* Twelve *
Captain Celane led the way into the octagon shaped corridor and across to the bridge while Tori Buckingham and Admiral Jackson followed on her heels. One of the three oval doors parted to the main bridge and Sathrana, Tori and Robert entered onto the outer ring section. Sathrana made way to her chair on the rotating command section and Jackson nudged the nervous Buckingham down a few steps to stand in the inner ring section of the bridge, where she could face the main view screen.
Donald April hadn't arrived on the bridge as of yet, but Alexander Scott was in his seat, at the engineering station. Laura Andrews was in her seat, at the communications station. Bohemeah Javreen was in his seat, at the helm operations station. Aleta Soltari was in her seat, at the navigation's controller station. Tori Buckingham gazed about the vast area of the huge bridge on the alien ship and Donald April exited the turbo lift elevator and took his seat, at the sciences and main computer station.
"We ... really are ... in the orbit of ... the planet Mars." Tori uttered as shivers ran up and down her spine.
"Yes, Tori, we really are in the orbit of Mars." Jackson replied as her eyes bore into the main view screen between the engineering station and the environmental control station. Four smaller screens above the outer ring stations showed different views of the ship as it spun around in its four mile long titanium space dock bay stationed in the orbit of the red planet.
"Damn what a trip." she uttered. "And I don't even remember it."
"This is Captain Sathrana Celane, commanding the United Galactic Consortium Starship, Dorion Adriakar, to all crew and personnel." the captain's voice echoed throughout the ship.
"We'll be departing the Terran solar system in ten minutes and will be setting course for the Glammadren solar system to rendezvous with the Kalaketvia Tawn. All outer view ports will be closed and sealed shut in eight minutes," she said as she glared hatefully at Tori.
"I've got to sit down." Tori said as she walked over and took a seat at the weapons and defense station D, while Robert Jackson stood next to her and watched the central command station rotate around until the captain, helmsman and navigator faced the main view screen.
"This is Space Dock Control to the Orion." said a voice over the com system speakers. "Retracting forward and aft, central core gangways and docking rings."
"Hold us steady, Lieutenant Javreen." the captain ordered as she looked down over the helm station.
"Helm responding, Captain." the Lieutenant said as his fingers danced magically over the console in front of him.
"Gangways and docking rings released. We are holding steady." Boh Javreen relayed the information to his captain as they watched the forward gangway which held the outer docking ring, swing away from the ship while all the grid lights began shutting down, one by one.
"Central Core entry air locks are shut, sealed and secured, Captain. External running beacons are on." Javreen said from his station.
"Secondary engines are on line and ready." he added as he turned in his seat.
"Secondary at zero point two five, Lieutenant." the captain ordered as she turned to face the admiral and smiled before swinging back around in her chair.
"All ahead at zero point two five, Captain." said Javreen as his hands moved expertly over his console once more.
The Orion crept slowly out of her docking bay, in it's own orbit of Mars, as everyone on the bridge kept watch on their view screens.
"Engage all deflectors." Celane ordered as her ship cleared itself of the gargantuan space dock.
"All deflectors are on line and functioning at the norms." Alex Scott responded.
"Take us out of orbit, at zero point seven five, Lieutenant Javreen." the captain said as Davadra Adriakar entered onto the bridge and ventured over to stand beside the admiral.
"I've a ... how do you Terrans say it on Earth ... a bone ... to pick with you, Admiral." she told him as she grabbed him by the right arm. "But for now, it can wait."
"That bone that you have to pick with me wouldn't just so happen to be sitting here on the bridge with us, now would it? the admiral asked her as he detached Davadra's death grip on his right arm with his left hand.
"What do you think of her, Robert?" Davadra asked.
"The refit really does her---
"Not the ship, Robert," Davadra replied. "I mean---
"Well, Tori may be a little rough around the---
"Not her, Robert," Davadra said, interrupting him once again. "I mean---
"I think I'm going to be sick." Buckingham said aloud as she began heaving her cookies on to the bridge decking, interrupting Davadra this time.
"She'll make a fine captain aboard the---
"I don't mean Sathrana Celane, Robert, I'm talking ... about our daughter!" she said angrily, interrupting him yet again.
"You Terran imbecile!" stormed Sathrana as she spun around in her seat to see the mess that Tori had made.
"Later on in years ... she'll make a fine ... ah ... I haven't had that much ... ah ... time ... with her to ... ah ... rightly say," Jackson stuttered the words out to her.
"She favors you ... a ... lot though ... however." he ended in telling her as he stood between one mad Talmurran female star ship captain and a sick Terran female that wasn't feeling so hot right now.
"Do you really think so?" she asked and watched amazingly, as Robert Jackson nodded his head yes in answer to her question while holding Sathrana at bay with his right hand.
"Captain, we're clear of the asteroid field." Commander April said as he turned in his seat to face her, but not before having noticed a slight shimmer on his scanner.
"All ahead phase one until we're out of the Terran system, then set and lock in course for the Glammadren system, Lieutenant Javreen." Captain Celane ordered as her eyes gazed about her bridge, before retaking her center seat, and forgetting about Tori for the moment.
"All ahead phase one, Captain." Javreen replied as the helm responded.