Posted May 10, 2021, 12:46 p.m. by Civilian Michael 'Big Mike' McKenzie (Bartender - Mike's Place) (James Sinclair)
Posted by Lieutenant Revna Edman (Counselor) in Tomorrow, 2000, Holodeck 3. Dress warm. XOXO, Mike
Posted by Lieutenant Commander Gravel Mardusk (Chief of Security) in Tomorrow, 2000, Holodeck 3. Dress warm. XOXO, Mike
Posted by Lieutenant Revna Edman (Counselor) in Tomorrow, 2000, Holodeck 3. Dress warm. XOXO, Mike
Posted by… suppressed (3) by the Post Ghost! 👻
Revna stared at the paper a long time. “Dress warm? What does that mean. He does realize that my standard of cold weather is so far off from the typical person, right?”
Runa shrugged, “No idea, why did you agree to this?” She was enjoying this being on the other foot. She’d given Runa no end of ribbing about D’Vash, but this type of thing was NOT like Revna. “And you were drunk!” Runa snapped suddenly. “Really you can’t breathe, but you were drunk? What came over you?”
Revna finished threading the last 3 beads into her hair. “Can’t tell you, doctor patient confidentiality.”
Runa walked up to her, deceptively calm and spun her chair around, face inches from her sisters, “You’re going on a date with patient?” That was NOT Revna, this pending surgery was getting to her sister obviously. “No, Mike is not the patient.” Runa looked at her like she was crazy. “Okay here, you get cold enough anyway.” She tossed a soft grey green heavy cotton dress at her sister, the neck softly scooped and with a narrow v cut trimmed in red and a knotwork embroidery. “You don’t know this guy he doesn’t have to know about all that,” Runa waved at Revna’s injury. “You know I could go for you. You don’t have to go through with this.” Revna snorted, “Oh yeah I do. Runa I love you, but we haven’t done the twin swap in YEARS, since we were kids. Stop mother hening me.”
Revna slipped the soft fur lined boots on. “Revna…” She took a deep breath, “What Runa?” She slipped the Freya necklace over her head and pulled her hair out from under. “The doctor…”
“Runa stop. I know and I know the risk, but I haven’t got a choice anymore do I? And if the surgery goes wrong I won’t die with a blade in my hand or be carried home on a shield! It’s two dinners.” A full length brown heathered wool jacket slipped over the dress, lined in read cinched with a leather belt and Norse wolves embroidered from the shoulders down. She hugged Runa and kissed her cheek. “You worry too much.” She’d pay for that comment left hanging, but arguing with Runa was an all week thing.
Revna arrived right at 2000 at the holodeck, the doors didn’t open, she tried the controls and that didn’t work either. ‘Alright then. You like secrets and surprises,’ she leaned back against the bulk head, arms crossed, a smirk across her face. It better be cold in there…
The first thing to happen was the horn. A blast of a hunting horn sounded in the passageway and the doors slid open… and it was cold. Through the doors…
The grin spread, okay the horn was a nice touch, but if they were actually hunting their food she might have a problem…
Stepping through she found herself on a rocky beach. Tall pines covered the land and rose ever higher on each side of the water… water deep and black and cold as was natural in a fjord. A dagger was stuck into a tree next to her, with a piece of parchment pinned with it. In the same elegant handwriting as her note, it said ‘Follow the beach around the bend in front of you.’
The doors closed quietly behind her and disappeared from view. It was cold, wonderfully cold, achingly home sick cold. The water lapping like siren calling to her. She shook her head. It was bit cliché unfortunately. Her love and connection her history was no secret and it was always the first go to, but she’d enjoy the program either way; it was a thoughtful gesture. She walked up to the tree, pulling the dagger free and sliding it into her belt, the parchment folded into her pocket.
Sure enough, the beach turned to the left and out of sight a few yards ahead of her.
As she rounded the bend, there in the water, sat… a longboat. A carved dragon head adorned the front and its tail made up the aft. Shields of green and gray and blue were affixed to the side. At the bow stood a large man… a familiar one… who looked much different as Viking than as a bartender.
Mike was wearing a dark green leather under a brown and gray fur lined cloak. Matching boots and gloves completed the outfit. His Dark brown hair was under the hood, but his beard had been braided and fastened with pewter figures of Mjolnir. He looked down at Revna and said “I see you got my note. Do come aboard, m’lady. We sail for dinner.” and he lowered board down so she could walk up onto the deck.
Revna took in the scene and small dock. A swing arm perched on the end, ropes hanging. Wrapping an arm around the rope, a steady breath, she swung out across, by passing the board. The dagger reappeared, shoved deep into the mast stopping the swing, her feet touching down. She pulled the dagger free flipped it handle out and walked up to him, a grin and wink, “Planks are for cargo. And I think this belongs to you. Found it stuck in a tree.”
Mike took the dagger and smiled as he simply tossed it aside. “As you wish.” He kicked the plank to the beach and then he put a hand on the small of her back and ushered her to the rear of the deck. There was a mound of furs over a small chair. “Have a seat and get comfy. I’ll get us moving.” and he moved past her and stood on a step that stood him taller than the rails. Grasping the rudder caused the sail to drop and a cold wind blew, pushing them along and away from the shore. Soon they were cutting through the dark waters in the middle of the fjord.
Revna’s movement was subtle, but she clearly added an inch between her back and his hand. However, she let him continue to lead her toward the chair. It wasn’t that she was offended by the gesture, it was polite and sweet, but as she told him the day before, Revna didn’t play games. She had no intention of leading him on. If there was more after two dates, there would be time for such things. But as life would have it, she doubted there would be, and it wasn’t right to give someone false hope. She picked up one of the furs and draped it over the railing, protecting against the frost forming and leaned, arms crossed on it watching the ship move out into the water. A good skipper could move his langskip through water like poetry. Her hands quietly tapped out a drum cadance, but there were no rowers. A grin twitched at the corner of her mouth, instead there was computer programming. Once into the water she returned to the chair, breathing in the icy cold air.
“So… tell me about yourself, Revna. What’s a nice girl like you doing hanging out with a brute like Gravel, anyways?” and he chuckled.
If she didn’t know Mardusk considered Mike a good friend, she’d be insulted on his behalf. Mardusk was the farthest thing from a brute that she could imagine. “More you should ask why he’s hanging out with me.” She grinned, leaning back against the chair, ankles crossed. “Mardusk is probably one of the most insightful people I’ve ever met. He’s not pretentious and has a roaring sense of humor. And it’s nice to find someone who can hold his drink, too.” There was so much more than that, but Revna would not cross the line of Mardusk confidence. Mike may more may not know but it wasn’t Revna’s place to reveal things told to her in her capacity as counselor.
She turned so she could look at him rather than talk over her shoulder. “So tell me Mike, could you sail a langskip without a computer?” She flexed her fingers slightly as the cold began to register. She slipped her hands into sheep lined, thin, butter soft leather gloves.
Mike looked at her and grinned. “I wasn’t always the fine specimen of punk rock music you see before you, you know.” and he looked ahead and made a small adjustment of the rudder. “There was a time when I wanted to be a sailor… not on star ship, but an actual dyed-n-the-wool, storm tossed, salt water in the veins sailor. So yeah… I could. But that would take more attention on this imaginary boat and less attention on you.” and he winked.
“So what changed your mind? Not exciting enough?” Revna loved the sea, she loved sailing, and if not for her injury she’d change the program to something more exciting. She walked to the prow of the boat the still water making it easy. No waves or swells to compensate for. She leaned against the railing watching the wake created by the boat. The water here was still and deep and would freeze you almost instantly. Chunks, minor and insignificant, of ice moved away in the wake of the ship.
She looked up, the holodeck recreating an illusion of the night sky. The sky was clear except for a few wisps of clouds and her breath frosting in the cold air. She flexed her fingers again inside the gloves, breathing slowly, the cold air bracing but slightly more difficult to breathe than warmer air. “The stars just don’t look the same from space.” The breeze blew her hair out behind her, beads flashing in the light.
She turned after a moment and leaned against the railing, arms crossing. More attention on the boat than on her? “Then tell me, what was the point of being on a boat?”
Lt Edman, counselor
Mike laughed loudly, the sound echoing out across the vista. “Why… to impress you, of course? What? Has it been so long since a man went out of his way to show you he wants to spend time with you that you forgot?” and he laughed again. “Besides… what better way to get there.” and he pointed ahead.
Revna turned a piercing gaze on him. Like she’d told D’Vash she didn’t kiss and tell. “Maybe it has, maybe it hasn’t. But we’re talking about you.” But a wicked grin spread across her face. “Impress me? Yes. Originality? Not so much.”
Ahead was an island in the middle of the dark waters of the fjord. Tall trees surrounded the spot of land, but torches burned in the deeping dark illuminating a path that disappeared between them. Mike steered the longboat expertly up and onto the beach. he walked forward and said “Are we jumping down or shall we walk?” he asked with a grin on his face.
They looked like flickering fey lights moving through the trees. The effect was certainly ethereal. She waited, swaying gently with the boat as it scraped onto the beach. She wouldn’t make a jump. Swinging on the rope had been hard enough, but she hadn’t been able to help herself; it had been over a year since she’d been on a boat, real or fake. She grinned, “We’ll walk.”
He nodded and moved to the bow and picked up a gangplank like it was paper and set it over the side. “Ladies first.” and he gestured for her to descend. This time, there was no attempt to usher, his hands stayed at their sides.
Once they were down, he said “Dinner awaits. But we could also just walk for a bit if you like. It took me long enough to program this, we should enjoy it while it’s still light.” and he chuckled.
Revna walked down the plank, the soft leather of her shoes gripping the wood of the plank despite the light frost covering it. Revna turned following the shore line rather than heading directly for the flickering lights. But once they were walking she was content to follow his lead. “It’s a breathtaking program. Why don’t you show it to me.” Her stride, though even, was slow, slower than a leisurely walk required. “Tell me something about yourself Mike. Something that isn’t a punk rocker or a bartender.” She walked beside him, aware that her pace was probably bothersome for a man of Mike’s height, but she didn’t speed up. One of those things that he’d have to handle about her. The pace irritated her, but it was necessary. She breathed slowly, forcing the crisp air through damaged tissue. One of those things he didn’t need to deal with. Most people thought that the cold and snow muffled the sounds of the earth. But in reality if you were quiet you could hear a lot. The crack of the ice when it froze too hard, the distant explosion when chunks of icebergs collided. The roaring thunder of the avalanche off an iceberg, the sluggish lapping of the tide, and the whispered crunch as animals passed through the snow or across the frosted ground. And Mike had apparently gone to great trouble to recreate that. She grinned, originality, not so cliche. And it had been along time since someone had surprised her and not done the complete expected.
If the slow pace bothered him, he didn’t show it. He walked next to her, hands clasped behind his back. “I’m glad you like it. Holo-programs are a hobby of mine.” he said without bragging. “As far as something about me? I grew up on the east coast of North America on Earth. Connecticut. My dad was a wine and spirits broker. My mom was a software designer. Apple didn’t fall too far from the tree there, I guess. We lived on the bay, and I learned to sail and fish. I spent almost every spare moment I could by or on the water.” and he looked out over the fjord and sighed softly. “So how much you want to know, Rev?” he asked, and turned to look at her. “Grav knows my history and I don’t hide it. But it ain’t pretty, at least until we get to the punk rock bartender part. ” and he looked at her and winked.
She stopped and turned to face him when he asked the question. Revna didn’t push, often. But now was the question now was, was had he asked her here as a person or as a counselor? “However much you want to tell me, Mike. But we both know that if you thought I was a fragile hot house plant you never would have bet me 2 dates.”
“Not quite a conversation for a first date… and I don’t want you on the clock.” he said and took one her hands and gave it a gentle squeeze before letting it go. “So I guess it just depends on how much you want to get to know me. And you are far from a house plant. Fragile one or otherwise.” and he smiled at her and then turned and began, very slowly, to walk again.
© 1991-2021 STF. Terms of Service