?

Log in

No account? Create an account
sg1 poke

Stupidity and Stress

Did I ever tell anyone how much I hate chaos and stupidity? Well I do. I have volunteered for the past months on a charity project that is selling greetings for Purim baskets called in Hebrew Mishloat Manot. The project is chaired by an accountant who has very limited computer skills but a lot of arrogance and hutzpa (a Yiddish term for hubris or guts). So Y has been going her merry way manually creating a huge frelling spread sheet to jot down 1,000 greetings for our members (each member has a number and you record the numbers next to the member names for those greetings they want to send to others--each one is $4). Then this excel spread sheet is sent to a mysterious Perl script run by one of our computer gurus. From what I gather, the Perl script changes the numbers into the associated names and merges this with a greeting letter. The output is sent to another mysterious black box that does something nobody understands. Well, my hubby and I have been trying to figure out what these black holes do and rationalize this process.

Y totally doesn't understand what the Perl script does. She spread rumors that I and the president of my organization are incompetent because we have been trying to get her to format the excel spread sheet in a way that D who runs the Perl script can use. Somehow, at an executive board meeting that I didn't attend, it was decided that they would test me to see if I could run the script. Nobody told me that I was doing this and I don't have the script (a confusion exists between owning Perl--the language that all Mac OS X users have and having the script that was written by D for this project). I thought I was going to input the data and save the file to a text file that D could use. Now I get via email a file from Y and she asks me to "debug it". I call her up and say "Huh?" She gets all pissy and says that R, the president, doesn't understand and I don't understand what is needed. I told her that I didn't want to step on anybody's toes and would step away. Y wouldn't make any decision--now they are feeling sorry for me for my illness and are saying I shouldn't be involved anyway--isn't that my decision to make?

After speaking to R, we decided that I would just find out what D needs and tell R so she would have that information and let Y do whatever she wants to do and stay the hell out of it. Sounds good to me.

Why all the fuss? Why do projects become such messes? Why doesn't somebody figure out step 1, step 2, etc. and tell people what to do and then just get it done? Why the egos? Volunteerism is just not fun. And I am royally pissed at being made to seem stupid and even more pissed at hearing my friends denigrated. So it is just as well I am out of this.

I have enough stupid on my plate at the moment.

Well, now that I've worked myself up, I'll continue Chapter 8.



Though Our Time Slips Away, Chapter 8b


Aeryn hunkered down next to the charred remains of a wall. Her face was smudged with the soot from the many fires that still burned on the battlefield that used to be a pretty town. She was tired and thirsty and her side ached where a pulse blast had grazed her hip. She sighed and looked at her teammate. Trenn handed her a canteen of water and leaned back against the wall. He knew that the quiet was just a lull between battles. The whole plan was frelled from the start. It was supposed to be an easy assignment, get in, kill the bad guy and get out again after destroying certain data that was detrimental to the Sebecean race. The problem was that when the arrived at the target location, the target had already been secured and the data was gone. Trenn shook his head at the terrible cost.

Aeryn glanced at her commanding officer and nodded her head in silent agreement. The entire strike team was dead except for herself and Trenn. It was all a setup. She felt drained and empty. Nothing she did worked anymore. Everything she touched died. She had been thinking a lot about Moya and John Crichton as each assignment with her unit turned more and more bloody and pointless. She looked back at Trenn and took another swallow of the tepid water. "I received a comm signal a few microts ago. There'll be no backup or reinforcements. Command feels this place is too hot. We're on our own."

Trenn sighed and looked down at his hands. "Officer Sun, you are a loyal soldier and it has been a pleasure serving with you. I release you from your oath of service to this unit. Go find Moya and your friends. I know you want to. There is no honor left here."

"Milon Trenn, we have become friends as well as fellow officers. I think in this situation we are beyond formality. You risked your life to save mine back there and I owe you for that and for your ready ear to my sad story. I won't leave you. Let's find a transport and get the hezmana out of here before the soldiers return. We can't hold them off. This place is indefensible."

Milon Trenn looked at his friend and then down at his hands where they continued to clutch his stomach. He shivered and suddenly keeled over. Blood ran out of his open mouth and his eyes had the glazed look of death. Aeryn shook her head at his quiet bravery then silently bent over and touched his neck where the parapheral nerve pulse no longer beat. She sighed and straightened up. Another death on her conscience. And she was alone with her thoughts and sorrows once again.

*****************

John stood in Pilot's den, his arms on his hips as he faced the giant purple crustacean who so loyally guided the living ship. Pilot's arms moved automatically, checking the multitude of signals that kept Moya stable and her passengers safe. He looked at John and stated quietly, "Commander, although Captain Crais has given us the coordinates to the command carrier I must protest your request to rendezvous with it. Moya is quite frightened of being captured again and also of having anything to do with wormholes."

"Pilot, please do this for me. The other John died to keep wormhole technology away from the Scarrens. I have a duty to his memory to keep wormhole technology away from the Peacekeepers. I promise I won't place Moya in any danger. Please take use to the carrier. I'll do the rest."

Pilot looked into John's face and lowered his eyes down to his claws that continued to work the various levers and gauges. Pilot sighed and nodded his acquiescence. "Moya and I will take you to the carrier and we will stay to help you defeat Scorpius. You are right, Commander, we should honor his memory."

John grasped Pilot's claw and squeezed it once. Pilot looked at the human as he strode out of the den and shook his head. "Yes, Moya, John Crichton is a brave man and we hope he stays safe."

*************

John scratched his scar and watched and listened as D'Argo continued to rant at him. They had been at this argument for over two arns and it was wearing very thin. D'Argo looked at Chiana and Jool where they sat around the strategy table in Command as if seeking their agreement, "John, your plan is farbot as usual and I will not agree to such a plan," D'Argo yelled. "Why could you not share with us before you unilaterally had Pilot rendezvous with that frelling carrier. I would never have agreed to such a dangerous scheme."

"That's why I didn't tell you, D'Argo," John stated for the ten or hundredth time. "It is my time and my plan. You all are not involved. I am going to take the displacement engine I built. I am going to install it on my module and I am going to create my own wormhole bomb and blow Scorpy's research to kingdom come. What is there to understand or agree with?"

Chiana tried a different tactic, "Crichton, you are being a complete fekkik about this. What makes you think we wouldn't have helped? We have beefs with Scorpy too. Why do you have to be a long arranger?"

John looked nonplused a second, then shook his head and said, "Pip, it's "lone ranger" and you don't understand the reference, so don't try that with me. It won't work. Look, I destroyed the dreadnought to keep the Scarrens away and Jack died. I don't want you guys to die because of my actions. This is my fight. You keep Moya safe. Okay?"

D'Argo, Chiana, and Jool looked at their human crewmate with complete shock. "John, what do you mean, you destroyed the dreadnought? You were here with us. It was the other who did that," Jool stated.

"No, Jool. It was me and I and he, and us. We are one and the same. I am him. I tried to tell Aeryn that and she wouldn't hear it. Now I'm just gonna act on it. I owe us big time. For Aeryn."

Pilot's face appeared in the "clamshell" and his voice was agitated as he stated, "Commander, we are being hailed by the command carrier from extreme range."

"Calm down, Pilot. It's show time. Open hailing frequencies, Uhura. Put them on the viewing screen, Sulu."

"Unknown Leviathan, you are entering a secure area. Please leave now or prepare to be boarded."

"Hello to the command carrier. This is John Crichton, astronaut, fugitive, clown, and wormhole magician extraordinnare. I was wondering if Scorpy would like a sample of what can be done with wormholes? You think you have the secret to rule the stars, but you don't and I do. You have two arns to evacuate your ship or you will be destroyed along with it. This research is at an end." John's eye gleamed maniacally. The others stepped back from the human. It was not safe, they learned from long experience, to get in his way when he was in this mood.

There was silence on the comms for several microts, but the quiet on Command was suddenly broken by Scorpius' visage as he starred menacingly, saying, "John Crichton, I knew you would come calling eventually. Have you come to assist me in finding a weapon that can stop the pending war with the Scarrens? What is this I hear about evacuating my ship? Are you making threats? We are on the same side. We don't have to be enemies. Come combine your knowledge with mine."

"Nothing doing Scorpy. Do you see that big blue funnel in front of your carrier. I'm going to take you and anyone who is left aboard your ship down to Oz. I will not let you have wormhole technology. There are other ways to stop the war than using this weapon. You have one and one half arns to evacuate. I suggest you use that time wisely and get off the phone."

John looked at his crew-mates seemingly one last time and turned and ran out of Command. He knew he had to install the device and prep his module and be out in front of the wormhole by the time that those life pods left the carrier. He could not give Scorpy time to prime his frag cannons and aim at Moya. "Guys and Pilot, please starburst to safety the minute my module leaves. I do not want you anywhere near that wormhole when it blows. Leave me a buoy and I'll find you later. Please get to safety. Promise me."

**************

Aeryn lifted her duffle bag on her shoulder and then heaved it into her prowler. She stood next to its open hatch and absent-mindedly wiped her brow with her gloved hand. She had officially taken leave after delivering Trenn's body back to base. She had met with the new commander, a woman she had learned to trust with her life. She had been thoroughly debriefed. There was no use in staying to watch the internal review that would locate and negate the traitor in their midst. The rebels would be safe.

Aeryn stepped into her prowler still deep in thought as she instinctively ran the pre-flight check. She didn't know what she was or what her purpose was any more. She couldn't sleep and she barely ate. She had realized during the long silent voyage back from that hell where her comrades had died, that she really did love John Crichton. She finally recalled his last words and slammed herself repeatedly for not truly hearing him the moment he said them. He was one and unique, indivisible. Valldon was real and she had abandoned him to run off on some idealistic dream that ended in horror and more deaths. All was ashes and she hoped he would take her back. She needed his hope. She wanted to be more again. She would try and find Moya. She would honor Trenn's wish and her deep need. And the baby would have a father.

*****************

John snapped the final bolt that attached the displacement engine on to his module. He opened his comms and tapped once to ensure that they were broadcasting. "Pilot, would you please have Moya open the Hanger doors. I'm ready now. Please fly safe and I'll find you guys later. Okay?" John guided Farscape 1 out of Moya and excellerated out towards the wormhole where it flowed and circled in front of the command carrier.

Thousands of small lights flickered from the life pods as they exited the huge carrier. D'Argo watched sadly as they lit up the starry expanse with each hetch jet flare. John was really going to do it again. Frelling hero has to do it alone and there was nothing he could do about it. "Pilot, prepare to starburst the minute John starts his run on the wormhole."

"Ka D'Argo, Moya and I have decided to remain here and wait for Commander Crichton. We cannot abandon him."

"Pilot, I totally agree and I'm sure Chiana and Jool do as well. Thank Moya for her bravery."

John maneuvered Farscape 1 to begin the ten passes around the mouth of the wormhole that would guide it with the assistance of the displacement engine into the path of the star that created this system. He quietly whispered in an echo of the last time, "Jack and John, this one's for you." He felt enormous pressure as he flicked the switch that turned on the engine. "Okay displacement engine, start displacing." He knew the other smiled inside at hearing these words. All was right with his world. He would do this thing and finish his life as his twin had, a hero. Aeryn was gone and he had no reason to continue without her. He would just follow the path into the wormhole. He could feel the blue expanse twist with each circumnavigation of his craft. The star's immense gravity well pulled at the wormhole's funnel. One more turn and he would be finished, for good.

D'Argo, Chiana, and Jool stood in Command and watched the firey inferno as it sucked the now empty command carrier down its gullet. Suddenly, D'Argo spotted John's module, a white speck in the hellish light of the disintegrating carrier. "John, what are you doing?" He cried.

"D'Argo!" Pilot's voice called on his comms, "A prowler has requested to dock with Moya. I believe it is Officer Sun."

"Let her board, Pilot! I'll be down as soon as I can." D'Argo yelled into his comms as he sprinted from Command.

"John, abort, abort now!" D'Argo, Jool, and Chiana cried in unison. "Aeryn is back. She is on board Moya. Come home!"

John starred dreamily at the huge firey hurricane in his front port. He had turned his engines off and was using the huge gravity well to suck his module along with the carrier into the furnace. He had no regrets when his comms lit up with D'Argo and his other friend's pleas. "Whaa?" He exclaimed. "Aeryn!" John sat up sharply as the full import of the message hit his tired and depressed mind. "Guys I have a problem here. I have no time to turn on the engines. You gotta come get me. Save my ass. Okay. I'll be good, I promise, just get me back there."

As Moya turned towards the maelstrom, her docking web caught the small module just before it could be consumed by the wormhole weapon John Crichton had built. Aeryn was waiting at the hanger doors when John entered the Bay. There was much to be said but words were not needed. There was time now.




Comments