“I don’t think this is a good idea.” Adam Brody’s voice carried over to the kino hovering in the corner of the room even though he was somewhat whispering. So far it had gone undetected even though it was making to attempt to hide.
Lisa Park looked at Brody. Her voice was equally as soft, but her tone was more defensive. “Well, I think it’s a good idea. After everything that happened, it’s time we celebrate something good, you know? We haven’t really had a party since Chloe and Matt got married.”
“Well, I think we should be focusing more on making sure we survive the winter at all.”
“Eli, what are you doing?” Chloe entered the room wearing a hand-made fur coat made from something Matt and Greer had killed in the forest. She hugged herself as she leaned against the doorframe and looked at her friend.
“Oh, uh, just going through some kino footage.” He sent her a smile. It was weird to think of Chloe as married, but she was now, and to Matthew Scott.
“You do that a lot.” She smiled back at him.
Eli gave a little laugh. “Yeah, I know. I just think it’s useful, you know? Like years from now when our children’s children’s have figured out how to make computers again they will have all this historical footage we never had of, like, the Egyptians back home.”
Chloe raised her eyebrows with an amused look. “Our children’s children?”
“Okay, well, maybe our children’s children’s children.” Since computers needed a lot more technology than what they could currently muster. Like electricity, for one thing.
“Well, don’t stay up too late, okay? There’s a planning committee tomorrow for the Christmas thing and it’d be bad if the main organizer wasn’t there.”
“Well what if we put a tree in each of the houses?” Chloe countered.
“No, that’d be too much work,” Colonel Young replied with a shake of his head. “We’d already using up resources sending someone out to get one and chop it down and carry it back.”
Lisa nodded. “Plus, I don’t think we could manage making decorations for more than one tree.”
“Decorations. Right.” Eli said as he sat there listening to people argue and discuss. He held a kino remote in his hand and was prone to watching the conversation from the screen rather than look up and talk to them directly. It wasn’t that he didn’t want to talk to anyone, it was just that he wasn’t used to being in charge like this and Colonel Young had told him this was ‘all you, Eli’. Eli didn’t want to disappoint.
“How are we going to put up lights?” Chloe asked.
“We could do it how they used to, with candles.” Camile offered. “We’ve made plenty for the winter that I think we could spare some.”
“Fire hazard.” Brody’s voice cut through the room like a knife. It was bitter and his face was sour to match the tone. As the kino moved and zoomed in on Brody who sat in the corner with his arms crossed, it could make out the fine lines forming around his mouth from the frown that seemed to be permanently on his lips.
Everyone paused and looked over at him. There was a lull of silence before Camile spoke up again. “All the more reason to have it centrally located. We could make sure there’s a big enough perimeter around the tree so that it’s safe.”
“Like the tree in New York City.” Chloe added and this seemed to ease the tension in the room as everyone started nodding and talking about who had seen the lighting of the New York Christmas tree and what decorations they’d like to see. Brody was left to brood in the corner by himself.
“Shh!” Eli waved her off to be quiet and brought his attention back to the kino device in his hands. “You have to see this.”
“This is wrong, Eli. It’s spying.”
“No, it’s not.” Eli wasn’t doing this to be cruel or invasive. “It’s something for the history files.”
On the screen of the kino device was the room given to Colonel Young and Tamara Johansen who were now officially, unofficially a couple. Young stood there with Matt who was holding up a red-died shirt that was crude, but earnest.
“Come on, sir, it’ll be fun.” Matt held up the shirt again.
“I don’t see why this is necessary.” Young looked at the shirt with disdain. “It’s not like we even have any children here for them to believe in Santa anyways.”
“Santa’s a symbol, sir. It gets people into the spirit. Beside,” Matt smiled. “Think of it as practice.”
Young looked at Matt and new exactly what he was referring to. TJ was pregnant with their child and soon there would be a child born on Novus. They’re child.
He sighed and reached for the Santa suit.
“Fine.” He grumbled.
Greer looked at it and shrugged. “It’s nice.”
She held the ornament carefully in her palms and looked down at it with a sad smile. “I thought it’d be nice to have something on the tree to represent Dale, you know? He loved classical music so much and since he’s not here…”
She couldn’t finish the sentence, her fingers wrapping gingerly around the homemade ornament. Greer’s eyes softened and his lips formed a small frown before he moved closer and put an arm around her.
“I think it’s perfect.” He said, and Lisa smiled.
“This was a great idea, Eli.” Chloe looked over to him with a smile.
Eli smiled back to her, “Thanks… I’m just glad it turned out the way it did.”
“It turned out great.” Chloe said with a gesture to everyone who was gathered here. “I mean, look at us. We’re all happy and for once we’re actually taking a break.”
“Yeah.” Eli looked over to everyone and felt a warmth inside of him. They were really going to be okay on this planet. They were going to make it.