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[USS Churchill] S1: Ep1- The artefact of the matter

Posted on Mon Mar 25th, 2019 @ 8:08pm by Lieutenant Ellie Kees-Stewart
Edited on on Tue Jul 16th, 2019 @ 10:45pm

Mission: Churchill's First adventure
Location: Flight Control Chief's Office
Timeline: MD004-19:00 Hrs 20/04/2392

The PADD skipped once on the desktop and slid to a halt on the jumbled stack of its siblings next to the monitor. William reached above his head and stretched, arching his back as he did so. He was about to fetch the medication he'd been prescribed, currently sat next to his now antique EVA helmet when he heard the doors to his office chime.

Ellie had made her way to see William, she hadn't seen him since their little accident in the corridor and she wanted to make sure he was okay. Her arm was still sore but that was to be expected for a few days, it was healed at least and that was what mattered. She smiled as she heard him call her to enter. "Hi Bill."

William had turned towards the door as it had opened. "Ellie?" His eyebrows raised slightly in surprise. "What brings you down to Flight?"

"Actually I came to see you" Ellie smiled. "I owe you one for helping me. How are you doing now?" She held up her arm. "This is all fixed just a bit sore now, and my senses are still a little foggy but they're getting better too."

William laughed and shook his head in amusement. "Back in my day you'd have been in plaster for a month at least." He started coughing and waved Ellie towards a chair.

"Tags sounds rough" She took a seat and looked at him concernedly. "What did medical have to say about it?"

"The gas did a number on my lungs. It's curable, 20th Century genetic engineering doesn't play well with 24th Century medicine, so it's gunna take more time." He stood, retrieved the dispenser, and took a deep inhalation. "On light duty as a result."

"I'm sorry! You saved me and this is how you end up!" She shook her head.

"Don't be so dramatic." William joked, although he stopped short of breaking out into laughter again. "I didn't do much but use up extra air."

“You kept me from panicking though” Ellie smiled. “If you hadn’t been there I’d probably have been terrified of dying in there!”

William gave Ellie a look of bemused scepticism as he sat back in his chair. "I don't believe you." He grinned and leaned back in his chair. "You don't make it through the Academy without the 'trust in yourself, your crewmates and your training' ethos rubbing off on you a little. I reckon you'd have been just fine on your own."

Ellie smiled warmly. “Maybe” She looked around. “So what’s it like being Chief flight control?”

There isn't much else to see in the office, the only decoration is the old space helmet the sits next to William's medication dispenser on the office's small table. William rubbed his chin. "So far? It's boring. I've become a paper pusher not a pilot." He grumbled.

"I'm sure you'll get plenty of chances yet!" She grinned, her eyes tracking to the helmet on his desk. "Is that what I think it is? An actual astronauts helmet!?" She had to take a closer look. "I've read about these but I've never actually seen one before! They used to have a special suit that these helmets used to connect to in order to protect the astronauts from the vacuum of space."

William nodded. "One of the type sixes used in the Columbus Deep Solar Exploration missions. Interested in primitive space flight, huh?" Standing slightly from his chair William reached over and gripped the top of the helmet before passing it over to Ellie to hold. The helmet itself has lost its white colouring, faded with time to a dull beige. The visor is discoloured, but not cracked. The ceramic coating is pitted and blacked in places after centuries of exposure to vacuum, but, above the left hand lighting mount the word ROGERS can still be made out.

“Rogers?” Ellie looked at William with curiosity. “A family heirloom or is it yours?” She carefully inspected the helmet before gently placing it back on the table. “I’m curious now!”

William frowned a little. He'd assumed his personnel file had included the details of how he got to this century, but perhaps they'd not seen fit to include it. "It's mine."

“Oh of course...” She recalled the details she’d briefly skimmed over in his personnel file. “It’s how you got into this century in the first place. I can only imagine how it must have felt, I’m sorry if I’ve touched on a sensitive subject.”

"It's fine." William smiled. It was a small smile and didn't reach his eyes. "I'm guessing you have questions?"

“I do but I don’t want to pry.” She offered a smile. “How’s about you tell me what you want me to know.” She took a seat and looked at him curiously.

"Are you trying to counsellor me?" William asked, amused .

"Maybe....maybe not!" She grinned. "I don't mean to do that. It comes naturally, sorry!"

"If I wanted that we'd be having this talk in your office." He shook his head. "I joined NASA in 96, transferred in from the air force at the end of the War. My kind weren't popular, but we had our uses."

"Your kind?" Ellie smiled. "That's a cruel thing to say about anyone in anytime."

William shrugged. "The genetically enhanced had just tried to conquer the planet. It's not surprising people'd hold it against us."

"Not all genetically enhanced people were to blame for that. It's not right to blame all of those who were genetically enhanced for the actions of some." She offered a warm smile. "I guess I'd have been considered a co-conspirator back then or something because I'm your friend. That's the beauty of this day and age you don't have to worry anymore."

Ellie had to admit if she wasn't seeing James again she'd certainly be considering asking William if he was interested in going on a date with her. As it stood she was happy to be a good friend.

"Don't I?" William asked, long held resentment starting to well inside him. "The first thing the Federation did when they found out I was genetically enhanced was threaten to imprison me if I didn't consent to the removal of my enhancements. They kept me confined in a temporal adjustment station while the argued over whether or not I had the right to exist as I am. That was my first two years in this century. Doesn't feel like anythings changed to me."

"I'm sorry Bill, I've just stirred up bad memories for you now haven't I?" She sighed. "For what it's worth, I don't care whether you're genetically enhanced or not I'm happy to have you as a colleague and my friend."

"Thank you." William exhaled slowly. "I keep forgetting you can do the whole mind reading emotions thing."

"Yeah well, it comes naturally for me but it must be strange for you. Telepaths and empaths weren't something that existed in Earth's past." She shrugged her shoulders. "I hope I don't make you uncomfortable?"

"If you did I'd not forget about your mind powers so frequently."

Ellie smiled warmly. “Well that’s okay then. I’d hate to think I made you uncomfortable.”

"So.." William looked to change the subject. "..have you told The Brass about what happened?"

“I’ve filled out a report detailing what happened.” She rubbed her arm. “Best part is even though it’s healed my arm is still sore. One of the downsides of modern technology, you still suffer from some sensations associated with any wounds for a period of time afterwards.” She shrugged her shoulders. “Guess you can’t have it all.”

"Still better than having it immobilized in a plaster cast for at least four weeks." William frowned. "I was asking if you'd told Fae though."

“Oh sorry” she smiled. “I don’t really have to but I will, there’s no secrets between us, even though she’s young I want her to grow up knowing that no matter what I’ll never lie to her.”

William nodded. "Better that she hears it from you, too."

"Indeed, it's not like I'm dying of anything though we're both okay so dye needn't worry." She smiled warmly,

"Better not leave it too long all the same. These things have a habit of getting worse in the retelling."

"You really are worried about Fae aren't you?" Ellie smiled warmly. "That's very sweet."

William shrugged, inwardly a touch embarrassed by being called out on something as unmanly as considering a child's feelings. "Well, we've all been there, haven't we.

“Indeed we have” Ellie smiled warmly. “Thank you for caring Bill, I do appreciate it. Anytime you want to come over and take part in one of Fae’s Tea parties please feel free! I’m sure she’d love it!!”

She couldn't help but laugh as she headed for the door. They both had work to do.



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