((STARBASE 118 – LOUNGE))
The lounge is packed with people from various species. Some wear casual clothing but most of them are still in their standard Starfleet uniforms. Everyone seems to be relaxed and enjoying their time off. Through the windows we have a splendid view of the inner space dock. We see about half a dozen Starfleet vessels docked while small workbee shuttles fly crisscross through the docking bay area.
We start to move through the jungle of people until finally arriving at a small table in one of the far corners of the lounge. Here we find cadet JOHN KENDRICK and his closest friend from the Academy, Gabriella MORIENTES, both sipping their multi-colored [...]tail. John is in his early twenties, athletically built and still blessed with a boyish look. Wearing his Hawaiian shirt, he looks like he is about to head out for a summer vacation on Risa.
His drinking partner Morientes, still in her cadet uniform, seems to be around the same age. As her left hand glides through her beautiful long red hair, we jump right in the middle of their conversation.
MORIENTES: ::playfully serious:: And you’re sure they didn’t make a mistake? Maybe they mixed up names or something?
KENDRICK: ::going along:: Now that’s just jealousy speaking.
MORIENTES: ::faking disappointment:: No! ::As she smiles:: Well maybe. ::beat:: You know, just a tiny little bit. ::more serious:: But… you should be proud of yourself, John. Only a handful of cadets get the opportunity to join Starfleet’s prestigious Command Training Program for Cadets.
KENDRICK: Can’t believe it myself to tell you the truth. When Admiral Nelson summoned me to his office I swear to you; I almost [...] my pants.
MORIENTES: Now that wouldn’t be the first time.
KENDRICK: ::playing disappointed:: Really, you’re still bringing that up, huh? I was a freshman at the Academy. Locked up with 5 other cadets in a cramped Type 7 shuttle for 10 days. Accidents were bound to happen.
MORIENTES: I would have loved to see the look on your instructor’s face when she opened those shuttle doors after two weeks. ::dryly:: She probably ordered you to follow an extra potty training course.
They both burst out laughing. As they stop, wiping their tears from laughter:
MORIENTES: ::sadness:: I’m going to miss this, you know.
KENDRICK: Getting all sentimental now are we? ::comforting:: Don’t worry. You’ll find another drinking buddy on the Columbia.
MORIENTES: Yeah, maybe. But this is our cadet cruise. Everyone will be so stressed out, afraid to blunder, there won’t even be time for fun. Our posting here could break our career before it even started. It’s serious businesses.
As Morientes finishes her drink and holds up her empty glass, signaling a nearby waiter to their table:
MORIENTES: Guess we’d better order another drink then, right? It could be our last for a very, very long time.
John smiles, but there is a sadness in his eyes. A new adventure lies ahead of him. But it will be without one of his closest friends.