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Weeks of interviews led to orders being cut so that by the eighteenth of June the full crew assembled on the deck outside the ship. It would be an intensive two weeks as everyone became familiar with the systems that made up their flying city.
Kacey spent her time training and overseeing the training of the pilots needed to fill the sixty five fighters. She spent several days in the Simulator to learn how to pilot Andromeda in the event all their pilots were out of commission. The new graduates showed promise. They had just enough talent to make them know-it-alls. The seasoned pilots would soon knock their egos down a bit. Kacey herself, a pilot had her own vessel. While she could fly the stingers, her height made it a cramped flight in the smaller cockpits. Her shuttle was bigger than the one man fighters, and carried a full array of weaponry. It would comfortably handle twelve people.
Civilians would start boarding four days before the launch once they passed the physical and received a battery of innoculations to prevent any germs from finding their way into the enclosed environment. One rogue germ could side track the population of the ship. Seven doctors and twelve nurses worked from early morning to late at night to get every one cleared for the flight.
Supplies were loaded. Plants were already growing in the Hydroponics bay. Those items that could not be grown were freeze dried and vacuum sealed to last for years, needed only to be reconstituted for nourishment.
The ship also boasted a nondenominational chapel for the spiritual needs of the travelers. Along with the restaurants, there were also two bars where alcohol would be served. The powers in charge understood that the travelers would need some where they could unwind. In addition, there were virtual reality rooms, where many types of programs could be run. A forest area for those who wanted to commune with nature. The trees and plants help by simulated sunlight and misted each morning. There was a library, and school rooms. Everything a small city would need.
The center of the ship was an area called Safe Haven. In the event the ship came under attack, all civilians would be able to ride out any problems. It was also a ship of its own which could be launched if the need arose. All around the ship, workers toiled to set up for the festivities as the launch date sped closer.
Personal Journal of Colonel Kirsten C. O'Malley 3, July 2176
Tomorrow will be a real circus at last count there will be close to five thousand in the audience and countless numbers watching on view screens around the country and world. The programs were delivered today as well as our orders for the ceremony. Looking out my window I can see the tent with their large air conditioners. Thankfully they took into consideration that we will be in full dress uniforms in the July heat in Florida. At least we will be comfortable. According to the program only the Department heads will be introduced. Reading off everyone names would take hours and we would miss out launch time. Hopefully they will keep the speeches short. One good thing is that we get to sit throughout the ceremonies and speeches until we are introduced.
Launch is scheduled for fourteen hundred hours.
In between all the interviews I was finally able to get all the items we were told to bring with us. As well as all those personal items that we will need for our time in space. I managed to spend quite a large sum of the credits I have accrued in the past eight years. I hope I have enough strings for my violin. Four cases should be enough as each case carried one hundred sets. Extra bows, coffee, liquor, music sheets, for when those times to be creative hit me, and smoke sticks. Those things the stores on board will not carry.
I can not believe the day is finally here. The last few weeks have been a whirlwind of activity since that first briefing. I must have interviewed at least five hundred applicants. I can honestly say I am glad that part is done and over. I am puzzled by the three files that General Eden sent me of men I am ordered to take on. I took this all the way to General Millhouse, who basically said the same thing. Those men arrived on board yesterday. I think I will have to keep an eye on them.
We are having a family dinner tonight. Our last night off ship for a good long while. There will be plenty of them on board if mom has her way. So far so good. We have been on board the ship for two weeks and she has yet come into my quarters to try to straighten or dust. I am sure that will change eventually. But being in charge of the restaurants, the dining room and the bars will keep her busy. My quarters are not messy, but neither are they a museum. I may not dust every day or even every week. It is my personal space. There are sections of my quarters that absolutely no one but me can touch. My instruments and music are sacred. Kate and Anya's rug rats want me to teach they to play. I think I will if it is okay with them. I just hope the sound proofing is above code. I know what a violin sounds in the hand of an inexperienced player.
I hope my single life will not be the main topic of conversation at dinner. I will not be pushed into a relationship with anyone. Someday when I do not have a million things going on around me, maybe then I will look for someone to share my life with. Knowing mom it will just be a matter of time before she starts to parade eligible men by me. I guess I have put off telling her long enough. No man will ever hold that special place in my life. Women on the other hand... Maybe tonight I will be able to find a few minutes alone. Why is it that I can face squadron of Marines with ego and attitude without fear, but one look from my mother intimidates the living hell out of me. She gives me that look and once again I am a five year old who just got mud on her Sunday best.
Maybe I can enlist Kate to help....
To be continued...
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