USS Scorpio

Previous Next

Revelations Part One

Posted on Mon Dec 3rd, 2018 @ 2:50am by Lieutenant Jonathan Forrest

Mission: Episode 4 - Brave New Worlds
Location: USS Relentless 13 Years Ago
Timeline: Thirteen Years Ago

=/= USS Relentless13 Years Ago =/=

Jennifer had finally cashed in the favor Captain Marcie Forrest-Samuels’, her wife, owed her after she remained away from the front lines during the Dominion War caring for both of their children. Jennifer’s expedition had left six months prior, leaving Marcie, for the first time, with both of her children, a ship to command, and no backup.

Jonathan wasn’t the best student around. It wasn’t as if he wasn’t bright, he was. Not quite as bright as his brother, but bright enough. His problem was that he found it hard to focus on any one thing long enough unless it really held his interest. He was getting by but was at best a middle of the road scholar.. Though he was not the smartest he was the most well-liked. He was, with an exceptional boyish prank thrown in from time to time, well behaved, respectful, even differential with teachers and staff. Part of that was nurture, he knew what his mom would do if he wasn’t. Part of it was nature, it was just part of his personality. He was also liked by most of the other students, able to navigate the different cliques that the kids around him were just starting to form. The only thing that got him in trouble with any of his teachers on a regular basis was his propensity to voice his opinion, even when it wasn’t asked for, or ran contrary to the one the teacher, or other students had made.

And then there was Alex, the boy her wife had given birth to. He had always been quiet and sort of withdrawn, but since Jennifer left, he had begun to act out. The straight-A student had started to skip classes or simply refuse to do his homework. He slept a lot, ate little, and back talked every chance he had. Marcie’s almost military-like tactics of discipline would have him shape up for a day or two before he fell back into the bad habits he had learned.

Being a Captain was sometimes difficult for Marcie, especially when making life or death decisions or sending one of the members of her crew into harm’s way. She relied, more than she cared to admit, on her wife and the advice she gave in their frequent, though not frequent enough, subspace communiques. It was, nevertheless, something that she knew she was called to and was good at.

What she was not feeling so good at, was being a mother. It had been a while since she had seen her children for more than a few weeks at a time and to have them both back full time and competing for her devotions, was not an easy task for her. She loved both her boys intensely, though not always equally. Jonathan, the son she had borne, was most like her and the easiest to deal with; he always had been. On the other hand, she realized that Alex was the brighter of the two and rather liked the contrast between, his quieter, more reserved nature, and his brother. Jonathan was unguarded and didn’t know when to fear. Alex could be too guarded and didn’t know when he should stand up for himself. The two boys were good for each other. Or they had been until Alex had started to act out.

His behavior was so unusual, such a change, that she had had more than one conversation in the previous couple of months with Jennifer and was even to the point that she was going to seek out the ship’s counselor. She had, in fact, already scheduled a meeting with Dr. Gilik to meet with her and both the boys together, as a family. She hadn’t told the boys that yet, but she was planning to the next day.

It was a Saturday and, as was pretty common, Jonathan had woken up first. He was on the bottom bunk, trying not to move around or wake his brother up. He was confused by Alex’s behavior as much as his mothers were and often found it easier just to give in and not say anything when he was in one of his moods.

He did try to keep quiet, but it was a day without teachers, or their mom being around and he couldn’t just lay there forever. So, after what seemed like an eternity for him, but was in reality, no more than twenty minutes, he kicked the bunk above him and in a loud voice said, “Hey sleepy head, it’s time to wake up; it’s almost 0700.”

Alex's eyes opened as he felt the hard thump from beneath him and heard his brother's voice, yelling like always. "Then why don't you get out of bed and go away. I'm tired," he mumbled, turning over and wrapping the blanket tighter around him.

Jonathan rolled out of his bed wearing only a pair of boxers with pictures of starships of various kinds on them. At eleven he was still very much a child, but he was already five feet tall and was just starting to fill out a little.

He ran a hand through his disheveled hair that was so different from his brother’s. He turned so he was against their bed and his face close to Alex’s buried in blankets. “Come on get up. PLEAASSEEE? I’m hungry and I want to play in the holodeck. It’s not as much fun without you.”

"Why don't you replace me with a holodeck character," Alex grumbled. Jonathan could tell he had Francine, the big stuffed elephant, hugged against his chest beneath the blankets. He had been doing that more and more lately like he had when he was much younger. "I don't want to play starship captain today." Jonathan was, of course, always the captain while Alex was the engineer. Sometimes it was fun, but today it sounded like a lot of work.

“We could play something else if you want, ”Jonathan replied unrelentingly. He wasn’t sure why Alex had started going weird on him recently. He’d never really been into stuffed toys at all, though he did have a blankey he wouldn’t part with for many years, but that had been back when he was four or five. It didn’t exactly bother him that Alex still slept with one, but he couldn’t understand it.

“It’s just so much more fun when I get to play with my favorite brother.”

"I'm your only brother," Alex replied dryly. The boy slowly sat up, like doing so took a great deal of effort. Unlike Jonathan, he usually slept in sweatpants and a T-shirt, although lately, like this morning, he hadn't bothered to undress at all and was still wearing yesterday's clothes. His curly hair was getting long, but when mother talked to him about cutting it he had grown angry and agitated. He put Francine aside and covered her up with his blanket, somewhat embarrassed by her now. "What could we play instead?" he asked, his mind struggling to come up with answers to his own question, and giving up.

“I don’t know, we could play Arctic Explorer or Civil War (the boys had been studying ancient American History in class the past week), or Security Investigations, or hey here’s a novel idea. How about if you come up with something to play for a change?”

“Me?” Alex did have his own holoprograms. Programs he never let Jonathan or Marcie or Jennifer ever see. “You wouldn’t like any of my ideas.”

“Why not, you don’t know that. You’ve got a great imagination, Alex.”

“Well….there’s--there’s this one program I made. It’s like a fantasy world with m-magic and stuff.” Alex was fidgeting like crazy, his eyes not meeting Jonathan’s, his voice barely rising above a mumble. He couldn’t believe he was telling Jonathan about the program. There was one important fact he was leaving out: the identity of the character he played. In the program, he played a girl, a princess of all things. He didn’t have a good reason for why he had done it, he only knew that some part of it felt right. Jonathan would think there was something wrong with him. That he was a pervert, a freak. He would probably even hate him, but Alex wasn’t sure he cared enough anymore.

Jonathan thought about it a minute he wasn’t into fantasy stuff that much, but it was something different and that part he did like.

He put a hand on Alex’s shoulder. “Look, bro, there’s no need to be nervous. I think doing the magic thing is okay. But we do kinda need to hurry. We have to be there by 0845, or we won’t be able to play till after bedtime.”

He tugged on his brother’s arm and gave him his best puppy dog look. “Come on Alex, pretty please.”

“Promise me you won’t judge me. It’s just a holoprogram. Something for fun. It doesn’t mean anything.” Alex insisted, hopping off the bed. Alex was tall for his age but a far cry from Jonathan’s size, coming to about 4’7” and was scrawny as could be.

“You got it Alex, no judging, what are you playing anyway, an Orc or something?”

“No.” Alex blushed, going quiet as he carefully constructed his response. “I play an Elf. A member of the royal family who has been tasked with a quest to retrieve this magical pendant from a dangerous and powerful warlock. But you could be anything you want. A Human, an Orc, a warrior, a wizard and help me in my quest.”

“I don’t think I’d play an Orc. Does your Elf guy use magic? If so, I’ll be a warrior, if he can’t, then I’ll play a wizard.”

“Some magic. Sounds like you’ll be going warrior then. We should go down to the holodeck. Like you said, not a lot of time.” There was no end to Alex’s strangeness. Where before he was aggressive and apathetic, now he was anxious and, well, more anxious. The boy put on his shoes and started towards the door, knots twisting in his stomach. It’s just a stupid holodeck program. he reminded himself. It doesn’t mean anything.

Alex had no regular costume to put on. He always made sure to break it back down when he was done. When they reached the holodeck, Alex brought up his program from the computer and accessed the parameters for Princess Angela, the character he played, replicating the necessary materials inside. He briefly thought about deleting her and making a new character to avoid any issues with Jonathan, but the thought of doing that made him want to curl into a ball. “I’m going to go in and change. You can design your character and what you need for them here. I’ll wait for you.” He just didn’t think he had the courage to put on his getup with his brother standing there.

Jonathan couldn’t figure Alex out. He just wasn’t acting like his brother used to act. He’d heard a little about puberty, and thought maybe that was the reason, though he was bigger than his brother and he wasn’t exhibiting any of the signs that he’d heard about. So he wasn’t sure.

But it was time to play, and that’s where Jonathan’s focus was. He had a couple of choices for costumes and he went back and forth between a barbarian, a knight, and a scout. Finally, after about three minutes, he decided on the knight. It just seemed like the right choice.

He chose a chainmail hauberk for his armor, and the biggest sword he could manage, which was a broadsword. He checked himself in the mirror before going out to meet Alex. His eyes got wide when he saw Alex’s costume, it looked so frilly. “Are you supposed to be a girl?” he asked.

“No!” Alex blurted out at first, his cheeks growing red. He had just spent the last few minutes making excuses for his outfit. The long, skirt-like tunic and tights was the style of the time. The frilly outer edges and the bodice design on the leather breastplate was because elves were kind of effeminate. The little bit of makeup….okay, he didn’t have a good excuse for it. A short, silver sword rested on his right hip and he had a bow and quiver over his shoulder. Alex met Jonathan’s eyes with absolute terror. He lowered his head. “Yes….”

Jonathan gave his brother a measured look. He didn’t understand why Alex wanted to be a girl but it didn’t really bother him.”Okay, well it’s kind of a little weird, but it’s your character, you can play a girl if you want to. So, are you ready?”

TBC

Lt. Jonathan Forrest
Squadron Leader
USS Scorpio
(Younger Jonathan/Marcie)

Kristine Chester
Alex

 

Previous Next

labels_subscribe