1918 after a four year mission to explore deep space the People's Federation starship FPS Rojahn finally got its first glimpse of Uni.
Captain Meredith Foxington was excited, she sat in the comfy command chair and leant forward to better see the screen. Her short blonde hair tickled her neck as the middle aged woman from Peleu braced in anticipation.
Dressed warmly in her brown leather away jacket with sheepskin collars she contrasted with the blue Dungaree wearing crew. One crewman called LT Benny approached Foxington and she saw his shiny name tag leaning outwards before noticing his top button was also undone.
“Benny, correct your name tag you look scruffy.. and do your top button up. Do you think you're a pilot or something?” Foxington said almost as if she joked.
“Yes ma'am.” Benny replied
“Is that Uni I see there Mr Henderson?” Foxington asked as she looked intensely.
Mr Henderson looked at the sensor display and nav board before turning to Foxington ,
“It must be. I can't remember it being so small.”
“Magnify the screen if you please Mr Henderson.” Ordered Foxington.
Henderson turned the dial on the console and the telescopic periscope mumbled outwards to zoom in on the faraway planet.
Her eyes lit up as she got her first view in almost five years of her home planet.
“Magnificent.” She muttered under her breath.
“Ma'am, we're being hailed.” Called out Ms Strasser as she turned around from her black and green Monochrome monitor.
“Thank you Ms Strasser put it through.” Foxington said.
The view of the planet changed to that of a slightly unfocused picture of a old Vidiian woman wearing an unfamiliar uniform. Her pointed eye brows lead up to her mostly grey hair that still showed a hint of its natural crimson colour.
“Captain Foxington i presume? We have been expecting you. I'm Admiral Verren of Uni One starbase. Please proceed to route A1-5 my girls will give your Helm the navigation information. “
The Admiral gave a little smile.
“Welcome home Rojahn.”
“Ms Strasser are you receiving the Nav information?” Asked Foxington.
“Yes ma'am. I'm downloading the information into a Floppy disk.”
“Good. Once you have it give the disk to Mr Henderson if you please.”
Foxington turned to look back at the screen that now showed Uni again.
As the FPS Rojahn got closer captain Foxington noticed a strange starship lurking in the blackness of space.
“Mr Henderson what is that?” Asked Foxington.
“What? That blip? He said as he looked at the sensor readout then peered into the scope.
“That's a … a … a starship, but I've never seen anything like it.”
Foxington sat back down in her seat and said to Mr Henderson.
“It's a strange new galaxy. Take us in and prepare for docking.”
“Yes ma'am, Uni One requests mooring position Two and has requested walkways extend to airlock one.” Mr Henderson says.
Foxington agree’s “whatever they want, cut sublight engines and set retard thrusters to one quarter. Turn one five mark six to two side and level off approach.”
“Aye ma'am.” Mr Henderson says
Soon enough the FPS Rojahn docks at one of the moorings strutting away from the spherical starbase and the base crew extend the Walkway towards the designated airlock.
As the ship began powering down and the docking clamps held the ship in position the crew of the Rojahn gathered at the Airlock. All excited some wore their blue dungarees over grey shirts and others wore their dress uniforms pressed and polished just for the occasion.
Ms Strasser walked passed Foxington who stood on the bridge, she gave a courtesy before leaving to join the others. Foxington now alone looked across the empty command area and admired the eggshell white interior walls and brass controls. The now black monitors surrounded by round typewriter styled buttons. She saw the large dials of the engineering section encased in brass now showing zero for most except the life support and those that are stuck and her fingers caressed the wooden armrests of her command chair. Feeling the warming touch of a familiar piece of furniture and the nail marks of previous tense situations.
Slightly emotional Captain Meredith Foxington left the bridge taking in the last sight as she closed the black elevator gate and the wooden interior of the lift took her away.
Meredith’s eyes followed the green letters as they changed eventually stopping at E deck. She opened the black gate and stepped out to see all her crew with their families, some carried children they only saw in ultrasound images and others hugged sons and daughters who had grown up and brought along their partners. Captain Meredith Foxington walked off the FPS Rojahn and carried on through the crowded arrivals section looking for her husband.
Her eyes rested on a girl, her young eyes wide and her long blonde hair framed her innocent face. Her blue cardigan and white under dress showed her curvy body. Just below the end of her blonde hair was her shiny name tag. Meredith instantly recognised her younger daughter Hermione and the girl stretched out her arms as her mum got close and hugged her. Meredith felt Hermione’s hair and warm skin against hers and everything else seemed to become unimportant and silent.
Tears ran down her face and she finally found words to say to Hermione but struggled to get them out for the flood of emotions, made worse by the sight of Hermione's rosy cheeks and tearful eyes and her huge smile that still makes Meredith think back to her daughters first day of school.
“God I've missed you soo much.” She managed between the tears.
“Awww I love you mom, we've missed you too.” Hermione's hand wiped the tears welling up in her eyes.
“I have so much to tell you.” Hermione spoke quickly and carried on telling her mum all about her sister Dorothy becoming a doctor at Rosing hospital for allied veterans and told her she's joined the Star Agency to follow in her mums footsteps.
Meredith finally got a word in.
“I can see, you look fantastic! Is this the new uniform?
“Yes! Don't I. See I've even got the Purple pin badge. One day it'll be red.”
Meredith admired her uniform and replied.
“I don't know what the colours mean, where's your dad?”
Hermione looked down and paused.
“Yeah about dad, me and Dorothy decided not to tell you until you got back.”
Meredith looked puzzled.
“Tell me what dear?”
“Dad had an accident, he's ok and Dorothy has been looking after him at the hospital.”
Meredith slightly concerned asks her.
“At the RMHV?”
“Why there? Why not at the Rosing General Hospital?”
“Mom, dad has lost his legs.” She paused to let it sink in before carrying on.
“When the visiting hours start we'll go.”
Meredith smiles and hugs her.
“Love you, now show me where you're staying.”
Hermione giggles slightly and points out the window at the large ship outside. It's sleek beige coloured hull and shiny chrome front dwarfed the old Discovery Class FPS Rojahn.
“That's a Slater and Smith built Hero Class Starcraft. Come I'll show you around.”