Posted March 16, 2021, 3:39 a.m. by Lieutenant Commander Ethan Nash (Chief Tactical Officer) (David Shotton)
Posted by Fleet Captain Kelly Bordeaux (Commanding Officer) in CTO office - All the Paperwork and no increase in pay
Posted by Lieutenant Commander Ethan Nash (Chief Tactical Officer) in CTO office - All the Paperwork and no increase in pay
Posted by Fleet Captain Kelly Bordeaux (Commanding Officer) in CTO office - All the Paperwork and no increase in pay
Posted by… suppressed (3) by the Post Ghost! 👻
“Oh my god,” Nash muttered as his first attempt to simply pick up the box from the sides was met with the box shifting slightly across the ground as the weight meant he failed to get enough of a grip on it. “We’re smuggling Klingon weaponry into Perkins’ party, I just know it. She’s supplying a cartel of assassins and we are the unwitting couriers of doom.” He said entirely to himself as he looked at the box again, but decided to refrain from opening the top to look inside.
“Oh come one. I said bend at the knee and put your back into it. You are not ninety,” Kelly snickered. Curiosity was killing her about what was in the box but they would soon know. Mabel could easily be smuggling in Klingon weapons…if it wasn’t her son.
“On my way!” He called out, bending to one knee and picking up the box from the bottom. “She’s giving him bricks for his birthday,” he muttered again, “cement shoes that he can wear to the docks and she has enough for his cronies and the couriers. Another case for Bay City PD.” Nash carried the box out of the house and then looked around for Kelly and Mabel. If they weren’t ready, he was going to head back to the shuttle without them rather than wait with that weight.
Lt Cmdr Nash, CTO
“My god you are a strapping lad,” Mabel came out of the bedroom carrying her purse and wearing the classic old lady hat with a wide brim and carefully placed flower as an adornment. “I was going to get you a repulsor sled but don’t seem to need it. Now hurry up,” she reached out to take Kelly’s arm. “I could literally die before I get to the party and we would not want that to happen,” she said walking towards the shuttle.
Nash glared after the pair, and by the look on his face it might have been debatable if that event would have been that much of a pity. With a grunt, he followed them.
Once Mabel was strapped in her seat, Kelly moved to the cockpit to help Nash fly the shuttle. Well, it was more to make fun of Nash and his first meeting with Mabel Perkins. “So should I start calling you a strapping lad or maybe Hulk,” she did not hide her amusement with the situation.
“Oh no, I wouldn’t dream of stealing that name from your Chief of Security,” Nash growled back at her in a gravelly and unimpressed tone, then he grinned slightly and wickedly. “But she might prefer that name be given to your strapping lad of a Husband when she meets him. Nash suits me just fine, Kelly.” Looking at the console, he plotted a number of courses. “We could take this route, or the asteroid field, and see how she likes a bit of a bump,” he looked at Kelly with pure innocence.
“We will be on Earth in twenty,” Kelly said laying in the coordinates. “You have until then to decide.”
Captain Kelly Bordeaux
“Pffffttt,” Nash blew a quiet raspberry. Not much of a choice when the asteroid field would take a good hour, the direct route it is, Captain Kidnapper.” He did a few things to the console that made it go all colorful for a moment, then lifted the shuttle off the pad and began the ascent.
“We’re clear of the atmosphere,” Nash glanced at Kelly, “engaging warp drive.” In a moment, the were at the Shuttles cruising warp speed and Nash leaned closer to Kelly slightly. “Should we monitor her vitals?” He whispered, “If she does die before we get to Perkins party it isn’t going to be a good look.”
Lt Cmdr Nash
“While I complain about Perkin’s mummy-like longevity, it does come in handy for Maybel,” Kelly said. “Besides don’t put it past Maybe. She might find that great fun. If you spend enough time with her you will learn the humor gene skips a generation. Since Perkins didn’t have any kids thank god, it will die off with Maybel there.” Leaning back in her seat Kelly studied Nash. “So what is your story,” she propped her feet on the console relaxing back. Maybel is right. Under that broodish exterior is a guy with a great sense of humor, a nice smile when you show it, and a helluva lot of fun to be around when you aren’t brooding. You remind me of a serious Dante and you know I am totally on Team Knight.” Kelly spent a lot of time with Nash but there were a million and one topics one could talk about that didn’t involve personal information. She knew about the colony and the prison term but what was it before that. Nash wasn’t the type for pity parties and he had nothing to regret over his actions. There had to be more.
“Brooding?” Nash looked at Kelly and raised an eyebrow before looking back to the console. “I do not Brood. Well, maybe a little.” He paused a moment in thought and shook his head slightly. “We don’t have enough time to go over the sordid history of Ethan Nash on this trip, Captain.”
“You were always the quiet one,” Kelly inclined her head slightly in his direction as if to nudge her comment closer to hit home. Kelly and Nash had a long history in terms of years but it was spotty and mottled. The pair had been in the same graduating class at the academy yet to say they were close personal friends would be a stretch. One or two nights they had run into each other in a random bar. Several missions they were paired together on the command teams. Nash was top notch and highly competitive back in the academy like they all were only he seemed to keep his head down most of the time while Kelly and Dante ran amok breaking rules, taking chances, and thinking out of the box both on duty and off. That is what came to immediate recollection. As to personal relationships, if her memory served, Nash had always been with a pretty redhead that seemed to complement his more serious side with a dose of laughter and frivolity.
She thought about his comment on the sordid history. The incident and subsequent trial was not small news in the rank and file of Starfleet. Kelly searched her mind for more bits of history past their academy years and Nash’s trial but was coming up empty. That was the way of life however, friends you swore you would never lose touch with often were the first to slip away. The adult world tended to crush one with problems those in their early twenties only had heard about. While Nash’s personality had always been more serious and focused, it truly never was as solemn as long as it seemed to be now.
“Maybe you need a hobby.” Kelly half-seriously suggested this. From a psychological standpoint delving into new interests did help pull one from places they were lurking in although a knitting circle or the shuffleboard club was not going to fix Nash. Kelly knew this yet maybe the man would open up. She knew so many rumors about him but rumors had a way of only being half-truths.
“I brood because I am empty, and not in the way any quack or psych is able to help with or fix” Nash told her. “I’m not even sure I want it fixed or am able to. Have you ever had someone in your life that simply completes you? Fills every hole you had and those you didn’t know you had? I’m not familiar with your relationship with your husband nor do I have to be, but if that is what you have, then I am happy for you because everybody deserves that kind of completeness and understanding.” He leaned back in his chair and swung it around to face Kelly.
It had been a long time since she had admitted anything truly personal about herself to anyone besides Dante and Ian. The first knew her as if he were her husband and the latter was her husband. Maybe it was time to have a place to come to where there wasn’t a history and she could get fresh perspectives. “Not without effort,” Kelly took a sip of her drink. “Ric came easy because we were in our twenties and had an instant physical attraction. The attraction smoothed over all the bumps…until it didn’t. Man vs Universe was a huge boon to our lifestyle but a death knell on our marriage. Ian....let’s just say it has been fun and a different journey. Life comes with a lot more baggage in your thirties than your twenties.” Kelly didn’t mind sharing more but she also didn’t want to dominate the conversation. The fact Nash wasn’t just having cocktail talk intrigued Kelly so she hoped sharing even this bit allowed him to continue.
“Before the colony, I was pretty much StarFleet’s poster boy for a model Officer. I served, I did my job and I did it well. I was everything Starfleet expected and regretted nothing. That’s why people that served with me beforehand, gave you those reviews when you asked them about me after the Science Station where we met.
“Don’t sell yourself short. I write recommendations all the time. A person can know the correct words but the reader can tell if it has conviction. I also didn’t need to have a single reference. I had made up my mind about you a long time back.” Kelly turned in her seat to face Nash directly as he was facing her. For the first time, she had Nash opening up on a topic that had in some ways fostered her view of command. Kelly felt selfish being this eager to have this conversation. The way it was handled had always gnawed at a small part of her consciousness, not because she was that close to Nash when the events occurred, but because she could have been Nash in half a dozen similar situations that went right for her instead of a hard left as it had for him.
“My wife and child were on the colony. The one the Breen attacked and the same one that Starfleet decided was going to be too much of an escalation of military confrontation if they deployed a fleet to intercept the Breen. By that time I was the acting XO of a Starship deployed to delay the Breen task force and slow it down long enough with political discussion and distraction to give us time to evacuate the colony. It failed, the Breen opened fire and the Captain was killed. Starfleet ordered our ship to withdraw before the evacuation was complete, I was Acting Captain, we still had people in the colony abandoned by Starfleet. They said they would negotiate their return from the Breen when the Breen took the colony, I knew the Breen weren’t going to take prisoners. They had already fired on us, so I disobeyed orders and attacked the Breen transport ships carrying their troops in order to slow them down while two other ships also broke orders to return and evacuate the civilians.”
“In short, my ship was destroyed by the Breen and lost most of the crew. The Breen arrived and destroyed all buildings in the colony that contained life signs, then occupied the rest with their troops and claimed the colony. My family was not evacuated, and shortly afterwards I began my prison sentence for disobeying orders leading to the loss of the ship and crew, and knocking out the Admiral during the Court Martial hearing.” Nash glanced at Kelly and grinned, despite the topic but there wasn’t a lot of humor in his grin. “So, yes I brood. Because Starfleet isn’t what I gave my career to support and uphold, and when it matters most those ideals we vowed to uphold don’t matter a damn, and we are surrounded by goddamned hypocrites. My completeness and life vanish with my wife and child, so I brood, I drink, and I do my job. Without the job, there wouldn’t be much else, aside from maybe hunting Admirals for sport.”
Lt Cmdr Nash
Kelly felt the air sucked from her lungs. Kelly and Dante spent hours talking about Nash’s situation and how there was no way the court marshal would ever occur, yet it did. They ranted and complained not directly in defense of Nash but in defense of his tactics. They would have done the same things as him in command and were enraged along with countless officers at Starfleet’s decision. Angry comm calls and petitions to independently review the facts of the battle fell on the deaf ears of command. In reality, it would not have helped Ethan anyway. Most of the parties on Ethan’s side were supporting him on principal. He was just a name in a uniform and not a life long dear friend to the mass majority. They used the case as a political stepping stone.
Taking a deep breath, Kelly sadly understood that for all her vocal support, even she was more concerned at the policy stance that was taken in the trial than what exactly the sentence being handed down was. She knew every detail about the court marshal yet never for a second had taken the time to wonder about how it affected the man Ethan instead of Lieutenant Commander Nash. The news of his wife and child explained so much as to why Ethan acted the way he did in the trial. Kelly and Dante along with countless others wondered where the shrewd and astute tactician was as question upon ludacris question was levied at the man. Now his taciturn demeanor had an explanation and one that left her speechless. The idea that Nash was living…well not living: The life he was moving through was more him functioning through it instead of living it. It explained why Nash did not appeal nor react to the news of his sentence. No sentence handed down by man could ever be as harsh as the one-handed down from hell.
Reaching out Kelly put a hand over Nash’s hand. Closing her fingers around his, she hoped the gesture relayed all the words that could not be formed. No words could ever comfort or support someone that was living the nightmare anyone in command feared. She, Dante, Calin, Cochrane, and the plethora of commanding officers she knew were ready to lay down their lives for crew and Starfleet but not one of them was prepared to face the possibility of survival when all they loved were lost.
Nash didn’t move, not for a small moment. After that moment, his head dropped slightly and he looked at her hand over his. He neither reacted or made any effort to remove it, just looked at it for a moment and then let out a slow, deep breath before his eyes rose to hers. Nash knew she understood his mood now, they had been fierce rivals at the Academy both on and off the field but Nash’s path had turned away from the shining lights that her and Dante had found. Nash knew Kelly was aware of it, and knew that Nash held no grudge over it. Nash’s only issue was with Starfleet’s hypocrisy and his own inability to save his family.
“If it makes any difference,” Kelly squeezed his hand one last time before letting go and facing the console, “your trial was the catalyst that turned my irritation with Perkins into a life long vendetta. The smug little bah”....=/\=Shuttle 36412 received your transmission and adjusting course=/\= she seamlessly answered the hail mid-sentence but kept on going, “acted like he was serving in the best interest of justice. It was only to gain his promotion from the blood-sucking liberals that lauded his firm hand as an act of justice. I think we need to step up our game with this birthday party.” Tapping several buttons on the console, Kelly set the shuttle on an approach vector for the academy. “This needs to be a bit impressive than a few goats chomping on some ficus.” Kelly could not contain the swell of anger growing in her chest. If she ever had a reason to hate Perkins knowing more about Nash’s personal story gave it to her. “We are gonna need to take a side trip before the party.”
“That sounds promising,” Nash smirked, his eyes turning hard instantly. “Whatever you have planned, count me in. Do you wanna strap some explosives to a goat and let it loose in Perkin’s Limo before he leaves for the night?”
Lt Cmdr Nash, CTO
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