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[Round 15] Aftermath


Toni
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((T'Pen Island))

::When Jaxx had received his half pip making him a Lt. Commander, no one on the entire island could have been more proud of him than Talon, but when she tried to go congratulate him, she had gotten pushed aside by the advancing crowd. Seeing that there was no way to get to him or Reid, she hung back waiting until the congratulations subsided. By the time it had, Talon had lost sight of him, but after asking around, one of the crew members remembered they saw him going toward the beach. ::

::Scanning the shoreline, she saw him sitting in the sand, looking out over the water. She approached quietly, and sat down beside him, and looked at the watery horizon too.::

Lee: ::softly:: I'm very proud of you, Lieutenant Commander.

Jaxx: ::half smile:: Thank you.

Lee: A lot on your mind?

Jaxx: ::putting on a full smile to try to cover up the pain:: Nothing, why do you ask?

Lee: ::turning to face him:: I know you, Jaxx, what's wrong?

::Jaxx turned to look at Talon. His first thought was to make a joke to lighten the mood, or change the subject. It was so easy for Jaxx, he could cover his feelings even to the best of Betazoids, but when it came to lying to Talon, somehow...his eyes always told her the truth.::

Jaxx: ::turning to face her, then looked out to the water and paused for a second. He let out a heavy sigh, then began to speak softly:: Abey, Abrams, Acree, Adams, Babin, Bach, Bailey, Baker.....

::Talon recognized the names, but wanted him to tell her, to help him open up his emotions::

Lee: Who?

Jaxx: The casualty report...I keep going over the [...] thing in my head. ::turning to face her:: Did you know that Ensign Cammy Price, graduated second in her class...at the age of twenty? ::surprised::

Lee: Yes.

Jaxx: Lieutenant J.G. Palora Kaylonee, it was her birthday, when the borg attacked. ::looking out at the water he spoke softly as he relived the day:: I was walking passing by crewman's mess...a few people were gathered around singing just moments before the klaxon sounded.

Lee: Jaxx.. it wasn't your fault.

Jaxx: ::reaching into his pocket pulling out the small box:: I survive and get a pip.

Lee: You were lucky to survive, Jaxx, and you deserved the pip long before the attack.

Jaxx: Talon, I love you...but I don't need counseled...::getting slightly angry:: It's not Survivors Guilt, and it's not Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. A lot of good...great officers lost their life... because we were to close to a sub space anomaly, and got thrown into the Delta Quadrant.

Lee: Look Jaxx, you don't have to tell me. I was there too.

Jaxx: ::standing up he turns to face the party, raising his arm he points:: Look at us...we have become immune.

Lee: No, we haven't. We are trying to cope and make sense of .....

Jaxx: ::interrupting her:: We raise a glass, say a few words, ::tears of anger, develop in his eyes:: and even have a moment of silence...but tomorrow, when the letters are sent, and the families are notified...what is the great sacrifice they made?

Lee: They sacrificed their lives, so we could survive. You do them an injustice by thinking anything less of their selfless acts in war.

Jaxx: ::falling to his knees in the sand:: There is no war...there was no great battle...

Lee: But there was valor, in both those who died, and in those who survived.

Jaxx: ::looking up:: No Talon, all there was...::shaking his head:: was a ship with no way to defend herself, brutally attacked by a soulless, faithless, heartless enemy. And at the end of the day...the only thing their death has gotten us...is a ship that will probably get a refit and some new gizmo's, and a fresh new set of officers who have received the best training they could have gotten...and it still will not prepare them for what they may face tomorrow...::looking to the crew having fun:: A third of them will never see this island again...and they just don't know it.

Lee: I know, Jaxx, but they have hope, and faith in tomorrow, and I do too. If I didn't have that, I would cease to exist.

Jaxx: ::climbing back to his feet, he wiped his eyes, then looked into hers.:: That is all we do Talon...exist. The Neutral Zone isn't the safest place to begin with...::putting his hands on his hips, he shakes his head:: they are kids...they have just begun their existence.

Lee: Yes, and we are too. And no, the Neutral Zone is not all that safe, but it's the duty we drew, and we can't change that.

Jaxx: ::starting to walk back toward the party, he was still angry. He loved Talon but sometimes he was just too stubborn to get to. He knew she meant well, but he felt the way he felt:: We might as well go meet the people we will be raising our glasses to, next shore leave.

Lee: Jaxx! It's not like you to be so morbid?

Jaxx: Morbid? Maybe...but I prefer...accurate.

Lee: ::annoyed with him for being so melodramatic:: You don't know that for sure.

Jaxx: A third Talon...a third...::walking up to J.T., he put on a convincing smile.:: J.T. Where are the burgers?

Aadi: ::patting his stomach, grinning:: Right there. ::laughs:: Just kidding, I saved you a couple at our table. I thought if you two wanted to eat now, that you might want to take a walk along the beach with Aleana and me. Whatcha say?

::Jaxx looked to Talon, she was agitated...mostly due to his bull headed manor. He gave her the look as to say, I love you, but drop the issue.::

Jaxx: Burger, dear? ::[...]ing his head to the side::

Lee: ::folding her arms:: No! I'm going to my quarters. Sorry, Commanders, I have a head ache.

::As Talon walked away, J.T. turned to Jaxx::

Aadi: ::chuckling:: Something I said, or did you put your foot in your mouth already?

Jaxx: ::grabbing a burger off of his plate, and taking a bite:: Typical case of, I'm mad so I'm going to take it out on those who love me.

Aadi: Not good, Jaxx. She's a woman, you know.

Jaxx: ::smiles:: Thanks for the burger...::looking toward Talon walking down the beach:: I have to go...pick up the pieces.

Aadi: ::laughs:: Better hurry.

Jaxx: ::hits him on the arm:: Thanks, pal...I catch ya later.

::Jaxx ran off to follow Talon, he had been cold. He felt guilty because she was the warmest person he knew. That is what he loved most about her, so sweet and innocent. This wasn't the first time he had been in the dog house, but he knew he had been there before, and he knew the way out.::

TBC

LtCmdr Andrus Jaxx

Head Counselor

USS Challenger

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