Posted by Captain Zachariah Cobb (Commanding Officer) in For New Family
Posted by Lieutenant Casela Synthi-er (Counsellor / RTF) in For New Family
It was the captain’s birthday and as had become tradition, Casela had come up with a gift and had snuck it into the captains ready room late during gamma shift. The fun part was no one saw her arrive on the CIC or enter and then exit his office. It was a good practice of her skills. The cameras and sensors would pick her up, but it was still fun sneaking around the CIC crew. She was sure they would pay for it later.
It had been a difficult decision. Every gift she chose with care. She wasn’t sure how successful she had been as giving gifts was a new habit for her. The cufflinks she’d given Fey had been in acknowledgment of her mad scientist attitude and an acknowledgement of her brilliance despite Casela’s reaction to her treatment. The dueling pistols for Manhattan had been because the man enjoyed antique weapons, but was also a statement of her comradery and willingness to provide a weapon to anyone besides herself. The mixology set for Ryder, had been more than that. He was apparently quite talented at creating drinks and was a nod to his goals for when he retired. But she’d also chosen it because she wanted him to know that she didn’t judge him by Noa’s behavior nor did she expect him to change his habits because of her. That she wanted him as he was.
And so the search for Cobb’s gift had begun. Fine liquor was probably on everyone’s list to get him. Quinn would cook for him and make him any drink he wanted all day long. If Cobb was lucky and unsuspecting he’d have a furry cat to keep him company all day too. Manhattan would probably get him another fish for his fish tank, and the list went on. Cobb was more than her captain though, he’d taken the place of her father. So in that light Cobb would find on his desk a wrapped package. Inside was a wood plaque, appearing to be a slice of downed tree with the bark still around the edges. Hand carved into it was the image of the Ural Owl sitting atop the lightening burned tree from the holodeck campfire. There was no note left, the gift, she hoped, saying everything that needed to be said.(OOC:https://imgur.com/a/c7ImSGK Not a Ural Owl but as close as I could get)
Lt. Synthi-er, CNS
She was crying. Again. He had woken only moments earlier, the last dying tendrils of sleep still holding fast to the dream of a party, of streamers and balloons and presents and cake. And the homecoming of a hero - his father. But almost immediately those familiar, heart-wrenching wails drifted in from his mother’s bedroom and, as the young boy slid out of his bed and caught sight of the toy starship in red ribbon, he knew. His father would not be coming home, the son’s birthday too insignificant a draw when weighed against the misery of a dead marriage…
By the gods, Cobb hated birthdays! Thankfully, this hatred had, over the years, been encoded into legend so that none now would dare to insult him with a ‘party’. And so the day had passed by in blessed ignorance of the occasion and, as the midnight hour approached, Zachariah retreated to his ready room and the unique sanctuary to be found in a quality bottle of whiskey.
But the whiskey, laid out earlier by dear Quinn, was not the only thing waiting for him that evening. There was also a package. A gift!
“Well now, where did you come from?” the old man mused aloud, settling into his chair and savouring his first measure of whiskey as he fully examined the wrappings. No tags or names marked upon it, the thing was heavy, solid, and made no sound when shook close to his ear. And despite every primal objection within him, as his fingers began to peel back the layers, he found himself overcome by a rush of excited anticipation.
The paper fell away to reveal a large, solid plaque, sliced from a noble and ancient tree. On the one side it was smooth, the tree’s life story told in concentric rings spreading out like ripples on calm water. His fingers made slow traces of the circles, as if with each one he saw before him a hundred years, each one filled with war and combat and reconciliation and exploration and the tree standing guardian over all. And then he flipped it over and inlaled sharply at the intricate beauty of the carving before him, this once-inhabitant of the tree now brought along as narrator for this grand and glorious tale. But this was no ordinary owl and its former home no ordinary tree. This was their tree. His and Casela’s. And now he could see that the story bound to these dendrochronological markings was their own - the ripples growing and expanding in a mirror of their flourishing friendship.
His tears would remain a secret, their only witness the silent owl. But his voice could not so easily be trusted, its fragility in that moment too precarious to chance. And so, Casela’s message would arrive in the form of text instead of sound.
=^= I see you have found us a competent guide, as we navigate the perils of the abyss. I shall call him Bubo, after the great owl of legend. And he is perfect, Cas. Thank you. =^=
- Captain Zachariah Cobb
It was the captain’s birthday and this put Lazol in an interesting spot. He was after all a money grubbing, egotistical, callous, rude, and generally unpleasant old man who’s reputation was only a slight bit higher than Dave’s. However he knew that, deep down, the human tradition of a birthday was something that was celebrated and having made himself out to be a right sod he wanted to, at least in some small way, show the captain that he could be reasonable. Now here came the difficult part. Lazol wanted to give Cobb a gift, one without strings and without expectation but he had to be careful. The captain surely would expect something from the CSO to be a favor in waiting, or a part of a bargain.
The captain would receive a message in text form, one that required him to respond to Lazol and not the other way around as he knew above all that everything on this ship was a game of chess. It had multiple players and layers deep and complex, but it was all a game in the end. Lazol needed the captain to respond to him, a small token of superiority even when trying to do something kind, and the message would simply read:
=/\= Cobb. At your earliest convivence, please meet the CSO at his quarters on Deck 4 =/\=
The message was, for Lazol anyways, polite in it’s wording and as Lazol had taken the day off he worked on preparing his gift to the man that nominally ran the ship. A few strings pulled, some digging into his personal file and Lazol was ready. Even if he knew the captain would probably incredulous at being summoned and disrespectful, Lazol knew that in order to win a game of chess, a few pawns had to be sacrificed to the opponent. He hoped that eventually he wouldn’t be the enemy, but if a sign of good will and a gift without expectation helped ease that tension between him and the ships leadership than it would be a pawn worth sacrificing.
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