Chapter 3, part 1
Day 7: 1950 hours
As Megan waited in her quarters for Bashir and Nog to arrive, she thought about the walk she had in the Ferengi countryside. It was such an amazing walk, she hadn’t walked like that in years, and somehow it seemed to set her free. While walking she didn’t have to worry about anything. Unlike now where she was somewhat apprehensive about the prospective of playing tongo against players who actually had some real skill at the game.
The door opened, and Megan saw Nog and Bashir enter the room, they were wearing tuxedos.
“Why are you wearing tuxedos?” she asked, trying to keep the amusement out of her voice.
“Don't you know?” said Bashir, he looked amused. “When the casino opens it has a strict dress code; tuxedos for the men and dresses for the ladies.”
“I am not wearing a dress!” said Megan loudly, having fun was one thing, dressing up was another.
Nog exchanged a gleeful glance with Bashir. “We figured you wouldn't approve, but don't worry we know just the dress for you.”
Bashir and Nog went into Megan’s bedroom, and reluctantly Megan followed. It seemed Bashir and Nog were determined to embarrass her.
Bashir stood next to the replicator, and removed some latinum from one of his jacket’s pockets. “Computer purchase item 253107, complete with the preordered specifications, put the bill on my account, Julian Bashir alpha omicron five six sigma delta tau two.”
“Item 253107 costs 28 strips of latinum, please pay,
” said the computer’s bland voice.
Bashir rolled his eyes in exasperation, and placed his money into a slot in the replicator. With the item paid for, the replicator produced the item, initially it was just a glow of yellow energy, then the energy solidified into what looked like a folded up red dress.
Bashir grabbed the dress and passed it to Megan. “Here, this dress is made of Andorian silk, it's not too revealing or tight, so try it on.”
Reluctantly Megan took the dress, and unfurled it. Pink lacy gloves fell out of the dress, she scooped them and chucked them onto the bed. She then held the dress against her body, it seemed to be of the right length. She sighed, it wouldn’t hurt to try it on… “All right I'll try it on, now if you don't mind I'd like some privacy.”
While Bashir and Nog left, Megan went over to the window and closed the curtains. She then stripped off and put on the dress. When she was done, she was surprised by how comfortable the dress felt. She looked down, and was pleased to see that the dress barely revealed any of her cleavage, just her upper chest and collar bone, while her arms weren't covered.
Also the dress was not to revealing, it wasn’t super tight and didn’t cling to her body, even the shoulder straps didn’t dig in. The dress ended just around her knees, suddenly wearing this dress didn’t seem so bad, but she had serious reservations about wearing the pink lacy gloves.
Megan walked to the living room, she was bracing herself for Bashir and Nog’s reaction.
“Wow,” said Nog, his eyes were wide with amazement. “You look great!”
“I feel so stupid,” said Megan in an embarrassed way.
Bashir nodded in approval. “Good, it's about having some fun, and as your physician I’m ordering you to have some fun.”
Megan showed the two the gloves. “Do I really have to put on these gloves?” she said imploringly.
“Absolutely,” said Nog mock seriously. “Come on it's 1955 hours, the casino will be opening in five minutes time.”
Against her better judgement Megan put on the gloves, and she followed Bashir and Nog out of the room and they headed for the casino.
After five minutes walk, the three had arrived outside of the casino. The entrance reminded Megan of the old and archaic casinos of Las Vegas, these casinos were now museums. To think four hundred years ago they were a place where humanity could commit every vice known to man still astounded her. But it seemed the Ferengi wanted to give this casino the same feel. The entrance was lit with bright neon signs and flashing lights, dominating it all was the big flashing sign titled ‘The Crystal Palace’.
“Out much money do you have?” Megan asked.
“Nog and I have pooled together all of our latinum it comes to 120 slips.”
Megan thought gambling was reckless, but this was ultra reckless. “Your going to gamble with all of your money?” she said in a disbelieving tone of voice. “What if you lose, you won't have anything left to buy basic essentials!”
Nog didn’t look put off at all. “Relax you worry to much, when we've finished we'll have a cart full of gold pressed latinum!”
“But first we'll give you a little taste of gambling,” said Bashir in a somewhat bossy manner.
Since she was carrying no latinum, Megan thought she had found the opportunity to bottle out of this whole gambling idea. “I haven't got any latinum on me at the moment, and this dress is so impractical; it has no pockets!”
Bashir ignored her complaint. “Here,” he said, passing to Megan ten strips of latinum.
With that Megan had no choice but to comply, she didn’t want to fight the two, and a part of her was mildly excited by the prospect of gambling.
While the entrance to the casino was elaborate, the inside was a huge flashing blur of bright lights, lit up tongo wheels, slot machines and various other gambling games. Megan had never seen a room with so much colour and vibe in her life, it put Las Vegas to shame. Most of the place was devoted to the tongo wheels, there were hundreds of patrons gambling away as if there life depended upon it.
A Ferengi staff member, who was the casino’s manager, walked over to the three. “Oh no not you two again,” he moaned, he looked suddenly nervous, but he regained his composure when he saw Megan. “Who is your lady friend?”
“Hello Fruk,” said Bashir jovially. “This is Megan a friend of mine.”
Fruk approached Megan. “Pleased to meet you,” he said graciously. Fruk then bowed down slightly, and Megan was somewhat confused by his behaviour.
Bashir looked suddenly awkward. “Megan...” he said out of the corner of his mouth.
For a moment Megan didn’t understand. “What?” Then she cottoned on. “Oh.”
Reluctantly she held out her hand, and Fruk gave her hand a quick kiss. Megan rolled her eyes in exasperation, she thought it was such an archaic gesture in front of a woman. Though she was quite amused to see Fruk use it.
Bashir seemed glad that this sticky moment was over, as he became more business-like with Fruk. “Before we get started, would it be possible to let Megan have one game on the tongo wheels?”
Fruk briefly looked at Megan, as if determining whether she was worthy of using the tongo wheels. “Why not? Do you have any latinum?”
“I have ten strips,” said Megan.
“Follow me,” said Fruk.
As she walked, Megan noticed some of the males who passed by where looking at her. She never really thought about how pretty she looked, though she must have looked good as some of the males were simply staring at her with there mouths open in a gormless manner. Megan wasn’t sure whether to be annoyed or amused, but at least the males simply let her walk by, or perhaps they were too embarrassed and stunned to even talk to her.
After a moment’s walking, the group arrived at one particular tongo wheel. Fruk turned around as if to confront Megan. “Not being nasty but you are a beginner at tongo?”
“Yes,” replied Megan.
“This group here are amateurs,” said Fruk gesturing with his hand at the people around at the tongo table. “But they are regular players, so have fun.”
“That's it, no advice, and I'm simply thrown into the bear pit?” said Megan sounding surprised.
Fruk grinned nastily. “Playing tongo is just like running a business, you either sink or you swim.” He then addressed Bashir and Nog. “Whenever you two gentlemen are ready just ask one of the staff members and they'll get you started.”
Feeling somewhat nervous Megan sat down, there were six other players at the tongo wheel. A female Ferengi who looked very wealthy, she was wearing a somewhat revealing dress made of what looked like a glassy material. There was another Ferengi, he was wearing the Ferengi equivalent of tuxedo, though there was no bow-tie. Next to him was a female Vulcan, she was dressed very formally and seemed positively nonplussed by the whole situation.
The next player was a male Trill, he gave Megan a small smile, though it seemed he was just as nervous as Megan but for different reasons. Next to him was a male Bajoran, he had a rough face and looked out a place wearing a tuxedo. He was constantly glaring at the male Cardassian. The Cardassian was wearing standard military uniform, it seemed the hotel staff were to afraid to challenge him, or perhaps he had bribed them so that they could bend the rules just for him.
Bashir leaned over to Megan and whispered quietly into her ear. “I trust you've remembered what I've told about you tongo.”
Megan kept her voice low. “More or less, at least I know what all the cards are and such.”
“And relax, don't look so nervous,” said Nog quietly.
With the encouragement Megan felt a bit better. “I'm not nervous, it's just that I have never gambled in my life.”
“Are you done talking, I’ve got a game to play!” said the Cardassian aggressively, he looked super cocky.
Megan briefly glared at the Cardassian, before taking her cards and waiting for the game to begin.