Jason stepped through the door into the interior of the bar. A steady neon sign above the bar told him it was the Hommie Inn. There were scattered tables around the main floor and booths lining the wall. Although it had looked fairly quiet from the outside, there was a fair amount of a crowd gathered inside. He glanced around to see if he could recognize anyone from the science department or any other department that he worked with so far but failed miserably.
“What will you have sir?” the bartender asked.
“Whiskey sour,” Jason said. “Nice place you have here.”
“We like it,” the rather portly gentlemen said. “You must be new here, I don’t remember seeing you before.”
“This is a pretty big station,” Jason said, taking the offered drink. “I doubt that you know everyone that comes into your establishment.”
“I make it my business to know,” the man said. “Enjoy your first drink, it’s free on the house. Have a seat and stay awhile.”
Jason nodded in thanks and then wandered away from the bar towards a high-top table near the edge of the main area. Several of the women there had already given him a once over, smiling the entire time. He smiled back of course, but made no move to invite them over. He wasn’t on the hunt for a companion, at least he didn’t think he was. His last relationship didn’t end all that well. He tried to look approachable as he sat there.
Luke had just finished up a long shift with engineering patching up ships and liaising with the quartermasters to ensure supply orders were fulfilled promptly, and a drink was in order before heading back to his quarters. Doing a quick loop around the promenade, he settled on a place he hadn’t tried before.
Taking a seat at the bar, he signaled the bartender. “Scotch, two fingers, on the rocks.”
“Coming right up.” the bartender replied with a smile as the drink was prepared. “Feel free to sit at the bar, or I’m sure some of the other patrons won’t mind sharing a table or booth.”
“Many thanks,” Luke replied with a small smile. “And thank you for the drink.”
Giving it a quick stir, Luke looked over the other patrons and noticed a science officer seated at a booth just off the main area. Looks like a new arrival, Luke thought to himself as he approached.
“Pardon me, but are these seats taken?”
“Nope,” he said, extending his hand. “Jason Hart, science division, have a seat.”
“Lukas Daniels, Operations division, but my friends call me Luke,” Luke replied as he grasped the offered hand and took a seat. Once he was seated opposite Jason, he took a sip of his drink savoring the smooth amber liquid.
Luke had already been on board the station for several months and had started to remember names and faces but this one was drawing a blank.
“New arrival?” he asked as he swirled his drink around the glass. “Forgive the assumption, but I can’t place the face, not that I know the ins and outs and who’s who of the Science department.” he finished with a nervous laugh.
“Just arrived a few days ago,” Jason said. “I’ve been helping with repairs since they’ve shut down or curtailed most of the science division activities due to the current crisis.”
Scratching the back of his head in lieu of smacking his forehead, Luke couldn’t believe he had forgotten about the science teams. “I certainly hope the Engineering and Ops departments have made you feel like part of the team?” he remembered his last run-in when Engineering didn’t like a scan result that had already passed through several verifications.
“How have you been finding the place?” Luke asked. “It’s certainly massive enough, I’ve only been here a few months and I’m still petrified I’ll find myself lost somewhere in a utility corridor.”
“I wandered down one last night, and found myself in some really weird section that looked like it was some sort of zero-gee environment,” Jason said. “As for engineering and ops, they seem happy just to have the help. I was trying to catch up on some reading tonight but the author of the paper was more boring than…well, I dunno what.”
“Reading a science journal for recreation?” Luke asked in mock horror. “I kid of course, I do find myself spending far too much time in the Arboretum during my downtime, so I am in no position to judge.”
The area of green space on the Promenade really did give Luke a taste of home amongst the stars. A real taste opposed to a holographic representation. Starbase Bravo was beginning to feel like a second home, based almost entirely on the facilities the Station offered. If only the ongoing crisis unfolding wasn’t casting a shadow over the station and crew.
“If you don’t mind my asking.” Luke began finishing the last swallow of his drink and setting the empty glass on the table. “What bought you to Starbase Bravo? Request? or luck of the draw assignment?”
“Luck of the draw, although I don’t really mind it,” Jason said. “So far seems to be a decent place, even if I’m doing more engineering than science stuff right now.”
Luke nodded along. The current crisis had thrown many a spanner into the works. “Understandable, completely understandable.” So many valuable researchers and specialists had been temporarily reassigned or had their duties scaled back
“What about you? How did you end up here?” Jason asked.
“I really fell in love with the place,” Luke replied. “I initially completed my training on the Mellstoxx III campus but reassigned myself to Earth to complete an additional short course.” Luke signaled a passing staff member for a refill. “There was something about the place that drew me back. The recreation facilities being one of them, but also being a part of the day-to-day lives of the station inhabitants and travelers.”
“It may not be as glamourous as exploring the far-flung frontiers but the work we do here is no less important,” Luke added as an afterthought. “And there is always something going on to fill out the days nicely.”
“Very cool,” Jason said. He sat there awkwardly for a moment before taking another drink. “Is there anything that you recommend I do right away entertainment-wise? My social life here hasn’t exactly taken off yet.”
Luke thought a moment. “Downtime is definitely a spot to check out, the bartender is hard as nails and doesn’t take crap from anyone. Just don’t rock the boat.” Luke finished with a smile. “Of course, there are a multitude of eateries, coffee shops, replimats, gyms, sports courts, and numerous holosuites. Is there anything in a particular you have your eye on?”
“The more physical the better.”
“Sector India-Navy will be your best shot.” Luke replied as he tried to recall some of the deck layouts. “Anywhere you find a commercial outlet, you can bet a recreation facility won’t be too far away.”
“Sector Kilo-Indigo houses most of the holodecks and additional recreation outlets.” Luke continued. “Have you got a padd handy? I can mark a few locations to check out, or I’m happy to show you around if you want the company.”
As outgoing as Luke maybe, he never wanted to feel like he was imposing on anyone. As much as the station was a hub of activity, sometimes new arrivals did like to get the lay of the land in their own time.
“Sure, that could be fun,” Jason said. “I mean, I’d love the company, especially from someone that knows the station.”
“The night is still young,” Luke replied with a small smile and a slight shrug. “Unless you want to head to your quarters for the night, and I can take you on a tour at the end of your next duty shift tomorrow?”
“That sounds amazing,” Jason said. “I’ll see you tomorrow, then.”