Peter Flynn walked into his new quarters on the Atlas. The yeomen had brought all of his things in, stacking them neatly along the wall. On his bed sat a various bundles and baskets of welcome from crew and friends, but a bundle in old-fashioned wrapping paper drew Flynn’s eye.
He opened up the card, also of old-fashioned card stock instead of the new holo insignia.
‘Congratulations, Captain. Here’s something to help you learn her decks. –Chief’
Flynn carefully unwrapped the bundle, smiling as he already knowing what he’d find. Inside he found a dozen pairs of socks, all regulation color, and made of real, planet-grown cotton, no doubt sized perfectly for him.
He sat on the edge of the bed and unlaced his boots and socks to try on a brand new pair. He snugged them on and wiggled his toes as he stood. Immediately he set out from his quarters, Master Chief Petty Officer Lawrence Alcott’s remembered words in his head. “First thing you do when you get a new posting, you walk the decks in your socks. A brand new pair of socks, at that. You walk those decks, and you make yourself part of the ship. You’ll feel every bump, every flaw, and every hum of her through your feet. You’ll know what she can do, and she’ll know you care about her.”