Gone Too Long
Location: Garran's Quarters
Until Alexi had finished setting Alec up with new quarters, he was a bit adrift, so he and Garran had decided to camp out in the counselor-turned-intel officer's quarters to begin the process of re-establishing Garran's network of contacts and informants. Garran was droning on about reconnecting with people and merging intel networks, but Alec had tuned him out inadvertently, his mind lost in thoughts of a much more personal nature.
"What's she like, Garran?" He asked, abruptly, interrupting Garran's planning.
"Hm?" The Carnelian paused for a moment, considering Alec's question. "Fussy. In that motherly sense. Sometimes I think that she thinks we're all her children, the entire crew. Me included. Feisty. Never lacking for spirit. Works hard, first to volunteer." Garran mused, leaning back, closing his eyes for a moment. "Joe likes to posture about how his crew is his family and he's not wrong, but it's Soren who keeps us all together. She's the bleeding heart of the operation."
Alec chuckled wryly at that, "Like her mother," He mused, smiling. "Probably nothing like me at all, eh?" He said, a note of sadness in his voice.
"Well, she has your sense of taking care and getting things done." Garran mused. "But she prefers doing things on the straight and narrow, no patience for sneaking around, cloak and dagger stuff. You know, like we do." he chuckled. "You do realize she's going to smack us when she comes back, right?" Then a sigh. "Migrator knows we deserve it. Poor girl."
Alec sighed, "It's not like we had any choice, Garran... You don't disobey a director order from the chief of Starfleet Intelligence," He said, heavily. "But there's not a day that went by that I didn't want to. She was eight the last time I saw her, Garran... I've missed her whole life. I've watched it, but... from so damn far away," He said. "And now I just want to walk back in on it... I have to walk back in on it, because of this bastard. What right do I have to do that?" He asked, seriously.
"You know I can't answer that question for you, Alec." Garran frowned. "In the end, it's not about what we can and can't do, but about what choices we make. In obeying that order you made clear that you put your career and what it stands for above your family. That is a choice, and now you're facing the consequences. Chances are, she's going to be very upset with both of us, yell at us, feel deeply hurt, and she'll have every right to. Chances are also that in time she'll get over it and forgive us."
"Yeah, I know," Alec said, sighing heavily. "My options were spend who knows how long in jail and never see my family and most likely never see them again, or to follow this order and maybe see them again in the future," He said, sighing. "I made the better one, I suppose."
He chuckled, breaking his gaze away from the viewport and the stars back to Garran, "I've stared down Tal'Shiar spies with nothing but a stick to fend them off and I wasn't this nervous about it," He said, shaking his head in amusement.
"Mostly because you didn't care much about their opinion of you." Garran mused. "You made the right choice, I agree. It's what I would've chosen too. Soren will be fine. She'll bounce back. She always does." A moment's pause as his ears lay flat. "She reminds me of Moina, actually."
"Well, that's damn high praise," Alec said, raising his eyebrows in surprise. For Garran to say anyone was even close to Moina was impressive... to say that someone reminded him of Moina was nigh upon sainthood.
Garran remained silent for a few moments, thinking back to when life was much simpler. Reminiscing about the good times he had back on Sontaire III, how Moina and he both were part of the revolution that helped change the tide of a planet, though quickly the memories turned somber. He shook himself out of that train of thought, turning the focus back to the here and now. "You've been given a second chance here, Alec. That's more than I ever got. It's going to be hard work and take time, but you better not waste this."
"No, I won't," Alec replied. "With my cover selectively blown on this one to allow more agility to go after LeMars, I'll be able to keep in contact more - if she'll let me - and hopefully rebuild some bonds... I'm amazed at her, to be honest," He admitted. "I didn't expect her to follow Starfleet, and I certainly never expected her to be the second in command aboard a flag ship. I always assumed she'd follow in her mother's footsteps to activism." He explained.
"No, I think she's right where she needs to be." A pause. "Well, not right now, but on this ship, serving as first officer. Under Captain Rhimer, specifically." Garran flicked an ear, considering for a moment. "Remember that gut feeling I told you about, when I requested Soren and me be posted under his command? I was right. The man's got that spark. Embodies the spirit of the Federation, does what's right, even if the letter of the law disagrees. He and Soren work very well together. And I'm glad to be here, with them."
"Oh, I know," Alec replied, nodding. "You know me, I keep an eye on things," He said.
He shook his head, as if trying to free it of cobwebs, "How about you, pal? That leg of yours seems to be worse for wear these days," He said. "Not getting too bad, is it?"
"It is getting worse. Shoulder too. Aches and pains. You know how it is, the price of a long life. The cane helps a lot. Living on a starship designed for people three quarters my height and one third my weight does not." he smirked, flicking an ear. "I have my exercises, but I think it might be time I looked into physiotherapy and see if maybe the medical staff on board can do something about the nerves."
"I'm surprised you haven't done that already," Alec replied. He grinned a bit at his old friend, "We're not young anymore, Garran. Can't keep acting like it."
"Stubborn Carnelian pride." Garran shrugged. "You know me. I hate to be told I can't do something. Hate to be told I need help. Even if it's myself saying it." he sighed. "Somehow it feels like ... Cheating. Those scars, I earned them. I deserve them, for the work I did. The things I did. every bruise, every cut, every little bit of pain is a direct result of my own choices in life. Part of me feels like I'd be lying to myself, pretending I'm not who I am, if I got rid of them."
"Getting rid of the pain doesn't make you cheat, it makes you able to get more scars and bruises and scrapes," Alec replied. "It allows you to KEEP being who you are instead of succumbing to old age. There's more pride in continuing on than there is in falling apart, old pal," Alec said, grinning.
"Platitudes and bathroom tile wisdom." Garran chuckled. "Don't worry about me. It's just a step I need to take, simple as that. I'll take it when it needs to be taken."
Alec nodded, "Same old Garran. Confident and measured, maybe to a fault," He said, chuckling. "Sorry, Pal, didn't mean to get us side-tracked," He said, falling back in beside his old friend to look over the PaDDs strewn across the table.
"Let's get those contact networks setup," He said, a grin on his face. Something about this felt more right than he knew how to measure. He felt young again.
Just like old times.