The team was set up to meet later in the week.
Q1 and Q2, however, wanted a separate get-together, a physical meet-and-greet that confirmed the flow of energy between them when apart.
In the early sols of their relationship, the planning stage, the moments when they still used milestone charts and schedules to estimate design review and prototype product development timetables.
During those sols, or days as they still called them, Q1 and Q2 acted like two entities in the public eye.
In their mutual thought sets they were extensions of each other, pulling forward when one felt like pulling back, or encouraging the other when one felt discouraged or depressed.
They knew their innate shyness and insecurities were obstacles, obstacles they had overcome time and again.
Yet, they continued to lean on their doubts and fears as both internal check and balance system and motivation.
Next on their list: working out details of their headquarters.
They wanted room for expansion but also wanted to be mobile.
They looked at properties in the area around Rocket City.
They talked with commercial real estate sales agents, developers, builders, and architects.
They looked at flats to let, semi-Ds in housing estates, abandoned mansions on overgrown country lanes.
They talked about what they really needed in the first phase of development.
They decided to go modular.
Start small, test their theories, including the number of personnel they needed and the laboratory space they wanted, go from there.
Q1 and Q2 also wanted time with each other, verify their theories of life together, life with the team, how much room they needed as one, room they needed separately.
The first day of the first phase was a time to celebrate.
Four years in the preplanning stage had led to their moment alone, no one to interrupt the human side of their planning — the feelings, the emotions, the way they felt when they were in the same crowd, like a long, slow group dance slowly pulling them into a partnership, their bodies shaking uncontrollably, set of states of energy vibrating until they were in tune harmonically.
Many, many times they had stood in a small group of five or six and sensed their shared presence.
It was like a whole other entity was formed from the two of them.
They never voiced the thought but knew something about them was unique.
Not a physical desire for each other but catalysts or accelerants for an energy that burned 10 times brighter than either one.
One word, one phrase and snap! The smile that beamed on their faces was enough for any proof their combined energies were fuel to illuminate a path to the future.
Less than 48 hours before they met, a calming effect flowed between them, a fog of assurance that settled across their sleeping forms, allowing them to fall into a deep, magical dream in which they finalised plans for themselves and the rest of the team.