Time passed as is normal in our universe. The Navy sent Mrs. Pangalos to her home, in luxury, the ISA hunted down the traitors who were responsible for her husband’s death and Elder worked on base while the BALKANS was refurbished. Elder met Ensign Palmer, recently promoted, several times, and even sat in on a poker game with him – Elder lost as usual, but Palmer was not the winner, another communications officer was. Constance became pregnant, during the mandatory genetic screening they discovered it was a girl and began the process of picking her names.
“All right Jessie, what are we going to name her?” Constance started this conversation over breakfast. Elder did not have a lot of time before going to work. He did wonder if this was deliberate on her part.
“One of your mother’s names, one of my mother’s, and the other given names can come from relatives we like.” This was the usual method in Elder’s family and he saw no reason to disregard it.
“No, at least one of her names has to be uniquely hers. She may need that later in life.” Constance sounded determined.
“Why? Constance, how often is anyone’s given name used? Any given name? People do not use given names except in private and among deep friends or family. She’ll be Ms. Elder until she gains a honorific of her own, or marries, or both.”
“But without a name of her own, she’ll always be, I don’t know, somehow a copy of all her relatives.”
“Am I a copy of my grandfathers? Alternatively, my various uncles? No, Constance, if we decide to give her a name that is not in either of our families, and that will be very hard, it will because we like it and it fits with the rest of her names. Family should be honored. And she will grow up fine.”
The discussion never reached the point of being an argument and they decided that each name would be taken on a case-by-case basis. since they decided that they would alternate picking names,. Constance lost the high-card draw and Elder picked Janice to honor his mother. Constance picked Asta for reasons she never disclosed in spite of Elder’s wonder. Elder picked Samantha to honor Constance’s mother. Constance looked askance at that but picked Lydia since it was common in both families and many women would think they were being honored. The last of the given names they both picked by randomly taking one from a name book, Constance had won that high card draw. That name was Keena, another name used by both families. Indeed, the only name that was not in either family, as far as they knew, was Asta.
Captain Quinn was promoted to Fleet Captain and there was a huge party among the crew of the INS BALKANS. A new Captain finished the repairs and refurbishment of the BALKANS, and got to know the officers during the remainder of the refurbishment period.