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The Hardest Part

Posted on 03 Aug 2021 @ 11:38pm by Lieutenant Claudia Sandoval
Edited on on 03 Aug 2021 @ 11:39pm

Mission: Once Upon A Time
Location: Earth - Sandoval home
Timeline: Six weeks prior to "The Happy Wanderer"

"So you're really going?" Antonio Sandoval said from the kitchen table of his 650 year-old family home.

Dr. Claudia Sandoval looked at her husband with her hand on her hip. "You didn't just say that to me? You know Starfleet has the say when it comes to assignments. And the fleet needs doctors on ships."

"Our kids need their mother. Jonathan is just barely walking."

She sighed, "I know. You're right, but the only option I have is to resign and I'm not ready for that. Tell you what, if it doesn't work out I'll resign and come home, and if there is a Starbase nearby that the Minerva regularly comes back to you move out there."

Antonio sighed, "Yeah, okay. That seems fair."

She crossed the kitchen and kissed him. "One tour, and no more. Either way I'm coming home even if it's as a civilian."

Antonio placed his massive and calloused hand on the back of her neck and the two stood forehead to forehead for several seconds taking in each other's energy.

Then they broke apart a tear in the corner of her eye. She turned and went into the living room and kissed her two kids on the foreheads. They were sad, but Claudia was sure that the reality of the situation hadn't sunk in yet.

With no more words left to say she went to the door where Antonio stood. He helped her into her coat and placed the strap to her duffle over her head and carried her oversized suitcase out the door. A shuttle was waiting patiently in the driveway with Starfleet Command emblazoned on the hull.

Husband and wife hugged each other for a long time, and with a final kiss she turned and entered the shuttle. Antonio stood watching the ship lift off and disappeared into the night.

==Star Station India==

Two Federation Starships and three civilian transports later Claudia Sandoval had arrived at a backwater station adjacent to the Gamma 7 sector.

The eight week journey was grueling, but soon the Minerva would arrive for resupply. For now she was sitting in the station's only bar that if it had been on Earth would have given her nightmares.

She had a glass of water and a plate of some mediocre finger food local to the region. She was writing letters home to family chronicling her journey. Abstractly she felt like an early American settler chronicling her trials and tribulations into a diary. It was an odd thought. This was her Frontier.

She set her writing down to swirl something that looked like celery, but had a meaty flavor, in a brown sauce that mostly had no flavor but salt. She bit into the "celery" with a crunch and chewed it for a minute before picking up her writing utensil and continuing.

Her communicator chirped. Reaching to her belt she fumbled with the small black communications device. Flipping the gold screen open she spoke into it, "Sandoval here."

"Uh yeah, Dr. Sandoval you requested to me notified when the USS Minerva was approaching?" The station commander asked.

She was already packing things up and organizing her table, "Uh, yeah, I did."

"They will be docking in a few minutes."

"Understood. Thanks for letting me know. Sandoval out."

She stood with her belongings and tossed a couple slips of latinum on the table before heading to her temporary quarters to retrieve the rest of her stuff. The waiting was over. Her new adventure was about to begin.


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