<USS Banshee> "In the Meaning of Dreams" Chp. 4
- From: "Brad Ruder" <GroundZero@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
- To: ussbanshee@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
- Date: Wed, 25 Dec 2002 16:24:43 -0800
?In the Meaning of Dreams?
Chapter Four ?
Quiet had finally come out from
hiding. It had revealed itself after he had searched for it for
hours on end. High and low he had look; internally and externally he
had sought to find that peace that would allude into comfort.
Tranquillity was his goal and, at last, he had found the Holy
Settling into his security of his bed he was finally at
peace. The cloth was cool to his skin as he shifted easily into a
comfortable position to fall into a peaceful slumber. The room was
quiet and it hung in the air as a reassurance that it had been
attained. Nothing moved, for perpetual stillness had descended from
above to create a momentary lapse of time.
His head rolled
over the pillow. His hands rested easily on his bare chest as his
legs stretched out as far as they could go into the confines of his
bed. The sound of his own breathing began to lead him; lead him into
a place of calm and reflection. It led him into his dreams, and this
time he wasn?t afraid of what lay ahead of him...
***** ***** ***** ***** *****
They searched the ceiling in all directions,
straining for that extra inch before doubling back over territory
that had already been explored. His head remained unmoving, for he
had heard something ? but it had ceased before he had fully
A faint red glow kept flashing into his field of
vision. He blinked a couple more times to completely flush out all
signs of his tiredness. Josh leaned up on his elbows, as his eyes
caressed the room like his eyes had done the ceiling just moments
Priority One Message from Kessik IV.
on his console flashed vibrantly. A message was incoming for him and
it was from his home planet ? which meant that it was his family. He
rubbed his eyes as he shifted out of bed. His feet hit the floor and
he stood, scratching his chest and blinking furiously again. He
trudged over and sat down into the chair; he lurched a bit as his
bare chest came into contact with the cold surface.
wondered, briefly, who would be calling him at such an hour. Josh?s
mind walked abroad at the possible reasons, but none centered on the
dream or it?s meaning in any way. More over, he finally realized
that he had been sleeping soundly for the first time in three days.
What struck him as odd, more than the urgent message from
what he perceived to be his family, was that sleep had come so easily
since he had spoken with Sara. She was terrifyingly soothing, and
her touch was almost intoxicating to him. The presence of her
soft-as-silk skin to his knee during their last encounter was enough
to send him whirling into an abyss of romance and awe.
back to his thoughts and reality, Josh came to terms that it was just
the sedative that Sara had administered and that everything else that
he had come in contact with was just coincidence and dormant emotions
that had begun to flare once again.
His fingertips danced
gingerly over the console as he inputted his access codes and his
identification clearance to accept the message. The connection
subroutines kicked in as a flurry of numbers and symbols drenched the
screen into total chaos. Josh rubbed his eyes again; interrupting
sleep that came so easily and so deeply was hard to adapt
Direct Connection Initiated.
Activating the screen,
Josh came into eye contact with his younger brother. Jerrad stared
at him, a tear dropping silently from his left eye. They were red,
bloodshot, and bags had formed under the visual organ. Lack of sleep
was apparent, but something was the matter. Something had happened
that was deeper than just plain inspection could detect, and
something that was warranted by something other than sleep
?Jerrad, what is it?? Josh was awake now,
focused on this goal of finding out what had plagued his brother.
The memories of the dream flooded back to him as he winced at the
images that popped into his thoughts. Panic overran his senses as he
instinctively assumed the worst about every situation ? which were
all playing out in his mind.
?It?s?It?s?? Jerrad stammered
with total lack of control over his emotions. Tears ran freely now,
dripping down his face in a steady stream.
?Mom.? The one word shattered the silence in
his quarters; the silence that he had earned from enduring
sleeplessness and the morbid recreation of his mother?s demise. His
head went into his hands as he struggled to keep his own composure,
for his little brother needed it more than he did.
gone?? Words came sparsely and were often inaudible to Josh, but he
knew that they were words of regret, mourning, and tidbits of
information that Josh would have to have retold to him. ?I tried,
Joshua, I tried so hard??
Josh realized, in that very instant
where that sentence was going, and Josh had traveled that road many
times with his father?s death. Blaming himself, he had caused
himself to go practically insane with undeniable guilt that ate away
at his soul. His little brother, so innocent and protected from the
harshness of the rest of the universe, still had a chance to realize
that it wasn?t his fault. ?Jerrad, listen to me, I want you to
listen to me very carefully.?
?She?s gone Josh! I?ve been
told by all of our Aunts, Uncles, Cousins, everyone that it is the
way life goes! I don?t need another lecture from you!? The words
echoed lifelessly, for they were words of sorrow and unrelenting
anger towards anything that tried to stop him from getting to his
mother. ?I want her back, Josh, more than anything in this
A tear escaped his eye and a crying sob escaped Josh?s
lips. ?Jerrad, I know it?s hard. You were too little to understand
when dad died.?
?I knew damn well when dad died. I lost a bit
of myself then Josh, we all did. This is personal. It?s been mom
and I for years, and we depend on each other. She depended on me,
and I let her down.?
There it was.
Josh was waiting patiently to hear. He didn?t want to hear it, but
if finally came. The indirect blaming of himself had finally broken
free of from his conscience and joined the world as free knowledge.
Josh shook his violently as he raised his voice to be heard over the
incessant sobbing and remorse that his brother was openly exhibiting.
A sob, thought silent and brief, stopped Josh from speaking a
?Jerrad, it wasn?t your
?It was! She was sick for so long, long enough to
where it became routine to give her medication, water, food,
everything! I became the man of the house and had to do everything.
I didn?t do it good enough; if I had she?d still be here and we
wouldn?t be sharing this conversation.? Jerrad?s eyes were twinkling
from the water that glazed over them reflected the lamplight from the
?No, it wasn?t. Tell me, what did she have?? Josh
tried frantically to sort his own thoughts; and, at the same time,
draw Jerrad?s attention away from his admission of guilt to something
more informative and helpful to him. ?Start at the
?It was the Poxian Measles, Josh. It?s
communicable through blood and other bodily fluids. It lays dormant
until it?s triggered by something. The doctors here don?t know what
causes the trigger, but knows that when it does that you only have a
month or two to live.? Jerrad wiped away the last of his tears and
flung them harmlessly aside. It appeared, for the most part, that he
was regaining his composure lost at his outburst and expressions of
Josh?s head turned to the side, gazing out the window
into space. His father, so long ago, had resisted for years and had
succumbed to the disease only after Josh had been sent away to the
detention facility in northern Dakota Territory. The tears that had
left Jerrad were appearing again as Josh returned to the screen.
?Don?t worry, Jerrad, no one blames you but yourself. Once you get
over that you?ll be fine.?
?I caused mom to die, you caused
dad to die. It?s a hex upon our family, Josh.? His words cut like a
knife. His soul, already wounded from the loss of his mother, bled
openly at the harsh statement from his brother. Never in the time
since his father had passed had he been accused of being the cause of
his father?s death ? beside his own conviction.
?I?ve come to
terms that it wasn?t me Jerrad. It wasn?t you either.? Tears began
to roll slowly off his checks and litter the desk?s surface. ?You?ve
got to believe me that it?ll get easier. I promise
?You?ve got to come back, Josh, I need you
?I can?t, I?m assigned to the Banshee and we?re in
orbit of Cardassia.?
?You can?t, or you don?t want to??
Jerrad was getting angry, Josh could feel it in his words and he
could see the rising of it in his eyes. His lips tightened, almost
into a snarl, and his brow furrowed in an intense, passionate anger.
?You left and you never had any intention of coming back, did
Josh struggled feverishly to maintain his own composure
and keep his own anger under raps. Josh knew, and admitted, that he
had an anger problem. He thought that he had it under control; and,
most of the time, he did keep close checks on it. Although, in this
time of dire need and emotional distress, he was losing ground
rapidly to the onset of animosity and there wasn't anything he could
do about it.
?I can?t, it?s against Starfleet Procedures.?
Josh spoke slowly, his words enforced with each syllable. ?I want
to, but I have to wait until this mission is over. I will come back,
there won?t be anything stopping me from taking leave when we are
back safely into Federation territory.?
Jerrad nodded, his
impression of pure innocence returning in the blink of an eye. ?I?m
sorry, Josh, it?s been hard these couple of days. She?s been dead
three days. I?ll see you when you get
?It?s going to be OK, it
always ends up like that.? Josh forced a smile to cross his lips.
He chuckled a bit for the sole purpose to make his younger brother
smile and laugh himself. It was his job as an older brother, even in
the events of extreme distress and hardship, that he be there for all
The screen went blank.
stroked through his hair and he picked himself up. He was shaken,
emotionally and physically, but it didn?t come as a surprise to him.
Josh didn?t know, and he hadn?t been told, but something inside of
him had informed him before Jerrad first opened his mouth.
sat on the bed and slid back under the covers. His eyes gazed at the
ceiling a bit as he nestled back into a calm position. His eyelids
danced as he felt sleep retake him, his eyes slowly lowered and
blackness enshrouded him.
They opened abruptly.
up on his elbows again as the images, sounds, and emotions of the
nightmare flooded firmly into his consciousness. He tried hard to
swallow, his throat felt as if it was being choked. The air escaped
his lungs as he realized what the meaning of his dream
Josh turned quickly over the floor and threw
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