S.S. Fawkes - CF-142AC
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The Way of Memory

Posted on Wednesday September 2nd, 2020 @ 10:21 hours by Lozen Nachtnebel

Mission: Safe Passage
Location: Deck Two, Lozen's Quarters
Timeline: MD 05, late at night
740 words - 1.5 OF Standard Post Measure

"The dojo is a sacred place. Do you know why?"

Lozen stood with planted feet a few paces in front of her father. She struggled to hold the deep pose, fighting the shake in her limbs. Arnold Nesmeth towered over her, his eyes blue crystal in a face like a mountainside.

"Because the dojo is the center of our training, sensei!" She stared up at him with all the precocious might her eight-year-old self could muster.

"Because the dojo is the center of what we do. The dojo is the place of the Way, the place where we learn to follow the Way." Arnold Nesmeth's voice resonated in a low tenor. There was the hint of a test in the pattern of his words.

"The Way is in all things," she said.

"But if the Way is in all things, why do we train in the dojo?"

"Because the dojo represents the Way."

Nesmeth smiled. "Okay, come out of the stance. You did good, kiddo. Very good."

Lozen swelled at the praise. "Dad, are you going to stay here this time? Gram and Grandpa are great, but I miss you and Mom." She tried to hold her voice in check. She wanted to make the words come out adult, properly, but the edge of her voice caught like a dress on a bramble. Her father seemed to frown at her for a moment, she felt tears prick her eyes.

"Oh, kiddo...." He knelt down on one knee, resting his hands on the other.

Overhead, the dojo's spinning fan whirred gently, making the sweat on Lozen's neck cool quickly. She shivered. "I'm sorry, dad."

A look of surprise came over his face, followed by a sadness that he so often seemed to wear these days. "No, I'm sorry. I've been away a lot. Did gramps explain about the reason why?"

"He said that you needed to stop a group of bad people."

"That's right." He sighed. "There are dangerous people in the galaxy. People who don't understand the Way. They have their own idea of what's right and they want everyone else to follow it, even if that means that people get hurt. Do you remember your lessons about Starfleet, the Federation?"

She nodded. Of all the classes at school, history was easily her favorite. She loved learning about the past and about the people who had changed the world for the better. She drew on this new, hoping to impress. "Starfleet is the exploratory arm of the United Federation of Planets which consists of more than--"

Her father laughed, a real, hearty laugh from deep in his belly. "That's good, but not what I meant. The Federation is a place where people help one another, Lo. It's all about helping one another. But some of the people in Starfleet don't believe in that anymore. And the group we're fighting, they're called the Dominion, they want to take advantage of that."

"But why would anyone want to let them do bad things?"

The fan whirred in silence for several long seconds.

"Because. Sometimes people get afraid. And sometimes people get greedy, in a way. They begin to think that the world revolves around them, and only them. They think that they only need to take care of their own family, or their own friends, and they forget that everything we do affects everything else."

"Just like in Aikido!"

"Just like in all martial arts. The Way is about balance, kiddo, don't forget that."

"I won't, dad."

Lo sat on the edge of her bed for a long time and stared at the picture of her father. The glass frame reflected the lighting strips on the walls which also glanced off the dull metal edge of her standard-issue cup. A strong alcoholic odor wafted up from the cup, made her eyes water. She raised it in her free hand, saluting the empty air.

"Here's to you, dad. How's that balance in the universe working out for you?" When all we had to worry about were the Dominion and the Cardassians. Now we all live in terror of another incursion by the Borg. And the Federation? Starfleet? "Pah!" she spat onto the floor of her room, swallowed another gulp from her cup.

Then she placed the picture, face down, beside her on the bed. "Here's to you, dad," she said. "Where ever you are."


Lozen Nachtnebel
SS FawkesDec


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