"Engineering reports sixty percent completion, ma'am. Six minutes."
"Uh, yeah this is Sector Four. All systems green, we're all clear on this end, over."
"Affirmative, Sector Four, stand by. Over. Sector Eight, status report."
"Just finishing up here, securing payloads now, two minutes, over."
"Ma'am, we're lagging a bit here. A bit of a salt jam, give us three minutes and we'll be green."
Alexis looked over the bridge, listening as all of the status reports came in one by one. She watched the other people maneuvering around the very active bridge, people running file reports to other stations and others reporting to their stations. The captain leaned on the guard rails of the CIC platform as she paid attention. Her white uniform with navy blue stripes on her shoulders stuck out from the rest of the crew. She wore a silver lanyard which ran from her right shoulder into her tunic's left breast pocket. On her tunic's right breast was a row of medals, eighteen of them to be precise. Each of the medals detailing her devotion and dedicated service to the ADS. "Get me a status report from Medical." Alexis ordered.
"Yes, ma'am." one of the crew responded before turning and speaking into his mic, "Medical, status report."
"We're all done up here, ready to get the hell out of port when you are."
The crew member chuckled and looked back to Alexis, "Captain, Medical is ready."
Alexis nodded to the man and looked forward, out past the bridge's nano-shield and into the dark waters. What wasn't pitch black was lit up by bright red lights lined up in a straight path to guide the Poseidon out. She took a deep breath, anxious to finally take the finest submarine Arcturus Theta has known to the deepest depths of the planet. "How are our escorts doing?"
"Frigates Naginata, Trident, Tsunami and Hammerhead are all green, ma'am. The Destroyer, Kraken, is also green."
Alexis smiled to the adjutant, "Great, carry on." she then looked to her comms officer, "Put me on the line with Captain Arcov."
Her comms officer nodded and went to work.
After a short wait, the main screen in front of the nano-shield lit up with the face of a grizzled looking veteran. He had a scar running down his face but it didn't take away from his proud demeanor. "Comrade Marquis, to who do I owe the pleasure for your call?" his accent was Russian. Arcov was a Terran man who became a late colonist, joining the ADS shortly after his arrival.
Alexis smirked, "You can thank my comms officer." she gestured a hand to him. Arcov looked down, chuckling as he tilted his head in respect to the man. He then looked back to Alexis.
"So, I assume we're on screen to talk business?" Arcov asked.
Alexis nodded, "The Poseidon is almost ready for departure, captain. Bring the Kraken out nice and slow. We'll bring her out behind you and have the frigates move in after us."
Arcov looked away from the screen to his crew, giving some orders. He then looked back to the screen, "Affirmative, Captain Marquis. We're bringing her out now."
Alexis nodded as she shut down the commlink. She then sat back in her captain's seat, looking over the entirety of the bridge. Waiting. Four minutes later, though it felt like forever, her adjutant spoke up, "Ma'am, the Poseidon is clear for departure. All systems on all levels and sectors are operational."
She stood up again, leaning back on the guard rail. Alexis looked down to the helmsman, "Greylark, take her out. Nice and steady." she nodded and then pressed a button on her command console. "Crew, this is Captain Alexis Marquis, as of now we are beginning our departure from Pacific Base. Our vessel, the Poseidon, is tasked with exploring the Veiled Abyss. We all know the treachery of Arcturus Theta's depths, and I expect there to be more in the chasm. But our crew consists of the best humanity has to offer. When we return, our names will be etched into Arcturus Theta's history forever! I see nothing but smiles and joy on the bridge, so I expect it to be everywhere else as well. Ladies and Gentlemen of Poseidon, I congratulate you all, you're making history. Marquis out." with that, she pressed the button again.
Outside of the ship, lights began turning on along the hull. The whole frame of the ship illuminated together. The name of the ship put on display on each side of its massive hull. The lights from the many windows shining outward. Spotlights lining the hull pointed outward into the darkness, illuminating the seabed and a pack razor shrimp feeding off the carcass of a dead nipray fish. The massive structure of Pacific Base's platform came into view as well. Looking up, the huge orange glow of the nano-shield dome could be seen encompassing the Manhattan sized city within.
Alexis sat back into her seat and watched as the Poseidon, largest submarine on Arcturus Theta, traveled forward slowly but surely out of Pacific Base's port.