<USS Banshee> "Academy Daze" - The Conclusion
- From: "Brad Ruder" <groundzero@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
- To: ussbanshee@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
- Date: Mon, 24 Jan 2005 00:32:16 -0800
“Academy Daze” - The Conclusion
by Lt. Commander Joshua Asper
The throngs of people sat in the uncomfortable folding chairs on the grounds of the Presidio. A large stage, constructed by durasteel and draped with elaborate tapestries for affect, had been set up near the cliff’s edge that overlooked San Francisco harbor and a large symbol of the United Federation of Planets sat nicely next to the insignia of Starfleet. A simple design on a complex set-up all for the purpose of the graduation.
The cadets, a class of almost nine hundred, lined what seemed like one complete side of the two-sided seating arrangement. The other was crammed with representatives and dignitaries, the academy staff, the parents and friends of graduating cadets, and other civilian onlookers who wanted nothing more than to catch a glimpse of the future of the universe. Josh sighed, remembering it well.
Cameron squirmed on Josh’s shoulder. The five-year old was getting too old to be on his father’s shoulders, but Josh didn’t care and he could handle it. The young boy looked out over the crowd and smiled, his hands playing with Josh’s ears out of habit and boredom, “Daddy, where’s Uncle Jerrad?”
Josh roamed the crowd as well, his eyes darting from face to face trying to find his brother in the mass of cadets. He remembered his mother having similar problems when Josh graduated from the academy. Then again, Josh thought as he reminisced about days he had long since forgotten, he wasn’t sure his mother even cared to be there. “I don’t know, pal, but we’ll see him. I promise.”
“She with your grandparents, buddy, your mom needed some time away.”
Josh shrugged, the small child bouncing slightly on his shoulders, “I don’t know, but she’ll be all right and we’ll see her later, I promise.” Josh lifted the boy back to the ground and patted the chair for him to sit down. The crowd, many still mingling with various people, finally came to order as the Commandant of Starfleet Academy took the podium to address the audience.
“Ladies and Gentlemen,” the man began, “I am pleased to address you from this beautiful place to present these cadets to you as the most recent graduates to come from our now-hollow halls. All have surpassed the expectations set for them and have taken the first step towards greatness in what will be the not-so-distant future.”
There was scattered applause.
“And, since we’ve got almost nine hundred names to go through we better start the reading and walking. If the first row would stand up and follow the usher to the stage, we’ll get started.” On cue, the entire first row stood up and moved towards the stage.
Josh did have to admit that there was a benefit to having the last name of Asper. In a class of eight hundred and seventy-nine, Josh felt bad for Peter Zylon and his family. Nothing like sitting through a six hour ceremony to hear the administrators call out your name in two seconds and seeing their son walk across the stage for fifteen. Definitely worth the time and effort of coming in from Betazed to see his graduation.
The entire ceremony was overrated. It was just like every other award ceremony created by man. He remembered the time that he walked across the stage. The sense of accomplish that accompanied every step. The sensation at that very moment that he had the ability to hold his head up high and brag about it. It would’ve been better had his father been there to watch him make that grand accomplishment. Josh sort of felt slighted that it hadn’t happened that way.
His father had been dead almost five years when he made that trek into adulthood. He was so sick and tired of the ‘watching you from heaven’ speech that it made him nauseous to hear it anymore than twice a day. Josh knew that his father was there. In spirit, in essence; it didn’t matter because the man was proud of his boy and Josh knew it.
Josh looked at his half sister Olivia and her husband, Hayden. The two had served an intimate part of Jerrad’s life since his mother had taken ill. Both Josh and Jerrad owed them a lot because of their time and effort in making their lives prosper. Words couldn’t express it. No gift, no act, no amount of hugs or kisses could convey the emotional structure that they had laid for Josh and his brother.
It was a helpless feeling. He was indebted to them and he knew it, but it wasn’t a debt that could be paid. It was one that would be felt for all eternity. The large imprint that their presence had left on his soul made him what he was. Their constant support, the encouragement, and everything else; it was perfection.
His younger brother walked across the stage with his head held high like Josh told him too. He cheered for his brother’s accomplishment and his triumph over the finals and the four-years of agony. Both his father and mother, somewhere, were screaming too for everything that their boys had earned.
Josh looked down at his son. The boy clapping and cheering as hard as his young lungs would let him. He promised, for his child, that he would be alive and well to be there standing at the end of the ramp with a smile on his face and an awaiting huge. He would be there for Cameron. He would be there for every step. Josh’s father would’ve been there, but that was beyond his control.
Josh would be there.
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