Burning The Midnight Oil
Episode 2: Inevitable
Location: USS Defiant - Science Labs
Timeline: 36hrs prior to extra-galactic object arrival.
It was late. Very late. Sam looked up at the small chrono displayed on the terminal in front of him and sighed. He'd drawn the short straw this week and gotten graveyards, and he was not enjoying it at all. He'd run out of stuff to work on two days in, and now that it was the middle of his week he literally just had to sit here and hope for something to come along to pique his interest. He wished he was involved in some of the bigger stuff, but they hadn't really taken on any interesting bio cases lately, so that wasn't gonna happen.
He'd just picked up his mug to take a sip of his green tea when he heard the doors to the science lab swish open. Turning slightly so he could see across the room he waited to see who would come in.
“You know, Alexander, there are times when I wonder what possessed you to take up assignment on a bloody ship” came the exhausted complains of a man who should have sleep in preparation for the Alpha shift. Alex has often spoke to himself. There were times when he had difficulty processing his own thoughts and the act of verbalising them helped him keep any festering anxieties at bay. Today had been a busy day and the constant thrum of activity had worn at the scientists nerves. Sharing space could be difficult, particularly when unfamiliarity was thrown into the mix. The end result today had been an irritability that had prevented him from sleeping. He always made his way to the lab in such instances.
He didn’t notice Samuel at first, too preoccupied in his own ranting to pay attention to his surroundings. “Don’t worry about sensory overload”, he continued to rant, “the research you’ll take part in wi- CHRIST ON A BIKE” Alex exclaimed once he’d finally registered the presence of the rooms other occupant. He completely forgotten about the graveyard shift.
Finishing his sip of tea Sam put his cup down and chuckled lightly. "I take it you thought the lab would be deserted this late in the night?", he asked a bit sardonically.
Straightening his uniform Alexander settled his gaze on Samuel, his expression deadpan, "I expected as much, yes" he admitted as walked towards the terminal nearest where Samuel sat, "I normally stick to astrometrics at night but I fancied a change" he explained as he busied himself with logging into the ship's systems.
Sam nodded thoughtfully, "Makes sense, astrometrics is usually a lot less busy this time of night. Mind if I ask what it is you are working on, and offer any help I can, because I am, quite frankly, going stark raving crazy I'm so bored...", he replied.
Alexander froze for a moment before turning towards Sam, "I'm not working on anything, truth be told" he admitted, "I come to watch movies, the wall units are far bigger than the terminal in my quarters. Normally the labs are dead so I can adjust the lights and enjoy a film or two until I get tired" he shrugged, "Fancy it?" he asked before turning back to the console to pick out something interesting.
With nothing official to do, and already barely staying awake as it was, Sam saw no reason to say no. "Sure, sounds like a plan. Want me to run to the mess hall and get some popcorn and some drinks?", he asked as he watched the man peruse the ship's rather large library of movies on his console.
"You can do, I'll likely settle on something scary if that's okay" Alexander answered after a moment.
"That's perfect. In fact, the scarier the better. I love horror.", Sam replied, and then headed to get some refreshments.
It hadn't taken long for Alexander to settle on his favourite movie, hopefully Samuel would appreciate it as much as he did. With time to kill before Sam came back with their goodies, Alexander reviewed a couple of project's he'd been working on.
Less than ten minutes later Sam walked back into the science labs. In his hands was a large tray, with two big bowls of popcorn, and a couple of bottles of frosty cold soda. "Wasn't sure what you'd be open to drinking so I played it safe and didn't get anything alcoholic.", he said, crossing the room and placing the tray down on the table behind where they'd chosen to sit. "What movie did you choose?", he asked.
"A classic from Earth's late 1970's," Alexander said, transferring the movie to the larger screen before moving to the table, "John Carpenters Halloween, a pioneer for the genre that had a profound cultural impact, the franchise spanned four decades" he explained, beginning the movie and filling the room with an haunting piano piece that managed to sound both beautiful and simple yet build tension.
Sam smiled, "I like it already.", he said, and settled back to let the movie play while he munched on some of the popcorn he'd brought.
Alexander smiled before taking a seat, his focus quickly squared on the screen. He typically prefered solitude when tired, but he was happy to make the exception for Samuel on this occasion. Hopefully, he'd enjoy the movie as much as Alex.