<USS Banshee> "Mending Fences"

  • From: "Brad Ruder" <GroundZero@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: ussbanshee@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Thu, 22 Aug 2002 08:06:10 -0700

?Mending Fences?
by Lt. Joshua Asper

His pace quickened as he stepped off the turbolift on Deck Two. Josh had just left a rather emotional meeting with young Ensign D?Vorak. The meeting, per Josh had planned, was strictly to get information that Josh needed to put together and pull off perhaps the greatest date ever conceived. Anthony had spoiled any hope of him achieving that when his emotions, that he kept bottled up inside apparently, came exploding outward and in Josh?s direction.

Josh was, at first, scared and threatened by Anthony?s love interest in his best friend, and Josh?s girlfriend, Sara Crusher. After realizing all that Sara and Anthony had been through, from the academy to the Banshee, there was proper cause for Anthony to have feelings for her, they had spent a considerable amount of time together.

Many things crossed through the emotionally torn mind of Josh Asper during the last moment of that night?s encounter. Should I protect Sara from Anthony? Should I allow them to pursue something that they never had the chance to before? Should I tell Sara that Anthony has feelings for her, even though Anthony said not to? It was too late to bother his girlfriend at this hour; he would have to wait for a more appropriate moment.

Then Anthony brought up the Sirrus Five astronomical display that would occur in a couple of days. Josh had seen the display before with his parents, before his father took ill and was bedridden. It was actually the Asper family?s last trip away from home together. Josh was torn up in several ways over this blast from the past.

Crossing his quarters, Josh proceeded to his end table that sat against the side of his bed. On the table, among the rubbish of trash and things of that sort, lie the pictures and memories of his youth, cut so horribly short by something as eternal as death itself. The picture was staged against a stark black background with a star here and there. The blonde hair of the family set off the picture in a most handsome way. The picture, which overlooked the ?invisible planet?, was taken when Josh was only eight. His brother, Jerrad, was only two and being held by Josh?s father.

Josh took the silver frame and clenched it tightly in his hands. He leaned back onto his bed, and let the cushion of the mattress soothe him as he gazed up into the ceiling that housed his memories, his eyes fluttered for a second and then they closed.

***** ***** ***** ***** *****

The shuttle dropped abruptly from warp as a planet came into view, barely visible as three suns shown brightly ahead of them. The shuttle, piloted by Josh?s father, slipped gently and easily into an orbit around the fifth planet in the Sirrus system.

?I took your mother to see this when we had just gotten married, Joshua, it was kind of my present to her.? His father said as he stepped away from the controls and took Josh?s mother, Catherine, by the hand. ?It was like we had been frozen in our own little life.?

?Josh, this is one of only a few regulated stellar events. It does what it is about to do once every sixteen years.? Catherine smiled as she took her husband?s hand in hers.

Josh?s father pointed out the front window towards the planet. Catherine?s eyes darted there and began to fill with tears as she clutched her husband tighter. Josh turned his own gaze as the planet began to go from a wholesome black to a light gray.

The planet surface began to light up, and sunlight raced over the surface like some had painted it with a paintbrush. Josh gasped in the beauty, barely old enough to understand the significance of the event. He stared into the blackness of space as the planet slowly entered visual oblivion. Josh smiled and laughed happily as he looked to his parents; who, in turn, were locked in an emotional embrace. His mother, one of the strongest people he had ever seen, was now reduced to tears at his father?s side.

Josh?s father pulled away from his darling wife and took his son in his arms, ?Please show this, in sixteen years, to someone that you truly care about. Your wife, your kids, anyone that means anything to you, I don?t care, as long as you show someone. Please? Do that for me??

Josh nodded obediently, ?Yes, dad, I will.?

***** ***** ***** ***** *****

Josh?s eyes fluttered open and he leaned up on his elbows. His face was soaked with the salty tears that had drained from his eyes. The silver frame was still clenched tightly in his hand and the family portrait still brought back the painful memories. Painful for the next day Josh?s dad collapsed at his work at the orbital mining facility above the planet, and was later diagnosed with the Poxian Measles.

His mother was heartbroken, and that started the eight-year downhill stretch in his father?s life. Each day, as Josh grew up and became stronger, Josh?s father lost the ability to do trivial things and his strength slowly decreased to the point where he couldn?t even lift his son, in which he would do every day. Josh was forced to watch his dad, the most powerful man he?d seen, be decreased to the meat and bones that he was when he died.

To make matters worse, Josh never had the chance to say goodbye to his father. A confrontation with a boy who insulted his mother had forced Josh, for an unexplained reason, to attack the boy and leave him paralyzed from the waist down. After being sent to the detention facility in the woods of North Dakota on Earth Josh was given the horrible news of his father?s untimely death. He couldn?t imagine the emotional trauma that his mother would be subjected to.

Pulling himself out of his bed, Josh made his way into the bathroom. Josh sat down the picture and stared at for a long while, as if the world was standing still so he could silently mourn for his family. His mother that he hadn?t seen since he was sent away. He had talked to her a couple of times, but she really never forgave him for doing what he did.

He undid his uniform and let it slump around his waist. He pulled his gray shirt from his pants and then hoisted it above his shoulders. He tossed it casually on the bathroom counter and stared at himself in the mirror. His hair seemed tossed and unclean, his face had gone unshaven for a couple of days due to lack of working hours on the bridge. His let the rest of his clothes drop and he carefully climbed into the sonic shower, where he felt at home and free from the world?s struggles and hardships.

Now, even in his sanctuary, he still felt troubled by the upcoming astronomical event. His eyes kept gazing from the ceiling to the picture that was framed on the tabletop. Josh deactivated the sonic shower and pulled a towel onto him. Stepping out, Josh picked up the picture again and examined it, as if it would have changed in the few seconds that he had stepped into the shower.

A tear came into his eye, and he quickly brushed it away. He set the picture down and threw on some sleeping clothes, consisting of silk boxer shorts and a white tank top. Josh took a few steps into his living quarters and walked over to his console that sat atop the desk, which hadn?t been cleaned in sometime. He sat behind the console, contemplating what he really should do, and if he were going to do something that he would regret later.

Taking a deep breath, and suppressing a cry, he activated the communication relays and directed a communiqué through subspace to Kessik IV. He dreaded whom he would see, but nonetheless, he realized that it was time to rebuild the bridges that he had burned a long time ago.

Jerrad, his younger brother, popped up on the screen and perked an eyebrow towards his brother. ?What the hell do you want??

?Hello, Jerrad, it is so nice to see you. I haven?t talked to you in a long time.?

?Cut the crap, Josh, what do you want??

?Is Mom around?? Josh asked trying to avoid any further insults towards his own flesh and blood.

?No, Catherine isn?t around.?

?What the hell, Jerrad? You don?t ever call mom by her real name, that is so disrespectful.? Josh?s anger began to overtake him, which he had problems with before and began focusing on the larger issue.

?Josh, she stopped being your mother when you turned your back on us and went and paralyzed that kid. You stopped being an Asper on that day eight years ago. Now, what do you want from us?? Jerrad kept the cold front up and all Josh got was harsh feelings.

Josh picked up the frame of the family picture and held it in front of the viewscreen. Josh pointed to the baby being held by Josh?s father. ?Do you see this child Josh?? Josh knew that he was about to gain the upper hand. ?That is you, Jerrad. And that is our mother, and that is our father, and that right there is yours truly. We were a family and all I want to do is talk to my family.?

Jerrad smiled and shrugged, ?You just said it, Josh. We WERE a family, until dad died and you were stupid enough to let your anger out. Go away, you aren?t a member of our family. As far as I am concerned, Josh, you don?t deserve the honor of being my brother.? Jerrad stood up, pushed down the viewer so all that Josh could see was the black screen.

In the background Josh heard another conversation commencing. ?Who was that?? ?That wonderful son of yours, mom.? ?Josh called?? ?Yes, I told him that we didn?t want him to be in our family.? ?You told him what?? ?That is what you always say, mom.? ?I am mad at him, but at least he called.?

?I?m still here, mother.? Josh said aloud, knowing full well that his mother would hear him. Sure enough, his mother?s beautiful face graced his gaze. He looked at her and turned his head sideways.

?What do you want Josh??

?I only want one thing?? Josh let his words linger as a tear fell from his eye onto his cheek. His mother turned her head to question his motives, or secret agendas. Josh let loose as his eyes began to flood with tears. ?Mom, I?m so sorry??

?It?s OK, Josh. I?m sorry too?? His mother realized, and Josh did too, it was time to fix the past.

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