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Part of USS Luna: Contests

The Luck of the Canadians

USS Luna
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—- USS Luna, Assistant Chief Security Officer’s Quarters —-

 

I awaken as she’s getting off the bed and donning her uniform. In the soft light of the stars outside my window I watch her don her uniform for a minute and then sit up in bed and pat the space that she had vacated, “Stay the night?”

Lieutenant Junior Grade Rosa Flores turns and shakes her head, “I have a shift in six hours. I’ll sleep better in my own bed and I need a sonic shower.”

”Who said you needed sleep,” I joked as she did up her uniform top and ensured that the comm badge and her rank pips were snug. 

Flores smiled, “We can’t all be William Hume and show up to work dead tired from all the fun he was having last night.”

”Hey,” I protested, “what’s that mean?”

”Just, you know, you’re lucky,” she said then her eyes looked up and to the left as she searched her mind for the right word, “Blessed maybe.”

I made a ‘pffft’ sound with my mouth to disagree. I was not lucky. I rolled my eyes, a sign of disagreement.

”I applied for the Academy three times and then when I graduated I was assigned to a recruitment office in Mexico City. Only meeting the Captain got me off Earth,” Flores said. 

I resisted the urge to point out that the Academy was all merit based, and if she had applied three times versus my once, well that was a candidate quality thing. As if she could read my mind, not that she could that was my last girlfriend, Flores said, “You’re application had letters of recommendation from captains and commanders who your parents served with. Mine had it from a dance teacher and my abuela. You were the son of a war hero, I was just a name in a long list of names.”

”That’s not luck,” I protested. My family had alway sacrificed for the military, for Starfleet all the way back as long as anyone could remember. If I benefited from that, it was just a bit of extra benefit from being so dedicated for so many generations.

Flores checked herself in the full length mirror I had in my room and then nodded. She was stubborn and knew her own mind so I knew that I was not going to get very far arguing with her. I let her go but wasn’t able to fall back asleep so I get up and dressed myself, putting on my uniform and going for breakfast.

Bothered by this assertion that I was ’lucky’ I headed to the one person I knew would give it to me straight, my ex-girlfriend Lieutenant Yuhiro Kolem. She had office hours, an open shift where she mostly dealt with paper work but would see patients if they swung by. I knocked on her door and then entered when called In.

 

—- USS Luna, Chief Counselor’s Office —-

 

As I expected it was not busy so early in Alpha Shift and Kolem was behind her desk working on files which she immediately put away as I entered as patient records were private. She gave me an uncertain smile as I entered and was perhaps ill at ease since our relationship had not ended well and then she’s helped an angry ancient god take me over and we’d tried to brainwash the entire ship.

To say things were complicated was an understatement.

”What’s up William,” she asked, she never called me Will because that was too much like the pet names that the character in the holonovel about Captain William Riker and his wife Commander Deanna Troi used and she had a thing being half-Betazoid as well with being compared with Troi a thing our previous captain often did.

”Flores said I’m lucky, I’m not lucky am I?” I asked.

”In some kind of magical everything just works out way? No, but you are lucky, in that you’re privileged,” Kolem said, “So am I in some ways. Everyone is in a way, but some people benefit from it more.“

”My father died, I didn’t know him at all and Flores said I got into the Academy from being the son of a war hero,” I said feeling frustrated by this.

”My father died and I didn’t get to use that on my application to the Academy, he just died the way people just die,” Kolem said, “Your father dying is sad and a loss, but it shouldn’t be overlooked that there were some benefits. Yes I know you’d rather have your father than have been accepted first try into the Academy, but it helped and there’s no point in denying that. The kids of Starfleet officers are statistically much more likely to enter service, and to be taken. Plus you look like Kirk, or Archer, or Picard when he had hair, or Gustavson. Flores looks sort of like Captain Sonya Gomez and Captain Cruz and that’s it.”

I argued, “Captain Cruz is our commanding officer, so looking like her is a good thing.”

”On this ship here it might be. I’ve benefited from Captain Cruz, just like you benefited from Captain Hawthorne,“ Kolem said, “Personal relationships matter and its natural that people trust people more like them, and want to help them along. Maybe one day you’ll have a Vulcan CO who thinks you’re illogical and demotes you, but more likely than not you’ll have someone who looks like you. James Kirks father was in Starfleet, so was his brother just like you and your sister.”

”But Kirk was a great man, that’s why we remember him,” I argued.

”Sure, and he did great things. But he got a leg up at the start, that doesn’t negate the things he did. You’ll do great things too, you’re smart and charming, and talented. But that doesn’t mean you weren’t lucky to get to the first step easier than some people,” Kolem said.

I thought about it. I suppose I wasn’t convinced, but I had asked the two people who I respected most on the ship and they’d both told me I was lucky. Luck you always think like a magical ability that things just work out, and things in my life didn’t always work out. I’d never thought of it as being positioned at birth to be in the right place for something, to benefit from this nearly invisible system not of my making just because of who I was an who my parents were.

I had a lot of thinking to do. I nodded at Kolem and smiled, “Well I guess I’m just lucky then.”

 

—- USS Luna, Security Office —-

 

Lieutent Claudia Jara had already sent Alpha Shift out on their rounds. With Romulan scientists aboard we had to balance keeping a close eye on them and not being too overbearingly suspicious. She was adjusting the board when I entered, the Chief Security Officer tracking everyone’s movements.

”Am I lucky for who I am I mean, who my parents were?” I asked her. Jara was painfully blunt at times so I figured if anyone would give me the direct answer it was her.

”I was born on Turkana IV and you on Earth, yeah you’re lucky,” she said still tracking the various two person teams moving through the layout of the ship on the digital display.

“I guess I don’t think of the nature of my birth as luck,” I said, “Or I hadn’t.”

“Not my problem Hume. Five hundred years ago they wouldn’t let people like me marry, so I consider myself lucky,” she said.

”There were humans on Turkana IV five hundred years ago,” I asked, pretty sure that was not true.

“Lesbians,” Jara said finally looking at me if only to show that my last statement had been dumb, “Lesbians. I’m not planning on getting married anytime soon but it’s nice to know I could, and it’s protected. I can have the kind of life I want, whatever that is. So yeah I’m lucky, you’re lucky. We’re all lucky.”

I nodded, “Ah.”

It was all that I could say that made sense.

”Also you won the security office pool, so you get a bottle of wine from the Captain’s vineyard,” Jara said, “Good job on guessing how many Romulans would be coming on board for this scientific study.”

”Well it was honesty all luck,” I said, and for the first time all day I felt the luck that people kept telling me I had.