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A Need to Fill

Posted on 21 Apr 2016 @ 6:38am by Selah Eireanne & Ensign Kelly Khan

Mission: Outbreak
Location: Talon's
Timeline: MD 6 1200 Hours

Cadet Senior Grade Kelly Khan wandered into Talons wearing a white blouse, black pants and a pair of pink running shoes and headed over to where the bartender she had met before, a smile on her lips as she thought about the time she had spent on New Risa. She took a seat and bopped her head in acknowledgement of the woman, then grinned again. "Hi!" she said. "Have I beat the lunch rush?"

"By about three minutes," answered Selah. "What can I get you?"

"A Shepherd's Pie and a Chocolate Dalmatian coffee, please," Kelly requested after a moment. "I'll also have a promotion to Admiral on the side."

"The shepherd's pie and coffee I can do," said Selah with a grin. "But promotions to admiral are on backorder and then I've got a waiting list. I'd say I can get you one in twenty to thirty years."

"Actually, I'm already an Admiral," Kelly said. "Just don't tell anyone. Do you have a PADD I can use to access my personal files?"

"Sure," said Selah, producing one from under the counter. "Here ya go."

Kelly took it with a smile. "Thank you," she said as she entered her authorization codes and pulled up a picture of a box of chocolates with Admiral Khan written on the bow and showed it to Selah. "See?"

Selah laughed. "Oh, look at you, chocolates and all!" she said. "You don't need any help, do you? I'll get your shepherd's pie."

"Thanks," Kelly said. "I have it all planned out. If you look at it carefully, it says Galaxy, so will be my flagship. Unless they come out with something even better by the time I'm ready to reveal myself. That was a gift from a counselor when I first entered the Academy. I wrote a letter to the Admirals of Medical and he got a promotion to Captain a week later. Then he was assigned to his own Medical shift. I have pull."

Selah listened while she walked the three steps and gave the other to the cook, who immediately took out one of the shepherd's pies from the warming over and plated it up. "I guess so," she said, delivering the pie and coffee together. "Can you write a letter endorsing my nomination for President of the Federation?"

"Depends," Kelly said. "The counselor did a lot for me when I made the promotion, but I'm a fan of the fair trade laws. What do you propose as a fair trade?" She took a sip of her coffee and smiled from ear to ear. "Oh, this is really good!"

"Free coffee," said Selah. "For as long as you're on the Black Hawk."

"That's a good place to start," Kelly said before she took a bite of the shepherd's pie. "Are you holding any real chocolate in storage?"

"Just a bit of ice cream," answered Selah. "The cook might have some, though."

"That's all?" Kelly asked in disbelief. "What's the quadrant coming to? What if I wanted a Ktarian chocolate puff? That has seventeen kinds of chocolate in it alone and replicated just doesn't taste right."

"Well, then, I guess you'd have to bribe the cook," said Selah with a grin. "And I have no idea what that guy likes, so you'll have to get to know him first."

"Well, I guess your hopes and dreams to be the President of the Federation are shot," Kelly said. "But never give up your dreams." She took a bite of her pie again. "So what inspired a lady to set up shop on a ship assigned to the middle of nowhere?"

"Adventure," answered Selah, leaning her elbows on the bar, chin in her hands. "I couldn't resist the great unknown. Plus, it was the only ship in this sector that needed a bar tender, so..."

"I'm on my senior cadet cruise," Kelly said after she took another drink of her coffee. "I never expected it to go like this, but I'm prepared for everything. I have a degree in Flight, a secondary in Engineering and I'm on the Command track. One day, I want to fly these babies as soon as they're built."

"That sounds awesome," agreed Selah. "And if you need a bar tender on one of these ships of yours, just let me know, okay?"

"No can do," Kelly said. "I want to be a test pilot, but if I hear of any bartender openings, I'll contact you." She dug into her shepherd's pie again.

"Shucks, foiled again!" laughed Selah. "I guess I'll just have to find my own way."

"Now if you get chocolate, I might be able to do a few things," Kelly hinted as she finished her shepherd's pie. "I have a bit of pull in the Alpha Quadrant."

Selah grinned, straightening. "I'll see what I can do," she promised. "Maybe I can convince the cook to make an Ktarian Chocolate Puff."

"That would really earn you brownie points," she said. "Mmm..brownies. That's another way to get into my good graces. I used to get a brownie a day when I was at the Academy. My counselor used to bring them for our sessions."

"A brownie a day?" Selah said. "That seems a little excessive. I'd be a size of a blimp if I ate a brownie a day. Of course, I'm quite a bit older than you, so there's there."

"Well, I also practice Aikido and Jiu Jitsu, I train with a kusari-gama, I run, swim, dance, do gymnastics and ride Bolian vectorboards when I get the chance," Kelly said. "I don't give myself time to blow up to the size of anything."

"Well, I suppose that would work," laughed Selah. "But, me, I'm lazy, so I have to eat less. It's a trade off."

"Some people don't trust a chef that isn't big," Kelly said. "How do you know if you're own cooking is good before you serve it to the customers?"

"Ah, but I'm not the cook," answered Selah. "Besides, it's possible to taste your food and not get fat. I suppose I'd just have to work out more. But, never mind. I'm the bar tender. The cook's in there," she added, jerking her thumb towards the kitchen.

"Good point," Kelly admitted as she finished her coffee. "Have you ever heard of a Warp Core Breach drink?"

Selah gave a little huff that was half scoff, half laugh. "Yeah, it's enough to make a Klingon drunk in about three seconds flat," she said.

"Three seconds?" Kelly asked skeptically. "I have to doubt that. I've seen them pound some serious drinks before and acted like it was water."

"Well, okay, then, six seconds," amended Selah.

"What would you give me if I could down an entire one and not get drunk?" Kelly asked her.

"Respect," answered Selah. "But, it's only lunchtime. It's a bit early to be drinking."

"Actually, it's almost my bedtime," Kelly said with a laugh. "I'm on the bridge for Gamma Shift."

"Ah, I see," said Selah. "Then it's up to you."

"You wouldn't be willing to put anything down if I could, though?" Kelly asked, feeling up to a challenge. There was a twinkle in her eyes and a mischievous grin starting to form on her lips as if she were up to something, then she shrugged. "Then again, I wouldn't want to take anything from you. It wouldn't be fair."

"I've found that people who start out a sentence with 'what will you give me if' can usually deliver," answered Selah.

"Oh come on, what if I'm bluffing?" Kelly asked. "What are the odds that someone my size and weight could down a Warp Core Breach without falling over drunk in a second?"

"Not very good," admitted Selah. "But even so. I'm not taking any chances."

“Not taking chances is boring,” Kelly said. “If you didn’t want to take any chances, you wouldn’t be out here among the stars. Are you one of those people who retired from a secret and wildly exciting position, then discovered how boring it was to sit around and do nothing so you decided to pose as a bartender so you could live vicariously through others?”

“You caught me,” said Selah, grinning. “I used to be a princess. Still am, actually. Bartending is a slower pace. I’m actually enjoying the break.”

“A Princess...and you wanted to be a bartender instead?” Kelly asked in disbelief. “If I were a princess, I’d have one of those private yachts with a sexy holo bartender and a harem of Risan males who were expert in massage to tend to me around the clock.”

Selah laughed. “That does sound nice,” she agreed, “but, if I wanted any of that, I’d have to pay for it myself. Out of my own wages. Which are far lower than you’d think. And we have very little leisure time to enjoy any of it anyway. There’s always some homeless shelter that needs help or some orphans who need new clothes. But, part of the reason Yegorah is so successful is the fact that her Royalty gets down in the dirt with the lowest of the low and works their tails off.”

Kelly sat there for a moment looking a bit confused, her brow furrowing a tiny bit with a frown crossing her lips. Finally, she looked at the bartender. “You have to pay for things and come from a world where there’s still homelessness? I think I would have escaped from that world to be a bartender, too. No offense to your world, Princess, but that’s been wiped out on most worlds in the Federation. What was it like?”

“There’s always homeless,” said Selah flatly. “You just don’t know where to look. Granted, there’s a lot less on Yegorah than there once was- we give them jobs at the palace or the shelter itself and give them the means to take care of themselves- but, yes, it still exists. It always will. And yes I’ve got to pay for things I want myself. It’s not fair to make the taxpayers pay for my vacations and shopping sprees. Anything I need is provided- food, shelter, basic clothing- as it is for everyone- but anything I want comes out of my pocket.”

“I didn’t mean to offend you,” Kelly said. “It’s just that I always thought...well, it’s what I was told. Me and my Papa moved around a lot on Earth when I was little before he finally settled down in one place and I never saw anyone who was in need of anything. I always took it for granted that it was that way everywhere, I guess. Still, it’s admirable of you to actually ...what’s the phrase? Get down in the trenches and contribute.”

She paused for a moment as a memory of several cadets she had gone to Academy with, especially one young man in particular. “In fact, I sort of did something like that myself. We had a cadet at the Academy who wasn’t from a member world and I helped teach him Standard and studied with him a lot. Is that similar?”

“Quite a lot, yeah,” said Selah. “And I wasn’t offended. I’ve just been trained to notice stuff like that from birth. Most people’s eyes just slip right past it. I mean, there’s nothing wrong with that; most needy are really good at hiding it. Sometimes, even I miss it. They’re proud, you see? They don’t want anyone to know that they need help. Which is ridiculous if you think about it because most people would be willing to help if they only knew something was amiss.” She shrugged. “Anyway, enough of that,” she said. “Let’s talk about something more cheerful.”

Kelly nodded. “Have you ever done something so intense and so exciting that it felt like you were born again every time you did it?”

“Catching newborn babies,” Selah answered immediately. “Granted, it only happened twice, but… it made me think about being a doctor for awhile. I gave up, though. It didn’t really suit me. How about you?”

For a moment, Kelly wondered who would throw a newborn, then she realized what Selah was talking about. “For me? Vectorboarding. There’s absolutely nothing like racing faster than the wind with only a board under you and nothing around you but open space. The feel of the wind whipping through your hair, the exhilaration of knowing that it could fail and send me plummeting to the earth.”

She shivered. “Still, I could stop if I wanted to. I actually got to do it on New Risa before the recall and it made me realize much I missed it. I even got to meet one of my idols.”

“I’ll bet that was awesome,” said Selah. “I don’t think I’ve ever met one of my idols. In fact, I’m not sure I even have any idols. Who was it?”

“Joel Cherno, the vectorboard king,” Kelly said. “His sister Elisha is the one who sang with us when were were here a few days ago.”

“Oh, yeah, I’ve heard of him,” said Selah. “I think. He’s the one that just launched his own line of sports gear, right?”

“That’s him,” Kelly said. “I was really bummed when they did the recall. We didn’t get a chance to go boarding together, but meeting him was enough. Elisha is my roommate on board and that means the odds are good that I’ll get to meet him again at some point.” She eyed the menu for a moment. “I probably shouldn’t, but could I get a banana split, please?”

“Coming right up!” said Selah. She went to the kitchen and put the ice cream in order along with the pineapple, chocolate sauce, and strawberries on top along with whipped cream and a couple of cherries. She returned in only a few moments. “There you are,” she said, setting it in front of Kelly.

“Thank you!” Kelly said and eyed it like it was her own personal savior. “Oh come to mama, you sweet treat!”

Selah giggled. “You sound like you're making love to it,” she said. “Anyway, I gotta go. Looks like the lunch crowd is showing up. Flag me down if you need anything else, okay?”

“Will do,” Kelly said as she licked her lips. “Just tell the people to ignore the sounds of pleasure that they’ll be hearing very soon.” With that, the young brunette grabbed a spoon. “It’s time to get nasty!”

 

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