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Posted on Sat May 20th, 2017 @ 9:07pm by Lieutenant Victor Alexander

Mission: S2E1 - Secrets
Location: Starbase Unity
Timeline: MD 78

Victor closed his eyes as he inhaled the soothing smoke from his cigarette. Such fleeting moments of peace were always cherished as he kept the smoke in his lungs for a few moments before finally having to relinquish that smoke back out into the world. He let out a sigh as he looked over at his brother who was enjoying another cigarette--though probably with less existential angst than he was. He smiled a bit as he recalled all the misadventures that he, Walter, and his other brothers used to get up to on the Crusader. Such memories weren't always happy of course, but being together as a family on that ill-fated freighter formed an oddly powerful bond between the lot of them even though each of them turned out to be very different people.

Victor had joined Starfleet and dedicated his life to serving others. Walter had become his own man, got a freighter, and had a pretty lucrative smuggling business. He served himself and seemed to have absolute freedom. Victor both admired and resented his brother for it. He tapped his cigarette, flicking a small cylinder of amber ash on the floor of the Starbase docking bay.

"What's on your mind Vic?" Walter asked as he took another puff of his cigarette, "If you're regretting joining Starfleet and working for nothing, I could always use a capable hand on my ship."

Victor let out a half grin as he shook his head, taking another puff of his cigarette, turning to the nearby window and looking out at the stars before releasing the smoke.

"I appreciate the lift here Walt, but that's just not me." He frowned a bit as a star on the horizon caught his attention.

"Yeah yeah, I know," the brother said as he rolled his eyes, "You could never accept the idea of being free. You always wanted to follow these idealistic notions of serving others and shit like that." Walter walked towards his brother as he placed his hand on his shoulder, "One thing you could never understand is that sometimes you can best serve others by helping yourself."

"Walt, that's just bullshit to help you sleep at night," Victor replied in a tone far more hostile and indigent than he had intended as he shook off his brother's hand from his shoulder.

After a few moments of awkward silence, Victor took a large puff of his cigarette, closing his eyes to allow himself a moment to regain his composure.

"I'm sorry Walt, that wasn't fair of me," Victor said sheepishly as he sighed, "I'm just...I'm just..."

"Directionless?" Walter offered as he threw his cigarette onto the floor and stomped it out, "That was always your problem Vic--searching for some unobtainable higher purpose. I sure as hell hope you find it, because you're gonna tear yourself apart otherwise."

Victor nodded silently, finding himself in the rare instance of having nothing to say in reply.

"Look Vic, you've always been there for us and we're here for you. Just don't fucking forget that, OK?" Walter grabbed Victor's shoulder once again as he gave his brother a consoling pat. "You have a lot of options, just keep an open mind and focus on the future OK? Don't focus on the past."

"The future's a pretty scary thing to think about," Victor replied as he crossed his arms, "So much uncertainty--you could be arrested by the Federation in one of your deals gone wrong. Hell, you could be killed by some two bit crime lord."

"Yeah bro, that's called life," Walt replied without missing a beat. "You've got to take chances and live your life man. Life is all about risks, following your dreams, and charting your own path."

Walt pointed out the window as he continued, "Hell man, space is a crazy dangerous place. Maybe you should go back to Earth and hide in a cabin in the middle of no where and do nothing in your life?"

Victor chuckled, breaking his frown, "You know I'd go stir crazy in an hour."

Walt grinned, "Exactly man. I know you've got dreams and hopes. Yeah, you've got fears and baggage like the rest of us. But I hate to tell you man--we've all got that shit hanging about. You've gotta try to let go the best you can and live life."

Victor's frown returned as he looked down at his wedding ring. "Ring" was a rather charitable term. It was a collection of metal that Zeta Squad had managed to put together during the Dominion War.

Walter sighed as he patted his brother on the back. "Look, I'm not telling you not to morn. I'm not a philosopher or anything--but death sucks. Death always brings about resurrection though. When one path ends another begins. Like right now, you're moving to a new ship. You're leaving your old ship and friends behind. You've closed out one chapter and are beginning a new one." Walt released his hand from Victor's arm as he gave him a friendly slap on the back, "Time to get out there and get going."

Victor smiled, "You know Walt, as much of a piece of shit as you are, you've occasionally got some good in you."

Walter winked as playfully put his index finger over his mouth, "Shhhh, don't let anyone know. It's bad for business."

Victor chuckled as he gave his brother an embrace, "You be careful out there--I mean it. I don't want to lose you too."

"Nah, don't worry about me," Walt said confidently as he grinned, "I always look out for myself first. Remember?"

Lieutenant Alexander, please report to Runabout Pad 2. Lieutenant Alexander, please report to Runabout Pad 2.

"It looks like you're keeping people waiting again Vic," Walter said with a wink as the brothers exited their embraced, "You be safe too--and make sure not to be too good out there."

"I don't think I've ever been accused of that before," Victor replied with a playful smile. "Thanks again for giving me a ride here. I mean it."

"Eh, no worries. Turns out the Gamma quadrant is full of people who want to buy illegal arms. I might come here more often!" Walter grinned, "Maybe we'll run into each other again."

Victor rolled his eyes, "Just try not to get arrested or killed."

"You can be such a bore," Walter replied with sarcastically as he gave his brother a wave, "Now move along."

Victor returned the wave as he tightened his backpack over his back and walked over to the runabout pad. He took a deep breath as he took the first steps on his new journey to the Vindex muttering a quiet prayer under his breath that this wouldn't be the last time he'd see Walt.


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