Part of USS Denver: Prologue

Where a Crawford Begins

Earth, Starfleet Academy
February 2, 2374 11:00
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“I really do wish you all the luck in the world, Peter.”  Cadet Kacy Tran stood on the shuttle launchpad.

Peter Crawford chuckled, “I know.  We’ve had this conversation over coffee so many times.  You’ll get a posting, I’m sure.  Probably some flagship.”  He gently nudged her shoulder, “We both know you’re the better out of the two of us.” For her part, Tran rolls her eyes.  They’d been broken up a month and it had been hard sharing the same classes, spaces, and friends knowing this day was coming.

“You think you’ll tell your folks you got the Denver?”  She had been trying, unsuccessfully, to find a way to heal the wound that festered between her ex-boyfriend and his family.

The future Chief of Operations officer grimaced, “You know that old saying about don’t open up old wounds?  I know you mean well, Kacy…but it’s going to take a lot of time for them to accept…or even acknowledge me and my new life.”  He sighed, “They didn’t come to any of the family weekends.  Or my early graduation.  I think they’ve made their feelings very clear.”  He shrugged, “I’m not in the business of trying to change people to fit my happiness.  One of these days they’ll come around.  I gotta let it go…and get it off my shoulders.”

Kacy sighed.  She knew better than to push him further.  The issues between the Crawfords were deep and wide.  She felt the same way about her parents sometimes.  They’d forced her and Peter to end the pursuit of marriage.  She didn’t want to admit that she didn’t have the courage nor the strength to stand up to them.  Such was the way.  “I’m sorry.  I wish it was better, that’s all.”

Crawford caught a wave from the launch officer.  “Me and you both.  I gotta shove off.  Send me a message where you’re posted.  We can still be friends across a galaxy or two.”  She gave him a quiet smile and embraced him.

“Good luck, Ensign Crawford.”  They stepped apart and Peter walked away.  He approached the launch officer and handed him a PADD.

“Ensign Peter Crawford, assigned to USS Denver as Chief of Operatons.”  The older man looked over the PADD, tapped a few buttons and then handed it back.

“Making Chief straight outta the academy?  That’s not a bad start, Ensign.”  He pulled up his own PADD and tapped a few more buttons, “Somedays I wish I could get out there and do it all over again, you know?”

Crawford knew.  He’d studied enough of the stories of officers who ended up behind desks and in places they never should have retired to – finding the daily doldrums of office life a bore.  “I’ll try and have some adventure out there for you, sir.”

“Well, just come back to us, Ensign Crawford.  We like to see you return to us every so often.”

Peter gave the man a thoughtful look of thanks, “Aye aye, sir.  Thank you.”  He followed the path to his shuttle and settled in with the other officers and crew readying themselves for the journey to their own assignments, ports, and destinations.  Crawford sat back as the door rumbled shut and the engines shook the shuttle awake.  He was going to the USS Denver.  And he was going to space.

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