Forward Observation Deck, U.S.S. Nash
On approach to Earth
Stardate: 35011.8 (January 5th 2358)
was an old ship which had seen decades of service, but due to her rugged design and reliability the Sydney-Class transport was still going strong. Oleyn Daro sat at one of the tables in the forward observation deck, watching the stars streak past. They would be arriving in the Sol System within the hour, but she had packed and checked out of her guest cabin, her luggage waited in the small hold beside the transport bay ready for her to pick up and beam over to the Juno
, until then however she had nothing left to do.
The eight day trip from Starbase Omicron had given her plenty of time to go over the service records for her new staff, allocate them to teams and shifts, then draw up a training programme for the next three months. As she been doing that she’d read up on the specifications and records for the Cheyenne-Class ship and found it to be capable, if still untested away from support and reinforcements—but she would ensure that the ship came through the mission in one piece. This would be her first posting as Security Chief and she relished the chance to make her mark on the mission.
“Morning Oleyn,” a smooth male voice almost purred from behind her.
Without look away from the viewport before her, she replied, “Morning Xal.”
Xal Ra-Vahlei moved around to the seat opposite her and eased himself into her. Her new shipmate had come aboard at Omicron and after a chance encounter in the cafeteria, they had started sharing meals and partaking of the recreational facilities the transport had to offer. She found the young Efrosian to be very easy-going and had enjoyed the opportunity to talk about her new assignment with someone who she would be sharing the journey with. One thing that had surprised her about him was when she found him in the gym, eager for a spar. She had obliged and at first taken things easy on him, but he’d proven to be a tougher opponent than she’d given him credit for, so had pulled out all the stops. She won (of course), but he was lasting longer and longer each day, learning her style and techniques, which only forced her to be better. She could only hope that their sessions continued once they got to the Juno
“Not long now,” he said with an eager grin on his youthful face. It was customary for Efrosians (some kind of religious practice or cultural right, she wasn’t sure which) to let their hair grow and for males to sport long moustaches however Ra-Vahlei had neither, which made him look even younger than his twenty-four years.
“I take it your packed and ready.”
“Meh, I’ll do it when we get into orbit,” he told her, slouching a little further in the chair.
She rolled her eyes and tutted good-naturedly, which made her companion chuckle. “At least tell me you’ve read up on the ship and your new crew.”
“That I’ve done. I want to see how the Juno
compares to the Victory
, four nacelles cause more problems than you’d think, so I’m keen to see if the designers got it right this time.”
“That’s something I suppose. One good thing about having a mission out on the frontier, it’ll take months to get there to begin. By the time we’re in the wilderness we’ll be ready for whatever comes our way.”
He looked over at her, an eyebrow raised on his ridged forehead. “You’re very sure of yourself. Don’t humans have a saying about pride before a fall?”
“It’s a good thing I’m not human then, isn’t it?”
Ra-Vahlei chuckled again. “I know. They have such weak craniums and flimsy necks,” he stated with a mock shudder.
She laughed softly. After it passed they sat in comfortable silence, watching as a tiny blue dot rapidly grew in size as the Nash
passed through the system at three-quarters impulse. It wouldn’t take them long to reach Earth, when each of them would assume their new roles and begin a mission many others would do anything to have.
As Earth grew in the viewport, she couldn’t help but remember the first time she’d seen the capitol of the Federation, eleven years ago from a ship very similar to the Nash
, when she’d been heading to the Academy for her freshman year. She had seen plenty of images of the planet but never with her own eyes, and had been surprised at how small it looked and how so much of it was water, so unlike Bolarus. Even though the sight was new to her, she couldn’t quell the excitement and anticipation about it held for her; Starfleet Academy and the life she had always wanted.
The dot was soon a planet, surrounded by activity, as ships came and went from orbit or the many stations around the blue-green marble. Their angle of approach allowed them to catch a glimpse of the San Francisco Fleet Yards, in geosynchronous orbit around the city they were named for. Daro couldn’t make out the Juno
, but she knew it was there, filled with new opportunities and challenges.
Looking at her companion, she saw him perk up on seeing the fleet yards. As cool and collected as he was trying to appear, he was as excited as she was. She couldn’t help but smile and wonder how many of their shipmates were in the same boat.
The intercom chirped pleasantly. “All passengers, we are making our approach to Earth. For those with transporter passes, please report to rooms one through four. For all other passengers, we will be docking at Spacedock Seven in thirty minutes. Thank you.”
Daro took one last look at Earth, then across the table at Ra-Vahlei. “That’s us. We’d better get going—you still have to pack.”
He gave her a mock salute. “Aye-aye sir.”
They chuckled as they both stood up and headed for the exit.
* * * * *