Damian was talking with a very handsome waitress on the transport carrying himself and several other cadets and personnel to Starbase 118, when the captain announced that they had docked. Damian allowed many of his fellow passengers to pass while he continued chatting. Just as he was getting ready to ask the waitress to meet him for drinks at a local establishment she had mentioned being fond of, a Vulcan cadet he had grown well acquainted with at the Academy interjected himself into the conversation. Unfortunately for Damian, the waitress seemed to take this as an opportunity to excuse herself; a common recurrence in Damian's social life. Damian sighed and turned to disembark, with the Vulcan in tow. “Did I interrupt anything, Cadet Fleming?” he asked. “Apparently not, Sekon, apparently not.” “Intriguing, did you intend to mate with her?” Damian smiled and said, “Just drinks, Sekon.” “Is that not a common initiator in human mating rituals?” “Sometimes it is, but one could say I'm not very good at it.” “I see,” Sekon said with an air of finality. The two cadets walked down the airlock tunnel connecting the transport with the starbase. When they entered the starbase proper, Sekon said, “Well, Cadet Fleming, I believe my quarters are this way,” pointing to the left, “and yours are to our right.” “I'll see ya around, Sekon.” “Indeed,” Sekon replied as he took a step toward his quarters, “I... believe we will meet again, Cadet.” “Indeed,” Damian said in his best approximation of Vulcan tone. Sekon's facial expression flickered for an instant, although Damian couldn't tell exactly what it had been for that brief moment. Then Sekon walked off in the direction of his quarters, and Damian was alone again. “Well,” he thought to himself, “no reason why I can't have a quick drink on my own.” Damian approached a panel looking for directions to a decent watering hole, there were so many to choose from, and he wasn't sure where to go. The promenade seemed like the best place to look, obviously, but even then there was a lot to choose from. He picked one at random, and followed the directions the computer gave. He wasn't entirely sure where he wound up, or what the place's name was, but he found they served a fairly decent synthale. As Cadet Fleming sat at a lonely table in a lonely corner, he drank his synthale slowly and reflected on the past few years. The academy had been quite the experience. He never exactly stood out, he was mostly a 'B' student, didn't care much for sports, and was by no means a “social butterfly,” but he had made it through. The one thing he had seemed to excel at was piloting. He had even stayed at Starfleet Academy an extra two years in order to become a highly qualified small craft and fighter pilot. He wasn't sure if either of those skills would ever come into use, carriers were still extremely rare in Starfleet, and he wanted to be posted to a ship, and not a starbase with a fighter squadron. He strongly believed that fighter carriers were the future for Starfleet defense, but that could still be a while off. Still, even on a science vessel, well trained pilots were always useful. His instructors had even commented that with his piloting skills, even something as big and bulky as a Galaxy or Sovereign class would be quite a bit more agile with him at the helm. He continued to reflect on his days at the Academy, his many shortcomings both socially and academically, when he realized that another one of his bad habits had crept up on him without him realizing: tardiness. He was going to be late to the briefing on the holodeck, and he wasn't even sure where it was. He found another directory, and then hurried off toward the briefing that would begin his first real experience in Starfleet action: his cadet cruise.