Part of USS Eagle: Delta Quadrant and Bravo Fleet: Blood Dilithium

You Okay?

USS Eagle
November 2400
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After ringing the ready room door chime several times and not receiving a response, Doctor Lori Weaver strode inside, pausing while the door closed behind her.

“Matt?”

The lighting was dimmed by at least half.  In the darkened office, Captain Matt Kirby stood silently in front of the window, the blue-green surface of Sefus IV clearly visible.

“Matt, are you okay?”

There was no response.  The silence in the room was heavy, almost like something one could reach out and touch.

“Have you ever thought about how different your life would be if you would have made different choices?”  Matt’s voice was flat and dull.  It was like he was speaking mechanically.

“Of course.  Everyone has.”

“Yes, everyone has, but not like this,” said Kirby.  “I’m living with the consequences of a decision I made in the future or technically never made, but still did.  How do you process that?”

Lori tried to think of something she could say to help.

“Matt…”

“Please don’t say it’s not my fault.  Even if we’re in a different time line, what happened down there is still from a decision I made.”

In the seven months Lori and Matt knew each other, they had become friends.  Close friends.  It wasn’t romantic, but they could share deepest thoughts and intimacies that couldn’t be shared with anyone else.  That was why it was breaking her heart to see him blame himself for the fate of the nine scientists.

Kirby turned away from the window, facing Lori for the first time.  Even in the low light, she could see the sorrow in his eyes.  It was similar to the bleariness of someone that hadn’t slept.

“Please sit,” said Kirby as he seated himself at his desk.

Instead of the chair across from him, Lori made herself comfortable on the couch on the opposite wall.  The room was small enough that it wasn’t awkward.  The lighting remained subdued.

“Thank you for coming to see me, but I’m fine,” said Kirby.  “Future me did what had to be done.  I’m certain of that because I had all of you there with me.”

Lori fully understood Matt’s feelings.  She had carried the grief and guilt of losing patients though she knew everything possible had been done to help.

“How long are we going to stay here?” said Lori.  “I get hoping the scientists will appear, but it probably won’t happen.  There’s no telling how far into the future they are.”

“I know, but we don’t have another assignment, so we’ll stay until we’re ordered to leave.”

Lori nodded.  “The crew is behind you.  No one blames you for any of this.”

“We’re hardest on ourselves,” said Kirby.

It was at that point Lori felt good inside that the captain was going to be okay.

“Haia wants to go to the surface.  She thinks she might discover something we missed from up here,” said Lori.

“You can’t complain about her enthusiasm, but we’ve already analyzed everything.  When we, when I fired on the facility, we made sure nothing was left.”

The door chime rang.

Lori was annoyed they were being interrupted.

“Come,” said Kirby.

The door opened and Roger Allen stepped inside.  He seemed surprised at the lower light setting.

“Sir, we just received orders,” said Roger.  “We’re to go to the Barzan wormhole.  We’re returning to the Alpha Quadrant.”

Feeling the sting of what that meant, Lori quickly looked at Matt.  If he was feeling it, he was hiding it well.

“Thank you, Rog.  Have helm plot a course and take us out of orbit.”

“Yes, sir,” said Allen.  “I’m sorry.”

Kirby nodded.

Once Allen was gone, Lori studied Matt.  They would have left eventually, but going so soon had to be a punch in the stomach.

“I’m fine, Lori.  Really.”

Lori got up and walked to the desk.  Squeezing Matt’s hand, she smiled.  “I know.”

 

Comments

  • Good ending to the mission, It is understandable that the Captain would feel like it was his fault and that he took nine lives but in the end, no one can really blame him for what happened. I liked how he was able to just let his feelings out with Lori, though they won't be able to fully solve this mystery I can't wait to see what the next adventure of the Eagle is going to be.

    December 8, 2022
  • Wowowow, I am stunned by the weight of the pathos you evoked from a story about chroniton particles and twisty time travel. I'm truly a little choked up. You described the quiet moments between the characters so succinctly, I could imagine their pain in my mind's eye so clearly. You demonstrated their rapport so effortless, as Kirby had his muffled breakdown about the lost scientists. Each twist and turn of the dialogue was like another twist of the knife. Incredible epilogue this! Picard and Data WISH they had a ready room scene this tear-evoking.

    December 9, 2022