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[Round 19] Ens. Arden Cain

Nathan Baker

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(( Mess Hall, Renegade Trader))

:: Arden couldn't decide which was a worse situation to be in, on the Orion shipyards or the Renegade Trader with his Father? By the time he had reached the Trader on his way for the pre-arranged family dinner he decided on the latter of the two options. He had been trained well by Star Fleet in most regards so dealing with an enemy shipyard while daunting was a piece of cake compared. On the other hand dealing with Willard Cain never got any easier even with a considerable amount of experience at it. Not once had Arden walked away feeling like he was an equal to his Father. In the end he always felt like some six year old child crying or complaining no matter how old he actually was. Arden was determined to change that fact because while he was still young he was his own man now. One deserving of a certain level of respect if not that then definitely common curtsey. He didn't hold his breath waiting for either.::

:: After punching in a code at the airlock Arden was granted access to the Renegade Trader seeing the familiar bulkheads and corridors. With one final sigh he crossed the threshold calmly. Arden wasn't looking for a fight this evening, he wasn't even looking to relive the glory days. The only thing back there were more fights and a miserable existence. Nothing that needed to see the light of day again.::

:: As he walked through the corridors Arden saw that the Trader remained largely unchanged despite it being several years since he had been aboard. On the way to the mess hall he spotted few instances of malfunctioning equipment. Computer terminals on the fritz or ceiling lights that just didn't work. Some of the problems looked worse then others with a cursory analysis but that wasn't the reason for Arden being there. Reminding himself to be careful not to volunteer his services to help repair some of the problems he entered the mess hall. Glancing down at a wrist watch he had replicated for himself, it revealed he was early as he promised he would be.::

:: Half expecting to see the rest of the crew of the Trader, Arden saw his Mother and father sitting at the table while Ellen went about making final preparations. Despite knowing that the three of them were now aware of Arden's presence Arden walked up to Marcella Cain and gave her a hug at his own pace. The hug was affectionate as any such occurrence between mother and child would be. It filled Arden with a motherly warmth, one that couldn't be achieved when talking via sub space.::

:: Taking a step back he turned to his Father, Willard. He however barely gave a grunt of acknowledgement.::

Arden: Nice to see you to Dad.

Ellen: Behave you two and I thought I said that this was meant to be a uniform free night!

Arden: ::smiling:: Sorry Ellen I didn't get that part of the message. How was Bajor?

Ellen: Do you realize that your always changing the topic? Bajor was great. I only wish I had more time to spend down there. Well thank you everyone for agreeing to come tonight, enjoy.

:: Arden sat down as Ellen placed the last of food platters on the table taking a seat next to Arden. On the table were now traditional terran roast vegetables and a leg of pork. A gravy float and a small dish of butter were close by. Once everyone had filled there plates Willard spoke in his trade-mark charming tone that served him so well in the business arena. A touch of pride filled his voice.::

Willard: I don't usually take orders on my own ship, let alone from one of my children but this is fantastic Ellen. I am proud of you for doing this..

oO Of course you are. Like I can't tell what your playing at. Oo

Ellen: Well it wasn't exactly easy. That replicator seriously needs replacing. Perhaps Arden could take a look at it.

:: This statement came with a small murmur of laughter from the parents. Although Arden was sure it was related to the replicator joke, he couldn't be sure. ::

Arden: I don't think I will have the time but if its anything close to what I remember of it. It probably does need replacing. Patch jobs can only last so long.

Marcella: Well isn't that the truth.

Willard: ::Staring straight at Arden:: Are you saying that there's something wrong with the Renegade Trader. Too busy playing with your new toy warship to remember how the real people do things. Working with what limited supplies we have and all!

oO And it starts, hell that didn't take long. Oo

Arden: No Dad, I haven't forgotten and there's nothing wrong with the Trader that a bit of TLC couldn't fix. As for the Ronin, that ship is far from being a toy and the people aboard are as real as they come. But we both know your insult was directed at me, don't we.

:: An uncomfortable silence filled the room as the family slowly ate their food. Each of them looking about as if to decide what to talk about next in a more amicable manner. During which time Arden actually spotted a decoupler lying next to the replicator unit. Thinking to myself, the food actually did taste better then he remembered. It must have taken Ellen some time to get such a result.::

Marcella: So dear, how are you settling in on the Ronin? Must be quite the change.

Arden: Its only been a few days but I'm settling in well. Still travel light so unpacking isn't usually a problem.

Willard: So why have you been demoted?

:: The question shocked Arden. At first he didn't realize what his Father had been talking about then he caught on that he might be referring to the Constitution. It seemed like so long ago that he left DS9 aboard the Ronin, so much had happened. ::

Willard: What was the name of the other ship. Constantinople, Christchurch..

Arden: You mean the Constitution dad.

Willard: Yes that one. I hear you were a department head. So what happened?

Arden: The Constitution was decommissioned through no fault of my own that much I can guarantee. When I was transferred to the Ronin someone more experienced was chosen as CEO. And my position as a department head was a temporary thing at best. I'm good but far from the best and the last few days of proven that fact.

Willard: And here I was thinking that I trained you to be more then just good.

:: Arden simply didn't reply to the comment, not raising to the bait. Instead he thought about what Captain Perkins had told him about bullies. "The last thing you do is back down" he'd been told and Arden had no intention of doing so now. That brought a smile to his face although Arden couldn't tell how long it would last.::

Willard: Have nothing to say to that mister? Don't those Star Fleet types teach respect these days?

Arden: To some extent they do but on a personal level respect is earned not a right. Tonight isn't about me though. This has got to be the best meal I have had here in a long time Ellen. Thank you even if the company is a little more difficult.

Ellen: Well there's still dessert, the evenings still young as they say.

:: Somehow Arden doubted it as he finished off his first plate. Putting down his knife and fork he sat and waited to see what would happen. After what seemed like ages Willard predictably broke the silence. This time he wasn't playing soft ball.::

Willard: So whats your plan Arden. Going to go back to your ship and continue to look down on us. Going to walk away again I mean the only reason your here is to mock me.

Arden: ::Slowly standing:: Thank you once again Ellen, Mother, if you will excuse me I apparently have things to discuss with Dad outside. If I don't come back I will call before I depart.

:: With that he left the table turning his back on his Father deliberately making his way to the aft cargo hold. He choose the cargo hold because it was out of the way and well outside of hearing range. It didn't take long for Willard to arrive behind him. Now that the pair of them were there it seemed so obvious what would happen next. As Arden thought about it he realized that he didn't want to argue with his father. A few years ago he wouldn't have hesitated but a lot had change since then but as he realized the day before this was one of those choices that was out of Arden's hands.::

Arden: ::talking before Willard could in a raised but controlled voice.:: Believe it or not Dad. I didn't have a plan when I arrived tonight. You were the one hell bent on causing chaos and stress. I get enough of that in my day job. I don't need you adding to it.

Willard: Well if you can't hack it.

Arden: Oh I can hack it but don't change the topic dad.

Willard: Well as I recall you were the one that left, not me. So don't go blaming me for where your at. The trouble you get yourself in. Emotional or otherwise.

:: The statement struck Arden causing a tear to come to his eye. It was true that Arden may have left for Star Fleet. Choosing a career over his family but it seemed oddly hypercritical that he be blamed for following his own desire when he could clearly remember growing up for the most part without a real father. One that was always on so called business returning only when it suited Willard.::

Arden: Your such a pathetic fracking hypocrite. Get over your fracking self. I can't count the times you left Ellen and I on Earth without our parents. Ellen may love you but I know better.

Willard: Watch your tongue boy. I'm still your bloody father and I [...] well deserve your respect.

Arden: Respect you, that would be the day. I joined Star Fleet because its something I believe in and the fact remains I am pretty good at what I do, your just too blind to see that. :: Willard went to talk but Arden cut him off raising his voice yet again.:: I don't owe you anything Father least of all respect or loyalty. Your neither my superior or worthy of the time I spent trying to please you. Hell you treat me like s**t so whats that old saying. "What comes around, goes around".

Willard: ::Sneering:: And here I was thinking that you came to your senses. Came back here tonight to apologize. I would have even accepted it. But now get off my ship and don't let me catch you hanging around.

Arden: ::Laughing:: Apologize for what? I came here because Ellen asked me to, not for you. :: Walking away he called over his shoulder.:: If you want to keep me out you better change those access codes. Wouldn't want to make too easy for me to break in!! See ya around.

::Once out of sight heading toward the airlock Arden abruptly turned and punched the closest wall letting a sob go before making his way back to the Ronin. Although what Arden had said made him feel good he knew all too well that he would regret it the next morning. For he always did, a weakness on his part that he knew his Father didn't share. Before stepping aboard DS9 Arden made sure to wipe his eyes in an attempt to hide the tears that had been spilled. The last thing he wanted was the new crew to stumble into this family feud. And see Arden as somehow acting in a childish manner. Perhaps he would see about calling Evanna. She usually was a good listener and never one to judge. Arden like his privacy and this was as private as Arden got.::


Ensign Arden Cain

Engineering Officer

USS Ronin


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