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Letters From Old Friends

Posted on Jan 09, 2018 @ 6:33pm by Lieutenant Commander Aerdan Jos
Edited on on Jan 09, 2018 @ 6:33pm

Mission: Bramatine: Truth, Justice and the Federation Way

"Letters from Old Friends" (Continued from "A Fine Mystery")

Location: USS PHOENIX
StarDate: 2.180109.2350
Scene: Main Sickbay

~*~

Time Index: This all happens before the start of the mission

Michael Turlough Kane had signed off on Cade Foster's return to the USS PHOENIX, with a conversation that even Cade deemed as 'mild' all things considered.

And that was that.

Now here he was in the Phoenix's sickbay, back in a place that almost, but didn't quite feel like home.

Actually, Cade wasn't sure where home was anymore. Certainly not his family house in Pepperell Massachusetts - even though he had inherited it. Right now it was being rented to a faculty member from Harvard and Cade admitted he hadn't been there in years. Did he have fond memories of the place?

Well... yes. He did. More than he would admit to anyone because it was his grandfather's home and his grandfather had been the only person in his family that Cade cared about. But Grandpa Charles died when Cade was on his first assignment. Afterwards life had been a mess of transfers, bad decisions and pain.

So many ships. Even starbases. Each one had elements of home, but home was a fleeting concept and he felt like a man afloat in the universe. So many people he had known - maybe even dared to love - were gone.

And yet this stupid blue-Klingon beside him remained.

"What?" Aerdan queried lifting one antennae towards Cade, noting the older man's gaze upon him.

"Nothing." Cade shook his head. "Just thinking about the past." He shrugged nonchalantly.

Aerdan curled both antennae downwards, trying to puzzle out what Cade actually meant... but he wasn't picking up any clues that told him Cade might be lying.

"So, what's on the docket for today?" Cade asked, cracking his knuckles and moving towards an empty computer panel.

Aerdan stepped towards the readouts coming in from the various crew reports. "Not much - mainly clean up from the phobophage and hoping that no one does anything stupid during shore leave."

Cade scoffed lightly. "Shore leave is expressly designed for doing stupid things. Expect the worst."

"I already saw the worst." The Andorian countered "I'll let you lecture anyone who gets into enough shore leave trouble to warrant a trip to sickbay."

"My pleasure!" A wide grinchy grin spread across Cade's face as he went to sit down at the console and familiarize himself with the latest crew reports.

"Don't sit there." The request was curt and surprisingly forceful.

Cade stopped, mid-sit and stared at Aerdan. "Is there something wrong with this chair or have you lost your damn mind?

"That was where Sofia died." the blue medic explained evenly.

Silence. Cade's jaw dropped fractionally.

"You lost your damn mind." He surmised and yet he didn't impertinently sit down.

"Maybe I'm just sick of people dying." Aerdan replied in a low tone.

The two men stared at one another in an awkward silence before Cade put his hands up in conciliation. "How about we go to your office?"

Aerdan offered a nod of his antennae and turned to open the door. ONce inside both fell into well worn patterns - tea, raktajino, silence, slurp, sit. Cade settled back in the office chair, watching across the desk as his friend and once again boss started to shuffle papers across the desk.

"So, we're down staff. What happened?" He started in a dry tone.

"Death, destruction, retirement. The usual." Aerdan lisped back. "The Essentialists set a lot of good people into hiding and not everyone felt the call to return to Starfleet when all was said and done. Marcus Ford has a family - I never pressured him into returning. Glebben, Jobila, Kaikura - the same. They had lives to finish and worlds to rebuild."

"You have a family, too and yet you're still here." Cade waggled a finger at him.

Aerdan looked up and simply shrugged. He didn't have to admit that he was a stubborn ass - Cade all too easily knew it to be true.

"So, where's Ishe?" the older human queried gently.

"Mostly on Andor." Aerdan admitted. "It's safer there, but I see her several times a year."

"Hanging out with her grandparents?" He gazed evenly at the man across the desk. "The fight against the Essentialists is over, that girl needs her Daddy."

Aerdan's antennae rose, not expecting Cade to be the source of that admonishment. "I'll be talking that idea over with my family."

"Good." Cade thrust his chin upwards at Aerdan. "How's she gettin' on, anyways?"

"She's been getting to know her cousins over the last year, she likes that." Aerdan admitted wistfully. There was part of him that longed for the easy life of staying at home and simply helping or rebuild and heal people. Then again he admitted his father and he had never seen eye to eye, and even this day with all the change they had endured Arjan was still the favored son and Aerdan always had difficulty living near to his father.

"Cousins?" Cade tipped his head. Aerdan's wife was dead and he only had one sibling that Cade knew of. "Don't tell me that playboy-rockstar settled down."

"Well yes and no..." Aerdan let his antennae wave back and forth in a so-so gesture.

"Yes and no? How does that work?" Dr. Foster settled down and leaned forward with the expression of 'you owe me a story.'

Aerdan sighed and rolled his eyes. He hated telling stories.

Silence. Cade stared at him.
More silence. Cade stared some more.

"Remember back on Andalusia when the Maddie Zanders collective formed?" He started quietly.

Cade immediately bristled. He had been assimilated by the burgeoning collective. He would never - ever - forget. "Yes." He replied, his tone cold.

"Right." Aerdan hadn't forgotten either. He had made a fantastic cure that was twisted into a bioweapon. It was one of his darkest hours. "Well a lot of the blame for that incident went on the director who in turn passed blame to the deputy directors and Arjan got burned by it. So my Dad who loves to meddle in family affairs pulled his promotion to a prestigious medical position on Andor and tried to send Arjan to Meredia colony for two years."

"That's the ass end of space!" Cade noted.

"Yes. Worse, Arjan was intending to bond with his betrothed and this meddling really messed up the marriage plans. His betrothed - Iera - her family bonded her to another man in response to all this." Aerdan explained in calm tones.

Cade harumphed. Sounded like the sorts of decisions that made people very upset.

"Problematically Arjan and Iera were good friends - they knew each other for a long time and had always counted upon getting bonded. And they had visited one another shortly before that borg business went down..."

Cade grinned. "Oh I see where this is going. They did the nasty lambada as fresh young people do and nature took its course." He surmised. Aerdan offered a simple nod of confirmation. Cade grinned at his detective work before he frowned and gazed back. "Still doesn't explain the plural 'cousins' nor why Arjan has his kids back."

Aerdan rolled his eyes, unwilling to wallow in sordid details. He simply checked some facts off on his fingers. "Iera's new bondmate - Kisan - was a good friend of the both of them. And while I don't have proof, I'm guessing that Kisan was as romantically interested in Arjan as Iera was."

"Oooohhhhh." Cade nodded slowly. "Well, that's naughty. But you indicate they got along, what happened?"

"Both Iera and Kisan were killed in an Essentialist bombing." Aerdan frowned. "Arjan was clearly stated as the kid's bond-parent." He tipped his head to one side searching for the Terran word. "God-parent. So he took them in and probably had some highly entertaining conversations with our Dad and they've been calling Arjan 'Dad' for a year now.

Cade shook his head very slowly. "Life is crazy. Totally crazy." He smirked at his companion before standing up. "Come on, we should get to work."

~*~
((Andor - Jos household))

How to write this?

Arjan Jos was always tremendously good at talking to people. Writing, not so much. Most of his wedding announcements had been easy. Well, they had been easy to compose at least. Not so easy to deliver, but he had Sef do that. It was hard telling Andorian family that he was marrying a Bajoran woman to help raise his two illegitimate (marginally) children.

His dad had been furious at him until Arjan (and his ever-diplomatic mother) pointed out that hey, he had two lovely grandchildren. Too bad it took the death of two good people -and close personal friends - to bring those children to him. He tried to look on the bright side. He was thier Dada and he was there for them, but the pain of loss still stung even over a year after the Essentialists were defeated.

Now he looked at a blank computer screen, wondering how to write to the Starfleet friends he had, those that hadn't been a simply 'hooray, I'm getting married' announcement letter. The people he had been close to, maybe even ones he hoped would have become something more.

Life was strange. He ended up with Sef because she was always there for him and he had been there for her. And both of them lost family in the aftermath of the essentialists. Were they perfect for one another? Perfect was a hard term to define. They were good for one another. But one always wonders what might have been.
~*~

Dear Sedna,

Where have you been? How did we lose track of one another? I hope you're well. I really miss you and hope that everything is OK. With what happened with the Essentialists I ended up stuck on Andor protecting my family. I swear that's not as cowardly as it sounds! Things were touch and go for awhile. I'm sure you know - assassins, murders, terrorist tactics.

I never understood that stuff. I'm a doctor - it's my life to heal people and yet there's those that just want to kill. Terrible. Anyways. Sorry, I'm rambling - I should have recoded a message but that would be even more disjointed.

I wanted to let you know I'm getting married to Sef Yelena. I'd love to see you at the party if you can come. You can also meet my kids. That's a long story. No, they're not Sef's - I had some history with an old friend on Andor and the Essentialists killed her. Her and a whole bunch of good people.

Anyways, I hope that the death is over and we can start to live. I would really love to see you again. I hope you're OK. Did I mention that already? Sorry.

Wherever you are in the stars, stay well,

~Arjan

~*~
NRPG: Been working on this post for, oh, two weeks now. Sometimes my brain doesn't want to function, and nearly always my husband wants to talk my ear off whenever I settle down to write. I'll work on something current and moving forward post haste.
~*~

Jamie LeBlanc
Lt. Commander Aerdan Jos
Chief Medical Officer
USS Phoenix

"Why do we fly? Because we have dreamt of it for so long that we must"

~Julian Beck
E239010ST0

 

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