Uss Vindicator

Previous Next

SD 242303.05 | CEO LtCmdr Ava Lee | "Bumpy Ride" Part 1

Posted on Mon Mar 6th, 2023 @ 4:08am by Lieutenant Commander Ava Lee

1,030 words; about a 5 minute read

Mission: Genesis
Location: En route to Cold Station Theta

=/\= USS Mughi-B =/\=

Suppose the lump in the thin mattress wasn't keeping her up in that case, the walls echoing the snoring of the navigation officer in the quarters next to her was vying for the sleep stealer award. Ava rubbed her face with her fingertips, doubling up on massaging over her brow. Her eyes were scratchy from lack of rest.

To get to her new duty station as fast as possible, she had elected to take a spot on a cargo hauler. As she rolled off the uncomfortable bunk, putting her bare feet on the cool, uncarpeted floor, Ava was regretting her decision to save time.

Her neighbor to the left let out a large gasp and snort and seemed to wake himself up. She could hear him shift the bed, tossing to another side and resettling. These cargo ships were not made for the comfort of their small crews, definitely not designed to carry passengers. It really was a marvel just how efficient they were at squeezing every centimeter of space available for the goods they carried.

Ava pulled her socks and boots on, not because she planned to leave the quarters but because the uninsulated floor was chilling her to the bones. There was a vibration in this ship that, as an engineer, unsettled her. She wasn't used to the layout of the cargo carrier so its little quirks were unknown to her. She had tried to strike up a conversation with this ship's gearhead but had offended him in asking about the vibration she felt.

Her quarters here, just an empty officer's berth on a ship of only 20 or so officers and crew, were smaller than she had ever had at the academy or any station since. However, it was adequate space, a single-sized bed, a desk with terminal access, a sink, a mirror, and some under bunk storage and built-in cabinets. There was a shared latrine down the corridor, another anomaly she had not experienced previously. The galley for replicating food and getting some caffeine, though had not really come as a surprise.

Ava rolled her head around her neck, feeling a few satisfying pops and cracks of the release of tension stored there. With long, agile fingers, she combed through her hair, and with practiced ease, she pulled her long brown hair into a twisted bun, only missing a tendril or two at her nape.

She left the quarters, shuffling tiredly to the galley at the opposite end of the corridor from the latrine, "Thank gawd, they got that right." She muttered her thought out loud to herself, barely a whisper to anyone near, as she was apt to do. She ordered a cup of strong black tea with a splash of milk and a drizzle of honey, a mix of earl gray and a citrus flavored black from her colony home of Nillus. It was something she programmed into any system no matter how long she would be onboard.

Taking the warm mug back to her quarters, she heard before reaching the door that her neighbor had resumed his nightly song. The induction of caffeine she as about to consume though was her surrender to any further sleep this night. Ava moved her athletic agile frame to the desk and had the terminal produce the projection of a keyboard, standard 88 keys onto the desktop, stretching her fingers out, using her thumbs to grab each digit by the top and pop them in satisfying relief.

Ava asked, "Computer, what is our eta for arrival?"

The cool female voice replied with stark accuracy, "At current heading and speed, six hours, twenty-three minutes, and seven seconds."

Her fingers found the keys projected on the desktop and started to play a few riffs, getting used to the feeling of the flat surface that provided no feedback. A projected keyboard wasn't ideal; she preferred sitting at a real piano, but it was the best she had right now. Ava skirted over pieces of songs before deciding on something that seemed very fitting for her current situation. "Bed of Blues."

She closed her eyes as her body swayed to the music she was producing, "Computer play guitar along with me." She requested, her boots tapping along the ground as the bass drum. She sang softly at first, aware of the thin walls and how easily the sound traveled in the small crew quarter area of the ship. Her voice was barely a whisper, and the music was turned down low. Ava hoped the volume she was limiting herself to wasn't seeping out of her small space, but it was enough to block out the snoring and the strange noises of the cargo ship. She completed the song and started it over again, her voice rising up as she got into it, the song taking over her voice, a sultry, rasping voice releasing louder, "Well I tossed, and I turned. I'll say dont torment my head, even when I fall asleep, dreams bring everything I dread... And I can't count, no I can't count, all the tears I shed..."

A thumping noise, not in rhythm with the tapping of her boot against the floor brought her out of her music trance, and her hands lifted off the keyboard, the computer stopping its guitar riff.

The pounding was at her door, "Commander Lee!" They called out, and at first she was mortified that she'd gotten too loud and had woken up those sleeping around her. But the lights in her quarters flickered and she heard it first; the ship had stopped, a glanced out the small port hole windows confirmed. "

She came to the door, letting it slide open to a mustard-shirted crew member looking a bit out of sorts, flushed red, his freckles on his normally pale face almost hidden from the flush. "Commander Pinchard asked if you could come to assist, something with a relay."

She was already under her bunk, grabbing her portable kit, "On my way." Ava reported, checking the contents of her kit and smirking, happy to have something to dig her hands into at least.


Lieutenant Commander Ava Lee
Chief Engineer


Previous Next

RSS Feed RSS Feed