<USS Banshee> "A Concerned Voice"

  • From: "Brad Ruder" <GroundZero@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: ussbanshee@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Tue, 24 Jun 2003 18:47:53 -0700

?A Concerned Voice?
by Lieutenant Joshua Asper
& Lieutenant Sara Crusher

Since being assigned to lead a pyrotechnic display for the esteemed Lwaxana Troi, Lieutenant Josh Asper had been multi-tasking at the speed of light. There was so much to do his head felt as if it was about to explode. He and his crew had finally determined what procedures to do and what order to perform them in, but that was just the tip of the iceberg. There were vehicle modifications, timing practices, and craft evaluations to be taken care of before the final flight into the expanse of space to show off their abilities. While Josh was absolutely sure he was able to do this, it was just a bit more than he wanted to handle. But, he realized the show must go on.

Finally his teams were ready to begin the pre-flight checks and go into the simulator to make sure that disaster didn't strike. It would take precision timing and expert piloting to pull it off, but it was very doable. He stood, rigidly, outside of holodeck one waiting for the two remaining straggling fighter pilots to meander in and join the group. He was fidgeting with the controls when they came. "You two are late, get in there."

They nodded and quickly ran into the holodeck, he sighed and walked in after them.

Sick bay had been buzzing all morning. A plasma steam leak in engineering and shogun physicals had kept Sara going since she walked though the doors that morning. Most of it was mundane. She had gotten use to treating the ships engineers and she could do physicals in her sleep, but Sara never minded doing it. She enjoyed the interaction with her crewmates, often talking to them while she worked and every once in a while after she had finished.

Sara had found out loads of gossip and hot news this way and during her last Shogun physical she'd heard an ear full as the young ensign told her about their plans. She'd been impressed with the selection of stunts and as the young man talked she even went over each maneuver in her mind. That was until he got to the finale. Sara had nearly dropped her tricorder wand and asked him to repeat what he had just said.

Sara smiled and dismissed the young man and his friend who'd been waiting for him, after she casually asked if they knew where she could find Lt. Asper. Sara left sick bay in Heather's hands and sent a note to Kathryn explaining she'd be late for lunch and then quickly made her way to the holodeck.

Inside of holodeck one, Josh was busy strapping himself in to his fighter and running checks of his own. His subordinates were filing into launch lines single file and powering up engines. Being the leader, Josh was last in line to leave the hangar. Beeping in acknowledgment he got word that all Shoguns were prepped and ready to go for their training run. Josh's hands danced over the controls and he prepared to initiate launch procedures.

Out of the corner of his eye he spotted a fiery redhead walk into the hangar bay. "Computer, pause simulation. Shogun pilots take fifteen minutes and go over the finale protocols again." He climbed hastily out of his crew, he was well aware that he'd ducked his last two Shogun physicals, but to interrupt his training was another thing. "Sara, I'm about to start my training, I'll come in for my physicals when we're done. I promise, but now isn't the time."

"This has nothing to do with you physicals, Lieutenant," Sara began quite calmly. "I would like to discuss the matter of you losing what's left of you mind."

Josh blinked, ?I?m sorry??

Sara looked over at the group of men and women in their flight gear as they watched her and Josh. "In the hall if you don't mind, Lieutenant." She told him flatly. Sara walked away and out the doors without giving Josh a chance to respond. She paced up and down the hall as she waited for him to join her. Had he lost his mind? She asked herself, or had his ego finally taken over.

Walking obediently out into the corridor, Josh folded his arms and rested on the bulkhead. "What is this all about, Sara? You keep calling me Lieutenant instead of Josh, and you're acting as if total Armageddon is about to descend onto our tiny ship." His gazed deadened at her, "What do I owe this unexpected pleasure to?"

"Please tell me that Ensign McNoe was just trying to impress me when he told me you would doing a Kolvoord Starburst." Sara's voice was flat and professional but her face told him that for his own safety to answer: No, of course not, I would never do something so stupid and dangerous.

"No, Sara, we're not doing a Kolvoord Starburst." He paused and a smirk tugged at his face; "We're actually doing two."

Sara's eyes widen and her jaw dropped. "Are you a complete idiot or just asking for something to happen? I mean if you wanted to possibly kill someone you could always send them to the Captain with a coconut bra and grass skirt!"

He wasn't phased in the slightest. He gauged her up and done, studying her intentions and wondering who snapped that last thread of sanity in her head. Josh struggled with the words for a moment, fighting over just what phrase to use to justify his actions. "Sara, listen to me, I'm a pilot. I know what I'm doing and I have total faith in my pilots. If I didn't, I wouldn't have even thought about doing the Starburst." The pilot shifted his weight and walked a bit down the hallway before turning around abruptly, "Do you not have confidence in me? You've known me for how long and you're still double-guessing my calls?"

Josh sighed heavily, dropping his hands.

Sara couldn't help but roll her eyes. "What I don't have is confidence in the maneuver." How could she? After everything that happened to her cousin, after overhearing her mother and Aunt talking about what had happened to Nova Squadron. "It's dangerous, Josh, not to mention banned. How do you plan on getting clearance to do something that, not too long ago, killed a cadet at the academy?"

Josh shook his head; "It's only banned through organizations and affiliates of Starfleet Academy and/or those performing in conjunction with it. We're out on the frontier; we have nothing to do with them. Meaning we aren't constricted by their rules and regulations. And for crying out loud, Sara, it's 2378. It's been over a decade since the incident with Nicholas Lacerno, your cousin, and Joshua Albert. I know my history." He moved again, but back to his initial spot on the wall. "I was on the Nova Squadron at the academy. I know what I'm doing and I trust my pilots, you should too."

Sara still had a bad feeling about this whole thing. "Yeah and the little twit trusted Lacerno when he said everything would be fine after his friend was killed." This was really bothering Sara. She and the little twit, as she strictly refers to her Aunt's son, have never really gotten along but she still remembered how his attempt at the Starburst had affected everyone. Plus, there was the fact she couldn't shake the feelings she had about her own piloting screw up.

Narrowing his eyes, Josh was taken aback. "Are you comparing me to the arrogant cadet? I'm not Nicholas Lacerno, Sara. I'm not leading all these men to their deaths. We're practicing and we will get it right. It's been a long time since I've been out of the academy, and I've spent a lot of time behind the controls of these spacecraft. I know what they can do, and what they can't, you do too. I promise we'll be fine."

Sara bit back the 'if the shoe fits' remark that had come to mind and instead just threw her hands up. "Fine, but know that my unease about this finale will be noted in my reports to the Captain." Sara sighed as she stuck her hands back into her lab coats pockets. "Since I've said all I have to say, I'll let you get back to your group. I have a lunch date to keep."

He nodded, "Sara, I would never do anything to endanger myself, let alone the lives of eleven other people. This is my field, medical is yours. Let me do what I do."

Again Sara stopped herself from saying what she was thinking, or at least she tried. Sara spun on her heel and looked at Josh as he stood in front of the holodeck doors. "Yes, Josh, this is your field and medical is mine, but don't make the mistake of thinking I don't have a clue. Feel free to check my academy records, Wesley wasn't the only Crusher to be offered a spot on Nova, he just happened to be the only one to accept." Then Sara smiled, "Besides, I was taught to fly by someone who could out fly you in her sleep."

"Wesley was the smart one, apparently. I won't deny that there are people out there that can out-fly me, but I'm pretty damn good at flying. I wouldn't be the Squadron leader here if I wasn't." He spun around and began to walk back towards the door to the holodeck, "Sara, I'm doing the Starburst and go ahead and note your unease about this maneuver in your logs. You'll see just how good this squad is at the performance."

With that Josh parted the holodeck doors and walked in, letting them slide shut with a hiss of air pressure. He smirked and called his squads back to training - they had work to do.

No he didn't just throw the twit in her face. Sara stood there absolutely fuming, but then as she thought about it she figured she had two choices. She could be professional and file her report and hope the Captain would take this up, or she could do something childish like have him quarantined for some strange terrain illness she "found" when he came in for his work up. Sara weighed her options as she waited for the turbolift. "Oh hell, if he wants to follow in the twit?s footsteps who am I to catch him on the way down?"

Sara smiled as the lift doors closed.

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