Hot-Rodding the Family Wagon
Episode 01: "Vestal Hearth"
Location: U.S.S Vesta, Main Shuttlebay, Shuttlecraft Belor
Timeline: Day 1, 2245 hrs Starbase Time
Swears in several languages filled the otherwise empty shuttlebay as PO3 Sullis frowned over the opened control panel on the Belor´s dorsal hull. ¨Yes, I know I did this already, so don´t you be so testy now!¨
Picking up the re-sequencer again, Corbin pulled the first of a dozen isolinear chips our of the shuttle´s many circuits and began to scan it millimeter by millimeter. ¨Oh, you better believe I´m not leaving until I have you singing again.¨
So focused was he on this monotonous task in the late hour, that he didn't hear the entryway doors open.
As she stepped through the doors, Temperance smirked at the rather colourful and expletive laden epithets that were being tossed about the shuttlebay. Instead of making her presence known, she opted to just lean back against the bulkhead, watching the show for a few more minutes, her smirk becoming a suppressed smile.
"Have you ever noticed?" she posed softly, pushing herself away from the wall and walking toward him, "That when ever you swear or use curses, the universal translator doesn't actually translate?"
¨Ha, ain´t that the truth...er, Ma´am!¨ Corbin suddenly realized who he was talking to, and gently dropped the chip and his tool onto the shuttle´s roof. The enlisted man carefully swung his legs over the edge of the Belor´s canopy and slid down to the floor. ¨My apologies, I didn´t expect many people up so late, figured there was good tea and books to read and all that.¨
Temperance smiled slightly. "No apology needed, I'm sorry for intruding on your peaceful expletive riddled rants," she offered. "I wasn't ready to wind down so I thought I'd take a walk and ended up here." She glanced around and gave a sheepish grin. "Not entirely sure how, I had actually been intending to head toward the observation lounge, but here I am. Temperance Zachary," she offered, holding her hand out toward him.
The enlisted man gladly took his superior´s hand. ¨Petty Officer Sullis, shuttle pilot and bard of inappropriate words. And if you want a better view...¨
Corbin moved over to the mobile control console next to the Belor and tapped a few memorized commands. First, the shuttlebay lights went dark, except for the dim entryway glow behind them. Next, the energizing ´humm´ of a forcefield kicked on, which allowed for the final step. One click at a time, the main shuttlebay door slid open, letting the natural glow of a million stars and phenomenon flow in.
¨...why not have the best window the ship can offer?¨
Temperance gasped audibly at the view. "Now that is nothing short of amazing," she said, awestruck. "With a view like that available I'm surprised you ever close the shuttlebay doors," she smiled as she turned back to face him, though her eyes kept drifting back toward the view of the stars.
"How long have you been on the Vesta?" Temp asked with a smile. "I'm still working out who's who around here."
"Fresh to the boat, ma'am," Sullis nodded, not taking his eyes off the infinite beauty. "I've been hopping around the fleet for a spell, but this seems like a good chance to get out and away from all that pesky civilization."
"What about you? You ready to find the weird, the ugly and the possibly mind-breaking?"
Temperance laughed and shook her head. "I can say with complete honesty that at this point, nothing at all startles me, shocks me or surprises me. Consider my mind thoroughly broken already," she finished lightly.
¨Oh good, that should cut out a few ´crew-going-insane´ missions that seem to pop up every time we go into deep space.¨ Corbin laughed in return, before remembering his manners. ¨If the Commander would like, I've got some fresh produce from planet-side, it makes a damn fine tea or spirit, depending on how you prep it. ¨
"I'm game," Temperance said with a laugh. "Just don't blow anything up if you're planning on brewing your own spirits, pretty sure the Captain's going to frown on his ship being damaged because someone wanted to try their hand at a bit of moonshine," she said as they walked across the shuttlebay. "For now, tea sounds just fine."