Alien Nation: Series 2
Disclaimer: Alien Nation belongs to Fox. This story is for entertainment purposes only. No copyright infringement intended.
Buck rolled over in his bed. He could have sworn he'd heard his mother's voice, but all was silent in his room at the Francisco residence. Just as well, he decided. Late night last night…
"Buck! Breakfast is ready, come get your weasel." Came his mothers voice from the bottom of the stairs.
Damn, just as I thought I was off the hook…
He got up out of bed, reached for the jeans he'd thrown haphazardly onto the floor the night before, and began to put them on. He had reached down to try to fasten them before he'd realised that he'd put them on back to front. He groaned, rubbed his eyes, and resolved to try it once more.
"Buck, your bats blood's getting cold!" He heard his mother again.
"Coming mom!" He lifted his left foot in an attempt to put socks on, while holding the other one between his teeth.
"Buck!" His mother snapped, clearly loosing patience with her son.
"Coming mom." He muffled through the sock, unfortunately very little sound escaped his lips. His leg still up in the air, he was reaching his bedroom door to try to open it when unsurprisingly he lost his balance. He went from standing one legged with an arm in the air, to sitting in a heap on the floor in one loud crash.
"Buck, what was that noise?" Came the voice of his father, George. Buck sighed, It looked like today was going to be another lousy day.
"All right Cadets! That was pitiful god damnit, is this all we got out of our new recruits! Come on boys, grow a pair! Put some muscle behind it, climb!"
Buck, one of eight male cadets, raced as fast as he could up the rope wall, when his foot got caught on the last "step" and he fell. Unfortunately when he fell, his foot remained firmly entrenched in the rope, and so he hung there, for all to see.
"Easy going Francisco, you'll break something!" The officer yelled. The other cadets took this as an opportunity to laugh at him. Once again, he found himself subject to their taunts.
"Leave it out men! You've made bigger idiots of yourselves!" Buck knew the instant those words left the Officer's mouth, that they were going to come back to haunt him.
Buck flinched, remembering the prelude to yesterday's events. He brought his hand up to touch his swollen eye and grimaced. His mother and father would most likely want to know what happened, and of course his father --Being a police officer-- Would insist on marching right over to the academy to sort it all out. After that, he'd mostly likely lose the last smidgen of respect his fellow students had for him, and be meeting an early grave.
"Oh my goodness your eye!" Susan Francisco went pale as her son entered the kitchen. She put down her coffee and was immediately at his side. "Oh, Finiksa, what happened to you?" Buck tried to smile at the concerned faces of his family, before he settled at the kitchen table and began to eat.
"I'm alright mom, just a joke, some of the other cadets, you know." He began to eat, ignoring the completely unconvinced stares from his family. His sister was the first to speak.
"Well it was some joke, Buck!"
"Just leave it Em'" He pleaded with her. Knowing how opinionated his sister was, he knew it would take some doing on her part.
"Well this is outrageous!" Began his father, Detective George Francisco.
Here it comes.
"I demand that something be done about this! Susan, this is appalling." George Francisco turned to face his wife expectantly.
"Well I agree George, but what does Buck want to do?" She replied.
Suddenly all eyes were on him again. He looked back at them, mouth full of food, and shook his head as he swallowed.
"Nothing" he replied, and loaded up his fork with another mouthful of weasel.
"I don't know what to do Matthew. Buck is adamant that he doesn't want to do anything, but he is my child. I am a father, who's son is being persecuted and prejudiced against and I am powerless." George Francisco slammed his fist down on the desk he shared with partner, Matt Sikes.
"George, sometimes you just gotta let your kids strike out on their own. Let him deal with his own problems." Replied his partner from across the desk, while holding a half eaten, half melted candy bar. He looked at it and sighed, "Geez, when are they gonna invent air con for your desk drawer?"
George sighed. "I wish you would take this seriously Matthew."
"George, I always take it seriously when you call me 'Matthew.'"
"Matt, this is not a joke. I am asking you, my friend, for advice regarding my son. You are a father. What would you do in my circumstance?"
Sikes sighed. The precinct was quiet today, Grazer was in a good mood, and all around him, the officers and detectives seemed to be full of cheer. He should have known George would walk in frowning.
"George, I know this is difficult for you. Believe me, I don't particularly like the idea that this stuff is still going on within our police academy. The thing is George, Buck said he didn't want you to do anything, and he's an adult, he has his own life."
"Buck is comparatively young by Tencotonese standards."
"Look, bottom line is, things haven't always been plain sailing with you and Buck, and you don't wanna push him away George. If you really want to do something, do something. Just do it carefully, and be honest with Buck."
George looked around the room, at the officers at their desks, at Albert Einstein -the binnaum to his children, and janitor to the precinct- quietly mopping the floors. George watched him as he occasionally glanced over at his pregnant wife, May, who as usual was busy with her cart, providing beverages to the officers and workers at the precinct.
He felt somewhat annoyed that everyone was busy just getting on with things when he felt, simply lost.
"Well Matthew I can't stand it anymore, I am going to contact the academy."
"Hey slag, looks like you got Ellen on your side." Buck looked up from the bench. The male locker room at the academy had suddenly become a little crowded. The other seven cadets from the training exercise earlier looked back at him. He didn't know what to say.
"Aren't you gonna answer us slag?" The one whom had spoken a moment ago asked.
"What do you want me to say?" Asked Buck.
"Well haven't you got something to say for yourself Francisco, think your better than us 'cause your Daddy's a detective? You know he only got were he was 'cause they had to put a newcomer on the detective program."
"My Dad worked for everything he's got. I'm going to do the same, I don't need anyone on my side."
"That so, huh Slag? No one. Well that works out then doesn't it, 'cause we're gonna make sure you've got no one. From now on, your on your own.
Buck couldn't stop thinking of the events of the previous day, and as he drove to the academy, a sense of dread started forming in the pit of his stomach.
Maybe I shouldn't even bother.
He stiffened up, filled with resolve, he carried on driving, he wasn't going to let them ruin his future.
George Francisco, filled with resolve, stormed into the LAPD academy grounds. He stormed past cadets, he stormed past instructors, he pushed his way through crowds. George Francisco didn't stop until he reached reception.
"Where is Lieutenant Ellen's office?" He asked the secretary.
The short human woman looked back at him and her face stiffened as she said;
"He's in a meeting."
"Well I need to speak to him immediately. Regarding my son."
"Well he's busy, wait in the lobby." Her voice sounded nasal, and muffled as she chewed on gum.
"I am Detective George Francisco. I am here regarding my son, Buck Francisco. I am here regarding the black eye he came home with last night. I want to speak to Ellen, now!" He raised his voice, and the secretary leaned forward, put her hands on the desk, and stood. She began to speak,
"Sir, shut up or I'll call security."
"Its alright Anita." Came a voice from behind George. He turned around to see the face of the man he'd been looking for. Ellen's smiled at him, and gestured towards his office.
Buck walked into the academy locker room and made his way to his locker, where he pulled out a uniform and boots and began to change into his grey police academy t-shirt and black trousers, and over them, his black academy jacket.
Buck frowned even deeply than he had before, as he suddenly felt himself racked with guilt, he ran his hands down the uniform jacket he was wearing, a spare. He thought about yesterday's events, until he heard sounds from behind the door that soon knocked him out of his reverie.
He heard the door creak, as it opened and another cadet walked through, he looked at Buck, with a smirk on his face.
"Francisco, bet you wont be sharing your lunch with anyone today." The cadet passed through without another word. Buck sat on his seat, and allowed himself to wonder whether this was really worth it all. Once again he steeled himself for another day, and still didn't know what to expect as he stood up to leave for his first class.
"… I understand what your saying Mr. Francisco, and believe me, we don't advocate this kind of behaviour. We are doing our best to protect newcomer students from this kind of treatment. The incident with your son will be dealt with as soon as possible."
George huffed, and looked at Lieutenant Ellen. "With all do respect Mr Ellen, I don't think you are taking this seriously."
"Detective, we don't even know what happened yet, just that there was an altercation and Buck was involved"
"Do you intend to punish the ones responsible?"
"We don't even know for sure I've we've got the right people…"
Ellen looked at George. He knew that George knew as well as he did that punishment for this kind of infraction was dismissal from the academy.
George waited for a response.
"Mr Francisco, these boys have a bright future ahead of them--"
"Not good enough! I would like to think my son has a bright future also, although I see that that is a lesser concern to you people."
"That is not so!"
"Then I suggest Mr Ellen, that if you don't want your boys dismissed, you find another way of punishing them, and make sure that they know what will happen to them if they ever do anything like this ever again." George didn't even wait for a response, he simply stood, and stormed out of the office with as much anger as he entered it.
Buck had waited in the lunch queue for forty five minutes when they showed up. He watched as one by one they cut in front of him, as if he weren't there, and still he did nothing but feel annoyed.
"Ugh," One of them began, "putting slag food with ours, that's disgusting."
Buck sighed. Loudly. The one who spoke, turned to face him.
"Problem spongehead?" He levelled his gaze.
"Not at all." Buck didn't bite. Unwilling to purposely exacerbate the situation himself. He waited for his fellow cadet's response.
"Then shut up, spongehead." The other cadet snarled as he snapped back at him.
Again, Buck allowed the comments to pass, and simply waited in the line for his turn. Unfortunately he did it feeling absolutely miserable.
When he'd finally gotten his lunch, he began walking towards an empty table at the back of the cafeteria. He heard a voice.
"Don't sweat it Francisco. They're only mean to ya cause you're stronger, faster. Goons 'r' just jealous." He turned to the direction of the voice, where he saw a fellow cadet, a young human woman, whom he couldn't remember the name of. She continued,
"Hey, I mean give yourself cred for still being here, they drove out most of the other Tenctonese." She smiled.
She smiled again, "Sarah Douglas" Then she looked back at Buck, and for a moment looked as if she was going to say something. Buck looked back at her, and asked "What?"
"Nothing, its just, must be sick of getting your…ah, whatever that is," she looked at his lunch, "and eating alone, want some company?"
Buck felt a little nervous at that, unsure of how his fellow students would react to him spending lunch with one of their fellow humans. Finally he decided to throw caution to the wind, as he took a seat across from her.
Buck found that he greatly enjoyed her company and they talked a lot at lunch. He told her about his home and family, about his belief's, his history. He even told her about the incident with William Campbell five years earlier that led him to change his life.
She smiled and laughed at him, and all the while they both ignored the smirks and looks they were receiving from the other cadets.
Cathy Frankel had been working at the new, joint tenctonese and human free clinic, for several weeks now. Well, volunteering was more the right word. She had started a research position working for the 'Institute of Research into Interspecies Reproduction,' but she'd found that lending a hand here every now and again, really was quite fulfilling. They both allowed her to do work that would benefit both the Tenctonese and Humans. Given her relationship with Matt Sikes, she felt very strongly about that. She was heading to her next patient, she looked up at the chart on the wall and read 'Sarah Douglas, Human. Bay 2.'
Buck was waiting in the academy parking lot as requested. He had arranged to meet Cadet Douglas, but she was late. He thought they'd hit it off, that they could be friends. Now he was beginning to think that the whole thing had been one big joke at his expense. A moment later an old, and battered beige Ford Taurus pulled up.
Buck smiled, relieved. She gestured to him to get in, and he did so.
Once he was beside her in the passenger seat, Sarah began to drive.
"Where are we going?" He asked. She smiled a bright smile, and told him.
"Somewhere quiet?" he asked.
"Yeah, just a place I know."
They pulled up ten minutes later in a secluded area of the local park. Buck was a little confused.
"Why are we here?" He asked.
Sarah looked at him, and then looked down towards her knees. For a moment she didn't say anything at all, until suddenly she lifted her head up and faced forward. Her long wavy black hair fell into her face, and she moved it with her hand, and reached down with the other. She pulled up her bag and brought out a small bottle of cheap vodka.
She finally answered. "Look, Buck there are some things you don't know about me. Ah, ok the gist is, that I am not particularly privileged. I grew up, with purist parents in Slagtown, and being the only humans around was pretty tough. Sufficed to say, I hated it there, but my parents were no hopers and my mom was a hooker. They didn't care about me. So, I got out on my own and thanks to a cop I once knew, got my place at the academy on a scholarship. The other students don't like me, I guess 'cause they grew up differently. I don't have anywhere that's any kinda home, I sleep at motels or in my car, and my trunk is full of what little I own." She paused, took a breath. "I thought, you know, we could hang out, but I don't really have anywhere to take you except here."
Buck looked at her, he found that he felt a little sad for her. Most humans he'd met seemed to think they were all high and mighty compared to 'slags,' but Sarah seemed to really look down on herself.
Sarah reached over into the back and searched for something. Buck watched. She pulled up a milk carton and handed it to him. "This should do. I don't have a refrigerator in here so milk is always going bad. Drink up Bucko."
She unscrewed the vodka and took a swig from the bottle.
Cathy walked into the cubicle, to see a young woman sat on the bed, with what looked like a jacket wrapped round her left arm.
"Hello, my name is Dr. Frankel. What can I do for you?" She said with a smile as she walked towards her patient.
The woman removed the jacket to show Cathy her arm. It had what looked like a large gash on the underside.
"Is that a stab wound?" Asked Cathy. The woman nodded.
"Well, alright, lets just get that cleaned right up." Cathy smiled as she pulled out dressings and sutures from the supply closet situated just on the outside of the bay entrance. The woman jumped down from the bed, "Is there a bathroom I can use Doctor?" Cathy smiled again, and directed the woman towards the bathroom. After the woman had entered it, Cathy's eyes were drawn to the jacket left on the bed. She walked towards it and picked it up, a police academy jacket, it was covered in crimson blood. She turned it over in her hands and noticed the few drops of pink Tenctonese blood on the collar as well.
She wondered what the story was here, but had noticed that free clinic patients didn't usually like being interrogated about their injuries. As a result, in her time here, she'd learned to not ask questions. In this case though, she wondered if a crime involving the police had been committed. Why would a young girl be walking around with a police academy jacket, did she assault a cadet, get stabbed and abscond with the jacket as a makeshift bandage?
Cathy put the jacket back on the bed, but as she did so, noticed the yellow name tag above the academy emblem. She looked at it with surprise.
"Francisco" she said to no one in particular, a quizzical look in her eye.
Buck watched his new friend with fascination. They'd been drinking for quite sometime and were both quite intoxicated as they listened to a radio talk show.
"…So, its because of these dangers, that men and women wishing to engage in interspecies relations, need to first, have these tests and take the regulation course, otherwise its quite possible that one of them --Or both-- Could end up seriously injured…" The talk seemed to be dealing with the possibilities broached by the IRIR. Since the institute opened, there had been a lot of talk of human and newcomer sexuality in the media, some good, some bad. Then of course there was the Purist response, which had been covered to an equal extent in the newspapers, and on television.
"I wonder how they do it." Sarah said, turning to face her friend and taking another swig from the bottle.
"Do what?" Asked Buck
"You know 'it'" She stretched her arms out and leaned back into her chair.
"Oh, humans and newcomers. My Dad's partner lives with a Tenctonese woman. Maybe ill ask."
"Did they take a course?" She asked
"Yeah, they did" Said Buck, before taking another swig of his sour milk.
"Bet it was fun." She winked at Buck, his eyes widened, surprised of the mildly suggestive nature of her talk. He took another swig. And then he told her.
"I kissed a human woman once." She looked at him and grinned,
"Really. Now as I understand it, you guys don't do that?"
"No we don't," he explained "We touch temples to show affection, and we don't really rely excessively on close physical contact like humans."
"So, what was it like?" She asked, transfixed by the experience of her new friend.
"It was just a…A peck, I guess you would call it. Strange…But, intense, I enjoyed it."
Buck smiled at the human woman, she smiled back and asked, "How do you touch temples? I've never seen it."
Buck, perhaps due to their new friendship, perhaps due to the fact that he felt extremely intoxicated, decided to show her. He took hold of her wrists,
"Like this," He made her hands into fists and touched them to the sides of his head. He removed his hands and she held hers on his temples. He looked at her and she looked right back.
She leaned in towards him, her hands still touching his temples, her face was within an inch of his, when she said,