A/N: Lots of thanks to my beta The Wishyles! All remaining mistakes are mine.

The flag

Dr Carson Beckett wasn't exactly happy when Collins, the supply manager, appeared for a second time in the doorway of his lab in Antarctica. The last discussion with Collins – about Beckett not understanding why civilians needed uniforms – had taken an awkward turn and ended with Collins saying angrily, "Because that's the way it is!"

The supply manager looked exhausted. He had probably forgotten to tell Beckett something because of their argument.

"Dr Beckett?"

"Cannae see I'm working, Collins?"

"It's about your flag."

"My flag?"

"For your uniform. Everyone gets a patch showing the flag of their country."

"Och, aye? But we're a multinational expedition, and we're going to another galaxy. Is it really appropriate to emphasise our individual countries of origin?"

"I don't feel like discussing it anymore!" The supply manager yelled; he was almost weeping with frustration. "It's been arranged this way with all participating nations."

"Why dinnae you just look in your computer? It says where I come from." Beckett was annoyed. There was still so much to prepare, so many things to plan and he was being bothered over a minor detail.

"It crashed. So, are you English?"

"No, Scottish," Beckett answered in a reflex.

"So you need a Scottish flag." Collins went to the door.

"But…" Beckett tried to protest.

"I don't care that you think it is nationalistic and unnecessary. You'll get your flag like everyone else," interrupted the supply manager fussily.


"No, you won't get a UN patch! We aren't under the auspices of the United Nations."


"And, no, you won't get a United Federation of Planets patch! That's from an imaginary television organisation."

Collins stormed out of the lab. He would have slammed the door if it hadn't been a sliding one.

The doctor shook his head. Then muttered to himself that sooner or later the supply manager would notice that Beckett should get a British flag.