"A Thursday In November"
A man's hand knocked on the door to a very old victorian home set high on a hill surrounded by a verdant green plantation that stretched on for miles. The sun burned down brightly on the white-painted framework of the three hundred year old mansion. The only thing that set it apart from those ancient times was the aircar on the landing pad near the house that had settled down on the pavement, and the silhoette of a distant city on the horizon. Starfleet Cadet Ray Martin smiled at his date, Cadet Diana Palmer. They wore civilian clothes for the holidays, and they were very happy to be here at the invitation of their friends.
The door opened, and a lovely brunette woman opened it. "Welcome to our home," she said with a bright smile, "You must be Ray and Diana!"
"And you must be Mrs. Decker," Ray said with a smile.
"Call me Madelynne. Come in, come in," she said, still smiling. She turned to Diana and said to her, "You look lovely, dear."
"Thank you, Mrs... um... Madelynne," she said, just a little shyly, "We brought a pie," Diana said, "Where shall I put it?"
"Oh! Forgive me dear! Let me take that!" Madelynne said.
Ray could not help but agree with Mrs. Decker. Diana was lovely. The sun shown in her golden hair, and her smile... melted his heart. He took her hand and they were led inside.
Will Decker and his sister, Meghan greeted them once they were inside. "It's great to see you, Ray! You too, Diana!" Will said.
"Nice dress, Diana!" Meghan told her friend and gave her a hug. Then, she looked at Ray and said with a grin, "Not bad yourself, Ray."
"Lovely as ever, Meghan," he replied with a smile. The scent of the meal to come wafted throughout the house and he smiled even more broadly and said, "Thank you all for inviting us."
The ladies went to the kitchen, leaving Ray and Will out in the living room.
"Nice place you have here, Will," Ray said approvingly.
"It's been in the family for generations," he said, "I haven't been here in years, though."
"Why not?" Ray asked.
"Well... I keep busy... you know. The Academy... work...." Will replied.
A sudden light slamming of the front door sounded, and a booming voice echoed down the hallway, "Well, well, well! It's good to have you home, son!" A starfleet officer, Captain Matthew Decker strode up and gave his son a smile and a bear-hug, patting him on the back.
"Dad," Will smiled, "It's great to see you!"
"And who's your friend?" Decker asked.
"Raymond Martin at your service, sir," Ray replied with a smile.
"A pleasure to meet you. My son has spoken highly of you. I've also heard good things about you from Captain Pike. A tragedy about Captain Chapel, though," he said sadly.
"Yes sir. The loss of the Potempkin
is a terrible tragedy," Ray replied.
"They have not found a trace of her... so there is still hope," Decker replied, putting a hand on Ray's shoulder, "The Constellation
will be patrolling that sector soon. I'll keep an eye out for them."
"How's her refit coming, Dad?" Will asked.
"She'll be ready in a few months. Seems... a little sad to me. First and last of her class," Decker said.
"Progress, Dad. The Constitution Class has really streamlined the overall design of starships. Smaller and more efficient nacelles... duotronics... and I definitely like the darker bridge," Will said.
Decker shrugged, "A ship is about her crew. It's about getting the experts into the field to do their jobs. Fancier hardware is fine if it will help us do our jobs. The Constellation Class served us well... and the ship lives on," he smiled, "Now... where are the ladies off to?" he grinned, "That turkey smells... great...."
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