"That's My Q" #107, 108, 109 - "Takeoff" (Part 2)


A soft sigh from the businessman as he saw his Amelia head back to the airplane. He didn't know what had come over her these past few days, but whatever it was - it was bringing her back to him. And he could wait. But he had a nagging feeling he wasn't going to see her again, and he couldn't explain it.

"Well..." Noonan said, with a little bit of an undertone that he never meant to come out, but that he couldn't suppress. "Off we go then?..."

"Yeah," Amelia said, finishing the last check. "Off we go." If she caught the undertone, she didn't remark on it. "Ready?" She started up the twin engines, smiling in anticipation as she felt the rumbling on either side.

"...Yeah... As ready as I'll ever be..." came the not so sure answer of Noonan, as he checked if the gyroscope was following the compass, looked if all the pressures were where they were supposed to be, and looked out of the window to see if the engines looked like they were supposed to look. Everything seemed well enough..

"WooooOOOO!" Amelia started the plane moving, building up speed, faster and faster... she grinned. This was the fun part. This was the best part of all, the takeoff, the transition from ground to air. The plane gave one slight bounce, wings straining, lifting... and they were airborne, pointing increasingly UP, g-forces pressing the two in their seat. Amelia was grinning like a maniac, but she was also careful, and it didn't take long for her to lower the nose slightly and make their altitude gain a little less sharp and less dizzying. "Want to make a turn-round and buzz the crowd before we go?" she suggested, an achingly familiar sparkle of mischief in her eyes.

"Oh yes, please... And rip off the wing while you're at it... Nah, I think we'll just circle around and head east, shall we?" Noonan added, very Evans-esque. He looked out of the left window. "While the engines are still attached to the fuselage..." he added.

"Ok, ok... Hold on, let me try something." Pulling up.. up.. up.... the ground became the sky, the sky became the ground... she pulled the yoke all the way to the side, sending the sky and ground temporarily tumbling.. and then they were flying straight and headed east. She didn't seem to be affected by the dizzying sight in the slightest. "Perfect. This'll do," she said in satisfaction.

When she looked to the side, she saw Noonan white as a crayon, his hands clutching to his seat's armrests, red hands and white knuckles... "...eep..." was the most that came out of him... He would have never expected the plane to be able to pull this stunt off, fully laden, but it had... A testament to the engineering skills of it's designers, and of the weight lost by replacing the weather equipment... "What did you do that for?..." he managed to squeak out, half a minute later...

The woman who glanced back at him, despite the short hair and European-American features, was more Kitty than anyone else. "I wanted to get the feel of it, the handling. See if we can pull off those stunts if we run into those aliens. There are ways that an aircraft can move that a spacecraft in atmosphere can't. Most of them involve stalling. That one was a simple stunt, any pilot could pull it off."

"Please... Pleasepleaseplease... I beg you... DON'T do that again!... " Noonan said, emphasizing all this with his hands. "This isn't a Starfleet shuttle, remember? It actually has limits!"

"This thing can handle it," Kitty said confidently. "And a Starfleet shuttle couldn't do the other stunts I've been practicing. That's why I've been learning them. But we've got no reason for stunts, and if we're lucky..." That word 'lucky' caught in her throat for a moment. "Uh... we won't have to."

"Heh... Lucky is when I win a dollar, on a ticket I paid 10 dollars for..." Noonan mused. "That's why I bet against our return... Only a dime, mind you... I don't want to loose too much..."

"You bet against our return?" She started laughing. "Don't you see that you'll never collect on it either way?"

"Yes, I know... But I drastically reduced our chances of failure, by losing by winning." Noonan said. He then started retracing his words. "Eh... Yeah, that's about right..."

She chuckled just a little, then fell silent. She reached proper cruising altitude, settling the plane to fly straight, then turned to look at him. "Just who is it in there?" she asked abruptly. "Really who?"

"It's me... Eh... Well, Noonan came up with that betting against yourself idea, but it's me who's afraid of stunts... Oh, Evans then, I guess.." he answered.

She responded by reaching over and putting her hand gently on his arm. "She... had control.. pretty much... for a while. I hid. I felt like I was just making everything worse. I'm back now. I came back with the flying. I've never felt like that before... I'd never realized what it was like. It's in my blood, Evans. My mother."

"Your mom? What about... Oooh, that... Ooooh no! You're not going to be a fighterpilot! No way! Uh-uhn! Not on my watch!" Evans reacted, being somewhat prejudiced by his idea of a fighterpilot.

"Why not?" Kitty asked, teasing him.

"Why not? Why not?! Because of... Eh... It's dangerous! I really don't like danger, if you may have noticed..."

"I've noticed," Kitty said, both amusement and affection in her voice now. "I'll keep 'er level, no need to worry."


Lt. Jg. Ronald Evans Fredrick Joseph Noonan Chief Operations Officer/Navigator SB-47 Ronin

George Putnam Brief cameo by Q NPC'd by Kristiana Petrova

Lt. Kathleen Black Chief Engineer Starbase Ronin