Thank you for sticking around. I hope I don't disappoint.
If you like cynics, I think you'd have loved the guy I'm modeling him after.
Post left the women to get acquainted on the patio and walked across the lawn to his old friend. Bob seemed intent on watching the barbecue pit, seeming almost immune to the smoke rising and heady aroma of meat cooking that was reaching out across the holographic scene. He also seemed oblivious to Post's approach, but the captain was pretty sure that was fake. "How'ya doin', Bob?" He said as he came close.
"Pretty good, Rod," Bob said without looking up. "Thought it was a good day for a barbecue."
"Looks like," Post said, looking around and noting the moderate temperature, the ridiculously blue and clear sky and the sun shining high and bright. Of course it was all programmed. The sun might as well have a smiling face on it. He turned back to Bob. "Of course, it's not as nice a day everywhere..."
"Rod, this station's a bitch to maintain," Bob said. "I've been thinking about doing this for the past month, and this is the first week I've had any significant downtime. Now, I am
going to have my barbecue, and you are not going to ruin it by trying to dump Starfleet's problems on me."
Fine. No more pretense. "They're not just Starfleet's problems. The Earth
is in danger..."
"And defending the Earth is Starfleet's
problem. Don't worry, though. I'm sure some big brain on a Galaxy-class will figure out a way to put her to sleep
or something, then they can say 'Oh, we defeated her without violence! We're so cool!'"
Post frowned, but his retort was cut off by Dr. Bush's voice. "Is that steak
Both men turned. The women were approaching the barbecue pit, Bush with an expectant grin on her face. "Sure is," Bob called back.
steak?" Bush said. "Not replicated?"
"Real enough, and about to be super-enhanced by my grandaddy's top-secret barbecue sauce recipe!" With that he got ready to braise the two big slabs of meat on the grill with homemade-looking sauce.
"How'd you get real steak?" Bush wondered. "I thought it was illegal to raise animals for slaughter in the Federation?"
"It is," Bob said, "in the Federation
, which is why these choice cuts came from the Breen homeworld."
Bush blinked. "Say what?"
"I've got a few contacts. One of them's a Ferengi trader I do business with every now and then. The meat was part of our last transaction. He's gotten it for me before, and I thought it was so great that I wanted to try barbecueing it this time."
Bush was still confused. "Wait...they got cows
on the Breen homeworld?!"
Bob shrugged. "Well, they don't call 'em 'cows'. I've seen what they look like, though. They're certainly bovine
Bush grinned again, then giggled. "Well, I hope ya'll don't mind me invitin' myself, but I just gotta
find out what steaks from the Cows of the Breen Homeworld
taste like barbecued!"
"You're welcome to join in," Etta said.
"We've got plenty," Bob confirmed, "and Etta's got cole slaw and potato salad made. All that's real food, too. Get you a good meal away from that protoformed shit that comes from the replicators."
"I don't think we'll have the time," Post grunted.
Everyone got serious and silent then. The first one who dared to say anything was Bob. "You said Earth was in danger, Rod. From what?"
"You must have seen the news..."
"I want you to tell me."
"A human supremacist is threatening to destroy the Earth if we don't get all the non-humans off it."
"She give us a time frame?"
"We have three days to start."
"Are the three days up?"
"She give any indication she'll attack before
"Then until she does, I'm pretty sure we have time to sit down and have a decent meal, so you two will join us and you can make your sales pitch."
Etta and Dr. Bush smiled, and Post sighed. "I guess we will," he muttered, then he turned to Bush. "Doctor, I'd like to introduce you to my friend, Blanchard Robert Rabb."
Bush gasped and grinned as she shook his hand. "Blanchard! BeeCee!
Rabb shook his head and looked at Etta. "Y'know, I hate when you call me that around people!"
"I'll call you what I please!" Etta said with attitude.
The resulting argument lasted till the steaks were done.