Malazan stepped off the ramp of the shuttle Hercules that had brought her to the Event Horizon station in the Delta quadrant. Dar, curious eyes darted all around, taking in the sights and types of life forms and technology that surrounded her.
Excited to start her new assignment, she’d been quite restless during the trip and was feeling the need for a pick me up to fire up her attention and reaction times. Standing on the deck of the station, she watched as her considerable crates were unloaded and left on a hover cart near where she stood.
In full uniform and face paint, minus weapons, Mal felt a little conspicuous as she studied the individuals around her trying to see if someone was there to meet her.
While also trying to find a place where she might get a cup of strong coffee, a man approached on her right. “Excuse me, are you Omhyr Malazan?”
Brows raised. “Yes, I am. And you are?”
“I’m Mr McKenzie, part of the diplomatic team here in the Delta Quadrant. I’ve been looking for you for the last 24 hours.”
She gave a small smile, “I’ve been jumping from shuttle to shuttle trying to get here as quickly as I could but there was a delay with the Hercules.”
The man returned the smile and waived a hand back and forth between them as if to say, ‘no, no, no’. “I didn’t mean to imply anything, Omhyr Malazan, I was just…never mind.” He clasped his hands behind his body, looked over to where the hover cart was being guided by an Ensign toward another docking port and continued. “If you’ll come with me to the Valiant, another shuttle, I’m afraid, I’ll take you to the Manhattan. I’ve already notified them of your appearance here and they’ve dropped out of warp and are awaiting your arrival. The trip should take about nine hours.”
She was disappointed that Cochrane wasn’t there to meet her, but more so that another shuttle ride was involved. Drawing in a deep breath and centering herself, Mal nodded. “That’s fine, Mr McKenzie. Thank you for your trouble.”
“No trouble at all, ma’am. Please follow me.”
“You’ll want to wake up now, ma’am.” Mal sat bolt upright in her seat. “Mr McKenzie…I apologize. I didn’t know I’d fallen asleep.” The last several days of travelling had taken a toll on her normal sleeping routine.
“Nothing to apologize for, Omhyr. You aren’t the first to grab a nap on the way to their new ship. Many do it.” Then he pointed out the viewscreen. “That’s her…that’s the Manhattan. We’ve been cleared to land and the Captain is waiting to meet you.”
As the tractor beam drew the small ship in and guided it to a safe area, Mal shook herself awake and ran in place for a moment to get her blood pumping. When the hatch opened and she walked down the ramp, one would never know she’d been in deep sleep not ten minutes before.
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