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CH 2: S [Day 01 | 2239 hrs] Happiness and Other Falsehoods

[CPO Avandar Lok | Bar | Below Decks | Deck 28 | Vector 03 | USS Theurgy] Attn: @OPEN
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Lok looked vacantly at his glass of Romulan Ale, occasionally swirling the deep blue liquid about before taking a sip.

He had come down here pretty much straight off duty after essentially being ordered to go rest by Ensign Harrold, having only stopped momentarily at his quarters to clean his face and hands of the usual dirt and grease. Lok had not bothered changing either, he simply unzipped his coveralls and tied them around his waist, exposing his muscular arms and tight fitting gray t-shirt. From there he followed the directions of the ever helpful computer down to the ship’s larger lounge known as Lower Decks.

A lounge on a starship was nothing new, particularly on larger ones. Lok was first introduced to such comforts while on board the Helios, a wonderful spot at the very bow of the ship called The Sunshine Lounge. The lounge was decorated rather vibrantly, the proprietor disliked the beige minimalist interiors of the ship and wanted something more exciting and the ship’s Captain, whom Lok met briefly a handful of times, was more than happy to allow it. Theurgy’s Below Decks lounge was not so colorful but still reflected the modern sleek interiors that Starfleet had come to love. It was also quite large and to Lok’s surprise even had holographic features like a stage and windows that could be configured to act as viewscreens, there were even a pair of holosuits.

The lounge was mostly empty when Lok got there, no doubt most of the crew were busy with their duties or just didn’t feel the need to relax at that particular moment. Either way, he found the bar empty too upon his arrival. He sat at the far end closest to the dart board, his mind was set on casually playing but he wanted to get a few, perhaps four, maybe five, possibly six, drinks first and forget his troubles.

Lok took another sip of his drink, Romulan Ale was always his drink of choice, it tasted pleasant enough even though his Kzin taste buds could not taste the sweetness, but mostly it was very strong and other than Saurian Brandy was the only thing that could reasonably get him drunk. He looked back down at the liquid once more, giving the last few sips a little swirl, the blue liquid clung to the sides of the glass like wine…like Andorian blood- His hearts seemed to leap in his throat and his free hand curled into a fist, memories of fire, smoke, and death filled his troubled mind…his best friend was dying…

He took a deep breath and let it out slowly, the dual rhythmic pounding in his chest slowly subsided, and his hand relaxed. “Shit”, was all he could quietly say, polishing off the last of his drink before rapping a knuckle on the bar to get the holographic bartender’s attention.

“Could I have another these please…actually just bring the whole bottle.”

The bartender complied though he eyed the large Kzinti with some concern, however his scanners did not show that Lok had a particularly elevated blood-alcohol level, yet, so left him be for the time being. Lok, meanwhile, poured himself another glass, turning his attention some place else and specifically not looking too intently at the blue liquid for the time being. He honestly really just wanted somebody to talk to, not about how he was feeling, just to idle away with minor chit chat.
CPO Avandar Lok | Head of Fighter Propulsion & Asst. COD - "The world I have known is lost in shadow..."
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Re: CH 2: S [Day 01 | 2239 hrs] Happiness and Other Falsehoods

Reply #1
[Ens. Joseph Adams | Bar | Below Decks | Deck 28 | Vector 03 | USS Theurgy] Attn: @joshs1000

Joe had rather missed the many lounges of Theurgy. Between the therapies necessary to fully recover from cryosleep, his duties aboard Theurgy, and whatever else managed to crop up inbetween shifts, Joe hadn't yet had an opportunity to take some well earned R&R, at least outside his own quarters. On his way to Deck 28, Joe began to allow his mind to wander as he crossed the corridors.

There was something about a Starships lounge that was just better than a Starbase or a building. Something particularly endearing, or perhaps romantic, about watching star systems fly by at warp speed whilst enjoying Caf, or perhaps Synthenol. Such thoughts led him into recalling the first time he'd been in a Starship's lounge.

Like most Galaxy Class Starships, the Gallagher had featured a 'Ten-Forward' lounge situated toward the front of the ship. The furthest point of the ship's front. As such it had enjoyed unique windows which curved along the very edge of the hull. It had been a popular retreat from duty, and Theurgy's 3 lounges were no different. If anything, Joe was quite sure that the Lounge in Vector 3 was larger than Gallagher's Ten Forward.

Bringing himself down on the first barstool within reach, Joe let out a quiet sigh of relief at no longer being on his feet. Hours in the Transporter Room and running about Theurgy on various Operation based errands would do that. His eyes were drawn toward the large man to his immediate left. Usually he wouldn't have sat so close to someone else in an empty bar, but his feet were far too tired to carry him much further than they already had. Already he was semi slouched over the counter, forearms supporting him as he leant forward.

Just a few drinks and a nice sit down...

Out of curiosity, and perhaps looking for a drink recommendation, his eyes came down to the stranger's drink, which caused a slight rush of fascination. Until the Dominion War, Romulan Ale had been either banned or unavailable. Naturally it had surged in popularity, particularly at institutions like Starfleet Academy which had ready access to replicators and bars. Yet despite this, he'd never actually drank Romulan Ale before now, any time he'd ordered the drink had always been precipitated by either a red alert, some superior officer demanding his attention, or in one case, a barfight which had caused the drink to be knocked from the counter.


"Is there any more? I've always wanted to try Romulan Ale..."

He craned his neck slightly over the counter of the bar. His gaze moving from the massive Kzinti beside him and flicking curiously over the neat rows of bottles.

Re: CH 2: S [Day 01 | 2239 hrs] Happiness and Other Falsehoods

Reply #2
[CPO Avandar Lok | Bar | Below Decks | Deck 28 | Vector 03 | USS Theurgy] Attn: @tongieboi @OPEN
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Lok’s ears perked up as he heard the door swish open though he didn’t take the time to look. The lounge was so quiet for the moment owing to the lack of people that the normally unnoticed everyday sounds were easily picked up by Lok’s sensitive ears. He took another drink of his Romulan Ale, the alcoholic burn warming him as the contents headed for his stomach, his buzz increased ever so slightly. Though Romulan Ale typically was the only thing that could get him drunk, he still needed a fair amount, at least a regular bottle’s worth, but if he really wanted to get sloshed, two did the trick, three usually made him black out and do something foolish.

He went to take another drink when he heard someone off to his right ask him if there was more of what he was drinking. Turning his head slightly, ears perked up once again, his keen eyes gazed upon a young officer, an ensign in a goldshirt. Well at least he’s not a red, Lok thought to himself, never particularly fond of the command officers, or officers in general really, but at least a goldshirt probably did do a bit of actual work rather than barked orders from a fancy chair all day.

“Yeah, here I’ll pour you some”, Lok responded to the ensign’s question.

He got up from his stool, the ornate glass bottle in hand, and walked down to where the newcomer had parked himself. Along the way he used one of his long muscular arms to snatch a glass from behind the bar then poured a sip's worth of the Ale into it. He was curious what this young man would think of his drink of choice, well maybe not his drink of choice, he had a couple bottles of that back in his quarters for special occasions.

“Here”, he offered as he set the glass down on the bar and then poured another far more copious drink into his own glass, much better suited for a beer than a strong liquor.

While taking a drink he looked back over the new ensign, he was actually kind of familiar but he just couldn’t put his claw on where he met the guy before. He wasn’t from Perseus for sure, as far as he knew he was the only one transferred here from that ship. It couldn’t have been any time before that…maybe, unless he did his cadet cruise on a ship Lok was on. After another moment more it finally clicked.

“Hey I know you, you were running the transporter when I first came on board…though I guess that was a while ago wasn’t it. But yeah I remember, I told you it was a smooth ride, guessing you’ve been down there since…well you know all this shit.”

He sort of looked and idly waved a hand about as if Theurgy herself was the “shit” he was talking about.
CPO Avandar Lok | Head of Fighter Propulsion & Asst. COD - "The world I have known is lost in shadow..."
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Re: CH 2: S [Day 01 | 2239 hrs] Happiness and Other Falsehoods

Reply #3
[Ens. Joseph Adams | Bar | Below Decks | Deck 28 | Vector 03 | USS Theurgy] Attn: @joshs1000 @OPEN

Joe wasn't expecting to share the one bottle, but had no complaints, watching him pour a reasonable amount of Romulan Ale into his glass, then far more into his own. He didn't quite recognise Lok's uniform at first, taking a second to realise he was wearing overalls as opposed to the Starfleet Uniform he was used to. Some sort of flight deck officer? That seemed right. The Gallagher had been refit with an extensive fighter complement and Joe could almost swear he remembered such overralls worn by crew working on the Valkyries.

"Cheers."

He replied, both thanking him for the drink and as a toast. Deciding it was safer to sip the drink as opposed to throwing back the liquid in one go, he winced slightly as the liqour burned in his throat and its scent stung his nose. If this was what Romulan Ale was like, then Kali-Fal must've been far worse still, he found himself musing. He'd heard it forcefully opened one's sinuses well before the first sip.

Setting the glass down and grunting slightly as he cleared his throat, he turned toward Lok and nodded at his description. The compliment was fairly common with the lower ranked officers but even he wasn't forgetful enough to fail to recognise a 7 foot tall feline, even if it required a little nudge.

"Uh, yeah. That sounds like me. I think I remember you too.. Nice to meet you properly, at last. I'm Joe."

At this, he grinned pleasantly. Deciding to offer a handshake to Lok and turning in his stool slightly to face him.

"I wasn't actually conscious for much of the...shitshow."

He added with a small shrug, pausing briefly to stare at the ale swirling in his glass as he moved it in circular motions, as if it would make the drink any less potent. Taking a brief moment to reflect on the events he'd been unable to witness firsthand. Was he a little dissapointed he couldn't have seen everything? Maybe that he couldn't have helped his fellow crew? Maybe, but at least he was here now, that was something.

"Yeah, shitshow's the right word.... No, I was in cyro until recently, I've been reading up on the events. Borg, Klingons, Temporal nonsense hell, first contact with a whole new race... "

He shook his head lightly. Taking another drink of his Romulan Ale, this one much more like a swig, as he adapted to the burning taste of the drink.

"Struggling to wrap my head around some of it to be perfectly honest..."


Re: CH 2: S [Day 01 | 2239 hrs] Happiness and Other Falsehoods

Reply #4
[CPO Avandar Lok | Bar | Below Decks | Deck 28 | Vector 03 | USS Theurgy] Attn: @tongieboi @OPEN
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“Huh, that makes two of us then”, Lok says with a knowing smile and a gentle nudge against the man’s shoulder with his fist at the mention of Joe’s own stint in cryo-stasis, “I only woke back up this morning.”

He reaches out a large hand to do the human custom of shaking hands, it was something he never understood but lots of them did it so it was just something to adapt to. “I’m Lok, by the way, I work down on the flight deck so I doubt we will be running into each other too often…unless for some reason you need a fighter.”

He takes another sizable gulp of his drink, hopefully these holograms have more of this back there or I might have to break into my stash. Then he realized, shit! I don’t have any way of getting my usual contraband! Frustrated, he gulped down the last of his glass and filled it up once more as he listened to Joe talk about his own difficulties with the transition from loyal Starfleet officer to traitor of the highest order and all that had happened since then.

“For me I’ve just not been thinking about it”, he responds, “no reason to, it is what it is, and we are liable to just get disappeared or worse by whoever these infested if we turned ourselves in so yeah…just don’t think about what has happened and just do your job.”

He was perhaps pushing the lines a bit by telling an officer what to do, but he was a chief now so he had some authority, but also he was off-duty, so it could be counted as merely life advice. Advice given by a Kzin who has become rather bitter over the past few years. Since the war he hasn’t exactly had the best outlook on the state of the world, and his father’s murder didn’t really help matters. The news of what all has happened in the past six months hasn’t helped, but rather than let the anger out, as had happened this morning with that Doctor Leux, he had done his best to channel himself into something constructive. Like fixing up some fighters, doing a bit of errands; Hell there were even moments when he forgot the impending doom all together that surrounded the beacon of light that was this ship.

“How long you been in Starfleet anyhow, Joe? I’m guessing you went to the Academy and all that or are you like Mister Herrold?” He asked with yet another drink of his liquor. He was putting them back fast enough, Joe might end up having to use some of that transporter magic to get Lok back to his quarters. There was no way that the small human could carry him…unless he was some secret augment. The thought made Lok smirk as he took another drink.
CPO Avandar Lok | Head of Fighter Propulsion & Asst. COD - "The world I have known is lost in shadow..."
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Re: CH 2: S [Day 01 | 2239 hrs] Happiness and Other Falsehoods

Reply #5
[Ens. Joseph Adams | Bar | Below Decks | Deck 28 | Vector 03 | USS Theurgy] Attn: @joshs1000 @OPEN

Joe's eyes seemed to widen slightly in intrigue as he mentioned that he'd only woken this morning. Lok seemed much more coordinated than he had been when he'd woken up. Glancing at his hand for a moment, he shook it politely, perhaps caught a little off guard by how small his hand seemed to be compared to Lok's.

"Nice to meet you Lok. I'll be sure to bear that in mind in case I do need a fighter sometime."

He raised a humoured brow, grinning slightly before deciding to risk another sip of his Romulan Ale. Listening quietly as Lok explained his own way of dealing with things. Indeed just getting on with their jobs seemed the logical approach. Especially since there wasn't much else for them to do.

Still, he couldn't somehow shake the uneasiness that came from being a fugitive. The wound that resulted from being forcefully torn from almost every aspect of his life. So engrossed in those thoughts, he hadn't even considered Lok's rank. Although Joe was one to take on board advice from anyone who seemed to know better than he. Lok's words had only reinforced his own conclusions. He had to keep his mind on whatever tasks presented to him. He'd leave the homesickness and pining for his free time.

He was shaken out of his thoughts when Lok's words held a questioning tone. Evidently he'd been asked a question, and his brain raced to catch up to the input from his ears. Abandoning the rumination for the moment.


"Yeah, I went to the academy. Class of 2375."

He replied, keeping the smile on his face even as he took a 3rd sip of his Romulan Ale. He almost missed his fellow graduates. A few of them had to be aboard Theurgy, right? A ship this big...

"I don't think I've met Mr Herrold yet. Am I right in thinking he's another officer assigned to the flight deck?"

He asked with a slight tilt of his head. It would make sense after all. Joe was largely unaware of the current crew manifest. He'd only just caught up on recent events after all. Judging by the context of the conversation, however, he could assume that he was an Ensign, just like him.

Re: CH 2: S [Day 01 | 2239 hrs] Happiness and Other Falsehoods

Reply #6
[CPO Avandar Lok | Bar | Below Decks | Deck 28 | Vector 03 | USS Theurgy] Attn: @tongieboi
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Lok shook his head a little with a small weary smile when Joe mentioned he was from the Class of 2375. I feel old, he mused, but I guess lucky for him that he could be at The Academy while I was getting my ass shot off by The Dominion. He wouldn’t of course bring this up, to him it never felt right shaming Starfleet personnel who were lucky enough to have been in the Academy, like Joe, or stationed somewhere far away from the fighting. He knew some people who resented it and sure perhaps on occasion he felt a bit of a knee jerk reaction to those who didn’t see the horrors but in his opinion they were lucky.

“Yeah he’s an Ensign, though used to be an NCO like me, some people want to transfer over to become officers but I don’t quite see the appeal, you essentially have to start from the bottom again.” He shrugged his shoulders and took another drink. The buzz was starting to hit noticeably now, his keen eyes glancing off to the young officer at his right, more blatantly taking in his handsome features.

“As for me”, he continued, “I’ve been in oh…sixteen years now, I joined in 2365.” He took another big drink and finished off his glass only to reach for the bottle one more time and pour the last of its contents into his glass as well as a generous topping off to Joe’s. “Doesn’t seem like that long ago but things were different, the last years of the Golden Era, no Borg, no Dominion…no Infested….”

He sighed, thinking about those days when he was a kid, reading about some of the famous Starfleet ships and always looking up reports on the network of the new and wondrous things that would be discovered. He even followed the ongoing news regarding the early Galaxy class ships when they were under construction. While much of that enthusiasm had waned over the years he still brought his physical copies of Hikaru Sulu’s three volume autobiography. Remembering though that he wasn’t drinking alone, Lok spoke up again.

“Hey so what do you like to do on your time off, besides drink with Kzin”, he chuckled and reached out to give another friendly punch to Joe’s shoulder. Though the booze was starting to kick in for sure as Lok perhaps hit Joe a little harder than intended, not enough hurt or anything but certainly enough to perhaps cause the young man a little difficulty keeping their balance in the bar stool. “I mean what’s there to do around here in general too? I’m guessing you have holodecks and all that, but this ship is huge! What else you got? A spa? A full sports stadium?”

He was speaking jest of course about the stadium but considering how large the ship was compared to the largest ship he had ever served on, a Galaxy Class, he wouldn’t be surprised either. For Lok personally though he did kind of have a personal affinity for the smaller ships, a bit odd considering his size, but in his opinion it created more close knit crews.
CPO Avandar Lok | Head of Fighter Propulsion & Asst. COD - "The world I have known is lost in shadow..."
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