A Hot Day in New London

Chapter 6

by Casey (Jedi at aemail4u.com)

General Disclaimer

*WARNING WARNING* This is a history chapter, and so is the next......I hope I don't lose you guys.

Chapter 6

Flying across New London, following the hovercraft signature, and making a beeline for the trace on ‘Grayson’s’ signal. A hovercar could only get so quiet. Against the soft hum of external antigravity lifts, silence reigned as an uncomfortable trio fidgeted in their seats.

Holmes was the first to break the silence that had reigned since they had traced the signal. "So, Josh, why don’t you tell me a bit about your history with our dear Lestrade? I find that sometimes the circumstances under which one meets another can be quite a tale. As I’m sure Lestrade has informed you, she welcomed me into the 22nd century."

With that, both Josh and Lestrade tensed, each looking in different directions as Lestrade answered, "Our past -- really isn’t that important, Holmes."

"Yeah. Not important at all," Josh said gloomily from the backseat.

"To deny that so quickly only contradicts yourself. It is important but you don’t wish to discuss it," he said sharply as he heard the fine crumpling sound of Josh beginning to clutch his notebook again in reflex. ‘What are you hiding, Lestrade?’

Silence once again ruled the hovercar and then....

"Well, we met as freshmen in high school. You see, Beth came in late for her English class and I had been shooting spitballs across the room in history, and so we ended up sharing detention that morning." Coultrane said, gently pulling the walls of Lestrade’s past down.

Lestrade smiled at the memory and added a few of her own. "You kept passing me notes all period and we finally agreed to have lunch together."

Josh continued where she left off, "And then Mr. Hingleton put us in detention again, this time for terrorizing the squirrels."

(Ahem. No animals were harmed in the making of this story. They only chased them, not harmed them.)

"So we had plenty of time to share thoughts and get to know each other."

"I doubt we would have ever've met each other if we hadn’t landed detention like that; or at least not like we know each other now. We mostly talked about the future and our stout wish to leave that city."

"Yeah," Josh picked up again, "and looking back, I wish I had never left."

Sighing softly Lestrade picked up again, "And then, well...." And then catching herself, "That’s how we met, anyways."

Frustration almost evident on his face, Holmes finished the conversation, "You’re still not telling me everything."

‘Why won’t you tell me? How could this have slipped past me this entire time? It most evidently has something to do with what is in that notebook, but the way Coultrane carries it, I doubt I’ll ever get the chance to examine its contents. If the information in that book is stolen, Lestrade and Coultrane would be very...."

A rustle of paper and a faint scratching noise alerted Holmes to the event behind him. Coultrane had opened his notebook.

‘Hmmmm, so the information is not complete?’

It had been 30 minutes and they were still tailing Fenwick. Not a word had been said until Holmes once again took it upon himself to break the silence. "So, what’s the story after you two met? To have such a strong friendship, as Mr. Coultrane showed us back at Kathleen Drive, would suggest that there is more to it?"

Frowning to herself, Lestrade glanced back at Josh to find him nodding in return. "You’re not gonna let it lie are you, Holmes?"

"You know me."

Sighing tiredly as her sleepless night caught up with her, she began....

"Well, for a couple of years, we were in high school, just living it up."

"It’s funny how our particular school was so academically competitive. Every semester, people would line up to get their transcript just to see where they ranked."

"We based many of our own studies in science and math. Oh how we used to wear on Mrs. Daly. She was our physics teacher. If we ever missed any questions on a test, we were allowed to contest it and to her disbelief, proved ourselves correct many times."

"Though she wouldn’t let it slide when I misread that one question about whether or not gravity was a force."

"She eventually sent us to that physics convention in the capitol, New Washington DC, effectively getting us out of her hair."

"Somehow she felt we’d learn more there than in her class...and we weren’t complaining."

Smiling at that statement, she allowed Josh to continue, giving her own voice a rest.

"Mostly we sat around joking about how our friends at school were stuck with homework while we got to hang around and explore the capitol with our only requirement being attendance at the convention itself. The next to the last day of the convention, there was this dinner thing."

"Formal dinner, Josh."

"Ummmm, right. Formal dinner. I don’t even remember why they had it."

Sighing, Lestrade picked up from Josh’s train of thought.

"I guess it was more so that the different professions could intermingle and for once not lecture. Of course, the students attending were able to sit with them as well. I remember that Dr. Laken threw out this weird question that he expected no one to be able to answer."

Even with his back turned to him, Holmes could feel Josh’s smug grin as he said, "He was shocked when Beth and I immediately found the error in his data and corrected it with an in-depth explanation. It was a trick question all along."

"He ended up quizzing us the rest of the night trying to find faults in our perceptions. He was so impressed by the end of that night that he asked our names so that he could 'contact us for further educational opportunities.'"

As she ended, she temporarily took her hands off the steering wheel in order to emphasize his exact wording causing the craft to slowly drift off course. Holmes tensed but Josh seemed to not even notice as Lestrade grabbed the wheel and jerked the car back on course. Then after securing the craft’s trajectory again she glanced at the floor and said, "We didn’t really think that he’d actually contact us. And...."

"He didn’t."

"Well, not for another two weeks, anyways."

"He invited us to take a couple of weekends to just tour several different facilities and then participate in a new ‘summer program.’

"We weren’t the only two students in that program and after touring the facilities, we were offered positions in the technologies along with the small group that had also caught the eyes of many other leading physicists for the technologies."

A slight wave of confusion crossed Holmes’ face as he contently listened to the tale unweave.

"We received special training and were paid, and had to keep our grades up for them to be able to continue employing us."

I’ve never worked so hard in my life to keep my English grades up."

"We were self-taught. So on top of work and school, we were doing it all on our own."

"However, the weekends were ours. We’d head home and hang around with our friends till Monday."

But that was all we had with them. The weekends....

"Not like being at work everyday ever gave us a chance to be around lots of people our own ages, other than the other tech kids. And then during our junior year we just sorta dated a couple of weeks."

Both parties seemed fidgety at the subject that they had stumbled upon without either realizing it was approaching, and ended it quickly.

"We were going.....fast. Too fast. Things were snowballing and I thought we were gonna crash and so...

We stopped.

We decided we weren’t ready, mentally or emotionally, for it and so we agreed to leave it there. And that is where it’s been since.

With that statement, Josh finalized the slipped confession and ended any questions that might arise from there. Both became extremely interested in their own tasks at hand while attempting to continue their individual histories as nonrevealing as possible.

"Because we worked, we were allowed to take more college level courses and place out of many classes. After we graduated from high school, we were able to finish up college within a couple of years.

"I majored in physics and chemistry, like Josh, and minored in criminal behavior and psychology."

"Don’t forget that I minored in engineering."

Smiling sadly, Lestrade continued somberly, "Josh uses all of that everyday; and when I came here I ended up taking a semester at the academy before graduating and joining the Yard."

"Yeah, but your criminal behavior and psychology minor sped you through the academy didn’t it, Beth?"

Seeing that the conversation was about to die out again, Holmes asked the one question that had been nagging him ever since they started their story. "Lestrade. Exactly what did you mean when you said, ‘Technologies?’"

On to Part 7!

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