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As he stepped into the Promenade after disembarking from the transport shuttle, Cob took a deep breath, taking in the smells and sounds of this new environment. The station, or this part of it anyway, felt a little more like home than San Francisco and the Academy had; less airy, more closed-in, noisier, and with the little hints of cooking spices, ozone, and human and alien body odors in the air that even the best filters and scrubbers couldn't entirely eliminate from a closed environment. He decided he'd do the same thing he'd done when he'd touched down on Earth for the first time, those long four years ago: take a stroll and find a place to grab a meal, in whichever order ended up being more convenient. As it happened, the meal ended up coming first this time. Cob sat down at the counter in the restaurant, a place called 'Granny's', and ordered a plate of stew and some flatbread with sour jam from the Trill woman behind the counter. As he ate, he chatted with her about Trill cuisine, which he'd first had on Earth, and similarities between some of their dishes and some of what he'd grown up eating in the Markab Prime settlement. As he described a Trill-run cafe he'd visited a few times in San Francisco, a young human man in a cadet's uniform that was red where Cob's was blue glanced over at Cob, then seemed to do a double-take. "Oh," the man said, "I'm sorry, if I'd realized there was another cadet here I'd have said 'hello' sooner. I'm Chadwick Dowe." He extended a hand toward Cob. Cob reached out and shook it. "Jacob Harkrow, but call me Cob." "Well, a pleasure to meet a fellow Starfleet up-and-comer, Cob." Chadwick cleared his throat. "And I am sorry about the whole not-noticing-the-uniform thing, it's just... well, for a Starfleet cadet you're a bit, well, larger than average, aren't you?" Cob tried to suppress his half-smile, half grimace. At just under 1.8 meters, Cob was just a little shorter than average height for a human man. One thing he'd developed at the Academy was an allergy for euphemism; he'd have preferred it if the man had just said what he'd really meant instead of dancing around the word like it was something shameful. "You're allowed to say 'fat', Chadwick. And yep, that's how we make 'em out on Markab Prime." He patted his belly with one hand. "Famine resistant, as my uncle used to say." "I, well, I didn't want to offend, but... yes. It's just, I've never seen a hundred-twenty kilo Starfleet cadet." "Closer to one-thirty-five, actually," Cob said, his voice even and measured, "It's an easy mistake. But I'm fine with it, my instructors were fine with it, and Starfleet Medical seems to be fine with it, too. My vitals are all good, I was hitting 95% of the Federation Presidential Fitness Standards even before I left Markab and discovered how much easier it was to do a pull-up in only 1G, and I ran just as many laps around the Academy grounds as everyone else in my class. I wouldn't be here if I weren't every bit as good as every other cadet to make it through the Academy." The other cadet was silent for a moment. "That," he said slowly, "sounded like something you've recited a fair few times." Cob sighed. "I've had some practice, yeah. It's been about a year since the last time I had to break out, though. Feel a little rusty." "Sounded all right to me," Chadwick said. He raised his hands in a gesture of surrender. "Consider me suitably chastised, and if there's anything I can do to help a fat fellow cadet out between now and the start of his cadet cruise, just let old Chadwick know." Cob let himself smile. "I appreciate that. Thanks."