"Sometimes you just don't get those things you cry for, Donny. Now get up off the floor and take your brother to the waters. He loves you… Djiu' cadxya toruz… Maybe that's more important? Hmm?"
-Reagan Irelle, on Tristan's 6th birthday.
=/\= Starbase, Earth. SD 240604.21 =/\=
The early years of Landon's life were filled with the happily flowing memories of a loving and beautiful family. A family he'd always hold to the book ends of his life, and in the constant thoughts drifting around in his mind's eye. They were his reason to being. Now, in his final days on Earth, he found himself wishing he'd never left them. He was finally finished with his joining trials, an arduous journey that had stamped itself into the darker parts of his life's tests. It seemed painful tests were a part of his fate.
The funeral for his family had been just a few days past as well...
Landon Irelle grabbed a book and two PADDS from the top of his dresser in his quarters. He'd nearly broken out in a hard sweat from hurrying to get back and head out again in time to get to his star base flight class. He cringed as his scraped knee brushed on the inside of his pants. Silently he cursed the steps leading into the residence hall. Lastly, he grabbed the communiqué from the Symbiosis Commission on Trill, kissed the picture of his family on his desk while throwing his book-bag over his head, and bolted out the door. Even the hiss of the door moving to the side seemed to chide him for his untimely scheduling.
Every time he saw that picture, the memories crept up and took a little more of him...
He'd already graduated, and was technically an Ensign in Starfleet at this point, but the star base commanding officer deemed it necessary for all his new pilots to undergo a formal evaluation course before they were allowed to sign on for transport duty. He thought it was a little… yeah. He wasn't about to make any waves over it though, and he wanted nothing more than to do his best for the higher ups.
He had less than five minutes before he'd be late for class. He was late too often, or so he was told. His instructor, Commander Turner, only let him off the hook because he was at the top of the class. As if he had somehow earned it or something. Thanks for small favors, he supposed. Landon looked at his chronometer one more time.
"Crap!" He said aloud.
Picking up the pace, he was trying to get to the launch platform before precisely 3:00 pm, when the shuttle for his flight control assessment lifted off. Missing takeoff and having to be transported from the base, no matter where you were, was like the walk of shame, just with a bit less exercise. He checked the time once more, wishing he just shaved a few more seconds off his afternoon nap. Unfortunately, Landon had the minor problem of shuffling his feet when trying to steady himself.
His brother Tristan had done the same thing…
Landon was assured by his very best friend, Greg, that the boots from replicator 7, building 4, were even better than standard issue. Something about increased structure. He wasn't entirely sure why one replicator would be somehow magically better than any other, but he decided to give it a shot. It hadn't yet been a single day since he'd gone and replicated a new pair of boots for his cadet's uniform and they were already starting to chaff. He was starting to think Greg was kidding, or worse, mocking him from some unseen place nearby. Greg was his best friend, for sure, but was prone to making Landon his source of amusement.
He looked down for a split second. It was just long enough to see what he was running on, and just enough to make a mistake. His foot caught on his pant-leg. With a rustle and a grunt, Landon tripped and launched forward. "Aww cra- !!!"
Landon plowed into the walkway, face first. His hands got caught in his book-bag before they could break his fall. Skidding for a second, he rolled over on his back and let his book-bag slide off a few feet past him.
That was twice in one day, a new record. Great.
He sighed and laid in the glow of the overhead lights for roughly a minute. His cheek burned and stung from the impact, and his uniform was all dusted from the walkway. It was a mixed day. He'd never been this nervous, especially since the news he recieved from Trill. Now was when he was supposed to be feeling amazing and swell with pride. His ego was supposed to be aglow with accomplishment. But he just felt. . . wrong. He squinted.
A little beep from his bookbag went off. It was 3:00 pm.
Landon's eyes shot open and he reached out for his bag. It was about 10 feet away. He heard a buzzing sound. Too late. . .
He felt tingly, everything shimmered, and he was on the floor of the shuttle, on his side with his arm outstretched ahead. Commander Turner was kneeling down in front of him. His groin was accidentally placed at the just the right location to make it look like Landon was reaching for. . .well. Landon snatched his hand back and slowly looked up at the Commander. Smiling innocently.
"Sir." He looked down at the floor, a little smear of blood on his cheek.
"Glad you could join us. I trust your trip wasn't too rough this time?" The rest of the class sitting in the shuttle all snickered.
Landon sighed and plopped up next to his friend Greg, sinking as low as he could into his seat. "No sir. It was informative, at least." He shot a nasty look at Greg. Whose face was red from holding back laughter. Greg struggled to calm himself and grabbed a dermal regenerator.
"I'll take care of him, sir." Greg added.
"Thank you, Mr. Moiko."
Greg tended to Landon's head wound and looked him over. "I thought you knew I was kidding about those shoes, Donny."
His father called him that until he was 10…
"Greg! You know I don't like it when you call me that." Landon cringed from the sting. It was embarrassing enough being humiliated in front of his entire flight class. Why did he even need to take this class? He'd passed every single piloting assessment at the Academy with flying colors, to use an expression. Now he needed to prove to a star base command crew he was proficient in basic shuttle piloting skills. The lost art of beaurocracy certainly wasn't dead in the Federation.
"Yeah, well. Oh! I heard you got some news! Let's see!", he looked around a second, "where's your bag? -oh. no biggie." Greg laughed again.
Landon rolled his eyes and scratched his head. He'd hoped nobody else would notice he didn't have his bag. Or that he was still all dusty. Greg chose that moment to offer his hands in an effort to remove of the pavement from the young Trill's uniform. Landon started to recite the message from the Commission, reading the PADD loud enough for Greg to hear, no one else.
"Landon Eirlon Irelle, we're pleased to congratulate you on successfully completing the joining trials and evaluation. However. . ." he trailed off.
Greg sighed and put the dermal regenerator down. Landon had been trying for so long to be approved for joining, Greg couldn't remember a time in the last 3 years he hadn't spoken of it. He considered himself the Trill's big brother in more than a couple ways, especially since his family's death. He readied himself to console him. "Hey buddy it-".
Landon jumped in and interrupted him. "We were unable to match you with the Rexn symbiont as you requested, and have instead matched you with the Neyes Symbiont!" Landon beamed, laughing loudly. Almost awkwardly.
Greg's brow shot up in surprise, and he smiled at Landon's laugh. "You. You were approved for joining? YOU?! That's great!" His voice belied a little disbelief, but he was happy for Landon all the same. They hugged for a second, Landon nearly felt like crying.
"I know! I just can't- can't explain how happy I am. It's just that, well. . . the previous host dies. . . tomorrow," Landon paused, "I leave at 0300 for Trill. His name is Taylor Neyes. I guess he was suffered a massive stab wound to the chest somewhere in the Beta Quadrant. They wouldn't tell me more than that. I guess I'll know soon enough." Landon chuckled weakly and looked down at the floor.
"Hey. Donny, you knew this was coming though, right? It comes with the gig." He rubbed Landon's shoulder. "Be happy!"
Landon looked up and smiled back half-heartedly.
It meant less now…
=/\= End Log =/\=
Ens. Landon Neyes