Posted on September 28th, 2011 by Persephone Busard and Douglas McKnight
-By Douglas McKnight & Percy Busard
So many of the crew had loved this place when they’d first stumbled across it, had allotted much from their personal stores of professionalism to keep their obvious excitement in check when the news came that they were going back to Gencodia. Yes, even in spite of the strong possibility of an impending pirate attack. As for McKnight…he SORT OF shared that sentiment, but he wouldn’t say he’d ever caught a case of “Gencodia Syndrome”. Absolutely, the view was impressive, but frankly, the view was also the problem. Brilliant, but static, little if anything to signify, at least at a cursory glance, that your time here had even passed. Even on a starship, about as sterile and calm an environment as you could ever ask for, you at least had the lighting dimmed to give some sense of time passing. Because there SHOULD be something, he’d always felt, to give you some sense that a long day was ending. And this had been a long damn day.
Still, he shouldn’t complain. After the ceaseless, useless frustration which had resulted from the revelation of what a moment’s thoughtless had unleashed on him and his squad, it was good to at least do SOMETHING, even if it was just manhandling a hysterical shuttle thief off to the stockades. Oh, and assigning a full squad of armored up and therefore healthy marines to full time spaceport duty. All those not so lucky in their equipment might be dead within 48 hours if Carre didn’t come up with something quick, but at least that wouldn’t be happening again. It seemed as good a time as any to take his little win, and following it up sensibly by taking his break while he still could.
“McKnight to Busard.” he began as usual, activating his comm as he climbed the little hill, making for the tree against which he’d chosen to spend so much of his spare time the last time he was here. Shame he hadn’t brought his banjo down with him this time. “Sorry about having to cut and run. Some basket case must have skipped his health classes, because I’m pretty sure even warp speed isn’t fast enough to outrun what’s already ailing you. But he’s cooling his heels in a cell now. We can finish up now, if you’re not too busy.”
Percy practically jumped when she heard the head of security’s voice over the comm again. She’d taken the time between the last time they’d spoken and now to request that Quinn take over for a little while, which he’d agreed to graciously, and retreat back to her quarters to cool down. Once there, she’d spent the remaining time cuddled up with a nearly literal pile of mini-bots, each making its own inquisitive or excited beeps about why she was there. When she heard the response, however, the pile was flung every which way as she immediately stood up.
“Good! Uh, yeah. Great.” She didn’t like his use of the word “finish”, but at this point she wasn’t exactly willing to argue semantics. “So…this biological weapon thing…Carre’s figuring out how to fix it, right? I mean, that’s what she does. She replaced ninety percent of my internal organs that one time, that means she can solve some bitch’s super virus, right?”
It was pretty clear at this point that she knew it wouldn’t be that easy, but Percy would take any glimmer of hope she could. And of course, better still would be if she could pass any of that on to McKnight, especially since the quarantine barred her from actually coming down and comforting him herself.
“Yes, I’m sure she’s doing everything she can.” McKnight agreed, sinking down against the tree with a relieved sigh. “And that pretty much means everything medically possible. It’d pretty much have to, right? One of her patients is the boss’ wife. And we’ve seen how she works under pressure. She’ll come up with something. She’ll wait until the last minute to make sure she has time to friggin’ refrigerate it, but she’ll come through. In the meantime, honestly, I’m just trying not to think about it too much. Not a hell of a lot I can do about it either way. Like I told Doctor Tennant, field medic training doesn’t exactly cover this. Although it DID occur to me to canvas the fleet for stasis units. If we can get a decent collection together down here and put the critical cases in cryo, it might buy Carre a little more time.”
Stasis units. Of course, that made sense. Whipping out her PADD, Percy immediately started looking over the medical equipment registered to the ships currently stationed at Gencodia. At least she could do something useful. But alas, the message had already gone out, and said stasis units were being prepared for transportation. Guess great minds think alike, she guessed, or at least mildly intelligent ones put in a state of emergency. She sighed deeply, scratching her head in frustration. Uselessness was not a state of being that she dealt with well. Normally she treated it with getting work done in engineering, but Atlantis was doing just about as well as it possibly could be right now. So instead she sat and tried to think of a topic that would distract the man on the comm. She would, she supposed, have really liked to be able to fill the conversation gap with something mild and distracting, like baseball or Lost Harbor. But to be honest, there had been something weighing on her mind in particular. And if this was a life and death situation, it was better in her mind to speak and be disappointed than not to so and regret. Taking a deep breath, she dove in.
“It might, yeah….look, I’ve been meaning to say something about this for a while now, but…well, we’ve been together a while. And I know it hasn’t necessarily been easy dealing with each other all the time, but…I feel something with you that I never have before, even when I was with Damien. You made me want to be with people again when I thought I’d given up for good, and you’re…” She trailed off, trying to think of appropriate words, but there weren’t any that came to mind at first, “well, damnit, I love you, Doug. And I can’t see myself stopping any time soon.”
She exhaled slowly after that, gathering her thoughts all the way. Her voice became meeker, quieter as she continued, to the extent where one didn’t need to be able to see her to know that she was blushing.
“So, y’know…you have to be okay, because holograms just aren’t good enough when it comes to getting down on one knee.” Sheepishly, she added, “…and, y’know, ring-sizing and all that. You’d just be giving me a huge headache.”
It took him a couple moments to realize that his chosen response, while he may personally have deemed it appropriate, succinct and about the most eloquent response he had at his disposal to convey the sense of metaphorical whiplash that last communication represented, it nevertheless hadn’t had any words in it. And words were kind of important here, right? Right.
“Shit, Perce. I mean…yeah. Yeah, of course yeah. I just…shit, Perce! Now’s when you figure it’s time to bring this up? I hear some people try dinner.”
Percy couldn’t help grinning, even if she might have been doing it through a tear or five.
“Yeah, well…now you have to get better and come back, or else you’d be a total dick. Don’t want that on your conscience, do you?”
“No, I guess not. Shit!”