"A Gift"
[Previous post: "An Unexpected Discovery"]

Setting: USS PARADOX, Cargo Bay 6
Stardate: 63073.1855

Children because of their innocence or some unknown insight into life which they lost with age were able to judge a person's character nearly instantaneously, or at least that had been what Adam believed.  Shaun had often been able to identify dangers back on NEW EARTH without having known any of the specifics of the situation.  On one particular instance the boy had saved the life of both his mother and father.

Setting: NEW EARTH, Forested area about 3 km from the settlement
Stardate: 61031.1130

The entire Russell family had ventured into the woods in search of berries that would be used in tomorrow's celebration of Shaun's fourth birthday.  Lea and Adam could not help but smile as they watched their son run ahead of them finding each and every fallen branch and leaf to be a treasure beyond measure.  As unforgiving as their new home had proven to be, NEW EARTH had also been found to hold certain charms which the survivors of the YORKSHIRE had quickly learned to embrace.

"Shaun," Lea called out to her son.  "Don't go too far, there are dangerous beasts in these parts of the wood."

Adam chuckled and pulled his wife closer so that he could steal a quick kiss before speaking.  "The most dangerous thing we have seen in these woods are those winged squirrels.  I think you can relax a little."

"There are still a great deal of things we do not know about this planet," Lea reminded Adam as she gently brushed his cheek with her hand.  "We have to be careful."

"Yes *Doctor*," Adam teased as he used his wife's nickname.  Although she had majored from Starfleet Academy in the field of Operations, Lea had taken on the role of Medical Officer since their arrival on NEW EARTH.  "Hey Shaun, over here.  Found some berries for us to take back."

The boy rushed back to his parents' side but suddenly stopped a few meters short of the large berry bush that his father had discovered.

"Come on Shaun," Lea urged as both she and Adam reached for the berries.  "These are just like the ones by the brook, and I know that you love these."

"No!" Shaun called out almost in tears.  This had been more than enough to get both his mother and father to stop dead in their tracks and turn to be by their son's side.

"What's wrong sweetheart?" Lea asked as she cradled the boy in her arms.

Shaun said nothing, and after a few moments pointed with a trembling finger to the berry bush where his parents had been.  The trio watched with curiosity as one of those winged squirrels that had been mentioned earlier landed to enjoy one of the larger berries.

"See," Adam grinned as he turned back to face his son.  "There is nothing to worry about," the father continued as he knelt in front of his son.

"Adam," Lea said in a trouble voice which sent her husband to immediately turn to glance at her and then fully around to look once more at the berry bush.

The winged squirrel laid on the ground, motionless, as if dead or at the very least paralysed.  Just as the questions as to what had taken place formed in their minds, the trio watched as a set of vines extended from beneath the bush, grabbed the fallen animal and dragged it beyond sight.

Setting: USS PARADOX, Cargo Bay 6
Stardate: 63073.1856

Based on that experience alone Ensign Russell had decided to follow his son's lead without question when they had discovered the troubled Arcadian woman in what had become *their* home.  Shaun had proven the usefulness of his special *gift*, and given the circumstances Adam had been more than willing to side with his son's intuition.

"Alright," the Ensign said as he watched his son take the woman hands into his own without any hesitations.  "We're listening."

William Reeve (altrealityman@gmail.com)

Ensign Adam Russell
(in another reality)
Flight Control Officer