USS Adelphi

NCC-26849

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Post 36 - A little 'Pappy' to make you happy

Posted on Sat Apr 25th, 2020 @ 11:29pm by Lieutenant Nico Oliveria & Captain Björn Kodak

Mission: Prologue: Back In Action
Location: [USS Lancelot]
Timeline: SB38 Day 2

[USS Lancelot]
[Bartender's Office]
[SB38 Day 2]


James paused before tapping the call button, though he didn't know why. He had done so dozens of times over the last decade or so. But this time was a little different, he supposed. Mashing the button, he waited for entry.

"C'mon in," a bossy, brassy voice piped over the outdoor comm speaker.

The doors swished open to reveal purple. Gobs and gobs of purple. Purple everywhere. Purple curtains, purple tapestries, purple rugs, purple furniture -- even the mirrors had been edged in gleaming purple. Debbie Gless' office was like stepping into a gallon jug of grape Koolaid -- an old Earth beverage the bartender had grown fond of using as a mixer across the hall in Ten Forward. Or more accurately, it was like the woman's office had been hosed down with the stuff beyond the point of tastefulness.

"Captain!" that big voice exclaimed, its source striding into the main office area from an offshoot storage room. "Just a sec!" Debbie had a small wooden barrel of something-or-other in her arms, which she quickly set down onto her desk. Which, unsurprisingly, was haphazardly covered in PADDs and small squares of brightly colored paper in various different hues. Old style pens were scattered about the desk and the woman took a moment to pick one up, scribble something on a tiny yellow sheet, then peel the paper off its pad and stick it to the surface of the barrel. "There! Sorry about that," she fixed Smith with a bombastic grin. "Thanks for coming down here. I know you're probably pretty busy right now..."

"Busy?" James asked with a mirthless laugh. "I've been placed in charge of overseeing a year-long refit of the Lancelot. I'll very likely have little to nothing to do for months, but I'll take my punishment. It was worth it in the end, after all." He touched the four pips on his uniform and smiled, "I never really enjoyed being a Commodore anyway." Shaking his head, it focused on Debbie, "But, I'm not here whine about my fate. You're leaving, aren't you?" His question wasn't asked in a resentful way, but there was a sting to it, possibly sadness, or perhaps he realized just how lonely he was about to be without his crew.

"Never really suited you, if you ask me," Debbie huffed at the mention of Smith's prior rank as Commodore. There was a time when, force of nature or not, Debbie would have kept her big mouth shut when it came to talking to the Captain about such things. But she'd been out of Starfleet for awhile now and had come to see the man more as her friend than anything else these days. "You may be sitting on your hands for now," she clucked, eyes flicking back to the small barrel for a second and then back, "but a year from now, you'll be longing for those quiet days back in space dock." As she delivered this prediction, her large, hoop-shaped earrings swayed back and forth, their golden surface catching the light.

As for Smith's question, well...Debbie's face clouded over a bit as she thought of how to respond. "Leaving forever? No," she shook her head, "couldn't do that. The Lancelot is my home now. But I saw that the Adelphi posted for a head bartender. No one else seems to be biting," she clucked, shrugging lightly. "Heading into unknown territory like the Delta Quadrant, there's a lot of people on that ship who are going to need someone to talk to. Someone who is not a ship's counselor or a senior officer. Someone outside the command structure who'll listen, pour them a drink, and give it to the straight. And honey," she blew a bubble with her gum and then popped it, "we all know that's me to a tee. Maybe I can be useful there while waiting for the Lance to be finished? But of course, I'd never leave without your blessing. You and this ship mean a lot to me..." she trailed off.

"Well, it would be very selfish of me to ask you to stay so I'd have someone to talk too wouldn't it?" His question was friendly as he harbored no ill will. "I will hold you to coming back, though. It wouldn't be the same without you on board when we leave the yard, and you'll need to keep an eye on Kodak." He paused, nodded, and smiled slightly, "But you're already planning on doing that, aren't you?"

"Selfish smellfish," Debbie clucked back, her smile shining in her eyes. "Either way, it still makes a girl feel good to be wanted. Thank you, Captain," she beamed, reaching up to meaningfully pat her heart a couple of times. "I'll be back...this ship won't be leaving space-dock without me. As for Kodak," she popped her gum again and shook her head, "he's gonna need looking after for sure. That boy has always had a little trouble finding his direction, hasn't he?" Debbie referred to him as a 'boy' despite the man being in his 40's. "Kodak's changed jobs more times than I've changed my hair color," she chuckled. That was really saying something since every week, it seemed the woman's football helmet of curly-cued locks was a different color. "You think being the XO on a ship bound for the Delta Quadrant will settle him down a bit? I know he did fine on SS6 but he was so unhappy there..." she trailed off.

James guffawed at Debbie's comment about changing her hair color, "I don't know if that math is exactly accurate, Debbie." He took a moment to contain himself but was happy that she had managed to shake him out his pity party for a moment, "I think, if the Delta Quadrant can't provide him with enough changing scenery, then nothing will. It will be difficult to convince Starfleet to hold out the center chair for him if he doesn't settle down a little. So, I believe you have your first assignment."

Debbie took great pleasure out of seeing Smith relax a little; it was wonderful seeing him laugh so freely for once. A Captain's life tended to be a lonely one, she knew. And she felt bad at the prospect of leaving for a time but at least Smith would have a whole starbase full of people and attractions to keep him occupied while she was gone. As for Kodak, well... "I suppose as assignments go, that one'll be a toughy. I think he'd be a great Captain...but he has to think that. So," she put her hands on her hips and smacked her gum again, "I've got my work cut out for me."

"Captain," Debbie grew wistful then, "you've been awfully good to me. Letting me stay here after I retired, allowing me to run the bar. It's been a gift," she said, sincerity sparkling in her eyes. "I don't think this'll even come close to repaying that but...this is for you," she smiled, pushing the five gallon oaken barrel she'd brought out from storage towards Smith.

Turning the barrel, the daybright note she'd earlier affixed was now visible. In Debbie's overly-pretty, cursive penmanship read: "A little 'Pappy' to make you happy. Back soon, xoxo. - Debbie" The barrel itself -- with its markings now visible -- made clear what was inside. It was a barrel of Pappy Van Winkle's Family Reserve bourbon, aged 20 years according to the information carbon-scored on the barrel's surface. Also scored there was an image in-relief of an elderly man in a suit and tie, smoking a cigar as he looked off to the side.

Reading the note, James chuckled, but when he looked at the label, his eyes went wide, "Is this the real deal? It's nearly impossible to find. How did you even manage it?" Holding up a hand, "Nevermind, I probably don't want to know, do I? And, of course, thank you and you have nothing to repay."

"It is the real deal," the bartender nodded. "I didn't have to kill anyone," she smirked over the barrel, "but it came damn close." Debbie's eyes moved from Smith to the barrel and back again. "Just promise you won't drink it all in one week. It's got to last until I get back," the woman smiled warmly. "Now then, with all respect, get the hell out. If I don't get back to my packing, I'm going to get all sappy and we'll end up at the bottom of that barrel in very short order." Her facial expression was classic hawkish Debbie but the woman's twinkling eyes belied the steel in her visage.

James hefted the large barrel and smiled, "Thanks Debbie, see you soon."

A post by...

Debbie Gless
Head Bartender
USS Lancelot (and soon to be the Adelphi)

and

Captain James Smith
Commanding Officer
USS Lancelot

 

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