Ivy Lesser By Ensign Cannon Everett God damn it. In one tiny blissful moment, it seemed that things on the USS Banshee were going normal. Well, not normal; when are things ever normal? Smoothly. Well, that too. Sane. Things on the Banshee seemed to be going sane. And then that waddling hoot, Cannon Everett, decides to hop back on board and stir everything up again, like a lame bird flying uncontrollably into a perfectly decorated wedding cake. Already, he had addressed Captain Andros in inappropriate manners: ?okey dokey, Arti-chokey,? and ?yipper, Skipper!? One would think that those poor women, Sara and Cyanah Kaelyre, would have straightaway been accosted by this chump, never being able to pull away from his tractor beam of indecency. It was lucky for them that guilt and shame had finally managed to sink into his pumice skull, and he kept silent, and he kept out of sight. And who did he think he was talking to all of the time? A nearby security officer in the security office passed by and heard him talking about something called a ?Revorena.? And there was no one else in the room. Nincompoop and a nutcase. Great. Presently, Cannon Everett idled in the security office, his boots propped up onto a desk, his fingers interlaced behind his head, some biological skin-hammock, and he stared up at the ceiling. He thought, which was moving. Actual comprehensions seemed to limp through his synapses one by one. Oh, don?t get him wrong; none of his thoughts were pertinent?to anything. His strange mission from up on high didn?t seem to bear on him its importance, whatever it was. Randy, the blue being that seemed to appear and disappear at will, had momentarily given up on the Texan twit. Even the angelic, the ones-from-beyond, the celestial beings from ?Eternity? grew tired of his idiocy. To refresh any memory latencies, Eternity, the invisible unreachable star we all go to when we die, was threatened by extinction. An unknown time catastrophe occurred in which three people called the ?Revorena,? who blessed Eternity?s sand, were taken to the living worlds and reborn as human beings thirty years ago. As the time catastrophe happened thirty or so years in the future, there would be no way to salvage the damage before Eternity itself rotted away. Cannon Everett, being the only person who happened to be looking right at Eternity?s star when it all happened as a small child, had become the only hope of humankind. Great. Just great. So now, the fool wanders, unknowingly about to play the biggest part in the maintenance of the universe itself. Human voices, from real, living, tangible people, had become estranged to him, so when Ivy Lesser, transplant from the USS Jonas, walked into the security office and said, ?Excuse me, where can I find Lieutenant Castillo?? he was startled. ?Whoa, whoa!? he shouted, hopping up and waving his arms recklessly. ?You darn good scared me to death! Boy, Ah tell you, it sure is good seein? another person around here. Damn thought people were plain avoidin? me!? ?Now why would anyone do that? You seem like a nice enough person. What?s your name?? Ivy approached him and offered a hand. What, screamed Cannon?s unconscious. A woman is talking to me? This is strange. ?Ah?seem lahk a nass enough person?? Cannon stammered, taking her hand and shaking it rigorously. ?Wah that?d be jes the nassest thing anyone on this ship has said to me since Ah first got on board! Nah what would your name be, little lady?? And there went his Southern gentleness, an innate sort of behavior that almost overshadowed his complete lack of common sense and grip on reality. Ivy blushed at his gentlemanly seizure and kiss of her hand. The strange man in front of her was the furthest thing from her expectations upon boarding the ship. ?Ensign Ivy Lesser, formerly of the USS Jonas. Now, back to the question at hand, where is Lieutenant Castillo?? ?Ah was actually wonderin? that myself,? was Cannon?s reply. Then he reverted back to the desk and propped his feet up once more. ?Ah was jes gonna sit here an? wait for him to come back. Ah don?t think it?ll be too long. Wanna have a seat?? The young woman, tall and brunette with milky pale skin and hands that looked like they were thieved from a marble statue, smiled uneasily and sat down. ?How long have you been on board, Mr. Everett?? ?Nah, call me Cannon,? he said, holding up a hand and waving it. That damn nitwit smile still formed a legato between his cheeks. ?Ah?ve been servin? Ms. Banshee here for a little over half a year, Ah done. But Ah was kinda on Leave of Absence. Jes got back, actually, today. Didn?t realize how much Ah missed it until Ah was on the bridge, talkin? to Captain Andros. Ah think you?ll lahk Captain Andros. He seems to have his head tightly screwed on. Not somethin? we Banshee boys and girls can all say for ourselves!? With this, Cannon laughed a tittering little chatter of high-pitched squeals, alternating with mild wheezes. History was made just then. Another entity, another sentient being, laughed at something originating from the mouth of Cannon Everett. Ivy Lesser?s chuckle stopped Cannon?s life signs dead in their tracks. ?Bah shit, no one?s ever laughed at me before. Well that?s not true. No one?s ever laughed with me before.? ?I find that hard to believe, Cannon,? said Ivy, leaning forward and giving him a courteous smile. The next little while was spent ideally, conversing about pasts and presents and futures, this and that. Cannon edaciously engaged with her, never seeming to want to let her go. The human touch, even if verbal, was decadent to him. Ms. Ivy Lesser was born (and this he remembered ? all of it) on a planet called ?Ariel,? the ?planet beside the star.? It was an ancient religious term. The Lessers, Ivy?s parents, were originally from Earth, and had moved to Ariel during their youth; they were married young. Life on board the USS Jonas was hard because Ivy?s ex-husband (she was married young too, at the tender age of eighteen) of three years was her chief. She was in science then, and began retraining herself for security, and when her certificate of achievement had finally come, bearing her name, she left the ship and her old life behind, transferring over to the Banshee. ??which br ings me here.? ?Do go on!? Cannon said. ?Do go on!? Glancing at the time, she shrugged and kindly smiled at him. ?I appreciate your enthusiasm to hear about my life, and would love to share it with you sometime, but now, I?ve got to go familiarize myself with the command. Say, perhaps I?ll come by your quarters later tonight and we?ll have dinner. I?ll make everything and come and pick you up, okay?? Too incredulous by Ivy?s overwhelming benevolence to dissuade her from preparing anything herself, Cannon nodded and said, ?Ah?d love to,? before watching her leave him peacefully. ?Wonderful,? came a familiar voice. ?Just wonderful. Your first distractions are now safely out of sight and right into your hands comes another. Just what am I going to do now?? ?Oh Ah don?t think she?s a distraction a?tall!? ?From your mission, Cannon,? Randy barked in his ear. ?I know you know I can?t do anything, but I strongly recommend, I strongly suggest, that Ivy Lesser stays out of your life for your good and for the good of mankind.? ?But she?s not a bad girl, Randy,? Cannon said, still gawking at the closed door through which she had just exited. Randy sighed and bowed his head, saying, ?She?s not. She?s not a bad person. But you are just not a good person to trust without disconnecting you from the rest of humanity. Why do you think I opposed your return to the ship? Because people distract you, Cannon. And you cannot be distracted. Cannon!? ?What?? ?Are you listening to me?? ?Oh. Uh, yeah. Ah am.? ?If you have to see Ivy Lesser, because I know she?s the only person who seems remotely interested in befriending you, then see her. But keep in mind that the universe, out of some divine screw-up, rests on your shoulders. Don?t let that thought be replaced by thoughts of Ivy Lesser. Do you understand?? Cannon did, and he himself was shocked at that. Randy vanished again and the so-called screw-up-savior bolted out of security and navigated to his cabin, where he would find his best clothes for the first date of his life. --------------------------------- Do you Yahoo!? Yahoo! Mail - 50x more storage than other providers!