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Old 06-20-2006, 11:59 PM
StocktonDon StocktonDon is offline
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Default [Not much about kayaking] New crew? Captain struggles.


[Not much about kayaking] New crew? Captain struggles. Consulting Oreo.

Captain’s guilt has sent Crew (aka darn cat) on yet another secret mission. Crew complained that his special talents are as a low-light operator and that daylight intelligence-gathering wastes his creator-given talents. Nonetheless Crew soldiers off:

Captain stares at what Crew has irreverently dubbed “The Carrot” hanging from the base transportation garage rafters and wonders how to quiet his conscience.

The Admiralty is no use; expecting sensitivity to personnel changes and the chemistry of a command from that source has always proved a fool’s gambit. Captain is considering a step that will insult and upset Crew. But Captain thinks (and hopes) that it will be to Crew’s benefit in the long run.

Captain knows what he has to do and is not one to shrink from uncomfortable tasks in the path of duty: he must consult – Oreo. That’s why Crew was sent on a make-work mission. Captain knows Crew respects his fellow crew but does not like Oreo on base. Captain also knows that he will not be able to consult with Oreo if Crew is around.

(Oreo: Why do you pester me when you already know the answer you seek? By my tail, you humans are a troublesome species!)

Captain just nods; he expected to be put in his place. But duty requires perseverance. Crew is getting older, is lonely whether he admits it or not, and the ranks require new recruits. Captain has learned to bring on board pairs of new crew (brothers, sisters, or a brother and sister) so that they have their existing bond to sustain them through the shock of displacement from their original home base. But Captain knows Crew will not welcome those he sees as rivals. It is a difficult situation. What should Captain do?

(Oreo: That’s not why you are here.) Captain is taken aback and protests. (Oreo: Stifle. You are here because of your guilt about new crew.) Captain hangs his head. (Oreo: We all know you give departed crew tearful praise for their service and prayers of thanks for having shared their comradeship when fate takes them. I’ve seen you conduct services Christmas morning in the rain when good crew are unexpectedly needed somewhere beyond this plane of existence. You want me to tell you its okay that you cannot protect crew at all times.)

Captain cannot speak. (Oreo: Get a grip. None of us controls our own fate, much less that of others. Get over yourself and do what’s best for the service.)

After a while Captain asks, how is Crew going to take it? He wouldn’t go AWOL would he? (Oreo: Don’t make me laugh! You guys are joined at the hip. Crew will be angry, and confused for a while, but he’ll get over it.)

(Oreo: Just take it one paw at a time.)

(Oreo: One thing though: you know what we called Crew growing up?) Captain, quietly, “No.” (Oreo: Well, since before he was weaned we knew Crew had a temper. That’s why we sent him early to a cat-fu master – a story for another time. Anyway, if Crew is really angry he’ll give you the look that earned him his early nickname: Hellcat. Now, get lost, I have a date with some kibble.)

Captain is left wondering what kind of look Crew could give that earned him such a dire nickname. Captain waited, not looking forward to explaining his idea for new recruits to Crew. Eventually Crew returned, after dark of course, and gave the back door screen-scratch all-clear and please-let-me-in signal. Captain took Crew’s report and then wasted no time in talking to Crew.

(Crew: You WHAT!)

Chow was very quiet and in separate corners of the mess hall that night.
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