Dreams Not Chased

The ensign found the captain in the port observation lounge, on the upper level leaning on the railing. She was gazing out at the asteroid mining colony, hair loose, uniform jacket open. The ensign approached slowly. “Captain…” she said hesitantly.

The captain gestured at the mostly dark mining colony. “It’s a hell of a thing. An entire colony just gone. At least they left the infrastructure mostly intact.”

The ensign moved up next to the captain and looked out as well. “It’ll be a few months until enough new colonists can be shuttled in. Several more months before the mines are operational. Losing this many people is going to set back the company billions of credits.”

“We didn’t lose any people. They just left,” the captain said shifting her gaze to the star speckled darkness of space. “Sometimes I want to just leave too. Sail off into the black of space. Find a new planet away from … from all this.”

“You would probably die before you ran into a habitable planet.”

“I could still try,” she said wistfully.

“Do it then. Live your dream,” the ensign urged her, forgetting that she was addressing the captain of the fleet’s flagship.

“Some dreams aren’t meant to be chased, just dreamed … ” She straightened up, tugged her uniform jacket closed, and addressed the ensign, “You had something to tell me.”

“Yes.” She quickly straightened up and came to attention, remembering why she had been sent after the captain. “The fleet will be ready to leave in two hours.”

“Thank you. Dismissed.” The ensign nodded and walked off. The captain finished closing her jacket and walked off as well.