Earth: 2365

Location: San Jose CA. Spaceport 1143.

The Universal Republic of Solar Systems has been at war for over 200 years with the Protoss Empire, and I have been drafted into the URSS for immediate deployment aboard the URS Constellation in 2 days. I am in training for the first mate position underneath Captain Grant. Today is when I get my holo-card; which is a small device used to integrate the captain, first mate, and the ship's chief engineers brain into the ships control systems; including shields, weapons, thrusters, etc. I sat in the office of the doctor in a white robe readying myself for the operation. The doctor and two orderlies came in and turned me onto my stomach. They strapped me down so I couldn't interfere with the operation and they placed the device on the back of my neck. "take a deep breath Andrew. It's alright." The device inserted itself into my brainstem; causing me to buckle and gasp at the devices sudden thrust into me. a sharp pain was followed by mild paralyzation. I couldn't move, couldn't speak, all of the ships data and 3D imaging flooded my vision. "it's alright. Only a few more minutes." the doctor said but I didn't pay any attention, I was so blinded yet focused on the ships diagrams, charts and spreadsheets, I couldn't even hear them speak. 'download Complete' flashed before my eyes and I could move again. It released me from my paralysis and They released me from the bed and I got up. They handed me another device that attached to my left arm; which allowed me to communicate with the computer through voice. "computer" I said into the device. "yes commander Preston?" the soft female voice answered. 

"shield level." I said as a screen popped into view of the ships shield levels. The ship looked like the USS enterprise, but there are distinct differences. The voyager class, like the URS Constellation, is larger. There is 3 engine pylons; as opposed to 2, like on the Enterprise. There is a larger bridge than the enterprise, as well as a more advanced power system than the Enterprise. I soon left the medical center and reported back to the SpacePort. The Constellation is going on a training mission tonight to ready the new recruits. I walk aboard the mile-long ship and immediately proceeded to the bridge. The captain and I assumed our positions and I walked towards my chair. This is also where the Enterprise is obsolete, their are two chairs in the center of the room, not one. The captain gave the order for the training route, which takes us to the outskirts of republic space, past the badlands, then we set a course to SpaceDock 2232A. "1/2 impulse power. Alpha quadrant." captain grant said as we left the atmosphere. As the ship rocketed forward, the captain asked me to join him in his cabin; I agreed and we headed in. He pressed the red button, locking the room down from all interruption. "Andrew, your the future of this Vessel. We are not going to be safe on the outskirts. Protoss watch us, but do not fire on us until we hit the badlands. If we find ourselves in a pickle as it were, you must do what your gut tells you to do. Ignore Republic regulations. When it comes to our crew, they are most important. It's my job to get you ready, and you must do everything I tell you to do." 

"but sir-" 

"Rule #1: never think your back is against the wall. Theirs always a move left on the board."

"sir, I don't-"

"rule #2:" he said holding his fingers in a "V" shape. "trust no one outside this ship. They are your family, and tour shipmates. Do what you think is right." he said smiling. 

"yes sir." I said smiling as well. We went back to the bridge and sat down. The display of our surrounding space flashed before my eyes. The sensors detected a Protoss vessel in sector 2. "sir the-" 

"patience my young friend." he said raising his hand to silence me. "on screen." he said as the ship turned to engage us. "sir we've crossed into Protoss space!" the helmsman said. The ship fired on us. "Preston! You have the ship." Captain Grant said. 

"uh uh..."

"Mr. Preston!"  he said louder and more frustrated. 

"uh... Computer! Shields up, concentrate 1/2 of all  power on proton torpedoes!" I scream as the ship processed my orders. The shields were at maximum strength and proton torpedoes are ready. The displays in my head change to a lock-on screen. "fire..." I say under my breath but loud enough for the computer to register what I had just said. I look as the ship gets hit by my torpedo and drift in space. "well done kid." captain grant said. "yeah..." I replied quietly. I got up and went to my stateroom. I closed the door and sat on my bed and started to cry. The door opened and in stepped 2nd mate Braden Porter. He and I have been best friends ever since we enrolled in StarFleet. "you alright Andrew?"

"I... I killed them... All of them.... How do we expect to end this war without talking to the Protoss? I mean, what happens if the Brackeons join in? The republic wouldn't be able to hang on." I said between my tears. He hugged me with his thick, muscular arms. We broke off the hug and he left my stateroom. I got up and got rid of my uniform. Todays uniforms are similar to uniforms of the US navy, the only differences are color. The captain wears a dark purple button down shirt and black pants. I wear a brown button down shirt with black pants, and everyone else wears white button down shirts and black pants. I slipped into my pajamas and laid down on my bed. Images of Braden filled my head, and I started to notice how cute he is. I pushed those thoughts out of my mind and went to sleep.

 

Josh Volland

[email protected]

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