© 2010 Ross Richdale
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Sub-Lieutenant Sophie Capland rubbed her starched collar. She hated these formal uniforms but luckily it was only worn on special occasions such as today. She glanced up when she heard a polite cough. A male ensign, also dressed formally in his white uniform stood before her at rigid attention with his right arm snapped up in a salute. He was unusual because of both his gender and presence here. Only ten percent of the crew aboard Starship Human Dawn were male but for an ensign to enter the sub-lieutenant's common room conveyed a sense of urgency.
She grimaced at the pomposity of it all but acknowledged his salute. If anything his eyes showed compassion or even sorrow.