<FWG> <Patronus> Issue 1, Article 7: "Save Your Day"

  • From: Jason Ziredac <ziredac@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: fwgalaxy@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Mon, 1 Jan 2007 20:03:48 -0800 (PST)

  Save Your Day
  by Captain Hayes McQuarrie
  &
  Commander Narin Luviox
   
  
  ?I said not to ask questions right now,? Hayes barked at Trilo Trekar. It had 
been an hour since they were out of Metriaga?s range, and Trilo and Markstrom 
were now in better working condition, now back at their posts. Markstrom was 
down in Engineering, helping Claire Eyensworth reconfigure the power nacelles 
for extended use (?For some reason, shit I don?t know. Looks like we?re gonna 
be away from Starbases for a while. You didn?t hear? Yeah, Ramirez. Hayes 
kicked the hell out of him.?), and Trilo now stood here, looking ashamed and 
astonished at Hayes?s outburst, a man whose outbursts were unheard of. 
   
  ?Trilo,? Hayes followed up with, having seen Trilo?s haunted face when he 
snapped at him. ?Trilo, I?m sorry. You can? you can tell this is going to be a 
tricky time, right??
   
  ?Yes, sir,? Trilo replied reticently. He was scared, as everyone else was.
   
  ?Right!? Hayes smiled and put a hand on his shoulder. ?We were trained for 
tricky times, and we?re out of practice being aboard the USS Cold Sore, so 
maybe you?ve forgotten this thing we know as duty-stress. Line of fire, Trilo. 
Line of fire. You have to trust me right now. Do you trust me??
   
  Trilo raised his head and looked a little downward at the captain. There was 
no hesitation, but everyone else within earshot had hesitations of their own; 
Hayes was aware of that peripherally. But Trilo nodded and said, assuredly, ?I 
trust you, sir.?
   
  ?Good, Trilo. Good. I?ll need that before this is all over. Now, take Ramirez 
to the brig. I?ll have Aylyn send a nurse down to fix him up. I promise, in two 
hours, I?ll hold a department head meeting, and we?ll talk about everything. 
Okay? Can you do that for me??
   
  ?I can, sir,? he said, still quiet, reserved. Still, the word haunted came to 
Hayes?s mind. Trilo helped one of his security officers carry the limp Ramirez 
off the bridge. 
   
  Hayes was happy to be rid of the admiral?s presence, unconscious or not, so 
he could think straight. Honestly all he wanted to do with that crumpled excuse 
for a man at his feet was bring the punishment that extra step up, become a 
murderer. His head thought the better of it, as one could see.
   
  Crew morale was at a point few captains had ever seen: a complete mistrust in 
both sides of an issue. Various variables lay between everyone leaving the 
bridge and everyone coming back to the bridge to find two men who?d been in a 
fistfight, and naturally, the wariness was gossiping throughout the ship. 
People were following his orders, but giving second glances; people were 
greeting him with smiles, but giving the shakes. It was the most on edge he had 
felt in several years.
   
  And it felt awkwardly refreshing.
   
  
  He sat in his ready room recording a personal log, spilling his guts like the 
little screen was a priest on the other side of wooden mesh. It was the first 
moment since the?oh, what the hell would you classify it as? An incident??that 
he?d had to sit down, but it was not rest that he took. This was his 
confession. 
   
  A cup of tea steamed and stirred itself in a clear mug next to him, and as he 
spoke the stardate and continued on with his story, his point of view, his 
remarks, his questions, his comments, he watched the brown clear liquid twist 
and idly flow in its container. And it was a world to him: life and existence 
mulling in its very own cup, a drink for something bigger than anything within 
could hold in a vision, a revelation, a dream. The twisting purposes in the 
teacup world could list, could float like leaves strewn into a river by a dying 
tree, insouciant, with love or hate, whatever the watcher of the world would 
abide. 
   
  The Coldstream dinged pleasantly to him, and his reflexes squeezed a duo of 
innate words out of his throat: ?Come in.?
   
  Commander Luviox did so, leaning her head in worriedly first, and then 
entering fully with the door assuredly shut behind her. ?I?m sorry to bother 
you, Hayes,? she said quietly. ?Do you want me to leave? I can come back later 
if you want to have a? an uninterrupted break.?
  ?It?s not a break,? he exhaled, leaning back, making it into a break with a 
smile and a carefree head-hammock made of to interlocked hands. ?I?m very busy.?
   
  ?Oh,? the commander said, letting forth the only chuckle her nervous body 
would allow. ?Well I can still come back later??
   
  ?Narin,? he said. ?Though it may seem like this ship is going to drastically 
change in the next day or two, you?re still the commander. You can still 
address me with all the courage and candor you used to. And, uh? need I remind 
you, we?re Captain McQuarrie and Commander Luviox right now.?
   
  ?I don?t want to be. Hayes-Narin time.?
   
  Hayes licked the inside of his cheek and peered at his open screen, thinking 
of all he had to do to prepare the ship for the certainly questionable fate it 
faced. ?Now?s not really the time for that.?
   
  ?I don?t want to make love right now, Hayes, I just?I want to talk with a 
human being, not a pip.? Narin had a habit of not only referring to sex as 
making love ?at all times? but of playing with her abdomen like a pregnant 
woman coveting the blessed day ahead. Her near-trembling fingers pinched and 
pulled at her uniform top, and her thumb scratched invisible itches on the 
sternum. And though now was still not the time, for anyone with purpose could 
just walk in under the pretense of fading order, he wanted to sit with her on 
the couch and hold her, mingling his wandering hands with her idiosyncratic 
ones. 
   
  Instead, he stood and went to her. ?What?s wrong??
   
  ?There?s a lot of? a lot of wonder on this ship as to what?s going to happen. 
Hayes? you beat Admiral Ramirez unconscious. The only reason Trilo hasn?t 
yanked you down to the nearest brig cell is because of jurisdiction; he?s 
nervous as hell. We?re all nervous. There was a thing down on that planet that 
killed an entire ship? there?s? it has a lot of power, that thing, and? 
Everyone?s worried that it might be after us, whatever it? The way you locked 
the weapons, the orders you?ve been ordering? It?s as if you?ve been expecting 
people to show up scratching their heads at whatever story you give them.
   
  ?And that has more people scared than anything,? she said with severity. 
?What is going on, Hayes? Why did?why did you beat up Admiral Ramirez.?
   
  ?That?s the simplest answer I can provide: he?s an asshole.?
   
  ?If everybody beat him up for that, he?d be brain-damaged. Why, Hayes??
   
  ?He was going to?he and the Primo Morire were going to fire onto Metriaga. He 
was going to kill all the colonists just to contain that other being. And then 
he said that when he told Remington the nature of the incident?? Hayes let a 
pause dwell as he gauged the magnitude of the notion that, ?there would be no 
broken law. Everyone would be free of any indictment. To be honest, Narin, I 
think there?s something going on that Ramirez and Remington don?t want people 
to know.?
   
  ?That?s ironic.?
   
  ?It?s the dictionary?s take on ironic,? Hayes concurred. ?There are a couple 
ways that we could go about this. If there?s something they?re hiding that is 
wrong, that has violated any form of freedom or safety, I want to bring it into 
the light for all to see. Now, the two ways are: we go right to Starfleet 
headquarters and make an official report and get ourselves a nice little 
commendation, or we??
   
  The tea was getting cold, alone on his desk.
   
  ?Or we??
   
  Narin tugged unforgivingly at the bottom hem of her shirt. 
   
  ?Or we?do it in a dirtier way. Which involves working against Starfleet, 
which I have no intention of doing. You??
   
  ?No,? Narin said. ?Not at all.?
   
  ?Yes, yeah. But that has an equal chance of happening as the official report 
plan. It all rests on one thing: whether or not this little conspiracy?if it 
even is such a thing?has spread into too much of these admirals? fleets. If 
they have, there?s a chance that most of Starfleet could be unwittingly 
covering something up. One blanketing order can that, as all ships would 
comply. We?ll know by the next time we talk to another ship, which I hope is 
soon.?
   
  Narin walked closer to Hayes, who was now leaning on the other side of his 
desk, his arms crossed before him. ?And what if? What if the so-called 
conspiracy has spread? Is this why you?re having everyone prepare for prolonged 
excursions with no maintenance? What will we do next??
   
  ?I imagine? I imagine that we run. The border into unexplored space isn?t far 
from here; it wouldn?t take long to plunge into uncharted waters, then we stay 
out there until can come back without being noticed. And after that, we try to 
uncover whatever they?re trying to cover up, if there is something they?re 
trying to cover up. I?m sure of it, though.?
   
  ?How sure??
   
  ?Pretty sure,? Hayes replied. And his eyes went to the left, off somewhere in 
the past, leaving Narin to wonder if he darted his eyes right, if he was going 
to the future. ?There?s a lot of detective work to be done here, and I don?t 
want to be the one to do it. But if I am the one to do it, I will.?
   
  ?Why?? Narin asked, imploring him with begging hands. ?Why do you have to 
dedicate yourself to something we could leave in the hands of people more 
capable? We?re not fighters; we don?t find justice. We just uphold it. And we 
do that by doing our appointed jobs, which is for us, taking care of an 
admiral.?
   
  Hayes felt thirst, but it was his mind calling for just one more peak at his 
teacup world. He took it in his hands, the handle cold and the container 
cooling; he took a sip and looked at Narin passionately, but not the kind of 
passion he possessed when they made love. ?As a people we live apathetically, 
catered to by our computers, looking up to the people in charge to make the 
right decisions. Lower than the head, the rest of the body tends to vegetate, 
atrophy, until it just sits around feeling useless?if it feels anything at 
all?wondering what to do until the next time, say, an admiral calls you down 
for another quote-unquote ?important meeting.? 
   
  ?This will never be a perfect world, Narin. As much as it would seem so, it?s 
only the surface, the shell, what we see and feel. Humans have the debility to 
transcend, and humans have the knack to sink into easy lives at the expense of 
their morality. We can evolve in the manner of technology, of religion, of law 
and society, but we can never evolve in the manner of instinct?as a whole. Only 
the individual can overcome temptations, overcome the wrongdoings of others. 
   
  ?And that?s why. Because I believe there is something at play here, and only 
few of us will be above it. It will take a long time for others to see, and a 
longer time for those involved to either redeem themselves or?or live out their 
transgressions. But if it comes down to it, if the next ship we meet takes the 
side Ramirez was playing, we will be the pioneers, the ones who?ll denounce 
apathy and the unwillingness to defy the judgment of someone with a higher rank 
in order to restore what?s right.?
   
  He held up his cup, like he was toasting the dead. Narin nodded and said, ?I 
hope you?re wrong, that all of this is just? a misunderstanding. You pray for 
simplicity, it seems, a world of black and white, good and evil, where 
everybody can see the distinction and make the right, logical choice. I also 
pray for simplicity, but even though it?s a numb body to you, the simplicity of 
being under the radar, doing as I?m told and going home at the end of each day 
with a boring story over dinner and a movie before bed? that?s what I want. If 
there?s some deep, dark secret that can be duked out of the public eye, then 
there?s no need for others to jump in and try to right it.?
   
  ?This movie before bed,? Hayes interjected, almost, as he thought, before she 
finished her line of thought. ?If you were taken away from that constant 
comfort, would you fight to get it back??
   
  Letting a moment pass, Narin punctuated it with, ?Yes, I would.?
   
  ?Good. That?s all I need to know.?
   
  ==

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  • » <FWG> <Patronus> Issue 1, Article 7: "Save Your Day"