Light of day
S03 Ep 03 Trouble in the Sticks UXSys 659842 (Incidentals) Phase 2
Location: Science Lab
- Science Lab -
Fear. No matter how they train you at the academy. For whatever scenario you could be faced with. Unless like the Vulcans you can bury the emotion. For a human under the threat of an horrifying death. Fear will always come to the surface eventually. Even after when the mission was a success with no deaths.
Ted sat in a corner of the darkened lab. An eerie glow came from the plant below through the window. As the Tomcat circled the planet. He had left the lights off. Hopefully no one would know he was here. Silver had given his report to Somers and Thompson.
Mr Thompson had read Mr Silver's report and was well pleased witht eh execution of the mission. Mr Silver had exceeded his expectations. He had even gone so far as recommending a promotion for the man to Colonel Somers and a citation for Galantry.
He decided to try an find Mr Silver, he seemed a bit more sober these last few days. Probably shook up form teh horrors he had seen. It wasnt every officer who got to set off multiple biogenic warheads to mass extinct and entire planet.
He entered the doors of the lab. it was dark.
"Anyone here?" Thompson called out.
Ted looked round and stood up.He ordered the lights to go on and briefly shielded his eyes , as they became adjusted to the light.
“ Sorry about that Lieutenant I was just resting my eyes. How may help you? I hope the report was ok?” Ted asked.
"You're report was outstanding, it sounds like you had a rough time of it, and I wanted to know if you wanted to talk about it. Genocide is not an easy thing to live with, I know. It really does help to talk on the record or off of it." Matt said.
“ It’s just. We are capable of so many things. We can cross the Galaxy in months instead of years. Speak with people who millions of miles away and understand them. Despite never learning their language and they can understand us. We have cures for illnesses now, that a hundred years ago wiped out millions because of no cures. Yet........ yet we could not save those poor souls down there. What’s the point of it all?” Silver asked.
"Perhaps a hundred years from now we could have saved those poor souls. We can do a lot but we are not God's. We cannot always control who lives and who dies. That is for the maker of all things. We can only do our best. I know the bluegills, those on the planet were mutated far from anything human or sentient. They only knew hunger . Eventually they would have spread to the surrounding systems. We couldnt save them they were like a disease that would have spread to infect other planets. We did what we had to do." Matt said.
Ted considered his department heads words. Everything Matt said was true. So why did Silver feel so bad about it all?
“ I am sorry. It’s not fitting of someone in my position. To feel like this I know. It’s just this was not what I was trained for. Seeing that thing coming out of the lake like that. It did’t even pause for breath. It just came at me until it was shot and sank back. That could of been us. Supposing I had failed or panicked. Lee, Racine........or the others. They could of become like that and it would of been my fault. My fault because I forgot my responsibilities. I know I know it’s all in my head....” Ted said
"No not at all. Genocide is the hardest thing there is next to soccer." Matt chuckled jokingly. "How does one keep a clear conscience when one has to do such a horrible thing. I know you feel bad Hell I feel bad too, but I do take some comfort that we absolutely saved more lives than we lost. The end doesn't justify the means. Fortunately no mistakes were made and we were able to stop this thing before it truly got out of hand. You are a Starfleet officer not a robot. This assignment was very much like the Kobyashi Maru test. A no win scenario, We were successful but we really didn't win. All we really did was limit the damage to this one planet. Technically we broke civilized law to do it. Are we criminals or as I like to think of us a vaccine, which inoculated an entire sector?" Matt asked.
Ted looked at Matt. He remembered the Kobyashi Maru test. Silver lasted twenty minutes. Before the romulan warbirds ripped his ship to shreds.
" Oh I remember when I took that test. I lasted twenty minutes before the holo Romulan warbirds turned us to fiery dust. But we knew that was just a test. This was real life , real lives ruined for ever. When that thing came out of the lake at me. I was glad Thompson blasted its head off. But afterwards when it was over I felt guilty you know." Ted replied.
"The lives lost were lost before we even got there, Ted." Matt said.
Ted gave Matt a nod.
“ You know deep in my heart I know that. But it still feels like we failed those people.They say the two most heartbreaking words in the English language are ‘ what if ‘. As my department head I must inform you. I have asked Lamia for some counselling sessions. To help me get over this....... Um is this going to have any impact on my career here on the Tomcat?”Ted asked
"If you're not careful it will make you a better officer. Self reflection helps us grow. Your actions will always reflect on your career. Make then good ones. In this case you made the right call. I am proud to have you on my team, Ted." Matt said.
Silver felt his face blush. After all that had happened. His PTSD catching up with him. Ted still had a future in the Tomcat.
“ Thanks. While we’re talking about teams. I was wondering about maybe we should have a mascot for the science department?” Ted asked
"Oh? What kind of mascot?" Matt asked.
Ted smiled as he spoke.
" Well. I heard on the USS Poseidon the Chief Science Officer there has a plant called Norman. Maybe we could have something like that here?"
"I know the Chief Science Officer of the Poseidon, Sam Perkins, I didn't know he had a stress plant but if you want one you can have one. What kind of plant did you have in mind?" Matt asked.
Ted considered his response.
" Well. There is this small cactus like plant with a few tentacles. There just for show , the thing is no bigger then my ankle. We could sit it on a shelf somewhere in the lab. It would make a good mascot." Ted told Matt
"Do we already have one in the Arboretum or do we need to find one?"
Ted thought for a moment.
" I was told we did not have an Arboretum. Due to space issues. I can get in contact with Perkins. He may know were we can get a plant. Anyway my stomach thinks my throat has been cut. So I am going to get myself a drink and a sandwich. Can I get you anything?" Ted asked.
"No thank you I'm still working on my coffee". Matt replied.
Lieutenant JG Mathew Thompson
Chief Science Officer
Ensign Ted Silver
Deputy Assistant Chief Science Officer