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 Lucifer's Cage [Gavin/Jiseth]

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Jiseth
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PostSubject: Lucifer's Cage [Gavin/Jiseth]   Sun Feb 01, 2015 10:38 am

Rage. Fury. Intensity. All of those things...

Chira's words kept playing in the Romulan's mind. On every Starfleet ship she had served on, there was that dread reputation. Perhaps Romulan crews were more disciplined. Maybe more accepting. She had been revered in the Empire. Outside of it, there was something churned in her wake that she neither liked nor knew the cause. Like a stench of rotting swamp vegetation and blood.

Much of it she tried to forget. Let her work and her life in the modest, yet comfortable, home she and Zero made distract her. Until Gavin showed up. She thought little of him during their first encounter, brief as it was. Their second, well... The Romulan had better relations with Klingons.

Now here she was, sitting in a half-filled restaurant on the Athena. The large window on her left that she sat next to show the inner bowels of the station and all its complexity and chaos. Tiny craft zipping around lumbering starships. It normally would bring her delight, but today it was a barrier. Much like the decision to hold this meeting in a public place. Far less tempting to give more evidence to support that reputation of hers.

She wore a different dress than the one she had met Zero in. That one was to remain of pleasant memories. Her current attire, though of similar evergreen color, was sleeveless and went up to cover her neck. A triangle cutout around her collarbone pointing downward gave some appearance of her chest, but not distastefully so.

Quietly she waited.

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Gavin Van Gelder
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PostSubject: Re: Lucifer's Cage [Gavin/Jiseth]   Tue Feb 03, 2015 4:13 pm

Not for the first time (or the second, or the third, or...) did Gavin wonder just what in the hell he was doing, meeting with Jiseth like this. At least it's in a public restaurant, and not in a back alley somewhere, he thought. Less chance of the woman pulling a disruptor between his eyes. Still, with the kind of attitude she had against him, it wouldn't at all be surprising.

Her reason for not liking him was obvious - the Romulan likely thought that he was actively trying to sabotage her relationship with Zero. That wasn't true. All he wanted to do was make sure Zero knew what she was doing in getting into a long-term commitment...and that Jiseth wasn't taking advantage of Zero's naivete. Jury was still out on both.

Gavin entered the Promenade area of the Athena, smiling as he saw that Jiseth sat in the section that served Bajoran cuisine. It was one of his favorites. His expression turned more to puzzlement, however, as he saw what she was wearing. Glancing down at his own uniform top, he sidled up to the table. "Jiseth," he nodded, by way of greeting, quirking an eyebrow at her dress. "If I'd have known this was a date, I would have brought you some flowers..."

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Jiseth
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PostSubject: Re: Lucifer's Cage [Gavin/Jiseth]   Wed Feb 04, 2015 6:40 am

"Gavin..."

Her emerald eyes flicked from the window to him.

"I don't quite feel comfortable wearing the uniform while still relieved of duty. As for the flowers... Find me a purple hibiscus and I'm sure I can find a way to make that blue friend of yours quite jealous."

Opening the menu in front of her, she began scanning down the list. There were many things that she had little idea of what they were, often defaulting to something vaguely Romulan in ingredients even if it was for simple appearance's sake.

"Any recommendations? I'd like to take her here and get her off that... gruel, or whatever it is, they have her eat. Nurtitional supplements. I have no idea where the main nutrition comes from. Never found a battery on the girl."

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Gavin Van Gelder
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PostSubject: Re: Lucifer's Cage [Gavin/Jiseth]   Wed Feb 04, 2015 7:16 am

Jiseth wrote:
"Gavin..."

Her emerald eyes flicked from the window to him.

"I don't quite feel comfortable wearing the uniform while still relieved of duty. As for the flowers... Find me a purple hibiscus and I'm sure I can find a way to make that blue friend of yours quite jealous."

Opening the menu in front of her, she began scanning down the list. There were many things that she had little idea of what they were, often defaulting to something vaguely Romulan in ingredients even if it was for simple appearance's sake.

"Any recommendations? I'd like to take her here and get her off that... gruel, or whatever it is, they have her eat. Nurtitional supplements. I have no idea where the main nutrition comes from. Never found a battery on the girl."

"You might ask Thel," Gavin idly said, taking up a menu as well and glancing through it. "He's Andorian. They're pretty open when it comes to stuff like that." Looking at the menu was basically just for something to do. This was his favorite place on the station, and Bajoran was his favorite kind of food. That, combined with his near-eidetic memory, meant that he could probably rattle the selections off with more accuracy than one of the waitstaff.

Collapsing the holo-screen, Gavin put the menu aside. "Droli for a starter. They're light, but they have a spice to them that can overpower with a regular meal. If it's spice, however, that you're after, you can't go wrong with any variety of hasperat. Bajoran tends to lean lighter, but they pull these shrimp out of the ocean that're as big as your head. Grilled, scampi, sauteed, over pasta...whatever. They're probably the biggest portion size you'll find on a Bajoran menu. Other than the substantial loaves of mapa."

He looked down at the table, suddenly interested in studying his hands. "Might all be too rich for her, coming off of gruel," Gavin quietly said, bringing them back to what he was sure was the reason for this...meeting. "I know you didn't bring me here so I can play sommelier for your springwine. Nor did you bring me here to proposition me sexually. So. Let's not play games, Jiseth."

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Jiseth
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PostSubject: Re: Lucifer's Cage [Gavin/Jiseth]   Wed Feb 04, 2015 5:50 pm

"I find you arrogant."

Jiseth snapped, albeit calmly, as she skimmed through the menu some more not looking up at Gavin.

"Every officer who I spoke to, Zero's superiors, before transferring to the same ship as her all said the same thing. If she of all people was letting me close, then it was a good thing because no one else had been let through her barriers. You seem to have other ideas..."

She dropped the PADD from her hand and the silverware chimed with the impact. Jiseth entwined her fingers together and rested her chin on them, both elbows on the edge of the table. Her eyes focused on Gavin's now.

"You should have seen the night we met. She was still a cadet. Putting down drinks faster than any chief petty officer would dare try. I suppose she's told you the history though. Her first dress, our time together while I was on leave and the roller coast since then... You know, in all my interviews of Zero's crew mates when I was petitioning for her citizenship, the one thing that always stood out was how clueless they all seemed about her. I hoping you're not like them."

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Gavin Van Gelder
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Posts : 434
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PostSubject: Re: Lucifer's Cage [Gavin/Jiseth]   Wed Feb 04, 2015 7:04 pm

Jiseth wrote:
"I find you arrogant."

Jiseth snapped, albeit calmly, as she skimmed through the menu some more not looking up at Gavin.

"Every officer who I spoke to, Zero's superiors, before transferring to the same ship as her all said the same thing. If she of all people was letting me close, then it was a good thing because no one else had been let through her barriers. You seem to have other ideas..."

She dropped the PADD from her hand and the silverware chimed with the impact. Jiseth entwined her fingers together and rested her chin on them, both elbows on the edge of the table. Her eyes focused on Gavin's now.

"You should have seen the night we met. She was still a cadet. Putting down drinks faster than any chief petty officer would dare try. I suppose she's told you the history though. Her first dress, our time together while I was on leave and the roller coast since then... You know, in all my interviews of Zero's crew mates when I was petitioning for her citizenship, the one thing that always stood out was how clueless they all seemed about her. I hoping you're not like them."

Gavin gave a little sigh, taking up the complimentary glass of water and sipping it. Arrogant? Well. Games were over, indeed. "Arrogance is something I've battled my whole life," he said, setting the glass down. "Comes with the territory. My friends were building tree forts, and I was constructing analyses of comparative neuropsychiatry."

He had, indeed, heard the story of Zero and Jiseth's first meeting. He imagined that he knew more about Zero than Jiseth did, but he didn't feel like bringing up that particular bit at just this moment. "I'd like to think I'm not clueless. Sometimes the whole 'genius' bit isn't everything it's cracked up to be, but..."

Idly tapping the tabletop, Gavin glanced around at the various and sundry folk milling about the Promenade. He rested his gaze back on Jiseth, his sea-green eyes much softer than her sharp emerald, but no less intense.

"I have concerns. I care about Zero...and she's family." Shaking his head, he gave a smile devoid of humor. "And that's where you come in. I'm not a stupid person, Jiseth. Far from it. If I have concerns, it's because there's a damn good reason. And, instead of asking yourself if they're valid, you're deflecting it into anger at me. And there's the problem. Are you going to order, or am I?"

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Jiseth
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PostSubject: Re: Lucifer's Cage [Gavin/Jiseth]   Wed Feb 04, 2015 8:01 pm

"Often when we guess at the motives of others we reveal only our own..."

Her eyes narrowed on him as she reached over and pressed a few selections on the menu. It was all new to her, so what exactly came out was of little concern as she hit the order button.

Many hand flaunted their intelligence and it seemed to be the chic thing to do in Starfleet. On Romulus only the upper echelons of rank and status could do so. How else could one achieve, let alone maintain, such standing while constantly under assault from all sides from cloaked daggers. Kept one on their toes.

Perhaps he did have an edge on her, but it was not an advantage she would be leveraged with. Like in all combat situations, it was an advantage to be negated so she could apply her own.

"A baseball and bat combined cost 1.10 credits and the bat is a dollar more than the ball. How much is each worth? Most would say the bat is 1 credit and the ball .10... and they'd be wrong. The correct answer is 1.05 and .05. Right now I'm asking myself which answer you picked because when I first was asked it, I answered wrong."

Jiseth leaned back in her chair and tilted her head slightly toward the window, letting her hands slide down to the table edge though still locked together.

"Recently I've been asking myself if I should have just let them kill me. They asked every day. Polite isn't it? After they've unraveled every little bit of you, what more is there? What do you have left? Fact of the matter is... however much you think I hate you is really quite inconsequential compared to how much I hate myself. I broke, Gavin. I told them everything I know and fittingly my homecoming has been one misstep after another because I don't deserve anything that I once had! So tell me, boy genius, what am I to do?"

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Gavin Van Gelder
Lieutenant Junior Grade
Lieutenant Junior Grade


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Participated in the first mission
Posts : 434
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PostSubject: Re: Lucifer's Cage [Gavin/Jiseth]   Thu Feb 05, 2015 1:19 pm

Jiseth wrote:
"Often when we guess at the motives of others we reveal only our own..."

Her eyes narrowed on him as she reached over and pressed a few selections on the menu. It was all new to her, so what exactly came out was of little concern as she hit the order button.

Many hand flaunted their intelligence and it seemed to be the chic thing to do in Starfleet. On Romulus only the upper echelons of rank and status could do so. How else could one achieve, let alone maintain, such standing while constantly under assault from all sides from cloaked daggers. Kept one on their toes.

Perhaps he did have an edge on her, but it was not an advantage she would be leveraged with. Like in all combat situations, it was an advantage to be negated so she could apply her own.

"A baseball and bat combined cost 1.10 credits and the bat is a dollar more than the ball. How much is each worth? Most would say the bat is 1 credit and the ball .10... and they'd be wrong. The correct answer is 1.05 and .05. Right now I'm asking myself which answer you picked because when I first was asked it, I answered wrong."

Jiseth leaned back in her chair and tilted her head slightly toward the window, letting her hands slide down to the table edge though still locked together.

"Recently I've been asking myself if I should have just let them kill me. They asked every day. Polite isn't it? After they've unraveled every little bit of you, what more is there? What do you have left? Fact of the matter is... however much you think I hate you is really quite inconsequential compared to how much I hate myself. I broke, Gavin. I told them everything I know and fittingly my homecoming has been one misstep after another because I don't deserve anything that I once had! So tell me, boy genius, what am I to do?"

Gavin opened his mouth to snap off something in response to Jiseth's quip about motives, but then closed it as she decided to give him...an analytics problem? Why would she be throwing elementary-level mathematics at him? Did she want to to go head-to-head? What was next...bar trivia?

A multitude of wise-ass comments jumbled about in his brain, each one trying to be the first to exit the floodgates. And then...she continued to delve into the details of her capture and Gavin was utterly lost.

"I've never called myself that," he quietly said. "'Boy genius'. That's something others have labeled me with. You think I go around wearing it on my lapel?" He tapped the menu, entering his own order. Just a salad. Something light. This dinner likely wouldn't last that long. "Look, Jiseth. I don't know why we're even doing this. You keep treating me like I'm your enemy. What is it...exactly...that you think I'm trying to do with Zero? With you? What do you think my endgame is?"

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Jiseth
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PostSubject: Re: Lucifer's Cage [Gavin/Jiseth]   Thu Feb 05, 2015 8:37 pm

"I think we both have Zero's best interests at heart. We both provide elements for a happier life... Love and support her... Except while we're not overtly enemies, we're certainly not friends."

Leaning forward, she crossed her arms and placed her elbows up on the table. A dragon daring a white knight to strike it down and taint his purity. There was an uneasiness in her. Guilt not just from recent months, but some memories going back to before she even considered joining the exchange program. The first time she had to execute someone for instance.

"Ever since I set foot on this station it's been a litany of reasons why I'm not good enough. How I'm failing her. You think I just went of a vacation with the Tal'Shiar? I go from being one of the better things in her life to now the second worst. I get it. She should just cut me out. I'm a cancer. What's a Romulan doing in Starfleet anyway?"

Her eyes shut tight as she clenched her teeth and fought to hold back her tears. It almost seemed routine now to cry though it seemed to hardly be productive at all. There was still a mountain of shames that she had to climb, but without much use of her legs. A long crawl to find some solace in at summit which felt still far below where everyone else was.

"What do you want from me? A signed letter of agreement that I should go out the nearest airlock?"

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Gavin Van Gelder
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Posts : 434
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PostSubject: Re: Lucifer's Cage [Gavin/Jiseth]   Fri Feb 06, 2015 9:51 am

Jiseth wrote:
"I think we both have Zero's best interests at heart. We both provide elements for a happier life... Love and support her... Except while we're not overtly enemies, we're certainly not friends."

Leaning forward, she crossed her arms and placed her elbows up on the table. A dragon daring a white knight to strike it down and taint his purity. There was an uneasiness in her. Guilt not just from recent months, but some memories going back to before she even considered joining the exchange program. The first time she had to execute someone for instance.

"Ever since I set foot on this station it's been a litany of reasons why I'm not good enough. How I'm failing her. You think I just went of a vacation with the Tal'Shiar? I go from being one of the better things in her life to now the second worst. I get it. She should just cut me out. I'm a cancer. What's a Romulan doing in Starfleet anyway?"

Her eyes shut tight as she clenched her teeth and fought to hold back her tears. It almost seemed routine now to cry though it seemed to hardly be productive at all. There was still a mountain of shames that she had to climb, but without much use of her legs. A long crawl to find some solace in at summit which felt still far below where everyone else was.

"What do you want from me? A signed letter of agreement that I should go out the nearest airlock?"

Crossing his arms with a little hff, Gavin started to say something, but remained silent while the waiter brought their food out. Perhaps gauging the mood, the member of the civilian staff dropped the plates off, filled their glasses, left the bottle of springwine, and hoofed it the hell out of there.

"It's always extremes with you, isn't it? Somehow, you're conflating my reservations about you going from spacedock to warp 10 with Zero as me wanting you to go away entirely. For God's sake, Jiseth. I'm not playing some long game with you. Believe me, if I was, you wouldn't know it. And I'd be five moves ahead of you," he said, somewhat sulkily, as he took a long pull from the glass of wine.

Gavin picked up his fork and poked around the salad greens, hoping that his appetite returned. He really did love Bajoran. "So we're not friends, and we're not enemies. What are we, then? And can you at least admit that, from the outside, your relationship seems a bit...lopsided? I mean, hell, Jiseth...you're a force of nature. People with years of relationship experience would be hard-pressed to hold their own against a whirlwind like that..."

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Jiseth
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PostSubject: Re: Lucifer's Cage [Gavin/Jiseth]   Fri Feb 06, 2015 1:03 pm

"It is..."

Her baleful eyes suddenly lost their fire. Snuffed out as it felt she swallowed ice. Her pride most likely. Her attention drifted down to the food in front of her. A large shrimp tail on her plate the size of several steaks with various forms of garnish spices and sauces.

The aroma was heavenly. Quite unfitting for the likes of herself she thought. She pondered what the crustacean it had been attached to had seen in its life. How it thought of its watery world and perhaps even the fear and misery during its capture which ultimately lead to its demise. A delicious demise.

"It's no different than during the war. We have a common goal... That makes us allies."

Jiseth took hold of her knife and fork and set to work extracting pieces as if Zero herself were dissecting it with her usual surgical precision. The first bite nearly brought tears to her eyes. It was the most splendid meat she probably ever had, at least in the last several years.

"...Damn, this is good."

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Gavin Van Gelder
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Posts : 434
Join date : 2014-07-07

PostSubject: Re: Lucifer's Cage [Gavin/Jiseth]   Fri Feb 06, 2015 7:45 pm

Jiseth wrote:
"It is..."

Her baleful eyes suddenly lost their fire. Snuffed out as it felt she swallowed ice. Her pride most likely. Her attention drifted down to the food in front of her. A large shrimp tail on her plate the size of several steaks with various forms of garnish spices and sauces.

The aroma was heavenly. Quite unfitting for the likes of herself she thought. She pondered what the crustacean it had been attached to had seen in its life. How it thought of its watery world and perhaps even the fear and misery during its capture which ultimately lead to its demise. A delicious demise.

"It's no different than during the war. We have a common goal... That makes us allies."

Jiseth took hold of her knife and fork and set to work extracting pieces as if Zero herself were dissecting it with her usual surgical precision. The first bite nearly brought tears to her eyes. It was the most splendid meat she probably ever had, at least in the last several years.

"...Damn, this is good."

Gavin sighed, having suddenly lost most of his desire to eat, even though he fully agreed with the Romulan's assesment. "Bajoran's my favorite," he muttered, setting his fork down with an audible clak against the plate.

No, right now he was much more in the mood for the springwine. It wasn't a patch on that wonderful blue fire that Thelos liked to drink, but Bajoran springwine was one of his favorites, as well. Tilting the glass, Gavin drained it in a long drink, rubbing the bridge of his nose as he set the glass down. "Allies, then. Fine. You're still dancing around the question. I know you're not this obtuse, so it must be intentional. All I hear from you is how much you've been through, how much you've seen. You've more life experience than me? Fine. So you do."

Leaning forward, Gavin's brows gathered over his eyes as he frowned. "If you're so damn worldly, why can't you just answer simple questions? Why," he said, jabbing his finger on the tabletop, "can you not at least consider that you're taking things too fast with her? I mean...marriage?"

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Jiseth
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PostSubject: Re: Lucifer's Cage [Gavin/Jiseth]   Tue Feb 10, 2015 5:32 pm

Jiseth let silence hang for what seemed like an eternity. Calmly, quietly going about taking one piece after another and devouring it with her usual grace. Something that had given her reputation something more that verisimilitude. Chira was right. As the Romulan came to accept the appraisal from her friend, she found less and less reason to explain herself to Gavin. To anyone.

She paused however, chewing her way through the most recent piece and taping the prongs of the fork against the plate in thought. They were supposed to be allies after all. Out of convenience? No, they seemed to loath each other far too much. It truly was a desperate situation. Looking away, she wiped her lips with her napkin and set it next to her plate.

"What does it matter, truly? I never set a date. No plans set in stone. It was just a request... Something to prove I'm not going anywhere. We have a child, damn it. Girlfriend, partner, betrothed, wife? What's the difference, really? We've already spent most of our relationship living together, what's a ring going to add to it other than that simple statement?"

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Gavin Van Gelder
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Lieutenant Junior Grade


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Completed Plot and Bio Page
Participated in the first mission
Posts : 434
Join date : 2014-07-07

PostSubject: Re: Lucifer's Cage [Gavin/Jiseth]   Wed Feb 11, 2015 8:46 pm

Jiseth wrote:
Jiseth let silence hang for what seemed like an eternity. Calmly, quietly going about taking one piece after another and devouring it with her usual grace. Something that had given her reputation something more that verisimilitude. Chira was right. As the Romulan came to accept the appraisal from her friend, she found less and less reason to explain herself to Gavin. To anyone.

She paused however, chewing her way through the most recent piece and taping the prongs of the fork against the plate in thought. They were supposed to be allies after all. Out of convenience? No, they seemed to loath each other far too much. It truly was a desperate situation. Looking away, she wiped her lips with her napkin and set it next to her plate.

"What does it matter, truly? I never set a date. No plans set in stone. It was just a request... Something to prove I'm not going anywhere. We have a child, damn it. Girlfriend, partner, betrothed, wife? What's the difference, really? We've already spent most of our relationship living together, what's a ring going to add to it other than that simple statement?"

Watching the Romulan work was like watching a class in interrogation. Gavin sipped his springwine, the ambient sounds of the restaurant filling the void left by the lack of conversation as Jiseth played the silent game. Taking her time. Watching him. She's looking for any crack she can, ready to work in any angle, he thought. Trying to make him nervous, make him impatient.

He wondered if it was taught, or something Romulans were just born knowing how to do.

Finally, she broke radio silence. And Gavin found himself nodding. "It's not the commitment, Jiseth. I agree - a marriage is a promise. To always be there, to love, and support...nobody has a problem with that." He sighed, setting his glass down on the table. "I'm not going to dance anymore, Jiseth. You and I are both too intelligent to play games. So I'm going to come out with it. This is Zero's first relationship. Not 'first in a long time' or 'first good one'. First. One. Ever. And it looks like you're trying to lock her in. I mean," he said, gesturing expansively, "you tell me in one breath that she literally made a baby because she didn't understand how to express feelings, and then in another breath you say, 'ah, look, a marriage vow, no big deal, I'm sure Zero isn't already over-analyzing and stressing and misinterpreting like she does with literally every other thing in the known universe!"

A few people turned to look, but Gavin didn't really give a damn. He gave a huff, and drained his glass again.

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