Stories from the U.S.S. Endeavour

These are the voyages…

… of the starship, Endeavour. As we continue to go further than it is possible for anyone to go, we must never forget the essence of who we are and what we represent. We are not only explorers, but sentinels, guardians, and healers. We uphold truth, justice, and equality. We embrace diversity and respect culture and tradition. We continue to go where nobody has gone before.

~ Captain Mirazuni Ayesha.


Season 3

“New endeavours” ~ Amelia Samaras

(Part 1);

“Never be the same” ~ Gabriella Valencia

New endeavours

Part 1

“Amelia,” Sam smiled, standing from a table. “It’s good to see you,”

Amy approached the table, weaving in and out of the other patrons of the restaurant. She was wearing a smart blouse and dress. Sam, on the other hand, was wearing a suit, minus a tie and the collar undone. “Hello, Captain,”

Sam shook his head. “Come now, Amelia. This is not a dinner between two officers, it’s a dinner between friends. You don’t need to be formal,”

Amy gave a half-smile. “Sorry, Sam… matter of habit, I guess,”

“You’re looking well,” Sam said, taking a seat after Amy had taken hers. “And you’re the one who asked for this dinner, which is good. I thought I would be the one having to drag you from the ship,”

Amy shuffled slightly uncomfortably. “Thank you. You’re looking well. Settling into the job well?”

Sam glanced at her for a moment before he looked down at his menu and tapped his order. “It seems so, you’ve probably seen the squadron changes,”

Amy nodded whilst she tapped her order. “I did. You work fast,”

Sam waved the praise away, as the service bot whizzed over and poured the two their ordered drinks. “These were plans that I had formulated a while ago. It wasn’t difficult to implement,”

“But still,” she said, thanking the service bot and sipping her drink. “A huge change in the operating structure of the fleet. That must have been a logistical nightmare,”

“The command office is very good and very organised. The ones you need to be thanking are the officers who worked to get it all done,”

Amy nodded slightly. “Yeah, I suppose,”

“How is the ship?” he asked.

Amy moved around in her seat and was given a brief respite as the service bots returned to deliver them their food. The two began eating and it was only when Sam gave Amy a look, did she reply. “It’s good…”

“That’s excellent,” Sam smiled. “See, I told you, you’d do an excellent job,”

“I…” Amy put her cutlery on the plate. “No…” she shook her head. “No, it’s not good… that’s… why I wanted to speak to you. I need help,”

Sam looked at Amy, placing his own cutlery on the plate and leaning back on his chair. “I see,”

“The ship is falling apart. Morale is rock bottom. I’ve had resignations from all over the ship. I am… way out of my element,”

Sam leaned forward. “There has yet to be a challenge I have seen you not overcome,” he says. “I’m glad you came to me. Nobody just becomes a good captain overnight. And like the fleet command office, you don’t work in isolation,” he said, picking up his cutlery again. “Everything you’ve said so far were things that I had you handle when you were my First Officer…”

“I know. That’s what makes it so frustrating. I thought I could do it,”

“No, Amelia. You are not understanding. When you were a First Officer, you did those jobs,”

“What are you saying?”

“You are no longer the First Officer. You are the Commanding Officer. None of the failings here are from your role as a Captain,” he says. “You just make the mistake that all new COs make. You try to do everything yourself,”


“You need to delegate. Tasha is a fine officer with years of command experience. She’s even been the CO of the ship for a time. She knows what to do. Delegate to her. You have an excellent senior officer cohort. Use them,”

“I’ve had resignations from the senior command,” Amy frowned, looking at her food.


“I… don’t think I’m allowed to say,”

Sam said nothing. “Well, that is not ideal. But you can work around that. There are officers who are now looking at those positions and wanting to take a crack at the job. They are going to break their backs trying to prove to you that they are the right candidate to take the top spot. Let them,”

“I… look,” she sighed. “I want to make everyone proud. I want to make you proud. I want to do a good job. People don’t have confidence in my leadership,”

“It’s because you don’t have confidence in your leadership, Amelia. Out of all the senior staff, do you know who had the highest rating? You. By a lot. The crew want you. They like you. But when you get worked up and stressed, you become difficult. You become overly perfectionist and have a meltdown at any slight mistake. Am I correct?”


“I know I am. I saw it when you first started. As you began to acclimatise, you became better. A better officer. A better First Officer. Remember, we’ve had this conversation before,”

“We have?” Amy frowned, looking up at Sam.

“You said the exact same thing when you became the XO. You thought you couldn’t do it. And now look. You want to go back to your job as XO. After you’ve settled in, you won’t want to go back to XO,”

“Do you want to go back to ship command?”

Sam smirked and took a bite of his food, chewing slowly. “The fact of the matter is, Amelia. If you are so tightly wound up, you become draconian. You need to decide if that’s the type of Commanding Officer you want to be. If not… you need to relax,”

The two continued to eat in silence, reflecting on the words that were said.

“Briella has been really good, recently, you know,”

“Has she? I thought she would be the one giving you the most trouble,”

Amy shook her head. “No. She’s been… probably the most level headed out of everyone,”

Sam raised his eyebrows. “Gabriella is a good officer, you know. She seems crass and unpolished, but… at the end of the day, she’s a true professional. I think she’s stepping up and trying to support you, as an XO should do,”

“You’re not sugg…”

“Oh God no,” Sam said quickly. “No, no, no. Do not let Gabriella anywhere near the command chairs,”

Amy chuckled. “I think that’s a good idea,”

“But… what I am saying is that she’s stepping up to the role that you need to get Tasha to fill,”

There was more silence. Amy exhaled. “Is it true?”


“You’re considering making me permanent Captain?”

Sam looked at Amy. “You want to stay on?”

“No… I’m not ready for it,”

“I know,”


Sam said nothing, eating his food. “I am not. I have identified a replacement,”


Sam shook his head. “I can’t tell you. Not until it’s been confirmed by Starfleet Command,”

Amy opened her mouth to speak but paused. “Are they good?” she said, finally, her voice quiet.

“Remember what your job is. Remember where your loyalties lie. Have faith in your abilities and always remember… I chose you for this job. Never forget that,”

Amy sighed. “You’re right. You were always right…”

1 Like

Never be the same

Part 1

Gabriella entered the holodeck, looking around. The simulation placed her on a grassy hillock, the sun beating warmly on her. In the shade of a couple of trees, she could see Diego working on a mobile lab. The wind rustled his brown hair as his eyebrows were furrowed in concentration; he didn’t see Brie enter.

Brie meandered towards him, her hands in his pockets.

“Ah, hola, Gabriella,” he said, looking up for a moment. “Un momento,

“Take your time,” she said, waving her hand and looking around the holoprogram. Nearby, Diego had laid out a picnic mat, complete with a picnic basket. Brie wandered over and sat down, hugging her knees, watching Diego work.

Bueno,” he said after a few more minutes of working. “Now we just wait,”

“What are you doing?” she said as Diego approached. His jacket was off and Brie could see is toned body from the undershirt.

Diego scratched his stubble and sat down. “Remember the Vila Colony we resupplied a few weeks back?”


“Yeah, there was an atmospheric imbalance that was causing the plant life to die. I’m just simulating a compound to see if they can use that to seed the soil and enable the plants to grow. Just waiting to see if the compound doesn’t degrade in contact with the local atmosphere,”

“I see,”

“How about you?” he asked, leaning back and kicking his boots off. “Been busy, I see?”

“Nah,” she said and then lay down on the mat, looking up at the sky.

“No?” Diego frowned. “Apparently you’re helping those refugees. Been down to medical to help with their medication. They’re in terrible shape,”

“Are they? I don’t know. I’ve been out of the loop,”

¿Qué? Gabriella, I thought you were in charge of the mission to go find out more intel?”

“I am…” she sighed. “No lo sé, Diego. I’m just out of it recently,”

Diego sighed and shuffled closer to her, gently lifting her head and putting it on his lap. “What’s wrong, chica?”

“You’re blocking my sunlight,” Brie replied flatly.

“I know,”

Brie pouted. “Everything’s changed, Diego. I don’t know what, it all just feels different,”

“It’s been a rough change, with the new CO and all,” Diego nodded.

“No… no,” Brie frowned and rolled over slightly. “It’s not that. I’ve been through many command changes. It’s not that. Everyone thinks that,”

“Then what is it?” Diego asked, softly, stroking her hair.

“I… I think it’s me… Diego. I… think I’m the one who’s changed,”

Diego said nothing, knowing that this was her moment.

Brie turned to look up at Diego. “I’m not the same person who joined this ship three years ago. I got a promotion. I got placed in charge of my MACO team. I was given… increased responsibility. And now I don’t have that anymore. It’s been taken away from me. Was… was I not up to the task? Was I not good enough for that responsibility? I’ve tried to represent the MACO the best way possible. Show everyone that we’re called the best of the best for a reason. But it seems like it wasn’t for anything,”

Diego looked down at her. “I don’t know, I think the MACO are the best of the best. Well, you definitely,”

Brie shook her head lightly, a smile appearing. “It’s only because I saved your ass,”

“I think you’ve saved a lot of people. I think you’ve saved this ship many times over. They all feel as I do. Look, people love you, Brie. They show it in different ways. Just like you do,”

“I hope you know that I do,”

“Do what?”

“Love you. Even if I show it in a different way,”

Diego leaned down and kissed her. “Of course,”

Brie allowed herself to be kissed. “How long we have for your simulation to complete?”

Diego grinned lightly. “Computer, pause program,” he said. “How long do you need,”

“How long do you want?” Brie smirked and rolled over, pushing Diego down and mounting him.

“We’ll play it by ear,” came the reply.

Brie just leaned down and kissed him.


Never be the same

Part 2

Brie was slumped on the floor of a Risian street, leaning against the wall. Her shirt hung in tatters off her honey coloured body, revealing the black bra she had underneath. Her bare chest moved up and down, breathing heavily.

“So… ¿cómo te llamas?” she said, looking to the woman next to her.

Soy… Isabella…” came the reply.

Soy Gabriella,” Brie said, placing her head on the wall and looking up at the sky on which night was bleeding away into morning. “Where you from Isabella. Earth?”

Si… I am,” she nodded. “Spain,”

Soy Colombiana,” Brie explained.

“Ah… explains the accent,” Isabella nodded.

The pair sat in silence, as Risian security moved around them, ushering people out of a club.

“You okay?” Brie asked, turning her head to look at the woman. She was around Brie’s age, had fairer skin and light brown hair that was tied back into a bun, with a few strands slithering down the sides of her face. Her face was round and her eyes were dark brown, almost black in the dark light.

“I am… yes,” she nodded, looking down at herself. “I should ask you that,” she added, with a glance at Brie.

Brie chuckled and shook her head lightly. “Nah, I’m fine. Normal Saturday night this,”

Isabella looked at Brie for a moment, before chuckling herself. “I don’t doubt it… you handled yourself pretty well,”

“I gave him a fair warning,”

Isabella nodded, looking down at her hands. “I’m… sorry you got dragged into that,”

“Hey,” Brie snapped. “Don’t you dare apologise. At all. He was at fault. He should be prostrated at our feet begging for mercy,”

“A bit difficult to do from the hospital bed,” Isabella said quietly. “I don’t think he’ll be talking for a while,”

“Good. He had nothing good to say. I should have ripped off his pointy little ears too,”

“Is that a confession of pre-meditated assault?” came another voice, this time belonging to a brown-skinned man, his own shirt unbuttoned, but with a badge hanging on a chain around his neck. He took a puff from his smoke pen and exhaled, sending crimson coloured smoke into the brightening sky.

“Inspector Ramachandra,” Brie said, her lips narrowing.

“Inspector Wallace-Singh now,” he corrected. “I remarried,”

“What, your previous husband couldn’t stand your bullshit? Or was it your lover? I can’t get them straight in my head now,”

The Inspector crouched, staring Brie in the eyes. “Give me a reason to stun your sorry ass and toss you into the brig,”

“You need a reason for that? Thought Fed-Sec just bagged and tagged,” she said, holding his gaze.

“You’re an insolent w…”

Brie interrupted him by holding up her combadge in his face. “Sorry Inspector, you were saying? Something about insolence?”

The Inspector looked at the badge and then scowled, standing. “I’ll have you one day, Valencia. Mark my words. I will see you rot in prison,”

“I’ve been marking those words for ten years now,” Brie scoffed. “In that time my mother has risen two ranks above you and you’re still down on the ground responding to drunk and disorderlies,”

The Inspector pointed a finger at Brie, but then curled it back into his fist. “Witnesses agree with you,” he muttered. “Now get out of here before I write you up for antisocial behaviour,”

“Ouch, that’s got to hurt your masculinity. Go grab a horga’hn, ask around for some jamaharon. I’m sure someone will debase enough to give you momentary pleasure,”

The Inspector took a few steps forward in anger, before stopping. “Sod off, Valencia,” he stated and then turned to leave. “Okay folks, let’s get out of here,” he hollered at his staff and disappeared into a transporter beam. The other security guards began to follow suit, one after the other, until the street was empty and silent.

“Didn’t know you were Starfleet,” Isabella said.

“MACO. Not Starfleet,” Brie corrected.

“Ah… Well, that explains everything… He a friend of yours?” she asked, nodding at the empty space where the Inspector had dematerialised.

“Had a few run-ins, yeah,” Brie nodded.

“I don’t like him. He was insinuating it was my fault,” she muttered, again looking down at her lap.

“He’s a dick,” Brie shook her head and then gingerly climbed to her feet, wincing slightly. “Where you staying?” she asked, holding out a hand for Isabella.

Isabella took the hand, standing slowly. “You sure you’re okay? And I’m down the bay,”

“I’ll walk you home. And yeah, I’m fine. Like I said, normal Saturday night… or Sunday morning,” she says, looking up at the sky, now a light blue.

“Thanks… I appreciate it,” Isabella said, and the pair walked down the quiet Risian streets. “On leave or something?”

“Yeah, something like that,” she nodded. “You? Come here for the jamaharon?” she smirked, looking at her walking companion.

Isabella chuckled lightly, tucking a strand of hair behind her ear. “No… not that. I’m writing a book. I came for some inspiration,”

“What kind of book?”

“A detective thriller,”

“Sounds exciting,” Brie smiled.

“You think so? Doesn’t seem to be a market for it these days,”

“Going to make it into a holonovel?”

Isabella looked at Brie. “Everyone wants a holonovel these days! That’s the problem,”

“You know what everyone does in those novels, right?”

Isabella sighed. “Yeah,”

Brie smirked. “Nah, I’m totally interested. You need help? My mother works in Fed Sec. They’re not all crap like Inspector Dumbass back there,”

Isabella smiled. “Yeah, I wouldn’t mind picking your brains,” she said, reaching for her PADD. “Exchange contacts?”

Brie reached into her back pocket and got her PADD out, tossing her contact details over at Isabella. “Sure,”

“Captain Gabriella Valencia, MACO Team 32, U.S.S. Endeavour, right?” Isabella confirmed.

Brie smirked. “Yeah, that’s me,”


Never be the Same

Part 3
To: LT Reyes, M. From: gabbyxoxo Subj: no lo sé


i left.

shut up, i couldn’t stay. not anymore.

i don’t know what the **** i’m going to do now.

i miss you. a lot. tell me what you’re doing for valentines. have you got a date yet? there’s apparently some cruise going and a friend invited me. don’t know if i can stomach being on a **** ship on valentines. again.

call me when you can. i ain’t leaving voice notes.

love you



Never be the Same

Part 4

S.S. Zarra. Elegance in Space. The finest in the Celestial Cruises fleet, the Zarra is the latest ship in the Cunard Class Line. Launched in 2422, the Zarra takes two years of development and experience to one, perfectly luxurious ship. The Zarra turns heads when she arrives at any port, from her universally unique hull design to a decadent retro interior. Enjoy unparalleled comfort onboard with five-star service. The Zarra has something for everyone. Are you a fan of food and drink? Enjoy the taste of the galaxy, served by the greatest chefs alive, preparing dishes and drinks from every quadrant. Are you a person of culture? Watch the latest live-action plays and performances in our grand theatre designed so you get high-quality views no matter your seat. Take part in the latest holonovels and adventures in one of our many holosuites; the Zarra boasts the record for the most number on a ship. Want to take a step back and marvel at the sights of the universe? Our viewing decks offer breathtaking and unmissable views of space. Unwind at many of our salons and spas, crewed by our highly trained staff. And if you begin to miss the feeling of solid ground, experience our terrarium, a carefully designed, one-of-a-kind, deck that recreates local scenery; you will forget that you are in space!

Brie tore her eyes away from the promotional video as she sat in the lounge. Wearing tight skinny jeans, which were ripped at the knees, and her old Endeavour hoodie, she looked very much out of place amongst the well-dressed passengers waiting to board. “You got these tickets, how?” she questioned her travelling companion, a lady of her age, with a fairer complexion and with light brown hair tied up in a bun.

“Perks of being a writer doing some research,” came the reply.

“I was in the wrong career,” Brie muttered.

“I’m sure Starfleet ships are more impressive,” Isabella said, looking up from her PADD and offering it to Brie. “Here, read this for me,”

Brie took the PADD, scoffing. “When you find a Starfleet ship with a “decadent retro interior,” let me know,” she said, reading the writing on the PADD. “Is this the story that got you tickets?”

Isabella nodded, a hairclip in her mouth as she redid her hair.

“This is… a rather good description of the ship,” Brie conceded after a while, handing back the PADD. “You’re not bad at this,”

“I would hope not,” Isabella chuckled. “This is my day job, I don’t have anything else to fall back on,”

I don’t either, Brie thought grimly as she looked at the cruise ship from the window. She did look very majestic and decadent, with a gleaming white hull over a solid black underbelly, slashed by red lighting of the various engineering pieces that kept the ship floating in space. A wave of panic suddenly washed over Brie. This was not her. This was not what she should be doing. She was a soldier, a marine. Not one of these high-brow passengers.

“All priority passengers for the S.S. Zarra, you are now embarking. Priority passengers for the S.S. Zarra,”

“That’s us,” Isabella said, standing and grabbing her bag. “Come on,”

Brie blinked slightly and stood. She didn’t like the looks she was getting from the others. She slid her hood up and put her hands in her hoodie pockets. Isabella chuckled. “I think I have dark sunglasses somewhere,” she said. “If you wanted to be more incognito,”

“I’m fine, let’s just get onboard,” Brie replied shortly and began to walk towards the doors where tuxedoed attendants stood passively, with customer service smiles.

“Shall I take your bags, ma’am?” one of the attendants asked. Brie was about to reply that she didn’t have a bag, but Isabella appeared at her elbow.

“Thank you,” she said graciously and handed her bag over. Brie felt her ears begin to burn. He wasn’t even talking to her. Her faux pas made her even more vulnerable and out of place, and she retreated further into her hoodie. “Come on, Gabriella,” Isabella beamed, reaching out and grabbing Brie’s hand from her pocket. “Let’s get onboard!”

And before Brie could protest, Isabella was dragging her towards the doors.

It was as if she had stepped back in time, or into a holodeck. The passenger bridge turned a corner and Brie suddenly found herself in an enormous corridor. Huge windows lined one side, giving outstanding views of the spaceport and the wider space beyond. The other side had wooden panelling, lit in warm, golden lighting. Brie had seen many ship interiors during her career. But nothing compared to this. She turned to find Isabella was also awestruck, her mouth agape.

“This is… jodidamente espectacular,” Brie muttered, pulling her hood down. Isabella blinked and looked at Brie, grinning widely.

"De acuerdo, she responded. “Come on, we should find our rooms first!”

Brie looked down the length of the corridors. They were so long, they curved out of sight before Brie could see the end. “Which way?”

“Let’s… head this way,” Isabella said, grabbing Brie’s hand and dragging her further into the ship. Doors and corridors whizzed by as the two ladies ran down the carpeted hallways before the walls disappeared and the pair found themselves in a huge hall. A circular reception area was set in the middle, in front of the two. Brie felt a sharp pang of pain in her heart; it looked very similar to the Event Horizon bar on Deep Space Thirteen. Tearing her eyes away from the reception, her heart stopped again. This time because of the rather handsome and well-groomed man who stood near to the reception, wearing a sharp, almost military-like uniform, greeting guests. As Brie found herself staring, the man looked up at her. His olive eyes drilled into her amber ones. For a moment, it felt like there was only the pair of them. Then he blinked and looked at Isabella, and Brie came crashing back down to reality.

“Welcome aboard, ladies,” he said, with a smile. “I am Officer Juan Pablo Vázquez, the First Mate onboard this ship,”

“I am Isabella Fernandes and this is my travelling companion, Gabriella Valencia,” Isabella introduced.

“Isabella Fernandes… you are the writer, correct?” the First Mate asked.

Si, así es,”

“And you speak Spanish?” the First Mate replied in kind.

“Yes, we both do,” Isabella smiled.

The officer looked at Brie. “You must be Miss Fernandes’ plus one,”

Brie tilted her head. She had never been referred to as anyones plus one before. “Yes, it does seem that way,” she replied, also in Spanish.

The officer smiled. “You have an accent,”

“She’s from Colombia,” Isabella interjected helpfully.

“Ah, I see. That explains it all,” he chuckled lightly. “Well, you both have one of the executive suites. I would love to escort you ladies up, but I have to meet our other esteemed guests,”

Isabella nodded. “Of course, Officer. Please don’t let us keep you. And thank you for the warm welcome,”

“It is my pleasure. I will hopefully see you both around. Enjoy your cruise,” he said, bowing respectfully to the pair and then greeting the next set of passengers behind them.

“I think we go and collect our passes from the reception area,” Isabella said.

Brie’s eyes lingered slightly on the well defined form of the First Officer before turning to Isabella. “Yes, I think so. Executive suites?”

“That is what it seems to be,” Isabella said, approaching the reception and giving her name. “It must be a mistake, but I’m not complaining,”

“Up the stairs, and then follow the signs,” the receptionist smiled. “I hope you enjoy your cruise, and if you have any questions, please do not hesitate to ask,”

Isabella and Brie thanked the receptionist and turned to the stairs; there were two sets, one on each side of the hall. Continuing to be amazed at the luxury around them, the pair ventured up the stairs and to their cabins, towards the front of the ship. It was not hard to find; signs were plastered everywhere, and when they got lost, they simply had to speak to either an attendant, or the computer, and lights appeared to direct their way forward.

Isabella and Brie’s suites were next to each other. Each had a large bedroom, and living space, which was connected by a door to each other’s room. Brie had visited the captain’s quarters of both of the captains on the Endeavour; this room beat even those in terms of luxury and amenities. When they arrived, Isabella suggested that they should freshen up and then see what else the ship had to offer; their bags had already been brought to their rooms.

As Brie slid out of her clothes, the reality of the last few moments hit her. She was on a strange ship, in a room that was vastly out of her league, with people she barely knew. And she was naked. Feeling oddly self-conscious, she ran to the bathroom, wanting to have a shower, but that idea was quickly dispersed when she saw what the bathroom held; a large hot tub, set into the floor.

The pulsing jets of water seemed to dislodge the dirt, grime, and her thoughts. Brie’s mind flickered from thought to thought, before they all seemed to melt away in relaxation. So much so that she lost track of time, brought into reality by a knock on the door.

“Hey, Gabriella! Time to get out and get dressed! We want to get a good spot on the viewing platform to see the ship leave!” Brie scrambled in the water to get out.

An hour later, the two girls stood on one of the viewing lounges watching as the ship gracefully slid out of port. People on the station waved madly, looking awestruck at the ship and the lucky passengers onboard. Brie could not help but grin as she waved back. And then, with a familiar hum and whir, the ship went to warp.


Never be the Same

Part 5

When Isabella and Brie entered the voluminous dining area, the party was already well underway. Both were wearing dresses; Isabella’s was red and revealing, whilst Brie was wearing a more conservative navy blue dress. Isabella’s hair was done up neatly, and her red makeup accentuated her beauty, whilst Brie had left her hair down low and had removed the blue dye, returning her hair to her natural dark brown colour. Her makeup was more understated and darker. Nobody could deny their presence, however, and heads turned to look at them as they entered, arm in arm.

“I feel like a fool,” Brie hissed to Isabella in Spanish. “Why did we have to come to this?”

“Research,” Isabella replied. “I came here to see what luxury looked like,”

“You are not fucking researching right now… you’re enjoying this!”

Isabella flashed Brie a pretty smile. “I can do both,”

“Fine, do your research. But hurry it up. This isn’t my scene,” Brie said, looking forward again.

Isabella grinned. “Yeah, your scene is backroom clubs and kicking the ass of pon-farr fuelled Vulcans,”

Brie couldn’t help but grin as well. “Fuck you,”

Before they could take another step, the two were intercepted by two uniformed figures. One was an elderly man, wearing a smart dress uniform, polished until it shone, and a rack of medals. He was well-groomed with neat swooping waves of grey hair brushed back away from his aged and furrowed face, which itself was framed with a Verdi beard and a pointed moustache. The epaulettes on his shoulder contained four golden bars. His eyes were heavy and hooded, containing smart and knowledgable dark blue pupils.

The other man was the First Officer, Juan Pablo Vázquez. Brie suddenly felt rather self-conscious again. The First Officer broke the momentary silence. “Buenas noches, señoras,” he said, politely. “It is good to see you,”

“The pleasure is ours, Officer,” Isabella replied gracefully with a smile.

“May I introduce our Captain, Capitaine Pascal Delacroix,” Juan introduced and the Captain gave a short nod of the head.

“We are honoured to have you both on board our ship,” Pascal said, in fluent Spanish with only a slight hint of his native French accent.

“Captain, this is Isabella Fernades, the writer,” explained. “And her travelling companion is Major Gabriella Valencia,”

Brie blinked at the officer’s use of her rank.

The Captain’s look changed slightly after the introductions, and he seemed to regard the pair more carefully. “This is the writer? Well, Miss Fernandes, as I said, it is a pleasure to have you on the ship. I have been informed to give you full access of the ship, but you will understand if I am hesitant to grant such a request. I would ask politely that you do not hamper the smooth running of this vessel and you inform a senior member of the crew before you venture anywhere off limits to usual passengers,”

Isabella did not take any offence to this. “Of course, Captain. I am here as a guest and I would not want to cause any distress. I will follow your instructions to the letter,”

The Captain smiled professionally. “I am touched, Madam,” he said, courteously, before turning to look at Brie. “And you, Major?”

“And me what?” Brie replied, automatically, and then immediately regretted her tone.

“Will you follow instructions to the letter?”

“It depends on the instruction,”

“A free-thinking marine? You are very much a rarity,” the Captain commented.

“Yes, I am,” Brie said, with a hint of proudness and defiance. There was a slightly moment of awkward silence as the Captain and Brie looked at each other, each daring the other to look away.

“I am sure the Major will not be a hindrance, Captain. I will personally ensure it,” Juan interjected politely.

Isabella chimed in, “Thank you for the gracious welcome, Captain. We would hate to impose on your time further,” she said, taking Brie’s arm again.

“Enjoy your evening, ladies,” the Captain responded, diplomatically, before bowing his head. As Isabella wheeled Brie away from the pair, Brie locked eyes with the First Officer again. It may have been a trick of the light, but she could have sworn the Officer gave her small grin as she passed. And then the moment was gone as he turned to greet another guest.

“What was that?” Isabella asked Brie as the pair went to the bar.

“I don’t know, I was… taken by surprise,”

Isabella blinked. “Claro,” she nodded. “That’s what makes you different from the rest. When it comes to fight or flight, you always go to fight,”

“Seeing as humans can’t fly, I don’t see any other option,” Brie replied, nodding to the bartender. “Something strong,”

“I’ll have what she’s having,” Isabella added, and then looked at Brie. “Is there something wrong? You… seem really on edge,”

“I told you, this is… different to my scene. I don’t know how to act around all this…” she looked around at the gilded features. “High classness…”

“No… that’s not it,” Isabella shook her head as their drinks arrived. “I’ve seen you. I know you. You adapt easily to things. This is something different,”

Brie didn’t respond as she took a large gulp of her drink. Whatever it was, it burned, but Brie didn’t care and quickly ordered another. Isabella had a worse time of it and spluttered after a sip. “Fuck, what is that?”

Brie shrugged. “Something strong,”

Isabella looked at Brie and the pair began to laugh.

As the party went on, Brie and Isabella did a lot of drinking, eating, and mixing. After a time, both Isabella and Brie were starting to get a bit claustrophobic; Isabella because she was not used to operating at Brie’s level, and Brie because she felt everything was too stuffy. The pair decided to head out of the dining room to take some fresh air.

The girls walked out into one of the large corridors that swept around the ship, with the large windows on one side. Brie leaned on the window looking out to space, whilst Isabella slumped to the floor, head in her hands. “I drunk too much…” she moaned.

“How many times do I have to tell you?” Brie chastised. “Stop trying to keep up with me,”

“This is your fault, I keep telling you to slow down,” Isabella groaned.

“My fault?” Brie said, turning sharply and almost hitting a man and a woman who were walking past. “Lo siento,” she mumbled to them and looked down to Isabella. “Alright, fine. Sorry. I get carried away,” she admitted and turned to look out of the window. The ship was settled in a system that would have been boring if they had been on a Starfleet vessel; a simple star with a few orbital rocks, some of which had eccentric magnetic fields which interacted with the radiation from the star creating beautiful light patterns. Or at least, they were exciting to people who did not see the marvels of space every day, like Brie had. Or people who were not as badly inebriated as Isabella was.

“Should we call it a night then, Isa?” Brie asked, looking down at her companion.

“We’d better,” Isabella said, slowly getting up. “Let’s head…” Isa paused. “Brie… Brie!”

“What?” Brie asked, looking curiously at Isa.

Mira!” Isa pointed out the window.

“Isa, it’s just rocks,” Brie said dismissively and turned. “You see them all…” Brie froze. “Oh, shit!”

Floating in space, close to ship but moving slowly away, was a dead body. And Brie recognised it as the woman she almost hit a moment ago.

“Oh, shit…”

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