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Cheers

by on September 21, 2016

The bartender of the Dirty Comet Cantina considered himself a conscientious man. He had to be, in his profession. So many space cantinas had turned to robot bartenders, who were efficient, friendly, and didn’t require payment. The Dirty Comet bartender, being human, did expect to be paid. He kept his job by virtue of being the only human bartender in three systems who could keep track of the vast complexity of alien biologies in his system. He knew that a Rigelian could handle seventeen Swirling Supernovas without blinking an eye, whereas someone from the seventh moon of Flaxanar could barely sniff one before they fell off their stool. On this rainy night, he knew that his customer at the moment was pushing the limits of sobriety.

“You,” growled the customer. “Another. Now.”

The bartender summoned up his most solicitous expression. “Here, now, don’t you think you’ve had enough, sir?”

“Not nearly.”

“But you’ve had six Orion Iced Teas, sir, and those are gargleblaster quality. I really think, sir-”

“I’m an otter,” he said, sighing. “It takes more to get us plastered. I thought I’d got there, but I’m clearly doing something wrong, since I’m not there yet. So. Another.”

The bartender also prided himself on his ability to judge when his customers wanted to pour out their sorrows. “Having a bad day, are we, sir?” he said kindly, sitting down opposite the otter.

“A bad day,” the otter repeated. “A bad day? I have had a bad year.

The bartender tried to look sympathetic. He had heard so many sob stories over the years that he found it hard to seem really genuine without knowing the details. “Like to tell me about it?”

“You’re not an angel, are you?” the otter asked suspiciously. “I don’t like angels.”

“No angels here, sir,” laughed the bartender. He stopped laughing at the otter’s expression. “I mean, er, no, I’m pure human. Three generations Earth-born.”

“Congratulations,” growled the otter. “I don’t like Earth either.”

Here the bartender made a mistake. “What’s wrong with the old planet, then?”

“Earth was where it started. That angel was from Earth.  The murder case that angel dragged me into: Earth. The Holy Grail? Earth. Filthy, stinkin’, stupid Earth.”

The otter smacked his paw on the bar for emphasis. “I wish the whole planet would disappear. Like that.”

The bartender decided not to press the point. Instead, he silently got the otter another drink. Neither of them realized that they had been overheard. Even the bartender had overlooked the shadowy figure in the corner booth. But the shadow had heard what the otter said. The bartender hadn’t lied; there weren’t any angels on the small moon. Unfortunately, there were a few members of the other team.

The shadow listened, but the otter was through unburdening himself. He didn’t say another word until  he had finished his seventh Orion Iced Tea. “Another,” he said, more slowly. “Put it…. Put it on my tab.”

“Right, sir,” the bartender said. “And that’ll be under…”

“Stamper,” growled the otter. “Same’s it was before.”

“Of course, sir,” said the bartender.

 

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2 Comments
  1. Reading about Stamper always feels like coming home no matter how long it’s been since I’ve read the last 🙂

  2. He’s back and he’s bitter. I really liked the surprise of his nemesis being Angels and I liked that he loathes the Earth.

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