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Epilogue: Headcount [ Day 03 | 1900 hrs. ]


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“Those numbers had names, and many had family; each of those losses was keenly felt.
No, there was nothing casual about casualties when they were your friends and countrymen.”
― Daniel Thorman, Mayhem at the Mill             

[ Captain Ives | Main Bridge | Deck 01 | Vector 01 | USS Theurgy ]
Attn: @Brutus @Ellen Fitz @BipSpoon @Stegro88 @redshift316 @stardust @trevorvw @Nolan @uytrereee @Number6
"Captain on the bridge," said Thea when Jien stepped out of his ready room together with Natalie Stark, whom had just debriefed him on the overall development aboard in his absence. With only one hour having passed since Martok asserted his claim on the Chancellery, however, there wasn't a lot of reports submitted, so there were still a lot of unknowns on the many fronts of the development. That was why he'd ordered all the available Senior Staff to gather on the bridge.

The reason for this was two-fold, however, because they had been hailed by the Oneida, and down on Qo'noS, Martok had expressed his wish to address the Theurgy crew from the Great Hall. Therefore, when Jien walked up to his command chair - relieving Commander Cross wordlessly - he gave the go-ahead to Conway at Ops. "Patch them through." he said quietly with a faint smile, and while his gait wasn't hampered any more from his injury - Medical having given his morphogenic matrix a first treatment - Jien still had to focus more than usual to retain his form and not let it slip. He folded his hands behind his back, and raised his chin to look at the wide viewscreen.

It was split in two between the two locations, one being the bridge of the Oneida, and the other being the Great Hall. In the latter, Martok stood at the forefront of a large group of people, and they were not just the Councilors that had united against their common foe. General Chu'vok was there on his right side, and Councilor K'Tal on his left. Kudesh, his body guard, could be seen in the background, yet so could two figures that Lieutenant Madsen had presented to the Klingon High Council after Gorka had been slain. It was M'Ven, Martok's discovered grandson, and his mother, Jo'reh, formerly of House Torg. The mother and son, having been protected by General Chu'vok on the Theurgy, looked a bit awkward in the presence of all the other great Klingon leaders, but no more than Mickayla MacGregor, who wasn't raised a Klingon, but were still to aid the High Council in scraping up as much loyalty as possible from the shambles that were House Mo'Kai. Until her father could be found, that was, since Mac'mon's whereabouts remained unknown. Lastly, present at the side of the gathering, was Zyrao Natauna, still wearing the Starfleet uniform she'd got aboard the Theurgy.

[Ives! I am glad to see you're on your feet, and I hope your comrades in arms will also recover quickly,] said Martok, his voice loud since it were to carry inside the Great Hall as well, and not just through the subspace uplink.

"All three sickbays on this ship are working at full capacity, and repairs have already begun," Jien replied with a quiet smile. "When the Star Navy reaches the Klingon border, we will stand ready to fight alongside your people again, if that's were we'll be needed."

[Oh, I know this war will not be decided in defence of our Empire,] said Martok with a chuckle, spreading his hands. [I am quite aware that the enemy may be behind the frontlines of any faction our there. Yet today, you have kept our Empire from falling apart, opened the eyes of all Greater Houses and uncovered the rot that was spreading in this very chamber. I, personally, owe you a debt for what you have done today, in saving my life, yet the House of Martok thank your diplomats for saving it's future when I am gone - in how you found my son's betrothed, and their unknown son. Moreover, you laid the rank methods of Gorka, son of Margon, bare to the Houses that had sworn themselves to him, which turned the tide as much as the spirited words of Commander Stark. Indeed, it doesn't even end there, for every single Klingon on Qo'noS, or whom had kin living here, owe their lives to the crews of the Theurgy and the Oneida, preventing our home world from being destroyed. Captain Jackson, is it?]

On the right side of the viewscreen, showing the bridge of the 'Freedom Sentinel', Captain Jesse Jackson nodded. [Yes, though I doubt we would have had as much success as we did in stopping that Tal Shiar forerunner, if it wasn't for the warp fighters that fought alongside us. Not to mention the Romulan who risked her life alerting us to the threat in the first place. Major Situka?]

Standing tall among the bridge crew of the Oneida, a Romulan woman inclined her head, still wearing a traditional Romulan officer's uniform. [Please, credit where credit is due. It was an old acquaintance of mine on the Theurgy, Drauc T'Laus, that sent word to me about the threat, and he did so at the behest of the Intelligence officers on the Theurgy, whom gave him the resources he needed. I... merely did the right thing, given the situation at hand... and that just happened to be treason against my misguided people... in hope to save them.]

Martok inclined his head gravelly, and then turned his remaining eye towards Zyrao Natauna. [My liaison will be your point of contact while we dedicate as much resources as we can to help repair both your ships. Councilor K'Tal's reports indicate that we have at least three weeks before the bulk of the Praetor's forces reach our border... but I suspect Donatra will come to us before then, fleeing ahead of the Star Navy with her remaining fleet. As I recognised her claim as Empress of the newly splintered Imperial Romulan State last year... I hope we might find her an ally. In any case, the First City might be in a state of repair, but both your crews are welcome on shoreleave as much as your repairs allow it, until the call to arms sound once more. 'IwlIj jachjaj!]

The Klingon High Council raised their fists in loud praise as well, their rough voices marking an end to the transmission from the Great Hall. So, Jien turned to Captain Jackson, knowing they both had wounded crew to take care of, not to mention other sensitive matters. "We'll speak soon, Captain, about transfers and exchange of resources. Those who were on the Sabine owe you their lives as well, and hadn't you listened to 'King...' I fear this day would have ended quite differently, to say the least."

[Oh, we just figured the Theurgy crew had done more than their fair share already these past months, having stayed true to your mission no matter what assailed you.] Jackson's smile was a half-smirk. [Time was ripe someone else 'claimed the glory', as our friends down there on Qo'noS would say. In any case, I can't say we look forward to the mission we now share, Captain Ives... but we will do our part nonetheless. Oneida, out.]

The viewscreen showed Qo'noS, as well as the debris field of the battle that had been fought in orbit just one hour ago. It was time to address his crew, so Jien began doing so by directing himself to the present officers on the bridge, knowing he'd have to address the entire crew after that. With his form lapsing a little bit now and again, he changed... to her female form, to see if it could help with focus and in retaining her physical appearance for a while longer, before she'd grant herself some more medical treatment.

"Well done, everyone," she said, smiling, but it was bitter undertone to her words, because the losses had been heavy. She looked towards Natalie Stark, and Commander Cross, whom had dealt with the situation in orbit of the Klingon home world, as well as Cameron Henshaw, whom had coordinated between all sides of the development. She looked towards Samantha Rutherford, whom may have taken some liberties in her actions to liberate Commander Fisher, but had been successful in not just that, but also reaching Ambassador Garak on Earth before then.

Jien also looked towards a thoroughly battered Kai Akoni, who's physique had let him not just survive the detonation in the Spearhead Lounge, but allowed him to return to active duty as well. Jien had learned about the jailbreak, and the casualties, but according to Stark and Morali there was more to it than that, so Jien looked forward to hearing what they knew. Commander Ravon was present as well, having both lost and gained new wolves in his pack over the course of the past days, but would know more about the fallout with the Romulan warbird. Frank Arnold was present as well, given the sad loss of Tiran, and Elro Kobol was present as well, about to return to treating the wounded but could give them all a sitrep before then. Lieutenant Vanya was also there... since they'd lost Commander Kaeris during the battle with House Mo'Kai.

"We thwarted the Infested in their plans for the Klingon Empire, and we also spared Breen and Andor, at the cost of Commander Dewitt having to stay behind the Breen border to prevent them from joining he war. Yet besides her, we suffered heavy losses... Some may still live, either being treated or being in stasis, but the toll among our own was high," she said, the sadness of those losses yet to fully settle, the names on that list being still too raw to consider at the moment. "As you may already guess, she being Second Officer and with the loss of Commander Ducote, Commander Stark will remain First Officer. Stark and I will also cover for the current losses of departmental heads until we have named new officers for those positions. Soon, we will hold a ceremony to remember the fallen, but right now... there are some remaining matters to consider. Everyone, report. Any loose ends?"

Also, who didn't make it, that we don't know about already?

OOC: This is the starter for the Epilogue of Advent of War! In the header I have listed some writers with present characters, but if you are a writer with a character that is eligible for bridge duty and may be there as well, please let me know via PM!

So, roughly 1 hour has passed for the crew since the Battle of Qo'noS (for lack of a better name), and many of your characters are likely in sickbay, lol! If someone would be willing to start a group thread for general sickbay scenes, set in either of the three sickbays the Theurgy has, that would be awesome! With this Epilogue starter, we open up for Supplemental threads set between 1900 hrs. and 0800 hrs. on the next day (Day 04). After 0800 hrs. on Day 04, the Interregnum begins, and a separate board will be created later this week for those threads. More Group Thread starters besides the sickbay one will be posted over time as needed in both the Epilogue and the Interregnum. The naming convention for all Supplemental threads (Group or One-on-One) in the Epilogue is EPI: S [D0X|YYYY] Insert Title, wherein X marks the day and YYYY marks the time.

This is just the beginning bridge scene of the Epilogue in this thread, since there will be a list of Story Objectives that will be detailed in an upcoming Newsletter, which covers other facets and settings of this last part of Advent of War and missions therein. The Interregnum board will be set up before the Newsletter come out as well, so that you all can either focus on the direct aftermath of the battles (in the Epilogue), or create threads which are set at a time in which your characters have healed up a bit and there is some shoreleave to be had on Qo'noS for example (in the Interregnum).

Re: Epilogue: Headcount [ Day 03 | 1900 hrs. ]

Reply #1
[ Lt. Cmdr. Rutherford | Main Bridge | Deck 01 | Vector 01 | USS Theurgy ] attn: @Auctor Lucan @Brutus @Ellen Fitz @Swift

There was a distinct situational parallel, between the circle of them, assembled on the bridge like knights around the round table, back to the first time Samantha had weighed the sturdy panels and struts of its deck, when the ship had prepared to leave Aldea on a run against time. At the same time, as the concept of time went, there were various difference to the shreds of memory, flickering like pieces of an old movie, across the silver screen of her mind. A change that went beyond the decay of molecules and DNA strands. The composition of King Arthur’s noble chevaliers had changed, for one. Some had taken to other shores, or a different realm entirely, others had joined their ranks in the unified pursuit to slay their metaphorical dragon. And then, there were the heralds of that fight, that sacrifice, the marks that scared fabrics and faces, souls and hearts. The latter obscured to the human eye, but even the more palpable to the empathetic nature of the woman’s Vulcan side. Which wounds would heal the easiest, eventually, would only be revealed by the rapids of time, that had caused them in the first place.

In the grander scheme - among the officers that remained and those that had joined – the Commander was on the more unscathed side. Albeit only by superficial examination. The cut on her hairline nothing more than a thin red line, loosing itself in the blonde mane, and a few stray clouds of violet, tainting her alabaster skin, where diplomacy had failed, and the Klingons had taken to their more archaic nature of negotiation. Leaving the ship, hovering up in the clouds like some sort of guardian angel, between heaven and hell, had proven to be the safest place one could’ve been, amidst the ensuing conflict and battle, rocking the planet’s orbit and surface. All the threads her department had unraveled under her leadership, together with those spun and unveiled by everyone else, eventually coming together to tighten the noose around Gorka’s neck, no matter how insignificantly in their individual weight. The future of the Klingon Empire secured, for the foreseeable time being. One threat removed from the sometimes seemingly insurmountable heap of intel against them, and all living things as a whole.

Standing to attention amidst the accomplished officers, in their various states of disillusion, perseverance and sorrow, there was a distinct lift towards the light of hope, as the Captain moved into the thick haze of silence, that had established on the bridge. Turning in her stance, statuesquely paired to one of the support columns next to tactical, the blonde officer let blue hues pass from a moment of concern on Ives to the shaping forms on the viewscreen. Seeing the House of Martok physically united for the first time sent shivers down Sam’s spine, igniting a modicum of providence and satisfaction in her chest, that her Vulcan side would’ve found utterly superfluous. It had been the culmination of a journey that was, albeit confined within a rather short passage of time, felt more like the billions of miles of empty space traveled, it had taken to accomplish it. That and the flawless work of a small team of skilled officers that had complimented each other’s weaknesses and strength in order to make it through successfully. So the pride she felt, as illogical as it was, not only encompassed her, but everyone she had the pleasure to serve with, on that mission.

The consoling words of encouragement, as best wishes from a Klingon went, cut about as deep as a Bat’leth would’ve, in their succinct ability to strike a raw nerve. For the diplomat’s mind immediately sprung to Commander Fisher, who had been delivered to sickbay immediately after they had arrived back aboard. His superficial injuries enough to worry, there had been no immediate accounting of how the continued interrogations had scarred his mind. And that uncertainty and worry was a human pitfall acting almost as a chisel to the that dam of self-control in her mind, and its pent-up sensations of anger and judgment, restrained behind it. The mere demise of the ringleader, behind the crimes against Theurgy – and humanity – didn’t seem enough to warrant letting go of that grudge, which threatened he professional ethics as a diplomat. How her mighty grandeur had fallen in the short amount of time she’d gotten to know Andrew, to the point where justice wasn’t as straight forward as she had always made it out to be. Then again, maybe it really never had been.

But as Martok’s dark eyes met her slender figure, on his end surely a mere column of black, red and blonde, the Commander gave a gentle nod, at least validating the time they had spent together worrying about a mutual goal. Even if there had been no worry, no restraint, to bring to attention the injustice that still prevailed within the fractures of this beneficial truth, right then, there was no logical conclusion with a favorable outcome to solving said dilemma. And as she had learned, many years ago, not every battle needed to be fought immediately. Instead, the wear and tear of time, usually presented a far better crack for leverage, further down the road. And even if it was just her Vulcan side reasserting itself, the blonde was widely known to remember loose ends, no matter the other odds in her life. Especially when they had gotten so deeply personal. Whether she wanted to admit that qualification or not.

Presented next - distracting from that dark place - was a trickle of events that, by the time it had formed a roaring stream, had betrayed its very origin, it seemed. Samantha could very well remember the conversation she had with Drauc, seeking him out in his refuge beneath the decks of Theurgy, where he had been content to sit out the remainder of the voyage, until some illogical sentiment of a mythical signal, would’ve alerted him to the resolution of his personal fate. And that it had been her negotiations that day, getting him in contact with intelligence, who had trod of this entire avalanche, that now concluded with a Romulan woman she had never seen, generously passing credit up as far as she could see, at least. The blonde seriously compelled herself to look beyond that nagging, seemingly innate antipathy between part of her heritage and that of the biologically similar officer and find a deeper reason for why the hairs in the back of her neck stood up, that even jealousy was a more favorable denial.

The prospect of what was to come next, however, did a far better job as distracting from the dilemma and judgment between her two inherent physiologies. Keeping Natauna as a liaison on Qo’nos was a smart move, that would benefit both sides greatly. As was the assumption that Donatra and her followers were a party better swayed to their side, than yet another power-hungry rogue to look out for. Which was an avenue she had contemplated to pursue, now firmly considering next steps to effectively do so. In that regard, it came almost as a surprise as Ives’ glance hit her. A sense of gratitude as well a continued expectations bestowed upon her and her department. Which she was more than confident would be matched, if not surpassed. Lower her pate gently, at the mention of their fallen and injured comrades, Sam bit back another tide of emotion on Andrew’s part, whom she could’ve lost very easily … still could, to be honest. The only way to protect what was blossoming beneath duty and courage being a strong push forward to thwart the powers threatening their undoing. And with that came a sense of determination she had not known previously.

Blue eyes connecting with the captain once more, as the moment of remembrance had passed, azure hues briefly flickered to Stark and Cross, whom had been lifted to their new executive positions. Positions she did not envy them for, rather preferring a more lenient stance of being able to act within the fissures of orders and protocol, if need be. Which was increasingly harder to do the closer you got to command. A sentiment Andrew would’ve surely backed her up on wholeheartedly. And being pressed for time to go and see him before his surgeries, the diplomat took the opportunity to approach Ives first, offering her input on the question and information posed.

“Captain, considering I have been familiarized with the inner workings of the Intelligence Department in our rescue effort of Commander Fisher, I am volunteering my services to act as interim leadership - in addition to my diplomatic duties – while the Commander remains under medical surveillance. I am sure at this moment, other departments can benefit more from your support.” she offered, clasping her hands dutifully behind her back, as she leant in slightly towards the fresh shape of a woman.
“At the same time, I will prepare a protocol over how, and when, a small diplomatic detachment could make contact with Donatra, ahead of Theurgy, if the pressure of time gets to us. I am sure Intelligence, Drauc, and our new allies, will be of great help in determining the appropriate contacts.” Which was only sensible. Theurgy’s damages were extensive and potentially sending it to the border of Romulan space, in a state less than ideal, was more desperate, than the situation currently warranted.

Re: Epilogue: Headcount [ Day 03 | 1900 hrs. ]

Reply #2
[ Lt. Cmdr. Cross | Main Bridge | Deck 01 | Vector 01 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @Brutus  @Auctor Lucan  @BipSpoon  @Stegro88  @redshift316  @stardust  @trevorvw  @Nolan  @uytrereee  @Number6

No sooner had Captain Ives relieved him than the order was given to patch the ship through to both Oneida’s bridge and the Great Hall planetside. Behind the expected sight of Martok and his advisors and newfound family, Cross spied the remaining members of Theurgy’s crew. He understood the need for their continued presence off-ship, yet a part of him wanted to encourage the captain to bring everyone back aboard. At least until wounds healed, resources were measured, and personnel reorganized to make up for the blood price this last mission cost them. But, his hands clasped loosely behind his back, Cross maintained a neutral expression as he listened to the exchange between Martok and Ives, and then the captain of the Oneida. When Captain Jackson introduced his Romulan informant, Major Situka, Cross couldn’t help the slight upward tilt of a solitary eyebrow. He did not envy her uniform nor the position she found herself in, but Cross was grateful for the intel she brought to the table.

Three weeks. If Martok spoke true, they had three weeks to lick their wounds and prepare for battle, as it was always best to assume the battle a fact and peace a dream. Cross hid his frown behind a quick study of his boots before bringing his gaze back to the viewscreen just in time to witness the Great Hall erupt into a cacophony of Klingon roars. The transmission with the Great Hall ended then, leaving Ives to speak directly with Captain Jackson. This exchange also ended soon after, and Ives, shifting into her female form, addressed her officers. Following her general commendation for their mission effectiveness, Ives made Stark’s position official, then called for report.

Commander Rutherford spoke first, and as she was speaking, Cross thought back on the Praxis mission. Ives would have a thorough report on her desk soon enough and would have access to the comm and helmet feeds as well. When he thought of what they’d gone through at Praxis, reflecting on the reality of his very presence on the bridge and not as a wisp of ash floating in the unforgiving vacuum, Cross kept coming back to one “loose end” in particular he felt pertinent to share now.

“Well, captain,” drawing Ives’ attention soon after Rutherford finished, Cross nodded towards the viewscreen, “you’ll find that Praxis is no worse for wear not only because of the exemplary work of our crew but also because of someone we found in the Praxis base. Or rather, he found us, ma’am.”

At the quizzical look he received from members on the bridge, Cross hurried to explain.

“Soon after we achieved low orbit, the infiltration team required a distraction, and it was while we were conducting this distraction that Deputy zh’Wann and her team came upon him: a Lieutenant Alistair Leavitt from the USS Relativity. He proved his identity through revealing information only a temporal agent would know.” Cross refrained from detailing the information and who it was about, leaving all that for the written report Ives would read later.

“There was the additional fact that his combage was pre-patched into our mission subspace frequency that also lent itself to his credibility,” Cross spoke faster then, trying not to digress too far into details, especially not when Ives could read said details for herself later, over a hot beverage in the comfort of her office. “But it was Leavitt who revealed the presence of the bomb and the Infested’s intention to detonate the dilithium deposits inside Praxis. It was also with his guidance the Allegient was alerted, and the away team infiltrated the base.” He shook his head as the gravity of all they’d been up against and had accomplished suddenly weighed on his shoulders. “We cut it close, ma’am, and the Allegient has a few more dents in her, but our mission success and survival are very much connected to Lieutenant Leavitt’s aid. And next, we see him, ma’am, we owe Captain Ducane a very large drink.”

He shifted onto his heels, leaning away in a nonverbal cue of completion, but then Cross paused. The images of those lost or wounded on the mission came to mind and before the next officer could report, Cross quickly interjected, “You will have my list of commendations for crew performance later, ma’am.”

Many deserved recognition, both among the living and the dead. For the living, medals could be awarded and handshakes traded. For the dead, a somber memorial as they raised a glass in their honor. Cross intended to pour one as soon as he returned to his quarters.

Re: Epilogue: Headcount [ Day 03 | 1900 hrs. ]

Reply #3
[ Lt. Alana Pierce | Main Bridge | Deck 01 | Vector 01 | USS Theurgy ] | ATTN: @Auctor Lucan @Brutus @Ellen Fitz @Brutus @BipSpoon @Stegro88 @redshift316  @stardust @trevorvw @Nolan @uytrereee @Number6 [Show/Hide]

Pierce stood in observance of the final events of her first day aboard the Theurgy. It was certainly an eventful first day, which surprisingly despite the issues she'd had to deal with, it was well worth it. Especially as the crew was able to work with Martok and his sympathizers to restore his Chancellorship as well as regain the Captain and her department head, Commander Fisher.

Although she hadn't had the time to get to know anyone quite well yet, she was looking forward to the adventures this ship would carry her on. It, sounded like fun.

Brought back to the present, Pierce thought better of officially speaking up with Commander Rutherford inquiring with the Captain over a temporary lead over the Intelligence department. In the past it might have irked her but here, in this situation, it wasn't her place being a newcomer to the fight. She merely nodded to the Commander to show her regards and respect.

The part she wasn't ready for was the bombshell of Praxis and the visitor from the future which was surprising.

Watching the events transpire from her vantage point on the bridge brought back memories from the past, of better times. And at this moment, she'd glimpsed a semblance of it again, which made her lips curl into a welcome smile. Seeing those on the bridge gave her a sense of purpose and drive she'd lost since her travels.

She was thankful that Fisher was recovered albeit worse for wear. Alana knew she'd have to meet with him officially once all the dust settled. Especially not having had the opportunity to do so yet outside of the day's expedition.

But all in all she was pleased to be present for this occasion.

Re: Epilogue: Headcount [ Day 03 | 1900 hrs. ]

Reply #4
[ Lt. Cmdr. Andrew Fisher | Intensive Care Unit | Main Sickbay | Deck 11 | Vector 02 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @Auctor Lucan @stardust @Pierce

For Fisher the passage of time was confoundingly inconsistent, as was his perception of light, sound, taste, smell, and touch. No doubt the lingering side-effects of whatever drug born of the Obsidian Order, co-opted by Klingons, and administered by the House of Mo’Kai’s deranged Doctor Pohr’ghek during his capture and subsequent interrogation. The hallucinations he’d experienced were utterly and completely convincing, having pushed his ability to discern what was real from what wasn’t to the very brink. Worse still, he was having trouble remembering the specifics of his interrogation and the daring rescue which Sam and a cadre of other participants had orchestrated. Even now, as he lay comfortably atop a bio-bed in Main Sickbay, he was actively fighting against the myriad manifestations of his subconscious. It was enough to drive someone crazy, and Fisher knew that if he didn’t maintain some semblance of control over the damage wrought unto his psyche, he might never fully recover. Like all Starfleet Intelligence Operatives trained at ‘The Farm’ back on Earth, he’d been forewarned of the after-effects of chemical interrogation.

Breathing deeply in spite of the pain it caused due to the still fractured ribs in his abdomen, Fisher tried to effectively clear his senses of all the background noise which made it difficult to focus. As far as he could tell and believe, he was indeed back aboard Theurgy, and all around him, there was a moderate flurry of activity as Doctors, Nurses, and other staff came and went in the performance of their duties.

“Commander Fisher.” Announced a slender blonde Medical Officer he’d not immediately recognized; her eyes tinted an odd hue of orange. “Commander, internal scans of your injuries indicate a partially collapsed lung, due to puncture from five fractured and displaced ribs.”

Blinking heavily to try and clear the malaise from the forefront of his conscious thought, Fisher exhaled deeply out of frustration, a modicum of doubt yet still hovering like a vulture in the sky above him as he tried to convince himself of her authenticity. For while he was genuinely convinced of his surroundings, at least for the moment, he had very real reason to remain skeptical of the people he had been seeing and hearing. The young Doctor went on to explain the apparent severity of his situation, and how she and the rest of the surgical team would approach resolution in due time. Even if he wasn’t mired in the depths of drug induced confusion, the majority of what she’d been saying to him was little more than advanced medical jargon. All he could do was look her in the face, and nod as though he actually understood and could comprehend all she was saying. An instant later she’d disappeared from his presence, and immediately he began to wonder if she’d ever really been there in the first place, eyelids slowly falling shut as he laid back against the bio-bed cushions.

“She was real, by the way.” The snide voice snapped him back to attention, and Fisher’s sage green eyes began searching for the source. “Cute little ass on her, if I might say so.” He was there. Just as he had been since the beginning. As real as anyone else in Sickbay. The scent of a burning cigarette filling Fisher’s nostrils, as he saw the man glancing around the area again. “Let’s see what we got here.” Hurley added, his fingers dancing across the control panel at the foot of the bed wherein Fisher still lay, and damned if the controls didn’t respond to his input, the sound of their beeping sending a chill down the spy’s spine. “Punctured lung. Fractured Ribs. Yeah, yeah, yeah! Heard all that. Let’s get to the good stuff. Ooh, there we go, cerebral scan.” Bringing a hand to his head as the ache in his brain returned, Fisher began to internally repeat to himself that Hurley wasn’t real. “Uhuh, see she didn’t mention the scan they’d taken of your neural activity. Because your synapses are lit up like Satan's Christmas Tree right now.” Taking another long drag of his cigarette, a long bit of grey ash falling down from its tip and landing on the console, the manifestation of Hurley continued to play with controls. “Yeah, they’re worried about what kind of long-term damage has been done. It’s why blondie didn’t mention anything about these anomalous readings.”

“Shut up!”

“Commander?” the look on the Doctor’s face was one of confusion, her tangerine-hued eyes examining the features on Fisher’s face.

Clearing his throat, Fisher peered about for where Hurley had been, only to find no one had ever been there. Had he hallucinated the whole exchange? Shifting his gaze back to the Doctor, he offered a reassuringly soft smirk. “Sorry. I-- never mind. Please, go-on.” There was a momentary hesitation before she continued, only to stop as another Nurse approached from behind, beckoning her to come over and deal with a more pressing matter. She excused herself a moment later and walked off to deal with said matter.

Left alone again, Fisher’s need to try and gain some kind of a foothold on reality became of paramount importance to him, so he carefully reached over to grab a PADD from where it lay unattended. Clearing away the medical data relevant to him, which he honestly didn’t care to inspect at the moment, he routed satellite access into the Central Intelligence Suite through a backdoor channel he’d established earlier in the week. Here he could see reports that were coming in from across the ship and get a better understanding of Theurgy’s situation. “Damn.” He remarked solemnly as he found casualty reports, listing two names he’d barely come to know since coming to this assignment: Lieutenant Zaryn Arn and Lieutenant Jordan Koilos. Both had been set to work with, and under him as a part of his Intelligence Operation, and now both were dead. There were other names he recognized too: Derik Veradin, the ship’s Chief of Conn, KIA’d during a Klingon incursion of the bridge. Halfway through the butcher’s bill, there came an alert of incoming communications from the Klingon Home World; Martok attempting to contact Captain Ives on the bridge and his counterpart on another Starfleet vessel the USS Oneida.

“This ought to be good!” Hurley’s voice returned, the visage of the man standing over Fisher’s shoulder as he looked in on the conversation behind held.

Fisher fought the urge to tell the hallucination to screw-off, instead deciding to ignore it and watch Ives, Jackson, and Martok discuss matters. It quickly became apparent that shadows were moving in the dusk of their recent victory; that any respite they’d earned would be short-lived. New names began running through Fisher’s thoughts as he began to make plans for him and his department, knowing the need for actionable intel would be at an even greater premium as they were about to embark upon a far more treacherous path; one which dealt with the Romulans and their Tal-Shiar. To an extent, Fisher found himself feeling a little more confident than previously, because he’d had a greater wealth of experience in dealing with the Romulans than the Klingons. Prior to having been assigned to Theurgy, he’d been working with rogue elements of the Tal-Shiar to support Donatra and her new attempt to claim the Praetorship, going so far as to bring the families of prominent politicians that had voiced their own support of her, safely into Federation protection. This was indeed a realm in which he had a recent expertise and could affect more positive change. Hopefully without sustaining so many losses in the process.

“You really think that pointy eared bastard can be trusted?” Hurley spoke up again, bringing an old-fashioned lit zippo to face to light another cigarette.

Clenching his jaw tightly, Fisher stifled a flood of thoughts that burst free from his subconscious, especially the one that so poignantly reminded him of how Hurley was simply a manifestation of his own mind, and any thoughts or words being offered were those of his own making. Still, he refused to give any actual credence to the figure of his mentor standing beside him, desperately hoping that it would drive the hallucination away.

There was a lot of work to be done, and no one; not a Doctor, nor any damned hallucination would get in his way of getting it done.

Re: Epilogue: Headcount [ Day 03 | 1900 hrs. ]

Reply #5
[ Lieutenant Frank Arnold | Main Bridge | Deck 01 | Vector 01 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @Auctor Lucan @Swift @Pierce @Ellen Fitz @stardust @BipSpoon @Stegro88

It felt like he’d stepped out of a tornado, or perhaps just into the eye of the storm. The last while, Frank couldn’t put an exact framing to it anymore, had felt both like a blur, and slow motion. They’d been to Breen, Andor, and the moons of Q’onos. His after action report read like a tale out of the early frontier days, nailing aliens, shooting phasers, punching it. A tumultuous thread of risk to life and limb, not to mention equipment. He’d been pushed more harshly in this last little while, than anything in his career since the Dominion War. All the meanwhile Frank’d had a number of realizations along the way, the biggest one being, he wasn’t as young as he’d been in the Dominion War, and a lesser being that he appreciated the Theurgy more each time they returned to it. Regardless of current state, it was home, and the Allegiant was a hotel.

Most of all, he was tired, or perhaps heavy. Heavy with the recollection of those they’d lost in orbit of Andor, the friend he’d left behind on Breen, and heavy with the realization that many of those he’d met aboard the Theurgy, only a short time ago, were gone. Gone was the plucky and foul mouthed Chief, and her young husband. Gone was the fighter deck chief with whom he was going to have Soju, and the botanist who had given him branches with which to work. So long ago it felt had he made breakfast by the sea, or jazz for an Orion, and yet it had really only been weeks.

It was with this weight he took his station upon the bridge, however he held his back straight, and his chin high, as became a Starfleet Officer. In his mind Frank knew each had done their duty, and knew their risks. Whether or not that made the pain or the guilt easier to bear remained to be seen, but it made it the expectations for those that remained, that much higher in his own mind. He’d shed any mote of humor from his visage on this occasion, had donned his crispest uniform, and had taken his post at the bridge. Without formal direction, he’d done so as the most senior remaining engineer. Whether or not he was right or wrong, in this moment he was what they had. When the Captain took the bridge, he was rigid as a board, broad chest puffed out in his best attention stance, his loyal PADD tucked under his arm.

Far from spaced out, the Klingons as well as the Oneida’s Captain and his Romulan confidant captivated Frank’s attention. They reminded him that for all the macabre things that had come to be, there too were causes for celebration. Sacrifices had not been made in futility, but in the hopes of an eventual victory, one more move on an ever expanding chess board. He watched as the full realities of Praxis unfolded in front of the Bridge Crew, and the picture was whole in his mind as he settled his eyes upon the flotsam left by the awesome power of spaceboard weapons. There was plenty of back patting to go around between factions, perhaps they’d call it context. He also gathered that perhaps they’d have a short respite for rest. This turned his mind to the pleasant Jaya he’d found along the way, and reminded him he still had a friend moored in sickbay, Andrew having been valiantly returned to them.

He listened as the Captain spoke, granting them a job well done, and yet acknowledging the weight of their losses. Once a situation report had been requested, Frank waited his turn, and when there was an opportunity to speak he offered plainly, “Well to say Engineering’s got our work cut out for us is an understatement. The Theurgy and Allegiant both took a firm walloping, which…likely goes without saying but I’ll say it anyway. We’ll be working around the clock to put the pieces back together without a doubt. It would be my recommendation to prioritize power stability, propulsion, tactical, and structural systems aboard the Theurgy as the critical path jobs, and then move onto the sensors and science operations, with quality of life repairs taking up the back of the queue. I’ve begun building task lists and assigning teams to this end, additionally with the large number of wounded aboard, I’ve already started assigning work tasks to ensure no interruptions of power to any of our sick bays.” He added after a brief pause, “…unless you have specific directions Captain, this is how we’ll proceed.” He’d wait for any specifics that Ives, Stark, or any of the other senior staff would offer, not having yet had much exposure to this group.

Afterwards he cleared his throat and proceeded, “Based on initial damage reports, returning the critical systems of the Theurgy to fighting shape in twelve to fifteen days, doesn't initially appear an unreasonable goal. Secondary jobs can be completed with as much time remains. We’ve got our own share of wounded and casualties, so whatever support the Klingons can provide will only serve to accelerate that timeline. The repair of secondary systems will wholly depend on how primary repairs progress, but if the three weeks prediction is accurate, there’s no reason we can’t complete a decent chunk. However, without further diagnostics on the Allegiant, Tovarek, as well as the remaining space fighters by Ops, it’s impossible to say right this second how many extra tricks we’ll have up our sleeves.” He looked around the bridge, “Additionally if each of the department heads could provide me with a blow down of the auxiliary systems most critical to their functions, we can better prioritize the secondary repairs for the upcoming mission.”  He took one last pause and then said, “The repair personnel will also need to work in time for R&R, in order to keep morale up.” He punctuated his report with a curt, “Sir” directed towards the Captain.

When he was done he returned to quiet observation, reflecting on how exactly he’d spend whatever leisure time he was able to scrape up. Andrew made the top of the list, alongside Jaya. Perhaps he’d even meet new people that he had not had the chance to before. And by God he missed his woodshop.

Re: Epilogue: Headcount [ Day 03 | 1900 hrs. ]

Reply #6
Lt Sabrina Lail | Main Bridge | Deck 1 | USS Oneida ] Attn: @Auctor Lucan  


Sabrina had been listening intently to the exchange between Captain Ives, Captain Jackson, and Chancellor Martok that it had left her pondering and distracted from noticing the quiet departure of Major Situka from the bridge and the arrivals of Lieutenants Kaneko Aio, Loz Grian, and Rodrigo Rivera. Transfers. Exchange of resources. Our mission. We have come full circle since we first met, Captain Ives, Lail thought to herself; reminiscing the Oneida’s first encounter with the Sabine and later her talk with Ives. She snapped out of her deep thoughts when Captain Jackson stood up and paced himself to the center of the bridge. Lail turned to eye the Captain as the other officers present on the bridge had done.

“Get me ship wide,” Captain Jackson asked. The Operations officer complied, nodding when the channel was open.

[“Today, we’ve committed ourselves to a course of action that will test our resolve. We knew this day was coming since we became the ‘Freedom Sentinel’ but now we have stood with our comrades in arms on the Theurgy through events unprecedented to this ship. We have faced insurmountable odds and are still here.”] Captain Jackson paused and looked at Lieutenant Aio who simply nodded. [“All of us - there are casualties but no fatalities. The damage the ship has sustained will be repaired.”] Jackson’s eyes circled the bridge, meeting with each officer present until they met with Sabrina’s. [“We have now joined Theurgy in their mission to expose the Infested threat and will support the mission however we can. We are Starfleet, let’s get it done.”] Captain Jackson turned to the Operations officer and signaled him to close the channel.

Still, at the center of the bridge, Jackson folded his hands behind his back and stood firm. “Status report, Lieutenant Lail,” Jackson inquired. “Standard orbit over Qo’noS, Captain. We’re just off the port aft quarter of the Theurgy maintaining relative speed and distance,” Sabrina stated.

“Maintain orbit,” Captain Jackson ordered as he walked over to sit in his command chair. “All departments, I expect damage reports and status updates by twenty-one hundred hours,” he continued.

Lail returned to her thoughts as she looked out the viewscreen. What is next? she thought. That thought reminded her that her future on the Oneida was uncertain as she had set certain events into motion. What is next for this ship, for our mission, our allies, for me? she thought.

Sabrina exhausted from the day’s events, exhaled deeply from her slim body and continued her duties not letting her thoughts overcome her.

Re: Epilogue: Headcount [ Day 03 | 1900 hrs. ]

Reply #7
[Lt. Cmdr. Natalie Stark | Main Bridge | Deck 01 | Vector 1 | USS Theurgy ]Attn: @Auctor Lucan  @Ellen Fitz  @BipSpoon  @Stegro88  @redshift316  @stardust  @trevorvw  @Nolan  @uytrereee  @Number6  

Thea announced the arrival of Jien Ives, whom preceded a somewhat flustered and certainly tired looking Natalie Stark. The Martian had held down the fort admirably, according to the Captain, and had just finished debriefing the obviously still injured Ives in their ready room. Tamping down on the desire to damn near mother her Captain - which, shocking, how far they'd come at this point - Natalie had summed up the situation in orbit and over the time that Ives had been away, escorting Chancellor Martok back to the Klingon homeworld of Qo'noS, to attempt to shore up their allegiance to the Theurgy's mission to save the galaxy from the hidden threat clawing away at stability across the stars. The end result of this was the agreement that much more in depth meeting was required. But given the fluid nature of events, and the scope of what still lay ahead (as well as the ships recent losses) an offer had been made that in hindsight should have been obvious to the Ops Chief.

Well, somewhat former Ops Chief. While the rest of the crew would find out after the comm's call from Martok, Nat had been offered a new position. One that, once she managed to swallow her initial shock, she'd accepted, nerves aside. For the moment she would continue to directly run the Ops department, and possibly others, while stepping away from being Second Officer and onto First. Not for the first time, the lyrics of a classic Earth song came back to her. Oh the times, they're a changin'.

For now, Stark comported herself as best she could, watching the split screen views as Chancellor Martok addressed the combined crews of the Theurgy and their recently added partner in crime, the Oneida. There was the briefest of moments, where she found her eyes meeting that of Lt. Vanya's, that Natalie again allowed herself a relieved smile. Beyond that however, her focus was on the discussion unfolding. Duty first was a mantra that she imagined she would have to repeat to herself often in the future, given...everything.

Nat found herself inclining her head and trying not to blush at the acknowledgement of her actions during the battles  she had fought - and stopped - since Martok departed the Theurgy. It wasn't often one received direct praise from a Head of State of a galactic power. It also wasn't every day that you met a Romulan defector (despite the number of Romulans serving on the Theurgy). Again, Natalie could only agree with the praise given to the actions of one Major Situka, late of the Romulan Star Empire.

Ives praise was also coveted, though the Martian could only manage a small smile at the encouraging words. She knew what was coming next, after all. The acknowledgement of losses was noted, as was her promotion. She was unsure if everyone understood it was permanent, but they'd figure that out soon enough. The reports of the gathered officers were what interested her the most. As with Captain Ives, Stark only had a small piece of the overall picture, though perhaps a slightly larger one that her commanding officer.

What followed was a concise breakdown of many events that Natalie had no hands on interactions with. She had not been involved in the rescue of Lt. Commander Fisher, though she was grateful to Samantha Rutherford for her efforts in Andrew's recovery. She liked the two newer senior officers whom had arrived late in their stay at Aldea. Seeing Fisher tortured over an open channel had not been a highlight of her short time in command. Pressing forward knowing he might die hadn't been cheery either, and she was pleased, in the end, that he had lived through the ordeal.

There would be nightmares about various 'might-have-been's' over that choice for some time to come.

Having Rutherford offer to run double duty was a surprise, but after a moment, Nat found herself nodding in agreement. "Jokes about diplomats being spies anyways aside, for what it's worth I appreciate you stepping up, Lt. Commander." Mulling over the other part of her statement, Natalie could only add, "We have other Romulan officers serving aboard our ship. I don't often like dragging up officers pasts and private lives outside of duty if we don't have to, but any connections they may have in the Imperial fleet may be worth exploring."

Of course, any further feedback was shelved aside as Lt. Commander Cross brought up the fact that his team had stumbled upon another time traveler while on their mission. Nat could feel the new headache forming, a throbbing pain bubbling up in the oribt of her right temple. Glancing toward Ives, and noting their state, Natalie did something she was sure she would regret at some point. "Forward me a copy of that report, Lt. Commander. I'm sure theres going to be an interview with this Lt. Leavitt. Unless the Captain has any objections," there was that whole Temporal Prime Directive that they were in the process of violating, again, "I'm willing to tackle that.". In her mind, Ives needed time to recover. That was what Second - no, First - officers were for, after all.

Once they handled that potential time bomb (ha!), The former Ops Chief found herself looking at what was very likely going to be Blue Tiran's replacement. Lt. Frank Arnold had made a hell of a first impression, and while she lamented the fact that more responsibility was going to be dumped upon his shoulders, with Billy Bob no longer in the picture, and Blue beyond saving, Frank was their best bet for holding Thea together in the coming weeks. And sure enough, he had the outline of a plan, and a reasonable estimate for repairs. The important bits would be done in time before the Romulan's arrived - well, the hostile ones in any event. Anything extra was just that, extra.

"While I imagine that the Klingon Defense Force is going to be very busy repairing the vessels damaged in the recent fighting between houses, we are in the Klingon home system. It has impressive defenses second only to those of Ty'Gokor, home of the Hall of Warriors. If any place in the Empire is going to be safe for us to let our hackles down and get to repairs, this is likely it. They've got some rebuilding to do but I cannot see the Chancellor not prioritizing our repairs. Not after his speech. Get me the full break down, Lieutenant, and we'll work with Ms. Natauna down on the surface to see what we can arrange."

With that note, once the last of the reports ran in, Natalie turned to Ives and addressed the Captain directly. She'd already given them the high level in the Ready Room, but there was one thing she wanted to make sure was said in front of the rest of the crew. "We'll have a full casualty report by the morning, Captain. As we already discussed, the ship has gone through some intense combats since you departed. The crew have acquitted themselves admirably, from the senior staff down to the newest recruits. We would not have survived the trails of the past few days if everyone had not risen to the occasion, taking on independent commands and responsibilities above and beyond the call of duty. Seconding Lt. Commander Cross, I'll be providing my own list of commendations in the morning. In short sir, we ran a gauntlet and with some help from our Savi friends, and a heavy dose of luck, we've managed to get here mostly intact.".

Just not all of us.

"I recommend we make for a more stable orbit for now, and head toward whatever mooring our allies can offer us to begin repair. I'll reach out to the Oneida's XO as well, and we can make up a list of what we need, versus what they need, and see what we can do for each other. They came to our rescue, and assisted in our efforts in orbit. We owe them...quite a lot.".

Re: Epilogue: Headcount [ Day 03 | 1900 hrs. ]

Reply #8
[ Ensign Cameron Henshaw | Main Bridge | Deck 01 | Vector 01 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @Auctor Lucan @Swift @Ellen Fitz @uytrereee @Brutus @stardust @Pierce @Stegro88 @redshift316 @trevorvw @Nolan @Number6
Cam stood to attention when Jien entered. An admittedly, exhausted looking sort of attention, but at attention nonetheless. Her eyes followed him, he didn’t look hurt. She was more concerned about his emotional status. She considered it an important part of her job, to ensure that the Captain was well, not just assist him in his daily duties. She didn't hide the concern in her face either. Her attention shifted from him after a moment though, and she fell into a more natural posture. Chocolate hued orbs bounced to the viewscreen as the image appeared. When she registered the faces on the Klingon half of the screen, she allowed herself a subtle smile.

It was a relief to see them all. It was a relief to see them standing there, of all places. Slowly, it was starting to sink in that they’d actually won. The battle had been over for some time, but to see their goals actually come to pass? Still, though the threat from Gorka and his allies was through for the time being, the Romulans were another beast of their own. One that she herself, considered a bit more frightening in truth. Klingons would at least stab you in a fight, Romulans would stab you in the back at a dinner party. Even the Romulan aboard the Oneida, while seemingly an ally, Cam had started to trust less and less. Romulan aside, she knew that a parasite was a possibility just about anywhere.

When Cam turned her eyes back to the Captain, she had shifted. She didn’t speak up herself yet, instead she bounced her attention between everyone that spoke, absorbing all the new information. Relativity? That broke the spell of seeming apathy on her face. She blinked a few times and quickly pulled up a small box on her console, rolling through some pertinent information for her to review. To the right of the box, was a casualty list that occasionally updated with a new name, denoted with an ‘I’ or a ‘KIA’. Her face fell and she shifted her gaze away from it. She wasn’t entirely ready to work her way through the whole list. She did recognize a few names at her quick glance though, and it was like a knife to her gut. Despite recognizing some of the deaths, she also recognized some who had lived, and made a mental note to check up on them.

No victory was free. That was a lesson she felt like she’d been learning on repeat over the past several months.

Lieutenant Arnold certainly wasn’t wrong. The damage was evident even where she stood. There was a massive, scorched slash where the science station was. There was a piece of the ceiling hanging into her own holographic display. There was debris scattered about, that officers had started to work into the sides of the bridge as they worked. Still, it was a harsh reminder of what had taken place.

Cam tapped a few buttons on her console, and another screen popped up, populating itself with a list of Romulan officers and other individuals aboard, for when she did decide to speak up. Once Nat finished Cam took a breath. She had...quite a bit.

“Captain, regarding the incident in the transporter room.” She pulled up a holographic recreation of the room on her console. Beside that, an image recreation of the Nicander that had been there. “The moment that he, She pointed at the false Lucan, “Was not the Nicander that we’re familiar with, clearly. The moment he appeared a second Lucan Nicander appeared on internal sensors, and killed everyone in the room.” Unpleasantly at that. “He commandeered an escape pod, but when we retrieved it, the pod was empty. I haven’t gotten any details on the pods internal systems yet, I believe that’s still being worked on.”

Our Nicander says the same thing. That it wasn’t him, but he apparently felt him with his...connection.” She paused and ground her teeth for a moment, staring at the intruder’s recreation. “When I have more information I’ll let you know.” The instant she’d heard about both the incident in the brig, the escape, and the duplicate of Lucan, she’d been concerned. Not only for the crew but, for Nicander himself. Despite the logical part of her brain, the chemical, hormonal reactions contained within had taken hold. She blinked once and bit her lip before she remembered the other list she’d opened.

Her eyes fixed on Commander Stark and she again spoke, “We have numerous Romulan crewmembers aboard, some new some not. I sent you a list, I can facilitate meetings with them if you’d like?” She looked between both CO and XO, before she took any further action on that. The casualty list sat beside her, idly and quietly beeping as it populated with new updates. She however, made no mention of it. It had been said enough, and she herself didn’t need the grim reminder of the cost of Martok’s ascension to Chancellorship.

She had nothing else to report, so looked between the rest gathered. Her expression was grim, and exhausted. Some shore leave sounded incredible but she couldn’t bring herself to really think about what she might be able to do to enjoy herself. All she could think about was the broken bulkheads that littered the corridors, and the list of the dead or maimed that continued to update at her side.

Re: Epilogue: Headcount [ Day 03 | 1900 hrs. ]

Reply #9
[ CPO Mickayla MacGregor | High Council Chamber | First City | Qo’noS ]

Time had passed like a whirlwind to Mickayla since the revelations and events that had happened in the High Council Chamber. The wound in her shoulder, along with several other minor injuries she had known and not known about, were treated and she had redressed and returned to the main chamber at Martok’s behest. The Klingon doctor was a good one as far as the Scot could tell, she didn’t have a scar at all, though she still tingled from the healing.

Now she stood as part of a group as Martok contacted Captain Ives, who had returned to the Theurgy, and thanked him for everything he had done. Yet there was still more to consider. The Great House that was Gorka’s was now split, with some already challenging if Mickayla was worthy enough to eve make her claim. She feared more blood would be spilled before the dusted settled. And what if her father couldn’t, or worse, wouldn’t be found? Would it be left to her to take up the mantle and lead the Great House that she had helped decapitate?

[ Lt. T'Less | Tactical Station | Bridge | Deck 01 | Vector 01 | USS Theurgy | Orbiting Qo’noS ]

Sitting at one of the secondary tactical consoles, T’Less was able to listen to the conversations happening behind her but her mind was primarily focused on what she had heard regarding the approach of Romulan forces loyal to the Praetor Tal’aura; the Praetor suspected of being one of the Infested. T’Less had calculated a high probability that the Theurgy would be called upon to assist Martok’s depleted forces in defending against a renewed Romulan offensive and the Lieutenant was already beginning her research into the latest information regarding the offshoot of her species.

“Current tactical situation between Empire and State forces unknown. Both forces using known ship classes built along common Romulan design trees. Fighters tended towards lighter, faster craft using swarm and alpha strike tactics. Problematic,” T’Less mused as she worked over various countertactics in her head. “Without running proper simulations, I cannot be sure but I would extrapolate that we would be at a disadvantage even if we had a full complement of fighters.” Moving to a second screen, the Vulcan began a database search for information about historical anti-fighter technology. “Once again, technology has adapted. Previously, small craft could be easily dealt with by a ship’s phasers but now that fighters are tougher, faster and more advanced, adaptions would need to be made in countering them again.”

The voices faded out behind her as words and topics began to flash across her screen as she read and absorbed. Anti-aircraft guns. Bofors. SAMs. AEGIS. CIWS. Phalanx. 

Re: Epilogue: Headcount [ Day 03 | 1900 hrs. ]

Reply #10
[Lt. Vanya | Main Bridge | Deck 01 | Vector 01 | USSTheurgy ] attn:

@Auctor Lucan  @Swift  @Ellen Fitz  @uytrereee  @Brutus  @stardust @Pierce  @Stegro88 @redshift316  @trevorvw  @Nolan @Stegro88

Vanya looked towards the science post.  Crewman Yohannes rose from the seat.  Vanya glided towards it, expecting to give it up for whoever would be anointed acting science officer. 

Relief cascaded across Vanya as she looked across and saw Nat.  It was all that she could do to resist running across the room and hugging her.    Instead she listened as the briefing continued, grateful that they had both survived their respective ordeals    It seemed that there had been much to discuss.  She thought of  the captured positronic brain that she had that she had put into the cybernetics lab.  While it was no secret, it wouldn’t be high up on the general mission priorities of the Theurgy, but it was important to her.   

But it would have to wait.  More than ever, protecting this crew would be her priority.  As the others spoke about Romulus,  Vanya could feel attention drifting towards her.  When the opportunity arose, she spoke. 

“I didn’t have many contacts on Romulus.  They were either my creator, who was likely killed before I was smuggled away, or my brothers and sisters, who were destroyed.    I wouldn’t trust anyone in the Tal’Shiar, assuming they are still alive.”     

While she did not have friends within the Romulan Star Empire, she might have friends within its borders.  “Captain, there is another possibility, however there are somewhat delicate issues involved.  I would prefer to discuss it with you privately.” 

Vanya didn’t like to be so evasive, but orders were orders, not matter what had become of the once noble agency that issued them.     
Inhabiting my head are:

[Lt. Vanya |Assistant Science Officer| USS Theurgy]

[Lt. J.G Foval |Assistant Diplomatic Officer |USS Theurgy]

Re: Epilogue: Headcount [ Day 03 | 1900 hrs. ]

Reply #11
[ Lt. Cmdr. Kai Akoni | Main Bridge | Deck 01 | USS Theurgy ] @Number6 @Auctor Lucan @Swift @Ellen Fitz @uytrereee @Brutus @stardust @Pierce @Stegro88 @redshift316 @Nolan

If Kai tried to say he was completely listening to the briefing, he would have been lying. Having been involved in an explosion, to being woken up during a Klingon attack, to chasing an escaped prisoner and almost dying again had taken its toll…both physically and mentally. The report by Ensign Henshaw had piqued his curiosity though. To know that most of the carnage in the transporter room had been caused by the other Nicander had definitely put most of the pieces of the puzzle together. Kai thought back and figured that’s why the Nicander in the brig had been so insistent to tell him something. Something he didn’t have the opportunity to listen to at the time.

There was an opportunity to speak at the briefing, even though he didn’t want to. None of it was good news to tell anyone.

”As you’re all likely aware, there was an escape from the Brig. Rov was eventually captured and returned to the Klingons. There is currently an internal investigation underway to find out exactly how that transpired.”

Kai took a deep breath before continuing on, unsure of how many people knew what he was about to say.

”There were numerous personnel killed during that escape, including Blue.” he cleared his throat and felt some tears building in his eyes and then continued, ”Sorry, Commander Tiran” he finished, using her maiden name.

Kai didn’t necessarily believe in an afterlife, but the thought of Blue and Ranaan being together again somewhere, somehow, brought a small solace of comfort.

”I also regret to inform you Captain, that we have arrested Lieutenant Petterson for accessing restricted information, specifically information in regards to AC-507 Reaver and for multiple assaults. We’re also investigating those incidents. However, with all the things we’re dealing with, we’re stretched pretty thin.”

With Kai being done his portion of the briefing, he nodded at the Captain and awaited whatever came next.

It was times like this that Kai didn’t really enjoy being the Chief of Security. There were so many things for his department to do, but the limited people and limited hours in a day were resulting in some tough decisions to make.

He sighed and rubbed his forehead, looked around the bridge and waited.

Re: Epilogue: Headcount [ Day 03 | 1900 hrs. ]

Reply #12
[ Ens. Jaya Thorne | Main Bridge | Deck 01 | Vector 01 | USS Theurgy ]

As the ship stood down from Battle Stations, Jaya let herself relax back into her padded seat at the helm at last. Her hand uncurled from the joystick of the helm station, flexing the aching fingers as she looked about the bridge warily. She knew in the next few days she was going to feel like she'd been beaten with one of those pain sticks the Klingons loved so much. Damned sadomasochists, the whole lot of them, she grumbled to herself. But for now, the last dregs of adrenaline from the battle could mask her aches and pains.

The Theurgy had survived the worst possible odds once more, but the ship and crew had paid a hefty price in doing so. Jaya had done her absolute best to evade the worst of the attacks on Thea. That being said, even Jaya’s borderline-mystical helm skills could spin and dodge away from only so much coordinated firepower.  A twinge of guilt flowed through the human as she considered herself lucky to have lived through yet another epic battle, when so many had not.

At her position at the helm, Jaya turned to listen to the Captain’s words to the crew. The Skipper could always be counted on to give the best pep talks, she reasoned. That was part and parcel of the job description. The best Captains inspired their crews to surpass their previous efforts in times of battle and trial. But in this moment in the relative calm after the storm, Jaya could see that the Skipper felt the loss of crew and capabilities. Still, she and her shipmates had saved the day once more. From a dark corner of her mind, she wondered how many times they might roll the dice and keep winning. After all, no streak of luck--good or bad, lasted forever. Sooner or later, you either walk away from the table with your winnings or come up snake eyes.

Jaya listened to the reports from her fellow bridge officers. When Lieutenant Commander Cross mentioned that the Allegiant had returned with more dents from her mission, her hand slipped into her pocket to squeeze at the stress ball she kept hidden there for just such moments. The Allegiant might have the captain’s name on the paperwork, but she considered the Allegiant her baby. She didn’t want to think about what kind of damage the craft had survived and what it would take to get her back into proper shape. That was for later. Focus, Jaya reminded herself.

She listened attentively to the bridge officers as they made their reports. She even gave acting Chief Engineer Frank Arnold a small smile after he gave his painfully detailed report of the damage Thea had sustained. She reminded herself that the ship might be battered, and the crew had suffered painful losses, but they were still here to take care of the business at hand. Jaya didn’t consider herself very spiritual--and she hated religion after her family had tried to use it to suppress her.. But she did keep a list of things she kept close to her heart. One of them was a poem from an old Terran poet. Do not go gentle into the good night, he had written centuries earlier. Thea and her crew would certainly follow that advice, yes indeed. They’d have to be dragged into that good night kicking and screaming every centimeter of the damned way.

Her thoughts had gone to Dewitt and her sacrifice. Was she alive? Would they ever meet again? Jaya considered the woman one of her few friends, and now she’d gone off and martyred herself. Even if she was alive, how could their paths ever cross again? It’s was a big freakin’ galaxy, even just their little corner of it. Jaya reminded herself that stranger things have happened, especially when you’re a crewman of a ship like Theurgy.
When it came time for her to offer her update to the Captain, Jaya was ready. Her voice was strong and steady.
“Captain, we are maintaining standard orbit over Qo’noS. Oneida is off our port aft quarter maintaining relative speed and distance.  All other local traffic is keeping a respectful distance, so I guess we made a favorable enough impression with the locals.”

Jaya gave the Captain a respectful nod in conclusion, then looked to the next staff member to step up.

Re: Epilogue: Headcount [ Day 03 | 1900 hrs. ]

Reply #13
[ Lieutenant JG Adam Kingston | USS Theurgy ]

After Nicander's interrogation Adam saw the Intelligence officers out and put the cannon back into its locker outside the cell. It has been a non-stop rush to defend the Theurgy and keep as many safe as possible. Though like most security personnel know, it is not always possible to save everyone no matter the effort.

The Master-At-Arms knew their department was trained well and could handle themselves with minimal supervision, so he had joined in multiple battles throughout the Vector he was on during the Multi Vector Assault Mode separation until it was all over.

He'd seen many get killed on both sides; it kept his adrenaline pumped inside him, even though it had ended, Adam was still on edge.

There was an utter bloodbath in some areas of the ship according to reports and his own eyes as he helped the injured to the nearest Sickbay. He wondered about Rhys and Derik, though he hadn't read the casualty list yet as there was far too much work to be done. He hoped they were alive.

He collected weapons and armour pieces after helping survivors. Adam was covered in not only his own blood but others blood and other battlezone dirtiness, and smelt gross.

He headed for a shower back at the Security Center after which he'd report in with Kai then he'd seek out Rhys and Derik to see how they are.
Lieutenant JG Adam Kingston, Master-at-Arms, (Vector 03 Security) Profile Clickie

Lieutenant/Dr Elro Kobol, Chief Medical Officer, (Vector 02 Medical) Profile Clickie

Re: Epilogue: Headcount [ Day 03 | 1900 hrs. ]

Reply #14
[ Lieutenant Elro Kobol | Main Bridge | Deck 01 | USS Theurgy ] OOC: sorry for the double post.

Though he should be in Sickbay tending to the wounded, he was standing on the main bridge with many others. The Captain, though still under medical observation, was doing okay as far as Elro could tell. He watched hir carefully in case he had to jump to their aid at a moment's notice.

He listened to Martok, Ives, Jackson, and the various others speak of their victory as well as the pending arrival of both the Star Empire and Imperial State forces at the Klingon border. Elro hoped that his department would be ready, and there would be enough time for those who need recovery before the coming battle.

Elro could sense much cheer and sadness from those present along with his own feelings, though he felt pride in that his crewmates had done all they could to get to this point and won. Those lost weren't in vain and will be remembered. A glance towards the helm suddenly pinged his grief, and hard, for what he could have had with Derik. Was he meant to be alone? He couldn't help but think.

Soon the conference call ended and Elro snapped back to the present as Ives turned to them all, shifting into hir female form. Though it wasn't unexpected that the Captain would flip between the two forms at hir own whim, however at this time Elro had a feeling it wasn't by choice. He hoped the treatments did their job and soon, they needed their Captain so much.

It was good to have their Chief of Security back in the fight, Elro had so many regrets concerning so many who were lost. Mainly not getting to know them more, though that was a sharp double edged dagger and he knew it. He quickly refocused on the meeting and the Captain as s/he spoke.

Commander Rutherford went first and offered to temporarily oversee Intelligence while recently rescued Commander Fisher recovered from being a prisoner. Elro will read the report on his state and what the doctors will be doing to help him, as well as their recommendations for psychological evaluation, it was standard procedure for all former hostages, when he returns to Sickbay after this.

Elro continued to watch his fellow crew members as they gave their reports. One of his friends was next, Cross spoke about their adventure down near Praxis and a certain Temporal operative joining them from the Relativity, again, considering Morali was the first. Frank from Engineering spoke next and indeed their Engineers along with the Klingon Engineers had their work cut out for them. Elro had a padd with him that detailed all the damage as well as updated notes about patients statuses.

A new alert was at the top of the display that reported a new confirmed loss and a Stasis placement. Elro blinked and his grief spiked as he was the one who was the first responder. He believed he had saved them. A tear or two fell from his eyes as he wiped them with his empty hand, though he focused hard to keep his calm. He couldn't afford to let all his emotions out all at once.

It was First Officer Stark's turn as she spoke up about several things. Next was the Captain's Yeoman Ensign Henshaw and she spoke of Nicander and a second Nicander… What 2 Nicanders? Elro wondered how that could be. Tactical Officer T'Less gave quick analysis on Romulan forces and Vanya chimed in with a private meeting request with the Captain.

Another of his friends spoke next, Kai. He reported a prisoner escape, the bomber Rov, though apprehended and given to Klingon authorities. Thank the deities Rov was off Theurgy. The killed Chief Engineer was mentioned but news about a traitor to the crew was revealed had Elro focused once more. Too many things were going wrong for them and soon it may get too hopeless… He quickly shut down that train of thought and paid attention to the discussion.

An announcement from the helm told them all that the Theurgy was now in orbit over Qo'noS. Shoreleave was also offered to the crews by the Chancellor so they really could not be rude and ignore it. They all needed relaxation, though Elro was beginning to dread it instead.

”Medical is working hard saving as many as we can and unfortunately I have just been informed and I have to add to the list of our fallen, Chief Warrant Officer Gimli Luff of Operations. Though in order to keep her alive, Ensign Nix of Tactical CONN has been put into Stasis.” Elro announced, his tone dampened by the news. ”I will make all the death certificates available to Commander Stark and yourself Captain after the list has been confirmed. We must double our efforts to find a way to end all this soon. It does seem like the commonality is that the Infested in control of the Federation may be the leadership, if we could only take care of them maybe the rest will lose cohesion… Sorry…” A thought quickly distracted him.

”Captain, we've been attempting to find protection from Thalaron radiation in medical applications but it is simply better not to be exposed at all, if the Savi are willing to help… Why didn't I think to ask them?" He quickly chastised himself before continuing. "Considering that we will be confronting enemy Romulan forces.” Elro said and made a note to request a meeting with the Savi rep.
Lieutenant JG Adam Kingston, Master-at-Arms, (Vector 03 Security) Profile Clickie

Lieutenant/Dr Elro Kobol, Chief Medical Officer, (Vector 02 Medical) Profile Clickie

Re: Epilogue: Headcount [ Day 03 | 1900 hrs. ]

Reply #15
[ Lieutenant Frank Arnold | Main Bridge | Deck 01 | Vector 01 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @redshift316 @Auctor Lucan @trevorvw @Number6 @Stegro88 @BipSpoon @Brutus @Hope

Frank listened to the status reports all around. Very little bonafide news seemed to be on the go, and what they were receiving, wasn't good. He'd already known about Blue, but each time the Commander's name was mentioned, he flinched a little. Not because they had been particularly close, or even that they had been coworkers, but because she had been so young. Her image was one that carried youth, and excitement, and fire. Fire that had been snuffed out in an instant, fire that had cast an incredibly large shadow, within which he was now charged to reside until the Captain found a suitable replacement. In the latter part of what might be considered his youth, cresting over mid thirties, Frank's fire, while still warm, did not cast as large a shadow in his own eyes.

Either way, philosophy was a privilege of a full stomach and an empty schedule, of which Frank had neither. No Frank had a long list of work ahead of him, and thus far, very little results to speak of. He had yet to get full damage reports, or casualty reports. He'd never had to do them for the other vectors, so his knowledge of their rosters was limited to what his PADD provided, and his limited cross training with his counterpart, also now gone. But a toiler he was, Frank had no time to fritter away on worrying about that, he'd do his best to pull together everything he needed to.

One thing that was certain however, was that standing on the bridge was getting him no closer to achieving his situational goals. In fact it was moving the goalposts further and further out. He listened to each department head's status report, and when an appropriate window arose, he cleared his throat, and offered with polite firmness, "Captain with due respect, I don't believe I have anything else productive to offer here with, and excuse the phrasing, my dick in my hand. With your permission I'd like to return to main engineering and get to work."

While he waited for permission, Frank's eyes drifted to Jaya. She was one point of pleasantness that stood out among all of his time away from the Theurgy. His gaze wandered to her station, and perhaps it was fatigue, or just plain that he didn't care who saw, his gaze lingered there for a long time, hoping she might notice for long enough for him to give her a little smile, or a wave. The thought of sending her an animated image as they had done in the past, didn't even arise in his mind.

So long as that permission was given he'd asked for, Frank would make a quick beeline to the turbolift, there was work to be done.

Re: Epilogue: Headcount [ Day 03 | 1900 hrs. ]

Reply #16
[ Lieutenant Commander Thomas Ravon | Main Bridge | Deck 01 | Vector 01 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @redshift316  @Auctor Lucan @trevorvw  @Number6  @Stegro88  @BipSpoon  @Brutus  @Hope @uytrereee

While status reports were given and opinions were shared, Thomas stood more to the consoles at the side. His mind not present it seemed at the gathering that had been called. He had glanced at Cameron Henshaw for a moment as she had taken the word and again at the medical person that presented himself as Kobol. Thomas didn't exactly feel like sharing anything after he had touched down back on the Theurgy, only to realize that his soulmate, with a lack of better phrasing, Zephyr Praise had not survived the last string of events.

On top of that, his pack had taken a good beating once more, losing a few pilots and once again, thankfully, gaining a new bunch of fresh hot shots. He couldn't help but wonder if this was all just a repetition. As if he was sending meat into a grinder. For sure, his old habits were starting to show again. He'd been longing for a bottle of booze, not the poor synthenol stuff, but the real deal. He swallowed as he was one of the last few to report in. He knew, his rank and position demanded it to do so. His appearance on the bridge a little scruffy at best. He hadn't shaven himself and his eyes betrayed the lack of sleep.

"Tac Conn has little to report at this point on. A new squadron list is being compiled with the addition of new fighter pilots as well as training to ensure we'll work more proficiently as a pack. As Lieutenant Kobol mentioned, we lost miss Nix and on top of that, miles Renard hasn't survived the onslaught. against the Klingon fleet." he spoke up, voice a bit crackly and hoarse before he cleared his throat and straightened his posture "I expect to deliver the new squadron list in the coming day."
glancing over to Frank Arnold, he couldn't have helped but chuckle as the man had urged to return to duty "Otherwise, I'd like to excuse myself as well captain. I've got tons of paperwork and new faces to greet and know better."

It seemed like he almost forgot to mention a bit of his last mission report and he cleared his throat again "As for the destruction of the Romulan Warbird above Qo'Nos. The Oneida played a significant part in the destruction and the evacuation of our asset on board of the warbird. As well with the assistance of the new pilots, we surely could call that skirmish a victory. Anything else will be drafted up in my report." he concluded before he leaned back against the bulkhead and pushed his hands into his pockets.

Re: Epilogue: Headcount [ Day 03 | 1900 hrs. ]

Reply #17
[ Captain Ives | Main Bridge | Deck 01 | Vector 01 | USS Theurgy ]
Attn: @Brutus @Ellen Fitz @BipSpoon @Stegro88 @redshift316 @stardust @trevorvw @Nolan @uytrereee @Number6
The constant focus on keeping her form stable - from shifting into something unsightly - was making Jien feel increasingly nauseous, but she clenched her teeth together and told herself that she would go to sickbay again before she retired for the evening. Her attention was on her Senior Staff, however, and she wasn't about to let the condition of her morphogenic matrix get the better of her. She could feel her mimicked brow gathering beads of cold sweat, which was a natural thing for her assumed human biology when in pain, even if what she felt wasn't entirely the same. Instead, her whole frame ached from the strain from keeping up appearances for sake of the present officers, and she willed her hands to not shake.

"Very well, until Mister Fisher is well enough to name new Assistant Chiefs, your assistance is well appreciated, Commander Rutherford," she said and nodded, and after both Stark and Henshaw had made the comment that there might be other Romulan officers aboard that could be of assistance in Samantha's idea to intercept Donatra's arrival - at which point Lieutenant Vanya said she could offer little - Jien directed herself to the diplomat again. "Make the preliminary arrangements, but there might be some time before the former Empress is sighted at the border still, so let's confer with Martok about the approach. It could be the High Chancellor believes himself able to win over Donatra without our involvement, but I like to believe we can assist more than he thinks we might."

Jien had no idea what Lieutenant Vanya had in mind when she mentioned another possibility, but she wasn't in any position to decline prospects of possible merit given the stakes involved. "Let's speak on the morrow, Lieutenant," she said before turning to Cross... who told a story which made Jien's eyebrows climb. So you acted as soon as you saw us handle the situation at Breen and Andoria, Juel Ducane? So what about now, when the Klingon Empire remains intact... what will you tell us next?

"I would like to speak with Mister Leavitt as soon as medical clears him for it, since by all accounts he has quite a report to give us," Jien found herself saying dryly, since she wasn't entirely sure she liked how the help of the Relativity wasn't something they could count on at all times. She had a feeling that at some point... the frayed nerves of the Captain could push him to do things beyond the code of conduct. Without port and the timestream in a constant state of change, what would the Relativity end up doing for sake of its mission? After the meeting they'd had with Ducane... she wasn't entirely sure that their mission objectives were perfectly aligned any more. "You will have the report as well, Lieutenant Arnold. As will you all."

The Asst. Chief Engineer proceeded to describe the situation with Thea's three hulls, and asked for all departments to give him word on secondary systems that needed attention from his repair crews for sake of the mission, which was a prudent call to make. Jien inclined her head, and she was grateful to have someone like Natauna down on Qo'noS to coordinate repair efforts with Arnold - her having been on the ship for the time that she had. If they'd been given any other Klingon down there, she doubted the expediency at which they'd get what they needed would be matched.

When Cameron began to speak of the incident in the transporter room, Jien had first thought she'd bring up the escape of Rov and how Kai Akoni had managed to apprehend the escapee there...

...but then she went to tell them all something that made the sweat on Jien's brow feel colder than before.

The holographic image showed Doctor Nicander all right, but with longer hair, and covered the blood from his victims in that room - his open lab coat soaked in it. Jien could see the former Imperial Intelligence operative, Kyle Jensen, and Petty Officer T'Kolla on the deck, beaten to pulp and their necks at odd angles, and two security guards in exosuits who's visors were shattered - faces unidentifiable. All four at the feet of the Infested. While Cam told them this was another Nicander, it was plain in how this Câroon had two hands still, while the one in their brig only had one. This was definitely the Doctor that Captain Ducane had suggested might come.

"Kuso..." she said under her breath, glaring at the image while Henshaw spoke of how this Doctor had escaped. "Let me know what we learn from that escape pod. Alert the KDF to be on the lookout. Give the description, and advise them on the threat so that they know what they are dealing with. As soon as we have a more definitive lead, I want that Doctor hunted down."

Kai Akoni supplemented with what had happened to Rov... but the news about Lieutenant Donna Petterson was disquieting, for she had never shown any sign to have ulterior motives with her presence aboard the Theurgy. In fact, she'd been the one to help establish their current rapport with Director Anderson - him having sent her to make contact with the Theurgy. "Keep me updated, Commander. I want to know what she was up to."

Word came from Thorne at the helm that they were in standard orbit, and that the Klingons were giving them respectful distance, which was reassuring. Given the course of events over the past couple of days, they'd had enough of hostile Klingons to last them for quite some time. Jien gave the CONN officer from the Black Opal a nod, before the CMO spoke of the current situation in the three sickbays. The promise of a list of casualties wasn't something Jien looked forward to, but the suggestion to look further into thalaron radiation together with the Savi was a good call. "I will be speaking with the Voice as soon as we make contact, and while we can't depend on their direct involvement, I hope I can sway him to share whatever knowledge they possess in regard to thalaron weaponry and radiation. Hopefully we will get enough to stand better prepared for the Star Empire's arrival at the Klingon border. At least he ought to be able to give us the name of their foremost expert in the field, and you can contact that Antecedent as soon as you are able."

Stark made sure to give the crew credit for the achievements of the past few hours in which Jien had been off the ship, and she smiled and nodded, knowing that while the mission was a difficult one, they were doing their utmost, and they had won the day.  "Aye, the Oneida has already proved their commitment to this mission, and I look forward to having an ally ship at our side for once. A ship with a Captain and crew that fight our fight for the same reason as us." The Savi rebels were great allies as well, but they had their own frontlines - their own war. They merely shared a common enemy, ambitions and goals otherwise different entirely.

Jien trailed off, looking at the image of the bloodied Doctor with the white, shining eyes on the holo-image, seeing the face of that enemy. One among many, only new to this timeline... and wearing a face hard to forget.

Lieutenant Arnold interrupted her thoughts, wanting to be excused in a crass way. She frowned and inclined her head, dismissing him, while the Squardron Commander spoke up, speaking of losses, new Lone Wolves and the aid from the Oneida. To hear that Miles Renard hadn't made it was something that gave Jien pause, since the Vulpinian had once served in the same position that Ravon held, and had just managed to find himself back aboard the Theurgy before the battle in the Azure Nebula. By a cruel twist of fate, Renard hadn't survived the first battle after his return. "I look forward to your report, Commander," she said numbly, "Dismissed."

Looking the rest present on the bridge, knowing that she was keeping them from rest, recovery, and returning to loved ones who needed them... Jien decided that it would have to do for the moment. They would have respite and protection from Martok's fleets, and time to prepare. "You too, all of you. Right now, there is little else to be done besides tending to our wounds and prepare for tomorrow. Dismissed, and well done."

Those who were on bridge duty remained, of course, while Jien gingerly sat down in her command chair - feeling like there were needles to her skin. She took a deep breath, closed her eyes for a moment, and then tapped the panel in her armrest to open a shipwide channel.

"This is Captain Ives, may I have your attention please," she said, and ran a hand over her forehead. "We have come a long way. I realise that sometimes... it may feel like you work hard, bereft of contact with your friends and family in Federation space. Be assured, that your voyage on this ship, your service in Starfleet's name, all your achievements so far... all that you have done and all that you have endured, it is noticed. For you show your mettle regardless the stakes, even when I am asked by an old friend to fight by his side instead of leading you in battle.

"I've seen you working long shifts. I've seen you pulling together as a crew when the hour is dire. I've seen you fall, and rise again, despite the toll. None of this has passed me by unnoticed. Although some days feel like we fight a futile battle without end, we have come a long way. The progress we have made has paved the way for future success and resiliency. We are succeeding in ways that months ago, we could never have imagined. Our mission may not be about us, the future of the galaxy as a whole in peril, but every day the Federation benefit from your persistence, your bravery, your astuteness and your leadership. Think about how hard we have worked to get to where we are now, with our numbers of allies growing, and the truth no longer so easily denied."

Jien had to take a moment, swallowing, before she continued, and despite of her condition, she continued with a small smile. "Together... we are saving the future of all. So, tomorrow, and the next day, and in that future... when you feel discouraged or exhausted, hurt and in doubt... remember what we have achieved, and lean in on your fellow crew for support. Despite the hardships, you continually win the day, and it is an honour for me to be your Commanding Officer."

Taking a deep breath, Jien met the eyes of the bridge crew with the smile still lingering. "Let us show the enemy that together... we are their measure." She stood up, legs not giving out yet, and slowly walked towards the turbolift so that she might return to sickbay.

"Ives, out," she said in the end, and once the turbolift doors closed behind her, she leaned against her arm, and hoped there would be a biobed available for her. Nonetheless, she kept smiling faintly, thinking that despite the losses, they had won...

...and they would no longer have to fight alone.


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