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Across the Universe

By BitterRenegade

Scifi / Other

Chapter 1

For my first few years in the Alliance, I'd been assigned as the Co-Pilot on the SSV Tereshkova. It was a great ship with a fantastic crew. They’d also gotten me to spend a few hours in Infiltrator training in case I ever wanted to leave my position as co-pilot, but that would never happen since I loved flying way too much to ever give it up.

Then news of Alliance Official, Damian Spryce's death came and my life changed.

At his funeral, his co-workers and friends had shown up as well as one other important person. Sabrina Shepard.

Sabrina Shepard, the woman I consider family and an N7 Sentinal. She raised me from when I was ten and we were both in the Reds on Earth. Damian picked us both up for auto theft and Sabrina convinced him to keep us off the streets. The man gave us both a home to stay in, our education, and became our legal guardian…just so we could enlist when we became of age. Sabrina kept in touch with me after she left, even after her failed mission on Akuze. Looking back now, even if Sabrina was around, it was Damian who helped me have the life that I did. In his will, because we were the closest things he had to family he left us all his credits and property. Then, I received an offer to be placed on a brand new ship with Sabrina. The SSV Normandy, a prototype stealth reconnaissance frigate. Co-developed by the Alliance and the Turian Hierarchy and sponsored by the Citadel Council. Admiral Hackett was the one that gave me the offer, and Damian had always looked up to the admiral so I eagerly agreed.

Besides, I'd also get to work closer to Sabrina.

It was like a dream come true, being able to work with the only person who I thought of as family... now that Damian was gone. Not only that, but a prototype frigate! The very idea of working on it was exciting; Sabrina had even told me that only the best would be assigned to the Normandy. Maybe it was just a way of stealthily telling me how good she thought I was, but it certainly made working on the ship seem like an honor (which it would be, even if Sabrina had told me nothing).

The ship's captain was David Anderson. I'd met him on a few occasions when I was out with Damian. I'd always thought him to be a kind man, and I knew he'd worked with Sabrina before, as well. So of course I agreed, and as soon as the transfer paperwork had been filled out, I went to the ship to meet the crew, and more importantly, the pilot. Stepping inside, I maintained a professional appearance on the outside regardless of my giddy feelings. Really, I couldn't wait to start! The Tereshkova was a great ship of course... but the Normandy already seemed hundreds of times better. The dim lighting was common for an Alliance frigate, and peering out from the airlock I could spot the unique CIC. Turian design, I figured, with the CO station at the back overlooking the rest of the crew. Man, working here was going to be pretty different from what I was used to.

I took a step towards the CIC, quickly realizing that it would probably be a better idea to check out the cockpit and meet who I'd be working the most with first. Spinning around, I rushed into the cockpit with a cheerful grin. There were multiple control panels, the co-pilot's seat empty with the panel glowing green. The pilot was sitting in his seat tapping on the aerogel controls. For a brief moment I felt a wave of anxiety pass through me. What if the pilot thought I was too young and inexperienced? I'd had that problem when I first began working on the Tereshkova.

While most began their training at eighteen, I had been enrolled in flight school three years earlier. That made me, now twenty-five, one of the youngest experienced working pilots in the Alliance. It took a lot of work on the Tereshkova before anyone actually took me seriously, so I wouldn't exactly be surprised if that happened again here even if I was older now. Taking a deep breath, I approached the pilot determinedly, a smile on my face that instantly fell the moment I saw who I'd be working with.

Brown hair, green eyes... familiar face, except now he'd grown a bit of a beard. The pilot was none other than Jeff Moreau.

My ex-rival from flight school.

While he was at the top of our class, he had this way of looking down on everyone even before that happened. Since I was always second best, he had been especially hard on me; voicing whenever I made a mistake. Hell, I'd even tried to be nice to him back then, but the only response he ever really gave was 'stay out of my way'. The universe had a funny way of doing things I had to admit; eyeing him warily. I didn't know how time had affected him. For all I knew, he was still the jerk who thought he was better than everyone else. And if he was still that way, I knew I'd have a lot of trouble working with him.

"Hello," I greeted, forcing a smile on my face. "I'm going to be your Co-Pilot. It's nice to see you again, Moreau."

He glanced up at me, squinting his green eyes with a twinge of recognition on his face. "…Kim, right? You're the girl that entered flight school three years early, right?"

Rolling my eyes and crossing my arms, I nodded at him. "Funny that's the only thing you remember," I commented. Inwardly I cringed, this wasn't exactly how I wanted this re-introduction to go. Moreau looked away from me and back to the control panel.

"Yeah, well. I also remember beating you on every test and simulator," he replied haughtily. His tone and disregard made anger bubble up in my chest, ready to burst.

"By one or two point's, maybe," I snapped. "Considering my age at the time that'd still make me better than you."

"In your dreams," He grinned. "Anyways, I'm still the pilot. You're just the co-pilot."

Taking my seat, I fumed silently. The only things that had changed about him since we had graduated were that now he smiled and talked a bit more.

He was still a jerk.

"Hey CP, careful with the controls," Moreau warned. "We're going to have a Spectre on board, and we can't have you looking like you're about to kill the ship."

Closing my eyes, I took a few deep breaths before nodding. "Sure thing Flight Lieutenant," I forced out. God, this man got under my skin so easily that I felt ashamed. Silently I scolded myself, just because he was a jerk didn't mean that I shouldn't act professional and conceal my true feelings towards him. Maybe if I just treated him the way I treated everyone else, he'd treat me better too.

"That's Flight Lieutenant Moreau, CP."

My eye twitched.

I was going to hate this job.

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