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Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Commander Alex DeBirk Returns to the Voyager.

The stars seemed far away as the USS Francis Scott Key slowed to impulse on its final approach to the McAuliffe Station. The trip had been a long one for Commander Alex Debirk. After an extended absence, he was returning to his first love - the Starship Voyager. Alex walked into the Key's Ten Forward Lounge to watch the docking through the large windows. He leaned up against the transparent aluminum glass and watched as the ship moved gracefully toward the docking pylon. It was 0500 hours. The lounge was empty except for himself and one waiter.

Command Training Department
McAuliffe Station

"Its good to be back," he muttered to himself. Two months ago he received word that his transfer to the Voyager was approved. He moved from the window and sat at the table with the best view. A waiter moved through the tables toward him.
"May I get you something to eat or drink?" the waiter asked, noticing the pips on his collar.
"No thank you," Alex responded. "I'm here to enjoy the view." The waiter bowed slightly and started to turn toward the bar. "Have you heard of the Starship Voyager?" Alex asked before the waiter could complete the turn. The waiter stopped and turned back to the commander.
"Yes sir, who hasn't heard of the Voyager?"
"What have you heard?" Alex asked curiously. Of course Alex was very familiar of the Voyager's history. Ever since news of his transfer had reached him on the USS Marshall he had studied every mission the Voyager had completed since he departure. He spent countless evenings in the holodeck walking the recreated halls of the Voyager getting to relearn her layout so the ship wouldn't seem a stranger to him when he arrived. The reason for Alex's question to the waiter was to see what the general public knew of his new ship.
"Well Sir, where do I begin? The waiter responded. "The Voyager has been in so many difficult situations, saving a ship, a planet, even the Federation itself. It is a ship of legends. You're lucky to get her back. Hundreds apply for that ship every year. You know, I believe the Voyager is here at the McAuliffe Station right now. I'll bet you can see her as we dock."

McAuliffe Station

The waiter moved toward the windows. Alex followed closely behind. The Key turned slowly as she neared Pylon Two. Just as the bow turned there was a glimmer of reflected light off a white surface.
"That's it - the Voyager" the waiter said almost reverently. Alex glanced downward
and saw his new home glimmering in the station's floodlights . The word "VOYAGER" in black letters outlined in red contrasted the white background of the ship.
"Beautiful," Alex thought. "That's my ship," he said to the window. His breath clouded the glass.
"Are you one of the new executive officers?" the waiter asked.
"Yes," came Alex's proud reply.
"I heard the Voyager was getting new brass. I'm happy to meet you sir." the waiter said extending his hand. Alex was taken a bit back by the offer but realized the waiter was a civilian employee of Starfleet. He shook the waiter's hand. The waiter turned and walked back to the bar to ready the lounge for maintenance and space dock.
Alex pulled up a chair and sat looking at the Voyager as the Key slowed to a stop at the docking Pylon. He reached into his pocket and took out his hand held computer. With a couple of clicks he pulled up his transfer orders.

The Starship Voyager

"...........You are hereby ordered to the Starship Voyager on January 1st. You will arrange transportation to McAuliffe Station. You will be working with fellow officers Brady Young, Bradyn Lystrup, Kyle Herring, and a new junior officer named Victor Williamson." He stopped reading. Alex knew these people well, except for Victor Williamson - the new rookie. He had worked with the others in different assignments. Some of them he had trained himself. He continued to read his orders. He was searching for the earliest time he could board. He was anxious to get his gear stowed and meet his staff. His orders read 0800 hours. He had three hours to wait.
Alex closed the computer and placed in back in his blue uniform's pocket. The Key's loudspeaker announced that docking was complete and the crew and passengers could disembark. Alex stood up, glanced once more at the Voyager, and walked toward the large doors of the lounge.
"Good Luck Commander!" the waiter shouted across the room.
"Thanks," Alex called back and disappeared in the hallway. The doors closed.

(We are happy to have Alex Debirk back at the Space Center after a short absence. He will work with Brady Young and Bryson Lystrup on the Voyager. He will take occasional overnight camps along with the Voyager's Saturday private missions and one private weekday mission. He brings his great talent for acting and desire to see our programs continue to improve. Welcome Back Alex!)
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