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Morning Coffee

Posted on 30 Dec 2020 @ 3:51am by Lieutenant JG Leland Hawksley & 2nd Lieutenant Cassandra Mathews
Edited on on 01 Jan 2021 @ 4:39pm

Mission: General Sim Postings
Location: Mess Hall
Timeline: 0625 Hours


Hawksley was refreshed. He had finished up in the gym completing his cardio, weights, and sets of the medicine ball. It was an old technique, but it was effective for him.

Having followed through the lines in the mess, he had filled up a silver mug of hot coffee and then had grabbed a polished red delicious apple and orange.

Looking around the mess, it was busy. Yet there was a perfectly seated area just near the windows outside of the hall. The starscape was always something nice to wake up too, and stare at in the morning so early. Taking a seat, he had looked around wondering if Matthew's was finished her workout on time?

He had not seen her around in the gym, yet he was sure she would arrive.

Cassandra had had to do her PT with alfa team. They would be deploying soon for the mission and they needed to be run through the paces beforehand to make sure they were in the best fighting shape. Not that Cassi had doubted any of their abilities she just had to see it for herself before she signed their lives away for the sake of the mission like herself. She had cleaned up and had two hours of leave before she'd need to go back and gear up and be on stand by for deployment. Which is why when she showed up for coffee with her new friend Leland she was in a fresh pair of civvies. Nothing fancy. A dark blue blouse and a pair of jeans. She decided to enjoy her running shoes as well seeing as she'd be banished to her boots soon enough for god knew how long.

When she entered the mess hall she glanced around and spotted him tucked outside the hall near one of the large windows. She grabbed herself a strong cup of coffee and went to join him. He looked so serine there looking out at the stars. What was he thinking? She wondered as she watched him a moment then looked out at the glittering backdrop of stars and inky space. She took a sip of her coffee as she silently slid into the seat opposite him. "Never loses its wonder does it?" Cassi heard herself say. "Sorry if I am running a little late."

Hawksley had pulled his mind away from the starscape. He always got lost in the view. His morning reflection was completed as he smiled greeting Matthews.

"No, it does not. It's the beauty we are all afforded out here." He nodded, then turned his attention to Cassandra. "No, not at all. I was wondering since I didn't see you in the gym this morning?" He asked curiously.

"May I get you something from the kitchen?" Hawksley offered.

"Nah, just coffee. We might be deploying soon and I don't handle the EVA suites well enough to risk eating anything." Cassi returned with a chuckle. She was nervous. It would pass. She always had a bought of nerves before deployment. She was glad to have a friend nearby to help keep her mind off it. Still worry gnawed at her. 'How many are going to die under my command today? How many won't be coming back? Please God, watch over us.' She bit her lower lip and cast her eyes back to the stars. perhaps searching for some sign her prayer might have been heard.

Leland had smiled and nodded. “Yeah, I don’t envy you being in an EVA. They cause me claustrophobia, yet I somehow had passed the training, go figure!” He shrugged and chuckled. “Do you take your coffee black?” He couldn’t help but notice that Matthew’s had a straight black mug.

For the moment, Hawksley could almost sense that Cassandra was somewhat apprehensive this morning. Hawksley certainly did not know Cassandra all that well enough, yet he was confident the feeling was all around the crew. Given the mission. He did not envy her situation. Leland felt sympathetic as he was to remain on the Tomcat and not engage on a planetary level.

Cassi chuckled softly at his comments in regards to EVA training. She had to agree it was still claustrophobic as ever in her humble opinion as well. "Yeah, today I am taking it black. The caffeine will help keep me sharp and with any luck focused." She glanced back over at Leland. "So... um depending on how things go surface wise I might not be here tomorrow for coffee. Try not to miss me too much while I am gone." She said with humour.

Leland had frowned. He hated to hear that. He understood what she was saying, and it resonated and hit home. "Please don't say that." He shook his head looking down to the table.

"As long as I pilot this ship... No matter how bumpy it may get." He half-smiled. "I... We, won't let things get bad. And if they do. I want to be the first to see you when you get back from that deployment. Guaranteed." He affirmed. "Got it!" Hawksley had looked intently into Matthew's blue eyes.

She gave him a smile it was genuine but still a little sad. "Of course. that was rather silly of me to say. Everything will be okay." She did her best to ball up those feelings of doubt and the endless possibilities of how this all could go so terribly wrong. She hardly knew this team. She didn't know their quirks or mannerisms or possible problems that could arise. She had been pouring over the personnel records and trying to spend as much time with them as she could. It just didn't feel like enough though. She glanced back out to the stars. Everything would be okay. She had to believe that. Even if her gut was telling her something different.

"See something out there?" Leland asked simply. Yet, he could tell there was more to her apprehension.

"Nothing I am looking for," Cassi replied softly. She looked back at him. "I don't want to kill all those innocent people. I know I have too. But..." She shook her head and made herself take a drink of her coffee. It was starting to grow cooler a signal that time was sliding away. And here she was sulking. She let out a soft sigh. "You wanna get out of here and go do something?"

"Sure," Leland replied in softness. "Where would you like to go?" A good walk somewhere anywhere was just relaxing sometimes on the Tomcat. Seeing others busy in their work had a way of focusing the mind.

Now wasn't that a question and a half. Where would she like to go? She didn't know. So she said. "A walk maybe. I hear they have a fighter bay. We could go look at some birds if you like." She offered.

Stepping up first, Leland nodded. He had taken his tray with him back to the replicator to be recycled, as he did he took Matthews finished order as well.

"The Tomcat is a small ship, yet it's designed makes corridors and intersections rather tricky. You find that?" He remarked as they had walked out of the mess hall to the Fighter Launch Bay.

"Ah yeah, I noticed. I met the second XO not too long after I got here and she gave me a map. I never got around to using it after our time in the lounge as I had to get back on duty. Besides marine executive officers don't get lost. We merely get sidetracked." She said with a half-smile and a soft chuckle. She followed him again grateful for the company. the change in scenery had helped. She really liked fighters and could not deny the excitement that rose in her chest as it struck her that she finally had enough rank to get to go and see them whenever she wanted. Nice perk. It helped to cheer her up at least. "You ever fly in a fighter?" Cassi asked curiously now as she glanced his way.

Hawksley and Matthews were rounding the final corridor to the gangway designed Fighter Bay. There was a larger presence of personnel on these decks he found.

Chuckling a bit, Leland added. "No." He feigned, "Certainly not 'lost'. One would think you being in SFMC you would love a map? Interesting..." He grinned cheekily to himself.

"Well that all depends on the map, to be honest," Cassi said with a slight grin.

Entering the large Fighter Bay, the hangar doorway had opened to reveal the 36 Gryphon Fighters all stationed with unbiblical attachments in servicing.

"I have not had the chance to sit in a Gryphon Fighter, No. Although, I have been in a few others... There are 36 of em'... Good chances for me to jump in one some time?" Hawksley asked.

"I guess that depends on that them science folks say. But I doubt it. They are gonna go down and spray chemicals all over and follow those bluegill critters after to some sorta queen bug. That, once we off her it is going to kill off all the hosts and then maybe if your very unlucky they might send you boys down to set the whole place on fire. Least that's what I gathered." Cassi said. She was oversimplifying it a bit she knew. "Or something along those lines they may just use big ass bombs." She shook her head. Her bottom lip trembled a little as she again for the millionth time tried to figure out a way to try and help those poor people. She didn't want to do this. She didn't want to kill them. She made her self look instead upon the view of the beautiful Gryphon class fighters being pampered in their bay. It was soothing. "What do you think of this whole mess?" She asked curiously.

Leland swallowed hard. He knew it was wrong. Hawksley didn't enjoy the idea any more than the Colonel, nor the Tomcat crew.

"I don't like it. In fact, I hate it." He spoke quietly, as they reflected on the Gryphon Fighters.

Cassi nodded. "Me too. It's not just the colonist that makes this so terrible. I can almost guarantee you that on that planet there are pockets of life that even under these atmospheric changes and toxins could still be thriving. Probably more so than ever before. Indigenous life that we because of our blunder are now choosing to snuff out. We came and colonized their world. It is not even ours to destroy." She let out a frustrated sigh. "I understand why. What I don't understand is why no one has thought that perhaps this could be a chance to try to reason with these things? They are obviously intelligent. Cant some sort of peace be established before we go skipping about firebombing whole planets to the ground? They had lived here and adapted to life here on this planet and then we sent settlers here. We are the invaders. I think diplomacy should be considered. But what would I know about such things? All I know is that all the innocent life forms on that planet should at least have some effort made in preserving them before we destroy their world."

Hawksley had turned to Matthews. "I agree. I think we should seek out the life down there and try everything as possible as we can to ensure that destruction... Is the last option." He grimaced. "However, the Federation Council has made its decision. What are we to do? What can we do?" Leland furrowed a brow in unearthed frustration over the mission.

"We follow orders. At least we are not doing so blindly. Thank God for that." Cassi let out a sigh. then her comm chirped at her.

=/\= the Second lieutenant could we see you in training room four? =/\=

Cassi smiled sadly. =/\= On my way=/\= She said to the voice over the command the line bleeped closed. She looked at Leland then as she straightened up and prepared to go. "Thank you for the coffee and the company. Unfortunately, time stands still for no one. If you would please excuse me." She left then at a power walk. Training room four this early probably meant it had to do with the new EVA suite design and testing. Still, she hoped not. Maybe it was something else. She'd find out soon enough she supposed.


2nd Lt. Cassandra Mathews

Lieutenant JG Leland Hawksley


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