Lawyers, Guns, and Money
Posted on August 7th, 2007 by Ian Blackthorne
There comes a time in everyone’s life where appeals for Someone to Get Me Out Of This are necessary. Sitting alone in a Machen Bren jail cell, his ship captured and his crew imprisoned elsewhere. Ian Blackthorne was coming to the conclusion that now might be that time for him. Since being thrown into the tiny dimly-lit room, he’d had nothing to do but think, four hours on end.
About four hours ago, the thought had occurred to him that he had been hopelessly naive about this whole plan’s likelihood of success, and that now his crew would pay the price. Had that been true, he realized an hour or so later, then Zuriyev would never have given him the go-ahead. All of that talk about this war ending with a catastrophic casualty toll for both sides wasn’t just diplomatic tripe. Starfleet realized very quickly that this threat was real and that something had to be done to stop it. Had they not been captured here, they could have very well been killed later. Unfortunately, he didn’t really have much knowledge of how the Machen Bren treated prisoners of war.
Perhaps three hours ago, his thoughts turned to his ex-wife and son. His son, Ross Blackthorne that he’d never met, probably nine years old. Now would he ever get to meet the boy? What would he grow up believing about his father? He honestly thought that Elizabeth would probably have the decency to tell Ross that his father died a war hero, trying to save thousands of lives. But the mission had failed. The situation could get bad enough that his son may live under Machen Bren occupation – or not live at all. The only way Ian had been able to get his mind off this possibility was to convince himself that Zuriyev would do everything he could do stop that from happening, and if Zuriyev couldn’t do it, it couldn’t be done. The man was a tactical genius, and either way, the war was over for Ian now and the outcome out of his hands. He hated feeling so helpless.
It could have been two hours ago that he began to think of his mother, Jaina. She had already lost her husband to Starfleet. On Betazed, she was likely safe from attacks, since the planet wouldn’t be very tactically interesting to the Machen Bren, but now she stood to lose so much more. He vowed to himself that she would not also lose her only child, along with her grandson. Ian realized that subconsciously, he had stopped flying missions in the Mustangs to limit such a risk after being shot down the last time, and now look where he’d ended up. He had guided his thoughts elsewhere, but not before his resolve to escape was strengthened; he would see his mother on Betazed again, the Machen Bren be damned.
One hour ago, he started to think about T’Kirr. Of all the members of his crew that he could be thinking about, it had to be her. Who was he kidding anymore, though? If he couldn’t admit to himself in these dire straits that he had feelings for her, then he was simply delusional. Up until this point, he’d just put those thoughts in the back of his mind, but now seemed to be the time for internal eleventh-hour confessions. They had been through hell together and he’d long considered her a good friend as well as a damn fine officer, but there was something more he had just refused to acknowledge until now. Supposedly that sort of feeling wasn’t appropriate to have for officers under your command, but he knew just as well as anyone that it happened all over the place in Starfleet. Hell, Brooke Zuriyev had been her husband’s XO before they were married. The military had grown soft on relations within a chain of command ever since they started allowing families on deep space missions. There was something between them, Ian was sure of it; he just needed a chance to tell her. However she reacted, at least he wouldn’t have to wonder anymore.
Now he paced the prison cell anxiously, not content to sit on his rear and await whatever fate was ahead of him. Thoughts of Ross, Jaina, T’Kirr, the Atlantis, and her crew all crowded his mind. When he got out of this, he’d immediately go to meet Ross, and spend as much time as possible with him. He’d take him to meet his grandmother so that they could be a family, Ian also intended to do something about his feelings for T’Kirr. He knew, somehow, that she shared them. Perhaps it was a lingering effect from the time he had to empathically save her from Dugan’s mental assault, but now that he focused on those emotions, he could recall them from within her, whether she realized they were there or not. It was time to find out. It was time to fix some of the things he’d failed to act on in his life, should he be given another chance to do so.
But first, he had to Get Out of This.