Sunday serialisation – Andrea 1.3

Andrea cover300

Andrea – in search of space, picks up where Making Merry left off.

Fresh from her work on Project Prodigialis, Rear Admiral Andrea Smithson takes command of the Terra II project.

The largest in-system luxury cruise liner had been refitted and recommissioned in the Royal Space Regiment fleet as HMDSV Colin Pillinger. Its mission? To identify, locate and survey a habitable but uninhabited planet which can be populated over time to take pressure off Earth and its resources.

For the cast of characters at the start of the project, click here

For a brief list of acronyms and initialisms used, click here

Andrea – in search of space. Chapter one, part three.

“Over to you, Jason. I’d like a meeting tomorrow morning – all department heads, and Commander and above. According to the document I have here, they are all cleared to Top Secret with eDV and have all signed our NDA. Have housekeeping organise a room and make sure it’s big enough and properly equipped. Who’s your First Officer?”

“Don’t have one – I thought that was to be my job.”

“Second Officer?”

“I managed to get permission for Captain Ishmael Al-Kawazi to be transferred from the Sir Prijs, if that’s okay.”

“Is he here yet?”

“Arrived yesterday.”

“Okay. Isn’t he an engineer, though?”

“One of the best.”

“Who’s your Engineering chief?”

“Yet to be appointed, Ma’am.”

“Were the decision mine, I’d put Al-Kawazi in there. Chief Engineer is a grade above First Officer, so it’s a good move for him. Your decision though.”

“I can agree to that. Who do I get as First Officer?”

“I thought Stuart-Lane.”

“Tarquin? I’d be better off with Postlethwaite.”

“I’m guessing there’s more to Tarquin than we’ve seen, Jason. Look what happened to Meredith when she was given real responsibility. Tarquin hasn’t had that chance yet. Give him a challenge he can rise to and the right motivation and I think he’ll do it. If he doesn’t – well, you managed with Postlethwaite for long enough, didn’t you?”

“Managed without him, more like.”

“How about we make Tarquin acting First Officer subject to confirmation after, what, six months?”

“Okay. I take it you’ll want him at the meeting tomorrow.”

“He qualifies for inclusion by his rank. I want Miss Nambeesan to attend, too, if only to keep Tarquin’s attention off me. She can have the job of scribe. I know it’s more than a little old-fashioned these days, but perhaps the idea of someone taking notes is not daft, even if the system does record everything. Meantime, I’d like a full crew manifest by department and function in my office by 0900 tomorrow.”

“You don’t have an office, Andrea. Not if you want me to use the captain’s ready-room.”

“I think that by 0900 tomorrow I should have a suitable, properly equipped and functioning office adjacent to the room where the meeting is to take place, don’t you?”

“I’ll see to it, Ma’am.”

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