New Beginning part 10

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Part 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 8 and 9 linked below:

https://read.cash/@AnonSunamun/a-new-beginning-part-i-4b45ce68

https://read.cash/@AnonSunamun/a-new-beginning-part-2-3fc28c93

https://read.cash/@AnonSunamun/new-beginning-part-3-b063cada

https://read.cash/@AnonSunamun/new-beginning-part-4-9bf5d409

https://read.cash/@AnonSunamun/new-beginning-part-5-61185fda

https://read.cash/@AnonSunamun/new-beginning-part-6-7b9bb212

https://read.cash/@AnonSunamun/new-beginning-part-7-9b3f6f90

https://read.cash/@AnonSunamun/new-beginning-part-8-8106a8ed

https://read.cash/@AnonSunamun/new-beginning-part-9-98fa2093

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==Sparrow’s cockpit, after the Iconian mission==


It was 06:00 hours when pain exploded into Zoteke's head together with bright light exploding into his eyes even though he was sure he hadn't opened them yet. From outside the cockpit doors opening and closing, casual chitchat between engineers and the clanging of metal against metal announced that the dayshift was coming on duty.


Moaning Zoteke raised his head only to learn, again, that doing so was a bad idea. Half an hour later, having lost whatever he had in his stomach and having cleaned up after himself not wanting to leave the mess for anyone else to clean, Zoteke was hanging under a stream of water in the pilot's locker-room and beginning to come to full consciousness. He started to remember stuff.


Not in the least was how he got into the cockpit and then, maybe even more important, what had gone on in his mind. Having been able to at least clean himself up enough to walk the ship's corridors he quickly used a console to send an apologetic text message to Jeanette's engineering station and then went to his quarters. He knew Ahrund would still be asleep, though that wouldn't last very long and hoped he'd not have noticed anything was out of the ordinary.


When he walked in to his quarters though he noticed that Jeanette was there, sitting in the couch. She looked worried. "So, this is what you mean by taking a walk?" was all she said, almost whispering.


"I'm.... its......" Zoteke started but finished with a deep sigh, and looking down at his shoes. After a few moments he looked back up, his expression full of sadness and regret. "I had issues i had to work out." he finally said. "When i left here i didn't know i'd be out this long." he added, finishing with "i'm sorry"


She looked at him sad he noticed, not angry as he first thought. She then got up and took him in her arms. "Next time please remember that sharing a life together also means sharing the pain, the sadness and that it means working things out together." she said. Then, with a little mischief in her eyes she said "So did you get the smell of whiskey and bad breath out of the Sparrow's cockpit?"


As he stared at her openmouthed she loughed and stepped back from him. "i'm off to duty now. I'll see you tonight, i love you" she stated, kissed him and started for the door. Before she went through she stopped and turned to him. "Maybe you should have a talk with Davowski. He's officially ship's coucilor now. At least talking with someone will leave you with less of a hangover." she added, and then stepped out into the corridor.


She was right, and he knew it. He tapped his communicator. =^=lt. Madwan to lt. Davowski=^=


=/\=Go ahead, Zoteke.=/\=


=^=I would like to make an appointment with you in your capacity as ship's councilor"=^= Zoteke stated, biting back the awkwardness and the embarrassment he felt.


=/\=Very well, do you have a specific time?=/\= As he replied he noticed the door to Ahrund's bedroom swish open and his little superman running up towards him. "DADDYYYYYYY GOOD MOWNING!!!!" Ahrund shouted in joy at seeing his dad.

=^=I still have 7 hours of the 24 the doc ordered me off duty Lieutenant. Any time in those 7 hours would be ideal.=^= Zoteke replied into the commbadge, just before catching his son in mid air.


"Good morning little superman. Did you sleep wel?" he asked after kissing Ahrund. "Uh huh!" the little guy nodded vigorously. "Ahrund want Brinta! Ahrund hunkwy" Ahrund stated. "Allright, lets see if Daddy can whip you up a little breakfist"


=/\=Meet me on the bridge at fifteen-hundred and thirty hours. We'll head to my office from there.=/\=


=^= That sounds great. I'll have the Nannygram look after Ahrund.=^=


=/\=Can you elaborate on why you're seeking council?=/\= asked the councillor


Zoteke put Ahrund on his feet and turned away from him as he thought how best to summarize what he wanted to see Davowski about, without worrying the sharp little ears of his son.


=^= I've had... a lapse of control so to say. Both on the last mission and last night. I do think it's best not to go into any detail over the comm..... look.... this isn't easy for me. I'm a marine. Please believe me that when someone like me calls on a councilor....... It's not to talk about the weather.=^=


=/\=I'm well aware, Zoteke. For the record; calling on a councilor isn't a sign of weakness, it's a sign of courage to admit that there is something bothering you. You have my respect for being able to come seek me out. But, yes - let's leave the chatter for my office. I'm certain the bridge crew is already sick of my comm. (A few chuckles are heard from that remark). I'll see you at fifteen hundred, and thirty. Davowski out. =/\=


--------Bridge, 15:30 hours---------


Londance was sitting at his station, to the left of Caymen. His hand propping his head as he read through the PADD in front of him. The turbo lift at the back swished open and disgorged a large marine. He stepped out, allowing the doors to close and with an expression of anxiousness and embarrassment he looked across the bridge.


Zoteke normally never came up to the bridge, unless for the occasional briefing or special occurrences so he was unsure if he was supposed to announce himself or just walk up to Davowski whom he'd spotted sitting next to the Captain. Being unsure of how much of the comm conversation he had earlier had been overheard by said captain didn't help his feelings in the least. He decided to damn it all and just walk up to Davowski casually.


The decision made one would never know he'd been insecure about anything just seconds before. He strolled down to the trio of seats at the center of the bridge and stood at attention. "Good afternoon Captain, Lt." he said as he was next to them. adding "lt. Davowski, i believe we had an appointment in a couple of minutes. Are you ready?" he said, sounding as casual as he could.


Londance looked up with a slight smile, and nodded in greeting, "There are no formalities with me, Zoteke - please call me Londance." He looked at Caymen, silently announcing his leave from the bridge. "If you'll follow me", he stated, walking towards the fore turbolift. "Deck 4."


The turbolift began it's decent, "how are your injuries fairing?" he asked.


"I got lucky. Apart from some bruises and sore spots from ducking diving and landing hard i'm allright." Zoteke answered. "Others were less fortunate." he added, his eyes cast downwards.


Londance nodded in understanding, "I'm sure the Doctor will have everything taken care of withing the next day." The two went inside. Londance walked over and leaned on his desk, inviting Zoteke to have a seat on one of the sofas. "Do you mind if I smoke?" Londance asked, pulling out a desk drawer and picking up a small colorful cardboard box with 'Dreams' written in an old script on the cover. "I had the replicators make this for me, they were a flavored cigarette from the 21'st Century. I find that I like the flavor, and the bitter harsh smoke. Naturally I've removed all the carcinogens." he added.


Zoteke looked increduly at Londance. "I thought i was the only one in the Federation who smoked!" he said, pulling out a packet of Camel cigarettes. "And same period no less, 21st century" he said as he showed his own smokes. Londance nodded with a smile, "Computer, release a point eight carbon dioxide mixture into this rooms atmosphere, and lower the oxygen level by two percent." A chime signaled the computers affirmation.


"So tell me, what has been on your mind lately?" Londance asked.


This was where Zoteke allmost shut down. He looked at his shoes and fidgeted with his rank pips. "I lost it down on Iconia." was all he could say after a few moments. He wasn't crying but the shine in his eyes betrayed he was close. "And last night... well... i got drunk..." he started but choked.


Londance cocked his head, "I wouldn't say you lost it, more or less you felt the need to avenge the injuries coming to your comrades and friends. As for the ingestion of alcohol, so long as you're not on duty and you're not dependent on it - you're free to do as you wish. When you start consuming the substance like a fish does water, then we may have a problem. Otherwise, a drunk night isn't a bad thing." Londance pulled an old fashioned 'Zippo' brand lighter, it's deep lilac color glinted. After lighting his cigarette, he took a few drags as he thought. The scent of chocolate began to fill the air. Londance tossed the lighter to Zoteke.


Zoteke almost fumbled the shiny lighter but managed to keep it from hitting the ground. He lit up, inhaled, exhaled and then looked the councilor in the eye. "You don't understand. I did lose it. Completely. One second i'm behind a crate and the next i'm standing in the middle of the room holding the barrel of the rifle like a baseball bat, with no idea what the hell i'm supposed to be doing." Zoteke said.


When Davowski stayed silent Zoteke went on "It's not the first time either. I had... This may be an odd question but how high is your intelligence clearance level?" he asked frowning. He didn't know if Batavia II was something he could talk about with his councilor. He knew that talking to say his wife or his son was punishable by loads and loads of years in prison.


Londance balked a second, "Don't forget that I'm not only a Councilor; first and foremost I am a Diplomatic officer of the Federation. My clearance level is 4, for high - although, as a Diplomat on many occasions my clearance level is of no concern and I am privy to matters of Headquarters. We both share the fact that we smoke cigarettes from the 21st century; do you know what else is from that time period? Client privileges - more specifically, as your councilor, whatever you choose to disclose I have no choice but to keep my peace unless I find that the matters you talk about are dangerous to your health."


Zoteke kept looking into Londance's expression to see any clues on how to go on and seemed to mull over some thoughts before coming to a conclusion. He locked eyes to gauge the reaction as he spoke, mentally journeying back to the places and missions and death he'd witnessed."Setlik IV, Dosulus, Kovat, Tkanis, Demoris....... and ofcourse.... Batavia II" Silence fell after Zoteke's list for a moment. Zoteke got up and moved to the replicator. "I was about to order something from the replicator. I don't suppose you've got something.... more conductive to talking?" he asked Londance who'd still not responded.


Londance grinned slightly, "Computer, two strong Caitian Mead's." he said. The computer chimed in affirmation, and the replicator pad glimmered as the two beverages were created. "The people of Cait created this concoction several millennium ago, I'll warn you - it has a.... kick." He walked to the replicator and grabbed both glasses, bringing one to Zoteke. "Certainly not something to have more than one of, unless you're part Caitian."


Noticing the way Londance had carefully avoided any outward reaction to any of the places he'd mentioned and had grabbed the opportunity to change the subject made him wonder if and how much he could open up to this man. He found, to his own surprise, he'd like to have a chance to talk about those awful missions. He'd like to tell at least one person about Batavia II and see what they think about it.. just once.


He took the drink and smelled it. "Active ingredient isn't alcohol is it? The replicator would've beeped an error instead of producing the order. What's the kick?" he asked but didn't wait for the answer. He took a gulp and swallowed. Then he let out a breath "ooooh.... yeah, i felt that.." he said as the liquid ran down his throat, radiating a warmth throughout his chest.


Looking curiously at Zotoke, Londance raises his eyebrow in question, "You mentioned the names of places, a few moments ago. Batavia II, I remember seeing that name in your extended files. As councilor, I'm not privy to that information - I will say that I'm not going to use my Diplomatic status as an excuse to dig, either. Batavia is one of the portions in your file that are classified, I'm sure whatever happened gave Star Fleet some reason to retain that information."


Zoteke grinned at the use of words. He could notice the drink, whatever it's active ingredient, tingling his brain.


Londance paused for a moment, "I'm not sure if you're aware, but my species has an emphatic ability - we aren't telepathic like Betazoids, but we see glimpses of emotions when people think about things. I guess 21st century humans would call it seeing 'Auras'. I say this because when you mentioned Batavia, I caught a glimpse of grey and felt a deep remorse. This troubles you, and I'm assuming your mind may be trying to connect it to recent events. Would I be correct in this assumption?"


Zoteke came to the conclusion he didn't care about the consequences anymore, either because of the drink or because he knew that he owed it to Jeanette and Ahrund to work his way through his issues, and decided he'd tell the councilor everything. Including his string of failures.


"Doc, you'd better get comfortable. I'm going to tell you a few stories about failure. Not only of Starfleet, the Federation but about my failure. Maybe then you can understand why i think i might no longer be fit to be a Marine" he told Londance and began to tell the man everything. Including the fact that, and reason why, the Federation and Starfleet hid the death of an entire colony of over 500,000 people.


Londance remained blank during the whole conversation, absorbing the information Zoteke divulged in a silent manner. Eventually, Zoteke had stopped talking and Londance grabbed another Cigarette from his drawer. Lighting it up, he took a few puffs and thought. "It takes a lot of courage to admit your mistakes, and to stand up for what is right - even if now it seems so wrong. Did you know that when I was in my 50's, I was serving on a Warbird for the Romulan Empire - I was directly responsible for the death of her crew; I had demanded that the Commander take us through a temporal flux, to get us to my assignment - he agreed, with much grudge. The flux distorted the Warbirds Singularity drive, and caused a breach. The Commander ordered an evacuation of the bridge crew, and sounded the alarm for general evacuation once we had boarded our own pods. About five seconds after we left, the breach destroyed the ship... along with the rest of her crew. This is only one of the incidents I have been part of, one of my regrets. I have learned that despite our mistakes, it's what we do after them that make us who we are - we need to learn to adapt to what we have done, and use that knowledge to better ourselves." He finished, his eyes glazed.


Zoteke frowned. "So you're saying everything is fine?" he asked "You're saying move along, nothing to see here. all is well?" he added disbelief in his expression. "How is anyone going to trust me to protect them? How is anyone going to be sure i'm not going to get up and run screaming into a line of fire swinging my rifle in the air upside down?" he nearly shouted. "How are those dead ever going to forgive me" he shouted, then deflated, sank down into the seat and whispered "How am i?"


Londance's expression went to one of compassion, "To be forgiven, one must forgive him self. Admitting you want forgiveness is a step towards learning to live with your past, Zoteke. In time, life begins to make sense. Personally, I think that they have forgiven you already." He said softly.


Zoteke nodded. maybe it was what he had been needing to hear all along but hearing Londance say it he felt hope spark inside him. Maybe he could one day believe he'd redeemed himself. Tears ran down his face and Zoteke broke down into sobbing grief mingled with an odd sense of relief.


Londance looked with compassion, "Just let it out, Zoteke. It's a freeing experience to let it out."


To be continued in part 11

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