Earth Spacedock’s hangers were a hive of activity, as hundreds of people prepared to take themselves, cargo, weapons, supplies and more onto the USS Enterprise. The ship was due to depart shortly and all crew and cargo must be properly accounted for before departure. Commander Spock was stood up high on a walkway, surveying various individuals going about their assigned duties. He noted on his PADD that several of the bridge crew had already logged in, including Doctor Carol Marcus and Uhura, although they had yet to board the ship.
He then spotted the two colliding down in the hangar, Uhura’s PADD crashing to the ground. After a short interval they left, most probably needing to restore the functionality of the device. They appeared to be getting on well, certainly their body language suggested a positive connection between the two, and it would be beneficial for Doctor Marcus to develop a relationship with those she would be working with closely on the bridge.
A loud crash behind him signalled some incident with the cargo being boarded, and unsurprisingly a recruit had dislodged several crates from a hover trolley which he was attempting to negotiate through a gap that was notably smaller than the width of the trolley. Bringing up the manifest showed the crates to contain incredibly delicate spectrometers for the chem labs, and Spock immediately went down to inspect them for damage.
As Carol Marcus waited to board the USS Enterprise for its 5-year mission into deep space, she was nervous. It felt like the first day of kindergarten. She wondered what everyone would think of her. If she would make friends. Carol shook herself, feeling ridiculous. After all, she was a 23-year-old Starfleet graduate with a PhD in applied physics, specializing in advanced weaponry, and here she was worrying about making friends. Soon she’d be cutting the crusts of her PB and J sandwiches and asking the crew to play dress up with her. She burst out laughing as an image of Spock in a tutu flashed before her eyes. A couple red suits gave her strange looks as they walked by. Okay, pull yourself together Carol.
Like she always did to calm her nerves, Carol closed her eyes and tested herself on the inner mechanics of a Type 2 Phaser 2287. When she finished, she opened her eyes and smiled, taking in the chaos of the ship bay as everyone hurried to prepare for take off. This is what she had been training for since she first picked up a physics textbook at the age of 6. She was ready. After all, she had been named lieutenant. She was already part of the family. All that was left was for her to start acting like it.
An overhead announcement declared that it was time for her to board the ship and take her place in the bridge. Carol ran her fingers through her cropped blond hair, smoothing down any strays. Then she readjusted the phaser hanging from her belt before walking confidently toward the regal Enterprise. Only her left hand, quivering slightly, gave any indication that she was nervous about her mission.
Carol Marcus stepped aboard the Enterprise, an impressive ship that was as beautiful as she was intimidating. The science officer thought of all the things the ship had survived: vengeful Romulans, the unforgiving Nibiru sea, Admiral Marcus’s anger. And this was only what she had endured in the last few years. Yet here she was. She had needed some repairs of course, but nothing grounded the Enterprise for long. Carol wished she were that resilient.
Well, maybe she was selling herself short. After all, hadn’t she been through her share of trials aboard the Enterprise? And like the magnificent ship, she had healed and was now ready to take to the air once again.
While admiring the ship, Carol couldn’t help wondering about her captain’s whereabouts. After Captain Kirk had fearlessly given up his life to save the ship and crew that were his only family, she hadn’t had many opportunities to talk with him. Not that she knew what she would say to him if she had the chance. What did you say to the man who had saved not only your own life, but the lives of hundreds of others in one selfless act?
She knew her infatuation with Jim Kirk could only lead to trouble. He was her captain, and as such she should waste no time thinking about how blue his eyes were or how absurdly sexy it was that his nose was slightly crooked from being broken in more than a few fights. Her friend Christine Chapel had made the mistake of falling for him, and it had brought her nothing but heartbreak. He hadn’t even remembered Christine when she had brought it up last year. That was the worst thing Carol could think of, Kirk forgetting about her.
So she had reached a conclusion that, as Mr. Spock would say, was only logical: she would be the Captain’s secondary science officer, not his one-night-stand. After all, it was the color of his Starfleet uniform that mattered, not the color of his eyes. Carol had a job to do, and nothing would distract her from her duties. She went to take her place on the bridge.
Carol Marcus wasn’t going to lie. She was disappointed to be sent off on a separate mission so soon after the Enterprise had warped into space. She would only be away for a few weeks, but she couldn’t help feel like a starship being dropped suddenly out of orbit just after take off. For a moment she considered requesting that someone else go instead.
She took a deep breath and collected herself. She was being selfish. Starfleet was about learning to sacrifice your own needs and desires for others. That was one of the things that had drawn her to the academy. She wanted to do work that mattered. She needed to turn her passion for science and technology into something that helped people. When she was seven years old, she had made the decision to enlist in Starfleet when she came of age. She had stood by her choice, even when it meant moving across the country from England to San Francisco. And she was going to stand by it now.
It helped that she found the mission so interesting. I mean, the chance to help a neutral zone outpost upgrade their defensive strategies and arsenals? It was like something out of a dream. Well, maybe just out of Carol’s dreams. She had to remind herself that not everyone was as fascinated by defensive systems as she was. So she would go on this side mission, teach the population of the outpost how to protect themselves using the latest Starfleet regulation weaponry, and then rejoin her crew. She’d have new stories to tell, and most importantly, she’d be doing her job. The only job she’d ever wanted to do.
She knew the Enterprise would be in good hands with the first science officer, Spock, as well as the rest of the truly admirable crew. She would miss Uhura’s friendship, Doctor McCoy’s strange but amusing anecdotes, and Kirk’s steadfast leadership. But she knew they would still be there when she returned. She reached up to touch the Starfleet insignia pin on the blue fabric of her suit. It was her favorite piece of jewelry. She had never worn anything so proudly.
(OOC: Regretfully, I will be without Internet access until June 25th. When I return, I will be eager to continuing RPing with my amazing crew. In the meantime, I trust that you will all continue performing admirably!)