July 14th, 2840 5 AM CST, Station Five Captain’s Room
“Charlotte, are you ready?” Susan was right outside the door in her normal uniform.
“I’ve just put my shoes on, come on in.” Charlotte was in her lounge area leaning over tying her shoelaces.
“Hi.” The door opens and Susan smiles as she walks in. “I’m excited to start flying out soon. Though, I do admit that I am a bit nervous about leaving home for the first time.”
“This will be your first time on a spaceship, Susan. It’s natural to feel that way.” Charlotte just finished tying her shoe laces. “But at least you get the Noah 3, one of the comfiest rides possible.”
“That’s true. With the technology on it, it’s like my family is there too.” With some reassurance, she looked at Charlotte’s luggage of two carry-on bags and three moderate sized boxes. “Is that all you have?”
“Yeah. I moved ships six times in the last two and a half years. By my second move, I finally realized that it’s easier to just keep the bare essentials so I can move whenever I need to.” Charlotte nods a bit.
“That sounds rough. At least you opened up some room to get all of my stuff on the shuttle.” Susan smiles a bit. “It’s nice that you are my traveling buddy.”
“Must be nice to have had a life of luxury.” Charlotte snarked while three cart robots with arms rolled in, quickly picked her stuff up, and left.
“Oh, before we leave, how has the cleaning robot been treating you?” Susan wondered
Embarrassed, Charlotte answers softy “Fine generally. I...I just had a couple episodes where it would snatch up the sock I was taking off while I was standing up. I may have tripped a couple times...”
“I didn’t think that you were always such a….” Susan stops herself.
“Such a...what?” Charlotte shifts her head to the right side in curiosity.
“Nothing, don’t worry about it. We should probably move so we can make it to the ship on time.” Susan embarrassingly went into the hall.
“This better not be about....” Charlotte immediately jumped up and followed.
“It’s not.” Susan interjected before Charlotte could finish. “Lets go.”
Exiting her residence of six months, Charlotte walked with Susan through the clean, white hallways of Station Five before entering the shuttle transit area. Inside were three large doors for the multiple box shaped shuttles with triangle fronts usually stationed here. At the moment, only one was present. Charlotte saw her luggage and Susan’s substantial amount of luggage in the back of it right before it was shut and sealed.
“Hmmm, I guess our crew left earlier today. How punctual.” Susan looks at Charlotte with a judging look.
“Why are you looking at me like that? I always make it to my shifts on time.” Charlotte defended herself.
“Yes, but you are always out of breath when you arrive. I’ve been keeping notes'' Susan replied coolly. “But today is what matters. Let’s get on the shuttle.”
“Since when were you the captain, huh?” Charlotte snarked.
“Oh, Shut up.”
Walking into the shuttle, the cockpit was minimalistic. Only two comfy seats, an advanced computer console with a large amount of monitors and touch screens, and a speaker with a small microphone set was inside. After the two sat down, the doors shut and vacuum sealed themselves.
“Names and ranks, please.” The shuttle spoke.
“Captain Charlotte Medina.”
“Commander Susan Ray.”
“Confirmed. What is your destination today, please.”
“Noah 3.” Charlotte exclaimed.
“Confirmed, confirmed. Please fasten your seat belts. Launch will be in thirty seconds.”
Susan and Charlotte found their seat belts on the top right corners of their seats and quickly fastened them on the bottom left. At the same time, the shuttle bay door opened. After the vessel entered a long cylindrical tube space, the door quickly shut. A fair distance away, another door opened up into empty space. The rails of the linear accelerator the shuttle found itself on starting charging.
“Launch in ten seconds, please brace yourself.” The computer remarked.
Charlotte and Susan held hands as the shuttle immediately accelerated out of the cylinder into empty space. In space, the vessel aimed itself in the direction of the huge shipyards in the distance. The Noah 3 was a large, long rectangular prism that holds a small city of people, but it was nothing compared to the size of the shipping yards that built it.
“Charlotte, before we arrive, I just wanted to say that you shouldn’t worry about what happened at the ceremony last night.” Susan looks Charlotte in the eyes while still holding her hand.
“I was trying not to think about it, but now I am. I can’t believe I fell on my face in front of everyone. That’s our entire crew. How am I not supposed to be embarrassed?” Charlotte tried to keep her composure, but was obviously failing.
“No one will judge you for a small moment in time like that. They all trust you, Charlotte. Besides, you shouldn’t let the opinions of others get you down.”
“I will try, but I don’t think I can look our crew members in the eye right now.” Charlotte officially lost her cool and started to slowly cry.
“Hey, hey. It’s going to be ok. You have me, right?” Susan squeezed Charlotte’s hand softly. “No matter what, I will back you up.”
“Yes, thank you but you are confusing me by being nice all of a sudden.” Charlotte slowly lets go of Susan’s hands and wipes her eyes. “Can you help me with something after today’s shift?”
“Anything you need, I will be there.” Susan smiled leading to Charlotte’s soft smile in return.
July 14th, 2840 AD 6:15 AM CST, Noah 3 Bridge
Taking a deep breath outside the room, Charlotte Medina summoned all the courage she had and walked into the bridge with Susan behind her. “Report, everyone set up?” She walked toward her command chair with all the other officers turning around from their monitors in turn to answer her.
“Captain, navigation ready to go.” Lucas Bright smiled.
“Scanning systems are ready at your command, Captain” Science Jinto Barr replied.
Communication’s Expert Markus Mira followed after with “Communications are ready to go.”
“Weapon safeties are on, but ready to go.” Weapon Experts Aisha Haro said ending the trend.
“Good. I have to make a few calls around the ship and then we can start communicating with docking control to leave. You have their frequency set, right Mira?” Charlotte locked at her officer.
“Ready to go at your command, ma’am.”
“Excellent, good work Mira.” Charlotte finally sat down in her chair to activate the console in front of her. Charlotte pressed her thumbs on the fingerprint scanners and typed her special code into the prompt afterward.
“Charlotte Medina confirmed. Welcome to the Noah 3, Captain.” Appeared in text on the screen before it changed to her command console screen.
Charlotte hit the communication key to engineering first. “Bridge to Engineering. Yang, how is the ship operating today?”
Over her comms, she hears a male voice “Captain, it’s nice to hear a real human voice for once.”
“Are you going to answer my question or not, Yang?”
“Sorry Captain. The maintenance chief and I looked over both cores and did a massive system check this morning. The Noah 3 is ready to go at your beck and call, Captain.” William Yang’s voice was full of confidence.
“Thank you, Yang. Please keep watch over her as we go.”
After checking with Human Resources Manager Steven Mintz and General Ship Manager Melfina Lafiel to get the response that everyone was onboard and the ship was fully stocked, it was time to launch the ship.
“Mira, please get me docking control.” Charlotte calmed her nerves a bit and looked at Susan for support who gave her a smile and thumbs up with eyes saying “you are doing great”. Charlotte felt much more reassured than before.
“We are connected, Captain.”
“Docking control, this is Captain Medina of the Noah 3. We are fully stocked and ready to go. Can we have clearance to launch?”
“Docking Control to Captain Medina, right on time Noah 3. Permission to leave is granted. Docking clamps are being removed as we speak. Good luck on your journey.” A voice rang throughout the bridge followed by everyone smiling.
“Captain Medina to Docking Control, Roger that and thanks.” Captain Medina pointed at Markus Mira to turn it off and he gave her the thumbs up in response.
“Bright, please take us out at 1/8th speed, please.” She softly ordered.
“Aye, captain!” Lukas Bright remarked as he pulled the notch forward on his command console a little bit.
The ship slowly started moving out of the larger rectangle area it was held in. Finally free into space, Captain Charlotte ordered the Noah 3 to meet up with the other two ships.
“Commander Ray, you are up.” Charlotte exclaims while taking a deep breath and relaxing in her seat.
“Thanks Captain Medina.” Susan stood up from her spot and cleared her throat getting ready to give her short speech. “Mira, transmit my voice across the ship.”
“Ready when you are, Commander.”
Taking yet another breath, Susan starts. “Greetings crew and citizens of Noah 3. I am your second in command, Commander Susan Ray and the representative of the Earth Grand Council on this ship. I just wanted to let you all know what is scheduled for this week.
First, we will meet up with our sister ships the Noah 1 and 2. Following that, our ship is planned to travel through our solar system at relativistic speeds before making our first Faster Then Light jump outside the solar system. Noah 3’s crew has traveled through this system multiple times for different reasons, but we know that there are a number of civilians on this ship who have never left Earth before. Knowing this, we want to give you all an example of human progress before we leave.
The Earth Grand Council has also suggested a Line Crossing Ceremony before we leave this system. It was a ceremony by the sailors of old wooden or flimsy metal ships on the oceans hundreds of years ago. The EGC saw fit to use this ceremony for this special case. Once again, we humans are traveling to the unknown and this is how we will remind ourselves of what we left behind while moving forward. That is all.”
Susan calmly points at the communication’s officer to turn the system off and sits down calmly. “Captain, the con is yours again.”
July 14th, 2840 AD: 6 PM CST, Captain’s Quarters
“Charlotte, you asked for me?” Susan dressed in her off duty clothes, a t shirt and jeans, waited outside the door.
“Come in, come in.” Charlotte exclaimed in simple shorts and a tank top looking at a digital computer screen formed in mid air.
Susan slowly walked up to her after the door opened. “Busy, are we? Did you feel better after today?”
“I was just getting ready to show you a few things. Also yes. Somehow, everyone was surprisingly kind. I like this crew.” Charlotte was smiling.
“They are good people. The EGC chose them well.” Susan remarked. “So, what did you ask me here for?”
“I was tasked with giving a speech during the ceremony and I wanted you to help me with a few things.” Charlotte sighed.
“Sure.” Susan sits down in a chair next to Charlotte. “What can I help with?”