Category Archives: Tales from a Space Bar

Day 2 – The Night Out

It had been a slow shift for Amerety, the long haul cruise from Grianus Alpha and her home planet, Nova was a two month trip but Amerety certainly loved the pay that was provided.

Glancing down at the monitor in front of her, Amerety let out a single sigh. Still four hours to go before she got to have a break. She thought casually about how she would spend her day after the shift. She longed for a good dip in a hot bath more than anything, the hot water enveloping her, a screen fired up showing the latest shows being broadcast. Amerety decided that would be her first stop the moment she gets to Nova, for now a short shower would do probably do the job.

The worst part of the entire trip was always the rationing. Her water was rationed. Her food was rationed. Her entertainment was rationed. Taneran Shipping Core, the company by which Amerety was employed, was at least one of the more forgiving of the companies when rations were being counted. She’d heard many a story leak from other companies that combined hygiene and drinking rations, leading to crew members dehydrating and at the worst dying from one too many long showers. Taneran was better than that at least, water for hydration was never restricted.

Up on the higher decks some of the crew washed carefully, counting every drop of water they spent using what was left to create spirits. Many a night throughout the trip was spent drinking with her friend Jeremy who worked in cargo maintenance, the booze was cheap dodgy but it certainly did the job but it wasn’t the kind of night out she really wanted.

Amerety glanced down at her navigation chart, they’d be skimming in through the edge of an asteroid belt in around half an hour. At that point she’d need to pay more attention on the off chance that they encountered an asteroid big enough that the freighter’s shields would be damaged. The idea of flying through an asteroid belt had excited her when she’d been much younger, but she had since discovered that asteroids were much more sparse than she’d been led to believe.

More than enough time to check her messages.
Newsletter.
Newsletter.
Sale.
Newsletter.
Invitation.
Sale.
Sale.
Family.

Amerety scrolled back a little. An event invitation, Amerety’s eyebrow twitched. She figured she’d get to the message from family later on, for now the invitation peaked her interest. She glanced carefully around her, nobody was likely to be able to see her monitor, and opened the message.

You are formally invited to Haven.
Theme: End of Days
Venue: The Blue Room

The time code was a long string of numbers indicating the universal time that the event would be held. Amerety tapped it, and waited for the computer to do the calculations. About a week away. Soon.

Amerety sighed, she figured there was no way she was going to be making that. Furrowing her brow, Amerety stared at the name of the venue. It wasn’t a place that she’d ever been to, every time she’d been to Haven it was one of the events on Nova. Amerety bit her lip thinking back to the nights that she’d spent at Haven.

The Blue Room…

It only took Amerety a few moments to bring up the venue on her star charts. A bar on a mining station, not too far out of the trips current path. A single day of extra travel, that’s all that it would take to divert their course.  Amerety began tapping her fingers on the control panel, ideas slowly forming in her head.

She brought up extra information about the mining station, primarily gas exports. Nitrogen sounded like it would be the key. There had been that conversation with Jeremy, what did he say…

A blurred night a week prior flashed momentarily through her mind.

“I’m telling you, we’re getting through our nitrogen a little quickly this trip, we barely have enough to get us through the trip.” Jeremy had prattled on for a while about it. Amerety herself paying more attention to the booze than conversation.  They had an agreement not to discuss work, and yet every so often Jeremy would go on a ramble about this or that. She would always smile, nod and carry on drinking.

The issue she was sure of though, how to convince Jeremy to help her. Surely she couldn’t explain to him the kind of night she was planning on having. Images from her last night at Haven flushed through her mind.

Amerety flushed.

She couldn’t tell anyone here the kind of night she was planning on having. She knew that people would judge her were they to find out.

All Amerety figured she’d need to do was just ensure that the nitrogen stores looked to be running a little too low. A small diversion here, a slight diversion there and some convincing of Jeremy to play up the situation. The captain trusted her navigation skills enough to know he wouldn’t care about a couple of minor adjustments.

Doubt lingered in Amerety’s heart, it would delay everyone getting home. Rations would be stretched. It would be selfish of her.

She typed up some sample calculations to avoid the asteroid belt entirely.

Memories flashed through her mind once more, sensations burned her skin for a moment as she remember every moment of her last Haven.

Her face flushed again.

She changed course.

Day 1 – 9 o’clock on a Saturday

Morin tapped the computer screen gently, and waited patiently for this system to boot. He shouldn’t have let junior staff close up this morning, they always forgot not to shutdown the computers. The pink light produced by screen was just enough to let Morin assess the work that his new employee had done that morning.

No glasses left on the bar? Check.

Chairs placed on their tables? Check.

He walked around the floor a bit.

Floor mopped? Check.

Computer left on? Damn.

Morin glanced back at the computer. Still going. He didn’t mind too much, it gave him a chance to take in the view and have a drink before the bar would open without feeling guilty.

A simple button press kick started the blinds opening, slowly revealing a large gas planet, it threw a blue light into the room. It had taken Morin a lot to secure this particular part of the station, the light created as the namesake for the main bar area, The Blue Room. He stopped and stared at the mass outside, for years now he’d ran the bar and every morning Gisanus astounded him. A hulking blue mass of gas that made him feel dwarfed. Passers from anywhere in the Sol system would often comment that it reminded them of Neptune a gas planet that had once existed in the system his people had come from. It had been mined and mined for centuries, along with the other giants in the system.

He sighed.

Humanity had gone to great lengths to tear their own system apart before spreading throughout their part of the galaxy. The wars had been great and many, but evidently humanity was forced to concede to the laws of much larger entities.

The idea of losing Gisanus horrified Morin, it was of course being mined. Somewhere would always have to be mined, but at least no more than 0.23% of a planet’s mass was allowed to be mined, for risk of disrupting the local gravitational wells too much. Or at least that’s what a drunken Ibrean miner had told him several months ago. The miner, it turned out, was very much against the restrictions that had been placed on mining industries.

A beep echoed from behind the bar.

“Oh finally.”

He walked over and stared at the screen, finally the computer that ran most of the bar had finally booted. Immediately messages started piling in.

Most of the orders that he’d placed the morning before were now on route. That was good.

A curse escaped his lips.

Orders from Earth were going to be delayed. That was inconvenient. A few days earlier a large liner had stopped unexpectedly by, something about a plasma storm causing their antimatter engines to flux out of phase. Honestly, Morin hadn’t been paying too much attention to the ship’s crew as they spent 3 days on the station drinking anything they could get their hands on. Well, the cheap stuff at least.

A good stout was what he needed, definitely a stout. No harm drinking the cheap stuff anyone, wouldn’t affect his bottom line by much at all.

Morin froze as he placed his hand on a stein to fill. He glanced at his inventory again. Right. They drank the beer, he’d maybe get another day or two out of what stock he had. Two and a half thousand light years. At least a month before he’d get more stock of his ‘Earth beers’, they’re cheap at least but a lot of people seem to insist on drinking stuff from the original source. The mark up that he added more than made up for the inconvenience of it all, Morin himself could never really tell the difference.

“That’s cause you’ve never been to the home world, nothing like a classic Aussie beer” the drunks would mumble at him when he told them.

Morin would always just nod at them at let them carry on paying far too much for the cheap drinks.

He wondered. What time would it be on Earth right now. Maybe he could call in some favours to get himself pushed up the priority list a little bit. He knew there were some new ships capable of travelling the distance in just a couple of weeks, but it would cost him.

Might just be worth it, he thought.

Morin tapped the screen again, bringing up the times on various planets.

“It’s 9 o’clock on a Saturday”

He looked at station time and sighed, the morning shift would end soon. His regular crowd would soon arrive.