The night goes on and the table is soon filled as Zeb and James join the party. “Everyone said this was the best bar on the station,” says James with a smile as he grabs a chair around the table. “Hey, is that the Captain over there talking to a Zhodani? We should ask them to join us!”
“Looks like we’re going to need another r-r-round then,” I joke with only a slight slur as I get up and make my way to the bar again. I scan the crowd looking for the troublemakers from before as I grab our beers, but it looks like they learned their lesson and took off. Can’t say the same for the people playing cards, though. I’m about to snicker at the overheard accusations of cheating when suddenly the table is shoved my way with a growl.
“Hey, watch it!” I yell as I spin and manage to sit on the table shoved my way. I hold my breath as the alcohol rocks in the glasses and let it out when it looks like I’ve managed not to spill anything. I manage to make my way back to the table with a sigh of relief and set all the beers down but one when I notice the look of apprehension on Zeb’s face as he grabs a medpack.
“Hey, I’m ok, really…” I begin when a hand slaps down on my shoulder. “Oh… gotcha.”
“100 credits on the Aslan,” says Dayn as he grabs his beer.
“Yeah, me too,” I chuckle before gripping the mug tightly and smashing it over my shoulder.
“Do you have to keep hitting them in the face?” moans Dr. Zebadiah. “That’s always the most difficult area to repair…”
“I’m sure you could improve him,” I laugh a I turn to face my would-be attacker who’s busy clutching his face in pain. Hmmn… decisions, decisions… I know…
I reach out with my claws and a devilish grin on my face as I grab the waistband of his pants and yank them down with a satisfying rip of fabric. Wouldn’t want to have to spend that reward money on bar repairs… besides… this is so much more satisfying.
The din of conversations and accusations comes to a screeching halt before bursting out into raucus laughter as the drunken man clutches his face with one hand and his torn pants with the other. The laughter soon stops as the station police show up, however. Well… at least everyone else’s did… I’m still bent over trying not to laugh when Zeb intercepts the officer coming to question me.
“Thank goodness officers, you showed up just in time! That man there pulled his pants down and tried to assault our commander!” Oh Zeb… I do believe I owe you another beer. I do my best to turn the tears of laughter streaming down my face into ones of fear and relief before standing up to face their questions.
“I don’t know what that man was thinking, officers! Here I was just trying to bring some well earned drinks to my crew when he spins me around and waves his… thing at me like I’m a…a…” I choke back a fake sob and nudge Zeb in the back with my tail.
“And human or otherwise, you don’t treat a lady like that,” Zeb finishes.
“Did he now?” mutters the officer as he pulls out a baton and slams it in the drunken man’s stomach. There’s a momentary sound of electricity before the man collapses to his knees and deposits his night’s drinking on the carpet.
The drunken offender is soon taken away, and it isn’t long before the smell of puke along with the other stale odors of the bar are finally getting to my hightened senses. “I think that’s our cue guys… one more toast and then it’s time to call it a night.”
“I must say, commander, you certainly are never boring company,” Zeb replies as we clink our glasses together.
“And always profitable,” agrees Dayn as he counts his winnings. “I am going to visit with the family while we’re at the station, ma’am.”
“Very good, Lieutenant,” I say with a burp as I stand up and leave some credits on the table. “Soon as I can see straight again I’ll be working on that transmitter. Have a good night, gentleman!”
I raise my hand to my temple in a salute and smile as I hear Zeb commenting as I leave the bar.
“Don’t do it, man… I’ve seen her rip faces off!”
I manage to make it back to the docking bay and stagger up the boarding ramp with only having to grab for support once. Considering my drunken state, I consider that an accomplishment.
“Commander on deck!” a voice barks out as I grab my temple.
“Sssh… not so loud, guys…we both know I’m here,” I reply. “More to the point, I know you guys were here, while the rest of the crew took off for shore leave… and for that, I think you all deserve a little extra…compensation.” I reach into my pouch and pull out a pile of credits from the bounty we turned in. “Following orders isn’t always exciting… in fact, if everyone is doing their job, it should be pretty routine. So here’s to you guys… keeping up the routine.” I divy up the coins and pass out equal shares to the amazed crewmen. “Now if you all don’t mind continuing for just a little longer… I’m going to go get some sleep.”
“Y-y-yes ma’am…Kenarii ma’am,” Ensign Frye replies with a salute. “Sleep well.”
I don’t know what time it is when there’s a knocking on my door… all I know is it better be important.
“Ma’am… I’m truly sorry to disturb your rest, but we have a Zhodani on board who insists that he’s a new crew member and requires supervision, and he insists on only talking to someone in command,” a voice calls out nervously through the door.
I growl in frustration and rub my eyes as I sit up in my cot. “Tell him not to touch anything and I’ll be there in a minute.”
Okay… this guy’s choice of colors is much too bright for me right now. I make my way to the bridge and squint at the colorful green turban and yellow sash of our new guest as he paces back and forth, his cape flapping behind him.
“Can I help you?” I mutter as I cross my arms over my chest.
“My name is Lance Corporal El-Amin Muhamad-iashav, and I am reporting for duty, Captain,” he replies succinctly with a bow and flourish of his cape.
“Captain’s not here,” I grunt in reply. “New crew, eh? Do you have your paperwork, Amin?”
“The name is El-Amin Muhamad-iashav. Would you like me to go over it again so that you may comprehend it?” he replies coldly.
“No, I’d like you to report for duty,” I reply without even looking up from the paperwork. So not in the mood right now. Where the blazes is the captain, and why didn’t he inform me of this? “According to your papers, you’re to be assigned to our squad of Marines.” I smile as press the button for the comms on the captain’s chair. “Lieutenant Telosh? Your new recruit is here.” I turn back to El-Amin. “She’ll be just a moment.”
True to form, it isn’t long before a female Zhodoni comes striding in in an emaculately cleaned and pressed uniform. “Reporting for duty, ma’am!”
I nod to El-Amin, who gazes at Telosh with an odd expression on his face that I just can’t place. Apparently it’s a Zhodani thing… because Telosh returns his gaze with one so fierce that it causes El-Amin to drop to his knees. Damn… I’ve got to ask her how she does that.
“Try to scan me again and I’ll leave you nothing more than a vegetable, understand me… Lance Corporal?” she barks out as she looms over him. "I am Lieutenant Shi’lan Telosh
Captain’s not here, do you have require paperwork? Would you like me to break down my poncy name for you? No I’d like you to report for duty. He’s to be assigned to the Marines. Ah. Female Zhodani comes striding up with emaculate uniform. Lance Corporal El-Amin Muhamad-iashav scans her, she counters with a psi lance that drops him to her knees. Do that again and you’ll be a vegetable! She is called Lieutenant Shi’lan Telosh. Social Standing 14. On this ship our status has no meaning. I’m your commanding officer and that’s all that matters. Blah blah blah.
Is he ok? Are we good then? Sorry for the interruption, no it’s all good, it was entertaining! He’s avoiding his past and re-education by his people because he wants to be a mercenary.
Dayn sees the captain across the street ducking down a dark alley from the car rental on planet.