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Laehval tTemarr

Beyond the Edge...

Beyond the Edge...

Colonel Jocelyn Nidari

Chief of Tactical Operations





Jerking as the voice yelled in his ear, the Starfleet Lieutenant smacked his head on the console he’d been working on. On his back, his head half in and half out of the malfunctioning unit, the engineer put one hand to his head and peered out at his attacker.


“Blast it all, Anna! Scaring me half to death is NOT funny!”


“It is to me. You scream like a girl.” The perky blonde poked him in the stomach as she crouched down beside him. “Beta shift is heading to the lounge for a few drinks. You coming?”


“Yea, yea. I’ll be there. I need to patch up this relay and reboot. Will only take me about ten more minutes or so. Save me a seat, will ya?”


“Will do, Joey.” She smirked.


“Don’t call me Joey! Now get out of here you strumpet before I take a plasma cutter to your perfect hair.” He brandished his tool like a weapon, a smile of his own answering hers.


“You are so cute when you are angry. Hurry it up, then, or Ensign Peters is going to start pawing all over me. And if you wait too long, I may just let him.”


“Woman! Go!”


“Easy there, tiger!” The security officer bounced to her feet and turned to leave, but paused just as she reached the door. “Oh, and before I forget, the Chief says you got a message waiting. Don’t know from who, but it isn’t Starfleet. Now hurry!”


Joel sighed and finished up his work once Anna finally disappeared from view. Rubbing his abused head and muttering to himself, he slid out from beneath the console and closed it up, latching it securely. A quick sequence on the display above it brought it to life and sent it through the initiation sequences. While he was waiting for the unit to reboot, he dropped into a nearby chair and logged on to another console.


Engineering was running dark at the moment with only a skeleton crew on third shift, Joel was reasonably sure of his privacy. The few engineers that were on duty were elsewhere at the moment, either seeing to repairs about the station or handling maintenance work in the Jefferies tubes. The thrum of the warp core was the only thing that broke the silence, steadily vibrating through the deck plating. The beep from the computer sounded unearthly loud in his ears as the computer opened his message.


Seated in what looked to be substandard living quarters, a young woman peered at him as though she could actually see him sitting there. The sound of his heart beating in his ears blocked out the warp drive and even the woman’s first words as she started to speak. Joel jerked his hand forward to pause the message, staring at the screen for what seemed an eternity. His chest seemed to compress, making it hard to breathe. Calming himself as best he could, he took a deep breath and restarted the message from the beginning. Even so, he nearly missed her first words again as he couldn’t seem to form a single cohesive thought.



“Hey Joel,” she said softly. “Surprised? I bet you are gaping like a dying fish right about now.”


He snapped his mouth shut indignantly.


“Last person you expected to hear from, eh? I know. Strange of me to call. I’m not sending this to you to get you in any trouble or anything. I’m having it routed through several couriers so it can’t be traced, and I suggest that you didn’t even try. I know you will, anyway. That is your nature. You’ll be shoulder deep in encrypted code before too long.”


She shrugged as if she already knew it was inevitable and that she wasn’t bothered by it. Shifting in her seat, she pushed a lock of brown hair from her face. It had gotten longer since he’d last seen her. He wondered if she’d let it grow because he liked it that way.


“Listen, Joel. It recently occurred to me that I haven’t been the world’s greatest little sister. Understatement of the millennia, I know. I’ve hurt you worse than I’ve ever hurt anyone before and I never meant to. I know how things are between us. You’d probably shoot me if you ever saw me again. I can’t say that I really blame you. Your perception of me is horrible, and I can’t say anything that will make you change your mind on that count. I had a reason for doing the things I did. I really wish you’d been able to see that. You are wasted in Starfleet. We know how to appreciate the resources we have. But… I’m trying to recruit again, and that isn’t why I sent you this.”


She sighed and bowed her head for a moment, running her fingers through her hair as she tried to think of the right words to say. Joel placed one hand on the screen, watching the warring emotions flicker across her face. What she said was true, or would have been true at one point, but he had changed since they had last seen each other. He was still Federation to the core, but he was not as angry with the N.F.A. as he had once been. He pitied them more than anything, sad that they were throwing their lives away in what he perceived as a suicidal coup. Now, he only missed his sister, and hoped that she’d see the error of her ways and return to what was right.


“Sorry. Leave it to me to get all emotional while I’m talking to a lifeless comm unit. I always seem to ramble when I’m talking to you. Well, to get to the point… we’re leaving soon. Some mission. Can’t talk about it, of course. You know how that goes. Anyway, I’ve survived so many of these missions that I’m sure my luck is soon to run out. You can only fight the system so much before it blows up in your face.”


“If anything happens, I just wanted to let you know that I love you. I have always loved you, even when we didn’t get along. I miss you more than you’ll ever guess. I know it sounds stupid coming from me… I never said it growing up and maybe I should have. I never told Mom and Dad how much they meant before… you know. I’ve always regretted that. I didn’t want to have regrets about you, too.”


“So I’m going to send this before I realize how stupid I am and delete it. Take care of yourself, big brother, and watch your back. I hear those NFA agents are trouble.” She grinned at him, wiping away a single tear that had escaped.


“I love you, Joey. From your little sister, Jocelyn.”


Choking down the lump of emotion in his throat, Joel stopped the message again and stared at the image of his sister. She had changed so much, but the Joss he’d known and loved was still there, although deeply buried. He wondered if she missed the days at the beach house when they had no cares at all and could spend all day playing in the ocean.


He could still remember the day his parents brought her home. Though already nine years old, she’d been so tiny and afraid of her own shadow. Any resistance he’d had at his parents adopting had melted away the first moment he laid eyes on her. He couldn’t help himself. If anyone had needed an older brother to protect them, Jocelyn had. And he thought he had been the best big brother a girl could ever have. It had nearly killed him when he found out she’d betrayed Starfleet. He hated her for that, but he could never stay angry at her for long. And now it seemed as if she was lost to him forever…


“Snap out of it Joel. You’ll see her again. This little rebellion will be over soon and she’ll be back before you know it.”


His words sounded empty and hollow even to himself.

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Great log! Very well written and very emotional. I like how you did a different viewpoint; it adds yet more depth to the alternate universe Fred created.

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