<USS Banshee> "The Wingman of the Flightless Bird"

  • From: "Brad Ruder" <GroundZero@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: ussbanshee@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Mon, 19 Jan 2004 22:30:32 -0800

?The Wingman of the Flightless Bird?
by Lieutenant Joshua Asper
& Ensign Cannon Everett

Cannon Everett entered the bridge from the turbolift, slowly, surely, and tough. In fact, his ego entered the room before he did. Every single time he entered a room he liked to believe there were two swinging doors that he had just pushed aside and let swing after entering. He liked to believe everyone would swivel their heads around, see him, and nervously go back to what they were doing. Truth is, no one really liked Cannon Everett. Kind of the anti-hero.

Joshua Asper, sitting comfortably in the center chair, heard the doors open with their familiar hiss and slide close again. He knew who was standing there, just meters behind him, but he didn't care. The man was disrespectful and arrogant and the last thing Josh wanted was for him to be on the bridge, but the Lieutenant knew that the new ensign was the most qualified to stand ready at the weapons. "Welcome to the bridge again, Ensign, man your station." Josh didn't bat an eye in his direction, but kept his gaze focused intently on the armrest display.

"Yes sir, Lieutenant Josh," and he sauntered over to the Tactical console and monitored the Nightingale and readied himself for weapons discharge.

Short temper. Josh held onto what little fuse he left and he knew that he wouldn't be able to hold out for much longer. If he were a Betazoid he would be overrun with arrogant emotions and feelings that were completely self-absorbed. The academy disciplined and taught one how to behave in the presence of superior officers and while Josh wasn't a stickler for the extreme he still felt that respect should be given where respect was due. "Tactical status, Ensign?"

"Weapons're on standby, here and shields're at one hundred percent. Transporter lock and communication channels at full integrity, sir." His Texan drawl was heavy, and it sounded like on his string of language, heavy barbells hung on every syllable. Coats on a board of hooks. How you feel when you walk through an oven. That was how much energy it took listening to Cannon talk.

"Thank you, Mr. Everett, notify me if that changes." Josh tapped the armrest display; he didn't like waiting. He didn't like facing the unknown. What Josh didn't like the most was that his commanding officer was in such a jam. One moment they could be in transporter range and the very next they could be in complete oblivion. The unknown was not something that Josh liked to deal with.

"So, uh, where you from, Josh?" Then he realized his mistake and quickly corrected himself. "I'm sorry...Lieutenant Asper??

"The Federation colony of Kessik IV," he said absently as he stared aimlessly out into the void of space. His thoughts lingered to his fiancee, his son, his commanding officer, and Sara - one of his closest friends. So many people to care about, so many issues to face each day, and so much to do; Josh found it incredibly stressful, but took it one little baby step at a time. "Yourself?"

"Oh Ah'm from good ol' Boulder, Colorado! Though, if you couldn't tell, Ah was born in Texas. But wowee! Boulder, that's the place to be in all seasons of the year! Absolutely be-YOOT-iful winters, Ah say, where the snow just covers the ground perfectly. Then the springs, bah golly, blossoms everywhere and they fill the air so much you pretty much breathe them when you're outside. And it's said that when the sun goes down, you can look outside and see the blossoms dancin' with fireflies. Fireflies! And the summers are just 'bout the hottest things you could ever reckon and all the kids go down to the swimmin' hole on the other side of Marissa Lane..."

"I get the picture," Josh said, holding up a hand with smirk on his face. There was something entertaining about listening to the Texan, but it was sad as well. "The colony of Kessik was like that. There was nothing better than standing in the open meadow in the middle of may as the flowers bloomed around you. The winters were just perfect. The summers were hot, but people never seemed to care. It was like utopia there." He felt a pang of remorse of leaving, and a new longing started nagging at his soul. Josh missed it.

"But," the cowboy picked up, "wait. You have May on other planets? That don't make sense. Given the difference in rotation speed, revolution time, the probability of it being the same as Earth's is just nil, man, nil!" This is what Cannon loved. To question other people. Everything others said, he'd pick apart, analyze it, and prove them wrong about parts that didn't make sense.

"The rotation, size, and probability fit. We have a twelve month calendar that matches Earth to a tee." Josh nodded as he poured over more information, "I didn't believe it myself, but it's true. I know you haven't been out in space long, but have you missed your home at all? I know it seems to be a problem among the new junior staff."

"Oh of course Ah miss home. Who doesn't?"

"That's true."

Cannon glanced back, still smiling that dumb smile that no one could get used to. His optimistic eyes fell upon the Tactical console and sent signals to his brain that nothing was new. "What's the thing ya miss most?" he asked.

Joshua paused and looked up, unsure of how to answer the question. His mind wandered to the days of old when he was nothing but a teenager who wanted to stay home and do nothing. He couldn't put his finger on one specific thing, truth be told, he missed it all - every aspect. Josh sighed outwardly looking back at the young Ensign, "To be honest, Mr. Everett, I miss it all. From the good times to the bad." He didn't know any other way to answer that.

"You married?"

"Are you writing a book?" Josh smiled as his eyes returned to his PADD. He didn't necessarily want to answer the question - he didn't think it was any of the new person's business. "I'm engaged, actually. And I have a two-year-old son named Cameron. I also like long walks on the beach if it matters." Josh turned and smiled at the young Texan.

Of course it wasn't funny to Cannon. Damn it, if there's someone who's going to be funny, it isn't anybody but Mr. Everett. The arrogant rat-bastard. He just sort of nodded and swiveled his head away from Asper, humming some tune, loudly, so everyone could hear how (self-proclaimed) great of a singing voice he had.

"What about you, Ensign? Married? Kids? Do you like long walks on the beach?"

"Oh Ah ne'er been to a beach...and no, Ah'm not married, don't have kids," slowly and a little shockingly, Cannon turned his head and looked Josh Asper dead in the eye and continued being Cannon Everett. "Not exactly the kinda lifestyle Ah want. Not exactly a family man, am Ah. But Ah guess it would be nice, you know, settle on down with a beautiful girl, have a house in the country where nobody'll bother you for a conversation you don't wanna have...get a dog."

He spoke the word dog in two syllables.

"Ah think a good wife that would love me and Ah'd love her, and a good dog..." two syllables...with a silent third, "...to keep us both in balance with each other...Ah guess Ah's wrong. Ah think Ah would like a family! Hey wanna help me start lookin'?" Suddenly there was a ten year old in a Starfleet uniform asking someone totally uninterested if they wanted to go find hidden treasure. But to Cannon, a woman that would love him, in fact, was hidden treasure. And he probably couldn't find it if X marked the spot.

"I'd love to help you, Mr. Everett," Josh said as he lied through his teeth, "but I have my own and I wouldn't know where or want to start looking for another one. Besides, I'm sure that you'd pick out a better match for yourself than I. There are plenty, though, on the Banshee that you can choose from." Who the hell was this guy? He'd known him for less than an hour and the man wanted to hook up and pick up girls. Damn it, Josh thought, he did attract them by the hoards.

"Oh!" Cannon really wanted his 'new friend' to come help him. "Now Ah didn't mean for you," I swear there five to seven syllables in his Texan 'you.' "to go and find another lady friend! Aw, no! What Ah'm gettin' at is that..." and he turned to full face Asper, hands on his knees, bent down to meet him at eye level. Cannon then whispered this to him "...here you got a fiancee and a rugrat and you see, that's somethin' special! Now you probably don't wanna leave them, so what Ah'm suggesting is just help me see what you saw the first time you decided, 'Ah'm gonna be with her for the rest of mah life.' Are you diggin' me, Lieutenant?"

Josh nodded, knowing exactly what the ensign wanted. He wanted to know about that moment in time - that frozen moment - when he finally realized that Telsia was the one. That single solitary time when nothing else mattered but having her at his side. That was something that could relate to and tell him. "I dig you, Ensign. There's no deciding - it's decided for you and you have to go along for the ride. And, to top things off, you don't know it until it's there. It's the nature of love." (go)

"Yeah, but Ah need a wingman!"

Laughing, Josh shook his head, "In that moment, there's no way to fly but solo."

"Well then, uh, just come to the bar with me sometime and Ah'll fly solo from there!" He plastered on the biggest smile he could possibly subconsciously fake. How could anyone resist that youthful innocent smile? Easily.

Sighing in defeat, Josh gave in. "Sure. I'll be the wingman. I could probably introduce you to some nice ladies in science and in medical. There are a good amount of them who are looking for nice young man like yourself." It was true, he did know a lot of people on board and had close contact with them, but he wasn't sure if he was willing to subject his friends to the Texan.

"Awesome!" Cannon Everett shot off like a donkey in a spitfire, which is what he would say. "Where and when, mah new found friend?"

"After this whole fiasco with the psycho bitch from hell. Inspector DeHaan - what a load of crap. When Commander Andros and Lieutenant Crusher come back we'll see what I can do. Tomorrow or the day after good for you?" Josh watched the adrenaline skyrocket in the Ensign's body and he felt the energy increase from sitting two feet away. What had he done?

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