<USS Banshee> "Clues" Pt. 1

  • From: "Brad Ruder" <GroundZero@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: ussbanshee@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Sun, 7 Sep 2003 23:08:23 -0700

?Clues? ? Part One
by Lieutenant Joshua Asper

Things had settled as much as they were going to. The day, which had been filled with terror, sadness, and violence, had now transcended into night that brought guilt, regret, and sorrow. In these types of situations, Josh surmised, there was no escape from what was to be felt. There wasn?t an on/off switch that could be flipped to shut down emotions; it wasn?t humanly possible.

The bruise had discolored and faded into oblivion, but Josh?s torn lip was another story. Telsia had patched it up as best she could with whatever she could find, but it was still a bit swollen and would hurt for a day or two ? nothing that Josh couldn?t handle. They hadn?t talked much since they had left the ?battlefield? and Josh figured that she didn?t want to talk about it. Telsia, on the other hand, simply said that there was nothing to talk about.

Telsia sat distant on the couch. Her eyes gazed out the window, but it wasn?t the stars that she was focusing on. Josh, at one point in the evening, wanted nothing more than to sit down and ask what was the matter. Even though the idea had nagged at him he remained strong to not do anything for fear of complicating the matter further.

Lieutenant Sara Crusher had just rubbed salt in the wound. Fortunately, as much as Josh wanted to think otherwise, it was inadvertent and just an ill-timed coincidence. It wasn?t the request, but whom it was addressed to in the first place that had caused an added pang of sadness. Eric Moore, as far as Telsia was concerned, was no longer her husband and that is what mattered most to her.

Night had taken its toll on both of the Starfleet Officers while the innocent toddler remained his usual chipper self. That smile, not tainted by the hostilities in the air, managed to bring a smile to Josh and Telsia?s faces alike. There was just something about a child?s grin that could ease anyone?s burdens or fears.

Then, without warning, the gentle and calm night was split in two. The tranquillity was shattered and the truth of reality slowly came back to them. ?Anderson to Moore.?

Telsia perked her head and stared at Josh; it was quite obvious that she didn?t want to have anything to do with anyone. She sighed heavily and tapped her combadge ? the strength it took to press the contraption was known only to her. ?Go ahead, Analisa.?

?We need your help in a plasma manifold and inductor relay maintenance overhaul. Do you have time to help us with it??

?I guess. I?ll be there shortly.? She gave him a playful look of disgust and turned and headed towards the door, it was the first time that Josh had seen her smile since the incident. She halted abruptly as the doors parted and she took a step backwards allowing them to close once again. ?What about Cameron??

Standing, Josh pointed to the sleeping child on the couch. ?I?ll handle him,? Josh whispered and shooed her out the door. It was short of a change for Josh, he had to admit, he wasn?t use to checking the child ever couple of minutes to make sure he?d not wakened and scurried away. How hard could it be?

Thankfully the night had gone by without a hitch. Contrary to the popular opinion that children are the reincarnation of evil until the age of five was quickly being tossed out an airlock. Cameron must have been exhausted, Josh was thinking as he polished off his sixth cup of coffee. Josh would have fallen asleep if it hadn?t been for the constant intake of caffeine.

Cameron woke up and started to cry as Josh, who was fighting a losing battle with sleep deprivation, was starting to doze off himself. A toddler?s cry was enough to pull him from his tired delusion. He stood, rubbing whatever remnants of sleep were left from his eyes, and walked over to the sobbing child.

He hoisted the young boy into his arms and began to bob and weave back and forth. The irritated outburst slowly subsided and the child once again fell asleep ? this time in Josh?s arms. At first he felt imposed upon, but holding the boy made him feel important. He knew he was important on a professional scale, but it was in life that he felt like just another face in the crowd.

?You?re good with him.?

Josh whirled sharply on his heel but, surprisingly, didn?t wake Cameron. Continuing to bounce he stared at Telsia standing just inside the doorway. In his visions of grandeur and importance he hadn?t heard the hissing of the door as it parted. ?He just wanted to be held I guess.?

?He never wanted to be held by Eric??

Like that comes as a surprise.

??it must have been a matter of taste.? Telsia finished as she cut off Josh?s mean thought.

Shrugging, Josh stepped closer to the child?s mother with a gesture of offering. She shook her head and moved away, ?Don?t you want to hold him??

?No,? she said, ?Studies have proven that a child wants to be held only by his mother and father, but he never wanted Eric and so therefore I had to play both parents for him in the holding game. I?d like to let you handle it.?

Josh smiled and felt honored, ?I?ll handle it. You?re more than welcome to sleep in my room if you?d like. I?m sure you?ll be more comfortable there.?

?I couldn?t. I mean I don?t want to put you out or anything.?

?I wouldn?t have offered if it was putting me out. I?m happy to oblige. I?ll sleep here on the couch with Cameron.? Josh said as he sat down on the couch with the boy still cradled carefully in his arms. ?Go and have a good night?s sleep.?

Telsia walked up and ran a caressing hand down Josh?s face and gave him a peck on the cheek, ?Thank you, Joshua, you?ve done more for me than I could ever repay.? With that said she disappeared into his bedroom.

And in that instant, sitting alone with the sleeping child, Josh felt at ease. He felt at ease with his past, with the present in all it?s calamities, and he wasn?t concerned with what the future would bring. The future, Josh realized, was the future and you?ll never live your life if you?re always worrying about what is coming.

He ran a hand through the small amount of hair the boy had, ?Goodnight Cameron.?

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