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Brief encounter

Posted on Tue May 26th, 2015 @ 6:45am by Chief Warrant Officer Akina Jrez & Civilian Haqtaj Matlh & Cassius Lincoln

Mission: Trouble on the frontier
Location: The Starfire Bar and Grill; Promenade

In the wake of his ham fisted attempt to explain his actions to Lieutenant Hume, Jrez decided any place would be better than the Science Labs in the short term. Anyway, he was officially off shift so he didn’t have to be there.

“Promenade,” he said as the doors to the turbolift closed behind him. He’d heard of a few bars that sounded interesting and now might be a good time to investigate. The one called ‘Ringside’ was not among them. Apparently it was well named. He had heard good reports of one on the Promenade though. Reasonable food and the drinks weren’t watered. Add to that, there was a new barkeep. He’d been described as ‘having a few sheep loose in the top paddock’. It was a colourful turn of phrase which boded well for some entertainment.

He decided that would be his first port of call.

“Andorian ale,” he ordered.

"You betcha. One Andorian Ale comin' right up," Cass said with a nearly trademark smile and made for a cold pint mug and a row of taps.

Looking around, Jrez saw PO Vartog and Lieutenant Stills deep in conversation. He thought about joining them but decided they looked like two was sufficient company. There were few other people in the bar at this hour and none that he knew.

Looks like you’ll have to make your own entertainment, he thought.

Lincoln swept back and slid the filled mug onto the bar within easy reach of Jrez's hand and said friendly as could be, "Here ya go chief. First time customer, first round is half off. Especially for someone of your rank. Interested in any grub beside the complimentary peanuts and sand peas?"

The ale went down all too easily and Jrez was contemplating another. Best have something to eat if you do, he thought.

“Do you have a menu?” he asked.

"Of course," Cass said, producing a padd that was nice but not swanky with the list of available specialties and marked with fresh ingredients rather than replicated.

Jrez skipped over the Klingon delicacies. The Vulcan dishes he gave little thought to as well, being too bland for his taste. “Seeing as how I’m enjoying the ale,” he informed the bar-keeper, “I think I’ll have the krill-beast steak. Medium please.”

It might remind me of Thalal, he thought, and that would be a pleasant reminiscence right about now.

He was almost down to the last mouthful of what had been a particularly nice piece of steak. The gravy had been a bit thin but he remembered Thalal once saying she prepared it thicker than most Andorians so maybe the dish was closer to the traditional way of serving it. The tuber root had been cooked just right too, still a bit chewy but not so much so that his jaw got sore.

A noise behind him caught his attention. Looking round, he saw the new Romulan ambassador entering the bar. That struck him as odd. He had not had much to do with Romulans over the years but they did not strike him as the type to frequent bars; not one of her exalted rank anyway. From the haughty look on her face she appeared to be wondering just what she was doing there too. Mind you, Akina, he thought, Romulans always look like everyone else is beneath them,

S’ Ranya strode into the room, her nose wrinkled at it's dinginess. She separated herself from the other partons and found a table. She sat, and waited for a staff member to come to her.

One of the servers rushed over and talked to Cass at the edge of the bar when she recognized the ambassador. He nodded and nodded for one of the other servers who knew bar to take over.

Cass approached the ambassador and smiled, "Good evening Ambassador. My name is Cassius Lincoln and I own the Starfire Bar and Grill. I wanted to welcome you to my humble establishment and hoped I might be able to get you some refreshment and, maybe, some food."

"Bajoran Spring Wine please and Roasted Targ." she said, pointedly and without eye contact. "And see to it the other patrons do little to bother me."

"We'll get right on it, Ambassador. I'll have our in house security keep a careful eye out for you. Your drink will be forthcoming, and the targ dish will be with you as soon as it's ready. We appreciate your patronage," Cass said sincerely before fading away to get things taken care of.

S' Ranya almost smiled, but remained stoic. She sat in thought about how a visit from her old friend Catherine Waldorf might go.

Jrez watched S’ Ranya. For some reason he’d assumed she would order a Romulan dish so he was surprised when she ordered a Klingon meal and a Bajoran beverage.

He walked over to where she was sitting. “Good evening, Ambassador. My name is Akina Jrez. I am one of the Science officers on DS12.”

S' Ranya looked at the Warrant, "Pleasure," she sneered.

“You are new to the station and by yourself. I thought I might extend a bit of DS12 hospitality”

"Why would you assume I'm by myself?" She asked baitingly.

Cassius came back with the Ambassador's drink order just then and offered it to her before sliding it onto the table before her. Having caught the last bit thanks to good ears an training he asked, "This is the best we have in stock. It's actually the best grade available. We have friends that allow us to go beyond export regulations for certain clients. Is this the party you were anticipating, Ambassador?"

The Ambassador shot a look to Cass, as if to say 'I require no saving, yet.'

While the bartender was speaking, Jrez looked around with an exaggerated show of peering into dark nooks and crannies. “You are here by yourself, Madame,” he explained, “and you do not strike me as someone who would take kindly to being kept waiting. Yet you show no signs of waiting for someone. It could, of course, be that you are early but you also strike me as someone who arrives when they say they will arrive: not a moment sooner and not a moment later. Therefore, I do not think you are anticipating the arrival of another party at all.”

S' Ranya straightened herself in her seat, and stared Jrez down, " Do you generally speak to your superiors in that way?" She asked with a slight tilt to her head.

Jrez kept his visage soft but did not drop his gaze. “When I am on duty, Madame, no,” he replied steadily. “However, I am not on duty. If you are on duty – and I appreciate that it could be argued that an ambassador is always on duty – then I apologize if I have caused offence. However, you are in a public house, enjoying a meal. You are also by yourself. Therefore, this is hardly likely to be a state function. As I said, I merely thought to extend some DS12 hospitality.”

The Ambassador knew how this insolence would be dealt with in her household. She rose to her feet and said, "I am a daughter of the Grand House of Mirok, Second House of the Imperial Line of Rihan. I will not be spoken to with such disregard for my station." She turned to Cass, "I would thank you to keep your patrons contained."

Jrez had had enough of Romulan surliness. He had come into this establishment feeling sorry for himself. To be treated like this did nothing to improve his mood. “And I am nothing but a lowly Trill. I have two mothers and although I know my father I have little to do with him. I have no grand heritage so I will not bore you with my family history beyond that. However, I am a member of Starfleet. I might only be a Petty Officer but I hold a responsible position on this station. If this, Madame, is how you deal with the people you come across – people, I might add, who are only trying to be friendly – then I suggest that your tenure here will be a short one.”

Cass immediately snapped his fingers and one Nausiccan and one burly human came up behind Jrez. "With respect, Mr. Jrez, if I recall correct. You're hereby requested to leave these grounds until you are invited back by ownership on their own accord or via request of the Captain or XO. These lads will escort you to the door."

Jrez looked around. Going quietly looked to be the best option. This day is definitely not turning out well, he thought. He rose.

“How much do I owe you?” he asked.

With a smug look on her face, S' Ranya gave a curt nod to Cass, "I appreciate your assistance." She resumed her seat, and lifted her glass to her mouth. "This is excellent."

The Starfire Bar and Grille owner nodded to the current bartender and gestured before saying to Jrez, "Miss Tolleson will give you the total and collect on the way out. The pricing I promised earlier will be reflected on the bill. I appreciate your cooperation."

He nodded to the bouncers who very politely herded the chief toward the door, detouring slightly to meet with the very polite bartender regarding the tab. At that point he returned his full attention to S'Ranya and said, "It's my pleasure, Ambassador. We do try to keep things pleasant for everyone however some people seem to be better at taking hints than others."

Cass gestured to one of his servers who quickly checked a padd and gestured back, "And it looks like we'll have your food ready in just a couple more minutes. I and my staff strive for the best and the chefs like to make sure the food they provide is the best."

"Lovely, " she said flashing a smile at the man. "Tell me Mister Lincoln, are there any other men who may wish to offer me, what was it?, 'DS12 Hospitality' ?" She asked, sipping her drink again, and relishing the flavours.

"With honest intentions? Aside from the XO and Marshal, who is all but married to his job and the station's Chief Medical officer...I dunno which if not both.....And perhaps the Captain. I'm out to make a bit of latinum, but if I can't be sincere with my fellow Sentients I really don't deserve to make them I think," Cass said hitting the Ambassador with a 12 megawatt smile.

"I appreciate your accomadation."S' Ranya spoke with an even voice.

Cassius offered a slight bow, allowing it for a high ranking sentient such as S'Ranya and actually meaning it. He said with both sincerity and a touch of style, "I've been told it's not always the best way to profit. Then again most who said it are either Ferengi or have spent time in trouble with the law. Either way I have to question their methods and ethics if not common sense."

Smiling, S' Ranya noticed her communicator was alerting her to an incoming transmission. "If you could excuse me a moment. I really must take this." She produced a Romulan Communicator.

"Of course. I should be checking on your food order anyhow. Please wave me down if you need anything more and I will return with your food as soon as it's ready," Cass promised before heading back to the bar and the kitchen access behind.

Activating her comm, the crackling voice of Jaron erupted in a hushed tone. "Ma'am I must admit to being a bit confused."

S' Ranya rolled her eyes, "Why's that?"

"There is nothing happening ma'am. No signs of unrest."

"Curious." The Ambassador said, "Return to me as soon as possible."

"Yes Ma'am." With that the channel was terminated on Jaron's end.

Sitting in contemplation, S' Ranya could not wrap her head around the situation. She drank from her glass.

Having kept busy behind the bar for the brief time the ambassador was on the com channel. After a few hand motions, one of the lead servers took over the bar and Cass brought over S' Ranya's food on a tray.

He placed the generously sized plate containing what appeared to be a very authentic dish on the table and, obviously out of habit, adjusted it so that it was "a more appealing presentation" for her before he said with a softer but still genuine smile, "I hope that that's to your liking. The chef who made that spent a little time on a Klingon ship actually. He not only lived through the tour but the captain apparently liked his food."

S'Ranya looked at the plate before her, "Thank you Mister Lincoln. This looks acceptable." She set to work preparing to eat. Unfolding her napkin and placing it gingerly on her lap. She picked up her utensils and cut into the meat. It bled a thick red blood. S'Ranya smiled with gross intensity, and took her first bite. She savoured the flavour. "My regards to the chef, It has been sometime since I've had Targ prepared by an off-worlder. He has done honourably."

"He'll be please to hear that, especially coming from someone as esteemed and knowledgeable as yourself. He appreciates getting to do certain dishes more than others. I understand this is one of them," Cassius said with a smile.

S' Ranya smiled, and gave a curt nod. The kind of nod that indicated she would like to eat without an audience, however thoughtful and polite they were.

"Please let any of the staff know if you need anything else before you complete your meal," Cass said giving another polite partial bow before moving off to attend other customers and duties.

"Of course." S' Ranya said, with a smile.


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