The Keg

Inherently, people were stupid. I had learned that time and again, and yet I still let this simple fact get under my skin far too easily.

It wasn’t that I was an impatient man, prone to explosions of anger, though my present company might disagree; it was more that I just had no tolerance for stupid people. Needless to say, that made me impatient often.

“It’s fine, Roc. We’ll get there on time.” PyjamaSam said as we walked down the busy boulevard.

There were three separate concerts going on in the city that evening, plus some film festival, and of all the nights to choose, this was the night we had decided to meet in the city. It was a sardine can of a million people, and I didn’t like fish.

“For the love of …” I began, not finishing my sentence, unchecked anger surfacing far too quickly. There was a two-door entryway in front of us, but instead of making use of both doors, the idiot crowd was filing in through one already open door. How lazy did you have to be?

As we drew closer, I saw a more rotund gentleman approach the second door, and almost felt the anxiety fall off of me; he was going to open the second door, relieving this self-inflicted congestion of pedestrian traffic.

My eye twitched.

Instead of simply reaching out with one fat hand and laying his chubby digits around the handle, opening the door like any person with an iota of intelligence would do, he turned, and waited until someone let him in the lineup for the already open door.

“Unfrickinbelievable.” I uttered to myself, approaching the second door to open it myself. We were already late. I hated being late.

Sam, in his geeky might, had decided prior to exiting the shuttle, to input the location of the restaurant we were going to into his NeoCom. He had the latest GS model of the NeoCom, far superior to my base model; at least that’s what he always reminded me of. Mine did the job; that’s all that mattered to me.

We had nearly arrived at The Keg, a fine steakhouse I had been told, when he double checked his NeoCom one final time.

He stopped in his tracks.

“What?” I asked with more hostility in my voice than intended.

“We’re, um, at the wrong location. He meant the other one.” With that, Sam turned around back the way we had come, and was off at a brisk pace, leaving me no time to even scathe him with harsh words.

Fifteen minutes later, we arrived at our new destination.

From the outside, I had to admit, the place looked far classier than I was accustomed to. A quick glance at my flight pants, leather jacket, and drink stained muscle shirt confirmed it. Yeah, I was definitely going to fit in here.

We entered the restaurant and were assaulted with chaos; the place was packed to capacity. I could barely hear the hostess asking if she could help me, but managed to utter the word “Canux” to her.

She smiled pleasantly, and muttered something, then walked away. We followed, and in short order were seated in a nice booth with comfortable leather benches.

The noise of the crowd was so distracting, I barely had time to appreciate the waitress’ assets.

I looked at Sam and uttered, “As long as he’s later than us, I’m good.”

It was just then that the thinnest, tallest Caldari I had ever seen smiled at us, and extended his hand.

“Roc Wieler, I assume.” he said, his voice nearly as low as mine. I returned his firm handshake, making a mental note of his grip; he was obviously strong despite his appearance.

“And PyjamaSam of course.” the Caldari continued his introduction, shaking hands with Sam.

“Namkha, good to meet you.” I said, taking my seat and discarding my jacket.

Namkha turned out to be many things, an astute and successful businessman only one of the many hats he wore; at least that was my impression of him by the end of this meeting.

Sam and I had received a comm from him several weeks earlier to meet with him for the chance to discuss “a business opportunity of great potential interest to us.”

I was skeptical of all business people since my last horrible lapse in judgement that I was still paying for with my very career, not to mention the fact that he was Caldari.

Don’t get me wrong; I had many Caldari friends and associates despite them being allied with the Amarr. I knew the Caldari people were a good people overall. My belief was that their interim leader, Tibus Heth, was an easy to manipulate jackass and a despot whom would soon reap the crop of what he had sown within the State, or fall under the charm of the Amarr Empress whom had been courting him of late.

Of course, given that the Caldari State had crushed the Gallente Federation didn’t really reinforce my ability to perceive things accurately. But then again, I still believed  Jamyl Sarum  had a hand in that; you couldn’t trust any Amarr after all.

In the end, Sam and I had discussed the invitation at length, and accepted. We had even joked about his intentions.

“What if he tries to kill us?” I had said humourously to Sam.

“That’s why I brought you.” he replied, not missing a beat.

“Why? Because I run slower?”

We both laughed.

Within the span of the next fifteen minutes, I felt more at ease. Namkha turned out to be one of the most enjoyable Caldari I had ever met; he was intelligent, his words were well thought out before spoken, and he had a quiet confidence about him that demanded respect and held your attention.

Sam, of course, blathered on incessantly when given the chance. That was one of the few things about Sam that really irritated me in our friendship.

90% of the time you couldn’t coax a peep out of him; he was just simply anti-social. But get him talking about something he held a passion for, and even a Titan class Ragnarok warping into your frigate couldn’t shut him up.

We ordered steaks for dinner, Namkha having his with wine, Sam having his with a glass of water.

I had beer. Lots of beer.

The conversation over dinner continued to be enjoyable, and the meal itself was delicious.

As we sank into our seats after dinner, declining a look at the dessert menu, Namkha hit us with the business opportunity.

I’m not going to go into the details of that in this journal entry at this time, but sufficient to say, Sam and I were both floored.

It was an incredible opportunity for us to consider.

After composing ourselves, we generously thanked Namkha, and let him know about a few other avenues we were currently pursuing, but should those fall through, we would definitely give weight to his considerable offer.

He footed the bill for the evening, which further demonstrated the class of the man. As I said, one of the most enjoyable Caldari I had ever met, and someone I would definitely be staying in touch with.

We said our goodbyes, and Sam and I made our way back towards the shuttleport, which took exactly… four minutes.

I punched Sam in the shoulder. “You’re an ass.” I said, commenting on how close we ended up being to where we had started. He had taken us half an hour in the wrong direction towards the wrong location, when the damned restaurant had been right beside us upon our arrival. Grrr.

Once we had shuttled back to the orbiting station, we said our goodbyes, and I made my way back to my private hangar bay.

An enjoyable evening, but there was still a war going on around us, and war was what I was good at.

[OOC] Give NAMKHA’S BLOG a read; hopefully you’ll enjoy it as much as I do.

3 responses to “The Keg

  1. The best part of any meal is the company it is enjoyed in. Last night’s was probably one of the most enjoyable I’ve had since, well, since that time on Sovicou when those Gallente dancers… mmm… well, never mind that. Where was I again?

    Oh yes, the meal. Well Colonel, I don’t know how you Minmatar do it really. Had I consumed that much beer I would have woken up in my clone vat and there would be a very embarrassing corpse resembling me lying under the table at the restaurant.

    And who knew they could actually bring kegs of beer to the table? I shouldn’t be surprised given the name of the place, but truth in advertising is so rare these days…

    An excellent evening. Call it a small first step in ethnic relations and let’s do it again real soon.

  2. A great love-letter to our town at Film Fest time if I ever read one. Did you ever hit the Keg Mansion on Wellesley? Awesome place. We’ll go sometime. 🙂

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