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Galactic Bartender Episode 2: Last Orders

The more time I spend with Space Station 13 the more impressed I am, but I'll save that for a round-up post at a later date. For now, here's another abstract update on my progress. If you missed it, Episode 1 can be found here. This is the adventures of Galactic Bartender Gengy Patel.

Barman’s log, stardate 40263.1. Dunno where to begin. I'm recording this from the station escape shuttle, and I'm sat beside the four other survivors of the blast. The bar's been destroyed. I mean, technically the entire station's been destroyed, but the bar was inside it. Today's been a right pain in the arse.

I arrived on the station, announced meself to the Head of Personnel and he told me straight up that the station already had a barman. I couldn't believe it. 'Can you do anything else?' he asks.

'Like what?' I say.

'Like...' and off he goes, checking his console. 'Like being the station's doctor?' he says.

Now, I'm a guy who knows his place. I'm just a humble bartender. That's me. But this doctoring lark- this "being" a "doctor". It's all bollocks, innit? So I tell the Head of Personnel that I'm his man. No danger. 'Now,' I say to him. 'Where's Medical?'

I had it all worked out. I found this big cabinet of pills in the back, behind the counter. People would show up, I'd have a chat with them and then give them a big bottle of pills. Because that's all doctors are really selling, innit? Peace of mind. Then your sick fella goes away, with all the positivity and that, and he gets better. "Time heals all wounds", as they say.

I realised being station's doctor was just like being a barman. People come in to my establishment, the weight of the world- or rather space itself- on their shoulders, and I slide them over a little bit of attention and a little something to swallow. Hospitals- now they're really just pubs for people that don't like pubs.

There was only one problem. I couldn't open most of the doors and cabinets in Medical, because I still had my old bartender clearance on my ID Card. I ask some sparky fixing a Power Controller on the wall how to get a new one, and he says I can get it from the Head of Personnel. Cor.

There's a bit of a queue when I get back to Arrivals, though, and it's here that I bear witness to the stupidest bloody conversation I've heard in my life. I've attached it here. About half way through the station's captain, the guvnor himself, shows up. I think he was just doing the rounds.

EVENTUALLY this Benwick fella went off to bother someone else and I got some time with Mr. Fisher. That was when I learned the position of station doctor had also been given away in my absence and I was to be an engineer, which didn't sound like a bartender at all. All those wires? Nah mate. Musn't grumble, though. An engineer still outranks the barman, right? So I accepted my new ID Card and went off to find a jumpsuit.

Figured I'd drop in at the station's bar on the way there, mind. Might as well have a shifty one before work if I wasn't to be the one serving it.

The barman there, a Mr. Forge, seemed like a nice enough lad, so I thought I'd enlighten him on the finer details of my situation. You know, about how he stole my job and that. It was some time around my third beer (I'd just gotten to the bit about how I probably outranked him) when the meteor collided with the station. A bloody meteor! Good thing I wasn't on duty or I'd probably be having a hell of a time holding the station together with my new mates down in engineering. I wished them well, though.

Amiably, we continued our chat and I continued my measured drinking. I remember this Mr. Forge repeating all kinds of sinister things about how I 'Wouldn't want a bartender as my enemy' and I remember meself defusing the situation with my trademark wit. Finally the time came for me to leave, which was when I saw Mr. Forge rummaging in a toolbox and began to fear that he was getting ideas. I turned and went running straight into the wall, which presumably was something to do with the meteor messing with the station's gravity plating.

Adjusting my course I managed to get to the doors, which didn't open. At first I thought it was because I was holding a bottle of beer in each hand, but after I'd dropped these I found that the doors stayed firmly closed. Maybe the power to them was dead. And then, of all things, a message gets played over the station's PA system that the station is about to explode and the escape shuttle was leaving in three minutes.

Keeping my cool, I informed my fellow barman that the toolbox probably had something that could get us out of here. At least, that's what I tried to say. I was getting a bit of a head rush at this point, what with all the keeping cool and the booze and that. Mr. Forge was very obliging and went smashing through the glass frontage of the bar with a crowbar, and disappeared from sight. Right samaritan this guy was.

I was out in the hallway when I realised I had no idea where the escape shuttle was. With a minute on the clock I had to consult a bloody map, only making it into the shuttle in the nick of time. That never happens in the holo-movies.

God, I've had it up to here with this galactic bartending business. What will happen to me next?

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Quintin Smith avatar

Quintin Smith

Former Staff Writer

Quinns was one of the first writers to join Rock Paper Shotgun after its founding in 2007, and he stayed with the site until 2011 (though he carried on writing freelance articles well beyond that). These days, you can find him talking about tabletop board games over on Shut Up And Sit Down, or doing proper grown-up journalism with the folks at People Make Games.