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Hey there little red riding hood

Posted on Thu Jan 7th, 2021 @ 12:45pm by Ensign Cynthia Clary & Commander Garran Suliborn

Mission: The Trumpets Sound
Location: CIO's Office
Timeline: MD4 1550

Deep breath, Cynthia told herself, as she stood at the entrance of the Chief Intelligence Officer's Office. This is probably a completely different Suliborn. It's probably a very common family name among Sirran. The officer behind that door has probably never even seen a Floresian, much less ever met or worked with your great-grandfather.

Steadying her nerves, Cynthia signaled her presence at the door of the CIO's office.

"Come!" Boomed the Solaria's largest officer's voice, a deep resonating basso profundo. As the door slid open to reveal Cynthia Garran flicked an ear and smiled from behind his large, wooden desk. "Welcome, Ensign, come in, come in. It's been a while since I met a Floresian. I'm Garran, it's very nice to meet you. Can I get you anything to drink?" his massive bulk and razorsharp fangs could be intimidating, if not for his friendly demeanor and small, round reading glasses on the tip of his muzzle.

"No, thank you, Commander," the Solaria's smallest officer replied. There was a certain nervousness about Cynthia's behavior, though it had nothing to do with the Sirran's size or appearance. Cynthia had had to interact with a delegation of Gorn observers to the Academy one time. She swore one of them was constantly looking her as a potential snack and, unlike the elderly Sirran, Cynthia had no idea if a Florensian Patch would work on a Gorn or not.

No, what made Cynthia nervous was the fact that the Sirran in front of her might be THE Sirran. The one she had heard tall tales about. The ones her great-grandfather had supposedly had grand adventures with, along with other aliens.

Cynthia had never quite believed those stories. But she never quite disbelieved them either.

"No thanks, Commander," she answered. Lifting her toolbox, she added, "I'm just here to make sure your replicator got the latest update."

As Cynthia began removiong the panel underneath the replicator, she asked (trying to sound nonchalant while she did so), "So you've met other Floresians before, Commander?"

"Worked with one for a good few years but that was quite a while ago," Garran mused, flicking an ear, getting back to his work though easily maintaining the conversation. "Good chap, saved my life a few times actually." beat. "I wonder what happened to him after we parted ways."

Cynthia stopped in mid-adjustment, not believing that the discovery of this information was going to be this easy. Her great-grandfather had always told his 'tall tales' without using names, referring to the primary hero in the tales as 'The Big Bad Wolf.' It was only when her great-grandfather talked to her after her Academy graduation ceremony that he had given her a surname: Suliborn.

When she saw a Sirran Commander named Suliborn on the manifest of the ship she was reporting to, Cynthia refused to believe it could be the same Sirran her great-grandfather had told her about throughout her childhood.

"Commander," Cynthia asked, speaking slowly, "This Floresian you're talking about...his last name wouldn't be Clary, would it?"

"Yeah, ol' Bob Clary," Garran flicked an ear, looking up from his work curiously, though a smile soon formed. "Why, do you know him?"

"He's my great-grandfather," Cynthia replied. "He used to tell stories about you and him and these others. I used to think they were...well, we call them 'bobars,' where I grew up. Stories that have just enough truth to them to make you wonder...well, how much truth there is to them." Cynthia blushed as she added, "He didn't even give you a name in the stories. The character I think was supposed to be you was called The Big Bad Wolf."

Garran let out a bellowing laugh, one that resounded and resonated. "Yeah, that sounds like Bob Clary alright. Big Bad Wolf, ha!" He chuckled, shaking his head a bit, reaching up to remove his reading glasses for now, pocketing them. "Small universe, isn't it. That we'd end up on the same ship together."

"Actually, it was those stories...well, and you...the story character you, that made me want to be in Starfleet Not just a...well, great-grap called himself a 'civilian contractor,' and I'm not saying that was bad, but...I wanted to wear a uniform." Cynthia blushed as she added, "I had a crush on you, when he told those stories. How he described you. Great-grap called it your derring-do. I even made a study of Sirran." Placing her fingers on her larynx. "I can understand your native language. But a female Floresian larynx can't reproduce the lower octaves."

"Ver heil ok sæl, frændi," Garran spoke with a smile, a sing-song quality to his native language as he spoke a popular friendly greeting. "And thank you for the kind words. Though I hope I can measure up to the undoubtedly exaggerated stories," he added with a friendly chuckle. "Though I don't think I caught your name yet, Ensign ... ?"

"Clary, Commander," Cynthia added, brushing her uniform off. "Ensign Cynthia Clary. Be well and healthy, silvertail." Cynthia paused, before adding, "Is it okay for me to reply that way, Commander? I mean, only when you address me in Sirran, and not on duty, sir?"

"You're welcome to call me that whenever you feel comfortable to, Ensign Clary," his smile widened, tail giving a lazy wag as he leaned back in his oversized, heavy oak chair and focused his full attention to the discussion. "If it's alright if I call you Cynthia," he added. "I always enjoy a friendly atmosphere, without a need to stand on ceremony or rank. That just gets in the way, I feel. But Starfleet likes their uniforms and rank pips."

"To be honest, I rather like the pips," Cynthia said fingering her rank. "But I'm the first Floresian to get to wear them." Ducking her head, Cynthia's voice took on a shy tone as she continued, "But I would very much like you to call me Cynthia...Silvertail. With the understanding that I call you Commander when we're not alone."

"You are? Well, congratulations! That's the beginnings of a legacy right there, Cynthia," he smiled warmly. "Something to be proud of indeed," he added, before his smile faded and he turned more serious. "I was the first Sirran to have a rank, but coming off the Sirran revolution, authority was a double edged sword, to me. But, I chose to join Starfleet because I agree with most of their core beliefs, and I've never regretted that decision, so here I am."

"And here I am, Silvertail, happy to learn that you're real," Cynthia said with a laugh. Just at that moment, the replicator made a beeping sound.

"Update completed, Commander," Cynthia added, the use of the Sirran's title indicating that she was back to being a very junior Starfleet engineering officer. "I'll let you get back to work."

Cynthia moved to exit the Sirran's office, then paused. Turning back to face Garran, she asked, "If it would not be presumptuous, Commander, I would enjoy continuing this conversation when we're both off duty."

"I would enjoy that very much, Ensign Clary," he smiled warmly. "Perhaps over a meal in the ship's lounge," he added.

"Something along those lines..Silvertail." With that said, Cynthia quickly exited the Chief Intelligence Officer's office.

The moment the door slid closed behind Cynthia Garran's expression fell, from a warm smile to a tired one. Not just any tired, but tired in the soul. Ears wilted, shoulders slumped and he reached up to rub his temples, reminded once again of everything he had lost, and everything he had sacrificed. And instead of a friendly old man, there just sat a world weary one.


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