Previous Next

"I swear it's not a bribe!" vol 2

Posted on Sun Jul 5th, 2020 @ 8:27pm by Commander Evan Merlin & Ensign Noq Vodd

Mission: When The Circus Comes To Town
Location: Cold Station Theta
Timeline: SD 242007.05

Time seemed to slow when the commander took his first sip. If the perfume of the spirits was a flower, the sip was the bouquet: a quick succesion of different flavours, building on and enhancing each other. The next exhalation took all of the flavours with them. "That's… an interesting effect," he said. Buried deep under all those sensations was the taste of alcohol, the ground tone of the bouquet. Yes, that one glass would be sufficient to get someone with a low tolerance for alcohol at least tipsy, if not more. He saw the watchful expression on the Bolian's face – no malice there, no sense of 'let's see the CO get smashed', just the genuine interest of someone sharing his passion – and grinned back.

“I'm glad you enjoyed it,” Noq beamed as he held is glass up again, observing it's contents. “Something to do with florotanins, which, if you didn't know is said only to exist on Bolius. Honestly, in my opinion you'd think this stuff would be one of our major exports. Considering the popularity of the Bank of Bolius—which generally means that it's customers should have had an opportunity to visit our little world just once—more people would have had the opportunity to try it out, maybe take some home to share with friends and family, but who knows? Maybe I just haven't been invited to the kinds of parties where it would be served. Something lilke the VIP area of the Bajoran Festival of Lights or something, with the Kai and her besties,” he said smiling.

“So, were you born on Earth or elsewhere? “ Vodd queried. “The reason I ask is if there's anything you'd recommend I try out. Something that most people wouldn't know to look for, y'know? I enjoy finding those little jems in the diverse cultures that I have the opportunity to meet. Come's with the badge, amIright?”

The commander smiled at Noq's flood of words, and wondered to himself what he enjoyed more: the drink or the man's obvious enthusiasm. The question, however, brought him up short. He brushed his wild curls back with one hand – an exercise in futility. "Most likely not on Earth, but actually I have no idea," he replied after taking another sip. "I have no memories before I was found in an escape pod, some fifteen years ago. I did some travelling since then, though, before joining Starfleet. And actually, the station here is surprisingly cosmopolitic for an out-of-the-way place. There's a Stenellian deli here, opened just last month, and it's well worth checking out. And if you think about exporting on a small scale, you might want to head over to IDIC or the Blues Brothers. The one's a restaurant and the other a jazz café, and they're both run by a Bolian and an Andorian. I know they're always on the lookout for new things, they'd be delighted if you show them this."

"That would be amazing!" Noq exclaimed. "Even so, I hope you don't mind if I ask you a personal question..." He paused; there was no intent to build suspense to the question that might be asked, he just needed a moment to figure out the best way to ask it. Cramming everything he wanted to say into a short series of words had always been difficult for him. This question needed to encompass all of the secondary questions, such as 'where was the escape pod from' and 'was this before, or after you went to the Academy?'

"Not at all. Asking is the best way of gaining information. Well, usually," he amended. "A good way, at any rate. Anyway, go ahead."

"So where was the escape pod from? Were you already in Starfleet or was this before you went to the Academy? Where were you found? Were there other survivors? Is Commander Merlin even your real name? Like, do you have a family out there somewhe--wait, sorry. If you did you either would or wouldn't know. Did they have to tell you how old you were when you were rescued? I would imagine that Starfleet would have all your biometric data, and if you weren't serving yet chances are the Federation would..." He trailed off there, so fascinated with the man there were too many questions coming to mind all at once.

Unexpectedly, the commander grinned. "All very good questions. Unfortunately, very few of them have good answers. No, I wasn't in Starfleet yet. And actually, I was found right here, the escape pod came drifting out of the nearby nebula. It has never been properly explored, although many attempts have been made. During the last one that I know of, the ship doing the exploration got damaged and ended up in the past, so…" he shrugged, "it's a weird place." He took another careful sip of his drink. "I was the sole survivor. Well, the pod was only big enough to contain one person…" An odd expression crossed his face. "That reminds me, I've got to ask the CEO if he found anything… Anyway." He gave a breezy wave with one hand, as if to dispel the stray thought.

"They couldn't quite determine my age. Maybe some odd data interference? I don't know. My biometric data was unknown, so they never figured out who or what I was. So it's quite likely that Merlin isn't my real name – it would be an incredible coincidence if it is."

Nodding as he listened, the Bolian's mind began to churn. "How old do you think you are?" he asked. "When you think about it, where do you imagine you're from? Is it like the future, or maybe the past? Desert planet, maybe a giant ocean situation? Speaking of which: can you breathe underwater? No, wait, sorry... Forget that last one" he chuckled as he reined himself in. "I'm not gonna ask if you can fly, that's ridiculous... Right?" he asked as he leaned in, doing his very best to to hold a deadpan expression and failing miserably.

"I don't know, and I don't know. As I said, the ship that got lost ended up in the past, and came back. And there was chroniton decay when the pod was found, but they couldn't determine if that was from the past or the future, or something else entirely." He made that airy wave with his hand again. "As for environment… I don't know either. I've wandered around for a fair bit before joining Starfleet, and I seem to thrive well both on Vulcan and on Andor, so there's a pretty wide range. I can't fly, at least as far as I know, and I'm fairly good at swimming and holding my breath. Better than a human, not nearly as good as a Stenellian." That last bit he knew from experience. He resisted the urge to flap his arms and try to fly. "So, all in all, a lot of questions and few answers. So I tend to focus on the future, rather than the past. If I ever happen to learn more of it, that'd be nice, but since there's so much more to explore, I'd rather focus on those things."

"I can understand that," Noq replied. It had been said that he himself was not the type to dwell on the past--unless of course there was a great story behind it. "So how long have you been here?" he asked. "And for that matter, what was your primary discipline as you moved up the ranks?"

"Um… a couple of years." Time, he thought, was always such an elusive thing. It was weird, in some aspects he had an excellent grasp of time, but for those 'how long' questions things seemed to blur – without looking up the actual dates, he had no idea. "And StratOps, or Tactical, depending on where I am." He took another sip, the last one as it turned out. With a rueful sigh, he eyed the pile of PADDs on his desk. "Much as I enjoy this, I do still have some work to finish," he said. "Maybe we can continue our conversation at a later time, yes?"

"I would love to," the Ensign beamed, already looking forward to his next interaction with his new CO. "I really didn't mean to keep you this long, so thank you for taking the time to chat with me. I know that you have a lot to do, and a little rest before tomorrow morning wouldn't kill anyone either," he chuckled as he rose from his seat and extended his hand.

"It has been my pleasure." He rose too and shook the young Bolian's hand. "Rest well, and I'll see you around." Then he strolled back to his desk and grabbed the next PADD.

=/\= Ensign Noq Vodd
Chief of Operations
Cold Station Theta


=/\= Commander Evan 'Weirdo' Merlin
Commanding Officer
Cold Station Theta


Previous Next