“If you’re watching me tonight, your journey is almost over.” Doctor Sheppard quietly slipped through the door of the darkened crew lounge, winching as the door latched loudly behind her. The President of the World Council of Nations spoke from behind a desk in front of the Council’s flag on the screen at the front of the room.
“Earth, as you know it, no longer exists.” Kenzi scooted into an empty seat next to Sergeant Brackett at the end of the back row. “Did I miss anything?” she whispered.
“No, Ma’am,” Brackett whispered back after a shake of his head. “He’s just getting started, but he’s getting ready to tell us how he appreciates the sacrifice all of us are making.”
“All of mankind appreciates the sacrifices each and every one of you is making.” Kenzi covered her mouth to stifle a laugh when Brackett looked at her with a raised right eyebrow.
They sat for the next twenty minutes and listened to the President rehash the objectives they’d gotten in a pre-launch briefing fifty years ago. Mercifully, the screen finally went white. Kenzi looked over at Brackett with his chin on his chest and gently poked him in the side. The sergeant opened his eyes and looked over at her, lifting his head as the lights brightened the room. “The torture session is over,” said Kenzi.
They rose from their seats as the rest of the room started to file through the door. “I talked to Gordon Miles about your request,” Kenzi said to Brackett.
“Yes, Ma’am, I talked with him earlier. Thanks for going to bat for us. Now we can give him a proper sendoff.”
“Better that he be among friends than being shot off into the stars all by himself,” said Kenzi.
Gordon Miles, trailing the line leaving the crew lounge, stopped beside them. “That wasn’t as painful as I thought it was going to be.”
“Speak for yourself,” replied Kenzi.
“I should be getting back to the men,” said Brackett and nodded at Kenzi and Gordon.
“Sergeant, I’d like to see you when you get time,” said Gordon.
“Yes sir,” replied Brackett and followed the last of his men out the door.
“Mister Miles, “ the android’s soft voice appeared from the overhead speaker.
“Yes, Max,” replied Gordon, looking up into the speaker.
“Our destination has come into view.”
“I’ll be right there.” Gordon looked at Kenzi. “Care to have a look at our new home?”
“I’d love to,” replied Kenzi and followed him out the door.