(( Commander Whittaker's Office, The Hub, StarBase 118 Operations Tower ))
:: Reports were never going to write themselves, much to the chagrin of Commander Theo Whittaker, who despised the necessary activity with the passion of a thousand suns. They were dry and analytical and often required their author to see the universe in black and white terms even when most people that it was rarely so. And so it came to pass that Theo was ensconced in his office, writing tedious crew evaluation reports for the bureaucrats at Starfleet Command well into the station's third duty shift, long after his own duty shift had ended. oO I doubt if anybody at Command bothers to read these, Oo he complained to himself, oO They probably get filed away into a database and left to gather cybernetic dust. Oo. He could understand that Captain Taybrim required such reports- and for him, Theo had no qualms or complaints writing them. After all, the man needed to know who was excelling and who was failing. Promotions, demotions (on rare occasions) and transfers to new departments were part of life aboard a Federation starbase- but why Starfleet Command wanted separate reports, Theo would never know. oO Perhaps they think Executive Officers have little do when we are leading away teams and backing up our Captains. Oo he thought to himself, oO Obviously, they have never stepped foot aboard 118. Oo. ::
:: He was approaching the tail end of a report detailing the successes and 'areas for growth' for the Fleet Operations department, when a soft melodic chime drifted out of the speakers that had been carefully camouflaged within the walls of his spacious office. A moment later and Rustyy Hael's voice filled the room as though he were stood in front of Theo. oO The wonders of technology. Oo Theo often found himself thinking on such occasions. ::
Hael: =/\= Rustyy to Whit'aker, gotch’ya ears on? =/\=
:: Theo smiled to himself. When he had first met StarBase 118's Chief Engineer he had been baffled by the man's 'unique take on the English language' and often found it extremely difficult to understand what the man was talking about. Over time, however, that confusion died as he spent more time with the Alaskan. Now, he found his colleague and friend's accent charming. ::
Whittaker: =^= I have indeed. What can I do for you? =^=
Hael: =/\= Yeah uh… ::he stuttered.:: Wha’ you be up too’s eh? =/\=
:: Though Theo could not see the Chief Engineer, the tone in his voice left him quite sure the man was flummoxed by something. oO That's not like him, Oo he thought- Hael had always got ten solutions to a problem, oO This isn't work-related. Oo he surmised, his curiosity piqued. ::
Whittaker: :: glancing at the report on his desktop interface. :: =^= Nothing that cannot wait. =^= :: it was true, the evaluations did not have to be sent to Starfleet Command for another week and being the very model of 24th century efficiency, thank you very much, Theo was already ahead of schedule. A small diversion would not hurt. oO Quite the opposite actually. Oo ::
Hael: =/\= Well’s… I’s’a done got meself in’a spot an’ I could use yer helps… I’m’a puttin’ toget’r a babe shower few Aitas. =/\=
:: One of Theo's eyebrow rocketed skywards, as though making a valiant attempt for freedom. Theo had heard of such things... but only in the history texts his father had forced him to read as a child studying for academia. He had never heard of one being thrown recently. oO No wonder he is confused. I thought it was an old human ritual. Oo. He certainly had a hard time picturing Vulcans engaging in such an event. oO Betazoids? Perhaps. Vulcans? I don't see it. Oo. He realised he was getting lost in his own internal musings and so centred himself for a moment before replying. ::
Whittaker: =^= I see. =^= :: the ghost of a smile tugged at the corners of his mouth. :: =^= I take it that you haven't got a clue where to start? =^= oO Would anybody? Oo.
Hael: =/\= I’s got’s some idea an’ all but, gosh, this ain’ no one man job, ya’know? ::he chuckled a bit.:: =/\=
:: Theo's first thought was to suggest discussing the matter with one of the dozen or so events managers currently in the employ of the station's Civilian Oversight Committee, although he nixed that idea when he realised that the gathering would likely be too small for them to bother with- and he certainly could not see the station's Chief Intelligence Officer agreeing to hosting her own shower in a conference centre with five hundred or more guests.
No, this would have to be a small gathering of Aitas' family and close friends. Theo already guessed what it would mean. He would have to help Rustyy plan the shower. oO There truly is a first time for everything! ::
Whittaker: =^= I'd be happy to help. =^=
Hael: ::Rustyy pondered for a minute.:: =/\= Reckon we could meet ‘ere in my quarters an’ all… ::he looked at his sis. He hated that he was gone for so long leaving her alone for long bursts.:: =/\=
Whittaker: =^= I'll be along to your quarters shortly, Commander. Whittaker out. =^=
:: He leaned forward and tapped a small pale yellow button on the small console built into the surface of his mahogany table, terminating the communication. Rather than leaving, he took several seconds and leant back in his chair, his ghost of a smile now blossoming into a grin. A chuckle escaped his lips. oO This shower was probably Mirra's idea. Oo, his thoughts turning to his closest friends, who was currently away from the station. oO Wait until she finds out that Rustyy and I organised it. Oo
He got to his feet and as he circled around his desk, heading out of his office, his chuckling turned into guffawing as he pictured Mirra Ezo's reaction.
oO She'll have a heart attack. Oo
(( Time Jump ))
(( 45 Minutes Later ))
(( Hael's Quarters - StarBase 118 ))
oO Finally! Oo
:: With a relieved sigh, Theo approached Rustyy Hael's door, a rather nondescript grey door, designed to identify the Starfleet officer billeted there. oO How strange he has such a plain door for somebody who is anything but plain. Oo. In the forty five minutes it had taken him to reach his destination, he had gotten himself lost. oO Note to self: never leave without my PADD. Oo. Two years ago, when he had first arrived aboard StarBase 118, the first lesson he had learnt was that one needed to carry a map of the station with them at all times due to it's immense size. Caught up in mental images of Mirra's horror at discovering what Theo and Rustyy were about to do, he had quite forgotten his trusty PADD. After wandering around the station's habitat area aimlessly, he had finally located a console which had led him to Hael's quarters.
He reached out with one finger and tapped the console, a chirp confirming he had alerted the cabin's occupants to his presence. Seconds later, the door swished open with a hydraulic hiss. Rustyy Hael stood in the door way. Unexpectedly, Theo shivered as a waft of cold air drifted into the corridor. He put it aside as he looked apologetically at the Chief Engineer. ::
Whittaker: Apologies for my lateness. I forgot my PADD and I didn't know where you lived. I'm more than a little embarrassed to say I got lost. :: his cheeks flushed pink either with embarrassment or due to another waft of cold air passing by- he was not sure which one. He glanced into the cabin. :: Should I replicate myself a thermal coat?
:: Theo stepped into the room and found himself confirming that it was much colder than normal for Terran occupants. Of course, not every Terran came from the frozen wastes of Alaska. Although Theo himself, hailed from a mountainous region of Archer IV- even he found the current temperature in the Engineer's quarters rather hard to bear. ::
Whittaker: :: not wishing to make a fuss. :: No, no. I'm a grown man, Rustyy. I will have to acclimate. These are your quarters. oO Although next time, we are meeting me in my office. Oo.
:: There was a shuffling of feet and Theo turned his head in time to see Rustyy's sister stood in the doorway leading to what he presumed was her bedroom. He had only met Vivian Hael a handful of times since her elder brother was assigned to the station and despite her disability, he had often found her to extremely curious, if a little quiet. He smiled at her. ::
Whittaker: Hello Vivan. How are you?
Vivian Hael: ?
Whittaker: Glad to hear it. :: he motioned to her brother :: I'm just here to speak to Rustyy about Aitas' baby shower.
Vivian Hael/ Hael: ?
:: Theo smiled once again at Rustyy's sister and then turned to her brother. ::
Whittaker: I must confess that I don't know all that much about this ritual.
Whittaker: You mentioned you had some ideas of your own?
:: It would be a good place as any to start, considering that Theo had no idea where one would start. Given that Aitas was the first of his friends to give birth and his own upbringing on Archer IV that focused almost solely on studying or defying his father's wishes- Theo was completely out his depth. ::
:: Catching sight of Rustyy's computer monitor he waved towards it as he crossed the cold cabin. His previous comment about replicating a thermal coat had been intended as a good natured joke, but he was now seriously considering it. oO How can anybody live with these temperatures? Oo. ::
Whittaker: Might I? :: he touched the top of the monitor and looked at Rustyy, almost expectantly. ::
Whittaker: Thank you. :: he swivelled the small device to face him and sat down in the chair next to a table. :: Computer, search the Federation database for information on a Terran pre-natal ceremony known as a "baby shower". :: almost as he finished speaking, another thought occurred to him. :: Computer, belay that. :: he looked up at Rusty. :: Perhaps we should expand the search parameters? Aitas isn't human, after all.
Whittaker: Computer, search the Federation cultural database for Vulcan, Betazoid and Risian pre-natal rituals or celebrations and cross reference them with a traditional Terran 'baby shower'. :: he still could not imagine the idea of a Vulcan shower, but he would be surprised if Betazoids or Risians had an equivalent. oO Especially Risians. Oo.
Commander Theo Whittaker
StarBase 118 Operations