Bill watched as Zephram Cochrane tossed his head back and downed another glass of tequila. Cochrane rocked unsteadily on his stool before slamming his empty tumbler on the top of the bar, but the motion of tilting his head forward put him off balance and the slam of his glass on the bar was quickly followed by the slam of his forehead.
“Ow!” exclaimed Cochrane sitting back up and rubbing his brow.
The incident brought a smile to Bill’s face. When he’d first encountered Cochrane nearly ten years ago he’d been struck at how different the man had been from the one revered as one of the greatest people in Federation history and he still couldn’t see how his friend would make the transition.
His thoughts drifted back over those ten years, to his wife and child, his friendship Cochrane and his part in ensuring that the future would come to pass. That future was about to catch up with him and he knew destiny would envelop him this night. Of everyone here only he knew the significance of what would occur during the next twenty-four hours.
On the far side of Cochrane, Lily Slone rose from her bar stool. She hadn't touched any of the home brewed alcohol that populated the bar and was still very much sober.
"Come on." She said tugging Cochrane's arm.
"One more, Lily." He replied swaying slightly.
"You've had enough Zee." she said tugging him off the stool. Cochrane landed unsteadily on his feet and swayed for a moment before Lily began to lead him towards the entrance.
"Night Zee." he called out as his friends left.
"Night Bill. Shee you tomorrow." Cochrane slurred and he stumbled out of the bar behind Lily.
Bill decided that he'd better get some sleep if he was going to join him in the warp flight tomorrow and stumbled out of the bar. As he was leaving, he noticed that the pair had stooped and Lily was pointing up into the night sky. He caught Zephram saying something about the Constellation Leo.
"Stargazing again." He muttered and continued towards his shelter.
A green bolt of energy shot from the sky and the bar exploded. His thoughts immediately when to his family and he began to run, not caring about what had happened to Cochrane or Lily. Another bolt exploded near him throwing him off his feet and he landed hard not far from the entrance to the missile silo that housed the Phoenix warp ship. He couldn’t move, pain infusing every part of his body. As time pasted he felt his life ebbing away and he knew he was dying. As his consciousness started to fade he heard a familiar high-pitched sound that he hadn’t in a decade and last thing William Johnson saw was the transporter effect heralding the arrival of an away team from the Enterprise.
<-- Chapter 20 | Coverpage