When the Terran federation first left the galactic Alpha sector, several smaller space stations were built at its perimeter to secure the federations borders. These versatile defensive outposts were used as bridgeheads to the Beta sector for a long time, until the establishment of autonomous colonies in remote areas of the galaxy induced the construction of the seven great titan warp gates. The warp gates, powered by massive fusion reactors could enclose vessels of any size in a stable warp field, sending them lightyears into space, in the blink of an eye.
As warp travel was used more and more frequently, traffic at the perimeter stations started to die down, until supply transports were the only ships to visit them regularly.
The perimeter stations lost more and more in importance, as the Beta sector got colonized and eventually, whole stations one by one got sold to private investors. Only Earths nearest perimeter station remained in its original form and function, as it hosted three of the seven titan gates.
One of the decommissioned and sold stations, namely 'Vicara Post' was the place, a certain commander of the Terran federation spent each and every of his vacations.
As every day Kila Green was the first one on the top deck of the stationary orbital platform and watched the sunrise above Alpha Vicara. As the blazing fireball Vicara slowly came into view, the liquid crystal filters inside the great glass windows broke the light and created a pale blue sky. Normally, the blue squirrel would wear his Hawaii shirt during his vacations, but this time, they finally did it. Kila switched on his data pad and read the message again.
"They really did it...they really cut my vacations. And what's next? 'Course a date with 'Loki' stands on the list." He sighed and shook his head "Why me?"
So Kila Green just stood there on the top deck of Vicara Post, in his much too tight federation uniform and with a tormented look on his face. He finally decided to visit the docks and meet his fate before he'd have to hurry.
"Nuts!" A rough bark pulled Kila out of his train of thought and he looked up to meet the happy glance of his trusty lupine navigator Eddie SanHusky "Nuts, I knew I'd find ya up 'ere". Kila couldn't hold back a smile, when he noticed Eddie's uniform "So you got the message too?" "'Course I did. Ya really thought, they'd send ya on a mission like that without me?"
Together, the two got Kilas baggage and headed for the docking bays at the very bottom of the station. "So, Eddie, is AJ with you?" "Yeah, that butt-weed said, he'll wait for us at the docks. We brought the 'Liberty' over from home"
The ride on the elevator always took far too long for Kila, but this time, he had his babbling 2nd lieutenant on board "So, we're codename 'Thor', huh? Sounds a lil' cheesy, don'tcha think? But hey, ya can't choose ya own codename, right?" "I guess, you're right...Smartass"
"Aww, c'mon" Eddie's voice got a little whiney "I toldcha, ya shouldn't call me that"
"Well, you call me 'Nuts' and I call you 'Smartass'. Fair's fair"
"Captain on-deck!" the silver shimmering dragon saluted, as Kila stepped out of the elevator
'Oh god...', he thought 'I'll never get used to that...'
Eddie put his arm around the dragons shoulder and pulled him tight "C'mon AJ, take that broomstick out of ya ass, nobody's watchin'"
"Well, Eddie, we all know that you're playing hard and all, but as you should know best, due respect is all that keeps our society from falling apart" the dragon stated, without losing his composure "Good to see you, captain"
At the sight of an actually respectful crewmember, Kila straightened his back and smiled politely at his friend "Also good to see you Mister Durai" to which the dragon replied with a nod and a slight bow.
Suddenly the squirrel was distracted by a colorful shimmer from the outside. He stepped next to the great windows and noticed a mid-sized vessel next to the station. Its red and silver hull reflected the sunlight even through the artificial sky. At the same moment, the airlock next to them opened and a grey-striped cat, only clad in jeans came out of it "'Dafuq is that noise out here? Dunno if you noticed, but I've been working non-stop for hours on the damn engines and got no sleep because these morons treated my baby out there like a racing car, and some asshole drank all of my-" "Watts..." Eddie raised a paw and interrupted the newcomer in his rant "...please, shut up." He pointed at Kila "Commander Kila Green, our captain" and waved in the cats direction "Tech Chief Archibald 'Watts' Watson, our amazingly friendly board engineer"
The next moments were dominated by awkward silence and at first, it seemed like Archie's jaw could drop to the floor any second. "Dayum" was the first thing, he was able to say, but then he slowly found his composure "Oh...well...pleased to finally meet you, cap'n"
"The pleasure's all on my half" Kila answered and turned his eyes back to the ship outside the station "So, this is the 'Liberty'?" "Yep, that's my baby. I designed and planned her myself and a few minutes ago I've finally been able to fire up those damn fusion engines to test her REAL power" Archie sighed and continued "I've been designing and planning federation vessels for years now, but this baby out there is my magnum opus. She's perfect in every way. Formed to perfection, like a single perfect diamond, carved out of a giant rock. Not only are the engines unique on this side of the galaxy, but the whole structure, the weapons, reactors, everything is carefully calculated for maximum efficiency. This ship is a masterpiece of-" "Well, maybe we should find a priest and get you two married?" Eddie's chuckling snout appeared next to Archie's face and a grey paw placed itself onto his shoulder. The answer came promptly "Oh, Yeah? Maybe I should get your face married with my wrench?"
"Alright, guys" Kila said, interrupting Eddies laughter "maybe it's time to get in and check up the ship, before we run out of time?"
AJ finally moved from his place and took the lead "You're right, captain. Now come on, guys"
The main bridge of the 'Liberty' was rather small, but very comfortable and when the hatch was shut, the strong humming of the two powerful fusion reactors was nothing more than an almost non-existent vibration.
Commander Kila Green sat down in his all too comfortable captains chair for the first time and brought his dark console online. "It's 10.28 Galactic Beta Sector Time, T minus 2 minutes, let's get to the checklist"
"Navigator Lieutenant Eddie SanHusky reports: deflector online, inertial dampeners decoupled, sector map loaded and federation uplink established"
"Tactical Officer Lieutenant Commander AJ Durai reports: weapon systems on standby, shields on travel mode and synchronized"
Archie announced his checklist from his working station in the back of the ship, over the intercom "Tech Chief Archie Watson reports: Engines are warm, EPCS stable on 10% capacity"
Kila sighed and closed his eyes for a moment, the he gave the command to exit the dock.
The inertial dampeners made the first jerk forward of the 'Liberty' nearly imperceptible. Only the sudden movement of the ambient around the ship testified the actual acceleration.
"Okay, Eddie, we're heading for warp gate two, course 3-"
"Nope, sorry to interrupt ya, captain, but this ship doesn't need warp gates" Eddie answered and typed some things into his console "Watts, ya ready for hyperdrive?"
The intercom buzzed "Hyperdrive capacitor on 99.9%" and Eddie continued "Course 3-3-6-5-point-4-4-8 to Darath Listening Post engaged, goin' at safe distance aaand...just waitn' for ya command, captain"
Kila, the squirrel leaned forward in his chair and pointed into space "Let's get out of here"
For the blink of an eye, the 'Liberty' seemed to flicker, as it slowly moved away from the orbital station and then, without warning it disappeared in a flash of blue and white.