Prompt: Science Fiction, An Archivist, A Beer, “How do you take it?”, Raphael Diak, Age: 81, Tall, Dry Skin, Wavy and Purple Hair, Haunted Eyes, Emaciated Build, Cowardly, Happy Childhood, 600 Words (Details pulled from a prompt generator)
“How do you take it?”
Raphael snapped back to the present. “Um, I asked for a beer, didn’t I? Cold? Frothy? In a glass?”
The bartender sneered at him.
If she had been pretty, he might have excused the reaction, but no, he had become crotchety in old age, and she was anything but nice looking. “What? Have you never served a beer before?”
“Yes, many times, but Earthlings take it differently than Ecksorsians, who take it different than Rykarians. Have you never seen a Rykarian drink beer before?” She matched his grouchy tone, but with an added oomph that only a young, Lunostan girl could manage.
Raphael had bantered like this with numerous other bartenders in the past, so the old argument was nothing new to him. Truly, he was channeling his angst towards the girl until he could attempt to drown it in a glass. He wasn’t sure how he always managed to find himself in these situations, but once again, he was selected by the ICC (Intergalactic Council of Clarity) to save the day, only this time it was literal. A week ago, the head of the ICC informed Raphael that their solar system’s sun was failing, which was a sobering thought, hence Raphael’s desire to down enough alcohol to fuel an ICC Suncruiser. It was no secret that Raphael was a coward; however, it was also no secret that the quirky, half-Rykarian, half-Earthling, archivist was the most intelligent scientist the solar system had ever seen.
“Diak! You old fool! What have you gotten yourself into this time? You only show your plum-headed self in here after the ICC has come a-knockin’.”
“Hey Thorn,” Raphael greeted his old friend like a wet rag. “Yeah, Parks braved the stacks again. These old bones don’t move like they used to, or I would’ve slipped out the back door before he saw me.”
Thorn twirled a barstool around and sat as if there were a chair back in front of him. “Hey, Sass! What’s a guy gotta do to get a beer around here?” He accented the word “beer” with a wink at Raphael. “I think Ralphy here will take a Rykarian one with extra sludge!”
“Don’t encourage her, Thorn!” Raphael groaned.
“So, Ralphy, what’s today’s crisis? Did Earth’s President accidentally nuke the Langornans again?”
“That only happened the one time, and the Langornan Ambassador has apologized several times since. Besides, Earth has already turned over all of their WMDs to the Council to prevent any further blowback to the United System.”
“I still can’t believe they didn’t know that Langora would react that way. I mean, what did they think would happen? Did they expect it to blow up or something? I mean, it’s not Earth.”
“Hey! Watch it! That’s my father’s planet there!”
Thorn threw his hands up in mocking defense. “Soooorry! You have to admit, though, they aren’t all that bright down there. Why else would your father have married a Rykarian? You know it wasn’t for her looks!”
Raphael shook his head in irritation. “Well, it wasn’t anything the Earthlings did.”
“Ok, so what then? Parks need help finding a date for the ICC Ball?”
“Shut up and drink your beer, Thorn.” Raphael took an agitated pause. “It’s serious this time, Thorn. Our sun is failing.”
Flecks of a grayish-green beer sprayed across the bar. “What?!”
“Yep, and apparently, I’m the only one in the entire System that can fix it.”
“Fix it? It’s not a computer system, Diak.”
“I know, I know. Wait a minute! I know!” Abruptly, he stood and raced out of the bar.