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"Lets Have a Talk..."

Posted on Thu Sep 7th, 2017 @ 9:39pm by Lieutenant Cailus Griffin & Commander Owen Nash & Lieutenant Mera Richmond MD

Mission: Into The Wild
Location: Pandora's Box
Timeline: Current

The Pandora's escape from the dark matter field may not have involved any actual fighting, but in all the ways that mattered, it had been just as harrowing. Many of the crew had suffered injuries in the initial impact as the ship had been brutally pulled out of warp, and many more had suffered injury of a deeper sort from the various hallucinations inflicted upon them. Thus, several of the crew relaxed afterwards in one of the most ancient of traditions, honoured since ships made of wood had sailed Earth's oceans and Andoria's glaciers: they found the nearest bar and started drinking.

Unlike those ancient sailors of course, the modern sailors of the Pandora were much better behaved. There was no screaming or shouting, no lewd singing, no random brawls, nor was there a wench in sight. Indeed, even the alcohol that the Starfleeters drank was actually synthehol, a synthetic substitute that allowed a person to remain in control of their own faculties. Regardless the tradition endured, and the Box was full of relieved Starfleet officers as they drank and chatted pleasantly with their friends.

Two such men were sat at the bar, and as the bartender cheerfully placed their drinks before them, Cailus indicated the bright pink liquid intently. "Now this, Commander," he said with complete sincerity (and disregarding the tiny umbrellas), "is a real drink."

Owen studied the drink placed before him and despite the Umbrella's, wondered what the hell it was...

"So...whilst this may be considered a drink, Lieutenant...does it have a name?" he asked as he continued to look over its outward appearance. It wasn't that he didn't trust Cailus, but there was also the small matter of not knowing what he was drinking and the effect it could have on him...if they drank more...

"The most popular name for it was the Pink Glory," Cailus said, his serious mien not cracking in the slightest. "It used to be very popular among the ships that patrolled the Klingon Neutral Zone. Traditionally, after a skirmish with the Klingons, the XO would buy the entire crew a round of the Pink Glory at the next layover, and all of the first-timers had to have a second. As for where it comes from...I've got no idea, sir. Some people claimed it was some secret Klingon drink, and my old CO used to say that it was invented by the Xindi insectoids and given to Earth as a peace offering when the Federation was founded."

With that, Cailus took a sip, nodding in appreciation. "Of course, the most popular rumour was that the stuff is brewed partially from Klingon blood, but I'm sure that's not true. Mostly sure, anyway."

Owen stared at Cailus for a moment before looking back at the drink. "Klingon blood?" He asked carefully before looking back at Cailus. The lack of movement in his colleagues face gave Owen the hint of there being some truth.

"Hell, I'll try anything once, but my body will always be a temple to cider," he admitted before taking a sip of his Pink Glory. The resultant cough that followed after he swallowed his mouthful caught Owen off guard slightly.

"Ok," he wheezed, realising he was way out of practice. "Me and you are going to have words later about honesty when introducing drinks to fellow officers."

Finally, Cailus allowed his facade to crack into a barely detectable smile at his little victory. "Look at it this way, sir: you just got to experience a proud Starfleet tradition that's older than your grandparents. It's not every day that you get to drink history, Commander."

"Touche," Owen admitted as he toasted Griffin's glass and took another sip. This time he was more prepared for what came next.

Looking down at her drink, Mera Richmond decided that it was finally time to leave the comfort of her seat in the back corner and go get another. She sat her headphones on the table and reluctantly made her way to the bar. Mera had become somewhat of a regular at Pandora’s Box in the short time she had been aboard, and the bartender knew exactly what she wanted. By the time she got to the bar a steaming hot cup of raktajino was waiting for her, and the two shared a knowing look and a smile.

Mera turned around and looked out over the restaurant while she took her first sip. A small smirk crept out of the left side of her mouth as she observed the tight-knit crew of the Pandora. Their solidarity in the face of imminent danger at the infant stages of their mission was inspiring.

All of a sudden the flash of a familiar pink umbrella drink caught her eye from across the bar. When she recognized who was holding it she knew she would have to investigate.

She waited for a lull in the two officer’s conversation and then approached them. “Hello, Commander Nash. Lieutenant Griffin. I couldn’t help but notice your drink, Lieutenant. That’s a Klingon drink isn’t it? I didn’t expect to see one of those on this side of the quadrant.”

Owen looked over to see the ships new Counselor join them at the bar as she enquired about Cailus' impressive beverage.

"Counselor Richmond, welcome on board," he said extending a friendly gesture to her to take a seat with them. "Cailus here was just introducing me to the...merits...perils of The Pink Glory..."

"Perils is more accurate," Cailus commented drily. "I've seen this stuff knock out a Gorn. Welcome aboard, Counselor," he added with a polite bow of his head.

“Thank you both.” She nodded in acknowledgement and took another sip of her drink. “I remember when the commander of the Tacoma was aboard the Mercy and bought all of the medical staff a round.” Mera paused for a moment and then cringed as she relived the memory. “It must be an acquired taste.” She sat her drink on the bar and took the seat that the Commander offered.

Cailus shrugged, rubbing his jaw. "Very much so," he said off-handedly, glancing around the Box. "Have you been on a deep space exploration mission before, Counselor?"

“I have never been on an exploratory mission before.” she said excitedly, placing her drink down on the bar. “I mostly served in a support and humanitarian role in the Neutral Zone with the occasional foray into research. It was all well and good, but I needed a change. I want to be part of a group that is making first contact, exploring the frontier, and discovering new technologies. That is what Starfleet is all about.” There was a glint of passion in her tired eyes. “What about you two? I haven’t had time to study your files yet, but I understand that you have… interesting histories.”

At that, Cailus raised an amused eyebrow. "Interesting. That's one word for it, I suppose." Glancing at Nash, he asked wryly, "How about you, Commander? Anything noteworthy in your past on this ship while you were exploring the cosmos with Glyndar?"

Owen smiled as he knocked back another sip of his drink. "Bugger, I was wondering when someone was going to ask me about my previous time aboard this vessel," he admitted. Turing to face them both, Owen sat himself up straight. "During the previous tour, this ship was under the command of one Commodore Merith. She was from a Science background mainly and this Starship was an exploration vessel assigned to the Gamma Quadrant," he began.

"Commander Glyndar was originally the ship Security/Tactical officer, however she was soon promoted in rank and re-assigned after a short time as a Command Division officer...but command is something that she's ever really been happy with in my opinion..." Realising what he'd just said, Owen looked at them both very seriously for a second. "Keep that to yourselves by the way...She'll kill me in many different ways of she finds out."

He closed his eyes for a moment as he recalled memories of his previous tour on board. "We had some bloody good times though during that previous tour...and on board the Adelaide as well...its almost as if the Universe has a cosmic meaning for us both being on board the same starship together," he wondered.

Cailus raised his eyebrows in subdued amusement at Owen's confession. He had sometimes wondered whether there was anything between Glyndar and Nash, of course, but there was something undeniably heart-warming at actually seeing it. Glancing at Mera, he indicated Owen with his thumb, smirking faintly. "Your professional opinion, Counselor?" he teased.

Owen turned to face Counselor Richmond as he was intrigued as to what her answer would be.

“While I don’t personally subscribe to the belief in a grand cosmic plan, I have seen my fair share of coincidences to make me second guess myself sometimes.” Mera began stirring her drink and stared down billowing black beverage. “There are so many variables and so much chaos in this universe that any coincidence can seem significant,” she trails off for a beat but catches herself, “but I find the idea not having agency in our actions a bit disturbing.”

She raised her gaze back to meets the Commander’s hoping that she hadn’t offended him. “Of course there is nothing wrong in assigning significance to events in our lives. We are, after all, ultimately defined by what we deem important. You clearly cherish your time previously aboard this ship with Commander Glyndar, and it is incredible that you are able to serve together again. I would just be thankful in the fact that your paths were able to cross again and live in the moment. That sort of happiness doesn’t come often enough.”

Cailus regarded the counselor with fresh respect, although his good mood had faded into his usual grim mien. "Well said, Counselor."

Owen sipped down the last of his drink as he listened to her answer. "Well, I'm sticking with my explanation... It sounds more impressive," he explained. "In fact, I'm hoping we get to spend more time on board... I'd hate to lose her again..."

"Are you going to tell her that?" Cailus said pointedly.

Owen smiled. "Oh yes... I plan too," he answered. "However with Janet, it often takes a certain level of subtlety when doing these things...I have a plan."

“It can be to express feelings in this stifling, professional environment, but a few words like those can go along way in relieving some of that tension.” A playful smile stretched across Mera’s face. “I have not yet had the pleasure of meeting Commander Glyndar, but I imagine she could use a stress relief.”

Owen laughed at the Counselor's comment. "Oh yes, she's definitely in need of that...although her idea of stress relief once was working out in a Klingon Martial Arts programme on the highest setting... That was a fun repair job afterwards." Owen looked over at Cailus after finishing his drink. "So my friend, what other drinking delights from the 22nd Century can you introduce us too?" he asked. "I dare say you have a story of two to tell eh?"

"Twenty third century," Cailus corrected with a snort. "I may be old, but I'm not that old, Commander. If you want stories though, I could tell you about the time I was a junior lieutenant on the old Independence and we caught an Orion smuggler. It was the weirdest boarding op I've ever done, but we did at least get to sample some Orion drinks..."


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