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And If They Lay Us Down to Rest Tell Our Moms We Done Our Best- Prelude (Writing Challenge)

Posted on Tuesday, 11 October 2022 - 7:19am by Ensign T'Nile Xera

It's because I love you, not because we're far apart.
It's because I love you, and because you're near my heart.
It's because I miss you, oh, how long it seems to be.
It's because I miss you, thoughts of you come back to me.
Ooh. Do what you wanna do, be what you wanna be, yeah.

Of all the basic, fundamental, elemental constants in the universe, the one most overlooked, the most taken for granted, is warmth, or less poetically, heat. Whether it's the starshine beating down on a field of flowers, the blazing furnace of a metal forge, the sweat wicking away the heat of a good workout or the unconditional love of a parent.

As children, we take for granted our life growing up. We never question it, it is just there. I never knew my grandparents. That is, my Father's parents, both of them having perished during the Cardassian Occupation of Bajor. My Mother's parents were distant and aloof, even more so than the garden variety Vulcan. Mother, it seemed, was content to carry on the bloodline by... No matter, I am myself a half-sibling and have a half-sibling in turn.

When asked what do you want to be when you grow up, children always excitedly answer something mundane and the adults in the room always smile indulgently. What does it matter who you will be growing up? Just grow up and chew with your mouths open and burp and let off flatulence in a crowd and blame someone else.

For me, Father was this small, soft spoken little man. My childhood is a mash of memories. A dozen worlds, a dozen schools, a hundred teachers, a thousand children my age. All of them a blur, a mystery. The only constant was Father.

I knew he did important work for the Federation, that was why we were on Deneva this month, or Trill the next. All I know is that we would both be awake at 5 in the morning. Walking me to the pool, doing laps, timing, encouraging; walking me to the track field, trying to keep warm while running, running, running. After school, during the evenings, bone tired, holding the PADD, going over the day's studies one more time until I got it right.

It is only older, being an adult myself that you finally realize how much your parents sacrifice for you. Father never spoke of it, but he did not have much of a childhood growing up. At a time when he should have been making the most of his own early adulthood, he chose to ensure that I fulfilled my dreams of being a Starfleet Officer. He was not capable himself, having no skills or education, just a kind heart, a soft voice and a determination to see his child succeed.

By the time I was old enough to realize what Father has done for me, he became a broken man, the destruction of Mars and the suspension of the Romulan relief efforts stopped. When I talk to him, about all the things he does, he gets that little smile and simply stands up and leaves the room. We both know, deep down, what the other feels, only now do I know what the fundamental force of the universe, the warmth of love has brought me.

The beginnings of the story of my journey to becoming a Starfleet Officer happened when I was an early teenager. It seems surprising in hindsight, but I had always been in Starfleet for most of my life. Becoming an Engineer, then being recruited into Starfleet Intelligence briefly.

It started when I was ten years old. Ferengi and Nausicaan, oh my.

End of Prelude.


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