Part of USS Denver: Mission 4: Can’t Come Home Again Part: 3 and USS Denver: Mission 4: Can’t Come Home Again

Last Huzzah (For Now)

The Northlander Bar and Grill in Old Town Flagstaff Arizona, North American continent on Earth
July 16 2374 at 1530
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Marcus Ming sat with Joel McCabe, his oldest friend, in the restruant McCabe had created and made a decent sized success.  Ming had spent some time with his parents who returned to Starfleet Academy in San Francisco not long before.  Now he was having some quality time with the man who might’ve well been a brother.  

“Your own wing now…Congratulations.  I just wish it wasn’t in the middle of a war,” McCabe now said.Ming gave his friend a lopsided smile.  While both men enjoyed a good challenge and neither was scared of a fight Ming had much more confidence in that realm.   While both men could cook it was a passion of Joel’s and a pasttime for Ming.  Ming’s talents and passions, along with his mother being Starfleet that was a natural path for him.  McCabe’s dad was a chef who transported to Manhatten every day as sous chef of a resturant who’s reputation went well beyond Earth.  

“Thanks ‘Zed.’  I am glad to have the opportunity.   Of course I’d rather it be in peacetime but the Domionion won’t go away on their own…And I’ve seen too much by now that I can’t really walk way without seen an end to it,” Ming said with a shrug and look that was as placating as appologetic.  

McCabe grinned at the use of the nickname he’d had since a child.  Recipricating the favor Joel said, “Yeah.  Par for the course coming from ‘Ming the Merciless.’  You could never let an injustice go.  Not since I have known you and that was when we were both in the neighborhood of five years old.  I’m a little surprised you didn’t become a member of Starfleet Security or the JAG service.”

Ming shrugged, “I’d sure as hell thought about it.  Remember all those discussions before me going to the Academy?  I picked the path that I felt suited me best.  Besides, who knows what’ll happen after the war?  Starfleet Security and JAG may not be off the table.  You sure picked the right path though.  How in the stars did you come up with this menu?  It’s obscenely good!”

Joel responded with a wink before getting a little more serious after the first sentance, “Family secret as you know.  Hey, have you heard from Kate lately?”

The pilot looked a little crestfallen and replied, “On and off.  Likely for the better.  It’s usually a bad idea for a pilot to fall in love with his flight leader let alone getting her to fall for him back.  Things have been good despite the cloak and dagger stuff.  Still….we decided to end the romance once my transfer to Denver was complete.  Too comlicated, too tough wondering if the other would be getting back to their ship in one piece.  Hell, wondering if their ship would make it home again.”

The chef in the room nodded, “You two had a damned decent chemistry in your fighters and out.  That’s too bad.  I get it though.  I worry about you too brother.”

Marcus put his hand on his friend’s shoulder, “Thanks buddy.  I can’t promise anything other than I’ll do my best to make it out of this whole thing in one piece.”

The two men talked for another hour straight not really keeping track of time.  The ending of the conversation came when Ming’s combadge chirrped.  After a heartfelt goodbye and brotherly hug Ming stepped back and tapped his badge saying, “Ming to Denver…One to beam up.”Marcus’ view of his best friend standing outside the front door of his resturant dissolved as he did.  

Thus ended Marcus Ming’s latest visit to Earth.