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Revealing a Plan

Posted on Friday October 25th, 2019 @ 9:23pm by James Eve

Mission: #1 Prelude
Location: Earth, Australia - Edward & Pamela Eve's Home
Timeline: FLASHBACK - 2241.10.19 11h05

Summary: James Eve visits his parents to share with them the news that he’s joined the Aquila Program to start a new life on a planet far, far away.

= BEGIN

In a similar way to Tabithas, James’ journey was also complicated. Sitting in a terminal, no longer certain which one, he asked himself why in this age of space travel getting from one side of a home planet to the other was such a problem.

It was nearing two days before he finally arrived outside his parents’ home, setting his holdall on the floor and turning to pay the fare by swiping his ID card, the simplest way on an automated shuttle.

“There you are at last!” his mother exclaimed running down the steps, arms held ready to embrace him. “What a journey you’ve had.” They hugged each other for a long moment before she stepped back and looked up at his face, searching it he knew for any sign of self neglect or tiredness and sure enough… “You look tired. Come on, let’s get you inside.”

His father had remained on the top step giving his wife time to greet their eldest son, observing the scene fondly. Now he stepped forward, hand outstretched, smiling with obvious pleasure.

“Jim… good to see you,” he said, their handshake soon transformed into a hug too.

“It’s really good to be home.” James said smiling broadly from one parent to the other. “How are you both?”

It was always good to see them and to catch up on all the news that wasn't covered by message or live link. This was done once he’d freshened up and unpacked his belongings, pleased to see that although his old room had long since been redecorated, some of his things were still there, a kind of tangible link to days before he left the so called ‘family circle’, before decision making was for someone else to do.

His mother had made a late lunch which they enjoyed in a shady part of the garden, exchanging snippets of news and a few anecdotes on both sides. As the last of the meal was finished and the conversation stilled James scanned the garden thinking that now was the time to tell them his news of greatest importance which he’d wanted to keep until they were relaxed and at ease.

“There’s something I want to discuss with you both.” he said then turned his attention to them. “I'm leaving Starfleet… returning to Reserves but no more than that. I intend to stick with the law but not in the present set-up.”

There was a pause as this information sank in.

“But why? We thought you were doing so well.”

Edward Eve laid his hand on his wife's arm in a gesture that she listen and allow their son to speak.

“It's been coming a while now… a feeling of unease you could say but a recent case summed it up in a nutshell, the whole set-up is flawed,” he added with a shake of his head.
“I was dealing with a case where a captain had for some time been able to choose his own crew. It’s not unknown of course but this one… well... in this case he worked it so that an innocent man was in deep trouble with no recourse. He enjoyed the admiration and had false modesty and I’m guessing this wasn’t the first time he took this line.” He looked from one to the other. “I don't want to deal with that.”

Pamela looked at her son with some amount of shock but his father frowned thoughtfully.
“But you’re always going to come up with that type of thing where it be Starfleet or some other organisation. A business... politicians. People aren't honest, they use others for their own ends, for their own advantages and the greater their position the more they can do that if they have the means to hand...”

“Oh I know that. It's just that this recent case, it involved…” He gave a small smile before he voiced the thought, “... a hero. A real one.” he added looking at his mother. “He put his own life on the line without hesitation and received a medal for it, well deserved if a piece of metal can really illustrate what he did, but the Captain in question used him for his own ends, turned a blind eye to a beating, laid blame where none was due to cover his own tracks and would have seen a career dashed without a blink of an eye.”

“But that's not happening is it?” Pamela asked leaning forward a little with an expression of sudden concern.

“No, no he’s ok… was just the last straw.”

She gave a small smile and received one in return.

“So what are you thinking of, Jim?” his father asked wondering what route he was choosing now. Although he would have liked his son to join him in the family practice he doubted that would happen. The everyday routine was after all what had sent James away in the first place.

James looked at them both, smiled and said, “I've applied and been accepted for the Aquila Programme.” He saw his mothers confused expression and his father slowly raise and lower his head in a gesture, such as James often used himself, one that acknowledged understanding. “I’m going to Proxima Aquilae IV.”

He smiled again at his mother who returned it with some uncertainty. “There’s a thriving colony there, the central capital of course but others based on agriculture, a couple for research… there’s a lot happening.” James expanded his hands to make the point of too much to name.

Pamela Eve listened thinking that as a child James had often come up with hare brained ideas but this one really took the biscuit. He had a growing and successful Starfleet career which, up until a few minutes ago, they had thought him more than satisfied with. Now it seemed he had been planning other things for some time.

“How long will you be gone?” she asked.

James paused, open mouthed ready to reply, his eyes glancing at his father before he did so. “I’ll be settling there,” he said wondering how she could have missed it.

“But we can visit, Pam,” his father intervened sensing a cold sponge heading for his son’s idea, nodding reassuringly at his wife.

“But it takes six to ten years to get there!” Pam exclaimed eyeing her son. “And the same on the way back!” She shook her head as she added, “Much as I love you, that's an awful long time for a visit.”

James laughed, his eyes crinkling at the edges. “There’s a gateway… or there will be. It’s… well… instant. In fact it might take you longer to get to Nat’s place than mine.

“A gateway…”

“In one side, and out the other. Just like that,” her husband replied snapping his fingers in front of her nose.

“I’m not too sure about that,” she said drawing back with a frown from the example. Now James and his father chuckled knowing that this would be her response to anything new and relatively untried.

“Or you can sleep for six years,” her husband said as though considering the good side to this venture. She scowled at him but with amusement too.

“It’s the same as me being posted somewhere,” James said seriously. “You wouldn’t necessarily visit then would you? We’d have kept in touch. A hyperspace link will allow it in the first and last few weeks and then after another couple of years the gateway should be open,” and so it went on.

Pamela found that all her questions were quickly answered, the hazards and risks she foresaw explained away. It was obvious that her son had thought the whole project through from end to end and back again.

Her husband thought so too as he sat silently listening to the back and forth conversation, watching his son with pensive expression. He caught his wifes glance now and then but left her to voice her own and occasionally joint concerns.

“But you’re turning yourself into some sort of… pioneer!” she exclaimed at which point James gave the broad easy smile he’d always used so readily establishing in his father's mind the fact that this was already settled and James sought only their blessing.

Edward reached across the table offering his hand. “You’ll do well with this,” he said as James clasped it with an equal firmness seeing him nod agreement, “and we can plan our trip,” he added looking towards his wife who sighed, smiled and nodded too knowing that there would be a follow on to this conversation in the privacy of their room well into the early hours.

“It might be something you might consider yourself in a few years.” James suggested, pleased at his Dad’s reaction. “They have a scheme that once I’m established there, settled and doing well, then my family members can relocate at a lower cost and with far less hassle.” He glanced from one to the other of his parents seeing interest in one expression and doubt in the other. “The Earth is overpopulated,” he said addressing his mother, “and its resources are under extreme pressure. Thats been so for years and, yes, life would be different but… think about it maybe?”

By the time the early afternoon had turned to early evening, James’ brother had arrived so more catching up and then, over dinner, the whole subject of the plans was explained and gone through again with the same suggestion being made.

They spoke seriously and sometimes with humour but although she did her very best to disguise it, Pamela couldn't entirely hide the sadness and unease she felt. When the hour grew late enough to nudge them all towards their beds, James took advantage of a few moments alone with his mother, cornering her in the kitchen.

“Thank you for understanding,” he said, adding that he was sure it would all go well. She smiled, hugged him, kissed him goodnight and told him she knew it would. He didn't entirely believe she meant it.

In the privacy of his room he sat at his old desk to send a message, seeing in his mind's eye as he pulled the chair forward and settled to his task, Tabitha Vales soft smile.

“Spending time with the family but protests permitting, I should be back in London on Friday 4th and hope we can meet up,” he wrote. “I have something in particular I’d like to discuss with you. Let me know your plans?”

He sent the message to Tabitha’s Starfleet ID, confident that she would receive it and reply within a day or two, three at most. If she was able to meet him they could have almost a week before he had to leave again. He would tell of his plans and, well, who knew? She might even like the idea herself. A long shot but nothing ventured nothing gained. He pressed the button and saw the ‘sent’ logo light up, smiled to himself as he got to his feet and began to prepare for bed.

= END=

LtJG James Eve
Law Officer
UN Starfleet JAG Corps

 

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