…screaming through the electric darkness of jumpspace.
The raggedy little fleet of the UTREE caravan heads out past the 100D limit of Banderhue and makes its first jump on the journey to Stella Maris. Everybody in their places, Mercy in engineering and such, Nagaimr forward on A Deck setting up the science equipment, Dag down with the supply officer, helping to get things straightened out. The jump is uneventful to old hands, maybe just a little too much vibration in the old bird during the transition is the only thing noticed.
The ship settles into it’s week long routine, and after the days duty is done, people often look for a meal and a drink in the various galleys and recreation areas of the ship. Less than 80 people complement isn’t too many, not alone and not together, a recognized face from a training session met with a friendly nod, passing in a hallway. Bored security troops in pairs wander the ship’s warren, more involved in their current conversation that the watch duty. They too wind up in the same places as everyone else.
The upper lounge with the observation window is the science lounge, a few of all sorts wander in to have a drink or a meal and gaze at the stars. It doesn’t matter what section you are in, one frozen steak is the same as another, fixed to order by the serving robots, same as with the bars where the bartending robot fixes the same vodka tonic, exactly, everytime. The quality of the various areas differs in the people that spend their time there.The Ward Room up in Officer’s Country, is a reserved atmosphere, big plans are made at the Captain’s table from the tone of the conversation. D Deck is just the opposite, nicknamed the “Dregs” the music is just a little too loud and somebody must have “fixed” the robo-bartender because the drinks are off, maybe too much alcohol.
The old rule seems to be true as well, “if you haven’t heard a rumor by noon, start one”; and the Dregs’ rumor mill is spinning off it’s wheel. “Phenomena at Stella Maris my eye, we all know where we are going!” one crewman states, an inebriated Security Sergeant looks at him and laughs, “we’re gonna die out here”, “Shut up with that CRAP!” Someone else yells. A woman walks up to a vid screen playing a blue movie and punches it, yelling: “That’s my sister!” storming out, when it gets turned off, a younger guy says, “Hey let’s watch it again”, but an older crewman pipes up: “No, that was her husband.”
Not is all fun and games on the journey into the unknown, when there is nowhere else to run, there’s always room for one more someone. They say one has to be half crazy to head off into the void, which it isn’t true, but it sure helps.