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The Arboretum

USS Federation Lounge

by Fleet Captain Stewart Hawks
[Stardate ]

The Arboretum
A Story By
Fleet Captain Stewart Hawks
    The ship was scheduled to depart the spacedock in 6 days. So Captain Hawks walked onto the ship via the gangway and headed to the arboretum. He was hoping the arboretum would be finished before they left.
    He entered cargo bay 4, which was the location of the soon to be new arboretum. When he entered, he saw that a lot of work had already been done.....most of the trees planted...walking paths laid out....benches in place....flower beds planted. But there was still a lot of empty space to fill.
    He walked over to one of the workers. "Excuse me."
    He was a human male, probably in his 50's or 60's. "Can I help you?" He looked at the rank insignia and corrected himself. "....captain."
    Stewart put out his hand. "Captain Stewart Hawks."
    "Ah..your the man in charge of his magnificent vessel. Stanley Waters......Dr." He shook his hand...a nice firm grip.
    "Pleasure to meet you. I was wondering how things are going here? We're suppose to be leaving in 6 days. I hope everything will be ready."
    Stanley took him by the arm and walked him around. "Oh it will be, young man. We're making great strides. Let me introduce you to the others." He steered them towards a human female. "Amanda."
    "Amanda. This is the captain of this fine vessel. Captain Stewart Hawks, Dr Amanda Peters."
    She extended her hand. "Pleasure to meet you, captain."
    "You as well. How many are here?"
    Stanley spoke, "I'm a specialist in herpetology and ornithology."
    There was a dazed looked on his face.
    "That means he's takes care of lizards and birds, captain." Amanda added. "I'm a geologist."
    "I know what they do." Stewart smiled.
    "My...I must get back to work. Amanda dear, please take care of our captain, would you?"
    "Gladly, this way captain." They walked along a path. "Quincy." She called.
    "Amanda, my sweet. Who do we have here?"
    Amanda introduced them. "Captain Stewart Hawks, Dr Quincy Jones....entomologist."
    "Bugs, captain, bugs." Quincy came forward. "I'd offer to shake your hand, sir, but I've been working in the dirt and I am a mess."
    "Honored to meet you."
    "Quincy. The captain wants to know if we can be finished in time." said Amanda.
    "Unless we encounter delays, I think we can make it on time. But you should really talk to the boss. She's over," Quincy looked around, "there. She'll have your answers."
    "Thank you both for your time. I hope to see you again." Stewart walked away.
    Quincy looked at Amanda. ""See us again"? Doesn't he know we're assigned here?"
    "Guess not, love." Amanda turned and went back to what she was doing.
    Stewart walked towards the person Quincy pointed out. When he got there, "Excuse me, I was hoping you could give me some answers."
    The person stood up and turned and faced him. "How can I help you?"
    Stewart was speechless.
    "Are you all right?"
    "I'm sorry...I lost my train of thought. Stewart Hawks."
    "Dr Bree Lawson. What can I do for you Captain Hawks?"
    "Lawson. Any relation to Admiral Lawson?"
    "He's my grandfather. He told me all about you and this job, captain."
    'Did he tell you anything else about me?"
    "That would be telling, captain."
    "Okay. Back to my question, will this all be ready in time for us to launch?"
    "We should be. Materials are being shuttled by 3 or 4 times a day. The overhead lights will simulate a day and night cycle. The lights are colored to simulate the natural growth cycle. Their are sprinklers to simulate rain, and underground irrigation. The trees and plants are all native to Earth, but we will leave enough space to allow for alien plants. We'll need small animals to help the forest grow. Lizards, frogs, that's Dr Waters domain. Dr Peters is our geologist. She handles rocks and dirt. Dr Jones is our bug expect. I'll introduce you to them."
    "I already met them."
    "Why didn't you say so?"
    "I liked hearing you talk."
    Bree brushed slightly. "My grandfather was right...your a charmer." They walked down the path. "Here you wanted a memorial for your fallen crew, so we left this space open. Are there any other questions?"
    "Just one....will you have dinner with me tonight?"
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