Chapter 3, part 2
At first nothing happened, it seemed no one trusted the person to spin the wheel. The female Vulcan sorted out this impasse.
“It seems logical that I should start first, given that no one trusts each other, and as a Vulcan I see no logical reason to cheat or to postpone this game any longer.”
Her comment was met with no objections, and she spun the wheel around. “Evade,” said the Vulcan.
Everyone said ‘evade’ accept for the Cardassian. “Confront,” he said.
As the game started, Megan felt her nerves disappear, she was going to follow a strategy of evading for as long as possible. The playing styles of each player became apparent after the first ten moves. The female Ferengi, Bajoran and Trill were following Megan’s style, while the Vulcan was predictably logical and calculating in her moves. The male Ferengi was erratic in game style, and becoming increasingly frustrated with his cards, the Cardassian though was aggressive always confronting or acquiring and it seemed at the male Ferengi’s expense.
Very soon the male Ferengi had no choice but to quit, he had ran out of money. Still Megan continued on with her strategy, the cards seemed decent and she was keeping her powder dry while adding a tiny amount to her initial sum of money. The Trill became more aggressive with his playing style, but the Cardassian once again drained his opponent’s latinum to zero. It was apparent that the Cardassian was on a roll of good luck, the female Ferengi didn’t seem bothered, though the Bajoran looked increasingly agitated by the Cardassian's run of luck.
Predictably the Vulcan was the next player to be eliminated, for all her logic, she didn’t have the gambling gene, and so didn’t have the skill of risk-taking and bluffing. Megan had decided to be a bit more aggressive, since she had to be to have enough latinum to match the Cardassian’s aggressive playing.
The specter of bad luck came to rest upon the Bajoran, with bad cards and little latinum he was easy pickings for the Cardassian. Having being eliminated, it looked like the Bajoran was going to punch the Cardassian in the face, but he had the good manners to restrain himself.
Megan was suddenly surprised that she had come so far, and was even more surprised by the latinum she and the Ferengi had gathered up. Now the female Ferengi was staring in a maddening manner at the Cardassian, she was psyching him out, and the Cardassian's gaming style was becoming more erratic. Megan saw the opportunity, and began to confront, now the Cardassian’s luck was beginning to run out along with his latinum. In a matter of minutes he was stripped clean of his latinum, and was forced to admit defeat.
It was just Megan and the female Ferengi. Now Megan was convinced her run of luck had come to a halt, there was no way she could beat that Ferengi. However a good string of cards, made Megan decide to confront, and confront hard. It was a good move, the Ferengi’s position became steadily more untenable, as Megan confronted whenever she had the good cards. Despite the pressure, the Ferengi looked calmly into Megan’s eyes and smiled. Suddenly Megan realized it was a hint, and the two words that she had been holding back from spilled from her mouth. “Total monopoly.”
The Ferengi grinned and laid down her cards, Megan did the same. After looking at Megan’s clearly superior cards, the Ferengi in a decent move shoved the latinum to Megan’s side of the table.
“I won!” said Megan sounding surprised; in the distance Bashir and Nog were looking at Megan with something like pride.
The Ferengi walked over to Megan and shook her hand. “Good game,” she said in a kind voice.
“That's the first time I've ever won!”
“It's because you've got the lobes, all females have, that's why we keep beating the men at Tongo! The men are too aggressive with their playing style, it's about evading for as long possible and then power your way to victory!”
Megan was somewhat surprised by the Ferengi’s impassioned speech. “Okay.”
With a last smile at Megan the Ferengi left the table.
Bashir walked over, he gave Megan a big friendly smile. “Nice one, you played really well.”
“Thanks,” said Megan, she paused and looked at the latinum, she realized she didn’t need it. “Listen take my winnings, it was never really my money in the first place.”
“Don't you want to play another game?” Bashir asked somewhat surprised by Megan’s attitude.
Megan shrugged her shoulders. “I got lucky. Go on just take the latinum, besides gambling just isn't my thing,” she said in a dismissive way as to belittle her achievement.
Nog collected the latinum, and the three proceeded to another tongo wheel. Megan found herself a chair and watched from a slight distance as Bashir and Nog joined with the six other players on the tongo table. However with this game, there was a Ferengi staff member present, he seemed to be watching the game to spot any sign of cheating.
The first game lasted for only five minutes, by the looks of it Bashir and Nog worked together to eliminate the six other players, and when it came to each other they were surprisingly evenly matched. It seemed Nog had really upped his game when it came to a real match between himself and Bashir.
Megan watched mesmerized as Bashir and Nog won game after game of tongo, she wasn’t the only one to watch. Soon a big crowd of people were gathering around to watch the whole spectacle. Soon Bashir and Nog were dealing in bricks of latinum. Megan couldn’t work out how they were so successful, there sense of anticipation was remarkable, and there style was totally erratic. They seemed to use confusing and illogical moves to rattle their opponents.
These opponents were some of the best tongo players on Ferenginar. But then Megan realized that Bashir and Nog actually worked together far more closely than she realized, however by the rules of Tongo that wasn’t illegal. The whole point of the game was to work, to a certain degree, with other players to eliminate weak players and then back stab your opponents.
After about two hours of this, there was a brief pause as Bashir and Nog got up just to have a quick refreshment. The crowd gave them a standing ovation, and when things died down, Bashir addressed the whole crowd telling them he was barely warmed up.
Sitting down utterly mesmerized had taken it out of Megan, she walked over to a food and drinks counter. She was unbelievably thirsty, as she followed the line to the counter a male Ferengi approached her.
“I like the dress.”
“Thanks,” said Megan cautiously, she wondered what this Ferengi wanted.
“My name is Tron by the way, and I've never seen such a beautiful female in my life.”
It was a blatant chat-up line, and it was apparent that Tron had no shame when it came to addressing women. “The answer is no by the way,” said Megan wearily.
Tron though didn’t seem to take no for an answer. “I know you want to.”
Now Megan was starting to get really annoyed, Nog had warned her about this. “No, now leave me alone!” she said heatedly.
However Tron utterly ignored Megan’s rejections. “I have this amazing holosuite program you know, we'll-”
Megan turned around and looked down menacingly at Tron. “If you don't stop talking you're going to regret it!” she hissed.
Tron though was full of bravado, he had fatally underestimated Megan. “Or else what?” he said in a leering and lewd manner. “You are a female you wouldn't dare hit me!”
He made an advance upon Megan and placed his hand around her hip. Totally enraged by his atrocious manners, Megan lashed out, and punched Tron straight in the nose with all the force she could muster.
Tron was knocked to the ground and blood was already pouring out of his nose, he lay on the ground whimpering. Megan walked over to him, and gave him a serious glare, at that point she felt ready to kill him. “Get it into your ugly, fat, stupid head, this female is not interested in you!”
Tron stood and wiped the blood spilling from his nose, he then left the scene at top speed, looking deeply embarrassed and furious.
Everyone was staring at Megan, and she decided to make it plain to everyone not to mess with her. “Is there anyone else stupid enough to bother me?”
Suddenly the whole crowd looked away and everyone acted normally, they seemed too afraid to look into her eyes.
When Megan had some refreshments, she noticed that Bashir and Nog both had a women each. Both women seemed to be throwing themselves at Bashir and Nog, and Megan was aghast at the smutty and indecent behaviour. It should be the women making the men beg and pamper to them, not the other way around, though Bashir and Nog seemed totally oblivious, and were smiling in a stupid manner as if they amazed at their ‘luck’.
Looking around, Megan saw many other women eyeing up Bashir and Nog. But it was to late, a middle aged human woman had her arm wrapped around Bashir’s waist, it looked like she wasn’t going to let go at all as if Bashir was all hers. While accompanying Nog was a stunning Haliian women, she made every women in the immediate scene look absolutely plain. The Haliian seemed to emanate beauty like waves of light coming from a star, Nog looked stunned by the women he was with.
The only good thing was that all the males were staring at the Haliian, and not one of them was staring at Megan which was nice.
Bashir and Nog, along with their respective women ‘friends’ returned to the tongo wheel. Megan had the not so good fortune, of being able to sit almost right next to Bashir and Nog at the tongo table. She overheard the conversations Bashir and Nog were having with their respective girlfriends, and the conversations were embarrassing to say the least. Mela, the human women, was practically cuddling Bashir constantly, one her of arms was around his back while her other hand was resting on Bashir’s lap and it steadily came closer to Bashir’s mid-rift…
Ackterial, the Haliian, was even worse, she constantly batted her eyelashes and was running her hands all over Nog’s body. It looked absolutely perverse to Megan, but all Nog was doing was grinning in a sheepish way.
Indeed Megan wondered whether Bashir and Nog were focusing more on the tongo wheel or their respective girlfriends. Both Mela and Ackterial were whispering such suggestive comments into Bashir’s and Nog’s ear that it made the hairs on the back of Megan’s neck stand up. Even the appeal of watching Bashir and Nog play tongo lost it lustre, as she was constantly cringing at Mela's and Ackterial’s behaviour.
Bashir and Nog had won so much latinum that the whole situation was getting out of hand, if no one stopped them they would the clean the WHOLE casino of it’s latinum. Indeed the crowd was getting so frenzied by Bashir and Nog’s success, Megan thought there would be riot breaking out anytime soon, the crowd’s mood was infectious even she felt riotously happy.
Bashir and Nog looked unrecognizable, their faces were gleeful and totally greedy. Finally Fruk walked over to the tongo wheel to end the madness, and put on the best stern face he could muster. “That's it you two are barred from this casino! You've reached the maximum level of winnings!”
There was outbreak out of mass booing from the huge crowd gathered around, followed by much huffing and puffing from the crowd. Though Bashir stood up and held up his hands to appeal for calm, Megan looked on, she thought Bashir’s head was so swollen with triumph, cockiness and attention it was going to explode. But on the other hand at least he was having fun.
Fruk addressed Bashir. “Your winnings sir will be sent up to you in your quarters.”
The crowd started dispersing, Megan walked over to Bashir and tried to say a few words before Mela started kissing Bashir. “That was amazing!” she said excitedly. “It was mesmerizing seeing you win again and again.”
“Thanks,” said Bashir grinning, while he fended off Mela’s advances.
Nog though seemed to have less restraint, he couldn’t keep his eyes off Ackterial. “If you don't mind, I'm turning in early, Ackterial is dying to know how I win every time at tongo!”
As Nog left, he quickly turned around, and gave a winning smile towards Bashir, he raised his hands with his thumbs up. Megan couldn’t believe Nog’s attitude, it was like Ackterial was simply the icing on the cake to Nog’s victory.
“That's one way to have fun,” Megan commented. “Win outright at tongo, and then get the pretty girl.”
She looked at Bashir, but he seemed a bit busy as he was kissing Mela.
“Anyway I've seen enough gambling for one night,” said Megan, though she doubted Bashir had heard her, since he and Mela were standing up, arm in arm and walking away back to one of their quarters.
Megan left the casino, for the initial two hours she did have some genuine fun winning that tongo game and watching Bashir and Nog win. Though Mela and Ackterial spoiled the last hour Megan spent in the casino. In Megan’s opinion their behaviour was unbefitting of a women, but she wasn’t go to lose to much sleep about it. She wished Bashir and Nog a good time even if it was so blatantly obvious that they were simply having a one-night stand.