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Good Morning, No Good News

Posted on Thu Nov 22nd, 2018 @ 1:55am by Captain John Wolfe & Eva

Mission: Taking Flight

True night was impossible on a star ship. Even on Gamma Shift there was always something going on. Most of the time, the night shift routine was dull and boring, with nothing really happening unless there was a dire emergency. Tonight was clearly a quiet night, and it made for a boring and nicely quiet morning as John walked through his quarters to the replicator. He had barely tapped in his order for breakfast when the hairs on the back of his neck tingled seconds before the seducing contralto voice of the Eclipse's AI spoke.

"If you wish, I could set the replicator computer to have your breakfast ready every morning, Captain," Eva said.

"Dammit, Eva, would you mind not scaring the crap out of me like that?" John growled.

"I didn't mean to frighten you, Captain," the avatar said, although John thought he could detect a satisfied tone in her voice.

"Well, find some way of not doing it again," John said. "And no, I'll order my own food. Thanks, though." As his breakfast appeared, he took the plate and mug of coffee and headed to the table. "So, what's on the agenda for today?"

"Oh, I do believe that the usual mandate of the Federation slowly conquering the known universe through the guise of peaceful exploration is at the top of the list, followed by rapid and aggressive expansion of the Federation's borders by completely destroying the mighty Romulan and Klingon Empires and enslaving both species as second class citizens."

John stopped and looked up at the AI avatar. "Was that a joke? You do jokes?" he said.

"Well, my programmer suggested that I at least make the attempt, although I find the concept rather illogical and confusing," Eva said.

"Was your programmer a Vulcan?" John asked as he sat down.

"Why, he was! T'Rilk, head of the Vulcan Science Academy's elite computer programming division for three decades until he requested to work with Starfleet Command," Eva said, a trace of happy pride in her voice.

"I've heard of him," John said as he took a sip of his coffee and a bite of sausage biscuit. "He helped program the new EMH programs as well."

"Oh, yes. He did work on those. But I'm a much more advanced program than those short term programs," Eva sniffed.

John chuckled as he ate. "Alright, how long until we launch?" he asked.

"Engineering reports that the drive systems are online and ready. Operations reports that all power systems are online and ready. Tactical and helm systems are online and ready. The crew, such as it is, should be ready for normal ship board operations," Eva said.

"What was that about the crew?" John asked.

"We are still running on a skeleton crew," Eva said.

"We're due to depart in two hours!" John said.

"Two hours, twenty seven minutes, twelve seconds. The latest update that I have from Starfleet Command, Department of Personnel states that our first waves of assigned officers and crew will arrive in five hours," Eva said.

John slammed his coffee mug down and sighed. Technically, with the technological advances that had been built into the Eclipse, the ship could operate with a minimal number of crew, but the Eclipse was already understaffed, even for a skeleton crew. He shook his head. "We don't have a choice," he said. "We'll take on as many crew as we can, but our departure time remains the same," he said.

"As you wish, Captain. Should I have our assigned crew rerouted to Starbase Versailles?" Eva asked.

"Yes. And file a complaint with Starfleet Command. Try to be nice," John said.

"Oh, I'll file a complaint all right. Nice, well, I promise I won't give them a quantum torpedo in the mail," the avatar said.

"Oh, and update the XO. I'm sure she'll enjoy having all that free time," John added as he stood and grabbed his uniform jacket. This was going to be a fun day, he thought as he headed to the door. "And Eva, don't haunt my quarters while I'm not here."

"Fine, fine. I'll haunt the unassigned quarters. I seem to have so many today," the hologram said in a snooty tone before she shimmered out.

John shook his head and walked out of his quarters. Silently, he was hoping that the Eclipse was about to patrol a nice quiet Neutral Zone, because he doubted that his ship could handle much in her current condition.

 

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