. "Captain Zaharis," she calls out on a whim.

"Yes?" Zaharis' officer voice is still in on-mode, until he actually looks up. He blinks, glancing over his shoulder and then back at the table, surprising himself with how far he'd paced without paying attention. "Well, looks like my homing beacon is working." He sets the tablet down on the table and claims a chair, before looking at her with a curious sort of peer. "-Jeans- today? You can't do this to my weak heart, Adele."

Adele gives Zaharis a plucky sort of grin, finally eating that bite of soup she's had dangling in front of her face for a few minutes. Mmm, cold soup. Plopping the spoon back into the cup of soup, she looks over Zaharis thoughtfully. "I'm taking the day off," she reveals, indicating her outfit. "I thought I'd go around and see how many people don't recognize me in extra casual attire. Maybe eavesdrop on some lab techs in the taproom, waiting for the word 'pantsuit' to come up." She takes a sip of her own drink, which happens to be a can of soda. "What're you up to?"

"Thinking really impure thoughts about those jeans," Zaharis replies, matter-of-factly. "But before that I was just reading. They've put out a revised set of standards for respiratory isolation in immunocompromised patients, so I've got to get a couple seminars set up here and on the Genesis." He taps his fingers against the table, his mind veering off for a moment back onto work…then his focus returns and he pats his front pocket for his cigarettes. "So really, what are you doing? Can't really be going back to the lab on a self-declared day off; that's what we in the military term a 'tactical error'."

Adele smirks, setting the can aside. "I said I was going to go eavesdrop on lab techs in the taproom, not the lab room," she explains. "I spent the first two years of my research career wandering aimlessly back into the office only to be accosted by a colleague for something that would 'just take a minute.' I learned how to leave well enough alone." She spears some of her salad on a fork, crunching into it like a punctuation. "So what sorts of rivisions were made? I hope you're not having to rework curriculum on account of blue patient gowns being .0001 percent more likely to compromise sterility than white."

"No, that was two conferences ago," Zaharis lights his cigarette and pushes the tablet aside, screen still glowing. "New protocol for airsampling, detection for presence of gram-negative rods on physical contact planes, and change in calibration for our water scanners to better eliminate legionella pneumophila and some protozoa…cryptosporidium parvum, for example. Which means I need to get Rhea's people in to play with the equipment, and she'll jump for joy about that. Our machines go 'beep beep'. Working on them is like an engineer's version of getting stoned and listening to Libran trance music."

Adele looks surprised. "Wow, those research bureaucrats have really stepped it up, making more than one change at a time," she comments with a slow, impressed bob of her head. Nevermind that she's one of those research bureaucrats! "Speaking of Rhea," she switches subjects, suddenly remembering that she's trying to take a day -away- from work, even other people's. "You should try to help me convince her not to wear her dress greys to the reception. She needs to show some leg."

Zaharis exhales a cloud of smoke off to the side, his dark eyes regarding Adele with amusement. "I don't think I'm allowed to comment on something like that when it involves my best friend's wife. Even if she does have nice legs. Wait…" He jabs a finger in her direction. "You had a serious conversation on revealing formal wear with the Chief Engineer? I'm officially impressed."

"Oh, sure you are," Adele replies with a wave of her hand. "You just have to think of them objectively." She considers what she just said, then shakes her head. "Nevermind. I forget that men's objectivity filter is sorely underdeveloped when it comes to the female anatomy. But yes, I did manage to talk to her about heels and frills. Among other things. I like Rhea."

"You talk about the lack of objectivity like it's a bad thing," Zaharis smirks, tapping his cigarette against the ashtray. "But really, what would women do without our lack of civilised behaviour to roll their eyes about? Life would be boring. But really, no…glad you like her. She seems to like you too, you know. Which is good, because otherwise I'd never hear the end of it."

Adele rolls her eyes, as if on cue, and punctuates the gesture with a grin. "Well. I like to do what I can to make life easier for you. Except for when it comes to wearing tight jeans and a white polo you could probably see my bra through if you tried hard enough. In that way, I suppose it's more fun to make things a little bit difficult." She dips a spoon into her yogurt and brings it to her mouth, licking off the dollup of dairy like one might lick a lollipop. Or something else.

Zaharis keeps his eyes narrowed at her, suspiciously. "Weren't you Miss Innocent and Pure like…three weeks ago, Dr. Pantsuit? I really have to run down and commend whoever's been spiking the lab coffee, because I seriously approve."

"Someone found my reboot switch," Adele quips, lowering the spoon to let it clatter on her tray. "And wearing jeans makes me feel like I'm in college again. Or, well. In college, in an alternate past of mine where I actually loosened up now and then and had a little fun." She lets go of a self-deprecating laugh.

Zaharis grins, taking a last drag off the cigarette and then putting it out with a few quick mashes into the ashtray. "Fun in school is a cliche' anyway. A dirty, dirty cliche'. Most people who say they had wild fun while in college are lying about it. Because if they really -had-, they wouldn't remember quite so much."

"There are other types of fun, you know," Adele reminds Zaharis, arching a reddish brow sharply. "Not everyone has to minor in hedonism in order to have a good time in college. There's the chemistry club, for example. Student government." She smiles primly; she's only half-kidding. "Oh, and… I vaguely remember someone bringing up chess…"

"Who said I liked hedonistic fun in college?" Zaharis gives her a smile that isn't trying to play at innocent. It's just kind of mysterious. when she brings up the chess he raises an eyebrow and picks up the stylus sitting by his tablet, tapping the screen. "I think someone did. Someone also couldn't find a chessboard, -but- downloaded a very handy little program."

Adele finishes off her soda, sliding the tray away from her as she leans over to peek at said program as Zaharis brings it up. "You'll have to pardon my making assumptions about your past, Dr. Mysterio," she says, squinting at the tablet.

Zaharis had been playing against the computer last night, from the mostly-finished game showing on the screen as he loads the program. Black's decimated white, toying with the cornered king while a white bishop and pawn are pinned into corners. "I kind of like seeing how far assumptions will get me." He replies to that, with a slight smirk. A tap on the screen and the pieces vanish, returned to their proper starting points. "White or black?"

"Black," Adele answers, watching the digital chessboard right itself. "It looks like the luckier choice." She turns in her seat, facing Zaharis fully, when something occurs to her. "You know, we could go to the rec room. This place smells of soup and stress."

"Does it?" Zaharis makes a show of sniffing. "Hardly notice it anymore. Well let's go, then. Least I can bring my coffee."

Adele stands, brushing off nonexistent crumbs from her shirt. Off to the rec room!

Recreation Area Support Station PAS - Deck 3
6 BCH 2235 Souls

This recreation room has areas for watching vids, playing a type of foosball, game machines and comfortable couches for sitting and reading or conversing. There are also tables with chairs to relax and chat with others. There is a small enclave off the main room where snack and drink machines sit along with a coffee pot.

Zaharis sets his coffee cup down on a table, along with the tablet. The PAS's rec room is a new place for him, and he spends a minute just looking around first before he picks up his stylus and twirls it between his fingers. "Nice place. Might even think you guys had free time or something."

"Yeah. If there were more than two people in here, the illusion would be complete," Adele notes in reply, moving off to fix herself a cup of coffee. Or, well, milk, with a dash of coffee in it and some sugar for good measure. That done, she claims the seat across from Zaharis at the table and sets down her cup.

Zaharis smirks, moving his first pawn on the screen and passing over the stylus. He picks up his cup and has a sip, glancing over at the shelves of vids. "Civilians -and- military, both privy to the same stock of videos. Experiment begging to happen. Genesis versus PAS - Who's Got More Porn?"

Adele drags one of her own pawns two spaces forward, handing the stylus back to Zaharis with a crinkle of her nose at his words. "I am sure I don't want to take part in that particular study," she answers, nonetheless casting a glance at the shelves.

"Don't worry," Zaharis replies, looking back at her with an air of seriousness. "I'm nothing if not a gentleman. I'll be the test subject in your place." He taps the stylus against his nose, making another pawn move.

Adele looks up from the tablet, smirking across the table at him. "What was that you said before? How you liked someone who was willing to sacrifice anything in the name of science?" She moves another black pawn. "You're a veritable martyr."

<Opposed Roll> Zaharis - Intelligence versus Adele - Intelligence
<Roll1> Zaharis: BeyondSuperb <Roll2> Adele: Great
<Result> Zaharis WINS by 2.

"They did use to call orgasm the 'little death', you know." Zaharis' dark eyes flicker up long enough to smirk at her, then back down as he moves a knight out, threatening the setup she's got going with her pawns.

Adele laughs low. "You slay me," she teases, before eyeing the mild predicament her pawns are in. She considers her options for a while, then just lets them be, choosing instead to pull out a rook to start on some new strategy in another corner of the board.

"Oh, I haven't even started." Zaharis replies, watching the board. Leaving the knight to lurk, he moves another pawn forward to open up some space on the right.

<Opposed Roll> Adele - Intelligence versus Zaharis - Intelligence
<Roll1> Adele: Good <Roll2> Zaharis: Great
<Result> Zaharis WINS by 1.

"No?" Adele asks, setting her rook up for possible disaster. Maybe she is distracted by thoughts brought on by the topic at hand, or maybe she's just really not that good at chess. Like she -said-.

Zaharis gives no indication on his face of what he thinks of that move, just sliding out a bishop into position on the opposite side of his knight. "Chess, you know," he comments mildly, "Is a wonderful game for building up your appreciation of anticipation."

Adele mms, watching his move with a narrowed gaze. "That makes sense," she agrees, bringing the blunt end of the stylus to her mouth, tapping it a few times against her lips as she considers. "I suppose there is some excitement in doing away with someone's defenses, bit by bit." She makes another move. "Or… doing away with your own." She frowns, it wasn't a great move.

<Opposed Roll> Zaharis - Intelligence versus Adele - Intelligence
<Roll1> Zaharis: Great <Roll2> Adele: Good
<Result> Zaharis WINS by 1.

"And…" Zaharis' bishop travels to the edge of the board, taking the rook she'd left in the open and now threatening a number of other pieces. "Moving forward instead of overanalysing your mistakes."

Adele purses her lips, watching the animation that occurs when a piece is taken out of the game. "I don't overanalyze my mistakes," she mumbles, as she sits there with the stylus tapping against the table for about a minute straight, staring intently at the mistake she's made. She has a sip of her coffee, then stares for another thirty seconds. Finally, she decides to pull one of her own knights out of the fray.

"You regret them." Zaharis' knight, having been sitting by her pawns the whole time, finally knocks out the one it was left free to stalk. "Basically the same thing."

<Opposed Roll> Adele - Intelligence versus Zaharis - Intelligence
<Roll1> Adele: BeyondSuperb <Roll2> Zaharis: Superb
<Result> Adele WINS by 1.

"I do not," Adele counters, using that knight to take down one of Zaharis' pawns. It's a tiny victory, but a victory nonetheless, and she celebrates by having another sip of coffee. "Mistakes can pave the way for future triumphs." She says it as though it's some kind of mantra she's repeated a thousand times while not necessarily believing it, deep down.

"No, learning from mistakes can pave the way for future triumphs," Zaharis replies, considering the board. "The 'mistake' is just that incredibly lame frak up that people later like to buzzword down to 'experience'." He finger-quotes on that, before he brings out his other knight into position.

Adele shifts her gaze to Zaharis' face, considering him instead of the board for a moment. "Well, you have to make a mistake to learn from it," she insists, one blonde brow making a pointed arc over one grey eye. "I'm just simplifying." And, for whatever reason, getting frustrated with this topic. She darts her eyes back down to the board between them, frowning at it instead of Zaharis. She pulls her other rook out of its corner.

<Opposed Roll> Zaharis - Intelligence versus Adele - Intelligence
<Roll1> Zaharis: BeyondSuperb <Roll2> Adele: Good
<Result> Zaharis WINS by 3.

"That's okay. I'm just being an ass." Zaharis' bishop zooms right in and claims one of her pieces, staring right down an empty line of squares at her king. "Check."

"I guess also chess helps one realize one's own foibles, win or lose," Adele retorts, loosening up again, even as her king is visibly in danger. "It's chock full of life lessons, isn't it?" She nudges her king away by one square.

Zaharis leaves his bishop in place, ensuring the king can't flee back the other way, and one of his remaining pawns comes forward to directly threaten the knight that had stolen an earlier pawn of his before. "That's what they like to tell you. Makes people feel smart, getting philosophical over a bunch of wooden pieces on coloured squares. Game within a game."

<Opposed Roll> Adele - Intelligence versus Zaharis - Intelligence
<Roll1> Adele: Good <Roll2> Zaharis: Good
<Result> DRAW!

Adele purses her lips, flicking a glance up at Zaharis before eyeing the digital board once more. "I must suck at chess for the same reason I sucked at Intro to Psych, then," she admits, pushing a bishop into place that will threaten his rook, should he move that pawn out of the way in order to snatch her knight.

"Can't blame it on not sleeping with the professor this time," Zaharis smirks, watching her deadlock him in the centre of the board. Pulling back, he castles kingside.

"Believe me, I tried. But she wasn't into that," Adele replies casually, turning her attention to another pocket of the board, where she still has a couple pawns that haven't moved. She moves one up.

<Opposed Roll> Zaharis - Intelligence versus Adele - Intelligence
<Roll1> Zaharis: Fair <Roll2> Adele: Great
<Result> Adele WINS by 2.

Zaharis squints an eye at her, slowly. His hand just kind of slides a random piece onto a random square, mind not on that at -all-.

Adele's mind is, however, on the piece that Zaharis moves. A piece that is happily defeated by the pawn she had just moved. Looking up, she arches both her brows, eyes wide. "What?"

Zaharis glances back down at the board a moment, noting his loss, then back at her. He smiles slowly, a sly look as he shakes a finger at her. "See, -now- you're mastering strategy." Bishop slid one square up.

"Mmm, I thought maybe that look was a portent to the 'getting horny at inopportune times' thing I was promised." Adele lowers her gaze to the board, tapping out an erratic rhythm with the stylus against the table. She gets her remaining rook into a position to threaten his bishop.

<Opposed Roll> Adele - Intelligence versus Zaharis - Intelligence
<Roll1> Adele: Superb <Roll2> Zaharis: Superb
<Result> DRAW!

"It was. Making me lose blood flow to the brain, that's dirty. That's like bio-warfare." Zaharis slides his own rook up into the next file, where it waits ready to snatch her rook if it goes for said bishop.

Adele watches her move amount to naught as Zaharis puts the eye for an eye strategy to good use. "Maybe I should consider a career switch," she muses, her foot bumping his under the table. She makes another non-move, one that has no direct consequences.

<Opposed Roll> Zaharis - Intelligence versus Adele - Intelligence
<Roll1> Zaharis: Fair <Roll2> Adele: Great
<Result> Adele WINS by 2.

"I hear my particular shower stall has an opening for an attendant," Zaharis seems to have forgotten why he moved that rook into position, and moves it away. Oops.

It's not that Adele's blood isn't flowing as well, but it just doesn't have quite as far to travel so a good portion of it remains in her brain. She's able to claim Zaharis' rook, but not without a flush of her cheeks and a brush of her knee against his. "What are the hours like?" she wonders in a low tone.

"Active duty 2 hours in the morning and 2 at night," Zaharis replies, leaning forward a bit now as he moves a pawn, absently. "10 hours on-call. 9 hours off, with free lodging in a very comfortable, albeit shared bunk. "For the last remaining hour, I might consider an allowance of wearing clothes."

<Opposed Roll> Adele - Intelligence versus Zaharis - Intelligence
<Roll1> Adele: Superb <Roll2> Zaharis: Fair
<Result> Adele WINS by 3.

"Benefits?" Adele probes, tapping the stylus against her lips as she, too leans forward. With a distracted glance down at the board, she uses her pinky to slide her remaining knight into position to conquer the king. "Oh, and… check. But I'd really like to hear about the benefits."

Zaharis only notices the checkmate enough to know he doesn't have to watch the board anymore. His arms are folded on the table so he can lean on them. "Superb relocation assistance plan, personal medical care, and…I might throw in a free pair of earplugs for unexpected bouts of snoring."

Adele slips the stylus between her teeth, making quite the show of consideration. She looks Zaharis up and down, mouth curving into a slow grin. "I'll take it," she tells him, pulling the stylus out and replacing it in its dock upon the tablet. She reaches out, business-like, to shake his hand.

Zaharis leans right over her outstretched hand at the same time it comes out, and gives her playful kiss on the lips. "Officially stamped." He smirks, reaching over to shut off the computer tablet. In a slightly quieter voice he says, "I've got to go in a few minutes…recalibrations to get done." So excited about that, rly.

Still grinning when he kisses her, Adele bites lightly at his lip before he pulls away. "You go do that. I suppose I'm officially on call now, despite my having taken the day off?" She glances up at the wall clock, then back to Zaharis.

"Well, I suppose for the next 12 hours or so, you should be figuring out how to look good enough in fatigues that you can get past Genesis security, shouldn't you." Zaharis winks at her and stands up, taking his electronics with him.

"Reed did give me a badge for the Genesis Reception.." Adele points out, rising to her feet as well.

Zaharis smiles slowly. "I'll make sure he regrets it." He extends a hand, letting her go first out to the corridor.

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