The shuttle had standing room only; but no one seemed to mind. Since many had never flown before it was a treat. One young man was smiling as he gazed out the portal. Another young man had a similar smile only his was for Tatiana, who loved the attention showing him how the shuttle operated as if he was listening.
Maggie sat in the crowd her eye constantly on Matt as she wondered what was going through his mind. Lorne had stayed by her side. He stood over her and when she struggled to her feet, he was there to help her. Maggie moved over to where Matt was sitting and he immediately rose and offered her his seat.
Flattered by the gesture Maggie smiled. “I can’t remember the last time someone did that. Anyway, I’d like to stand,” Matt remained standing with her as Lorne looked on puzzled. “I want to apology for how I acted earlier.”
“Well we probably deserve worse than that.” Matt selflessly.
His acknowledgement seemed to have a profound effect on Lorne. Here was someone with considerable power who wasn’t acting like it, he was not a Braggart, in fact he was downright polite.
The ship hit turbulence and Maggie sprang into Matt arms. Lorne unable to help her looked on awkwardly.
“Sorry Major.” Maggie said softly. As she pulled away her face turned bright red. “I must smell like an old sheep dog.”
Matt had noticed the overall smell of the group. “After all you’ve been through I wouldn’t worry about that.”
Deforest stepped in and got Maggie’s attention. “How in the world did you guys put that beacon up there?”
Matt looked at him annoyed, but then Sadia barged in too.
“Yes, tell us?”
Now Lorne stepped in. “How would she know anything about that? You don’t need to answer their stupid questions?”
“Quiet Lorne,” Maggie retorted. “I helped put it there.”
“You, that’s not possible,” Lorne said angry. “I can’t believe you of all people would take credit for such a thing?”
“I’m afraid, young man, there’s a lot you don’t know about me. I had to keep it secret.”
“Some of your equipment is quite impressive.” Sadia inferred.
“Yes,” Matt added musingly.
“You can thank the Old Man for that.”
“Peters? Nobody knows him better than Lorne.”
“He’s an old hermit; but he’s the smartest man I know.”