<FWG> <Patronus> Issue 2, Article 6: "Force Field"

  • From: Jason Ziredac <ziredac@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: fwgalaxy@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Wed, 14 Mar 2007 12:23:39 -0700 (PDT)

  Force Field
  by Markstrom Benson
  Insofar the only person who?d come to see Markstrom was some guard with a 
tray of food. They spoke twice: the guard telling him that he didn?t have to be 
in here, and Markstrom telling him that if he was exposed to only half the 
facts he would be in his own little cell in an act of protest as well. The 
guard, in response, didn?t really have one, so he left the volunteer prisoner 
alone in the brig. Alone with that awful gurgling breath down the hall.
  He knew who it was, and had things to say, but was nervous of the 
  The meal was a sandwich, with turkey and provolone and a dire strip of 
lettuce. No condiments, nothing to ease the coarse intake of meat and bread. He 
ate this slowly, sipping at the supplied canteen with every bite. 
  Whoever replicated this meal for him even had the common courtesy of a 
dessert: a flat, dry, and hard chocolate chip cookie. Markstrom never 
understood the saps who liked their cookies this way, because in no way was the 
condition of this delicacy a mistake. When he wanted a cookie, he wanted 
something thick and soft, plentiful and sweet. This tasted like something his 
grandmother, may she rest in peace, would have done by horrible accident. 
  He never wanted a glass of milk more in his entire life.
  Then he thought, Why the hell am I complaining about a cookie in a jail cell?
  So he crammed the remainder of the desperate little wafer into his mouth and 
washed it down with the rest of his water (another combination that he 
despised), finishing his?lunch? Dinner? What the hell time was it?
  Time had deserted him. It left him questioning the length he?d been in there, 
the count of the hours and minutes, and what he had left. Maddened he stood, 
pacing and playing a weird form of soccer with the lunch tray, hearing it 
smoothly scrape along the metal floor and make that unaccustomed sound as it 
collided with the forcefield. Energy forming a solid surface always baffled 
him, as simple as it scientifically was. To appease his curious brain, he 
therefore went to the forcefield and placed his hand against the imaginary 
wall, rapping his fingers like a piano trill.
  A wall that was neither hard nor soft, neither firm nor forgiving. 
  And to top off his sense of symbolism, it was something he couldn?t see, but 
something that was so evident that he couldn?t ignore it. 
  Stop analyzing things and relax. Someone will be here with Hayes to let you 
  Markstrom resumed his game of Kick The Tray with his hands in his pockets, 
bunching up the fabric inside and pulling them out like a street urchin. All 
for the sake of boredom. It wasn?t until Team Back Wall had a one-point lead 
over Team Force Field that Markstrom noticed how grimy his hands felt, so he 
called time-out and went to the sink to make his hands feel clean. While the 
water ran he heard a voice, so he immediately shut it off and turned around.
  ?What?? he called out, still unsure of who said it, or from where.
  ?I said it?s about time you stopped making that annoying racket.? It was 
Admiral Ramirez, growling from down the hall. ?You can make no peace with 
simply sitting and waiting. That makes you weak and stupid.?
  ?You sound like shit, sir,? Markstrom called back, sardonic with the 
pleasantry. Nothing replied but that breathing, which was subsequently what 
he?d been trying to drown out by making the annoying racket. ?Hey, I have a 
question for you.? Still nothing. ?Do you know my name??
  ?That?s funny, Mr. Benson. And here, all these years, you thought I had not a 
care of who you were. It comes with being in charge of the ship. Even if you 
think someone is an annoying, do-nothing sack of guts, you have to at least 
know their name.?
  ?So you still think you?ve been in charge of this ship all this time, I see.?
  ?And who else would you have in mind? Hayes McQuarrie? Even if Starfleet law 
mandates that I am merely a passenger on this transport, common sense would 
mandate that he is not fit to lead this ship in the simplest of circumstances. 
The remainder of the command is also unfit, having resorted to being the 
captain?s own personal sluts. Someone with the authority needed to take charge, 
or the Coldstream would have just floated around with all of its crewmembers 
fornicating until the population on board squeezed out the airlocks.?
  All of its crewmembers? Markstrom thought, reflecting on his own involuntary 
abstinence over the past four months or so. ?Well that?s in the past now, 
bucko. Hayes is charge now. It?s a whole new ship with a whole new purpose.?
  ?We?ll see about that, Mr. Benson.?
  ?I have another question for you. Why did you almost wipe out one of our 
  ?You saw firsthand what kind of beings are inhabiting that world. They needed 
to be stopped.?
  ?Have you read the Prime Directive lately, Admiral? I don?t remember the 
article numbers or anything, but in the event of extreme defense from a world, 
the action of the Starfleet vessel is to abandon, and only if pursued beyond 
the confines of the world is the vessel to take aggressive defense. If the 
explorer ships had wiped out every civilization that didn?t roll out a fuckin 
red carpet when we showed up, the Federation would have fallen apart from a 
liberal uprising fifty years ago.?
  The Admiral retorted, ?But it was not a new world. It was a colony of ours 
that they invaded.?
  ?How the hell do you know that??
  ?Because those colonists would not have been there if those creatures had 
lived there all along.?
  Markstrom laughed. ?Leave it to the bigwigs to ignore the details.? He 
continued, ?Admiral, there were borders set up, borders that Trilo and I found 
while looking for the security team. Those dudes with the black eyes probably 
have an unspoken border agreement with the colonists that??
  ?That beam that fired up and destroyed the Primo Morire came from one of 
those beings. That?s how powerful they are. Something like that needs to be?? 
The Admiral stopped and so did the breathing, and the eerie silence crept forth 
and slept.
  ?Needs to be what, Ramirez? Needs to be what?? Markstrom taunted him, now 
discovering that his entire body was pressed up against the unseen wall that 
had the lack of sure texture. ?What were you going to say, Ramirez? Something 
powerful needs to be destroyed? Wiped out? What word or phrase were you going 
to use, Ramirez? What word or phrase were you going to use to describe the 
elimination of something whose only threat is their ability to outstrip the 
most powerful reaches of Starfleet? Come on, Ramirez, I?m waiting. I?m waiting, 
Ramirez. I?m waiting, Ramirez, you imperialistic fuck! Come on! Tell me! Say 
what you want to do to anything that?s more powerful than you! Say it! Say it, 
you pussy! Say it!?
  With each exclamation point, Markstrom pounded the force field with his fist, 
relentlessly. But it didn?t give, and neither did Admiral Ramirez answer. 
Don't pick lemons.
See all the new 2007 cars at Yahoo! Autos.

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  • » <FWG> <Patronus> Issue 2, Article 6: "Force Field"