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The "New" Normal

Posted on Wed May 26th, 2021 by Howard Morgan [Izar] & Parin [M. de Planca]

Mission: Episode 14 - Synthesis
Location: Parin's Bar, Javelin City
Timeline: Day 1 at 1200

Howard was a bit surprised to find Parin had finally started to open his bar up for lunch. He had nowhere else to go as so few places in the city were open, but at least things were finally looking up. Starfleet had approved him to begin the construction of orbital platforms in the asteroid fields.

This was a project that was going to take at least a month to complete before they were operational and fully functional. He also had to rely on the help from some of the others in the Ebon Cabal to complete the task. But, he'd sat around long enough.

At least Howard felt like he'd sat around long enough. For his lunch plans it would be alone at the bar before returning to his offices. He'd been sharing space with Varrick and Areth at Varrick's headquarters. Howard was beginning to hope that this was only a temporary setback and he could return to normal operations soon enough.

He sat down at the bar and started to think about what he wanted to eat before the Ferengi bartender approached him. Howard had made various deals with the Ferengi and had bought useful information as well. Howard admitted to himself that he liked Parin even if he was a Ferengi.

Parin had noticed Howard entering long before walking over to him. After finishing the glass he had been wiping out Parin walked over to him. "Hello Mister Morgan," He remarked.

He leaned over the bar with both hands pinned down on its surface, "What can I get for you?" Parin asked him. It had been a long while since he'd seen Howard inside the bar. Then, Parin knew it had been a long while since he'd been open too. Only a few days or so since he finished getting his establishment back to functional.

Howard shrugged, "I think today I feel like celebrating," He remarked. "Starfleet and the Ivaldi government has given me permission to start rebuilding. That work started yesterday and so far the engineers working on the project have reported as ahead of schedule."

Parin pulled out the Andorian whiskey and poured the dark blue liquid into a cup. He pushed the glass forward, "Then this one is on the house," He said. "Are you also planning on having some lunch?"

Howard looked at the Ferengi with a devious grin on his face before taking a drink from it. The liquid burned a little more than what Howard was used to as he swallowed it down. "A baked potato sounds good," He said. "I wasn't expecting the drink though."

Parin shrugged as he turned around and began working the small replicator behind him. "It seems like everything has started to steadily return to normal for many people. Javelin City is rebuilding and Starfleet has been quite generous in their help.

"I admit that I wasn't expecting this level of support from them," Parin commented as he turned back around with the plate. Steam was rising off the baked potato as Parin laid it down on the bar. "I'm glad that the Federation and Starfleet is allowing us to rebuild."

Howard found the comment to be interesting, "Glad?"

Parin nodded, "Of course," He said. "It sure defeats the rumors and speculation that I've been hearing. Perhaps the discovery of that space station is a good sign after all... At least a better sign than I had initially expected."

"How do you mean?" Howard asked. He found himself quite intrigued in what the Ferengi was saying. "Are you hearing something that I've not heard just yet friend?"

Parin leaned onto his elbows, "Just that Starfleet is concerned about the viability of the planet itself. They are really pushing that station a bit hard lately. I figured they wouldn't want us to be rebuilding on the planet if that were the case. And, they certainly want us to be building mining establishments if we were evacuating."

Parin shrugged as he pressed himself a little closer for a moment, "I wouldn't worry about it. Those are just rumors after all and I've not seen anything that ultimately proves them as factual."

Howard had started to eat the potato as he listened to what the Ferengi was saying, "You don't sound entirely convinced?" He questioned between bites. "Are you sure these are mere rumors and speculations?"

"Third hand knowledge," Parin told him. "I try to keep up on all the comings and goings of matters relating to Starfleet. Since I've reopened I've had a number of them come here to have drinks. If they know anything they've been quiet about it."

Howard took another drink and realized that the Andorian drink didn't go well with the potato, but he swallowed it anyway. "Well, I've certainly not heard anything like that. I can talk to my contacts within Starfleet and see if they could provide more details?"

Parin shook his head, "I wouldn't bother with them. If they knew more than they were letting on the alcohol would've loosened their lips enough. Nah," He was now staring at the wall behind Howard as he thought about his words. "I think it's best to let this one lay for a little bit."

Howard found the response to be unusual for the Ferengi, "I would think you would want to know more given what is at stake. Either you're not as concerned about it as what you seem, or you are and you're hiding that."

Parin laughed nervously before grabbing a towel from underneath the bar and began to wipe it gently in a circle pattern. "Let's just say if the rumors are true I'm sure Starfleet will find a way to counteract it. Or, we'll be losing yet another home in the past year...

"Or, the past four I suppose." Parin added in correction of what he'd just said. "If you want to find out more information I wouldn't say no to learning what that was. I just don't expect you to waste your time on it is all."

Howard finished the baked potato before pushing the plate aside. He then finished the free drink before paying the Ferengi, "I'll see what I can find out. And, if it's useful I'm sure there will be another free drink waiting?"

Parin laughed again, "That depends on the information Howard," He said, "That depends on the information."

Howard bowed his head slightly, "Of course." He said. Howard waved to the Ferengi behind the bar before leaving. He had hoped Parin would have provided him more details. Howard had heard the same rumors and had played a bit of a fa├žade... It only slightly worked and Howard would need to learn more from his own personal contacts.


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