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‘An Admiring Admiral'

Junior Officers quarters, Deck 5, Ensign Sebastian Templar's quarters

When Jex had turned on her heel and left Sebastian Templar at the entrance to his room, he had taken a reluctant step back across its threshold and the door slid shut in front of his face. He then turned to survey his spartan quarters and with little thought set out some of his personal effects.

These effects amounted to very little. Sebastian was far from ever being or ever having been a sentimental person. There was a holo print of his sister caught up in the arms of his father in his Starfleet uniform while Sebastian stood stoically to the side hiding a frown and jealous petulant look even as his mother was caught in freeze frame stooping to coax and reassure the seven year old that ‘Daddy will play with you soon.'

Of course, Daddy never did. Shipping out the next day Daddy never managed to return, killed in action as the notice stated. And his Mother then had thrown herself into her Starfleet career following her husband's death. It was as if she tried to make up for his promising career being cut short she could somehow make up for his death; but all Sebastian and little Katie wanted was for their Mother to spend her time and even share her grief with them.

This photo was the last captured moment of their normal family life. With Sebastian moody at the attention his younger sister was getting, jealous of the love showered on her by his father but never heaped upon Sebastian. Katie was his father's favourite. There was just no denying it.

Sebastian was probably his Mother's, probably except that she played her role as parent as strictly fair as she could. She knew that she ought not to have a favourite child and so overcompensated in her efforts to be equally fair and so denied Sebastian the love and attention he might otherwise have gotten.

Following his father's death, his mother had retreated into herself and then took solace in her work. She became obsessed and quickly garnered praise for her professionalism and dedication whilst at home her offspring suffered the loss of their father and virtual loss of their mother to work.

Sebastian knew his counsellors, whom he had been forced to attend, had attributed his problems to these difficult background circumstances. He however, was having none of it. He was not going to blame his mistakes on his father's death. If his mother did not excuse him his faults then why should others.

He looked sadly at the photo and considered the point in time. His father was Commander and first officer and had begun to push for promotion as master and commander of his own vessel. At this stage, he was in close competition with his brother to see which brother, Sebastian's father or Sebastian's uncle, would achieve the rank of Captain.

By default, his uncle now an admiral had won that bet. Had Frank Templar not been killed he might well have beaten his elder brother to the centre chair. Instead, his mother had achieved the rank whilst his uncle had advanced as far as the rank of admiral. His sister was a space gypsy travelling from star to star never settling in total retaliation to the structures and confines of government, bureaucracy, organisation that had dominated her life as a girl, which had also stolen her father from her and engulfed her mother.

Sebastian however had tried to embrace Starfleet fully seeking to prove himself. If he could just achieve his utmost in order to prove himself to his dead father's memory and to please his mother. That was his original desire, to find some sort of accomplishment in his life.

But upon joining, he felt stifled and oppressed. He wanted more, he wanted to impress but was impatient to see his moment come and soon he sought escapes - in drugs, in sexual exploits, in dangerous living all of which impinged on his work and led to his court-martialling.

If not for the record of his mother, his long family history in Starfleet annals and his uncle an important Admiral vying for his nephew to be given a second chance he would have been drummed out of Starfleet. Instead, he found himself back on the lowest ladder and working on a cutter in the Border Service, far removed from the ship of the line posting he otherwise could have had.

All these thoughts tumbled through his head as Sebastian awaited the call from said uncle. The voice of one of the ship's communications officers came over the intercom in Sebastian's quarters. "Ensign Templar, I have an incoming private call from Starfleet, San Francisco."

"Put it through to my quarters ... please." He reminded himself of his uncle's reprimands during Sebastian's court martial proceedings about his lack of manners. Not that he normally did so but so in advance of receiving his uncle's call.

"Ah Sebastian! Glad I caught you. Thought you might be in the middle of a welcoming party."

"Eh ... no. The Captain gave us a tour of the ship and it was a rather comprehensive tour at that."

The figure of the Admiral chuckled. "Yes I had heard something about McGregor's ship tours. It seems they do live up the rumours then."

"The Captain is a most ‘impressive' figure. No wonder he's been shunted off to the Border Dogs."

The Admiral leaned forward with a cross countenance. He held up an admonitory finger. "Ah. I do not want to hear such a petulant tone from you Bastian. Do not besmirch the Border Service and count yourself lucky to have gotten a position at all within Starfleet. We might have managed to avoid the worst case scenario of your court martial but the stigma from such a proceeding not only stalls a career it makes getting a berth aboard a vessel very difficult."

"But McGregor, albeit a gruff and rather unorthodox officer, is one of the service's toughest and most experienced officers. You stand toe to toe with McGregor and you come away with a bloody nose. No mean feat considering he's commanded an ageing Miranda with few of the technological perks of the main fleet."

Sebastian folded his arms as if sulking from the lecture. His uncle by now recognised much of his nephew's body language and decided to end his lecture. The lad had endured long months of being questioned, hauled over the same events and statements repeatedly and endured endless lectures and many insults and recriminations.

"Well I won't hold you from your party for too long. I just wanted to see how you were settling into your new berth."

"I wasn't planning on going to the party."

"Oh." His uncle's eyebrows went up. "Why ever not? It seems a trivial matter but it does provide a good platform to meet many of your crewmates and form some tentative relationships and from even tittle-tattle gossip you can figure out who are the most competent and useful people to go to when you need their help or expertise."

Sebastian frowned, disbelieving the degree to which that was true. "Perhaps. But I would rather avoid the fake smiles and the gossip."

"What fake smiles and gossip?"

"About me. Everyone is going to wonder first of all why I'm only an ensign at my age. And if they happen to know the truth then they are going to be judging me."

The Admiral looked at the polished surface of his desk and then looked up to meet Sebastian's eyes. "That's to be expected Bastian. People are going to find out about you sooner or later and even though you've had it up to the ceiling with people judging you, don't forget your actions brought on that judgement. You deserved it. You are to blame for the judgement."

Sebastian reddened with anger. "Thanks a million, Uncle! With you on my side, why I don't need any enemies."

"Don't be mulish Bastian. You know I'm telling the truth. But just because you had fault and have been judged doesn't mean you need to suffer any further judgement. But it is in the nature of people. So take control of it. Get out there first and tell the truth of your past. It might not win you fans but your honesty will impress and tell people that you can be trusted and show you are making amends for your past mistakes."

Mockingly Sebastian chorused, "Hi everybody, I'm Sebastian Templar, did you know that I was the Lieutenant who ..."

The Admiral cut him off. "Don't be so churlish Bastian. Just go out and talk to them. You are going to have to work with them. And go to the party and try to make friends with some of them. You need friends."

Dryly he retorted, "My friends didn't exactly stand by might I remind you Uncle."

"They weren't friends. They were druggies like you! You can't expect them to have stood by you when they couldn't even stand up for themselves."

Sebastian frowned but acknowledged the truth of the statement. "You need friends. Go and meet your fellow crewmates and take things from there Bastian. Take a chance on them. More importantly take a chance on yourself."

Sebastian relented, "Alright I will consider it at least."

"Try to do more than consider it. Oh and Sebastian, the Border Service might be seen by some as the poor cousin of the Fleet but give it a chance. The Service is not the backwater you might think and it offers new opportunities and challenges to someone who needs it, not to mention it protects the Federation. At times our first line of defence and at times the last chance for the Federation. Make the most of it. I didn't go to all the trouble of helping you get off with your charges for you to squander your opportunity."

Sebastian bristled, "Are you trying to make me feel more beholden to you?"

"You know I am not. I did what I did for you. I want you to make me proud but not because I want to be beholden to me. I want you to do well. I want you to be happy. You deserve a break. You deserve some happiness. Don't make yourself pay anymore for your past mistakes. You'll live with that blame probably for the rest of your life but you do need to move on with your life."

"I suppose you might make a point. But I do want to make you proud."

"I already am. But hey if you want to continue to make me proud I won't hold it against you."

They shared a small laugh and then bid each other farewell. Sebastian turned then to reconsider the party invite.

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