“Hey, you two in the back. Keep up now, ok? Can get lost easily.” Though her voice was a low bark, Lt. Wolfy’s tone was brisk but kind. “At least at first. It’ll become easier.” The group of new arrivals –cadets– was clustered together, their eyes darting this way and that. Their current tour guide was dressed in a crisp uniform, her short dark hair feathered a bit in the front. She wore a serious expression — her default, or that was how it seemed anyway. The long hallway led to an open space ahead. As they stepped inside the open space, they saw the pens. They lined the walls of the huge space. Within each pen, were what looked to be thousands of balls of light.
As they got closer, the little balls of light appeared almost solid, alive even. As Lt. Wolfy approached one of the pens with her group, there was a light noise, almost of tinkling laughter from the little balls of light as they darted back and forth. One brave little light zipped close and buzzed across Wolfy’s shoulder. She reached up and gently coaxed it back to its pen. Amidst the “fuzzy lights”, a figure could just be seen.
Wolfy clicked her heels together and threw a salute. “Captain,” she said respectfully. “May I present the newest batch of recruits that will be joining us aboard the Bunny?”
The Captain brought her head up, smiling. She was surrounded by the balls of light; they danced around her almost lovingly. “Welcome! I am your Captain. My name is Elyndra.” She opened her arms up to the side. “And these – are Plot Bunnies. Don’t be alarmed. Plot Bunnies can be very good. Very good indeed. They can take us places we never thought possible. Our ship is in charge of exploring these places. I hope you are ready for that!”
Wolfy turned to half look at her cadets and jerked her head a bit, signalling that they should give some form of acknowledgement. While there were nods and a few enthusiastic murmurs of assent, another figure approached. “Wolfy! Captain! Ah, are these the new recruits?”
“They are, Chief Inspiration Officer,” Wolfy confirmed. She saluted Skybluefusion. “Cadets, this is our Chief Inspiration Officer, Sky. She helps the Captain tend to the Plot Bunnies and to help keep everyone on track. Make no mistake, without her, we’d all be lost among the Plot Bunnies!”
“Have they completed the tour yet, Wolfy?” the Captain asked.
“Just about, Captain. We’re going to head toward the bridge and then back to their quarters.”
“Good, good. I think Timmy is there. They should meet him.”
“Of course, Captain.”
After a few more moments of bonding with the Plot Bunnies, Lt. Wolfy led them back down the long hall, toward the central part of the base. They could hear him before they ever saw him; incoherent mumblings and a bit of squeaking as if from mechanical parts echoed down the long corridor that led toward the cadets’ quarters. As they rounded a bend in the hall, they were greeted to the sight of a tall mechanical man, his segmented silver body reflecting the bright lights as he moved. “Ah! Timmy, there you are!” Wolfy greeted him with a wave of her hand.
The robot looked up. “Lt. Wolfy,” he acknowledged in his tinny, robotic voice. Somehow, though he was obviously an inorganic being, and he didn’t have eyes per se, only glowing sockets, there was a bit of a furtive look in them.
“Cadets, this is the base’s bot, Timmy. He is here to help assist. He responds to a wide variety of commands.” She looked at them severely. “That does NOT mean that you can use him to go and get certain substances.” She looked around. “His coffee is… subpar at best, so I wouldn’t recommend trying it. Get your own coffee.”
For the first time since they had been assigned to the P. Bunny crew, the cadets saw a smile cross Lt. Wolfy’s face. “Have a good day, Timmy. C’mon, Cadets. I’ll show you to your quarters.”
Once the cadets were settling into their quarters, their excited chatter to one another ringing pleasantly in her ear, Wolfy let out another of her rare smiles. She remembered what it was like to be a new cadet, though it seemed so long ago.The thrill of exploration, the utter terror of embarking on a new adventure. Much of that never really went away; one just learned to use it to their advantage.
With those thoughts and memories whirling through her head, Wolfy activated her communicator, bringing the wrist unit closer to her mouth. “Lt. Wolfy to Captain Elyndra.”
“I read you Wolfy. Are the cadets settling in?”
“Affirmative, Captain. They’re settling in nicely. We have a good bunch of cadets this year.”
“That we do. Wolfy, work on the new Flag Ship is progressing on schedule. Fleet Admiral Baty would like an update. Captain Witchy is busy overseeing the preparations. Would you be so kind as to give him an update? I’ve transferred all pertinent materials to your datapad, including his transmission code. He’d prefer a briefing before he gets here.”
“Of course Captain. I’ll brief him.”
To familiarize herself with the information, Wolfy quickly skimmed through the report from Captain Witchy that she had forwarded onto Wolfy’s own Captain. Wolfy pursed her lips, nodding to herself. Captain Witchy was nothing if not efficient and there was always a plan. Wolfy had no doubt that those plans were progressing just as Captain Witchy ordered. She would accept nothing less.