Tales of the Border Service: "Ladies' Night Out"

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction' started by TheLoneRedshirt, Aug 5, 2010.

  1. TheLoneRedshirt

    TheLoneRedshirt Commodore Commodore

    May 22, 2007
    Here and now.
    Stardate 54465.51 (19 June 2377)
    Star Station India
    The No-Name Bar

    Quinn sipped at her Tanarian Slash, savoring the tart, acrid taste of the drink. She wore a somewhat disreputable dress, showing a bit too much cleavage and thigh for good taste, but that was okay. The No-Name Bar did not have a dress code. Those that knew of its existence generally agreed it was a disreputable establishment. The atmosphere was murky, the clientele of dubious character, and the staff surly.

    All of which suited Quinn, for she was feeling rather disreputable tonight.

    She idly wondered how much longer her friend was going to take in the restroom as she lifted her now empty glass. She gestured toward the barkeep – an Asian male wearing a dark vest, his long hair tied in a ponytail.

    “I’ll take another of these,” she said.

    The bartender poured the Tanarian whiskey over ice with a dash of lemon juice. He garnished the sweating glass with a wedge of lemon, before placing the glass on the varnished bar top and sliding it toward Quinn.

    “Thanks.” One of the reasons that Quinn liked this dive was that the barkeeps weren’t talky. She wanted a bit of peace and quiet, away from holo-vids of futbol matches and boisterous Fleeters. The No-Name bar had no exterior signage and was off the beaten path, located down a seldom traveled side-corridor off the station’s promenade deck. It was frequented primarily by veteran Border Dogs, mid-level scumbags and the occasional boomer. She idly wondered how the bar remained in business with such a limited clientele.

    She took a sip of her second drink of the evening and caught a glimpse of her reflection behind the bar. Quinn appeared younger than her 39 years, and her short, blond hair framed her squarish face in a complimentary fashion. She didn’t consider herself beautiful, but she also knew she wouldn’t stop any chronometers with her looks. She was in excellent physical shape and the dress she wore accentuated her curves nicely. Quinn wasn’t vain, but she was pleased with her appearance this evening.

    The doors to the bar opened, breaking her reverie. She turned her head to observe the newest patrons of Jiang’s bar and suppressed a sigh. “Damn,” she muttered.

    Two young Border Service officers were peering around – obviously first-timers in the No-Name. Both were junior officers, male, human and obviously full of themselves. The taller of the two spotted Quinn sitting alone at the bar and a roguish grin spread on his face. He elbowed his companion and the duo made their way to the bar. Quinn kept her gaze forward, concentrating on her drink. They must be lost, she thought idly, this is hardly a nugget hang-out.

    She estimated their age to be in the mid-twenties. The tall one was a junior-grade lieutenant with wavy brown hair. He was nice-looking in a frat-boy fashion, but Quinn found the grin on his face annoying. The shorter, stockier kid was a raven-haired ensign. His smile was endearing, if a bit goofy. Quinn imagined she could pat the ensign on the head and send him on his way with no trouble. But frat-boy had a gleam in his eyes . . .

    “Nice evening isn’t it?” asked frat-boy as he propped against the bar by Quinn.

    “Evening is kind of relative when you’re inside a space station,” she replied. “It’s dark outside pretty much all the time.”

    Frat-boy winced in a mock-injured fashion. “Ow. Just trying to make conversation. Do you work on the station or are you just passing through?”

    Quinn cocked her head as if considering the question. “Hmm. I suppose you could say a bit of both.”

    Frat-boy turned and nudged the endearing ensign. “Hey Sherm! We’ve found a mystery woman!”

    “Let’s not spoil the mystery, Lieutenant” said Quinn. “My friend and I are planning on a private dinner and drinks, okay?”

    Frat-boy’s grin never faltered as he signaled the bartender. “Two synthehols and refresh the lady’s drink, while you’re at it.”

    Quinn shook her head. “I’m good.”

    “Oh you are more than just good,” he replied with oily smoothness. “I’m Emil dePaul and this is my colleague, Sherman Pogue. At least let me pay for your drink and allow us to keep you company until your friend arrives.”

    Jiang returned with two tall glasses of milk and placed them before the two officers. The Lieutenant’s mood altered noticeably.

    “What the hell? What’s this supposed to be?” he asked, puzzled and obviously annoyed.

    “That,” replied Quinn as Jiang turned his back to tend to other customers, “is what you get for ordering synthehol here. Jiang hates Ferrengis and refuses to sell synthehol. I’m sure he was also wanted to avoid selling alcohol to minors.”

    To his credit, Lt. dePaul shrugged with good humor and grinned. Ensign Pogue took a tentative sip form his glass of milk, leaving a glossy white moustache on his upper lip. dePaul took his own glass and hoisted it in a toast.

    “Live and learn,” he said. “By the way, Sherm and I are about to join up with the Kittiwake. Maybe after we get settled in I could give you a tour of the ship?”

    Quinn stirred the ice in her drink with her finger. “The Kittiwake, huh? That’s Captain Destrehan’s cutter, isn’t it?”

    dePaul lifted his eyebrows in surprise. “Yeah - it is. Do you know Captain Destrehan?”

    “Oh yes. Quite well.”

    “What’s he like?”

    Quinn shrugged. “Hardnosed . . . God complex . . . a real tyrant. I heard some rumors about junior officers being abused, but nothing concrete.

    The young lieutenant’s expression had grown somber. Ensign Pogue’s eyes had grown wide, his glass of milk now forgotten.

    She smiled. “But hey - those are just rumors. I’m sure that Captain Destrehan is a fine commanding officer. Just keep your noses clean and for God’s sake, never stare at his birthmark!”


    She chuckled. “Oh yeah! He’s got this birthmark on the side of his face that looks just like a . . .” Quinn hesitated, then smiled demurely. “Well, let’s just say it looks like something you boys are packing that I’m not.”

    “Ah . . .” replied dePaul, nodding in understanding, though he still looked vaguely troubled. He glanced over at Ensign Pogue. “Sherm - I think we best report to the ship. If what she says is true, our C.O. may be bat-shit crazy and I do not want to report late.”

    He pulled his Border Service I.D./credit chit from his sleeve and placed it on the counter. “Thanks for the head’s up . . . say, I never did get your name.”

    Quinn reached into the front of her dress, causing dePaul’s eyes to track down toward her cleavage. She retrieved an I.D. card of her own and placed it on the counter over dePaul’s. A small hologram of Quinn wearing a Border Service uniform floated above the Border Service I.D. Four gold pips lined the bottom of the card, which read:


    The card listed other information related to her species, gender and blood type. Lt. dePaul did not bother absorbing this additional data. His complexion was noticeably paler and a sheen of perspiration had broken out on his forehead.

    “Captain Destrehan?” he asked weakly.

    She lifted her glass. “I believe my four of a kind beats your pair, Lieutenant, so the drinks are on me.”

    “Ma’am . . . sir . . . I apologize . . .”

    She waved him off. “No harm, no foul, Mr. dePaul. While your approach needs polishing, you conducted yourself like a gentleman. Well, at least like a randy but restrained Border Dog.”

    Another woman approached and took the stool next to Captain Destrehan. She was somewhat shorter than Quinn, with a muscular build and an ample chest - though her dress was considerably more conservative.

    “Dee - allow me to introduce two of our new officers - Lieutenant jay-gee dePaul and Ensign Pogue. Gentleman, this is your XO, Commander Dee Dee Townsend.”

    Townsend wore a bemused expression as she glanced at the glasses of milk. “You ordered synthehol, didn’t you?”

    Pogue flushed slightly and smiled as he nodded. dePaul was recovering his composure a bit and risked a grin.

    “Yes sir. Seems that we crashed and burned tonight.”

    “An accurate assessment, Lieutenant,” replied Quinn. She cocked her head as a question occurred to her. “Just how did you find this place, anyway?”

    Pogue spoke for the first time. “We got lost, sir. We were trying to find our way back to the promenade and Emil tried this door and, well . . .” He shrugged.

    “Um, sir . . . about that ‘batshit crazy’ remark . . .” began dePaul.

    “Well deserved, I fear. Don’t fret Mr. dePaul, I’m not ready to keel-haul you. But I would suggest you get yourselves on to the ship. She’s in docking bay 4. Head back out that door, bear to port, go through the double doors and you’ll come to a bank of turbo-lifts. Go down two levels and follow the signs. Lt. Commander Patel is O.D. Check in with him.”

    “Yes sir, and thank you!”

    “Don’t mention it, Mr. dePaul . . . and I mean that quite literally. Do not mention this . . . encounter to anyone on Kittiwake. Understood?” Her voice held a sharp edge that brokered no argument.

    The tow nuggets came to attention. “Understood! Aye sir!” They said, practically in unison.

    She held their gaze for a moment longer, then smiled. “Well . . . at least wait a few weeks before you do. Now - about face and go. The XO and I are going enjoy our dinner and drinks without the pleasure of your company. Dismissed.”

    Pogue and dePaul beat a hasty retreat from the No-Name Bar. Quinn snagged her drink and followed Townsend to a table.

    “What the hell took you so long, Dee?”

    “I ran into Jackie Porter in the head. We got talking and I lost track of time.” Townsend glanced toward the doors of the bar. “Did those nuggets put the move on you?”

    “dePaul made an attempt.”


    “What the hell do you mean, and? I’m old enough to be his . . . well, older sister anyway.”

    “So why the ‘come hither’ dress? I’ve seen less skin on Rigellian butterfly dancers.”

    Quinn sighed. “I just needed to forget I was in the Border Service for a few hours. This dress is about as far as I can get from the uniform without being arrested”

    Townsend fixed Quinn with a penetrating stare. “Skipper . . .”

    “Dammit, Dee! We’re off-duty.”

    “Sorry. Quinn - you've got to let it go. This is eating you alive.”

    “So I’m just supposed to forget that my old academy roommate - the one who helped me through calculus, the one who saved my butt on three different occasions, my former C.O. - was killed in a Maquis ambush? I’m supposed to forget that we aren’t even allowed to go after the frakkers that took out her ship and crew? Sorry Dee - I have no intention of ‘letting it go.’ Sylvia Reuben deserves better.”

    Townsend sighed. “So, what do you want to do?”

    “For the next four hours, I want to pretend I’m not a Border Dog. I intend to get hammered, but not until after I gorge myself on rich, unhealthy food.”

    “And my job is to keep you from doing something really stupid?”

    “That, and provide stellar, non service-related conversation.”

    “Seems I’ve already failed at the first. What do you want to talk about?”

    “I know! Let’s talk about sex.”

    Townsend groaned and reached for her drink. “Can’t we just get drunk and skip the conversation?”

    “God, Dee - lighten up - I was yanking your chain.”

    Quinn took a sip of her drink, grimaced and placed it back on the table. “Oh, who am I kidding. I hate getting drunk. I’m not hungry, and this dress is riding up my butt!”

    Townsend raised an eyebrow. “Zero-gee racquetball?”

    Quinn wore a feral grin. “You’re on! Let’s get out of this dive and book a holo-court. Give the ship a call and warn Ram to be on the lookout for our two wayward nuggets.”

    Dee Dee smiled in return. “Consider it done. Then I intend to whip your ass on the court, sir.”

    “Dee - one more ‘sir’ and I’ll put a racquet where the sun doesn’t shine.”

    Captain Destrehan and Commander Townsend maneuvered around tables and bar-patrons as they made their way out of the No-Name. Quinn gave a jaunty wave to Jiang, who regarded her with a somber gaze.

    “That woman needs a counselor,” he muttered in Mandarin as he wiped down the bar.

  2. mirandafave

    mirandafave Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Apr 26, 2008
    Whew wee - another batshit captain in the Border Dogs! And just as compelling as all of the others that you write TLR. A fantastic introduction to Quinn and co. I hope there's a follow up to her and the ship. They - like all of your characters - have so much life, spark and potential. I'm constantly amazed at how you can condense so much character and life within so little a space - truly outstanding and beats the rest hands down.
  3. TheLoneRedshirt

    TheLoneRedshirt Commodore Commodore

    May 22, 2007
    Here and now.
    Thank you, Mirandafave! I'm glad you liked it. Yes, I plan to do more with Captain Destrehan and the crew of the Kittiwake. There are some connections with other BS ships and crews, notably Dee Dee Townsend who served several years on the Bluefin until transferring to Kittiwake as XO.

    Quinn Destrehan isn't actually crazy, but she is having great difficulty dealing with the death of her close friend, Captain Sylvia Reuben and the destruction of the Amberjack. (For details regarding these events, I refer you to Gibraltar's/mdgarcia's story, The Chains of Error, on Ad Astra.) Her anger and desire for revenge is having an impact on her judgment, resulting in her acting out with atypical behavior.
  4. CeJay

    CeJay Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Feb 5, 2006
    Is there a saying somewhere about being careful about the kinda women you meet in sleazy bars? If not, there should be, especially in places where the Kittiwake makes port.

    Really enjoyed this short story and your newest addition to the growing Border Service saga. Quinn seems to have a healthy sense of humor which is almost surprising considering her morning the loss of a good friend. But I like this one and as is always the case with your creations, would love to see her and her XO again.

    Great story.
  5. TheLoneRedshirt

    TheLoneRedshirt Commodore Commodore

    May 22, 2007
    Here and now.
    Thanks for the kind words, CeJay - glad you liked the story!

    Quinn uses humor and sarcasm as a defense mechanism. Her sense of loss is creating a lot of mood swings and out-of-character behavior. Wearing a slinky dress is not the norm for her (she's definitely no Liz Shelby) and her inner sense of decorum keeps her from crossing the line. Note that she did not succumb to the advances of Lt. dePaul. (If she had, that would have made for an interesting story. Awkward, but interesting. :lol: )
  6. kes7

    kes7 Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Jan 29, 2008
    Sector 001
    Ha, ha. :lol: Poor newbies. Eaten alive by their captain. I don't think she had to tell them not to say anything about what happened ... I can't imagine this is the sort of flaming failure they'd want to advertise to their new colleagues.

    I loved the milk thing, and I loved that they ended up playing racquetball instead. Wonderful little story and intro to these characters.
  7. TheLoneRedshirt

    TheLoneRedshirt Commodore Commodore

    May 22, 2007
    Here and now.
    Kes7 - Thanks for the kind comments! I appreciate you reading my story. :) I think dePaul and Pogue will keep this incident to themselves for a VERY long time.
  8. Gibraltar

    Gibraltar Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Sep 25, 2005
    US Pacific Northwest
    This was a hoot! The junior officer putting the moves unknowingly on his new captain... wow, just not a lot of ways to live that down. :lol:

    Sad to see Quinn mourning the loss of a dear friend and comrade, but at least she's got her XO to help see her through the tough times. Oh, and let her know from me... the situation regarding Sylvia is being dealt with. :devil:

    Great stuff!
  9. TheLoneRedshirt

    TheLoneRedshirt Commodore Commodore

    May 22, 2007
    Here and now.
    That is good to hear. Speaking on behalf of numerous Border Dogs, that day of reckoning cannot come soon enough. :evil:

    Glad you liked the story! Thanks for reading.
  10. DavidFalkayn

    DavidFalkayn Commodore Commodore

    Dec 13, 2003
    Very nicely done. I like Quinn and dePaul and Pogue just learned a very valuable lesson--got to give dePaul credit though, he kept his aplomb--well as much of it as he could. He'll do just fine in the Border Service.
  11. TheLoneRedshirt

    TheLoneRedshirt Commodore Commodore

    May 22, 2007
    Here and now.
    Thanks DF! Yes, dePaul may be cocky but he's not stupid. He'll fit in fine but he's got a lot to learn.
  12. Mistral

    Mistral Vice Admiral Admiral

    Dec 5, 2007
    Between the candle and the flame
    That was fun! Like your new captain so far. Looking forward to learning more about her. I loved that she pulled out her ID- great visual there!
  13. milo bloom

    milo bloom Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Nov 14, 2008
    The varied and beautiful Chicagoland suburbs.
    Great tidbit, it's the off-the-beaten-path stories like this we don't usually get onscreen or "official" stories that really help keep the franchise grounded in reality (as in, these are human beings, with foibles and failings, they're not always perfect).