Testing the Water

Characters: Terry Hale

It was with a passable four hours sleep and considerable satisfaction over the Wake, Hale stepped out from the lift to the bridge. There was just a skeleton crew for the late hour, and surprisingly, Margaret Morgan wasn’t numbered among them. Maybe her chosen first officer really did leave the Bridge for a sleep, once in a while. Or had she actually gone to the Wake? Promising, if so. Maybe it would be safe to see she got one of the officers off the Bridge after all.

Eyes flickered to Hale as she moved to her seat, but none interrupted her entrance with concerns or questions. For once since she’d come aboard, the bridge was not weighted with the leaden silence of worry and waiting, or the frenetic activity of a crisis.

She was more than a little disappointed to end it.

“Darion, you’ve got the most likely planet from the search I ordered. Helm, open a jumpgate and follow Darion’s coordinates. And Niall, see that a set of probes are prepared for deployment,” Hale ordered. “We’ve got a trip that will take roughly seven hours in hyperspace. That will bring us with in a relatively safe but readable distance from the planet to drop the probes and return to hyperspace. Understood?”

There was a moment’s silence, and then fabric shuffled as the Rangers turned back to their consoles.

“Opening Jumpgate, aye,” announced the helmsman in steady tones.

Through the murmurs of commands and checks, the Phoenix came about from the Vorlon planet and toward the opening hole of a Jumpgate. Twisting amber on the black drop of the void, the gate widened, and with a snap that should have been audible, the Phoenix was pulled in.

Copyright (c) 1998 Alida Saxon. All rights reserved.

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