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Log of the Month for August, 2017

Axe and Shovel
Posted on August 2nd, 2017 by T'Kirr and Ian Blackthorne

by T’Kirr and Ian Blackthorne

The ever-present hum of Atlantis’s systems had been replaced by the perpetual, unceasing crashing of the ocean waves outside their beachfront home on Baja California’s southern tip. The sun dipped toward the horizon, painting the sky in increasingly vibrant shades of orange and the sea in scintillating gold. Ian Blackthorne, clad only in board shorts and aviator-frame sunglasses, reclined in a lounge chair on the beach, watching the spectacular natural display while sipping a gin and tonic and smoking a fine Cuban cigar. He still found the transition from commanding a starship to working at a desk in San Francisco to be a bit difficult, but moments like this certainly helped.

From the expansive windows of their great room inside the house, T’Kirr was also appreciating the view. The glass doors slid open as she passed outside, and as she descended the stairs of their raised deck and made her way across the sand towards Ian, the weight of two unlikely blades in each hand reminded her of her purpose. She could get used to the salty scent of the surf, she decided, and the sunset and sand under her bare feet reminded her very much of home.

Reaching the two isolated chairs on the expansive beach, T’Kirr offered the hilt of a sturdy axe to Ian and sat down in her own chair. He set his mostly-finished cigar and drink aside and accepted it with a fond smirk, immediately recognizing the tool that had been used to fell many trees during their Section 31-imposed exile. Ian briefly wondered why she had brought it to him, but then noticed the small shovel that T’Kirr held, the one she had used in their meager garden on that primitive world. Their home there had been on the beach as well, and it was clear that she was drawing a parallel. He ran his hands over the axe, remembering the hard work and sore muscles that it represented, then glanced over at his wife and quietly remarked, “Life is a bit easier here.”

“Quite a bit, yes.” T’Kirr turned the trowel in her hand, watching the way the horizontal light reflected off its blade. They had been supplied these two tools and both were made to be practically indestructible, but they were useless without the hard work required to make a living in exile. Ian and T’Kirr had kept these as reminders of how close they had come to living there forever, and to be thankful for everything that was returned to them since. “I was looking through a box just now and found them packed away. I brought them out, thinking now an appropriate time to reflect on our last house.”

“It wouldn’t have been so bad, if it had only had a replicator and a bar. And a toilet.” Ian looked out to sea, recalling the long conversations they’d had on that beach, having little else to do in what scant relaxation time they could afford. “It was hard living, but I think that experience brought us even closer together.”

“I agree. And we would have not been wanting for a sense of purpose, but we would have missed staying in contact with those we know the most.” Once they had returned to Earth and resolved the Section 31 issue, T’Kirr had taken time to visit her parents on Vulcan. After being exiled and thinking she would never see them again, she had grown homesick and wanted to assure them that she was all right. While stranded on that island beach on a planet far, far away, she remembered thinking that if they did ultimately decide to have children, her parents would never get to know their grandchildren. Now, they could.

T’Kirr turned her eyes from the sea to Ian’s face. Looking at their home, one might think they were retired, but with transporter technology and their positions of importance, they were not confined to living close to Starfleet Headquarters where they worked. Retired or not, this home and their new jobs were a lot more stable than commanding a starship. They had been forced to settle down in their exile, but this time it was by their choice. T’Kirr had been thinking about a similarity between that home and this one since they arrived, and now seemed to be the appropriate time to discuss it. “Do you remember our conversation about children on that beach?”

“How could I forget?” was his quick answer. They had decided that having children would be a good idea, both to help them as they aged, and for companionship for T’Kirr since she would likely outlive him, but they had been rescued before going through with it. Still, the conversation had lingered in his mind, and although the survival-related reasons were no longer relevant, the absence of a potentially dangerous starship environment still applied. Above all, his longing to be a good father to a child, a chance he had missed during his son’s formative years, had not diminished. Ian’s mind brushed at hers over their bond, noticing something beneath the calm facade she presented. He met her eyes and took her hand, giving it a fond squeeze as he took off his sunglasses. “If you’re asking because you want children, I’m still open to the idea.”

“That is why I’m asking, yes.” T’Kirr squeezed his hand back. “It’s at least something we can think about seriously, although I’m not sure if we’re quite ready yet. We’re…still settling in.”

“We are, aye. It’s quite jarring, changing to this slower-paced life with no red alert klaxon threatening to wake us up at any hour. But living here, in this wonderful house, with you…” He trailed off for a moment, recalling the imagined life for his family on that planet, sailing on a ship they’d built themselves to meet the primitive civilization on the other side of the world. That life would never come to pass, but this one would be better. “I’ve done a lot of thinking about it since our talks on that beach, and I can’t imagine a better time. I think we’d make great parents, and if we’re not ready by now, when will we ever be?”

T’Kirr looked out to sea again, a cool breeze ruffling through her hair as she thought on Ian’s words. “You make a good point.” Finally, she turned her head to look back at him. “And I believe…I agree with you.”

Ian sat up on the lounge chair and turned to his wife, taking her other hand so that he held them both, and leaned forward with a broad smile that deepened the lines at the corners of his eyes. “Then let’s do it, T’Kirr. Let’s have children,” he encouraged, an eager joy creeping into his voice that was easy for her to sense. With a sweeping arc of his head to indicate their home, he added, “Can you imagine a more amazing place for them to grow up?”

Now fully facing him, T’Kirr could easily read his features, and she found herself being caught up in Ian’s enthusiasm. Even if she were to still be undecided, seeing him come alive at the idea would be enough. His physical response was just the beginning of the eagerness she was feeling from his mind. At his question, she studied the house critically in the fading light. The sun had almost set, and while the chill in the air grew, she knew it would be a warm night inside with him. Standing, T’Kirr moved to sit beside Ian on his chair, still holding his hands.

“It is a suitable location, yes.” T’Kirr’s eyes sparkled as she looked back into Ian’s, and she realized he had been waiting for her to be ready, waiting for her to return to the idea of starting a family. “It has been a long time since I have seen you smile like this, and it pleases me that our agreement is the cause for it.”

“Well, what can I say? The idea of seeing you as a mother to nascent life born from elements of us both?” Ian chuckled and squeezed her hands in his mirthful anticipation, then put an arm around her shoulder to pull her close as they turned toward the sunset. “In this new adventure of ours, that, my love, is something to get especially excited about.”

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1 Comment

  • Alexis Wright says:

    Nice job, guys! For some reason, the title brings to mind a variation on the hammer and sickle, but that’s neither here nor there. I admit that the emotions described here are quite foreign to me, but the presentation is lovely and well-constructed. It’ll be interesting to see where this goes. Probably laying the groundwork for some supervillain in 20 years, because y’all play the long game. :D

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