True to Steve's word, the United Galactic Consortium of Inhabited Worlds had made some major improvements to the outside of the three mile long ship from bow to stern as she rotated in her titanium steel girdered dry dock that their shuttle slipped easily enough through. There were no port or starboard sides of the ship because for the most part, the Orion was cylindrical. An aft and forward gangway tunnel connected the Orion to the four-mile long bay via the Orion's central core air lock entry ports.
The Patricia Gayle along with many other shuttles slowed to match the speed of the Orion's rotation and looked as if they seemed to hover magically over their oval shaped docking bay doors, all along the three mile long starship's hull, between the twelve engine nacelle view deck pylons. Steve then rolled his shuttle over, or turned it upside down, and the huge solar paneled covered oval door slowly opened above them.
Shuttles from everywhere on the planet Earth now hovered over and under their individual docking bay doors all about the Orion's outer hull, and were either rolling over or turning upside down so that their bay doors were above them before being pulled up and into the ship.
Steven Davis held their shuttle steadily in place until a grappler arm attached itself to the top of their small craft and pulled it upwards and into the first of two air locks.
During this moment in time Davis began his shut down procedures.
The outer doors slowly closed and they continued upward into the second air lock. They hung suspended inside the lock until the middle set of doors slid shut beneath them before they ascended to the main shuttle deck.
While still hanging suspended, the last set of doors slid shut beneath their shuttle before the retractor arm settled them gently down onto the door itself, which then doubled as the deck flooring beneath their feet.
Unstrapping, David hurriedly opened the hatches while the others unstrapped from their seats and made their way down the shuttles ramp. He waited up for Steven Davis so that he could thump his head.
Robert Jackson walked slowly down the ramp to stand along side his family members and friends that had gathered about in the docking bay as they departed the shuttle. His eyes riveted on three people that stood at about six or so feet in front of the ramp that he had just stepped off of as other shuttles began settling down in the bays that were forward, aft and on either side of their own.
Davrina Adriakar who slightly favored Catherine Zeta Jones stood to the left side of the person in the middle and Sathrana Celane who slightly favored Sandra Bullock stood to the right side of the person in the middle who slightly favored Jane Seymour. It was the person in the middle, now handing him a language aid translator that he inserted into his left ear, who would speak with him first.
"Well, this had better be good," Robert Jackson said as his eyes gazed around the shuttle bay for the first time in thirteen years. "Now that everyone on Earth has been thrown into a worldwide panic, again." he said as the others came to semi attention.
"Permission to come aboard granted, Captain." said the one in the middle.
"The earpiece must be working, Davadra," Jackson informed her. "Or is it Admiral Adriakar now?" he asked stepping forward to take her right hand in greeting.
"Not entirely," she said whispering her answer into his ear so that only he would hear. "Welcome back aboard the Orion." Adriakar said as he shook her right hand. She stood there, along with her crewmates and friends, awaiting conformation from the bridge that all the shuttles had arrived safely aboard, before she would give her welcoming speech. As soon as she received the conformation and was completely satisfied that everyone had been given a language translator, she would begin.
"Davadra, Donald told me that Kalaketvia has died and that Valakadria wants to meet with us in the orbit of Glammadren, rather than Mars." Jackson told her as they all gathered together on the shuttle deck.
"Yes," Davadra answered. "But who ever spoke for her gave us no bonafied reason as to why, at that particular rendezvous point. And feeling that something just isn't right about the situation, I've recalled the Orion's entire crew complement back from Earth." She said as conformation from the bridge came through over her vid-com watch.
"You think that she's going to give us trouble or something?" Jackson asked.
"Anything's possible at this point in time." was all that Davadra replied before she walked over to the podium that had been erected for their arrival and stepped up to activate the vid-com system so that she could begin her welcome aboard speech.
"I want to welcome everyone aboard the Consortium starship Orion." she began while looking over the vast crowd of newcomers.
"Not all of you have been here before, and this marks your first trip in to space. There arises no need to fear the other extraterrestrial members of the crew aboard this vessel. You will all be led from here to your quarters by a personally appointed counselor that will be your guide and informer for the rest of your stay aboard the Orion. May it be a much shorter stay, this time around. None of you, and I may and will repeat myself," she said.
"None of you will be granted or given any liberties or freedom to traverse this vessel until you have been fully educated on your duties and responsibilities for which you have been brought aboard." she told the ones that stood before her and that heard her from shuttle bays all over the ship via the vid-com system as each word was being translated into their own language.
"For those of you that have been here before and have traveled in space, your quarters are as you left them thirteen of your earthen years ago. You also shall be assigned a personal counselor that will be your guide and informer for the rest of your stay aboard the Orion. All of you will be granted and given liberties and the freedom to traverse this ship as you have been brought up to date on your new duties and responsibilities for which you have been brought aboard," she continued to speak as they all listened.
"Before any of you leave the docking bay areas you will all pass by the entrance portals to receive a language aid translator calibration if neccessary, a transcribe, and a video communications chronograph. Upon entry your personal counselor will be awaiting to take you to your quarters. No visitations until you are further ordered. And once again, welcome aboard the starship Orion." the admiral informed them all before she deactivated the vid-com unit and stepped down and off of the podium.
"Captain, shall we?" she asked as she motioned for Robert Jackson to follow, before she turned and headed for the Orion's version of a customs checkpoint desk.
"Yo, Admiral Driakar. What about the rest of us?" David Jackson asked as he made his way across the deck, carrying his hearing aid translator in his right hand.
"Captain Jackson, after, and not one minute before, I find that your brother has inserted his translator, I will then speak with him," the admiral sighed as she turned back around.
"Tell Commander Jackson to insert his translator, get his transcribe, and vid-com watch, and I pray that the creator will be with his personal counselor," Davadra Adriakar told the elder Jackson.
"Please have him go with him or her to his quarters and hopfully they will remain there until further notice. I know that he doesn't understand me, Captain." she said pleading with Robert Jackson while slightly dipping her head and raising her eyebrows at David.
"Why, I understand you completely, Admiral Driakar," David Jackson answered. "I've learned to speak enough Delindrian gibberish to get me by." he told her to Robert's surprise and her own as he finally placed the translator in his left ear.
"That's ... that's good," Davadra replied. "I was ah ... hoping that ... you ah ... may have matured somewhat ah ... since your last tour of duty among us." she said at a loss for words before turning back around to face his brother Robert with a stunned look upon her face.
"Good Lord David!" Candy Simmons stormed. "Try not to tick her off again, like you did seventeen years ago." his sister said as she and her children followed behind David and Tiffany.
"Yes. Try and mind your manners for a change David." Darla Jackson told him as her husband Jim stood there on the shuttle deck laughing while Steven Davis gently massaged the bump on his head.
"Captain shall we, again?" she asked once more.
"I sure could go for a good strong cup of Delindrian coffee right now." Candy said before yawning, as she stood in line with the others.
"After you Admiral." Robert answered, shaking his head in disgust, as she led the way with her sister Davrina while Sathrana Celane followed close behind.
"We'll see you around a while later Dad," Amber Jackson told her father. "I've got to get out of these wet pants." she added as she, Eric, and Summer Dawn now stood in one of the many lines that had started up ahead of them so that they could receive their things.
"Yeah, later Dad." Eric said as he waved them on.
"See ya, Uncle Robert." Summer said as they all watched him wave back before he began following Davadra, Davrina and Sathrana.
"Yeah, see you Uncle Robert." Candy's children all said in unison.