Lap Trenh Bar: Bangkok, Thailand, Earth
Speakers at the DJ's table blared music into the Southeast Asian night:
Who knows what tomorrow brings
in a world where few hearts survive?
All I know is the way I feel
When it's real, I keep it alive.
The road is long
There are mountains in our way
But we climb a step every day…
Life in the 24th century provided many opportunities to test one's self. One of the most common was the ability to control one's body clock. It was still morning in San Francisco, but here across the Pacific, it was well past midnight.
The reception was a wonderful success, and despite the Lap Trenh's dilapidated appearance from the street, the covered wooden deck out back had an incredible view of the Chao Phraya river with several skyscrapers and ancient stone temples glinting in the moonlight on the far bank. Now, as the night came to a close, a warm breeze caused the paper lanterns hanging above to sway back and forth with only one pair left on the dancefloor. Phil held Katie gently in his arms as she rested her head on his shoulder. It was a beautiful sight that the Pershing's crew, joined by Dee, Zhenia, and Crestia, took in as they all rested at one of the tables. The jackets were off, ties untied, and high heels cast aside.
Love lift us up where we belong!
Where the eagles cry,
On a mountain high!
Love lift us up where we belong!
Far from the world below,
up where the clear winds blow…
"My Lord," Annabeth said taking another sip from her can of local beer, "this music is terrible."
"But it's perfect for them," Laria said smiling as she rested her hand underneath her chin.
"I suppose so," Alex said agreeing with her. "They are so in love. It's adorable."
"So, after I vomit from that comment," Scharr said rubbing his eyes, "what's next on the schedule?"
"What's a matter, Old Man?" Zhenia said playfully pushing her father's knee. "Getting tired?"
"Listen here, Squirt," he said glaring at her. "I was partying like this a decade before you were a glimmer in your four parent's eyes. Show some respect."
"Right…" she said sarcastically.
"Katie and Phil wanna get us all back together for brunch tomorrow on Fisherman's Wharf at 1030 local before they head to Napa for the honeymoon," Annabeth said.
"In the meantime," Dee continued, "they're headed toward a newlywed suite Phil scored in the Swiss Alps overlooking the Matterhorn. I highly doubt they'll want to be disturbed for the next twelve or so hours," she said vulgarly lifted her fist in the air and pounding it back and forth. "So that means we're left to our own devices."
"I'm heading back to the ship to crash in my own bed," Scharr said as his antenna straightened. "That monstrosity the hotel calls a bed is too damned soft."
"That actually doesn't sound too bad," Katan said. "I've got a mountain of annual physical paperwork to catch up on in sickbay. Somebody forget to do them all before she left the ship…"
"You're welcome, Kinzo" Alex said with a laugh as she took a sip of her cocktail.
"No!" Laria said upset. "We're in one of the most famous party cities on Earth and with Alex here, we finally got the gang back together. We should go out and hit the bars!"
"What happened to the timid, little frostmouse who came onboard three years ago?" Scharr said condescendingly. "Back then, you couldn't spell the word 'bar.'"
"A bunch of people were bad influences on me!" Laria said back at him annoyed.
"All you had to say was 'party'," Dee said. "I'm in."
"As am I," T'les said. "I would enjoy taking in the leisure activities and local culture of this area."
"Me too," Zhenia said. "Apparently Brett is taking his platoon out for dinner Beijing, so I'll be stag soon."
"Can I come?" Crestia asked.
"Of course!" Laria answered. "It'll be great," she said.
Annabeth and Alex looked at each other.
"I don't know," Annabeth concerned. "We really should be getting back to Max in Germany."
"We only have the sitter for another two hours and then we have to put him to bed," Alex added a bit disappointed.
"That's easy," Tigranian said. "I'll go back to Munich and watch Max."
"You?" Annabeth, Alex, and Laria all answered simultaneously.
"Yes, me!" the captain replied indignantly. "I am his godfather after all."
"Are you sure, Dan?" Annabeth asked. "He's still really young and can be a bit of a handful."
"Do you even know how to change a diaper?" Alex asked nervously.
"I get the basic concept," Tigranian said rolling his eyes. "Besides, he's a Tigranian man. My mother says that I a little terror too. Besides, if anything goes wrong, which it won't," he reiterated, "I'll give you a call and you can come right home."
Alex looked at Annabeth again.
"We haven't actually had a night out together since the baby was born," Alex said. Annabeth nervously glanced back and forth between her wife and the Tigranians. Finally, she realized she had been overruled.
"Fine," she said acquiescing. "Max is a strong kid. I'm sure even Dan can't do any permanent damage in just one night."
"Awesome!" Laria said nearly jumping out and down. "A night out with just the ladies will be even better! We'll all run and change out of these wedding clothes and then hit it!"
"Just be sure you don't hit it too hard, frostmouse," Scharr warned. "Bangkok is definitely a wild place for shore leave, but it's not very forgiving for newbies. It can even make the hard Andorian humble."
"How would you know?" Zhenia said curling her antennae. "You hate Earth."
"Listen here, Snowflake," Scharr said looking back at her. "I spent four years at the Academy and another two years in the fleet before I headed home to marry your mothers. I'm no stranger to this place. Trust me."
"Sure Dad," Zhenia said skeptically. Scharr grinned. A waitress was picking up glasses from a nearby table. Scharr turned to her and said:
"Khxthos na chan khx beiyr him di him?"
The Thai woman immediately grinned from ear to ear and brought him a fresh drink.
"That's incredible," she said in accented Federation Standard while handing him the beer. "Most people from other parts of Earth cannot speak Thai! I've never seen an off-worlder who could before!"
"Khaawp-khun," Scharr said holding up his hands and placing his palms together.
"By Uzaveh, Dad…" Zhenia muttered in disbelief as everyone else's jaw dropped.
"On an unrelated subject," he said taking a sip of Singha. "If while you're out, you meet a half-human/half-Andorian who looks like they're related…don't tell them you know me. You've got enough siblings already.