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You pour yourself a shot of Kemezeckian Bitter, and hold up the bottle. Quile nods, and you pour a clean shot of the Bitter for him. You make out the subtle smile below his tentacle flaps as you raise your glass as he raises his. You each take your shots. It goes down smooth, after all, it is the drink of your people. Quile doesn’t quite feel the same way, and begins to cough and sputter.

He gurgles, “that was incredibly strong.”

You point out the the stylus looks digital, and you ask if he carries a tablet.

He shakes his head. “Oh, no no. It only looks digital, I assure you.”

He grabs a napkin and begins drawing concentric circles, linking them up into an elaborate, spiraling shape. You observe this with awe as each small, circular gesture is precise.

Quile finishes his drawing, and hands it over to you.

“As you can see, it uses ink. I actually have to refill it here and there.”

You ask why he bothers with ink, when a tablet can do so much.

He smiles. “Well, I have a tablet, of course, but I like the feel of the ink. It is a bit of a rarity anymore.”

He pauses a moment, looks at the pen held between long, dexterous fingers, and then offers the pen to you.

“Here, give it a try. Draw something.”

You wipe your tentacle on one of your towels, and then take the pen gingerly between the tip of the tentacle and the gripping nub that makes up what would generously be considered your hand. It feels a little heavier than you would expect it would, it feels suitably solid… but very old. Maybe from an era where material-science didn’t prioritize low-weight engineering?

You grab another napkin and puzzle over what to draw, deciding to draw yourself. You take a minute. Quile observes, drinking his cocktail, and occasionally nodding at you to continue. You finally stop, and hold up your amateurish rendition of yourself in all it’s “glory.”

napkin_doodle

“You missed your calling as an artist, my friend,” Quile laughs.

You give a laugh as well. Honestly though, for your first drawing you’ve ever done…

“Did you notice how smooth the process of drawing was?”

You shrug, admitting you don’t understand these things well enough really to confirm it or not.

“Well, I assure you it is a different sensation entirely. So much of the galaxy is linked to computers… technology. Sometimes it is good to remember that things can be a little simpler.”

Quile finishes up his drink, and slides the glass to you. You begin mixing a fresh cocktail for him.

“I admit that I did not always think this way. I am actually a programmer… but I had a run in with a Syrien who changed my way of thinking.”

You present a new glass to him. He thanks you.

As he takes a sip from his cocktail, you notice your gomben patron from earlier who is now passed out on the table.

You wonder if you should check on him, or wait for Quile to share his story about the Syrien.


Read part one, read the previous part, or see what happens next.