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Log of the Month for October, 2006

Inflection Point
Posted on October 9th, 2006 by Ian Blackthorne

His quarters were dimly lit in the late evening as he continued to work past his shift. Technical data reflected sharply in his faded denim eyes as he paged through it on the viewscreen. It was serene, giving the Admiral peace to concentrate on finding whatever information he needed to gain the edge over their current situation.

As is the natural course of things, his commbadge chirped, shattering the quietude. “Blackthorne here.”

The Risan-accented voice of Lt. Commander Kathryn Harper, the beta shift CO, intruded on his peace. “Incoming communique from Earth for you, Admiral. It’s labeled as priority.” Of course it was.

“Put it through to my terminal. Blackthorne out.” He waited, anxious to see what was so bloody important.

She appeared on the screen, tumbling mahogany hair framing alabaster skin punctuated by arching dark eyebrows over pools of deep bitter chocolate. She wasn’t smiling, but instead had a look of dread at what lay before her. “Ian,” came her simple greeting.

“Elizabeth,” Ian answered, the sight of his ex-wife kindling emotions he’d long thought dead, “this is a surprise.” That was an understatement; it must have been three years since they’d spoken last. She looked good, he thought absently, and immediately admonished himself for doing so.

“I know, Ian. I -” She hesitated, looking at him for a long moment, gathering her resolve to just get right to the point and not unnecessarily prolong this unpleasant ordeal. “There’s something that I should tell you.”

His face softened as he sat down at the desk facing the viewer, reading a hint of guilt from her. A confession after nine and a half years of divorce? Uncharacteristic of her to admit wrongdoing, but there was no harm in letting her clear her conscience. “What is it, Liz?”

She swallowed and narrowed her eyebrows, just knowing he was reading her emotions even over the long distance between them. That was always so infuriating! She never could hide her true thoughts from him, but long ago realized that had the marriage been healthy, she rarely would have wanted to. Best to not let it get to her and get through this, she decided, and just let the words tumble out until it was over with. “Ian, I didn’t know it yet at the time, but when you left to go to war, I was pregnant… you have a son.”

Ian’s brow furrowed and his voice began a rapid crescendo. “And it took you this long to bother telling me? How could you keep this from me, Liz? No, don’t answer that, just tell me his bloody name, now!”

Stunned, Liz stammered, “Ross.”

“Ross Walker, then, I imagine!”

“Ross Blackthorne actually. I hadn’t yet changed my name back when he was born, and never bothered changing his.”

“So the boy has my bloody name and you never could be bothered to tell me about him! Why now, Liz, after all these years?”

“You would have found out eventually anyway! I figured you’d rather hear it from me!”

“Aye, out of the mouth of the woman that kept it from me! I’m surprised the boy didn’t just show up at my door when he turned eighteen!”

“Not if I have any say in it! I don’t want him in your world, the world you left me for!”

“You were the one that filed for divorce, Liz, not me. I had a duty-”

“Oh come off it Ian, the high and mighty Duty to Starfleet Act grew stale even when we were married! And if I can shield my son from wanting to be like his father, then I will gladly do it!”

This argument had also gotten stale while they were married, so he changed the subject, momentarily softening his voice from the yelling that had been dominating the conversation. “What have you been telling him about me, Liz?”

She paused for a moment, taken off guard by the sudden change in tone. “Just that his father was away for a long time, traveling.”

“I want to see him the next time I’m back at Earth.” He let the statement hang in the air, wanting to see how she would react before he threatened legal action.

“Yes, yes, of course. I wouldn’t have told you about him if I intended on keeping you from seeing him.”

“Thank you. What is he, about nine now?”


The anger flooding back, he looked down from the viewscreen and slammed a fist into the desk. The muted reflection of her in the desk’s laquered wood surface brought him back to reality. “God damn it! Nine years of his life I’ve already missed!”

Coldly, she replied, “Would it have changed anything? You would have missed them anyway.”

“Bloody hell woman, you don’t know that!”

“Yes. Yes, I do, Ian. Just like it won’t change anything now. You’ll still be traipsing around the galaxy while he grows up on Earth, only visiting when you find your way back here.”

It was his turn to be stunned; she was right. Slowly, he nodded. “Yes… at least I could have been there for key events in his life, though. But no, you just had to hide him from the evil that is his father’s way of life!”

A few tears made their way down her ivory cheeks, and then words and tears began to cascade over one another. “Ian, I’m sorry, you’re right, I should have told you, but it caught me off guard during the middle of the divorce and I didn’t know what to do so I hid him, I hid him to keep him from becoming like you, so he would never hurt me like you, and before I knew it he was already five years old! By that time the lie had already became truth, even in my mind and assuredly his, so breaking it became harder and harder, but finally I couldn’t take the guilt anymore! Despite what you are, he deserves to know you!” She buried her face in her hands, sobbing. “Damn you for doing this to me!”

Her emotional state had little effect on him, anger overriding that natural male reaction that wants nothing more than to soothe a crying female and stop the tears. “And damn you for never accepting who I am! That’s what led to all of this you know, your inability to accept and desire to change me, but you married me anyway and now there’s an innocent boy caught in the middle!” She didn’t reply, but just continued sobbing. “I will see him when I get back to Earth, so let him know, dammit you’d better let him know! But right now, I don’t want to even look at you.” He cut the commlink, silencing the sudden wavering protestation she offered. The tempest was over, the room once again quiet save for his angered breathing.

After a few long seconds of staring at the Federation logo on the viewscreen, Ian collapsed into his chair, suddenly exhausted. He did not envy his son.

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