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Family Politics Pt 2

Posted on Tuesday February 23rd, 2021 @ 7:29am by Commander Jacob Wishmore

Mission: Home Is Where The Heart Is
Location: Cohasset, MA, Earth
Timeline: December 31st 2156

A short nap followed by several cups of strong coffee had Jacob ready for the evening ahead. It had been wonderful reuniting with almost his entire family, nieces and nephews included but still the highlight of his day just like every single one that had passed since arriving home was the sight and company of his own children.

Soon enough though the sun had set and whilst the adults enjoyed a rare New Year’s Eve together, the children would sleep soundly, tired out from a long day of play with their cousins. Dinner – professionally cooked naturally – was wonderful. Choices of a variety of locally caught seafood bought most of the Wishmore children back to their childhoods whilst their respective partners for the most part got the opportunity to enjoy the local specialities for the first time.

As Desserts were finished and most had moved on to drinks, Jacob took a moment to look around the table. It was a wonderful thing to see everybody together around one table and yet there remained a strange tension across the room that Jacob couldn’t quite place the source of.

“Jacob” Thomas Wishmore Senior spoke as he nursed an expensive and well-aged scotch that he’d been holding back for such an occasion, “It’s wonderful to have you back in our house, welcome home my boy.” The man’s tone was odd, distracted and almost insincere although Jacob didn’t doubt that he did mean the words.

“Thanks, Dad.” Jacob replied with a smile, “It’s good to be home.”

“I would have liked it if you’d responded to some of the message we had sent to you,” The oldest man in the room said, gazing over the top of his glass at his middle child, “I sent some quite important information.”

“Your election campaign?” Jacob enquired softly. It had been a long time since he’d felt like a child again.

“Precisely,” Thomas nodded, finishing his glass and gesturing for Jessica to refill it, “I trust you’ve been made aware of the event tomorrow?”

“I did hear you were giving some kind of speech.” Jacob replied, shaking off the sheepishness he’d felt moments earlier.

“I was hoping that you would speak there too,” Thomas said in such a manner as to make it sound more of an instruction than a request, “I believe it would help my cause a great deal.”

Sighing Jacob leaned back in his chair, “I really don’t know…”

“Nonsense. You’re an expert on the primary subject!”

Tilting his head to one side like a puppy that had heard a familiar word, Endeavour’s Chief Medical Officer raised his eyebrows, “It’s a speech on medicine?”

“No!” Thomas Senior laughed, “It’s about this damned war your Starfleet has gotten us into! We’re going to give a speech in support of those who believe we should sue for peace with what ever it is we’re fighting out there. You’ve seen it first hand my boy, your words would hold weight.”

Looking at his father in disbelief, Jacob shook his head slowly, “You are joking?”

“No” Jacob had never heard a word from his father spoken with more certainty, “It’s a very popular belief these days. The sooner we give these Romans…”

“Romulans” Jessica interjected

Romulans” Thomas Senior corrected himself, shooting his youngest a long glare as he did so, “The sooner we give them what ever they want to leave us be, the sooner we can get rid of Starfleet and get back to…”

“Being insular, backward and destroying ourselves from within?” His youngest daughter finished her father’s sentence to his clear disdain.

“You listen, young lady. It’s bad enough that they’ve taken one of my children in but right now there are three members of that ridiculous organization around my dinner table. I have been patient with you until this point but first thing tomorrow you are going to withdraw from Starfleet and find something worthy of your time.” Their father’s face had started to turn a curious shade of red but from the alcohol or his clear frustration, Jacob could not tell.

“I can leave if it helps…” Louise, Jessica’s fellow cadet who until that point had sat and listened awkwardly.”

“If you wouldn’t mind, dear.” Thomas offered a temporary and incredibly false smile. “Now Jacob, you will take the stage with me wearing that uniform of yours and…”

Watching his baby sister sit back down, nervously wringing her hands as Louise stood awkwardly, clearly still unsure of what was really going on, Jacob took a deep breath in an attempt to avert the rare occurrence he could feel building within him, “No!” He growled, his patience finally breaking, “You, sit down. That’s an order!” He snapped at the cadet who immediately complied, “And you” His gaze fell upon his father, “Are delusional.”

“You always struggled with the bigger picture Jacob,” Thomas said smugly, “Starfleet is a waste of resources and a waste of collective time and it will be gone in due course anyway. We as a species must ensure our survival so that we can continue…”

“Doing what we were doing before? Half the globe fighting among its self while the other half starves?”

“I won’t allow my children to waste their futures on this futile endeavour!”

Jacob couldn’t help but laugh although mostly in disgust at his own father’s comment, “I get it now. You can’t accept that we are the way forward. We’re forging a future for humanity that is going to render your lifetime’s work irrelevant.”

“Enough!” Dad snapped, drawing a smirk from Jacob

“In a hundred years there are going to have been dozens of our family having served in Starfleet, among the allies we are making every day whilst we fight a race that wants to wipe every last one of us from the face of the galaxy. Nothing your appeasement speech will influence is going to change that!”

“You don’t know what you’re talking about, Boy!” Thomas knew he was losing the argument and so did Jacob whose face was slowly turning into a teasing smile.

“How’s your speech going to be, Dad? Peace in our time? Go home and have a nice quiet sleep?”

“Jessica!” Thomas roared at his youngest, “You are going to inform Starfleet immediately that you won’t be returning.”

“She bloody isn’t!” Jacob roared back, standing and moving around the table to stand behind his little sister who in turn stood and made a dash for the doorway, her anxiety visible to any who cared to look and was quickly followed by Louise who called after her.

“If she isn’t then she can leave this house!” Thomas shouted at Jacob who shook his head and was about to speak back only to have the words stolen from him.

“Absolutely not!” Roared Madeline, “She isn’t going anywhere!”

“Maddy…” Thomas spoke, his voice lowered but his face still betraying his anger.

“This is ridiculous!” Mom shouted at her husband, “How dare you treat our children with such a lack of respect or support. I won’t stand for this any longer! You go out there and apologise to your daughter!”

“But what about their support for me? Thomas whined, accepting his new status as scolded.

“If you want the support of your children, do something to warrant it.” Madeline hissed, “When did you lose your spine, Thomas? When in your life would you ever have just wanted to give up?”

“I need this” Thomas spoke quietly to his wife, “Supporting the war won’t win this election.”

“Dad,” Jacob spoke, the entire conversation returning to calmer levels once more, “If you really believe we should just give up, give your speech but I won’t support it. If you don’t, do you really want to win on a message you don’t believe?”

“No.” Thomas sighed, finally conceding to his son’s point, “But without it, I don’t stand a chance in this.”

The look on his father’s face was part disappointment and part embarrassment but still Jacob smiled, “Tell them the truth. Winning is a matter of survival and we can only do that with support.”

“And lose?”

“Lose and be proud that you stood on the right side of this argument,” Jacob placed a hand on his father’s shoulder before the pair embraced, “And then,” He added with a wicked smirk, “Once the war is over, you wipe the floor with all the cowards that ran for capitulation!

As the room fell back into more relaxed conversation of happier topics, time passed quickly and before long they entered the final thirty minutes before the new year would come around. Still though, Jessica and Louise had not returned.

“I’m going to find them,” Jacob told his older brother, sliding his chair back and standing up as he spoke.

“Be careful what you’re walking into though,” Anna Wishmore piped in from across the table with a knowing grin, “Knock before you open any doors.”

“…They’re?” Jacob asked with raised eyebrows before watching the woman a single year his junior nod back.

“I don’t think they’ve actually told anybody, but yes.”

“Then how do you know?” Thomas junior pressed with the grin of someone who looked like he’d just heard the gossip of the year.

“I asked.” Anna spoke simply and with a smug smile of her own

It took Jacob only a few minutes before he came across the pair of cadets entangled in one another’s arms on the couch in the lounge, his little sister’s understandably tearstained. Hesitating to interrupt their own little moment, it wasn’t until Louise had begun to lean in for a kiss that Jacob felt the need to let his presence be known with a gentle cough.

Watching the pair scramble to separate themselves drew a quiet chuckle from Jacob who moved a little further into the room, “I’m very sorry you had to witness that, Louise” He addressed their guest first, “I think that was the culmination of a lot of stress on our father and he’s terribly embarrassed.”

“It’s okay, Sir. No need to apologise.” The cadet said far too formally for the situation, causing Jacob to offer a slight eye roll.

“No more of that tonight.” He smiled disarmingly, “Time to enjoy yourselves a bit, god knows you two deserve it.” Accepting Jacob’s words but still clearly feeling a little bit uneasy, Louise nodded before glancing toward Jessica, “Would you give us a moment, Louise? We’ll be back through in a moment.”

“Of course” She responded, looking once more toward her girlfriend before disappearing through the door.

Almost immediately as she disappeared, Jacob pulled his sister toward him in a hug-come-headlock, leaning down and placing his mouth close to her ear before loudly whispering, “Are you alright?”

“Yeah” Jessica responded quietly, accepting a reassuring squeeze from her big brother, “Is Dad still mad?”

“Disappointed,” Jacob told her as the began to shuffle slowly back to the party, “Not really mad.”

“Is he still pulling me from the academy?” She asked leaning against him a little bit in some kind of awkward walking hug.

“He doesn’t have that power, and even if he did, I wouldn’t allow it,” He gave her a confident grin, “But in any case, I think he’s accepted our choices.”

There was something more reassuring to Jessica Wishmore about his reference to their choice that was enough to help her find a smile as they re-entered the dining room. Across the room, Jacob could see Louise surrounded by Anna and his younger brother William along with Tom Jr’s wife Khadija and Anna’s husband Sam. Their mother and father were slowly dancing together, all smiles whilst Lucille and Tom Jr were conversing themselves, their attention only broken when Jacob and Jessica returned.

“Only a couple of minutes to go,” Jacob whispered to Jessica after a quick glance at the clock. It had been the strangest evening, memorable although not necessarily for the right reasons but now they had the opportunity to enter a new year and one which would no doubt be equally as momentous as the last, on the best footing as one could – surrounded by friends, family and loved ones together with plenty of good food and drink still to consume. “Make sure you start it right, yes?”

“Yes” Jess said, glancing up at him nervously.

“One minute!” Jacob called across the room before finding a place next to his own wife and taking another long look around the room.

In only a few months he would return to the Starship Endeavour where together the crew would return to fight a war that had already seen an untold number of casualties and that would no doubt see an untold number more before the fighting would cease. Along with the rest of the crew he would have to pry himself once more away from his family, from a loving wife, a newborn son and his two toddler girls and go back to trying to make sure that as many people aboard the newly upgraded Columbia class starship would get to return home to their spouses, children, mothers, fathers and siblings.

Standing there among almost everyone in the universe he cared for, the responsibility that would be placed not just upon his shoulders but everybody across Starfleet’s never seemed more immense. The survival of not just their race but possibly dozens of others relied on them being able to stem Romulan aggression and whilst it was easy to say the faster the better, they were fighting an enemy that would resort to what ever tactics they needed to in order to find victory.

As the seconds counted down to January 1st, the task in Jacob’s mind had never seemed clearer and yet as his lips came to touch those of his wife in a room where all but one were doing precisely the same with those they loved dearest, it was all so easy to forget about for just a few moments more.

 

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