Robert Harriman stood in front of the deep dock's window. In twenty-four hours, the atmosphere would be evacuated from around the hull of the ship contained within for the last time. He'd take possession of the vessel and sail her towards earth as part of her shakedown cruise and trials. She was the first of a new line of cruisers. The name of both the vessel and the class shone brightly on the hull, brilliantly contrast against the inky blackness of the hull. Enterprize. While officially part of the navy, it was foremost a scout ship, enough endurance to spend decades in deep space, though expected to tour for no more then six months. Heavily armed and lightly crewed for her size.
Captain Harriman turned his head as the door to the observation lounge opened. The vessels designer, John Pyke, drifted up next to him, the entire facility under zero gravity, which was only turned on for events, like the laying down of a new hull or the launch of a ship like tomorrow. John lightly stopped himself next to the window, "Fine vessel isn't she?"
"Indeed, though I'm wondering which tradition she'll follow." Robert replied.
"There have been dozens of vessels named enterprise. The spelling used here is the same as a colony ship used to settle Melbourne, Australia. Fitting considering this ships role. But there have been slave ships, frigates, cruisers, ships of the line, freighters, exploration vessels and even aircraft carriers. The first spacecraft named Enterprise was the American space shuttle. The second was a civilian tourist craft."
"You've done your homework on the name."
"I'll be captaining a vessel with a pedigree mister Pyke, it's only fitting I know what that pedigree is."
The christening went to plan and according schedule, the speeches made and then the various officials went back to work. Several would be hitching a lift on the Enterprize back to earth, where it would dock with the Central American spacelift orbital anchor. There, it would take on it's full crew and supplies before heading to the edges of the system.
Captain Harriman sat in his chair as the tugs pulled the vessel out of the deep dock, the process would take over an hour before the engines could be started. The vessels backup reactors would provide enough power for the Enterprize to move to the safe standoff distance for the main reactors power up, but that would be the crews job for tomorrow.
The Enterprize was connected with the tug that had followed it out from the dry dock facility, the umbilical connecting them would provide the power needed for the main reactor firing on the Enterprize. After losing two orbitals to mistakes firing up the reactors, it was made protocol not to fire the main reactors near anything. "Tug Nineteen reports ready for boost."
"Begin reactor start up."
"Yes sir. Beginning main reactor start up."
"Contact, we are docked with Aztec Anchor."
"Good work everyone" Robert then activated the ship wide PA, "We have docked with Aztec Anchor, all passengers will be free to transfer to Aztec in thirty minutes, all crew, secure the ship."
Six months later.
"Contact, we are docked at Aztec Anchor."
"Excellent work." Captain Harriman activated the ship wide, "We have docked with Aztec. I know some of you are looking forward to some shore leave so I'll keep this short. You have all done an excellent job on this cruise. We all have two weeks of shore leave and then we'll be leaving on our first tour. Secure the ship and let's get back to our families."