The Ghosts of the Firebrand

The Ghosts of the Firebrand

Setting: USS San Jacinto Viewing Room/ Meeting Room

Parsons stares out of the viewing room’s window. He just stares into empty space as the condensation from the beers behind him start to produce droplets of water on the amber colored bottles. He turns around and faces them…the ghosts of his past. He looks at each one of them standing there with arms behind their back as if at attention. They don’t say a word but their eyes do all the talking as they stare him down expressionless.

“I’m glad that you’re all here” Parsons says as he sets a beer on each of the seats on the viewing deck. He looks at them as their heads turn but no words or expressions coming from them “You’ve been haunting me for over five years now…the five of you were some of my best friends. You trusted me with your lives…and your loved ones trusted me with your lives. I failed you all…but I didn’t fail your loved ones…your parents…your friends.” The five of them stand there in Odyssey uniforms. A white male about Parsons age, Lt. Jake Hayes. Next to Jack an Andorian male with white hair and a buzz cut, Ensign Vashonti. To Vashonti’s left is a young Trill girl no more than 24 years old, Ensign Fali. To her left a tall but lanky dark skinned Vulcan man, Lieutenant Tri. To Tri’s left is a short Tellarite male that’s significantly older than the others, Ensign Bukari.

Parsons finishes walking around the table setting a beer in front of each chair before setting his own down at the head of the table “Please, sit” he says to the ghosts. They all do so without a word and without a sound “Back on the Firebrand we made an oath to come back alive before every single engagement…we did that up until the end” he takes a swig from his beer but none of the ghosts of past officers take a sip. Parsons looks at each of them for a moment as all of them turn their heads towards him “I didn’t write it out to be this way…it just happened” he stops for a moment but begins again “You’ve all haunted me every day since I let you all down. But I think it’s time for you all to rest now.” Parsons looks out the window into space “We won the war…we beat back the Klingons, the Undine, the Iconians, everyone. We have peace….a fragile peace but a peace nonetheless.”

The ghosts all stare back at Parsons blankly and quietly “I know…preserving it can be harder than obtaining it. But I have faith…I have faith in the Federation, Starfleet, and in the men and women like you who wear the pips…It’s been a while since you visited me but in that while I found peace within myself and the mistakes I’ve made as a squadron commander and a Captain.”

The heads stay turned as they stare at him “I guess what I’m trying to say is that it’s time to let go” I failed you five when each of you were shot down on that faithful day” he pauses “But it’s different now…We won the war. We won the war not because of people like me…but because of people like you. The dead.” He sighs heavily as he tilts his beer around before taking another sip “I saw it through till the end. I kept up my end of the bargain. Now, please…go rest. You all deserve it.” Aaron looks up at the ghosts for almost a complete minute. Finally smiles start to crack on each of their faces. Aaron closes his eyes for a moment and then opens them. He’s alone in the viewing room with five full beers on the table.

“Who flies like us? Nobody. Who shoots like us? Nobody. Who dies like us?.....Wings don’t fail me now” he whispers to himself.

Parsons gathers the five beers and puts them in the replicator to be recycled. Before he leaves the room he looks out into space one more time through the circular window. A moment later he turns the lights off and heads off to his quarters with lighter shoulders.