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Barton's Bourbon

Posted on Jun 20, 2017 @ 5:45pm by Commander Jacob Crichton
Edited on on Jun 20, 2017 @ 5:45pm

Mission: The Romulan Way

= Barton’s Bourbon =

(cont’d from “Man Buns And Tips Please”)


SCENE: The Vulgar Tribble, Saucer Section, Deck 10

STARDATE: [2.17] 0620.1324

As a Starfleet officer, Jake Crichton was accustomed to doing his duty, even when the duty wasn’t to his liking. He’d had his rebellious period in his youth, where he’d felt compelled the question almost every order he received (and god, hadn’t they *all* been that way?), but time had tempered his insubordinate streak. The work had to be done, and someone had to do it, that was all. And when it was Jake’s turn to do it, he’d soldier on bravely, even in the face of extreme discomfort.

So Jake Crichton sat, head propped up on one fist, and counted down the time until he was awarded his medal, while Sub-Commander Deleem droned on and on about every observation or opinion that flashed through his Romulan brain. Not even the food, which Jake had to admit was delicious, seemed to slow the flood of words pouring out of the front of Deleem’s face. Jake had tried to interject here and there, to turn Deleem’s monologue into something that resembled an actual conversation, but Deleem had a habit of dismissing the opinion’s of others with a chuckle and wave of his hand. Then it would be onto the next subject, before anyone had the opportunity to challenge Deleem’s verdict.

“The problem with the old Cardassian regime was they became too fascinated with their extermination of the Bajorans,” Deleem was saying now, in between sips at his glass of Romulan ale. “Their officers were given too much leeway to indulge their sadism and lechery. Superior races do not confuse subjugation with barbarism… if the Romulans had discovered the Bajorans, we would have brought them to heel quickly and efficiently, and with none of the *excesses* perpetrated by the Cardassians.”

“Whole families dead, but at least the trains run on time,” Jake murmured. He wasn’t really listening, and he had a feeling Deleem wasn’t either, so it was a wash. Jake found his eyes kept drifting over to Ratal, the female Centurion, whom Jake found both alluring and scary. Ratal only picked at her food, though she’d seemed to enjoy the osol twists. People occasionally approached her to strike up conversation, for which Ratal made an efficient, if not exactly interested, partner. Mostly, she seemed to be trying to follow every other conversation in the room at once, and Jake noted that she was never too far away from Deleem’s side.

“The Klingons biggest problem was always their primitive commitment to martial honor,” Deleem droned. “Arguments decided by combat, lack of cohesion among their own military, to say nothing of the fact that their whole society was arguably a death-cult…”

Jake couldn’t help but admire the slender curve of Ratal’s jawline, the slight upturning of her nose. Her dark hair was short, falling only to her neck, and was pulled back behind her tapered ears. Her eyes were a brilliant green, and were alive with both interest and hostility. She didn’t cut a bad figure in her grey uniform, either.

“But then, that’s the Breen for you,” Deleem droned. “Always desperately clutching at relevance, always falling just short of it…”

Jake realized that, for the first time since she’d last departed the PHOENIX, Jake wasn’t thinking about Xana. It made him feel guilty, but also excited, like he was coming awake again in ways he hadn’t been for a long time. This thought made him feel even guiltier. Nevermind that there was no chance he and Ratal could… well, *anything*, or the fact that Ratal looked like she’d shoot him as soon as have a drink with him. It was more that this felt like another confirmation that his marriage to Xana was over; he kept running into those in the strangest places, at the strangest times. He could be on duty, wrapped up in his work, and then in walks a pretty Romulan with the greenest eyes….

Those eyes were suddenly on him. Jake realized Ratal was looking at him, and even worse, that he’d been staring. Ratal’s expression was so cold that Jake immediately looked away. He grabbed at his glass of ice-water and began to drink, hoping it looked nonchalant. For his part, Sub-Commander Deleem hadn’t noticed, and had instead lapsed into a treatise of the theological implications of the Q Continuum.

“Of course, a Romulan invasion of the Continuum is still many centuries away,” said Deleem, “..but mythology has always included tales of mortals challenging gods. I think it could even be argued our eventual conquest has actually been prophesied in various cultures throughout the galaxy.”

Jake risked a glance at Ratal, who seemed to have lost interest in him and gone back to scanning the crowd. Jake let out a shaky breath, then pushed himself away from the table.

“I beg your pardon,” he said, cutting of Deleem’s latest tirade. “I think I’m going to need something a little stronger.”

“Of course,” Deleem said, seemingly oblivious. He did not end his monologuing, merely turned his attention to another victim, while Jake made a retreat towards the bar. He didn’t see Iphie or either of her Bynar servers, so he reached behind the counter, pulling out various bottles until he found one he liked. It was bourbon, a bottle left there by James Barton before he’d pulled his disappearing act after the Neo-Essentialist crisis. Jake grabbed a small glass, poured, then took a long, slow sip. He closed his eyes as he swirled the bourbon around in his mouth a little, savoring the taste.

When he opened his eyes, Iphie Bonviva was standing behind the bar, frowning at him.

“Help yourself,” she said.

“Thanks,” Jake said, raising his glass. “I did.”

Iphie snatched the glass away from him. “I was being sarcastic.”


“And this doesn’t go with *anything* I prepared for tonight anyway,” Iphie said, capping the bottle of bourbon and replacing it behind the counter. “You know how much Romulan ale I set aside for this shindig? You want to drink something, go drink that.”

“Not my cup of tea,” Jake said.

“What are you hitting the hard stuff for anyway?” Iphie asked. ‘A little liquid courage before you ask that Romulan out?”


“Oh don’t bother,” Iphie said, waving him off. “You’ve been making ga-ga eyes at her since she walked in. What is it with you and alien chicks, anyway?”

“I have not been-” Jake said, before realizing he was talking louder than he’d intended. He looked around, making sure nobody was staring, and started again. “I have not been making ‘ga-ga’ eyes.”

“You have, and everyone’s noticed,” Iphie deadpanned. “I can’t imagine what sort of mental images you’re subjecting poor Vonny to.”

“Fine,” Jake said. “I think she’s… pretty, I guess. Sue me.”

“I knew it,” Iphie said, her tone a harsh whisper. “The ink’s not even dry on your divorce decree and you’re out here trolling for some new piece of intergalactic ass!”

“It’s an electronic form, Iphie, you don’t actually sign it-”

“Oh you know what I mean! What happened to a period of mourning or whatever they called it?”

“It wasn’t all *my* choice,” Jake said. “Xana agreed to the divorce too.”

“So you’re both idiots then.”

“I don’t need to talk about this with you right now,” Jake said. “Or ever, actually. It’s none of your business, Iphie.”

“Fine,” Iphie said. “Do what you want, what do I care? Ten to one that Romulan girl sticks you before you stick her.”

“That’s enough,” Jake said. “This is a diplomatic function, Miss Bonviva, and they are our guests.”

“‘Miss Bonviva’,” Iphie repeated in a mocking tone. “You even sound like Xana, both of you have a stick up your butt.”

“Duly noted,” Jake said. “Can I have my drink back now please?”

“Oh, you’re lucky I’m on duty,” Iphie said, but she slid his glass of bourbon back into his hand. Jake tipped her a salute and took another sip, while Iphie let out an exasperated huff and disappeared back into the kitchen. Jake, realizing his break was over, let out a sigh of his own and, glass of bourbon in hand, returned to his seat beside Deleem to once again do his duty.


Shawn Putnam


Jake Crichton

Executive Officer



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