<USS Banshee> "Every Rose Has It's Thorn"
- From: "Brad Ruder" <GroundZero@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
- To: ussbanshee@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
- Date: Sat, 31 Jan 2004 20:20:22 -0800
?Every Rose Has It?s Thorn?
Lieutenant Joshua Asper
& Ensign Telsia
"Can we increase the output on the
phaser emitters?" Josh Asper tapped a PADD as he rounded another
corner towards Engineering. The weapon systems, according to a new
transmission from Starfleet, had fallen below par. The couplings
were out of date and were to be replaced. And the mandate was for
immediate change, but with the Nightingale - no matter the abilities
of the ship - looming closely, Josh took it as a personal
Thomas Lark had to double-time his step to keep up
with Asper, but he was managing. "I think we can, but we'd have to
reset the entire system before making the change and reinitializing.
We'd have to drop weapon systems and I'm sure that Commander Andros
wouldn't be too happy with that." Lark was the first through the
door and beelined for the weapon access terminal. "We'd be sitting
ducks for at least an hour."
Josh walked through the hissing
doors and followed suit, completely passing Terje and his fiancee
without much of a second glance ? he wasn?t even aware either of them
were there. He slid into the chair in front of the console and began
his work, half listening as Lark rambled on about the fact that the
upgrades were borderline irrelevant. "This is ridiculous, I agree
fully. It is from Starfleet, though, and therefore we have to bend
over backwards to make sure that they're not unhappy."
was standing near Engineering's door talking with Terje about basic
work stuff when Josh followed another man in and went straight to a
console. He seemed to be all business and had completely ignored
her. Shrugging slightly, she moved to another console nearer to the
engines and began to run a few tests.
"The interface with the
primary power matrix will interfere with the engines. We'll need to
disengage the weapon subroutines from the engine processing core,"
Lark stated with a absentminded gesture towards the console Telsia
had moved to, "We're going to have to modify a lot of the Engineering
systems. Make sure you go from system to system so you're not
jeopardizing the entire mechanical foundation of the
"I'm aware of the basics," Asper said stepping a few
feet to where Lark had pointed, "Excuse me, Miss," he said as he half
pushed Telsia out from behind the console and sat down. His fingers
danced nimbly over the console's surface and he quickly disengaged
all the necessary components. "Maybe some of the engineers would be
willing to crawl underneath and reinitialize the weapon's array. We
can't do it from here."
If looks could kill, Josh would
probably be dead at that moment. Telsia couldn't believe that Josh
had treated her that carelessly, even if he was just doing his job.
"Excuse me, Sir," she said in a bit of an antagonistic tone. "But is
there something I can help you with?" She was so tempted to cross
her arms and tap her foot but controlled herself.
you. I've got it covered."
"All right sir, if you do need
help I'm sure you know how to get the help you need." With a small
bit of attitude, she turned and moved over to another console to
finish doing the work she had started.
Lark leaned over with
a smirk plastered across his face, "What's wrong with that
"I don't know," Josh said, with a smile as he
continued to focus on his work. The PADDs were beginning to run
together and the information was starting to become one in the same.
Step by step procedures were becoming novels that were explaining how
to change red to blue using silver and black. "Engineers are like
that sometimes, it doesn't make much sense to me either. That's why
I went into security."
Telsia had over heard the men but bit
her lip from saying anything in public. She couldn't wait to give
him the treatment he deserved though, once they got back to their
quarters. Working at the console, she decided that it would be best
to ignore the men and just do what she needed to do, less she act
disrespectful to Josh in front of others.
"We?re going to
need someone to climb up to the second level to power up the weapons
systems," Tom said as he swiveled in his chair and narrowed his eyes
at Telsia, "Miss, would you be so kind to go up there and
reinitialize the weapons systems with the upgraded modifications?"
Tom attempted that tilted head look with the trademarked smile, but
only Josh could pull that off; his face was still buried in the
console he'd threw himself in front of near the engines.
a smile that could be taken as flirtatious, she nodded her head, "of
course. While I'm up there is there anything more I could do for
you?" Her voice was on the more sugary sweet side.
shook his head as he turned back to his own console.
effort, Telsia was able to control her need to either hit both of
them upside their heads or to walk out. She quietly made her way to
the second level and began work on reinitializing the weapons systems
like she was asked to do. "Is that good?" she called down once she
had finished working on them.
Lark shook his head, "You need
to polarize the emitters first."
Telsia rolled her eyes and
stifled a sigh that threatened to escape. Silently though, she did
as he said. "There, is that okay?" she called down a second
"Perfect!" Lark leaned over to Josh, "Some engineers
aren't completely incompetent. It just takes a couple of times to
get them to do what you ask."
Josh looked at him with an odd
look, "Need I remind you that YOU'RE an engineering?" He called up
to the second level, "Thank you, Miss!"
Even though Lark had
spoken in a low voice, Tel still had heard what he had said about her
incompetence and then Josh's lack of defense on her character and
ability. She knew her face was colored a deep red in embarrassment
and hated to return down to the first level. So instead she stayed
above for a while, running scan's on the engines performance.
Josh was looking at the console when the integrity of the
emitters started to shut down. It lowered and continued to fall and
nothing Josh did stopped it, "Hey! You up there, watch the integrity
subroutines! Learn how to do your job!" He turned his head up and
looked at the empty banister, waiting to see if the person above him
had heard him.
The embarrassment was even worse this time
and with the red flaming cheeks came watery eyes. Normally she
wouldn't let something like this effect her but it was her fiancé
yelling at her and treating her no better then if she was just some
fresh out of the academy ensign. Moving to the ladder she climbed
down and walked right up to Josh. "Watch them yourself or get
someone else to do it. I am not your lap dog," she said through
clenched teeth and stormed off to another part of Engineering to pass
her time until her shift was up.
Damn, Josh thought. He had
honestly no idea that Telsia was even in engineering. Granted she
did work there and he should've been paying attention when he had
first walked into the room, but the work was what was on his mind and
nothing else mattered. Now he felt that dull ache in his stomach and
there was only one thing left to do - beg and plead with her for
forgiveness. "Telsia, I'm so sorry," he said as he booked it after
her, "I wasn't aware you were even in here."
She turned and
looked at him, anger pouring out of her. "You weren't aware I was
here?!" she practically yelled. "I work here for goodness sakes and
you freaking walked past me when you came in, pushed me away from my
console, bossed me around and let that guy with you boss me around
like I was below you or something and you didn't even defend me when
your friend made a comment on my supposed incompetence. No, instead
of defending me, you made it worse by yelling at me in front of my
coworkers and peers." Telsia was positively seething. "It's nice to
know I'm so appreciated by my own fiancé." With that, she whirled
back around and continued to walk off.
"Wait a minute!" Josh
ran in front of her and stopped her, "I have a job to do and I'm
sorry if that was occupying my time, but we needed to get things
done. I apologize profusely if I offended you in any way, but you
know how I feel about you and there's nothing that's going to change
that. You have to understand that there are levels of stress that I
deal with that you know nothing about and couldn?t
Oh, there it was. Josh stepped into territory
that no men should enter.
The tears were
still in her eyes but the eyes themselves flashed anger. "What do
you mean Josh? You know, because sometimes it's hard to understand
what exactly you mean. And you want to know the reason I don't know
about the stress you deal with?" she asked, moving forward in her
anger. "Is because you don't talk to me, maybe if you did I would
understand better but you don't. And if you want to talk about
stress, lets talk about those two and half years in which I had our
child but didn't have you. Instead I had an abusive husband. How's
that for stress?"
"You know that if I had the opportunity I
would've been there! Special assignments from Starfleet Intelligence
to be involved on a flight team while being a cadet isn't something
that I could avoid! I died not being able to be there!" Josh was
wallowing in his own anger and his tightened fist, clammy from
perspiration, was a wondrous sign of it. "I talk to you as much as I
can Telsia, but there are things that I have experienced that I want
to stay buried for a long, long time. I don't think that at this
point in my life I can share them with you without reliving them over
and over again. I've seen things that I wish I never saw - it's a
curse I'll have to live with forever."
"Have you ever thought
that maybe talking about them would help you deal with them?" she
asked, still ticked but feeling mad at herself for bringing up Josh's
need to leave her back when they were young. "Maybe if you talked to
me about them and got them out in the open, you would finally heal
and wouldn't be so damned cursed. And do you ever think about how
your buried and unhealed past is going to effect Cameron someday?"
"Are you saying I'm incapable of being a father? You're one
to talk about skeletons in the closet! Your first husband beat the
crap out of you on a daily basis!" And, once again, Josh crossed
over another dreaded line, but this time he had meant to. "You have
a habit of branching out. We can't talk about one thing; let's
factor our entire lives into the conversation. Yell at me for things
that we did while we dated why don't you. I stood you up on our
first date - rant about that, OK?"
Telsia's hand suddenly had
a mind of it's own when it connected with the side of Josh's face in
a solid slap. She was totally shocked at herself for her behavior
but she didn't apologize, she was still hurting from everything he
had said. "I guess this relationship was doomed from the beginning,"
she said, removing the ring she had been wearing on her left ring
finger. "Cameron and I will be moved out by the time your shift
ends." Tears now freely falling down her face, she turned and headed
to Josh's quarters to pack up her things and move somewhere else,
where, she didn't know, just somewhere. At least, she thought, Josh
can now stay here, where he wants to be, and Cameron and I can move
to a ship that would want us.
He felt the slap to his face and
the cold metal from the ring hit the warm surface of his hand, but he
couldn't manage to say anything. He heard the doors hiss open and
then shut, but still couldn't form anything audible.
stood and walked over to him, drawing Josh's eyes to the entire
Engineering staff gazing on. "Are you all right, Josh?"
shook his head, "No. I just lost her, Tom. And what's worse is I
let her walk away."
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