Mister Jones, Mister Hadenbeer
Posted on Wed Oct 4th, 2023 @ 11:54am by Lieutenant Commander Devin Hadenbeer
Edited on Sat Oct 7th, 2023 @ 6:10am
1,432 words; about a 7 minute read
He had no idea how long he had been unconscious. He had staggered away from the Bolion and could tell by the warm wetness running down his coveralls he had either lost control of his bladder or was leaking a copious amount of red stuff. Thirty seconds later the light headedness confirmed he still had control of his urinary system.
Wonderful, he thought. He would go to his grave with a fully functioning penis and bladder.
He knew where to find a first aid kit, other than the central security station. If he went there the Bolion’s associate would shoot him on the spot and to hell with the consequences. Likely he would then shoot everyone else in the station. No, he needed an emergency medical kit from one of the sub levels. And there it was. Now all he had to do was get across the hall, open the kit, and save himself.
The girl knelt over him and looked both satisfied and terrified in equal measure. Her sleeves were stained with blood and judging from the rawness of her eyes she looked perhaps as if she had been crying as well. He looked down and saw she had undone his coveralls to get to his wound. Well…he had seen worse mending jobs. He caught a movement; he realized he had blacked out for maybe a minute and now she held a thermos in her hand.
“I found an old locker,” she said, “And a toilet with a sink.”
He took the thermos and spilled most of the tepid water down his chin drinking. It was the most delicious beverage he had ever tasted, better than the dark stuff from The Spaniard. He set his head back and realized there was something soft under his head: it must have been the girl’s jacket. He regarded her; ten years old, English accent, perhaps from the South, muted colors with a red scarf and…hiking boots.
“I’m Devin,” she said into the awkward silence, “Devin Hadenbeer.”
“What do I call you?” the young girl asked.
She frowned, “You leak like an old siv. I could call you that, or-“
“Jones,” he croaked, “Call me ‘Jones’. What are you doing down here, Devin? Are you lost?”
“I am not lost,” Devin replied with a scowl, “I know exactly where I am; I am on Earth’s moon, in the Sol System, in the Milky Way Galaxy.”
“I see,” Jones replied with all due gravity, “And what are you doing down here in these maintenance tunnels?”
Devin had the good grace to look abashed, “The tour grew very boring.”
“And you decided to wander off.”
“I did not ‘wander’, Mister Jones; I saw an open door and strode through it. Then I walked down a flight of stairs and down a series of tunnels, and, well, I found you.”
“How did you know how to patch me up?” why aren’t you in the corner bawling your eyes out? He wanted to ask.
“My parents are doctors.”
“I see. You were very brave, tending my wound.”
“…Well…I cried a lot. And a lot of snot ran down my face. When we are rescued I expect you to keep that to yourself.”
“I swear it. But we can’t wait to be rescued, Devin. There is a terrorist to be captured and his accomplice to uncover.”
Devin’s eyes narrowed, “You make this sound like some juvenile holo adventure.”
Jones gingerly made it to his feet. When he was reasonably certain he was not going to collapse he said, “I assure you it is true. There is a Bolian in possession of a primitive nuclear device. He plans on detonating it to kill the Klingon Ambassador as he lands. The Bolian’s accomplice is shielding the device from sensors from the security station. If I alert anyone he will know and they will detonate the explosive. I know where it is now; I believe I can disarm it. Only after it is disarmed can I-“
“Computer,” Devin said, “End program!”
Jones frowned as Devin looked pensively about. After several seconds the girl admitted, “All right, either you are mad or you are telling the truth. So we have to-“
“We?” Jones inquired mildly.
“You think you are going to get far without leaning on me, Mister Jones?”
Jones’ lips tugged upward into an involuntary smile, “I suppose not, Mister Hadenbeer…”
* * *
Devin watched as the Bolian was dragged away by Starfleet security, then she saw a pair of officers jump one of their own and pin her to the ground. Soon she was restrained and being dragged off as well.
“Alls well, and all that.”
Devin nodded. She was still trembling a bit after all the excitement. Finding Jones, patching him up, helping him through the corridors to the bomb. A bomb. And then he found his hands were trembling too much and he instructed her how to disarm it, and…
She had a feeling she was going suffer more than a few sleepless nights in her immediate future.
“Well,” she said brightly, “I suppose it is time we went and collected our medals.”
“Ah,” Jones frowned, “As to that…you are going to have to keep all of this a secret, Devin.”
“I…Look, Devin, I am not technically here. If you told anyone there would be a host of uncomfortable questions. You deserve a host of accolades. You helped to saved lives today, and not just my own. And the Klingon ambassador dying here? That could have threatened the treaty, possibly even led to war with the empire. This is what I do, Devin. The galaxy is full of wonders, but there are a lot of nasty bits hiding in the shadows and I and others like me, we go skulking about looking for them,” he glanced down at her thoughtfully, “But…if you-“
“I can keep a secret,” Devin fought to keep the frown from her face. She was expecting handshakes with the President of the Federation, drinking bloodwine with the Klingon Ambassador. Hah, let Gwennie and Rachel at school eat that. But...
She held her hand out to Mister Jones. If she had to keep this a secret, well, that was that. As she squeezed his hand she noted its clamminess and noted his pale expression, “I promise to keep all this secret, if you promise to take better care of yourself. I won’t be around next time to patch you up.”
Jones gently squeezed her hand in return, “Well, I wish I could disagree, but I have been getting a bit slow, lately. I might switch careers to something a little less strenuous,” he smiled and winked, “Like baby sitter.”
Devin’s howl of outrage could be heard from clear across the dome.
* * *
Hannah quietly watched Devin sitting in the living room with the data padd in her hand. The young girl had taken her grounding punishment in stride and had been duly apologetic to everyone. That in itself was suspicious. And then she had disposed of her blouse. Her favorite blouse, the one she had worn on her field trip to the moon. And she was curiously quiet. Not a sulking sort of silence, more…thoughtful.
Hannah glided into the living room, Devin glanced up at her Mother’s arrival.
“What are you looking at?” Hannah inquired of her daughter, careful to keep her tone curious and not
Devin hesitated, then she explained, “Well, I suppose the trip to the moon made me think a bit about my future.”
“Getting lost in the maintenance tunnels made you consider your career choices?”
“I was not lost. I knew-“
“Yes, right, of course.”
Devin had the good grace to look contrite. She continued, “I suppose it broadened my horizons and I have been considering, well, this.”
The girl handed Hannah the data padd. Hannah examined the contents. Her eyes widened.
“Starfleet?” she mildly exclaimed as she stared at the stranger who had up until five seconds ago had been a daughter she thought she knew inside and out.
Devin shrugged, “There’s a galaxy of wonders out there. Maybe I want to look past the moon to see more.”
"And what of your musical career?"
"I can still write and play," Devin shrugged and added with an assurance only a ten year old possessed, "I will just sleep less to compensate."
Hannah glanced down at the padd once more. And somehow Devin Hadenbeer's mother sensed this was no passing fancy…