Literary Challenge #35 : New Year's Resolutions
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Join Date: Jun 2012
01-07-2013, 12:59 AM
Captain's Log: Stardate 88003.1
I woke up in a cold sweat again. It was the same dream, as real as if I were there, the same dream I always seem to have around the holidays. I've gone over it so many times with Dr. E'Saul yet every time she just tells me that it's a natural feeling of guilt.... Guilt I've never earned nor deserved yet I can never escape. I was there on Vega Colony when the Borg invaded, I could hear the people screaming as the defenses failed, I... I could see the people, the researchers, their families, the children... all being assimilated. Then as I turn to run I'm stopped dead in my tracks by the very thing that has haunted me for so many years, my own son, Thomas. His face growing pale and dead as the nanoprobes make their way through his system, assimilating every cell in his body as he stares me in the eye with a look of confusion and pain and all I could think is "Why weren't you here for me?"
Some times I wake in a cold sweat, once or twice I've even woken up shouting. The last time I managed to put my fist through the glass on my nightstand. The guilt kills me every time. It's been a few years since Thomas' death and I haven't been home since. He left shortly after his mother passed and shortly after I'd sold the house and all but what would fit in my quarters, I'm a career officer so I didn't need much that my commission didn't provide. Things were good between us and I was so proud that he'd been accepted at Vega Colony as part of the engineering crew, but how could any one have known the tragedy that would befall the colony shortly after his arrival. I suppose that in reality perhaps it was better that the Borg at Vega Colony weren't interested assimilation.
The poor colony never stood a chance, but I can't help but wonder which was the better outcome, whether it would be destruction or the living death that is assimilation. While the Federation has made tremendous strides in counter assimilation, it is still an imperfect process that many individuals never fully recover, some of which are serving on my ship. My heart sank when I received orders to assist and defend Vega Colony but it shattered when I found my son's name on the list of casualties. We were able to assist Commander Kelly in rescuing as many people as we could, but I was still too late to save him. I've spent many restless nights over this feeling of guilt and I began to worry that it might start affecting my abilities as Captain.
To be honest I'd never been able to even bring myself to visit since he was laid to rest next to his mother. I'd managed to shut myself in with my duties often neglecting my own well being and I hadn't realized what I was doing until after we took Wraith on board. Dr. E'Saul was the first to explain that is was his similarities to Thomas that allowed me to start opening up again, both with him as well as with other members of the crew, most of which seem to view me as a bit of a father figure.... According to E'Saul at least. As the boy finds his place on the ship I can't help but feel like I've been re-evaluating mine. In the years since I've lost the last bit of my family, I can't help but see how empty it's made me, an emptiness I've been slowly forcing myself to fill with those around me. I was talking to the Doctor in her office when it was suggested by her nurse Fizi that I set a few goals to better myself, New Years resolutions if you will to help refocus my life for the better as a means of coping. It seemed a bit funny at first that a Betazoid would know about human sentiments and traditions, but on a crew like this, diversity is a must.
I started with dinner at the Captain's table. I'd done a few here and there, but from now on I would make it a point to hold them on more of a weekly happening as well as making a point to do so with more than just the senior staff. So far it's been... interesting. I guess I should have thought it through a little bit better, but when inviting Chief Engineer Fine and her assistant, crewman Wraith, I'd used the phrase "it's a date". Not too long ago I'd accidentally introduced the boy to the concept of mating so he's been talking to various crew about it as well as taking advice from Nurse Fizi on dating and general socialization, even going so far as to ask her to help him look nice for the evening. I only wish I was there to see the expression on the Chief's face when he showed up in a replicated suit with a few flowers from Hydroponics. I can only imagine the look on my own face when they both showed up. Both were flush in the face, Devon looking like she'd laughed the whole way over and Wraith looking quite embarrassed. I think he might have been blushing at least since he was more gray in the face than usual.
Dinner it's self had gone quite well but every now and then I'd laugh a little to myself. It's the first time Wraith's really taken much interest in his appearance, so seeing him in an actual suit was too funny, the curse had even combed his hair for him. Chief Fine herself was one of the few people I've had at the captain's table, so she came in casual clothes expecting a normal dinner. She's a beautiful young woman especially considering that she's one of those on my crew who had been assimilated, although she's one of the lucky ones, a few small implants still exposed and her skin is a paler shade but aside from that she's as lovely on the outside as she is on the inside. While I don't hold any policy about dating on board, she noted that she just didn't feel comfortable with it just yet. I wasn't sure what to think of the look on his face, but I pulled him aside after and talked to him more, letting him know that I don't think he was ready for dating yet. To be honest I'd even thought of my own relationship status, but I'm still thinking it's too soon for me just yet.
I've begun trying to find new hobbies and possibly better myself in light of everything going on lately, but it's been difficult. I've been exercising with my First Officer T'Pal, she runs drills in hand to hand as part of a voluntary readiness program. It's just a few of the small things on board that help keep the crew ready for any combat situations we run into. Funny enough as I've been in the class I find that the younger officers tend to steer clear of sparring with me. I might not be in shape, but it's good to see that I can still put the fear in them before they get comfortable aboard. Even my tac officer David Keating has been helping me in the armory on my aim with a hand phaser. I'm getting older and I don't leave on away missions as much anymore, but I feel like it's just been an excuse to let myself go as much physically as I have emotionally. I've begun making rounds in between assignments to the various departments on board, learning more of the duties and tasks of the crew. Part of it is to get to know the people under my command, and part of it is to get to know the person in command I used to be.
I do know one thing though, self improvement has never been my strong point. There are a lot of good people on board and they've been more than accommodating to me as I work my way through the ship. It's a lot harder than I thought it would be and I find I'm forcing myself to interact in off hours. I try not to let it show and most of the crew don't notice but it's a bit of a task, one that I need to accomplish New Years Resolution or not. To such, I've even begun cleaning out my quarters, nothing too extensive but I've decided to clean out a lot of the old things that I didn't need or want. Mostly nicknacks and gifts I never needed but I stop every now and then. A token of appreciation here, a picture of some crew there, many of which made the whole "father figure" a little more obvious now that I knew about it. Most of the things are easily recycled but I'm keeping a few mementos of my family.
And there in lies the hardest resolution of them all. Family. It's not something I want to do, nor is it something I'm prepared to do, but I have too. It's long overdue, but I've decided to visit Thomas and Marleen on Earth. I've never been able to go, and it's not something I'll easily be able to do but it's about time, I owe them that much. Marleen was every bit my equal and Thomas was a perfect mix of us both and I'd be doing a horrible thing to them both by not visiting. I'll be taking a few weeks off, leaving Commander T'Pal in charge while I'm away. I've been a fool for letting it go on like this for as long as I have, but losing the two people that mattered most in such a short span would have been too much had I not buried myself into my work. I'm just glad that even though it's taken me so long I'm finally climbing my way back out and into a more normal life with the people around me, people that I'm finding have been more family and friend to me than I'd ever realized. Something I plan to change over the coming year as part of my resolutions.
Captain James Charles Donovan
Computer, end log.
Last edited by wraithshadow13; 01-07-2013 at