Interlude Prior to Episode 22

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(from Mike, added to by Mark)  Elsworth sat alone in his parent's apartment at the Abbey of St. Jerome.  His mother and father were on the balcony saying goodbye to the rest of the team as they retired for the evening.  Mom had cooked everyone a wonderful meal.  He'd forgotten how much he loved her cooking.  Looking around at his parent's Spartan accommodations, he couldn't help but feel the contrast with the parents he had known.  Dad loved tech gadgets, for god sakes he was a grid jock who'd hacked the MJ12 database.  Here they lived much as the monks did.  Mom had made a few homey touches.  There were flowers in a vase on the table.  One wall was lined with family holo's.  Elsworth with his dad fishing on Great Slave Lake, Elsworth at eight in his Halloween costume.  He'd been a Fraal, he remembered how the other kids had made fun of him, but he hadn't cared.  Mom and dad loved it, and he could remember how they'd all laughed and piled onto his bed to sort out his candy.  Then he remembered the bad times.  He'd spent most of the last sixteen years thinking the man out on the balcony was dead.  Now knowing he was alive, he felt like he'd been abandoned all those years ago.  Left to deal with his pain by himself.  And then to throw further salt on his wounds he'd come back for his mother.  One of the few people on which he'd ever felt he could rely.  He wasn't sure he knew these people masquerading as his parents.  After all, would his parents have left him on Terra Sol thinking they were dead...left him on Terra Sol in danger?

They both finally came back in.  They'd obviously made a big impression on the team.  His dad was quite gregarious and had that kind of charisma that people naturally gravitated to.  Elsworth had always admired that before, but now he felt a little jealous.  As dad sat down he had a chagrined look on his face.  "Ellie I know you've probably got a million questions, but...

"NO!", Elsworth yelled.  His father stopped staring at him, a hurt look starting to crease the corners of his face, but Elsworth charged on.  "Why did you abandon me!" 

Martin Lloyd appeared to be examining his shoes.  His voice was the barest of whispers when it finally came, "I...didn't want you end up like me.  Don Quixote, tilting at windmills."

I was left for dead, almost cut in half on the had supposedly died in a vehicular accident.  Knowing you had been killed explained why you hadn t saved me from my injuries.  But now I know you lived!  Why didn t you save me?  Why did I have to think you were dead all this time?  Why did you come back for Mom...but you left me? Elsworth put his face in his hands and rocked forward in his chair, putting his elbows on his knees.  He was shaking.

Martin Lloyd put a hand on Elsworth s shoulder.  Why couldn t you have just been a doctor...made your money, gotten married...been happy.  I didn t want you to follow me...I wanted you to believe that my cause was dead...I just wanted you to move on...

Elsworth sat straight up, his face streaked with tears. WELL ITS TOO LATE NOW...ISN T IT!  Your injuries...that damned black box...all it did was draw me in...DRAW ME IN!  So now we have to deal with this mess.  Now we have to just deal with it.

Elsworth and Martin sat in the half-light of the room.  Neither spoke or looked at each other for quite some time.  But then the discussion turned to the past.  To their family.  And they talked long into the night.

GM: Michael Cross (e-mail)

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