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Age 12: Mandatory Counseling Appoinment

Posted on Sat Sep 12th, 2020 @ 3:36pm by Lieutenant Phelan

Mission: S02E01 "Cold Reception"
Location: Counselor's Office, San Franciso Bay Area, Earth
Timeline: 18 Years Ago

The window was deep set and afforded sufficient room for him to perch, a place to watch the sky from behind the latest barrier placed in his path. The sharp pull of the natural world warred with an instinctive need for ‘pack’. This … Federation … offered ‘pack’ but in a way that he could not quite understand. For one thing, the room smelled … wrong. This was not unusual, this wrongness. It was wound up in their tricks and lies. Perhaps they tested him. Walk in the forest with me but the wind carried no scents to him and the shiver of leaves in the trees held a pattern that could not be. Wrong. Unreal.

And so he sat, watching a predatory bird glide on the thermals outside, while the woman probed at his mind and failed. Every time he was made to come to this place, it was the same. She could not breach his defenses and it was within those defenses that he stood. This they cannot have, he thought.

She moved slightly, a slight rustle of skirts as tendrils of unnatural odors wafted on the artificial breeze. She had withdrawn her attack. Now would come the questions. “I understand you went to the mountains this weekend.”

He signed ~Yes.~

“What were you doing there,” she asked. The voice was not unpleasant; it had a musicality in its tone and cadence that he liked though maybe that was the only thing he liked about her. She who tried to steal what was not hers and lived in this place that made his senses rebel.

His hands moved gracefully, flowed in sign, because he did not speak, had never spoken in this form. ~Am I forbidden to go to such places?~

“Of course not,” she said. “They were worried about you. They thought you were in your room and when you didn’t come down, they found you had run away. They were … afraid.”

~Why?~ The question was an honest one because the words that people spoke did not always match their actions and being Mesni, he trusted in the language of movement and expression. Words could not be trusted. This he had learned long ago. ~I am strong and fast. The woods hold no danger for me.~

“You are young and you are in their protection. When you run away like that, they know the dangers and they become afraid for you,” she said.

~They do not know danger,~ he signed. ~But I do. And I know what it is like to be a slave. Shackled. I will not accept these new chains.~ He held his hands up, wrists together, and stared at her, eyes glittering with emotions that ran close to the surface. ~Nor any. Ever again.~

She nodded, her expression turned thoughtful, and he hoped for the briefest of moments that she would understand at last. Hope was for fools, hadn’t he learned that long ago? And she proved the teaching by her next words. “Perhaps the group home would be better,” she said. “Since you are unwilling to follow their rules.”

He turned his attention back to the bird. He remembered running through the woods with the other cubs, following scent trails, or streaking through a meadow, trying to chase a high-flying seabhac. The adults had watched, sometimes ran with them, but never had he been prevented from moving, from being who he was. A longing swept through him for that life, powerful and visceral, and he heard the sharp intake of her breath as she responded.

Something else she had stolen, this ‘not pack’ creature who wished to take and who gave nothing. Who fashioned for him these invisible shackles under the guise of care and concern. Namhaid he thought. Enemy.

A Post by:

Lieutenant Phelan
Chief of Security
USS Musash


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