Previous Next

The Cold Hard Truth

Posted on Mon May 24th, 2021 @ 11:34am by Major Kaden Ross & Captain Rhenora Kaylen

Mission: Trapped in Time
Location: USS Liberty
Timeline: Evening

Kaden was still troubled by his earlier breakdowns he began to wonder if he was even capable of doing the job he was brought in for. He was having troubles telling Freya and Counselor Vali was now aware having told her. Now it was the Captain that should know and her decide what to do.

Again find ask the computer for directions he was led to her quarters it was still late at night. But it was important she know what was going on with him. Not even a moment of hesitation or thought he pressed the chime.

"Come In" the Captain called, having been catching up on some reading at her private workstation in her quarters. It wasn't unusual for the crew to want to discuss things or bounce ideas after hours and she had always held an open door policy.

She looked up as Major Ross entered, and smiled pleasantly at him.
"What can I do for you Major?"

"I am not bothering you am i, skip?" Kaden asked as he stood with his hands in his pockets.

"Not at all, just catching up on some messages from Command" she gestured him to enter and make himself comfortable on one of the scattered chairs. "What brings you here?"

"Has there been any progress on the Marine XO position? I swore sent you a list of people I liked but this your ship you have final say." Kaden took a seat.

The Captain blushed as she rummaged through the list of messages and reports she hadn't gotten to just yet. Finding the list that the Major had sent her she opened it and had a quick look. "I"m so sorry Major, I hadn't gotten to it yet but I'm looking now - do you have a recommendation out of this list?" she asked as she skimmed through the names and profiles.

"They are all good candidates it is hard for me to decide." Kaden sighed lowering his head. "Captain, to tell you the truth you should know something."

"Do you still have issues from both the occupation and the war?"

Her blood ran cold at the thought - she knew she still had baggage from those times, deep dark secrets that no-one knew about, not even her husband.

" I do" She said quietly, "Those were very difficult times"

"To tell you the cold hard truth I struggle everyday even now. The war kept me away from being a father I wanted to be leaving the woman I loved alone to raise our kids...not knowing I be coming home alive or not."

Kaden's eyes began to tear up. "I can still see their faces...the ones who died under my watch, I seen every Counselor I can...even Vali. I can just never get them out of" He started to cry.

Rhenora rose and placed her hands on his shoulders, a caring but unobtrusive gesture of support. "You're not supposed to get them out of your head, forgetting them would be far worse. They remind us of bad times, so that we know to work towards better times"

"I...I...hate them..." Kaden began his tone going from sadness to anger. "A part of me wants to see them all burn! The Founders...The Jem'Hadar...The Breen...I want them to feel my pain!"

He looked up at the Captain. "It scares feel this way before the war I was...a good man I wanted to help good. But now I feel that me died...and I am left like this struggling cave in to my hatred. I don' feeling this way but I do."

" You will find your peace again, it took me many many years to find mine. For so long I was angry, bitter and a hatred burned in my heart. As time moved on I realised there was still good in the universe, still good in people. You will find your time, and until then, you will always have a safe harbour and friends here" Rhenora spoke in caring tones, emphasising that she was a kindred spirit in recovery.

"Captain, for my sake and the sake of the others if we ever have to deal with then in the future...don't ask me to help. Please don't ask me...i...I can't guarantee I won't...I won't..." Kaden's body began to tremble he was feeling both pain and anger.

"Don't dwell on the what if's" She replied, making solid eye contact "Live in the moment, do your best in each and every moment. We may never be in contact with them again, and if we do - we'll deal with it"

Kaden nodded looking at the floor. "If...uh...If you feel I need to be replaced I will understand."

" You WILL not be replaced Major, you have my word. You have been wounded in the line of duty, and we will ensure you heal in the same effect. You must give yourself time though - these things take years" She encouraged, still holding his shoulders.

Kaden wiped his eyes with his arm. "You think it is wise?" He asked. "I don't wish to let you down, Captain."

" Let me be the judge of wisedom and who lets who down under what circumstances" Rhenora replied gently, taking a step back and letting the Major compose himself.

"Back on the bridge...I uh...was scared I just was reunited with the woman of my life...I didn't want to..." Kaden stopped feeling ashamed.

" It's ok Major, you reacted to a situation to the best of your ability. If you do something that I feel is outside the book I'll call you on it. Otherwise I see no reason you can't perform your duties" The Captain soothed.

Kaden nodded just sitting there. "Sorry to have come and lay all this on you this late at night."

Rhenora looked at him with a raised eyebrow " I'd rather know if one of my crew is struggling in any regards so we can address it" She said honestly "And if you feel that you couldn't do that then I've failed as a ships Captain"

Kaden started to feel depressed again. "If anyone is a failure it is me...I failed as a husband...a father...a soldier."

" You made hard decisions and you're dealing with the fallout - it is not only human, but courageous. " Rhenora emplored." You are not a failure, I wouldn't have you here on this ship in the position you are in if you were"

Kaden had to admit she had a point but it also confirmed that Freya was right too. If he was such a failure why did she want him part of the crew? Maybe he better have a more heart to heart talk with Freya when he got home. But still one thing always kept bothering him.

"I...appreciate that, but I don't mean to pry but don't you ever feel like I do?."

" Most definately. I have dark days and darker nights. Normally a conversation with Remal my husband puts things back into perspective. Other times you just need to be kind to yourself and ride it out" She admitted, knowing full well that was much easier said than done.

Kaden shook his head. "Easier said than done, Captain, Freya tries to help put things in perspective but honestly I can stubborn as a mule at times."

"Then that is something only you can work on to improve" The Captain replied gently "For your own well being"

Kaden looked down at the floor clearly ashamed. "I try, guess I make things more difficult for her than needed."

" No need to be ashamed, just made an effort, thats all we can ask" She reaffirmed. " you can do this"

"Yes, Captain, I will do my best." Kaden looked at her. "Your husband is a lucky man."

"Lucky, or just very patient I would suspect" She laughed at the irony of her own short comings.

"Sounds like him and my wife would get along I swear she has the patience of a saint." Clearly this conversation did make him realize he was lucky to have a gal like her in his life.

" Have you told her such lately?" Rhenora changed tack a little.

"Not often we hardly fight but if you wish to know I certainly need to make things up with both, Counselor Vali and Freya." Kaden confessed feeling like an idiot.

" Simply tell them how you feel, they will appreciate it more than you realise. Sometimes the simple things are the most powerful" She reminded him.

Kaden nodded but said nothing she certainly had a valid point. But he did intend to take her advice the moment he saw either of them.

" And please remember, any time you need to talk with someone who understands the dark places, my door is always open" She indicated the door to her quarters "ANY time, day or night"

Kaden got to his feet. "Thanks, I will be sure to take you up on that." He looked at the PADDs. "I trust you will find someone off the list I sent that strike your fancy to be my XO." Starting for the door he stopped and smiled. "By the way, congadulations."

"Thank you Major, and make sure you do, I'll let you know my decision on your XO in the morning" Rhenora smiled, happy that she had calmed the Major's anxiety regarding his past.

"Understood, and don't worry I won't tell anyone but I try keep my reading materials away from folks with a keen eye." Kaden tapped near his eye before pointing with his chin to the PADD on Bajoran pregnancy next her chair.

"Just catching up on what I'm in for, I will let the crew know soon enough, I'm still trying to wrap my head around it myself" she shrugged as she admitted her truth.

"Then I will try to act surprised." Kaden walked out into the corridor. "Thanks for the talk, Captain, I wish you good night." He waved her farwell and went on his way.


Previous Next