USS Vesta

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Living Witness, part One and a Half: The Unreliable Narrator

Posted on Wed Apr 14th, 2021 @ 5:47pm by Lieutenant Commander Nolan Marc & Taran Willeg
Edited on on Wed Apr 14th, 2021 @ 5:53pm

Mission: When the Bough Bounces
Location: Deck 10, Room 558
Tags: nolan, taran
1179 words - 2.4 OF Standard Post Measure

The doors to the boy's quarters popped open just in time to permit the Only to slide through.


No, that was not the proper pronunciation in Japanese. You see, there was a sofa in Nolan's path and Starfleet's Weapon of Mass Distraction was decidedly better at the going part than he was at the stopping part. Bouncing off the side of the sofa, the dirty blond surfer kid was laid out on the floor, as the wheels of the Heelys he wore continued to spin within the soles of his unconventional uniform footwear.

Reaction to his return was mixed.

For one, he suddenly had a sixty-pound not-Klingon on top of him. "My dad replicated some new toys for me!" Taran declared. Clearly, this monumental moment was the cause for the LKH summoning Nolan away from real scientific progress in the name of the Federation.

...which, usually amounted to nerding out over trivial points of subspace particle physics while waiting for the computer to finish compiling whatever complex string of demands they could concoct to test the measure of its processing power.

As for the other, well, speak of the LKH...

"What did you get into?"

The former Emergency Medical Hologram came into view, emerging from around the back of the sofa, which now sported a fuzzy blue stain that matched the corresponding splotches of blue that painted Nolan. And, now, to a lesser extent, Taran.

Craning his head back, the Only rebuffed, "I said tadaima."

Finding himself caught between two separate conversations, Taran made clear he was not to be ignored as he interjected, "Look at this," as he held up two action figures depicting male characters.

"Oh, that's the Starfleet uniform from, like," Nolan began, pausing as the LKH assaulted the boy's face with a wet washcloth. "A hundred... a hundred thirty years ago," the boy answered finally, as a flurry of knife-hand chops toward the offending hologram demonstrated his blackbelt proficiency at the ancient and deadly art of slap-fu.

Retracting the washcloth, the balding spectre of a doctor merely noted wryly, "I said you're a mess."

"No. I said tadaima. So... so, you have to say okaeri back," Nolan said, looking up at the hologram.

"Okaerinasai," the hologram supplied in perfect Japanese inflection. "Now, what did you get into?"

"His name's Kirk," Taran supplied, holding up one of the two figures.

The name was more than familiar, prompting Nolan to look at the figure in Taran's hands and then down at the toy he was holding out. "Wait, what?" the Only blurted out.

The hologram's hand reached out, taking the Only by the chin and tilting his head to look up. "Nolan, focus," the LKH stated.

"Tholian moss!" the science officer answered, arms outstretched in exasperation. Honestly, when had detonating Tholian moss inside a nitrogen-rich atmosphere been a crime? Then, turning his attention back to the not-Klingon, reached out to take the proferred avatar of The Kirk. "James Kirk? Like, captain of the Enterprise Kirk?"

"What's the Enterprise?" Taran asked innocently. "Is that another Starfleet ship? My dad was on the Ganymede before Vesta."

"Ah!" Nolan found himself assaulted a second time, this time by a pair of holographic hands that were removing his Tholian moss painted uniform top.

Taran, either without sympathy or just oblivious to the battle shaping itself mere centimeters from him, continued on. "Anyway, he's part of the Federation Heroes set," he explained, holding up the other figure as he offered, "This one's named Pike."

Nolan found himself sans shirt. "Nan de yo!" the boy yelped, his Okinawan accent thick as the undershirt was pulled off him. A flurry of slap-fu chops created some space between him and the aggressive hologram. "It's non-toxic!" the disheveled surfer boy declared at the LKH's back, as the hologram gathered the Tholian tainted uniform bits into his arms and ferried them toward the replicator for disposal.

Rare was the instance that a uniform survived more than a day with Nolan.

Shuffling closer to Taran, Nolan glanced closely at the figure in his hand and then traded the one he was holding with the other boy. "This is Kirk," the boy said, holding up the figure he was now holding. Both wore the same gold tunic with black trousers. "I dunno who that is," Nolan added, pointing toward the plastic-cast form of Christopher Pike.

"Wait, how can you tell the difference?"

"I met Captain Kirk, like, a super long time ago," Nolan remarked. Then paused. The LKH hadn't been back with a washcloth or other child-offending parenting tactic in at least the last sixty seconds. This did not bode well.

Sure enough, a moment later Nolan heard the tell-tale sound of the bathtub starting to fill.

"You said this, uh, uniform thing was from a hundred whatever years ago!" Taran objected.

"They got the proportions wro..." Nolan began, only to trail off and look up as Taran called bullshit. "Dude," the Only stated flatly. Like, seriously. "You know I'm really four hundred years old... right?"

The deceptively Betazoid kid seemed skeptical. "But I thought you were just on your planet until you went to Starfleet?"

"Well, yeah, sort of, but the Enterprise was the ship that found us," Nolan admitted, passing the Kirk figure back to Taran in exchange for whoever this Pike brah was. Definitely Pre-Nolan space history there. "But this is totally wrong. For one, Kirk... Kirk was, like, seven feet tall."

Taran scooted closer toward Nolan, in awe as the other boy spoke. "What? Really?"

Behind them, the hologram emerged from out of the bathroom. A holographic combadge appeared on the front of the man's chest, as he tapped it and announced, "This is the Latchkey Kid Holographic Program to Chief Willeg. I'm afraid Nolan got into something and managed to smear it on Taran. If you'll provide some pajamas for the boy, I'll offer dinner in exchange."

Nolan just gave a nod. "And scary. Like, super scary. For real scary," he added, as a pair of holographic hands reached down to lift the boy up and set him on his feet.

"Why was he so scary?" Taran asked, as the LKH bent down and started to removed the moss-stained clothes from him.

"Well, Kirk had these two henchmen, Bones and Spock," Nolan supplied in answer. "They would capture Onlies."

The Betazoid gave a gasp.

Nolan just gave a nod. "And Bones was a doctor, so you know he was bad," the Only added, with a sidelong glance over at the hologram.

"Your pain and misery gives us joy," the former EMH deadpanned dryly, folding the clothes in his arms as he ushered the two boys toward the bath.


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