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.
The Captain is 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 behind the navigator. I could see that the co-ordinated had been entered for Neptune, so the moon was not going to be a stop off.
The Chief engineer’s voice came over the tannoy. “Ready when you are, Captain.”
I forgot, for a moment, 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.”
In a rather rather sheepish tone, Mr Jacobs said, “Taking the ship out carefully, sir.”
It was hard to tell if the ship was moving, but the tell tale sign 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 your ready.”
Jacobs was ready, even eager 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 2020