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OK Folks. Here you go. My attempt at a short story. Note it's in several parts and at this time I have no idea which way it will go.

I'm planning on having the story revolve around my own experiences in the UC universe, starting the story just before the ship launches.

Please feel free to criticise (politely!) or PM me with any comments/suggestions

**Two Days to Launch**

Sunlight gleamed off the shuttlecraft as it hurtled into orbit and towards it's destination of Galcom HQ.

"Where is she?" growled Commander Donald Macleod from the back of the shuttle, He was a short but stockey man in his mid fiftes with a deep scottish accent, whislt nortorisouly short tempered he was also know as a reliable and capable commander.

"Just a few klicks away Sir, You won't be able to see her visually yet because of the scaffolding"

"How long until she's ready for launch?" he asked

"About 2 days, Sir" the junior officer replied

Macleod glanced down at the radar display in front of the two pilots and noticed they were coming up to the large construction area at the base of Galcom HQ. It was here that the mightly Galcom fleet was built, repaired, rearmed, refueled and upgraded ready for the fight against the never ending numbers of Radiers, terrorists and other scum of the galaxy.

Macleod loved it all. Having been in the military for the past 30 years he always itched to get back into space, get out there and DO something.

He loved to tell people he had space in his blood, his wife who was formally the chief medical officer on board a science vessel delighted in reminding him that if that were the case then he would turn into a desicatted husk rather quickly.

He missed her, but he missed space even more which was one of the reasons that he was itching to get back into space, that and the local sector Commander had actually asked for him by name.

"here you are Sir, The GCV Herm--", Macleod looked down at him and sharply cleared his throat.

"the GCV EDINBURUGH, Sir" the junior officer rather hasitly said.

Macleod allowed himself a small grin of trimpuh. For this tour he'd been assigned the GCV Hermes a Mk III battlecruiser. He loved the class but hated the name, It had taken some doing to get the ship renamed to Edinburugh but eventually he'd managed it.

The shuttle touched down with barely a bump. Macleod grudingly admitted that the two junior officers, young though they looked were actually excellent pilots.

The port side airlock hissed open and Macleod walked through into a brightly light corridor that led to the inspection area. From here it was possible to see the Edinburugh beingreadied for service. All along the hull were various cables and interconnecting pipes. The ship looked like it was in an intensieve care ward waiting to wake up.

"I'm going to the Bar" Macleod annonced to the room at large. "Tell the logistics officer I want to see him the minute he is onboard"

"you mean she, Sir" the junior officer corrected him.

Macleod gave him a baleful look and walked out of the observation area.

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Thanks for the kind words!!!!!

**PART TWO**

Macleod went to the bar for only one reason, Scuttlebut. The bartender was ex military so he knew how to keep a secret. He also knew a secret or three so

Macleod always liked to spend a few hours in the bar at Galcom just so he could keep up with the latest official (and unofficial) news.

As always, the bar was dimly lit, smoke hung in the air, which was quite impressive considering the air recirculation system thoroughly removed all such

pollutants, a few military uniforms merged into the gloom along with the coveralls favoured by the traders, from a corner seat come the sound of a stifled laugh.

He found a seat at the end of the bar and slipped into it. Within a few seconds Joe the bartender was in front of him.

"Hey Donald, How's it going? Not seen you here for a while"

"Hi Joe, well you know how it goes, been keeping busy"

"Yeah heard you got married, surprised to see you back up here"

" Me too, but when your personally asked for it's kinda hard to turn it down"

Joe grinned and poured Donald a small helping of something light blue.

Donald looked at him and asked "How the hell did you get Gammulan brandy here of all places?"

Joe just grinned and winked at him and said "I hear Galcom is trying to get as many ships out on patrol as possible."

"Any idea why?"

"No, but rumour has it that last months insurgent stunt has them rattled."

"The mars stunt?" he asked, before Joe could answer his commlink beeped. "Yes?" he answered tersely.

"Logistics Commander wants to see you, Sir"

"I'll be right up"

He finished off his drink.

He walked into the chief logistics office and was surprised to see the calm and ordered atmosphere that surrounded the room.

He was used to the office being a mess with data sheets scattered all over the place.

As he looked around the room a young woman passed a data sheet to him, he looked at it and saw all the logistical information about his ship listed. "how

did..." he started

"I keep on top of things and run a tight ship commander"

He took another look at her and noticed her rank of tacops commander, he automatically stood to attention.

She waved a hand at him to motion him to take a seat, she sat opposite him and said "your vessel will depart day after tomorrow at 1400, maintenance crews will finish by 1000, fuelling will be complete late this evening ."

He nodded impressed.

"I must say youÔÇÖre much more organised than bilko"

"COMMANDER HARRISON" she admonished "has been reassigned to a position that better fits his um... Unique skills".

Commander Ian 'bilko' Harrison was the previous logistics commander. One of the junior officers had given him the Nickname after some obscure 20th century television programme. No one really understood the reference behind it but nevertheless the name had stuck.

There were many rumours surrounding the previous logistics commander. One of the wilder ones concerned the GCV AESTROM pathfinder vehicle that would bear the name of the class breaking down less than 5 kilometres outside of Galcom HQ after Harrison 'forgot' to assign his engineering team to finish off refitting the hyerspace engines.

It probably wasn't true but it was a good story and highlighted many commandersÔÇÖ desires to have him removed.

"Commander?" She said as she offered him a datapadd.

He took the Padd, placed his hand firmly on it.

"Commander Donald Macleod, GCV Edinburgh"

"Acknowledged." announced the computer.

On the digital schematic diagram of the Edinburgh one of 14 red lights winked from red to green. The ship was now his.

"Thank you Ma'am" Macleod said.

She stood and he did as well.

"Don't launch before we open the dock doors commander and have a good one".

He saluted, walked out of the office and along the main airlock tunnel that held HIS ship firmly tethered to Galcom HQ.

As soon as he stepped on board he was hit by the SILENCE. Normally a military vessel had a lot of activity, people bustling around with datapadds, marines doing patrols, medical staff on hand, engineers doing repairs but right now there was nothing.

The senior staff officers were not due to arrive until the next day and then after that the other crew would show up to complete final checks. THEN the adventure would begin.

He started to walk towards his quarters and then stopped. He took in a depth breath of the ships filtered air, turned around and walked towards the bridge.

The doors on the bride slid open noiselessly and he stepped out onto the bridge of his ship.

Bridge layouts and been fairly standardised for over a century but there was nothing like knowing it was your ship, your bridge. Absolutely NOTHING in the universe compared to it.

He walked down the small ramp to the command chair and sat down. Ahead of him was the massive viewscreen that dominated the bridge. It looked wrong because it was off. Whilst docked at Galcom there was nothing to display and so the whole bridge was in standby mode.

He sat there and remembered previous missions, thought about up and coming ones and then allowed himself a small smile.

"Soon" he announced to the empty bridge around him.

He stood up and headed off to his quarters.

As he walked down to his quarters there was a loud 'BUMP' from outside the ship, he checked his datapadd and saw that another red telltale was now green. The refuelling connection to the ship had been broken, Another milestone had been reached and the ship would soon be ready for action.

He reached his quarters and was pleased to see his bags had already arrived. he was too tired to unpack and decided to put a quick call through to his wife before bed.

The commanders quarters on a Battlecruiser were quite spacious, a large double bed dominated one ide of the room whilst a sofa and table with a personal computer linked to the ship was off to one side. The adjoining room was a personal head and he had his storage area for his uniform and personal belongings.

He sat down on the sofa and activated the computer. "Open channel, Personal Contact, Helen Macleod" he announced to the computer.

The computer bleeped once and then there she was, his breath always caught in his throat when he saw her.

"Hello Helen, How are you?"

"I'm good" she replied with that smile that always made his heart miss a beat.

"How's Edinburgh?" He asked.

"Cold, Wet, Normal" she replied with a smile.

"I'm sorry, hun" he said. "I need to do this tour".

Again, she smiled. "I know. It's who you are. I understand that. I don't LIKE it but you wouldn't be who are you, if you DIDN'T go".

Now it was his turn to smile. "Now I know why I love you" he said

She gave him a big smile. "And it's a good thing too" she said. "I wouldn't want you running off with some green semi naked alien slave girl!"

"No chance of that, We haven't discovered any yet!" he retorted.

She frowned a little. ÔÇ£I mean it Donald, It took a long time for us to find each other. I want you to look after yourself out there. We both know how dangerous it isÔÇØ.

He nodded.

"I know and I promise.ÔÇØ

ÔÇ£I love you Helen and I'll talk to you very soon" he said in a heavy voice.

"Take care Donald, Talk soon.". She gave him a brief smile and broke the connection.

He sighed, Got up from the sofa, shrugged off his uniform and went to bed.

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Ok, I'm hooked. Looking forward to furture chapters.

Cheers.

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Hey GaryW....is part 3 coming along pretty soon?

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Yes, It's nearly done. Was going to finish and post on the weekend but had to fight flu instead

Watch this space

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Fighting the Flu is not part of the ACM. Reload and try again. Must be a glitch.

Darn reality always getting in the way of my fun.

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Hi Folks,

Apologies for the lack of updates. Whilst my flu has gone I'm still not fully recovered and work has taken a big chunk of time.

Any way part III, Part IV will follow in a week or so.

**Part Three - One Day to Launch**

There was fire all around him, The ship screamed.

The ship was dying and she new it.

Smoke clouded his vision.

He knew he only had a few minutes before his pressure suit gave out under the extreme conditions.

The ships fire suppresion had given

up the hopeless fight a long time ago.

He reached the sealed medical section and used a hand held reader. There was oxygen behind the door.

He stood for a moment his suit felt heavy. He was tired, the cooling system of suit was close to collapse. The door suddenly opened and the fire fed by the oxygen rush exploded in his face...

He awoke.

It was dark.

The air tasted different.

He was alone.

He remembered.

"Lights - Dim" he called out.

The lights in his cabin sprung on to half their normal brightness. It was still too much.

Donald closed his eyes against the bright light and remembered that was he was on a ship. His ship.

He slowly became accustomed to the light and eventually swung his legs out of bed.

"Time" he barked.

"07:15" the ships computer crisply responded.

The senior staff were due at 08:00. It was traditional for the senior staff to meet up so the commander could go over what was expected from them. Donald always liked this part and would always combine it with breakfast.

He sat there for a few moments with images of fire, smoke and flames going through his head. He hadn't had that dream for 18 months now.

It was all connected to a rescue mission, in fact his last under his previous command.

The science vessel Troy had been attacked on the way back to Earth.

It was only blind luck his ship had appeared through the wormhole as the attacking insurgents were about to finish the job.

It was very lucky timing for the Troy.

The ship was so badly damaged that he had to send shuttles over to evacuate the crew.

Macleod had insisted on being part of the rescue party. He had taken five weeks to physically recover from that day. Mentally, it was 18 months on and easier now but not gone, never gone.

He stood up and walked into the head to get ready for what was sure to be a busy day.

Macleod had only just finished getting everything ready when the door chime to his quauters beeped.

He opended the door to see Paul Resnig standing there, Macleod and Resnig had served together many times before. In fact Macleod had twice recommended Resnig for promotion.

"Paul!" he exclaimed, "Great to see you!". It had been Resnig that had pulled him out of the inferno. Macleod had never forgotten him for it.

"Hello Sir, Good to see you in command again"

"it IS good to be back Resnig, grab yourself some breakfast".

Resnig went up to the food replicator and ordered himself a perfectly sensible cereal. As he sat down the door chime went again.

This time standing at the door was Sandy crane, the ships communications officer and Allison Meeks, the chief medical officer.

Again, Macleod waved them to the food relicator.

by 08:00 the only person missing was lanna kasangi.

Macleod sat down with a very unhealthy breakfast.

"thanks for coming everyone. Now as you know we are down for a standard 3 month tour."

The door chime went.

"open" called macleod.

The doors obeyed.

Sorry IÔÇÖm late sir said lana.

"What happened?" asked macleod.

she looked down. "I got...... Lost sir".

Macleod raised an eyebrow.

"the ships navigation officer got lost?" he asked.

"umm, it wasn't quite like that, Sir... They said docking 18, i thought they said 14 and well, i erm... I should shut up".

Macleod laughed. "grab some breakfast.

Over the next hour Macleod went over what he expected of all of them and what he expected of the departments.

He knew most of them, he knew what they could do. They were good people.

Eventually he brought the dicussion to a close.

"OK, I need to pay the fleet commander a visit to collect our orders. We will meet in the conference lounge at 14:00".

Everyone slowly filled out of the room.

Macleod looked down at the dirty plates and cups. He picked them all up, shoved them into the food recycler, pressed a Button and watched them vanish.

I HATE washing up he moaned.

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Thanks Shingen. I'm trying to show that there is a lot more going on just behind the scenes that you see in the game.

I have most of the story in my head at the moment and it's a bit of a pain trying to get it down as sometimes bits just don't work out as I imagine they should.

All good fun (Mostly!).

Part 4 to come in the next few days.

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