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Lt. JG. Andersen: A Voice of Experience.

Sal Taybrim

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((Andersen’s Quarters – Starbase 118))
((Time index – Evening of the crew gathering.))

::The routine of the station was a welcome change in the wind down after Tilanna V. The mundane 9 to 5 was a joy. Especially when Friday came around. Commander Taybrim had invited the senior staff to another gathering. The man certainly knew how to throw a party. He also knew how to keep his guest happy. Freya laughed when she had seen the Best of the Wurst would be catering the event, as well as the illogical eatery – it seemed the conversation between the security officer and marine captain about the catering at the last staff meeting had not gone unnoticed by the commanding officer.::

:: She left her bedroom dressed in stark contrast to her usual attire. The navy floral tea dress skimmed her knees and was finished with a brown belt and matching shoes. She’d decided she was going  to let her hair down that evening – both figuratively and literally. ::

:: She look in the mirror as she ran her fingers through her shoulder length hair. She stopped when she saw the reflection of her son, sat on the couch, with his head in a book. He’d been quiet since she returned home. She had assumed he was still upset at being left on the station. It didn’t stop her worrying something else was wrong.::

Andersen: Are you sure you won’t come with me?

Tyr: I’m sure…

::He didn’t look up from the book.::

Andersen: What are you going to do this evening?

::He said nothing. ::

Andersen: I don’t mind if you want to go out for a little while…

Tyr: I have home work to finish.

Andersen: OK. Well you know where I am if you need me.

::Freya picked up her cardigan, put it on and made for the door. She knew better than to force a conversation.::

Tyr: Mamma… ::Looking up from book.:: You look Pretty.

Andersen: ::Smiling:: Thanks handsome. ::Pointing at the book:: don’t study too hard.

((Voodoo Jazz Lounge – Starbase 118))
((Time Index – 1745))

:: People had already started to arrive. Freya scanned the crowd for familiar faces and those not so. She also happily noticed not everyone had taken up the offer of bringing a guest.

::Normally that wouldn’t have bothered her, but Freya had made the mistake of mentioning the event to her mother, so it was on her mind. With sledgehammer subtlety, saved especially for family, Freya’s mother had enquired if she would be taking anyone to the party. Freya responded with her usual sarcasm, that resulted in a lecture she had heard many times over.  Freya swiftly made her excuses to end the conversation when the phrase ‘just some fun’ had left her mothers mouth. Freya prayed she would never be that embarrassing, for Tyr’s sake!::

::At the bar she ordered a Moscow mule. She sipped at the drink while she watched the other guests, savouring the sharpness of the lime and fiery taste of ginger. She notice Commander Whitaker stood alone. He seemed pre-occupied again. Remembering how defeated he had seemed last time, she thought she’d check on him. While he might out rank her, she trumped him with at least ten years life experience, maybe she could help.::

:: As she drew closer, she could see his expression more clearly. He didn’t seem to be carrying the same burden in his face. Freya also noticed what was drawing his attention. She recognised the young boy playing as the child commander Anders was fostering. ::

Andersen: Evening Theo.

:: Theo turned to see the security officer stood next to him. ::

Andersen: He seems like a tough little guy. A little cutie, too.

Whittaker: He is indeed. :: beat, smiling warmly :: He’s a remarkable little chap.

Andersen: ::Returning smile:: It seems like he’s won you over.

Whittaker: I must confess that I am. :: beat :: This may be a personal question Freya, but how quickly did you bond with Tyr?

::Now that was a complicated can of worms! She’d intended to offer assistance to Whitaker and Anders if the situation had arisen but  she hadn’t expected it to come with a question that would involve so much emotional baggage.::

Andersen: For me instantly, but I had biology on my side having given birth to him. That said,  biology doesn't always make you a good parent…

::She thought about the relationship, or lack there of,  with her own father, as well as her own decision early in Tyr’s life.::

Whittaker: He may not be my biological son, but I’m starting to struggle to imagine life without him already. :: beat :: It sounds ridiculous, considering I’ve known him less than a week.

Andersen: That's not ridiculous at all. It just shows me you’re committed and that's exactly what you need. ::She paused:: and to be patient with him…

Whitaker: What do you mean?

Andersen: I’m by no means a counsellor, I just speak from experience. I loved Tyr from the moment he was born, to this day and I will love him ‘till my last breath. But I don’t think it was the same for Tyr - he had to learn to love me.

::She took a sip of her drink before continuing. ::

Andersen:  I was young and in a complicated situation. I left him with his Father as I though it was the best option to give him stability.  I made, what I now feel was, a very poor decision.

Whitaker: :: suprised :: You stopped all contact?

Andersen: ::Shook her head:: Not completely. I’d visit him on Cardassia when I could, but that wasn’t often enough.  I was more like a friend who would visit once in a while. I don’t think he even understood I was family...

Whitaker: That's obviously not the case now. :: beat :: If I may inquire, what changed?

Andersen: After his Father’s death. I knew he had to stay with me.  I brought him back to Earth. I reminded myself - I was his mother and there was no more running away from my responsibility.

::Many years had passed since Lokir’s death, so the memories rarely brought tears anymore. However, they still brought with them the heavy, twisting weight in her chest.::

Andersen: But I’ll be honest, early on I still wanted to run. It was so difficult. To begin with it was an adventure for him. But that soon wore off.  The young four year old wanted to be back in his bed in the only home he’d known. He wanted to see his father’s face.  He wanted his father to put him to bed. The alien faces became all the more scary and the desire for the familiar stronger.

::She spoke candidly as she dared. It had been a difficult time – She had mourned the man she loved,  while she also endured the rejection from the child she adored. A pain she believed, for a long time, she deserved. ::

Whittaker: Any advice?

Andersen: Prepare for the tears and anger. This is going to be an emotional roller coaster. For all of you.

Whitaker: :: frowning :: Go on...

Andersen: Don’t be afraid to take a step back. If that's what it takes to be that strength that young boy needs,  do it. I’m sure I won’t be the only one to say it, but if either of you need help – whether it be a babysitter or some one vent your frustrations at – you know where to find me.


Lt. JG. Freya Andersen

Assistant Chief of Security

Starbase 118 Ops


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