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Launch Time at 12

Posted on 04 Feb 2019 @ 2:19am by Captain Abigail Rhodes

Mission: Prologue
Location: Mars Orbit


It was time.

They had onboarded all the skeleton crew who were coming along, and the ship diagnostics had been completed.  Mars Flight Control gave them clearance to leave, and Abby was anxious to get going.  This was only a ferry flight, and a long one at that, but it would be the first real test of the warp system.  Besides, the sooner they got out to their AOR the sooner they could begin their mission.  To maximize efficiency, the cargo bays had been loaded with as many supplies as they could carry for Deep Space 13.

She glanced around the Bridge one last time and noted the faces therein.  Other than her XO, only two other people were there - a navigator who was assigned to the USS Discovery-C, and an Operations ensign on her first tour.  Abby couldn't remember her name off-hand; it was Artax or Etrax or something. Andorian names were tough for her to remember - all the weird syllables and x's.  What she did rememebr was the girl was fresh out of the Academy and was one of the few permanent Mark Miller assignees currently aboard.  Abby made a mental note to meet with her in earnest later on.

She turned the other way as the sound of the turbolift doors came to her ears.  She watched as Admiral Petrovich stepped out and immediately waved down the Ops ensign from calling the room to attention.  The Admiral was clearly on an unofficial visit and simply wanted to watch proceedings.  She took a station behind Abby's right shoulder, standing with her hands behind her back.  Abby acknowledged her with a brief nod and returned to the task at hand.

"Do you have our clearance, Mr. Holmes?"

"Yes ma'am," the navigator responded.  His fingers danced deflty across the navigation console.  "Awaiting your order."

Abby nodded and leaned back in her chair, her legs crossing comfortably.  "Release clamps and moorings, and pull ahead, thrusters only."

"Releasing clamps and moorings, thrusters only," Holmes confirmed while he performed the task.  Rhythmic dull thumps reverberated through the little ship as the connections to the drydock systematically severed and retracted.

"All connections secure, ma'am, we are flying free."

Abby couldn't help but smile.  Her ship was under her own power now.  The drydock slipped slowly past, the starfield beyond expanding to encompass the entire viewscreen.  The process took about a minute, but to Abby, it couldn't go fast enough.

"We are clear of the dock," Holmes reported.

"Full impulse to the system warp limit."


The ship accelerated away from Mars, the red planet rapidly shrinking away from them.  Abby was leaning forward on her elbows now.  "Lay in a course for Deep Space 13.  Warp eight."  It was the ship's maximum cruise, and Abby figured it was time to find out how she handled it.

"Course laid in, warp factor eight."

Abby waited and watched a small display on her chair's arm - one that showed their distance to planets and stars.  A little green light would illuminate when it was safe to go to warp.  It didn't take long.

"Hit it," she commanded and Mr. Holmes sent the ship into warp.

The first warp streaks were a beautiful sight.  Not stars flying past like some thought, but interstellar particles lighting up with energy as the navigational deflector shoved them aside so they didn't blow chunks out of the ship's hull.  Abby didn't feel the jump to warp, the inertial dampeners didn't allow any engine acceleration to get through.  Everything seemed to just be the same; the only indication they were going anywhere was the viewscreen, and the constantly updating position indicator on her armrest.  A sedate change in momentum if there ever was one.

She felt a hand on her shoulder and she looked up to see Admiral Petrovich's brief smile before she turned to return to her state room.  Abby appreciated the support, though she knew the Admiral really just wanted to see the ship's first warp jump on the new engines.

"This is going to be a long enough trip through Federation space, Mr. Holmes.  Please forward any received general messages or calls to the nearest starbase or vessel.  Unless, of course, it is urgent and we are the closest possible respondent."

"Yes, ma'am."


Captain Abigail Rhodes
Commanding Officer
USS Mark Miller


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