People watching

Posted on Sun Sep 1st, 2019 @ 6:39pm by Lieutenant Vincenzo ("Vinnie") D'Onofrio

Mission: Time for a Change
Location: Galactic Gaming Casino - Mars Colony
Timeline: 2389/03/08 - 21:00

From Baccarat to Dabo, from Poker to Tongo the main floor was filled with games of chance from around the galaxy. Interested parties could even find a game of t'Sang if they were of a mind. The mezzanine was filled with holographic tables that would allow customers to play anything from Dom-jot to strategema.

Hustling among the tables, in the glow of the many colored lights, waiters and waitresses from as varied a collection of species as the games being offered hustled drinks to the customers, especially those who were gambling.

In the back of the main floor on a slightly raised platform, Chance sat with his back to the wall at one of the tables reserved for customers who wanted a bite to eat.

Dressed in pleated black slacks, black ankle high boots, and a cream colored long sleeve v-next t-shirt Vinnie pushed the remnants of his meal to the far side of the table and leaned his PADD on an empty glass.

As he glanced around the room, the next face appeared on the PADD. Ensign Hopkins Chance thought as the name instantly came to him, assigned to Science as a Geologist. Fresh out of the academy, he has a wife who is expecting their first child.

After 30 seconds, the details associated with the face was displayed on the PADD, confirming Chance had correctly identified the officer assigned to the Crazy Horse.

"Dabo" a chorus of voices shouted from across the room. Chance's attention was drawn to the table that had raised the shout. Even from across the room Chance could tell who was winning, who was losing, and who was grateful to have gotten a winning spin. Don't bet what you can't throw out the airlock Chance thought as his gaze fixed on the saddest of the faces around the table.

He glanced down again to see the next face in his memory game. As the details of the Crazy Horse's crewmen came to mind, a waitress came over and cleared the dishes from the table. Somewhere in the middle of clearing the dishes she placed a fresh drink on the table and moved the PADD to a stand that looked like it was made to hold them.

While waiting for the next face to appear, Chance studied the customers entering the casino. Crewmen first class Cooke assigned to security popped into his mind as his gaze landed on one of the new beings. Looks nervous must be his first time in a casino he thought. Why do I get the impression he's here for more than casual gaming.

Chance watched the crewman walk over to one of the poker tables as he reached out and paused the game on his PADD. At least you made a decent choice of game he thought while taking a sip of his drink.

For the next couple of hours Chance watched as stack after stack of chips disappeared from in front of the crewman. Looking more nervous and a little more desperate each time a stack disappeared. Finally, the crewmen signaled one of the floor managers to the table.

The floor manager and the crewman spoke briefly at the table for a few minutes then the floor manager headed toward the cashier's window. When Chance saw the floor manager take a PADD from the cashier behind the window, he rose from his seat and moved quickly across the floor to intercept the floor manager.

"The gentleman won't be needing that line of credit" he whispered to the floor manager as he stopped him with a hand placed firmly on his shoulder.

The floor manager whirled around to voice his objection but the thought died in his throat as the look on Chance's face spoke volumes as to how serious he was. "Yes, Sir" he replied around a cough and headed back to the cashier's window.

Still wearing that same expression, Chance walked up behind Crewman Cooke. "Deal him out" Chance said looking at the dealer. "Come with me" Chance whispered to Cooke, putting his hand on Cooke's shoulder to urge him from the table.

"Who do you" Cooke started as he whirled around to face Chance.

Fortunately for both of them Cooke recognized his new CO and came away from the table quietly. Chance took him back to his table and ordered drinks for both of them. For the next couple of hours, they talked about Cooke's family and why he joined Starfleet. In amongst all the conversation, Chance discovered that Cooke's parents were in trouble with the Orion syndicate and needed credits to buy their way out of it.

"I know a guy" Chance said a thoughtful reassuring look on his face. "Leave this with me and tell your family the situation is being handled. Aldo and the rest of the crew should be able to clear this up without too much fuss he thought while rising from the table.

"Now let's go see if we can win back some of your losses" Chance suggested a mischievous grin appearing on his face.