Outside the porthole, I see the vastness of space. The stars twinkle about, so clear, so distant. Below me rotates the rings of Saturn, mostly made of ice, but it looks like little diamonds to me.
I remember the journey to get here. It started two years ago. It seems like forever now. We left with such high hopes, just risking it all for King and Country. King George commanded a mission to get to this old relic. By his command, we came. And now we reside aboard her. Our primary supply ship destroyed along the way, and the smaller transport, now safely on its way home.
Somewhere out there are the aliens. We know they exist, we encountered them along the way. They seemed intent on destroying us, yet, they don’t. I find this curious, but we don’t seem to discuss this. Nobody really wants to go there, at least, not publicly.
The last of the Tigerhawks were unloaded, they look absolutely brilliant. Starbuck tested out one, it flies like a dream. I know mine is being cleaned of the safety grease they put on, to prevent corrosion while in storage. In a couple days, I will get my first taste of Tigerhawks in space. I am quite excited. I have trained hard, flown countless hours in simulation, and earned my place here with my war record.
Yesterday I was placed on the flight roster. That was a proud moment for me. I celebrated with a doubly fudge brownie. Actually, it was just a regular old protein cake, but I closed my eyes and could almost taste the hot fudge running down the devils food cake. Oh I miss that. I think I shall miss chocolate, and Earth, a lot. However, we are going to be launching on to a new adventure, among the stars, to another world! I think giving up a few things is a worthy trade. It is not like there was anything back home that I cared for anymore, anyhow.
Still, we are also going into a possible war. Not that the UK has not been at war with the ConFed Theocracy for ages already, but this time, it will be with some alien race, with what seems to be superior technology. I just hope this relic can hold out.
It bothers me some, that it seems freshly rebuilt in parts. It is almost as if, it was repaired prior to our arrival, then refrozen. The Admiral, wisely, has sent our DC teams to check every square inch, for anything we might recognize as a bug. How they intend to recognize that from the other alien technology, I don’t know, but I am only a pilot, not an engineer, so I guess that is their problem.
The engines came back on line a couple months ago. That is good, we were all freezing. It has been so long since I was able to feel my fingers, that now they feel funny. Not really, but you know…
It is actually warm in here. Most of the crew walk around in just our spandex undersuits. We are always prepared for decompression, because pressure suits are always in emergency boxes everywhere. I know we all were delighted to have those pressure suits, when it was cold. They maintained our body heat rather well, to be fair, but now that it is truly hot in here, they are better left on the walls in the boxes.
I should mention, the ship, it is very noisy. You can hear the engines vibrating the hull no matter where you go. It is not loud, but it is everywhere. If you are anywhere near the flight deck, you can also hear the sounds of the aircraft being prepared, tested, and the constant thump of landings, as the pilots with serviceable aircraft practice launches and landings. Oh yes, I should also mention, the launch tubes. Now THAT is worth the trip right there. You go from still, to full military power in a matter of meters, while inside a tube. Then whoosh, out into space! Hell yea!
Landings are tricky. You would think that as MASSIVE as the landing pods are, that landing would be simple, but it is not as it seems. We still bounce off the decks, even with the magnetic landing pads deployed. So we hit the deck, then have to counter with the correctional thrusters, and bring the Tigerhawks down again, which can be very disorienting.
And then there is the Red Arrows. So far they got a few working, but nobody really understands them. 1735 reprogrammed them to display in English, so we at least understand what it is the data displays are showing us, but they still hold secrets.
Also, there is the Raptors, which seems very much similar to our Pawnee. They are larger, by far, and apparently are able to FTL. That is exciting. I won’t be flying one of those, at least not yet. I have much to learn about the Tigerhawk in space, so first I have to tame the Hawk.
My duty is in a few hours, so I better get some sleep. I understand the UKSA has another ship that we will be meeting up with for the journey to… well… wherever it is we end up going. We will probably never be back here, to Earth, which I guess must be how the first travelers must have felt when they left Europe for the New World. In a way, we are they. We are the modern day Pilgrims, on our own voyage to a New World. I wonder if it will be anything like home?