MISSION 0 - History Speaks
Timeline: Directly after "below Decks"
Lunara grunted as she tightened the last strap on her harness and looked herself over. "I think that's right," she muttered to herself, before looking up at Smith and smiling. "Ready when you are!"
Carter moved to the first rope section and reached up and lifted himself into a correct climbing position. He went about 3 feet, and looked down. "Grab hold of the rope, and place your foot on the rope under you, then pull yourself up."
"All right!" She cautiously followed his instructions, as if afraid the rope would break, then looked up to him. "How about you? You do this a lot?"
"Not as much as I use to. This is great exercise." He saw that she was nervous. "The ropes aren't worn...they will hold your weight...don't be afraid and don't look down."
"Right, right." She grunted and pulled herself up. "What's the goal, then? Just reach the end of the course?"
Carter kept climbing. "Reach the end of the course with falling and having to start all over." He paused every few seconds to check on her progress. When she need help, he would tighten the line and help her climb.
"I'll try not to fall, then." She winked. "You're closer to the top, how much further?"
"Not far. And once we get to the top, we have to cross rope bridges to get to the end."
"Oh, that doesn't sound too bad. I've done harder."
Carter reached the top, and helped her climb the last few meters.
She grunted as she reached the top platform. "Well, there's that, then. This is a beautiful view." She turned around, taking in the scenery.
Carter looked around. "We're not here for the scenery, we have to keep working." He headed to the first rope bridge.
She sighed and followed him. "You can't be all business all the time, you know. Wasn't there a famous Earth film about that? 'All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy', was it?"
Carter kept his eyes forward. "We're suppose to be doing this as an exercise, so we should be taking it seriously. Don't you?" He paused walking and took a glance back at her. "And, I don't think it was a movie...but just a saying." He started forward again. "And...I'm not a dull boy."
He watched her try to navigate the rope bridge. "Don't look down! Keep your eyes on the horizon. Just place one foot in front of the other."
"Come on, just because it's an exercise doesn't mean we can't have fun too." She cautiously followed him, happily taking in the views. "Come on, lighten up! It isn't good for you to be serious all the time."
"Okay......if we were in the lounge drinking, I'd be taking it easy, but we're not and we're suppose to be trying to complete this exercise. I'm sorry, but that's the way I am." Because Carter was talking to the ensign, he didn't pay enough attention to what he was doing, so his foot slipped off the rope and his leg went through the space between the ropes. He grabbed the rope and steadied himself.
"Shit! Are you okay?" She slowly made her way forward, stretching out a hand in case he needed it.
He grabbed her hand and pulled himself up. "Yea...wasn't paying attention....didn't hurt anything...thanks." Turned and started walking again.
"Damn, maybe we shouldn't talk too much after all." She nimbly followed him, taking care not to make the same fall as him.
Carter paused, not turning around. "If I gave you the impression that I was blaming you for my, mistake, I apologize. I shouldn't have behaved that way."
"No, don't say that! You didn't make me feel that way." Lunara shook her head. "Come on, let's get going."
Carter nodded, then started walking again, trying to make up the lost time they suffered.
Lunara followed him, opening her mouth as if to say something, then quickly closing it, not wanting to cause another fall.
Carter step a brisk pace. It wasn't a race, just an endurance test, so he wanted to finished it quickly. "Ensign, if my pace is too quick for you, let me know and I'll slow down." They reached the end of one crossing, and faced another, longer one.
"Come on now, I'm not that old!" She put on a mock offended expression. "I can keep up, don't worry about me."
Carter continued on at a brisk pace. They walked over 4 rope bridges, each one harder the previous one...then they had to scale down a rope wall, climb over another rope wall, then climb up a rope wall, nearing the finish.
"Damn, they don't make these easy anymore, do they?" Team building exercises were supposed to be challenging, but what was the point when they were so hard you couldn't talk on them?
"Hang in, we're almost at the end." Carter kept moving, as they moved through the final challenge.
"Well, partner, I've had fun doing this with you!" She grunted as she pulled herself over an obstacle.
When they were almost finished, Carter reached back and offered a helping hand to the ensign.
Lunara smiled, grabbing hold of it and pulling herself up. "Hey, thank you!"
"You are welcome." Carter grabbed 2 bottles of water, and handed one to Lunara. "You did well...you should be proud of yourself."
Lunara smiled and took one of the bottles, gulping the water down. "Thanks, you too! Things went a whole lot better than I expected."
Carter smiled back. "I don't know about you, but I need a shower and a stiff drink...not necessarily in that order."
"You and me both." She grinned, wiping the sweat from her brow. "Damn, I really need to get better at this."
Lieutenant Junior Grade Carter Smith
Engineering Officer, USS Elysium