((The Glommer and Beagle, Grand Mezzanine, Amity Outpost))
Ukinix: ::looking at menu on PADD:: I’ll have the… double cheeseburger, and a half pint of the Pale Ale, thanks.
Barperson: You got it.
Ukinix: Thanks, mate.
Wil put the pub’s PADD-menu down back on the bar, and picked up his own Starfleet issue PADD. He returned to the Amity specs that he had been poring over for what seemed like weeks now. He wondered if a First Officer should be spending time getting themselves so acquainted with the finer detailed specifications of a 1.2 kilometre wide space station. But the Engineer in him wouldn’t let him stop.
“Once an engineer, always an engineer” he had recently told his friend and continental neighbour Niccolo del Vedova. It was hard to let go…
Wil looked around at the pub. Smaller than Wet goods, it had a modern decor, to the point where it was almost plain and drab - save for the massive illustration of a Glommer on one the long walls, and a Beagle (with “Porthos” handwritten in small letters underneath) on the other.
But the beer was wet, and so far the food had been good. The bar area was situated in the centre of the pub, with tables and chairs around the outside of the area. Wil himself sat on the many stools that were lined up around the entire long bar.
On the far wall was the large window to outside, where the large beautiful purple nebula could be seen. He took a moment to study it. It was such a magnificent feat of nature, stretching as far as the eye could see.
Kivik: Hiya, Commander!
Wil jumped a little, before turning to see Kivik.
The junior science officer smiled and waved sheepishly. Ne had been sitting in the corner, working alone on a
personal project - a little holographic trick that ne and Reade had been crafting together - when the Commander had walked in.
Ukinix: Ensign! How are ya, pull up a stool.
Kivik: Oh, I wouldn’t want to intrude, Commander. ::Looking around:: Are you… meeting somebody here?
Ukinix: Nope, I’m just having a quiet lunch. How about you?
Kivik decided to take the invitation to talk, after all. It seemed like the Commander was genuine in his offer - and he was normally so busy that Kivik hadn’t had much time to speak to Ukinix since their mission on Antor II - and so the J’naii climbed onto one of the tall bar stools beside him.
Kivik: ::Putting nir PADD down on the counter:: Oh, just enjoying the last few days of shore leave. My new roommate and I are working on a little surprise for Lieutenant Wong! ::Smiling:: We’ve been trying to make the most of this free time… it seems like there’s just so much to do here!
Ukinix: Yeah it’s a bit different, huh. It’s going to be like living in a small city. I like the atmosphere on the Mezzanine though, especially in the evenings.
Kivik: Oh, yes, I agree! It’s a surprisingly versatile space, too, as our Festival proved. As an Anthropologist by specialty, I have to say it’s been remarkable getting to work somewhere with so much diversity! When the Veritas went in for its refit, I was sad at first, until I received my new assignment. It really gave me something to look forward to. Did you feel the same?
Ukinix: I spent my leave on Earth. I got to the end of my six months though, and as much as I enjoyed it, I was ready to get back to being a Starfleet officer. How about you, how was your leave?
Kivik tensed at the mention of nir six-month leave and gave Ukinix a sideways glance. Clearing nir throat, ne spoke hesitantly…
Kivik: Oh, uhhh.. ::leaning forward over the bar to the bartender:: Could I get a… chocolate milk, please?
The Ensign looked uneasily at the Commander as ne sat back down and attempted a smile to ease the tension. The
bartender returned with a glass of foamy chocolate milk and placed it in front of Kivik, giving the Ensign a quizzical look as they slid a straw into the glass.
Kivik: ::To the bartender:: Thank you. ::Sipping hastily::
Kivik’s uneasiness wasn’t lost on Wil - both visibly, and empathically.
The bartender returned with Wil’s half-pint.
Ukinix: ::to bartender:: Ta mate.
He turned back to Kivik, and allowed nem to speak.
Kivik: I returned home as well. To J’naii. I suspected, correctly, that it would be a.. oO painful Oo ..challenging experience.
Kivik: Ahh, well… ::not wanting to get too caught up in Alpha Quadrant politics:: the situation there is complicated. I’m not exactly welcome at home. It’s a long story.
Ukinix: Oh. Oh! Sorry to hear that. ::Smirking:: I hope the Veritas’ reputation hasn’t made it all the way back to J’Naii.
The J’naii turned to look at the man beside nem and chuckled - a hint of unease still tinged the timbre of nir laughter.
Kivik: You know, it’s sort of funny… ::sipping chocolate milk:: …I don’t think I’ve told you this, Commander, but you’re very.. ::considering nir words:: ..different from what I expected.
That got Wil’s attention, right as he was taking a sip of his beer. He lowered his glass then titled his head.
Ukinix: Oh? How so?
By this point, the glass of milk was nearly gone and Kivik’s nerves had eased. Chocolate always seemed to help when ne was feeling anxious. Of course, ne had only just learned from Lieutenant Wong that some species with copper blood - namely Vulcans - got drunk on chocolate. Kivik didn’t think ne was affected that strongly by the terran bean… but perhaps it warranted further investigation. The J’naii lamented the fact that it did not grow natively on J’naii.
Kivik: oO Perhaps if everyone back home could try it they might - what’s the human expression? Loosen up a bit. Oo
Kivik: I’m not sure how familiar you are with my world and its history with the Federation - but when I was a child, we were visited by the Enterprise, under Admiral - well, then, Captain - Picard. The ship’s first officer became entangled with one of our pilots and it created a political mess that we’re still feeling the aftereffects of today.
Ukinix: You mean, like quantum entanglement? Was there a science experiment involving their XO?
Kivik looked at the Commander with a baffled expression. Had nir euphemism been that obtuse? Laughing, ne shook nir head and rolled nir eyes away in an expression that suggested perhaps Ukinix ought to think a little harder.
Wil furrowed his eyebrows, and blinked for a moment, trying to recall what he knew about J’naii… not much as it turned out. But it was the Enterprise-D after all and from what he recalled from the Academy they were always getting themselves into avoidably wacky situations.
Lieutenant Commander Wil Ukinix
Starfleet attaché and First Officer
Ensign Kivik (ne/nem/nir)