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Captain McCoy

"I'm the Captain of this damn ship and as such, I will not be questioned by some lower class soldier. Dismissed."

0 · 260 views · located in Our Solar System's Stellar Neighborhood

a character in “Baby Steps”, as played by KelEl45

Description

Captain Hunter McCoy


Image

Name: Hunter James McCoy

Age: 36

Sex: Male

Occupation: Captain in the UNSA Navy and of the UNSA Battleship Hyperion

Description:
Hunter McCoy started his life in the suburban settings of Central Texas. He grew up in the outskirts of the state's capitol of Austin to a rather middle class family. He never had much as a young kid, which was part of his motivation for going on so far in life. Nevertheless, Hunter had been raised in a military family. His father, uncle, grandfather, both great uncles, and great grandfather, along with both of his cousins, served in various branches during various times of crisis and unrest. Although the boy had early ambitions of growing up to pursue law and possibly politics, his family would have different plans, practically breeding him for a life in the military.

While in the USNA Navy, his father had served beside a man who would go on to become Grand Admiral McCart. Admiral McCart had been a Harvard graduate and, in keeping up with his friends, helped to get Hunter into the undergrad program there for Philosophy. Until college, Hunter had always been a young man that had followed the straight and narrow, but life at Harvard taught him to take advantage of everything that he could use to get himself higher and to be a little reckless with the ladies.

Once graduated, his father practically guaranteed him a spot in the USNA Navy and a fast climb up the ladder. It wasn't to say that as a young man in his late twenties, McCoy wasn't qualified for all of the promotions that he received, it just helped that his father had pull with some of the higher ups. He was promoted to Captain at the age of thirty two, proving himself competent to manage a large amount of people beneath him and keep whatever post he was in charge of running smoothly. Again using his connections with the Grand Admiral, Captain McCoy became employed as the Captain of the battleship Hyperion. McCoy enjoys the post that he is in as it allows him to take part in both of the lifestyles that he enjoys. Being a rather high ranking officer allows him to be privy to some of the Navy politics while still being low ranked enough to handle actual soldiers.

McCoy is coming into the mid of his lifetime, but he is by no means past his prime. The things that he is most well known for as a Captain are his ability to speak, think quickly on his feet, and react to situations in a timely and effective manner. He is rather proud and sometimes doesn't know when to let things go or to admit weakness and defeat in his private life. As far as strategy goes, he is a practical prodigy, able to outmaneuver most others that he comes against.

As a person, McCoy is rather loud and outspoken and he won't hesitate to tell you what he thinks if he catches wind of an interesting conversation. However, he is not the type of man who would speak on a subject that he does not have the knowledge to back up. On the contrary, he prefers to be silent and listen in these situations so that he may better be suited to discuss them in the future. His largest flaw would be admitting that he is wrong when presented with a problem by one lower of his rank as he does not see it as their place to criticize him. Even still, he will probably institute their idea or at least revise his own should he see that a complaint is valid.

McCoy had never actually been married, always thinking that there would be a better time to meet a woman when he wasn't trying to progress in his career. Alas, no such time presented itself and now he's a little worried that he might not find a woman at all. He does occasionally enjoy a sensual relationship now and again, but what self respecting Harvard man wouldn't?

As a person, McCoy is proud, outspoken, and sometimes even rude. As a soldier and a Captain, he is inspiring, dutiful, and respectful. He knows the difference between personal affairs and professional one and often times keeps his personalities separate. Regardless of his tendency to sometimes get angry with lower ranking soldiers for having better ideas than him, he does treat those under his command well. He is most often seen smiling, conversing with those under him, and generally in good hearted spirits. He likes to be one of those bosses you can stand around the water cooler and joke with. Even still, his presence demands respect and he will not tolerate anything less.

Ship You're On: Hyperion

So begins...

Captain McCoy's Story

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Admiral McCart Character Portrait: Lana Marietta Character Portrait: Richard D. Speirs Character Portrait: Captain McCoy Character Portrait: Veris
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ImageGrand Admiral McCartImage


McCart woke up in his cabin. It was dark and cold, like it always was. The Hyperion had been his Flag Ship for several years, now. It was the only UNSA Battleship fitted with a Grand Admiral-specific cabin – an additional cell near the stern of the ship. McCart had it specifically refitted and redesigned when he was appointed to cater to his elderly, refined tastes. Most of the facilities of the suite were purchased from his own wealth, however, having never been one to burden his employer’s pocket.

The Grand Admiral stretched, partially lifting his drowsy head from the Swedish pillows. It was probably about 1500 hours Central Standard Time back on Earth, but as acting commodore of the fleet, he set the time his ship operated on. For internal operations, it was 0500 hours Hyperion time.

“Initiate Sunrise,” McCart commanded, alerting the ship’s AI to fade the darkened window of his room to reveal the satellite Luna, the planet Earth and the Sun along the horizon. The windows, having been integrated with SmartNans® - nanobots that controlled transluceny, reflection, refraction, temperature and several other variables- faded softly and slowly, of course, so as not to shock the Admiral into waking.

Once his bearings had been had, McCart swung his feet off the bed onto the ground, pulling his torso up. His habit of reaching for eye-glasses, a memory from days gone by, would have seemed quite hilarious to younger generations – if they were privy to his morning habits. Although the early days of the 21st century saw an increase in humans wearing contacts and spectacles, by the 2030s, lasik eye surgeries and biomedical prosthetics had almost entirely eliminated optic malfunction. McCart laughed at himself and scratched his beard.

Having showered and suited up, McCart gazed out over Luna and Earth. It had been several months since he had been on Earth. Bangkok – capital of the Siamese Union, was his last port. Bangkok was one of several major hubs for the UNSA due to the city’s economic development and international economic importance; also, it had become a favorite spot for sailors and marines due to its rich cuisine and night scene. Remembering his last night on Earth, he shrugged off the particularly nice one night stand and left with very little fanfare. He waited the rest of the time on Luna while the Hyperion was retrofitted.

His cabin suite was a large complex of various rooms – his bedroom/living room, an office, a small kitchen, a walk-in closet with various uniforms (ranging from extremely ceremonial to tropically appropriate), a lavatory and a comm-room. He passed into his office, the fore-room of the suite, and checked over his desk. Numerous reports, mostly astronomical reports and early plans for a “capital ship,” dotted his desk – most of them on holotape or holofilm, but a few on paper. He grunted and ignored them for the morning.

He checked his pocket-watch, another antiquated luxury from days gone by. 0600 hours. Just in-time. He set out from his suite, access to which was his only.

The trek from his suite in the stern to the Command Level in upper bow was about a 5 minute journey. Two elevators and one multi-segmented travelator made up the distance between the stern and bow. 0600 hours was rush hour for the ship. The transition from graveyard shift to full-shift meant a crowded travelator and loud morning talking. McCart mostly kept to himself, offering only an occasional salute to sailors.

The Command Level consisted of four major parts – the Internal Control Center (the hub for the internal operations of the ship), the Bridge (the helm of the ship), the Relay (the hub for external operations) and the Forward Command Core (the Grand Admiral’s chair, desk and various faculties.) Captain McCoy, a trusted friend and adoptive nephew, was officially in charge of the running of the ICC and the Bridge, but the Relay was the Grand Admiral’s. Several executive officers worked in the Relay to make sure the fleet ran smooth.

McCart ascended to the FCC and took authority. Looking over, Veris was already waiting. Veris had been purchased by the UNSA four years ago; a pretty penny was used, but Veris remained probably the most advanced AI in all of human technology. Almost like a friend – and somewhat oddly like a son – to McCart, Veris had become an object of possessiveness and extreme trust.

"Incoming message sir," Veris said.

”Relay it.”


"Fleet Command to Admiral McCart... this is Secretary Maybourne. Please report the status of the vessels under your command as well as your intended destination. Honestly, hate to sound as god damned overdramatic as every politician seems to be at the moment, but the stars are at your fingertips. I myself am pretty curious as to where you'll go. Give an old man with a telescope on his deck something to look forward to, will ya?

Though still... once you do, and though I hate to stack shit on your mind, I have something to tell you. Something no one else intends to... and no it isn't a damned admittance of love, though I came close to it after the Chiron incident. Seriously though, keep your ear open for me. Maybourne Out."


"Do you want to send a response, sir?" Veris asked.

”Veris, convey the following response:

Grand Admiral to Fleet Command. Secretary Maybourne. My friend.

The Three Vessels of the 1st Expeditionary Fleet under my command.

Hyperion. Under the command of Captain Hunter McCoy. Currently fully operational and awaiting command. Medical supplies and food supplies are full and have been assessed to be suitable for 10 years. Our civilian population has also supplemented many military posts and therefore allowed Captain McCoy to place his crew to operate the ship at complete efficacy.

Thunderchild. Under the command of Captain Richard Spiers. Currently fully operational and awaiting command. Captain Spiers has reported some trouble with his civilian population but nothing too complicated. I trust Thunderchild will prove to be a most valuable asset in many circumstances.

Apollo. Under the command of Dr. Lana Marietta. Operating at sufficient levels and awaiting command. Dr. Marietta has proven to be a most excellent ship officer thus far, but I’m cautious. Her research team is well-staffed and the ship maintains many luxuries for the civilian population.

I have yet to finalize my decision on our destination. My team and I have determined three potential destinations, but there are few assessments left to be made. I will have made those determinations 1200 hours Hyperion time, approximately 2000 hours Central Standard Time for ya’ll in Houston-town. Await my follow-up report.

Veris, that is complete.


"Any orders to be sent out to the ships, sir?"

”Affirmative. Notify the captains to be ready for a holo-conference at 0700 hours Hyperion time.

Also, Veris, call up my breakfast, as well. And bring up the navigational reports on my holo-module, will you?


With that, McCart left to the gentle breezes of his mind. Lighting his pipe, he drifted into serious contemplation. At heart, he was a democratic monarch. He loved absolute authority, but only with complete consent of those he authored. McCart’s plan was thus: he had assessed all possible destinations and reduced them to three; from there he would seek a unanimous vote from his officers as to which of the three he would choose.

Waiting for his breakfast, three designations rested on his mind as he puffed.

Gliese 581…
KOI-1686…
Kepler-62…

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Captain McCoy
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#, as written by Harvey
Richard woke from his light slumber, setting his feet down on the cold floor of his cabin. He let out a brief sigh as he looked towards his digital alarm clock. 04:59. He glanced towards the widely open window, which had a grand display of Luna, Earth and the few other ships of the expedition. He swiftly pushed himself off the rather comfortable bed and swiftly went about fixing the bed's sheets, as usual. He was already comfortable and used to the feel of the Thunderchild as he was assigned to the position of a commanding officer nearly a year ago. He broke the chain of thoughts and paced over to his closet, swiftly dressing into his formal dress uniform, before walking over to a personal console. He glanced down at the screen and hastily read the messages that filled his inbox. He sighed quietly at the mention of a holo-conference, but nodded to himself.

Speirs shut the console down swiftly and turns towards the exit of his cabin, heading towards it. He left the cabin and locked it using his personal identification card. He then begun wandering about his ship, walking into each department to see if everything was fine. The 'inspection' so to say, went well and he returned to his cabin to prepare for the holo-conference, doing so by going over the available information for each possible destination. He pondered deeply, before coming up with a final decision..

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Admiral McCart Character Portrait: Lana Marietta Character Portrait: Richard D. Speirs Character Portrait: Captain McCoy Character Portrait: Veris
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ImageGrand Admiral McCartImage


McCart checked the corner of his holo-module. 0643 hours. He had enough time to finish his scrambled eggs and blood sausage, soaking up in his San Francisco sourdough toast. UNSA spared no expense in officer amenities, especially food for an admiral. If he could finish scarfing his food down by 0650 hours, he’d probably have enough time to finalize his thoughts for the holo-conference.

0649. McCart attempted to swallow back his cognac (a morning favorite – actually, an all the time favorite,) as he scoured through his holo-documents. Some interesting scout reports and telescopic pictures of the three candidates. He wanted to be absolutely certain he knew the most about each candidate he presented so his captains had no chance of forcing his hand. McCart had learned the hard way NEVER to be manhandled by his subordinates.

0652. McCart motioned to Veris to wait for a command. “Veris, please notify Captain McCoy on the Bridge to meet me in the Relay in 5 minutes. We’ll holo-conference there in the comm-room.” McCart wasn’t sure to be warm or concise with Veris. His affectations on Veris typically had been ignored in the past, but McCart couldn’t help but think Veris had his moments of appreciativeness. ”And Veris. Thank you, friend.”

McCart stood up, unplugging and grabbing his holo-flash, sticking it into his uniform suit’s fore pocket. His uniform was an odd thing, unique really. Only one man in the entire UNSA had the dignity of wearing of six stars, and that was McCart. The silver stars rested imperiously on his neck-collars – a dying fashion, his shoulder-boards, and on the fore of his MacArthuristically scrambled, white service cap. His double-breasted jacket was white and had thick, long tails, and it rose to his neck without opening or lapels; the sleeves met his wrists with three silver stripes: two large bars and one single, skinny bar in the middle - these stripes wrapped around the jacket’s cuffs. His slacks were straight and ironed perfectly. When in a military confrontation, every flag officer was mandated to wear his sword as ceremonial undauntedness; his was back in his cabin. His black cowboy boots were technically against regulation, but no one dared remind him that. The fashion of the rest of UNSA had become much more modernized, more streamlined; McCart held onto the ways of the Navy he knew as a young man.

The Hyperion was the largest battleship in the UNSA, but only slightly. Most larger ships also separated the Relay and the Bridge. To understand this dichotomy, one must image the Command Level. The Lower Deck, which was commandeered by the Captain, included the ICC in back and led into the Bridge. The Upper Deck rested just above the former, with the FCC hanging over the Bridge in supervision. Directly behind the FCC was the Relay, a smaller complex with several executive officers maintaining navigations and communications with the rest of the UNSA. A corner of the Relay was a series of comm-rooms, several places where officers could use holographers to tape, record and conference.

0658. McCart had assessed the supervision of the Relay and was quite ensured the fleet was operating as needed. He rushed to the central comm-room, saluting to Captain McCoy once both had secured their position, and commanded, “Comm-Room 3 AI – initiate holo-conference function.”

”Please validate officer serial.”

”Comm-Room 3 AI – Validate my officer serial. 032-313-jesu-543.”

”Officer serial validated. Welcome Grand Admiral McCart. Please invite participants to holo-conference no. 403123b.”

”Invite Captain Richard Speirs and Dr. Lana Marietta. Also note the presence of Captain Hunter McCoy.”

The holographer initiated, and scanned closer to the taping-zone. The holo-module lighted up and figures appeared. McCart didn’t care to count or take roll. If the captains were late, they were late. If they didn’t show, they didn’t show. Court-martial schedules weren’t too hard for McCart to manage.

Responding to any salutes, McCart began with little fanfare, ”Lady and gentlemen, we stand at the forefront of human history. At 01400 hours Hyperion time, this fleet shall depart to the farthest reaches man or woman has ever been. Even beyond the Kaiper belt. We shall be the first to truly confirm or deny human suspicions of life outside of our Solar System. But the decision to where is mine. I have assessed three navigational candidates that I feel stand out the most. Each hold great potential, but each have both pros and cons. Which is why, in just a short moment, I shall present you these three options, and then take a vote. Plurality rules, and my vote, which will be taken after, counts. If you all three agree, you may out rule mine. We shall see.”

The Admiral then plugged in his holo-flash and brought up all the documents and visual aides for his presentation. It included several visuals of the systems and their planets, statistical and ship data, and scientific reports taken.

The Admiral then objectively reported the three options:

Gliese 581 is a red dwarf with spectral type M3V, located about 22 light years away from Earth in the constellation Libra. This would mean, according to our assessment of our high-speed travel, we would be in the system in 11 days. This is the closest candidate. Its estimated mass is about a third of that of the Sun, and it is the 89th closest known star to the Sun. Observations suggest that the star has a planetary system consisting of at least three, maybe four, and controversially six planets: Gliese 581 e, b, and c are certain; d is probable; and f and g are disputed. If we take this route, we have several options in the system to check, but almost all assessments have shown that the these planets are super-earths so their gravitational pull would be more massive than any of us are used to. Wherever the Kaiper Belt aliens came from was probably from this system; if we want to get down to business, this is where we want to go. If not, then it’s not.

KOI-1686 is only a somewhat cooler star than the Sun. The candidate object, a Super-Earth, has a radius 1.33 times that of Earth, meaning although it is a super-earth, it’s mass will not be overly strange to us. KOI-1686.01 orbits a dim star, within the habitable zone a zone where liquid water could exist on the surface of the planet. KOI-1686.01 has an Earth Similarity Index of 0.89, making it the most habitable known terrestrial candidate. The distance to this candidate is 1033.8 light years away, meaning we would be there in about 500 days. Note the drastic difference, from under a month to over a year.


Kepler-62 is a star somewhat cooler and smaller than the Sun in the constellation Lyra, 1,200 light years from Earth. The travel time would take almost 2 years. It is located within the field of vision of the Kepler spacecraft, the satellite that NASA used to detect planets when I was a boy. The star has five planets, two of which, Kepler-62e and Kepler-62f, are likely solid planets within the star's habitable zone. All five planets are considered possible candidates of terrestrial potential. E and F probably have only slightly higher masses than Earth, but seem to have thick, all-encompassing atmospheres. Reports seem to designate a rich cache of resources that may be easily harvestable. Note that this is the farthest candidate.


Also note that our fleet flies at half-light speed, and that we have enough resources for an estimation of ten years. Meaning that all of these candidates are well within a safe-zone for both travel to and back. We must asses what both our short-term goals are and what are ultimate goals are. I expect a good evaluation from each of you. Begin.”

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Admiral McCart Character Portrait: Lana Marietta Character Portrait: Richard D. Speirs Character Portrait: Captain McCoy
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#, as written by KelEl45
Captain McCoy




At about 0615, McCoy had ordered himself his favorite breakfast. If there was one meal during the day that he didn't mind eating a lot at, it was breakfast. It consisted of scrambled eggs, pan fried sausages, country style hash browns, and some biscuits just to top it all off. None of the servings were small either, just the way that he liked it.

He was a rather fast eater, never really having time to waste at a meal, so he was finished by 0630. From there he began to give out commands to the staff aboard the ship, mostly through his hand held device, but also by sending a few ensigns on messaging errands. He didn't have much to do this morning, only making sure that the ship was completely ready for flight which he had already done for the past couple of days they had been stationed up here. He was sure the ship couldn't be anymore ready and the crew couldn't be any more tired of checking.

It was almost a relief to him when he heard the little notification sound from his device, letting him know that he had a message from Verris. It was a formal request from the Admiral to meet him in the relay in five minutes which meant he had just enough time to get there if he left now. He closed out the messaging application he had opened and slipped the device into the pocket of his ironed, pleated, white pants.

He let the first mate know that he had an important conference with the Admiral and the rest of the captains and was therefore making the first mate in charge of all ship operations unless there was an emergency. If that occurred, then he was to be called back to the Bridge immediately. Once that was done, he began to make the trip up to the relay. One lift and a couple of minutes of walking later he arrived.

He made it just in time, 0657, but he was still a little annoyed with himself. He had always been taught that the only way to really make it on time was to be early and he liked to live by that motto. At 0658 the Admiral arrived. As per tradition, McCoy snapped to attention, standing up straight, his feet pointed at a forty five degree angle, and his hand up in a salute at his forehead. He waited for the return salute from the admiral and let himself sink at ease.

For the next several minutes, Captain McCoy waited patiently as the McCart spoke about their destinations and what they would be like. He waited for all of the explanations to be over before he spoke up, wanting to quickly weigh in on the subject.

"If I may, Admiral, I would like to suggest that our destination be Kepler-62." Out of respect, his eyes were to the Admiral during this part, but as he took a step forward to assume the central position for his argument, he turned his eyes towards the holograms of the other captains. "As the Admiral said before, there are two planets here that lie within the habitable zone and have all encompassing atmospheres. It is the farthest trip, but I think it will pay off the most. Not only does it have two of the best candidates for extra terrestrial life, but reports show that the minerals there could be easily mineable. Even if we do not find life, we could find a very profitable trading post.

"Gliese 581 would be the least beneficial destination in my opinion for a couple of reasons. Number one is that we have never before been able to take this far a leap into our unknown universe. I don't think we should squander the opportunity on a trip so short. Number two, of the planets that seem to be within the habitable zone here, Gliese 581 c d and g, only e seems to have any real potential for life. It is thought that c has a green house gas problem, making it too hot much like Venus. D is thought to be rather similar to Mars and, as we all know, Mars only has life on it because we brought life to the planet. G is a potentially good candidate, but it's existence is still disputed. I would hate to show up at the planetary system and realize that the planet that seems the most worthy of exploration doesn't even exist."

"As for KOI-1686, it is probably the most average of the two... but I've always been a go big or go home kind of man myself. I say that as the first humans ever to leave our solar system, we forever stamp our names into human history."

He felt that was a good way to close out his argument and he took a step back, returning the floor to Admiral McCart or any other captain that felt like they wanted to weigh in with any pieces of information of their own.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Admiral McCart Character Portrait: Captain McCoy Character Portrait: Veris
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At McCart's sign, Veris went straight into command mode. He had been spending the previous time after McCart had first entered the room to go through the rest of his booting up. That was the one downside of his systems were that he took his time to get ready unless sent into emergency booting protocols.

"Message sent, sir." Veris replied when the message went through the ships messaging and alert system without a problem. When Veris was told thank you, he would have to snap out of command mode.

"Message sent to Captain McCoy...
Alerting...

Re-entering command mode...
Command mode enabled...

Processing command...
Command not recognized, searching social database...
Appropriate entry found...

Responding...
Response complete..." Ran the logs of Veris.

In response to the social data that Veris had access to, the phrase that McCart had given Veris was a form of thanks. To this, according to the logs, 'You're Welcome' was the optimal response. Add in the military respect protocols, and Veris responded with, "You are welcome, sir."

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Admiral McCart Character Portrait: Lana Marietta Character Portrait: Richard D. Speirs Character Portrait: Captain McCoy
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Image

Lana stood quietly in her position in the comm room while waiting for the holo-conference of the Captains and Admiral to begin, it was 0656 Hyperion time and she had just came down from the bridge. Lana had already coordinated herself through the whole entire ship, for her it was easy, she had displayed the ships layout with her glasses, which had many technological capabilities, in fact she designed them herself, Lana remembered how everyone at the academy laughed at her when she aspired to learn when she was so young, but she showed them. Lana had her soft pink hair in two twin-tails and the rest flowing at the back, she wore her lab coat that was given to her but it was tight around her upper-torso because of her breast size. She did not have time to go back to her cabin and change for she wanted to get to the conference early.

0700. The comm room filled with light as the Admiral and the other captains materialized in a blue-ish colour. Lana straightened her back and saluted (it was clear that she was practicing in her cabin). The Admiral returned the salute and Lana relaxed while watching closely. For several minutes, Lana stood there listening to the Admiral as he spoke about the possible destinations of the fleet, after he finished Lana was about to step up and discuss the destinations but Captain McCoy beat her to the center,

"If I may, Admiral, I would like to suggest that our destination be Kepler-62." Out of respect, his eyes were to the Admiral during this part, but as he took a step forward to assume the central position for his argument, he turned his eyes towards the holograms of the other captains. "As the Admiral said before, there are two planets here that lie within the habitable zone and have all encompassing atmospheres. It is the farthest trip, but I think it will pay off the most. Not only does it have two of the best candidates for extra terrestrial life, but reports show that the minerals there could be easily mineable. Even if we do not find life, we could find a very profitable trading post.

"Gliese 581 would be the least beneficial destination in my opinion for a couple of reasons. Number one is that we have never before been able to take this far a leap into our unknown universe. I don't think we should squander the opportunity on a trip so short. Number two, of the planets that seem to be within the habitable zone here, Gliese 581 c d and g, only e seems to have any real potential for life. It is thought that c has a green house gas problem, making it too hot much like Venus. D is thought to be rather similar to Mars and, as we all know, Mars only has life on it because we brought life to the planet. G is a potentially good candidate, but it's existence is still disputed. I would hate to show up at the planetary system and realize that the planet that seems the most worthy of exploration doesn't even exist."

"As for KOI-1686, it is probably the most average of the two... but I've always been a go big or go home kind of man myself. I say that as the first humans ever to leave our solar system, we forever stamp our names into human history." Lana took in what the Captain said and nodded her head softly, she stepped up quietly, her heels clicking against the floor. She coughed before stating her opinions on the destinations,

"Admiral, in my opinion I think I will have to agree with Captain McCoy on the matter of Kepler-62. Yes it is the farthest system but who knows what we can find? Like the Captain said, the planets there are rich with minerals. Yes there is the chance of extraterrestrial life already inhabiting the planets, but that will give us the chance of learning. Gaining the knowledge they have gained, gaining allies and friends. I have opinions of Gliese 581 and KOI-1686 but I must stick to Kepler-62," Lana steps back to her position, allowing the other Captains and the Admiral to process of what she just said.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Admiral McCart Character Portrait: Lana Marietta Character Portrait: Captain McCoy Character Portrait: Captain Jack Harkness (Thunderchild)
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#, as written by Jacker
Captain Jack was over his head. One week. One week had been all it took for the Thunderchild's newest captain to disappear. It was a new record. You see, the Thunderchild had had a strange history, or curse, some would say, involving its captains either dying or disappearing within a course of a year.

He was now the fourth captain, yet for some reason... as it would seem to anyone who passed him by: he wasn't that worried about it.

"I give him about a month..."

"Think it'll be another airlock accident, or maybe suicide from the stress?"

"Probably the latter. Unless he gets a good fuck every week, that is..."

(His crew were pretty damned cold. Though in their defense, the Thunderchild had seen a lot of things nobody was cut out for seeing.)

Nevertheless, whatever the reason for his care-free attitude, Captain Jack seemed to be confident in the job, and his lax attitude was very apparent when he joined in the holo-conference.

"Uh... hi, Admiral. I know you were expecting Captain Spiers, but I took it as my responsibility to report..." He took a deep breath. "I'm afraid he's gone missing while on a last visit to Earth. I'm the new captain. I've gone over Captain Spiers' notes, however. He seemed to thinking hitting KOI-1686 was the best option. I agree with his judgement, and want to honor it."

At that, he took a step back, gazing into his colleagues eyes to gauge whether or not he had made a decent impression.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Admiral McCart Character Portrait: Lana Marietta Character Portrait: Captain McCoy Character Portrait: [NPC] Secretary Maybourne Character Portrait: [NPC] Randall Flagg Character Portrait: Captain Jack Harkness (Thunderchild) Character Portrait: Veris
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ImageGrand Admiral McCartImage


Grand Admiral McCart waited patiently for his subordinates to respond, but he didn’t have to be too patient. He noticed quietly that Dr. Lana’s hollowed, blue figure of light was the only hologram in attendance. He noted to himself the next available time for a court-martial. In the meanwhile, Captain McCoy was the first to bolt up:

If I may, Admiral, I would like to suggest that our destination be Kepler-62." Out of respect, his eyes were to the Admiral during this part, but as he took a step forward to assume the central position for his argument, he turned his eyes towards the holograms of the other captains. "As the Admiral said before, there are two planets here that lie within the habitable zone and have all encompassing atmospheres. It is the farthest trip, but I think it will pay off the most. Not only does it have two of the best candidates for extra terrestrial life, but reports show that the minerals there could be easily mineable. Even if we do not find life, we could find a very profitable trading post.

"Gliese 581 would be the least beneficial destination in my opinion for a couple of reasons. Number one is that we have never before been able to take this far a leap into our unknown universe. I don't think we should squander the opportunity on a trip so short. Number two, of the planets that seem to be within the habitable zone here, Gliese 581 c d and g, only e seems to have any real potential for life. It is thought that c has a green house gas problem, making it too hot much like Venus. D is thought to be rather similar to Mars and, as we all know, Mars only has life on it because we brought life to the planet. G is a potentially good candidate, but it's existence is still disputed. I would hate to show up at the planetary system and realize that the planet that seems the most worthy of exploration doesn't even exist."

"As for KOI-1686, it is probably the most average of the two... but I've always been a go big or go home kind of man myself. I say that as the first humans ever to leave our solar system, we forever stamp our names into human history."


The captain was well spoken and strong, albeit a bit too much. Still, McCart couldn’t help but be felt compelled by the captain’s encompassing argument. The Admiral didn’t expect any less from the captain; McCart watched the kid grow up back in Texas. They came from the same county and McCoy’s father served on the same ship as McCart in the U.S. Navy. In the Second Korean War, they both saved each others’ lives more than a several times. As such, McCart felt eternally indebted to the McCoys, especially his “nephew.” But the “boy” who was now almost a middle-aged man had earned this post without McCart’s assistance. McCoy had probably been the single most potential prodigy of the UNSA that astronautical warfare had ever seen.

Dr. Lana stepped up just shortly after McCoy finished his argument. She was obviously anxious in front of two captains, but that was to expected. She was quite a fine-looking young girl, especially for being one of the world’s most recognized researchers. McCart noticed McCoy making googly-eyes with her, poor boy. McCoy always hated being on ships separate from the beautiful women. McCart also noticed another, more unfamiliar figure materialize in the holo-module; definitely not Speirs but definitely someone from Thunderchild. Lana seemed determined to assert her own points:

"Admiral, in my opinion I think I will have to agree with Captain McCoy on the matter of Kepler-62. Yes it is the farthest system but who knows what we can find? Like the Captain said, the planets there are rich with minerals. Yes there is the chance of extraterrestrial life already inhabiting the planets, but that will give us the chance of learning. Gaining the knowledge they have gained, gaining allies and friends. I have opinions of Gliese 581 and KOI-1686 but I must stick to Kepler-62." Completing what she had to say, Lana stepped back to her position. She seemed rather proud of herself. McCoy seemed to slightly smile, aware that he just won the vote. Maybe he was smiling for an additional reason, as well.
After the doctor spoke, McCart shifted his eyes toward the latecomer in the holo-conference, a rather young man with a bit of a sparkle in his eyes. But his youth wasn’t terribly surprising. Grand Admiral McCart and Admiral Maybourne were perhaps the oldest men in the whole UNSA, relics from the hay days of the U.S. Navy. The latecomer stepped and nervously spoke.

"Uh... hi, Admiral. I know you were expecting Captain Speirs, but I took it as my responsibility to report..." He took a deep breath. "I'm afraid he's gone missing while on a last visit to Earth. I'm the new captain. I've gone over Captain Speirs' notes, however. He seemed to thinking hitting KOI-1686 was the best option. I agree with his judgment, and want to honor it."

The Grand Admiral nodded and scratched his beard, shifting his stare from one to another of the three over several small moments. He was deep in thought, and reassessed every word that he just heard. Finally, he lowered his hands and spoke, ”It escapes me whether the Thunderchild is on Fleet Command Appointment or is Private Commissioning. Did Secretary Maybourne appoint you, son, or did the ship elect you? That would answer that. Either way, I’m glad to have you aboard. Have your ship’s AI send your Nautical File and Officer Serial.

“As for the votes, lady and gentlemen, we have two Kepler and one KOI. I myself was going for Gliese, though I’ve been mostly convinced. It doesn’t matter. A fair vote is a fair vote. Kepler-62 it is. Captain McCoy, g’head and hit the Bridge and start the processes for the Hyperion’s departure. Dr. Marietta, please send Veris a report upon the completion of the civilians’ boarding. Captain, uhh… whatever your name is, remember to send the information over.

“Comm-room 3 AI – Terminate holo-conference function. Grand Admiral McCart out.”


With that, McCart saluted to the fading holograms, and then to McCoy. After that, he left to the Relay and barked several compulsory commands at the executive officers. Mostly making sure the trajectories were correct, or alignment of the fleet’s comm-units were correct. Various blue and orange screens screamed and beeped. The Relay was a very noisy place; of course, very few places on a ship were quiet. And the few that WERE quiet were probably lavatories, cabins and places of sexual secrecy.

Admiral McCart took his chair at the FCC and lit his pipe. The test draws and the false light took about 5 minutes or so. Pretty typical for pipe-smoking, a dying art in those days. Finally he got it lit and puffed himself into deep thought. It was a ritual he had to change sometime shortly after his breakfast every morning, otherwise he just might loose his cool.

”Veris, bring up all unread messages onto my holo-module. Any sound-bites, please transcribe them, as well. I’m not in the mood to listen, just to read.

The messages cascaded on his holo-module.

"Greetings Admiral McCart. This is Admiral Stone of the Inner System Vanguard Fleet. I've been given orders to escort you to the edge of the Kaiper Belt when you go to perform your 'hyperjump', as they call them. This order was given by the Secretary of the UNSA Navy, out of fear of possible KLF rebel interference with this event. Chances of this are low, but I am personally looking forward to seeing the event, anyway. My fleet will take position around yours at 0700 tomorrow. Please let me know if you need anything."

”Holo-module Executive Suite 303, initiate keyboard function.” The holo-keys were then projected just in front of the Admiral’s chest, in an updated QWERTY format. Although in the 2030s, there had been a popular movement to replace QWERTY with TICSL, McCart’s generation generally stayed true to their upbringings. He typed out the following response:

”Greetings Admiral Stone. This is Grand Admiral McCoy of the First Expeditionary Fleet. Roger that. We’ll be glad to see your firepower in the KBelt. I doubt the KLF will be stupid enough to take on the two most capable flag officers in the UNSA, but they have done dumber things in the past. Please note the time is currently 0733 hours Hyperion time, approximately 1630 hours Central Standard Time. We will not reach the Kaiper until 0300 hours CST tomorrow. McCart over and out.”

"The United Nations Research and Development Unit requests to be given direct access to any data found by the fleet via remote computer access. Secretary Maybourne is leaving the decision of whether or not to do this as up to you. If so, the techies expect a two week lag time if you were to choose your furthest destination when accessing computer systems, and will expose your systems to them. However, allowing them this option could bring forth information that could help us on the home front more easily. Again, the choice is yours."

”Ahoy UNRDU! This is Grand Admiral McCart. I hereby confirm and allow access to data via remote computer access. Keep us informed. Over and out.

Admiral. This is Secretary Maybourne. Thank you for your prompt response to my message. Sorry about not doing the same, but honestly, I'd rather be digging into a real mountain than through this mountain of paperwork I'm dealing with. However, I needed confirmation that I wouldn't be shooting hot air at you before giving you this information.

The CIA, working in conjunction with the KGB and other intelligence agencies has officially determined there is a high risk that the fleet has been infiltrated by a numerous amount of third party groups. Most of these people are just there for the money, as you can say, but some may have more sinister motives. This includes members of the known terrorist organizations: 'Gaia's Hold', 'The Red Fist', and 'God's Hand.' The former's interests lying in preventing 'humanity from contaminating the rest of the universe', and may go after your hyperdrive. The Red Fist simply hates the UNSA, and will likely be the most dangerous of the groups. God's Hand is a xenophobic religious group who believe all other sentient life is an afront to god. They've been linked to a number of Chimera murders.

On top of this, as you know, there's a possibility that the KLF may interfere. This could be through one of three means: an ambush before you make the jump to hyperspace (the least likely), an attack from within, or an attack from beyond. That's right: it's believed the KLF may have access to faster than light propulsion systems, likely stolen from us.

It's funny, everyone seems to be worried of alien interference. I, however, think this is the least of our problems. We are our own worst enemy in the end.

Keep this information in mind, but don't let it hold you back. Keeping a stern resolve is the best weapon against these idiots.

With best regards,
- Secretary of the UNSA Navy, Harry Maybourne.


”This is Grand Admiral McCart. Secretary Maybourne. I have determined a destination for the fleet earlier than expected. I will not await confirmation from Fleet Command. Within the hour, I will be setting all navigations to the destination and then we shall depart from the Lunar gravity towards the KBelt.

I will keep your information in mind. We have apparently experienced the third disappearance of the Thunderchild’s captains. I will, however, take precautionary efforts to protect the life of the ship’s new captain. I am also preparing several precautionary orders for the fleet in general to avoid… ‘safety issues.’

We’ll keep you updated, friend. McCart over and out.


The relationship between McCart and Maybourne was an interesting one. Maybourne was McCart’s immediate commanding officer back in the Navy, back when McCart was just a Lieutenant and Maybourne was a Lt. Commander. They’ve had a hot-and-cold relationship ever since. The two men together represented such massive power, however, that when they were in agreement, not a living soul could stop them. Maybourne was the Secretary of the Fleet, an office which amounted to Prime Minister for the UNSA had it been a sovereign nation. Secretary Maybourne, a Fleet Admiral in principle, had been appointed by the Secretary General of the United Nations for his seniority and experience; his office was one of administration, PR and paperwork. McCart, however, was the Grand Admiral, a more… strategic position. Although McCart technically outranked Maybourne by one star, Maybourne was in charge of McCart’s assignments, rations and commands. Although Maybourne technically was in charge of the whole UNSA, McCart’s senior rank meant that he was the boss in wartime. It was a fun dynamic, however, and they scarcely stepped over each others’ toes.


"Hello Admiral. You may not remember me, or even know who I am, but I certainly remember you. From where? From when? Well... let's just say it was my darkest hour. The hour when the KLF should have gotten what they deserved. Make no mistake, however: I'm just as bad as you, if not worse, but that isn't the only thing we have in common. We're both human. We both have emotions. And we've both held them at bay all of our lives for the better of us.

I'm through with this. I'm done holding back the flood. I will be quite frank: I respect you, and for that, I will give you a quick death, hehehe, or perhaps not, I'm debating it. I know your control over this fleet is limited... but your control over your own emotions are not. But we'll see how long that lasts. You know the old saying: keep your friends close but your enemies closer? Well, in this day in age, the line between the two is as thin as paper. You never know who's hiding in plain sight. HOOOOHAHAHAHAHA!.!.!

SEE YOU AGAIN SOON, MY FRIEND, HAHAHAHAHAHA!
- Randall Flagg, AKA the 'Walkin' Dude.'[i]

Randall Flagg was a name that registered a few bells, but McCart couldn’t quite put his finger on it. And the message itself was ridiculous. It was quickly deleted.

[i]"Relay this message to the Admiral Immediately! A major security breach in Fleet Command took place only one hour ago! We're currently sweeping the base, yet no perpetrators have been found. Our best, and only guess is that the infiltrator used some form of new holographic technology to cloak himself in conjunction with heat-dampening armor. Yet the UNSA has no such technological that can render a user invisible. None that aren't still in the cradle when it comes to their development, that is. The most unusual thing is that the infiltrator conducted no malicious activities other than the use of our transmissions. However, whether he did more is still to be determined. It could take weeks."

Keep your senses open, Admiral, and be prepared for anything.
- Vice-Admiral Lockheart


McCart noted the message and closed his inbox.

”Veris. Record and transmit the following message to the intercom systems of all three ships. Transmission time should be at 0930 hours Hyperion time. Make sure every public function cell in all three ships can tap into the following audio.

Ladies and Gentlemen of the First Expeditionary Fleet,

This is your commanding-officer, Grand Admiral Joseph McCart, speaking. Each and every one of you is in my fleet for a specific reason. Some of you were chosen by the Crew Selection Committee of Fleet Command. Some of you were appointed to be representatives of several different sovereignties back home. Some of you I hand-picked myself. However way you’re on this mission don’t matter. You’re aboard and you’ve each got an important task at hand. WE have an important task at hand.

We are all bound in a fraternal thread that is this mission. It is a sacred mission entrusted to us by our home, Earth, and all her peoples. Any contingent elements of this fleet which put our mission in detriment will be swiftly eliminated. If you plan on endangering this mission, I will have you court-martialed and executed quicker than you can call out for your mama.

I, with the aid of my immediate subordinates, have determined the first destination for this fleet. In approximately 22 days, ladies and gentlemen, we shall all be enjoying the wonderful vista of Kepler-62. I will not let us fail. This is my oath to you.
May many of you excuse this old man for being so emphatic in saying…

May God protect us.

McCart over and out.

End transmission.

Veris. I also need you to send the following order to the ships’ AI security protocols.
Commanding officers will no longer be able to be in the same place at the same time without my command.

Veris. Notify the Captains we are lifting off for the Kaiper Belt at 1000 hours Hyperion time. Thank you.

Also, Veris. Sorry for bombarding you with commands.”


With that, McCart looked out over the portals of the bridge towards the Lunar Base. Departures always made him nervous.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Admiral McCart Character Portrait: Natalie Darron Character Portrait: Lana Marietta Character Portrait: Nakasagi Rai Character Portrait: Captain McCoy Character Portrait: Nero Character Portrait: Captain Jack Harkness (Thunderchild)
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Image


Lana wondered where the captain of the Thunderchild was, Maybe he is late? She wondered, then a young man came into view he then turned to the Admiral then said, "Uh... hi, Admiral. I know you were expecting Captain Speirs, but I took it as my responsibility to report..." He took a deep breath. "I'm afraid he's gone missing while on a last visit to Earth. I'm the new captain. I've gone over Captain Speirs' notes, however. He seemed to thinking hitting KOI-1686 was the best option. I agree with his judgement, and want to honor it."

Lana saw the Grand Admiral scratch his beard as he shifted his stare from the three, ”It escapes me whether the Thunderchild is on Fleet Command Appointment or is Private Commissioning. Did Secretary Maybourne appoint you, son, or did the ship elect you? That would answer that. Either way, I’m glad to have you aboard. Have your ship’s AI send your Nautical File and Officer Serial.

“As for the votes, lady and gentlemen, we have two Kepler and one KOI. I myself was going for Gliese, though I've been mostly convinced. It doesn’t matter. A fair vote is a fair vote. Kepler-62 it is. Captain McCoy, g’head and hit the Bridge and start the processes for the Hyperion’s departure. Dr. Marietta, please send Veris a report upon the completion of the civilians’ boarding. Captain, uhh… whatever your name is, remember to send the information over." With that Lana saluted as the other captains dissapeared out of view. The room went dark but then was lighten up by the dim lights on the wall, Lana stretched and walked out quietly, I guess I will head to the bridge and get the report of the Civilian's aboard the Apollo...

While walking through the ship, Lana had time to reflect on her decision of Kepler-62. It was a good call, the soil was rich, and there is a good chance of it possessing alien life. Either way, the choice was made. At 1000 Hours the fleet will begin their journey to Kepler-62. Whoosh Lana walked onto the bridge calmly, taking a breath of relief that Lt. Worf had turned off that music. Over near one of the consoles Lana saw two men and one girl, one of the men was tall and was dressed in black military gear and had black unkempt hair. Ah, that must be my Head of Security Nero. But who are the other two? She decided to walk over to them, "Good Day Everyone, Nero who are these people?" She had picked up her hand-held holographic device as she was scrolling through the list of civilians aboard the ship.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Admiral McCart Character Portrait: Captain McCoy Character Portrait: Flt.Lt. Aidan O'Rourke
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#, as written by conor
Flight Lieutenant Aidan O'Rourke


O'Rourke was slumped into his chair when the orders to move came in. Finally they were ready to go. Months of hard work and training had been put into this, and even still the FTL drives had barely seen much action. When the time came to jump it would be tense. He had to make sure everything went smoothly or the ship would rip itself apart. Not exactly a motivating outcome.

The engines were at idle and ready to go. The engineers had spent the last 4 hours just starting them. Looking at his large monitor O'Rourke could see all the statistics he needed. Everything looked good to go. He opened up comm channels with the chief engineer and the captain. 'Flight Lieutenant O'Rourke preparing for departure. All systems stable and ready to go.'

Using his touchscreen interface O'Rourke pushed the throttle to 40%. The ship started to move sluggishly away from the moon. When he was certain the engines were stable he pushed the throttle up to 100% power. The ship surged to life as the engines roared into power. The ship began to accelerate quickly as they gained speed. O'Rourke grabbed the joystick on his chair pushed it to the left. The ship was slow to react, as expected. The Hyperion was massive and required a lot of thrusters to turn it, it was simply a matter of preempting the maneuvers before they needed to be done. Once they escaped the gravity well of the moon O'Rourke set a course for the Kuiper belt.

-----------

At 16:00 O'Rourke let out a deep breath and momentarily closed his eyes. It was up to him now to make sure all this went off without a hitch. Up to him to see the Hyperion safely into the jump. The bridge was now in open communications mode, every could hear everyone in order to ensure commands and status reports could be heard by everyone on board. 'Flight Lieutenant O'Rourke preparing for hyperspace jump. Thrust at 100%, engine exhaust 85%. Core temperature 13,000 Celsius. Hyperspace drives are a go I repeat, are a go.' O'Rourke made sure the autopilot was configured and ready to go. The navigation systems had Kepler locked in.

It was now or nothing as Grand Admiral McCart's voice come over the intercom for the countdown. O'Rourke sat in his seat anxiously at the count down started. His finger hovering over the hyperspace control panel. His heart started pounding in his chest and his fingertips sweaty. Trying desperately to push the thoughts of his body being propelled at twice the speed of light. '..10..' O'Rourke activated the jump readiness system covering all the ships view-ports with thick steel. '..8..' O'Rourke activated the drive core, he could hear the engines rumbling from the bridge as the core burst to life warming up for the jump. '..3..' the engine indicator systems were glowing red, they were at tipping point. A small blue light started flashing indicating the ship was ready to jump. '..Jump!.. O'Rourke let gravity take control as his finger dropped towards the control panel. It hit the 'hyperspace jump' button and within a fraction of a second his stomach lurched as the ship entered the jump.

'Oh man, that was intense' he sighed. He left his shoulders drop and let out a little satisfactory laugh. He began to relax a little as he checked all the systems. The ship was drifting of course a little, the computer unable to fully navigate the ship at such high speeds. A few adjustments every 2 to 3 hours would keep them on course. He decided to report in to the captain and the admiral opening up a comms channel. 'Flight Lieutenant O'Rourke reporting in. Successful jump, ship is holding together and all systems reporting normal operation, nothing out of the ordinary apart from some minor hyperspace drift. Easily correctable'

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Admiral McCart Character Portrait: Lana Marietta Character Portrait: Captain McCoy Character Portrait: Captain Jack Harkness (Thunderchild) Character Portrait: Veris
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"The Hyperion was named such because it was originally built around a light speed drive. The light speed drive proved to be too dangerous and hard to manage after the second flight. The current FTL drive was installed with ease, thanks to the large amount of space that the first drive required. Or so states the prototype logs." Veris stated. Had he just left the topic alone, the anilytics add-on would not have been functioning properly, so one could say that this response was proof that Veris was operating correctly.

Once out of the K belt, Veris was ordered to do three tasks: Notify captains of hyperjump, ensuring to state the countdown, initiate full fleet wide ship self-assessment, telling the AIs to turn off all axillary functions, and run pray[].

"This is August 13 Artificial Data Analysis Android August 13 Call-sign "Veris", operating as per command of Grand Admiral McCart, to all captains of the exploratory fleet. All ship AIs will be running self-diagnostics and cutting axillary functions immediately. Once all systems have been prepared, the hyperjump will go on the Grand Admiral's countdown."

As the transmission was shot to the ship captains, Veris was also communing with the AIs.

"Begin parallel transmission...

Designating targets [All Ship AI]...
Awaiting response from 359 entities...
Response complete, average ping at 4.361 ms...

Sending command [run self-diagnostics]...
Responses received...

Sending value [all ship systems]...
Confirmations received...

End transmission to (Vector String [Fleet Captains])...
Maintain transmission to (Vector String [Fleet AI])...

Sending command [suspend systems]...
Responses received...

Sending value [auxiliary]...
Confirmations received...

End transmission...


The final order, running pray[], was significantly more difficult for Veris. The program pray[] took massive amounts of power to run, due to the complexity of the concept.

At the time of the countdown, Veris sent out one last transmission to the captains before they traveled into hyperspace.

"This is August 13 Artificial Data Analysis Android August 13 Call-sign "Veris", operating as per command of Grand Admiral McCart, to all captains of the exploratory fleet.
Commence countdown:
10.
9.
8.
7.
6.
5.
4.
3.
2.
1.
Jump…”


At jump, Veris began to slide slowly backwards, the hum of his electromagnets filling in what noise wasn't from the hyperspace drive. To counter the sliding, Veris began to use his exhaust thrusters once again. However, McCart was the only one close enough to even hear them.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: [NPC] Bartender Character Portrait: Lt. Markus Worf Character Portrait: Admiral McCart Character Portrait: Natalie Darron Character Portrait: Lana Marietta Character Portrait: Nakasagi Rai Character Portrait: Kirill Tsvetkov Character Portrait: Perseus Isocrates Character Portrait: Richard D. Speirs Character Portrait: EUCLID-II Character Portrait: Captain McCoy Character Portrait: Adriana Caine Character Portrait: Fyodor "Fedya" Voronin Character Portrait: Dormus Executes VIII (Edward Buoy) Character Portrait: Nero Character Portrait: Captain Jack Harkness (Thunderchild) Character Portrait: LCDR. Maxwell D. Corder Character Portrait: Veris Character Portrait: Boris Yakunin Character Portrait: Flt.Lt. Aidan O'Rourke Character Portrait: Sae Asou Character Portrait: Dr. Tesla Character Portrait: Holly Tame Character Portrait: Android I-101 Character Portrait: Annabelle Scluvik
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ImageGrand Admiral McCartImage


”Veris. Thank you. I am confident that those diagnostics are already in capable hands and are being attended to. Please notify me when the pods return.”

McCart finally allowed himself a moment of… jubilation, as he stared out over the Bridge’s primary windows. Such awe. Such wonder. Planets unknown to mankind, around a star previously just a blip on a telescopic image. A message on the Admiral’s inbox came up.

"Congratulations old man, how does it feel to be the Grand Admiral of the first space expedition outside our solar system? Forget Mayor of Lockhart, Admiral. I'd be surprised if you weren't nominated for president. Congratulations in advance."

McCart joyously shook his head. He was content with the message.

[color=DarkSlateBlue]”Congratulations to you, too, Hunter.

It feels… overwhelming. We’ll talk about it more over a bottle of wine sometime.

And president? President of what? I do have dual-citizenship, you know? President of Texas, or were you thinking something more… D.C.? Or maybe President of Toy Land? President of St. Henry’s Home for the Senile?

I suppose we shall see.


The uproar that had erupted on both the Bridge and the Relay was most definitely echoed throughout the whole of the ship, indeed the whole fleet. It seemed almost like a deafening buzz of applause and cheers, right for at least 15 minutes. From the FCC, the Admiral could see the various smiling faces of the young men and women aboard. It inspired a ‘kink’ of pure ecstasy in the old man for a moment. He remembered Katie at that moment – she’d love to be here.


He waited for a moment to allow the hum to die down, slightly. At what seemed the apex, he stood up from his chair and stood just in front of the navigational module, using it as a pulpit above his congregation. From his raised position over the Bridge, he stared off into a few of the eyes that caught his own. Raising his right hand as if calling a cab, he called the attention of Captain McCoy.

”Veris. Bring up a camera and focus it on me. I’d like to address the fleet. Broadcast to all public facilities,” the Admiral said to his trusted side.

A small, spherical pod was discharged from the ceiling of the Command Level and kept itself in hover around the Admiral’s FCC. It’s lights turned from green to red, indicating broadcasting. The screens and holo-modules of the Bridge, likewise, manifested the Admiral’s face. It was safe, at least to McCart’s mind, to assume the case was the same on the Thunderchild and the Apollo.

Clearing his throat, the Admiral began to speak, culling the roars of the crew to attention.

”Ladies and gentlemen, damen und herren, madamoiselles et monsieurs, damas y caballeros: my… fellow children of Gaia, my fellow Earthlings. Welcome to Kepler-62.”

The crew burst into cheering once more, forcing the Admiral to humbly stretch out his hand as if to understandingly snuff their cheers away.

”After over two years, we are finally at our destination. Many of us have just woken from cryosleep today. Many of us haven’t been in cryosleep for awhile but with all the busy-bodying, I bet it feels like cryosleep.

“We are all the very first humans to use hyperspace, leave our local system, and see with our very own eyes the horizon of another star. Before us lies perhaps a system filled with destiny.

“For the time being, we will engage slowly. Apollo shall work on deciphering which of the planets will be the safest to engage and then I’ll determine who’s going where and when.

“Congratulations. Now if there be life out there other than our own, let’s introduce ‘em to our King.”


At that, the Admiral initiated a track from his personal datacore, and broadcasted it to each of the ships public facilities.