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The I in Intelligence

Posted on Mon Mar 21st, 2022 @ 11:54pm by Makeba Brown & Lieutenant Commander Rowena McGowen & Captain Edmund Merrick & Petty Officer 1st Class Kaylara Loran & Chloe de la Vega
Edited on on Mon Mar 21st, 2022 @ 11:58pm

3,333 words; about a 17 minute read

Mission: Episode 12 - Risin' To Risa
Location: After 11 - Deck 11 - USS Pioneer
Timeline: MD005 2100

Rowena walked in to the bar that was so much talked about around the ship. She loved the authentic look of the place, as if you stepped through a portal in time. And it was good place to be to relax and feel like your away from everything without the use of a holodeck. She smiled as she was taking in the scenery.

"Like what you see, brown eyes?" Chloe said as she almost hung off the bar. "The wood is actually real. I managed to get some shipped in from Spain. Beautiful, and you cannot replicate the smell of real wood." she grinned.

Rowena turned to Chloe. "Yes, I do...Spain you say? Incredible. And no, you can't replicate the smell of real wood. Would be nice though." She touched the wood and then looked to Chloe again. "So what would you recommend me, miss de la Vega, or do you prefer Chloe?"

"Chloe is fine." She said with a smile. "Miss de la Vega is my mother." Chloe added looked around the bar. "As for a recommendation, it depends what you like to drink... beer, cider, spirits, liquors, wine. I've got it all."

"Well, Chloe, this seems like a spirits moment. What are you serving?" Rowena looked around the place as more people had come in. "Seems like your establishment is quite popular with the locals." She grinned. "I am Lieutenant Rowena McGowen. I am the new Intelligence chief. But I am sure you must have already had word of my coming on board."

"I have vodka, flavoured and plain. In small doses it is good for those that still want to keep an eye open and an ear to the ground. I know how you intel types never stop taking in information." Chloe smiled. "But I had heard you were coming on board, scuttlebutt always hits my walls first before anyone else's... that's why it's a good place for information and gossip."

"Yes," Rowena grinned, "That is what I suspected. My predecessor was right, this is a great place to find information." She looked around at the people coming in and then said, "I would like a small dose of that flavored Vodka please. I think I shall test the new waters for a bit."

Chloe nodded, "I have one with grapefruit & Rose in it, it's quite a nice mix." she said pouring a small drop for Rowena. "And thank you for the compliment. Obviously I don't build a business for spying on people, but if they are comfortable to spill their troubles here then I am happy they feel safe to do so."

Kaylara was seated at a table where she could have a good look at both the entrances and the bar. Although she had yet to meet her new boss, she recognized her. Now might be a good time to say hello, but she'd wait for her to get a drink and get settled first. No need to pounce on the woman.

Makeba had been on the Pioneer for some time now. Since O'Flannagain had been transferred she no longer had a reason to avoid people. Well she no longer had a reason to hide. She still did not want to talk to people very much. Nevertheless she wandered into After 11 as it was about time she had a stiff drink. Without realizing it she sat two stools away from her boss and asked Chloe for an Aldabaran Brandy.

Merrick came walking in, catching the scent of real wood in the air. "Now that is a scent I've missed. My father used to work with wood. What sort of wood was used for the bar?" Merrick walking up to where he could get another smell of it and also a closer look.

Placing Makeba's brandy down Chloe turned to the blonde man and was instantly hit with his bright blue eyes. "It's cedar, but I put a little hickory in it as that is what I remember from home." she said sliding herself up the bar. "What do you want, Blue?" she asked referring to his eyes this time.

Edmund looked at the woman behind the bar. "Good lumber to use." he stated. "My name's Edmund Merrick, nice to meet you. And do you have a dark Jamaican Rum?" he responded, with a small smile. The focused attention of the woman's gaze had, gave him a slightly uncomfortable feeling.

She was beautiful but... he was still going to stay out of any possible sort of romantic entanglement. He just didn't feel quite ready.

"I do, rum is one of my favourite drinks so I keep a bottle of most varieties on board. Well, I keep nearly any alcohol I can on board. Never know when someone will ask for the random." Chloe replied as she turned and bent down to pick up the bottle behind her.

Merrick watched as she retrieve the bottle, and he watched. Then he blinked and shook his head. His mind was wandering for the moment. He smiled when she came back up with the bottle of rum. "That does look good." The woman was pretty though.

Chloe knew his eyes would drift. Most men, even the polite and gentlemanly ones, were subject to their nature towards the opposite sex. That, and she knew she was attractive, something she has always used to her advantage. "I think this is from my dad's stash. We are talking from the 2200's. We can be naughty together and have some." she grinned mischievously.

"Naughty you say?" a slow smile crawled across his lips. "Sure lets have a bit of rum." Merrick giving a nod. He glanced around at those in the bar, curious as to who was there. "Do you know much about the other patrons here?" giving a gesture towards the ladies there.

Chloe smiled back at him as she dropped two small glasses on the table and began to pour. "That table over there." she motioned towards. "I know Makeba and Mira, they've been here a while. The Romulan-ish looking one is new and the woman who just sat down is the new Intel Chief, Rowena McGowen... or brown eyes." Chloe shrugged. "And then there is the general crew, the lovesick Bolian at the end." she nodded towards subtly. "He can't seem to get enough of me... and then we have you pretty blue eyes. Lots of interesting people in here tonight."

"You identify us by our eyes." Merrick replied with a smile, before he took a sip of his rum. "And thank you for the compliment and for the rum." he gazed over to those she pointed out. "They look pretty interesting." he said quietly. "This is a good place to people watch."

"They do say the eye are the window into the soul, and you have kind eyes." Chloe said as she listened to his response. "Yeah everyone on here is pretty nice. Wouldn't go as far as interesting, sadly there are some boring old people that come in here. It is a good place to watch people though, as you say. Some of the more interesting characters come through here."

Merrick gave a nod before he drank part of his rum. "And at times you may hear a story of a person's past, as a bartender can in some way be a counselor or maybe better put, a listener. People seem to just be able to talk more to a bar tender than anyone else. And somehow maybe the bartender is able with enough drinks get them to spill what's on their minds and get a good tip afterwards." giving a smile.

"Oh I hear a lot in here baby." Chloe said rather cryptically. "More than I'd like, and sometimes I think the grey ghouls over there are going to come and take me away because I know too much." she rolled her eyes. "I know about affairs, heartbreak, the affection others have for each other... sometimes too much affection, and then there are the ones that shoot their mouth off given the chance." Chloe sighed. "They don't last long in my bar."

Merrick gave a nod. " I can see that happening. Sometimes it can be rather draining to hear a person drone on and on non stop." another drink, lowering the level of rum in his glass a little bit further.

"I have the patience of a Saint." Chloe winked at Merrick. "Most are harmless. It can be quite funny at times though when their partners come in to collect them." She laughed a little to herself. "Almost like watching a parent come to collect a child who's been bad."

The glass had risen towards Edmund's lips then it paused as he flashed an amused glance towards Chloe. "I have seen something like that happen a few times. Never had it happen to me though, well maybe I wish I had a significant other to drag me out. Instead I dragged myself out, before I made a scene." he chuckled, then finished off his rum. He then looked at those in the bar. "Am I taking you away from your customers?" his eyes drifting over once more towards the rest of the patrons.

"Smart man." Chloe replied. "Although it is a sad sight to see such a handsome man drag himself away alone." she added almost as if flirting was her language. "Don't worry about everyone else, they'll manage. Even if someone asks for me I will always come straight back." she grinned.

Keebs sipped the Brandy content for the moment to watch others around her. When she noticed Kaylara she moved down the bar next to her fellow Intelligence Officer. "Interesting pastime, people watching."

"You learn a lot by watching." The Romulan grinned. "How are you tonight?"

"Doing well... Glad to be here having a drink and out of that Starfleet monkey suit." Keebs enjoyed the work of Starfleet for the most part but the uniform never took to her. You can take the officer out of the Maquis, but not the Maquis out of the officer. "How about you?"

"Who was it that said, May you live in interesting times? This place is definitely interesting." She grinned. "It's preferable to boring."

Makeba chuckled. "You should have been around when the ship found me and my sister in the Badlands. Now those were interesting times."

"One night we should get two bottles of...something strong...and you can tell me about it." Kaylara took a swallow of her drink and grinned. "With real alcohol." She nodded toward McGowan. "Have you met the boss yet?"

Keebs chuckled... "You're on..." She paused for a second as she sipped her drink and glanced at her new boss thoughtfully. "Yeah, briefly. I have to say at least thus far I am not impressed. I liked Warrant Calhoun better. I mean Jen knew where you came from and most of the time didn't care. If that makes sense."

"It does. I wonder what she'll think of a Romulan in intel?" Kaylara wasn't sure if she'd fare any better. She'd soon learn for herself. She was curious about the rest of the department, too. It was an odd mix of races. "If nothing else, we can always hang out at the bar together."

Makeba smiled and raised her glass in toast to Kalara. She could already tell that she would like the Romulan. As to the new Department Head the jury was still out.

Laughing, Kaylara raised her own glass in a toast, then turned her attention to their new boss, now more curious about her.

With her drink still untouched Rowena walked over to a group of people. She nodded to everyone present. She didn't feel the need to introduce herself, everyone should know who she is by now. "So what is the word in the corridors," She said while smiling warmly.

"Well in a word it is you..." Makeba began with a smirk and then took a sip of her drink to cover it up. "Newcomers are always scrutinized, especially when they are third in command of the ship."

"Well, I wouldn't use that word, but aren't you glad it's not you for a change, miss Brown?" Rowena grinned as she took a sip from her drink and then tapped Makeba on the shoulder. "Glad I could be of service to you." She then continued. "So what juicy stories has the crew come up with about me? I hope it's mostly good."

Kaylara laughed. "Well, you're the new head of intel. Each story is more outrageous than the last." She took a sip of her drink to stretch out the moment before continuing. "The one I like best is that you're an assassin and take the teeth of your kills as trophies. From what I hear, the necklace is quite impressive."

"Oh, yea that's a good one. I should've gone with the necklace." Rowena laughed. "No, but serious what do you think?"

"I think most people are too willing to believe what they hear over what they see for themselves," the Romulan replied bluntly, choosing to answer the question as stated. Then she smiled. "Since you're asking."

"It is a nice change to be able to disappear into the tapestry of the ship. That is something that should happen more now, especially now that there is a new XO aboard." Makeba said almost detached from the conversation.

That was something Kayara would appreciate. She stood out far too much just being Romulan.

"Smart man." Chloe replied. "Although it is a sad sight to see such a handsome man drag himself away alone." she added almost as if flirting was her language. "Don't worry about everyone else, they'll manage. Even if someone asks for me I will always come straight back." she grinned.

Merrick smiled at Chloe, "Well if that is the case, you'd be going back and forth, I need to take care of something first. " rising from his chair announced to the general populace. " Hello, I'm First Lieutenant Edmund Merrick, nice to meet you all, and hope to meet you on a one on one basis sometime." then he sat down with a slight smile. "Okay there that wasn't awkward at all." giving a wink at Chloe, then he poured himself a little bit more of the rum and freshened Chloe's as well.

"Evenin First Lieutenant I am Makeba Brown, and the lovely lady here is Petty Officer First Class Kaylara Loran." Makeba gave a very sarcastic mock salute as she raised her glass and took a slug. If there was one thing she disliked more that gung ho members of Starfleet, it was gung ho Marines.

Both eyebrows rose at Makeba's return answer then he just shrugged. It was interesting to see things in a different light, with him having been on the other side of the coin. The marines treatment of him when they found out that he had been a fleeter, was much like Makeba's reaction towards him, with being a Marine. He then chuckled, finding it amusing. As he had said to someone, actions speak louder than words. Raising his glass towards the two ladies.

"Nice to meet you both." then taking a drink.

Kaylara raised an eyebrow at the Marine's response, then nodded to him. She couldn't blame Makeba for taking umbrage if the man thought it was appropriate to address the entire bar like that and expect it to be acceptable. He clearly was more interested in the bartender than anyone else.

When the Marine's attention was back on Chloe, the Romulan grinned at Makeba. "I wonder if they'll slip out now that he did what he came for." She laughed softly. "Or is she what he came for?"

"In the time that I have been here I have learned that Chloe is the reason most people come here." Makeba responded softly to Kaylara. Her voice got a little louder as she addressed Merrick. "So tell me Merrick does a Marine always look at rank or do they let their non existent hair down once in a while?"

Kaylara hid her chuckle behind her glass. She would likely have to work with said Marine at some point and she didn't want to antagonize him too much--unless he started it.

Chloe's ears perked up as Makeba commented on her. "I am the reason everyone comes here." she said in a fake modesty. "That and I am the only place on this ship that has a ban on synthahol."

Keebs laughed heartily at the comment. Although it was a veiled laugh, she missed her sister who had been sent to Poseidon Station when they were taken in the Badlands. "You know Chloe you need to leave this fleet and get into the Badlands where you can have some real customers."

Merrick grinned at the gibe that Makeba threw towards him. " I do let my hair down, and I don't look at ranks. I just talk to people never minding the pip." he gave a slight shrug.

"Well that is good because those pips have never done anything good. They protect no one and cause most of the problems in the galaxy... That is if you ask me." Makeba veiled her comment in some humor, but most of it came out with no small amount of venom.

"It goes both ways," Kaylara said, feeling a need to calm this down before a fight started. "I've met some good Marines and some bad ones. Same goes for Starfleet, Maquis, Klingon, and Targ. Or any other group you want to list. I won't be judged by the color of my skin or the shape of my ridges any more than the next person should be judged by their pips. Now, since we're all on the same side, why not have a drink to toast new beginnings before Chloe has her way with him?"

Keebs had quite the retort, but on second thought she realized it would not be worth it. At the moment she was not going back to the Maquis and she was going to have to work with these Starfleet Officer. So, better to keep things civil. Makeba took a sip of her drink and cocked an eyebrow. "Well he is all hers..."

The Romulan glanced at the Marine and laughed softly. "Men like that usually are," she replied quietly to Makeba.

Merrick just shook his head, then remarked, "Can't judge a book by its cover, ladies. I don't make a snap judgement of anyone, either." giving a bit of a smirk. He finished his drink, took a look at Chloe. "Thanks for the drinks. It was a pleasure making your acquaintance."then he looked at the others. "And 'twas lovely to meet you all as well." he rose, gave a salute and then headed out of After 11.

Kaylara laughed and raised her glass to him in salute. It was a nice exit. She had to give him that.

Makeba gave a mock salute as the man left. She was not sure what to make of him. On the one hand Marines were usually more annoying than fleet members and on the other he could take a joke with the best of them. Time would have to tell as to whether or not he was friend or foe.

A Joint Post By

Makeba Brown
HUMINT Agent, USS Pioneer

Petty Officer First Class Kaylara Loran
Data Systems Analyst, USS Pioneer

First Lieutenant Edmund Merrick
The Cure Executive Officer, USS Pioneer

Lieutenant Rowena McGowen
Chief Intelligence Officer/Second Officer, USS Pioneer

Chloe De La Vega
Owner/Bartender "After 11", USS Pioneer


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