“If things keep going this well, I think we can safely say the upgrades have worked as well as we intended.” announced Jen as he closed the tricorder he had in his hands.
Spinning on the stool he had sat on since entering main engineering, Commander Duncan looked over to his ops manager, “So we can take a break?”
Chuckling at the request from the first officer, the joined Trill nodded. “I can’t see why not. The first three exercises were a success, don’t you think Tremt?” He called over to the chief engineer.
Hunsen, who was going through a rollercoaster ride of mood swings, looked up from the warp core diagnosis table and nodded to Lieutenant Tierra, his assistant chief, before looking over to the others. During the exercise he had to do with multiple other situations, the daily rudimental errands of running a large engineering department, but he hadn’t kept a complete focus on the task at hand. Between Jen, Duncan and Tomaz they had taken over from the chief engineer, so without looking like he had completely abandoned the job, he walked over to where they were all working and looked over the results on the nearby wall monitor. Eventually nodding in agreement with Jen’s analysis, Hunsen looked at the others. “Yeah, we should keep them active for overnight, get them involved in other maintenance issues that aren’t part of the exercises. So real life problems and then review any issues with their programming tomorrow morning.”
“Sounds good to me,” Jen said as he typed away on the console before him to begin moving the EET out of their training modes, “while we’re at it, can I suggest we bring Penelope online ahead of our planned schedule? We can then run some low-level diagnostics on her matrix overnight. They may help us ahead of the work we plan to do on her tomorrow.”
Hunsen agreed with a nod and a small grumble of which solicited an exchange of looks between Tomaz, Duncan and Jen. Duncan rolled his eyes and then ordered the computer to activate their Emergency Command Hologram without transferring command codes.
Penelope fizzled into existence and gave a friendly smile to the first officer, “Commander Duncan, please state the nature of the current situation and command requirements.” She stated in her usual friendly tone. Her four gold pips then appeared on her uniform, all in one after the other. “I noticed you’ve not transferred command codes and I appear to be in stand-by mode.”
Duncan, who had spun around on his stool, nodded in confirmation to her statement. “That’s right, we are looking at how we upgrade your program and ensure that if we ever have to go through a situation like we’ve recently done with the Tkon Outpost that the possibilities of something damaging your program are limited, especially if the crew are incapciated or in stasis.”
“I understand.” She said as she looked at the others and back to the commander. “Do I need to do anything particularly?”
Tomaz answered on behalf of the first officer, “We’ve got some exercises planned for you to do in the morning but we wanted to activate your program now to run some diagnostics ahead of them. Until they’re complete you’re free to undertake any other work.”
Thanking the Barzan strategic operations officer, Penelope returned her attention back to Duncan, “Is there any other work you require my help with, commander?”
Thinking about it for a moment, Duncan hesitated and then shrugged his shoulders. “I’ve got to be honest with you Penelope, we’re currently in limbo.”
“In limbo?” She repeated. “Have we not been assigned any new orders from Starfleet?”
“We have but it’s taken us to a sector of space with no apparent sentient lifeforms or any interesting stellar bodies to get our teeth into. We’re currently mapping a class seventeen nebula.” Duncan informed her.
“Well, maybe I could take over at a bridge station or oversee the delta shift?” She offered.
Nodding to the idea, Duncan agreed for her to transfer herself to the bridge and after watching her fizzle out, he checked one more time to see if they could leave the work there for the day. Both Jen and Tomaz agreed while Hunsen snorted in response and made his way over to another station in engineering. Duncan gestured for them to leave while he followed his friend over.
“Tremt, what’s up?” Duncan asked in a low tone without anyone else hearing him.
“Nothing.” Hunsen replied as he continued to focus on his work.
“I may not be the ship’s counsellor anymore but I wouldn’t be a good first officer or a good friend if I didn’t know when you’re in one of your moods. You’ve gone from being moody, to jolly to moody so many times today I’ve lost count. What’s the problem?” Duncan asked one more time with a more assertive tone.
“Not all of us can run around the ship like a love-sick puppy, Max!” Hunsen commented back on and then left Duncan where he had been working, pacing over to another section in engineering.
Confused by that remark, Duncan followed his friend’s footsteps and remained quiet in his quest to get some clarity. “What the hell does that mean?”
“You know what that means.” Hunsen countered back with as he began working on another console. “I’m busy, so unless there’s anything else you need from me, commander?”
Now annoyed at his friend, Duncan decided he wasn’t going to accept that behaviour. “I want you to tell me what you meant by that comment and that’s an order. If you have something to say, then say it.”
Huffing slightly, like he had been all day, Hunsen answered him. “It’s just this damn mission, we’re the most sophisticated ship in the fleet and we’re out here mapping a dead sector while you’re poncing around like a teenager in love. It just annoys me that you’re not picking up on the mood of your crew, commander.”
Glaring at Hunsen, even more annoyed now, Duncan insisted they leave engineering and enter the private office that the chief engineer had to the side. As soon as they were in and the door was closed, Duncan crossed his arms against his chest. “Have you been reading my thoughts?” He questioned Hunsen. “Because I am certain it’s against Betazoid custom to read someone’s mind without their permission and I am sure that I’ve never given you carte blanche to do so. So spit it out now Trent, what the hell is going on with you today!”
Trent walked across the room and sighed out heavily. “Ever since our return from that goddamn mission to the Tkon Outpost you’ve kept me at arm’s length, and no, I’ve not had to read your mind to workout what is going on. Any room you’re in you’re projecting your feelings of being intimate with someone, it’s hard to not sense them through my empathic abilities. So you tell me, what’s going on?”
“Is that it?” Duncan questioned back, still not answering or revealing anything. “You’re pissed at me for not spending time with you and the fact the pace of our orders has changed?”
“You’re still not denying you’re seeing someone!” Hunsen threw back. “Who are they? Why you’ve not told me? We’re meant to be best friends, Max.”
Frustrated that his friend was annoyed at him for that one thing, Max groaned inwardly and then made the revelation. “Fine, yes I am seeing someone and I’ve not told you because I don’t want it becoming a ‘thing’ with everyone.” He admitted. “And yes the mission at the Tkon Outpost did change me, significantly. Waking up after Sha’varn had interfaced with the outpost’s controls, seeing everyone injured and unconscious caught me off guard. Everything happened so fast that it’s made me rethink everything. The fact we could have all been killed instantly has made me wonder if I made the right decisions, could I have done something differently and then it’s made me think more about my own life. Being the ship’s counsellor, rarely was I put in danger or a situation where I had other’s lives in my hand to consider, but now as first officer I am in that position. The whole mission with the Tkon made me realise how quickly I needed to change, but I was also certain I didn’t want to do this alone anymore. So yeah, I’m seeing someone and it’s making me happy, what’s wrong with that? And you know what, this break in doing a pretty boring job isn’t a bad thing for any of us. Starfleet has had us on the ‘go’ for sometime now. So if I have missed the current mood of my crew, it’s only because I think they all need a break from having to deal with Klingons attacking us, being sent to the other side of the galaxy and then dealing with an almost apocalyptic event on the galactic scale. Does that make me a bad first officer?
Shocked at the words that came out of his friend’s mouth, Hunsen just stood there and listened. “I’m sorry Max, I shouldn’t have shot off like that.” Hunsen took a breath. “You’re right, maybe we have been on the constant go then none of us know how to stop and unwind.”
“Tremt, I don’t want to fall out with you over any of this but I want to do this job as best as I can but I can’t have my private life spoiling my professional one. It’s tough enough trying to keep both of them separate right now, especially when I am trying to prove myself to the captain and to Tobi.”
“Tobi?” Hunsen repeated and then paused as he realised that Max had just slipped up. “You’re right with Tobi?”
Hoping the galaxy would open up and blow the ship to kingdom come right there, Max smacked the top of his head with his right hand. “Shit.” He muttered and then dropped his hand. His cheeks were flushed with red embarrassment. “You keep that quiet, you understand?” He begged as well as ordered at the same time.
Smirking at the news, Hunsen nodded. “I promise and I’m glad to hear he’s finally over his ex. Just don’t make it awkward.”
“I’m a constant professional, thank you very much.” Duncan replied. “So are we good?”
Nodding a couple of times, Hunsen calmed himself down. “Yeah we are, just remember you can offload with me anytime now, even if you have your own Imzadi who can offer that service and I’m sure others that I can’t!”
“Don’t be crude Tremt.” Duncan answered back and smiled at his friend. “And likewise for you. Make sure if anything becomes too much you share with your favourite first officer.”
“That’s going to be hard, Cambil left the ship.” Hunsen said with a wry smile.
Lightly punching his friend in the right shoulder for that comment, Duncan chuckled at his attempt at banter. “You’re such a jerk.” He looked at the door and then back to the chief engineer. “Seriously though, don’t mention this to anyone, especially Tobi.”
“Your secret is safe with me, plus I wouldn’t want to get on the bad side of your Imzadi when he hands out the roster.” Hunsen mocked back, his early demeanour quickly fading away.
Shaking his head at his friend’s taunting, Duncan turned around and left the office, relieved that the issues with Hunsen had been resolved.
Walking out of main engineering and heading towards somewhere to grab something to eat, Duncan did wonder if Hunsen wasn’t the only one who was finding the transition hard from their fast-paced missions to the current calm one they were engaged with. Did the crew need more R&R?
He tapped his combadge and called for Court. “Duncan to Court.” He said, remaining professional as he wasn’t certain who was in earshot at Court’s end. “Are you free right now?”
“I’m just heading to Lion Gate for a quick break, join me there?” Court replied over the intercom.
Smirking and confirming with a definite yes, Duncan tapped his combadge and made his way towards the small crew lounge, named after the main entrance to the Ancient Greek citadel of Mycenae. Some of the crew lounges that were in the ring section of the saucer section, were named after various locations that appeared in the epic poem based on the ship’s namesake. The Lion Gate was one of the smaller lounges, dedicated for the sole use of the senior staff. It had two tables that could fit four people around it, a pair of replicators at either end of the room and three curved settees to lounge in while looking out of the ship through the seven large bay windows. Captain McCallister had set up a dartboard on one of the walls along with several other games that could be used by anyone. On several occasions the senior staff would meet there for a poker night or at the end of a busy mission for a nightcap. So without a doubt on this occasion, there shouldn’t be anyone else in there to see either of them being there. Duncan was keen to tell Court about Hunsen finding out about them and get his thoughts on whether he was missing seeing how the crew were truly feeling right now.
“Computer save report and secure it, level nine clearance and above.” Reyas ordered, in between sips of her coffee, “have it uploaded and sent with the next data stream for Starfleet. Ensure it goes to Starfleet Intelligence and Starfleet Science.”
The computer beeped in acknowledgement and Reyas leant back in her chair. Taking the time to finish her final report that had numerous creation theories based on the records they gathered on the Belt of the Tkon Outreach. It had taken her weeks to compile all of the reports and ideas that had floated across the many scientists based on the ship. So many scientific debates had erupted after the Odyssey had repaired the outpost about the nature of the Belt. After they had been able to reset the Tkon outpost to bring it back online with the rest of the Vanishing Point network, several of the barriers they had originally crossed ceased to exist – the biggest one was the radioactive element of the mutara nebula they had to cross while in stasis. She had theorised that the Tkon Portal, which Professor Sha’varn had become, had control of the various barriers that existed within the Belt. The fact that Tkon had sophisticated technology which included the ability to move whole star systems, though she had no solid proof of their involvement in changing the properties of the nebula, she had theorised that the Tkon were able to manipulate a range of spatial bodies to create the Belt. Odyssey’s return trip had gone without a hiccup. It was a lot easier and quicker on the way out.
Now that all of the work had been done, she knew she had to get back on top of their current one. The tedious job of mapping a barren sector of space. Though there were various bodies within it, none of them could support life. Part of her was keen to explore without the worry of coming across a hostile race or having to deal with life or death situations, but it certainly was a change of pace for everyone.
Currently in the private confines of her office, just adjacent to the primary science lab, she looked out of the wide window that showed the starboard view of the ship. Currently she could see the class seventeen nebula they were scanning. It wasn’t exciting to look at. Part of her wondered whereabouts in it her husband was now. His idea of taking their son, Alfie, out for a ‘spin with the old man’ to do some important father-son bonding was one she was not entirely sure would work. She also knew that James was slightly restless at the fact the ship wasn’t flying off into another crisis; she had tried to assure him at the start of it that the change would be good for him and the crew. She was now regretting her words. The only thing it was good for was ensuring that the crew were truly trained on all areas of ship operations during a calm mission.
She had placed her entire science department on working on the mapping expeditionary of the sector. Launching shuttles, runabouts and probes from the ship had helped with their efforts, but she was finding it hard to be eager about the low-level of excitement of the scans that were being sent into them.
Her door chime went off and she looked over after telling her visitor to come in. Surprised by her guest, Reyas welcomed Lieutenant Commander T’Rani into the room. “T’Rani, this is an unexpected but welcome visit.”
“Thank you ma’am.” The Vulcan pilot said with a slight bow head. Her hands were firmly clasped behind her. “I hope I am not disturbing you.”
“Far from it, commander.” Reyas answered as she got up from behind her desk and gestured for T’Rani to join her on the curved sofa that sat under the window. “I just finished my last report about the Belt of the Tkon Outreach for Starfleet. I’m glad to see the back of it.”
“I believe you are not the only one who feels that way.” T’Rani remarked as she sat down.
“Can I get you a drink?” Reyas asked as she brought her mug over to the replicator. “Some Vulcan spice tea perhaps?”
“That would be agreeable, thank you.” T’Rani answered.
After grabbing herself another mug of fresh hot black coffee and T’Rani’s tea, Reyas joined her guest on the sofa after placing both drinks on the small rounded coffee table by their feet. “So, what do I owe the pleasure of this visit?”
T’Rani took a breath and leant forward to pick up her tea. She took two sips and then placed the cup back down. “It is of a personal nature, I would have spoken to the captain about it but with him off ship with your son and Commander Duncan is otherwise engaged with other matters, I felt more comfortable approaching you.” T’Rani said and then paused, realising she may have just insulted her superior. “That is not to say your work is less important than the captain’s or Commander Duncan’s-”
Raising her hand to stop T’Rani from worrying, Reyas assured the other woman she didn’t take offence. “It’s okay T’Rani, what is it you would like to discuss?”
“Since my husband’s death, I have found it difficult to rest. I have found myself feeling agitated and tensed during my duties.” T’Rani shared. “You may have noticed.”
“Only on a few occasions, but nothing that has compromised your abilities.” Reyas assured. “T’Rani, you lost your husband and before I hear that Vulcan’s do not feel anything for death, I’d like to remind you that I know that’s not the case. Are you worried about your performance?”
“No,” T’Rani instantly snapped back with. “That is to say, I feel I have been able to control my concerns a lot better now compared to when it happened. I believe that is because I have engaged in Vulcan neuropressure.”
Taking a sip from her coffee after being glad to hear that T’Rani wasn’t concerned about her performance, Reyas was impressed at how open the pilot was being with her. She had heard about the Vulcan ritual to assist with sleeping and relaxing. From what she knew it was quite an intimate act. “Well, I’m glad to hear that.”
“You need to be aware that Counsellor Samris has been assisting me with that.” T’Rani blurted out.
Almost choking on her coffee, Reyas had to quickly place it down before she spilt it over herself. “T’Rani, isn’t that a conflict of your patient confidentiality if he has been seeing you in a professional manner?”
“We had stopped my counseling session some time before we engaged with the neuropressure.” T’Rani explained, “however the intimacy we have shown has grown and I wish to inform you that we have had sexual relations and wish to make our relationship official.”
Stunned at what she had just heard, Reyas blinked several times as she kept her composure as calm as T’Rani had been when she had divulged such personal information. “And as second officer, you are informing me of this because?”
“I do not want it to affect our standing within the senior staff. We will of course remain professional on duty but Counsellor Samris and I believe it is logical to develop this relationship furthermore.” T’Rani responded, still remaining calm and not sharing anything but a neutral expression as she sat up right on the sofa.
“Very well, I take it that Samris is aware you have come to me with this?” Reyas said as she tried to relax in what she was sitting on.
Shaking her head once, T’Rani answered. “He was initially reluctant to do so, but I told him it would not be appropriate for us to seek a deeper relationship without fully disclosing it with our superiors. He then agreed with my point.”
Round one to T’Rani, Reyas said as she suppressed a smile. “Well thank you for sharing it. I assume you want me to inform the captain and Commander Duncan?”
“I believe Samris may have already shared some information on it with Commander Duncan when our relationship was purely sexual, but he has not updated him since.” T’Rani remarked. “I have no concerns with you sharing it with Commander Hunsen or Doctor Slyvexs either. Both of them are my superiors too.”
Wincing at the idea of her becoming a gossip, Reyas shook her head. “I don’t think it is my place to share it with everyone, perhaps just the captain and first officer.”
“Very well.” T’Rani said and she stood up. “Thank you for your time and the tea, commander.”
Reyas didn’t have much time to say anything else as T’Rani left shortly after thanking her. Watching as the pilot left her office, she smiled and was pleased that T’Rani was beginning to move on from the death of her husband. Perhaps Samris was the right person for her. She sure hoped so.
“Slowing us down to one quarter.” James announced as he piloted the Holmes towards the various gas pockets. “Do you want to start the scans?” He asked the question towards his son, who had turned the co-pilot chair so its back was facing his father.
Alfie had his feet up on the edge of the console, he had already kicked off his boots and had grabbed some earbuds so he could play the game on his PADD without his father telling him to turn it down. Along with that he was listening to some music really loud, so he didn’t hear his father.
Sighing heavily at his son, James wondered once again if he had made the right decision. “Alfie!” He shouted, a lot louder than before.
Hearing it slightly, Alfie pushed his feet against the side so his chair spun around and he faced his father. “Sorry, what was that?” He said, pulling his left earbud out.
“Alf, I asked if you could start the scan.” James said through gritted teeth.
“Yeah, sure.” Alfie said as he leant over and tapped on the sensor controls to begin the scans. “Sensor sweep underway.”
“Thank you.” James replied.
“You’re welcome.” Alfie said as he popped the earbud back in and turned his chair back around and returned to playing the game he had on his PADD.
Sighing heavily, James wondered if he should take drastic action and override the computer so Alfie couldn’t access any of his games. He was currently playing one that was based on the Earth-Romulan War. Hearing his son quietly cheer every small victory or groan when he lost was becoming irritating. Pushing his chair back, he got up. “Computer, activate auto-pilot and begin transmitting the sensor scans back to the Odyssey.”
“Acknowledged.” The computer answered back with.
Getting up, he walked out of the cockpit and towards the replicator. “Tea, hot.” He ordered. The computer already recognised his voice and knew his favourite, so there was no point adding anymore instructions. The hot beverage was created and he picked it out. Deciding to take a break from his son’s company, James moved into the aft compartment and headed towards the long table that sat in the middle of the room.
Sitting down, he began sipping on his drink and looked out of the nearest porthole, wondering if it would be easier to cut this trip now and head back. Alfie had barely said a thing to him since they had left. His enthusiasm for the mission seemed to have changed since they had gotten underway.
The doors to the aft compartment soon hissed open and Alfie walked in. “How come you’re out here?” He asked his father as he took the seat nearest to him while placing his entertainment devices down on the table.
“Just taking a break.” James answered as he sipped on his tea.
“From what?” Alfie asked. “It’s not as if this mission is strenuous, dad.”
“No and that’s the point, Alfie.” James said irritably while staring at his son.
The pin then dropped and Alfie realised what his father was insinuating with his glare and tone of voice. “I’m sorry dad. You wanted us to share this time together and I’ve spent most of the time playing games.”
“Yeah.” James confirmed, “I get it Alf, I’m not the cool young dad like I was when you were younger and you don’t want me to cramp your style. But all that said, I still want to be involved in your life and have times like this with you and your brothers.”
“I get it, dad.” Alfie said. “I’m sorry, you planned this trip so it was just us two without either Theo or Henri annoying us.”
Chuckling slightly, James shook his head. “That’s not the only reason, I wanted it to give you an opportunity to chat with me.”
“About what?” Alfie asked, curiously.
“Well your mother and I are worried. You don’t seem yourself recently, I just wanted to check in with you without anyone else around to interrupt us.” James admitted as leant into his son. “Normally you’re the first one to check in on me when you know things are going wrong, so it’s only fair I do it back.”
Leaning back in his chair and stretching his arm and hands behind the back of his head, Alfie took in a big breath and sighed outwards. “I suppose I have been a grump recently. I’m sorry if I’ve upset you or mom.”
“You’ve not upset us Alf, you’ve just made us worried. What’s going on?” He asked before taking another sip of his tea. “Something’s changed.”
Shrugging his shoulder and then wiping his face, Alfie soon opened up. “It’s just that things are different on the ship now.”
“Different, how?” James questioned his son.
Sighing again, Alfie spoke up. “Since Leeyum and Edon left.” He said referring to his former friends that were the sons of James’ ex-first officer. “I just don’t have any friends anymore, dad.”
“Really?” James checked. “There’s no-one?”
“I’m not like Henri who everyone loves because he is so good at sports, or the fact that everyone appears to fan around Theo once he plays a particular piece of music almost flawlessly.” Alfie stated. “Leeyum and Edon were the guys who I hung out most with, plus Uncle Tobi is always busy with Commander Duncan, there isn’t anyone else to hang with. Plus don’t take this the wrong way, but hanging out with your parents is only cool for some occasions.”
Chuckling at that last statement, James could understand Alfie’s predicament. “Firstly, I get it. I didn’t want to hang out with my folks when I was your age, but remember unlike your grandparents your mother and I do run a pretty cool starship.” James went on to list each response as he pointed to his fingers, counting each of the things he could do to help his son. “Secondly, I don’t expect you to follow in your brother’s footsteps. Whatever you want to do with your life is down to you. Again, unlike your grandparents, your mom and I will support you with whatever you want to do. Thirdly, I get that you miss Leeyum and Edon. I miss Bexa and Naprem too, but we can’t do anything about that I’m afraid, bud. Fourthly, I don’t understand why Tobi is always busy with Commander Duncan – he may be helping him settle in with his new job as first officer. I know they’ve been spending a lot of late nights together, sorting out all of the admin issues that came up from our recent mission with the Tkon, so I am sure he will be around more if you want him to.”
“Nah, I don’t want to cramp whatever he is getting up to.” Alfie said. “But thanks dad.” He paused again and looked at his dad. “There is one thing I have been considering and wasn’t sure when to speak to you and mom about it.”
Deep down, James was hoping that Alfie wasn’t about to share with him that he had fallen in love with someone and got them pregnant or that he was about to join a Klingon cult or something else that teenagers made their parents worry about. Remaining calm, James assured Alfie he could speak up. “Go on, share it now while it’s just us two. I’m sure your mom won’t mind not hearing it at the same time.”
“I want to follow in both of your footsteps,” Alfie started with. “I want to join Starfleet.”
James just starred beyond Alfie and soon he realised how his parents must have felt when he and his brothers had told them of their intention to join the service. “Oh, wow…well I wasn’t expecting that.” He said back after clearing his throat. “You want to go to Starfleet Academy?”
“Yeah.” Alfie nodded. “I mean, I know I can’t actually go to Starfleet Academy from where we are but others have attended it remotely, so there’s a precedent.”
“That’s true.” James agreed as he took another sip. He was wondering if he was ready to accept the idea of his son wanting to join Starfleet, let alone even considering the notion that Alfie was ready for it. “Going through Starfleet Academy is quite intense, Alf.”
“I know, but if both of my parents can do it then why can’t I?” He questioned.
“True,” James said, still not quite dealing with the whole idea himself. “What brought this all on, if you don’t mind me asking?”
“When the Klingons boarded Odyssey.” He admitted. “It was truly scary, seeing them trying to get into the classroom then seeing the others fight them off and then being told you and mom were injured. It just made me realise how sheltered my life has been.”
“You make it sound as if that’s a bad thing Alfie?” James said, a bit hurt that his son felt that he and Karyn had hid him away from so much.
Shaking his head after realising what he said and how his father could take it, Alfie re-explained himself. “That’s not what I meant dad, I mean I know I have had a privileged life on the Odyssey but the Odyssey is all I’ve known and again that’s no criticism to you or mom. I am truly proud of the work you both do, but I want to see and understand more beyond the hull of the Odyssey.”
Grinning, James understood exactly the urge that Alfie was sharing with him. “It makes perfect sense to me.” He assured his son. “It’s similar to what I had with your grandparents, you want to make your own mark on the universe. I get that, but can I give you some advice?”
“Don’t run until you’re ready to make your first steps.” James shared. “Being half-El-Aurian means you have a nice long life ahead of you so enjoy the moments that come your way. If you’re serious about wanting to join Starfleet then let me and your mom help you with it. We were Starfleet Academy instructors.”
“That sounds great, thanks dad.” Alfie responded with a smile.
“And we can just make it our thing, without your brothers too.” James stated, he placed his mug down. “Well, if you want to take your first step how about we start with a flying lesson followed by you getting familiar with this shuttle?”
“Are you serious, dad?” Alfie asked, a bit startled with his father’s suggestion.
“Absolutely.” James said as he got up from his chair. “Come on, it’s not as if you’re going to hit a planet in this nebula we’re in.”
James then led Alfie into the cockpit to start to see if following in his parents’ footsteps was something he truly wanted to do.