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.


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July 2010
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