Posted on Mon Jun 19th, 2023 @ 1:41am by Cadet Senior Grade Ren
Edited on on Tue Jun 20th, 2023 @ 1:03am

Mission: #1 Assignments
Location: Cafe De Casa, Castro District, San Francisco CA
Summary: Section 31 makes an effort to recruit Ren
Timeline: Mission Day 1 at 1030

Riaothren ch'Shaorhos felt as though a shuttlecraft had used his head as a landing pad. Pain radiated from the center of his skull. Even his antennae ached. There was the taste of bile in the back of his throat, the residual effect of having thrown up an hour or two earlier. His stomach was still queasy and if there had been any food left in it, he'd be puking again. The room, he was pretty sure it was his, had started spinning wildly the last time he'd tried to lift his head. He let out a long breath and tried opening his eyes for the second time since waking up.

It was a little better, that time around. The throbbing in his head had not subsided. But at least for the moment, the queasiness ebbed. It was indeed his room. His own bed was empty, other than himself, which was expected (though not always the case.) His mouth, as humans would say, felt as if it had been stuffed with cotton.

The events of the previous night were a little fuzzy in his mind. He'd remembered downing too many shots of some amber, firey, liquid, that might have been a cheap whisky. He also remembered flirting with some cute pinkskin guy a few years older than himself. He had had curly dark hair and a mischievous grin, but he couldn't recall much more than that, other than the flirting hadn't gone beyond talking.

He took another few deep breaths then swung his legs over the edge of the bed. Then he heaved himself up to his feet and then over to the replicator.

"400 milliliters of chilled water," he intoned. The glass appeared almost immediately and he downed the entire contents in the long gulps. He crossed the distance to the bathroom. and into the shower. By the time he dried himself off, he felt marginally better.

Most of the nausea was gone, though he was still left with a pounding headache, though that too had lessened. He considered putting on his cadet uniform but it was the weekend and he was off duty. He wanted to get off campus and spend a little personal time away from school and dealing with other people's problems. So, he put on a freshly replicated black polo shirt with pink and blue flowers and a pair of jeans that were so close to the color of his skin that it almost looked like he wasn't wearing anything. It was his favorite pair.

He knew just the place to go, a place he wouldn't have to think about school or the essay that was due on Monday that he really needed to be finishing. Cafe De Casa. Some good strong Brazilian coffee and a plate of Pao De Queijo would be the perfect cure for his hangover.

It was five miles from the Academy to the coffee shop, but he didn't mind the walk. It would help clear his head, or at least he hoped it would. He crossed the commons and passed through the gates. The two men guarding the entrance, pinkskins, gave him no more than a cursory glance as he left.

The hairs on the back of his neck stood up and his antennae vibrated as he crossed the street into San Franciso proper. He had an odd feeling, that he couldn't really place. Am I being followed? he thought to himself, what the fuck is going on? But when he looked behind him, he didn't see anything suspicious.

He was in no hurry, so it took him about ninety minutes to get there. By that time, the effects of the hangover were mostly gone. The early rush was over and the lunch rush hadn't started so he got inside and into the line for placing his order, right away. There were no more than twenty-five people there. Before coming to the Academy, Ren had hated coffee. It tasted, in his opinion, nothing like it smelled. Eventually, though, he'd grown to at least tolerate it. He preferred tea or even hot chocolate, but coffee, especially the Brazilian kind gave him the kick that those beverages did not.

He was on his second cup when his antennae detected movement in the air behind him. He turned his head to see what the disturbance was. He saw an attractive blonde woman who looked to be about thirty. "Do you mind if I sit?' she asked.

He used the edge of his shoe to push a chair out for the woman. His intuition was telling him something was off, but that he wasn't in any immediate danger. He turned back around and waited for the blonde to take a seat.

"You could have sat anywhere. There are plenty of places. Why here?"

"You, I'd like to talk."

"Me?" he asked both antennae curling toward her. "Talk?"

"Yes, talk. It's what two people do when they are trying to get to know each other."

"You want to flirt with me?"

"Well, we could if you want, but I'm pretty sure I'm not your type Ren," she said with a smirk.

"Uh, huh. How do you know my name or what my type is?"

"It's my job to know your name and half the campus knows you prefer cock, not pussy."

"Half the campus?" he queried, then added, "And what exactly is your job?"

"Okay, half the campus might be a bit of an exaggeration but you don't exactly keep your orientation a secret."

"Should I?"

"No, this is 2260 and nobody cares, but you asked."

"Fair enough, but who are you and what do you really want?"

"Angela Blake and you could call me a recruiter. A headhunter if you will."

"I have a job already.

"You'll have one once you graduate. Sure, you'll help people deal with their shit and you'll probably be good at it. Maybe even help people, and make a contribution. But, you'll always be behind the curtain. It will be a cold day in hell before you see any real action. You're an Andorian, a warrior. You shouldn't be behind a desk. You were made for more."

"You're a spook," Ren said folding his arms across his chest, "Sorry, not sorry. I'm not interested.

The woman shot him a disappointed look but nodded her head. "Section 31, to be precise, so not just any spook. And, why so adamant? You don't even know what we're offering."

"Look, I don't have anything against you guys, or what you do, but it's not for me."

"Why, you mean you really want to be on the sidelines?"

Ren let his hands fall to his side. "It's really none of your business if I'm being honest, but I'll answer. I'm not going to just be on the sidelines as you put it. I'll be on away missions, I'll help the Captian when dealing with new or even hostile encounters. Plus, as you said I'll be helping people deal with their shit."

"And I want to get married someday. I don't want my husband to have to worry that one night, I won't make it home."

"He's always going to worry, whatever you do. You should know that."

"It's not the same kind of worry, and you know it."

"Maybe," the Section 31 officer admitted, "but you'll be doing it for a good cause, to preserve the integrity of Intel and for the security of the Federation."

"Thanks, but no thanks."

"What if I were to tell you that your thaan didn't kill your chan? Someone else did and you can help take them down."

"I think you're making shit and I'm not buying it. How many times do I have to say no?"

"Look, I get it, I do. But what would you do if I had proof that I'm telling your the truth Would you consider joining?"

"I'd consider it.

"Then I'll see you tomorrow after your last class, in the library.

To be continued.