July 26th, 2840 AD 7:37 AM CST, Noah 3 Bridge
For the past few days, the Noah 3 traveled through the light yellow, infinite void known as Jump Space. A very unoriginal name provided by the Earth Grand Council. During that time, every bridge crew member, engineer, and maintenance officer were on pins and needles waiting for something to go wrong during the journey. Nothing ever did. The end result was an overly long and stressful time for seemingly no reason. At least the civilians had a normal time living out their lives never knowing what was going on.
“Captain, we just reached our target coordinates.” Navigation Officer Lucas Bright looked behind him to Captain Medina. A captain who seemed very distracted at the moment.
Charlotte was completely dreading her scheduled meeting with the other captains in less then a couple hours. Hearing her navigation officer, she was finally brought back to the present “Oh, ummm...Excellent work, Bright. Prepare to leave Jump Space. Mira, please sound the alarm to alert the ship about our inevitable jump.”
“On it, Captain.” Bright’s hand was placed over his screen in a particular spot on his console.
“Got it, Captain” Mira hit a button on his own console and a loud, high pitched siren started blaring in the bridge and throughout the ship.
“Good, Bright get us out of Jump Space and prepare for reverse thrust just in case. Ready? 3, 2, 1, and go” Charlotte commanded.
The reverse thrust wasn’t necessary. As soon as Lucas Bright hit the button to leave Jump Space, a yellow portal opened up and the result was the exact opposite of entering it. The Noah 3 exited into normal space, but the gravity of the portal pulled back on the ship to drag it into a complete stop. All of which is a good thing considering that it planted itself in front of a large asteroid field with asteroids of all shapes and sizes. The Noah 2 appeared in the same way on the left of Noah 3 with the Noah 1 on the right.
“Mira, you can turn the siren off. Barr, please activate the view screen and start scanning the asteroids in front of us. Be sure to get a reading on all the resources that are available for mining as soon as you can.” Charlotte Medina learned forward a little bit out of excitement. Commander Susan Ray behind her had the largest smile on her face while seeing this happen.
“On it, ma’am” Mira commented and the siren quickly stopped radiating through the ship.
“Yes, captain. I’ve got my work cut out for me.” Jinto Barr cracked his knuckles in front of his console.
“You certainly do.” Charlotte smiled at him. After the front view screen was activated, which was originally turned off due to the lack of intriguing views in Jump Space, the bridge crew were intrigued by the field of asteroids in front of them. The readings of what the space rocks were made out would still take a few minutes, but everyone on the bridge perked up on seeing actual space in a much more unique area then expected.
“Captain, the readings just came in. May I change the filter on screen?” Barr asked before proceeding.
“You may proceed, Mr. Barr. Show us what you found.”
“Aye, ma’am.” Jinto Barr hit a few buttons and the front screen color coded the asteroids. “As you can see colored in red, there is a small amount of Oxygen, Nitrogen, and other gases in the smaller ones. The larger ones in different shades of green have the material we need to replicate food and with the dark green as metals we could use for production.”
“Excellent work, Barr.” Charlotte smiled. “If we wanted to mine the resources from the larger ones, where would we fire our mining laser to get the larger access of resources without damaging them?”
“The computer has calculated that too, Ma’am. The yellow dots appearing now indicate the best points to hit those asteroids with a lower level mining laser.”
“Lt. Haro, you’re up. Please aim careful and hit both of those points at the same time. You can do that, right?”
Lt. Aisha Haro started aiming two mining lasers from the front of the ship to the marked points. “Yes ma’am, shouldn’t be a problem.” She has the most mischievous smile considering that she could actually fire lasers for the time ever.
That was something which frightened Charlotte a bit, but she pushed those thoughts to the side for the moment.
“Good. Haro, once you hit the asteroids, send all mining crew teams out there to collect our find. It is about time they flew something besides simulators.”
“Yes, ma’am. On it.”
After low leveled invisible beams blew up parts of the asteroids, Charlotte and the crew spent the rest of the time watching and directing the mining vessels. The vessels were sent to collect the most relevant resources, the metals, and then to something else. The venture was a bit confusing with Noah 1 and 2’s vessels doing their own mining at the same time, but there was no conflict between any parties.
It was a busy and fun couple hours doing all of the coordination before....
“Captain, you better hurry. If this schedule is correct, you are late for your meeting.” Susan was looking at a floating screen that was flashing in front of her.
“Crap, I forgot. Commander, please keep watch over the bridge while I am gone.” Charlotte started to scream out of the bridge.
“Yes, Captain. Have a good meeting.” Susan Ray just shook her head while the captain started running down the hallway. Something which the rest of the crew have seen many times before.
July 26th, 2840 AD 9:45 AM CST, Captain’s Office.
Out of breath, Charlotte Medina softly walked into her office and sat down in the chair behind her desk. After taking another second to catch her breath, she calmed her mind a bit more.
“Computer, connect me to the captains of Noah 1 and 2.” Charlotte found a handkerchief on her desk to wipe the sweat off her brow and immediately threw it away in a disposal bin.
“Connecting now. Have a good meeting, Captain.” said the robotic voice coming through thin air before two screens, one of each captain, appeared out of thin air.
On the right screen was the long, brown haired man with brown eyes by the name of Hecht Arlock. He was captain of the Noah 1 and as young as Charlotte at 22 years of age. The captain of the Noah 2’s name is Rachel Emeralds. She is 3 years older than the other captains and whose face featured sharp green eyes and black hair put neatly into a tight bun.
“Morning Captain Arlock and Emeralds.” Charlotte tried her best to give a soft smile despite her nervousness.
“Morning Captain Medina” Captain Arlock returned the smile.
“No. Don’t tell Medina good morning, Arlock. She’s fifteen minutes late.” Emeralds wasn’t having this.
“It’s the first time we’ve been in a space before, so give her some…” Arlock tried to reason before…
“If we start breaking our own schedules now, then that will lead to lower standards later on.” Emeralds immediately interjected. “We need to think of a punishment for her.
”Charlotte gulped at the word punishment. This could be bad.“It’s not like you can do anything to Medina like take her off her ship or anything.” Arlock reasoned.
“Fine. We will just give her the longest distance to travel to the next set of asteroids Does that work for you?.” Emeralds sighed.
“That works for me. Do you agree, Medina?” Arlock smiled.
“Yes. Emeralds, Arlock, I’ll take anything. I promise that I won’t be late next time.” Charlotte sighed in defeat once again. In her mind, it feels like she hasn’t been able to win anything recently. “Where are we going?”
“Well, if you weren’t so late you would know already. Bring up the map already, Medina.” Emeralds wasn’t going to give Charlotte an inch it seemed.
“Ok, ok”. Charlotte touched the attachment on her screen and a star map appeared in the ceiling above them for the solar systems the Earth Grand Council found through exploration by high powered telescopes.
There were three different solar systems and another asteroid belt next time both of them from different distances away from the next cluster of asteroids also marked from on the screen.
“You are going to this one.” Arlock said as it glowed in red for Medina to see. “Jump Space coordinates will be given to you in a couple hours, but it should take you only 7 days to get there. Please jump this evening”
“With this knowledge, we meet at the next cluster of asteroids in three weeks? That only leaves a few days for me to explore.” Medina looked at the map a little nervously.
“That’s what you get for being late, Medina.” Emeralds still looked stern but a bit a little less judging. “You better work hard.”
“I will, Emeralds. Don’t worry about it.” Medina started forming some quick plans on how to do that in her head to check the logistics of later. “Is that all for today?”
“We were also discussing how to govern our ships. Were you planning on building a civilian government like me?” Arlock smiled.”
“Yes, Arlock. My commander and I have been discussing doing that. We are planning to walk into Noah 3 City tomorrow to check for a place for an election.” Medina smiled back.
“Very good, Medina. I am planning to do the same thing myself with my commander, tomorrow.” Arlock seemed to enjoy the relaxed atmosphere more.
“Both of you are weak.” Emeralds sighed in disapproval.
“Yeah, whatever.” Medina thought to herself. Something that harsh would come from Emeralds’ mouth.
July 26th, 2840 AD 6:30 PM CST, The Lounge
“Charlotte, are you going to play poker with us tonight or not?” Susan asked kindly.
Charlotte sat at a card table to the right of Susan Ray with Lucas Bright and Jinto Barr on the other side.
“Not today, I am not in the proper mindspace right now. Besides, I don’t have enough free credits to bet with anyway.” Charlotte sighed.
“Do you have your mind on a few things??” Lucas stared with curiosity.
“Well, I was planning on replacing my uniform because it's getting a little frayed. Also, more formal attire.”
“Ah, the elections are coming up” Susan exclaimed. “That makes perfect sense. I don’t have any purchases like that in the future.”
“Neither do I.” Answered Barr with Bright nodding in agreement.
“The dress I wore for the party was the formal wear I have. I can’t just show up wearing the same thing.” Charlotte sighed while Susan patted her on the back.
“I can let you borrow something.” Susan smiled while Charlotte shook her head softly.
“The Captain’s meeting was that bad, huh?” Bright also looked a little curious.
“Well, Arlock was ok because he has also been very reasonable and even keeled. Emeralds was ruthless and wouldn’t give me an inch. I guess I was pretty late after all.”
“You have to do something to take your mind off of it. What if you bet in punishments instead?” Susan Ray smiled.
“What kind of punishments. Hopefully, nothing weird?” Charlotte felt nervous again.
“Lucas and I don’t know you guys well enough to come up with a good one so this choice falls to Susan.” Jinto Barr looked at Susan.
“Well, I have one. Charlotte, how about you have to clean up your quarters yourself a day for each game you lose.” Susan really was being mischievous.
“You know, pick up the clothes you drop on the floor, put the laundry in your machines yourself, and do your own dishes. Things like that.”
“Our captain is a slob, huh? Well, I’m not surprised.” Jinto shook his head.
“You do seem to be the kind of person for it, Charlotte.” Lucas laughed
“She really is. If Charlotte didn’t have the cleaning robot I set up for her, she would be hardly functional.” Susan smiled
“Susan, why did you have to tell them that?” Charlotte hid her head on the table in embarrassment.
“They were going to find out eventually anyway, Charlotte. I just hurried along the process.” Susan said slyly.
“That doesn’t mean you needed to be a catalyst for it.” Charlotte said with fire in her eyes before thinking for a bit.
“Ugh, fine. I’ll do it. It’s actually a pretty fair solution too.”
“I try my best to come up with a good and fair solution for everyone. Especially you, Charlotte.” Susan said and Charlotte couldn’t find a way to disagree.
An hour and five rounds of poker later, Charlotte earned herself four days of cleaning her own room from continually awful hands and luck.
“I think I better go to bed before the punishment days go on until eternity.” Charlotte stood up from the table. “On top of that, I’m pretty exhausted.”
“Just remember that we are meeting at 9 am to go into the city.” Susan smiled.
“Yes, yes. I remember.” Charlotte hid her shame with a smile. “We are meeting you two guys at the spa in the evening, right?“
"We will be there.” Lucas smiled with Bright nodding.
“Excellent. With that, I bid you all a goodnight.” Charlotte softly stood up from her chair, gave everyone a small wave, and walked into the hallway for the night.