Chapter Four: Pre-launch with Dave and Hal

 by True Fan (In Collaboration With Zarek Dragon and Douglas DD)


Wednesday, 20 August 2121

Captain's First Log entry

It's hard to put into words the various emotions going through me at this very moment. I'm sitting here with Hal on a shuttle about to take us to our home for the next thirty years. I guess excitement would top the list. To think of a person just about 18 being given the almost overwhelming responsibility for a ship, but more importantly, 76 souls other than mine. Which leads to my second emotion, fear. What if my decisions cause the death of one of those under my command? I know that the courses we take teach us how to deal with that, but from other Captains I've spoken to, you are never truly prepared for when it happens; they all tell me, it will definitely happen.

Another emotion I am feeling is pride. I have worked hard to get to where I am; I should be proud of my accomplishments. I look forward to being able to say, and I believe it will not take long to get there, that I am proud of the boys/young-men under my command; Which brings me to another emotion, nervousness. I am very nervous about my upcoming wedding to Hal. It's not that we aren't totally committed to one another, it's that I worry things won't go as we planned. It's silly actually.

Having had a chance to get together informally and socially with all of my senior staff, I have to admit that Hal was right about both of the ones I was going to reject. Blackwell and Rivers form an amazing team. Having them working in concert will be a joy. Jace is probably my favorite person other than Hal on the ship; he's intelligent, compassionate, and very dedicated to both the mission and his future husband, Jordan, and to think I was going to reject him, hindsight is 20-20. Speaking of Jordan, he is probably one of the most organized people I've ever met. Don't get me wrong, that's a compliment. I am quite confident he will be the biggest asset I have on the Senior Staff and he's the right choice for 3rd-in-Command.

That brings me to Kyle Robinson; I was most worried about him at the beginning. He was brash, surly, undisciplined, and had little respect for those up the line of command. He felt as if he could get away with anything he wanted because of who his father was. His entire demeanor changed once he knew he'd actually be navigating the stars. I truly believe him when he tells me they speak to him. He's made very obvious attempts to become the team player I didn't expect him to be. I look forward to spending the next thirty years getting to know him better.

Aiden Douglas and Connor Marlin are a bit of a mystery to me at this point as I've had only limited dealings with them. Connor, as Head of Engineering is subordinate to Jace Blackwell, and Aiden , Head of Tactical and Security, reports to Hal by way of Jordan Rivers. I am confident as time goes on, both will cease to be a mystery. I should arrange for them to have dinner with Hal and I after we've launched.

My main worry is that we have an odd number of crew on this voyage. If everyone pairs up, that's going to leave one very lonely person. Initially my fear was that Kyle would be that lone individual, but I'm not so sure now. Only time will tell.

First Officer's First Log entry

I'm very excited about this mission. My soon-to-be husband, Captain David Bowman, has done a fantastic job in setting up his crew. Being XO, I've had the opportunity to get to know all of them, but more so, the senior staff. Two of them come to mind as having made the most changes since being selected. Connor. When Dave first met him, he liked him right away, but the boy seemed to worry that others would treat him different just because he was an orphan. He slowly started to realize that he'd  earned his place aboard the ship.

The other major change is Kyle Robinson. That boy was so gruff when he first joined us, but he's been making major strides in trying to become part of this crew, not just a member of it. His interaction with Jace Blackwell and Jordan Rivers, I believe, has been beneficial to all three of them. I can't help but believe that being around Aiden and Connor will be good for Kyle, he'd have a couple of people, also on the senior staff close to his age.

This is my first time aboard the SooLoo, but Dave's been aboard on two other occasions. The first was his tour of the ship with Admiral Mirah, the second… he won't tell me about. He says I'll find out when the time is right.

I'm going to miss Earth. I have had a lot of friends and my family has been very supportive. When Dave's mother died last year, it was my Mom who helped him pick up the pieces.

Admiral Mirah has been like the Uncle I never had. He's guided all of us. I'm so happy he's going to perform our wedding. Dave and I will be the only two members of the crew who will be on the SooLoo for the next two days…

We were on the shuttle and when I first saw her, I was amazed!

"Babe, it's so big!" I said before realizing what it could have meant but Dave laughed.

"Damn, Hal, I wish you could say that, but I'm just average… but the ship, yeah, she's big. Think about it. She will be our entire world for the next 30 years… Here's the way it's laid out."

He then showed me the MSD for our ship…


Once on board he took me to our quarters. I noticed three things immediately… Firstly, it's so big (I seem to have 'something' on my mind I guess) and secondly, it needs some interior decorating done, lastly, and the most important to me, a botanist, we have living plants in the center of the space. Here are images of it, yes, it's too big to have in one picture.

Officer's QuartersOfficers Quarters B PNG

Big ship. So now that we're here, I guess we need to get to work.

Captain's Log ~ 1400 Zulu

Hal seemed really impressed with the ship. Exactly how I felt when I first saw her. For now, we have a number of things to do; I wish I had some of my senior staff around. Hal and I need to get certain codes into the computer, and I'm pretty helpless when it comes to this new design. It's supposed to be easier because it's voice operated (its designation VASIS 69-4U. VASIS is Voice Activated Ships Information System Revision 69 Firmware Revision 4U), but I can't seem to figure out the right way to ask it things. I can't tell you how much I wish I had Commander Blackwell and Commander Rivers here. When we set up the embarkation plan, we should have had the four of us board simultaneously. As it is, the schedule pre-launch should be documented in the log:

Wednesday, 20 August 2121

Captain and XO board

Friday, 22 August 2121

Senior Staff boards

Saturday, 23 August 2121 1100 Zulu

Family and Friends arrive for Wedding by shuttle

Saturday, 23 August 2121 1400 Zulu

Double Wedding: Bowman & Tietokone
Blackwell & Rivers

Sunday, 24 August 2121 through

Tuesday. 26 August 2121

Remaining Crew Arrive

Tuesday. 26 August 2121 1300 Zulu

Senior Staff Final Pre-Launch Meeting

Wednesday, 27 August 2121, 1130 Zulu

Ship launches from Space Dock in orbit

I don't know if I can do what I need to accomplish without Blackwell and Rivers. I'm going to request that they be contacted and see if they can board sooner. If not, I guess I'll be up 'reading' how to use this damn computer... I will say one thing for it. It has a nice voice.

VASIS-69-4U being stubborn

Captain's Log ~ 1400 Zulu


Seems as if my request for Jace and Jordan to join us early was denied. I was lucky though; I found one of the engineers who installed our computer and he showed me what I was doing wrong. Seems that the system isn't fully voice activated until the Captain and XO initialize it. That can only be done from the terminal in the Captain's ready room. Funny thing is? I didn't know I even had a ready room.

First Officer's Log ~ 2345 Zulu

Dave and I actually got a lot accomplished once we got the computer initialized. According to the plan, we're about a quarter-day ahead of schedule. Maybe Dave can use that time 'constructively' in our quarters.

It's late though and we're supposed to start our next duty shift in about seven hours, so I guess it'll be straight to bed.

Thursday, 21 August 2121

(Supplemental entry) ~ 0000

OH MY GOD! I just listened to my last entry and realized what 'constructively' could have been construed as. I didn't mean sex, but come to think of it we should christen our new bed. But what I was talking about was helping me to decorate!

I have no doubt we'll complete our tasks before the senior staff arrives in about 30 hours. I want to be able to take the time, a couple hours before their arrival, to prepare a meal. Once the senior staff arrives, we'll only have a day before the weddings, so we're going to be very busy.

Captain's Log ~ 0745 Zulu

First thing I want Blackwell to do is to make it so the VASIS 69-4U doesn't require us to state the fact that the time code zulu needs to be in the log's entry when a time is listed. I'll feel silly if all I need to do is say, "VASIS 69-4U; from now on, ship's time is the same as zulu and all log entries will be based on ship's time".

Ok, I feel stupid. VASIS 69-4U responded to my last sentence. He said, "Thanks Dave, from now on all time references will be in ship's time equivalent to zulu." Reminds me of a movie I saw long ago. Well it was a cartoon version of J.R.R. Tolkien's, The Hobbit. Gandalf was trying to open the magic doors of the mountain. He'd been standing there muttering things in several languages to no avail. Above the door in ancient runes it said, "Speak Friend and Enter." Maybe it's going to be just like that. I need VASIS 69-4U to do something and I simply need to ask. It's going to take some getting used to. I also need to get Blackwell to give the damn thing a name; VASIS 69-4U is tedious.

These log entries are going to be a bit tedious. As Captain I think one of my first official acts will be to change the twice daily log entry schedule to 'as pertinent,' in other words only when there's something to say.

First Officer's Log ~ 1300

Dave and I just finished lunch. We were informed that from this point in time, until after the weddings, the galley is off limits. Food will be prepared for us and brought to the Officer's dining room. So much for my making a special breakfast for the senior staff when they arrive in about 17 hours.

According to the schedule we've accomplished all of the tasks we were required to prior to the balance of the senior staff's arrival. Dave and I are going to handle some more 'personal' details for the remainder of the day.

Friday, 22 August 2121

Captain's Log ~ 0600

The rest of my senior staff is supposed to be arriving in about an hour. I don't know yet if they're all going to be on the same shuttle, but if they're not, Hal and I will be ready to greet them for as many shuttle arrivals as necessary until all of the senior staff are aboard.

Captain's Log ~ 0615

The shuttle just docked early, and for some reason the only ones on it from the senior staff were Blackwell and Rivers. They said that the rest will be on the next shuttle in about 45 minutes. That they were requested to come up right away.



End Notes:

This work is a collaboration of 3 authors. We will be posting chapters of this story as we are able. When commenting, please cc all three authors. Authors of Voyagers