TITLE: Terrible News
CLASSIFICATION: Crossover with Quantum Leap
SPOILERS: Family Secrets and The Princess and The Petty Officer
SUMMARY: This story deals with the death of Baby Sarah.
FEEDBACK: Would love to hear both good and bad feedback but please try to be kind and constructive.
Wednesday, November 15, 2000
Falls Church, VA
Admiral AJ Chegwidden put down the phone after talking with Mikey Roberts', Bud's younger brother. He rose from his desk as if he had the weight of the world on his shoulders, and walked out of his office.
Petty Officer Tiner jumped to his feet, as usual and called, "Admiral on deck!"
As was the norm, everyone within earshot of this call snapped to attention. The Admiral's usual call of, "As you were," was not forthcoming that morning, though, instead he called out, "Everyone front and center!"
Staff members filed out of their offices, joining those already present. Mac noticed that Bud and Harriett were not among them. She worried that they would be in trouble for being late to work that morning, especially when it seemed that the Admiral had an important announcement to make. It was as she came to attention again once in the bullpen that she saw the look on the Admiral's face. Her heart dropped to her shoes even before the first words were out of his mouth. Something awful had happened, and the Admiral was about to tell them all. He looked older than she had ever seen him look. The flesh around his lips was drawn tight and faintly gray in color. He was in shock! Then it hit her. Bud and Harriett weren't there! It was all she had time to think before the Admiral began to speak.
"I am afraid I have some terrible news." He seemed not to want to tell them the rest. "I just had a call from Mikey Roberts. He was at Bethesda. Harriett went into labor late last night." He paused to draw a ragged breath.
Everyone in the bullpen held their breath, trying to brace themselves for what they thought was coming. But nothing could have prepared them for the Admiral's next words. Nothing could have prepared them for the devastation of the news that he had.
His lips opened, and closed, and opened again. It was as if, he could not say the words. As if they were just too horrifying to be real. The Admiral closed his eyes, as if in pain. He couldn't look at his people as he said what he had to say, couldn't watch the horror come over their faces, couldn't watch the devastation that what he was about to say would cause. Maybe if he said it with his eyes closed it wouldn't seem so real to him either.
"Harriett and Baby Sarah died twenty minutes ago. That is all. Dismissed!" he turned and strode back into his office, leaving desolation in his wake.
To be continued….