Stardate 51481.7 Location: USS Agora Sickbay.
“… and when are you going to stop dilly-dallying around the galaxy and make something of your life?” Even with the aftereffects of radiation sickness, Malcolm Carthright still had the presence and bearing he’d cultivated over many years as a colony administrator, though his voice was no where near as strong as it used to be.
“Make something…” Stephan Carthright leaned against the bulkhead, resisting the urge to raise his voice. “What do you think I’m doing here? If I was just drifting around the galaxy for my own amusement I’d hardly be in the middle of a war zone!”
“Knowing you, as little as you can possibly get away with”, there was a mixture of anger and disappointment in Malcolm’s voice, “Same as you’ve always done. When I was your age I was building up a successful colony and planning a family.”
“I know, I know, uphill both ways in the snow, you’ve told me enough times.” Stephan turned to leave. “I don’t know why I bothered.” he muttered softly, turning to leave. He stopped just before the door, “So what are your plans now?”
“Plans? I’m going back to Salva II of course. Pick up the pieces, rebuild what the Cardassians broke, get ready for the next planting season.”
“Go back?!?” Stephan exclaimed, “Salva’s right on the front line. Cardassians aren’t going to give up this easily, they believe the system is theirs, they’ll fight for it and the Fleet can’t be everywhere. Can’t you stay with Sarah or visit Earth or Vulcan until this is all over?”
“I will not run and hide!” Malcolm exclaimed with surprising hostility, “I spent over thirty years of my life building that colony, I will not abandon it. Now get out! Get out!”
Stephan left Sickbay without another word. A corridor away he spun and slammed a fist into the bulkhead “Damn him! Damn him,” a second punch, “damn him.”