Some Bar, Some Where
Posted on 21 Jan 2017 @ 7:17pm by Lieutenant Reginald Hawthorn
Edited on on 21 Jan 2017 @ 10:14pm
Location: 3rd Sub Level, New Kiev, Mars
“Mr Starfleet Man, I think perhaps we have talk?”
It was as standard a bar as they came: long counter against a wall, booths along the other, and lights dim enough to ensure a nod towards health and safety regulations. Its services ranged from the crap that came out of the replicators, to a passable beer fermented somewhere by methods best left unknown. It was with a half empty glass that Reginald Madison Hawthorn found his countertop musings interrupted.
The man who had sidled up to him had the tall features of a Martian local. After all the bar was on Mars and under the main tourist drag, who else might be here? The tall man’s features were roughened along the right jaw, a melted scar of burned flesh healed to the bare minimum. Given the thick slavic accent, the grey jump suit and the scar, Reggie marked him as a miner: not much else in New Kiev.
“I think perhaps you mistook this place for crowded.” Reggie muttered, taking a sip from his glass and trying to put away the taste of fermenting mushrooms from the beer. He wagged the glass side ways and gestured to the near empty bar.
“Huum, perhaps did, perhaps did not. Is matter of semantics I think.” The Russian gestured to the barman and a bottle and glass came to him quickly. “But perhaps if you believe it is crowded, we could find you other establishment to bask in your patronage? Perhaps one in the Medina? Or the Docks? Many more off worlders there. Many more Federation people above the surface. You, I think perhaps, would prefer it?”
“You running me out?” Reggie drawled, the thick accent of his own home world matching the Martian’s.
“Am suggesting it might be beneficial for both of us,” the stranger said and poured the clear liquid into the two glasses provided. He pushed the second one along to Reggie. “I would hate for another disagreement to occur.”
“Disagree-? Oh, you mean the kid with the blade from last night?” Reggie asked, turning to look at the man fully now.
“I think Velchin no longer has a blade to speak of. Or much use of his hand until he heals the slow way. Broken bones build character, yes?”
“If you’re a friend of his looking to settle-” Reggie began to say, before the other burst into a laugh and knocked back his shot glass.
“HA! I am less friend, than I am perhaps concerned employer. Concerned for him, and for you.” He refilled his glass. “You see down here in the sublevels of Mars, deep beneath the surface veneer of your Federation society, the real Mars still remains. We remember where we came from, who abandoned us for their Third World War. We remember being rousted from our homes to man the ship of the Romulan War, and even I served when the Borg came for Mother Earth. I show you tin medal I got, is best joke seen this side of Sol I tell you. But this-”
He reached out, and gently poked the Starfleet Corps of Engineers uniform Reggie was wearing.
“-down here amid the rustlings and gutter snipes, it is a reminder of those who stand with a boot on our necks. We give you the surface, with your port and your tourist bars, and in return we are left alone in the dark. You being here stirs things up. You being here and beating one of my collectors is...potentially problematic.”
“No offence to you and yours, but I see a fella raising a hand unkindly to a lady I’m gonna step in. Don’t matter the rain that falls on me.” Reggie said, looking the gangster in the eye and knocking back the given glass. What ever was in that bottle could have been used to clean out warp plasma conduits. He let out a slow whistle of approval, and pushed the shot glass back for a second go.
“Velchin is foolish boy who thinks he is a man. I would have done the same, though maybe it would not have been his hand.” the Russian smirked, pouring. “But now I sit here to offer you a day to leave. It is all that I might offer. After that I must save what face I can. There are many old mine shafts here, and accidents are not as uncommon as tourist posters suggest. Mars does not care for those who do not protect themselves.”
“Arkady. Arkady Sjet. We are friends, after all.” The Martian intoned.
“Arkady, see I’m just whiling away the time between assignments. I ain’t the sort who needs a holodeck or drinks with fancy umbrellas. Just a space where a fella can sit and drink a spell, do some pondering.” Reggie kicked the duffle bag resting on the floor.
“And had you not been a man of honour, I would have left you be.” Arkady sighed,m standing and patted Reggie on the shoulder. “I give to you a day from now. After which should Velchin or his...I do not say friends, but pretenders perhaps? They might come to you. It will not be of my hand.”
“And if someone takes a tumble?” Reggie said, raising an eyebrow.
“Then Mars will have been pleased that one of her children, adoptive or native, could protect himself. I would not interfere in the aftermath.” The gangster smiled like a shark, and tapped the bottle. “Consider this gift. Is good metaphor.”