It was a favorite time of day for most of the scientific crew aboard the trans-galactic spacecraft Evergreen, a 25th-century research vessel on a five-year mission to locate, identify and cultivate seedlings in the little-known Ambrosian quadrant. Most of the crew members were Human, some were the friendly and intelligent Venusians, yet others were the Dirtrons, fat, sweet and fearless earthworm-like creatures who were also the highest-ranking officers on the Evergreen. And all had a mug of beer in hand or claw.
The crew was feeling jolly after a successful journey to rescue a payload of weaponized seedlings set adrift by a warlike and now extinct race of beings. The warriors had developed plant-based weaponry to extinguish their foes, but a greedy rush to calibrate it for maximum destruction was the entire race's eventual, though entirely accidental, undoing. The seedlings were brought aboard and de-commissioned for further study. So it was, that the captain of the Evergreen gave an unprecedented, shipwide order to report to the Officers Lounge, where even the enlisted crew members could celebrate and embibe in the everybody's favorite beverage. Beer.
And SP Ensign Ginger Lamont sure loved her some beer. Growing up on a desolate lunar outpost, Ginger constantly yearned for two things growing up: to serve in space as a Security and Protection officer and to drink anything besides lukewarm EvapWater. Once, when Ginger was a child, a Venusian craft had landed for a re-fit and the captain had unloaded cases and cases of chilled flower nectar for the workers. She nearly fainted at the first sip, it was so delicious. But then, twenty years later, her best friend, a Dirtron named Skoop, handed her a drink at a blast-off party. "My moms said this stuff is the best. You can drink it and feel boozy, but only if you want to." Dirtrons had like ten moms, so Ginger felt pretty good about the recommendation and drank down her first beer. It was exquisite.
Looking down at the foam topping an iced-over mug, SP Ensign Lamont decided to allow the beer's boozy influence to sweep through her disciplined mind and body. Captain's orders, she thought, as she held her mug up to toast with Skoop, who worked as the lead apprentice in the ship's brewery. Only Dirtrons excelled at beer-making and so far, were the only ones who had achieved the exalated Brewmaster rank. It was something about their wormlike sense of smell and ability to manipulate microorganisms in the soil that enabled them to produce the purest hops and smoothest malt. Ginger reveled in another sip when her earcomm chip suddenly activated in red alert. "Security and Protection to the Officers Lounge! Intruder alert! Repeat. Intruder alert. All SP hands to the Officer Lounge."
Being one of two SP crew already in the Officers Lounge, Ginger knew she and SP Ensign Loving could easily resolve the intrusion. It was all so typical and really almost expected. Party crashers. She turned to Skoop who, without an earcomm chip of his own, was happily imbibing and unaware. Ginger said, "Here, hold my beer."
The party crashers this time was a trio of males of the Vinalian species. Ensign Lamont had dealt with their slippery tactics in the past and had devised a quick strategy to, at least temporarily, boot them out of the party. The Vinalians could sprout vines at warp speed and used their network of vine-like appendages to transport themselves through space and solids. The vines were used as ingestion devices as well detection sensors which were finely tuned toward the scent of beer, a coveted and highly sought delicacy of the Vinalian race. There was one big difference though between the Vinalians and every other beer- drinking species in the 25th century. They were cheap drunks. And SP Ensign Ginger Lamont knew it.
Snagging three thimble-sized beer mugs from the bar, Ensigns Lamont and Loving approached the trio with welcoming smiles. "Welcome to the Evergreen. Please. Join us in drink!", Ginger invited, thrusting tiny mugs into tiny, viney hands. In return, the Vinalians formed themselves into a wide smile and changed in color from brown to shimmering green. They really aren't a bad sort, Ginger thought, if it wasn't for their piratical ways. She knew they would steal the Evergreen's brewery blind. Probably transport the whole thing if they could.
As she watched the Vinalian males bottoms-up their beer, Ginger glanced over at Skoop who, still holding her beer, mouthed something like "Hurry up. It's getting warm." And within seconds, the Vinalians were slumped incoherent on the lounge floor. One drop'll do you for, at least them, Ginger smirked, carrying them over to the lounge's transport cube. She entered several coordinates on the cube's padd, and the Vinalians were beamed to the ship's brig where a localized force field would contain them, allowing them to sleep it off before sending them back to their quadrant.
SP Ensign Ginger Lamont was on her second beer and yukking it up with Skoop and a Venusian botanist when a group of armed SP recruits rushed into the Officers Lounge moments later. Ginger reported that the situation was under control and offered, "How about an ice-cold beer?"