So Far From Home

by Psyche_B

Year three in the Voyage of Andromeda.  The adventure that started in  Among the Stars, and Beyond the Farthest Planet continues in Far From Home.

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                                               CHAPTER 36

    Captain's log 23 June 2179

    In two weeks we will travel back through the Kuiper Belt and  will officially start our final year in space.  We stretched our visit on Gellary to three weeks.  The next time we will stop for shore leave is months away.  Another break is planned on Eternus before we make the final push for Earth.

  It has been another eventful year.  We made friendly first contact with four civilizations and two not so friendly encounters with the Limari and space pirates..  We were stuck for four days in an ion storm.  Nebulas, gas clouds and asteroid fields were studied or avoided if the chemical make up was detrimental to life.  Planets that can sustain life are plentiful.  There are also many that were uninhabitable, but that is to be expected.

  We had several running battles with the Limari and space pirates.  Andromeda suffered very little structural damage.  Internal systems were replace with great regularity.  In addition we have done several system upgrades including our sensors.  Between the engineers and Marines they came up with a system that shows both short and long range with a three hundred sixty degree view of what is all around us.  We are bringing back new technology such as internal and dermal regenerators, bone knitters, replicators, universal translators, as well as medicinal plants.  Every item will help in future flights and the citizens of Earth.

  All the shuttles have sonar which has saved us from ambush many times.  Also the shuttles and one quarter of the Stingers have cloaking technology.

  So far on this journey there has been only one death.  Numerous injuries mostly to the Marines who are the ones who dart around the attacking ships that hope to take Andromeda as a prize.

  Colonel O'Malley has suffered the worst injuries from broken bones, to punctured organs from being stabbed.  She leads her troops with courage.  Her battle skills are an asset to us all.  She has stepped up whenever needed and gone above and beyond the call to protect and serve. Her solutions to problems are quick and decisive.

  Once this mission is completed, I hope the Joint Chiefs give her the promotion she so richly deserves.  We could not have made out so well on this voyage if not for her intelligence, courage and strength.

  Our numbers have risen this past year.  Not only with the birth of Colonel and Ensign O'Malley's children, but four other married crew members have welcomed children into their families.  Several others will add to their numbers in the next few months.

  While the Colonel and I have had our disagreements, something that will continue for years to come, I would choose her to come with me each and every time I go into space.

  Without any problems we will be back on Earth around the end off June.  The friends we have made on this journey will never be forgotten.


    Personal journal Colonel Kirsten C. O'Malley  25 June 2179

    This is it our final year. On one hand I am sorry to see it coming to an end, but, there always has to be a but in there.  On the other hand Earth and all it's opportunities will be a blessing.  There will be less life and death situations.  A lot less, which I am certain will make my family a lot happier.  What will make me happy?  I know that is a very selfish question.  One that I should not be asking myself.  There is no question that I would be able to support my family should I decide to leave the Marines.  Trust funds left by my grandparents as well as all the credits I have earned and have only made a small dent in wait for us.  We could live very comfortably on the interest of those accounts.

  If there was the slightest guarantee that I would be given a flight training command I would not be thinking about leaving the Marines.  At this point with a year left in space, there are no guarantees.  The Marines have been my life for twelve years.  Do I want to walk away from that life.  Do I want a change?  Rather I should be asking myself, am I ready for a change?

  If mom's and Natalia's and now Anya's plans go through for a restaurant, do I want to become just their musician?  Music is an important part of my life and has been for many years.  I do enjoy teaching the demons.  Do I want that as my main occupation?  Schools are always looking for music teachers.

  So many decisions to be made.  With this final year, I have a lot of thinking to do.

  What of our children?  They will reach their second birthday before we return to Earth.  It will also be a time for yet another decision.  Do we want to extend our family or stop with the two healthy beautiful children we have.

  If we decide to add to our family.  What then?

  Once this year is over, Kate will be happy that I am no longer her shadow.  I hope the Joint Chiefs have a good hiding place because I know at least four people who will be after their butts. 

  Our homecoming will be exciting.

                                            THE END
                                            of book three.


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