RoF #6,7 - Return of Ops and Engineering


After dogfighting an alien slaveship, the little Electra was having a bit of a problem... No radio, no lights, no engines and only minimal control. Amelia was trying hard to make a half-decent ditch on the water.

Evans, on the other hand, was not enjoying himself at all. His eyes were big, his face was white, and he was holding on to the dashboard, white knuckled. Mere squeaks coming out of his throat.

"Keep sharp." Kitty/Amelia was completely and entirely calm. "Try to get me a visual, let's see who has better eyesight." It didn't help that night was falling and the sky was dark. "What's the weather forecast, do you remember it?"

"...Nice...?" Evans squeaked "We're gonna crash, right?" he barely managed to add.

"Yup," Kitty said offhandedly, struggling with the yoke.

"Ok... Just checking..." Evans responded.

It wasn't much later that the water's surface could be seen, and Amelia pulled up the nose of the plane, so as not to spear it into the sea, but to skid on the belly, the latter one being a significantly more gentle way to ditch an airplane. The belly skipped off the water once, once again, and suddenly the aircraft was slowed down hard, as it started to sit more heavily in the water, the seatbelts taking a lot of the strain. It was only a few seconds, but to Evans it felt like several minutes.

"Well, that wasn't so bad," Kitty said, unstrapping her seatbelt as the plane calme to a halt. She sounded almost downright cheerful now. "I'll get the equipment. Look and see if you can spot land in any direction."

"Heh... I'm still alive... Woohoo!!" Evans said, as he checked himself out, feeling that everything was still in place. No longer in an out-of control, but steadily sinking aircraft, Evans quickly came to his senses. "... Instruments? No way! Forget those! We gotta get out of here! Where's the raft?!" he yelled, as he undid his seatbelt, and sprinted in the back. He found the package, containint a rubber raft, and a cylinder of compressed air. He rolled out the raft in the plane, inflated it a little bit, and opened the door, pushed the raft out and inflated it completely. "Quickly, get in there! The water is already gushing over the deck! This baby's going down!"

"I said equipment, not instruments!" Kitty pulled up her backpack and offered Evans' backpack to him, climbing quickly out of the plane. She reached for his hand for stability as she climbed deftly into the raft.

Evans took a final look back, to see if he could grab something more, and he saw a jerrycan of water. <Gotta have that...> he thought, as he grabbed it, and also climbed into the raft. They both took a paddle and rowed away from the aircraft, which took only a few minutes to list dangerously, and sink only shortly after that. "Oh, great... Stuck on the middle of the ocean..." he mused.

"Well, that's not so bad," Kitty said, looking around. "We just pick a direction and go for it. We're bound to find land, and be rescued, and..." Suddenly she went very quiet, ceasing her rowing, lowering her head.

"Pick a direction and go for it?! Do you have any idea how big this place is?! ... Kitty?... Amelia?... Eh... Are you alright?" Evans said, as it slowly dawned on him that Kitty was not exactly being herself... selves...

"...No," Kitty said truthfully. "I... well... Oh, Evans, I told George Putnam that 'when' I got back from this whole flight, I'd be a proper wife to him." Her words came out all in a rush.

This felt like another stab to the heart to Evans. By now he was sure, that he was absolutely bonkers about Kitty, and wasn't planning on sharing her with some snooty Englishman like... Well... Himself... "Oh, that's just great..."

"I don't love him," Kitty said, looking at Evans. "I love you. But Amelia still loves him. And... I didn't marry him. But she did. I was... I guess I was..." She looked down again. "I guess I was hoping it wouldn't go this far, that either Q would bring us back or..."

Evans just sighed, and leaned back against the rim of the raft, rubbing his head. This whole multi-personality-relationship-thingy was just too much. "Thaaaat's just great..." he repeated, finally being completely without a solution. "Well, look at the bright side, it might still be a while before you have to pay up on that promise." He opened the cannister of water, and took a swig. "...Just great..."

"Ronald, I'm so sorry..." The European features on her face were still unfamiliar, but the tear-streaked look was universally recognizable. "I really don't have any better ideas."

It was a question of mere seconds for Evans to melt by the woman's sad face. It was Kitty alright, so he melted like a cube of sugar in a cup of tea. "Oh, I didn't mean it like that..." he said, as he shifted next to her, closing her in his arms. "...Shhh, it's alright..."

"I don't know what to do anymore..." she admitted, curling up in his arms and having a good helpless cry.

As they were lying in the rescue raft, fighting off the cold, the tears and the trauma, they suddenly found themselves enveloped by a blinding white light. They squinted their eyes. It was only about a second later that they heard voices around them. Some sobbing, some happy, some tired, some panicked. Evans opened one eye, and looked around. "I know this place..." he said. Suddenly, he sat up. "The bar... We're back... Kitty! Get up! Get off the floor! We're back!"

"Back? ...Back!?" Kitty blinked, opening her eyes, looking around. The first thing she did was to tear off the pilot hat that had been part of her disguise and toss it aside. Then she was pulling hairpins out as quickly as she could, shaking down her long mane of black, pin-straight hair, the crying turning to tearful laughter.

"We're back!" Evans responded, wrapping his arms around Kitty again. The real Kitty this time. "Oooooh... Don't you ever go and promise yourself to another man again..." He stopped, thought for a second and amended: "Except for me, of course..."

"Never again!" Kitty said decidedly, her voice choked. She hugged back as tightly as she could. Her teary laughter was nearly mildly hysterical. "I think I want to take a very long shower.

Evans turned his head only to hear the captain say something about time off, and counselling and stuff. "Now, that's one very good idea... Let's go."

"I don't like having to take time off for 'personal issues'," Kitty said, pulling to her feet. "But the rest of the day and night off does sound good. I've got to take one monster shower. But do you want to meet after? Or.. do you need time... to... uhm... think?" Those familiar almond-shaped eyes looked into his.

Evans choked a bit at that. "Eh... I dunno, I guess not. You were his wife, and that's all over now. Can I at least walk you to your room? It's practically next to mine. I could use a shower too."

"I'd like that," Kitty replied, smiling a little. "I didn't... _I_ didn't do anything with him, you know. Nothing, you know, serious. And I tried to not remember anything that She did with him, either."

"Please..." Evans said, almost begging, "It's all over now... I love you, Ok? If anything, this little adventure made that perfectly clear to me."

"I love you, Ronald," Kitty said. As they headed for the door, she reached her arm around his waist, leaning her head on his shoulder. "Like I never loved anyone else."

Evans put an arm around her too, and they both walked down the corridors towards their quarters. Another ordeal over.


Lt. Jg. Ronald Evans Chief operations officer SB-47 Ronin "No more Noonan..."

Lt. Kathleen Black Chief Engineer Starbase Ronin