Part of Starbase Bravo: Sundered Wings and Bravo Fleet: Sundered Wings

The Edge of Home

Starbase Bravo, Sector Kilo-Indigo, Muninn's Quarters
Late May, 2400
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Directly following “For a Heart to Touch the Void

***

On the PADD screen, a recording of an FNS broadcast played beneath Muninn’s gaze. She watched as the gray-haired man on the screen, still handsome despite his age, spoke from a comfortable blue armchair situated to one side of a studio stage. In the middle, seated similarly, was blond-haired Delenor Rose, host of the Rose-Colored Glasses talk show. And on her other side sat a suave, annoyed-looking man in his middle years, clean-cut and sleek with a high-collared jacket giving him a mildly militaristic appearance.

“…and that’s where the true difference lies,” the gray-haired man was saying, “between those who basically evolved from the failed ideology of Terra Prime.”Muninn smiled. “Get him, Dad.”

The suave man’s glare could have curdled milk as he spat, “Now who’s treating other perspectives unfairly? My bloc represents a growing contingent of concerned Federation citizens, from all backgrounds, who see inherent risks in Starfleet’s expansionist attitude–”

“Your bloc are regressionists, Mr. Liam,” shot Muninn’s father. “I can’t call you xenophobic in the same way that Terra Prime claimed, true enough. It’s not specific aliens you’ve chosen to hate, Mr. Liam, but rather sentients of any disadvantaged social class. You are fundamentally antagonistic toward a society based on mutual care. And that’s the whole point of the Federation. Your bloc would see the same results as traditional xenophobia because that’s what your policies have always done throughout history.” He pounded the air with a tight fist for emphasis. “You can not support increasing harmful and arbitrary border policies, let alone the expansion of outmoded free market ideologies stolen straight from the Ferangi, and end up with anything that looks like the Federation we are a part of today.”

“Woo!” Muninn grinned. Rose-Colored Glasses was a good bet for a win for father, but Roman Musgrave could have cut through the opposition anywhere. He oozed charisma, and his voice could cut through the bluster of an opponent like a specialist at a Tameshigiri competition sliced bamboo.

The interview ended shortly thereafter, with the cheerful Delenor Rose somewhat obviously taking Roman Musgrave’s side. The so-called Federation Stability Party that Orville Liam represented a pathetically small voting bloc. Vocal far beyond their size, they were frequent targets for exactly this sort of set-up interview. Muninn’s father said it was good that they were given the chance to speak out like this, so they could be publicly discredited, though.

Muninn switched from the FNS page and pulled up a message composition page on her PADD and selected her father’s contact icon, feeling a little guilty at how long it had been since she last sent something his way.

“Hi, Dad, it’s me. I just wanted to check in. I just saw that interview you did last week, you really ripped that Stability guy a new one. I know everyone’s on edge these days, but I don’t think I’ll ever understand the instinct to be selfish like that. Call it ‘conservative thinking’ if you want, but at the end of the day… I don’t know. Didn’t we learn enough going through a nuclear world war? 

 

“Anyway, I’m proud of you. I… I also got your note about Mom. How’s she doing after her surgery? Please — let her know I’m thinking about her. I’ll send her something when I get a chance. I really wish that things went differently the last time I was home… things haven’t felt right since then. I get the feeling she’s still angry with me. Just tell her I miss her, okay?”

She stared at her message for a moment, then signed it “Love you, MM” and sent it into the electronic ether. For several moments, she just sat in the middle of her empty apartment, staring at the “Message sent” confirmation page. Strange how quickly a year could go by. Just like that, another year gone, and how many more did she really have? You could live a long time these days, but her parents were getting on in years. If she kept seeing them only once a year, she might not see them more than thirty more times in her life. The thought made her feel very small and very alone.

With a long exhalation, Muninn forced herself to stand up and stretch. She looked around the empty living room of her new apartment-sized quarters. “Right. Time to get some furniture in here,” she said to the silence. She’d sat down in the first place to look at designs available in the station’s replicator database, only to get sidetracked by her piled-up inbox of personal messages. She needed to get something done — now. As her training told her, clearly, you fought back against overwhelm and fear in the same way: getting something done.