© 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.
"What is it Jack... err …I mean Ensign Talmore?" she asked.
"Admiral Tanaka wishes to speak to you on the bridge immediately, Sub-Lieutenant Capland."