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Carbon Creek

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A Vulcan's Tale

T'Nana and Mestral make their way to the bar and observe a human paying for his drinks with money. "Currency," T'Nana tells Mestral. "Yes, the paper appears to have value," Mestral notes. The middle-aged bar chick asks the Vulcans if they want anything; T'Nana pushes an ashtray away with distaste and inquires if she has anything "that doesn't require currency." "You mean, 'free'?" Bar Chick asks. She pushes a bowl of bar snacks their way. At least they're relatively vegetarian. Except for the animal lard. A local companionably asks what brings them into town, and T'Nana curtly explains that they had an accident with their "vehicle" on the outskirts of town. As she brings over some glasses of water, Bar Chick asks if they're okay. "We're fine," T'Nana tells her. Again with the curtness. "You folks married?" Bar Chick asks brightly. It was here I noticed the similarity and put it together with the "Cusack" in the opening credits. Of course, she's a sister to Joan and John. T'Nana tells Bar Cusack that they're "business associates," and Local tells them that he'd be darn tootin'ly happy to give them a lift to the gas station. T'Nana tells him they don't need help. "Soot yerself," Local drawls, and peels out to shoot pool. What are the chances that a relative of T'Pol's would meet a relative of Trip's in Pennsylvania?

As Local asks if anyone is up for a game, stakes being a quarter a ball, Hank Harris walks in with "Precocious Teen" written all over him and volunteers his pocket change to Local in exchange for a rack-up. Local tells Precocious Teen that he needs to get his mother's permission, so Precocious Teen asks Bar Cusack if it's okay. She orders him to go upstairs and do his homework. Precocious Teen, being precocious, obeys. Against T'Nana's express wishes, Mestral decides he should give the game a go. "I can defeat him," Mestral says. "You don't even know the rules," T'Nana argues. "It's simple," Mestral tells her, and walks over to Local, who says, "I thought you didn't have enny money." "He doesn't," T'Nana tells him. Local tells him that in that case, there's nothing "in it" for him. Mestral and T'Nana make to leave until Local calls them back and tells them that he'll play Mestral, on the condition that if he loses, he'll pay in full, but if he wins, he gets a drink with Mestral's "business associate." T'Nana is annoyed. "The game is based on simple geometry. It wouldn't challenge a Vulcan child," Mestral assures T'Nana, and reminds her that they need the money. T'Nana is still against it: "What if you lose? I'll have to socialize with him." Mestral looks at Local, who harmlessly waggles his eyebrows at him. "Would you rather die of starvation?" Mestral asks T'Nana. "Besides, it's just like Dom-Jot," Mathra comments, carefully removing clumps of puff pastry dough from Hunca Munca's paws.

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