ADVENTURES OF THE STARSHIP DURANDAL<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" /><o:p></o:p> Prologue: Zu behaupten, die Sterne… It was the Durandal’s big day, the day of her launch and the ceremony was in full swing. It was nearly an hour in and Nick was already getting tired. Admiral Harper had been dominating the event with his speech.<o:p></o:p> The ship’s launch party was not actually being thrown on board. With the amount of VIPs that had come up from Earth and it was decided to hold it on one of the station’s exhibition decks. The panoramic of the Earth in the background only helped the scene. To only make matters worse the media was present, broadcasting the event live across the entire system.<o:p></o:p> The crew of the ship was also present for the most part. Some were on board, prepping for the launch but the rest were “encouraged” to come. For the most part the crew had spent anywhere between a week and six months preparing for their assignment and getting to know their peers. Nick had arrived six days before and knew next to no one still.<o:p></o:p> Finally the Admiral had finished and Nick did his best to stifle a yawn. He had to look like he did more than respect the rank despite the man’s political intentions. Nick was sure that Admiral Harper was upset with the fact that the Durandal was not assigned to the Home Fleet and that Admiral Thompson was rubbing it in his nose.<o:p></o:p> Still the good Admiral was finished and he had a chance to chat with some of the other officers now as they waited for their table to be called by the Master of Ceremonies to go eat. “And here I thought it would never end…” He let slip, without thinking.