Above the shimmering asteroid belt, in the shadow of the swirling gas giant, a lone ship moved restlessly across the stellar sky. Slowly it passed out of the dark void, the light from the system star catching the hull, revealing the ships name, the FSS Eagle’s Flame, in black, a stark contrast to dull the white paint covering the hull. She was angular in shape, with a boxy underside. From above, she gave the illusion of rugged beauty, and from below the boxy underside demonstrated in contrast the utilitarian nature of the craft.
The bridge protruded from the rear of the hull, just ahead of the thrusters, centered to the shallow dropping sides. Angled upward, the hull rose to meet a canopy of glass, this was attached to the top of the bridge, which leveled off for about twenty meters then gracefully sloped back towards the two idling retangular thrusters. The ship in its entirety, measured over one hundred and fifty meters in length, was just over thirty meters tall, and at her widest point, measured over sixty meters. One of the dorsal thrusters emitted a small jet of flame for a fraction of a second, causing the ship to lazily roll, till it was inverted over the majestic rings. Another jet of flame arose out of an opposite thruster, compensating for the roll and halting the ship. Here the ship paused, waiting as a silent guardian.
Amidst the rings below, mining vessels of various sizes darted in and out, harvesting the valuable minerals hidden within. Amar watched the chaotic but peaceful scene from the bridge, hazel eyes straining for even the slightest abnormality. Slowly he walked around the deck checking the station, grav boots keeping him rooted to the perceived floor. There was no up or down here in space, he reminded himself, Just a matter of perspective. The bridge was divided into seemingly two decks, a command platform and the flight deck. These were only separated by three steps, which Amar wandered down, pausing to listen to the playful banter between the helmsman and the navigator.
“Megan, you should get out this next time in port.”
“Trevor, haven't we been over this?”
“Yes, but I promise I’ll be a perfect gentleman.”
“And what would that look like?”
“Well don’t expect Imperial nobility, I’m not that pompous, just a few drinks,” Helmsman Trevor Ithora pleaded, turning his head slightly as if trying to imitate a begging canine pet.
“Sure…” Megan Gladstone responded refusing to look at the pitiful face seated to her left.
“Wait, really?” he exclaimed slightly stunned, but before he could celebrate, Megan sharply cut the young man down to size with a temper to match her vibrant red hair. “You wish,” her words laced with mischief ruby lips turning upward into a mocking smirk.
Not willing to give up the young man continued, unaware that Amar was standing behind him grinning at the interaction. “Aww come on, just one drink.”
Suddenly another voice broke their conversation like a laser across the stillness of the void. “Ithora, give the pleasant lass a break, and for the love of all things get off the open coms! I can barely listen to my music as is.” Com Sergeant Erom Lobel said from his station on the command deck, before replacing his headset and becoming lost again to the melodies of the ancient artists. Amar casually glanced at his station to see what he was listening to, Tchaikovsky. He was impressed as always by the man's love for classical art.
“Wait, what? Uh Crap,” Trevor stammered, his face turning bright red, as he tried to find something new to busy himself with.
Megan chortled before saying, “Nice of you to clue the entire crew in, now that's karma.”
Amar rolled his eyes and chuckled, doing his best to spare the young man from anymore embarrassment. He allowed his mind to wander, eyes drifting between the innumerable points of light dotting the sky, before finally coming to rest on the beauty of the asteroid belt.
“Coffee?” a familiar voice said, causing him to jump. His grav boots temporarily disengaged, and he floated sharply upward. However, before his head connected with the bulkhead above, a strong grip grabbed his utility belt and “pulled him back to earth.” He breathed a sigh of relief as the boots engaged making the all to familiar dull sound while engaging. Without a word he turned and accepted the mug from the man who had just startled him “Anything new?” his lifelong friend and the ships vice-commander inquired.
“Nothing yet Jansen. It’s shaping up to be a quiet day, provided you don't jump me into any bulkheads today.” amar never really had a sense of humor at least never when he tried. He always came off as too serious, no one could ever tell if he was joking.
Jansen nodded, “that will be a relief, maybe we can clock out early.” He ignored the commander’s attempt at humor.
Amar went back to staring at the belt. “Heaven knows, I could use an early night for a change.”
“I think we all could,” Jansen added, stepping beside him.
“Once we make port we should probably…”
“Excuse me commander, priority holocall for you,” Sergeant Lobel interrupted.
Amar paused, slightly annoyed at the inconvenience of not finishing a thought. Composing himself, he replied, “Thank you Erom, I’ll take it in the conference room.” Sighing, he handed the mug back to his friend, “VC DeWilder, you have the con.” Amar then turned and stepped back towards the double door leading to the rest of the ship. Passing beneath the threshold, he wondered what the message would bring.