Chapter 2: The Flaw

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Meanwhile, in Starfleet Headquarters.

“Professor, just in case you haven’t seen the trial simulation results,” The Admiral stopped and handed Magnus a PADD, preferring him to look at the data rather then telling him.

“This is incorrect, somebody obviously made a mistake with the calculations. Admiral, you know how meticulous I am? I hardly ever make mistakes, especially not one as grave as this.” Magnus said not believing a word the Admiral said.

Admiral Hayes came over and placed a hand on Magnus’s shoulder, “Magnus, we’ve been friends for many years now but I cannot be that for you right now, not in this capacity. Especially not in light of this new evidence. My engineers have been working around the clock and they tell me that your calculations are.. off. Can you at least admit that you might have been wrong?” Admiral Hayes said and he walked over to the mirror, lifted his head to study his chin.

“Or do you want your wife to take a look at it instead. I hear that the both of you know almost about everything there is to know about them. I’m sure she’ll find no problems.”

Magnus sighed, the Admiral always knew the right buttons to press,” Very well Sir, I’ll look over the data again. But I’m pretty sure everything is in order.” He stole a glance at the Admiral who was squinting at his own reflection in the mirror.

Just then, Admiral Hayes turned to face Magnus and he looked away quickly, not wanting the Admiral to know that he seen what he was doing.

“Let’s hope so, if this works Magnus, this ship will be the first to be able to counter the Borg.” The Admiral said gravely. “We cannot afford another Wolf 359. We are working to make the launch on schedule in six months time. In the meantime, how are Erin and Annika?”

Magnus looked up and thought, “Now he asks… why not an an hour ago when I first stepped into his office?”

“They’re doing well Sir. Annika is graduating in two months and Erin, well, she’s still lecturing at the Academy”

“Yes, and she’ll be one of the youngest ever to graduate from Starfleet. A year younger then most of her peers, no thanks to the strings that you pulled Magnus.” Admiral Hayes said with a smile knowing that he himself was one of the strings.

Magnus stood up, “It’s for her own good sir. I wouldn’t want to hold her back. She has an interest in Stellar Cartography and Astrometrics and so I thought. Why not get her started early?”

Admiral Hayes was reading the latest reports on his view screen and he looked a bit at a loss as if he hadn’t heard what Magnus just said. “Yes yes. That’s good. That’s very good Professor. Now about those calculations….”

With a hint of annoyance, Magnus replied, “I need time to study the findings in detail. I’m still certain that there’s nothing wrong my calculations. But as you so insist, I will check it.”

“Good, keep me informed.”

“Very well Sir.” Magnus said, letting off a short sigh that escaped the Admiral’s notice.

Just then, a beep sounded.

“Sir, Captain Janeway is here to see you.” The Admiral stood up and smoothed out his uniform. “Very well Martha, send her in. Well Magnus, if there’s nothing else..”

Magnus caught the hint and made his way to the door, it slid open and Captain Janeway stood stolidly, she looked at Magnus extended her hand and gave a curt smile.

“Hello Professor, I believe we haven’t been formally introduced, I’m Captain Janeway. Captain of the USS Bonestell, well former Captain anyway.” She took his hand and shook it hard.

“Janeway, I’ve heard of the name. You are Admiral Janeway’s daughter. Yes, that’s right. Oh sorry, I’m Professor Hansen, Magnus Hansen, you can call me Magnus, Captain.” Magnus said enthused, as he shook her hand back.

“Your reputation precedes you sir. I’d rather address you as Professor Hansen.” She said, showing how much respect she had for Magnus.

“Yes yes of course.” The both of them didn’t notice that the Admiral was quite impatient and that he was being treated like he was not even there.

“Your findings on Borg exobiology and culture are fascinating. Your data would certainly benefit the federation. But I wouldn’t want to face them if I can help it. I lost many friends in the battle for Wolf359.” The Captain said with a slight hint of sadness and regret in her voice.

“I’m sorry to hear .. .. ..” He was cut short by the Admiral clearing his throat.

“Professor, those calculations..yes?”

“Yes of course sir. Good day Captain.”

“You too Professor.”

Magnus walked out and headed towards the turbolift, he could not help but wonder about the so called *flaw* in his calculations. He knew that he was very meticulous and would never think twice about his results. Perhaps he was just getting old he thought. It reminded him how he was back at the Tendara colony. How young and energetic he was. How he and Erin were so devoted to their work and still being able to find the time to raise a child. And he remembered the day when Annika was born. Oh how could he ever forget that.

“Computer, office complex.”

The tears that flowed when he saw his daughter for the first time. He closed his eyes and envisioned the 3 hours of high emotions that surged through him and Erin that day.

********

“Arrghhh! Breath Breath Breath. Arrghh!” screamed Erin as she sat up and then lay back down again.

Magnus couldn’t say a word. He was speechless. He had seen the baby’s head popping out.

“Mr. Hansen, please do not stand in the way,” as the Doctor nudged him to one side.

He held his wife’s hand and wished instantly that he didn’t. She was squeezing it so hard that he felt it go numb. He opened his mouth and whispered,

“We’ll get through this Erin.”

Erin spun her head, “We?”

“Yes, we.” Magnus leaned into Erin and bumped his forehead against his wife’s. “You may be having our daughter, but I am here with you.. and I will be here no matter what.”

“I knew we should have had more Lamaze lessons!” she screamed into his face.

“Pressure’s rising, there’s another contraction coming.” A nurse said as she monitored the readings.

“Now Mrs. Hansen. You need to push,” The doctor said gently.

“I AM PUSHING! OH GOD! ARGGHHH!” She screamed and squeezed her husband’s hand ever so hard.

Magnus’s jaw dropped, “Sorry doctor. Err.”

“It’s ok sir, you would too in her position.. .. She’s out!” The baby was wailing and the doctor proceeded to cut the umbilical cord with a laser scalpel.

She handed the baby to the nurse who then wrapped her in a towel. She took out a tricorder and quickly scanned the baby over. She walked over to the couple and handed the wailing baby to Magnus. “Congratulations Mr. and Mrs. Hansen, you have a healthy baby there.” He stooped over his wife a little to show her the bundle of joy.

“Oh, she’s so beautiful Magnus.” She whispered and reached up to the wipe the tear off her husband’s face.

“Yes, she is… just like her mother.” And slowly, ever so slowly, he released the baby into Erin’s arms.

“My… . Annika.”

Magnus looked at her wife in amazement, “Already? Annika… … our little Annika, yes, that sounds very nice. I love you so much Erin and you too Annika,” as he bent over and kissed both wife and child.

********

“Destination reached.” The computer said.

Magnus opened his eyes and was so engulfed in emotion that he had to wipe a tear off. He stepped out,

“Good afternoon Professor, is there anything wrong?” his secretary Marla asked with concern as she noticed Magnus’s eyes were a little red.

Magnus walked quickly towards his office door, “No No Marla. Thanks for asking, it’s just the dust. Have someone clean the turbolift.” How many times had he told himself. Never show too much emotion in front of his staff.

“Very well sir, and oh, you have 4 messages. I’ve transferred them to your data console for your review.” Marla said and returned to her work.

“Marla, do I have any engagements this afternoon?”

Marla turned and entered a few commands into her station and then looked back at her boss.

“Says here, you have a lecture at 2:30pm. And then at 4:00pm, you have a meeting with Senior Chief O’Hara. ” the words rolled off her mouth.

“Thank you Marla,” and he went into his office.

Magnus stood over the replicator. It was already lunch time, his stomach was growling.

“Computer, a club sandwich and a glass of ice lemon tea.” The sandwich and tea materialized and Magnus took them and sat down at his desk. He took a small bite and then he proceeded to open his messages.

********

“Hahaha! That was so sweet!” Kimberly said to Joan.

Annika stood by and listened to her friend. She was very happy for Joan. And slowly but surely, the news was spreading. People who didn’t know Joan came over and congratulated her nonetheless. Annika wondered if her time would ever come. Will she meet her man. Of course that was stupid question. She was gorgeous. Why with her long blonde hair, a curvaceous slim body, her sensuous smile and perfectly contoured facial features, she no doubt would be able to get her man. But will he love her for *her* or just her assets. It was a worrying thought. She shrugged it off.

Immediately after class, a couple of her friends had crowded around them.

“So tell us, how did he propose?” they asked. Joan clearly loved the attention she was getting.

She clasped her chest and said. “It was the most beautiful thing, there were fireworks in the sky and then he just said, Look up Joan, What do you see?”

“And I saw the words, Will you marry me Joan? Somehow, the fireworks were rigged to spell that out. It was the most amazing thing. Then he held my hand and double tapped his combadge. I heard a couple of beeps and saw the most beautiful engagement ring materialize on my finger. He went on his knees and proposed, with his words this time.” She beamed happily and held up the finger to show all of them. Everyone was awed.

Annika looked up at the chronometer and saw that it was time for lunch with her mother. She slipped quietly away, not wanting to interrupt her friend’s moment. Anyway, Joan would probably not notice she was gone anyway. She’d explain earlier that she would be having lunch with mum. Annika walked towards the mess hall and was stopped abruptly.

“Em, hello there Annika.” Cadet Tomas said, his eyes met hers for a while and quickly changed to the floor.

Annika frowned, hadn’t he gotten the hint? “I thought I told you never to talk to me again?”

“I… I.. was. I had.. I.. wanted to.. to ask.” She knew where he was going with this and decided to stop it before it got out of hand.

“No Tomas, I already have a date for the party.” She said, referring to Starfleet’s official graduation party. She cannot believe he had the nerve after what he had asked of her.

“Oh.. ok..” She walked away before he even had a chance.

Geez, she thought. Doesn’t he get it? Nobody does and she was upset. She wanted a man that appreciated her intellect, her interests, her.. she stopped. Two years ago, she was attracted to Tomas for a while, he had appeared to be interested in her studies, her experiments with astrometric sensors, her hobbies, or so she thought. She envisioned that he would be the one to appreciate her qualities but during a leisurely picnic when they were alone, he had asked to see her breasts. She felt disgusted. And he earned a big slap across his face. He deserved it she thought. She felt so insecure. She wasn’t just a pretty doll in every guy’s mind. She’s a human being with feelings and she suddenly felt a dislike towards men.

She reached the mess hall and walked in. She smiled at the sight of her mother.

“Annika, I’ve been waiting for 10 minutes, where have you been? The food’s almost cold. And how was class?” Her mum said, a bit annoyed. She didn’t like tardiness in anyone. Not even Annika.

Annika walked over and pulled a chair. “Mum, you’re never going to believe it. Joan’s getting married and class was pretty interesting, Professor Jenkins brought a visitor today. He gave a talk on Astrometrics and how invaluable it would be in the years ahead. It would be the epitome of star charting he said”

“Oh that’s wonderful dear! Where is Joan? I want to congratulate her personally.” Her mum clearly more interested about Joan than her time at class.

“She’s outside with about a dozen people. Apparently making a big fuss over it.” Annika said jokingly.

Her mother noticed her tone.

“Anni, is there something you want to tell me.” Erin said, looking around, making sure nobody would listen.

“No mum, of course not. I..”

“Are you jealous of Joan?” her mother said. She read my mind, Annika thought. She was always able to do that.

“NO! No mother. Of course not. I’m so happy for her. I really am. I’m going to be her bridesmaid you know.” She said, the truth was, Joan hadn’t even asked her yet.

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Chapter 3 will be posted in a few days. In the meantime, do enjoy these Star Trek books.