<USS Banshee> "The Releasing Link"

  • From: "Brad Ruder" <groundzero@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: ussbanshee@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Fri, 25 Jun 2004 19:23:10 -0700

“The Releasing Link”
by Lt. Commander Joshua Asper
& Lieutenant SG Sara Crusher

Somehow he'd found a calm center and stayed there. The little cubicle-like compartment had vanished without a trace and he now sat upon a grassy knoll staring over a lake. Lake Trasceta on his homeworld glistened in the midday sun and the birds chirped in the trees. It was a nice refuge from the gray two-tone walls of the Federation brig. He didn't want to go back there now.

It was all a bad situation, he surmised. One thing led to another and another; it was the proverbial domino effect. And after so long it was too much for one person to stop by themselves and the trampling commenced. Josh watched it gain speed and momentum and become unstoppable. After a while, he'd realized it was out of his control. So, he buried it.

The guard out side Josh’s cell looked at Sara questioningly until she showed him the orders from Andros. The man said nothing, but the look on his face as he left Sara to process the captain’s orders told volumes. Sara couldn’t help but smile; there probably wasn’t much else to do in there but drive the security officers loony. Sara flinched inwardly at her internal choice of words; she would certainly be avoiding words such as loony for a while.

Quietly Sara walked up to the forcefield and simply watched Josh for a moment. He had that look about him, the one she’d seen during her school years on Betazed. The look of someone centering themselves in what her teachers would call their grounding place. Sara hated to disturb him, but she figured the news she brought him would make up for her intrusion.

"Josh." She said softly.

She spoke one word, one solemn word. It was like a train's horn in the black of night. It was like sitting in silence and hearing one single twig break as a predator approached. Josh knew who it was from the moment she'd walked in the room because his center changed. Suddenly things were a lot redder - things radiated the color as if they were about to burst into eternal flame.

Opening his eyes, Josh surveyed the scene. Blinking cautiously he sat up and stared at the young redheaded doctor. She was beautiful – Josh had to admit it every time he felt detached from the rest of the crew; it was no wonder he'd fallen for her so fast and so hard. Internally, Josh told himself not to dwell on it and just move past it. "Hello, Sara. I hope you bring good news?"

Sara smiled softly. "Am I that transparent or was that hopeful wishing?" She paused a moment to watch the play of thought and emotion dance in his eyes and then she went on. "I haven’t heard from anyone at SFM or SFHQ yet, but seeing as how we’re about to once again jump into the fire the Captain has agreed to let you go, with a couple of conditions of course."

He nodded, albeit somewhat absently. Josh had expected to be put off the ship with a rendezvous with another Starfleet ship, locked away in some penal colony until the truth could be found out - if it was ever divulged. Then he blinked as the full effects of what she said sinking in, "I'm going back to duty?"

"On a limited capacity, yes, you’ll have to me closely monitored and I’m only agreeing to limited duty with a medical restriction." Sara kept her dull green eyes locked onto Josh’s sad, tired, brown ones. She wanted him to know she was on his side in this, that she was trying to help him not hold him back. "Everything I’m reading in the gobs of tests I ran says stress is a major factor in the chemical levels in your brain. Now I don’t know if this is due to the crap those moral-less," Sara paused and cleared her throat returning her voice to the calm soothing tone she had started out with. "Anyway, I’d rather be safe then sorry, though I’m not sure how much stress could be avoided on this assignment."

"The bottom line is, though, that I'll be able to return to the bridge and take tactical and do Shogun Flying and everything like that - right?" Josh was trying not to let himself get too hyped about the current situation or his chance at possibly getting back onto the bridge. Assuming all went well, it would look quite good in a Starfleet investigation. "Back to work?"

"We’ll see about the shogun flying," Sara began with a smile. She could see Josh’s eyes brighten ever so slightly. "But yes, you’ll be back on the bridge and back at tactical at the start of your next shift."

He gulped, dreading the next question, "and Telsia and Cameron?"

Sara sighed. She wasn’t sure what was going to happen there. The captain had moved Telsia but he made no mention of her while they were talking. "They’re still in the quarters the captain assigned them. I don’t know where any of that stands yet, so I can‘t answer that."

"Thank you, Sara," Josh said as he stood and waited for the forcefield to lower. It wasn't a set of words that Josh had directed at her as of any recent time, but it felt nice to know someone was on your side. "I'm glad that I can have a friend like you who is always there to talk to and to help out - whether or not the other person admits they need help."

Sara smiled at Josh as she watched the security officer lower the cell’s forcefield. "It’s what friends do, Josh."

He nodded, "yes, friends."

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