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LtCmdr Liam Frost - Unfortunate Duties


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(( First Officer's Office - USS Apollo))

:: Liam had lost track of how much time he had spent in his office, though his chronometer had kept perfect time and indicated that it had been about forty-five minutes. He looked at the monitor in front of him, taking stock of how far he had gotten with the message he had prepared for the family of Daniel Brandon.::

:: Nowhere.::

:: There were, at times, words on the screen in front of him, but none of them seemed appropriate, and none of them seemed to stay there for long. Of course, there would be a note made in the Apollo's official logs, and Starfleet would likely forward that information once it was processed. But it seemed so impersonal. If anything happened to him in the line of duty, Liam had always felt it would be better for his family to find out personally, from someone like the Captain, or even Sidney.::

:: But the Solstice had been missing for nearly twenty years, and her crew presumed lost along with her. It was possible that Commander Brandon's family had moved on since then and made peace with their loss. If that was the case, would contacting them about it simply be opening old woulds that had been healing for more than half of Liam's life. there was the chance that saying something, anything, to them might just make things worse for the family.::

:: He spent long moments pondering it, what he should do. He considered asking someone, Jaxx or even Cayden, how to act. But he couldn't bring himself to put it on either of them. They carried the same burden, or the memories of it, and to put that weight on them seemed more than just unfair.::

:: He took a deep breath, and a long sip of coffee before entering a few commands into his terminal. He waited for a few moments while the subspace relays of the Apollo connected to the ones that he had requested. After a few seconds, the Stafleet logo was replaced by the face of a woman a few years older than Liam. He could tell she was the woman she was looking for, she bore an unmistakable resemblance to the man who's Starfleet record he'd been looking at a few minutes ago.::

Woman: Hello.

:: Liam did his best to keep his voice neutral.::

Frost: Lydia Brandon?

Brandon: Yes. And you are?

:: He could tell she was at least mildly confused. She was a civilian. And to be contacted directly by a Starfleet officer was at least the slightest bit strange.::

Frost: I'm Lieutenant Commander Liam Frost, of the USS Apollo.

Brandon: How can I help you, Commander?

:: He allowed himself as long a pause as he felt he could without creating any unnecessary tension. He needed to choose his words carefully, but he had to do so quickly.::

Frost: I have some information that I though you would want to here.

:: He paused a moment longer.::

Frost: We recovered some wreckage this morning, as well as the body of a Starfleet officer.

:: He could see her expression begin to change slightly, as though she were steeling herself for the information that she was about to receive. That she had always know that she might receive.::

Frost: We found your father.

:: There was nothing for several long moments except silence while Lydia Brandon finally absorbed the fact that she had suspected would come for so long. There were no tears, no visceral reactions, no anger. Just a solemn acceptance of what she had suspected for so long.::

Brandon: I see.

Frost: I'm sorry that you had to find out this way. After so long.

Brandon: I think a part of my always knew this day was going to come. The Solstice was declared lost when I was a kid.

:: This time it was her time to spend a few moments choosing her words.::

Brandon: Can I ask you something, Commander?

Frost: Of course.

Brandon: My father... do you know how he die?

:: It was the most loaded questions he had ever faced. The answer raised questions about the nature of life and death that human philosophers had grappled with for centuries. from a strictly biological stance, Daniel Brandon had been alive right up until the moment Liam had shot him. But was he still Daniel Brandon at the time? Some might argue that Daniel Brandon died twenty years ago, the day he was assimilated. He ceased to be an individual, and became a drone. He followed the will of the collective, and was no more a person than a character on the holodeck. In the end, it didn't matter what the answer was, he couldn't bring himself to place that burden upon her. He looked the as straight in the eye as the connection would allow him to, and told her exactly how her father had met his end.::

Frost: Bravely.

:: She stared at him for another long moment before nodding slowly. She knew there was more to the story than he was telling her, she had to. There would be time for her to read the official reports, to find out what had happened. But for now, It was enough for her to know that her father had died the way he lived, bravely in the face of danger and the unknown. And perhaps, with that information, she would be able to better handle that report. Or perhaps, he could only hope, that would be enough. For a moment, the faintest smile appeared on her features, as if a small portion of the weight she had carried with her was lifted.

Brandon: I see. I never knew quite how I would feel when I found out what happened. It's nice to have some closure.

Frost: If there's anything I can do, please don't hesitate to contact me.

Brandon: I won't. And, Commander. Thank you.

Frost: You're welcome.

:: He reached forward and closed the connection before leaning back in his desk chair. He let his head fall back slightly and closed his eyes as a small wave of relief washed over him. It wasn't a pleasant duty to perform, but one that was necessary. In spite of himself, he was slightly relieved that he had never known Lieutenant Commander Brandon. It gave him a small degree of separation from the situation that he wouldn't have had otherwise.::

:: After a few seconds, he stood, taking a one last sip of his increasingly cold coffee before replacing the mug into the replicator to be reclaimed. He had, once again, emerged from the situation with his humanity intact, and that was something to be grateful for. He moved towards the door, straightening his uniform jacket and letting a long breath out before he stepped back out onto the bridge and into reality.::

LtCmdr Liam Frost

First Officer

USS Apollo

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