The trip from Earth had been rather, well, to be honest, boring. Hunter was left with little to do but entertain her thoughts, her questions. In her heart, she hoped that the sudden trip back home would be a positive one, but she knew her family. A visit back to the Byrne homestead was anything but positive. A trip home was friendly, but the tension in her family was rough. Her only regret, she didn’t get to see her father.
But now wasn’t the time to reflect on their family. Now she was heading off to her next assignment. Was she finally getting promoted or just transferred to another ship? She tried not to get her hopes up, but she knew it was already too late. As her shuttle docked with Starbase 72, she couldn’t help but look out the window and wonder if one of these ships would be hers. In the distance, she could see several Galaxy-class starships, a Sovereign, and even a Defiant. She let a smile cross her face as the pilot gave the go headed for departure. With a slight nod and a quick thank you to the pilot, Hunter headed to meet Commander Gilliam.
Despite the station’s size, it wasn’t going to take that long for the Lieutenant to navigate her way through the station. If she hadn’t been so occupied, she would have gone shopping. It wasn’t often that she was able to. However, she was focused, determined; there would be free time later. Making her way to the nearest turbolift, Hunter saw a figure standing near a large open window looking out over what appeared to be a Luna Class Starship. She stopped and turned, taking a good look at the man. He was dressed in a gold-trimmed uniform that seemed a bit out of place.
There was something oddly familiar about the man. “I knew it,” she shouted as she approached the man, standing behind him, “Nice ship,” she stated loudly.
The man gasped, apparently caught off guard, “Dear Lord Child,” he paused for a second. “Hunter Lynn,” he embraced the Lieutenant kissing her forehead. Taking his finger, he stepped back and traced her cheek, “You cut your hair,” he spun her around, “What on Earth..”
“Daddy,” she leaned forward, kissing his cheek, “Now spill it, why are you here?”
“Me, nothing, I’m just here checking out this fine ship,” Jason Byrne said, trying to sound innocent.
“Dad,” she demanded.
“Really dear,” he stated, “I was just walking through.”
“Walking through,” she retorted, “my arse.”
“Hunter Lynn Byrne,” he gave her a stern look, “Don’t talk like that to your father, young lady.”
“Young lady,” she said, “… I am not a little girl.”
Jason put a hand on his hip, “Excuse me,” he mocked, “But, you will always be my little girl.”
The two stood there for a minute, then embraced again. “I’ve missed you, Princess,” Jason smiled, “Sorry I couldn’t see you on Earth,” taking her arm he looked at her, “what’s this about you being currently unassigned?”
Hunter stopped in her tracks, “I knew it, and before you ask, it’s no.”
“Ask,” Jason looked at her, “I didn’t ask anything.”
“No,” she looked at him seriously, “I mean it, I don’t need your help. My next assignment will be of my own doing and not family interference.”
“Seriously,” he placed a hand on his chest as he faked surprise, “Hunter, how little you know me.”
Hunter looked at him, “blah blah blah, what’s the point of having a father if he can’t pull some favors for you. I’ve heard it all before. My answer was no back then, and it’s still no now. I am going to see Gilliam, get my assignment, and then you can take me out to dinner.”
“No buts Daddy,” Hunter took his arm once again, “now walk me to Commander Gilliams’ office.”
“That Galaxy-class,” he pointed, “needs a Chief Medical Officer.”
“No,” she replied, now he was just playing.
“There is an opening at the Academy,” he tried again.
“Seriously, old man, you keep this up, and I will have to have you held for a psych eval and medical checkup,” Hunter smiled without missing a beat, “Clearly, your mental status is questionable.”
“You wouldn’t dare,” Jason replied.
“You’re right,” Hunter laughed, “Mom’s scarier than you. I wouldn’t want to deal with her.” She turned to hug her father once more, “Wish me luck.”
“You don’t need it,” the older Byrne replied.
Hunter smiled as she turned to meet with Gilliam, “I love you, Daddy.”
Lieutenant Hunter Byrne, MD