Starbase One is scheduled to launch the Voyager, Magellan, Odyssey, Phoenix and Galileo for their summer voyages on Tuesday evening. The ships are prepared and nearly ready for departure. There are a few hiccups in the Odyssey, the Magellan's retrofit from a space station to starship is nearly complete, the Voyager's orders into the Wild West region of the Galaxy are still being written, the Galileo's new air conditioning system is installed and the Phoenix has its new controls debugged and running as per expectations. I'm feeling confident about our missions into the unknown and honored many of you kind readers decided to enlist in Starfleet and venture into deep space with us on missions of deep space exploration.
The Voyager's command officers ran a detailed simulation of their mission into the Wild West last night. The simulation was a bit rough as everyone learned their duties and responsibilities. Bracken Funk was at the helm, assisted by Jon Parker and Emily Paxman. The simulation exposed several potential problems requiring a bit of fine tuning. The simulations are necessary to ensure the safety of the Paklid Prince Horace as the Voyager transports him to Paklidia. Another simulation is scheduled for 10:00 A.M. tomorrow. Command is convinced this training will prove beneficial to the success of the mission.
Last night, the commanders of our ships gathered in Starbase One's Forward Lounge. We sat at one of the long banquet tables closest to the transparent aluminum windows overlooking the slowly rotating Earth. There was a great deal of reminiscing about old times and old missions while the commanders enjoyed a few drinks of non alcoholic Romulan Ale. As the minutes passed, the reminiscing morphed into boasting as the commanders verbally jostled with each other in an attempt to prove their summer mission was the most important to the overall success of the Federation's long term plans for the exploration and colonization of the Galaxy.
"You call transporting a snot nosed, obnoxious Paklid prince home an important mission?" Christine laughed as she reached across the table to take a handful of peanuts from a green illuminated bowl. Emily saw Christine reach and moved quickly to intercept the bowl. She moved it closer to her person.
"I haven't eaten anything today so I'm claiming these as mine," she said while encircling the bowl with both arms thus creating an impregnable fortress.
"Why don't you order something, it's not too late?" Jon suggested. "Adrian Stevens is on duty in the kitchen. She's working a few extra shifts to make a little extra money before the Voyager sails Tuesday night.
"Exactly why I'm not ordering anything to eat," Emily replied. "Have you noticed how many times she's poked her head out of the kitchen's doors to see if we're still here. She want's to go home. Who knows what she'll do to my food if I ordered something right now, so close to closing time."
"There's always the replicators," Nicole suggested. "The food tastes like cardboard, but its better than starving."
"The peanuts will be fine until I get back to my quarters. I've got a bit of something stashed away to get me through." Emily tapped one index finger against her nose signifying whatever it was she had tucked away was good.
Bracken jumped into the conversation's pause. "The Odyssey's mission is nothing compared to the Voyager's. You know what will happen if anything goes wrong with the Paklid Prince. We could lose the Dilithium contract, and that would be devastating to the Federation's future plans." He picked up his shot glass, held it up to the ceiling and watched the light from the ceiling fixtures bend and wave through the green liquid.
Christine shook her head and waved him off. Zac reached down and picked up his guitar.
"Anybody for a tune or two?"
"Sure, play something relaxing," Dave put his head down on the table as he spoke. It was far past his bedtime. He knew his wife would be wondering where he was. He thought to tap his communicator and call but didn't want to disturb her in case she had gone to bed without him.
"Relaxing.....?" Zac thought for a moment before strumming a tune unknown to everyone at the table. It sounded like a old Earth ballad.
"I think everyone would agree the Phoenix's mission is the most important." Megan spoke over the music. "Of course, I can't prove it because our orders are sealed, and none of you are cleared to read them." She looked rather proud of herself for pointing that out. "You'll all get a chance to read the mission debriefing when we get back."
" I'd love to read your mission debriefing - if we make it back alive," Stacy was slumped half way down her chair as she spoke. "The Galileo's mission will place us in harm's way and I'm not sure we will make it." She sat up straight and held her glass high. "So cheers to impossible missions."
"The Galileo? Honestly, the Galileo? The words Galileo and dangerous should never be put together." Zac stopped playing to make his point. "The Magellan is the ship that gets the most dangerous missions. If you want something done right, send the Magellan."
"I'm outta here before it gets to deep," Bracken stood up emptied his glass, wished everyone a good night and disappeared through the lounge's double doors and into corridor leading to the turbolift elevators.
"Let's break this up and get some sleep," I suggested.
"Look, North America is coming into view," Christine stood up and moved closer to the large windows making up one full wall of the lounge. The others joined her. I bid them all a good night and walked out of the lounge. Tuesday will come fast and there is still much to do.