<USS Banshee> "Good Faces, Bad Souls"

  • From: "Brad Ruder" <GroundZero@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: ussbanshee@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Tue, 26 Aug 2003 00:53:53 -0700

?Good Faces, Bad Souls?
by Lieutenant Joshua Asper

He wondered if she was tired.

There was something about her running through his mind all day that made him smile. Even in the shadow of the near drowning of her son, Josh still managed to see past her tears and see her smiling face and the light radiating off her hair. Her aura was nothing but positive and the shield she had up to hide the pain was exemplary. Telsia?s strength, no matter where it was lying in wait, was something he admired ? had always admired ? and it was one of her best qualities.

Josh compared her to Atlas, the mythical tyrant that held up the world because of his hand in attempting to overthrow the Gods. Telsia, on the other hand, didn?t lead a brutal revolution with the Titans on her heels, but she still seemed to carry an undeniable burden that didn?t seem fair. What she had to deal with ? who knows how many times in a day ? was something that no man or woman should face. He felt for her and sympathized with her situation, but deep down he knew that she didn?t want his pity.

How could a man, a Starfleet Officer, hurt an innocent woman? Josh?s mind tried time and time again to decipher the answer to that question. There was no logic or reasoning that could justify such actions, but the actions themselves happened anyway. The more and more he thought about, the more and more his mind imagined the hand lashing out from the man?s body and striking the lovely face of his lost love, the more he wished there was something he could do about it.

It brought him to the point of insanity. His eyebrows furrowed and the small hairs on the back of his neck bristled with extreme agitation. It defied all logic! It defied everything that was orderly in the universe and it was something that went against all the morals he?d fought so hard to build and sustain. What an atrocious man, Josh thought as he began to pace, but then again Josh couldn?t even bring himself to call Lieutenant JG Eric Moore a man at all.

A soft chime slowly rang and the soothing repetition brought Josh out of his hostile thoughts. He looked about and shouted enter to no one in particular. His roaming mind had left him oblivious and set apart from the world around him; it took him almost ten minutes to find out what the chiming was. It was time for his meeting with Telsia on the holodeck.

The corridors seemed unusually empty at this time in the day between the changing of the shifts. Normally there would be throngs of people emptying out from all the rooms on the shifts and the turbolifts would have lines stretching from their doors, but that all was absent from today. Of course Josh wasn?t complaining, he didn?t like big crowds to begin with.

As he rounded the second to last corner before her quarters something changed in the air. There was an added noise he hadn?t heard before. It was like standing across a crowded room where the noise blended together into a cacophony of complete chaos, but melted into nothing. Then, above all that, a soft sound could be picked up across the fray.

It slowly grew louder as he quickened his gait. For some reason unknown he increased his gait and marched down the corridor. The sound shifted into more shouting, which turned into more audible and distinguished voices. The words slowly took form from a blurred rumble to a sharp precise canter. Josh almost past right by it until he realized it was slowly devolving.

He took a few steps back searching for the source, but there was not a soul in the hallway. Josh began straining to hear as he pressed his ears to the bulkhead ? which drew suspicious and chastising eyes from the few passing crewmen that he saw. Josh shrugged them off and continued his ?ear on the train track? hunt. Finally he found it as his ears touched the coldness of a durasteel doors. He looked up.

Telsia?s quarters.

Josh usually would have jumped to conclusions and ran in without thinking about what that might accomplish, or what that might hinder. He was satisfied ? for now ? to be content with just overhearing the conversation. Unfortunately, it seemed as if that conversation was starting to transform into an argument.

?What do you mean you?re meeting with an old boyfriend??

?He?s just a friend, someone that I went to the academy with.?

Anger filled the man?s voice, ?I forbid you to see him again!?

Josh could here the astonishment in Telsia?s voice as a short silence filled the area behind the metal walls. She took a deep breath, obviously formulating a response. ?Excuse me??

?I forbid you to see him again!?

?You don?t dictate who I see!?

?We?re married! It?s your legal oath to stay faithful to me and Cameron and not gallivant with some Starfleet Lieutenant Flyboy!? Several loud thumps followed his words ? their quarters were receiving a furniture move care of the intense anger in Eric?s moves.

Josh could see Telsia shaking her head, ?It?s not like that! We?re just friends!?

?Friends with benefits!?

Telsia snapped. Josh could only make out an enraged yell, a surprised groan from Eric, and the shattering of glass followed by a loud roar from a blatantly injured man. He itched to override the security protocols and rush into the room. He hesitated knowing that if he went in at the wrong time he?d be in the wrong and nothing would be accomplished.

?You bitch!? The snooping tactical officer could hear the shattered glass, no doubt the shards lodged in Eric?s uniform and hair, cascade off his body and clatter against the other pieces on the floor. His feet crunched across them and Telsia screamed before the obvious sound of a slap echoed in Josh?s ears. ?Don?t ever raise your hand to me again!?

?I could say the same ? ? Another beating was issued and Telsia?s screams of terror changed into whimpers of pain.

His hand couldn?t have slammed into the chime any faster than it did at that moment.

?Go away!?

?Computer, override security restrictions on this door. Authorization Asper Sierra Epsilon Three.? The doors parted and a twisted snarl wrapped its way across Eric?s features. It was a perfect combination of anger, fear, and pain. It was apparent that Telsia had slugged him because the ivory white of his teeth had been saturated and tainted with the crimson depth of his own blood.

Eric stepped up between Josh and his fallen damsel in distress. He had hate in his eyes and a determination to make sure that Telsia didn?t leave the ?safety? of their quarters. ?What do I owe this unexpected visit, Lieutenant??

?Domestic Disturbance. Do I need to take care of it?? Josh said through gritted teeth and the addition strain from his clenched fists.

Telsia rolled over, her cheek bruised from the assault just bestowed upon her, ?Josh, please, don?t??

Her husband spun on his heel and deadened his gaze on Josh. ?So, you?re the one.?

Josh merely nodded.

?So, how many times have you slept together?? His words cut Josh like a knife, but what struck Josh more was the tone. In his many years of Starfleet service he?d learned how to pick things out in the way people talked to each other. Josh knew that Eric, even in his irrational behavior, believed that Joshua was having an affair with his bruised bride. ?Five, ten??

Shaking his head, Josh took a step back. ?We haven?t been together since our days at the academy. She?s changed, I?ve changed, she?s married, and I?m not. Unfortunately for me our destinies have lied down different paths. Paths that have never allowed the other to tread upon.?


?No! He?s telling the truth!?

?Shut up!? He raised his hand again, but Josh snagged it and twisted it behind back with extreme force. ?Let go of me!?

Josh was nearing the brink; ?If I ever see or hear that you?ve touched Telsia in anyway unlovable way you can be damn sure that I?ll be along shortly there after.?

Eric smiled as if he?d heard a joke, ?Is that a threat??

He slammed Eric?s arm up further than it normally would go and the groan brought a satisfaction that he?d long missed, ?It?s a promise, Lieutenant, and I?m always one to keep my promises. Don?t you raise your hand to her ever again.? With a thought of regret he let the abusive man go.

Bad idea. Within moments the insane officer was on the floor pummeling Josh. No matter which way he twisted or turned he was countered and was at the mercy of the fists of terrible slaughter. Blow after blow to the chest and a hook to the face drew blood to Josh?s lip. He almost didn?t realize when the two hundred pound man left him and slapped his wife again.

Pulling himself to his feet, Josh stared at Telsia. Her eyes pierced into his soul with a look he?d not forget any time soon. It was a mixture of helplessness and anger, but also had guilt and pain. To Telsia, Josh figured, he?d been branded as her knight in shining armor and she was the lone beautiful damsel awaiting her rescue in a tall tower. Too bad that tower?s name was Eric Moore.

Cameron, little Cameron, came running into the room screaming. Tears soaked his face and it glistened like foil in the dim lighting in the corridors. His cheeks were red from his tantrum, but he would be receiving no sympathy today from his father.

?Stop crying! That?s all you ever do!?

Thanks Daddy, love you too.

Eric took one step towards the small child and Josh was on his feet and slammed Eric with a right hook that sent him spiraling over the table and onto the floor below. Josh never felt so good. Telsia ran to her child and lifted him into the air. The child stopped crying and Telsia pulled Josh from the quarters, but Josh wasn?t going to be led astray so easily.

?No, there?s something I have to do.? He stepped into the quarters and looked around at the carnage and how the entire room was in disarray. ?Eric, there?s a simple way out of this. Filing for divorce with the Federation-Starfleet Marriage Authority and this?ll go away. She?s not yours anymore.?

Josh emerged back into the corridor back in control of his emotions ? or what control he could muster after such a strenuous ordeal. Telsia kissed him on the cheek as a token of her gratitude, but it wasn?t what Josh was concerned with. ?Thank you, Josh, you don?t know how much that means to me.?

?It was my duty. You?re more than welcome to stay with me in my quarters until this can all be sorted out.?

She brightened, ?That?s the nicest thing that anyone has said to me ? given the circumstances.? They started walking back towards his quarters. She ran a hand through her son?s hair and wiped away the tears from his saddened face. ?He?s gone through so much for someone of his restricted years. So much pain and agony for such a little boy to take.?

?He?ll have to know who is father is. You can?t keep Eric out of his life.?

Telsia herself frowned noticeably, ?Josh, there?s something I have to tell you about Eric.?

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