The command chair felt spectacular. No wait. That’s not right. It felt..what should I say? comfortable? No no. It was so much more than comfortable. Fitting. Yes. Fitting is the right term I believe. Not just that it fit my body mind you. No, It was more like, “Damn, I fit here.”
It was obviously ergonomically designed for long stints. My fingertips could just make out of bit of textured grain in the soft material that covered its frame and pads. Retractable armrest self adjusted to my lanky build as the chair back slowly molded to my spine and shoulders.
Yes it was definitely fitting in a way that said, “I am yours. Your whole life you have been waiting to discover that you belong here, with me, and nowhere else. And no one else dare touch me because I am the command chair and you are the commander.” Yep. It was love at first sight; or rather first sit. I glanced over my shoulder to see where the ships head was because, other than the occasional need to relieve myself, I couldn’t imagine wanting to be anywhere else than right here in this chair.
Before me was what I assumed to be the control panel. As I shifted forward to get a better look, There was a slight hum and then the chair moved to the left and forward; placing me perfectly centered where I could easily reach any portion of its pitch black glassy surface. Magnetically attached to its front panel just below my left armrest was a blue binder marked with the single word Tutorial. I let that be for the moment. I decided I wanted to look over the rest of the ship before I hunkered into reading the instruction manual
I lifted the right armrest and the chair moved back and spun to my left a little for easy egress. At the front of the control room was the command chair, control panel and the view port covered by the hull iris as I have already mentioned. I walked the two paces to the door of the head and looked inside. It was small consisting of nothing more than a commode, a sink with a tap and a shower just large enough to turn around in and maybe bend over to wash one's feet if one were a contortionist. No matter. I’d seen worse.
The starboard side housed a locker with an emergency environmental suite and a panel marked Dormitory. I passed my hand before the release plate and the panel slid to the left revealing a bunk, a small shelf and a vid screen. And that was about it. I already knew the kitchenette and pantry were on the other side of the rear bulkhead. And past that was another bulkhead separating the living quarters/control room from what made up the other ninety percent of the shuttles 100 meter length; the cargo bay and engineering. Both of which were completely automated and neither of which would need much of my personal attention or interaction.
All in all it was exceedingly small but it was all mine. I returned to the command chair. Lowered the armrest and waited the brief second it took to move itself back to flight position. I touched the control panel lightly where a small activate command was blinking on and off. There was a slight spark of light in the center immediately replaced by virtual keyboard at the bottom of the screen. Then two lines of text. The first said New Account Log In. The other said Password. I reached for the tutorial and settled in for long read.