CTO Lieutenant Sumner

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IT'S BEEN A LONG ROAD

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Character Name: Raqiin sh'Hruvek

Re: CTO Lieutenant Sumner

Postby Shawna F » Thu Sep 25, 2014 4:44 pm

:allears: LIEUTENANT SUMNER, NEWEST SECTION 31 RECRUIT? :allears: :allears: :allears:
CSO Lt Raqiin sh'Hruvek - USS Bremen NCC-12428
XO LtCmdr Vikram Baudin - USS Sentinel NCC-79088 / S.T.A.R. Taskforce Sigma

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CTO Lt. Sumner SD 11410.09

Postby C. J. Short » Thu Oct 09, 2014 9:34 pm

Henry found himself in the morgue, staring at the cold storage where Kesh Suder's body was lying in stasis. His eyes were reddened and swollen, and he sat on the floor, slumped against the wall. It didn't make sense that a console explosion would be the thing to take her out. This wasn't how Kesh was supposed to die; hell, half a building had fallen on her on New Juarez, and she'd survived that.

Then he'd seen her lying there, her body riddled with holes, her eyes empty and lifeless. It hit him then. He'd been able to keep the grief at bay as they worked to take back the Bremen, to keep the Belligerent crewmen with him steady. Kesh would have been proud of him, he thought.

It had been too much to see her like that, though. He swore and cried, cursing her going out like this, for leaving him now, just when she'd come back into his life. He'd fallen to his knees, sobbing, feeling like he would implode from the grief. He'd hugged the pod, silently begging for her to come back.

It had reduced, somewhat, to a dull, constant ache in his stomach. He'd lost track of the time at some point. People had tried to contact him, but he'd been curt, eventually just removing his combadge altogether.

Kesh had been a lot of things to him. They'd started out in SFI together, during his brief stint as a consultant. The mission he'd been liaising on had turned south, and Henry, as he was wont to do, went off-script, pulling Kesh's ass out of fire at the mission's expense. She'd been less than grateful, and they'd parted on unfriendly terms.

Then he'd been assigned to the Kraken, with Suder as XO. It had been tumultuous, at first. Kesh didn't like him, and, in turn, he did his damnedest to get under her skin. Eventually, he'd gotten to know the real Kesh Suder, at least a bit. Somewhat against her will, he learned things about her; that she'd been happy once, despite her icy exterior. He'd pushed her then. He'd wanted her to be who she used to be, and, unfairly, he harassed her about it.

The Vroa attack on Risa, and the Jem'Hadar incursion on New Juarez had changed things. Neither of them handled it well, not that there had been a way to do so. Both took an LoA, unable to cope with the stress. Kesh went to a psychiatric facility on Earth, and Henry... Henry had wandered, going from place to place, trying to come to terms with himself, and all that had happened. He want back to Risa, saying sorry to the little girl he'd been unable to rescue. He went to Earth, apologizing to the dimensional interloper he had wronged. He visited his father's grave to give one last 'fuck you' to the miserable bastard.

Most importantly, though, he visited Kesh. He knew what it was like to be hospitalized, and, after all that had happened, he couldn't see any reason to still be antagonistic. In this removed setting, they got to know each other, began to understand a bit more about themselves. Somewhat by surprise, Kesh became one of his best friends.

Now she was gone, her body chilling in a pod, waiting for a sendoff. In a matter of less than an hour, Kesh had gone from Captain to corpse, and for Henry, from found to lost.

He used to feel invincible. Getting out from under the heel of his father, being able to live his own life, it had intoxicated him. He had little regard for the opinions of others, and prided himself on being a pain in the ass. His experiences with Kesh and the Kraken had changed him, made him feel vulnerable. Now, he felt devastated.

In that room, in that moment, he didn't see the point any more. Playing dress-up and gallivanting about the galaxy, making connections only to lose them; none of it seemed to matter, now. For a brief moment, he wished he could be dead, too.

Henry took a deep breath, closing his eyes tightly. He'd conditioned himself to rebel against thoughts like that, having dealt with them extensively in his youth. Now, in a moment of darkness, he rebelled again.

He clutched the chain and data chip Kesh had given him, remembering the last words she'd said to her. Kymar. Tried. Sorry.

As much as it hurt to lose Kesh, as much as it hurt that he'd never get to say all the things he'd wanted to say to her, that he never got to explore his somewhat-more-than-idle fancy for her, he knew she wouldn't want him to sit here in this darkened room, crying over things that couldn't be. She would tell him that there was only what's ahead, not what's behind. She'd remind him that she was the dead one, not him.

Slowly, achingly, Henry got to his feet, the chain wrapped tightly around his fist, the data chip clenched within. Life was too short, he thought. It was too short to not say the things you wanted to say. It was too short to try and stick to a script, to be something you're not. It was too short to pretend he could be a good soldier who followed his orders, that he was a team player. It was too short. Period. The end.

He moved slowly over to the stasis pod and gently placed a hand on it, feeling like he should say something; that he was sorry, or that he loved her, or that he would miss her. Closing his eyes, feeling a fresh welling of tears, he thought of the only thing he could say.

'Thank you,' he whispered, before wiping his eyes and turning to leave. It was time to stop pretending; Henry had work to do.
"As long as I have a want, I have a reason for living. Satisfaction is death." - George Bernard Shaw, Overruled

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Re: CTO Lieutenant Sumner

Postby Einar S » Thu Oct 09, 2014 10:33 pm

goddamn that's some good piece of writing. Really.
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Re: CTO Lieutenant Sumner

Postby Aoibhe Ni » Thu Oct 09, 2014 10:59 pm

That was so damn perfect, it broke my heart.

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Re: CTO Lieutenant Sumner

Postby C. J. Short » Fri Jul 17, 2015 1:51 am

Asset Henry Sumner, Orion Space
-
"Chirrup chirrup," signaled the console. Henry heard it, but he didn't budge, not wanting to leave his sleeping companion. Estelle remained asleep for the moment, and he watched with a small smile as her outline moved gently in the darkness.

"Chirrup chirrup," it signalled again. It wasn't supposed to, of course; in fact, now that he thought about it, it was supposed to be silent during the night. With a small sigh, he gently extracted himself from Estelle's side, carefully moving to sit on the edge of the bed.

"Let it ring," she sleepily called. He smirked softly, gently patting her hip as he got to his feet, shuffling over towards the console. It was likely Reagan, his SFI contact, which annoyed him. He'd already been pushing the definition of 'low-level surveillance;' calling in the middle of the night wasn't gonna fly. Sitting with a small groan, Henry raised the console, tapping in his access code, expecting to see Reagan's generic visage. Instead, all he got was text.

Status Update RE: USS Bremen

Henry's heart sank with sudden realization.

New Status: MIA

And all at once, his world fell apart.

---

It was as wintery as Seattle got; slightly chilly, and the skies were always grey, as opposed to randomly. Henry was seated on a bench, staring out into the ocean, as he was wont to do those days, his mind bouncing between hating his father, hating himself, understanding the universe, and trying to figure out a way to alter the sound of the local seagulls to be less irritating (some kind of mutagen mixed with breadcrumbs, perhaps).

His misery was rudely disrupted by a pair of arms embracing him from behind, the weight of a body bending him forward. He couldn't help but smile, as usual.

"You look bored," Sara remarked.

"I'm always bored. Life is boring." He immediately regretted saying so, knowing he didn't really believe that, and that Sara didn't need to hear him talk like that. Mercifully, she seemed to ignore his dourness.

"Come on, I know something less boring we can do," she said. His heart skipped a beat, though his discomfort was dispelled when she presented a torch. "You're gonna need one of these."

-

The current Seattle wasn't the original Seattle, of course. That city had fallen into the Puget Sound in the earthquake of 2077, along with most things to the west of the old I-5 corridor. Stubbornly, the survivors decided to simply rebuild the city further inland, just to spite the event. It was an endearing quality of those in the region. It wasn't exactly the same, of course, but, in Henry's non-expert estimation, it managed to keep the same spirit.

One side effect of the quake was that the city now had a sheer cliff-face on the waterfront, which led to all kinds of dangerous, interesting ruins contained on little islets not far from the shore, and number of similarly interesting unnatural caverns to explore. It was one such cavern that Sara was leading him to, the two carefully scaling down the rocks, horribly unequipped for what they were doing. Still, they managed to make it down, and armed with their meager sources of light, they began to explore.

It wasn't long before the rocks and dirt gave way to a warped and ruined hardwood floor, running along a dark corridor. Henry was fairly certain that ghosts didn't exist, but if they did, this was the kind of place he imagined they'd be. It was Sara that fearlessly led on, of course, excitement and wonder the only things apparent on her features.

The ruin appeared to be some kind of series of shops, and Henry imagined they would have been along the waterfront; it was possible they were in the lower floors of the old Pike's Place Market. It was probably worth reporting to the city administrators, but for now, it would just be their little secret.

Eventually, they happened upon a shop that managed to survive mostly intact. Sara looked back with a fleeful smile and entered without hesitation. Henry ran his flashlight along the walls and ceiling, trying to gauge the possibility of a collapse, though there really wasn't much he could tell by looking.

The shop was some kind of old book store, it seemed. Paperbacks and stapled periodicals were strewn about, along with several encased in some kind of protective covering, which caught Henry's interest. He picked one up, brushing the dust and debris off it before examining it under the light.

Fantasy and Science Fiction, the title read, causing a wide grin to take his features. He read the names on the cover: Heinlein, Asimov, Lieber... Never in a thousand years would he have forseen himself holding something like this in his hands. He stood excitedly to show Sara, only to find her doubled over in cackling laughter, a thin book in her hands. He furrowed his brow, wearing an amused grin.

"What is it?" he asked. She held up the book, but was shaking too much with her giggling for him to read it.

"The gas," she started, trying to catch her breath. "The Gas We Pass!" she managed, her giggling renewed.

"What, now?" he replied, now more confused.

"It's a book about farts!" she exclaimed, hopping and clapping her hands ecstatically. Henry gave a snort of laughter, slipping the magazine in his pocket and moving closer to Sara to see.

The Gas We Pass
The Story of Farts
By Shinta Cho


The front cover was adorned with a child's drawing of an elephant butt, which caused Henry to completely shed any pretense of surliness. The two shared in the laughter for a good two minutes before catching their breath, and deciding the read the book. They sat and laughed in the dark, reading about how various different creatures farted, and about how much the average human farted in a day.

---

It was one of Henry's fondest memories. No matter how bad things got, Sara had always been there to brighten up his life, to show him that there were better things to focus on than the misery of the past.

The idea that she was gone, that he would never seen her grinning face again... that idea broke what was left of Henry Sumner's heart.
"As long as I have a want, I have a reason for living. Satisfaction is death." - George Bernard Shaw, Overruled

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Re: CTO Lieutenant Sumner

Postby Aoibhe Ni » Fri Jul 17, 2015 1:04 pm

This was so sweet, CJ. And cool. I love the idea of an abandoned modern city.
Poor Henry!

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Re: CTO Lieutenant Sumner

Postby Einar S » Fri Jul 17, 2015 1:17 pm

poor Henry :(
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