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Rune Jolara

Commander Whittaker: In Memoriam (Blackwell)

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(( USS Blackwell - Deck 4 - Captain's Quarters ))

((Time Index: Shortly after Theo's writes a letter to his mother as seen in 'Letters Home'))
 
::The Blackwell glided through space at warp, every second bringing it closer it destination: the planet Arndall. What awaited the crew there nobody could know for sure but had Theo been a betting man, he would surely wager nothing good. The Valcarians and the Caraadians' Cold War was in imminent danger of heating up and Starfleet wanted the Andaris Task Force to step in before anything could happen. Had Arndall been located anywhere else, Theo would likely now be deep into negociations- however, this was the Par'tha Expanse and it's "unique properties" meant that navigating was difficult at the best of times.::
 
::As he sat watching the stars streak by, he felt his mind wandering. Once more, he found himself wanting to pinch himself. The Blackwell was his ship. What sort of Commanding Officer would he turn out to be? Fair and just? Authouritation? Would he be a father figure to the officers and enlisted personnel he commanded? He knew that his mother would insist that he was born to do this and that he would make a fine CO, but part of him believed that she was expected to say that. Typical mothering behaviour. For the first time in a good while, he turned his thoughts to his father... even now in death, he was likely watching his son with intense disapproval.::
 
::Josiah Whittaker had never planned for his only child to enter Starfleet. No, he had been adamant even before Theo had been born that he was to follow him into a life of academia and research on Archer IV, their homeworld. Just as his father had done before. And his before him. And so it went on. Whittaker's were academics and had been for hundreds of years. They revelled in their eloquence and their outdated opinions on class and stature. Theo had never been interested in such a life, driven by an insatiable wanderlust. The galaxy fascinated him, technology had held him in a spell since he was a small child and no amount of lectures and studying enforced by his father could alter that.::
 
::The day of their estrangement, when Theo had finally broken free of Josiah's oppressive shackles, was still crystal clear in Theo's memory. He could recall every last detail of that fateful moment. It was the last time he had seen his father.::
 
(( Archer IV - Whittaker Manor - 12 years previously )) 
 
 J. Whittaker: You step out of that door and you will never be welcomed here again. 
 
::The crisp morning air held a chill, but not one comparable to the one that had descended up on the entrance hall of their home. Josiah bore down on Theo from the grand stair case with a cold fury in his eyes. Five years of acrimonious words and threats had now come down to this. No longer could Theo deny what he wanted to do. Academia be damned.::
 
::The sixteen year old  looked up at his father, who had now reached the bottom step of the staircase, looking at him with a deadly honesty. There was no doubt that Josiah Whittaker meant what he had said. Anybody else would have paused for thought, but Theo wasn't anybody. They had similar discussions over their difficult, acrimonious history. And now Theo was weary. He had had enough.:: 
 
T. Whittaker: ::he made no effort to hide the weariness from his voice. He wanted his father to know that he had, finally, had enough.:: Goodbye father.
 
 ::He turned and reached for the door handle, pulling the massive oak door open with a sharp pull.:: 
 
 J. Whittaker: Theo!
 
:: Theo hesitated for a moment, thinking that he could detect a rising panic within his father's words. His mind told him not to turn but his heart told him otherwise- and so Theo, always one to lead with his emotions, stopped and looked at his father. Cold fury had been replaced by a look of abject desperation. In that moment, Theo knew that his father understood how perilously close he was coming to losing his only child. It was, in a way, morbidly fascinating to behold. He had never seen this side of his father, who had spent his life being as uptight and reserved as he could. At times, Josiah could put a Vulcan to shame with his laser-precision focus and drive.::
 
::And then the moment passed- and the desperation was gone, replaced once more with anger. There was a solemn nod from his father, who looked upon his son with contempt.::
 
J. Whittaker: Then so be it. I no longer have a son.
 
::If the words had been design to wound Theo, they failed to do so. So tired of their arguments and the tension between the two of them, the sixteen year old simply shook his head and sighed and walked out in to the crisp morning air. He walked down the gravelled path where the Starfleet Type-8 shuttle waited beyond the pretentious and elaborate gates. His father wanted him to be an academic, like generations had been before him. But Theo, never one to stand on history, had to chart his own path. Even if that cost him a relationship with his father. Starfleet Academy- and the future awaited ::
 
(( USS Blackwell - Deck 4 - Captain's Quarters - Stardate 239412.07))
 
::Twelve years had passed since that awful morning and it's after effects still lingered with Theo. Had he been right to chart his own course? Of course- he had no doubt about that. But could he have made more of an effort to reconcile with his father in his last years? The answer was simple: Yes.::
 
::Theo had not seen or spoken to his father since that day, even when Josiah had been stricken with the terminal and incurable Meenok's Disease. He had been to the funeral, of course, but his father had chosen not to have an open casket. Neither of them, in his final months- much to the pain of his mother- had been willing to let the barriers down and make amends. It was childish on both of their parts, Theo could see that now.::
 
::The guilt of their estrangement had haunted Theo and he believed that it always would. There was no easy answer, no solution. He simply had to live with what he had done... and hope that he had become a better person in the intervening years....::
 
--
Commander Theo Whittaker
Commanding Officer
USS Blackwell
NCC 58999
Andaris Task Force
C239203TW0
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