Ensign Ar'Gorvalei - Ride, Captain Ride (flashback)

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Jamie Comeau

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Oct 13, 2021, 10:15:42 PMOct 13
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OOC – This is a flashback from Ar’Gorvalei’s Academy days. Just wanted to share.

 

IC - ((Earth, San Francisco, The Fab Floor, 3 years previously ))

 

Natalie Tomassen, her brown ponytail swaying behind her, led her fellow second-year cadets down the nightclub’s winding staircase.

 

Tomassen: I learned about this place from some upperclassmen. It’s sort of a hidden gem.

 

Her roommate Mysa zh’Drinnel, a tall, lithe Andorian woman with cobalt blue skin and her white hair in many tiny braids, navigated her way down the staircase holding a glass of blue Andorian Ale she’d picked up at the bar.

 

Zh’Drinnel: A ‘gem’? Right…

 

Behind the two women, Ar’Gorvalei and Gabriel “Bing” Reyes, Natalie’s boyfriend, followed.

 

The downstairs room of the bar was lit by colored strobe lights. Tables, couches and pillows were scattered about the room. Patrons, mostly human, and mostly Starfleet cadets, clustered in small groups around the room.

 

Reyes: The real gem is over there. ::Points with his drink at a large, squat, rectangular machine with a glass front and several buttons:: That, my friends, is an authentic, Seeburg Model ESE 100 Jukebox, circa Earth Year 1970.

 

Tomassen: Authentic? ::Snorts :: If it were really authentic, it would be in a museum.

 

Reyes: No, really, it is. I talked to the owner. They’ve had to replicate replacement parts over the years, but the replicated parts have all been true to the original.

 

Tomassen: Now there’s a philosophical question. :: Takes a sip of her beer and looks at Ar’Gorvalei:: How many parts do you have to replace before something is no longer the original? You replace one worn part here, one worn part there; after a century or two just about every part has been replaced, one at a time. Is it still the original, or a replication?

 

Ar’Gorvalei met Natalie’s eyes. The two were both specializing in medicine at the Academy, and had connected over their shared studies in xenobiology.

 

Ar’Gorvalei: Humans and Efrosians – and Andorians too, I imagine…  ::Glances at zh’Drinnel:: … constantly grow new cells as old cells die off. Skin cells, hair cells,  everything but neurons, die off and are replaced. Yet are we not our ‘original’ selves? Would you argue that you are a replica of Natalie because you are not composed of the ‘original’ Natalie cells you were born with?

 

Tomassen:  ::Raises her drink and smiles at Ar’Gorvalei:: Touche.

 

Mysa peered into the jukebox’s glass front.

 

Zh’Drinnel: That’s all well and good, but what does this thing actually do? Assuming it does anything.

 

Bing leaned on the left side of the jukebox.

 

Reyes: Oh, well, that’s the real beauty. You see, it plays …

 

Tomassen: Let’s just show them.

 

Natalie walked up to the machine and took a small, round disk out of a cup attached to the wall next to the machine. She slipped the disk into a hole in the side of the machine. She looked inside it, and pressed a letter and number combination on the buttons on the machine’s front.

 

Tomassen: ::Snickering:: You’ll like this one.

 

Mysa jumped back as the sound of an electric piano echoed from the box, followed by the strumming of an electric guitar and a man’s voice:

.

“Seventy-three men sailed up
From the San Francisco Bay
Rolled off of their ship, and here's what they had to say
"We're callin' everyone to ride along to another shore
We can laugh our lives away and be free once more"

 

Ar’Gorvalei: :: Is this a library?

 

Reyes: No, no. It just plays music, classical music. ::Shakes head and smiles.::

 

Ar’Gorvalei: Are these not the songs of your people?

 

Meanwhile, Natalie began dancing with Mysa and pumping her fist in the air to the beat of the song’s chorus as she sang along:

 

“Ride, captain ride upon your mystery ship
Be amazed at the friends you have here on your trip
Ride captain ride upon your mystery ship
On your way to a world that others might have missed…” 

 

Ar’Gorvalei: ::Looking confused:: Is this an account of early space exploration? Jonathan Archer’s voyages? Or later?

 

Tomassen: Naw, this was written 200 years before Archer, more or less.

 

Ar’Gorvalei: Prophesy, then?

 

Reyes: More likely drugs. I heard they were doing a lot of LDS around that time.  ::Looks at the jukebox again:: I’d love to take this baby apart.

 

Tomassen: Don’t you dare. We’d get banned.

 

Reyes: I’d put it back together again.

 

Tomassen: The old thing’s probably held together with baling wire and duct tape. You pick the next song.

 

Reyes: ::Flipping through the song selections:: Ah-ha! Keeping to the theme of nautical nonsense.

 

Natalie dragged Bing away from the jukebox and onto the dance floor, as a strangely accented song about a “yellow submarine” began playing. Mysa raised an eyebrow at Ar’Gorvalei. He smiled, took her hands, and joined her on the dance floor.

 

(( Present – USS Arrow, Deck 2, Officer’s Mess ))

 

Ar’Gorvalei looked at the holopic he held in his hands, taken at the Academy, of himself, Mysa, Natalie and Bing, arms around each other, the latter two half drunk. He pushed the button to turn it off and slipped it inside his pocket, and gazed off into space.

 

They had been good friends, for a time. Then Bing had slept with the wrong person, Natalie slept with Ar’Gorvalei in retaliation, and Mysa became furious at both of them. Ar’Gorvalei was left stunned at how quickly his closest friendships had imploded.

 

oO It seemed like such a small thing to throw away friendships over. I will never understand humans. Or Andorians. Oo

 

Ar’Gorvalei shook his head. Bing had dropped out of the Academy; Ar’Gorvalei never heard all of the details, but there was some sort of scandal connected to his departure. Mysa was recently posted to a ship serving on the other side of the Alpha Quadrant. They still kept in touch, although they were no longer as close as they once were. As for Natalie…

 

Ar’Gorvalei walked up to the jukebox in the officer’s mess. It was a different model, but the principles were the same. He scanned through the tabs listing the available songs.

 

oO Yes, they have it. Oo

 

His fingers hovered over the buttons, just lightly touching them. Then he pulled his fingers back, as if the keys burned him.

 

oO No, not yet. It’s too soon. Oo

 

Still, the words echoed in his head, and Ar’Gorvalei smiled.

 

“Ride, captain ride upon your mystery ship
Be amazed at the friends you have here on your trip
Ride captain ride upon your mystery ship
On your way to a world that others might have missed…” 

 

END

 

Ensign Ar'Gorvalei 

Medical Officer 

U.S.S. Arrow 

A239809A11 


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