I woke up several hours later in my dark stateroom with a heavy blanket over me. I climbed out of my small bed and got dressed back into my uniform so I can go to the bridge and take over command of the ship while Captain Grant went to sleep. When I finished getting dressed and headed towards the door, I saw Braden in the doorway. He seemed surprised when I opened the door and found him.

"uh... Sir." he said shyly. "I...I heard you talking in your sleep, I was gunna go and see if you were alright." 

"I'm fine, Braden.... Just fine." I said slowly. I continued towards the bridge when he stopped me.

"Andrew, I'm talking to you as a friend here. If there is anything you need, I'm here for you ok?" he said with a worried look on his face.

"its just my parents again...." I said tearing up a little. "I gotta go, and so do you."

"andrew you should talk to Dr-" 

"you have your orders!" I said trying to hold back my tears.

"yes sir." he said in response. He let me by and I proceeded to the bridge at the front of the ship. The doors flew open and I stepped in. Captain Grant stood up and proceeded to his quarters. "you have the ship Mr. Preston."

"yes sir." i said as I sat in the captains chair. "computer, status of present course." I said as 3D models flashed before me. It showed the ship relative to the planets around it with an outline of the projected course of the ship which was highlighted in a white glow. As I was studying the map, the sensors picked up an enemy vessel on a course to intercept the Constellation. Our mission now is to head to a planet on the outer rim of the galaxy called Kryptos; where were supposed to set up a mining colony on the surface. The mines we are going to construct are for mining Trilithium; used in building the ships hull. I looked at the planet using the ships memory banks and it described it as a rocky planet; with giant mountains, deep swampy lakes and crystal blue oceans. The Kryptonian people have allowed the Republic to mine on their planet, as long as we don't interfere with their cultures or government ideals. The Kryptonian people are very similar to human beings in their anatomy as well as their psychological and technological capabilities. They are tall, with an average height of 6'5", their friendly demeanor has kept them isolated from the war between the Protoss and the Republic. The Republic was founded after the United Federation of Planets, the Klingon and Romulan empires signed a peace treaty around 1200 years ago, forming the Republic. The republic stretches from the Milky Way galaxy, all the way to the Khan societies. 1,300 light years away. The Enemy ship however has gotten closer, and we are in a vulnerable position. BOOM! the ship rocks and lurches as it absorbs the blow. "all hands, this is Executive Officer Preston! battle stations! I repeat, all hands to battle stations!" I said speaking into the intercom speaker. "computer, raise shields, concentrate all fire on incoming ship!" I said as the computer processed my order. It soon fired phasers at the incoming ship, but it was soon proven that it was ineffective. This ship is Brackeon!! The ship was hit again, sending me flying and hitting my head on the control board, knocking me out cold.

------------

 My vision fades in and out; I see somebody carrying me. "Commander, can you hear me? ...Commander!" I soon recovered from my daze and I could barely stand. "the shields are down sir! What should we do?" I couldn't answer. I was still unable to tell where I even was! "ready....phasers.... Proton torpedoes...." I said as I tried to regain my composure. I shook my head a couple of times and my vision is no longer blurry. We soon got reenforced by the URS Clackring, and we ended up destroying the Brackeon ship. Captain grant was pretty beaten up, but was able to command the ship as I went back to my stateroom. As I walked down the narrow halls, past the elevator that led to sick bay and engineering, I started to think about Braden. His spiky blond hair and beautiful green eyes were simply entrancing. Not to mention his perfect, slender frame that was so delegate yet so durable. I started to get hard; and I quickly hid it from view. As I turned to my stateroom, there was Braden. "uh... Sir, can I talk to you? It's... Kinda difficult to say in front of people that I barely know." 

"sure, come in." I said as I punched in my combination and walked inside. He sat down on the bed and asked, "can we... Close the door?" 

I looked at him kinda strange. He's never acted like this before. "sure." I finally said. He took a deep sigh and began.

"when I was 14, I started to have these.... Feelings..." he said looking at the floor. "and.... I was scared because I didn't want someone to beat me up over it. So.... What I'm trying to say is... I think I'm gay..." he said not looking me in the eye. I took it as a big shock. This guy is a-list material, and he's gay? I guess it goes to show you that anything is possible. "well... I still see you as the same ol' Braden. I don't think anything less than that." I said wit a smile creeping across my face. He came over and gave me a hug. I took a deep, unnoticeable whiff of his intoxicating scent and was completely taken by his warmth. Then, out of the blue, he kissed me. Not a long kiss, but a kiss nonetheless. He soon let go and backed up a fee steps. "I'm sorry sir... I don't know what came over me..."

"WILL YOU STOP CALLING ME SIR?!?!? Oh how I hate that!" I said with a wide smile. He smiled a little and left. When the door closed, I sighed and almost fainted right onto my bed. I felt like a school girl who just asked out the most popular guy in school!! I soon regained my composure and went to the Chart Room; where all of the planets are located relative to where the ship is. The captain soon joined me. As we landed on Kryptos, we noticed the entire planet has been destroyed. We step outside the ship and walk ahead a few miles. We stop to see a giant thing standing in our way. "what is that?" I said to myself. We raised our guns......

 

Josh Volland

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