Hawkeye Island

Task Force 86

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Welcome Back (Part 1 of 2)

Posted on Fri Jun 12th, 2020 @ 2:56pm by Captain Clay Teller

Mission: Welcome Back
Location: En route to Raeya 3
Timeline: 2399 - MD1

A young Clay, his hair down to his shoulders, wearing a tight, black short sleeved shirt and denim pants, checked the volume knobs on his sunburst Les Paul, and toggled his crunch pedal. Spinning on his heel, he turned to face the drummer of the band. The drummer had a simple setup, with a couple transparent cymbals with an orange tint, including a hi-hat, a snare and kick drum, with just one tom. Clay gave him a nod, and the drummer began to count the band off. Clay's left hand took a C power-chord shape about halfway up the neck, his pinky prepped to add extended notes, Chuck Berry-style. After the drummer counted to four, Clay began strumming eighth notes, adding the extended sixth with his pinky on the 2 and 4 counts, with the drummer keeping a simple beat. In a rather bad and forced cockney accent, Clay stepped up to the mic and began singing.
"Well the times hittin' hard for you little girl." His hand dropped down to a G power chord, keeping the same shape and rhythm with the sixth notes.
"I'm a hummin' and a strummin'," his hands moved up to a D, "all over God's world." Then the section of chords started all over.
"You don't remember where you got your last meal
And you forgot just how a woman feels."

An Arrow-class runabout dropped out of warp, a few hundred thousand kilometers from Raeya 3. Several other runabouts and shuttles carrying the first wave of Starfleet followed suit moments later. Aboard that Arrow-class, Captain Clay Teller approached the helm and ops positions at he forward most point of the ship. A worn, brown leather strap crossed Clay's chest, from above his left shoulder down under his right arm. His Martin dreadnought pressed against his back, the neck pointing down at the ground by his right knee. Looking out the forward window, Clay saw the planet, a blue marble with green landmasses and white swirls scattered all around. Testing himself, the captain tried to name all the continents and archipelagos he could remember the names and recognize to himself. It wasn't many. The helmsman signaled down to the planet, the response came back, "This is Randa Island Control, we are sending you a vector for entry and toward your designated landing areas."

The helmsman, an ensign, his sight focused on his console replied, "Vector received. Proceeding with atmospheric entry." The runabout pointed toward the planet and began it's decent into atmosphere.

Modulating the verse section down to a B flat, Clay continued,
"You didn't know what rock n' roll was." Then up to an E flat.
"Until you met my drummer on a gray hound bus." Repeating that chord pattern, Clay sang,
"I got there in the nick of time
Before he got his hand across your state line."

Clay's hair was still long, just less so any much thinner and stringy to compliment his age. Thankfully, it was still blonde. As the formation of small Starfleet ships descended below some scattered cloud cover, they banked toward a group of tropical islands known at the Randa Islands. The islands had plenty of smaller mountains, and rivers snaking through. They were all covered in thick greenery, plenty of unmolested jungle. The closest Earthly comparison Clay knew of was the islands of Hawaii. He'd never been there, but these islands on this far distant planet felt like a long-lost friend.

A couple of short piano licks sounded from the third and final member of their band, and Clay repeated the entire verse progression again on his instrument.
"Well in the middle of the night on the open road
And the heater down work and it's oh so cold
You're getting tired baby, looking kinda beat
The music of the street knock you off your feet."

Their altitude was rather low as they rounded one of the islands in the archipelago. Clay looked out the window, his hand on the back of the ops chair, the officer didn't seem to notice or mind. There were tall structures lining the coast. Hotels, casinos, business complexes. Beaches with thousands of tourists. Small craft lifting off, landing, and just generally buzzing around above the tree tops. As low and close as they were, no one would miss the formation of Starfleet ships flying past their coast. Maybe that was the point, Clay wondered, to show everyone they were back. After all, they were following the flight vector given to them by a Raeyan flight control tower. It was certainly making a statement.

The piano now played with with the lyrics and riff.
"You didn't know how rock n' roll looked
Until you caught your sister with the guy from the group
Halfway home in the parking lot
By the look in her eye, she was givin' what she got."

Approaching their destination, it was a different sight. The glitz of the other island passed, no tourists on the beaches, and a calm sky without a flying craft or soul in sight. Some buildings could still be made out over the treetop, scattered around the island, but they laid dormant, no sign of power or activity. The formation of ships began to break apart, each ship heading to their scheduled landing pad to drop off officers to begin to an initial survey of the Stafleet installations around the island. The ship Clay was aboard, headed further inland, to a complex of several buildings more centrally located within this island. The literal translation from Raeyan of this island's name was "The Eye of A Predator Bird" which Starfleet, years ago, had coined "Hawkeye" after someone, Clay didn't know who, and didn't know the story beyond that. Their runabout banked toward a landing pad, slowing its forward momentum to basically zero as the helmsman lowered the craft the last few meters. Captain Teller moved toward the side door of the runabout, ensured that neck of his Martin wasn't sticking out to hit the doorway once the hatch opened, and waited for the dull metallic reverberation of the ship coming to rest on the ground.

Singing the chorus of this Ian Hunter song, Clay looked around at the people walking up and down the street of his Martian hometown. No one was stopping and listening to their performance, and pretty much every passerby pretending to not even hear the trio.
"Hey now, ah ah ah
Once bitten twice shy, babe
Ya know, ah ah ah
Once bitten twice shy, babe
Ya know, ah ah ah
Once bitten twice shy, babe."


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