Teaser for Tues, Mar 2, 2010, "The Beginners Guide to Programming Your Family"
- Part 1 Prologue
Ambassador Reylin sat in front of the Captains Desk in his Ready Room, her head was cocked to the side and her image flickered slightly. From his seat across from her, Marcus waited patiently. During the course of this extended conversation, he had come to recognize this occurence as a sign that she was trying to understand a concept that she still had difficulty grasping.
Spending time with Reylin was still awkward for him. She was a living, sentient life-form that his extra-normal senses were completely blind to. There were, of course, other races that were resistant to telepathy and empathy, but even so, you could sense that they were there. He made a mental note to always remember to not treat as just any holographic construct, like the EMH.
"I am sorry, Marcus Betencourt. I have only recently begun to understand the concepts of 'Family', that both the Human and Betazoid races adhere to; so you may understand why I find you personal situation very interesting since it seems to deviate from the norm of both your races." she smiled warmly at him and he was amazed. Here sat a character that he had designed for a holo-novel, yet it was so much more now that it served as the host form for the Beylorian Ambassador. Now that he was back on the Pegasus, he regretted missing most of the time she had been aboard.
"I would like to review, Marcus Betencourt, to be sure I have all the facts correct. You were born, Marcus Garien Betencourt. Son of Mareena Salean, of Betazed and Andrelin Edron also of Betazed. However, at the time of your birth, Mareena Salean was in a relationship with Richard Betencourt of Earth, who until recent years was believed by all, save Mareena Salean and Andrelin Edron, to be your true birth father."
Marcus nodded. "Yes that's correct. I myself even believed Richard was my true father and that I was part human as well as Betazoid." Marcus longed for the days when he's origins did not seem so dubious as he now knew them to be.
"I see. During your formative years, Mareena Salean was believed to have lost her life in battle with the Borg during what the Federation refers to as the Battle of Wolf 359. At this point, Richard Betencourt continued to raise you alone. It is especially at this time that I assume your bond to him as father and son grew to it's strongest."
Marcus nodded again, "It is. I had always loved him, but something changes when you lose a parent, as I am sure is similarly true for losing a spouse. Once you experience how terrible things can get, you hold on to what is left that much tighter."
The Ambassador listened patiently, then continued on, "Many years later, it was revealed to you, your crew and Starfleet in general that Richard Betencourt was not your true father, but that it was Andrelin Edron, who at that time was the husband the Governor of Betazed at that time. What I do not understand, is why the bond between Father and Son did not transfer from Richard Betencourt, to Andrelin Edron at that time."
Marcus sighed. "That 'bond' you keep mentioning is not biological, Ambassador. It's based on love, which can't be inherited. Richard raised me. He cared for me for my entire life. Andrelin didn't. And more to the point, he decided that the political careers of himself and his wife were more important to him than I was."
Reylin paused again briefly, assessing the information then looked up at Marcus. "I think I understand, Marcus Betencourt, though I do believe I will have much to learn until I am able to experience love myself. However, there is something else I do not understand. It was recently revealed to you that Mareena Salean did not die after all. That she is, in fact, the leader of The Ten. Yet, you have sided with the Federation against her despite the bond..." she paused briefly then continued, "despite the love between a mother and son."
Marcus' gaze darkened a bit at the mention of his mother. "You are mistaken, Ambassador. There is no love, nor is there any bond between Mareena and myself. She broke any ties we had when she chose to go down the dark path she is on."
For the first time, Marcus saw Ambassador Reylin react with what seemed to be a genuine display of surprise. It wasn't a mock emotional display like those she usually would enact to fit in with those around her. "Marcus Betencourt, the rules of love and family seem to befuddle me. For every rule I learn, I seem to find exception. And I cannot help but wonder if what you say is not entirely true."
Marcus was taken off guard by the comment, and replied with a bit of trepidation. "I'm not sure what you mean, Ambassador."
"Based on what knowledge I do have of familial bonds, coupled with the fact that your bond with Richard Betencourt is resilient despite the falseness of you familial claim to one another, I find it difficult to believe that the same type of bond you shared with Mareena Salean could be broken so easily. I cannot help but think that it is only hidden, perhaps so deeply that even you cannot see it. A belief support by what I have heard some members of Starfleet and the crew of the Pegasus say about how you yourself have also chosen to walk a darker path than that which you were once on."
Marcus' face grew red as the sting of Reylin's word sunk in. "I'm sorry Ambassador, but it would seem that time has gotten away from me and I have much to do in preparation before we set course for Farpoint Station. If you'll excuse me, we'll have to finish this conversation at another time.
Reylin simply nodded, perhaps unaware of the verbal slap-in-the-face she had just administered. "Of course Marcus Betencourt. I look forward to that time. Thank you." The local holo-emitter clicked off and Reylin was gone.
Marcus was angry and wanted to lash out, but that wouldn't have been prudent with an Ambassador. And it wasn't really her he was angry at. Nor was it the crew that was saying such things. Anti-Captain scuttlebutt was something that was always there, even on the best of ships. No, he was angry at something much worse. He was angry with that small part of him, deep inside, that wondered if maybe Ambassador Reylin was right.