They call me Forester… Donovan Lycian Forester. Grandson to Admiral Forester. Son to Madame Ambassador Forester. They look at me, and they see that name, my name. Donovan should be priceless. Donovan should be correct. Donovan doesn’t need any guidance, after all, he is a Forester. They look to me for answers when the big questions come up. They follow me, when leaderless, but I am not a leader of men. Forester… If the name were a tangible object, I’d ram it down the throat of the next who branded me with its weight. I am Forester. Its written in my records, on all my bags. I’m programmed to respond to it. I’m expected... The wind swirled, a loud roaring was given life above him, flipping the page of Donovan’s journal, rolling it over on itself. As though expecting what was happening, his wrist gave a flip of the book, to sling the cover closed over the flowing script of his writing. The front cover moved in compliance but became hung half way through its arc, as a blue shaft of light filtered down over them, holding him and all matter within it still, confined. Transport was only a blink, a momentary lapse of time, a break that seemed, to Donovan, to be instantaneous. “There you are,” the voice carried with it a tone of relief as a woman with a touch of natural gray in her hair made over to him, leaving the shuttle craft to steer and pilot itself away from the ranch homestead the Forester’s called their own in old Montana. Open arms were outstretched, which Donovan succeeded in ducking from, sliding himself wordlessly into the pilot’s chair, immediately taking the shuttle craft off of automatic pilot. “You’re so distrustful of technology,” Maliquin’s voice was gentle, soft. Ambassador Maliquin Forester turned where she had been left standing, watching with weighted gaze the form of her son sitting at the controls of the shuttle craft. Well, he was as much her son as any actually could be. He did have Forester blood in him, even if he didn’t want to acknowledge it, though the boy’s mother was far more dominant in his genetic structure: the way his lips curled when he smiled, the shape and flow of his facial features, even the color of his eyes, a breath-taking azure unknown to genetics until her son was born. Yes, her son, no matter how hard of a time he was having adjusting to it all, he was her son. Seventeen years didn’t simply vanish into thin air because a family secret was let out of the bag. After all, she had raised him, been there when he scraped his knees, and spent endless hours rocking the crying babe in those quiet nights. “And you are too trusting of it,” Donovan retorted, keeping his eyes forward, watching the trees leaving the view as the shuttle craft lifted up towards the heavens, away from the landscape. Only when they broke into the cloud cover did Donovan level their path. “It has sensors, very sophisticated ones,” His mother responded with a touch of humor in her voice. “And if the data anomalies? What if the programmer was inept? Some random failure of mathematics to derive at a response intelligible by the computer, and we end up flying into a mountain,” Donovan retorted. “Only if it leapt in front of us,” Maliquin responded, shaking her head, moving to sit in the co-pilot’s chair beside Donovan, reaching over, and ignoring his protests, re-engaging the autopilot. “Come on now, your going to Starfleet Academy.. do you want to spend your last free hours dodging jumping mountains, or would you rather talk about other things.” Donovan noted her humor, her attempts to lighten his mood. In truth, he had been brooding these past few weeks, after finding out that mother wasn’t mother at all, but a guardian appointed to him. He felt he had a right to be a tad bit touchy these days, after all, it wasn’t her world that was just flipped upside down less than a month before Starfleet would turn it inside out for him. After a life of stability, he was a little drunk with how fast things went from normal to unrecognizable. “I don’t want to talk about that,” He spoke, leveling his gaze on his mother. “Ok, well, then, how about Savannah?” “Or that,” Donovan spoke through a grimace, shaking his head. “If you want silence, just keep it up. I’ll go back to tuning you out and listening to the stabilizers. I’m sure they’re out of alignment.” “Fine, fine,” Maliquin said through a grin, feeling some payback from her efforts as she noticed a touch of a smirk meet the corners of his mouth. So she hadn’t lost him totally. “Have you thought of a concentration to declare?” The smirk fell from Donovan’s face. He stood before the replicator, turning to let his eyes level upon his mother once more. “I’m a Forester, do you think they’ll allow me to declare medicine and live a life of normalcy?” “Well, they won’t meet you at the landing padd with cadet pips and a command profile, if that’s what your concerned about,” his mother stated, “although, you do have an admiral’s blood in you.” “I have the blood of a traitor, and a tyrant in me,” he spoke calmly, “My father wasn’t as gracious and revered as your version of him…” She continued talking, but Donovan stopped listening. He ordered himself some coffee: cream, sugar, terran coffee, and moved to the bench against the port side of the shuttle craft, sitting in silence. + + + + He was dressed in a cadet’s uniform, the blue of Starfleet medical adorning and highlighting the white of his Cadet’s uniform, as he stood amongst a sea of green, red, orange, edged cadets. Donovan has been at the academy long enough now to know that those around him were placed under his watchful eye, assigned to his flight, and though he were only a cadet, though he was still in training, not even a doctor yet, he was responsible for signs, symptoms, for knowledge and advice. Academy government stated it would be no different on board a starship, so why should the academy be different. They wanted the experience of medical cadets to ready them for ship life… But Donovan didn’t concern himself with it much. If they acted like fools, he’d let them act as fools. If they broke a bone, then he’d send for an orderly or a Marine to carry them to the medic station to get the bone fixed. He preferred to spend his time in more admirable pursuits: anatomy. Perhaps there was some Forester in him after all. His grandfather was notorious for his gallivanting, and some family reputations he had to protect, after all, but he wasn’t as nonchalant about it as Michael had been. Donovan was a flirt, very good natured about it, and he was clear that he wanted nothing more than some fun. He didn’t lead them on, didn’t draw women into his lair, convince them of some eternal feelings of devotion only to prove incapable of maintaining due to some past scars. Donovan knew himself incapable of maintaining. Donovan knew himself scarred, broken goods, so he abstained from anything beyond lust and physicality. The corridors of Starfleet Academy cleared as the next moments ticked by, and the next rounds of classes began. The sound of his footsteps echoed down the corridor, silent, as polished boot resounded against tiled floors. The sounds drummed into normalcy, his thoughts returned to him, and for a few moments he was contemplating the next few days free of classes and obligations, the weekend was loaming ahead, full of possibility. Laughter broke the normalcy of sound, melodious laughter that pulled his mind away from plans and daydreams, and back into the corridor. The sound was coming from around the corner, an embodied voice, laughing, somewhere around the corner. It sounded happy, thrilled, a quality of sound that Donovan had never quiet heard before, a level of joy and happiness that Donovan had never experience, nor been in the presence of before. There was something pure, honest about it, something that drew Donovan’s steps to a stop, as he stood in silence listening.