FAR FROM HOME
by Tony Healey
Copyright, Tony Healey
FAR FROM HOME #1: Legend
Copyright Tony Healey 2012
This is a work of fiction. Any similarity to persons living or dead is purely coincidental. No part of this work may be reproduced in any form without the express permission of the author.
Edited by Laurie Laliberte of the Kindle All-Stars
THE FAR FROM HOME SERIES
FAR FROM HOME
Battered and bruised, the Defiant slowed on its approach to Starbase 6.
Commander Jessica King occupied the Captain's chair. She'd hoped that one day she would get to sit in such a chair as Captain of her own vessel. She never once thought that the privilege of doing so would come at such a cost. It filled her with no joy to carry out her role as Acting-Captain in Andrew Singh's absence, especially so considering he was lying on a mortuary slab two decks under her feet.
"Starbase has made contact, sir," Ensign Boi reported from the comm. station.
King nodded. "Okay Ensign. Patch me through."
She waited a few seconds for the connection to be made. "This is Commander Jessica King, Acting-Captain of the Union Starship Defiant."
"Please state your prefix number," a mechanical-sounding voice said on the other end.
"T.U. zero-one-one-three-eight," she said.
There was a brief delay, and then the voice announced that they were cleared to dock. "Docking bay three. Please do not exceed standard thruster speed."
"Close channel," King said.
She looked ahead at the large circular space station. It was a tall centrifuge at the centre, with spokes extending to a wide outer ring. Along the ring were enough docking bays to accommodate up to twenty vessels. There were several ships already docked, all much larger than the Defiant. That wasn't to say the Defiant was a small ship.
But she was old.
At one time the Archon Class vessels had been the backbone of the fleet. Now they were relics twenty years past their sell-by date. If the system-wide war between the Union and the Draxx didn't still rage on, they'd have been decommissioned and retired already.
Still didn't stop us holding our own in a fight, did it? King thought. She might be old, but she's got it where it counts.
"Banks, I think I can leave the parking in your capable hands?" King asked as she got up from the Captain's chair.
Lieutenant Kyle Banks swiftly worked the controls across the front helm console.
"I've got it covered," he said.
"Good. Then I will be below decks," she said.
The bridge crew looked up from their stations, but when she looked around at them they hurried back to their assigned duties.
King walked toward the exit. Insulation and wiring had erupted from the ceiling during the battle and hung like copper intestines in places. She ducked beneath it on her way out, her feet crunching on bits of broken plastic and glass.
On her way to her quarters she passed the scorched carcasses of burned-out conduits, pipes that were still dripping onto the deck plating from leaks that hadn't yet been attended to.
The ship had taken a beating, it was true. She was proud of the crew, and of the ship itself, for pulling through. They hadn't run away from the battle like cowards. They faced the danger and hit back with what they had.
Several crew saluted as she strode past them. She quickly saluted back.
It lifted her spirits, despite all that had happened, to see the crew still going about their duty as they were meant to. The men and women she passed looked tired, dirty, some of them injured. But they carried on with grim determination and a sense of duty. King walked with a determined gait, showing the pride she felt for her crew.
When Jess got to her quarters she headed straight for the shower to freshen up quickly before her debriefing. She knew that Admiral Grimshaw would want to hear the full account of what had gone on despite having a copy of her report already on his desk. He would demand to hear it first-hand from someone who was knee deep in it all. The fleet had lost a brilliant Captain, and there were questions that must be answered.