Chapter Eight: The Launch ~ Part I

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


22 August 2121

SS Sooloo:


As we landed in the shuttle bay, we were greeted by Captain Bowman and the XO. After they greeted us, I made my way to the computer terminal and found our quarters. We walked in and I saw the perfect spot to place the picture Jordan gave me. I'm so proud of that picture. We went to the bedroom and Jordan put his bags on the floor out of the way. I flopped down on the bed and wanted to go right to sleep, but Jordan wouldn't let me.  He reminded me that we were asked to board early for a reason and I complained, "Babe, it's 2221 hours, it should be bed time."

Jordan shook his head and reminded me, "We are aboard the ship now, so we are on Zulu time. It is 0622 and we need to go. Now, get out of that bed."

"Ugh," I moaned as I got up, "this has to be worse than when they had daylight savings." As I got beside Jordan, I gave him a peck on the cheek and whispered, "Slave driver." He playfully swatted my ass.

We put on our duty uniforms and found Captain Bowman talking with Fleet Admiral Mirah. He motioned for us to come over.

22 August 2121

Dave ~ 0630

"Yes Sir, we'll have that done on schedule," Dave said to Admiral Mirah.

"Ah, Blackwell, Rivers, I take it your quarters meet with your approval?"

"Yes, they do, Sir. Even though my husband-to-be would have preferred to sleep, we're here as you requested," Jordan Rivers replied.

"Guys, while it's just the four of us here, let's suspend the military courtesies. I understand why they are there and agree fully with them in principle; a great man told me once that they can get in the way, isn't that right... Bill."

"You know, it's still not too late to put someone else in charge of this mission, Captain Smartass," Mirah joked. He looked at my third- and fourth-in-command before saying, "However, the paperwork to replace him would be a major pain-in-the-ass, so, Jace, Jordan, please, in informal situations please call me Bill. Now, Dave, where is your soon-to-be ball and chain?"

"He'll meet us in the conference room, Bill. Jordan, Jace, follow us."

Once we were in the conference room, everyone took a seat. Bill started asking questions about our thoughts on the wedding. Hal and I suggested that none of us wait at the front from the beginning, but we all walk down the aisle.

"Personally, I think we should all just be up-front. It's not a matter of pomp and procession. We're there to enter into a legal partnership. Don't get me wrong, Hal will tell you I can be as romantic as the next guy, but let's face it, we have a limited amount of time," I said, as I watched Hal stare daggers at me.

Jace looked at Dave and said, "I understand your concerns on time, Dave, but the ceremony is more for our families, isn't it? I mean, Bill can just marry us here if we weren't doing the ceremony for the families." Jordan kicked Jace in the shin, to remind him that Dave doesn't have any family.

"Thank you, Jace." Hal replied.

 "What are your thoughts, Jordan?" I asked.

"Hmmm," Jordan thought for a few minutes, "part of me agrees with Jace, but I can also see the point on time. We do have to get to the altar somehow, but do we have to do a 'wedding march' to get there? Perhaps each couple could walk down the aisle individually, at a normal pace."

Jace looked at Jordan, "So Dave and Hal walk down the aisle at a normal pace, then once they are at the altar, we walk down?"

Jordan smiles, "Exactly."

"That works for me, what do you think, Babe?" I asked my Hal.

"I think that would be great, but… I want to change one thing. I want Jordan and Jace to go first," Hal responded.

Jordan looked surprised, "With all due respect, you two are the senior officers and should lead."

Hal laughed and winked saying, "So, if we're the senior officers, consider it an order to go first."

Jace looked over at Jordan and then smiled, "If that is what you want, we have no problem. I think he is just being respectful and you can't fault him for that." Then he added, "And besides, in competition, the one everyone comes to see is always the last match."

"So, we have a consensus. Jace and Jordan will proceed and upon reaching Admiral Mirah, Hal and I will follow," I stated.

Bill Mirah listened to the entire exchange and once a consensus had been reached, he said, "This is why I know I chose the right man for this mission. Dave, you handled that the way I would have expected you to. You voiced your opinion, even if it wasn't all that popular, but you were willing to listen to those closest to you and you came to the best solution. Keep doing that and you will not have many major problems on this mission, but remember this, you still have the final say."

Jordan felt a little proud that his suggestion was what everyone agreed to, even if it was slightly altered.

Jace asked, "Will we practice any, or just 'wing it?' I believe were are capable either way."

Dave replied, "We can get some practice in later, but now we have to go meet the shuttle carrying the rest of the Senior Staff."

Jordan ~  0655

Fleet Admiral Mirah stated that he had some business to attend to and took his leave. The shuttle landed and the remainder of the Senior Staff disembarked. ShuttleBayCaptain Bowman and Commander Tietokone greeted every officer coming off the shuttle and directed them to join Jace and myself. Jace and I greeted them as they joined us.

Bridge Once we were all together, Captain Bowman started giving us a tour. He figured the best place to start was the bridge, so we took the lift up to Deck One. As we stepped onto the bridge, it was as though the ship had come to life. I saw Kyle's face as he noticed the Astrogation table. I could be wrong, but he may need to change his shorts when the tour is over; he was definitely excited. Jace went to look at the Engineering and I.S. Stations, along with Connor Marlin and Richard Fries.  Aiden Douglass inspected the Tactical Station.

I noticed four seats, one for the Captain, or whoever had the Conn, the second for the XO, another for Ship's Operations, and the fourth for Jace or Engineering, with a tab so I.S. could be monitored at a glance. I sat in the seat for Ops to try it out. Captain Bowman chuckled and told me to sit in his seat for a few minutes. That made sense since I would be sitting in it during my watches at Conn.

After spending time getting to know the bridge, we went down a level to the Officer's Dining Room. Commander Tietokone explained that he wanted to prepare breakfast for us, but that the galley is off-limits for now, so the cooking staff prepared us something using fresh fruit and vegetables from the Aeroponics bay. 

After we ate, we took a tour of the entertainment section of the ship. There were two holodeck rooms. It seems weird calling them hHolodeck Entranceolodecks when they aren't really decks. I noticed that Captain Bowman already has one of them reserved for after the wedding. Maybe Jace and I should reserve the other one. The rooms were black with a holograph emitter grid. Captain spoke to the computer, "Computer, display a tropical island waterfall." Suddenly, the most beautiful waterfall appeared. "These can function not only for entertainment purposes, but for training situations as well. Those of you still needing to complete classes may do so here."

I walked over to Kyle Robinson at that time. His first words to me were, "That was my dad, I can't tell you how much relief I felt when I finally discovered that he does love me."

I smiled and said, "That's cool, and I'm happy for you, but that's not why I came over here."

Kyle had a surprised look, "OH?"

I grinned, "Commander Blackwell and I still need to do the Intro to Astrogation class and while we can use the holodeck to do so, we have the option of having the Chief of Astrogation, or his assistant, administer the course. And since we have the best at Astrogation here…"

Kyle looked thoughtful and nervous, "I don't know. What if I must give you a bad mark? Both of you out rank me and are my superior officers."

"You have my word," I averred, "that we believe you will be fair. We don't expect any special treatment, all that we ask is you grade us fairly. If you do that, we won't hold it against you. We may ask why we received a bad mark, but we won't take it out on you."

Kyle looked a bit leery still and asked, "Can I think about it?"

I nodded my head, "Sure, take all the time you need and if you still feel uneasy, we can use Lieutenant Luke, but we prefer you. We want to understand the stars like you do, maybe not to the same degree, but we want to feel at least some of your passion for them."

"OK, give me time to think and I'll let you know what I decide," Kyle replied.

"Fair enough."

Jace ~ 0900

Medical BayI won't lie, I will be glad when I get to take a nap. If we were still on the base, it would be 0100 and I would normally be asleep. I was also enjoying this tour. Speaking of which, the next leg of our tour was deck three. On this deck, was the Medical Bay. Commander Tietokone requested, "Doctor please."

Suddenly a doctor Howser Medical Hologramappeared and stated, "Please state the nature of your medical emergency." ©  © (" Copyright © Star Trek Voyager. ") I thought that phrase sounded familiar. Hal asked someone to volunteer for a quick physical. The Chief of Information Systems or IS, Lt. Commander Richard Fries volunteered. The Howser Medical Hologram scanned him, then looked at Hal and stated, "Sir, he has a terminal case of Cranial Rectosis." Everyone started cracking up except Fries.

Captain Bowman put a hand on Fries' shoulder and said, "He was just having fun at your expense. I'm sorry that it happened, but don't take it personal. At least we know the Howser has a sense of humor."

Lt. Antonio Vargas, the Assistant-Chief Medical Officer and Head Nurse was amazed, "This is the first time I've ever seen the Howser in action, it's fantastic!"

"You're right, Tony. It will make our life a lot easier. We won't have to be 'on duty' twenty-four hours a day," Dr. Tom replied.

After we left the Medical Bay, we looked at the science labs and Information Systems section. The upper level of Engineering was on deck three, but the core was on deck four, forward of the Shuttle Bay. The armory and Security stations, along with a brig, were on the port side of the Shuttle Bay. I can understand wanting the armory close to the shuttles for when we go on away missions, but I have to question the idea of the brig being so close.

After looking at Engineering, which, as I stated, was partly on deck three and continued down to deck five, I perked up. Sure, Connor was the Chief of Engineering, but the department falls under my command, just as the I.S.  Department does. And then I will be reporting to Jordan and Hal.

Crew QuartersWe inspected the crew's quarters and learned there were fifteen rooms for anywhere from forty-five to fifty boys.  That would put three or four boys in each room. On this same deck were five quarters for junior officers, who were not  assistants of their departments, holding up to five officers each.  On the Sooloo, we would need to put three junior officers in each. Cooking staff had quarters off the kitchen.

We were finally at the end of our tour, the Department Heads' and Assistants', quarters. Captain Bowman asked Jordan to let each officer know which quarters was theirs since he is the Chief of Operations. We were told that once we knew our quarters, we could go to them. We were allotted an hour to determine what we would need to personalize our quarters and requisition same. After that, we would have lunch, and then we would need to go to our departments, run a quick diagnostic and report to a Senior Staff meeting at 1600.

22 August 2121

David Bowman (Supplemental)

After dropping off the last of the Senior Staff, Hal and I were heading back to our quarters. "Hal, I need to do something I feel is important. I'll be in Kyle Robinson's quarters for a bit. I'll meet you back in our quarters."

I could tell Hal was pleased with what I told him; knowing him he had an idea exactly what I was going to do. He headed toward our quarters and I turned around to get to Kyle's. When I arrived I hit the door signal but received no response. I hit it again. Still no response. On the third attempt, Kyle opened the door.

"I'm sorry, Sir. I heard a chime but had no idea what it was, when it went off a second and third time, it registered that it was a doorbell. Won't you come in, Sir?" Kyle responded.

"Kyle, when we're alone, please call me Dave. The 'Sir' stuff has its place, but you're part of my Senior Staff and as such, I'd like us to be on friendlier terms," I said.

"Yes, Sir, I mean Dave," the boy said, sheepishly.

Looking around the quarters, which are pretty much identical to mine, I noticed that he had no furniture other than the bed. I walked over to it and sat, I patted the bed next to me and said, "Have a seat, Kyle."

His eyes widened as he sat next to me. I turned slightly and said, "Kyle, I wanted you to know that I've noticed how hard you're trying to not only be a member of this crew but also a part of this crew. I was very worried how you would fit in, but I see it every day how you are making a concerted effort. As far as I'm concerned, I now know I have the right man in charge of Astrogation."

His eyes lit up when he heard my emphasis on the word 'man.' I could see his smile before he said, "I really am trying, Dave. It's easier now that I've been getting a little experience."

"Kyle, I did notice that since you came aboard you've been happier than I've ever seen you; is getting away from Earth really that big a thing for you?" I asked.

I noticed a tear welling up in Kyle's eye, "It used to be, but… right before I got on the shuttle my dad came to see me. He hugged me and told me how proud he was of me." He had to stop a moment to collect his emotions, "If I may, I want to invite him to your wedding tomorrow." Tears now falling freely down the boy's face, it caused me to realize exactly how young he really is. I wrapped my arms around him and allowed him to cry, all the while he was apologizing, mumbling that he was too old to cry and starship officers don't cry…

"Kyle, first off, nobody is too old to cry, I do it all the time, ask Hal. So you now know that it's okay to cry. If you ever need someone to just be there, let me or Hal know. We want you to be happy here, Kyle. I want you to feel like I'm a friend in addition to being your Captain. Did you ever watch the old television vids of the show 'Star Trek?' In it, there were many examples of men who were friends as well as being officers under or over one another. I'd like us to be like that."

Kyle tightened his grip on me and said, "I'd like that too, Dave."

When he'd composed himself, I released him and stood. "I really need to get back to Hal. I'll see you at the staff meeting at 1600. And, Commander Robinson, get some more furniture in this room!" I joked.

"Yes, Sir. Whatever you say, Sir!" Kyle laughed, a sound I wanted to hear more often.

Hal Tietokone ~ 1115

Dave returned to our quarters and just started telling me about his visit with Kyle when we thought we heard a scream and the computer requesting a medical team to Lt. Commander Fries' quarters. We took off and found the HMH already scanning Fries. Fries' hands looked severely charred, along with his arms and parts of his body, but his hands took the worst of it. There was a burnt computer terminal close by. Dave asked, "Can you tell us what happened?"

While still alive, Fries was in no condition to talk. Admiral Mirah was observing. Mirah looked at Dave and sadly stated, "I believe he will heal faster at the Nichols Hospital on base. You are going to need a new I.S. Chief. Do you have anyone in the crew you might consider?"

Jace spoke up, "Sir, I believe you were interviewing both Lt. Commander Fries and Lt. Kanye for the position. You made Kanye the Assistant. I have read the entire I.S. staff's files, and I believe he could easily step up and prove to be a great asset, then we can consider some of the other officers for the position as Assistant I.S. Chief."

Mirah looked at Dave for his thoughts, to which Dave said, "Make it so. Get Kanye on board and have him be at the staff meeting at 1600."

"Very good," Mirah acknowledged, "Then I will have another I.S. officer join the crew so you have a full complement."

I watched as Jace contacted Kanye and explained what happened. He told the new Chief that he was immediately promoted and needed to get on a shuttle right away. After contacting Kanye to be here, Jace walked up to Connor.

Jordan was talking to some security officers that were aboard from the base. They tried stating that they were under the Chief of Security for the base and not him. He was quick to point out that he is a superior officer and while they were aboard, they would do as he asked so long as it fell within their duties. When he explained that we needed an investigation started to find out the cause of Fries getting fried, they apologized and said they would get on it.

Jace ~ 1130

I contacted Lt. Kanye and told him what happened. He stated that he would be on the first available shuttle, but was looking at between thirty minutes to an hour. Next, I walked up to Lt. Commander Marlin, "I need you to run the diagnostic in Engineering, solo. I originally planned to work between Engineering and I.S., but until Kanye gets here, I need to run the I.S. diagnostic."

"That's understandable, Sir, I won't let you down," Connor responded.

I gave him a slight smile, "I know you won't. If I didn't think you could handle it, I would have asked the Captain, XO or Commander Rivers if I could get some help. Plus, I know the Captain has faith in you or he wouldn't have placed you in that position." I thought Marlin seemed a little too eager, but if he does the job, I'm not concerned with that. I mean, if it makes him feel good and he succeeds, what's the harm.

We ate lunch before starting the diagnostics. Surprisingly, Kanye made it to the ship while we were eating. He set his bags down, saluted and said, "Lieutenant. Kanye reporting as ordered, sir."

Dave said, "Thank you Lieutenant. Grab a seat, have some lunch and we'll get you squared away afterwards."

After we ate, Marlin went to Engineering and I went to the I.S. Main station. I told him that since Kanye was here, I would be down to assist if he needed it, but I wanted to spend time making sure Kanye was up to snuff, especially since he was a replacement. Kanye was talking to Dave, Hal and Jordan as I headed down to the I.S. department.

Jordan ~ 1215

After we all ate, almost everyone headed for their departments to run preliminary diagnostics. Kanye remained behind, wondering what to do with his bags. I stated, "We can't put you in Fries' room yet, Security will be running an investigation for the next few weeks. Once the other officers start boarding, your Assistant will need the quarters originally planned for you, but you can place your bags there for now. I will order a new bed and we can think of where to house you until Fries' quarters are released."

Dave looked at me, "Make it happen, and I want ideas ready at our meeting. That gives you less than four hours.

I helped Kanye carry his bags and led him to the Assistant Chief of I.S.'s quarters. The space was almost the size as the Chief Officers' quarters, but not quite. With Jace being Assistant Operations Officer, we were able to do the seven quarters, instead of eight, allowing each quarter to be bigger. We do have five VIP quarters, but they will be used for wedding guests, and then storage until we arrive at "New Earth." Kayne set his bags down and headed to the I.S. Department. I went to the Ops station on the bridge and started looking for ideas of where we could create quarters. Only one idea seemed to work, but I didn't know if anyone would be willing to go for it.

Bridge ~ 1530

I was sitting at my station on the bridge reviewing some of the pre-launch data when Hal came to me. He looked pensive, like he wanted to tell me something or ask me something he didn't think I'd like. I looked at him and said, "Come on, Babe, just say it."

"I've been over it and over it and I can't seem to think of where we can create additional living space. The only areas even close to large enough are the cargo holds and they're too far from the bridge, not to mention full at the moment. We're going to have to have two senior officers share quarters, at least temporarily. I don't feel right asking any of the others, so... I think we could partition off some of our space and let Lt. Kanye stay there."

I was right, I wasn't going to like it. "Babe, it would be totally inappropriate for the Captain to share his quarters. Any of the others will do it." I was about to suggest he go talk to each of them when Lt. Commander Kyle Robinson stepped up next to my chair... "Sorry to bother you, Sir. May I talk with you?"

"Of course you may, have a seat," I replied.

"Well, Sir. I overheard Commander Rivers talking to Lt. Kanye about finding him quarters and I've been thinking. After finishing my diagnostics for Astrogation, I went over the deck plans; I think you're going to have a problem finding space for Lt. Kanye."

"Commander Tietokone and I were just discussing that, do you have any ideas?" I was truly hoping he had the idea I had in mind.

"Well, Sirs," He started to whisper, "I get lonely when I'm alone, and those quarters are so big. I am offering to have Lt. Kanye share my quarters. But being lonely isn't the only reason, Sirs, I believe it's just the right thing to do."

"I think that would be cool!" The voice wasn't that of Hal, Kyle, or myself. Looking over Kyle's shoulder stood none other than Lt. Bradley Kanye. "I was just coming up to run a diagnostic on the main I.S. station here on the bridge, Sirs, and I overheard Lt. Commander Robinson's proposal. I will let it be known that I would have no objections to that arrangement."

So, Hal and I were wrestling with a solution, and it dropped right into our laps. "Gentlemen, thank you for being so cooperative. Lt. Commander Robinson, I want you to realize that even though you outrank Kanye, when you're in your quarters there is no rank. Is that understood?"

Both replied, "Yes, Sir!"

We finished all our duties and it was time for the staff meeting.

Senior Staff Meeting ~ 1600

Captain Bowman, Commander Tietokone, Lt. Commander Robinson and Lt. Kanye were the last to arrive at the staff meeting and they arrived at 1555. Everyone stood at attention as the group walked in. "As you were," Bowman ordered. "Everyone have a seat and let's get started."

"For these meetings I want to keep it as informal as possible. Everyone here should know I expect to hear them disagree if they have cause to, don't worry about pissing off a superior officer, but don't do it out of spite. If you disagree with a superior and have valid reason for it, we need to hear it. If a superior has a problem with that, they need to come to me directly," Bowman looked at everyone before continuing, "before we get too deep into the agenda, I know that Fleet Admiral Mirah wanted to have a word."

"This mission has been in the planning stages for some seven years. It is now less than seven days from launch. We have assembled the twenty best crews for this mission, but it's this crew I am with personally and that's not just because I'm performing a wedding for your commanding officer tomorrow. In my estimation, Captain Bowman has put together the absolute best crew and that is largely because all of you sitting here. My biggest advice is to trust him; I do. After the first few weeks of this mission you'll be pretty much on your own, so depend on each other; help each other and for God's sake, have each other's back. Godspeed."

"Ok, before I pass this on to Commander Tietokone, does anyone have any questions?"

Hearing none, Hal took over, "Due to the unfortunate accident that caused the replacement of Lt. Commander Fries, we find ourselves short on quarters for Senior Staff. Lt. Kanye has joined us to take on the position of Head of Information Systems under Commander Blackwell, but we were going to have a problem with his housing until we could get those quarters past the investigation into how the terminal failed. Lt. Cmdr. Robinson has offered that Lt. Kanye share his quarters until further notice and Lt. Kanye has agreed. With the logistics and plan for tomorrow's arrival of family and friends for the planned weddings, I give you Commander Rivers."

Jordan started, "Shuttles for the family and friends boarding will begin at 1000 Zulu. For many of your families, that will be very early, considering the eight-hour time difference between the base and the ship. You may want to tell your families the base time so they are not late. The shuttles will be running back and forth all day long, stopping at 1330 Zulu, just thirty minutes before the wedding. During the wedding, shuttles will not be running, but will resume thirty minutes after it concludes and run until 2200 Zulu. Should you wish to give your families a tour of the ship, you may do so, just note which areas are off limits to non-fleet personnel. A tour of the bridge should be arranged through the Captain, Commander Tietokone or me.

"As for the wedding itself, the ceremony will start at 1400 hours. Please have everyone attending seated at that time. Once it starts, Commanders Tietokone and Blackwell will walk down the aisle together followed by the Captain and me. Admiral Mirah will start the ceremony. I understand that he has something to present to the Senior Staff at that time."

"I do," Mirah confirmed.

"After the presentation, the Admiral will begin the wedding. It will be a simple military wedding, lasting about half an hour to an hour depending on the length of the vows."

Mirah added, "There will be a dress rehearsal tonight at 2200. Those involved need to be in attendance and this is a DRESS rehearsal, so wear your DRESS uniforms."

Captain Bowman stated, "Now that we have that established, Commander Rivers, would you care to discuss the plan for receiving the rest of our crew?"

Rivers explained, "The rest of the crew will begin showing up on Sunday at 0500 hours. Everyone has a tablet with the names of the officers and crewmen who will be working in your departments, along with the time they should be arriving via shuttle. Please, either be there personally, or have an officer from your department meet each arrival for your department. While every department is equally important, we are prioritizing by immediate needs. First to arrive will be the Alpha Shift Security, followed by Alpha Shift for Engineering…" Rivers continued explaining the order of arrivals.

Captain Bowman asked for a report from each Department head. One by one, they gave their report. Everything was sounding good until they reached Lt. Commander Robinson. "Sir, the alignment of the long-range scanner is off..."

Mirah looked at Kyle, "I believe it was set per specs."

"Yes, Sir," Kyle admitted, "but specs were off by seventeen microns. I've already arranged with the construction crew to realign the telescope within the scanners. They said that it will be completed by 0700."

Mirah looked at Kyle and thought, "How much difference can an alteration of 0.669291339mm actually make?" Even though he had come to know Kyle as well as any trainee during the sixth months of training, he couldn't keep a skeptical thought from leaking into his brain, "And how is it that a twelve-year-old could find an alignment error that eluded the engineering experts on the construction crew who installed the telescopes?"

Even though Mirah considered himself to be an expert poker player, Kyle could see the skepticism on the admiral's face. While he KNEW that his calculations were correct, he suddenly found himself staring down a Fleet Admiral. Self-doubt struck him like a hammer. His breathing became labored and he couldn't latch on to a comprehensible thought. 'What if I did the wrong thing by arranging the realignment?' he thought. 'What if I get sent home because I can't convince Admiral Mirah or anyone that I am right?'

The Admiral sensed the hesitation and doubt in Kyle's demeanor, as did Dave Bowman. The ship's Captain gave his young Chief Astrogator a smile and a nod that said, "You're doing great. You're my man. Keep going!"

Kyle gave Dave the slightest hint of a grin, took a deep breath, worked to focus his thoughts the way he'd been shown in leadership training, and continued his explanation with increasing confidence. He tapped his tablet a few times. Images appeared on the view screen and Kyle demonstrated what this realignment would do. He looked at Dave, who gave him a look of approval, and then gave a slight motion of his head that told Kyle to look at Admiral Mirah. Kyle immediately did so, looking directly at the Admiral.

As the Admiral listened to Kyle's well-thought-out reasoning, he realized the issue he was having with Kyle had nothing to do with Kyle and everything to do with himself. Even knowing the young boy's capabilities, he had let his own bias affect his thinking. This was not a little twelve-year-old boy longing to go skateboarding while sitting restlessly at a table where he didn't belong. No, the small boy sitting in front of him was a genius in his field. He had displayed leadership skills by having the telescope realigned, although he should have consulted Captain Bowman first. The Admiral made a mental note to suggest to Bowman that he make that a “learning experience” for Kyle. What the Admiral saw now was a preteen who was growing into manhood—maybe faster than he was ready for, but moving in the right direction.   

When he saw Kyle looking directly at him, like any senior officer confident in his abilities would, he knew he was now looking at the Kyle Robinson who had so often captivated him during training. "I'm impressed, young man. I believe I will order this realignment for all the ships. Plus, an addition to the specs, we'll call this the 'Robinson realignment'."

Kyle smiled, "Thank you, Sir."

As Bowman was concluding the meeting, Mirah reminded them again of the dress rehearsal.

Hal ~ 1730

Dave and I finally arrived in our quarters and all I could think about was that I needed him… physically. I stripped and sat on the bed, "Hey Big Boy… why don't you come over here and show me how much of a man you are?"

He laughed but seductively took off his uniform. He sat next to me on the bed and we made out for a time before he laid me back on the bed, lifted my legs, and entered me slowly and tenderly. David Bowman has to be one of the best lovers I've ever had, or could ever want.

We made love for an hour before we decided to take a short nap. "Computer, wake us at 2100 hours, and turn off the lights." I kissed my future husband on the cheek and said, "I am the luckiest person on the planet, or in space for that matter, to have you as my mate," and with that, we fell asleep in each other's arms.


After the staff meeting, Jordan and I went to our quarters. He looked at me and said, "We should get some sleep prior to the dress rehearsal. I know you are beat and we've been on the go for around twenty-seven, twenty-eight straight hours."

I let out a yawn before responding, "That sounds good to me." I took off my uniform and Jordan told me to lie on my stomach. I didn't know what he had planned, but I trust him, so I did as he asked. He took off his uniform and I thought he was wanting to enter me, but instead, he sat on my butt with a leg on either side. Then he started massaging my shoulders. Did that ever feel good!

I was almost asleep and I heard him say, "Computer, wake us at 2100 hours, and turn off the lights." As it went dark, I felt Jordan lie beside me. He whispered, "I love you, Jace," and we went to sleep.

Meanwhile, Connor, Aiden, Kyle and Brad were seen heading to their individual quarters that they were using while awaiting Brad's bed to arrive, each alone.

Bill Mirah ~ 2200

My four lovebirds arrived at 2155 hours. I know I had said it was a 'Dress" rehearsal, but these clowns came dressed in dresses… I mean female dress uniforms. I had to laugh at this. We went through the ceremony and it was flawless.

When I asked Jordan Rivers if he was going to recite his vows, he replied, "A, E, I, O, U, and sometimes Y."

As soon as I regained my composure from laughing so hard I said, "Well, you do know it's still not too late for me to change things to Ensign Blackwell."

Jace Blackwell looked at me, and I got the impression he was very concerned when he asked, "What did I do? Why would you demote me when it was him who said it?"

"Well, it wouldn't be right for the third-in-command to be a lowly Ensign, but I was kidding, Jace."

Everything being done and having to ward off requests to see what I was going to present, I dismissed everyone to get some rest. Tomorrow was going to be a very busy day.



End Notes:

This work is a collaboration of 3 authors. We will be posting chapters of this story on a bi-weekly basis. When commenting, please cc all three authors. Authors of Voyagers