OOC: Couldn't help the Phantom Tollbooth reference, given the circumstances. Happy holidays, all.
(( Jon Cumar’s Quarters, Deck 4, USS Veritas ))
Jon had just gotten off shift, and he was out of it. Really out of it, So out of it, in fact, he took three steps forward and his boot hit a small box. The thought that he’d just left a random box lying around was a bit of a disturbing one, as he kept his room spic and span except when he was running late for a shift. oO There's something funny in my room... Oo With that small notion in mind, he blinked a few times and picked up the box. It weighed a good 15 pounds or so, and was 11 inches tall, which meant the contents must be...well, he couldn’t begin to fathom what might be inside. So, he brought it over to the couch for further inspection.
The box itself was decorated in blue and white snowflake wrapping paper, adorned with a green bow and a simple tag that read “From: the Elf-geneering team.” He studied the word on the tag and tried to latch onto the play on words. oO ‘Elfgeneers’... hm. I wonder… Oo He set his curiosity aside and began unwrapping the bow, then gradually peeled the tape off the corners. Due to how tired he was, he didn’t manage precision strikes on the tape, but managed to eventually unwrap the brown box. Cautiously, he lifted the lid and found… a small metal thing that merited further investigation.
He picked it up carefully, not wanting to damage the weird-yet-somewhat-heavy contents, whatever it was. It wasn’t until he fully extracted the thing and set it on the coffee table that he realized what this was -- a miniaturized version of BAXTER, about the same size as a papillon
. Its eyes were closed, and it was either powered off or in stand-by mode. There were no instructions to go with it, but it was only then he made the connection. oO Of course. Elfgeneers. Charlena and I played frisbee with BAXTER and she saw how good I was with dogs. Oo He studied the contraption for a few moments and found the power switch, along with a toggle just under the right ear that had “basic” and “advanced” written on the side. He flicked it to advanced, then powered it up.
Its eyes flashed blue as it powered up and gazed at Jon.
Mini-BAXTER: Hello. Please identify yourself.
Cumar: Lieutenant Jon Cumar, security.
Mini-BAXTER: Hello, Cumar, J. My database is similarly constructed to that of my predecessor, BAXTER. I am...BAXTER 2.0? :: Its last sentence came out more as a question than a statement and it seemingly blinked at its new owner. ::
Cumar: I haven’t had a dog before, but you need another name so you aren’t confused with the other one. :: He considered for a moment. :: How about Thor?
Mini-BAXTER: Acknowledged, Cumar, J. This unit is now known as Thor. Updating database.
The dog’s eyes once again flickered blue as it processed its new name, cross-referencing cultural references as it did so. Jon leaned forward and gave Thor an affectionate petting behind the ears, then cuddling the dog on his lap for a bit. Thor’s tail wagged happily and he settled down contentedly, giving a soft bark of pleasure. Jon picked up a PADD and typed out a quick message to the elfgineering team.
To: Lt. C. Vanlith
CC: Lt. W. Ukinix, LtC. G. Teller
From: Lt. J. Cumar
Subject: Thank you
Thanks so much for the frisbee game the other day with BAXTER. Maybe next time, we can teach Wil and Geoff about the game as Thor gets used to other dogs?
Thanks to you all, you sneaky elves you. Merry Christmas.
Once the message was sent, he then started typing a message to his parents.
To: James & Arleene Cumar, Brooklyn, New York, Earth
From: Lieutenant Jonathan Cumar, USS Veritas
Subject: Merry Christmas
Hey, mom & dad. It’s Christmas out here in the Shoals, and I probably should’ve written this earlier but got distracted by work. I’m adapting to a steady work routine again and was given a robot dog by some colleagues. I’ll include pictures of Thor in a subsequent letter. Anyway, happy holidays and all that. I love you both.
Once he transmitted the letter as sent, he set the PADD aside and fell asleep on the couch, not bothering to resettle Thor or take off his boots.