"What do you suppose our forefather's thoughts were as they pushed the button, and leaped into the unkown?" spoke a tall man, with a haggard face characterized by wrinkles. His hair was grey, his shoulders arched as if he had a great, continous weight pressing down on him, and his eyes were transfixed on the dark space before him. Windows were a deathtrap in space, to even consider having one is the same as considering what you would want your grave to say. However, being able to see outside of the dome, to see that there is a world which exists outside of human, metallic construct, was both reassuring and frightening. So 'windows' were little more then visual aids which displayed an image of outside via camera and wire. A purely cosmetic touch, but a necissary one.
When the first generation of the Exodus arrived here, and were forced to live the remainder of thier lives aboard a cramped ship, many went mad. Seeing nothing but the metallic sheen of walls has the affect of making you feel boxed in; making some people crazy. That is, of course, unless that is all you have ever known, in which case metal walls sufficating you is what you'd call 'home'. As generations passed, Earth, the concept of Earth, became more and more unbelievable. Now, to the current generation Earth is as real as any other fantasy of hope.
"I suppose they were scared shitless, Sir, and not thinking anything," Replied a second man, average in height with black hair cut close to the scalp. He stepped closer to the display, and when he moved, he walked with a slight limp, the result of a mining accident when he was younger. He bore a white jacket with a black triangle sewed over the heart, which identified him as a ship captain, a new one at that.
"If they knew what they were getting it to, they might have just settled for the moon," said the first man.
"Mankind will never settle less than for the stars," replied the second.
"Indeed," answered the first man again, this time with a slight laugh which rang with a tune of sorrow. Outside the domes, there were no stars, there was nothing but blackness, with a tiny blemish of humanity. His eyes shifted from the void to the second man at his side, "Are you sure you're ready for this? It's a lot of responability."
"I'm ready Sir. Besides, i wouldn't be much good as a miner anymore," chuckled the first man, patting his left leg gently; patting his gimp leg. To be in charge of a ship was a huge honor. In a world where resources are so scarce, to hand someone leadership over a ship, over a means of staying alive, was just the same as handing someone your beating heart.
"The crew has been together for some time now, but thier ship has been grounded due to the death of thier old captain."
"No, old age," the older man said with an earnest chuckle. "It's hard to believe that's actually a cause for fatality still, but every now and then someone who doesn't die in the mines or to space gets to live to a ripe old age." The older man handed over a small folder, containing various documents. "The dossier on your crew. When you introduce yourself, you should already know them; It's such a small world, you probably already do."
"Will do sir."
"Also, after you meet your crew, you're all to be in docking station 2 by no later than 1500. It seems like we're catching a break. Our scientists have spotted an asteroid which will be passing close by, and they predict it has enough resources to sustain us for another ten years. It's important that we catch it."
"Understood sir," said the second man with a breif salute, before turning to exit the room. The older gentleman, Captain Crowder, the man in charge of all the ships belonging to humanity, called out.
"One more thing Andrew. Bring my ship back in one piece."
As Elizabeth rushed around the small room that was hers she grinned excitedly as she clipped on her utility belt, grabbing the tools that were scattered across the room and slipping them into their places. She glanced briefly in the small cracked mirror that was attached to the wall and saw the dirty smudges on her face from the previous evening she had spent working on the H20-recyc unit with Jaycee, trying to improve the speed and quality of the recyc cycle. Moving away Elizabeth forced her boots on before grabbing her jacket and running over to the hatch in the floor that lead out into the hallway, opening it she climbed down onto the ladder and quickly slid down to the ground.
As she ran through the corridor she couldn’t help but feel excited at the prospect of flying again, after all it had been so long since the last rouge asteroid or any other reason to fly had been presented. Especially after they’d been grounded with the death of Captain Tobias things had seem to come to a slight halt. But now they’d been assigned a new captain and new objective, they needed to catch the rouge asteroid that was predicted to pass close by enough for them to have a fairly strong chance of success, at least according to Locke anyway.
As she left the residential sector and made her way to where the crew would be assembling she greeted several of the people she passed, and they wish her good luck or other things to the same effect. Nobody was going to say it but everyone knew that if the team didn’t succeed there wouldn’t be enough resources left to survive as a species for more than about 10 years, so there had obviously been a fair amount of pressure placed on them. Though they’d done it before there was always the chance that something could go wrong and they’d fail, and who knew how long it might be before anther rouge asteroid passed them as closely as this one was.
"If you'd stop sticking your fingers where they don't belong you might stop losing them." Dr. McKnight placed the man's mutilated hand in a brace and gave it a shot of an anesthetic to numb the limb. It was not the first time she'd had to reattach fingers, or other appendages, but it was almost amusing how this particular mechanic came back repeatedly for the same reasons. When the wound had been cleaned and gel adhesive applied, Charlotte placed his hand carefully into the ionic bonding unit (IBU for short), a device that, with a small amouth of energy, would mend the bone and tissue back together well enough to ensure its natural healing process would take care of the rest. It meant the finger would be weak and still require a small brace for protection, but that it would make a full recovery. At least, it would if Ian Browne could let it rest without cutting it off again.
"I'm saving time," he protested in regards to leaving machinary running whilst he worked on it, "It takes too long to turn things on and off."
Charlotte merely shook her head, knowing that the fifty-somthing man would probably never learn his lesson if he hadn't already. "Just be careful from now on, because eventually those poor fingers of yours will be beyond help." It was true in two parts. One, fingers can only endure so much trauma before they become useless, arthritic, or begin suffering spasms and Two, the IBU along with similar medical healing devices were slowly becoming less and less effective. In the past, something like losing a finger was nothing to worry about, because small appendages could be easily reattached in entirety with the current medical advances; these days, power usage was so limited that they simply could not afford to let certain medical devices to be used to the fullest of their ability and often the only thing they had to rely on was the human body's natural healing process, which worked well enough but required altogether too much time, and time was not something they had in abundance.
She sent him off with the plastic finger brace and crossed her fingers in hopes that he wouldn't just take it off once he was out of sight. She then returned to the infirmary to assist with the care of the few inpatients. One of them was a woman under light quarantine for a flu variant not unlike the common cold and not very contagious. Still, precautions had to be taken to be sure it didn't spread to the rest of the population, for although the disease was hardly deadly, it could still slow down many operations. Charlotte entered the little curtained off room with a midday ration for her. The woman was suffering a headache but the doctor was reluctant to give her a pain reliever for it, since it was not all that serious of an affliction. Resources were limited, and that small dose to make her more comfortable could save someone else's life in the future, although Charlotte dearly wished she could do something for the woman.
"How are you feeling?" she asked, smiling kindly.
"Just my head," said the woman, whose name was Amelia Smith. Charlotte had made a habit of memorizing names, it was a good practice. She nodded and offered the ration, a weak soupy meal but one that would provide her the nutrients she needed. Amelia accepted it gratefully and after a few more pleasantries were exchanged Charlotte left her. There was always work to be done, and not half of it was actually treating patients as it was doing filework. Everything was digital, of course, which simplified the process of taking inventory and writing prescriptions, but any data concerning a patient had to be entered in by hand, and Charlotte had access the the medical files of every single person on this asteroid unit, and it was her job to keep track of them all, and make sure none had any errors. Errors were unacceptable.
A notification popped up on the net screen and she opened it. A small news blurb, these came throughout the day but this one was different, having been marked "important". She read it, twice, and felt a tiny bubble of hope rising in her, and excitement. An unidentified asteroid, supposedly rich in resources, and large too, had drifted into their sector of space. She quickly scanned the data about the plans to intercept it. Marvelous! It meant there was still hope for the colony, if this new asteroid was as rich as initial scans showed, it would buy them nearly a decade of time. A whole decade!
She returned to filing then, closing the notification, but a genuine smile crept into her expression, because there was still hope.
Originally Posted by Antarctic Termite
You are both wonderful people that's why. :3
Well, you're wonderful, Jorick's just cool and stuff.
The Armory was a highly restricted zone, in the sense that nobody without a Class B Weapons license at the least was allowed inside, and with more than good reason. There was only a minor cache of a few different energy and bullet weapons, but letting any of then fall into the wrong hands would end up being a disaster. So it seemed only natural for the general populace to resent anyone in near-direct relation to the Armory and/or its stockpile, especially the fellow citizens. For Ray, a Class B+ Weapons Lieutenant and Combat Specialist, this was reason enough to never step within 20 meters of the vicinity of that damned place.
In fact, if he could've helped it, he wouldn't have even gone inside the place at all today. Just carefully strapped on his own B-12 Stockbreaker plasma gun, head over to the crew's meeting bay and be done with it. But no, it never was that easy. It was rather specifically stated that Lt. Barreton supply the interception ship with, at the least, one set of personal energy weapons for the party to utilize should it become necessary.
Ray heaved a large sigh as the entered the drab rectangular building, feeling for all the world like he was going to prison. Not that he had before, but he was quite certain that would at some point in his life for a half-arsed reason having nothing to do with him. The interior of the Armory was comparable to a large department store, to someone from before the Earth blew up. Shelves were lined with strictly non-volatile weapon parts and casings, and the entirety of the back wall, save for a large pair of double-sliding doors, was packed with digital-lock safes, each holding a weapon or it's ammunition (never both, for security reasons). Meager supply of guns, my foot, Ray cursed sarcastically. There was enough to militarize a small army; not like they'd ever need to. The was no life within a light-year of this sector of space. The only real enemy here was the human race itself, and everything they would've needed to kill itself was right here. Locked up tightly, granted, but no reason to keep this much around, excluding the weapons already in official circulation.
The Lieutenant pulled out his identification card and, walking up to a counter off to the side of the door, handed it to the operator. With a look on his face rather mimicking Ray's sentiments of this place, the operator scanned the card with his eyes, then his terminal. After a few methodical clacks on the dashboard, he paused, leaned over and extracted a suitcase about the length and width of a nightstand. "Prepared in advance, Barreton," the operator said, and then in a somewhat more lighthearted tone, inquired, "Off to catch that one asteroid, eh? That's a recognition people would, er, kill to get at."
Realizing his sentiments fell flat with the comment regarding humanity killing itself, the man behind the counter sighed, resuming his negative guise. "Just the typical RZ M-Wave laser pistols, nothing high-power. Good luck, I guess." Ray grabbed the rather weighted case and nodded, turning to leave. After a moment, he paused, reached into his pocket and slapped a few silver credits on the counter. "Keep the change," Ray said in his lukewarm militarist's voice as he exited the building. The operator found himself actually a tad bewildered at this act of what might be considered selfless generosity, considering that the weapons order was government-commissioned prior of Ray's arrival.
With a stockpile of laser pistols in tow, Ray took the most inconspicuous path possible towards the meeting point of the interception crew. His normally indifferent, flatlined mouth curved up in a tiny smirk as he neared the place; he really was going to be doing something good this time, something that would actually help the human race far better than any of the weapons he held would.
And, unbeknownst to him, far better than even that.
"Everything looks fine from here," Jaycee yelled so that her voice would carry to the others' ears. Currently, she was laying supine under a large generator, one of the main engines that connected to the oxygen supply tank. The five engines, including this one, were part of a relatively elaborate distribution and recycling system, so it was important that every single one run, not just efficiently, but proficiently. "There's a bit of coolant leakage, but there's nothing out of the ordinary."
Reaching down to grip the edge of the machine, she slid herself out from underneath. Most engineers these days used a simple hover-board. The technology was hardly what you'd see in a ramped up film about the future -- simply a thin metal board rigged with magnets just powerful enough to hold a full-grown man about an inch off the ground. Anderson had always trained her to work without one though, training her to be solid, grounded, everything a good engineer should be.
"You've got to work just as hard as the machine you're tending to." The words he always said, one of his many mottos (though Jaycee did believe you were only supposed to have one), was suddenly spoken aloud by a deep and gruff voice.
"Son of a..." Jaycee muttered to herself, poking her head out from under the engine.
"Under a piece of metal, as always, eh?" Principal Engineer Shaw Anderson, Jaycee's mentor and adoptive father, asked with a grin.
"Sir!" Jaycee exclaimed with excitement, lightly getting to her feet. "What are you doing here?" Grabbing a rag from one of the workers, she attempted to wipe the grime from her hands before giving up and throwing it aside. She conversed with the oxygen maintenance crew, making sure they didn't need anything else of her, before turning her full attention to the older man.
"Just thought I'd check in on my protégé."
"That, or tell her not to screw up her next mission?" He shrugged, making a noncommittal noise in the back of his throat. Lightly batting his meaty arm, Jaycee laughed. "Whatever your intentions, I'm glad you came. I've missed you, amazingly."
"Really, now?" He quirked an eyebrow. "I must have a winning personality."
"Yes, sir, with all the yelling and the insulting, everyone comes flocking to you. I'm going to say it's the beard." He did have a bit of a grandfatherly look to him, with his bushy graying beard, constantly a tangled mess smeared with grease and grime. "I haven't seen you in months, even though we haven't flown since the captain's death."
"He was a great man, no one deserved an easy natural death more than he. I expect you'll have a legacy like him, one day." Jaycee's eyebrows rose in surprise.
"Those are unlikely words, coming from you."
"Unlikely, but no less sincere. You truly are becoming a fine young woman. When I took you on as an apprentice, I had never expected you to take to the stars, nor do so well when you did." Silence grew between them, as Jaycee's surprise peaked and refused to fall for several seconds.
"I..." Her mouth continued to hang open, and she had to work to close it. "Thank you, sir. But I owe everything to Miss Cutter." And Jaycee truly did. The older woman had been a great help, teaching her all there was to know about piloting a ship and navigating the stars. Jaycee had taken to her marvelously, seeing her as another mentor, a kindly teacher, a...not a mother. That role had long since been stripped away from Jaycee, something that she was clearly never meant to have. Besides, Elizabeth was far too young to be her mother, more of an older sister figure perhaps.
"She's taught you well."
"She's incredibly talented. I'm lucky to be able to work with her."
"I assume she thanks the stars every day to have such an agreeable student, one that will still act like an obedient schoolgirl even though she's working alongside her alleged 'teacher'. I suppose I can't berate you on that, I did teach you to treat everything as a learning opportunity after all."
"Yes, before you make fun of me, take care to remember that you're the one that made me this way."
"I don't believe I'm capable of making something as..." He glanced at her, as if evaluating her, which he may well be doing. "Odd as you." As Jaycee opened her mouth to attempt a smart retort, he stopped, grabbing her by the shoulder. "Listen, silliness aside, I just wanted to come and wish you luck. This mission...it's no small feat. You'll be accomplishing something great for this entire colony here, and I know you can do it. I may pick on you, but I want you to know that I am incredibly proud of the woman you've grown to be." Tears pricked Jaycee's eyes, and she gave the old man a watery smile.
"Thank you, sir. That means a lot." He gave her a small, thin smile, squeezing her shoulder tightly. Right now, he wasn't her teacher. He was her father.
"You take care of yourself while you're out there, alright?" Jaycee nodded, giving him a small mock salute.
"Understood, sir." Clapping her on the back, he turned her back in the right direction, and pushed her forward gently, towards the docking station.
"Get a move on now, or you'll be late." Breaking into a light sprint, Jaycee turned and waved over her shoulder. What better way to take off into space, than with high spirits?
Captain Andrew Moore walked silently down the narrow, metallic halls of the facility he called home. He was en route to Docking Station 2, and his figures flipped through the papers of his crew dossier as he walked. Elizabeth Cutter, Charlotte Mcknight, Jayce Turner, and Ray Barreton. A seasoned, capable crew which had been in service with one another for some time; Andrew was lucky to be given command of such people.
He had seen Charlotte once before, when he suffered from the mining accident which crushed his leg. She had been one of the doctors who operated on him. Of course, he now walked with a permanant limp, but at least he still had both legs. Elizabeth Cutter and Jaycee turner where the pilot and co-pilot respectivley, and Andrew knew them because frankly, everyone knew who the pilots where. Anyone who could fly one of the ships was respected, but anyone who could fly it well was revered, and they were both born to fly. Andrew had seen Ray Barreton once or twice on a passing glance. While having a combat specialist aboard a ship was controversial at first, having someone on board who was qualified to operate some of the ship's mounted guns was necessary. If a piece of the asteroid broke off and began to tumble towards the ship, someone needs to blast it into oblivion before it can smash the ship into pieces.
Suddenly, a thought crossed Andrew's mind. He was a newcomer to thier crew; to thier family. They had all served under thier prior captain for some time, and the thought of how they would respond to a new captain made Andrew shutter. The only leadership position he had ever worked was as a foreman in the mines. Going from a foreman to a ship captain was a big jump. Any idiot with a title can be a good foreman, a ship captain was a big title, one he had earned, but a big one none the less.
Andrew found himself standing in front of a door which would lead him into the docking bay. He took a moment to straighten his posture, and walked into the station, consciously trying to walk properly, and hide his limp. In the station, all of his crew had been assembled, and stood amung the crew's of the other ships. All eyes were on Andrew as he approached the group, and suddenly a voice began to talk from somewhere within the mass of people.
"Excellent," began a tall man wearing a white jacket with a sewn on black triangle; a ship captain. "Now that we are all here, we can begin. First and foremost, with the asteroid coming closer within observable limits, some new discoveries have been made, both good and bad. First, the asteroid is bigger than we anticipated, so we're chasing a bigger fish. The bad news is the asteroid is also moving much faster than we had originally predicted, meaning we have less time to catch this thing before we lose it."
The man caughed to clear his throat before continuing, "We will leave to intercept the asteroid in fiften minutes, and once we reach the interception point, we have two hours to work until we reach the event horizon, or the point at which we won't have enough fuel to bring us back home. Now this thing is too big and too fast to stop with an energy field, so we're going to have to reel it in the old fashioned way: Captain Moore and Captain Webber's crew will be the ground team. You'll land on the asteroid, and use the mining equipment to secure the towing cables, which will then attatch to my ship," the man said as he nodded to a ship behind him, a massive, steel construct not rivaled by any other ship in existance, but dwarfed only by the Arcs.
"At that point we just pull it on home. Now the asteroid is Iron rich, so before you land scan the thing for a soft spot; we don't have the time to wait for you to dig through an iron plate..." The man stopped for a moment, and gave a solemn look, "You all know what's at stake here, and how important it is we catch this thing, but in case you don't know, let me explain: We are using the last of our fuel to chase this thing. If we miss it, we will never get another shot unless a future asteroid slams us right in the ass. The hopes of every man, woman and child is square on your shoulders; the continuity of our species is on your shoulders. So get to your ships, and give it hell."
Years of practice. It made anyone good at what they did, be it piloting, gunnery, leadership, or lying. And if anyone was nervous here, it was most definitely Ray, the Combat Specialist, of all people. But nobody would be able to tell, under the firm poise and straight, determined face. Listening intently to the It was even a personal goal for Ray to fool himself enough as Lieutenant Barreton to trick him into believing that he wasn't frightened, that he wasn't scared of possibly failing, that he could and most certainly would succeed.
Unfortunately, he hadn't reached that point yet. Not even close. That wasn't going to stop him now, though.
The lieutenant actually looked rather presentable, considering his status. Ray's uniform, the standard-issue shipman's two-piece jumpsuit with a fiery-gold emblem of an eagle embroidering the left of the torso, was worn under his light gray lieutenant's jacket and its sewn-on patches: a small sword over a pair of black lines, indicating his rank and type. Prior to arriving in the hangar, he'd carried the coat limply at his waist in such a manner as to mostly obscure the holster and battery packs strapped to his belt. Also evident now was his backpack, which was carried on a bandolier-like strap that ran over his right shoulder and under his left, which carried most of the items Ray would need on the mission excluding the wepaons, still in the case in his left hand. He also wore boots that looked slightly like ones worn by miners, but with a more polished, streamlined semblance (and an as-of-yet unused survival knife obscured within the right boot). The normally wavy hair Ray sported was combed into a slicker fashion, in addition to his clean shaven face and trimmed sideburns.
After the speaking captain dismissed the crews, Ray turned to greet his captain. The lieutenant had been through a few captains before usually just for brief outings, but the crew underneath Captain Tobias had been his longest assignment yet. and now that they'd been transferred under the command of Andrew Moore, this outing would last even longer, for better or worse. Probably better, Ray decided. He hadn't quite been around long enough to get to relate to his crew extremely well yet, but now he'd set a personal goal to try and keep a more permanent memory of this time.
"Captain Moore?" Ray asked, holding his right hand out to their new captain. "I'm Ray Barreton, Class B Weapons Lieutenant." Just a little bit of courtesy happened to go a long way, especially if you launched it soon. With such advice in mind, Ray was quite set on making this mission both his and their keystone event.
Time is an odd thing, and completely relative as far as Charlotte could tell. Sometimes it dragged, painfully slow, and other times it sped quickly ahead, leaving you floudering in its wake. Time, what a bothersome thing. It was these sentiments fixed in her mind as she had carefully collected the tools she would need. General first-aid needs and a few extra things. Hopefully, none of them would be needed, but one never knows when one might be in need of swift medical attention. This assignment was last-minute, really, and she'd only had an hour to get ready, change from scrubs to the standard uniform, not much of a uniform really but it displayed her rank and position. Dr. Landing, the intended for this mission, had been delayed so she had been called upon to take his place. Naturally, she did, because a spot needed filling and she had the right qualifications.
So, with her black hair tied back and the first-aid kid slung on her back she all but ran to the hanger, slowing her pace upon entering the docking bay and feeling a wash of relief finding that she was not late. She tried to suppress her excitement as she strode toward their ship, letting her eyes play up and down its length, taking in its design and noting the places that had been upgraded or replaced altogether. If there had been a choice, she would have leapt at the chance to be an engineer, to work on the inner-functions of the craft, all the wire and connectors that carried signals from the command station to the engines much the same what the brain sends out commands to the body. For, what is a brain other than an incredibly complex and high-functioning computer? Sending and recieving and storing information...
She pushed the thoughts away, there was no time to waste on entertaining silly fantasies. This was a time to be serious. There was a lot riding on this mission and she knew she hadn't been selected merely for her medical expertise. Squaring her shoulders she joined the others, all of whom she recognized, and greeted them by name. Other than pleasantries, she didn't say much else, and she was the first to notice the captain when he arrived. She remembered him, from a year back or so, being carried into the infirmary with a severely mutilated leg and yet he walked now. He was strong, recovering quickly, she remembered that and respected that.
As he explained their mission, she listened attentively, and the weight of his words put a somber mood over them all. He didn't speak encouragingly, didn't give them any false hopes, just told it like it was. That was something else she decided she respected: his frankess, his ability to say just what he meant, no more, and no less. Somehow, it made her feel better--no, that's the wrong word--determined would be more correct. Still, as his speech concluded, doubt began to creep into her consciousness. There were so many awful things that could go wrong.
No, there was only one thing that could happen, that would happen, and if it didn't they were all as good as dead.
She glanced at the person next to her, who happened to Ray. He wasn't afraid, or at least he showed no sign of it. His face was set and determined, the look of someone who knows what has to be done, and who knows how to get it done. He, Jaycee, Elizabeth... she knew she could rely on each of them. They could do this, they would.
Following Ray's introduction of himself to Captain Moore, Charlotte similarly saluted him before preparing to board. That tiny thrill of excitement touched her again, lifting her spirits just a little. It would be her first time leaving the station. Leaving the safety of the artificial atmosphere and gravity for the unknown vastness of the vacuum of space. In spite of herself, she smiled.
Originally Posted by Antarctic Termite
You are both wonderful people that's why. :3
Well, you're wonderful, Jorick's just cool and stuff.
The man began his speech just as Jaycee arrived, and she scrambled to find a place for herself. As she settled in, she assumed a naturally rigid stance, with her back straight and her feet apart, keeping her hands clasped loosely behind her back. Holding her head high, she managed to look professional, and almost tall. The thought brought a small smile to her face. As the captain explained the situation, excitement began to build in her chest. This was going to be a challenge, and while the thought made her nervous, she couldn't help but look forward to it; this would be the perfect chance to test her skills as a pilot. Listening intently, she took in every detail of the mission, storing away the facts with small mental notes.
Fifteen minutes to reach the interception point. That will be easy enough, especially for Miss Cutter.
Two hours to work on it...Should be more than enough time, but I can't say for sure until I actually see the size of this thing for myself.
As she heard this, Jaycee's eyebrows drew low over her eyes. Webber was a good captain, and his crew was perfectly competent, they would be easy to work with. His pilot was just...disagreeable. Cole Walker, a talented pilot and engineer who was far too vain and pompous and sexist for his own good. His pride would one day get him into trouble, Jaycee was sure of it. As long as she avoided him, she figured, everything should go by without a problem. They were both responsible adults, enough to know that the mission came before their petty arguments. At least she hoped so.
Iron rich, huh? I'm probably going to be the one running the scans. I'd better review the procedure real quickly with Miss Cutter before we take off, just to be safe.
As the captain finished his speech, Jaycee swallowed hard in an effort to loosen up her esophagus, which had constricted painfully in her nervousness. Taking a shallow breath, she renewed her determination, and jumped into action. Seeking out her ship, she jogged over to it, and slid under it easily, grabbing her coat. She had been checking the fuel tank the day before, and left it behind. Skilled as she was, messiness was her weakness: she often misplaced things, tossing them aside as soon as she no longer needed them, and would not be able to find them later. Fortunately, she had remembered the location of her coat earlier that morning, making its retrieval quick and easy.
Climbing back out, Jaycee spotted her crew, and smiled. Striding up to join them, she pulled on her coat and made sure her hands were free of any grease or oil.
"Hello Lieutenant Barreton, Doctor McKnight." She greeted them warmly, automatically using their last names in respect. Turning to face her new captain, she smiled brightly, holding out a relatively clean hand. "Captain Moore, I assume? It's a pleasure. Jaycee Turner, at your service, designated co-pilot and mechanic of this craft. I look forward to working with you, sir."
As Elizabeth arrived in the docking station she could see that the others were all already assembled and the final briefing had begun. She slipped in trying to remain as unnoticed as possible.
As she slipped in behind Jaycee she caught her breath as quietly as possible not wanting to make a disturbance as the Admiral started to explain to them the more recent findings about the asteroid. The fact that it was bigger was as far as she was concerned a good thing, after all they needed all the resources they could get their hands on. But the fact that it was going faster might make things a little trickier if there were any problems. As if to reinforce what each of them was already thinking the Admiral then reiterated that this was indeed their only chance at this - meaning that the entire fate of the human race was resting solely in their hands.
Shifting uncomfortably at the thought of failure Elizabeth pushed the idea clear from her mind. With only 15 minutes till launch and having to still properly meet Captain Moore she knew that there would be a rush to get everything organised. As the pilot of the ship it'd be her responsibility to make sure that everything was all in order and that there wouldn't be any last minute problems.
Following the rest of the crew Elizabeth watched as they each introduced themselves, ending with Jaycee who had just retrieved her coat from under the ship before introducing herself in her usual upbeat manor. Moving over and standing beside her Elizabeth added "and I'm as you may have guessed Elizabeth Cutter, the chief pilot of this bucket of bolts. I'm afraid a proper introduction will have to wait, I need Jaycee to help me run a final check of the critical systems before takeoff. I don't want to leave anything to chance if that's alright with you Captain?" She glanced at Andrew waiting to see his response. She was sure that he'd be able to handle the position fine, otherwise he wouldn't of been chosen for the role at such a critical time. She just hoped that the group would 'gel' well with him, as now was definitely the time to work as a team to get the job done properly and any clashes with the different personalities could cause needless friction and endanger the mission.
She flicked her mind to what needed to be done before they launched and created a mental checklist of each thing she wanted looking over. She knew that an engineering team along with herself and Jaycee had performed several checks yesterday, but it always made sense in her mind to make absolute sure before it was too late. "How are the seals and connections holding up on the fuel tank?" She asked Jaycee before then asking her about several of the other systems that should of been checked. Once she had done that Elizabeth listed the things that she wanted checked before go time and set about the work as quickly as she could.