((Catell Cas-gwent, Wales, Earth ))
The sky was bright but grey. Somewhere over the distant
Welsh hills rain was coming. Rain was always coming in Wales. Or leaving. Or
right there soaking you to the skin.
Loxley placed his hands on the lichen-spotted castle parapet, feeling the rough ancient stone under his fingers, and gazed up at the sky, squinting against the pallid sunlight. High up above a tiny black dot circled. It looked like a bird, but Lox knew it wasn’t. A plain baseball cap of sombre charcoal grey perched on the wall nearby in deference to the occasional gusts blowing in from the estuary.
The hybrid lowered his gaze down to the white river Wye rushing below and ran his hands gently over the stones with a soft sigh.
Loxley: I don’t know, Ma, so much has been happening all at once it’s hard to keep up. ::he spoke into the open air, seemingly to himself:: And that’s what it feels like – I’m running to keep up all the time. I mean, I knew Starfleet would be tough, more so than the hospital I worked in, but this is exhausting.
He paused and pushed one hand absently though his tangled ginger hair before continuing.
Loxley: Maybe I was naïve, but I think I was expecting to be treating more sprained ankles and occasional engineering mishaps. And I was hoping for more medical marvels, researching and writing articles, becoming famous I guess. But the reality isn’t like either of those. Well, they are there, sure, but the away missions… ::he shook his head slowly:: …talk about seat of your pants. There’s no way the academy could prepare anyone for all this! The adrenaline, the excitement…
Loxley’s lip curled in a half-smile, half-grimace. The terror, the near death experiences, the nightmares that followed. But those weren’t things he wanted to burden his mother with right now.
Loxley: I suppose it still feels like I’m trying to find my feet. Daft, I know, but there it is. I mean, the crew of this ship, they are phenomenal. The way they just get on with things. You should see them in an emergency, Ma, the team work. It’s amazing.
He paused again, mulling over his thoughts. Speaking them out loud like this he was starting to understand more about how he felt.
Loxley: Actually, you know what? I think I know what it is. My first mission, not long after I got here, was… well I’m not sure how much I can tell you to be honest. But it wasn’t… usual. I felt like someone intruding into a private party, where the other people had been before. And I think that feeling has lingered. ::he drummed his fingers on the stonework:: Huh, I should see if I can do something about that I suppose. See? Talking to you is always a help.
Lox picked up the grey cap and fiddled with it as he considered his next words carefully.
Loxley: So, I met someone, too. Ship’s counsellor in fact.
Betazoid, beautiful, smart, funny, maybe a little eccentric. ::he smiled to
himself:: You’d like her. She tends to go off on random thought paths like you.
Plus she appreciates the past and can throw out some killer put-downs. Oh, and
I think she may have been a pirate in another life, or something. And, yes, I
know you’re going to have a thousand questions, but they can wait. For now. And
I know you’re going to want to meet her and interrogate her and all the rest.
She’s also helping me with something else, something I might have got from Da. I know doctors and suchlike told me I didn’t have any Vulcan “mind-powers” but, well, turns out they might have been wrong. So, there’s that. ::he sighed again:: And I’ve also spoken to a Vulcan here, re-learnt some of the old meditations he tried to teach me. ::he held up his hands in a placating gesture:: But don’t worry, it doesn’t mean I want to go and see him or anything, or even speak to him. Just that, well, he is my Da… It’s complicated, but I wanted you to know that I was thinking about a few things, so it doesn’t come as a surprise.
There was silence for a moment. The gusts had turned a little chill now and they carried the odd spot of cold rain with them. Lox pulled the cap down on his head.
Loxley: Let’s see, what else? Oh yes, I have a dragon now. ::he chuckled:: It sounds a lot more impressive than it really is. She’s a miniature Maravel dragon, only a few inches long. Technically I’m observing her for a research project but she’s really more of a pet. Called her Smog, I thought you’d like that. Give my love to Cerys. And I’m sure I’ll be hearing from you very, very soon.
He gave a short laugh as he turned his back on the wind and the view.
Loxley: =/\= Computer, end message and send to Doctor Lillian Loxley, Cardiff University, Earth. =/\=
The rain was starting to make more of a concerted effort now
and Lox knew it wouldn’t be long before the castle walls would be soaked. He
smiled to himself, though – it had felt good to talk through these things with
his mother, or rather with himself. And he’d finally identified something that
had been bothering him since he’d joined the Gorkon. The Gorkon and the Skarbek
were the same in many ways, but so different in many more. Q had flung him into
that ‘reality’ with the other crew almost as soon as he had arrived and that
disjointed feeling, of not quite being in the right place, had haunted him ever
The doctor nodded to himself – that was definitely something he could fix.
Loxley: Smog? Smog! Come on, girl, time to get going before you get soaked.
The black dot circling above floated towards him, finally revealing itself to be a small winged scarlet lizard, barely larger than his thumb. It landed on Loxley’s outstretched hand and scurried along his arm with its four legs, clambering onto his hat and taking up residence there, curling a scaly tail around itself. Lox turned to face to sturdy wooden door set into the stone archway nearby and raised his voice.
Loxley: =/\= Computer, arch… =/\=
Lt (jg) Loxley