My God. It’s been a while.
Who am I kidding? It’s been a long while.
He sat up in the boat, watching small waves lap its sides. He didn’t feel seasick or anything. This was a very different feeling.
Humans had never come here before. And now here he was, sitting in a boat, hoping his Universal Translator would continue working and thinking not so much about the fish he’d be eating and a lot more about the two ladies sitting a few benches ahead of him.
There was something about summertime. And while he knew that Porthos was happily hanging around the hotel room, and Reed and Tucker were out scouting for alien tail, and Hoshi was doing, er, something linguistic, no doubt, and Mayweather was rock climbing, he, Jonathan Archer, was on a boat ride.
The waters were crystal clear and the temperature was balmy. Actually, it was a little hot. And he was thrilled to learn that warmer temperatures meant the same on Risa as they did anywhere else he had ever been – shorter skirts and overall skimpier outfits.
The blonde, well, she was kind of blonde but it was kind of silvery, had interesting silvery scrollwork on her arms and legs. She had almost an Irish-style accent when he could pick up a word or two. Melodious, lilting, whatever the heck she was speaking, he wanted to hear more of that. The brunette was not exactly her pal. He had figured out that they had met while on vacation, and were touring together because, well, it’s a lot more fun to tour together, than alone. The brunette had an intricate web of spots on her neck, and he wondered just where those spots ended.
They laughed and pointed at fish jumping out of the water. He had a book with him for later, and there were reports to go over – there were always reports to go over. But the book was forgotten and the reports seemed far away.
He approached. “Uh, excuse me? Have you ladies been here before? I, uh, I’m new here.”
“Well,” said the blonde, “you are new! Like a newborn species, are ya?”
“A novice,” said the brunette.
“Be gentle with me, please,” he said, doing his best puppy eyes.
“We won’t have a lot of time,” said the brunette, “we’re both leaving tonight.”
“Oh,” Jonathan said, disappointment in his tone.
“Maybe next time,” said the blonde. Maybe.