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Posted August 5, 2010
Series: Eureka Moments
Title: Facing the Consequences
Author: Jedi Buttercup
Disclaimer: The words are mine; the world is not. I claim nothing but the plot.
Summary: Allison was starting to realize that this timeline had just as many problems as the old one. 900 words.
Spoilers: Eureka 4.4 "The Story of O2"
Notes: Seriously, what was she thinking?
Allison paused just inside the door of Café Diem, casting an eye over the tables in hopes of catching Dr. Ramsey there alone. She'd already apologized to Kevin for surreptitiously boosting his rocket, and she thought they were okay again for now; but she wasn't anticipating such an easy conversation with the scientist whose formula she'd borrowed.
She didn't know what she'd been thinking when she'd taken it. She knew just how much time and money went into making even so small a sample as the one he'd brought to show off at the rocket launch; and while the Mars Colonization Habitat project was a massive undertaking encompassing several scientists and a budget large enough to absorb the expense of remanufacturing the half-liter of TAPF she'd lifted, that didn't change the fact that she had committed a criminal act. She'd just been so worried about Kevin being disappointed-- she supposed she hadn't been thinking. And then she'd concealed and lied about her involvement, even after Zane came in with hypoxia and she began to realize that her little indiscretion was turning into a very big problem.
Nathan would have been so disappointed in her, she thought with a sigh as she finally spotted Dr. Ramsey at a corner table. And she didn't even want to think about what Carter would say when he found out. Jack had always been more supportive of her than she had any right to expect, and she was grateful for that; but even he had his limits.
Ah, well. She'd worry about that when he got back from his trip to see Zoe. In the meantime, she had a little groveling to do.
Allison picked up two Vinspressos at the counter, then made her way over to Dr. Ramsey's table. He glanced up at her, an uncharacteristically sullen mood darkening his features, and didn't even crack a smile when she slid one of the drinks across the table to him with a contrite expression.
"Unless that's filled with a replacement 522ml of TAP fluid, that's not going to do me much good," he said, not bothering to reach for the paper cup.
Allison bit her lip. "Dr. Ramsey, I am so sorry," she began. "I don't know what came over me. I just-- Kevin was having some problems with his test burns, and I heard what your TAP fluid could do...." She trailed off, looking down at her own cup. "I know that's not an excuse. I just hope my actions haven't set you back too badly."
"Set me back?" Ramsey echoed, incredulously. "Dr. Blake, they're going to cancel my project. General Mansfield said it's too 'potentially catastrophic' to produce any more TAPF on Earth, even though it's totally harmless without the activation trigger. The Colonization team will be back to the dome drawing board, even though it's obvious the materials requirements are going to be prohibitive. That's months of effort and millions of dollars down the tubes."
Allison looked up again, completely taken aback by both the bitterness in his tone, and by what he was saying. "But surely Dr. Fargo...?" she began, tentatively.
Ramsey snorted. "Yeah, and we all know who made him boss. Spare me, Dr. Blake; now that General Mansfield's made his opinion clear, I might as well get to work on my redaction papers."
"Dr. Ramsey... I..." Allison swallowed. "I don't know what to say."
Ramsey made a face, then reached out to finally pick up his coffee. "Sorry's a start," he muttered, turning the cup around in his hands. Then he sighed. "I know you didn't mean for things to go wrong the way they did. But it's just so-- bogus. My team will be the ones to pay for it, and it wasn't even our fault."
Allison winced. "If there's anything I can do-- put in a word for you with the General--"
He shook his head. "No, thanks. I think you've done enough already." He grimaced, then pushed back his chair to leave-- and paused for a second, gesturing awkwardly with the cup. "Uh, thanks for the coffee, though," he said, then turned and made his way toward the door.
Allison dropped her head in her hands as he left, leaning forward to brace her elbows on the table. That had gone well. He was right; he shouldn't pay for her mistakes. If she were back in the old Eureka-- in any of her roles in the old Eureka-- she'd have been in on the critical briefings and decisions, able to mitigate the fallout in all but the most extreme cases. In this Eureka, she was limited to her influence on Fargo.
Things had seemed so perfect in this reality at first; it had been a miracle, seeing Kevin as a happy, normal teenager. She still wouldn't trade it for anything, but-- she was starting to realize that this timeline had just as many problems as the old one. Just different ones. Her son might be fine, but she had no idea how to relate to him, and she had lost most of her professional power; she couldn't afford to be so careless about consequences.
She'd just lectured Jo earlier that day about letting her feelings for the other Zane affect her judgment. She should have dealt with the plank in her own eye, first.
Allison sighed and picked up her coffee, then headed for home.
© 2010 Jedi Buttercup.