<USS Banshee> "The Truth Shall Set You Free"
- From: "Brad Ruder" <GroundZero@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
- To: ussbanshee@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
- Date: Thu, 2 Oct 2003 17:25:53 -0700
?The Truth Shall Set You Free?
Lieutenant Joshua Asper
There was something
about being able to walk among people you knew that made Josh feel
good. Knowing that the person behind him wasn?t carrying a stake
who?s intended target was his heart and that the person walking mere
meters in front of him was being ravished by some silent assassin of
a disease was something that should soothe even the weariest of
souls. It was good to be home.
Granted, Josh liked to be able
to get off the ship from time to time ? most often when shore leave
was only visible on the ship?s long range sensors. He was grateful
for the gray two-toned corridors even though he could remember
walking through them with a hatred for redundancy and plainness.
There was no fear of ambush here; there was no fear that the corner
that was just ahead would be the last one he ever rounded. It was
just an overall sense of normalcy, decency.
rounded the corner. ?Maybe that?s not true after
Josh smiled, ?Nothing, Tom. I hope that
tactical was functioning properly while I was gone?? He had the
fullest faith in the young ensign ? who was approaching the rank of
Lieutenant JG sometime in the near future, but Josh didn?t know his
status off hand. ?I?m hoping that you didn?t destroy any friendly
His laughing gaze was met with narrowed eyes, ?Funny,
Josh. By the way you owe me two shifts. I was hoping that maybe you
could switch with me this coming Tuesday and Wednesday?? Lark
reached out and deposited a PADD in Josh?s outstretched
?Oh, come on, Tom.? Josh?s eyes leafed through the PADD
and the duty roster for the upcoming week. Josh would be pulling two
weeks without a day off. Which, given the normal circumstances that
he would?ve been in, he wouldn?t have minded being on the bridge for
fourteen days. Now, with Telsia incapacitated with pangs of marital
grief, and a young boy who needed more than a father, Josh felt as if
he was abandoning them. ?When you set your mind to something you
just go for the throat, don?t you??
Tom nodded, ?I want to go
on a weekend getaway with Zoe.?
Josh?s eyebrows perked,
?Carmichael? From Science? I was under the impression that you were
after Jenny in medical. Playing the field, Tom?? He knew from past
experience ? and horror stories ? that Thomas Lark wasn?t the most
suave, wasn?t the most talented, and not the smoothest when it came
to wooing and hooking up with the ladies on board. Anywhere for that
?Zoe has that air about her that she?s all business
and no play. So I figure that I can take her on a date to the
holodeck for two days and introduce her to the art of programming
that is Joshua Asper.? He smirked and nudged Josh?s shoulder. ?So,
how about it??
?Wait just one second. You?re going to force
me to take two of your shifts so you can try and impress a girl
you?ve never gone a date with some of my holoprograms? Forgive me,
Tom, but it seems that I?m giving back a lot more than I took.? The
tactical officer used his tactics as he crossed his arms. Josh
enjoyed watching people who had power get dropped on their face.
Tom frowned, ?One day? That would only leave us
three in the holodeck.?
?One day and I?ll let you have access
to my best programs I?ve ever written.?
?Fine,? Tom almost
stamped his foot, ?thanks Josh.?
Josh only nodded as he
swiveled on his heel and continued down the hallway. His train of
thought had been interrupted and he was running on empty as far as
mental capacity was concerned. The data from the mission, collected
by Lieutenant Sara Crusher, was being analyzed and he was content for
that. Being a Starfleet officer he had the intuition to search out
and find fraudulent claims and things of the sort, but somehow and
for some reason he didn?t want to go back down there ? he was rather
satisfied with being on the ship.
As the doors parted he felt
something brush past his leg and Telsia almost ran into him. Cameron
bolted into the hallway and down the corridor. Crewmen scattered
against the walls as the youngster continued his prowl. Josh dashed
out after him and scooped him off the floor. ?Where you think you?re
going, buddy?? The child squirmed playfully in his
?He?s been feisty all day. We?ve played hide and go
seek so many times I thought about hiding in an airlock.? Her smiled
brightened his day just a little more as it gleamed in the artificial
light emanating from the ceiling. ?Normally I can get him to rest
and nap for an hour or so, but today all he wanted to do was play and
mess with his toys.?
?Sounds like me when I was younger. My
mother said I would run her crazy or I would just sleep all day and
not do much of anything.? For the first time since Josh had taken in
Cameron and Telsia he looked Cameron in the eyes completely and
reflected on just how similar the two were. ?Speaking of which, I
need to talk with you about something.?
Telsia took the
flailing child from him and set him in his little playpen, ?Sure,
?Just some little things that have been nagging at
me. My brother called the other day when I was watching Cameron and
he said that we had the same eyes.? Josh watched as Telsia visible
stiffened at his remark. ?I also remember how you said that children
like to be held by only their mothers and fathers ? and that he took
such a liking to me in regards to that. I don?t want to overstep my
She balked at his remark with a look of
almost total disgust, ?How dare you! After all I?ve ? after all
we?ve been through! To assume that he?s yours and that Eric isn?t
really his father! I can?t believe you!?
?His name is Cameron
for crying out loud! That?s my middle name! I remembered when we
were dating all those years ago that you wanted to name your child
after your husband?s middle name. You can?t just go and deny that I
have any right to question it!? Josh was standing and yelling at
this point, but he quickly got his emotions in check.
shook her head and folded her arms. Her gaze went from engaging and
social to withdrawn and distant; it was almost as if she wasn?t the
woman he knew her to be. ?You have every right, I guess, to wonder
about his origins and that Eric may or may not be his
He didn?t want to cross any lines, ?Telsia, I was
just curious because of the night we?d spent together before I was
reassigned. I mean, I didn?t get to talk to you after that until I
saw you in after the aerial demonstration for Ambassador
?You want the whole story??
?I guess,? Josh was
unsure and weary of treading into unknown waters. In a way he?d
built up a resistance to the notion that the child was his, even
though he?d missed the first two years of his life. Josh figured
that the child wasn?t his and that he was just imagining things.
Then again, even in the resistance he?d formed, he had a slight pain
of wanting young Cameron to be his.
Telsia sighed heavily as
she stood and walked across the room. Josh remained motionless on
the couch, but followed her with his steady gaze. She turned her
back on him and stared out blissfully at the stars and the looming
planet just below them. The array of blues and greens splattered its
surface with an odd reminiscence of home and the moment transcended
?I didn?t know what to do. I was so
scared and there was no one to talk to. You were at a classified
location doing classified missions against classified enemies. You
weren?t there for me to talk to. So I rushed out and found someone I
liked. We dated for a couple of times and I threw myself at him with
all intent to win his heart in some sick and twisted game.? She
burst out into tears and her back heaved softly as they changed into
sobs. ?I couldn?t go home to my parents and tell them that the child
had no father. I mean, they?d look down on me and my relationship
with them would be ruined.?
Josh?s eyes darted around the room
as his mind twisted around what she?d just said and he stood. His
mouth gaped open and he took a step forward. He wanted to say
something, but the air and words caught in his throat and refused to
come out as anything audible or understandable. She turned, tears
still streaking down her red cheeks, and it hurt Josh so much to see
her in such emotional pain knowing she?d already gone through so
?Josh, don?t say anything. He?s yours.?
stomach lurched, but it wasn?t in pain or in excitement. He was
totally breathless. ?Oh my God, Telsia.? He ran and grabbed her.
He hugged her and she started crying openly, ?Don?t cry, Telsia.
This is one of the happiest days of my life. Being here with you and
knowing that we?re together as family. I love you.?
you too,? Telsia managed to murmur.
He hoisted Cameron out of
his playpen, the child smiled and pointed towards Josh, ?Da-Da.?
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