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By Ensign Tharen
"Whee!!!!" came a shout of glee.
Tharen rushed up to an uprise of ice as he went down a slew of ice to get to the bottom of another one. The timing couldn't be more perfect as someone just came to the end of it and he swept him up like someone cradling a baby. It turned out to be his little brother, five year old Stovren. He was smiling and laughing with glee as he slid down a high rise of ice that people often used for a slide. He put his brother down and smiled at him calmly, putting his hands on his hips, "You enjoy that way too much, Stovren."
"You should try it too, brother!" said Stovren.
"No, we must get back to the house. Mother will be making our dinner meal shortly."
"Aww, okay." replied his little brother sadly, but not with much resistance.
Tharen, fifteen years old and already with the seriousness and discipline of his elder peers, took his hand and put it on the back of Stovren's head, guiding him to start moving either a little ahead of him or at least at his side as they proceeded down the path that led to the underground where their house was. Like most villages on Andoria, they lived in an underground city made of mostly ice. It was beautiful. Though they relished in the cold, the surface proved to have too many blizzards which was why most people didn't live on the surface on their planet. They went into the entrance of some sort of cave that led into a path that was somewhat long but definitely not tiring. There were many passages throughout the planet that led into underground cities and towns. div>
He greeted people they knew who greeted them first as they went along the way back to their domicile. It was not far from the foot of the path to where the cave road ended. Looking around, the city was beautifully lit with protected slopes where no one would fall off. He saw the town elder, Thorel, walk by. He was over two-hundred years old and was said to have been a close friend of the legendary Andorian Ambassador Shras when he was a young man. Shras took a liking to him and publicly endorsed him to be the village elder by the time he reached a certain age before he passed.
"Greetings, Tharen, Stovren!" said Thorel, who was walking by slowly.
The two of them walked up to him and bowed their heads to him in great respect. Tharen looked to him from his stature. Tharen at 15 years old was already five-foot eight and his brother was normal sized for a five year old so naturally he was smaller. He smiled, "Greetings, Elder. I trust you are having a pleasant day."
"Hmm indeed," said Thorel, who was over six-foot five inches tall, "Please send my respects to your family."
"I will." Tharen replied. When he saw Thorel nod to them and move on. He waited for him to move out of the way. Stovren tried to move but he held him back. He looked to his little brother to see his response and when he saw him about to talk, he gestured for him to stay quiet. Andorian children were quick learners. When he saw Tharen give him an expression to not move yet, he did exactly that. Then when the Elder was far enough, he looked to Stovren and nodded, hinting they could continue on their way so they did.
When they entered their home, they saw their mother making food. She was tall and long and slim, probably just a couple of inches taller than Tharen at about 5'9 or 5'10. She was placing plates on the table with standard utensils. She looked at them as they entered with a very calm expression, "You two are just in time."
The door closed behind him and Stovren ran up to her and jumped into her arms. Tharen took his coat and placed it on the rack next to the door, "Will father be joining us tonight?"
"I am here," said his father, Shoret. He walked over and took a seat down at the head of the table, preparing himself for their meal, "How is the climate on the surface?"
Tharen took a seat at the side, setting himself up for a meal as well, "No blizzards. The climate is pleasant."
"It was great enough to go ice sliding!" said Stovren.
"Uhm, yes...." said Tharen, beginning to eat his food. He looked at his parents, then took his utensils and before he was about to eat, he put them down, "Mother. Father. I have made a decision," he looked to them and as they gazed upon him from their seats at the table, he took in a deep breath, then exhaled, "I have decided for sure that I would like to join Starfleet."
Shoret looked to Jhemal who looked to him, then looked back to their son, "Are you certain this is what you wish?"
Tharen nodded, "Yes. That is what I want to do."
Shoret took a bite of his meal, then nodded after he chewed and swallowed it, "Then I support your decision."
"As do I." added his mother.
Tharen smiled, then picked up his utensils and started to eat his meal.