Part Six: Revelation
Posted on Wed Jun 24th, 2020 @ 3:20am by Lieutenant JG Vecon Fick
Edited on on Fri Jul 10th, 2020 @ 5:49pm
Death in Paradise
Location: Vecon home, Risa
Timeline: After "Part Five"
Vecon Milos had always been a very private man. At one point, he had also been rather powerful. He held a high ranking position among his people, not high enough to be completely in charge, but high enough to have the ambition. He was comfortable. He enjoyed his life. Things were peaceful, then the Cardassians came. The days that followed were a blur of violence and terror. They made lots of promises to the Bajorans that they never intended to keep. The Bajorans made easy marks for their scheming, soon-to-be overlords. Vecon Milos was among the first to fall prey. He became part of the Occupational Government.
Years later he could look back and admit his cowardice, but he hadn’t wanted his only son to grow up thinking his father was a coward, even if it was the truth. For a long time he was ashamed of himself, then he had been angry at himself. Through all of his sorrow and pain, Jeslia had been there. The Risians had shown him forgiveness and accepted him with open arms. They had taught him that people can get a second chance at life. So Milos had started again, on Risa. He felt, at this point, that his life on Bajor was just a distant dream. Sometimes he could almost forget that it happened at all. In those moments, he felt peace that he had not felt in a long time.
Now, Fick was waiting, waiting for him to drag all of those painful memories to the surface again, so that they could be examined. In some ways, Milos knew this day would come, but no matter what he did he was also always aware that he would never be ready for it. And how much to tell him? How much was too much horror for a listener? What could his son handle? He was dating a Klingon, maybe he was tougher than he looked. With the Ilvian Proclamation, Milos could never return to Bajor anyway and that at least should be explained. Milos wondered for a moment if Fick would be disappointed in him. How could he explain why he made the choices he did? He put the paper down that he had been holding and squeezed Fick’s hand.
Before Milos could open his mouth, Fick took a deep breath. “So… I know that you were part of the Occupational government. You don’t have to explain that.” He shrugged a little, looking at his father, who looked totally caught off guard. “I’m sorry I was so confrontational about it. I think that might have been my way of being angry at you, but I’m pretty much over that now. I mean, you did what you had to do, right?” Fick lifted his gaze again to look his father in the eyes.
Milos nodded. The conversation he had been dreading suddenly became much easier. “I did. Under duress… and they told us many lies. After awhile we began to expect the lies, see through them, but that was not in our nature. We had to learn,” he replied softly.
“You can’t go home… can you?” Fick asked, his tone gentle.
Milos shook his head. “No. I can’t. I am in exile. Is that how you found out? Learning about the Proclamation?”
Fick shook his head. “No. Another Bajoran recognized my name and told me.”
Milos winced. That was not the way had wished for Fick to find out about his past. “I’m sorry about that. I truly am.”
Fick shook his head. “Actually, I’m sort of glad it happened how it happened and when it did and even who told me.” He chuckled a little bit dryly. “He was gentle when he explained. He’s a good man. He also didn’t make you seem like a bad guy and I appreciated that. It prompted me to do a lot of research on my own and confirm what he had told me… you’re right… Starfleet has a hell of a database. I think I just wanted to see your face. I wanted to know how you felt about it all.”
Milos started to speak again. He wanted to explain. He wanted to tell Fick about the shame and the fear and his own cowardice.
But Fick wasn’t going to let that happen for a least a little while longer. “I have to explain this, before you make any more apologies.” Fick took a deep breath and leaned back away from the desk into the chair he was sitting in. “Something happened to me this year. Something that… affected me profoundly. It shook me to my core and challenged everything that I thought I knew. When I saw you a few minutes ago, react to what I was saying. I knew that you truly regretted everything. I knew because I’d felt that. I’d felt the shame and guilt and all consuming depression. I also knew what it was like to be alone with all of that weighing on you. I’m just sorry you had to carry all that all this time.”
Milos stared at Fick. Starfleet had informed them earlier that there had been an accident, but that everyone was alright and had recovered. Fick had contacted them soon after and everything had seemed fine, but now he was starting to be curious as to exactly what had happened to his son.
“When it was all over… I. I felt like maybe I didn’t understand you at all. That what I saw as weakness wasn’t that at all. It takes a lot more strength to continue to pick up the pieces and move on. My experience might not have been as far reaching as yours, but it definitely had an impact on me.” He shook his head and rubbed his face for a moment.
“Do you want to tell me?” Milos asked.
Fick nodded. For the next few hours father and son told each other what all had happened in their lives since the last time they had really spoken. Fick left out the part about his suicide. He didn’t feel it was totally necessary to make his father think that those sorts of solutions would continue to be an option. When they finally parted ways it was in the wee hours of the morning. Both men crawled into bed feeling lighter for having talked, feeling forgiven, feeling at peace.