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Join Date: Nov 2012
Posts: 3,899
# 1 Wave Goodbye (story scenes)
10-08-2013, 05:14 PM

Red leaves blow in the wind
Leaving home and everything it's known behind
Barren branches wave goodbye
As the red leaves slowly die

Every flower stares and watches
As the wind
It takes me away
Before the sun
The sun shone upon me
Oh now
Now the wind
It takes me away
It takes me away, yeah
It takes me away

Red leaves falling through the branches
Making their way to the ground
Blowing by the flowers sleeping
No one knows the leaves are leaving

And every flower stares and watches
As the wind takes me away
Before the sun
Sun shone upon me
Oh now
Now the wind
It takes me away

Every flower stares and watches
As the wind
As the wind takes
Me away
Before the sun
The sun shone upon me
Oh now
Now the wind
Takes me away

And every flower stares and watches...

Brennan and Devan Chaulk and Mike Murphy of Haste the Day - "Autumn"

W I N D . T A K E S . M E . A W A Y
( s c e n e . o n e )

Personal log, Commander LaRoca Rusty - Stardate 88239.93 (03.28.2411, 1347 hours Standard Time)

It's been a little while since I've done one of these... First time since we left Moab, I think... .

So... Marq is getting the
Tiburon towed to... Wherever STS is sending her to be refit, and Fozz has taken the Hammerhead to the Ganymede Test Range to conduct battle drills with the crew. Meanwhile, Jesu, Maria, and I are taking the Zambezi to the Bajor System to lay LCdr. Yoann to rest. Her body has been held in stasis since she was killed on Moab. Her family is very traditional, and wants to see her before she's buried.

I'm worried about my brother. It's been over for about two weeks now, but his wounds from the losses we suffered in the Battle for Moab still seem as fresh as ever. He tries to hide them from me, but I can tell. Perhaps, after this final funeral, they will begin to heal.

I too have been unsettled since the battle - I'm still struggling to come to grips with the things I saw in limbo. Jesu's encouraged me to talk to a counselor. I don't see the point. Trying to explain everything I've seen, everything I've had to deal with... how could I do that? Where would I start? Jesu's tried talking to me himself but I can't burden him with this. He has enough on his mind.

I do miss Teena a great deal. Maybe bringing her home will give me some closure as well. I am also needing to find someone to replace her as my supplier. Ensign Sorbin Zain would be a likely candidate - he's been trying to get in my good graces on I suspect his sister's behalf. The trouble is, he's about to start an extended leave, and I'll be out before he returns to duty.

We're bringing the Zains to Bajor with us, first to attend Yoann's funeral, then to visit some friends they have on the planet, and from there they'll go on to Cardassia. Sorbin worked closely with Teena in the biology labs and I suppose she was like a mentor to him. Mitiani on the other hand was on the bridge with Teena on a daily basis and I never noticed any particular connection. Maria suspects that she just wants to be closer to Jesu. At any rate, They've both been granted an extended leave of absence. Sorbin has nothing to do on the Hammerhead with any science labs to work with, and Mitiani simply needs the time off. Her personal issues are definitely becoming more noticeable.

End log.

Rusty left his "cabin" - which was a little larger than the closet in his quarters on the Tiburon - and went forward to the runabout's cockpit. "How close are we?" he asked his brother.

"Close enough for you to take over, if you want to land us," Jesu replied from the conn seat. "We just got touchdown clearance at Hathon Bareil Memorial Shuttleport."

Rusty shrugged and stood next to him. "You already got the vectors, and I'd have to fiddle with the seat."

"Okay, then you can tell the passengers to buckle up. We're gonna be coming into crosswinds."

Rusty noted that his ex-fighter jock brother had the inertial dampeners tuned to his "seat of the pants" setting. He reached for the comm panel on the tac station. "All passengers, return to your seats. Restraints are advised. What's local time?" he asked his brother, as he braced himself between the seatbacks.

"A little after 0800."

There was light buffeting, and with the dampers dialed down, it made a rough ride as they broke the cloud-deck on approach. But Jesu expertly steered the small ship into a gentle touchdown in the middle of the shuttlepad. "Looks like Teena's parents are over there," he pointed.

The Deinon looked as Jesu finished the power-down cycle. "I'll help Maria bring her out," he said.

"Remind the Zains to wait a few minutes before they disembark - it's a... sign of respect here."

"Sure." Rusty went aft. "Hey guys," he said the Cardassian siblings. "Could you kinda hang out in here for a minute, until we get Teena out?"

"Of course," Sorbin told him. "We'll wait for you to tell us to follow you."

"Great, thanks." Rusty turned to the small storage compartment and helped Maria release the restraints securing the casket. "Do you know anything about her family?" he asked the CMO.

"Her mother Sofeta is a ranjen from a fairly conservative order."


"One step below vedek. If a vedek is a cardinal, a ranjen is a priest. Basically."

"Got it," Rusty nodded. "The father?"

"Yoann Jevon. He's a baker. Fairly well off. And then her fiance-"

"I thought he was just a boyfriend."

"He proposed to her parents and they accepted on her behalf," Dr. Espinoza explained. "Which is a fairly cheap shot at tradition considering that Mr. Aldon Kins as about as anti-traditionalist as you can get."

"Hmm." Rusty activated the anti-grav lifts built into the coffin and helped Maria carry it out of the Yellowstone-class runabout's port hatch.

Jesu had already exited through the forward hatch, and was talking to Ranjen and Mr. Yoann. "I am deeply sorry that we must meet at this time of grief."

"Our daughter walked the path the Prophets laid out for her," Ranjen Yoann told him. "That path has come to an end now, by the Prophets will. We mourn her passing, but we celebrate her entry to the Celestial Temple."

Jesu nodded, and turned toward Maria and Rusty bearing the floating coffin between them. "Your daughter is here. And this is Dr. Maria Espinoza, my chief medical officer and Teena's colleague. And this is Rusty, my brother and security chief. He was with Teena when she died."

"Welcome to Bajor, all of you," Yoann Jevon greeted the trio. "Our daughter has often written us about each of you. Though we are strangers to you, my wife and I feel we know you well."

The Ranjen waved up a pair of attendants standing by with a cart. "Prylar Volad and his brother will take our daughter to the burial site. We will wait for her betrothed to join us before we begin the funerary rites. In the meantime, we invite you to join us at our home, for the morning meal."

"We would be honored," Jesu said. "Ah, we do have two more companions with us - shipmates, colleagues of your daughter. They would like to join us, if you would allow them. They are Cardassians."

The Yoanns didn't blink. "Any friend of Teena's is a friend to us," Jevon declared.

Rusty nodded back to the runabout.

Jesu made introductions. "Ranjen and Mr. Yoann, this is Sorbin Zain, from Teena's biology department, and his sister Mitiani, one of my bridge officers."

"Thank you for accompanying our daughter on her journey," the Ranjen said.

"It was our pleasure," Mitiani said, politely.

"Come, let us eat," Jevon instructed, herding the group toward the city.

The Garden - four hours later

The ceremony had ended. After two hours and eight minutes, the Bajoran death chant was over. Yoann Teena's body was safe beneath the ground in the Veterans Memorial Garden. Her pagh walked with the prophets.

The Zains had quietly excused themselves and gone about their way. Jesu and Maria were walking to the Yoann's home with Teena's fiance, who seemed shy and quiet.

Rusty stayed.

"Thank you, Teena," he whispered, "for everything." He looked up the hill. There was someone else here he needed to see. He roamed the Garden, looking for a particular grave marker. Jesu had said he would come with him, but Rusty needed some time with his cousin alone.

The Deinon approached one of the aragonite columns that marked mass memorials, as opposed to the traditional arboreal arches that covered individuals. He read the inscription: In Memory of the Victims of the USS Ataturk - lost with all hands, Stardate 86723.4 This was followed by a list of the dead burned into the stone in fine lettering. There were so many of them - the name, birthdate, and world. Many were children. Several had been born aboard the ship.

Rusty recognized more than a few of the names. Ensign Alliente had served with him for half a tour on the Crichton. Julio Ornealaz had been a staff counselor at the Academy - Rusty had taken a disliking to the man. Lt. Yoli had been a classmate. Jennifer DiCarlo - she had been a colleague of Marq's - he'd never met her, but he remembered Marq talking about her once...

Captain Alenis Meru. Cousin Meru.

Rusty looked around. Jesu had said her arch was nearby. He walked around the obelisk in a circle until he found it. The leaves and flowers were all dead. It looked like no one had seen to her grave since... When were we here last? June, last year. The wreath that Jesu had left her then had turned to a bundle of sticks.

Rusty crouched and placed a fresh one down.

"I, uh, I know you miss me," he said to her. "I... hope you know how much I miss you too. I didn't want to come before, because, well... I dunno." He looked up in the general direction of the Wormhole. "I'm not sure if you're up there, or... down here... or if that was really you inside my head. But... I'd like to think that you're still out there, somewhere, and that I'll see you again.

"I guess I didn't come before now because... before I thought that this would be it. I'd see the place where they buried you, and then I would know that was the end. But I don't believe that anymore. I miss you, Meru, but we will see each other again. Someday. Somewhere.

"Anyway, I'll be back later with Jesu. He wants to see you again too. But I just had to tell you that, alone." Rusty rose up from his haunches. "Goodbye, Meru."

He walked away, heading back toward town. He was hungry again, and he knew the the Yoanns had opened their hospitality to him and his brother, but he didn't hurry. Why hurry.

"Your pagh is troubled, my child," said a familiar voice.

Rusty turned. The Bajoran in the vedek's robes walking beside him had the face of a stranger. But his voice... "Sorry, do I know you?" The Deinon tried not to make it sound like a growl.

"Not yet, child. Not yet." The Vedek held out his hand toward Rusty's head. "Do you mind?"

Rusty stood still and made no response.

The Vedek hesitated, as though unsure where to touch the reptilian alien who lacked external ears. He settled his fingers on a fold of skin running underneath the ear canal. The Vedek closed his eyes and hummed a moment. "Yes, definitely troubled. Incredibly strong, but troubled. Doubt. Confusion. Fears you cannot identify. Your pagh is troubled by these." The Vedek released him.

"So what am I supposed to do about that?"

"You must set your feet down upon the path and walk it, my child. And you must help your brother find that path."

"My brother's alright," Rusty insisted.

"For the moment, he appears to be. But his heart is as yours. Your paghs are intertwined. When you are troubled, so is he."

"I try to protect him from my troubles," Rusty said.

"I know you do. And in the end this will hurt you both. You need to share yourself with him. You will unburden yourself, and in doing so, you will unburden him." The Vedek looked up toward the sky. "And then perhaps, once you are free of your burdens, you will both be able to raise your eyes enough to see your path."

Rusty stared off in the same direction. He couldn't see anything there. He felt a gust of wind, and looked around. The Vedek was gone.

* * *

I close my eyes
Only for a moment and the moment's gone
All my dreams
Pass before my eyes with curiosity

Dust in the wind
All they are is dust in the wind

Same old song
Just a drop of water in an endless sea
All we do
Crumbles to the ground, though we refuse to see...

Don't hang on
Nothin' lasts forever but the earth and sky
It slips away
And all your money won't another minute buy

Dust in the wind
All we are is dust in the wind...
Everything is dust in the wind

John Elefante and Kerry Livgren of Kansas - "Dust In The Wind"

* * * * *

Last edited by sander233; 07-02-2014 at 02:57 PM. Reason: second track
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 366
# 2
10-08-2013, 05:30 PM
man, I thought this was about cryptic removing those annoying scenes from story missions. boy was I wrong.
Career Officer
Join Date: Nov 2012
Posts: 3,899
# 3
10-08-2013, 05:32 PM
Writers Note:

This thread will contain a total of three Rusty scenes that patrickngo and I had planned to write into our story Visiting with the Dead, but which we decided to cut out to focus that narrative on Alice, Marq and Eighty-Six. (And an Undine invasion...)

But Rusty's been leaning on me pretty hard lately, and when he wants to deliver, I need to let him.

Cast List:

Cmdr. LaRoca Rusty :: voiced by Josh Hartnett
V.Adm. Jesu LaRoca :: Michael Pena
LCdr. Dr. Maria Espinoza :: Adriana Barraza
Ens. Sorbin Zain :: Seth Green
Lt. jg. Mitiani Zain :: Mila Kunis
Ranjen Yoann Sofeta :: Dame Helen Mirren
Yoann Jevon :: John Goodman
LCdr. Yoann Teena (deceased) :: Sarah Clarke
The Vedek :: Liam Neeson

Enrico Montoya :: Antonio Banderas
Carlos LaRoca :: Emilio Rivera

Last edited by sander233; 10-15-2013 at 06:04 PM.
Starfleet Veteran
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 608
# 4
10-09-2013, 01:09 PM
*Subscribes to Thread*
Originally KiraYamato before the Account Linking - True Join Date August 2008

"Close Air Support covereth a multitude of sins." - Maxim 4, The Seventy Maxims of Maximally Effective Mercenaries
Career Officer
Join Date: Nov 2012
Posts: 3,899
# 5
10-09-2013, 08:13 PM

Save me
From my superstitions
Running free
From this old condition
Wait just a while
And I'll greet you with a smile

Hold me
'Cause I'm sure I'm hated
They are overrated
Wait just a while
While I'm drowning in denial

Turn me into someone like you
Find a place that we can go to
Run away and take me with you
Don't let go I need your rescue

Watch me
'Cause I'm on a mission
Hold me back
So I'm forced to listen
Don't let me go
'Cause I'm nothing without you...

Chris Wolstenholme of Muse - "Save Me"

H O L D . O N . T O . M E
(s c e n e . t w o )

Yoann guesthouse - 2506 hours local

Maria had been offered Teena's old room, while the LaRoca brothers were put up in guest accommodations behind the main house. Typical of pre-occupation architecture, the internal rooms had no doors, and sleeping arrangements were communal. Not that the brothers minded.

Jesu dried himself off coming out of the ancient flow-shower and stepped into his pajama pants. He entered the bedroom and saw Rusty sitting in front of a pair of duranja lamps in the living area. "It's been a long day," Jesu noted. "You ready for bed, bro?"

"Sure." Rusty sat a moment longer before blowing out the lamps. He got up and walked to his brother's bedside. "Um... I have something I need to talk to you about."

"Sure, bro." Jesu sat up. "Que pasa?"

Rusty sat down. "Well, I need to say I'm sorry in advance. I've... I've been keeping some things from you. I told myself I wanted to protect you from my problems, but-"

"Es oque, bro," Jesu assured him, scooting up to put an arm around his shoulders. "Whatever you're dealing with, we can deal with it together."

Rusty gave a resolved nod. "Arright. Well, this started the day I left you at the Academy. I wasn't able to sleep at all that night. Or the night after. I talked to papi about it. He said I just needed to get used to you being away. It went on for a few nights more. I knew it was because I missed you. Maria took me to a counselor, but he didn't really get me. But he prescribed me a sedative. That helped. I've been taking it ever since."

"Even when we were at the Academy together?" his brother asked.

The Deinon shrugged. "Some nights I could sleep without it. Especially those two semesters when we were roommates. But if I didn't know right where you were, what you were doing - if I didn't know you were safe, I couldn't sleep without meds."

"So when I graduated-"

"That was tough for me." Rusty gave a kind of sad laugh. "Junior year was basically my 'Year of Hell.' Without that cool kid Jesu around to stand up for me, I got singled out, and picked on. Mostly name calling. One Bolian tried to fight me. I put him in the infirmary for a week. I was just trying to defend myself, but none of the other cadets would say so. I drew a suspension and a mark on my record."

"I saw that," Jesu remarked. "I never asked you about it... I figured someone had tried something stupid..."

"Yeah. After that, they tried to get me fight, but they were too careful about me hospitalizing them for anything to happen. I got really good at staying out of trouble until the Crichton absorbed the crew of the Bismarck. There were a lot of people on the Bismarck who didn't like you, and didn't like me because you were my brother. "

Jesu closed his eyes. "I'm sorry."

"It wasn't your fault. Anyway, I made some friends before I graduated from the Academy, and a bunch of them went with me to ATT, and on into the MACOs. Things started to get easier. I still had to take sedatives to sleep though. Maria was able to help by the time I got to the fleet. She was through Starfleet medical by then, so she took over scrip. And Commander Obruchev was watching out for me. But even so, just being without you hurt. And it kept getting worse. Toward the end, it felt like I was dying, like there was this hole in my heart that was eating me up from the inside."

Jesu shifted in his bed and cradled is little brother's head to his chest, and felt hot tears on his skin. "I'm so sorry, bro. I had no idea what that was doing to you."

"I know." Rusty sniffed. "I never told you. I never wrote to you, except before your court martial. And when you wrote me, my reply was always the same: 'Everything's fine.' Always the same lie..." He sobbed through several trembling breaths before he was able to continue. "So, yeah. I was depressed. And I was getting worse. And the insomnia got worse too." He sat up. "Simple sedatives weren't cutting it for me anymore. Dr. L'Bel, the Crichton's CMO, put me on something stronger."

"Like what?"

"Hard narcotics. She told me it was only logical. That my value as an active officer outweighed the risks of dependency."

"'Dependency'?" Jesu repeated.

"Once I transferred to the Moray with you, after the Vega Incident when you took over, I tried to stop taking the drugs. And I couldn't sleep. I felt better - a lot better - because I was finally with you again, but I couldn't sleep. I tried to taper it off, but... every time you were in danger again, I had to up the dose. Since Moab I've been taking twice the dose I was at when I became your security chief three years ago. "

Jesu stared. "Maria wouldn't let-"

"Maria doesn't know. She thinks I'm still on her original sedative. But I had enough of my narcotic formula stashed to hold me over for a while, and then I found people to help me make more. Ezalb at first, then Teena after she replaced him."

"Teena was making drugs for you."

"Yeah," Rusty admitted. "Zoo, I know it's a problem. I've been denying it to myself all this time, but, I need help. Without Teena to run interference, Maria's gonna catch me at my next med screening. And I might run out before then." He nervously licked his teeth. "I don't know what to do."

Jesu pulled his brother closer. "You're talking about it. That's a start."

They sat together in a silent embrace for several minutes before Rusty spoke again. "That felt good."

"What did?"

"Sharing that with you. It's like I was carrying a huge weight around my neck, and it's gone now."

"I know what you mean," Jesu told him. "I feel the same way. I knew you were hurting, and I didn't know how to help you. Now I know what you're going through. Thank you."

Rusty made a little smile. "The Vedek said that if I unburdened myself to you, it would unburden you as well. I guess he was right."

"A Vedek?"

"I met him in the Garden..." Rusty turned his head to look his brother in the eyes. "Are you up to talking a little more?"

"Of course."

"Okay. This is gonna sound, uh... a little weird."

Jesu waited.

"Okay. Some of the things this Vedek was saying to me seemed really similar to some things I heard and saw in Limbo. There was this one projection there that wasn't like the others - an Old Deinon."

Jesu stared. "You've never even seen another Deinon before. There was one in the medlab with us when you hatched but you wouldn't remember that. Besides, I seem to remember you spent the entire first day of your life with your face buried in my shirt."

"Like I said, he wasn't like the others. The others were all people I know. The Old Deinon came right out and told me I didn't know him. At least not yet."

"Any idea who it was?"

"I do have an idea, and this is where it gets weird." Rusty took a deep breath. "I think the Old Deinon was really El Christo."

"Okay, that is weird. Rust, you are literally the last person I'd ever expect to ascribe religious significance to a hallucination."

"I don't think it was just a hallucination though. I can't shake the feeling that everything I saw in that place was real. Like I was experiencing reality on a higher plane of consciousness. The realm of pure thought."


"And... I still feel him around me, sometimes. I mean, I feel like how I felt when he was talking to me in that place. The air feels thicker, and I feel this strange sort of sense of... peace. I felt it when that Vedek was talking to me. I feel it now with you."

"I believe you," Jesu said simply.

"Anyway, this Old Deinon showed me two roads - one leading to paradise, the other leading to an Iconian Gateway. He said that whatever paths we may try to take, we will always end up on one of these two roads. And he charged me to keep you on the right road."

"I guess you have your work cut out for you then, bro."

"There's more. He also said there's a battle coming - a showdown between Good and Evil for the fate of the galaxy. He said you'd play an important part and that... that you'd been called by both sides."

"That's very interesting," Jesu said, thoughtfully. "When I was abducted by the Fek, they said- I mean, I think they said... their language was kinda similar to Klingon but I could only pick out a few words. Anyway, the impression I got from them was that they were bringing me before their masters. And they kept referring to me as Yan - which means 'The Sword.'"

"Good thing I was there to keep you out of their hands." Rusty snuggled closer to his brother and placed his hand on Jesu's chest. "I'll always be there for you, bro."

"I know that. But you need me to be there for you too." Jesu placed his own hand over his brother's heart. "And I haven't been there for you. Not like you needed me to be. Can you forgive me?"

"Of course," Rusty whispered heavily.

"I love you bro."

"I love you too."

Jesu turned his head as he suddenly yawned. "Are you ready to sleep now?"

"Yeah, I think so. Um." Rusty stared at Jesu's pillow. "Listen, I know we haven't done this since we were kids, but do you think we could-"

"Share the bed?" Jesu smiled. "Sure. But I'm not sharing my pillow."

Rusty got up and picked up his own pillow off the other bed, and settled in next to his brother.

"No meds?" Jesu asked.

"I wanna see if I can get by without them now," Rusty said.

"Okay, good." Jesu placed his arm around his brother's head. "Whatever we have to face, we'll face it together. We're stronger together."

"Together forever," Rusty whispered, as he drifted off to sleep.

* * *

My hands are searching for you
My arms are outstretched towards you
I feel you on my fingertips
My tongue dances behind my lips for you

This fire rising through my being
Burning, I'm not used to seeing you

I'm alive
I'm alive

I can feel you all around me
Thickening the air I'm breathing
Holding on to what I'm feeling
Savoring this heart that's healing

My hands float up above me
And you whisper you love me
And I begin to fade
Into our secret place
The music makes me sway
The angels, singing, say we are alone with you
I am alone and they are too with you...

And so I cry
The light is white
And I see you...

Take my hand, I give it to you
Now you own me, all I am
You said you would never leave me
I believe you, I believe

I can feel you all around me
Thickening the air I'm breathing
Holding on to what I'm feeling
Savoring this heart that's healed

Howard Benson, Pat Seals and Lacey Mosley of Flyleaf - "All Around Me" (performed by David Crowder)

* * * * *

Last edited by sander233; 10-15-2013 at 06:05 PM.
Career Officer
Join Date: Nov 2012
Posts: 3,899
# 6 scene three
10-15-2013, 04:44 PM

Here, sleep
At the bottom of hell
Your time has come to pick the road
You walk in this tale
Turning, as a coward you've earned
Through sickness, in health, there's only one
Now go and bite your tongue

You'll just say the worst of me
With the hope they'd understand
No, they know you're just a boy
So grow up and be a man
Little baby
I'll kick, and you'll scream and whine
Victims pay the price eventually
The cost? Let's see
Your life

You've got nothing to prove
Stay afraid, young brother
You've got nothing to prove

Your answer is in there
Just stare down the barrel
The sincerest apologies
Won't write you out of this one
You'll find the right
In the pull of the trigger, now bite
Young fools
Don't cry

A fear sleeps
Inside your stomach, it swells
A torn boy alone in need of fix
And a pinch that cures the itch
For too long
This little baby's cried on
Tomorrow we'll sing the words in song
Of a time where glad's long gone

You'll just say the worst of me
With the hope they'd understand
No, they know you're just a boy
So grow up and be the man
Little baby
We'll kick, and you'll scream and whine
Victims pay the price eventually
The cost? Let's see
Your life...

Mother superior
Come catch the rabbit he runs
My how you've grown
You're frightened of leaving this
Truly gone fishing amalgam
Go fetch your gun

Your answer is in there
Just stare down the barrel
The sincerest apologies
Won't write you out of this one
You'll find the right
In the pull of the trigger, now bite
Young fools
Don't cry, oh

Not anymore
Don't cry, boy
Not anymore
Don't cry, boy
Not anymore
Don't cry, boy
When you're sick to the stomach
Just pull out the knife...

Claudio Sanchez and Travis Stever of Coheed & Cambria - "Mother Superior"

O N E . L A S T . S O N G
( s c e n e . t h r e e )

Nueve Castille - 04.26.2411, 0937 hours local

The air was rich with smells. Pressed wine grapes, ripe olives, blooming wildflowers, horses and other animals, and the wet earth. Rusty absorbed every scent as he ran through the countryside, inhaling deeply to fill his lungs as he aerobicized the oxygen with each swift step. Loafing at ninety kph, he easily paced the rented motorcar that Jesu was driving up the winding road.

Rusty leaped over a hedge and splashed through a creek and scrambled up the other bank. He let the cool rain energize him, lapping it out of the air as he ran. Rusty loved to run. Running felt good.

He could see the fence around El Cementerio del Bendito Redentor through the trees ahead. He angled toward the road to meet the car at the gate.

Maria rolled down her passenger-side window as he approached. "Do you want to get in, now?" she asked.

"No, I'm okay," the Deinon replied.

"The plot isn't very far in," Jesu told him, leaning over from behind the wheel. "You'd better get in, towel off, and get your uniform on. Uncle Ricky would expect to see you looking decent."

Rusty opened the back door and climbed in. The back seat of the Hispano-Suiza phaeton was, thankfully, huge. He smiled sheepishly Maria turned to watch him towel the mud from his bare feet and legs.

"I don't think I've ever seen you run like that, mijo," she told him. "You are magnificent!"

"Thanks, but I wasn't really going that fast." Rusty picked up another towel out of his bag to dry the rain from his head and chest.

"You kept up with us, and we were doing one-twenty!"

"Eh, that was just on the curves," Jesu told her, not admitting to how fast he'd actually been driving the rental.

"But that's the thing - you had curves. I was running in a straight line." Rusty pulled on his dress uniform over his running shorts and got his boots on just as the car stopped.

"Told you," Jesu said in that tone inherent in every eldest sibling. He'd been watching his brother in the rearview mirror.

Hover-umbrellas automatically deployed as each door opened and the occupants stepped out. They approached the grave. It was marked with a figure of carved granite, the archangel Michael, his sword in the ground, leaning upon it in a posture of prayer. There was an inscription plaque on the sword's handle which read:

Consuela Montoya
Beloved wife and mother
10//17/2337 - 2/10/2409

And below, affixed to the blade:

Enrico Montoya
The Cavalier
06/20//2335 - 5/16/2409

Rusty suddenly broke down and fell to his knees as a flood of memories came rushing through him...

Most people climb for their entire lifetimes, only to fall short of infinity. Others, like you, find it by accident, when they are at their most vulnerable, usually in the instant before death. And very rarely, some visit, and then return to their physical reality, the world of energy and matter, and assume what they had seen wasn't real. But you need to know that is not the case...

dare you to make less sense...

expected to wake up there, even if you didn't know where it was...

I am a thinking being. I am powerful and fierce. I am going to survive this...

I don't want you to be gone...

You missed my funeral, Rusty. You could at
least visit my grave... It is not yet time for you to walk through that door...

...This is Heaven?

You're not dead. I would know,
I died, and I know what it feels like...

Dammit Rusty,
I can't lose you too!

The next time I say I'm coming with you...

Where would I be without you?

Zoo, you'll shoot me before they eat me, right?

I'm scared, Rust. I'm scared we might not win this one...

If we fall, we fall together...

Forget it Jesu! You can't carry me and outrun those things!

You wouldn't walk away from me - what makes you think I'd
ever walk away from you?

Go get him, Rusty...

They took Jesu...

It's too late now... Rusty... tell your brother... it's been an honor...

We have a swarm of Fek coming toward us. I'll pick off as many as I can, but you gotta get out of there...

You've been bitten!

God, Rusty, you really clean house...

We're out of time, Jesu. If we stay here, we die. I'll clear the way. Just make sure you're all right behind me...

It's like all the worst parts of the Bible...

I don't want anyone to be on their own.

Gawddammit Jesu, you really Kirked it up this time...

Not 'we' - I'm going alone...

I spent the entire night in this room, in this chair, with the lights off drinking coffee. Because I was convinced that the moment I fell asleep, you would page me from the bridge and say 'It's back...'

You son of a *****, I'll kill you...

gawd that's disgusting...

Something... doesn't... smell right...

You know I can take care of myself...

have to see her! She made me! ...There is so much I want to ask her...

Request denied...

Congratulations on your promotion, Rusty. Do you think maybe, someday, you'd like to have a ship of your own?

I remember being startled by the first crack you made. I remember the cry you made after you took your first breath. I remember the look you gave me when you opened your eyes. I remember Dr. Christie picking eggshell off your face. I remember Nurse Sharma scrubbing you in a towel, worried that your skin color was actually blood. I remember dad holding you - he was so worried for you. I remember reaching in to pet you, and you grabbed my finger. I remember how strong your grip was. And I knew then that as you grew up, that you would always be there to protect me. And so far you always have...

The meaning of life: You stop swimming, you sink...

I named myself 'Barrister' because I thought the Captain may accept me more readily if I adopted an identity that intersected with his interests - in this case, oceanic predators and prewarp-Earth science fiction literature. You see, in the novel
Saturn's Race by Lawrence Niven and Steven Barnes, there was a character named Barrister; a genetically-modified great white shark with a computer-enhanced brain who'd gained sentience, and he had the most interesting perspective on the nature of life and existence...

Cardies. Twelve of them. Around the corner, setting up an ambush. Wait here...

Jesu! It's Sokketh! He's a gawddamned Undine!

Welcome aboard, bro...

I will always keep you safe from harm. Not because that's my job, but because that is my

I wish there was something more I could do for you...

I just can't get by without him any longer. Whenever I'm not with him, I feel like I'm dying in slow motion...

You didn't just hurt him, LaRoca. You ****ing
killed him...

D'you know what I woulda done, demon-freak? If I'da just murdered a coupla dozen Starfleet people? Like your brother did? I'll tell alla y'all what I'da done, I'd resign, or better yet I'd ****in'
kill myself...

I've been drowned before. Is that the best you can do!?

I won't let you give up, LaRoca. You're too strong to quit. I know you don't believe that now, but I do...

Congratulations, Ensign LaRoca. Your first orders are to report to the West Point campus for Advanced Tactical Training...

That's him - the demon-freak. Don't look at him! I heard he once split a Bolian in half just for looking at him wrong...

I'm sorry, bro. It's been great rooming with you, but if I don't accept this assignment to the Ganymede Test Range... I mean, I have a whole career to think about here. And you know I graduate in just another five months anyway...

Cadet LaRoca, welcome to Starfleet Academy. The next four years will test and challenge you...

You're not a little baby anymore,
muchacho. It's time to grow up and be a man...

La Paz, Baja California Sur - 11.06.2388, 1322 hours local

"You're not eating your tacos," Enrico Montoya observed. "Que este problemo, ponchito?"

"Same problem it's been for over a year now, Uncle Ricky. I miss Jesu." The thirteen-year-old Deinon pushed his plate away. The fresh flour tortillas were buried under piles of grilled wahoo, with shredded cabbage and mounds of habanero-mango salsa, all expertly prepared by his father's shipboard chef, Alejandro Cruz. It smelled delicious, but Rusty had lost his appetite. "He said he'd come down this weekend. He didn't. Again."

"The weekend's not over yet," Carlos offered, before taking another pull of his Negra Modelo.

Rusty crossed his arms and stared off into the distance. It was another Sunday afternoon in paradise. Just over half a degree north of the Tropic of Cancer, the sun kept the air here warm all the year round. And the onshore flow brought rich, warm sea breezes keeping the humidity levels just right. From the shade of the palapa, Rusty could see clear across the Bahia de La Paz to where it met the deeper blue waters of the Sea of Cortez. He loved his home. But it felt empty without his brother.

"I don't know what I'm gonna do, Uncle Ricky. I know I go to the Academy next year, and we'll be together more. But he'll still be two grades ahead and he'll have his own friends and they won't wanna hang around with the scrub freshman freak-"

"You're not a freak, Rusty," Enrico interrupted. "You are... unique. There is a difference."

"Tell that to the kids at school," Rusty grunted. "Anyway, he'll be off and graduated in just a couple of years, assigned to who-knows-where... And I'll be stuck doing who-knows-what... I know Starfleet doesn't like to let family members serve together."

"It's allowed in special circumstances," Montoya told him. "Consuela would argue that your connection to your brother would count as a special circumstance."

"I dunno." All Rusty could think of was how miserable he'd felt for the last fifteen months. He didn't want to face that for another day, let alone potentially years. "Jesu wants to be a fighter pilot. But me, I'm bred for ground forces. The Tiburon's been retired - Starfleet doesn't do combined air-ground assault ships any more-"

"Which is muy estupido," Enrico acknowledged. "Hopefully they will realize it by the time you graduate."

"Maybe." Rusty didn't care about his Starfleet career. He just wanted to be with his brother. But his brother wanted to be a fighter pilot, and Rusty couldn't even fit in a fighter cockpit. Even if they wound up on the same ship, the thought of watching Jesu fly off on mission after mission, sortie after sortie, taking his life into his own hand every time, and leaving him behind lost and helpless... "I still feel sick to my stomach."

"Then pull out the knife, muchacho," Carlos told him. "You know you can't be with your brother. You have to learn to accept that."

I can't accept that. I won't. If I can't be with him... I won't be at all...

That night...

Rusty had snuck into his father's room, and found his gun. It was an old-fashioned gunpowder pistol, compact, rugged and lethal. Glock GmbH of Austria had manufactured the Model 29 subcompact pistol three hundred and eighty years ago. The ten 10mm Auto rounds packed into its magazine were replicated much more recently. Carlos carried the weapon with him for self-protection, and he encouraged his sons to maintain a level of proficiency with "antiquated" weapons technology.

He stared down the barrel as if it held all the answers.

It wasn't an answer, he knew. It was an escape. Avoidance.

He laid aside the moral implications of the decision and considered how to make it work. With his anatomy, shooting himself in the head posed a unique challenge. How to displace the most brain tissue with a single bullet...

An image flashed through his mind, a scene from one of those old movies La Familia used to watch together. Blood-stained walls, a chalk outline. His bedroom turned into a crime scene. Policia investigators digging bits of skull and bullet fragments out of the adobe. His father and brother, watching from the doorway...

That thought hurt. He couldn't do that to Papi, to Jesu...

Why not? That's what Jesu's doing to me.

It wasn't fair.

I don't want to leave them. But I can't stay like this... He sat and he wept in the dark for a long time.

When he could cry no more, he huffed and he sniffed. Familiar smells comforted him.

One of the scents in the house had moved closer. "How long have you been watching me, Uncle Ricky?" he whispered.

"Long enough," Enrico said. "Long enough that you and I need to talk... without the gun. Rusty, put it down."

The gun fell to the floor.

"I never told you - or anyone - about Gallitep did I?" Montoya asked him rhetorically. "I saw a lot of people give up hope, Rusty... and I saw what happened to the people they left behind."

Hope? "I've lost him, Uncle. I've lost Jesu already."

"Come with me, ponchito," Enrico said. "We're going for a little walk. You haven't lost Jesu - hell, I don't think you really could lose him if you tried..." Enrico put his hand on Rusty?s shoulder. "He's just not here... right now. Remember when Meru used to play peek-a-boo with you? Or were you too young??

Rusty made a soft noise that was actually a gentle laugh. He remembered playing with his cousin before he'd been able to walk. "I remember." He stood and reached for his shirt.

"One of the reasons behind peek-a-boo, is teaching a young person, in their formative stages, that the parent might be out of sight, but they aren't gone," Enrico explained. "Jesu isn't gone, he hasn't forgotten you, but he's not here right now... but that?s only for right now."

"I know. But what about later? His career, Uncle Ricky - I can't be with him!"

"Later always takes work, Rusty," Enrico told him. "Those at the top get to pick their own assignments. You've got the talent - anyone does, what usually screws it is the lack of ambition and focus. If you work hard enough, someday you can tell Starfleet where you want to be assigned... For instance, I was on my way to the top, but I was an idiot, so I asked to be assigned with my best friend in the Academy - which is how I ended up running with Drake Tran down to Bajor back in '67."

Rusty paused. They were standing on the beach outside the bungalow. "Gallitep?"

"Drake and I spent... months as prisoners of the Cardassians at a work-camp called Gallitep. It's where I picked up Meru... and the place I don't talk about normally. They... did things there. I actually think it ****ed Drake up more than it ****ed me up... Neither one of us had a brother like you, Rusty," Enrico said. "When it gets real bad, the only thing that can save us - any of us - from totally shutting down like Drake did, is family."

Rusty grunted. Papi had told him and Jesu stories about Drake Tran? "But my family's not always gonna be there for me. This isn't peek-a-boo like when I was a baby, Uncle. This isn't across the table, or the next room? this is light-years and decades of distance and time, when I can't be there for Jesu, and he can't be there for me."

Enrico tapped Rusty's chest. "So, what does Jesu look like?" he asked.

"He looks like..." Rusty stared. "What do you mean? You know what he looks like. He looks like Jesu."

"I'm asking what he looks like to you." Enrico stated. "If you got on the subspace and asked Meru what I look like, she could probably tell you, right down to the scars. I can tell you what Meru looked like the last time I saw her. Proximity is nothing - it's how close you are in here that matters." He tapped Rusty's chest again. "People can be universes apart and standing in the same room, or very close - but standing light-years away."

Rusty closed his eyes and gave a very precise description of his brother, starting with his wavy brown hair, and why he wore it long to cover a particular cowlick he could never quite tame. He described the goatee Jesu had been sporting the last time he saw him, the scar on the inside of his right forearm from where he'd rubbed up against a shark the wrong way... He described his brother right down to the shape of his toes. "But that's just memory. I don't know what he's like now, if he's shaved his beard or his whole head or if he got stabbed with a broken bottle in a bar fight or... or..." Rusty started to cry again.

"How would Jesu feel if the next time he saw you, Rusty, you'd sprayed your brains all over that wall? Would he remember you as you ARE, or would he remember what you turned into - which Rusty would be there for HIM when he was trapped and alone?"

"He'd feel... about how I feel now, times like a thousand," Rusty figured. "I know I can't do that to him, but..."

"He'd feel much, much, worse, Rusty," Enrico said. "You can't imagine it. I know... I know what he would go through... I have been there." Montoya stared out over the ocean. "You're lonely, you miss him, you want to be there - and part of you IS there with him... it's that part that stays no matter the distance, no matter how far. But Rusty, you give in to despair here and now, and that part you leave behind... it won't be a good part." He had tears running down his cheeks.

"It's okay, Uncle," Rusty bawled, as he hugged the old man. "I won't. I won't leave him. I won't leave you..." He trembled and sniffed. "But what am I s'posed to do? Papa just tells me to man up and let go. But I can't-"

"Call him, write him, make him proud and remember," Enrico told him. "Do your best in everything you do, and preserve your memory because he's with you inside."

"On the inside..." that made Rusty... almost smile. "When I left Jesu at the Academy, he said as long as I held him on the inside, I'd never have to let him go... I guess I just never really understood what he meant. He meant remember him, on the inside..."

"It's the ones you have on the inside, that save you in the darkest places," Enrico said quietly. "Let's go back in the house now, ponchito. I have to make sure Sa'ana's not getting into trouble - I recall you left a pistol lying on the floor..."

El Cementerio del Bendito Redentor, Nueve Castille - Present Day

"...Hey, bro? You okay?" Jesu asked again, kneeling behind him, placing a hand on his shoulder.

Rusty slowly came back to the present and looked at the statue of the angel. "Yeah," he choked out. He cleared his throat and stood and said "Yeah. I'm arright now."

He took the final steps to his uncle's grave. He took a deep breath. "Well. It's been almost two years now. I still can't believe you're really gone." He sighed. "I'm sorry I didn't come before. I'm sorry I didn't go to your funeral. I'm sorry I never said goodbye. I thought I could pretend you were still here with me. But really, even though you're gone, I know you're still standing by me. Ill always remember you, on the inside."

Jesu knelt, and laid a pair of roses over the grave. "We miss you, Uncle Ricky," he said.

Rusty whispered: "We love you."

* * *

Life is changing, hey an'
I can't go on without you
I will be strong
I'll stand by you

You were fighting everyday
So hard to hide the pain
I know you never said goodbye
I had so much left to say

One last song
Given to an angel's son
As soon as you were gone
As soon as you were gone

I have a new life now
She lives through you
What can I do
I feel so alone now
I pray for you
We still love you...

One last song
(I can't believe you're gone)
Given to an angel's son
(I can't believe)
As soon as you were gone
As soon as you were gone

Lajon Witherspoon, Morgan Rose, Clint Lowery and Mikey Dolan of Sevendust - "Angel's Son"

* * * * *

(Special thanks to patrickngo for providing Enrico Montoya's dialogue.)


Last edited by sander233; 10-17-2013 at 09:02 AM. Reason: ?, /i
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 3,945
# 7
10-15-2013, 04:53 PM
Applause. Well Done Sir.
"when you're out of Birds of Prey, you're out of ships."

A Festival of Blood and Fire!
Starfleet Veteran
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 608
# 8
10-15-2013, 05:31 PM
Originally Posted by patrickngo View Post
Applause. Well Done Sir.
Indeed - though there are some problems involving Non-Forum Friendly Punctuation.
Originally KiraYamato before the Account Linking - True Join Date August 2008

"Close Air Support covereth a multitude of sins." - Maxim 4, The Seventy Maxims of Maximally Effective Mercenaries
Career Officer
Join Date: Nov 2012
Posts: 3,899
# 9
10-15-2013, 06:01 PM
Originally Posted by takeshi6 View Post
Indeed - though there are some problems involving Non-Forum Friendly Punctuation.
I think I got 'em all.

Thanks to everyone who's been following with me on this journey that Rusty's brought me on. He's definitively come a much longer way than I could have imagined when I started writing him.

What's next for him? Well if you're keeping an eye on Visiting with the Dead, it seems he's got some new surprises in store...

BTW scene three was the last item in this little series, but your comments and criticisms are always welcome.
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 4,192
# 10
10-16-2013, 01:19 AM
Very nicely handled

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