Turning to Hammond, Elizabeth smiled a slightly strained but genuinely excited smile. “I’m going to reserve final judgment until I make that trip, but right now I’d say it feels very exciting” She was still surprised that she had been chosen to head this trip. Not that she doubted in any way her suitability, more that it was such a fantastic opportunity, it still felt a little unreal that it should be hers to enjoy.
Now that she was here however, standing in front of a sea of faces, the faces of those she knew in so many different ways – Files, friends, colleagues, and once they passed through the game, a family, she knew that she had never felt more honoured.
“Could I have everyone's attention please?” – Fifty or so pairs of eyes shifted their attentions to her, and in a heartbeat she knew that she could do this, and so she spoke the words she’d been reciting in every spare moment the past week.
“Alright, here we go. We are about to try to make a connection. We have been unable to predict exactly how much power this is gonna take and we may only get the one chance at this, so if we are able to achieve a stable wormhole, we're not gonna risk shutting the Gate down. We'll send in the M.A.L.P robot probe, check for viability and go. Everything in one shot. Now, every one of you volunteered for this mission and you represent over a dozen countries. You are the world's best and brightest; and in light of the adventure we are about to embark on, you are also the bravest. I hope we all return one day having discovered a whole new realm for humanity to explore, but as all of you know, we may never be able to return home. I'd like to offer you all one last chance to withdraw your participation”
She looked around the room, confident that the selection process that she and others had spent months on meant that there would be little chance of those assembled backing out. However, emotions were something that couldn’t always be predicted, and she thought it only fair to offer a get out clause.
Nodding at the General, Elizabeth walked back down the ramp, and nestled in amongst those gathered at the front, her hand slipped into her pocket, running a thumb over the smooth familiar face of the pocket watch, feeling the seconds tick by as she waited for the dialling sequence to complete in the control room above and behind her.