Monday, April 26, 2010

Captain's Log Challenge 0410.26 "...a system that works..."

(Post TNG Era)

Traitor. That is what they called me on the Altair Queen as I left Federation space for the last time. On Qo'noS, they call me 'urwi' tera'ngan . Human traitor. On both worlds, there are few words or expressions worse. A decorated hero. A veteran of two Borg incursions. A veteran of conflict with Romulan splinter groups and Klingon warriors. A family name that has helped to defend Earth since before there was a Federation. A Stiles. So how could a Stiles be labeled a traitor by friend and enemy alike? By living. By surviving and coming home to a world that defined itself by its peaceful ideals, and a system that works through freedom and self-determination, but had also seen enough of war to last several lifetimes. Did I make things worse when I came home? Did I have trouble turning off the soldier inside of me? Yes. A long succession of counselors told me I'd have trouble, and how they thought I should deal with it. But none of their suggestions silenced the alarms that went off in my head when someone walked in the room, or got rid of the shakes that I went to sleep with every night.

None of that made me do what labeled me a traitor. What did that was being forced to take refuge in the Vulcan compound in San Francisco because nobody else could look at me and not see a loved one who hadn't made it home. Only the Vulcans could look at me and see just another human soldier. And they couldn't keep me there forever. Funny, the Klingons laugh at me, spit at my feet, call me 'urwi' tera'ngan, but they let me live on their world and somehow, strangely, they make me feel like I belong.

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