VOYAGERS! - The Voyager Chronicles
REBELLION - BOOK 7
(Sequel to Old Friends, New Beginnings)
By DA Daugherty (VoyagersFan)
Previous disclaimers apply
Chapter 10 – WHERE'S FREUD WHEN YOU NEED HIM?
Jeff had been sitting quietly on the sofa, staring at the intricate patterns of the flames in the fireplace. It had been quite a while since Chancellor Garth and Bogg had left the room and there were no signs of them returning anytime soon. As time continued to tick away, the uneasiness in Jeffrey's gut was building. He knew something was not quite right; he just couldn't put his finger on it at the present moment. And in addition to his uneasiness, his mind was also tormenting him with a few troubling thoughts about the situation. As he attempted to calm his active mind, suddenly, the door to the cabin slowly opened. He jumped to his feet and ran over to greet his friends.
"Chancellor Garth, Bogg?" He exclaimed. "Is everything ok?"
Garth put his hand on the boy's shoulder, reassuringly.
"Jeffrey, all is ok."
As Bogg came through the door, Jeff couldn't help but notice that his head was down and his chin was almost touching the floor. He looked preoccupied and if not worried about something. Jeff ran over and stood beside him.
"Bogg, what's wrong? You look as if you've lost your best friend."
Bogg raised his chin and attempted a smile, but his lips wouldn't comply.
"I'm ok Jeff, Really I am." He replied.
"Jeffrey, I think it's time we get down to business here and try to help you two work through your problems." Garth urged. "Why don't we all take a seat on the sofa and we'll get started."
Garth walked over and sat down in the middle of the sofa. Bogg and Jeff took up residence on the ends.
"Ok, guys, I'm here to help you. I'm here to listen to what you have to say and try to understand what's bothering you. Hopefully, by the time we get to the root of the problems, we will have determined how best to resolve them."
"First, let's set a few ground rules. One… Only one person will speak at a time. Two… We are not on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange in the 1920s, so there will be no need for shouting or yelling. We will speak in normal tones. Three… You will be mindful and respectful of each others' feelings. Do you both agree to these ground rules?"
"Yes sir." Bogg and Jeff responded in unison.
"Ok, then, shall we begin?" Garth urged. "Obviously, the two of you are having some sort of disagreement. So Jeffrey, why don't you start first. Tell me in your own words what's troubling you."
Jeff paused for a moment and swallowed hard. "I'm afraid." He admitted.
"You are amongst friends here, Jeff. Feel free to be open and honest about your feelings. I assure you, this is an open forum and there's nothing to be afraid of."
"What about Bogg?"
"What do you mean?" Garth asked curiously.
"I'm afraid I'll make him mad."
"You two are the best of buddies. Why does this frighten you so?" Garth asked. "He hasn't done anything to hurt you, now has he?"
Bogg suddenly jumped into the conversation. "Jeff, I love you. There's nothing to be afraid of. If I get mad then I get mad. I'd never do anything to harm you."
Garth turned to the older Voyager momentarily and motioned for him to be silent.
"Jeffrey, you can answer my question. Has Bogg ever done anything to hurt you?"
"But what?" Garth asked, pressing the young voyager for an answer.
"But he does yell at me a lot."
"Why do you think he yells at you?"
"He thinks I'm a little kid. When I do something wrong, he yells at me."
Bogg opened his mouth slightly, as if he were going to interrupt, but scowled a bit as he bit his lip.
"And you think he shouldn't yell at you when you do something wrong?"
"When your parent's were alive, did they ever yell at you when you did something wrong?" Garth asked.
"Well, yes, sometimes."
"And was it effective, I mean, did it help to redirect your behavior?"
"I guess so."
"Ok, if Bogg had a choice between yelling at you and some other method of correcting you, what do you think the alternative would be?"
"Certainly not a spanking." Jeff teased.
"Kid, I believe you are a little bit too old for that." Bogg quipped.
Garth turned to Bogg momentarily with a lowered brow.
"So, how should Bogg handle the situation?" Garth prodded. "What do you think he should do?"
"It would be great if he'd just discuss it with me rationally, instead of blowing his stack."
"That sounds like an acceptable way of handling it." Garth replied with a humorous tone. "And it probably would be better for his health in the long run. Blowing one's stack too often could cause one to have major health problems."
"Now that you've told me about the "yelling" bit, I suspect there's more to this disagreement than just Bogg's yelling at you. Isn't that right?"
Jeff lowered his chin and mumbled. "Yea, there's more to it alright."
"Can you elaborate further?" Garth continued.
The young Voyager quickly raised his head. "Not only am I his son, but I'm a Voyager as well. He never lets me do anything on my own. He never allows me to make decisions or do what I want. It's always his way. I never get a chance to stand on my own two feet."
"Go ahead, continue… I'm listening." Garth prompted.
"I'm fourteen years old and he still treats me as if I'm this little kid. It's always, 'Jeffrey do this and Jeffrey don't do that.' And if there's something Bogg wants to do, we do it. If there's something I want to do, the answer is always NO."
"And all this… all of what you have just described…makes you feel…"
"Trapped… I sometimes feel like we're bound at the hip. Like I'm a prisoner or a slave."
"Can you give me an example of something you've wanted to do solo, that Bogg here has not allowed you to do?"
Jeff paused for a moment, seemingly unable to answer Garth's latest question.
"Surely there has to be something he has kept you from doing. Something."
"Well, there is one thing…"
"I'm listening…" Garth prompted.
"Now that I'm a Voyager, I really want to go back to the time of my parent's accident and try to save them. But Bogg here won't let me. He says it will cause all kinds of issues."
"I'd say Bogg is correct in his analysis of the situation. But I'll talk more about that later. Let me ask you this, Jeff. Why do you want to go back and do that? Wait, let me rephrase that. What is the one thing that pushes you to want to do that?"
"They were my parents. I love them and want them back."
Bogg slowly lowered his head. Once again his partner's words had pierced his heart.
"Jeff, tell me a little bit about your parents." Garth prompted.
"My dad was a history professor for a local college. He loved history and also dabbled a bit in archeology. He loved to explore things, dig in the ruins of a particular place and try to piece together what went on there. I thought of him as another Indiana Jones."
"Sounds to me like he had the will of a true explorer."
"He did sir. If there was a question, he most certainly would try to find the answer to it."
"Tell me about your mother. What was she like?"
"Well, where dad was the explorer in the family, mom was the adventurer. When she was not involved in her charity work, her true love was being in the great outdoors. She loved nature and loved camping and roughing it in the wild. The two were a great match."
"How did your dad meet your mother?"
"It's a long story, but dad met mom for the first time when she signed up for one of his history classes at the college where he taught. She was one of his best students. Eventually, they got to know each other and as they say the rest is history. No pun intended of course.
Garth chuckled. "None taken."
"But do tell me, If your parents…oh…what were their names?"
"My dad's name was Bill, my mom was Kathy." Jeff replied.
"Ok, tell me. If you were able to speak with Bill and Kathy about this attempt to save their lives, what do you think they would say?"
Jeff sat silently for a moment, in deep thought about the question that was just asked of him.
"Sir, I believe, if there was any way to save them, they would want me to try."
"Are you sure about that?" Garth asked curiously. "Even if they knew that doing so could change the historical timeline on such a broad scale?"
Jeff dropped his head in disappointment. "They probably wouldn't want me to save them. They wouldn't feel that it was right, especially to hurt others, just to save them." He mumbled.
Garth put his hand on Jeff's shoulder as he attempted to help the young man see reason.
"Your parents were highly intelligent, rational people." I know that and so do you. You know they would not want you to risk your life or your status as a Voyager to save them. And neither of them would want to be saved, especially if it caused others undue harm."
Jeff reluctantly nodded in agreement. He knew Chancellor Garth's insight into the situation and his sage wisdom was right on target.
"Let's change focus for a moment." Garth continued. "Why do you think Bogg here doesn't want you to attempt this undertaking?"
Jeff again paused for a moment, in deep thought, before responding to Garth's question.
"I believe it's because he's jealous of mom and dad." Jeff spouted.
Garth momentarily glanced over to see how well Bogg was holding up. The older Voyager sat motionless with his head down. Jeff's latest accusations had almost driven him to tears.
"Why do you think Bogg would be jealous of your parents?"
"He's afraid if they come back to life, he'll have no one to boss around any longer."
"Jeffrey, if it's ok with you, I'd like to stop here for a moment. I believe there's a few things that you don't know about your dad and this is a good time to tell you a little bit about him."
"I first met Phineas Bogg, some five or so odd years ago. This was not too long after he was plucked from time to become one of our latest recruits. After reading his file, one of the things that prominently stood out in his record was his high moral standards. The more I read, the more I was impressed with him. And you know why he impressed me so? He was the first pirate that I had ever encountered that had a conscience, a sense of right and wrong. For all those years he spent aboard ship, he never once compromised his morals and standards. At that time, it was obvious that we had plucked the right person for the job."
"During his years at Voyager Academy, I had the opportunity to get to know him really well. I was his instructor on many occasions. He had an excellent work ethic as he always strived to do his very best in my classes. He was eager to learn and his goal was to become the best Voyager he could be. In all the time I've known him, I've never known him to indulge in any of the usual human vices, such as lying, cheating, stealing or the like. He, as I stated before, had high moral standards for himself, which must have been instilled in him by his parents. In all the time I've known him, he has always put the welfare of others above his own interests and has always given of himself, willingly and with lack of regard for his own needs or his own safety."
"I guess what I'm trying to say and please understand I'm not taking sides here; Bogg may have his faults, but I don't believe jealousy is one of them. The real question is do you believe that?"
Jeff lowered his head and spoke not another word. He was feeling that maybe he had missed the mark with his assessment of his partner.
"You know, I think it's time we hear from Bogg." Garth announced. "He's been sitting here quiet as a mouse all this time. Let's see what he has to add to this discussion."
Bogg raised his head and wiped one eye on his sleeve.
"Jeff…" He said and then paused for a moment, attempting to choke back his emotions.
"Kiddo, you said earlier that you were afraid of me. I never wanted our relationship to come to this. I know, I know I've yelled at you on many occasions, using this as a method of discipline when you got out of line. But I want you to understand, I did this, not to have you fear me, but because I love you and I don't want to see you hurt."
"Upon reflection, I also understand that I've been way out of line with regard to allowing you the freedom to grow and mature not only as a person, but as a Voyager recruit as well. For that, I'm truly sorry. But understand, the reason for me being so restrictive of your actions and being so over protective of you was to keep you from harm. I was not doing this to be mean to you. Why would I want to be mean to my son whom I love so dearly."
Bogg rose from his seat, walked over and bent down on one knee in front of his young son.
"Jeff… as I have told you on so many occasions, I love you. I want you to know that. I would never, ever do anything to harm you or to jeopardize our relationship as father and son for that matter. I know in my extreme anger, I've said some things that after looking back, I really shouldn't have said. I threw a great number of hurtful things at you and for that, I'm sorry, truly sorry. I just hope you will find it in your heart to forgive me. I know how much you loved your parents and I know all too well that I'm never going to be a replacement for them as much as I want to be. I just hope that someday we'll be able to put all this behind us and you will eventually feel comfortable enough to allow me to be the dad that I've wanted to be and the dad you want me to be."
Jeff raised his head and attempted to speak.
"No…shhhh… Just listen, ok." Bogg said lovingly in a soft tone.
"I've had some time to think about all of this, to examine the situation from your perspective. And I now understand why you want to go back and help your parents. If the tables were turned, I too would want to do the same thing. If it were up to me, I'd grab my omni right now, go back and save them for you. If I could, I would do this in a heartbeat, that is, if it would change your life for the better and make you happy. As I see it, every child deserves to have a mom and a dad. No kid should ever have to grow up alone and unloved. And you are no exception to this rule. Not only that, but no kid should have to grow up without a warm place to call home. No kid should have to spend the whole of his life zipping from time to time and place to place, eating what food he can hurriedly find and never having a permanent place to lay his head at night. When I adopted you, maybe I did so for purely selfish reasons. Maybe I was thinking solely of my own needs, not paying any mind to your own. I thought that I was doing the right thing, because it was what we both wanted. Maybe I was wrong. Maybe you would have been better off if I had just gone back and prevented your parent's accident."
"Stop it Bogg!" Jeff yelled, now overwhelmed with emotion. "Stop it!" He then jumped from his seat and threw his arms around his partner.
"I'm sorry. I never meant to say all those nasty things to you." Jeff confessed. "I forgive you and I hope you can forgive me. I love you. My parents are gone and there's no way I can change that."
Bogg grabbed his partner and pushed him away, to a point where they were face to face.
"But I can!" Bogg said softly. "I can take my omni, go back and stop their accident from occurring."
"Bogg, you can't do that." Garth whispered. "Remember, it will change the timeline. Not only that, but you'll be violating the Voyager Code."
"Why should I care?" Bogg said softly as he winked at the Chancellor. "This is Jeffrey's life we're talking about here. Who has the right to deny him having his parents? Who has the right to deny him having a good life?"
Bogg slowly reached for his belt and unclipped his omni. He opened the lid and began to set the controls for the date and time of Jeff's parent's accident.
"No Bogg!" Jeff exclaimed. "I won't let you. You'd be sacrificing everything and I won't let you do that."
"Kid you don't understand." Bogg whined. "I'm doing this for you, because I love you."
Jeff reached over and slowly pried the omni from his partner's hand. He then reset the controls and closed the lid.
"Bogg, I mean dad… I love you. I don't care if we don't have a mansion to live in. I don't care if I have to zip around constantly from timezone to timezone. I'll even eat beef jerky three times a day if I have to. I just want to be your son and I want you to be proud of me."
"Kiddo, I am proud of you. There's never been a time when I wasn't." Bogg replied as he put his arms around his son.
At this point, Chancellor Garth eased himself off the sofa and quietly walked toward the cabin door. He pulled his omni from his pocket and opened the lid.
"Well, guys, it looks like everything is back to normal. You two are going to be just fine. Just remember, we all have disagreements from time to time. If we sit down and talk through them calmly and rationally, we can get past them. And Jeffrey… one other thing…"
"What's that sir?"
"Always remember. You may have an Omni, but it's not always in our best interest to go back and make changes to our own timeline, no matter how much we want to. You are not the first Voyager to learn this lesson and probably won't be the last."
"I understand sir."
"And now… I must be off. My mission is complete and it's time to get back to VHQ. While I appreciate the opportunity to get to relive my days as a Voyager in the field, it's time that I turn in my omni, get back to my desk and resume my rather boring, uneventful position as Chancellor."
"Thank you, sir." Bogg said with extreme gratefulness. "You don't know how much I appreciate what you've done for us."
"Anything for my two most favorite Voyagers!" Garth replied as he smiled and brought his omni up to his chin.
"Goodbye, sir." Jeff said softly.
"Let's not say goodbye, let's just say…until next time…"
Garth paused for a moment, then looked at his omni.
"Omni, Destination, return to home base, go!"
In an instant, he vanished.
Jeff turned again to his partner.
"Bogg I'm so sorry for what I've said to you."
"Kid, the past, is the past. There's no hard feelings. Let's just say we had a really bad day and put the whole issue behind us, ok?"
As Jeff sat back down on the sofa, Bogg managed to get to his feet and turned toward the kitchen of the little cabin. He took a step forward, stopped and turned back to his partner.
"There's one other thing I need to tell you."
"I need to pass along the information that Chancellor Garth told me outside on the porch."
"Oh, the secret mission briefing."
"Well, yea, you could say that."
Bogg walked over and again sat down on the sofa next to his son.
"Chancellor Garth came here from our future. It seems as though you actually went through with your plans. After our rather heated argument, you went back and stopped your parent's accident from occurring."
"You sure did, kiddo. And let's just say the results were not exactly what you were expecting."
"After you stopped the accident from occurring, I supposedly lost all my memory. Get this, I couldn't remember who you were." Bogg said with a chuckle.
"You couldn't remember me?" Jeff asked. "Wow… I caused all this just by preventing the accident from happening?"
"Not only that but, all the assignments we had been on and the work we had done since we met was suddenly undone. Can you imagine, Columbus never making it to the new world, Jefferson never writing the declaration and Edison never inventing the light bulb?"
"I bet there was total chaos at Mission Control." Jeff stated.
"I'd say you were probably at the top of Connor's hit list." Bogg teased as he laughed out loud and punched his partner on the arm.
"But that wasn't the half of it. Three years later, you were riding your bicycle down the road and got flattened by an oncoming vehicle."
"I got run over?" Jeff asked curiously.
"Flat as a pancake." Bogg replied with his usual tongue-in-cheek manner.
"What happened after that?"
"Nothing much. You died. Isn't that just hilarious?"
Upon hearing this, Jeff eyes almost popped out of their sockets.
"I died?" He asked innocently.
Bogg slowly stopped laughing and turned to face his partner.
"Yes, kiddo, you died three years later." Bogg acknowledged as he put his arm around his partner. "Hey, but that was a timeline that will never again see the light of day. You have nothing to worry about. We'll be together until we're both old and gray."
"Thanks Bogg." Jeff said sullenly. "That really makes me feel much better."
"Cheer up." He urged. "It's all in the past. I just hope this is proof positive that you just can't go about tinkering with your own timeline. Even small changes can severely alter your future."
"Oh you don't need to worry about that ever happening. After this, I'll be the last Voyager to go back and tamper with his own timeline."
"That's what I wanted to hear." Bogg said with a sigh of relief before quickly jumping to his feet. "It's late. I guess I better rustle us up some dinner."
"What are we having?" Jeff asked.
"You have your choice of fried beef jerky, toasted pine cone and beef jerky salad, beef jerky soup or beef jerky surprise. What's your pleasure?"
"Just throw me a piece of jerky, please."
- THE END -