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So, it turns out that you’ve just given several drinks to a penniless wanderer. Sometimes you think that Jef is right about you being a bit of clamhead. Even so, it is your bar, technically. Well, okay, half yours. But hey, the conversation was pretty stimulating.
You don’t necessarily feel like throwing the poor guy to the targs, but you can’t very well just trade a few drinks for a story. Of course, he is an artist… hmmm.
“Tell you what, can you draw a logo for my bar?”
The jemell perks up, clearly intrigued by this idea.
“I actually think I can do that for you!”
You figure you can at least use the logo for some merch, or maybe for the signage outside. Surely Jef could see the value in that.
“Alright, well, we’re the Star’s Rest cantina. Do you have an idea for that?”
Quile gurgles a bit, “I most definitely do.”
You hand him a clean paper napkin and watch him get to work. He hunches over the table. You try to watch, but your view is obscured by his fore-arm and hunched over body. Besides, you don’t want to distract him either. You go back to cleaning glasses. You hear a thump in the distance and turn to see that – yep – your gomben patron has fallen from the bar and to the ground. You sigh and make your way over to him, wrapping your muscular tentacles around his torso, and in a feat that would surprise most people who would see this, lift him and place him gingerly in a chair at one of the tables. You take your bar towel and give his shoulders a brief dusting of crumbs from the bar floor. He still seems to be passed out, but that’s fairly normal.
You continue to dust off the gomben as you hear Quile, “Is he okay?”
You shrug. “Krez? This is normal for him.”
Quile returns to his drawing, and you grab a broom and dustpan from the corner, working on the floor. Apparently Jef forgot to sweep it last night. You sweep the northern corner, near the jukebox, and punch in your code for free plays. You set it to random and, to no shock whatsoever, Bluesgaze’s “Check Out My Outfit” begins to play. Then again, you only have about 12 songs on the jukebox. You and Jef see no point in shelling out for a subscription to the music service, and the demo seems fine enough. You’ve always felt that music never really had a place in Star’s Rest. It just does not seem to be the right sort of crowd, particularly on this side of Starbright City. Most of the life of the city moved towards the northern quarter, leaving the eastern quarter to revolve around second-hand colony gear business, shipping concerns, and low-quality housing conversions.
Morriband was like that though. It was one of many colonies that expanded to a certain point and then just became yet another dreg in Federation space. It was telling that the planet’s biggest industry was starships – cosmic chariots to take those who could afford it off to better opportunities. In only 150 years or so Morriband had moved from a place of promise to being just another dull rock – a dreg.
You finish sweeping and notice that Quile is turned toward you, not saying much. He waves and you make your way to the corner where you set down the broom and dustpan. You head behind the bar and hop on your rolling-stool.
“Well, here is an idea. I worry it may be a little literal…”
Quile holds up his drawing.
You take it in a moment, and proceed to laugh.
Quile gurgles slightly as he sucks in air between his mouth-tentacles. “Do you not like it?”
You shake your tentacle-mitts and head quite hard, enough for the jewelled beads dangling from the skull-cap beneath your shell headdress to tap the headdress. They clack dramatically.
“Honestly, I love it. I am not sure how my partner will respond, but I want to frame it.”
Quile smiles. “Oh, thank you.” Quile then yawns and shudders.
“Hm. Do you know of any local hostels for, well… credit-challenged travellers? Maybe a nice public space I might be able to sleep?”
You begin to wipe at a particularly belligerent stain in one of the older shot-glasses as you think. Unfortunately you can’t say much for this side of the city, and the gentrification of the north-side doesn’t provide many options. You finally manage to chip away at whatever substance had left a stain in the glass, when a thought occurs.
“Are you on Morriband for a while?”
Quile nods. “I blew through the last of my credits getting here unfortunately, I’ll need to find something.”
“Well, we’re open all night for all the visiting spacers. You’re welcome to catch a few hours sleep in a corner during my shift, just don’t do that during Jef’s shift. I’ll warn you when he comes in. Honestly, I’ve considered taking our store-room and tossing a couple cots back there.”
Quile laughs, but it comes off as a rather unsettling gurgled squeal. “You’d let me crash here for a bit?”
You point to Krez in the chair, casually, not taking your eyes from the stain you are fighting with. Quile nods and rubs the silky mop of hair on his head.
“You wouldn’t happen to have a pillow or something, would you?”
Without looking you pull out a box from under the bar to your left, just enough to root around for an abandoned shirt. You hold it up close enough to give it a whiff. It is stale, but nothing too overwhelming. You set it in a clump on the bar and edge it toward Quile.
“Not sure who left that behind, but that may do,” you say.
Quile snatches it up. “Thank you. You’ve been a wonderful friend, Jaal Vem.”
By now you have given up on the stubborn glass and decide to leave it for Jef. Then again… maybe this is the glass that you had left for him last time, and maybe he had become similarly confounded, and left it to you again.
How many times have you two passed the cleaning of this shot-glass to each other anyway? You sigh and set it aside for Jef, yet again.
Quile rises from the bar, slightly tipsy, but catches his balance. He begins to walk to a padded booth.
You chime in, “Go for the one below the Powtice sign, the padding is thicker on that one.”
Quile makes his way over and takes a seat, he turns back and nods. He bunches up the shirt, setting it against the wall on the booth-seat, and then attempts to awkwardly arrange his spindly form in the seat. After a minute of adjusting, he simply opts to let his feet just out from the booth.
You think to yourself about local businesses, and whether any of them are looking for help. You can’t think of much, but this place could use a new coat of paint and you as sure and the void ain’t going to volunteer to do it. You’ll need to talk to Jef.
You find yourself in a lull now. It’s been very, very slow this evening. You check the backroom for anything on the desk. In the room you have a camera fed of the bar proper, which was relatively easy to set up. All you see are two sleeping patrons. Clearly tonight won’t be a night or record business. You hop into the leather chair and search the desk, though it seems there is nothing new but a pile of bills, but then again that is not all that new either. You give the chair a few quick spins, hop-off, and wipe your mucus from the surface. Sometimes you feel a bit awkward about how your ambulation results in discernible mucus trails… but then again, that’s caused you to develop a tidy personality.
You return to the bar and hop into your rolling stool. You pour yourself a shot of the Colbalt Ice and gulp it down in a single shot. You cross your tentacles and rest your chin on them as you wait for your next customer.
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