<USS Banshee> "Academy Daze" Pt. 1

  • From: "Brad Ruder" <groundzero@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: ussbanshee@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Tue, 11 Jan 2005 23:41:23 -0800

(This log series takes place during Telsia and Josh's stay on Earth during shore leave that would have started after the log 'Wonder'. Hope that clears it up!)

“Academy Daze” - Part One
by Lt. Commander Joshua Asper

Special Guest Writer:
Ensign Aldren Cross as Cadet Jerrad Asper

It was nice to be away from it all. Josh sat materialized inside of Starfleet Academy and was met with salutes and nods of respect. Realizing that the blood, sweat, and tears of work on the front lines had died away to the insecure dabbling of Starfleet cadets, Josh moved into the corridor and to the nearest information center. Unable to locate his brother's residence, he stopped a passing cadet.

"Excuse me, cadet," Josh said grabbing a hold of the man's arm just slightly, "can you tell me where the fourth-year cadet residences are?"

The man assumed a respectful stance immediately and then pointed down the corridor from whence Josh had just come, "down the corridor, turn left, all the way down and take your third right. Up the turbolift to the sixth floor. Then you're there."

Josh nodded, "thank you." Several moments later, Josh found himself outside his brother's quarters. It was an awkward feeling. Granted, they talked often, but seeing your kin in person can be a little daunting. Reaching out hesitantly, Josh tapped the chime to his little brother's home.

"Who is it?" Jerrad snapped, looking down at a PADD of astrophysics that made no sense to him. The test was coming soon this week, and he hadn't even started. The buzz came in again, "what?!"

Josh laughed and walked through the doors, "Hello to you too, little brother. Did they stop teaching hospitality here at the academy?" He waited for Jerrad to react, but found that the young cadet was doing nothing more than staring aimlessly into a PADD. "Hey, Josh, what a great surprise! I'm so glad you're here. Hello?"

Damn it, he dropped the PADD as he smiled. Getting off his seat, he strode over and gave his brother a hug, "it's great seeing you bro. A Lieutenant Commander, very good. I only hope I get that far." Jerrad looked around as he cleared some stuff of the couch, "have a seat. You'll have to excuse the mess... it's been hectic around here."

"Hell week?" It was a tradition that had been passed down from college to college and from institution to institution. It was the finals week before graduation for seniors and the end of the current semester for the rest of the cadets. Grand parties and late, late nights were to follow the completion of exams.

Jerrad simply nodded. Clearing some of the other stuff, he found three PADDs, all glowing red due to his failed test for the past two months. He deactivated it, and put it with the collection of mess. "Yeah, it's been hell on earth. I haven't even gotten at least two hours sleep." He dumped the mess into a closet quickly as he walked over to the couch Josh was sitting at, "you see my eyes?" He smirked, "as you guessed, it's been hell."

"Just take things one little baby step at a time, Jer," Josh sat down and looked around, "who's your roommate? Or, where is your roommate? I know you share these quarters with someone else and they definitely must be the neat freak of the two. I can see the dividing line where their haven and your complete disaster start. Hell week was never this bad for me."

"Oh, Kevin? He's off somewhere, doing who knows what. All I heard from him was the doors closing behind him." Jerrad shook his head, "didn't bother paying attention," he got to the replicator, "you want something?"

"Raktijino is fine." Josh walked out to the window and gazed out over the academy grounds. They were just as beautiful as the day he'd left. It had been so long now, but Josh still remembered every minute of it. "You know, mom and dad would be very proud of you. All you've accomplished is truly extraordinary."

Jerrad absently nodded as he got two cups of Raktijino. He walked over, and handed the mug to Josh. He let go a breath out, "yeah. I wish they were here... especially mom. I miss her so much."

"I know. You know what they'd be saying right now? Mom would be sitting on the couch with a tissue in her hand on the verge of tears. She'd never actually let it go, but you could hear it in her voice," Josh motioned to the couch, "and dad would be sitting here talking about how he'd brag to all his friends about his new Starfleet son. Dad was always bragging about us. I wish I could've given him more to brag about."

You're not the only one, Jerrad thought to himself. He didn't sit himself on the couch as he stared out to the beautiful gardens of the Academy grounds. "Yeah, I know. It feels so... recent... with mom's death. Sometimes I forget she's really gone." He looked up, sighing, "how do you do it, bro? How do you cope?"

"Alcohol, lots and lots of alcohol." Josh laughed as he sipped his drink carefully, "no, it's a combination of having someone to talk about it with - everyone on Banshee has been extremely helpful - and the sheer fact that you know mom and dad wouldn't want us to mope around and dwell on it."

"Easier said then done, bro. You know that." Jerrad switched subjects, "so where's Telsia?"

"She's got Cameron and taking them to her parents or something, she told me to come see you and enjoy a day to myself." Josh shrugged and took another sip, "who am I to argue?"

Jerrad smirked, "you caught me on the wrong day, bro." He gestured towards the padd on the table, "I've gotta get that shit done before I do anything. If not, Im screwed for the finals." Jerrad took a gulp at his coffee, he almost said 'screwed for the graduation.' He didn't want Josh knowing, or anyone for that matter.

"Well, I can always come back."

He shook his head, "no, no. It's fine, bro," he really needed out of the room. He sat the mug onto the table, "I've gotta get something in the closet," he disappeared into the other room trying to search for a picture he knew was somewhere around another pile of mess.

Josh saw a PADD on the table that had been deactivated. Picking it up he activated it and a red glow hit him. An F. He stared at the flashing letter for what seemed like an eternity. "Jerrad, what the hell is this?" The date was recent too, not even a week old. He tapped the PADD and realized that Jerrad hadn't even answered twenty percent of the questions.

He strode in with a picture of mom and him. It was a picture on Kessik 2. Josh and him were on either side of their mom overlooking the ocean. "Hey, I found..." he stopped as his older brother gave him the look. That gaze of an angry brother waiting to pounce on him. Jerrad shook his head, "it's nothing. Alright. I was drunk that night. I completely messed up, which is why my teacher has been generous enough for me to make it up." It was a complete lie. He went over are tried taking the padd away, "Josh, just gimme the damn padd."

He took the PADD and moved it just out of reach, "Drunk? You hardly ever drink and you were drunk before a test? Jerrad, what the hell happened?" He was slightly angry, but a rampant argument wasn't going to help anyone.

He closed his eyes, but the fixed his gaze on Josh. "Look, I wasn't thinking. Alright? And so I was drunk this time, so what? I know, I know," Jerrad held his hands up before Josh could say anything, "that happened. By the time I got up and headed for class, I... couldn't remember shit about what we were doing. It's a mistake. Believe me, it was just a mistake."

Josh nodded, believing his brother whole-heartedly, "So, everything is all right?"

Jerrad nodded and then reached out to give the picture he took from the closet, "I found your copy."

He took the picture and stared into it for a moment, nostalga running over him. "This was just before I went to that damned detention facility and before dad died. Kessik 2. Family vacation that neither of us wanted to go on. The oceans were so beautiful and mom didn't want to go home. God, things were so good then. No one knew it was going to be cut horribly short."

"Yeah... I...uh..." Jerrad shrugged, "it's yours. I told you I'd find it," he smiled a little. He then walked over and grabbed two surfboards, "I need to get out of here for a little while, how bout the beach, bro?"

Looking at his little brother, who wasn't so little any more, Josh nodded and stood up to take a surfboard. "Sure, as long as we go to Shark Neck Cove up the beach. I'm assuming it's still the officer and senior cadet beach?" It was one of Josh's favorite places to go as a fourth-year cadet. The best waves, the best beaches, and the prettiest ladies - all to those that were entering their fourth year or worked on campus.

Jerrad grinned, "oh it's still there. It's about what? Four right now? It's perfect. It'll be like old times," he gestured as he headed out the door, "let's go."

Smiling heavily, Josh followed his brother out. Old times? Yeah, right. Old times would involve Josh behind bars and his little brother without a father or a brother to look up to. No, not like old times. Josh saw this opportunity to take the road less traveled and rebuild the foundation in which was assumed lost long ago. It was time to forge the bond that had been broken.

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