Bailey felt his stomach lurch, bile rising in his throat. He could feel the vibrations dissapate through his chair. The creaks and sighs of air as the old frigate came to a stop. After spending a lifetime on ships, first on his fathers old cargo hauler and then the last forty odd years as a Commonwealth Naval Officer, he was long used to the effects of FTL sickness and yet everytime still felt like the first time. From his right a tinny vioce spoke up.
"Sir, all systems report green across the board. Scanners indicate we are within five K of jump target and engines have begun venting proceedures. Crew is awaiting stand down orders."
Bailey looked at the little android speaking to him. D-7 had always reminded him of an old stooped turtle on treds. With a chrome and blue plasteel shell-like body and an elogated head with large round and often strangely expressive eyes D-7 had served as his First Officer since Bailey's promotion to Admiral almost twenty years prior.
"Thank you D-7, inform the crew to stand down."
D-7 gave a small nod of acknowlegement "Right away sir. Chief Engineer Chambers reporrts that the coolant filters still need to be changed."\
Baily cracked his neck as he rose from his chair. Ignoring the stiffness in his back, the dull throb of his bad knee, he clasped his hands behind his back. Taking a few steps forward he squinted at the blue world with patches of green and swirls of white rotating outside. It reminded Bailey of the images he saw as a child of his own home world. Though, it had become a world of greys, blacks and industry centuries before his own birth.
Giving a slight nod at the little world he asked "D-7, is that it?"
Bailey listened to the faint clicking of D-7's treds on the metal surface as he wheeled closer. The near silent whirl of the apature of his camera eyes adjusting. Not for the first time, Bailey thought about how much more familar he was with the little android than he ever was with his late wife.
"Yes sir. Designated Seed World: AS-7731. An F class planet with one satellite, third of nine planets orbiting a C-class yellow star. Home of the fabled 'Lost Colony' by your people.
Bailey's late wife Sarah had been a history professor at the Commonwealth Univerisity on the capitol world Tau. A favorite lecture topic of hers and her students was The Lost Colony. Nearly 100,000 years ago now, an ambitious colonization company saught to colonized and secure land and mineral rights far beyond the established bounderies of civilized space. After a decade of fundraising and an astronomical amout of credits, the initial group of colonists set out. Taking nearly twenty years to get there the colonists sent word that they had landed. After six months of regular updates the colony went dark. The company wen bankrupt shortly afterward and dispite a handful of unsuccessful attempts to raise the credits to send a crew out there to discover what had happened the colony was ultimately abandoned and over time became referred to as 'The Lost Colony'. Baily gave a sad little smile to the world. Sarah would have been over joyed to know he'd made it all the way out here and seen the world with his own eyes. And Furious that he wasn't landing to to take a look.
Turning away from the screen Bailey started walking to the door. "Tell Chambers to change the filters during this stop. Page me in my cabin when we're ready to be on our way."
The lights all around the bridge switched to red as the klaxxons blarred. Bailey snapped back around, rushing to the center of the bridge.
From the port console the furry blue face of Lieutent Vonlavon looked over at Bailey, four black beady eyes locking onto the two hazel ones.
"Sir, a Saurian Battle Cruiser just jumped right on top of us. IFF indicates its the Jade Emeress. Sir."
Bailey clentched his fists, willing his rage down.
"Damn it, they followed us. D-7, open all internal coms. All hands on deck. Battlestations, this is not a drill. Repeat: this is not a drill."