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Lt Emerson Ravenscroft - All Our Yesterdays


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((Stardate 257608.31))

((Mess Hall, USS Discovery-F))

::Emerson spooned tasteless grub into his mouth. Not because he was hungry. Not
because he sought nourishment. Only because it was a ritual. A habit. A routine
to hold on to whatever remnant of sanity still lurking inside that dented and
cracked skull. Like a gaudy Picasso he stood out in his drab oversized civilian
clothes in the equally drab hall, his skin an asymmetrical patchwork of scars,
sutures and scabs. Without looking up, he knew the others were watching.
Watching an ugly animal feed. Watching a grotesque fossil from the past.
Watching an alien displaced in time and place.

A shadow fell upon his bowl of grey goo. Hunched over the bowl, he didn't look
up.::

RAVENSCROFT: Get lost.

CAMERON: ::tremulous voice:: Lieutenant.. Ravenscroft?

RAVENSCROFT: Am I? ::Another swallow, another suppressed gag reflex.:: I don't
even know who or what I am anymore.

CAMERON: I have someth----

::A swipe of an arm was all it took to send the bowl sailing through the air and
into the far corner of the hall. The loud clang of the metal container against
the tables and bulkhead was followed by deafening silence. When the retired
major-sergeant turned back to look at the former linguist, he became frozen in
place by a pair of feral green eyes, bloodshot, bruised and vacuous. They locked
eyes for what seemed like an eternity, the innocent of the present and the demon
from the past, a hundred lifetimes standing between them.::

RAVENSCROFT: Frak off.

::Trembling, but defiant, MSgt Cameron gently placed a sleeker, futuristic
version of the PADD on the cold metal table then slid it very slowly towards
him. He waited a couple of seconds before speaking.::

CAMERON: I'm part of a salvage crew subcontracted by Starfleet in the
extrication of the Discovery C. We managed to pull up some of the more intact
ship logs. ::He paused, not certain just how delicately he should proceed from
that point onwards.:: One of the first few logs I extracted were personal logs
of the crew.. including those of.. the First Officer.. commander Blueheart..

RAVENSCROFT: Frak you!

::Growling, he jumped up and back, kicking the chair and sending it smashing
against the bulkhead behind him. He gave the sergeant a parting savage look,
nostrils flared, broken teeth bared. Digging his tightly clenched fists into his
pockets, he turned away to leave, limping, his head throbbing, the wounds and
scars on fire. Now was not the time to remember. No! Now was not the time to
remember! He drew out his right fist and smacked it against his skull, thrice,
scratching at the incision scar at the same time.::

CAMERON: ::raising his voice, unperturbed:: Lieutenant!

::He stopped in his tracks. He turned slowly, seething with rage. A morbid
desire to wrap his callused fingers around the [...]y man's scrawny neck rose
within him like the bile induced by the garbage he just forced himself to
ingest. He wished to see his fingernails dig deeper and deeper into the supple
flesh, collapsing the carotids millimeter by millimeter till the man turned
fatally dusky, till his eyeballs and tongue leaked out of their orifices like
slugs emerging from their lairs. It would be like killing all those Breen two
hundred years ago, yesterday.::

CAMERON: The mission logs are classified and off limits. I went to extraordinary
lengths to get you a copy of his personal logs. I thought you'd like to have
them. Reading some of them.. well,.. ::His voice dropped a timbre.:: .. .. I
know he'd have wanted you to have them.

::The sergeant grabbed the PADD off the table and threw it at him. All those
years in cryostasis hadn't diminished reflexes borne and honed in the military.
His right arm shot out with lightning speed to catch the device in midair before
he even felt the stretch and subsequent snap of quiescent ligaments in his limb.
He stared at the PADD, more out of surprise that he had reached out to catch it
rather than actually successfully catching it. Cameron walked past him on his
way out of the mess hall, breaking off eye contact with the feral beast, halting
only briefly beside him for a parting word or two.::

CAMERON: Some of your friends are down on the planet, at the wreckage site.
::[...]ing his head to the side ever so slightly:: Good day, lieutenant.


((Time warp – One hour later))

((Temporary Crew Quarters, USS Discovery-F))

::He believed the itching would be gone once he surrendered himself to reading
the logs. The itching of curiosity. The itching of missing someone so frakking
badly. It only got worse. Subconsciously, he scratched that sinister scar that
ran from the top of his right eye all the way back to his right ear with soiled,
unkempt fingernails as he accessed the logs, sitting cross-legged in a dull grey
room devoid of furniture, one entry at a time.::

Personal Log of Lieutenant Commander Raj Blueheart
First Officer of the USS Discovery, NCC-31929-C
Stardate 239002.19
I toured Astrometrics today with Essk. He almost launched a probe! One should
see the look on Valdivia's and Vedra's face when the launch sequence was
initiated. I had to pinch myself hard to keep me from laughing out loud. I don't
remember ever wanting to laugh this much, ever. Oh wait. Except maybe for that
time when Em wrestled a giant neurotic bird in Sickbay. (Not Dr Morning-Song).
End of personal log.

Stardate 239003.18
Em and I took the kids to the Arboretum for a picnic. We told them about Lady
Julia and how she's now part of the universe, all around us. I think this is the
kids' first exposure to spirituality, and the gods know I have no idea whether
what I did was appropriate. Every so often I kept telling myself I should've
consulted Steve before explaining life and death to our kids, but then I saw
Vayu look up and out of the viewing window at a passing bright star and waved
goodbye to Julie. And then I knew I did okay. We did okay. Me, Em and Steve. ..
Though I'll leave explaining the birds and the bees and the lizards to those
two.
End of personal log.

Stardate 239008.22
A year ago we were on shore leave on Earth, having the time of our lives. Now we
are fighting for our lives. The conflict with the Breen had escalated with the
assassination of their key ambassador. No party had come forth to claim
responsibility for the crime. Independent commissions investigating the matter
had not turned up anything conclusive. I had not been surprised. There are too
many factions, splinter groups, even within Starfleet, I personally believe,
that have gone rogue and have taken the execution of justice into their own
hands.
Now with a full scale war between the Federation and the Breen, the future looks
dismal. Everyday I find my optimism and hope for a peaceful resolution to this
strife evaporating. The crew of the Discovery has stuck through thick and thin
many times before, always emerging triumphant and cohesive in the end. But with
so much death and loss and shattered lives all around us, I'm not certain we
will be as lucky this time. I dread thinking about the kind of future the kids
will inherit..
End of personal log.

Stardate 2390010.01
We laid Lieutenant Raine Vedra to rest today. He shot himself in the head with
his phaser. His depression had relapsed. We are beginning to witness the
collateral effects of the war. Displaced families, genocide, xenophobia, famine,
depression, disease outbreaks, human trafficking, anarchy.. The impending
complete collapse of Humanity. There are moments when I look at my own phaser
and.. But I still have Em!
I am blessed that way. I don't know how I'd even find the strength to wake up
every day without him. He is my sanctuary. He is my war bunker, my panic room.
Time stops when I'm with him. Nothing else matters when I'm with him. Yet I'm
plagued by doubts of a future where we're still together. It's a sick, sick
feeling I can't completely dismiss. And it makes me sad, most days, thinking
about this prospect. Funny how joy and security can morph into paralyzing
sadness in the lapse of a heartbeat.
If ever there comes a terrible fate where only one of us is allowed to survive
this war, I pray Ares will keep Em alive. He is the sun that gives life to all,
not just me.
He is the love of my life. Always shall be. Even in death.. My immortal beloved.
End of personal log.

::He was holding his knees close to his chest by the time he read the last of
the logs, rocking back and forth, back and forth, back and forth. A metronome to
accompany a tragic symphony. He was remembering the past. The past was crawling
out of its cave, fangs bared. Like a hounded quarry he howled a horrifying
guttural sound, clawing his way into a corner of the dark room, cowering and
shaking, curling into a tight ball of flesh and bone and pain. There was no
escape.

The past had ensnared its prey.::

END
==========================
Lt Emerson Ravenscroft
Former Xenolinguist
USS DISCOVERY-C

as simmed by
LtCmdr Raj Blueheart
First Officer
USS DISCOVERY-C

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