AUX Henry Sumner, SCE

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Re: AUX Henry Sumner, SCE

Postby C. J. Short » Wed Sep 28, 2016 3:43 am

The Seven Deaths of Henry Sumner - Part 5

They were back in Henry’s old bedroom, though the sun had gone down and left it softly lit by a desk lamp and a singular overhead fixture. The desk was cleared of the PADDs and gadgets, and a now-18 year old version of himself was quietly packing one last duffel. He would be catching a hopper in the morning to San Francisco, and Starfleet Academy. He would finally get away.

“I’m really not a fan of the paint job, now that I’m seeing it in this light,” remarked Q.

“That was my father,” explained Henry. “No offensive colors. Everything had to be neutral, or natural. You should see the kitchen.”

“You got kinda handsome,” she mused, moving closer to the younger version. “A nice strong chin.” Henry ignored her, and instead looked to the doorway where his mother stood, watching her son pack in silence.

“So you’re really gonna go?” she asked, breaking the silence.

“Yep,” Henry answered after a heavy sigh.

“I suppose it’s not so bad. It’s just down the coast; I’m sure we’ll see plenty of each other,” offered his mother. Henry ceased his packing and closed his eyes as he visibly tensed. A heavy silence permeated the room once more, and Henry resumed packing.

“I assume you’ll be coming back for Thanksgiving?” she pressed, wearing a hopeful smile.

“No,” was his quiet answer. His mother’s smile faltered briefly, though she tried to cover for it.

“That’s alright. Christmas?”


“Easter?” Her smile was now gone entirely.

“No,” repeated Henry, whose hands were now starting to tremble.

“For Christ’s sake, when, Henry?” his mother asked in exasperation.

“How ‘bout fucking never!?” Henry snapped, drawing a grimace from his older counterpart.

“Henry James-” his mother started.

“NEVER!” he reiterated. “I’m leaving, and I’m not coming back to this shit hole, okay?”

“This ‘shit hole’ is your home,” his mother replied, doing her best to keep her composure.

“No, it’s my fucking prison,” quipped Henry. He was now caught firmly between screaming, laughing and crying. The older Henry remembered the feeling well: a roiling in his stomach, a tingling under his skin, and a dull buzzing in his ears.

“I know your father has been strict-” his mother started, trying to assuage him. By now, however, Henry had begun to see through that particular trick.

“Don’t you dare!” Henry commanded. “Don’t you sit there and talk down to me, and try to get to swallow his bullshit! He’s a massive piece of shit, and you know it as well as I do!”

“Your father built a house for you-”

“No! He built it for himself and his god damn trophy wife so he could feel like a big shot instead of a glorified bureaucrat!”


“And he treats his family like shit!”


“And you fucking helped!”

His mother looked at him, mouth agape in shock as tears rimmed her eyes, and she stepped towards him.

“How can you say that?” she quavered.

“You have allowed him to do all of it,” Henry accused. “You fucking sat there and watched as he tore me down every chance he got, and every time he smacked me around when I was too small to fight back!”

“Henry, you have no idea-”

“Save it! I don’t want to hear about how bad you felt about it; you still fucking sat there and watched it happen!”

“Henry, please let me-”

“Shut the fuck up! I don’t want to hear it! I don’t ever want to hear another word out of your bitch-ass mo-”

His mother interrupted him by slapping him forcefully. The older Henry winced, remember the sting to this day.

“How dare you!?” she growled. Henry was too stunned to respond, trapped somewhere between terror and rage. “You think you had it bad? Fuck you, Henry! You got off light! The worst you ever got was a slap on the ass. He never wrapped his hands around your throat and squeezed. He never shoved you into a mirror because dinner was overdone, or broke the snow globe you got from your mother, or...”

His mother's words faltered as she sobbed, overcome with grief, and shame. He had always suspected that his father had hit his mother at some point, but he would never have guessed the level of rage the man would have towards his own wife.

Younger Henry put his arms around his mother, and the older version remembered feeling like complete shit. Experiencing prolonged abuse, especially when he was so young, had blinded Henry; all he’d known as a child was that he loved his sister, he loved stars, and his father hated him. That his mother might have had it worse had never even occurred to him prior to this confession, and the realization was a life-altering one.

“I never… I’m so sorry, mom,” said Henry, now crying himself.

“I know,” she said, and they sat on the bed together for a while. Eventually she wiped her eyes on her sleeve and gathered herself before looking gazing at her son. “I understand if you don’t want to visit. To be honest, I can’t blame you, but I will miss you more than you’ll ever know.”

Henry closed his eyes and lowered his head, ashamed of his earlier outburst.

“Maybe I could come for the holidays,” he offered.

“Only if you want,” she said, though she couldn’t help sounding a little hopeful. “Hey, maybe your sister and I can visit you instead sometimes, huh?”

The younger Henry nodded and drew his mother into another embrace, and the scene melted away, revealing the ice cave once more. Old Henry wearily returned to his sitting position, and looked to his timeless companion. To her credit, Q hadn't interjected or asked any uncomfortable questions, and Henry couldn’t help but wonder if her earlier ignorance about humans had only been a show.

She moved to sit across from him, hugging her knees to her chest and staring at him intently.

“What?” he asked.

“Your dad was a real dick,” observed Q.

“Yup,” Henry agreed. He took a deep breath and seemed like he might say more, though he hesitated.

“What?” Q echoed.

“He was that way for a reason,” said Henry.

“What!?” Q asked again, now genuinely surprised. Henry sighed and rubbed his eyes.

“A lot of bad shit happened to my dad when he was younger,” he explained. “His parents were dicks to him, and a lot of things went badly for him when he was a young man, and it just rotted him to the core.”

“That can’t possibly excuse what he did to your mother,” Q challenged.

“No, of course not,” agreed Henry, shaking his head. “Just an explanation. That’s how it goes; a parent treats their child like shit, that child grows up and treats their kids like shit, and on and on the cycle goes.”

“You wanted to end it,” reasoned Q, eliciting a nod from Henry. “But you never had kids.”

“Nope. Never really got the urge,” he offered. “Sara had the kids; two little pale blue babies.”

“Ah. And she knew as you did, about that cycle of abuse,” Q deduced.

“And she was a wonderful mom, not that there was any chance of being otherwise,” he remarked.

“You admired her greatly,” said Q, and Henry could swear he heard a bit of warmth in her tone.

“Everyone who ever knew her admired her,” he affirmed. He lowered his head, a sudden pit forming in his stomach.

“Don’t… don’t make me relive that,” he plead. “Not yet.”

“Not yet,” agreed Q. “We’ll save that for last.”
"As long as I have a want, I have a reason for living. Satisfaction is death." - George Bernard Shaw, Overruled

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Re: AUX Henry Sumner, SCE

Postby Einar S » Wed Sep 28, 2016 12:14 pm

damn I got the chills. This is fantastic CJ
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Re: AUX Henry Sumner, SCE

Postby C. J. Short » Wed Sep 28, 2016 1:22 pm

Then you'll love the next six :D
"As long as I have a want, I have a reason for living. Satisfaction is death." - George Bernard Shaw, Overruled


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Re: AUX Henry Sumner, SCE

Postby Aoibhe Ni » Wed Sep 28, 2016 1:36 pm

Einar S wrote:damn I got the chills. This is fantastic CJ

I know, right?!

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Re: AUX Henry Sumner, SCE

Postby C. J. Short » Thu Sep 29, 2016 8:36 am

The Seven Deaths of Henry Sumner - Part 6

The Golden Gate Bridge loomed outside the Academy dorm room’s window, ever bathed in bright sunshine. Everything in San Francisco was bathed in that light, and Henry recalled that, even after four years of it, he never got used to it. It wasn’t that the sun never shined in Seattle, it just never shined so… insistently. It lent itself to a certain bubblegum cheeriness that he’d always associated with fake people. At least until the age of 40; anyone who was bubbly after that was either unhinged, or unnervingly serene.

“Ah, this must be the Academy,” Q observed, strolling over to the large window. “Where all those special little Starfleet snowflakes begin.”

“You knew that before we arrived,” said Henry, tiring of Q’s act.

“Oh? What makes you think that?” she asked.

“I’m certainly not choosing to be back in this glorified grindhouse,” Henry rued.

“Mm. You’re half right,” she said. “Remember that whole painting analogy? I see you, and I see certain brushstrokes that interest me, and there we are. Doesn’t mean I know exactly where we’re going.”

“Okay,” sighed Henry. The full nature of these visions were still unclear to Henry. Was this all happening in his head? Were they actually going back to these places? The subjects within the memories couldn’t see them, which seemed to suggest-

“Shh!” hushed Q. “I’m trying to listen.” Henry was about to ask what she was listening to when the door slip open. In strode Henry, now 22, followed by Cadet Hamilton ‘Ham’ Feige, Henry’s closest friend at the time who wasn’t named Sara.

“Well, at least this one’s only embarrassing,” he muttered.

“Spoilers!” admonished Q.

“I’ve had it. I’m done with this bullshit,” vented the younger Henry. The older sighed and sat on what had been his bed.

“Uh huh,” Ham offered. His roommate failed to pick up on the distinct lack of interest in Ham’s voice.

“Every god damned time. I run circles around every other asshat cadet in that class, and they give me an 85. An 85!? Are you fucking kidding me? I can do this shit in my sleep!”

“Yep,” said Ham, getting a snack from the replicator.

“I mean, fucking grammar!? They’re gonna dock me because I used a couple of wrong verb forms? Jesus, it’s no wonder Starfleet’s been shifting away from theoretical research over the last decade; everyone’s too concerned with participles to worry about particles,” scathed Henry.

“Jesus Christ,” moaned the old man, unable to stop a small chuckle at his own expense.

“That was pretty bad,” agreed Q.

“Good god, Hank; do you ever fuckin’ listen to yourself when you go on these asinine little rants?” Ham asked, sandwich in hand.

“Excuse me?” said Henry. In four years, this was the first truly critical thing Ham had ever said to him.

“For two years, you’ve been bitching about the same fucking thing. How dare they not find your work absolutely perfect in the fuckin’ haphazard-ass form you write it in. How dare they hold you to the same fuckin’ standards as everyone else,” Ham continued.

“You know I’m-”

“Yeah yeah, you’re a real god damned genius, Hank. I know. We all know because you keep going on and on about it instead of being an actual human god damn being! We invite you to go out, you say you gotta write some paper about subatomic inconsistencies in proximity to an insect’s ass, or some other self-aggrandizing bullshit paper no one asked you to write so you can show your instructors and feel like hot shit, the second coming of Isaac fucking Newton himself!”

“If it walks like a duck,” Henry tried to rebuff.

“Oh, fuck off,” said Ham, shoving the sandwich back into the replicator. “I bet Isaac Newton could spell.”

“Hey! Do you know how fast I’m writing this shit down?”

“I know I don’t give a shit; the details fucking matter, Henry. Did it ever occur to you that maybe that was the point? You can have the most brilliant idea a human being has ever crapped out while not having friends, but it doesn’t mean anything if you can’t communicate your fucking idea properly. And when you’re on a starship, the little details can be the difference between life and death, so it fucking matters!”

The old man remembered feeling a grave sense of betrayal at the time, but now, with the passing of decades, he could see what Ham was trying to do. He had been right, of course. Henry had been arrogant, and vain, and dismissive. It might have saved him many years of pain had he listened.

“At least I’m fucking trying,” countered Henry, his eyes now rimmed with angry tears as he brought forth his reflexive indignation. “I’m not out partying, and chasing girls, and pretending like grades don’t matter.”

“They don’t matter,” argued Ham. “C students still get postings, Henry, but self-righteous asshole shut-ins don’t suddenly learn how to make friends just because they’re top of their class.”

“Maybe I don’t need fucking friends!” shouted Henry.

“Jesus, Hank; I’ve never met someone more in need of friends than you,” said Ham, including with a derisive chuckle.

“Funny way of showing it,” muttered Henry, who turned for the bed his older counterpart now sat on.

“Wow,” remarked Q, who has been watching with increasing amusement.

“Poor, dumb bastard,” the older Henry said, looking at his younger self sitting next to him, once more feeling that new sense of self-empathy.

Ham reordered his sandwich, along with a synthale which he handed off to Henry. He wouldn’t drink it, and old Henry remembered feeling a profound loneliness in that moment.

“'Hank?'” asked Q, who wore an amused grin.

“He’s literally the only person I ever allowed to call me that,” answered Henry, wearing a sad smile at the memory. The cave enveloped them once more, and Henry couldn’t help but feel a little regret. Ham could have been a good friend.

“So, did your grammar improve?” ribbed Q, drawing him from the thought.

“Eventually,” Henry answered. “I kinda checked out those last two weeks. Flat out missed one of my finals. I had lost my only real friend, and he had been right. Few needed friends more than I did, and I was so unwilling to make them.”

“You thought you were above them,” reasoned Q. Henry thought about this for a what seemed like several minutes before responding.

“I was afraid of them,” he said.


“I was a wreck. My psyche was such a fragile collection of shattered bits of personality that, sometimes, arrogance was the only thing keeping me together.”

“I see. You were afraid people would see through your meager facade.”

“Something like that,” affirmed Henry.

“How long did it take you to figure all that out?”

“Too long.”
"As long as I have a want, I have a reason for living. Satisfaction is death." - George Bernard Shaw, Overruled

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Re: AUX Henry Sumner, SCE

Postby C. J. Short » Fri Sep 30, 2016 11:00 am

The Seven Deaths of Henry Sumner - Part 7

“New Juarez,” said Henry, and his voice carried a deep timbre of foreboding. It was dark, but he’d known where he was before his eyes could adjust. Everything about the planet had been burned into his senses; his skin remembered the humidity, his nose remembered the smell, and his ears remembered the quiet crackling of burning rubble, occasionally punctuated by the screams of the dying.

“Seems nice,” quipped Q.

“This is the first night,” observed Henry. “Perimeter of Site B. We retreated here after the shuttle crash.” He tried to place the exact spot in his memory, but had difficulty. Things got jumbled a bit after Site A, and he’d been operating on adrenaline alone at this point. As his eyes adjusted, however, he saw a pair of Starfleet officers: Chief Petty Officer Q’mpok, a Klingon, and Lieutenant N’jah Krull, a massive Caitian.

“Rounds,” he muttered. For her part, Q simply watched.
Krull was keeping his keen eyes on the rubble-strewn street ahead while Q’mpok monitored a mobile scanning unit. Krull perked up after a moment, his ears twitching to the side.

“Archer,” Krull hissed into the darkness.

“Axanar,” Henry answered from the shadows across the way. Now 30, the Kraken’s Chief Tactical Officer picked his way over the rubble towards Krull’s hardpoint.

“The Jem’Hadar really blew this place to hell,” observed Q.

“We blew these buildings ourselves,” said the older version.

“Really? Why?”

“You can’t hide a score of Jem’Hadar snipers in rubble.”

“Huh; oh hey, you’re wearing gold now.”

“Yeah. I switched between Tactical and Science a few times in my career.”


Henry paused, letting his eyes linger on Krull for a bit. The Caitian would be awarded a posthumous Medal of Honor for this mission, and it had been well earned. Henry had been in charge of the forces on the ground, and he had been given significant praise for his leadership. If not for N’jah, however, none of them would have survived long enough to be praised for anything, and Henry had always felt a certain sense of shame that he’d been decorated when so many others did more. Sara had called it survivor’s guilt.

“I had it in my head to die a hero,” Henry finally answered. He made his way closer to the hardpoint, and Q followed closely behind. His younger self had been having a whispered conversation with Krull, who soon crept off into the darkness. Henry took up his position with Q’mpok.

Q’mpok was a young Klingon, but a particularly fiery one. Henry had admired that, and he had to wonder now if it wasn’t because of how he’d spent his time as a young officer. In a lot of ways, Q’mpok was the rowdy officer Henry had always kind of wanted to be; he was boisterous, fun-loving, and no challenge was too great.

“How you holdin’ up, Pok?” asked Henry, his eyes scanning the rubble in the distance.

“I’m okay,” the Klingon answered. The subdued tone of his voice had been what caught Henry’s attention. Of all the people who’d stayed behind on New Juarez, Henry would have guessed that Q’mpok would be the most enthusiastic. Then again, he had been somewhat hyped for the mission himself at first. That had been before Site A.

“Just another 48 hours,” Henry assured. Even then, however, he had noted the lack of conviction in his words.

“The first 24 have gone well enough,” Q’mpok grumbled. Henry sighed and sat down behind the bent duranium wall that served as their cover.

“We’ve fortified our position now; we’re not going to have another Site A,” said Henry.

“No, we’ll just have a Site B,” said Q’mpok, drawing a glower from Henry. “Sorry, sir.”

Henry rubbed his eyes, and his older counterpart recalled this being the first moment of fatigue after Site A. He’d been running on adrenaline all day, but now, in the quiet and the dark, it had begun to catch up to him.

In truth, Henry had shared Q’mpok’s pessimism. The battle at Site A had seen over a third of their forces wounded or killed. The Jem’Hadar, crafty as they were, had detached a polaron cannon from one of their attack ships, using it as mobile artillery to devastating effect. The meager defenses set up as they tried to evacuate the makeshift hospital hadn’t held at all. The evacuation of the wounded had come at too steep a price, and this was another thing Henry had blamed on himself.

He couldn’t say that to Q’mpok, however. He had known that much, but the inspiring words to restore his crewman’s faith wouldn’t come, and the pair sat in silence for several minutes.

“Do you think this is what it was like during the war?” Q’mpok asked after a while.

“The same uniforms are involved, so I’m sure it looks a little familiar,” Henry answered. His older self lowered his head, regretting the nihilism in his tone.

“It’s different from the stories,” Q’mpok said, still watching the scanner display. “You can read all the casualty numbers you want, but it doesn’t tell you how horrible it is to see your friends broken, bleeding, or vaporized.”

Henry stayed quiet, but the older one recalled the burning in his chest as Q’mpok spoke. The faces had been in his head all day, particularly Ensign Valia’s. She had been a brilliant young Ensign, well on her way to a long and illustrious career before they set down on that humid nightmare of a planet, and her death had been a particularly dark mark among the many he’d garnered there.

“It doesn’t tell you about how long it takes to bleed out from a Jem’Hadar rifle,” Q’mpok continued. “It doesn’t tell you about the agony of the quiet after a firefight, knowing that any moment could be your last, paranoid that you’re surrounded by a legion of invisible Jem’Hadar watching and waiting to kill you when you least expect it.

“My father used to tell me of the glory of combat, and the satisfaction of fighting against a formidable opponent. He never told me about the grime of a battlefield, or the sounds of the dying, or the smell of the dead.”

Q’mpok looked to Henry then, and the older Henry could remember the utter disgust in the young Klingon’s face.

“There is nothing glorious about this,” he finished, staring long and hard at his commanding officer before looking back to the scanner. Henry simply sat and looked at Q’mpok, and the memory of the naked despair of the moment brought the older version to tears.

“Tell him something!” he yelled at himself. “Tell him not to give up! Tell him you’ll fight every fucking Jem on this planet if it means getting him home! Anything, you fucking idiot man-child!”

“It would have been a lie,” Q said, her voice soft. She was right – Q’mpok would die on the third day, jumping atop a grenade to save the Colonial patrol he was with – but it wasn’t about telling the truth.

“So?” challenged Henry. “It might have given him hope! It might have made his last hours in this bullshit existence less miserable. Pok was a good man, and he didn’t deserve that!”

“Did any of them?” asked Q. This was enough to take the wind out of his tirade, but the feverish sense of self-loathing remained.

“No,” he said. “None of them. They were all good people, and I led them into this shit hole and got most of them killed.”

“After all this time, you still blame yourself?” she asked, brow furrowed. Henry stared at Q’mpok before looking to Krull, who was picking his way back to the position.

“Every fucking day of my life,” he affirmed. “That was the price.”

“A price you placed on yourself,” she reasoned. Henry lowered his head, and the scene mercifully melted away. He returned to his spot against the cave wall before speaking.

“I needed it,” he said, hugging his knees.

“You needed it?” she queried.

“I couldn’t take the pain of surviving,” he explained, his voice growing hoarse. “I couldn’t live with myself after that. All that pain and death was for such a horrific reason, and there were moments I wanted to kill myself so I wouldn’t have to live with it.”

“That… doesn’t really answer the question,” said Q. Henry took several deep breaths and closed his eyes as memories of New Juarez flashed in his mind.

“Killing myself wasn’t an option,” he went on. “I decided I would hate myself every day for the rest of my life, and I would use it to make myself better. I would be a better leader. I would be a better man.”

“And that worked?” doubted Q.

"As long as I have a want, I have a reason for living. Satisfaction is death." - George Bernard Shaw, Overruled

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Re: AUX Henry Sumner, SCE

Postby Einar S » Fri Sep 30, 2016 12:05 pm

these are so great CJ.
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Re: AUX Henry Sumner, SCE

Postby Aoibhe Ni » Fri Sep 30, 2016 5:28 pm

I'd forgotten how much Henry went through on New Juarez. This was an amazing recap, CJ.

I'm enjoying these logs so much.

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Re: AUX Henry Sumner, SCE

Postby C. J. Short » Sat Oct 01, 2016 9:38 am

The Seven Deaths of Henry Sumner - Part 8

Henry’s first posting out of the Academy had been as a science officer aboard the Defiant-class USS Pharaoh. He had fallen in love with it instantly, mostly because it was such a different style of ship. It was cramped, light on amenities, the beds were hard, and the replicators only worked half the time.

Entertaining yourself aboard a Defiant-class vessel required you to get creative, and that suited Henry just fine, especially after his disappointment with Academy life. For a time, he made himself feel better thinking all those asshole cadets aboard more comfortable ships were soft.

He and Q were not aboard the Pharaoh, however, even though it was certainly a Defiant. Everything was smaller aboard Defiants: the quarters, the corridors, the mess hall, and even the morgue.

This was the USS Belligerent, and there on a slab covered by a sheet was the body of Kesh Suder, or so he had thought at the time. His younger self was seated on the floor against a bulkhead, having cried himself into exhaustion at the presumed death of one of his few friends. Henry thought it odd that Q would bring him to this memory of Kesh’s false death, as opposed to her real one. Then again, he felt he was starting to see a theme to Q’s choices. Real or not, this false death had been a defining moment for him.

“Who’s the stiff?” asked Q, picking up the sheet and taking a peek. She grimaced and dropped it at the sight.

“I don’t actually know,” said Henry. “For all I know, it’s not even an actual person.”


“It’s… complicated. Suffice to say that it only appeared that Kesh Suder died. I believed it at the time.”

Q quirked a brow, but let it go, instead moving to observe the younger Henry.

“Was she a girlfriend?” she asked. This elicited a small chuckle.

“No, definitely… no,” he said. “In fact, for a long time, we hated each other. We were both pretty prideful when we met, and we clung to that for many years.”

“What changed?” asked Q. Henry thought back to New Juarez for a moment, to the building that had collapsed on top of Kesh. She had been impaled by a structural support, and Henry had worked with Kymar Dremel to get her out. It had been the third day, Site D, and Henry had been at the limit of his endurance. He vividly remembered yelling at her, though he had trouble remembering what all he had said.

“She was wounded on New Juarez,” he explained after a moment. “After it was over, she took some time off to rehab after a nervous break. I knew what that was like, as you’ve seen, and maybe it was the guilt, but I went to see her. I was near the end of my rope as well, and I took some time off. We talked a lot over the next few weeks, and we set aside our animosity, and we became friends.”

“Aw,” said Q. It wasn’t clear whether this was sarcastic.

“I took my own leave, and I thought I was done with Starfleet for a while, but I ended up coming back,” Henry continued. “I ended up on the Bremen, and we went to aid a world called Ira IV. That’s the planet you found me on, actually. I got attached to this group of kids while they were waiting for evacuation.

“It was a bad situation; the planet was rapidly entering its current ice age, and a lot of Ira’i had died. There was a lot of attention among the survivors, and some tried to take supplies by force. I was able to end things somewhat peacefully. They gave me a medal for it, and it’s the only one I was ever proud of.”

“So, how did she sorta-die?” Q inquired.

“There was an incident on board the Bremen, and there had been a lot of tension between Captain Griffiths and the rest of the bridge officers,” he explained. “I ended up pulling a phaser on him, actually.”

“Oh geez,” grimaced Q.

“Yeah,” Henry agreed. “There was going to be a court martial, which would have been my second. Starfleet dispatched the Belligerent to pick us up, and we were surprised to see Kesh in the Captain’s chair. It was good to see her. I had previously served under her aboard the Hooke, but the ship was decommissioned under unclear circumstances, and she kinda fell off the radar.

“Anyway, we talked a lot, and she asked me how I was doing, and at this point I was so tired of failing at being an officer. I was ready to quit. We talked about a potential gig with Intel, and I was open to it, but we were suddenly attacked by the Bremen, which had been taken over by some entity I can’t exactly recall. There was an explosion on the bridge, and Kesh was badly wounded.”

“Hang on,” Q interrupted. “So some shit went down, you pulled a weapon on your Captain, and on the way to a court martial, your ship attacks your ride?”

“Yeah, more or less,” he affirmed.

“Man, at least you can’t say your career was dull,” she remarked. “And this is just after that attack?”

“Yes. You’re right that shit was crazy, and I was thoroughly overwhelmed by what happened on the Bremen, and the sudden and senseless death of Kesh. I sat in here for hours, and I thought about her, and I thought about Ira IV, and how much I hated being a Starfleet officer, and I decided that I wanted to do something else with my life. I wasn’t the man I wanted to be, and here and now I decided that would change.”

“That’s something that fascinates me with you mortals,” mused Q. “You can be so fundamentally changed by the deaths of other mortals. Why is that? I mean, you have to know that everyone dies eventually, right?

“Well, yeah, but that doesn’t mean you expect them to die in the prime of their life,” replied Henry, his tone defensive.

“But you chose a dangerous job,” she pressed. “You have to know this is a strong possibility.”

Henry sighed and folded his arms as he leaned against the bulkhead.

“On some level you do,” he said after some thought. “But you can’t have it at the forefront of your mind all the time. That will paralyze you, or numb you, or drive you batshit insane.”

“So it can slip your mind?” asked a somewhat incredulous Q.

“Yeah,” shrugged Henry. “You fall into a routine, and you take up distractions to keep your mind occupied during down time, and then something happens to remind you of it-”

“And it puts things into perspective,” finished Q, sounding awed by the idea.

“Exactly,” said Henry. Q seemed to ponder this for a while before speaking again.

“What happened at your court martial?” she asked.

“Well,” sighed Henry, “I managed to avoid an actual trial by resigning my commission. I was summarily sentenced to a period of civilian service which took the form of youth outreach on Orion.”

“It’s stupid how adorable that is,” said Q, wearing a grin.

“It was good for me,” he explained. “Helped me get my head on a little more straight.”

“But you eventually returned to Stafleet,” she noted.

“I did,” he confirmed. “After the Tzenkethi war, an opportunity arose to work with the Starfleet Corps of Engineers at Sigma Rho. It seemed like an interesting challenge, and I would technically still be a civilian.”

“You didn’t stay a civilian, though,” she surmised. Henry hesitated before answering. They had returned to the ice cave at some point, and he wasn’t looking forward to whatever the next memory would be; there weren’t many easy ones after that.

“My time on the Rho didn’t go well.”
Last edited by C. J. Short on Mon Oct 03, 2016 4:54 am, edited 1 time in total.
"As long as I have a want, I have a reason for living. Satisfaction is death." - George Bernard Shaw, Overruled

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Re: AUX Henry Sumner, SCE

Postby Einar S » Sat Oct 01, 2016 10:25 am

you have my attention
Captain Jonathan Rome
Commanding Officer
USS Hyperion


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