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Slade Quarters - Tuesday night is movie night

Posted Nov. 21, 2022, 9:37 p.m. by Lieutenant Junior Grade Vanessa Slade (CNS) (Kate O'Neill)

Posted by Lieutenant Tom Jarvis (Internal Security) in Slade Quarters - Tuesday night is movie night

Posted by Lieutenant Junior Grade Vanessa Slade (CNS) in Slade Quarters - Tuesday night is movie night

Posted by Lieutenant Tom Jarvis (Internal Security) in Slade Quarters - Tuesday night is movie night
Posted by… suppressed (5) by the Post Ghost! 👻
Snip

“Nope just random conversation,” Vanessa let out a laugh. “I had this stuffed baby doll that came with a huge English-like baby carriage. I loved it but if you notice the past tense nothing lives long in the Slade household. My brothers wanted to join this soap box derby thing one fourth of July so they repurposed it. Needless to say, none of us had any idea until they came flying by us toward the finish line and I lost my crap along the side of the road. I am not sure I really liked the toy until it was destroyed. You have any family?”

Vanessa Slade CNS

Tom contemplated lying but then thought why? Why lie. It was killing the mood but he didn’t make it a habit of sparing people’s feelings. It wasn’t part of him and that’s part of the reason he was good at his job. He only liked when it was mission critical and didn’t want to start operating fallacies outside of the purview of his work.

“I was an only child and had a happy home till I was twelve years old.” Tom replied, “After that it was just awkward and I had to be rehomed before I turned thirteen. That day your mother screams and calls you an imposter and wants to know where her baby boy is… Well let’s just say life wasn’t easy after that.”

Tom sipped at the water again and looked up to see where they were in the movie.

“Next question?”

  • Tom

Vanessa slowly set her pizza down and looked at Tom. “Well, this conversation took a different turn than expected. I thought you were going to say legos.” It was clear that Tom did want to talk and since she would forget everything once he left, it didn’t matter what he revealed or shared with her. In a way, it was freeing. No matter how shocked, stunned, or confused she felt, it would all be gone before dawn. “So why did she think that?”

Vanessa Slade CNS

“Because I had matured and deviated enough away form her memory of what I looked like that she thought I had been replaced. My father couldn’t get her to reconcile. Talking over comms got her to acquiesce that I might be who I and my father said I am but she’s always had that doubt in the back of her thoughts.”

  • Tom

“Wait so she and your dad remembered you on some level?” Vanessa seemed rather excited at this response. “I get it that it was more like a traumatic brain injury where it was like a drunken bender where you remunere but not clearly however for the rest of us it’s a pure nope never saw him before in our lives the second you walk out the door. Tom this is huge.”

“If your parents have any recollection of you which they must or at least your mom because she recognized it wasn’t you versus a complete stranger that means we to learn why. The brain is nothing but a cocktail of chemicals that make cells fire neurons. Something in your moms chemical make up is allowing her to glimpse you. You are half of your mom so there is hope. Have you explored this before?”

Vanessa Slade. Can s

Tom frowned a little and shook his head.

“No, it’s not like that. They remember me fine till puberty set in. My mother’s last personal memories of me, that aren’t because of long range comms, are when I was twelve years old. When puberty set in and my mutation began to rear it’s head, her and my father’s discomfort around me had been building till it broke that morning that she came in to wake me and the screaming started. My father was always the stoic man but he couldn’t handle the uncertainty anymore either and thus I was shuffled off to be rehomed. For eight years my mother thought I was dead.”

Tom drank some more water before getting up to get a refill.

“I wasn’t always so forgettable.”

  • Tom

Vanessa had always been told she practiced more hard love therapy than passing the tissue box. While Tom’s story broke her heart, it also irritated her on some level. All families were different but at the heart of all families was the core of a person that grew into a member of a larger society. How they fit into that society depended on many things but it all started from the core. With this being, not a session, Vanessa was able to have more leeway in her approach and curiosity.

Watching Tom leave to get some more water, Vanessa spun in her seat so that her arm hung over the back and she could see him without getting up. “Okay riddle me this,” she wore a thoughtful expression. “Are you telling me that Starfleet is more open-minded and accepting than your own family? I mean Starfleet obviously knows and accepts your condition but your own family would rather accept that you are dead and out of their life than find a way to let you be a part of it?”

Vanessa Slade CNS

“No, Star Fleet sees me as a resource, a specialized tool to be used when needed. That’s how Star Fleet has accepted me. If I ‘went rogue’ Section 31 would be out hunting for me.”

Tom refilled the water.

“My mother and father know what’s going on with me but they just aren’t comfortable. They don’t want to forget and that’s why, now, if we do interact, it’s over indirect communication. I haven’t seen my parents in person since I left home.”

Tom returned to the seat and looked at Vanessa as he took another sip.

  • Tom

Vanessa looked at Tom before getting up to get herself another beer. Popping the top after it was replicated she took a long swig and leaned over the bar looking at him. “Are you looking for me to be the kinda friend that hands you a box of kleenex and braids your hair or the type of tough love friend that makes you wonder at night if you love me or hate me.”

Pushing off the counter she moved back to her seat and let out a small laugh as she watched the character named Guy on the screen have a nervous breakdown about not having a name which meant he would be the one to die on the away mission. “You know this movie cracks me up every time. Could you imagine if wearing a red shirt or not knowing someone’s name meant you are getting the axe. Lucky you don’t wear red,” she laughed trying to lighten up the mood.

Getting comfortable in the seat, she grabbed the bowl of popcorn and looked at Tom again waiting to see what kind of friend he was looking for in her. Some people thrived on the tough love and others needed kid gloves. Tom might put up a good front about his life but Vanessa was not buying all his duty and forced servitude speeches. He was not the type of guy to do anything he didn’t want to which seemed completely at odds with most of their conversation tonight.

Vanessa Slade CNS

“I don’t need you to braid my hair or wipe my tears but, I’d also like someone I can relax with were a functional friendship to develop.” Tom said, “As for shirt colors, I’ve worn all colors with all the various decorations… All the stuff I can’t tell you about due to security clearances but, yes, I’ve felt sorry for Guy every time.”

Tom was ready to ask his own question.

“Why have you decided to try to invest time and effort with me when you know that you likely won’t personally remember any of it?” he asked then took a sip of his water.

  • Tom

“Why does anyone get to know anyone,” Vanessa shrugged it off. “People need contact and knowing people can always make you a better person in one way or another. Personalities tend to bleed over with people. Some people accept and run with it so that is why you typically see introverts paired with extroverts or the more reserved personalities hooking up with the social butterflies. I feel like as you make your way through this universe you take a bit from everyone you meet which is why you are who you are.” Vanessa took a swig of her beer. She thought about his last question and debated her response. Holding the sip in her mouth to buy some time she eventually swallowed.

“You seem like the pull the band-aid off kinda guy so here you go and you might lose some leg hair…just saying.” The joke about ripping band-aids off tended to imply that it was going to sting and the fact men tended to be hairier than women indicated Vanessa was prepping him for a sting. “Do you know why you have no friends or close relationships? It is not because of your condition. It is because of you.” Setting her beer down she let out a small chuckle and pulled her feet under her in the chair getting comfortable.

“You not only use it to put up a wall but each time you comment about it you add another brick to reinforce it, hiding behind some duty blather or pointing out people won’t remember you. You never give the crew a chance to know you when there are things you could actively do to counteract your condition. Oh and clinically it is a condition but the fact you call it a curse shows your very verbiage means you are looking for something to blame your actions on instead of yourself. I saw it all the time back in the VA,” she waved a hand as if it were nothing extraordinaire. “Life caused trauma and they retreat behind the trauma instead of facing it. Yes this thing happened to you and it sucks but if I understand your condition correctly after you are in the presence of someone for longer than three hours that person will remember you. Sure it won’t be the entire interaction but it could be,” Vanessa pointed out. “You are the one that ducks out or creates situations so that the three-hour clock has to always reset. Why is that and do not tell me anything about your job or clearances because that is garbage because yes we all have things we can’t talk about in our jobs. Why do you avoid the social events where no one in the galaxy is ever going to care if you dressed up as a pumpkin at a costume party or participated in a shipwide crew party?”

Vanessa Slade CNS

Tom arched an eyebrow and sat silent with a small smile. His work for the Federation was a very big part of why he didn’t make outside connections. He didn’t need anyone using a loved on against him and he didn’t need anyone using him against a loved one. It was just easier, and safer for everyone, that he didn’t make those connections but, Venessa didn’t want to hear that and merely dismissed his reasons because she didn’t want to hear it and felt it was a garbage excuse. He didn’t think she had an understanding of his IntSec background and the dangers it would impose not only on himself, but others around him if they could be seen as a weakness to manipulate. Perhaps Tom was overly protective but he felt it was the right decision. As far as Tom was concerned, though long training and experience, the risks of a deeply personal relationships was too great. After all, he devoted his live and mutation to protecting the Federation and it’s citizenry from internal threats. External threats were Intel’s bailiwick though sometimes it did overlap with IntSec.

So after a long awkward silence, Tom looked at the screen and Saw the part where Sigourney kneels down for the cute little monsters and simply said…

“I love this scene but, have you ever noticed how the longer the movie goes, the lower Sigourney’s jumper zipper gets?”

  • Tom

“Or how Alan Rickman’s make-up keeps peeling up and no one seemed to care in the slightest even though he was the one alien’s hero,” she let out a laugh. Tom’s change of conversation was about as subtle as hitting a tree head on and Vanessa took the hint. He was not ready to tackle any real questions or wanted to change anything about his life. She had worked with enough clients to know that telling them what they needed to hear only worked when they were ready to hear it. Whether or not Tom wanted to live his life the way he did wasn’t her problem. It only became her problem when Tom wanted to make the change and needed her brand of tough love to get him through.

“My ex,” she started before stopping the rest of her sentence. While she and Rinker dabbled during the off hours, it was not like they were an actual couple and it felt odd to call him an Ex. “Boss,” she settled on, “has this CO he works with. Apparently, she loses her pants at least once a mission in some form or another,” Vanessa gestured to the screen as Alan Rickman commented I see you’ve managed to get your shirt off in the movie. “I heard extra spandex running shorts are deemed critical away mission materials on the Atlantis.” Her laugh showed how amusing Vanessa thought the situation was. “Could you imagine if the Old Man lost his shirt on an away mission? Personally, I would love to be there. The Captain is always to put together and reserved. I am not sure I have ever seen something get away from him unexpectedly but I have only been here six months. It will happen. Life has a way of getting away from you at times. What was your funniest away team moment?”

Vanessa Slade CNS

“I survived on a hostile planet for a month once because the away team for got I was part of the party and left without me.” Tom offered sheepishly.

  • Tom

“Well then we need to make sure we put a cow bell on you,” she joked back. “How did they eventually remember you?”

Vanessa Slade CNS


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