<USS Banshee> "His Own Inferno"

  • From: "Brad Ruder" <groundzero@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: ussbanshee@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Wed, 11 Feb 2004 22:00:47 -0800

?His Own Inferno?
by Lieutenant Joshua Asper

?In the middle of the journey of our lives I found myself alone in a dark wood where the straight road had been lost??
- From Dante?s Inferno, by Dante Alighieri

There was something about a woman with a fiery passion. There was something about a woman with a spirit that rivaled a hungry Klingon. There was something about being slapped that made Josh think. Granted he?d been slapped many times during the course of his Starfleet career, there were only two people that could slap him and make him hurt on an emotional level. Sara Crusher and Telsia Ehling.

Everything he knew was wrong. The meaning of life, which he thought so many times he had nailed down to a tee, was now even more confusing and jumbled than he?d ever imagined. His love life was going down the tubes when he finally thought he had a good grasp on a good woman ? Telsia still was good in Josh?s eyes, as a matter of fact he had accepted the fact that he?d done wrong. Life in general was spiraling down in a murky abyss and Josh was fighting for dear life to hold onto whatever sanity he had left.

Although, even in that moment of complete chaos, there was absolute clarity ? he didn?t understand. For the first time in a long time he could see clearly. From his relationship with Telsia to his new born bond with his estranged son; from his duty to Starfleet to his looking after his brother. It was all there in some form or another and he could comprehend: Josh understood his life.

The hallways were becoming redundant. Given the repetition he knew it was exactly seven steps from each quarter to each quarter, but from one quarter to two after it was fifteen ? he hated numbers. What was the funniest part of it all is that he circled the same sections over and over again with no intent of stopping or go home, she was there.

Telsia could face Josh, he assumed, but he couldn?t bring himself to go back to her. Even though they were his quarters with his belongings with his life ? it was somewhat different. Telsia needed the space and Josh would be damned if he insulted her twice in the period of one day.

Stopping at his destination ? which he?d past at least half a million times ? Josh tapped the chime on the doorjamb. The door slid open and the shirtless frame of Thomas Lark stood before him, his eyes drooping low. ?What the hell do you want, Josh??

?Tom, I need a place to crash,? Josh was sort of embarrassed that he?d awakened the young ensign, but he didn?t have anywhere else to turn except for turning to Marissa Ryan and he didn?t think that Telsia would react quite well to that.

?Are you kidding? It?s two in the morning. You have to be on shift in five hours and I?m going to go to??

Josh was exhausted and his feet had migraines in them, ?Tom, I don?t have time for this. As you said, I?m at work in five and I need some sleep. I don?t need anything, just the couch and maybe a glass of water. You can go back to sleep and you?ll hardly know that I?m even here.?

?Like hell, I?ve slept in the same area as you ? you snore.?

?Bite me, Tom.?

?My home is your home. Blankets in the supply closet and the pillows are stored in the secondary supply closet in the other room. Replicator is open for you to use to whatever your heart desires,? Tom made a few fledgling motions to places of obscurity and then disappeared back into his bedroom to find the sleep that Josh had robbed him of.

Josh smiled and gathered the needed materials, ?Thanks, Tom, I owe you.? Josh assembled a makeshift sleeping area on the couch and lay down, putting his arm delicately up to support his head. He looked out at the stars and the array of patterns they formed on the pitch-black blanket of space. It amazed him each time, but he couldn?t find the soothing sensation that he usual got from the meditative act. Josh?s mind drifted back to Telsia and the predicament that he was in with her.

What had he done? His mind was so focused on his work and doing the bidding from the Commander that he?d neglected to register that anyone was in Engineering except for himself and Lark. How could he not even recognize his own fiancee serving just meters from him the whole time? He did admit he was busy, but it wasn?t like Josh to not see his own love.

That?s when he realized it. He stood and stretched and sighed heavily and then moved back out into the hallway. He loved her. Telsia was the love of his life and Cameron lit up his day in more than one way. It was time that he accepted that things were going to be bumpy, but it wouldn?t ruin their love.

Not again.

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