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Ensign Maxwell - Things to do now I'm home: Part One

Sal Taybrim

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((Starbase 118 – Twenty-seven hours after the Columbia’s return.))


::Crewman Julien Paradi had been in uniform just over a year, having joined Starfleet as soon as he turned eighteen. He’d completed his training and been shipped out to Starbase 118 as a “Transport & Storage Operative”. It was a glorious sounding title for what was essentially a Starfleet order picker. He ran lift loaders and other equipment, shunted palletised freight and equipment from storage locations to transporter bays or aboard shuttles and larger cargo haulers. Some days he was in one of the transit offices, generating or reviewing manifests for anything and everything that went in or out of the storage areas.

He found it pretty dull, so when he was asked near the end of his days rotation if he would take a couple of items up to an officers apartment in the next “block” from his own, he’d been halfway up the corridor before realising he’d left the items behind.

Still, he was here now. Deck 830 North, Apartment 49C. He entered the common lobby, and proceeded to the apartment in question, chiming the door as he came to a halt.

The tiny speaker set flush into the chime sounded.




Paradi: Crewman Paradi, I have your items from the cargo bay sir.


::“Enter” came the voice, and a moment later the door hissed open.

He stepped over the threshold and into an apartment that was identical in layout – but mirrored – to his own. To his left were a trio of doors that led to bedrooms and a dedicated washroom, he was stood in what was the open plan entry/lounge area, and to his right was the rest of the apartment that was the remainder of the lounge area and an open plan family/dining/kitchen layout. There were framed posters of musicians and bands adorning the walls, along with framed examples of what looked like….::


Paradi: oO Surely they can’t be vinyl records, can they? Oo


::There was a pair of two seat sofas and three comfy looking chairs in the lounge area, and there was a fair sized coffee table in the middle of them. There were a couple of old style printed music magazines on the table, sat beside a trio of empty beer bottles, and one half-full. There were several display stands and bookcases dotted about the room, with all manner of militaria and music memorabilia on show. He even spotted a storage rack with a decent collection of records in it. No record player though…. A padded stool was sat by one of the three windows – Paradi knew the ‘outer’ bedroom would have it’s own window too – beside a Cello on a stand and also a stand for sheet music.

Behind the stool was what looked like a violin case as well. His gaze flicked back to the left, noting a short bookcase against the wall between the inner bedroom and washroom. Sat upon it in a glass case was a highly detailed and intricate model of an old Ambassador-class Starship, and beside the case was a framed photograph of a Science Officer and his blushing bride.


His attention had been drawn that way by the hissing of the door to the outer bedroom. Out of which strode a shirtless man who looked to be about twenty-two. Paradi took in the slim but toned physique at a glance and felt a mild flush of excitement. One side of his face and neck was reddened and looked to be mildly irritated; the other side of his neck had a square dressing on it, low down. His torso was peppered with purple-green bruising and not a few nasty looking scratches and gouges. He had short hair and a short beard, and his eyes were different colours. He also didn’t have any trousers on.

Instead, he was wearing a pair of heavy-duty black boots. And a kilt.::


Paradi: oO Kinda hot really… Oo


Maxwell: Awright pal? Those ma things?


::He nodded at the bag strap on Paradi’s shoulder, but also meaning the case of Turners Lager couched under the other arm. Paradi nodded, relieved. He put the duffel bag and beer case down, smiled and made to leave. His eyes flicking briefly over to the stool by the window. Maxwell turned, following the gaze, his own eyes falling on the Cello::


Maxwell: Aye, she’s a beauty ain’t she? D’you play by chance?


::Paradi’s heart skipped a beat. He did indeed play the Cello! He nodded enthusiastically::


Maxwell: Aye, great. Tell ye what lad. Why don’t ye come doon at some point? We can sit oot on the veranda and play a while.


By the “veranda”, Paradi took him to mean the communal area outside the apartments. He nodded again, excused himself, and left.


Maxwell: oO Who’d have thought? Another Cello player! Oo


::He glanced up at his wall-mounted clock, noting the time before grabbing a t-shirt from over the back of a chair and pulling it on. There were still boxes of his collectibles and clothes dotted about, and stray piles of clothes strewn about everywhere. Brushing a pile of socks of a chair, he sat down in front of his viewer, declaring the recipient of the call. About a minute later, the screen came to life and an olive-skinned woman with dark hair and sparkling green eyes appeared before him. An enormous smile broke across her face and a hand went to her mouth.


Maxwell: Hello mam ::He couldn’t help but grin, and he realised how much he was missing her. She tutted.


Abrielle Maxwell: Italiano! ::she scolded, but there was a playful edge to it::


::He shook his head, laughing.::


Maxwell: Ciao Mamma.


::She smiled. She always wanted to talk to him – to all of the kids – in Italian, a fact that mildly irritated his father. They talked this was and that for a while, at one point the screen splitting as his father had joined in. Maxwell’s mother calling out to him, and Maxwell had heard his father in the background calling back that he couldn’t understand a bloody word she was saying. The rest of the family knew full well that William could speak Italian almost as well as his wife. To any outside observers, it would have sounded like the brewing of an argument, but it was just a playful little routine his parents had gotten into during their thirty years of marriage. He’d spoken briefly with his brother Henry and got a relatively polite ‘hello’ from his sister as she had passed Amelia into her “Granmamma’s” lap.

He’d never once stopped smiling as he sat there listening to her chatter away about everything and nothing that was world-spinningly important to a four year old.::


Maxwell: Okay, Milly. You go with your auntie Rosetta. Be good, night night. Daddy loves you!


::She’d waved at him, then held her arms out to be picked up. Maxwell’s mother smiled, giving her a kiss goodnight and watching as she was taken from the room. Then her expression changed to one of sadness::


William Maxwell: Awright, son. I’ll leave you be to chat wi’ your mother. I’m proud of you son. Speak soon, aye?


::And with that, the split screen went back to a full screen of his mother’s face. He knew that look. Something had happened. It was a month or so since his Grandad had passed away, so it couldn’t be that. He lapsed back into English as he spoke::


Maxwell: Sup, Ma? What’s happened?


::His beloved Mamma began to weep::






Ensign Arturo Maxwell.

Tactical Officer.

Starbase 118 Operations.




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