As they stepped off the transport Pheny and her squadron seemed completely awestruck. This unknown ship looked and smelled like it just rolled out of the ship yard. Standing about four meters away from the boarding ramp was a tall somewhat heavyset man. He did not wear an Alliance uniform, but was clean cut nonetheless. Clean shaven with a full head of ice white hair parted to the left, intense blue eyes set apart slightly farther than most with a nose that fit in just right among his oval face. This was Tarvon Clarrington, Pheny’s Father. His voice sounded even deeper than it had over the communications system when he offered his greetings “Welcome aboard everyone!” He smiled widely as he wrapped Pheny into a stiff bear hug. If you will all follow me I’m sure you have many questions.”

Gleaming polished alloys were everywhere. Each crew station had the latest digiholo display with variable positioning so the crew could perform their duties seated or standing as they saw fit. Everything appeared to be cutting edge, from food replicators to toilets, this ship felt more luxurious than a warship should. The feeling of joyous discovery only intensified once they reached the bridge. A single pane of glass curved from port to starboard in a wide arc allowing a one hundred and eighty degree field of vision. A digiholo screen overlapped the interior of the glass displaying tactical readouts, system statuses, weapons readiness, even crew duty rosters. In the very middle of the room sat the commanders’ chair. Sitting on a riser about a foot off the deck, the commander could view everything in front of them without obstruction. All crew stations were positioned along the sides of the compartment, close enough to hear and respond to captains’ orders, but not in the way of their vision.

“So Dad, how long has this beauty been in development?” Pheny queried. Tarvon took a moment to look around the bridge and turned to Pheny replying, “Since the day the war started.” Pheny wasn’t surprised at all. The Joryan science consortium had constantly been attempting to update technology and experiment with new ones, but politicians always said there were no funds available. Suddenly, though, there was a war on and money crawled out of the woodwork. “So I take it Alliance Command didn’t think we could handle this with current tech?” was Pheny’ next question. A riotous burst of laughter erupted from Tarvon. After catching his breath a few moments later he put his hand on Pheny’ shoulder and began to explain. “Alliance Command was going to send you guys out to uncharted enemy territory in a rusty wheelbarrow if they could. There are some in command who wish this mission of yours to fail horribly so they can begin pushing a strategy of placation. Let the Volma keep what they have already taken call it even kind of thing.” Pheny bristled at the statement, and her fellow pilots didn’t look much happier about the revelation. Pheny’s Father continued, “However, there are still a few that will never lay down arms against an enemy that has taken citizens as slaves. Those few are the reason I give you this ship.” He raised one arm and swept it in a slow circle around the bridge. “I give you the The Trinity”. Pheny couldn’t help but give a small smile. Tarvon had always referred to his kids as “The Trinity” after Trayce was born.

As they walked through the ship Pheny couldn’t help but notice the efficiency the crew showed performing their duties. Normally with a new ship it would take a shakedown cruise of a year or more before a crew became this familiar with systems and procedures. It became obvious that this ship wasn’t just out of the shipyard. All the better to have a prepared crew for the coming mission Pheny admitted to herself. Tarvon led them through the ship almost as if he were a used starship salesman. Pointing out every major compartment and lauding its merits. The mess hall, the crew berths, the cannon batteries, everything seemed to excite Tarvon to no end. After about an hour of walking through the ship, Tarvon led them to deck nine. As the lift doors opened there were no lengthy corridors or bustling activity. Just a ten meter long corridor with a door at the end marked “Pilots Only”. Tarvon turned to the group and with a gleaming smile announced, “Now for surprise number one”

He pressed his palm to a plate next to the door and the door hissed open. On the other side appeared to be a lounge about as large as the bridge. Several comfortable looking couches sat around the room, digiholo displays on every wall, a food replicator in one corner and a three gaming tables interspersed. “Welcome to the flight deck.” Tarvon stated. Pheny, Solomon, Amie , and Priya had spent years on flight decks, and in pilots locker rooms but nothing compared to what lay before them. They slowly wandered around the room like children discovering their first playground. On the opposite end of the compartment from the entrance, a five meter wide corridor stretched further into the ship. On either side of this corridor were locker and shower rooms where the pilots can gear up for flight operations. At the end of the hallway was a large set of double doors. Amie was the first to approach these doors and upon sensing her proximity they slid open. Everyone snapped to attention when they heard Amie squeal with delight and exclaimed, ”NEW TOYS!!!!”

As the rest of the group hustled through the doorway, once again, shock and awe took over along with silence. What they witnessed before them was an eighty meter long hangar bay with six airlock doors. Sitting behind those doors sat six star fighters that none of them had ever seen before. Like the Trinity, each was painted a matte black, but the hulls of these fighters were highly unique. There were very few, if any flat panels. The ships seemed to undulate in waves from a rounded nose, to a seamless cockpit about a third of the way down. The ships girth increased after the cockpit, and several hatches could be seen along the side of the rounded “wings” but nothing protruded incongruously from the surface of these beauties. To the rear of the wings the bodies swept swiftly back to four large thrust openings. Pheny and Solomon were frozen in place taking it all in, Priya yawned and leaned up against the bulkhead, Amie, however, was already at full sprint heading for a ship that clearly had her name and call sign painted under the canopy seam, “Lieutenant Amie “Shoes” Ortiz”


About the author

Daniel Boguslawski

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