S.S. Fawkes - CF-142AC
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So, this is Goodbye?

Posted on Sunday June 2nd, 2019 @ 20:16 hours by Mayterial Droz & Canaan Serene

Mission: Pixie Dust
Location: Promenade, Communications Hub, Outpost J-19


"Of the things you've ever done to worry your Father and me, this goes beyond all of it. This behavior, your actions... they irresponsibility of it all is impossible. You've jeopardized all we've done to help you succeed. You've squandered the opportunities we lined up for you and any future at the Academy hangs in the balance. Your Father is beside himself; he refuses to have a rational discussion about what we're to do with you when you come home. Canaan, mon tendre, you're a disappointment; I hope you know this."

Ashamed, his eyes averted hers, head bowed low. He'd tried to interject at times, ineffectively defending his choices, yet summarily dismissed to the point of silently accepting the scolding in the manner in which it intended. Demoralized, this conversation, if one could call it that, was no different than those in his past. It was a verdant reminder of how he'd fallen short of his parents' unrealistically high expectations. He was resolved to never making them proud.

"Your Father and I have booked passage on the next available transport from Earth; you're to stay put until such time that we arrive to bring you home. We've both had to take time away from our important research because of you, so I expect some form of compensation for the inconvenience you caused. Canaan, truly, what were you thinking?" Before he could summon a meek response, she spoke over him, "Only of yourself, that's what." There was no goodbye, only the image of his mother yielding the communique's end, abruptly disconnected at her end.

Canaan sniffed, angrily wiping away a tear from his cheek. In the reflection of the display stood Mayterial, arms crossed tightly over her chest as she leaned against the privacy cubicle.

There were a great many things Mayterial could say, about Canaan, about the woman he just spoke to, about life in general. Instead she chose to take a small step forward and put a comforting hand on his shoulder, giving a meek, comforting smile. She knew he was on the brink of leaving and missing out on what would surely be the experience of a lifetime. If she wanted to keep the boy around then she'd have to play this just right.

Canaan leaned into the touch ever so slightly, appreciating the gesture although feeling altogether embarrassed about Mayterial seeing him cry. His mother was one thing, but his captain was quite another. "I didn't see you standing there; sorry about that." He apologized, motioning to the black terminal as he turned from the captain, drying either eye with the back of a hand. "She's, um, not happy with some of my more recent decisions." He downplayed their usual interaction as one of infrequent while composing himself. "My parents aren't ones for adventure and intrigue." Canaan mused sarcastically, hoping the woman hadn't overheard the entire exchange between them.

"Not everyone understands." Mayterial solemnly commented, looking at the terminal screen just so that they could break eye contact, "I can imagine it's difficult to see a child making decisions that you would never dare to make." She kept smiling towards Canaan, "and I know from experience what it's like to be in your position. Come, let's grab a drink." She motioned for the young greenhorn to get up from the public terminal. A nice lounge with a view of the stars, that's where they had to be at this moment.

Canaan stepped out of the tele-cubicle, walking side-by-side with Mayterial. "I don't make decisions, not with the 'rents." He commented, tucking his hands into the pockets of skinny chinos. "I've sorta always had this path laid out in front of me, with my parents the grand architects of it all. This is, well, this has kinda thrown them for a tizzy." The pair stopped short of the Constance Silverstar Lounge and Speakeasy, "What do you mean about knowing from 'experience'?" He wondered as they stepped into the establishment, it's atmosphere subdued compared to the promenade beyond.

Mayterial took a seat near the window, not so obviously that Canaan could tell it was on purpose, but near enough to allow him to gaze at them comfortably during their conversation, "You weren't around for the Dominion War, were you" she pressed her fingers against the bridge of her nose, it didn't seem that long ago. How could someone be an adult and not have been here during the War?

Immediately a waitress approached their table and looked expectantly at them, "Hello, I'm Brenda, I'll be your waitress for the day. Can I offer you a drink? Something to eat perhaps?"

"We'll have two Saurian brandies." Mayterial motioned at both Canaan and herself, "and something to chew on. Crackers? Do you have crackers or crisps with some sort of dip or something?"

Brenda lit up a bit at the mention of food, "Oh yes, I helped make this nice cucumber dip that I think would be just right for the occasion. It'll go perfectly with some crisps. I'll make sure to get you some!" With the order in she eagerly scurried off.

Canaan slid into a chair opposite the Captain. A reusable candle in a green-hued sconce the tables' only adornment. He reached out and gently pushed the item around the smooth surface while the two women exchanged pleasantries. He thought to speak up when Mayterial ordered the brandy but thought better of it. When the server turned away, Canaan responded to her question with a shake of the head. "No, ma'am." They'd studied the war in school, and of course, there were the memorials and days of remembrance.

"My Father was in Starfleet. He was an engineer, damn good one." Mayterial thought back on her father, she was barely able to remember what he looked like at this point, but she remembered exactly how he always made her feel. A soft smile adorned her lips, "He taught me some rudementary anti-matter stuff, always hoped I'd join Starfleet. He didn't make a secret of that." She shook her head a bit remembering what had pushed her off course, "He died during the occupation of Betazed by the Dominion forces, I'm sure you learned about that in school." another shake of the head, "whatever they taught you, they lied. It was worse. All of it was worse than they'll ever admit." leaned back in the chair and looked up as Brenda returned with the food and drinks, "That was quick."

"Of course!" Brenda said eagerly as she put the glasses in front of them, "I'm here to make sure your evening with us is pleasant. Or is it still day on your vessel?" It was always difficult to keep track of all the different timezones that came flying in here and not all vessels stuck to the Federation Standard Time.

"Thank you Brenda, it's much appreciated." Mayterial gave a warm smile, she must've been new at the job. She grabbed a few of the crisps and dipped them before she pushed the bowl in the direction of Canaan.

"That's war, though, right?" Canaan wasn't wise enough to understand the implications in such a question, except that he was aware the scrubbed down version taught in history lessons was far from an accurate account of what actually happened. "What happened to him?" Canaan pulled an oddly shaped crisp from the basket and dunked it in the creamy cucumber dip. "Your dad, I mean, how did he die?" The question was neither callous or imposing. His attention directed entirely at Mayterial betrayed a desire to know more, not for any other purpose but to hear more of this woman's story in life.

"There was a resistance on Betazed." Mayterial took a beat to gather her emotions, she didn't realise it still got to her as much as it did after all these years, "they were able to do some damage to the occupying forces of the Dominion. Turns out they used my people's inherent telepathic skills to assault the troops. Literally killing people with their minds." She shook her head, took some crisps, dipped them and put them into her mouth, thoughtfully chewing them. "The thing is, it's about a coin flip if you survive or not. They were basically suicide commandos, taking as many of the grey-skinned bastards with them as they could."

"And your dad, he was one of these 'kamikaze' resistance fighters?"

A word in that sentence didn't properly translate through the universal translator and for a moment Mayterial had to dig in her memory, but couldn't place it. From the context she knew Canaan was asking whether that's how her father died, "Yes. Killed a Vorta and three Jem'Hadar before his fate came up tails." She took another few bites from the crisps, "After the war it started to become clear what the resistance had been involved in. It made me sick. I could no longer be on Betazed. Fled my house, my mother, enlisted in Starfleet. Thinking that's what my father would've wanted." She slowly rolled the liquid in her glass avoiding eye contact with Canaan, "I didn't fit in with the Fleet, the Fleet didn't really want me either. So I got into some side business. Gave them a reason to let me go. Learned how the universe actually worked." She pointed out the window with her glass of brandy, at the stars lazily drifting by, "Learned what it truly meant to be free."

Canaan was discerning the parallels between their lives Mayterial was attempting to make. His gaze shifted from the captain to the brushed metal surface of the worn tabletop. "I'm sorry about your dad." He said quietly, "Do you think your dad is proud of the life you've lived?" Again, the question may have been straightforward and blunt, yet guileless with intent.

"I think I stopped thinking about that question a long time ago." Mayterial gave a half-hearted smirk, "Maybe he would be disappointed that I got dishonourably discharged from the Fleet." She looked at the brandy in her hand and moved it in between herself and Canaan, "Perhaps there would be anger about the way I conducted my business in the past." There was a defiant twinkle in her eyes, "There's not much in my life for my father to be proud of." The smirk returned, more genuine and defiant now, "but the thing is, I'm proud. I'm proud of where I'm at. I'm proud of the fact that I've found a home. I'm proud of the people I've gathered around me. I'm proud of the fact that after everything that happened I'm still here, I'm still free. That after all those years there's something that makes me happy. If nothing else, I think he would've respected that."

He nodded slowly, "I've not had anything that was of my own choosing. Don't get me wrong, there's plenty I'm proud of, small accomplishments in trying to achieve their expectations that never warranted recognition. Those I held on to. But it's like I'm living their life and not my own. I want my life. And I want them to what me to have my own life. But like mom said, I'm a disappointment." He shrugged, taking the glass of brandy in hand, "So why not live the life they've decided for me and try to make them proud?"

"Because it's your life. Not theirs." Mayterial knew where he was coming from. He had only known Earth, paradise on that blue orb, he had only known that all the decisions his parents made for him had turned out alright. "Don't you humans all strive to achieve some sort of greater goal for all of humanity? How are you ever going to find out what your contribution to the species can be if you don't even know yourself?"

"Fair point." Canaan reasoned Mayterial was correct to some degree. "'Honor thy parents', though." Canaan mused in response, "Is this the answer though? I jumped before thinking."

"The important thing is; you jumped. You made a decision. You live with that decision." Mayterial her smile turned warm, inviting, encouraging even. "Now you live with those decisions. You work out how they affected you and what that means for your future. That's life." She allowed a moment of silence as she lifted her glass in a toast towards Canaan, "Here's to life, and may we always be the ones to decide how to live it."

Canaan raised his glass to meet Mayterial's, the rim of each clanking together. "And to those we left behind." He grinned before downing the brandy, grimacing at the liquids' unusual taste and the burning sensation that soon followed. "To life." He affirmed.


Mayterial Droz


Canaan Serene

S.S. Fawkes


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