|USF Personal Log|
by Ensign Gror
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From the moment he found it, Ensign Gror knew he had to tell Xiwi. Gror and Xiwi had been friends from the day they first met in Dr. Webster’s Interplanetary Ethics class four and a half years ago when Gror had made a comment and Xiwi disputed it vociferously. The ensuing debate lasted three hours and they had been inseparable ever since.
Gror /knew/ that Xiwi would love this when he told her.
Of course Xiwi loved it. Which was why they were here now. Wandering around underneath Level 1 of Main Operations with SIMs beacons lighting up the space they found themselves in.
It was an anomaly in the otherwise smooth, Federation design of Operations. A long, irregular hollow just below Ops.
“It looks like when the Corps of Engineers were building Ops, they needed to shore up some instabilities.” The Rigelian woman said, scanning the area with her tricorder. She rapped her knuckles against one of the metallic buttresses that arced across the space.
Her Tellarite friend nodded. “Yeah. Sounds like duranium. Judging by the walls, there was a lot of loose rock here when they first started building.”
“Does anyone know about this yet?”
“Not as far as I know.”
Xiwi looked around, hands akimbo. “So what we have here is a huge, empty space under Ops, the only way in of which is by transporter. What do we do with it?”
Gror chortled in his usual guttural, porcine way. “I don’t think that’s even a question. We fix this place up, get some tables and chairs in here along with a replicator, maybe a few bottles of real liquor. Before you know it, we’ve got a private speakeasy for junior officers, maybe NonComs, and we’re legends throughout the Fleet.”
Over the next few months, Gror and Xiwi labored. The first snows were beginning to fall at the Outpost as they neared completion. The result was a large, yet cozy room. It was constructed almost entirely of a deep, richly-colored wood, while the arches and ceilings were of rough-hewn local stone.. A long bar curved out into the room, lined with a long row of tall wooden stools.
At one end of the room, there was a large, honey-colored wooden mantelpiece with Neo-Classical interpretations of Gror and Xiwi on either side. A holographic fire burned brightly and warmly enough inside the fireplace to make one forget about the Winter chill outside.
A handful of tables were positioned in the room. Small circular windows near the ceiling illuminated the room in the daytime (“These will be great in the Summer.” Xiwi noted, “They’ll give a nice view of the Lake from the cliff edge, and the Mall from a surface view.”). Most of the light, though, came from large candles hanging in sconces from the beams which stood upright to support the ceiling.
The pair wiped the dust and grime off themselves as they finished, feeling a sense of great pride. They’d get busy telling their peers about this place. Xiwi suggested the price of membership ought to be a yearly donation of some spirit or other to the bar, and Gror thought that was a brilliant idea. “I have just the bottle to start off the collection, too.” Gror added, as they crawled through the secret entrance they had constructed and into a section of Jefferies Tubes. “I have a bottle of yalasat that I’ve been holding on to. I can’t think of a more fitting offering.”