After having to take another leap of faith…

And, getting out of the elevator, this time no erratic behaviour but still not filling me with confidence, I step onto the bridge.

The forward screen has changed.

It seems we are going to Neptune via the moon, or we were going to be passing by on our way to someplace else.

The Captain was on the bridge, obviously coming out of his day room on the news that the Chief Engineer had fixed everything.

“Ah, number one, we’ve hung around here long enough.”

He walked back to his chair and sat.

I decided to remain backside the navigator. I could see that the co-ordinates to our destination had been entered and it was Neptune, so the moon was not going to be a stop off.

The Chief engineer’s voice came throughout the speaker. “Ready when you are, Captain.”

I forgot, for a occasion, that the Chief and the Captain had served before, and someone had mentioned the fact the captain had asked for him to be assigned to this ship.

“Mr Jacobs, take us out, slowly, and try not to bump into anything this time.”

Mr Jacobs was the moment officer.

In a rather sheepish tone, Mr Jacobs said, “Taking the ship out carefully, sir.”

It was hard to tell provided the ship was moving, but the tell tale signal was the movement of the objects on screen. And the fact I could see through the side windows as we moved forwards, leaving the dock superstructure behind.

Also, on the screen I could see the movements of other vessels, several freighters waiting to leave, and one coming in, but standing off until we departed.

Then, suddenly, we were in clear space.

Jacobs turned to the captain, expecting the next order.

“Let’s take it easy. Level one, when you’re ready.”

Jacobs was ready, even keen to get this ship under way. It had performed faultlessly in trials, now we were going to put it through it’s paces.

“Level one, as you wish.”

He pushed the button, there was a moment when nothing happened, then with just the slightest movement inside the bridge, we were under way.

Next stop, Neptune.

© Charles Heath 2021

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