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Thursday, January 26, 2006

Federation's End (a story) - #4

Coming Home

Jupiter loomed large in one of the transport's many view screens; it's rings glistening in the radiance of the distant sun. Getting here had taken more than he could have imagined, and help from places he never would have expected.

Friends, he mused silently, looking down at the identity document that had his face, but another name on it. Even friends who he'd long since given up on... he would've never gotten this far without them.

Duo Maxwell, A.K.A Max Weller, sighed deeply. Justice, the Mech he'd relied on for so long, was hidden in the depths of the Martian wastes. It had taken him almost a week, a lot of credits and every favour he'd ever earned to get from a small town in Mars to this point and he'd learned a lot in the process.

Captain Aldous was still alive, for one. That news had shocked him more than anything, and was the reason he'd come to Jupiter now. Aldous, and the USS Scorpion was where he had to go. Aldous would know what to do; he'd have a plan because he always did. Duo's faith in his Captain was unshakable.

He had to admit, it would have been easy to stay on Mars with his friend, and forget about everything. For the first time in months he was clean, properly clothed, uninjured, and not hungry. Quatre had wanted him to stay longer, to recover from the exhaustion that was still plaguing him. Yet he knew he wouldn't have been able to stay for long, it would have eaten at him. Quatre could do it because he couldn't do anything else, but Duo could do something, and so he had to.

Duo looked down at the identity docket, it was signed 'Captain Wufei Chang, Asst. Director of Personnel, Starfleet Command.' He still couldn't believe Chang had agreed to help him at his own risk, but, he supposed, Quatre could always convince him to do anything.

"Now docking at Jupiter Station, please make sure you take all your belongings with you. Have a nice day and thank you for travelling with us today." Said the voice of the transport's Captain, tugging him out of his thoughts and back to the present. He'd made it to Jupiter; all he had to do now was make it to the Scorpion.

As soon as the transport docked Duo stood, he pulled the baseball cap's peak a little lower and made for the exit. A station security officer checked his ID, glanced at him for a second, then waved him on with a nod. He made his way towards the nearest view port and gazed out towards the station's shipyards.

He spotted the Sovereign Class ship instantly, wrapped in the protective grid of a dry-dock. He couldn't help but grin at seeing his old ship. He'd never really became attached to any other ship like he had with the first USS Scorpion, or any other captain like he had to Aldous.

Getting onboard the Scorpion wasn't going to be a problem, his new identity carried the authorisation of a civilian expert. He made his way towards the nearest turbolift.

The dockyard was, as he had hoped, almost devoid of personnel. It was easy for him to work his way down to the Scorpion's docking umbilical without detection.
"Open dockin' hatch, authorisation Weller Pie-2-Gamma" he said lightly, using the authorisation Wufei had created for him.

"Authorisation Denied, invalid security code." The computer replied stoically.

Duo froze for a few seconds, this meant that he'd been uncovered, and recently too since he'd made it onto the station without any problem. He cursed under his breath, tossing the now-invalid ID to the deck and frowning darkly.

He hoped he hadn't put his friends in danger as he reached for the control panel and ripped off the display. A few crossed wires opened the hatch and he stepped through. He knew security would be on the way to his location, he was unarmed and exhausted and didn't stand a chance of overpowering them. Duo grabbed a handful of wires and pulled, retracting his hand quickly as the heavy door slid shut.

He didn't pause to think of anything else, but set off down the tube at a flat-out run, reaching the hull of the scorpion in record time. As he had expected the hatch was sealed at this end, too, but he wanted a different approach this time.

"Cap'n? Could y' let me in?" He pleaded breathlessly, behind him; the station’s docking hatch slid open.

Posted on 1/26/2006 10:48:00 PM Backlinks


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2 Comments:

Blogger Chancelucky said...

Alan,
Trek fiction is kind of a sub-genre of science fiction that I don't know well. I was a fan of the first two series and watched some of Enterprise, but it's hard for me to comment on plot elements, fidelity to the Trekkie universe etc.

My main suggestion at this point is that I'd love to see much more specific sensory detail. How big is a view screen on the ship? What do those rings look like? We learn that a chracter is clean, properly clothed, uninjured, and not hungry, but what's that actually look like in this trek reality?

You seem to have a talking computer, but what's the computer's voice like? I'm not quite at the point where I can see the ship or be persuaded to simply "believe" in the scenario and the narrator's credibility as an authority in that reality.
My guess is that when some of these acquire more idiosynchratic detail, I, as a reader, will be more willing to buy in.

1/27/2006 08:30:00 AM  
Blogger Alan Howard said...

Thanks for that great feedback chance. It's easy to leave out the small details when you can see it perfectly in your mind's eye. I'll try to be more descriptive in future about the small things. :-)

1/27/2006 08:34:00 AM  

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