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Posted on Wed May 6th, 2020 @ 11:17pm by Lieutenant Commander Felicie Rivero

Mission: After the Storm

July 20, 1969

The small ten inch television set sat in the corner of the living room, a multitude of small eager faces watching it expectantly. The black and white image flickered, one half of the screen occupied by a semi static image of a news reporter, the other half occupied by the image of what, to most laymen watching, was just a rocketship.

"Is it happening Momma?" A small red haired girl turned to look back at one of the adults behind him. "Is it really going to happen?"

"Hush baby, just watch." She smiled fondly as she glanced at him before turning back to the television. "Just watch and pray."

The door to the craft opened and a white clad figure emerged through the open space. The black and white image flickered, the sound of static often filling the audio track, until finally the words broke through.

"That's one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind."

On the other half of the screen a dark haired man sat behind a desk emblazoned with the logo of CBS news, his hands firmly clasped in front of him, eyes wide as he watched the footage for the first time with his viewers.

After what seemed like a small eternity, the familiar sound of his voice broke through the static. ""Man on the Moon!...Oh, boy…Whew, boy!" A moment of silence and the flickery image started to fade. "And that's the way it is. July 20th, 1969."

"He did it! He did it! He did it! Momma, Momma, Grammy! He did it!" The small girl leapt to her feet, shrieking with joy, throwing her hands into the air.

"Stephanie Shannon McKinley! Sit your backside back on that floor before I spank it!" The growl came from somewhere behind, a male voice, clearly unhappy with the interruptions of a small child.

"Momma?" the small girl asked once more. "Do you think maybe one day I could walk on the moon?"

Reaching for the child and pulling her close, the woman rested her hand against the child's cheek, looking into her eyes lovingly. "Stephie, you can do anything you set your mind and your heart to, don't let anyone tell you otherwise. It's a brand new world today baby, you can achieve anything."


March 18th, 2019.

Stephanie held her position near the window, looking out, a soft smile playing on her features as she watched the vision of Earth down below, her home, where she was born, where she grew up, yet it was here, on a space station among the stars, that she had finally felt at home.

"Not long now Stephy," the voice broke her reverie and she pushed herself away from the external wall, turning to face the speaker. "What are you looking forward to most?" Despite his heavy russian accent, Steph knew exactly what he was saying. She was so used to it now that she didn't even hear his inflections any more.

"Aleksi," She smiled as she kicked away from the outer wall and floated toward him, her hands resting against his cheeks once she was close enough, the sheer excitement visible in her eyes as she leaned in and kissed both cheeks. "It's been a year. I'm going home to my babies. It's been so long, I just hope they remember who their Momma is!"

The Russian cosmonaut laughed and shook his head. "One day Stephanie Shannon Rivero, mark words, one day they will be up here with you."


December 10th, 2165.

"Ensign Matthew Rivero?"

The voice was gentle but clearly audible over the general hubbub of the drydock station. A young red headed man stepped forward, half raising one hand, the other sweeping back an unruly mop of red hair. "That'd be me," he said with a half grin as he waved to silence the guffaws of the person standing next to him in line.

"Ensign Rivero, I have you assigned to the USS Versailles. You need to report to Captain Alexander Keegan at Dock 8. If you need help with your belongings you can ask an operations officer at the door on your way out to organise assistance."

"So.. are you gonna be assigned there too," Matthew asked with a cheeky grin as he took the assignment details from her.

The slight brunette rolled her eyes at him. "Yes, because I haven't heard that already two hundred times today. Get out of my face Ensign, before I have security come escort you back to Earth."

"Oh! Burn!" The chorus from behind him started to sound, but Matthew didn't give up.
"But you'll keep in touch, right?" As she started to walk away from him, he reached one arm toward her in a dramatic pose. "At least tell me your name! Surely I can know the name of my true love who walked away?!" he exclaimed dramatically.

"Lieutenant Felicia James, now get out of my face before I rescind your orders!" she shot back, unable to hide the smile on her face as she walked away.


May 6th, 2394.

"Lieutenant Commander Rivero?" The voice was gentle, as was the touch to her shoulder.

Felicie's eyes blinked slowly as she roused from sleep, trying to focus on the figure standing in the walk way next to her. "I'm awake," she murmured sleepily.

"Commander, we're about to arrive at Starbase 332, you said you wanted to be made aware when we were on our final approach?" The young Ensign speaking to her offered a warm smile as he motioned toward the window next to her. "There she is Ma'am."

Felicie ground the sleep from her eyes as she leaned to the window, looking out at the starbase in the near distance, a smile dancing across her lips as the shuttle banked so she got a better view.

"Isn't it amazing?" The young Ensign offered a smile. "We'll be docking in a few minutes, if you need help with your belongings, Operations will be at the docking port, just ask them."

With a quick nod and a word of appreciation, Felicie turned back toward the window, watching the starbase before her as it stood, proud and in full view of anyone who cared to look. At least as far as she was concerned, the sight was one to behold. Stardock class, not the newest, not the prettiest, but still by far her favourite, and still where she knew she belonged.

As the shuttle banked for the last time to begin it's approach to the station, Felicie smiled, leaning against the cool hard surface of the bulkhead next to her as she continued starting, blissfully engrossed in the view of the starbase they were coming up to.

"Welcome home, Lieutenant Commander Rivero," she murmured quietly to herself. "Welcome home."


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