Take Me to the Moon 3.6: One Piece at a Time
Cacey was at her cubicle, cleaning up paperwork from a completed investigation, when one of the tech guys said, “Hey, got a minute?” and motioned for her to follow him.
He pulled up a satellite image.
“They are keeping these under a file called Earhart,” he said. “I thought you should know.” He left and Cacey looked through the digital file. It was obvious they were keeping tabs on Delaney’s rocket competition project, but why? Was any different than any other amateur project?
When Cacey got home that night, sixteen year-old Delaney was sitting in near darkness, studying one of her many rocket science texts.
Cacey went to bed, now with a new, more troublesome worry about her ward. Cacey had worried that Delaney would never make friends, back when she first came to live in Oasis Springs. But in middle school, Delaney had found Ryleigh and Alexander, and they, along with Cassandra, Alexander’s sister, had become a little group.
At Delaney’s last birthday party, Alexander was swimming and the girls were in the kitchen. Cacey noticed the tone of the girls’ chatter shift suddenly, and her ears perked up.
Cassandra had given a look at Ryleigh, and Ryleigh had said, “tell her.” Delaney wanted to know what they were talking about.
“Alexander likes you,” Cassandra said.
Delaney had talked to Ryleigh about Alexander before. She had told her never to tell anyone, because it would never be an issue. But she had told her she liked him, not just as a friend.
Ryleigh and Cassandra watched while Delaney reconciled her brain to this new reality, the one in which Alexander liked her too.
When Alexander came in, Ryleigh suddenly became intrigued with her garlic noodles, and Cassandra silently left the kitchen.
“What’s going on?” Alexander said, turning to see Delaney looking at him with a funny look.
Delaney said, “nothing,” but she started watching Alexander with a new level of attention to detail.
The next morning at 5:00 AM, Delaney was back to her daily routine. Early morning run, push-ups, and then either studying rocketry or working on a part or circuit before school.
Her run always gave her time to let the puzzle pieces of information in her brain find the right spot, and kept her focus sharp. But she noticed this morning, even when she tried to push back the thoughts of Alexander, but they wouldn’t stay neatly away.
While she was scrambling eggs, she thought about him.
There was only one thing to do. First thing after school, she threw herself into a new part of the rocket she had been putting off.
The nozzle expansion ratio of her rocket would be an important factor in the overall thrust ratio, and she had been deliberating for weeks, as she pored over books and equations, which approach she would take. Now she made up her mind and set to work.
At 5:00 AM, Cacey came out to find Delaney still working.
Delaney had never needed much sleep, especially for a teenager, but Cacey had never seen her work through the night before.
Just before dawn, Delaney went in to bed, exhausted, but knowing that a key piece of her rocket was done, and done well.
Delaney has the Never Weary reward trait, like Beatrice had, later in life. It is so awesome, they can get so much done through the night!