SIM:Ensign Jackford Kolk - In Memorium
((Operations Center, Deep Space 17 - Stardate 238404.11))
::Ensign Kolk kept a steady eye on the station's structural integrity fields as the phantom battle took its tole on this Deep Space 17. He saw the errant torpedo careening toward the station and diverted all available power to the fields facing the torpedo. If it hit it wouldn't do a whole lot to stave off destruction, but it wouldn't hurt either. Luckily Lt.Cmdr. Walker detonated it before it hit. Jack sighed in relief, braced himself against his station, and looked up to see the slight form of Lieutenant Walker streaking across the room to shove Mar out of the way of a falling support beam. Not even given the moment of satisfaction, the girder impaled him instantly. He drew one last ragged breath.::
Lt. Walker: Not... twice.
Mar: I need to know what's going on!
::Jack was stunned. He couldn't speak. He'd never seen anyone die before. Sure, he'd seen simulated beings "die" but never with the truth and detail of real death. Never this close. Never this brutally. He vaguely heard the Lieutenant's last words and the question Commander Mar asked afterward, but regardless of what they'd said, the verse he'd read that morning in the book of John meant more to him now than he ever could've imagined; he had to share it.::
Kolk: "There is no greater love than to lay down one's life for one's friends."
::Jack stared at the dead Walker until the body was taken away. Only then was he able to draw back to his consciousness the rest of the world around him. It was still a bit hazy, but he knew he'd heard something about shore leave so he left Ops and headed for his quarters to wash up and clear his head.::
((Kolk's Quarters, Deck 19 - Later))
::In the sonic shower, Jack couldn't help but think back to the last time he'd spoken to his brother.
((Flashback: Earth, Seattle - Stardate 238009.01))
::Jarod Kolk, a 28 year old school teacher, punched his brother squarely on the face. Jack fell backward on the ground.::
Jack: I'm going to the Academy. ::Jackford lifted himself to his feet and stood to face his brother.:: I *will* join Starfleet.
Jarod: Starfleet is what killed our father!!!
Jack: No, it didn't! An explosion at his post killed him! During a Cardassian attack!
Jarod: How would you know? You were barely a year old when they died! I was ten, and I was in the room when he and Samantha... ::Jarod's voice trailed off as he closed his eyes to the memory. Slowly, he opened them again, rage filling his eyes now:: ... I saw the other officers run for their lives, leaving them to die!
Jack: Those other officers are the ones who saved you, Jarod!
Jarod: But they didn't save Dad or Sam, did they?
Jack: No, but staying here and wallowing in anger and regret for the rest of your life won't change that.
::Jarod swung at Jack wildly, missing by a mile as Jack quickly stepped back out of reach. Jarod turned and stomped off. Jack called after him.::
Jack: I'm joining Starfleet, Jarod. It's what I've always wanted to do. I'm sorry if you can't accept that... I'm sorry.
((Kolk's Quarters, DS17 - The Present))
::For the first time since his assignment to the Ronin, Jack didn't mind looking like something other than a Starfleet officer. He put on comfortable slacks and a loose shirt and slouched on the couch.::
Kolk: Computer, record audio for delivery to Jarod Kolk, Earth: Jarod, I saw a man die today. In much the same way Dad and Sam died. I think I finally understand why you are so angry. It's not because the men who saved you didn't save them, is it? It's because *you* didn't... because you saw them ripped apart by the fire and the metal and you... couldn't stop it... I'm sorry, Jarod. I'm so sorry you had to see that. I'm so sorry I couldn't understand your frustration or your need to control your environment. I can't imagine how you must've felt when the Dominion attacked earth. I'm sorry that I always just wrote you off as a bitter old fool... If you can forgive me, I'd love to hear from you... -Jack...
::He sat in silence for a few moments, wondering if anything more would come out, but it didn't.::
Kolk: Computer, save and send.
::With the computer's quiet chime of compliance came the realization that he didn't want to contemplate any of it anymore.::
Kolk: Computer, where is Doctor Parker?
Computer: Doctor Parker is in Main Sickbay.
::He stood up and strolled out the door to find her. He wasn't sure if he wanted to talk or just someone to distract him from his musings on death and powerlessness, but he knew whatever he wanted, Addy was the closest thing he had to a good friend on this station and he didn't mind it if she became that and more...::
"First Impressions Could Get You Fired"
|Ensign Jackford Kolk
USS Ronin NCC-34523
"The Long Road Home"