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Departure from Cushyry

Posted on Sun Oct 18th, 2015 @ 5:01am by Lieutenant JG Ricki St. Louis

Mission: Blooming Friendships
Location: Archa System


HMS Nightwind had no spare deck space for luxury. The ancient vessel was built for war and nothing more. Her captain sat with his passenger. "I'm sorry that we couldn't provide you with proper quarters."

Ricki St. Louis smiled, tipping her head, "Well, it's a new experience for me, sleeping with big torpedoes." She settled, "Please thank Chief Captain Talvel for his help. And please accept my apology to you and your crew. I'm sorry to have dragged you so far away from home."

He exhaled a chuckle, "Any favor that Desia can do for your Captain Leto is a debt happily paid. Besides, anybody being harassed by Admiral Rainer is someone we want to help."

She shook her head, "He was go throw so many roadblocks at my departing to Archa that eventually he could get my transfer cancelled."

The boat's cook approached with food trays, "Captain? Lieutenant?"

As they ate, the CO eyed her, "I don't know if it would be an insult to you if ask? It's not professional of me."

Ricki smiled, "Please do. As far as I'm concerned, Desia and Thoria are cousins."

"Why Archa? It seems to me that someone of your talent would set up shop in the cradle of advancement, not the wild frontier."

She gave a nod, "I've been accused of being a snob, of isolating myself in a cushy and privileged lifestyle." She met eye contact, "I have enjoyed prosperity all of my life, but that doesn't mean that I insulate myself from suffering. I became a doctor so I could help."

"Ah, then. Your critics might well be jealous Harrison Bergeronists." He studied her, "You're coming here to prove to them otherwise."

She nodded, "More accurately, to test my own motivations."

He sat back with a sigh, "I hope you're not making a mistake. This whole sector is a tinderbox. War could break out at any time."

Ricki gave a tense shake of the head, "No choice. I'm on the run from skunk ops who want to prevent a marriage between Thorian synapse and Federation devices."

"Why not go home? You'd be safe, there."

She shook her head, "By treaty, someone else would be required to take my place. No, I'll do this. Besides..." She caught herself.

He read her hesitancy and gave a kindly shake of the head, "Keep your secrets."

"Thank you, Captain."

It was her turn to study him, "You're not supposed to be in Federation territory, are you?"

He chuckled through a grin, "Nope. We're... bending treaty agreement a wee bit."

"Maybe I should have come to Archa in a Valkyrie?"

"No. Your Admiral Rainer is persistent, and he has may resources to call upon. This was the only way for you to escape his grasp."

The first officer approached, "Captain, Tac reports that all appears normal in the Archa solar system. Commercial traffic is flowing and the comm chatter is normal."

"Very good. Prepare to surface." He smiled to Ricki, "Are you ready?"

"I am, Sir!"

"The order is given... Surface!"

"Aye, surface. The clock is running."

The captain led Ricki to a portal ladder and they climbed up. With dimensional ripples lighting the ship in a faint glow, they emerged the outer hull. Under the atmospheric containment dome, she donned her black helmet and sealed it to her riding suit. Sailors rolled up her Zig X-1000 space cycle and she boarded. According to Desian custom, she bid her adieu, "Until we meet again!"

"Until we meet again. Go with God."

She powered up and climbed away from the vessel. Once clear, she engaged the Thorian hyperdrive and flashed away.

The captain descended the hatch, "All hands, stand by to dive."

Ricki watched the stealthy boat vanish and then activated her cycle's transponder. Putting it into overdrive, she accelerated into FTL toward the fourth planet.



Lt. Jg. Ricki Steiner
Starbase 332
Pegasus Fleet


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