The Choices We Make by Nate Farris and Dan Manson Nate sat at the Operations station, hands covering his face as he just thought about what he was going to do for the duration to Lazon II. One was to avoid Dan, which he did pretty well. For today. Nate couldn?t sleep- again- and quietly left Bella?s quarters, finding himself on the bridge. It was way too early in the morning and aside from the always active computer, he doubted anyone else would be awake. The second would be a whole lot harder. Aside avoiding Dan, he had a crew to avoid. And that was nearly impossible on a ship this size. Doubt had surfaced his thoughts. Guilt the second. Doubt and guilt both attacking then. Frustration later. It was too many emotions for Nate to pick out and work on: to close his eyes and tell himself everything would be alright in the end. The Cardassians would get what they need, the ?Dancer would have their cash, and if that wasn?t enough, a few Starfleet prisoners of war that would be able to see home again. That though, never seems enough. And in the eyes of ex-fleeters and ex-marquis, this job had imprinted him as a lunatic. Vengeance and hatred, some things just never die. Maybe it was Dan, and his harshness that hurt the most. His one constant companion couldn?t support his decision, even after saying he would. Rarely did Nate see him in that state. And when it was shown, it was as if Nate really couldn?t react to it. Spite and pettiness, maybe, but nothing after that. Feeling as if avoiding Dan was the better until he was ready to talk. In Nate?s point of view, it could be a very long time. Feeling alone felt worse. He moved his hands away, checking the readouts. So far, the ships automatic systems had them on course. In two days, they would enter Cardassian space. And Nate would present the proper documents and identification in order to pass through the border?s checkpoint. And every other checkpoint from there on. There were nearly twenty checkpoints the ?Dancer had to clear. All of them had to be cleared, or suffer the consequences of being in custody and the ship impounded. Either sold or broken apart. So the directions their employer had noted at the very bottom of the details to the risks if the job was done incorrectly. "I didn?t expect you to be up here this early." Nate turned his head, seeing Dan moving away from the turbolift. Dan kept his hands in his jacket as he walked closer. As if he skipped a bit, Nate shook his head and simply replied, "I couldn?t sleep." "Neither could I." Nate nodded, going back to checking the readouts. The silence crept in. And Nate considered just walking out of the bridge and back to Bella?s quarters. Or to the holodeck. Anywhere but around Dan. He glanced at Dan, who pretended to busy himself with one of the stations close to Nate?s own console. He thought he could literally feel Nate?s gaze on him, and Dan decided he might as well speak up now, "I thought maybe we could.. Hash things out." "There?s nothing to say," Nate said quietly, "you don?t agree with what I?m doing. That?s fine. The whole crew doesn?t. Hell, I don?t." He shrugged, going back to the sensor readings. "Then why are you going with this?" Dan?s voice suddenly became heavier. "I already explained that. I don?t think there?s more to it. A cargo run, a smuggling operation," Nate?s body felt like a thousand hot needles suddenly drilling in. He shrugged it off instinctively. But couldn?t help but realise just how much anger was surfacing. "Nate," Dan had a thought to just run head long and start yelling, instead he took a breath, "under most, okay- every, circumstance- I have always supported you. You say, we do. And vise versa. But this one time..." "This one time, you can?t trust me enough to see us through this. Can you?" Nate looked up at him. "You think I?m sending us to our deaths the second we transport that cargo." Dan bit back his response to that statement, but Nate had a point. "Yes," Dan answered. "Jesus, Dan, do you really think I?d do that? Do you think Entek would do that to us!?" Nate?s voiced echoed for a split moment as he looked hotly at Dan. "It?s not about you! Or about Entek. It?s about Cardassians, and what they are!" Dan said through gritted teeth and bitter emotions. "And what the hell does that have to do with trusting me? If anything, you should be supporting me and helping keep alert should the Cardassians decide they can take us." "It?s only because you went with this deal without so much as a flinch. Nate, look around you. None of us wants to do this, none of us like the idea, none of us want to even get anywhere close to their space, their planets, and most definitely not a penal colony." Dan hands were already out and the fell to his sides, smacking against his jeans. "And look around you, Dan. You see me with anyone to go to? Huh?" Nate got up from his seat, staring angrily at Dan. "For someone that is supposed to have supported me, you change sides pretty quick." "And just what part of, ?Cardassians? did you not get in this entire job?" Dan shot back. "What a part of trust don?t you get, Dan?" Nate replied. "I didn?t come here to start a fight, Nate." Dan said with a sigh. "You couldn?t have expected me to come by making this better. It hurts you are not with me on this, Dan. It really does. I?m new at this, too god damn new, and the last I need is people questioning me when I?m giving them their check at the end of the day. But what I really can?t stand is that you?re questioning me." "I?m not." "What difference does it make? Trust, Cardassians, they seem to tie to one another so nicely that," Nate gave a mocking look of having something revealed to him, "I have to be in the wrong. And everyone else is right." "Damn it, Nate. Why cant you just fucking accept what it is!? You?re dealing with Cardassians in the middle of a fucking war and you?re not even blinking." "You know what," Nate shook his head walking away from the console, "you don?t like it. Fine. None of you do. But we?re doing this and we?re getting a few people out of there. When you see those prisoners on board, tell them how adamant you were about not stepping foot into Cardassian space. Tell them their lives were not worth this trip at all." --------------------------------- Do you Yahoo!? Yahoo! Sports - Sign up for Fantasy Baseball.