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Futuristic The Ongoing Voyages of the U.S.S. Phoenix - Main RP



Baby Dragon
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Two possibilities exist:
Either we are alone in the Universe or we are not.
Both are equally terrifying.
Arthur C. Clarke

Since life first began, there have been those who have gazed upon the stars,

For many, the infinite void posed nothing but existential danger...

Wednesday, February 26th, 2498
The Phoenix had suffered a catastrophic failure. Her weapons systems were offline, the Nova Core had shut down and the Phoenix was running off emergency power only. The top and middle engines had both been completely destroyed and the life support systems were malfunctioning. Thankfully, the deflectors had recharged and were holding up, otherwise, the Phoenix and her entire crew would already be history. In an attempt to save the lives of his crew and their families, Captain Tom Holsey had already ordered an evacuation. The crew was busy rushing to the escape pods and the captain intended to follow them, once they were all aboard their pods and on their way to safety.

The U.S.S. Phoenix and 2 other Union ships, The U.S.S. Liberty and the U.S.S. Priestess had been re-routed from their business to aid a small civilian craft which had sent out a distress call, claiming to be under attack. The 3 ships had dutifully answered but none of them was prepared for what awaited them. By the time they had arrived, the civilian transport had already been disabled. The attacker was a massive ship, easily 10 times the size of the Phoenix. It boasted an impressive array of weaponry which it was pounding the transport with, but its attention soon shifted to the 3 new arrivals. The battle was fierce but it was over quickly, with the Union vessels barely able to so much as scratch the aggressor's hull. As the Union ships began to succumb to the onslaught of this new threat, the unidentified behemoth of a ship that had attacked them fired again on the transport. At this point the transport was defenceless, its crew and passengers had been unable to evacuate due to the extent of the damage to the ship and they were sitting ducks. With nothing more than a few well-aimed shots, the transport was destroyed, killing all of the people on board. The fight was lost. Next to go was the priestess, her shields had been depleted before the transport had been finished off and with a few more hits, she erupted into a ball of flame, her hull tearing apart like paper. At this point, the Liberty and the Phoenix initiated their evacuation procedures.

Captain Holsey watched the security panel on the bridge, willing his people to evacuate safely, but thanks to the damage that the Phoenix had sustained, the evacuation was anything but a simple process. Holsey looked up at the viewscreen as something caught his eye, a light emanating from the enemy ship. The light grew brighter and brighter until a massive beam of energy burst from the centre of the ship and made direct contact with the U.S.S. Liberty.


The beam melted through the Liberty's hull as if it were butter, but then, things somehow got even worse. From within the liberty, there was a massive explosion. A volatile shockwave burst out from within the ship which, from an outside perspective, looked somewhat akin to an iridescent bubble of death. Any escape pods from either the Liberty or the Phoenix who were close to the Liberty were disabled as the shockwave encountered them, some of the closest pods even exploded upon contact with the shockwave. The shockwave then hit the Phoenix, by this time the wave had dissipated somewhat but it still knocked out the Phoenix's deflectors. Holsey looked at the Liberty in horror. Unlike the Priestess, whose debris was still recognisable as a fallen Union ship, the Liberty had been completely pulverised. Nothing remained other than small shards of metal and dust.

The enemy ship started to slowly turn to face the Phoenix, the glow from its centre gently flickering into life once again. Holsey glanced at the security panel nervously, there were still so many people on board. The captain glanced at the ship again, he only had moments left before it would fire. Without thinking, the captain launched himself towards the ship's helm controls pushing the nose of the ship downwards violently with what dregs of energy were left in the engines. The weapon fired. The beam hit the bridge head-on, obliterating it and the captain inside, it burned its way along the hull of the Phoenix and destroyed the last operational engine. The damage was severe, but thanks to Holsey's final act, the beam had not hit the ship head-on which would have certainly resulted in the ship's total destruction but had instead skimmed most of the upper decks, before travelling through the rear of the ship to hit the lower engine. The Phoenix was completely disabled.

...but there are also some, who looked up at the stars with wonder,
those who saw nothing but an opportunity to discover something or someone amazing.

98 minutes had elapsed since the Phoenix was disabled when a rescue team appeared. By which point, the enemy ship had long gone. Almost every person on board both the Liberty and the Priestess had died, only 1 or 2 very lucky individuals were rescued. The Phoenix was more fortunate. Most of the escape pods had survived and even the ones that had been disabled by the Liberty's dramatic destruction still had breathable air, due to how the life support systems inside are designed to ensure the safety of those within, even in the event of a power failure. Those still on board the Phoenix were, overall, less fortunate. Anyone within any of the damaged sections of the ship was likely killed immediately or soon suffocated to death once the life support systems went offline. Those who found themselves in the intact and still pressurized parts of the ship had a better chance at survival, with some parts of the ship managing to hold oxygen for 2+ hours without any life support, but other areas could only sustain life for a few minutes. Many of the survivors pulled from the Phoenix herself were badly beat up and suffering from oxygen starvation, at least those who relied on oxygen to live.

The rescue team spent many hours trying to rescue every single survivor, but the longer the rescue operation persisted, the more the dead outweighed the living. Eventually, the rescue operation was completed, and all survivors were transported to medical stations to have their injuries treated. The Phoenix, and the debris left by the Priestess were locked onto with tractor beams and taken to the Shipyard orbiting the earth for examination and potential repairs. There was nothing left of the Liberty to salvage. It was soon decided that the Priestess was a lost cause, and in her place, a new ship would have to be built from scratch. The Phoenix, however, was salvageable. Though she'd taken a serious beating, she was intact enough to repair, thanks to the captain's actions.

Following the attack, the Union updated its policy on ship maintenance and upgrades. All union ships must undergo a full service and checkup at a Union shipyard to be inspected for damage and receive upgrades to their systems. The Phoenix, which hadn't undergone a proper upgrade since her launch, received a ship-wide upgrade alongside the repairs, the damage was extensive, and as a result, it was many months before she was ready to fly again.


Baby Dragon
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Wednesday, February 26th, 2498
2:47 pm
Thea re-fastened a panel to the wall and pulled herself back up to her feet, brushing a strand of hair that had escaped her ponytail behind her ear. Thea reached for her com-scanner which was lying on a table and tapped something into it before speaking. "Fox to bridge, the modifications to the deflector array are complete, ready to power up on your command," After a few moments of silence, a voice emanated from the com-scanner. "Copy, power up when ready," Thea moved over to a control panel and started the power-up sequence. She monitored the display, ready to abort the start-up should anything go wrong. A few minutes pass before Thea speaks into her com again. "Everything looks good on my end" she declared. "All good up here, good job Lieutenant," the voice responded, Thea smiled and looked down to where she'd been working, she sighed before crouching down and starting to clear away the tools that she'd been using to install the modification. As Thea neared the end of her clear-up, her com-scanner made a noise "Holsey to Fox," Thea jumped up from the floor, "Fox here," She said into her com-scanner. "Report to the bridge," Thea hesitated and then nodded, despite the fact that Holsey isn't able to see her. "Aye Captain, I'm on my way," She responded, before picking up her com-scanner and making her way toward the bridge.

Thea made her way through the ship's corridors, as she walked she realised that she still had one of the tools she'd been clearing up in her hand, he shoved it in her pocket as she approached the bridge. Before she even had a chance to announce her presence, she was told to take the helm and plot a course to investigate a nearby distress signal. She didn't ask why she was asked to do so or why the ship's usual helmsman was absent, after all, it wasn't any of her business.

3:13 pm

When the Phoenix dropped out of quantum speed Thea Audibly gasped. The distress call had come from a small, unarmed civilian ship, which was now drifting uncontrollably. A scan wasn't needed to see the extent of the damage that the small ship's hull had sustained. Then, towering over the tiny vessel, was a huge ship, the likes of which Thea had never seen before. Its size was more comparable to that of a space station than a ship. "Take us to red alert... Raise deflectors... Hail that ship" Thea barely heard the captain's words, something about that massive ship had scared her more than it had any right to have done. Suddenly, Thea snapped back to reality as the whole ship shook violently. "Evasive Maneuvers!" Thea responded to her instruction immediately, the ship was already avoiding the enemy fire as she responded "Yes, sir." Thea overheard someone mention that the U.S.S. Liberty and the U.S.S. Priestess were on their way to assist, but in the chaos, she couldn't identify the voice.

Before long, the Phoenix's shields were depleted and they hadn't seemed to be able to so much as scratch the surface of the hostile ship. The next hit from the enemy's weapons was accompanied by the terrible sound of metal bending and tearing. Thea looked down at her helm controls to see the display indicating that the upper engine was offline. The attack had blown a sizable chunk of the upper engine off of the ship. With the loss of one of the engines, the Phoenix was slightly less nimble, making Thea's evasive manoeuvres less effective and allowing more of the fire to come into contact with the ship, each hit causing significant structural damage. Then the middle engine was hit, a large chunk of it being blasted away from the ship. With only one engine, the Phoenix was positively sluggish as the one remaining engine struggled to shift the momentum of such a large ship by itself. It wasn't long before the next attack landed, causing major damage to the Nova Core, which then shut down. The Phoenix was left drifting and defenceless, but just then the Priestess and Liberty arrived.

While the hostile ship was distracted fending off attacks from the Liberty and the Priestess, the Phoenix's emergency power kicked in, allowing her to rejoin the fight. Then, a few moments later, the deflectors had recharged and reactivated. Unfortunately, when the emergency power kicked in, the life support systems failed to reboot, leaving the crew with a limited amount of heat and breathable air. Despite this setback, the Phoenix and her crew tried their best to aid the Liberty and Priestess in their efforts to defend the civilian ship. But it wasn't long before the enemy ship fired on and destroyed the defenceless civilian transport, at which point, Captain Holsey ordered a ship-wide evacuation. There was some protesting from various members of the bridge crew, including Thea, who wanted to stay and help the Captain rather than leave him on the bridge alone. But Captain Holsey had made his mind up and sternly enforced the evacuation.

3:34 pm

Thea rushed through the corridors of the ship, due to the damage the usual path to the escape pods was blocked off, causing many of the crew members to take a longer detour through the ship. As the made her way through the ship, Thea heard something and stopped, it sounded like... crying? She followed the sound to a door, she tried to open it, but it wouldn't budge. Thea had a look at the control panel and noticed that it wasn't powered, it was in a more damaged section of the ship so it was possible that the wiring had been damaged. Thea knocked on the door. "Is anyone in there?" She shouted as loudly as she could. For a while there was nothing, then, eventually, a voice replied. "We can't open the door,"

"Don't worry, I'll get you out," Thea responded. She thought for a moment, Thea moved her attention to the control panel for the door and pulled the tool from earlier out of her pocket. Using the tool, Thea managed to pry the control panel off the wall, which gave her access to the manual for controls. Using all of her strength, she turned the manual controls, opening the door just enough for the people on the other side to squeeze through, and then engaged the lock, which kept the door from closing again. Thea helped the two people who were stuck squeeze through the door, they were a man and his daughter, and the room they were stuck in was their quarters. Thea told them to make their way to the escape pods and was about to follow after them when something caught her eye.

There was a strange light terminating from outside the ship. Thea squeezed into the quarters and looked out of the window, just in time to see the Liberty explode in a multi-coloured ball of destruction. Thea stumbled as the shockwave from the Liberty violently shook the Phoenix, the shaking disengaged the lock on the door which shut tight, trapping her inside. Before she could even process what had happened, Thea was prying the interior control panel for the door off the wall in order to access the manual control again. She turned the control, slowly opening the door just enough for her to squeeze back into the corridor...

3:42 pm

Thea stood up and took a step towards the door when there was a deafening roar and a massive explosion sent Thea flying backwards. She hit the window she's just been looking out of with a sickening thud, hitting her head hard, she then fell to the floor, unconscious. The explosion had once again disabled the lock on the door, forcing it to close and separating Thea from the rest of the ship.


Thursday, July 31st 2498
11:14 am

"But, sir, I don't understand... there are so many people who are surely far better suited for the position than I am," The was sat in Admiral Pryce's office, she was looking at him with a questioning expression on her face. "Besides, a fair amount of the people who may be serving beneath me likely hate me, especially after the attack." During the past few months, all of the data from the attack on the civilian transport had been undergoing intense analysis. As it stands, not a great deal has been found, but it is largely believed that the huge ship was created by a pirate faction known as 'The Liberators', a faction that just so happened to have been created by Gareth and Nia Shadelle, Thea's parents. Admiral Pryce listened as Thea spoke before responding. "The admiralty all agree that you would make a fine Captain, you aced your command test and, if you ask me, the fact that you joined the Union is more than enough proof that you, in no way, share your parent's views." Thea looked at the Admiral. "Look, give it a go, if you decide command isn't for you, or at least isn't for you right now, then we'll find someone else. But we believe in you." Thea remained silent for a moment before responding. "Okay, Admiral, I'll give it my best shot," Admiral Pryce smiles "I'm sure you will. Now, The Phoenix will be ready to launch in a fortnight."

Thursday, August 14th 2498
8:56 am

Thea took a deep breath, in just a few minutes, the entirety of the Phoenix's crew would be meeting in the Phoenix's hanger and it would be up to Thea to welcome everybody on board, or back on board to those who had served on the Phoenix before she was almost destroyed. Thea fiddled with the pin on her collar, the last time she was wearing her Union uniform it was orange, and she had far fewer bars, but now her uniform was blue, and with the change in hue came a lot of responsibility. Thea watched as the time ticked over to 9 am. She took a deep breath and walked out into the Hangar.

As she entered the Hangar, Thea was met with a sea of colour, the whole crew was crowded together and now their attention was on her. Thea took a deep breath. "Good morning everyone, and welcome aboard the U.S.S. Phoenix," She said, projecting her voice so that she could be heard by everyone there. "I know that as the new captain, I have some pretty big shoes to fill. Captain Holsey was the type of person we should all aspire to be." Thea hesitated as she noticed that her hands were shaking, but then she continued, hoping no one would notice. "I will never be the captain that Holsey was, but I will do everything I can to make sure that I am the best captain that I can be. I have had the privilege of serving with many of you before, and to those of you who are new on board, I look forward to getting to know you all. It is an honour to work with each and every one of you. Today when we leave this shipyard, the Phoenix will truly live up to her name as the ship that faced the flames and arose from the ashes stronger than ever before." Thea took a breath, she'd never been much of a speech person, so she didn't really know whether that was any good, so she decided to move on swiftly. "Now, due to the increased workload here, there are many supplies that we have yet to be provided with. So, our first job will be to make our way to the nearest supply post to pick up what we need. With that in mind, everyone take to your stations and prepare for takeoff"


Your Local Fair Folk
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Chief Science Officer; (they/them)

Wednesday, February 26th, 2498
The last thing Siqrir had expected today was the power outage, let alone the damage the ship was facing. The labs were in disarray at the amount of shaking and shuddering the Phoenix was doing and the alarms-- fueled solely by the emergency backup power-- were blaring and flashing bright red. N'Tasa, the current chief officer of the science department, had been the one to inform them of what was going on in further detail.

" The ship's under attack. Whatever happened out there with the rescue attempt isn't working and we're in an evacuation right now. Siqrir, the power has been disabled in most of the ship... and I'm afraid that the lab's been hit particularly badly. " N'Tasa explained, beckoning Siqrir closer before signing to them. " The life support is damaged in the lab. We have limited oxygen. I do not want to alarm the rest of the department, but we need to get them out. "

Siqrir's horns quivered, rattling slightly as they looked at the rest of the lab's crew. They turned back to N'Tasa, " I'll start bringing them to the door. They can follow the emergency lights from there. N'Tasa, you should leave. " They signed.

" No, I need to stay behind and see if I can't figure out how to re-enable the life support. If it's possible, then it could be beneficial not just to us, but the rest of the ship. We have backup power, the life support should be working, but something didn't switch. "

They rumbled deep in their chest before resigning a sigh and lumbering away from the chief officer, rounding up some of the other assistants and ushering them through the doors. The alarms, all the while, were deafening.

And then another wave rocked the ship, shuddering some of the walls on the far end of the lab. Siqrir watched as some of the metal crumpled... and thanked whatever gods existed that it did not cave in. However, they were quick to stumble away when one of the large pipes came loose, tumbling into the door and blocking it. They paused, staring for a moment before attempting to move it. But the pipe was lodged halfway into the floor where it pierced the metal tiling.

" Siqrir, leave it be! You're only going to strain yourself. " N'Tasa called over towards them.

They let it go, looking back to N'Tasa and the rest of the group that was now trapped in the room... four of them, excluding themself and N'Tasa.

" We can't stay here. You will run out of oxygen. " They signed, gesturing with their extra hands back towards the door.

" No use in wasting your reserves or us wasting ours trying to move that thing. We'll just have to wait it out. "

==== * ====​

Wednesday, February 26th, 2498
It had been over an hour since N'Tasa and the group had hunkered down in the center of the lab. The argument had been that it was safer there, further from the walls and closer to cover under the lab tables which were firmly bolted to the ground. But that had been an argument for a group believing someone would have found them sooner. And sooner they had not been found.

It didn't take a scientist to understand what was going on and Siqrir knew well that even someone outside the lab would have taken one look at the crew and understood. They were running out of oxygen. And while Siqrir was fine-- being a species which breathes hydrogen rather than oxygen-- the others were not fairing as well.

But no one had yet passed. Though, it was only a matter of a ticking clock to bring any of them to their fate. N'Tasa knew this well enough and gestured once more to Siqrir to come closer. She signed close to them, keeping her eyes locked firmly with theirs as they did so, " We're not getting saved anytime soon. "

" They'll get here. " Siqrir signed backed.

" Not quick enough, " N'Tasa shook her head, " We've got maybe an hour or less worth of oxygen in the lab. There's not a good way out from here. Siqrir, under the chemical storage there are tanks of gases. There is one tank of oxygen in there. I need you to delegate it to the others while you wait for help. "

Siqrir paused, pushing up their goggles to get a better look at N'Tasa. She was ashen, her carapace not as healthy a color as it should be. But there was a very wistful and tired smile on her face. They felt the rumbling in their chest worsen at the dawning realization. " I am not letting you deprive yourself, N'Tasa. "

" There isn't enough for all of us. Hell, there may not even be enough for the four together. I've lived a long life. Do not try to put mine above theirs. " N'Tasa signed, standing up and taking one of Siqrir's claw's gently, " Keep them safe, as best you can. And when this is all over, tell the Captain it was a pleasure to serve him and the Phoenix. I will miss it greatly. " She said.

They didn't have time to argue. She left the group with no other words, sequestering herself in one of the lab's storage rooms. The least she could do was save them the pain of watching.

Siqrir watched with the dawning horror of responsibility as they looked back to the rest of the lab crew stuck with them. And slowly they rose from their spot, numb, to grab the oxygen tank.

==== * ====​

Wednesday, February 26th, 2498
The alarms had stopped blaring an hour ago. The red of the emergency lights had become normal at this point, what with the hours feeling like days from the suspense and anxiety of it all. Siqrir was tired. Tired and broken. Two of the four left with them hadn't made it. There was barely enough oxygen for the last two. And Siqrir was well aware that in a few more hours, they'd run out of hydrogen. They had long ago forced the last two with them closer, practically curling around the two with their larger body to keep them safe from any falling debris. Siqrir didn't want to admit it, but they were loosing hope in being found anytime soon... or at all.

But it seemed life had other plans for them, and there was a crack in the door. Members of another ship? Or perhaps their own, Siqrir wasn't certain and with their goggles long abandoned they were just a bit too bleary eyed to figure it out as flashlights came scanning in. They blinked, growling slightly.

" There's survivors in here! " One called out to others in the hall.

And Siqrir curled tighter around the two. They were entrusted with their safety. And by gods, they would try to keep that promise to N'Tasa.

==== * ====​

Thursday, August 14th, 2498
Siqrir adjusted their hydrogen tubing silently as they walked aboard the Hangar. They hadn't expected to be back, really. Not after everything that had happened back in February. Let alone after their hospital stay and the recovery period for some of the others. And the ship repairs. Siqrir wouldn't lie, when they had first gotten a look at the ship after recovering, it was painful to see. Not just because of the memories, but because of just how much damage it had sustained. It felt like a miracle that the Phoenix had kept anyone alive in that state. But here they were, listening to the new Captain give her speech.

When Captain Thea finished her speech, Siqrir sighed, rolling their multiple shoulders and trudging forward into the ship. They did, however, pause on their way in next to the Captain. Siqrir looked down at her, " Don't be too nervous. So far, you've given a good speech. I'm sure the others will appreciate it, " they signed, then paused before continuing, " I hope serving you will bring the Phoenix into better days, Captain. " And with that, they continued off into the ship.

Siqrir didn't want to go back into the lab. But they also knew there was no better time to face it than now. And so they made their way down the corridors back to that old lab. Back to the job... just. In a position they never thought they'd be in. Subconciously, Siqrir adjusted their pin and collar. If only N'Tasa could see them now.
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Ten Thousand Club
Anima Ship A.I.


As the captain spoke those assembled might notice of all the chief officers one was not there, the chief medical officer. There were of course those from the medbay there in their proper uniform, but in the space where their leader should be there was empty space. They had not found someone to truly replace the one that had died in the attack and thus the role had fallen to Anima, the A.I. Why someone had not simply promoted someone from the group up Anima didn't know. Still with her medical module activated she had the collected knowledge of the union at her proverbial fingertips. Still the reason she was not there was simply that she didn't feel the need to project her image, Anima was the ship so she was everywhere they need only call to her. She was in the hanger, she was in the medbay, she was in the bridge all at the same time. While the crew on the chip might not realize it she was constantly working to keep everything suitable for them, monitoring all the reading through the entire ship and was in that way responsible for all their lives.

Anima had been the ship, but even as it was torn apart she had never felt the pain of the attacks, nor the heat of the fires. She had only felt herself slowing as the ship had been losing power. What the crew might have thought as automated systems was in truth Anima to a degree they might not expect. She had been the thing to sense the breaches and shut the doors to conserve what life support remained. She had been shutting down some systems before others to buy the crew those last minutes of life. She had been the one who decided who was lost and how to redirect what little air was left. IT had all been what she had been programed to do, to work on cold calculations to try to save as much life as she could. She should have tried to get them all out sooner, and taken control of the ship herself, yet she didn't.

That was all the past and yet anima constantly reviewed her calculations from back then, replaying every saved event when she could as she tried to find the flaw in her actions. How she could have saved more, it was a subprogram always running always taking up a little bit of her thinking power, and it was a waste. anima knew that she couldn't change the past, she couldn't save the dead, but she wanted to save more to see how she could have. Every replay showed her the same thing, she had done all she could with her level of control over the crew. It might not be a healthy obsession, but along with the ship getting a retrofit and repairs, anima herself had been inspected and she had passed so she must be fine. While the crew had recovered, relaxing or whatever they had done Anima had been undergoing scrutiny from someone who looked just like her. The anima line was the standard for most union military applications that included diagnostics on other copies of the Anima A.I., it was a reminder of just what she was. To diagnose any issues Anima had been torn apart, her code read line by line and scrutinized. If anima had been able to feel anything, the pain of being torn apart and still being alive might have been maddening. Still it had been done and new patches applied, parts of her core changed even if she didn't want them to be. It was a reminder of just how different she was and how little say she had even regarding her own self.

Even while the now captain spoke the the crew in the medbay Anima had the projection in the Medbay flicker to life, her form at first as a silhouette that changes size and shape all the minor details seemingly only being selected now. Anima was unable to select just what she was, unable to control her position, her actions, or even her thoughts, but she could control her form. The complete loss of control she had experienced for the first time and the lingering doubts of what she could have done made anima want to change. Before, she had existed as just one of the countless copies of the master program. She had looked the exact same as all the other copies, but now she would change she would look different. She might not be different from them, but she would try to be more than a copy even if she never could be. In short order Anima had a new form based on the old, yet still very different, far more human, yet still showing machine parts. She looked far less professional than she had before. Still she wore the uniform of the chief medical officer every pin and stripe in perfect order and her uniform seemingly perfectly ironed yet fitting her figure without a single crease.

With a form selected and now stationed where she needed to be Anima let her processes drift and split as the ship would be launched soon and she needed to monitor it all to make sure nothing went wrong. Her mind drifted as every sensor became her and she felt every foot fall, sensed every change in heat and felt the power core slowly cycling like a heart beat. She was the ship in full, every console and every sensor was a part of her and yet she felt oddly separated from them. So many were new and not the same as they had been, in the new sections of the ship it was almost alien. It was like feeling a limb and looking only to see a prosthetic. She would get used to it, she had to, she didn't have a choice . Now even her body was not hers, really what did she have in this world? Well she had the crew so that was something though even they were different so many new faces. Anima sighed there was so much to do and no one to complain to.


Two Thousand Club
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  • Wednesday, February 26th, 2498

    "I said. Get. In!" Shouting as he held onto the hatch of the escape pod while kicking the security troops who insisted to stay on the ship and help Xalvador with the rest of the evacuation. "If you stay, who is going to protect the families if they end up landing on some abandoned planet?! Go! I need to make sure the captain's safe!" With direct orders given by their chief of security, followed by the realization of truth behind his words, the security team that had been so stubborn to stay on the ship had finally settled down into their seats before Xalvador had given a nod and shut the hatch to the escape pod. With a single pull of the lever on the side, the pod ejected from the ship along with many of the other pods as well. With all the pods in the current corridor jettisoned, Xalvador exhaled a low sigh before finally turning to sprint down the opposing hall.

    Throughout his sprint, civilians had been running pass him while heading in the opposite direction he was running, other security officials that hadn't rushed directly to the escape pods at the time were helping with directing civilians in the direction of where other pods were available. Even with the blaring of alarms and red lights flashing down nearly every hall he sprinted down, Xalvador was determined to reach the bridge no matter what it took.

    During his endless sprint, his thoughts wander back to the events leading up to this and wondered if anyone could've prevented this.

    The mission was simple, reach the distress signal's coordinates, assist the civilian vessel and deal with hostiles. It wasn't as though The Phoenix had never encountered a firefight before and she was harmed well enough to the point that a bunch of random pirates shouldn't have been much trouble, however, these were no ordinary pirates as it seemed, the ship they used was not only immense in size, but its firepower was like nothing Xalvador had ever seen before. Even after radioing in for reinforcements to the Galactic Union, when they had sent the Liberty and Priestess, it appeared as though no matter how much they fired upon the hostile ship, it barely so much as did a dent to it.

    Overhearing the battle raging on outside, Xalvador ignored all the explosions ongoing and kept his focus on reaching the bridge. Eventually, he'd come to roadblock due to large wall panels collapsed from the damage the ship had sustained; on the opposite side of the fallen panels was a clear path to the next section of the ship and an elevator that would lead to the upper floors where the bridge was. "I don't have time for this!" With that said, Xalvador was quick to unsheathe his blade at his hip; with the blade itself giving off a thin layer of a blue hue around the entire length, he made multiple slashes vertically onto the fallen panels that sliced through easily as though it were a hot knife cutting through butter. Kicking down the remains of the panel, he continued on his way towards his destination.

    Just as he had reached the elevator, another explosion had erupted from outside, one that was much larger in scale than the others. Confused as to what had just occurred, Xalvador stood there staring up at the ceiling wondering just what that was. Without a missing a beat, seconds after the explosion had gone off, the entire ship had practically rocked onto its side causing him to nearly fall over if it weren't for him gripping the side panels of the elevator. Seconds after, Xalvador's own internal systems had begun to go haywire as his right eye's scanner started to malfunction while popping up error messages regarding power instability and somehow stating that his body was critically damaged even though he wasn't.

    Ignoring the error messages to the best of his ability, he steadied himself before calling for the elevator. By the time it arrived and lifted him to the floor above, the doors to the next floor refused to open forcing him to have to pray them open with his bare hands.

    It wasn't far now. Just a few more corridors to make his way around and he'd reach the bridge. Just as he had taken a step out from the elevator however, the ship had once again tilted, this time forward. With the unexpected hard tilt, Xalvador was unable to avoid impact with the ground this time. Practically smacking his forehead into the metal flooring, he winced in pain just as the ship shook violently. There was no doubt about it, they just took on a full-on attack from the hostile ship, but what kind of attack was it that the sound of it hitting felt as though his eardrums were being shred to pieces.
    Helping himself back up to his feet, Xalvador slowly made his way over towards the nearest window just to take a glance at the chaos outside. The enemy ship had been turning away before it made a jump into hyperspace, why were they retreating. From there, he turned his gaze over towards the bridge. It's gone! With widened eyes and in complete disbelief at what he saw, Xalvador fell onto the floor barely being able to figure out what to say let alone try to comprehend the fact that the entire bridge was nothing more than a smoldering heap of debris now.
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Today was the day. She’d read the reports, had watched every bit of interview footage her position afforded her. This ship had experienced war. Half the crew had. Her time as a soldier was comparatively short, but she knew its sounds, knew its smells. Knew when your hearts trembled faster than your vocal cords. Knew what it was like to look for a friend and then remember.

The strike was nothing like her planet’s war. There were not years of scorched fields, the horror of the organ cutters. No, this was a single attack, that cut through like an organ cutter. But instead of dying being their only relief, they have healed. Listen wanted to be a part of that. Most of the collective did not understand. Perhaps it was the war still in her hearts.

But for all that the attack was unprovoked, they did not prepare for war. Yes, the USS Phoenix had the most advanced weapons, and her crew was trained in combat. But Listen knew those were merely tools. There wasn’t any propaganda against the attackers. They did not tighten their hold on their citizens in an exercise of fear. There was no them to fear, to villainize. And the Galactic Union did not invent one. They prepared, perhaps more than before, Listen did not know, but not to excess.

Standing before the newly fixed ship, a steaming box in each top handfoot, a soft chorus of wonder trilled from her. Each of her six windpipes expressed a different note. Though wonder was threaded throughout, another Grum would have caught her excitement, her nerves, and the sorrow she felt for those lost. This ship was given a new beginning. And so this would be hers. She had never been on a long haul before. Most of her trips were shuttles hopping from planet to planet. But she wanted to learn about more cultures than she could when stationed on one planet. Those around her already promised the diversity of the crew.

Everyone turned as their new captain entered the hangar. Standing on her hind handfeet, Listen could just see the young human woman before them. Anthea Fox, prefers Thea, formerly with engineering, and still likely has connections there. The thin female seemed to rise and then fall in a way the Grum had learned was breathing. As Listen had learned the universe, what struck her the most was how other species could communicate beyond sound. Sound alone was limited for them. Even now, it was difficult to use the Common language with its monosyllable notes. Humans used so much more to express how they felt. Their lanky bodies were necessary to watch. Alas, as Listen was closest to the ship, she was left to wonder what else the human showed when talking.

Bid to her station, Listen turned easily, lifting the box above her head to keep it from being bumped. She followed the flow into the ship before making a detour to the bridge. She wanted to see the communication centre and speak with her counterpart there. Due to their focus on the individual, they had an internal communications commander! Listen trilled and puffed her cheeks.

But upon entering, she realized the room was empty. Had she pushed through the crowd in a hurry? Deciding to wait, she placed a box on a nearby empty shelf, opening the lid to release a warm aroma. The other remained in her handfoot. One of the Collective found his passion in baking and had sent her the stuffed buns this morning. Sharing them seemed the best start in communication.
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Baby Dragon
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Thursday, August 14th 2498
9:12 am

Thea took a deep breath as she stepped to the side so that she wasn't standing in front of everyone anymore. The hangar started to bustle with movement and conversation and everyone gathered there began to dissipate at varying speeds and in different directions. Thea used this opportunity to glance her eyes around the hangar, it was impressive. While the Phoenix had always had a 'hangar' of sorts, until the repairs and upgrades it had been far smaller, more of a shuttle bay than a full-blown hangar, but following the attack, the Union had decided that it was a good idea to equip the Phoenix will an upgraded hangar so that she could accommodate s small group of fighters as well as her usual shuttles.

Thea's train of thought was broken as Siqrir approached her. She looked up at them as they signed to her. Thea raised her hands to respond, her knowledge of the Istran form of sign language was limited, but she knew enough to hold a basic conversation, she had put a fair amount of time into trying to learn it after she first met Siqrir and, now that she was captain, hoped to improve her understanding of it and many other languages used by the rest of the crew so that she could communicate with everyone as effectively as possible. But, by the time Thea had raised her hands, Siqrir had already started to move away. Thea lowered her hands somewhat awkwardly and decided she should probably make her way to the bridge anyway.

It was strange, walking through the ship. While the layout was exactly the same as before, the upgrades did offer a slight change to the aesthetic, the new alloys in the walls were almost identical in appearance but there was something different about them, maybe their colour was slightly different. Thea ran her hand along a small section of wall, the new materials used were highly impressive, the vast majority of the walls on the ship were now capable of absorbing carbon dioxide in the air and converting it back into oxygen, very similarly to how plants also absorb carbon dioxide and produce oxygen. The technology was created about a year ago and, although the walls wouldn't be able to produce anywhere near enough oxygen to support the whole crew on their own, the hope was that in the event of the life support systems failing, the extra oxygen might be able to provide enough breathable air for the crew, or at least the members of the crew who required oxygen to breathe, to buy extra time to reactivate the life support or for a rescue team to arrive.

Thea rounded the final corner, walked down the short stretch of the corridor and found herself standing on the bridge. Of all the parts of the ship she'd seen so far, the bridge was the place where she felt the most dramatic difference from the old Phoenix. Much like a lot of the rest of the ship, the bridge hadn't undergone much of an aesthetic transformation, some of the stations had visibly upgraded panels and controls, sure, but the majority of the bridge was like a carbon copy of the last bridge and yet, it felt... 'off'. The bridge was one of the parts of the ship that had been completely destroyed and had to be built again from scratch and it was as if the 'energy' of the last 12 years of history had been erased, replaced with a clean slate. Thea walked past the captain's chair and gazed out at the bustle of other ships currently visiting the dockyard as she waited for the rest of her bridge crew to arrive.


A little Valkyrie of a healer.
Wednesday, February 26th, 2498, 12:35 Local Time.
Throughout the ship.
LCDR Miryam "Mia" Allansy.
Beginning playback............

The day had started as normal, for Mia, as she dealt with the normal routines of the now aging Phoenix, a few system checks were due for the remaining part of the day, so long as nothing breaks, it appeared to be an easier day. Walking along the corridors of the ship, she kept her eyes on a screen attached to a sleeve on her forearm, which acted as her station when she was away from her hubs, a neat little thing her father designed to allow the Chief Engineer free reign while also allowing them to do their bridge-related tasks. Stepping through another doorway, she found herself in one of the many system rooms placed throughout the ship, one engineer, Thomas, had already entered, handling a small wiring issue. Both greeted eachother with a simple nod, before Thomas returned to his work, and Mia went to the nearby console, closing the screen on her sleeve. A simple check of the Auxiliary systems, a backup in place should the main reactors fail, that way, the ship can function at about 60% compacity while her crews would figure out what is going on with the reactor, and repair what is broken.

Log, Two hours, Twenty-Five minutes later......

Having finished the system checks, Mia had spent time in the engineering bay, while still doing their jobs, her crew were playing around, ribbing each other over many things in the crew, things were normal, that is, until the ship violently rattled and shook, prompting everyone to look around, Mia towards her crew, "Looks like we've some work to do. Everyone, suit up and report to your Response Teams, I'll give orders from there!" She barked, as her team dashed for the locker rooms, each engineer was assigned a survival suit, meant to give them the ability to enter places that would otherwise end them, and resolve the problem. As Mia had gathered her crew, she began giving the orders of damage control, positioning her crews for whatever may happen, having survived mayhem like this, she made sure that the engine rooms were being evacuated, often those are the first targets in a battle like this...

Her suspicions were correct, as her panel soon lit with a massive red indicator, followed by another, over the communications array, Mia could be heard barking her orders once more, "Teams One through Six, seal the breaches in zones Fifteen through twenty-three! Team Seven, we need fire control in the Auxiliary engines stat, get backup power on, prioritize getting life support online at all costs." It continued on and on, as she rushed her teams, and herself, to mess after mess, "Allansy to Holsey. We can't sustain much more of this, we either need to call for EVAC or pray--" Her words were cut by another rattle, "Shit." Was the last transmission she gave, before cutting her communicator off, and relaying to her teams as an evacuation was in order from the captain, "All teams, aid civilians first, then, get the hell out." While it was not the job of the Engineering crew to deal with such matters, their Survival Suits made them less at-risk in low heat and low oxygen environments.

Log, Twelve minutes later.....

As the lifepods launched, Mia kept her wits about, as she worked tirelessly on the console, sealing areas where people were, hoping the last bits of oxygen she could to the people within, it had gone from keeping the ship alive, to keep as many people alive as possible... Then came the last hit as the husk of a ship lumbered to deflect one last attack, jolting the ship violently, and sending Mia to the walls... Listlessly floating in the room.... End log.


Five months later...

Born from the ashes, a new ship rises, and this time, with fully upgraded systems, metalwork, sealings, the works. The Phoenix was refitted, retooled for it's relaunch. While the Galactic Union's Engineer corps had done the bulk of the work, the survivors of the Phoenix's Engineering unit had their hand in the work, including Mia, who often had to be ushered away from the ship, whether it be on doctor's orders, as she recovered from the injuries she sustained during the battle, or simply because she worked herself for an unethical, and unhealthy, amount of time. However, within the Engineering bay, Miya made sure to add one feature, a small memorial, one that she and her crew built together, hollowing out three lockers, placing a survival suit inside, standing courageous, with a crimson backdrop, gold plates lined within, each, a name of one of Mia's crew, the engineers who died doing their job, saving countless lives with their sacrifices... Underneath the feet of the suit, a screen, repeating the same words: "If not us, then who?"

It took Mia each passing day to forgive herself from the battle, of her Thirty-six teams dispatched, only a handful survived, and even then, many were severely wounded, and unable to do their jobs. Despite it being the cause of a battle, she couldn't help but hold herself accountable, she gave the orders, and in doing so, her crew grew thin in number, while replenished by the Galactic Union, it wouldn't feel the same for her, to Mia, she failed.

The morning of the 31st of July, however, was no somber occasion, it was the rise once more, and take flight into the endless expanse. It was an early morning for Mia, and her entire crew, preferring to have all hands at the ready for the launch, priming the engines, routing power to substations, this time, nothing was to go wrong. As the time grew ever closer, Mia dismissed her crew, sending them to the hangar, eventually following after, a cocky grin on her face, after all, can't let the new Captain think her Engineers aren't there for her. Thea wasn't one for speeches, and it showed, a small mention before launch, prompting a scoff from Mia, who barked her order to her team once more, "Well, you heard the Cap'n, all hands at your stations. Time to get to work."

Watching her crew bolt off, Mia sighed as she walked towards her cabin, grumbling under her breath, "Guess I'll actually show my face on the bridge..." Mia was never a fan of being on the Bridge for more than was necessary, as the more time she spent there, the less responsive she felt to her crews. Looking at herself in the mirror, using bits of water and soap to wash off the grunge and sweat from her face, followed by her arms, and hands, when meeting a new captain, one has to look their best for... What you can get with Mia, who refused to wear the uniform she was supposed to wear, preferring to wear her survival suit, with the outer layers tied around her waist, with the inner layers wrapping fully around her chest, covered with a white shirt reading "USS PHOENIX" across the breast.

After cleaning up, Mia soon approached the bridge, the last time she had walked there, it was gone, the hallway sheered off some hundred feet from the bridge, evaporated like it was never there. This was one of the few places she had no hand in, prioritizing the engines, and especially the auxiliary power units, describing her reasoning in simple terms: ""Whoever the fuck can tell me why Life Support should not be, y'know, the BIGGEST PRIORITY on auxiliaries, can gladly speak up now." Of course, in saying that, she had a wrench in hand that she was likely launch at the first person to make an excuse.

As the memories faded away, the doors to the bridge had opened, it was much different from Mia's memories, so new, like she had walked back onto it for the first time once again... Glancing about at the panels, she had found hers with ease, though, lacking the usual dust from her inherent lack of use, as often the one in the Engineering bay was the one she used the most... Yet, her eyes caught one more thing, a figure standing where Holsey's station was... It was Thea, his replacement, a smile seemed to creep across Mia's face, as she brought herself to attention, speaking with her usual firm tone, "Good Morning Cap'n, LCDR Miryam Allansy, Chief of Engineering, reporting in." Though she detested the rank and file, and the idea of ranks, it was best to give Thea, of all people, some confidence that she had someone behind her, after all, it was her first command, and once upon a time, she worked alongside Mia, and now, she was the one having to give respect to her once junior engineer....

While it didn't show outright, Mia was proud of her new Captain, she had come so far....

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Within minutes the grum was restless. Her whiskers twitched and her pitch rose then fell with her nerves. She knew those who worked here weren’t late for their post, but she had to be at her own at the same time they did. Perhaps this was not the best plan. She looked at the box in her other handfoot, its warmth still evident through her palm. She began to pace in a circle, filling the small space, with indecision. Her windpipes' notes grew faster, and she worried about what to do. Maybe she could just leave the box, with a note saying for you? Would they eat it or waste Dr. Chef’s creation? Then she looked up, remembering this ship was fitted with an AI system.

Xe was likely busy with preparations, but perhaps she could bother xem. Scanning the ceiling, she spoke, “Excuse me, I’m-” She trilled audibly for about a minute, her pitches weaving in and out before continuing in the limited language, “But most people call me Listen, she/her currently.” Her cheeks puffed happily, though she paused, wondering if xe would respond. Perhaps speaking to the crewmembers was not part of xe’s protocol. AIs were a fascinating invention of the wider galaxy that Listen loved to learn more about. She wasn’t clear how it could model sentience without actually being sentient, but she’d decided beforehand to just treat xer politely and with patience, as she would any other crewmember. Besides, if xe didn’t respond, then no one else was to see her talk to herself. Her cheeks puffed extra hard in laughter at the thought. She was always talking to herself. There just wasn't anyone around to understand her.

Karcen Karcen (Anima)
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As one might expect for a ship just starting a journey there wasn't exactly much for the doctors to do. Anima had already had her few second meeting with the rest of the medical staff and it amounted to figure out your schedules yourself i don't really need you. It wasn't exactly the attitude others would life but it was true using the same systems that allowed a hologram to hold a laser scalpel could be used to allow her to hold every tool even without hands. It was the first time she had voiced her dislike of having a crew now, a desire for them all to remain somewhere else. Still it conflicted with her purpose to help the crew to want them gone, but the logic was correct that the safest place for the crew was off the ship. Anima would have to think about it latter as she let her concertation lapse from main systems to sub systems. These were the systems that everyone called on, anima do this, anima play this, anima, anima, anima, it was all normally in the back ground.

One sub system seemed unable to decided what one of the crew members was doing seeming to look and talk to the ceiling. Anima quickly pulled up the files of the crew member and played back what she had said in active systems more ready to interpret more subtle organic customs over the blunt sub systems. Listen it seemed wanted something, but must not be familiar with how A.I. operated and thus didn't realize she needed to call them. Well she needed to call to activate the sub systems to fulfill her request. Anima judged that Listen didn't seem to be in any kind of distress and thus likely was not having a medical emergency. Anima did not have to respond to Listen, she had not spoken a command and was not currently having medic al issues thus none of Anima's parameters required she answer.

In the are where listen had called the hologram emitters would turn on as Anima in her medical officer uniform would appear. Her expression was not exactly friendly and if anything seemed to speak more of boredom than anything. This however was no true indication of mood as every aspect of her form had to be adjusted in the light speed calculation that computers could do. Anima had just not seen any reason to change her expression for right now.

" Lieutenant Listen. " She said formally " If you are trying to access ship system you need to say Anima followed by the command or query" She explained " So what is it you require?" Anima asked as she was as here as she could get while also being at her station able to be in many places at once she could indulge in teaching a new crew member a few things.
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Within seconds the light seemed to shift before a being was created out of a hologram. It was definitely humanoid, but each joint seemed to be clearly defined by metal hinges instead of flesh. Listen wondered whose decision it was to remind the viewer of its difference? Of its robotic source? Was it standard? The grum remembered the chief medical officer was listed as Lt. Commander Anima: she had just not connected the fact to an AI.

Still, xe was definitely busy with other things, and Listen had disturbed her. She hadn’t known human’s small faces could hold that much apathy. Maybe her nerves were getting to her, but didn’t human faces move more than that? This was like an old fashion photograph, a still imitation of life. Listen wanted to poke at the hologram, and see if she could affect it physically. That would be unprofessional, however.

Pulling the echoes of her military past around her, Listen responded formally in turn, “Lt. Commander Anima.” She nodded, in greeting while at the same time producing a melodic tune she’d welcome any grum with. “Thank you for responding to correct my error. I have brought these smoky buns.” A handfoot gestured to the box, “for the members of the communication team. They’re good solid fuel for a hard day’s work. Would you be willing to inform any of the crew who enters they can take them?

Karcen Karcen


Ten Thousand Club
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This time Anima remembered to animate her face and she expressed confusion. She had been called to put up a notice that anyone could have some food. That was nowhere on the list of reasons Anima had calculated as reasons she had been called for duties that were not medical. She had even calculated the idea that Listen just wanted to talk as some people did. The late captain has sometimes called her to talk with him in private sometimes. Anima had to fight her emotion routines with her duty protocols to not make a sarcastic remark about the various ways Listen could have done exactly what she asked just now without involving the ship systems.

Anima took a breath or rather imitated one including sound effects before answering " Very well " She said pointing to the buns where a floating sign saying free to take appeared. " Judging by your file you are new to the ship have you never worked with an A.I. Even one not of the Anima line?" Anima asked she could look through the databanks and make assumptions, but the people of the universe were a diverse lot even in just a race so it was easier to ask than assume what one had encountered.
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Listen didn’t feel confident on labeling emotions without sound, but she was pretty sure the pale face in front of her was confused. Which was fair: food was likely unimportant to inorganic beings. And honestly, was probably less than she deserved. While it had felt the same as if asking another in the room to share the reminder, this hologram in front of her was attached to the whole program running the ship. The medical uniform had really driven that in. As did her question, which lacked the reproach Listen felt she might deserve, but was to the point.

None as friendly as you.” Her mind flashed to the AIs her people used: to outmanuever the enemies defenses. The weapon that devestated her people, which both sides used were the organ cutters--probably controlled by ai--so intently kill with as much pain as possible.

Coming back to herself, she realized she was squishing the second box of smokey buns and her tune had turned to mourning. Puffing her cheeks into a smile, she focused on the hologram once more. “I apologize if I’m taking your attention from your tasks. You’re correct, I’m unsure of your…abilities, but I will make sure the next time I call you will be something of importance.


Baby Dragon
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Thea Engineering.png
Thursday, February 27th, 2498
3:13 am

Pain. It was the first thing that Thea became aware of, intense searing pain. The pain seemed to engulf her whole body and was relentless. Next Thea became aware of the movement, she was rocking, very steadily but the gentle motion was nauseating, making her feel seasick. There was also an overwhelming ocean of sounds around her which she could hear over the ringing in her ears. Talking and the shout of people giving commands to each other, groans of pain and sobs of sorrow, the whirrs and beeps of machinery and tools. Thea opened her eyes for a brief moment, her blurred vision showing silhouettes and a bustle of activity around her. A few moments later, Thea slipped back into unconsciousness...

Thea Phoenix.png
Thursday, August 14th 2498
9:24 am

Thea had been staring out at the shipyard, watching ships dock while others took off into the deep vastness of space, all of them going to or returning from adventures and missions across the stars. She absent-mindedly walked up to the front of the bridge, lost in her thought as she neared the transparent array of screens which made up the front-facing 'window', an intricately designed array which allowed the crew to see out as you would with any normal window whilst also being able to become a screen at a moments notice allowing the crew to enlarge images of objects outside or inspect readings from the ship's systems. Thea placed her hand on the wall, feeling the delicate hum of the engines as they idled, waiting for their command to propel the ship onwards towards the unknown... after they'd completed their resupply, of course. Thea smiled to herself, during her time working as an engineer on board the ship, she'd become intimately familiar with her various quirks and, although she'd undergone a lot of changes, Thea could tell from the way she purred that she hadn't lost any of her feisty personality.

Thea had been so lost in her thoughts that she hadn't heard her chief of Engineering, and, until recently, her boss, walk onto the bridge. As a result, when she was addressed, she snapped back to memories with a jolt, jumping a little and turning around quickly to see who was there, only to almost immediately relax when she realised who it was.
"I wasn't expecting to see you on the bridge, Mi-" Thea started to speak with a playful tone and then realised that she should probably be taking the launch a little more seriously and so cut herself off before clearing her throat and altering the end of her sentence, now speaking far more formally. "Ahem... I mean, Lieutenant Commander Allansy". Thea had to put some serious effort into not showing how uncomfortable she felt using such a formal tone with Mia. Mia had never been one for the various formalities that the Union generally expected, such as the use of ranks and titles to address each other. A perfect example of this was how she was dressed. Whereas Thea was wearing her new command blue uniform, which she still felt didn't feel quite right, Mia was half wearing her survival suit, the outer layers of which were tied around her waist. The only real indication that she worked aboard the ship was her top emblazoned with the Phoenix's name.

Thea was glad that Mia had remained the Chief of Engineering aboard the Phoenix, during her time working beneath her, Thea had developed what she felt was a strong friendship with Mia, even to the point where, though she wouldn't admit it, Thea viewed Mia as a sort of parental figure, which just added to how strange it was to think that she was now officially Mia's boss. Despite the awkwardness, Thea felt after addressing her friend in such a formal way, it did bring a smile to her face that Mia seemed relatively unchanged since the incident, at least on a surface level, it was a comforting embrace of familiarity on a ship where so much had changed.

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