Go to Prologue
Kate poured them each a coffee from the carafe on her desk. She placed one on the desk for Kacey.
"Have a seat." Kate said and walked around the desk to sit next to Kacey rather than have a desk separating them.
"What's up Kate?"
"Does something have to be up for us to have a private conversation."
"How is married life?"
"Everything all right with Natalia?"
"She is fine."
"No health problems?
"Why all the questions Kate. What is on your mind?"
"She went to Sick Bay this morning."
"She did. It seems to me that the regulations state that every crew member must have a physical once a year. Correct?"
"You are correct."
"She did not have one before."
"That's all it was?" Kacey nodded. "You would tell me if there was anything physically wrong or if you two were planning anything?"
"We would tell you if there was anything physically wrong Kate."
Kate look closely at Kacey. She let the obvious non answer to their planning anything portion of her question, slide.
"Married life agrees with you. You have mellowed."
"Yes mellowed. I snapped at you earlier and you never even blinked. You just changed the subject. Why?"
"Do we always have to butt heads? Maybe I just did not feel like arguing with you today."
"Is that all it was?"
Kacey looked at Kate. "No that is not it entirely."
"Is something wrong?"
"Since the field scrambled my brains, I have been getting headaches if I get stressed out. So I am trying not to get stressed out over the little things."
"That's it . Of course that does not mean we will not argue in the future. Do you miss butting heads?"
"Hell no. I was just worried about you. You would tell me if there were anything wrong, wouldn't you?"
"Yes I would. Thanks for caring Kate."
"That is part of my job little sister. So tell me, have you watched the video yet?"
"We watched part of it. I still say you two are twisted."
"It is not twisted. Plus it can be a lot of fun once in awhile."
"So this stuff is not something you do all the time?"
"No, just when we are feeling extra playful and want to add a little something extra.""
"I did not realize your love life was lacking."
"It is not in any way. It never ceases to amaze me how naive you are at times. Watch the whole video. "
"I resent that Kate. I am not naïve."
"There is an ancient saying that fits you perfectly. Denial is not just a river in Egypt. Wake up Kacey. You are a novice and newcomer in the romantic scheme of things."
"First I am naïve, then I am a novice and newcomer. Any other "N" words you would like to call me. Nerd, nitwit, nincompoop."
"Stop. Kacey I am not trying to insult you. How long have you been sexually active?"
"What does that have to do with anything?
"Damn it you know how long. Natalia and I are married and we have a very satisfactory sex life."
"Satisfactory is an excellent start. But imagine having totally mind blowing sex. Finish the video."
"Can we talk about the asteroid field? They are usually between Mars and Jupiter. What is this one doing way out here?"
"We are going around it." Kate stated.
"Think about it Kate. What do we really know about asteroids. I think this would be a really good opportunity to study one. Especially this far out. One that is so out of the norm."
"Are you suggesting we send ships into the field? Do you know how dangerous that is?"
"We do not have to go into the heart of the field, just close enough to observe it."
"Aren't we supposed to be explorers. How many opportunities will we have to study an asteroid field. Aren't you the least bit interested?"
"I am intrigued."
"So lets take a few hours. Take the shuttles and a few Stingers and Drones to observe it. The drones can go in and collect samples. How many can say they have videoed an asteroid field up close and personal."
"When you say shuttles, I assume that means yours also?"
"You assume correctly. You can be my first mate."
"Two hours Kacey. We will study the asteroid field for two hours only. Then we resume our journey to Saturn."
"Two hours will be fantastic Kate. Thank you."
"Do not make me regret this decision, Kacey." Kate ordered. "Come on I have to change my orders to the crew" They left the Ready room to return to the Bridge.
To be continued...
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