“Laws and Orders”
Stardate 72312.2; April 29, 2395
Written by Chris Adamek
Edited by David Taylor
CAPTAIN’S LOG, STARDATE 72312.2: The Starlight is in orbit of Rutania VI, a nonaligned world opposite the Ka’Tula System near the Alteran Expanse. With the Elorg invasion drawing nearer every day, Starfleet has sanctioned a mission to seek out new allies for the coming conflict.
While we have had little formal contact with the Rutanians, diplomatic relations are cordial, and informal contact between Federation merchant ships and Rutanian traders is commonplace.
As he finished his log, Alan Christopher wearily shoved himself away from his desk. On most days, he performed the very same maneuver in his ready room, but this morning was different. He was in his quarters, still adorning his dark gray pajamas, for today was a day that came only once each year: April 29… his birthday.
For the first time in a very long time, he wasn’t going to rise at dawn (relatively speaking) to go about his morning routine. Instead, Christopher decided he would mope around in his pajamas doing absolutely nothing for as long as possible.
Yet to his dismay, ‘as long as possible’ meant only a few minutes. Otherwise, he’d run the risk of running late, something Christopher despised to do—even on his birthday. Even so, he took his time in the sonic shower, and wasted several minutes attempting to decide which uniform he would adorn on the special day.
But, the sonic showers were timed—taking the same amount of time each and every morning, and his uniforms were all the same, making his choice irrelevant, and as a result, hastened. With his log entry already completed, Christopher found his delay tactics had failed miserably, and he had actually pulled ahead of schedule.
That would all change soon enough.
The door chimed.
Christopher paused for a moment as a wave of curiosity passed over him. Not knowing who would want to bother him this early in the morning, Christopher immediately suspected some sort of Human birthday ritual, such as Drayge’s surprise party he had been witness to several months prior.
While the prospects of such an event didn’t thrill him, Christopher didn’t know what else to expect. His knowledge of Human birthday traditions was limited to what he had learned on the Starlight, as prior to that, he had not been exposed to humans in a fashion where they had time to celebrate such things.
So with curiosity brimming, Christopher slowly walked over to the doors. “Come in,” he beckoned.
To his relief, the doorway was occupied by only one figure, that of Erin Keller. She smiled sheepishly with her hands behind her back as she took a few hesitant steps into his quarters.
“…Alan,” she said. Though she hesitated at first, after uttering Christopher’s first name, her awkward tenseness subsided, and she took a few more steps into the room. Then, she revealed her hands, in which, she held a small blue box decorated with frilly green ribbons that shimmered in the light.
“What is this?” Christopher inquired as
“Did you think I forgot what you told me back on Alarin III? Today’s your birthday. It’s a gift,” she declared proudly. “…And my way of saying ‘thank you,’ for saving me,” she added a moment later.
Christopher smiled as he stared down at the box. “
“I wanted to,” she insisted. “Now, are you going to open it, or what?”
Christopher slowly examined the box. It was light in weight, and made no noticeable rattling noises. Furthermore, Keller did not cringe when he gave the box a firm shake. Whatever was inside, it was not going to break easily.
Slowly, he slid the frilly green streamers aside and removed the lid to the box, uncovering a tiny golden figurine. It stood upon a tiny pedestal, reaching no more than a few inches in height. It was a winged enchantress, adorning a mystical robe and a staff that shimmered immensely.
“It’s Athena—the Greek Goddess of Wisdom and Power,”
Christopher plucked the tiny figurine out of the box and clasped it in his hands. “So do I,” he said quietly before carefully setting the Goddess on the edge of his desk. “We’d better get moving. It’s not very becoming of me to be late.”
Keller grinned. “Most definitely.”
As she stepped toward the doors, Christopher quickly erected his arm to block her passage. “Just promise me one thing…”
“What?” she asked.
“No surprise party. If you do, I’ll send you on a little stroll through the airlock,” he mused.
“Yes, sir,” she said unenthusiastically.
With that said, Christopher retracted his arm, allowing Keller to waltz out of his quarters. He stopped, took one last look at the tiny figurine, and followed her out into the corridor.