Proteus – 3

He knew his sister Fadheela would carry on the family traditions and honour his father’s memory. He had abandoned his family; left the Earth, possibly forever, but this sacrifice would be worth it in the end. Yash would write his name in the stars, forever a part of this historic expedition to explore a new world. He saw the pride in his mother’s eyes when he said his final farewell. She had said to him, “Your father would be so proud of you.”

Now he was billions of kilometers from home, and the eyes looking back at him were not proud.

There was a sudden growling sound as servo motors pulled open one of the doors behind him. Yash turned just in time to expose himself to the woman who was entering the change room, with a data slate in her hand.

“Hey hey hey – changing in here!” Varram lurched left and right, waving his arms, grabbing the empty air for something to cover his nudity.

The woman seemed unimpressed as she fixed her eyes on the cieling. “Apologies, Chief. Your kit is in Locker 2.” She gestured towards one of the cages. He edged towards it, keeping a suspicious eye on the intruder. She wore the black and green uniform of a Science Specialist.

“You are on my team? I don’t recognize you.” He reached the locker and pulled open the door, using it as a screen.

“Ensign Inga Strand, Chief. Pantheon Command approved my assignment after launch prep was underway.” She glanced over at Varram as he popped open his trunk, and removed his uniform. He caught her looking and scowled fiercely.

“No peeking! Turn around!” Strand complied and faced the wall. Satisfied, Varram returned his attention to the task at hand. He stepped into his uniform. “You’re an ensign? How the hell did you get onto the Trident?”

“Command felt that the Science Division needed an extra set of hands, sir. Or so I was told. At the time.”

“Command felt-?” Varram struggled with the undersuit in his rising indignation. “An extra set of hands? I selected my team from a list of candidates as long as your arm, Ensign. If I had known I would get an extra set of hands..” He nodded apologetically to her back. “No offense, but there are many others I would have chosen to take your place.”

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© Dylan Edwards, 2012.

NOTE: Short post this week – it was a busy time – My eldest son graduated from high school today!