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RAdm Waterhouse & Ens Drummond² - "Father and Son"

Posted on 2020-10-30 08:11 by Ensign Centurion Waterhouse & Ensign Remex Waterhouse & Rear Admiral Corey Waterhouse

Mission: Grains of Sand

Corey settled in behind the desk in what was to be Noah's office next to the bridge. Noah had initially argued for having his whole cabin up next to the bridge like the old sailing ships had done, but Corey had talked him down to a small office and putting his cabin down near the galley with the crew quarters. The desk he sat at was solid wood — replicated purpleheart but hand crafted. Noah had commissioned it from another Pastafarian Minister, and it featured an inlay of birch and dark stained walnut in the form of the Flying Spaghetti Monster in the desktop. He traced his fingers along the strands of spaghetti in the design as he waited for Tory and Centurion to reach a logical stopping point on their current tasks and join him as requested.

He didn't wait long. Tory's low-poly form blinked into being in front of the desk, followed by what appeared to be a floating, two-dimensional duplicate of its pixelated face. The floating face's mouth shifted from a smile to an ellipse as a voice said, "You wanted to see us, Admiral?"

Corey's eyes moved between the low-poly form and the pixelated face that reminded him of the Cheshire cat in its isolation. He shook his head slightly and snorted as he sat up in the chair — designed for Noah's much taller frame, Corey almost felt like a child sitting in it.

"I'm making progress in regards to your disambiguation, the bigger fish are asking for my official recommendation on what to do — which is a very good sign. I want to discuss it with you before I draft something in the flowery prose of Brass, so that hopefully this can be resolved in such a way that you're both satisfied."

Tory nodded. "We'd prefer not to make any naming decisions until assignments are settled. I'd like to stay with Amelia,"

"and I'd like another assignment." Centurion finished the though. "We believe we can be more effective — both for Starfleet and for ourselves — apart."

"I do recall that's what you told your debriefing officers. To that end, I did have someone from intelligence approach me with an idea. You both recall what happened with Noah during the Romulan coup?" Corey paused, but it was clear he had only asked the question as a courtesy — he was confident that both photons would recall the incident. "Of course Diz and I are concerned about Noah's safety after that, it's part of the reason we're building this ship so we can find him some more crew to help keep his impulses in check when they run at odds to his safety. Intel is concerned about his talent for crossing his sister's path while she is working for them... and expressed interest in putting someone on his crew that can keep an eye on him, as well as would have access to classified information to help guide him away from sticky situations. Centurion, would that potentially be an agreeable assignment for you?"

Centurion's face switched to its devil grin for just a moment before resuming its calm green smile. "Only if you'll let me upgrade the ship's central processor to one of the experimental positronic cores they're working on at the Daystrom Institute."

Corey snorted and shook his head. "I know that I have a talent for pulling strings, but getting my hands on that would be beyond even my silver tongue. But if you're up for verbally sparring Nadik to negotiate changes to the computer core he specifically requested, we can see what we can do to get it closer to your preferences."

"I can work with that." Centurion's face bobbed down and back up, somewhat approximating a nod. "What is your confidence level that this assignment will be approved?"

"If our friend in intel is to be believed, it should just be a matter of their attaching a request for you to my official response to the solicitation of my opinion on the matter. But we do need to address your disambiguation as part of my response." Corey looked from one photon to the other, and his fingers tapped on the top of the desk for a second. "For now calling one of you Tory and the other Centurion has been sufficient, though Brass would prefer you had more normal names matching your default human appearance — which I know you only tolerate for the benefit of those who haven't accepted your preferred forms such as the low poly one, or this new Cheshire Cat approach. They've hinted that they want to rename one of you in the same manner as your official designation, but if you have another preference, I should have enough weight to push it through by placing it in the official response."

"Given Noah's predilections, a name appropriate for a pirate or something nautical-themed would be appropriate. Considering the ancient Earth culture that provided 'Centurion'..." Centurion's eyes spun as it searched through databases. "Remex. It means 'rower'. Informally, I could use Remy."

"While we're at it," Tory added, "Could we drop the 'Drummond' surname? As it was randomly chosen, it holds no real meaning for us, and your own wife is proof that one doesn't strictly need it."

"As I understand it, Diz slid through on some disconnect between Klingon and Trill naming conventions when she was born here in Fed space," Corey explained, "the hospital on Luna didn't record her house on her or her brothers' birth certificates. As brass recognize you first and foremost as human style photons, I think they'll push back if we don't stay with a naming convention that matches your original appearance even if you both do not use it except perhaps in formal situations."

Centurion replied without hesitation. "Waterhouse, then. That would fit with human traditions."

Corey sat still a long moment, looking at both photons until a smile pulled at his lips. "I'd be honored."

"Great. Settled. Can I drop 'Isaac' too?" Tory cut in.

Corey opened his mouth to say something, but then just shook his head. "I can suggest it, but I'm not sure if they'll accept it. In case they don't, Remy, you may get saddled with something like it before Remex... would you have a preference, or would you rather it be assigned at random since you're just going to go by Remy anyway?"

"I would prefer just to stick with Remy, but if it absolutely must be prefaced with a traditional human name, perhaps... Isa?" Centurion sounded reluctant.

"Hopefully it will be an unnecessary precaution to offer a suggestion before they ask some random linguist to pick something out that fits with the history of the Waterhouse surname — and if they hang something like Marmaduke on you, I can't promise Diz won't make you a great dane dog holomatrix to use." Corey shifted in the seat and pulled out his PADD to make notes. "Is there anything else you'd like me to make clear to brass when I make these recommendations? Something I or they may have missed?"

Centurion's face shifted to a red frown. "No dogs. People always want to pet them."

"It really can be distracting," agreed Tory casually, "but they normally back off if you ask them to. Admiral, will Centurion have a mobile emitter available? And standard backup capabilities?"

"I'd find a way to make it happen, even if it's not authorized through official channels, but since it would be assigned in an official capacity, it shouldn't require any creative thinking. Alvano's also joining Noah's crew—to continue Noah's fencing training—so we may have to issue you a backup mobile emitter for him." Corey looked to Centurion as he said this. "I have discussed the emitter with Nadik already, while considering how to take care of Alvano before I was approached about assigning Centurion to Noah's crew, so if nothing else, he should be able to fabricate them."

Centurion's face bounced slightly, somewhat approximating a nod. "And my backups? Will I still have access to back them up to the central database?"

"I don't see why not, but if for some reason the fleet gives me difficulty setting it up, we'll figure out an alternative. If you do get access to the official backups, we'll probably have to sync Alvano's backups with yours since technically he's under the table." Corey rubbed the back of his neck and looked up at the ceiling.

Tory's face became a frown now. "Are you sure that this is wise? Our programming differs wildly from a civilian utility hologram, and Alvano is clearly inclined to... troublemaking. He'll make Remy's job more difficult."

Corey sighed. "I know, but he's getting through to Noah and you know how dangerous it is out there — we need Noah to learn how to defend himself. There's no talking him into staying on Earth. Besides, you know that Diz generated Alvano without going through proper channels, and trying to keep him off radar right under the noses of those I report to in the shipyards is going to blow up."

Tory's face blinked out of existence on the front of its head, replaced after a moment with Image not found: resignedFrustration.png. "So it's clearly unwise, but less unwise than any other course of action available. Very well then."

"You've known Diz your whole life, and you know how she is. She gets an idea and runs with it, and it's in both of our best interest for me to keep the fallout contained. If you can believe it, she's much better than she used to be, and I knew what I was getting into when I asked her to marry me. But when it comes to family, she won't let pesky things like rules and threat of reprimand slow her down — and while I may slow down enough to try to plan it out and find the loop holes, I don't disagree with the sentiment." Corey shrugged, setting his PADD down on the desk. "So, even if trying to keep Alvano off the radar has been a challenge, he has been succeeding at teaching Noah skills that he's been strongly resistant to previously."

"The concept is not unfamiliar to us." Remy's face shifted to its usual smile. "And my experiences have left me with a particular specialty in covering my tracks. Noah and Alvano will be as safe as anyone can be on a Pastafarian mission ship."

"Thank you, Remy. Your word on the matter does a lot to reassure me." Corey stood up. "While you won't be able to eat, my Mother's invitation to dinner was extended to everyone. Are you two joining us to socialize at least?"

"I suppose we could drop in for a while." Tory smiled, but Centurion frowned.

"As long as she's not serving Zabo meat stew."

Corey laughed. "If she was, it wouldn't be replicated."

=/\= End Log =/\=

R. Admiral Corey Waterhouse
Fighter Design Team Lead
Co-Creator Project Torchwood
Utopia Planitia

Ensign Centurion Drummond
Reconnaissance Specialist
Formerly of the USS Joshua Norton, NCC-74819-A

Ensign Tory Drummond
Reconnaissance Specialist
Formerly of the USS Joshua Norton, NCC-74819-A


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