<USS Banshee> "New York Confidential"

  • From: "Brad Ruder" <GroundZero@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: ussbanshee@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Mon, 22 Sep 2003 23:58:30 -0700

?New York Confidential?
by Lieutenant Joshua Asper
& Lieutenant JG Joe Castillo

The night had passed all too quickly as far as Joshua Asper was concerned. It seemed that no matter how many times he rolled over, adjusted positions, or fluffed his pillow he still couldn't manage to get comfortable. Josh surmised, after repeated glances at the chronometer on the table next to his bed, that he'd gotten roughly an hour of sleep. And before he knew it, and before he was ready for it, the computer woke him up for another grueling day doing the devil's handy work.

Kicking his feet off the edge of his bed, Josh yawned loud enough to wake a past out Klingon. He ran a hand through his hair and rubbed whatever remnants of sleep he had into oblivion, but it still wasn't enough to rouse him from his state of moderate slumber. He smiled to himself as he threw himself into the sonic shower that rained down on him water straight from the polar ice caps. Now he was awake.

The corridors were baron at four o'clock in the morning; no ensigns running around like chickens with their heads cut off, no crewmen with their heads firmly entrenched in a PADD, and above all there weren't any hoards of people blocking the entire hallway. He sighed once again as he rounded the corner to the holodeck. Pausing at the large durasteel doors, Josh picked up his right foot and began to stretch.

Joe had gone to sleep as soon as his head had hit the pillow the night before. The night before was kind of fuzzy and Joe knew he had drunk too much because he never got hangovers, and yet he had a splitting headache at the moment. Joe would run with Josh this morning and it would be the first time in a week. He had been kidding Sara for a week about how a fight had almost broken out between her and Josh.

Joe was no counselor, but crew safety was part of his job description so he figured he should try and defuse the situation before it got to out of hand. Now he?d finally have the chance to talk about it with Josh ? if he could get Josh to talk, that is.

The problem was even though he and Josh had been running together in the morning for months now, Josh rarely said much. Joe was determined that today he was going to get through to Josh and get him to talk about what was eating away at him; there was obviously something bothering him even though he wouldn?t say what. Nothing was going to get done, however, unless Joe had a cold shower and some coffee. He dragged himself out of bed replicated some coffee and ran out the door heading towards the holodeck. He was running a little bit late as usual, but this wasn't official duty and he was Latin, so Josh would understand.

Josh had finished stretching his arms when he watched the young security officer bolt around the corner and stop feet from him. The coffee was still steaming and it was still in the glass - Josh was rather impressed. "You're on time, take a breather. Where do you want to go running today? Beach? Forest? Suburbs?" He cracked his neck before taking a small step to his right to face the glowing control panel to the holodeck.

Joe finished the coffee and checked his chronometer and was pretty shocked himself that he?d made it on time. "You know, I've always heard so much about Central Park in New York City, but I?ve never actually seen it. I hear it?s a great place for a jog ? wanna try it out?"

His fingers danced quickly over the controls. "Weather? Sunny? Rainy? Snowy? This thing is programmed with millions of different sites and conditions to run, swim, bike, and rest in. I mean, we could go anywhere and do anything." He smiled as he tapped the controls again waiting for Joe's reply to the weather conditions.

Joe pondered for a moment on which condition would be worst for his hangover and decided that sunny would probably be the least harmless as long as it wasn't too hot. "Make it sunny at twenty-eight degrees Celsius."

"Done." The doors parted and rays of sunshine permeated the dimly lit hallways with artificial light. Josh made a fledgling motion inside and followed Joe inside. The leaves on the trees were multitudes of colors - mainly reds, oranges, and yellows. Obviously it was autumn for the large city, but it was beautiful nonetheless. Josh actually felt that it took his breath away and he swallowed hard as he started breathing shallower. "Ready?"

Joe had grown up in the countryside of Colombia, but that country?s climate never really provided a true winter for trees to turn to these beautiful shades. This was definitely somewhere Joe regretted not having visited during his vacations from Starfleet Academy and would be putting on his to do list. Joe was sort of startled from his reverie by Josh asking if he was ready.

He began to think on how he should approach talking to Josh. "Wow, this is a really beautiful place. How about we just walk for a little bit as a warm up so we can take a look around?" Joe figured it would be easier to talk while walking than jogging, at the very least it would be easier to break the ice while walking as opposed to running.

"Sure." Josh wasn't completely opposed to this idea, but he had to admit that it was against what they normally did. He shrugged it off as they started down the asphalt path that wrapped around and into the wilderness. It was sort of awkward to be walking around silently while others were carrying on full-length conversations with each other as they jogged past. Josh would have said something if it wasn't for that fact of not having anything to talk about. So Josh figured he'd let Joe handle the social aspect and he'd admire the changing seasons.

"So last week is kind of fuzzy, but that was a pretty mean argument you and Sara had at the poker game. Normally I wouldn't pry, but crew safety is my responsibility and that looked like it could get ugly. What?s the deal between you two?"

He smirked as his eyes gazed out to the horizon and the people in the park, "We dated. And then I come to find out that she was cheating on me with Cyanah. And, in her blind eyes, that wasn't cheating for unfaithfulness. So, I dumped her in a jealous rage and then I tried to go back to her. And, if you've known Sara for as long as I have, she doesn't take kindly to be one-upped. She always strives to be the best - which isn't a bad thing - until it comes to becoming hostile and defensive when someone is better then her."

"Oh, I see. I could see how there would be bad blood there. Is that what?s been bothering you lately? You've seemed more and more preoccupied lately."

"There are things that are going on, yes. It's just that Sara pushes my buttons and it bothers me. I mean; I trained to be pilot since the day I stepped onto the campus in San Francisco. I trained with the best of the best and was the best of the best. Sara thinks that just because someone taught her to fly that's she's better then me." He smiled and looked at Joe, "Trust me, I've looked at her flight logs and been over her simulation statistics and it's impressive - I'll give her that - but it's not even close to what I've done."

Joe nodded, "I see. OK, I just thought that there might be something else cause even though you have a bad history I didn?t see why you got so agitated unless it was just the straw that broke the camel's back and you had something else on your mind bothering you."

"You're like a dog with a bone, do you realize that?" Josh grinned as they began a steep upwards climb up a dirt slope, "Yes, there has been something else going on. It involves a woman in engineering and the only child on board the Banshee. It's hard to go into details and what not, but I'm getting closer and closer to both of them as the days go on. I dated her at the academy and got really close, but..."

Joe smiled and started jogging, "Come on, let's start jogging. Hey, I had aspirations of being a counselor; I'm kidding. Although, a brooding person is more likely to go postal then a happy crewmember and I do know, from some psychology class I once took, that talking about the things that a bothering us helps us get past them. Something about actually hearing yourself out loud helps you notice things you might not have when you're just thinking things in your head. And I want you know that if you just want to talk about things and you don?t want to talk to the counselor, I'm a good listener."

"Why thank you, Doctor Castillo. I'll take that under advisement." He laughed as he matched Joe's pace as they jogged down the walkway and back into the lush foliage supplied by the park's greenery. "Do you really want the whole story? I mean, I could ramble and ramble for hours on end about frivolous details and things that would just drift into obscurity. Let's just say that thanks to Starfleet Intelligence I lost the first woman I loved."

Joe couldn't contain a laugh when he heard ?Starfleet Intelligence?, and felt bad afterwards since Josh was finally beginning to open up. "I'm sorry, I just remembered a joke I heard at the academy about Starfleet Intelligence being an oxymoron. But, seriously, I?m sorry to hear that. And, yes, if you're willing to tell me the story I?d like to hear it. Who knows, you might feel better afterwards once you get it off your chest."

"What I'm about to tell you is classified information. I was on Nova Squadron as I'm sure you've been informed of already. Well, during my last year at the academy Starfleet Intelligence needed a group of fighter pilots to go in and destroy a massive Jem'Hadar training facility. Since a good majority of the squadrons at that time were deployed through the fleet, they had the urge to recruit from the academy programs. I was selected, along with one other male, to join Operation Shadow Raid. And then I was promptly assigned to the USS Iliad." Josh sighed heavily, "And I never saw Telsia again. Until now. She's assigned to the USS Banshee as an assistant engineer."

Joe tilted his head a bit as they ran, "Oh, well, now that you're together again are you guys going to try and recapture what you once had?"

"Did I mention what a guy her husband is?"

"Oh, bummer. Do you still like her?"

Josh grinned that grin, "That's a whole other story if you want to hear that one too."

"We still got like four miles to go ? shoot."

"Promise that it won't leave the holodeck?"

Joe tried to mimic the Eagle Scout?s sign he had once seen in a movie with his fingers, "Scout's honor."

They jogged together, stride in stride, "Let's just start by saying that I think I have a son..."

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