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Pirates of Harvest: Passive Pat
Posted By: Nosolee<crugg2005@gmail.com>
Date: 11 August 2006, 2:32 am

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Pirates of Harvest: Enter Passive Pat

February 2nd, 2525
On Board Civilian Ship Pride of the Stars
En Route to Colony Harvest

      "I'll have a Harvest Hangover please," I said to the short bartender as I raised a finger.
      "One?" he asked curtly, wiping his hands with a white cloth.
      "Yep," I nodded as I turned to lean against the wood counter, facing the massive open ball-room of the cruise ship. I kept an eye on the various large, double-doors of the main entrance, waiting for someone I knew to walk in. I shifted my gaze to the oversized dance floor where a few older couples had already started awkwardly bobbing around with each other. It was 8:15 and I intended to enjoy the final night of the voyage to its fullest. The room was filling rapidly and I recognized some faces, acquaintances made throughout the week. I was the first of my group to arrive.

      We left Earth January 24th, at the start of the new semester. I was part of a student group of college juniors on a semester long "study abroad" program. We were researching with our professors, Dr. Jonathan Bow and George Feldman, the various untouched lands and alien fauna of a few outer colonies. Part of the program was this weeklong cruise where Feldman gave some lectures about the regional stars and the other planets in Harvest's solar-system. It was really just a treat for the students at the start of their trip to help us get to know each other. When we set out I only knew one other student, my freshman year roommate, Barry Gortler. By now, however, I felt as if I knew everyone from my trip quite well. Most of us had bonded though the various activities and challenges the Professors often threw at us.

      Feldman and Bow had entered, as a matter of fact, and saw me standing by the bar. They approached, tall, lanky Feldman striding forward in his grey suit. His frizzled white hair jutted out in an awkward tuft to the left side and his square rim glasses hung low on his nose. He rubbed his moustache as he walked, causing him to look as if he were curiously thinking. He probably was; the man was among the most intelligent I had ever met, never failing to point out something trivial he thought interesting. Feldman was the quintessential offbeat yet "cool" professor most students overlooked or avoided as the old stickler.

      "Drinking already aye, Romano?" he stopped in front of me and rocked on his heels for a moment. The bartender stuck a mixing straw into my orange-yellow Harvest Hangover as he put it on the counter. I grabbed the cool cup and turned back to Feldman.
      "Yup," I said with a small smile as I took a sip. I wrinkled my nose, "oof, that's strong."
      "What's in it?" Bow asked.
      "A few liquors and a mixture of Mezz and Turt juice, pretty good," Mezz and Turt were popular sweet fruits native to Harvest.
      "Hmm, I think I might just have to get one m'self," Feldman rubbed his moustache again, "what's it called?"
      "A Harvest Hangover," I couldn't help but laugh.
      "Well, there's no question about it then! One Harvest Hangover, please," Feldman said to a female bartender.
      "Make that two," Bow said, raising a finger.
      "Room number?" she asked.
      "821," Bow responded. Professor Bow was much younger than Feldman. Not much older than us, as a matter of fact. He was only 30 years old, shorter than Feldman as well. He had cropped black hair and an athletic build. Bow was an alumnus of the University and former Swimmer. I too had swum on the team my freshman year; we found much in common and often had conversations concerning things other than natural history.
      "So, Romano, you excited?" Feldman asked, still staring over the countertop.
      "Very, what's the schedule for tomorrow?" I asked.
      "Well, not much. We check out and land around noon…it's going to take us about an hour and a half to get to our hotel, we're staying on a lake about fifteen minutes from Pityea," Feldman said.
      "Oh, nice," I said, raising my eyebrows before taking another sip.
      "So by the time we get checked in…settled it'll be about three or so. There's nothing planned, so the afternoon is free. Recover from your Harvest Hangover," Feldman smiled as he thanked the bartender for his drink. Bow and I laughed.
      "Ah, that is strong," Feldman said, cocking his head.
      "So, you guys are gonna dance tonight, right?" I said.
      "Yeah, right. A few more of these and you'll definitely see me out there," Bow said, raising his own drink.
      "Don't disappoint me," I smirked.
      "Ohh, don't worry. By the time I'm done with this one…you should have a few good pictures to share. Thank goodness for tenure," Feldman chuckled.
      "I'll be lookin," I said.
      "How about this, if you can answer this question correctly, Dr. Feldman will do his infamous Irish jig right in the middle of the dance floor.
      "Oh God…" Feldman shook his head.
      "Let's hear it."
      "See that star right there?" Bow pointed with his right arm toward the massive window that composed nearly the entire left wall of the high-ceiling room at an ambiguous shining star in the distance.
      "Mmm, yeah," I responded.
      "What's it's name?" Bow asked.
      "Hah, I have no idea," I said frankly.
      "Me neither," Bow smiled as he patted me on the back and walked with Feldman toward a table where some other professors from other schools were sitting. I glanced back over to the door and saw that Barry had just entered with two other students from our group. I took another sip and approached.
      "What's up guys," I said casually.
      "Hey, Pat. You get a table yet?" Barry asked.
      "No, there's one over there though," I said and the four of us walked over.
      "The captain's gonna speak soon, they announced it while we were in our cabins," one of the girls with us said.
      "Oh yeah?" I said in my "I'm interested but not really" tone. "You guys ready to party tonight?"
      "Damn straight, it should be a fun night," Barry nodded his head.
      "It should," I said, before finishing off my Harvest Hangover.
      "So…that Dana girl, you finally gonna man it up and actually go over and talk to her?" Barry said as we sat down.
      "Ooh, what Dana?" Jill, one of the other girls with us asked.
      "Damn it, Barry," I said, leaning back in my chair.
      "Some girl he's been eyeing this week. We talked to her and her friends for, like, a few minutes on Wednesday. He hasn't been man enough since to go up to her alone," Barry said.
      "It's not that, I haven't had a chance," I responded.
      "Oh yeah, haven't had a chance. How about that time yesterday when we passed her by the gift shop? Or when we were at the show last night? Eh?" Barry jocularly pushed my shoulder.
      "You're an ass, Barry. You really are," I laughed.
      "Peer pressure, man. It's the sure-fire way to get you movin'."
      "Yeah, well, if I see her I see her," I said.
      "That passivity. It's killing me. Passive passive passive. Passive Pat. Why don't you go get me a drink, Passive Pat?"
      "I'll say it again, you're an ass Barry. But you know what, I will get you a drink. Why? Because I'm not an ass. Unlike you Barry the Ass," I said with a smile as I got up.
      "Where's the assonance, Passive Pat?" Barry said.
      "You're an ass, that's where it is. What do you want?" I asked.
      "Whatever you had," Barry said. I nodded and approached the bar.
      "Two Harvest Hangovers please," this time I raised two fingers.
      "Harvest Hangover, that sounds interesting," I heard a girl's voice behind me say. I only half-turned to my left to see, heart pounding, who it was.
      "Oh, hey, Dana" I said, trying to sound as confident as possible.
      "Not much…Pat?" she said with a slight smile, squinting, hoping she got my name right.
      "Yup," I nodded and turned my attention toward the main entrance. Two guards entered escorting the captain.
      "Oh, check it out. I think he's supposed to speak tonight," I said.
      "Really, that's cool. He was an ex-Navy captain right?" she asked.
      "I guess so, I don't really know," I laughed and shrugged my shoulders.
      "Yeah, I think I heard someone talking about him before. He hunted down a group of Rebels, pretty hardcore," Dana said looking over the counter.
      "Interesting. So do you have a table? We've got some room at ours if you like," I said.
      "Sure, no one from my group is here yet," she said as I accepted my drinks.
      "Well alright, let's head over before the captain starts in," I was excited. Tonight was going to be great.