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Bring out your Single Malts, or go home

Posted on 20 Feb 2019 @ 11:55pm by Captain Abigail Rhodes & Lieutenant Astrid Jurgen
Edited on on 22 Feb 2019 @ 3:20am

Mission: Prologue
Location: Deep Space 13


[ Deep Space 13 ]

[ Civilian Transport Terminal ]

It had been an uneventful trip, borderline boring by freighter crew standards - but Astrid wasn’t complaining. Nothing had gone wrong with the sleek transport craft at all, which was understandable given it was a fairly new commercial craft. Astrid’s own experience of privately owned vessels was usually rather more ... ‘classic’ ... than this.

Nodding as she passed the depressingly cheerful crew member thanking everyone for travelling, she stepped out into large space. Having spent as long on Space Dock as she had, Astrid wasn’t sure what she was expecting of a Regula-class space station, but this was bigger than she had placed it in her mind.

Making her way to an information panel, she authenticated and called up the current docking manifest. Spotting the berth assigned to the Mark Miller (an internal one she mused, the Nova was a dinky little thing), she hefted her duffel back onto her shoulder and made her way to the nearest turbolifts - joining the press of disembarked passengers waiting there.

[ Internal Docking Berths ]

Astrid approached the umbilical leading to the Mark Miller, PaDD in hand, and passed it over to the disinterested Security officer on duty. After a cursory glance, he handed it back and indicated she could board with a nod of his head. Astrid grinned to herself and walked past shaking her head, she’d probably be the same if she had to stand there for hours at a time.

Her checks had shown that the CO was not onboard, so she resolved to deposit her bag in her assigned quarters, then go explore the station. As far as she could tell, the ship would be here for a while yet so it was unlikely she’d be left behind. Besides, after a week on that transport she could do with stretching her legs a bit.

[ Commercial District ]

The commercial space was large, there was of course the usual retail units one would expect to find in such an area, but - perhaps even only for today - there were a selection of temporary stalls running down the middle of the concourse. The wares on sale here were a lot more interesting that those found at the permanent establishments, in some cases they would be especially interesting to any security officers who happened to be passing.

Astrid noted that the layout of a few stalls seemed to be rather fluid depending on who was looking at them. Stopping in front of such a stall - covered in bottles of clearly alcoholic beverages - she wondered what would have happened had she been in uniform at this point. She didn’t have to wait long to find out, as a woman in command red had just walked up beside her; as she approached Astrid had watched the bottles vanish, replaced with what appeared to be handmade lace doilies on a raised display stand.

Frowning, and largely ignoring Astrid, the officer reached forward - her hand passing through the doilies and grasping the neck of one of the bottles, which she pulled through the holographic display and into view. Looking across the stall, Astrid watched the proprietor go wide eyed and rather pale.

Abby didn't give the proprietor a second glance.  She kind of enjoyed the way he squirmed.  She instead examined the bottle in her hand.  Frowning, she tapped it with a finger of the hand that held it.  "Do you have anything older?  This five-year-old crap might fly with anyone who's never had the real thing."

The proprietor proceeded to bluster and stutter, not really getting anything out that resembled words.

Abby turned to the blonde woman next to her as she fiddled with the bottle, seemingly noticing her for the first time.  "I didn't expect finding a good whiskey would be easy, but everyone seems to clam up as soon as an Officer approaches."

Astrid nodded, ”I’ve noticed a lot of these stalls have some fairy basic holo emitters built into them, not very convincingly in some cases.”

She looked over at the man still squirming on the far side of the table, and pointed to the bottle in Abbey’s hand. “Five years, what size of cask, and what type of wood?” she asked.

The man managed to compose himself enough to put a reply together. “Standard white oak barrel, 200 litres.” he managed.

Astrid shook her head, “No good,” she replied, “If you have a fifteen year old from the same casks maybe? Or even a ten year old matured in quarter casks?” She looked sideways at Abbey, “To be honest, it’s usually easier in the long run just to mature your own. If you can source the right spirit then at least you know what you’re getting.”

"Hah," Abby barked a laugh, "that might be an option if A) I was posted that long to any given assignment, and B) I was willing to wait a decade and a half for my booze."

She slid the offending bottle towards the proprietor and said, "Show me the good stuff.  I have latinum, and am starting to want to spend it at another establishment."  She raised a hand and placed it over her uniform, covering her rank pips.  "Does that help?"

“Maybe he can sell you a small holo emitter to disguise the uniform as something else.” Astrid offered, “As he seems to be struggling to find any Whisky worth buying.”

“Wait! Wait … “, The small man rummaged under the table, before producing a slim wooden box. With a quick check to make sure no one else was looking, he slid it onto the table in front of him.

Astrid raised her eyebrows, “A Benromach 25! Well well … maybe he does have something worth buying after all …”

Abby's eyes sparkled at the revelation.  "Of course he does.  You just have to provide the proper motivation."  She examined the boxed bottle and ensured it was as advertised.  "How much?" she queried, suddenly serious.

With another sideways glance, the stall keeper leaned forward and whispered something to Abby, Astrid watched her roll her eyes. “Try again.” Abby suggested. With a pained look on his face, the stall keeper whispered another figure, this time the twinkle was back in Abby’s smile. “You have a deal.” She stated, sliding something over the table and lifting the boxed bottle.

Astrid decided to chance her arm, “Do you have another one of those?” She asked, smiling pleasantly.

The little man suddenly had a wiley look in his eyes, “I do,” he replied, “but you don’t get the special rate I’m afraid. That is for our brave Starfleet officers only.”

Astrid’s smile got even wider as the man produced a second box. “Well that is good news,” she stated producing the PaDD with her orders on it, “Lieutenant Astrid Jurgen, brave Starfleet officer.”

At this point the stall keeper looked like he might actually start crying. After something approaching a tantrum, latinum was exchanged, and Astrid and Abby were several yards away trying to keep straight faces until they could get round the nearest corner.

Abby couldn't hold it anymore. She let out a laugh and after a moment wiped her eye with a finger.  "It's like they don't even know it's not against the rules or anything.  Just not during duty hours, and it just makes things easier to have dry ships.  I've heard you can even reprogram a replicator to produce ethanol."  She shook her head and regarded the prize in her hand.  "I'll need more than one bottle, though."

Managing to get things under control, Astrid looked around and shrugged. “I’m afraid I can’t really help there, I’ve literally just arrived on DS13 - I’m just killing time until I need to report in.”

A thought suddenly struck her, “Sorry, how rude of me. Astrid Jurgen,” she stated, holding out her hand, “a pleasure to meet you.”

Abby juggled her package a moment before freeing the correct hand to shake.  "Abigail Rhodes.  Same." She paused a moment in thought.  "Where are you to report, Astrid?"

“The Mark Miller.” Astrid replied, “I stowed my belongings onboard, but everyone was on the station so I figured I’d do the same till Captain Rho ….” Astrid stopped talking and subconsciously stood a little straighter. “Captain Rhodes was back onboard.” She finished, wincing slightly.

Abby tried, but failed, to suppress a laugh.  "Well, it seems you found me regardless.  Funny how the universe works sometimes." She smiled in an attempt to put Astrid at ease.  "I need to stow this anyhow," she said, tapping gently on the box, "so if you like we can return to the ship and you can report officially?"

Astrid nodded as they both turned and headed towards the turbolifts. “That seems a sound plan.” she replied, falling into step along side Abby, “Ma’am” she added with a small grin on her face.


Captain Abigail Rhodes

Commanding Officer

USS Mark Miller

Lieutenant Astrid Jurgen

Chief Engineer (incoming)

USS Mark Miller



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