Archive for July 8th, 2010


You Gotta Know Joia…

Sal left the good doctor with his whiskey, knowing that what ever it was that was troubling him would eventually work its way out in time. That was one of Sal’s downfalls. He tended to let things get personal. This needed to be a ‘job’, a means to an end. He wanted to discover strange new worlds. He was an explorer and being on the fridge out here enabled him to do just that.

As for this crew, well, he’d met only one thus far. If the morning ever got there, he would eventually meet his new captain. The rumors around the Maze were flying but Sal didn’t take much pack in rumors. It was like any other bar in that respect. One must take everything at face value until it proves otherwise. It had been years since Sal had frequented a bar like this one though.

His biggest concern was the language/culture gap. Sal had never learned much Klingon. It was not a necessity in K’Normia. In fact, by comparison K’Normia was Federation Territory. Situated near the Talos Star Group and Iadorian space, it was basically a peaceful little corner of the galaxy. Betazed and its colonies were also relatively near and highly influential. Here, on Tranquility, everyone seemed to speak a morphed language containing as many Klingon adjectives and expressions as there were Terran. The last thing Sal wanted to do was to show disrespect to a surly Klingon. He had never been one for bar brawls.
He continued to walk down the corridor which led back to his hotel room. He knew he had to get some sleep because he’d be meeting this Captain Manning in… He stopped mid-stride and reached into his pocket for his PADD, pulled it out and tapped the display several times until his personal calendar came up which displayed the local time. It was 7 hours which here was still early morning. The sun wouldn’t even rise for another two. His meeting with Manning wasn’t until 15 hours, nine hours away.

Sal was not used to these long days. But that was the way it was in space which was one of the primary reasons that Star Fleet had adopted the STARDATE system. Sal liked the system because it very closely approximated the Martian day but this was merely incidental. The sole purpose of STARDATE was to universalize the passage of time because the cycle from sun-up to sun-up was vastly different from planet to planet.

He looked at his PADD and there was a small indicator flashing in the upper left corner of the display; Joia’s message. He opened up his messenger just as he approached his room. Standing in the hall he began to read her message as his fumbled in his pocket for his room badge. Still reading he pulled it out and waved it at the access panel to the right of the door. It lit up and the door slid open. Sal didn’t even look up as he walked into the room.

“Computer. Lights. Reading lamp near desk.”

The door closed behind him after a moment and he took a seat in the chair next to the bed. He read on:

…and then Jeni came by and we were talking about Bosney and his last minute save in the game last night. You remember Bosney, right? He was the cute boy with the freckles who wanted to kiss me in the gym two mons ago. Well, last night the score was tied and he can out of nowhere and scored. Those boys of Roseland Tech were so surprised. I think a couple of them thought they were naked or something, the way the just stood there in awe.

Sal smiled to him self knowing that she was going to be okay and then he read on:

Daddy, it was so much fun. But… I missed you so much. I know that you must be busy with your new job and new boss. Mom told me that was probably why you hadn’t written or called these last couple of days. I’m trying, Daddy, you know, to understand. Good luck there, Streak.
I love you, daddy. I will write more tomorrow.

Sal sat and thought about what she had written. Most of it was what had been expected from a teen but he knew that there was more to it. His daughter was becoming a young woman much faster than he had anticipated. Harry must have told her about the nickname that he’d acquired in the fleet. Sal never knew whether it came from the port controllers or the Nav Staff on the El Paso. The former used to bead him for always leaving a streak on there displays whenever the vessel he was mastering left port. The boys in Nav would never let him live down the time when they’d caught him coming out of the sonic shower and had to chase this young ensign clear across the Rec Room and through three observation decks. That girl could surely run and had his clothes in her hands laughing her head off. He finally caught her in the turbolift and when the door finally opened 15 decks away, he was only half-dressed, they were kissing and the crew in the corridor stopped and applauded. ‘What was her name?’ he thought.


First Impression

Jake had arrived at work at 34 hours and this was 4 in the morning. He had one straggler who was a Hotel patron so he knew this guy was going no where in more ways than one. But he also knew that he couldn’t just kick him out. Officially, they were open for another two hours, but this guy had been there since midnight or before. He poured a nice tall glass of water and set it down in front of him.

Andrews was in it deep… The bottle that is. He was shaken from his reverie by a glass of clear liquid that was now placed before him.

“That’s not what I ordered pal”
“Yeah well, that bottle’s empty…Sir.”
“My pocket’s not… last time I checked.”

Jakes walked slowly over to the back bar and grabbed another bottle of Aldebaran Whiskey… Not wanted to, he poured a glass and returned to the patron….
“This is your last, okay buddy. You look like you could use some sleep…”

The long slender silver cane, that had become Andrews’ life line for better part of two years now, was resting between his legs his left hand seated atop the curved crest. He shot a glance up at the oaf of a man in front of him, then a glance down at the new glass.

“Since when did you start turning away customers? I’ve been drinking long enough to know when I’ve had enough to know… enough…” he trailed off and grabbed the glass and began to drink from it. Perhaps he had had enough, but he was not ready to stop.

“So, who was she, man? I mean, I’ve seen that face before. It’s got to be a woman.”

Jake put his arm on the bar and looked at the gentleman who was struggling to keep conscious…

“Don’t start heading down memory lane with me friend… I didn’t ask for an ear I asked for a glass…” He didn’t wish to recount how he came to be where he was. He told that story all too many times, and carrying the physical wounds was enough to remind him of Illiana these days.

Jake looked at him and smiled. It was a sad job sometimes, watching hearts bleed. But then sometimes there was nothing one could do. He stood up and grabbed his bar rag and began wiping down the counter.

Andrews paid no attention to the world outside his own head when he was this far gone. Another day, another time, he may very well have indulged the bartender with his story. Not today. Today he needed a drink…

Sal found himself now wandering the corridors of the Hotel. He took the elevator down to the main floor and the doors opened. There was not a soul in sight and most of the lights were dimmed save one… The Bar. His eyes were glazed from lack or too much sleep. He couldn’t decide which. As he entered the bar he saw the bartender doing dishes and one gentleman sitting at the bar staring at the glass in his hand. He was dressed well and so Sal pulled up a stool next to him and attempted to get the bartender’s attention. “Sir, Rom Ale, okay?”

Jake looked up from the sink and nodded. He wiped his hands dry, grabbed a mug from the rack and tipped it under the tap…

Dash barely noticed the new patron at first, but as soon as he saw the barkeep begin to pour a new glass of spirits he couldn’t help himself.
“So he can waltz in and get anything he wants at this time of night, but I’m cut off aye?”

Jake looked at the man as he passed and set the mug down in front of Sal. “That’ll be 10 credits…”
Sal flashed his room badge and Jake responded with a nod.

“I’ll buy you another if you give me that one…” Dash said to the new guy.
“Sir,” Jake said, responding to the other gentleman, “…augh.” He just sighed.
Sal looks at the man, “What’s your name?”

Downing the last of his Aldebaran Whiskey Sour he began to stand to move closer to the gentlemen. His legs had other plans and he quickly let his hind-end find the stool once more.
“Name’s Dash… An’ you?”

Sal helped him sit back down. “My name is Sal Rosetto. I’m here to start work on the QoB. Don’t know what’s going on with these ports…”

Dash waved off the man’s attempt to assist him. People looked at him and all they saw was a man with a Visor for eyes and Cane for legs. He hated that. He heard the word QoB and realized the man obviously knows little of the ships crew.
“The QoB aye? Be careful you team up with that group of sullied victims”

Sal laughed. “So, what brings you to this barren wasteland of opportunity?”

“I’m a prospector…” Dash said leading the man a bit.

“You’ve come to the right place. Have you been outside of town? There’s nothing but rock for a 100 kilometers in any direction..”

“Not really what I’m ‘prospecting’ for chief… “Dash laughed a quiet laugh.

Sal looked him over a bit. “Ah, precious cargoes, aye?”

Dash moved his hand from his cane to the glass, and then realized it was empty and grunted.
“You could say that… yes indeed. Have you SEEN the Orion Girls around here?”

He laughed again still searching for a glass of whiskey that was no longer there.

“Not many, yet. But I have been told. I have some fleet buddies who’ve been around these parts before.”
Sal noticed that his glass is empty and flagged the bartender. Jake unwillingly strolled over and began to whisper in Sal’s ear. Sal convinced him to pour Mr. Dash another….

“Seriously though… be wary of the QoB… She’s cursed… Some say she’s haunted even.” Noticed the glass suddenly full of Whiskey once more, he grasped it as if it were a tank of oxygen to a man floating alone in space…
Sal looked at Dash with his head cocked. “Cursed, huh? How so?” He felt a buzz in his pocket from his PADD and knowing exactly who it was he added, “Got any kids?”

Dash ignored the last question, perhaps deliberately, perhaps not. He instead focused on the first question.
“Well for starters, she’s 40 some odd years young, and pieces have been known to just come FLYIN’ off when she leaves dock! I’ve heard people complain that one moment they’re in their home all nice and cozy and the next… BAM! There’s a duranium plate sitting in their rose bushes…” He laughed.

“It’s okay, we won’t need that plate until we land again. I know because I’ll be driving…” Sal laughed with him.

“And second… And this is the scariest bit… They have me for a Doc…”

“Who–What? You serve on the QoB?” Sal was very surprised but he was pleased with his luck. He knew that the vessel was 40+ years old but now he was sitting with someone who was a fellow crewmate. WOW, he thought…

“Unfortunately… Yea, I do… I guess you deserve a proper introduction. Dash straightened his jacket half-heartedly and extended his right hand. “‘Doc’ Andrews…” He said with a crooked grin.

Sal grabbed his hand and shook it firmly…

“By the hand of Kahless himself… Let’s hope you’re a better pilot than you are a judge of employers…” Dash laughed again and sipped his Whiskey.

July 2010
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