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Old friends, new beginnings

Posted on Wed Oct 28th, 2015 @ 7:44pm by

He waited patiently on the promenade, an island of calm in the otherwise busy hive like throng of activity at the heart of the Mars Colony market area. Standing tall, hands clasped behind his back, the Vulcan officer surveyed the encroaching crowd. A location such as this, he mused, represented the sights, sounds and smells of civilisations from across the quadrant and possibly beyond. it was almost as if the Starfleet need go no further than its own backyard in the quest for knowledge as tide turned and new cultures sought out the federation itself and potential trade revenues.

Typically early, he calculated, that this lunchtime engagement had only a 2% chance to differ significantly from the many other occasions he had agreed to meet his friends for a ‘catch up’. They would arrange a time. He would confirm it and they would turn up late anyway. It was probably intentional, the very first such occasion he had laboured the point of their tardiness which had resulted in that so very alien response of laughter. It had since become, it seemed, a ‘thing’ which still to this day amused them and formed the foundation of each such meeting.

In this instance he allowed his irritation to pass, it was to be their last meeting, for a while at least, now that final assignments had been given and the trio were soon to be separated by their postings and most likely hundreds of light years.

“Skon,” said a familiar voice from behind. Turning, he was greeted by the ever toothy smile of Ens Teresa Wright. “How you doing?”

“Ensign,” greeted Skon with a nod, flinching slightly as the inevitable hug followed the greeting.

“Teri”, said half Bajoran officer with mock over played frustration, “how long have we known each other? Five years?” The toothy smile returned in response to Skon’s raised eyebrow. “Have you seen…” began Teri, her gaze moving over Skons right shoulder, “Jonny!”

“Ladies,” said Ens John Rice, giving Teri a quick hug. “Sorry I’m late,” he continues, breaking the hug and gently prodding an elbow into Skons midriff.

The unlikely trio stood for a second enjoying the moment. Friends from the academy, thrown together in an early in the first year and ‘thick as thieves’ (whatever that meant) since.

John Rice, the enigma to Skon. The two had been front runners in their class from the start and while Skon studied harder, worked longer, had the physical and intellectual advantage, Rice always seemed to be two or three steps ahead in every way. They were opposites. Rice was a handsome man with an easy smile gifted with an exuberant amount of confidence which seemed to irritate and please his peers and instructors in equal measure. Skon had found him combative to start with, everything was a competition and he always had to win. He sometimes played the fool but Skon knew otherwise. It was still to this day frustrating that he never seemed to take anything seriously.

Teresa Wright was the polar opposite again. Studious and meticulous, qualities Skon related to easily, she was shorter than the two but hidden in the slender nimble frame was an uncanny strength and a keen mind. Teri was also his favourite sparring partner because of all the others she could move so quickly and was so very hard to read. She had a propensity to talk seemingly about nothing, almost as if no one else was listening which had taken some getting used to in the beginning but the better Skon had come to know her the less he minded.

“So what have you two been up to?” said Teri, breaking the silence.

John and Skon had been assigned to the Ardent for the last two years. Teri the Archer. All were pursuing a tactical career and would soon be starting their first real assignment. Through happenstance they were all dropped at the Mars Colony before redeployment.

“We, as you know, were both posted to the Ardent,” replied John, referring to Skon and himself. “I’m not sure what the Captain will do without us.”

“Not entirely accurate,” replied Skon, his eyebrow raised once more. “As I remember, Captain Dean used the words brash and impulsive. Words I believe he was using to describe you.”

“That’s just his way,” said John, the easy smile playing across his lips. “You’ve heard of our little encounter on Delta II right Teri?”

“Delta II?”

“Oh you didn’t hear?” Rice replied warming to the conversation. Putting his arms around his companions shoulders he directing them towards a café. “We caused quite a stir.”

“We lost a shuttle craft and very nearly our lives,” corrected Skon.

“We saved the colony,” added John, “You should have seen our Vulcan friend here. Riding in on horseback, phaser blasting.

“On a horse?” laughed Teri.

“The Delta II colony did not believe in the use of technology,” explained Skon. “I merely used the quickest form of transportation available at the time.”

“Nausican pirates found the colony and attacked,” began John, “taking what they could before basically turning this colonists into slaves refining narcotics.” The trio took a seat and menus when they were offered. “The Ardent was making a routine medial and supply drop when we detected their ship in orbit.” He leaned in conspiratorially, “The colony was deliberately build on Delta II because of the ionised upper atmosphere interfered with ship sensors. They just want to be left alone,” he added with a shrug. “So I suggested we use this in our favour. The Captain agrees and orders a small scouting party on a shuttle craft go take a look.” He smiled proudly, “We volunteer.”

“I believe you volunteered us both,” added Skon, “without consultation.” Although his tone was disapproving he did not disapprove of the plan only the eagerness John had shown to put them both in danger.

“Like you’d miss out,” grinned John. “We were just supposed to get through the interference and take what sensor readings we could.”

“You didn’t?” asked Teri, dipping her menu and looking at John with a mixed expression of amusement and wariness.

“He did.”

“I thought we should take a closer look while we were there,” John looked quickly between his two friends and on not seeing the approval he sought added, “You’d have done the same Teri!”

“What really happened Skon?” asked Teri, a wry smile on her face as she detected John was embellishing slightly.

“There were only six Nausicans in the colony,” stated Skon. The number was expected as their vessel was little more than a scout ship and the crew would be ten or less with some remaining on board to maintain their orbit. “John had seniority as mission lead and ordered us in close, using the terrain to get in and surprise the Nausians, a move they had clearly anticipated.”

“Ouch.”

“Indeed,” agreed Skon with a nod, “the first hit took out our shields and the second our engines.”

“But I managed to steer the shuttle away from the colony before we crash,” added John eagerly.

“The Nausicans arrive at the shuttle and proceed to capture John and leave myself for dead. My injuries were not severe but I was unconscious.” Skon picked up his menu and started leafing through it, “When I regained consciousness, I borrowed a horse and gave pursuit. The remaining Nausicans were quickly overpowered.”

“You’re rubbish at telling stories,” criticised John, “You should have seen the fight Teri. You’d have loved it.”

“I’m not sure I would,” disagreed Teri.

Skon remained silent, his thoughts momentarily going back to the aftermath of the mission. To say the Captain was displeased was an understatement. Skon had taken his fair share of the blame because he knew from years of experience that talking John Rice out of whatever plan he concocted was a fruitless exercise. His typical approach, while not to Skon’s liking, had won Rice some supporters within the Academy. The difference being in this situation was that it was for real, it was perhaps his most brash move to date and Skon knew at the time it could so very easily go wrong. There is a fine line between initiative and recklessness and in this instance the latter rather than the former was closer to the truth.

There had been a brief exchange of fire with the Nausicans and two had quickly been stunned before they’d seen Skon coming. The old horse had been shot out from under him and a melee fight quickly broke out. The pirates were no match for highly trained Starfleet officers but what they lacked in training they made up for in strength. One of the Nausicans later died in sickbay from injuries sustained at Skon’s hand, a realisation he struggled to come to terms with ever since. It was what he trained for but such violence was at odds with his core beliefs and something he had hoped to use his skill to avoid. Logically, he knew there was little choice at the time but on reflection there were so many other ways the scenario could have played out that may not have resulted with the loss of life.

“Where have you been assigned?” asked Skon, changing the subject and looking at Teri.

The look of concern faded from her face. Skon knew Teri seemed able to pick up on the slightest change in his mood which was quite an accomplishment given his decades of training to suppress all emotion. She never pressed him and he was appreciative of that.

“Deep Space 7”, she replied, “I leave tomorrow.”

“The Hood for me, Assistant Tactical officer out in the thick of it,” stated John. “Skon here has hit the big time. CTAC on the Timmis currently stuck on Mars.” that grin again.

He didn’t share his friends thirst for a more combat orientated mission. Exploration of space was the reason Skon had applied to Starfleet and the Timmis as a assignment was very pleasing. Along with the position came a promotion, a fact he would not raise in case it dampened his compensative friends mood.

“Nice,” said Teri. She closed her menu and placed it on the table. “I am going to miss you guys. We are all going to stay in touch right?”

Skon nodded, “Of course.”

And he meant it.

 

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Comments (1)

By Captain John Pentac on Wed Oct 28th, 2015 @ 10:03pm

Nicely done Lt Jg Skon.