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Confessions Over Cocoa

Posted on Mar 23, 2020 @ 2:42am by Iphigenia Bonviva
Edited on on Mar 23, 2020 @ 2:43am

Mission: Last Days of Empire

"Confessions Over Cocoa"

(cont. "Friends in unexpected places")


We don’t meet people by accident.

They are meant to cross our path for a reason.



Stardate: 2.20.0322.2121
Scene: The Vulgar Tribble

Iphie Bonviva, the Chef/Bartender of The Vulgar Tribble, wasn’t whipping up something in the kitchen or wiping down tables. Instead she was standing at one of the wide windows, holding a steaming cup of cocoa, watching space. “Computer, play Michael Ciacchino. Randomize acoustical works.”

[[Playing, Ciacchino, Michael.]]

As the loud trumpets blared, then the lonely violin, until it was met by the banging of the drums, the Bolian/Human chef found herself uncharacteristically thoughtful and still. She knew The Vulgar Tribble was perfectly temperature controlled, and yet she still felt this chill running down her spine.

Suddenly her quiet introspection was marred by the binary chattering coming from her left. Turning to see the pair of Bynares that worked with her, Iphie noticed today’s uniform: they each had on black leggings tucked into black patent leather shoes. Over their top halves they each wore elegantly deep red garments, embroidered with gold emblems of the Federation, which extended down to the capes that went down to the capes on their respective backs. On top of their heads they wore black berets.

If she hadn’t seen them already wearing other ridiculous costumes, then Iphie would have dropped her cocoa. Instead she just merely glared and said, “You two look ridiculous.”

“01011001 01101111 01110101 00100000 01110011 01100001 01101001 01100100 00100000 01110100 01101000 01100001 01110100 00100000 01110100 01101000 01101001 01110011 00100000 01110111 01100001 01110011 00100000 01110111 01100001 01110010,” Calvin protested. (1)

“01000001 01101110 01100100 00100000 01110111 01100001 01110010 01110011 00100000 01101000 01100001 01110110 01100101 00100000 01101000 01100101 01110010 01100001 01101100 01100100 01110011,” Hobbes pointed out. (2)

Before Iphie could even respond to *that* ridiculousness the new CMO walked into The Vulgar Tribble. She looked around apprehensively, an emotion that was probably heightened by two Bynares who ran over to her trying to be her herald and announce her to a table. In Binary. Which the poor doctor didn’t understand.

“Welcome to The Vulgar Tribble,” Iphie grinned as she walked to the counter, “your absurdist respite from the mundane, horrific, and whatever else is out in the universe. I’m Iphie, the proprietor of The Vulgar Tribble. What can I do ya for?”

Dr. Allison Samson blinked her eyes as she took in everything and sat at the counter. Finally she asked, “You’re...the proprietor? On a Starfleet ship?”

“Well I let Cap’n Homie think he runs this place but we know that isn’t true,” Iphie smiled.

Dr. Samson had found herself walking around before finding herself settling at the bar. Naturally introverted, she wasn’t sure what made her seek out The Vulgar Tribble, although now the 10 Forward was not nearly that crowded as she once feared. Looking over at the proprietor’s mug she asked, “What do you have?”

Iphie raised a blonde eyebrow, which was her natural hair color and clashed with her dyed hair color (today it was pink). “Just cocoa.”

“I’ll have that too,” Allison decided.

Iphie nodded and grabbed another mug, filled it up with cocoa, marshmallows, and topped it with whipped cream. “Here you go, Doc,” she said, sliding it across.

Allison took the warm mug and held it before sipping it gently. “Thank you,” she murmured.

Iphie waved off the Bynares and leaned against the bartop. She had a feeling if she said anything more straightforward than “Want cocoa?” she’d close up the Doc. And that wasn’t what she was after. That meant she was going to have to do the talking. No one came in here to hear what she felt. Everyone came into The Vulgar Tribble to confess *to* Iphie, not the other way around.

New people, such a challenge, Iphie thought to herself. “I don’t know how this is going to end,” Iphie admitted.

Allison looked over at the Bolian/Human woman. She had just been sitting her, sipping her cocoa. And now it sounded like the cerulean woman started in the middle of a thought; no a story. “Uhm...excuse me?” she asked.

Waving her hands dramatically to the windows, Iphie admitted. “I don’t know how it’s going to end. I’ve got a lot riding on this.”

Dr. Samson blinked her emerald eyes at that. Sipping her cocoa, keeping it close to her as if it was a shield, she asked, “You do?”

“Of course. Let’s say that the Klingons win. Well then Orion futures go down. No more Orion trades. People in my line of work do a LOT of trade with them,” Iphie pointed out. Waving her hand to the rest of the ship, “Now I don’t know your preferred food, and thankfully Cap’n Homie is basic with a capital B, but the rest of the ship is pretty bougie. You think I just whip that up from the stuff in my back pocket? And have ya ever heard of a Klingon chef? No. Because there’s nothing to cook when there's raw crapola on a stick!”

Dr. Samson just nodded along while murmuring, “You know there were words there that I’m not sure--”

However, Iphie now would not be deterred. “And if the Orions win, well then that’s not much better. I’ll be paying through the nose for all kinds of things. Trade routes will be hosed. And not paying in latinum. Orions, who wanted to be “legit” are now going to be at war with themselves,” Iphie said. Bringing up her own cocoa she asked as the steam wafted around her, “But that’s what I’ve got riding on this. What do you have riding on this?”

The doctor blinked at that. It was a startling and deep question; one she wasn’t sure how to answer, let alone to someone she just met. And yet the chef/bartender stood there with little-to-no artifice, with little partiality in her views, seemingly open and patient.

Allison opened her mouth, to say something (later she’d reflect that she wasn’t sure what she was going to say) when the entire Vulcan Tribble was bathed in red lights, and klaxons blared. [[Red Alerts,]] the computer blared.

Iphie moved first, ducking under the counter, and quickly coming up with a circular white disk in her hand. Slapping it on top of Allison’s tall mug she said, “It’s a lid. So you can take your cocoa with you.”

The CMO nodded and dashed off. Pausing at the doors she turned around, remembering her manners and said, “Thank you. For the cocoa.”

Iphie was about to say something when she say Calvin and Hobbes come up, with what appeared to be trumpets and drums. She managed to wave at the doctor, while waving off the Bynares at the same time.


NRPG: Slight glimpse into the madness of The Vulgar Tribble. It coincides but doesn't conflict with recent posts.

Shauna: I hope I did ok with Allison. Iphie is a combination of Guinan (someone you can talk to without judgment) and Neelix (kinda wacky but in a nice way) :)

For Calvin and Hobbes binary discussions I used:

1. “You said that this is war.”

2. “And wars have heralds.”


Sarah Albertini-Bond
Chef Iphie Bonviva
Proprietor/Bartendar for The Vulgar Tribble


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