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Sightseeing Tour

Posted on Wed May 13th, 2020 @ 8:20pm by Lieutenant Callum McDowell

619 words; about a 3 minute read

Mission: New Beginnings
Location: Shuttlecraft Odyssey

As the shuttle passed into the thermosphere, Lieutenant McDowell increased power to the impulse engines. The Type-6 quickly accelerated to full impulse as the pilot adjusted course to take them to Utopia Planitia.

The shuttle’s aft section was filled with people bound for Starfleet’s largest shipyard. It’s usual pilot, an Ensign, had been relegated to the co-pilot’s seat when Callum had decided to flex his rank and insisted on flying the shuttle personally.

“We’re clear of the atmosphere. On course for Utopia Planitia. Estimated time until arrival,” he glanced over at one of the secondary displays, “thirty minutes.” The Ensign’s annoyance at having been side-lined was palpable. “Cheer up, Ensign. Consider this an extended break.”

The young man folded his arms and harrumphed, which caused the Lieutenant to smirk. Most of the rest of the journey was conducted in a tense silence. It wasn’t until they drew near to the shipyards that the Ensign was given cause to speak again.

Rather than following the flight plan, Lieutenant McDowell altered course to take them past the drydock where the Ermiana was nearing completion. “Sir, this course hasn’t been approved.”

“I understand that, Ensign. I just figured I’d take us on a little sightseeing tour and give us all a look at Starfleet’s newest Galaxy-class Starship.” He replied, slowing the shuttle’s speed to half impulse. “There she is folks,” he announced to the passengers in the aft section, “the U.S.S. Ermiana.”

He manoeuvred the shuttle between the drydock and the dorsal side of the Ermiana’s saucer. Her name and registry were boldly emblazoned across the hull. The shuttle continued to fly over the secondary hull before exiting the other side of the drydock.

The co-pilot’s console beeped, demanding the Ensign’s attention. “Sir, Utopia Planitia control is demanding that we return to our original course.” Sounding slightly worried he added, “They seem pretty annoyed by our deviation.”

“Relax Ensign.” McDowell told him casually. “If they have a problem with our little detour, they can come speak to me.” With the shuttle back on course, it would only be a matter of minutes before they were grabbed by the shuttlebay’s tractor beam and pulled the rest of the way in.

[U.S.S. Ermiana | Transporter Room 2]
[45 Minutes Later]

With a duffel containing some of his smaller possessions slung over his shoulder, Lieutenant Callum McDowell materialised on the transporter pad. He would have been onboard already but one of the shipyards traffic controllers decided to give the Lieutenant a dressing down for deviating from their flight plan.

Callum had stood silently as the Lieutenant Commander raged at him and eventually tired himself out. No doubt a report would be filed with the Ermiana’s Captain, but he’d deal with that as and when it reared its head. He didn’t regret their detour and would do it again in a heartbeat. “Permission to come aboard?” Callum asked, following an ancient Earth naval tradition.

“Permission granted, sir.” The Petty Officer manning the transporter room replied, as was customary.

The plan was to drop his belongings off at his new quarters, the Quartermaster had transmitted his room assignment ahead of time, before locating the Captain and reporting in officially. Thanks to the last-minute nature of his orders, Callum was arriving a day or two later than most of the ship’s other senior officers.

He strode out of the transporter room and turned right, leading him straight into a turbolift. “Deck eight.” The doors closed with a soft hiss and the turbolift car began its descent down through the Ermiana’s saucer section.


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