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The Sky Voyager: Away Mission


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THE SKY VOYAGER

Part 2: Away Mission

 

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I had sat quietly all through the briefing, occupying my usual corner of the conference room table and doodling on my PADD. By now I was used to my usual assignment: Before the mission, use the Federation database to compile a report on their relevant cultural and physiological specifications, if they existed in our data; accompany the away mission, taking field notes on any unique behaviors, speech patterns, phrases, mannerisms, and cultural preferences that I observed; then, after returning, compare my notes with the previous information and add my observations into the database. I was getting good at the routine and enjoyed getting to travel with the away crews, without having too much responsibility.

 

“... and Ensign Elvenword, I want you to lead a second away team to the rural areas outside the capitol.”

 

It took me nearly three seconds to realize that my name had been called. Wait - did she say lead an away mission? I sat up and blinked at Captain Janeway’s face, which wore just a shadow of a smile.

 

“Captain?”

 

“I want you to take a team into the rural areas and prepare a report,” the captain said, striding slowly across the room with her hands on her hips. “I want a report on the geology of the land and the people’s living conditions, housing, habits, political opinions - give me a nice overview of how rural people in this country live and what they think about their government. This is a post-warp civilization so you don’t have to be secretive with your technology. Give me tricorder readouts, written reports, holophotos - whatever you think we need to know. We’ll be here for three weeks if all goes well.”

 

My heart fluttered like a malfunction in the deflector shield as my mind began to race through personnel lists, what equipment I would need, what sections I should include in the report - all while trying to compose my face as Captain Janeway stopped in front of me, her eyebrows raised and one corner of her mouth twisted upwards. “Think you can handle that, Ensign?”

 

I felt the eyes of the bridge crew on the back of my head, so I sat up straight and folded my hands in my lap. “Yes ma’am!”

 

Janeway nodded shortly and reached out to brush her fingers across my shoulder. “Excellent. I look forward to seeing what you come up with.”
 

  • Like 6

SKY ELVENWORD NOBLEHEART

The Silver Archer, Ranger Level 48

Jesus-follower | Writer | Encourager | Resident Myers-Briggs and Enneagram Geek 

"Knowing that we can be loved exactly as we are gives us all the best opportunity for growing into the healthiest of people." - Fred Rogers

 

2022 Books in Progress:

When Strivings Cease  |  Happiness Workbook The Gifts of Imperfection  |  Mistborn  |

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Woohoo following your undeniable awesome :D I do love your Voyager themes. 

  • Like 1

strava - myfitnesspal - Instagram

2019 Roadmap

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" Always aim for something stupidly crazy." - Charlie Quinn

2019 Races: Cliveden MTR 06/01 | Nuts Challenge 02/03 | Reading Half Marathon 17/03 | W.A.R 27/04 | RRDW 11/05 | Nuclear Oblivion 19/05 | Man vs Lakes 20/07 | Spartan Trifecta Weekend 05-06/10 | OCRWC 11-13/10

 

Current Challenge: First Steps

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All right, guys, it's time for the big announcement.

 

*draws a deep shaky breath*

 

*whispering*

 

I have been offered a science journalism internship at NASA.

 

ohoh.gif 

 

YES. IT HAPPENED. IT'S REAL. I am fully funded, I have pressed the scary green "ACCEPT" button, and I am bound for Goddard Space Base in less than three months.

 

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I don't really know what to think ... it took me two days to accept the offer because its magnitude was so terrifying and I was hit by a wave of oh-my-goodness-someone-please-tell-me-this-is-the-right-decision-I-don't-trust-my-own-judgment-anymore-because-I-have-done-something-so-arrogantly-daring ... but it seems very clear that the Lord has opened all the doors (funding, family and friend support, enthusiastic welcomes from the folks at NASA and congratulations from the funding board), and this is such a freakishly once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that even my anxiety couldn't stop me from accepting.  :) 

 

I'm scared, I'm shocked, I'm in awe - and somewhere underneath all that, I think I'm happy?? I'm feeling a bit numb at the moment ...  :D  It's going to be so much amazing that I can barely wrap my head around it right now - writing and photography and multimedia production and interviewing awesome scientists and experiencing three months of living on my own for the first time ever - in the Washington, D.C. metro area, no less!!  :o 

 

So I know for certain that the focuses of this challenge and the next two will be 1) getting my schedule under control and preparing myself for rising early and working 8- or 9- or 10-hour days, 2) preparing my finances to bear the blow of moving to a location whose cost of living is about 200% higher than mine, 3) getting my driver's license ASAP, and 4) reestablishing an exercise routine and losing a little weight before I move. I don't have much more than that right now, but those need to be the primo number-one focus from here on out.

 

Tomorrow I'm going to celebrate with a little bit of ice cream and cookies - not too many, but this is a special occasion!!  :D  :D  :D 

  • Like 7

SKY ELVENWORD NOBLEHEART

The Silver Archer, Ranger Level 48

Jesus-follower | Writer | Encourager | Resident Myers-Briggs and Enneagram Geek 

"Knowing that we can be loved exactly as we are gives us all the best opportunity for growing into the healthiest of people." - Fred Rogers

 

2022 Books in Progress:

When Strivings Cease  |  Happiness Workbook The Gifts of Imperfection  |  Mistborn  |

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Well done Sky! That is amazing news! I'm so excited for you. 

 

tumblr_noxgbskcEd1se6q8so3_500.gif

strava - myfitnesspal - Instagram

2019 Roadmap

Spoiler

 

" Always aim for something stupidly crazy." - Charlie Quinn

2019 Races: Cliveden MTR 06/01 | Nuts Challenge 02/03 | Reading Half Marathon 17/03 | W.A.R 27/04 | RRDW 11/05 | Nuclear Oblivion 19/05 | Man vs Lakes 20/07 | Spartan Trifecta Weekend 05-06/10 | OCRWC 11-13/10

 

Current Challenge: First Steps

Previous Challenges: 12 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22 | 23 | 24

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Benfjfnrkwbfkebfkr!!!! That is SO AWESOOOOOOOME!!!!!!! Congratulations!!!

 

Is it a summer internship only? I did a couple of those, and I found them really helpful for giving me confidence about the whole living-on-my-own thing, with the huge benefit of getting to go home again afterwards. So hopefully you will have a similar experience! What kind of support are they giving you - financial, housing, etc?

 

Forgive me if I'm asking too many questions, and you don't have to answer them if you don't want to, I'm just so excited for you that I couldn't help but ask:D

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Wooow, that's a legit dream job! Congrats and enjoy it to the utmost!

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Level 4 Padawan

STR 4.75 | DEX 5 | STA 8.5 | CON 4.25 | WIS 4.25 | CHA 2.75

Challenge #1, #2, #3, #4, #5 , #6, #7 | Battle Log | Epic Quests | STRAVA Profile

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>>> On 8/11/2017 started Walking to Mordor, threw the Ring into Mount Doom on 26/5/2019 and now heading back to Hobbiton >>>

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9 hours ago, Sloth the Enduring said:

Whoa. That is awesome. Congratulations!

 

8 hours ago, Elastigirl said:

Woohoo!!!So exciting! Congrats. Enjoy the cake and ice cream celebration

 

2 hours ago, jonfirestar said:

Well done Sky! That is amazing news! I'm so excited for you. 

 

1 hour ago, TGP said:

OMGness

what an extraordinary opportunity!

 

congratulations doesn't quite cut it.  what an accomplishment!

 

1 hour ago, annyshay said:

YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAS!

 

4 minutes ago, MattSkywalker said:

Wooow, that's a legit dream job! Congrats and enjoy it to the utmost!

 

Thanks guys!!! I was looking for apartments yesterday and it started to sink in just a little bit ... and I got the forms I need to fill out to verify my identity early this morning. It's really happening!!

 

1 hour ago, Shadri said:

Benfjfnrkwbfkebfkr!!!! That is SO AWESOOOOOOOME!!!!!!! Congratulations!!!

 

Is it a summer internship only? I did a couple of those, and I found them really helpful for giving me confidence about the whole living-on-my-own thing, with the huge benefit of getting to go home again afterwards. So hopefully you will have a similar experience! What kind of support are they giving you - financial, housing, etc?

 

Forgive me if I'm asking too many questions, and you don't have to answer them if you don't want to, I'm just so excited for you that I couldn't help but ask:D

 

Oh goodness, Shadri, not too many questions at all!!

 

It is a three-month summer internship, from early June to early August, so it will be just the right amount of time for me to practice living on my own without too much risk of going bankrupt or getting crippling homesickness.  :)  I am getting a grant from a state funding agency to support me while I'm there, but I don't know how much of my living expenses it will cover (whether they will adjust it to Maryland living expenses, or if it's based on my state and I'll have to make up the lack). I also have to find my own housing and transportation, although my contact at NASA said that after all of the interns are introduced to each other, they often try to share housing in order to save money. So that will help with money and homesickness.  :) 

 

Thank you also for sharing that your internships were such good experiences - that's my hope too!!

  • Like 6

SKY ELVENWORD NOBLEHEART

The Silver Archer, Ranger Level 48

Jesus-follower | Writer | Encourager | Resident Myers-Briggs and Enneagram Geek 

"Knowing that we can be loved exactly as we are gives us all the best opportunity for growing into the healthiest of people." - Fred Rogers

 

2022 Books in Progress:

When Strivings Cease  |  Happiness Workbook The Gifts of Imperfection  |  Mistborn  |

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11 minutes ago, Tanktimus the Encourager said:

Well done Sky, you deserve it and I'm proud of you. This is going to be so good for you on so many levels.

 

Thank you so much, Tank! I think it will be too!  :)  :)  :) 

  • Like 3

SKY ELVENWORD NOBLEHEART

The Silver Archer, Ranger Level 48

Jesus-follower | Writer | Encourager | Resident Myers-Briggs and Enneagram Geek 

"Knowing that we can be loved exactly as we are gives us all the best opportunity for growing into the healthiest of people." - Fred Rogers

 

2022 Books in Progress:

When Strivings Cease  |  Happiness Workbook The Gifts of Imperfection  |  Mistborn  |

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Congratulations on the internship, I know how much getting it means to you

 

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B'ker Level 1 Half-elf Ranger  STR: 3  DEX: 3  CON: 3  INT: 3  WIS: 2  CHA: 2

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It was very late at night and the mess hall was dim and quiet, except for the sound of Neelix humming softly under his breath as he organized the supplies for the next day's breakfast. I had kicked off my boots and thrown my jacket onto the bench beside me long before, and sat with three PADDs out in front of me - one with the growing list of equipment and supplies I would need for my mission, one with a detailed list of research questions I wanted to answer while I was there, and a third playing soft music from the library. My roommate, T'shir, had recommended a Vulcan symphony, "because it helps to focus the senses and clear the mind". So far, the slowly drifting acoustic tones were doing their work. I had been typing, sketching, adding items and crossing things out for nearly four hours when I became aware of soft footsteps crossing the carpet, and looked up to see Commander Chakotay approaching with something in his hands.

 

"Commander!" I jumped to my feet and hastily stepped backward into the shadowy corner behind the table - trying to hide my hot blush just as much as my shoeless feet. Voyager's first officer was tall and soft-spoken, with a handsome face that reminded me of the crest of a mountain; and even though it didn't take my Betazoid empathic abilities to tell that he was quietly and deeply devoted to Captain Janeway, I still could not stop a schoolgirl blush from turning my face as red as his uniform every time I ran into him. "I didn't hear you coming, sir. I'm sorry I'm out of uniform - did you need help?"

 

He chuckled and motioned for me to sit back down. "Relax, Ensign. I came down for some coffee earlier and saw you working, and I figured you might still be down here. I brought you something that might make your work a bit easier."

 

"Really?" I stared in surprise as he dropped a stack of smooth, creamy-white paper onto the table and handed me an old mechanical writing implement. I reverently took the pen and touched the button at the end that I knew extended the ink cartridge. "Sir! Where did you get these? My neighbor growing up had pens and paper, and I always wanted to try writing with them, but he always told my siblings and me to 'stay in our own century.'"

 

Chakotay's face dimpled in an amused smile. "These are from our century - I replicated them myself. I like to write with real ink and paper when I'm working on something important. I thought you might like to give them a try."

 

"Yes, sir, I would!" I grinned and wrote his name on the smooth paper, presenting it to him with a flourish. He laughed heartily; and instead of turning to leave, as I expected him to, he pulled out a chair and gracefully lowered himself to a seat. My heart sped up but I tried to keep my hands steady as I carefully reached out to see what he was feeling. His emotions were a quiet warm blue; he was feeling relaxed and open, probably on his night shift break.

 

"Every time I see you, you talk about your family. How many siblings do you have?" he asked, folding his hands in his lap and looking at me attentively. He wanted to know more about his mentee - and he also wanted to hear a story. Well, that was one area in which I could oblige.

 

"I have four siblings - three brothers and a sister. I'm the oldest," I began, propping one of the PADDs against my empty plate and starting to copy my notes onto the paper. "My father is Bajoran and my mother is Betazoid - her parents were both anthropologists who came to study the situation on Bajor just after the Cardassians invaded. Their house was next door to my father's house, and she and Father became close friends when they were still little children. After they got married, they didn't really fit in anywhere - our Bajoran family felt like Father had betrayed his people by marrying outside of his species, and Mother's family was afraid that she would get trapped in a dangerous place when the Cardassians finally reached their city. Additionally, they both embraced Christianity as a result of our Terran neighbors' ministry, and both sides of the family were deeply hurt by that. So Father and Mother left and went to live on a smaller moon colony nearby. That's where my brothers and sister and I grew up. We were ... poor, of course. At the time I didn't realize how poor we were. We ate a lot of katterpods and alvas because we couldn't afford nicer food, and our clothes were all hand-me-downs - but we were so happy and close that I never realized we were poor. I thought we just lived simply."

 

Chakotay crossed his arms comfortably over his chest and leaned back in his chair. "I'm curious - you look Bajoran, and you obviously grew up surrounded by Bajoran culture. How does your Betazoid half fit in all this?"

 

One aspect of myself that was definitely Betazoid was the sudden deep, wordless connections between ideas, emotions, and people that sometimes flooded me from nowhere; and when I looked up at Commander Chakotay's face to answer him, my eye fell on the triangular tattoo above his left eye. Without warning, a sudden realization hit me. As I always tried to do, I spoke quickly to capture it in words before it passed, ignoring the uncomfortable wondering of whether I should speak so frankly to a senior officer:

 

"Commander, you grew up in a tight-knit family like I did, with stories that all your relatives told, special foods you prepared just the way your grandmother did, and rituals that you performed at certain times of the year. Your tattoo, like my nose ridges, is a visible symbol of the parts of your identity and purpose that come from that culture. But there is so much of you that is very different from who your family is - you're a Starfleet officer who has traveled far from home and become your own person, grounded in your faith and family, but reaching out, like a tree, to experience the world beyond that place. I'm like that too, in my own way. Yes, I am Bajoran, and I love my people and desperately want them to be free from the oppression of the Cardassians; and I am also Betazoid, with a unique set of abilities and gifts that I am learning to use in the best possible way. But there's so much about me that is different and more than my race or my culture or even my weird little family. They are the soil that hold me and nurture me, but the shape my branches eventually take will probably look really different than my brothers' branches, or my sister's, or my parents'. It all depends on what winds and storms come to shape us, and whether we bend with their current or resist and break."

 

I felt the color of his emotions warm from the soft blue to a bright sunrise-orange as I spoke, and he leaned forward to focus intently on my face. "You're very wise for someone so young," he remarked, his black eyes bright. "It took me almost forty years to learn those things about myself."

 

I grinned and blushed again. "I'm not that young, Commander. I lived a few lives before joining Starfleet. But thank you for the compliment."

 

He looked thoughtfully at my scribbles on the stack of paper for a long moment, then abruptly stood to go. "I'll let you get back to work, but after you finish this mission, I'd like you to come and see me," he said, pausing with his hands on his hips. "If you're interested, you might be a good candidate for officer training."

 

I blinked. "Really? Do you think I'd be a good leader?"

 

Chakotay raised an eyebrow and a hint of that dimpled smile appeared. "It doesn't matter what I think, Ensign. Do you think you'd be a good leader?"

 

I lifted my chin slightly. "Well - yes, sir, I think I would."

 

He grinned. "That's good, because I think so too. Get back to work now, and don't forget to get some rest. We'll talk again soon."

  • Like 3

SKY ELVENWORD NOBLEHEART

The Silver Archer, Ranger Level 48

Jesus-follower | Writer | Encourager | Resident Myers-Briggs and Enneagram Geek 

"Knowing that we can be loved exactly as we are gives us all the best opportunity for growing into the healthiest of people." - Fred Rogers

 

2022 Books in Progress:

When Strivings Cease  |  Happiness Workbook The Gifts of Imperfection  |  Mistborn  |

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Okay! Mary-Sue writing fun aside, I am going to put some high demands on myself this challenge, because I have a lot of work to do in the next three months to get my mindset and routines in the place I want them to start my internship.

 

The four areas I want to target this month are schedule, movement, diet, and mindset. Also, last month I never set up my points system, and I really do think that contributed to my lack of motivation and follow-through. So whether or not doing so indicates a lack of willpower, I'm going to set up some juicy rewards this month. (I am also going to train with Tom Paris a little bit this month because I haven't written with him yet, and he's awesome.)

 

SCHEDULE (Tuvok)

Goal: Early to bed and early to rise

- Every day out of bed before 8AM = +2 points

- Every day out of bed before 9AM = +1 point

- Every day in bed by 12AM = +2 points

- Every day in bed by 1AM = +1 point

 

MOVEMENT (Paris)

Goal: Enjoy the freedom of movement every day

- Every hour of intentional movement* = +2 points

- Every 30 minutes of intentional movement OR yoga video = +1 point

- Every set of 15 pushups = +1 point

* Happenstance walking to class, walking to the store, etc. does not count - must be gym, yoga, dumbbells, purposeful walk, skating, etc.

 

DIET (Neelix)

Goal: Eat nourishing foods that power strong thinking and movement

- Each day all foods tracked = +2 points

- Each day < 2 servings of dairy (testing acne control) = +1 point

- Each day < recommended daily sugar intake = +2 points

- Each day < 200 liquid calories (roughly 1 cup of juice + 1 cup of coffee with creamer) = +1 point

 

MINDSET (Chakotay)

Goal: Remember you are loved, you are equipped, you are watched over, and you are valuable

- Each chapter of "Changes That Heal" = +3 points

- Each journaling session = +2 points

- Each completion of all prayer dailies on Habitica = +1 point

 

MISCELLANEOUS / SCHOOL (Janeway)

- Submit new proposal in one month = +10 points

- Renew learner's permit = +5 points

- Every 30 minutes driving = +5 points

- Complete NASA registration papers = +5 points

- Purchase Bible study book = +3 points

- Each chapter completed = +3 points

 

------------

 

REWARDS

40 points = New pair of funky socks from https://sockdrawer.com/  (<$10)

50 points = New coffee mug (<$12)

60 points = DVD copy of a favorite movie I don't have (<$15)

70 points = Order pizza and eat as much as you want, guilt-free! (1x only)

80 points = New headwrap from EcoShag or Garlands of Grace

90 points = New pair of yoga pants

100 points = 1 piece of NF gear of my choice (<$30)

110 points = 2 pieces of NF gear of my choice (total <$70)

120+ points = Go see a matinee movie by myself on a weekday 

 

------------

 

Points may be adjusted if I rack up ridiculous amounts of points and need more of a challenge.  ;) 

 

Okay gang, it's 1:03AM but I am going to be UP WITH THE CHICKENS tomorrow to go get my learner's permit renewed. Because I need that in order to fill out my NASA paperwork. And heading for NASA is an important step in my goal to become Captain Janeway.

 

Ready?

 

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  • Like 7

SKY ELVENWORD NOBLEHEART

The Silver Archer, Ranger Level 48

Jesus-follower | Writer | Encourager | Resident Myers-Briggs and Enneagram Geek 

"Knowing that we can be loved exactly as we are gives us all the best opportunity for growing into the healthiest of people." - Fred Rogers

 

2022 Books in Progress:

When Strivings Cease  |  Happiness Workbook The Gifts of Imperfection  |  Mistborn  |

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Wow, I love how the goals are set up, and the characters so appropriately associated with them - perfect! You're gonna rock!

giphy.gif

  • Like 2

Level 4 Padawan

STR 4.75 | DEX 5 | STA 8.5 | CON 4.25 | WIS 4.25 | CHA 2.75

Challenge #1, #2, #3, #4, #5 , #6, #7 | Battle Log | Epic Quests | STRAVA Profile

! Join the Rebellion (NF Club) On Strava !

>>> On 8/11/2017 started Walking to Mordor, threw the Ring into Mount Doom on 26/5/2019 and now heading back to Hobbiton >>>

'We all long for Eden, and we are constantly glimpsing it: our whole nature is still soaked with the sense of exile.' - J. R. R. Tolkien

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