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Drink in’ At The Goat(backpost to the party)

Posted on Sun May 31st, 2020 @ 9:24am by Lieutenant Bianca Lee & Lieutenant Commander William Rogers

Mission: Around The World in 8 Days
Location: Grumpy Goat


After the sing-a-long the party really got started. For a while Buck bounced from the bar to various small knots of people, freewheeling about the gathering like an unsecured social catherine wheel, laughing and joking with everyone. At one stop at the bar he found himself next an unfamiliar face. "New to the ship?" He asked.

Bianca glanced over briefly, raising her whiskey with cola in a greeting, "That Ah am." She drawled, plucking at the blouse with her other hand, "But Ah do say, suh, that it is getting a mite warm in here. Too many people and all." She brushed her hair out of her eyes and gave Buck a second, longer look, mind whirring at something... "Do pardon my forwardness, but you look familiar, rather quite familiar."

Buck frowned. Unfamiliar recognition flickered across his face. "I was on the piano earlier." He said, pointing back towards the band. "Yeah, I feel you. Have we met?"

Her eyes flutter up and down him, pursing her lips tightly then shook her head, “It ‘taint from the piano, nor is it from the Monterrosa or the Montreal that Ah can remember.” Another couple seconds and her eyes flew wide, “Buck? Buck the Duck from the Academy?”

"No one called me that at the Academy." Buck shifted his weight little leaning on the bar more. "Well, apart from....wait...Scarlet O'Hara? That you?"

"Ah hated that nickname!" Bianca looked away for a moment, "All because Ah've got this accent and am from 'the South' and that Ah am part of a family that does do re-enactions." Her face flushed redder, "But yeah, it's me."

Buck huffed a small chuckle. "Can't say I was overly fond of 'Buck the Duck' either. So what have they got you doing on Astraea?"

"Ah'm the brand shiny new Chief of Strategic Operations." Bianca swirled her drink in the glass, "Not that Ah think there was one before Ah got on board, y'hear, but I was in the position on the Monterrosa before they rotated me out. Call it a bit of a mix between Tactical and Intelligence, along with liason to the rest of the Fleet, coordinatin' with Command to make sure if we need to respond, we can do so most effectively. It's a rather awkward position to be in, truth be told, but I'm pretty decent at it."

"That's good to know. Intel and Strat Ops have been vacant for a while now. Sounds like you end up getting flack from three sides though. " He took a swig from the bottle of beer he'd bought. "Don't envy you that."

Bianca shrugged at the thought of that, "It's all right, Ah know Ah'll be the one blamed by everyone, especially if the information doesn't get to everyone in the right form at the right time, but." She gave a cutoff gesture with her free hand, "If Ah get it right, it could get me into a command slot that really makes a difference." She gave a bright smile.

Buck chuckled and shook his head. "You picked the wrong ship for getting a shot at a command posting, Bee. We only just finished rubbing the Brass up the wrong way."

"That's the best time to get here then!" Bianca smiled, "Hell, if we just hit the bottom of the pit, only one way to go and that's up!" She punched him lightly, very lightly, on the arm, "Anyways, it's a challenge and that's always a good thing."

"Were you always this big a fan of doing things the hard way?" Buck asked with a laugh.

“First child of a mostly traditional Southron family?” Bianca asked, “Hard mode was really the only way! No big brother to watch over me, Bobby was a few years after me, so Ah had to pick myself up from my own problems, even if Daddy would get me out of anything Ah got myself into.”

Buck raised his eyebrows. "You and I have very different ideas about what "Hard mode" means."

"Of course we do, you never had to deal with girls your own age, all of which are trying to stab each other in the back to be the most popular in the circles of society. And yes, that starts early, if you're able to walk and talk and connive, you're old enough to play 'the game.'" Bianca shook her name, "Sometimes Ah think that 'Society' makes a Klingon family reunion look tame."

"You're right." Buck rolled his eyes. "That sounds such much harder than having to help chose between heating, electricity and clean water because someone in your family got sick and now you can't afford all three."

That brought up a factoid about Buck from that decade ago at the Academy, “It’s one of the differences between the times you and Ah grew up in.” Bianca pointed out, taking a sip, “The lack of a need for making those choices for the last what? Two centuries? Now, can Ah assume at least that you aren’t going to harp on the fact that my family owned slaves way over half a Millenia ago? Mister Man-Out-of-his-own-time?” Her voice never left it’s normal honey tone, showing him she wasn’t fazed or believing he would accuse her of that.

"Only if you plan on waving a Confederate flag around outside of your reenactments." Buck joked and gave Bianca a friendly punch on the arm. A very light punch.

“And what wouldn’t Ah?” Bianca asked, “It was the proper flag of the time and re-enactments are about historical accuracy!” She gave a slight smile, “So, suh, Ah do believe you have impugned my honor!” She toasted him with her glass, “So Ah must challenge you to a duel! And since Ah’m a Lady, you don’t get to choose weapons! Ah choose hand to hand combat, Suh!” Her eyes twinkled, sure she was going to lose and lose badly, most likely, he was after all a genetically modified super-soldier type, but it would still probably be some fun.

"Good one." Buck laughed for a moment and raised his bottle in reply. The laughter subsided and he frowned, a little worried. "That was a joke right?"

Bianca shook her head with a smile, "Why would Ah joke about something like that? Ah'm a good Southern Lady and my family has been involved in the American Civil War historical societies for centuries. My Great-to-the-twenty-fourth Grandfather was General Robert E Lee himself, so we're kinda ornery when it comes to the Old South, minus all of the slavery and racist parts. Ah'm not so hot about those, that's for damned sure."

"I'd be concerned if you were." He knocked back another swig of beer. "Don't think I'm gonna fight you if you are serious though."

"Is it because Ah'm a guuuurl? Or that you're a good foot taller than me?" She stood up straight and looked up at him, not mentioning the fact that he probably outmassed him by an entire HER. Bianca then rolled her eyes, "Besides, wouldn't have to be a serious fight, more like a spar. Ah don't think Ah could take you down without playin' real dirty and Ah don't play like that unless my life is truly on the line, then anythin' goes."

He chuckled. Draining the last of his beer, Buck placed his bottle on the bar and gripping Bianca's shoulders lifted her up to eye level. "Because I don't want to deal with the hassle I'd get for putting you in the hospital." He returned Bianca to the floor. "Could do a friendly spar I suppose."

Bianca eeped as her feet left the floor and blushed a bright red and shook her head as her feet returned, "Jeezus Christ, "Why do all men think that duels are to the death or somethin'? The Code Duello is only to whatever the participants agree to and no Ah don't take it lightly! Besides, the ship has a good doctor Ah hear and Ah would trust you not to do anythin' overboard. Bruises and broken bones like that happen and even Ah can put them to rights if need be."

Buck shot a very worried look in Bianca's direction. "You're the only one talkin' about fighting to the death! I don't wanna throw down with you at all!" He turned back to the bar and ordered another beer. "It don't matter if any scrapes can be healed. The fact there was any at all means someone has to carry the can for it. i don't need that in my life."

"But trainin' is encouraged." Bianca pointed out, finishing her drink and waving for another, "Look, Bucky, Ah'm one of those girls that wants to find out what her crewmates can do and there's nothin' like findin' out in person." She made a vague gesture with her hands, "Okay, perhaps Ah went overboard with the whole duel thing, Ah guess Ah was just more 'in character' with that than was warranted, but Ah have a hard time just comin' out and askin' what Ah was really looking for."

"I'll make an appointment with you for an assessment when I'm back on duty." He wasn't going to touch that comment about just asking for what she wanted. He suspected that way led to trouble. "So you tried to start a fight with any of the other senior staff yet?"

"Given that Ah dropped off my gear in my quarters before Ah came to the party?" Bianca shook her head as the new drink was delivered and she took an immediate drink from it, "Nope, most of the senior staff aren't fighters, you, Ah know, are. Besides, since you're flyin' the ship, knowing how you move around can help me get a bit of insight into how you fly. Ah know, Ah know, flyin' and hand to hand combat are two different things."

"Wouldn't call what I do on Astraea flying." Buck replied with a shrug. "A shuttle or a fighter is flying. This is more like...steering."

"Flyin' or steerin', you still have all our lives in your hands." Bianca shrugged back, "Ah'm here to coordinate with the Fleet in all its glory and to suggest strategic options, oh, and to be a font of knowledge at the tip of my tongue no matter the situation. Easiest job to screw up."

Buck shook his head. "I don't think you followed me. There's nothing fancy about piloting a starship. It's course, heading and speed. No room for personal theatrics like in a fighter. Everyone manning the helm does it the same way: like we were taught at the academy."

"Ah do think Ah may have it a bit confused then, suh." Apologized the redhead, "Just sittin' there, doodlin' while the ship moves off on a completely predictable course?"

He took a long pull on his beer. "If you do it right it is."

"That sounds one hundred percent boring." Bianca said quietly, "Ah don't think Ah'd be up to that sorta thing."

"Don't sweat it. All the fun stuff in Flight Control is the early going. Shuttles and the like." Buck explained.

"Everyone says that flyin' fighters is fun too, but Ah don't have the aptitude for it." Bianca said sortof glumly, "Ah mean, Ah'm qualified to FLY one of the fighters we've got in the hanger, but not combat qualified. Back on the Montreal and the Monterrosa, Ah sometimes had to pickup Intelligence data dumps, but couldn't take a shuttle, speed issues. In fact, Ah've got an appointment in a couple days at McKinley's Flight Center to re-up my certification."

"Fighters are really only faster in atmo, and only then it's down to pure aerodynamics: in space it's a wash and at warp our type 9s and 11s can out fly any fighter. The real difference is in armament and maneuvering." Buck could and likely would drone on about this at length, but this is a party and boring someone about flight schematics isn't on the cards for him. "Good luck at McKinley though. Haven't been out there in an age. Love that place."

"Thanks, Buck." Bianca took another drink, bringing the level of it down to about a third, "Ah need to stop, Ah'm gettin' a bit lightheaded."

"Proably wise." Buck polished off his beer and ordered another. "I miss being able to get drunk."

"Ah wish Ah'd not gotten into the habit of drinkin' when at a party. Ah've never been able to be around a lot of people without trying to distract myself. Ah'm actually not an alcoholic, not just sayin' that, keep me away from social situations like this, Ah'm not a big fan of alcohol." She gestured around.

"Me? I love this, but not drinking at a party?" It was difficult to tell if Buck was making a joke or was genuinely confused by the suggestion. "That' easily a third of the the things to do."

Bianca slowly lowered her glass and pushed it away, not sure how he meant it. Was it a come on? Was it an observation? He SAID he wasn't drunk, but was he telling the truth? Her mind wasn't really able to figure any of this out, "Well, Ah think Ah'm gonna head out, perhaps back to my quarters?" It was the only thing her drunk(ish) mind could think to do to find out.

"Okay, enjoy the rest of your night where ever you decide to go." Buck replied. "Good to see you again."

“We’ll see more of each other, Buck, good night.”

Lieutenant Commander William Rogers
Chief Flight Control Officer
USS Astraea

Lieutenant Bianca Lee
Chief Strategic Operations Officer
USS Astraea


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