The emerald orb in all its luster twisted below the tiny shuttle. Thin sheets of cloud stretched windblown across the horizon as amber dots of city lights speckled on the dark continents. Ch'Rihan- Romulus as his compatriots called it was a far cry from Vulcan. How fortunate his ancestors must have felt when they stepped foot on such a bountiful planet after having lived on that hot and desolate rusty world. Khiy stared at it for a moment as his fingers tapped away on the pilot's console. The actual pilot sat in the auxiliary chair showing apparent dissatisfaction at having been relieved- but Khiy was oblivious to it. He pulled the shuttle into higher orbit and lined up with the Charon's docking bay.
"There are so many warbirds..." the demoted copilot casually chatted as his face pressed against one of the side windows. Eyes focused on the seemingly endless stream of massive winged ships that passed both above and below them.
"This is Romulus." Khiy stated plainly "I would be more concerned if there were no warbirds." The shuttle jolted- but it was expected. A thin blue stream of ambient light wrapped itself around the small shuttle. Like a hand the tractor beamed gently guided the vessel into the Charon's hangar bay and released it just above an empty landing alcove. Khiy released the shuttle's landing struts and set down.
As Khiy made his way down the small gangway he recognized a few faces among the many engineers and technicians filling the flight deck but none of them were senior staff. He had ordered the ship's Executive Officer to meet him in the observation lounge along with a few of the other senior personnel. Meeting him on the flight deck would have been a waste of time...
"Captain!" A caustically sharp and shrill voice echoed loudly through the flight deck towards him as a young woman approached "sorry to keep you waiting. I am Ensign Simone Akufe. I was sent by Commander Tyrax to guide you to the observation lounge. I hope your trip was well sir?"
"This will be unnecessary." Khiy stated plainly waiving the excited woman off as he walked past her towards the turbo lift.
"I'm sorry sir but I was ordered too..."
"Then I dismiss you from your orders." Khiy's tone was unintentionally caustic. He was tired- his eyes showed a hint of it but he kept most of it hidden. Although it was difficult to be pleasant in such a state. He waved his hand a second time as he stepped into the turbolift. The woman was wise not to follow. When the doors closed he sighed. The Charon was not where he wanted to be- but it didn't matter whether he wanted to be on the Charon or not- he didn't have much choice in the matter. Apparently Starfleet needed him.
He just didn't understand why.
[To be continued.]
Captain Shiarrael t'Rehu