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Join FNS Correspondent Naomi Marx for the second in her latest series of interviews coming to grips with the lives of those at the top of the departmental command chain on Starfleet Vessels. Follow our journey as we unravel their careers, their day to day duties and their expectations for the future of Starfleet. This time Naomi visits the Flight Control Department of the USS Perseus, interviewing Cmdr Amy Hunt.

{The screen zooms in on Naomi Marx}

Naomi sat elegantly on her chair, PADD in hand, leaving a pause for a second before she began. “In our second of the series ‘Beyond the Call to Duty’ you join me with Commander Amy Hunt as we began to navigate our way through the complexity of the Flight Control Department.”

“Thank you for joining us Commander,” Naomi started as she grasped the arm of her chair and began to glance into her infamous PADD of questions, “To begin with, you’re not one of those crazy pilots who just love to blow something up?”

“Ha! To tell you the truth, I would be lying if the thought didn’t cross my mind, but as a pilot, we tend to avoid anything that blows up. We try to navigate away from explosions and we have an entire crew relying on us. If we screw up or miscalculate, that could mean the difference between life and death. One wrong move and we could end up crashing the ship into a planet,” said Amy as she gasps as she recalls an event that happened not too long ago. “That did happen to me that one time, but that would diverge from the question,” added the Commander as she smiles innocently at the camera.

“That on time…” Naomi joked as she gave a puzzling look towards the Commander. It was a second’s pause to digest what was said as she choose to continue. “Commander, Any hobbies or interests that keep you preoccupied when you’re not piloting a starship?”

“I love to shop. Every time we’re at Atlantis or Earth during shore leave, it will be the first place I go. I know, I know, it’s a waste of time, but I’ve always loved to look at new things and if something catches my eye, I must have it. If you come into my quarters aboard the Perseus, you’ll see. It’s full of random stuff I pick up here and there. Oh! If you’ve never been to the Broadside Bazar aboard Atlantis Station, you should definitely go. By far, it’s one of my favorite places to pick up random trinkets. Although some of them are a bit weird looking,” said Amy as she looked a bit perplexed, “A shop that you should avoid is that Lurian Left Shoe store. Why would anyone just sell left shoes? Weird huh?” She touched Naomi slightly on the leg as she returned to her original pose.

“Atlantis does have quite the promenade,” Naomi joked as she started to get a feel for Amy. The Commander quickly interjected and said, “I know! Next time, we should definitely go shopping together!”

“So, what made you enlist in Starfleet?” Naomi questioned unsure what would bring the high street shopper into the fleet.

“The adventures and the experience! There is nothing more exciting than travelling through the stars aboard a starship full of wonderful people. That starship provides the perfect environment to meet people and to build stories together. It is full of so many opportunities that I don’t even know where to begin. It’s endless!” replied the Commander as she thought about all the people she had met throughout her journeys. Some of them were quite eccentric to say the least. “You should definitely leave the Federation News Network and enlist in Starfleet,” commented Amy as she smiled at Naomi and gave her a wink, “You’ll fit right in!”

Naomi gave an uncomfortable nod, unsure if that sounded like something she would try. “If I went to Starfleet who would be left to do the interviews?” She joked as she proceeded back on track with the interview. “You’ve had a significant career so far, have you lived to regret that decision?”

Amy smiled at her and was convinced that she might have gotten another recruit for Starfleet. “Never. The Perseus provided a great foundation for me and I’ve been able to build life long relationships with the crew and even the ship. We’ve been to so many places and had so many adventures that it influenced who I am today. We’ve dealt with the Cardassians, Starfleet Intelligence, Jem’Hadars, Romulans, and a bunch of things that I can’t talk about, but I feel that I am prepared for anything that comes my way. There are a few friends that I have lost along the way and that’s probably my only regret. Not being there and being able to save them,” said Amy as she closed her eyes for a few seconds while she recalled all the friends that she had lost along the way. She held back a few tears before continuing, “I would never forget them.”

Naomi noticed the eyes of the Commander close for a second, her own drifting to her PADD as she stated, “Clearly it’s left some hard memories for you.” A small pause followed quickly with a question of curiosity, “I understand you’re posted to the Perseus. What made it your choice in the fleet?”

“Do you really want the truth?” said Amy as she chuckled and rolled her eyes at Naomi. She was glad that Naomi changed directions a bit. “I thought the Captain was kind of cute,” said the Commander as she laughed sheepishly and blushed for a few seconds before continuing, “I’m just kidding. He’s a great guy and he puts the crew above anything, but honestly, it was the mission briefings. After I finished my last course at the Academy, I had to choose a posting that best suited me. My focus at the Academy was mainly in the science field, but I did take a wide range of piloting lessons. My parents had always thought that being a pilot was too dangerous. They’ve always told me to take the safer route so I did, but I kept piloting in my back pocket which was a good thing since it gave me a wide array of options. I could have chosen any ship I wanted, but something about the Perseus’ mission briefings stood out to me. At the time, the Perseus was a Nova class starship which was a tiny ship, but the missions and adventures they had were huge. They’ve dealt with micro black hole devices with the Tirgarridians and Tassians. The ship also attended an interstellar science conference that was filled with controversy and politics and not to mention Starfleet Intelligence.” The Commander paused for a second and looked around before leaning in towards Naomi and whispered, “’you’re not with SI are you? I better not talk too much about them.” Amy laughed and fell back into her chair before saying, “But yea, that wide array of missions is what attracted me to the ship. If a tiny ship could do all that, just imagine the possibilities that it offered. Endless and I was glad that I picked the Perseus.”

“I wouldn’t be a good intelligence officer if I told you that,” Naomi joked as she let the mood escape the slight dip that had been created from the mention of old colleagues. “I’m afraid curiosity has got the better of me,” Naomi remarked as she continued, “You started as a science officer if I am correct. What changed that influenced you take a complete u turn on your career by transferring to Flight Control?”

Amy smiled at Naomi and thought for a few moments before continuing with, “I knew you were going to ask that! Like I said, Science was my primary focus at the Academy, but I did take piloting lessons. I didn’t focus on that so that my parents would be happy, but I really loved to fly. After being posted as a Science Officer for about a year, I had the opportunity to transfer over to flight control so I took it. Seize the day, right? It was a choice I never regretted, but I think my parents still worries about it, but I have spoken to them and they understand that I should pursue something that makes me happy.”

The Correspondent nodded, surprised at Amy’s willingness to add personal and private touch to her answers. Continuing quickly Naomi moved on, “In your career as a Starfleet Officer what has been the most challenging experience you have had?”

Amy took a deep breath and let it out before saying anything. “That’s definitely a tough question. If you ever read the Perseus’ briefings, you will know that I’ve been presented with a whole range of challenging experiences. It’s kind of scary that I don’t know what to expect when I get out of bed, but it’s actually a bit exciting.” She put her finger to her chin as she pondered. “I have a funny challenging experience if that’s what you want to hear. The most challenging experience I’ve got aboard the Perseus is dealing with the EMH and the assistant counselor, Fratburn. I have no idea how they are even Starfleet officers. One roams the corridors eating ice cream and the other offers sponge baths in sickbay.” As she finished her sentence, Amy chuckled while thinking about both Fratburn and the EMH. “Come to think of it, they actually add some laughter to the crew and I wouldn’t have it any other way, but yes, even though it’s challenge to deal with them, they are a large part of the crew. Maybe I’ll invite them to dinner with you.”

“Sounds like a lack of professionalism,” Naomi observed as she made note for further investigation.

Amy laughed and rolled her eyes as she added, “That’s one way to put it. But they do make a boring day interesting.”

“You’re bound to have got your hands of the controls onboard all the support craft Starfleet has to offer 7th Fleet. Which support craft would be your preferred and why?”

“The type 11, hands down. No question about it. That shuttlecraft is sleek and fast. I could get our Chief Engineer to modify it and it could go even faster. A lot of pilots probably dream about getting their hands on the Captain’s yacht, but not me. Give me a normal shuttle and I’ll be happy. Although, the Perseus’s Captain’s yacht has a pretty interesting name, The Buzz Lightyear. I’m sure Captain McKnight wouldn’t mind if I steal it for my shuttle. You’re not going to tell him, right?” asked Amy as she smiled at Naomi. She enjoyed her presence and the reporter and a positive demeanor unlike the typical reporter who just wanted answers.

Naomi began to divulge into a question that would no doubt hit close to home but it was the job, “I was made aware of the change in classes of the USS Perseus. How does piloting a Nova class differ from a Sovereign class?”

“Total opposites. The Nova was small which made it very maneuverable. It came in handy during our missions, but it was a bit slower in warp. The Sovereign class is much bigger and faster if you’re traveling in a straight line, but you can’t really maneuver it as quickly as the Nova class. It takes some getting use to, but once you get a good handle of it, you can barely notice the difference. I do like that OPS is right next to the helm aboard the Sovereign though. It gives me a great opportunity to have side conversations with the OPS officer,” said the Commander as she took a sip of water.

“That’s interesting Commander,” Naomi nodded as she began to wrap up her interview, “In your experience Commander, how do you define and what do you look for in a future pilots?”

“That is an excellent question and I’m sure a lot of cadets out there are curious what it takes to be a pilot. The very first thing is quick reflexes and a good memory. Captain McKnight always yells out different maneuvers and it seems like he changes his mind every second. Pattern McKnight beta one or alpha beta or sometimes even, upside down and reverse thrusters. If you’re slow, you’re going to miss an order and it’ll probably end up badly. I’m not sure how he keeps it all straight in his head, but it works out pretty well, for the most part. Except that one time where we crashed, but we’re not going to assign blame here,” said Amy as she smiled and coughs ‘McKnight.’ She shifted in her chair, smiled, and continued, “But yes, a good memory with a quick reflex will get you a long long way.”

“One last Question Commander,” Naomi finished as she gave one last glance at her PADD and set it down, her eyes not moving towards Amy’s, “Flight Control is obviously a continuously evolving and adapting department as Starfleet constantly develops new technologies and new vessels to serve 7th Fleet. What advice would you pass down to the Cadets that are considering following in your foot steps?”

“That’s the exciting part; new technologies. Being aboard a top of the line starship, I get numerous opportunities to test drive new technology but even aboard the Nova class, I got the same opportunity. You just have to request it and have a Commanding officer that supports you. Some COs are to the book and they won’t give you that opportunity. Others will support you 100% so my advice would be to do your research on the CO and not pick a ship because of the class. If I picked the Perseus just because she was a Nova class, then I’ll be screwed now that she’s a Sovereign class. It was a good thing I picked the Perseus because of the CO and that made a world of difference,” said the Commander as she took a sip of water.

Naomi made herself comfortable in her seat finishing, “Thank you Commander, your opinion has definitely been an enlightenment.” Reaching out her hand she gently shook Amy’s, thanking the flight control officer one last time and exchanged farewells.

{The Screen zooms in towards Naomi}

“That’s the end of our interview with Commander Amy Hunt.” Naomi leaned forward in her usual manner and the screen drew closer as she continued, “Do you agree with the Commander? Maybe you find yourself piloting for the fleet and have an opinion to share or questions of your own to raise. Whatever you have to say, whatever stories you have to share, we want to hear it. Leave a comment and give us your thoughts.”

Sitting back in her seat the reporter finished, “Naomi Marx, FNS correspondent, 7th Fleet.”

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