“Doing a final check,” Grace reported. She looked over the results as the data came in. “All systems are online. Everything looks good. We’re nearly at our peak.”
“Can you get us to our peak while we’re on our way?” Ophelia asked.
“Assuming that we don’t get attacked by pirates or someone coming after the bride,” Grace answered.
Ophelia nodded. “Good, we pick her up in the morning.”
“I look forward to my ship being back in stellar condition,” Grace said. “Try not to wreck her for a while.”
“But that was on my list of things to do this mission,” Ophelia joked.
“My heart,” Lucy’s voice came in over Ophelia’s communicator.
“Right here,” Ophelia answered.
“We have an unexpected guess,” Lucy said. “You should come to the bridge and say hi.” The communicator shut off.
“What’s up with that?” Grace asked.
“It’s someone I know,” Ophelia answered. “I’d say someone I haven’t seen for a while, given her reaction.” She shrugged. “I’ll go find out.”
She made her way to the bridge. Farah and Kat were sitting at their stations. Leon was leaning against the wall, glaring at a handsome young man with dark hair and a cleanly shaven face.
“Damian!” Ophelia cried. “Good to see you.” She gave him a quick hug. “What brings you here today? What have you been up to?”
“I heard that you lot were about,” Damian answered. Just thought I’d come see everyone. I’ve found some work in the private sector designing racing craft.” He waved to Leon. “It’s good to see you too, Mate, even if you are still mad.”
“Just stay away from my Paul,” Leon said. “If you pull the shit you pulled last time, I’ll break your skull.”
“I know I buggered up badly,” Damian said. “I’m sorry and I’d like to apologise to him. Please, Leo, it’s been too long since we saw one another. There’s no need for past bitterness to get to us, is there?”
“Fine,” Leon muttered. “But I’m going to medical with you and I’m going to be watching everything you do.”
“Deal,” Damian agreed. He looked over to Ophelia. “I’ll come back and talk with you some more in a bit. You too, Kat.”
“Yeah, sure,” Kat stated.
Farah watched Leon follow Damian out before turning to Kat. “He seemed nice enough. Why’s Leon so mad at him, anyway?”
“Oh, reasons,” Kat said.
“Kat, be nice,” Lucy chided. “It’s not like she want privilegiad information.” She turned to Farah. “Before Damian left us, he got rather nasty towards Paul. There was some misdirected anger after his girlfriend lost her life. I suppose that Leon still hasn’t let it go.”
Leon followed Damian closely. Damian stopped outside of medical, took a deep breath and knocked before entering.
Paul looked up from his work, surprise registering on his face. “Damian,” he said, uncertainly.
“Paul,” Damian said, looking at the floor. “This… I didn’t expect this to be so awkward. Look, I just… I want, no, I owe you an apology. After losing her like that… I was just so angry, so upset..” He shuffled his feet. “That doesn’t excuse it, I know. The point is, I shouldn’t have blamed you. You did everything that you could and I do appreciate that.”
Paul walked over and gently pat Damian’s back. “It’s okay. I understand. You were in mourning. It’s natural that you would lash out and it means a lot that you would come back to apologise, old friend.”
Damian hugged Paul tightly, tears starting to come to his eyes. “Thank you. Thank you so much.”
Leon watched from the door, noting the hug. “Guess I’ll allow it just once,” he muttered.
Damian spent some time with Paul and Leon before making his way to his old station, engineering. He opened the doors when a wrench hit the door frame beside him, causing him to jump back.
“Who are you and what are you doing here?” Grace demanded.
Damian quickly composed himself. “Damian Jackson,” he answered. “This used to be my station.”
“I’ve heard your name,” Grace said. “If you’re here to try and retake your old post, you’re out of luck. They’ve found a better engineer.”
“Not at all,” Damian said. “Just got a bit nostalgic for the old place. Wanted to see everyone and see my old section. Do you mind or are you going to toss another wrench my way?”
“Suit yourself,” Grace said. “Just don’t touch anything.”
“You really don’t pull any punches, do you?” Damian asked. “May I ask what I messed up that’s got your knickers in a twist?”
“Besides the wiring for the main engine?” Grace countered. “Well, that aside I mainly increased efficiency after coming on board.”
Damian snapped his fingers. “Oh yes! I do remember that.” He scratched his head. “Sorry about that, it was meant as a temporary fix, but I’m afraid I left rather abruptly before actually getting it patched properly.”
“Oh,” Grace said. “So, you left your comrades with a hasty patch job and without anyone to fix it?”
“I don’t feel great about it,” Damian said. “But I was in a bad spot.” He sighed. “Well, it was nice meeting you. I’ll be off then. Perhaps someday I can tell you all about what happened Miss?”
“Albrecht,” Grace said. “Grace Albrecht.”
“Oh, Paul’s little sister,” Damian said. “Well, maybe your brother can fill you in.” He hastily retreated and ran towards the bridge.
Grace picked up her wrench and went back to her work.