[USS Vanguard] RPG: A Drink With a Friend

  • From: Andy Ho <andywoho@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: vanguard <ncv80221@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Tue, 26 Jul 2005 23:48:58 -0500

Commodore Dominic Santos
USS Vanguard - Event Horizon
After "The Empty Chair"

Dominic Santos strolled into Event Horizon, hoping for a quick lunch
before the Vanguard arrived at Carillon.

Santos straddled his usual seat at the bar. As usual, he was the only
patron at this time of day--just the way he liked it.

He studied the menu, unable to decide between the pasta and his usual,
a roast beef sandwich.

"Nick!" came Des' voice from down the bar. "It's been a while since
you've been to see me."

The Event Horizon's lounge manager wiped her hands on a terry cloth
towel and greeted Santos by leaning over the bar and pinching his

"Where's that million-bars-of-latinum smile?" she asked, playfully.

Santos grinned.

"There," she said, "I knew we could find it." She turned toward the
bar, reached up and brought down a bottle of Glenlivet. The
hand-written note on the bottle read, "Hands off the captain's woman!"
Santos had asked her to change it, to no avail.

"No, actually," Santos said. "Lately, I've been feeling like vodka."

Des cocked an eyebrow. "Oh?"

"Vodka tonic, double vodka, double lime," Santos ordered.

"Coming right up," Des replied. She placed the drink in front of him.

"O captain my captain," she said, "what's on your mind."

Santos sipped his drink then breathed out.

"Tell me," he said, "how's Trevor?"

Des shrugged. "He's fine. Nicely recovered from that beating you gave
him." She produced the towel and wiped a non-existent spot on the bar
counter. "He's been spending more and more time in that arboretum of
yours. He sees it more than he sees me." She looked up with a sardonic
smile. "But, hey, at least you won't have to worry how they'll turn
out this season, right?"

She glanced at his glass.

"Do you want another one?" she asked.

"Not right now," he said. "But thanks."

"Why not? It's five o'clock somewhere, right?" Des asked.

"I'll have one...but only if you join me," Santos said.

Des shrugged. "Why not? It's been about 30 years since I last had a
vodka tonic."

"Don't care for them, then?" Santos asked.

"No, I don't often drink," she replied. "Long story, I'll tell you
another time."

Des prepared both the drinks and set them on the bar.

Des suddenly said: "Word on the grapevine is that the captain...oh,
excuse me, COMMODORE--" Santos grinned, "--is having nightmares.

Santos pinched the bridge of his nose.

"What is it, hon?" she asked.

"I'm just tired," he said, looking up. "I need more rest."

Des sipped her drink and studied him. "You know, there's an old Bolian
saying: 'When you are hungry, eat; when you are thirsty, drink; when
you are tired, rest.'"

Santos frowned. "What kind of rhetorical nonsense is that?"

Des chuckled. "It's the first line in their holy book. The book goes
on for about 2000 more pages. I've read it. But I think the first line
is the best."

Santos grunted.

"You strike me as a man with a lot on your mind," Des said. "Have you
confided in Zena about Stark?"

Santos stared at her. "How did you know about my dreams?"

Des tucked a wisp of hair behind her ear and looked at Santos. "I
listen; sometimes, I listen with more than just my ears."

Santos put his fingers to his lips and rubbed them. "You know, Des,
it's been almost four years since she died."

Des drained her drink. "You've had people die under your command
before, Nick. I don't mean to be hard and cruel, but that's the risk
you undertook when you agreed to your job. What was so different about

"Kristen was an integral part of this crew. In some ways, she was its
heart and soul. And on my first mission with her as my XO, she died
under my command. I'm not sure I've ever forgiven myself for that."

"No, Nick, I never met Kristen Stark," Des said, "but in a way, I feel
like I know her, from all the stories I've heard. Did you kill her?
Did you pull the trigger? Did you want her to die?"

"Of course not," Santos said quietly.

"Well, there you go," she said, smiling.

Santos nodded. "You're right."

"I know I am," Des said. "Now get out of here. I can feel the ship
slowing. We must be approaching Carillon."

"How did you--?" Santos asked. "Never mind. I don't want to know."

As he got up to leave, Des took his hand.

"Hey," she said. "Be good to yourself. There's already too much misery
in the galaxy. Don't manufacture more for yourself." She squeezed his
hand and smiled.

"Des," Santos said. "I'm sorry about..."

She waved a hand. "It'll work itself out over time."

Santos smiled and nodded.

"Are you going to put me on the away team?" she asked.

"Why do you think you were invited to the briefing?" Santos asked.

"Great! I liked the two other away team assignments I've been on! Let
me see: haunted ship, and World War III! You know how to show a girl a
good time!"

Santos laughed. "I'll see you in a few hours."

Des shot an imaginary pistol and winked at Santos. "Not if I see you first.=

Santos left the lounge. Des slung the towel over her shoulder, blew a
wisp of hair off her forehead, and watched him leave, leaning one hip
against the bar.
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