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Posted on Sat Aug 27th, 2022 @ 1:53pm by David Mccolugh & Captain Björn Kodak

Mission: Echoes and Effigies
Location: King's Shilling Pub
Timeline: Mission Day 2 at 2030

[The King Shilling's Pub]
[MD 2: 2030 hours]

When David had set up the bar he wanted it to be as homey as he could, so the oak paneling, a large bookshelf in one corner, and a holographic fireplace. The bookshelf had most of his personal collection, including old cookbooks, and biographies, and if you were looking for something it was probably there.

The bar itself was an old-style solid oak bar with brass rails, and stools for the customers. Above it sat the large 7-barrel rifle, that he had carried since his first engagement. Below it was a cavalry saber and by the door was a brass plaque that had the simple title “The King’s Shilling” In honor of what he had done for the first few hundred years of his existence.

Daniel himself was behind the bar continuing the setup, stacking bottles behind the bar and stacking glasses, he also had a coffee pot going in case someone showed up to chat.

"You open?" a raspy voice warmly asked. The doors had quietly swished open, allowing the ship's barrel-chested Chameloid Captain entry into the bar. He was still in uniform, having come directly from the Bridge after his stint in the center chair had ended for the day. Kodak was no stranger to Mccolugh: the man had, after all, petitioned to come aboard as a bartender and chef. But while the two men had met when David had come aboard, they'd yet to really interact much.

Looking around at the homey furnishings of the bar, Kodak smiled wistfully. "Nice place," he commented, running a hand along the brass railing as he approached the bar proper. "Reminds me of one of my favorite drinking holes back home: a little pub in Berlin called 'Wüstergärten,'" he added. "No chance you've got any actual lager on tap, is there?" Debbie kept a stock onboard for him but Kodak hadn't wanted the busy bustle of the diner tonight, it seemed. Instead, his feet had brought him to the new bar on the off chance it was functional enough to serve him.

Grabbing a glass from under the bar, David then filled it with a tap, "Always, get the tap set up first, never know when we're going to get a customer." He set the glass down in front of the Captain. "Here you go."

"Thanks," Kodak said, settling his rear on a stool and picking up the glass. He took a sip from the lager, enjoying the slight hints of orange that tinged the flavor. As he pulled the vessel away from his mouth, heady foam lingered on the thick hair over his lip. The Chameloid reached up to thumb it away, sticking the foam-swathed appendage in his mouth to clear it. "How're you settling in, Mr. Mccolugh?" he asked, startling yellow eyes affording the man a friendly gaze.

"Settled in well, " He smiled wryly, "Still more space than a merchantman though." He took a pause from stacking glasses, to pour some coffee from the pot, David leaned slightly against the bar and gestured to a picture of a 19th century merchantman above the bar. "Served 10 years as crew, sugar and tobacco from Jamacia and Cuba." he explained.

Kodak had thoroughly vetted the chef and bartender before bringing him aboard. He'd known the El-Aurian had been kicking around Earth for several centuries, serving in all kinds of different capacities. But seeing the photo was different than just knowing Mcculogh had been alive so long ago. The Captain studied the details, taking another sip from his lager, and nodded. "Looks like a helluva time to have been on Earth," he commented, eyes flicking back to the bartender. "Humanity hasn't driven you nuts yet?" the Chameloid grinned then, drawing upon his own experiences with humans as an alien himself.

"A few times a century, but then they turn around and do something that impresses me. " David chuckled, "It will go from messy warfare, to ideas that they always strove to live up to. I mean after the second world war, I clerked the Nuremberg trials and the amount of effort we put in to proving justice to those who denied it impressed me."

A dark look crossed the Captain's face then. "My family is from Germany. And while we are many hundreds of years removed from that time in history," Kodak sighed, "the shame of it all is still something many Germans carry. Growing up there, I remember learning about World War 2 in school. We even visited a holocaust this day, I still can't believe humans were capable of that. Surely not something that would ever happen in today's society," he granted, taking another pull from his lager, which again left a laden lip behind. With a quick flick of his tongue, he removed the foam. "I can't imagine what it must have been like to see it all first hand."

"It was something to see, the trials, I was even there for most of the hangings because someone had to do the paperwork." He shrugged, being so blase about executions, had some Federation citizens look at him like he was off, and separated him from his species. But considering his first week in Edinburgh before he got recruited he was in the crown for the hanging of a murderer. "Honestly, what struck me most about the most evil people in the world, is they didn't look any different from the man on the street, Banality of evil." He sipped his coffee. "But what I remember the most, the kids." There was a brief pause, "The local children used to come up to units on patrol, US, French, British, Russian...Well Soviet at the time. And they'd always ask for candy bars, no cares in the world, even after what they've been through, seemed to be a constant."

"Children are remarkably resilient that way," Kodak nodded slowly. He'd stopped in for a distraction from work and, while the conversation topic wasn't exactly positive, it was doing the trick: his mind was casting itself far afield of science surveys, written reports, and crew concerns. "So tell me," the Captain said, taking another pull from his lager, "what made you pick Earth to spend all those years on? I mean, I'm sure there were a lot of options for you to consider. What made you pick my home?" My home... The words sounded odd as he spoke them, his brain warring between growing up on Earth and the knowledge that there was now also a colony of Chameloids out there to call home. Which was his actual home now?

"I was part of a research group, sociology, to study Earth, a very junior member we were taking readings over Scotland when our ship got damaged and crashed, we lost our radio and emergency beacon in the crash, so we had to lay low, and... so I was sticking around, we split up, imploded the ship and did our best to blend in. No one knew until the Vulcans came after First Contact. "

"Ah, that explains it," Kodak nodded sagely. "Probably not a lot of other aliens on Earth at the time to catch a ride with?" With a smirk, the Chameloid took another sip of his beer and then set the glass down, beads of condensation dripping down its surface. "Well, I suppose there are worse places you could have spent hundreds of years. It took a long time to turn it into the paradise it is today," he said, drumming his fingers languidly on the bar. "You all must have done one helluva job keeping a low profile. Did the Vulcans give you away?" he asked curiously.

"Yep, they were taking baseline readings to learn more about humanity and help with relief efforts. one of them scanned me and the jig was up. They realized what I was and when that came out, I finally got to talk about everything I did and saw. Universities loved it."

"I'm sure they did," Kodak nodded slowly, a slight smile on his face. "Though I imagine humanity wasn't super happy to have secretly been infiltrated for hundreds of years. Still," he shrugged, "I'm sure you offered a lot of helpful insights from your perspective." Downing the last of his beer, the Chameloid debated a refill but schooled the impulse, fearing that bloated feeling too much beer always brought. "Well, I should probably let you get a bit more settled. Just wanted to stop in and see how things were going." He rose to his feet then and waved. "If you need anything, just let me know."

"Thank you Captain, and feel free to stop by any time."

=/\= A joint post by... =/\=

David Mccolugh
USS Sojourner


Captain Björn Kodak
Commanding Officer
USS Sojourner


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