((Brew Continuum - Grand Mezzanine, Amity Outpost))
Evelyn had gotten Arthur talking about himself - not an easy feat, generally. There was something about her he found relaxing, but he couldn’t quite put his finger on it. It was something.. familiar.. about her - not that they’d ever met before. Whatever the case, he was happy to discuss Briori’s unusual history.
Summerside: Well, it’s all true. Briori, as it is now, was founded by three hundred earthlings abducted by aliens and transported to the Delta Quadrant over 450 years ago as slave labour. There was an uprising of some sort and, well, ba-da-bing ba-da-doom, here we are.
McLaren: ::twirling hair:: Well, that does sound like an interesting story now. I do hope that there is actually an end to this story.
Arthur noticed her playing with her hair. He knew how to tell when he had someone hooked on a good story - if a woman was twirling her hair, but still looking at you, that was a sure sign. Arthur smiled, the confident crooked smile of a man unconcerned with his own charm.
Summerside: I almost forgot - the crucial piece. 27 years ago, this strange ship shows up - Voyager. They came through and turned everything upside down. True history had long since faded into folklore. Nobody really thought “Earth” existed - or if it had, it certainly didn’t anymore. Boy, was that ever a rude awakening.
McLaren: I totally agree. There are just some things that will never be understood by people.
He leaned back in his seat, his story over. Miss McLaren was invested. He could see it in her eyes. oO And what nice eyes… Oo
Summerside: Well, I promised you strange and unbelievable didn’t I? But it’s all true. ::Sipping his coffee and wishing it had been made ‘Irish’ instead:: What about you, Ms. McLaren? You come from Earth? Off the record, I promise.
McLaren: Oh me, I am not from Earth. I am actually from the “The Shoals”, I was born on a planet called Meridian, before we moved to Antor II.
Yes - the Shoals and Antor II were familiar to him from the Veritas’ mission report. But Meridian was unknown.. and unexpected.
oO Remember, not everyone who looks human is from Earth, you lunkhead. Oo
Summerside: Alright, then. What’s that like?
McLaren: Where to begin? I do not really remember my days on Meridian as we moved pretty quickly to Antor II. I remember that being a dark and scary planet. For the most part we were stuck in domes after some devastating earthquakes.
oO Sounds terrible. Oo
He didn’t dare say what he was thinking. The truth was, everywhere but Briori seemed a little inferior to Arthur - not that the people were any worse (heck, there were some real scumbags back on Briori that he could introduce you to) but that they all felt sort of… crowded. The thought of being cooped up in some domes with a bunch of stinky miners made the hairs on the back of his neck stand on end.
oO I wonder why she put up with it? Oo
Summerside: And what, may I ask, led a woman like you into the mining industry of all things?
McLaren: Oh, I just joined to find a way to get out of Antor II. From a young age, I loved to tinker around with technology, so this just led to me getting a job there. There was a mine collapse later there, but I was rescued by USS Veritas.
Summerside: Yes, I think I read something about that on my trip to Amity. I’d heard through the grapevine a number of Veritas’ senior officers would be transferring to the station and, well, most reading material just doesn’t interest me. I like information. I take it that’s how you ended up here, then?
McLaren: Indeed, thanks to Starfleet I am now a Chief here on the station.
Arthur took another sip of coffee. The taste was beginning to grow on him. oO Perhaps there’s a reason people like this stuff ‘dry’ after all… Oo
Summerside: It’s a small galaxy - and it’s only getting smaller. There were an awful lot of coincidences that led the two of us here. ::Leaning in:: Right here, right now, in this moment.
He noted her movements, the subtle glint in her eye, the subconscious smirk on her lips. When he’d read her file, he’d never expected Miss Evelyn McLaren, Chief of Mining Operations to be, well… To look so… His own thoughts trailed off into meaningless concepts of what a mining operator ought to look like. For a moment, he forgot what they were even talking about. Had they even been talking? Were they just sitting there, staring at one another in silence?
oO Careful, Summerside. Don’t make the same mistake you made back on Sikaris. Cool it. Oo
Summerside: ::Suddenly more reserved:: Same with the Hawlat. Quite the situation there…
He cleared his throat and took another sip of coffee. oO Smooth, Arty. Real smooth. Oo
McLaren: Yes, hopefully this is resolved soon.
Before the conversation could continue, there was a loud, but dull, thud from outside the cafe in the Mezzanine. They both turned, trying to catch sight of what had happened.
McLaren: What was that?
Summerside: ::Jokingly:: Somebody losing control of a hoverpub out there?
Another thud, then another. Suddenly, it sounded as it were raining the same deep thuds all over the glass of the Mezzanine. Arthur stood and looked out from the cafe. After a moment, he sat back down.
Summerside: ::Sarcastically:: Oh, it’s nothing. Just about a hundred or so of those Hawlat space cows flying head-first into the glass over and over again.
Summerside: I’m sure there’s no need to be alarmed. If they were worried about it, they’d-
Announcement: Security Alert - All Civilians Should Return to their Private Quarters.
The monotone voice of the station’s automated alert system calmly - but directly - talked right over him. Simultaneously, a gentle - yet firm - klaxon began sounding in the distance and bright - but unobtrusive - yellow warning lights began flashing.
Summerside: Alright, maybe there’s some need for alarm.
Summerside: ::Holding out a hand for Evelyn:: Come on, this day’s just getting interesting.
The two walked together towards the door to the Brew Continuum, as other customers hurriedly shuffled their way out and into the Mezzanine. Summerside noted how half of them immediately complied with the security alert, making for the turbolifts and corridors that would carry them back to their habitats - while the other half stood and gawked at the spectacle above.
oO Pix better be getting some damn pictures of this. Oo
Arthur looked along the platform they were standing on and noticed a handful of Starfleet folk talking, including Lt. Commander Iovianus - the tight-lipped Magna Roman he’d tried to pry something out of at the Festival.
Summerside: ::Looking at Evelyn with a cheeky grin:: Hey, what say we go check in with the Fuzz?
Summerside: Sure, I know we’re both civilians - but you’re the Chief of Mining Operations. Aren’t you a part of this whole.. oO Don’t say debacle! Oo ..developing situation? Maybe we can help evacuate people. ::Looking around:: There’s got to be somebody’s senile old grandma here who needs rescuing.
Arthur strode confidently over to Iovianus, who was looking up at the roof of the Mezzanine at the mass of creatures.
Summerside: Commander. Fancy seeing you again! I take it there’s a bit of a situation here. ::Indiciating himself and McLaren:: Is there any way that two concerned citizens can be of service?
PNPC Arthur Summerside (he/him/his)
As simmed by:
Ensign Kivik (ne/nem/nir)