<USS Banshee> "The Cardinal Rule"
- From: "Brad Ruder" <GroundZero@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
- To: ussbanshee@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
- Date: Thu, 14 Aug 2003 02:41:55 -0700
?The Cardinal Rule?
by Lieutenant Joshua
?You know you?re always late??
?You know you?re always whining??
She stood there with
a wicker picnic basket dangling on her arm. She was dressed in a
loose white shirt and denim jeans. Cradled in her other arm with
dirty blond hair the color of sandy shores and blue eyes the shade of
Risa?s ocean, her son smiled playfully. He snuggled comfortably
against his mother?s chest and sucked on his middle two fingers with
?Whine? Me?? A look of complete innocence
floated across her face, but the curve in her mouth smoked out her
devilish intellect. She smiled and turned to face the holodeck?s
control interface. The boy in her arms looked at Josh curiously over
his mother?s shoulder. He smiled at Josh again.
his index finger and tapped the young boy on the nose, who recoiled
with a grin and an almost inaudible giggle. ?Who?s this cute
Telsia whirled around almost knocking Josh down with
the basket, ?This young one is Cameron, my only. I?ve spoke of him
to you. He?s two as of last week. I hope you don?t mind but I
decided that the mouth of the St. Lawrence would be a bit too cold
for Cameron. Instead we?re going to the shores of Lake Monachocho in
the Bandacay Mountains of Tresek Prime.?
?Never heard of
?It?s a little place I found on Eric and I?s honeymoon.?
She smiled and practically tossed the basket at him. An apple came
out and fell to the floor. The crimson red skin sparkled in the
Starfleet vessel?s lighting. Josh picked it up and tossed it back
into the basket with what he saw to be sandwiches and drinks and
other assorted fruits.
The doors parted with a redundant hiss
and the trio ? the Lieutenant, the Ensign, and the young child ?
walked into the sun-soaked forest. The green canopy shifted and
shuffled in the breeze and every so often a leaf would slowly fall
down from the treetops. The lake tides were unusually aggressive and
the water lapped at the shoreline with increasing volatility.
The crystalline blue waters stretched out as far as the eye
could see and nothing but green foliage lined the shore. There was
no sandy beach, or places to slowly wade into the azure liquid; it
was a simple step and a steep drop into the all but shallow waters.
The sun glistened and reflected off the surface of the water and
rippled in the moving currents.
?I see why you came here on
your honeymoon. It?s beautiful.? Josh complemented her internally
on her choice and taste for the spot for a picnic. She was an
outstanding woman ? one that he foolishly left for pursuit of a
career in Starfleet ? and a suave and debonair man quickly snatched
her up. He cursed himself for what might have been, but more so
because she was happy without him.
Telsia laughed, showing her
brilliant smile, ?I didn?t choose this spot, Eric did. And it wasn?t
much of a honeymoon, he was stationed at the advanced engineering
depot on the other side of those mountains.? She pointed to the
rocky crags that reached out like ladders to the heavens. Their
snowcapped peaks were the perfect compliment to the dark granite
slopes. ?It?s all work and no play with Eric.?
help but laugh, ?And you married him why??
She stopped for a
minute and looked at him without her inviting smile, the question had
obviously caught her off guard and Cameron looked at her with the
same inquisitive glance that Josh was giving her. She stuttered over
the first sentence, unsure of how to answer the blatant question, but
she recovered, ?I loved him and what he stood for. That?s all I
needed in a husband.?
The flannel blanket was already spread
out on a grassy knoll under the shade of two large trees, which
resembled the oak variety on Earth. Their long branches extended out
into a thick grove about twenty feet from the water?s edge and
provided just the right amount of calm surrender from the harsh sun
in the sky above. ?I didn?t know what food you liked, I couldn?t
?You know, I like everything as long as it doesn?t
?Well, damn, all I packed was Gagh.?
?And here I
thought you had just filled the basket with cheese.?
Telsia shot back the inquisitive glance and began shelling out
utensils, cups, bottles of amber colored liquid, and various fruits
of different colors.
Josh smiled, knowing he couldn?t help
himself, ?You know. Cheese to go with your whine.?
a sandwich at Josh, which he caught and began to unwrap. She shook
her head and handed a half of a sandwich to Cameron who began chewing
on it with the little teeth that he had. His eyes still stared at
Josh with the ?who are you and what are you doing?
every child gave everyone. A smile tugged at Telsia?s lips, but she
couldn?t contain it and giggled slightly. ?Still go it, Mr. Asper,
still got it.?
He shrugged, ?I?ve had time to hone and sharpen
the skills. This is an excellent sandwich.?
replicated it myself.?
?So, how?s your life treating
She matched his shrug, ?It?s life, I guess. Cameron?s
my pride and joy. And married life, well, it?s married life to say
the least. It hasn?t been all that great as of late, but I don?t
want to talk about it if you don?t mind.?
Not being a
counselor, Josh didn?t know how to talk to her about how to handle
her problems. He did, though, have practice in determining when
something was wrong with someone and when they were obviously trying
to hide it under a cloak of constant subject changing. He put a hand
on her knee and stared her in the eye, showing her his concern for
her, ?What?s going on Telsia, you can talk to me.?
brushed his hand away, ?It?s nothing. We?ll work through it, all
married couples do.?
?Telsia,? Josh reached out and grabbed
her arm lightly and she pulled back ? rubbing it softly. She looked
at him with a pained heart, but the words got choked up in her throat
as she burst into tears. ?Telsia, does he hurt you??
please, don?t do or say anything...?
Josh was livid and ready
to start down that road that he?d traveled so many times before. The
road that left sanity and dived into complete rage was not a road
that he wanted to take - not yet anyway. He fought his pride, his
convictions, and his morals. He took a deep breath and stared into
the blue sky; there wasn?t a cloud in sight. ?He hits
She shook her head, ?No, only when he?s upset or we
?He shouldn?t hit you at all, Telsia.?
but I fear for Cameron.?
The words came like a bad omen. A
splash sounded from behind them and Josh snapped out of his boiling
rage. His eyes darted frantically around the area and he bolted to
his feet, followed by the raving mother who was now covered in more
tears than she was before. The bushes were silent and unmoving, even
in the gentle breeze.
Whirling on his heel, Josh stared at
the ripples circling out into oblivion with the focal point just a
foot or two off the plant-covered shore. He knew where little
Cameron had gone and it wasn?t any place filled with teddy bears or
lollipops. Josh sprinted to the shore and dived in; the water parted
and he was immersed in the icy cold waters. His eyes strained to see
the dark lake bottom, but the water?s low temperature stung his eyes
and made them blurry.
Even in the water he could hear the
screams of concern emanating from the frantic mother on the shoreline
above. Josh kicked and thrashed as he dove deeper; a small bundle of
clothing was sinking fast and he swam at full speed to reach it. He
clamped his hands around the tiny body and bee lined for the surface.
Surfacing like a submarine, Josh made sure the boy was above the
water and floated to the water?s edge.
?My baby! Cameron!
Honey!? Telsia reached out as far as her arm length would let her
and snatched her child from the arms of his rescuer. ?Computer, end
The crystalline, but icy, waters degraded into
nothingness and the thicket and forest receded into the holomatrix
tubes that lined the walls. So sterile and clean, there was no sign
of nature anywhere. The boy started crying, bawling after his
strenuous ordeal, and his arms shook and he nuzzled into his mother
Josh lay on the floor, still damp from the
water and slightly fatigued. He ran a hand through his dirty blond
and dripped on the dry holodeck floor. He shook his head and stood
up in his wet clothing; the steady dropping of water bringing a more
tranquil and soothing feeling to the perilous
?Thank you, Josh!? She walked towards the door,
?I better get him home and dried off.?
He couldn?t do anything
but nod as she disappeared into the bowels of the ship. Josh
wondered why she put up with the hitting, but figured it was
something outside his comprehension. He did understand one thing and
that was you never hit women ? ever.
Josh decided that he?d
make damn sure that Eric never raised a hand to either Telsia or
Other related posts:
- » <USS Banshee> "The Cardinal Rule"