USS Scorpio

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Under His Wing

Posted on Wed Mar 6th, 2019 @ 5:04pm by Commander Samuel Aubrey & Lieutenant Jonathan Forrest

Mission: Episode 5 - Nightmare on Omega Centauri
Location: XO's Ready Room
Timeline: TBD

Jonathan Forrest, Jon to his friends knew he was going to one day sit in the center chair, he was going to command his own ship, just like his mother had. had only been on the ship for forty-eight hours and he'd met so many interesting people. Most of those he'd met at the party that had ended late the previous night. There were three though that stuck out the most in his mind. Charlie, definitely the cutest of the bunch, was already taken and therefore, off-limits in his mind. And Tom who, well he wasn't quite sure if they even played on the same team Then there was the EX, Commander Aubrey.


Fortunately, probably for both of them, Jonathan was interested in him for a very different reason. One that was strictly platonic. He had found his story interesting, though unfinished and really did want to hear the full story and know more about him. Additionally, Jon knew had known that he wanted to command his own ship someday And he was sure the Executive Officer would be a fount of practical information and advice he couldn't get from a textbook. So, he decided to pay him a visit.

It was early, 0500, three hours before his shift was supposed to start, but Jon was an early riser and checking the LCARS system apparently so was the Commander, since he was in his Ready Room. He cooked four fried egg sandwiches and fixed some coffee. He rarely drank it himself, having never really developed a taste for it, but he knew that not many in Starfleet felt the same way and he was betting that the Executive Officer was the same way.

He put the four sandwiches on a platter and balanced the coffee cuts on the plate as well. There were a couple of close calls, but he managed to make it to the Ready Room without spilling anything. By the time he was standing in front of the door and pressing the chime it was 0520.

- - - - -

The party had gone until the wee hours of the morning, but Sam had checked out early - one of the disadvantages of having the morning shift for this rotation. Though his shift didn't start until 0800, he was up and about at 0430. He dressed in a tight grey T-shirt designed to draw sweat away from the body, put on running shorts and sneakers, and hit the running track on Deck Six. The outer corridors of the aft section of Deck Six, running along the dorsal section of the ship's secondary hull, had a very specific layout, running in a fairly even circular path that was over 1500 meters long, running along several viewports that offered a spectacular view of outer space and the ship's saucer section. Several dozen crewmembers had started using this particular corridor as a running track. Six laps around this track would amount to a 9K run, which to Sam was satisfactory at this early hour.

He opted to head for his office and catch up on a bit of paperwork, before heading back to his quarters for a shower and then heading to the Bridge for his shift. He entered his office and took a towel out of a drawer, wiped his brow, and set the towel around his neck before doing stretching exercises on his thigs. He replicated a protein shake and reached for the first data PaDD at the top of the pile - a report from astrometrics on their use of the lateral sensor array which simply required his thumbprint, one of the many routine tasks a first officer had to carry out - when the door chime rang.

Sam hesitated for a second before putting the PaDD down, wondering who could be at his door at this early hour, especially the morning after a party.

"Come in," he called out.

Continuing to balance the coffee and food on the tray, Jonathan stepped into the room. "Good morning sir," he said in greeting. "I come bearing gifts. You started to tell some interesting stories and I wanted to hear more details. I thought a bribe might help."

Sam stared at the young man in surprise. It was true that he'd offered to expand on his life's tale at the reception, but he hadn't expected the young man to act on it so soon. But he'd never been one to turn someone away in a situation like this.

"Of course," stammered Sam, quickly recovering. "Come in, have a seat."

"Thanks," he said as he walked in and found a chair to set "Are you hungry? Do you eat eggs? I just whipped these up, they're real, not replicated by the way."

Sam looked at the tray. This was a much heavier breakfast than what he was used to, but the last thing he wanted to do was to turn the young man away. "They look delicious," he said, before looking down at himself and his sweat-soaked shirt. "Just give me a minute to change."

He stepped back from the desk and toward the head which was separated from the office area by a partition, pulling the shirt over his head, and reaching for a clean one.

Jonathan's eyes grew a little larger and he took an involuntary half-step back. It wasn't that he'd never seen someone with scars before, he had, but he certainly hadn't been expecting to see the Executive Officer bearing them. His first instinct was to just ask him about them and he probably would have six months ago, but he restrained himself

"Of course sir," he said as averting his eyes, "take your time."

Sam adjusted the shirt on his shoulders and returned to his desk. He pushed the PaDDs out of the way and looked up at Jonathan so he could put the tray down, but he saw the look on the young man's face and frowned. "Anything wrong?" he asked.

"No..." Jonathan started to say before stopping himself, "Sorry sir, I just noticed your scars. I wasn't trying to peek or anything, I just... you must have been through some kind of hell."

"I'm sorry," replied Sam. "I didn't mean to make you feel uncomfortable. Those are just... reminders of my youth. Except for the shoulder. That was in the line of duty."

"No, no it's okay, it must have been pretty traumatic for you, I guess I had, I don't know if sheltered childhood is really accurate my mom was a Starship Captain and we were in a lot of combat situations, but both my moms did their best to protect my sister and me. I take it you didn't have it so good."

Sam took a sip of the coffee that the young man had placed in front of him and hesitated. He didn't like revisiting this part of his life. But he had opened the door to those questions himself. "No," he said. "Long story short... I grew up on New Glasgow. You probably never heard of it, but the right way to think about it is as the rectum of the Alpha Quadrant. A colony ship headed for an entirely different planet went off-course after being hit by an asteroid, about 150 years ago, and ended up there. The colonists did the best they could, but the planet worked against them. My mother worked in a comfort house. Yes, that's an expression that describes a whorehouse. On New Glasgow, there was no access to things like injections to prevent unwanted pregnancies, so here I am. I never knew who my... Who provided the genetic material required for my conception. All I know, from DNA scans, is that he was human. I had an older half-sister who came into the world the same way, and who followed in my mother's footsteps."

Jonathan raised his left brow at hearing the XO's remarks, "That must have been challenging to have to deal with. I never knew my father either, but it really wasn't the same thing for me as it was for you. As I said, I had support, we were a pretty close-knit family."

"Most of my childhood friends had it just as bad, so that was reality for us. My mother was taken in by a man who had a drinking problem, and who often mistook both her head and mine for punching bags. When I was nine, I came home one night to find my mother on the ground, in a pool of blood. He'd beaten her so hard. I could see gray matter on her clothes and in her hair. Her clothes and hair, by the way, were how I recognized her because there was nothing left of her face. I never got to touch her, because as soon as I came in, he grabbed me by the neck, and sold me to a comfort house that specialized in children. Klingons, Orions, Cardassians, humans... Men and women. I had to learn to pleasure all of them. When it wasn't enough..." He waved a hand over his torso to demonstrate his scars.

The young officer's face paled when he heard Sam's new revelations and he reached out a hand and put it on the other man's arm. "A kid, they did that to a kid? That, well that's beyond horrific. I don't know what to say, I'm so sorry you had to live with that."

Sam waved away the young man's sympathy. All of this was ancient history. "Eventually the owner gave me a few errands to run, and I found my way into a pilot's seat. I had a knack for piloting and caught the attention of a freighter captain called Boralan. He purchased my freedom from the comfort house and trained me to pilot his ship, the Rising Star. We carried... All sorts of things, most of them illegal. Eventually, we were captured by Starfleet. I served forty months at the Federation penal installation on Titan. I got to know Starfleet officers, and what they stood for. The stories I'd been told while I was growing up didn't exactly portray Starfleet in a favorable light. So when I was released, I signed up for the Academy.

"I made it to flight control on the USS Republic. I was there for eighteen months when the ship hit a cloaked gravitic mine left over from the Dominion War. I was sitting at my station on the Bridge when I was impaled in the left shoulder by a structural beam. I got the ship back to within sensor range of Starbase 37. Half the crew was killed, but the others lived. I lost my left arm as a result and got a cloned arm as a replacement. And then I came to the Scorpio."

"I've never had to deal with any of the things you've had to deal with. I'm not sure I would be strong enough to handle it. The worst thing that ever happened to me is when I was eighteen I almost killed another boy who had taken advantage of my sister."

"I never asked myself if I could be strong enough to handle it," replied Sam. "It's not as though I was offered a choice. That was life for me. Piloting got me through it, and got me out of it. I'm a pilot to the bone, and always will be, regardless of what Starfleet assigns me to."

"Piloting is a passion for me, but my real love is Command. I've wanted to be a Captian since I was five. It's all I've ever really wanted to do."

"Small steps," advised Sam. "The last thing we want is to have someone sitting in that chair before they're ready. You've got a position as Squadron Leader, now you need to make the most of it and learn how to get your pilots to follow your lead."

"I agree with you sir, and I do take my current duties seriously. But sometimes it can be difficult, waiting I mean. I tend to be a bit impatient, impulsive even. I've been doing my best to stop myself from that kind of thing."

"Patience is a virtue that needs to be practiced. Trust me. I spent forty months in a penal colony, I know all about patience. Rhythmic breathing, meditation, yoga... It's also when I started running. What kind of physical exercise do you do?"

"Well, it used to be soccer when I was in High School, I still play a game in the holodeck every once-in-a-while. But recently, about a year ago, I started free climbing, working without a net so to speak. Have you ever done that?"

"I did when I was younger. Now the shoulder doesn't really allow for it. There's an unofficial running track on Deck Six that won't use up your Holodeck allowance, and swimming is also one of my preferred sports."

"I 'm sorry to hear about your shoulder, climbing is a bit of a thrill, but running is less stressful. My sister is the swimmer in the family. We used to have a pool but I probably used it twenty times a year, she was in it almost every day. Where do you swim here?"

"The only place to swim around here is the Holodeck," said Sam. "You can't exactly keep a swimming pool on a starship. What would happen if the gravity went out?"

"Well, that's true," the young pilot admitted, "it would definitely make for an interesting time, to say the least. Would you mind if I tagged along sometime."

He paused, "Sorry, forget I asked that it was way too presumptuous of me."

Sam waved the concern aside. "Don't worry about it," he said. "I wouldn't mind the company.

"Good, are you planning to go anytime soon?"

"Tomorrow morning," replied Sam. "I like to alternate - one day I run, the next I swim.."

"Sounds good," Jonathan replied, as he finished his food, "Well if you don't mind, I should really be going. We both have to be at work soon. I'll see you then."

Sam nodded. "Thank you for breakfast," he said as the young man stood. He followed suit.

Both men exited the XO's office, and Sam headed off to his quarters for a shower before his shift.

 

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