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Day 02 [1300 hrs.] Memorial Ceremony


DAY 02 [1300 HRS.] MEMORIAL CEREMONY


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[ Captain Ives | Upper Shuttle Bay | Top Level | Deck 10 | Vector 01 | USS Theurgy ]
Attn: All
[Show/Hide]
The heaviest burden of her duties were the times where she had to speak of the fallen, for even if the mission hadn't been compromised, and they were still in the fight against the enemy, Jien Ives felt the loss of her crew keenly. They were her responsibility, and while the odds they faced were bleak, and the losses sometimes unavoidable, the cost was still heavy. Still, she made an effort to remember the names of all casualties, for she refused to grow numb to the toll.

Another ceremony, she thought. Another hour, when she were to speak of those who had died in line of duty. The first ceremony of the scale as to which the events had grown had been held down on Theta Eridani IV, after they had fought the Calamity the first time. The second ceremony had been not late after that, in the fighter bay, because they had needed the size of the area. The third time had been shortly after they reached Aldea, and it had been held on the newly built Memorial Terrace - overlooking the Arboretum - and Jien had considered hosting the ceremony there once more. Yet as the hour drew near, it had seemed more fitting to have it elsewhere, and Thea would make sure to broadcast the speech across the Theurgy's control panels and viewscreens - in shuttles and worker bees alike. The location picked was the Upper Shuttle Bay, and she now strode up to the railing that overlooked the lower level of the bay area.

Usually, the dark green hull of the Apache was seen there, as well as the Sabine, but both had been moved for the occasion along with the Tigris and the Tesla. It left the deck bare, and filled with officers instead. They had gathered in loose groups of shared commonalities, friends and acquaintances, and when she set her hands on the railing, the quiet murmur died out. Those not present, being elsewhere on the ship, might not have been so quick to fall silent, but once her voice was heard over the intercom, she had no doubt that the quietude would settle across all three of Thea's split Vectors. Behind her stood the Senior Staff, and outside the open bay doors, the surface of Qo'noS could be seen, as well as the damaged moon of Praxis.

"This is Ives. Thank you for your attention," she said quietly to begin with. "We meet here today, to honour the lives of those killed in action. We remember them, and their sacrifice during our mission. We give them our gratitude , and wish them well... now that their service to the people of the Federation has come to an end. I like to believe, that for those whom we lost... the journey is now beginning. Yet for us, there will be loss... grief and pain.

"Every one of us here have been affected, perhaps in small ways, or perhaps in transformative ones, by those whom we will see no more. Our lives will not be the same, nor should they be. Their lives mattered, and their sacrifice will matter for everyone - the import of our mission not justifying the cost, but perhaps soothing that grief to a minor extent. What we are fighting for is no trivial matter, being the future of all we know, so together, let us open our hearts and commemorate the impact those killed in action had on us."

Jien's smile was faint, looking at the faces below. "For we are still here, and for us, it is important to say this farewell. The physical presence of those lost is gone, but the memories remain - their actions rippling through every moment we share from hereon out. I encourage you to help, to support and to love those who grieve most. Allow them to cry; to hurt; to smile and to remember. Grief works through our systems in its own time, and during that time, it is important to know that there are others there, whom stand by you. Remember to appreciate each day... and to live it in full, in honour of those lost. We often come to take life for granted, and yet it is the greatest gift we have, and we must continue to fight to protect it."

Slowly, Jien straightened were she stood, and raised her eyes to the vista outside the bay. "To the fallen, wherever you may be... we say this. We will never forget you." She paused, before looking to the gathered once more. "I would ask that we all share a minute of silence, as we think of them, and what they meant for us."

A minute passed, during which Jien thought of those whom she'd had a close affiliation with. Names and faces, too many, and yet some more keenly felt than others. Some who's impact on her was unknown to them, or in other cases, only she and they knew the import of what they'd shared. It seemed like those whom she let close to her heart all perished, as was the case with someone lost over Andor, and she'd begun to think that it was the cost of her duty, to loose anyone whom she grew close to. It steeled her more than it weakened her, she liked to believe, and she found herself less and less inclined to entertain any kind of close companionship. She knew, being a counsellor in days of old, that it was a dangerous path to tread... but nonetheless she found herself walking down that road alone.

Not prone to indulge in self-scrutiny at the moment, she spoke up again once the minute had passed.

"I would now like to invite to the front anyone who would like to share some remarks, starting with our Chief Counsellor, Lieutenant Commander Hathev."

Jien stepped aside, and came to stand with the rest of her Senior Staff, hands clasped behind her back and her chin raised.


OOC: First up is @P.C. Haring , and after that, this thread is open for everyone, regardless in which way your character(s) may have seen this ceremony. Be it in their quarters, the shuttle bay itself, or while doing repairs somewhere, the intercom carries the words, while the screens show the bay area and its speakers.

Re: Day 02 [1300 hrs.] Memorial Ceremony

Reply #1
[ Lt. Cmdr. Hathev | Upper Shuttle Bay | Top Level | Deck 10 | Vector 01 | USS Theurgy ]
Attn: All, @Auctor Lucan 

Hathev had been leaning heavily on Cross, using his size and stability to lend her the physical support she still needed. Her mid section was still knitting itself back together and even with the medication, and the waist cincher she wore under her uniform to help bolster her weakened musculature she still found it a bit difficult to stand steadily. For his part, Cross had extended his arm behind her back and around her waist, holding her firmly but gently, like a docking clamp would hold a starship in place, as he gave her added support. He released her when Captain Ives called upon her, leaving her standing on her own before she took a slow, tentative step forward.

Gone was the Vulcan bravado, the need to remain stoic and logical. She was injured, hurting…grieving and mourning.  So too was the crew and there served no purpose, logical or otherwise in pretending she was ‘fine’.  To do so would send the wrong message.  In order to heal, one had to concede they were hurt in the first place.

The Vulcan offered a silent nod to Ives as she stepped, gingerly, to the edge of the upper level, placing one hand on the railing to support herself. 

“Thank you, Captain.”

She held her silence for a moment as she looked out at those assembled on the shuttle bay’s main deck.  The Captain had spoken eloquently and said much of what Hathev had intended to say herself and while she knew that she would inevitably repeat some of Ives’s sentiments, she also found herself pivoting a bit to offer something new.

“I would start,” she began, “by echoing Captain Ives.  Every one of us here is affected by the losses we have suffered.  Whether they were your commanding officer, or just a crew member you did not know but passed occasionally in the corridor every loss is felt on some level.  We all mourn and grieve, in our own time and in our own ways, some more intensely than others.  Some for a longer period of time than others.”

She paused and shifted her weight slightly as her abdomen started to tighten. 

“Look to your colleagues, your friends, your partners and know that, like you, they are mourning.  Know that they, like you, may be reconciling conflicting thoughts and emotions.  These are not signs of weakness.  They are natural.  As you work through the grieving process look out for your colleagues, your friends and, most importantly, yourself.  It is not weakness to admit you are in need or to ask for assistance.  If anything it is as sign of strength to stand up and say ‘I am not well and I need help.’  The resources of this ship, her senior officers, and her entire crew are and always will be at your disposal.”

“As the coming days and weeks unfold and you work through this process, I offer you comfort in these words from the 21st century human writer Felix Adler:


The dead are not dead if we have loved them truly.
In our own lives we can give them a kind of immortality.
Let us arise and take up the work they have left unfinished.

She paused as she allowed those words to sink in.  They resonated with her more than usual as it had been Triss who had introduced her to Adler’s writings.

“Those who have died,” she began again.  “Live on in us.  They live on in our memories and in the impact they had on our lives.  Honor them.  Know they did not die in vain, but in the name of a cause greater than themselves and any single one of us.  Draw strength from that knowledge and carry on the cause for which we all fight in not just your own name, but in theirs as well.”

It was perhaps one of the most un-Vulcan statements Hathev had ever made in her life and she would not blame anyone for any confusion they might have experienced in hearing such comments from a Vulcan from whom cold, objective logic was expected.  But that was no longer who she was and to pretend any different would only set a disingenuous example.  If it was not weakness for them to admit their wounds, then logically it could not be weakness for her.  This next part, however, would not be easy for her.  Yet, Hathev knew she must.  She had told no one about her intention, not even Cross and for a moment she considered ending her remarks.  But she was the Chief Counselor and a senior officer.  Who better to show this example, than her.

“If you will permit me a moment of personal indulgence, I wish to memorialize Triss Liebrecht.  Triss was my estranged wife, a civilian living on Earth.  Shortly before coming aboard, I received word that she intended to move to Paris.  She was an accomplished baker and had just accepted a fellowship at a prestigious school under a chef she admired greatly.  Her term was to have started a week prior to the bombing and to that end, it is logical to presume she was lost in the attack.  Although she and I were estranged for many years, her loss is affecting me more deeply than I would have anticipated.  She was vibrant, full of life, and skilled in her craft.  My time with her had a profound affect on me and I will miss her.”

She lowered her head but for a moment and stepped back to her place.


OOC - Thanks to @Ellen Fitz for lending me the use of Cross for the start of this post.  
Poem Citation: "Immortality" by Felix Adler  Accessed here on 26-Oct-2021

Re: Day 02 [1300 hrs.] Memorial Ceremony

Reply #2
CPO Victor van Vinter| Upper Shuttle Bay | Top Level | Deck 10 | Vector 01 | USS Theurgy ]
Attn: All,
@Auctor Lucan

Victor had needed to be here at the memorial ceremony for the fallen. While he was on duty, the Fighter bay could spare him for a few minutes so he could be here. He saw a few of the other deck crew there as well, though. Victor was thankful that Liam had permitted him to be here. He needed to be here right now, heraing the opening remarks made by Captain Ives and Commander Hathev, he nods solemnly to the pair. When Victor moved up, he gave a respectful nod to Captain Ives, and did his best to collect his thoughts, He'd planned this out, but the words he'd decided on had left him as he looked out on the crowd, so many new faces, so few in the upper ranks that were original. For a moment, Victor felt like Lazarus, or Rip van Winkle woken from a long slumber to a new world that he found strange and populated with the children of his youth now turned grey. So much change in only a few months. So he started with that because it was honest.

"I'm Chief petty Officer vanVinter, and today, I feel like Lazarus or Rip van Winkle, so much about the ship has changed in my time asleep. I look at those gathered here, and I see a crew of new faces, people who didn't join the Theurgy before leaving the Sol system. But I don't see strangers, and I see a crew that honors where they came from. I see a crew that is united in purpose. I see a crew that will honor the fallen by proving to Starfleet that they need our help. I know that each one of us that gave some, But it's the ones that gave all we stand here to remember. For my part, I remember Chief Covington and the rest of the wolves and Fighter bay personnel that are no longer here. When I joined the crew of the Theurgy, the Chief was the first person to make me feel at home here. Covington was a bear of a man and always seemed to know everything and what he needed each of us to do. He was also the only earthborn human I knew that could make a decent hasperat. I wish that I'd been around to serve with him during all of..." Victor pauses and makes a circling gesture with his left hand trying to encompass everything that the Theurgy had been through. 

Feeling a tear well up at the corner of his eye, he knew that he had to end this soon. "Walking onto that deck again just a few days ago was the hardest thing I've done. I hope that in some small way, I can make their sacrifice worth it. And to those that fell on Qo'Nos, the ones that fought with me just the other day. Lieutenant Arisaka, Chief Keyah, and Petty officer Rivard, I'm sorry that we couldn't get you out of there."

While stepping down and resuming position, he stops briefly in front of Captain Ives, giving the woman a polite nod. "You've given all of us a reason to fight Captain, and I'm glad that I'm finally back in it with you." Not feeling that any more extended remarks were warranted, the half-Bajoran makes his way back to where he'd been before making his remarks.

Re: Day 02 [1300 hrs.] Memorial Ceremony

Reply #3
[ Ensign Cameron Henshaw | Upper Shuttle Bay | Top Level | Deck 10 | Vector 01 | USS Theurgy ]
[Show/Hide]
Cam had dressed herself for the occasion, her eyes sullen with the sting and torment of the losses the ship had suffered over the past days. The list replayed in her mind; over and over. Most of them, she wasn’t particularly close with, however it didn’t matter. They were all Starfleet officers, brothers and sisters in arms against an unparalleled threat to the safety and security of not just the Federation, not only the Klingon Empire, not only the Romulans - but to the entirety of the galaxy. The sheer scale of their mission was daunting, and frankly, to Cam...it was terrifying. She was no stranger to loss but much of the loss suffered in the battle had felt...senseless. They weren’t all infested. They were suffering through the plot of the infested yes, but it felt more like a political struggle than anything else.

A political struggle which had decimated both the crew and the Klingons they’d been forced to kill as well. She was decked head to toe in an immaculate Starfleet dress uniform. There wasn’t any stray hair on her head. Her comrades had earned perfection from her and more. She had positioned herself nearest to the bridge officers that she knew and spent most of her time working with. However, the small gatherings of officers throughout the bay reminded her of something that had haunted her for some time. She felt alone. She wasn’t exactly part of the command staff, and she wasn’t exactly a member of the squadron. The ally she had made in the Captain had been estranged from her, due to both of their unwise actions. It had created a rift that truthfully, Cameron wasn’t sure would be able to be mended. Certainly not easily, at least.

That feeling of isolation and emptiness had only been exacerbated by the sight of the mourners, standing there together. She had one ally that she knew of for certain, and she knew that he would absolutely not be there. She didn’t even bother to check.

Her eyes shifted to the Captain, studying as she addressed her subordinates. Each rang true in the mind of the young Yeoman. Each word delivering a fresh, painful blow to her. Her face remained stoic, but the look of gentle understanding that had helped her so much as a counselor, never left her face. She would be there for those that approached her. She was unsure if she could approach anyone herself. Sharing her thoughts was a dangerous game, very few knew the depths of pain that rested in her psyche. Jien. Lorad. Lucan. Sharing that further, was something she wasn’t certain she was ready to do, or attempt. The silence was pregnant and her eyes rolled over the crowd. Some tears. Some rage. Some simply appeared numb.

She had hardly even noticed the new speaker, until she did speak.

Draw strength. Cameron Henshaw understood the words that the Vulcan preached on an intimate level. Over the past weeks, she had come from the lowest of lows, and had finally begun to understand her own mind as much as she did so many others. Her own suffering offered her strength that until recently, she never thought she could have. She had assumed she was simply broken. Instead, like Kintsugi, she had pieces herself back together. The molten gold that was her pain solidifying and repairing the broken pieces into something stronger. Something that held streaks of beauty at the point of shattering.

A moment later though, the personal note from the Vulcan, elicited a look directly at Hathev. A look of understanding and empathy. Also, a look of surprise. She wasn’t used to Vulcans sharing, particularly how they felt. Though Hathev hadn’t exactly said how she’d felt, the loss of a wife was something intimate to share. Something likely difficult to share in front of and to the entirety of the ship.

Chief vanVinter was another of the crew she’d never met. A chief though, that knew what words to say and when. As each word spilled from his lips, a moment of realization washed over her. She did feel alone. Isolated. That wasn’t entirely true though. She knew she could approach nearly any crew member at any time, however she did not. She didn’t desire to be a further burden on the crew that had lost so terribly much, in such a short span of time. Families had been broken, her own even, by the infested. Families aboard the ship. Families in Paris. So much loss, and still they stood there, holding one another up, showing each other that they were not alone.

When he finished, she stepped forward, entirely against her own intentions. She had intended to stand there, silently. To respect the dead, and mourn their loss so that she could pull her boots back on, and get back to work to try and save even more from the utter brutality of their enemy.

“I have something I’d like to share.” She piped up, voice somewhat quiet, but loud enough to be heard. Her eyes moved momentarily to the Captain, but quickly turned to the crew.

“I have not been aboard since the onset of the journey. However, I’ve come to know many people aboard and-” She cleared her throat, and briefly looked down, letting the silence hang for several seconds before she simply recited the poem from memory.

“Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
Because their words had forked no lightning they
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,
And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight
Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

And you, my father, there on the sad height,
Curse, bless, me now with your fierce tears, I pray.
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.”


Her eyes traced over the crew and her eyes narrowed, glassy. “We have lost much, but not all. We mourn those we lost. We should also celebrate the light they brought us, and that we continue to bring one another. We face insurmountable odds, we ought not forget why. Do not go gentle. Do not forget the light.”

She said nothing else, and returned to silence.

[ Lieutenant Valyn Amarik | Quarters | Deck 07 | Vector 1 | USS Theurgy ]  [Show/Hide]

Lieutenant Amarik was washing the filth off of her from the mission to Azurite station. She was exhausted. She was battered. Every waking second aboard the ship had felt like conflict and war, and really...it had been. She stood in her sonic shower, water pouring down her body, a quiet tune playing in the background. Something relaxing. However, it cut out.

“This is Ives.”

Her eyes widened and she spoke aloud, “Hold music, raise volume.” The room chirped with recognition and she listened, the idle pitter patter of the water striking the base of the shower as she listened. Her first thought, had been an assumption that once again, they were under a brutal assault. Or that perhaps they needed to leave, to execute another operation. She would if she needed to, but...she was relieved that wasn't the case. She listened to every single word that everyone had to offer. She’d been aboard for only a few days. She knew so few of the crew. The pain the crew felt however, wasn’t lost on her. She had suffered loss. She knew that the crew was suffering. That they were in pain.

As the speeches continued, she slowly lowered her form, to sit on the floor of the shower, letting the stream of water crash against her head. She didn’t move until the ceremony was complete. She wanted to appreciate the loss. To appreciate every word and feeling her new comrades experienced. If she was to succeed aboard Theurgy, she would need to.


OOC:
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Re: Day 02 [1300 hrs.] Memorial Ceremony

Reply #4
[ Lieutenant Frank Arnold | Main Engineering | Deck 25 | Vector 03 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @BipSpoon @Tae @Auctor Lucan @P.C. Haring
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Frank had woken on the morning of the memorial, and had waffled on where he planned to be today. Decorum indicated that he should very likely find his way to the fighter bay, but something in his gut told him that was the wrong call. He couldn't figure out why, until he did. He donned his uniform, dress white, and pinned on his preserved pips, the shiny set he was given upon his promotion to Lieutenant. Since then he'd had many backup pairs, but he'd saved this pair, for occasions such as these. He always preferred the pleasant occasions, but unfortunately command was a burden, a responsibility, and often that meant saying goodbye. From the first flight of Sputnik 1, and later Apollo 11, to the Phoenix, and the Theurgy, the constant threat of the danger of space travel was ever-present. There was no avoiding it, terrestrial species defied their origins when they wandered among the stars.

He'd gotten dressed into his dress whites, and once he'd set off, he finally made up his mind. Instead of taking the turbolift to Deck 10, he spoke confidently, "Deck Twenty Five." He liked to think it's what Blue would have done. The ceremony was going to have plenty of representation, but the day had to march on, and that meant at least a portion of the crew would be at work. Right or wrong, he was to be their next leader, and that meant he had to lead. For this little bit of time he had to put self doubt and fear to bed, his people needed to know he'd be there with them. through the best times or the worst.

He strode onto the deck of Main Engineering, looking plainly a fool in his dress whites. Until he looked around, and saw at least a few of his other Engineers had the same idea, working diligently in their dress uniforms, as if it was a regular day. He walked around, turning each and every of the auxiliary viewscreens to display the broadcast of the ceremony, and took a moment to He checked his digital watch, and when the time was appropriate, when the ceremony was to begin, he cleared his throat and offered, "For the next ten minutes, I need your attention. We'll halt all tasks."

He took a moment before the start of the ceremony to offer a few words for those few that had gathered here in the odd location. "We've all known our fair share of loss in our careers, like many of you I served in the Dominion War, and we all remember the funerals. I've not been part of this crew very long, and I'm not going to pretend that the station of my rank gives me some unique insight to loss. We all knew Blue..." he'd chosen to use the name they'd known her by, "...most of you longer than myself. We all know the other members of our crew we lost in recent days, and the friends we've lost over the years. We have no idea how many we'll lose in our mission, we have no idea what challenges wait for us in the future, and frankly most days I'm not sure that I know what I'm doing. But I do know this, I'll be here with you all until the end. Regardless of whether she showed it or not, Chief Tiran was proud of each and every one of you in her own way, and I know you won't let her down."

With that he returned to an at ease stance, and turned to the monitor to watch the ongoing ceremony. He listened as the Captain gave the first remarks for the ceremony, followed by Hathev, Victor, and then ultimately by a piece from Ensign Henshaw, originally written over two hundred years ago. He particularly enjoyed that piece, because it inspired them to further action, to carry on on their noble cause. Frank hadn't been feeling as much sadness, as he had been feeling lost. He definitely found the loss of Blue, and Zephyr sad, but for their youth, and familiarity, not that they had a deep friendship. Moreso he felt the sting of the loss of the first anchors he'd made here on the Theurgy, after leaving the Magellan behind. This served to remind him of why they were here, that they had the obligation to carry on the torch.

Re: Day 02 [1300 hrs.] Memorial Ceremony

Reply #5
[Lt (JG) XamotZark zh’Ptrell (Lt. Zark) | Upper Shuttle Bay | Worker Bee Dock | Deck 10 | Vector 01 | USS Theurgy]

@BipSpoon @Tae @uytrereee @P.C. Haring @Auctor Lucan

Doctor Hernandez had told her to take it easy, but she wouldn't have missed it for the world.  Lt. Zark watched stone faced from the worker bee platform, eyes bright with unshed tears as Hathev, then van Vinter, then Henshaw delivered their remembrances to the fallen.  It was hard not to cry as conflicting emotions stormed through her.  There was bleak despair, the pressure of desperation, and the hole of loss from those whose lives had ended in the long struggle so far.  Still, the tears were not all sadness as Theurgy was no longer alone thanks to the arrival of the Oneida and the stance that Martok and the whole Klingon Empire now stood ready on their side fight.  Heck, even the Breen declaring their isolation while they cleaned house of the Infested was a sign of hope that some bulwark of life would still stand in the struggle.

As Ensign Henshaw finished her dedication, a silence settled over the shuttle bay.  Several people looked around to see if anyone else had anything more to add, anyone else to commemorate.  Lt. Zark would carry out a final duty to the fallen on this day, and had dressed appropriately for the occasion in her Starfleet duty uniform, but topped with a Glengarry Hat checkered in ice blue and white; and a space black plaid tartan patterned in the same colours with additional red.  Most important though was the navy blue and mahogany set of highland bagpipes that she carried under her left arm. Normally she'd wrap a colourful cord around the drones that produced the instrument's signature sound, but today it was black of mourning.

She already knew the farewell list to the dead.  At the Captain's command, Lt. Zark would open with the haunting lament of the Flowers of the Forest, next would be the bittersweet farewell of Going Home, and finally a sombre Amazing Grace.  It was all and appropriate farewell tribute, but there was something missing under the circumstance though.  Where is the hope?  Amazing Grace is usually it, but not played like how I know I'm going to perform it. the Andorian piper thought to herself.

It struck her suddenly as she thought about watching the last casket disappear into the stars.  She needed something for the future damnit if nothing else than to lift her spirits and declare her sense of hope and unity of purpose for the fight ahead.  The supporting audio from one of my performance programs, specifically zh’Ptrell-Rieu-Maastricht 2018, would be perfect.  The familiar elegant strains of Andre Rieu's Johann Strauss Orchestras strings began playing in her head before Lt Zark dried her eyes as she waited for Captain Ives to order the launching of the bodies into the sea of stars.  As the cobalt fingers got ready manipulate the chanter, Lt (JG) XamotZark zh’Ptrell would lend voice the crews sadness and loss, but would end it blossoming with their hopes, dreams, and the defiance of life against the darkness; and as the pipers of old had done, Theurgy and her crew would lead the rest into battle.



Memorial Performance List

Flowers of the Forest
Going Home
Amazing Grace
Highland Cathedral

Re: Day 02 [1300 hrs.] Memorial Ceremony

Reply #6
LtJG Amissa, Callsign “Emerald” | Personal Quarters | Deck 16 | Vector 2 | USS Theurgy
[Show/Hide]
Amissa had chosen not to attend the actual ceremony. This was a memorial for the Theurgy fallen, and though she regretted their loss - any death was an unfortunate thing, especially in this kind of situation - she hadn’t known them. But that didn’t mean she hadn’t experienced her own losses. So, instead of joining the rest of the crew for the ceremony, she had opted to have a personal memorial in her quarters.

She piped in the audio from the ceremony, hoping that some of the words spoken might also heal her broken heart. She had lost her entire flight, but even more, she had lost her Diamond. He had been her rock, the strength she could lean on when she needed support. He had been her partner, and not just in the cockpit. Adam was the only person she had shared both her bed and her heart with. It had been dangerous for him. She had warned him. But little did she know the real danger was to her.

If she had known losing him would hurt this much, she would have been more insistent on keeping her distance from him. After all, it wasn’t like she had problems finding bedmates. Even with her regular injections, there were no shortages of people attracted to her, whether it was due to her exotic green skin, her innate sexuality, or her willingness to bed anything that crossed her path. Okay, almost anything. She did have some limitations.

"Every one of us here have been affected, perhaps in small ways, or perhaps in transformative ones, by those whom we will see no more. Our lives will not be the same, nor should they be. Their lives mattered, and their sacrifice will matter for everyone - the import of our mission not justifying the cost, but perhaps soothing that grief to a minor extent. What we are fighting for is no trivial matter, being the future of all we know, so together, let us open our hearts and commemorate the impact those killed in action had on us."

Amissa felt the tears begin to flow from her eyes as she listened to the Captain’s words. She had truly spoken the thoughts Amissa was feeling. Diamond’s death, while painful, had been in the line of duty, the result of a surprise encounter with a Romulan warship.

She listened on, even as the grief threatened to overwhelm her. For once, she was grateful to have her own quarters. No one should see her like this. Finally, Captain Ives spoke some words that stuck in her mind and in her heart. A lifeline that she could cling to in the days to come as she worked through her grief.

“Remember to appreciate each day... and to live it in full, in honour of those lost. We often come to take life for granted, and yet it is the greatest gift we have, and we must continue to fight to protect it."

“I will fight on, Diamond. For all of us. For Starfleet, for Theurgy, for Captain Ives, and most importantly, for you. I miss you, my love. You took my heart with you when you died. But I will live for you. I will fight for you for as long as I have breath in my lungs. And please don’t think less of me if - when - I find a new partner. You know I have to - that I need…someone.”

And for the first time since he had been killed, Amissa allowed herself to let the tears flow as the grief washed through her.
Lt. JG Amissa | Fighter Pilot, Callsign "Emerald", USS Theurgy
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Re: Day 02 [1300 hrs.] Memorial Ceremony

Reply #7
[PO3 Lillee t’Jellaieu | Upper Shuttle Bay | Deck 10 | Vector 01 | USS Theurgy ]

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Lillee stood at attention as Ives spoke, listening attentively. Her presence was mostly unavoidable; after all, she did work in the shuttlebay. Lillee had helped move the understaffed deck crew rearrange the shuttles and equipment, providing plenty of space for attendees. It had been simple but solemn work, everyone still reeling after the battles of the previous few days, the horror of Paris still far too recent. When the Vulcan counselor mentioned her estranged wife, likely one of the many millions turned to ash, Lillee closed her eyes briefly in sorrow. She knew that pain all too well, and though Hathev hid it as all Vulcans did, Lillee sympathised with the woman's grief.

That day, Lillee had nobody to mourn. She refused to acknowledge the slim possibility that her babes had been in Paris, knowing how such a fear would paralyse her, taking desperate refuge instead in the logic that Earth was a large world and there was no reason for the twins to be in that one city. Onboard the Theurgy, there were scant few people that Lillee cared for, and all of them had survived. Angel had passed, certainly, but she had merely been a friend, drunken mistakes aside.

Instead, Lillee recalled those whom she'd watched die. Some, such as those who had perished in the lower shuttlebay, had not been her fault. Others like Arisaka had died due to their own stupidity. As Cameron sang, however, Lillee remembered the ones who had died but whom she could have saved, down on Qo'nos. She hadn't been fast enough in the shuttle, not smart enough, not good enough. Lillee had fought too many battles to assume responsibility or guilt, but as Cameron sang, she nevertheless made a silent promise to the Elements themselves.

I will be better.



[Lieutenant Alistair Leavitt | Main Shuttlebay | Deck 10 | USS Theurgy]

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A few meters away from Lillee, Alistair stood at attention, solemnly bearing witness as everyone spoke or sang. It wasn't the first memorial ceremony that Alistair had attended, but it hit hard all the same. With his hands clasped behind his back, Alistair clutched them tightly when one officer started singing. The wound was still raw, and the entire ceremony was like pouring salt on it. Nevertheless, there was one duty that Alistair felt obligated to perform, and after a spell of silence fell, he looked up at Ives.

"Respectfully, it is my duty to submit testimony of another loss," Alistair called out, his deep voice carrying easily in the shuttlebay. He looked around at everyone with a haunted gaze, as if determined to make sure that they heard him. "I wish to remember the seventy seven crewmembers of the USS Eclipse, under the command of Captain Kantri Jiji, who gave their lives to the service and lost those lives doing what they loved. None of you know who they are, nor did they know you. Nobody knows what they went through, nobody except me. I intend to carry their memory as best I can."

Alistair took a breath, feeling profoundly self-conscious, but he kept going. "They didn't know it at the time, but the crew of the Eclipse fought for the same cause as the crew of the Theurgy. They exemplified the highest ideals of Starfleet. Even trapped in a nightmare with no possibility of escape, everyone onboard the Eclipse clung to hope and to each other. Even when facing impossible odds, even with the Borg and the Infested closing down upon them, they never surrendered to despair. They fought for  every extra minute of life, and because they fought, because they delayed the enemy, their sacrifice helped enable the victory at Praxis."

Alistair stood straighter, looking straight ahead. "The crew of the Eclipse served and died as heroes, and they should be remembered as such. It was an honour to know them."

Re: Day 02 [1300 hrs.] Memorial Ceremony

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[ Captain Ives | Upper Shuttle Bay | Top Level | Deck 10 | Vector 01 | USS Theurgy ]
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Listening in quietude, Jien Ives watched while Hathev added her words to the memorial ceremony. It had been a personal request of hers to speak after Jien did, the reason of which perhaps - in part - being the Chief Counselor's wish to commemorate Triss Liebrecht. Her estranged wife, more than just likely being lost in the Paris bombing.

What the Infested had done upon Earth, targeting the very heart of the Federation, remained a heavy blow for them all. Especially, perhaps, since through the throat of Doctor Nicander, the parasite had said it was in reaction to what the Theurgy had achieved in the Azure Nebula - stopping the Borg invasion upon which the Infested had meant to further their plans. It was meant to get under their skin of course, but Jien wouldn't let that deter her - or her crew. The blame wasn't upon them, but the hand that struck that blow.

Hathev invited others to speak, and a few rose to the occasion. Chief vanVinter stepped forth, someone whom Jien remembered from a time before the Theurgy had to flee Earth. The scarred Chief spoke of not recognising some of the crew, to no surprise, and then spoke of Chief Covington - someone whom had already been commemorated at Aldea. It was understandable, since the Chief had just learned about the old Chief's passing in his absence. What other time would those newly thawed have a chance to mourn those they lost?

Jien idly wondered, in regret, if vanVinter would learn about the deterioration of Covington's moral compass over the course of the mission. The old Chief of the Deck had been another person entirely in the months prior to his demise in the Azure Nebula. Reports spoke of the Chief's immoral conduct towards his closest Chiefs in the fighter bay, most prominently towards Chief Eun Sae Ji, who now also joined the names on the Memorial Wall. Perhaps it is better if the person he used to be is remembered by someone, rather than being loathed for who he became under the weight of the mission?

This was what Jien thought of, when Chief vanVinter stepped up and spoke to her. She merely smiled quietly and inclined her head in gratitude, before a known figure stepped up to the railing and addressed the gathered crew on the lower level. It was Cam, whom Jien hadn't spoken at length with since the fallout at Starbase 84, where the Ensign had lost her father. It had driven a wedge between them, and perhaps it was for the better since what had grown between them up until that point had not been sown in good soil. Destructive consolation never lasted. At least they had an understanding now, in which the mutual distractions had to ceased in favour of the mission and their health respectively.

When the poem ended, one of the newer additions to the crew stepped forth. The one that the Relativity had sent, already back on his feet after the ordeal at Praxis. Jien made a mental note to schedule a debriefing with Lieutenant Leavitt later that day, now that the man had left sickbay. The time traveller spoke of the Eclipse, and his words served as a reminder that the Theurgy was no longer the sole frontline of the battlefield any more. We truly are no longer alone.

Jien waited for a little while, to see if others would speak. Some might, on the other Vectors, in their respective Departments, but as for the present ceremony, Jien reckoned that it was time. She turned to look towards Lieutenant Zark, whom had offered to contribute to the ending of the ceremony. The Andorian piper began to play, and Jien quietly turned to Thea next, who inclined her head in turn - dealing out Jien's prepared orders in the aft torpedo bays.

[ Deputy ThanIda zh'Wann | Upper Shuttle Bay | Top Level | Deck 10 | Vector 01 | USS Theurgy ]
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When the tones of the Earthen bagpipe filled the shuttle bay, ThanIda zh'Wann raised her eyes to the platform where her fellow Security officer had begun to play. She had not known that Zark was a musician, but since the Combat Medic had come aboard just prior to the arrival to Aldea, there simply hadn't been enough time to learn everything about the new officers in the department. She found herself smiling, however, for the first time since she'd entered the bay.

The speeches and the poem had not been uplifting in the slightest, and no more so for Ida, since she had devoted her thoughts to those who were killed in action since they left Aldea. On a personal level, she thought of fellow Security officers, but also Nurse Jovela, whom she had come to know more intimately of late. The Risian woman had been instrumental in her recovery from her ordeal aboard the Versant, and Ida knew she'd miss her. That a craven Klingon had killed Jovela, and so many others, had filled Ida with rage when she'd learned about it, and she would be keeping tabs on what became of Rov, son of Pekdal, now that he was subject to Klingon judgement.

So it surprised her that she actually found a brief smile despite it all, when hearing the odd instrument play, but she suspected it had something to do with the pleasant surprise to see and hear Zark play. Her eyes and her antennae soon strayed to the view outside the open bay doors, however, when the fallen were launched towards K'lai Klinzhai, also called K'thar - the star of the Qo'noS System.

Farewell, Jovela... she thought, remembering the brief times they had found together.

[ Drauc T'Laus | Upper Shuttle Bay | Top Level | Deck 10 | Vector 01 | USS Theurgy ]
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Looking at the emptied torpedo casings that were launched towards the star of the Klingon home system, along with the rest present in the shuttle bay, Drauc T'Laus found himself regretting his attendance. Not because he was was absent of emotion or attachment towards the fallen inside those casings, but because he felt what all those present felt - the memories and the collective loss assailing him from every single mind around him.

It had grown worse by the moment, the stirring speeches and the poem - not to mention the music - making the present crowd more and more emotional. While Drauc had thought it be sufficient to stay in the outskirts of the crowd, he had underestimated how amplified the impact would be. So when the music began to play, he couldn't stay any longer. He made for the closest exit, flexing his scarred and calloused hands inside the sleeves of his threadbare robe, and didn't look up to see the people who mourned around him. He blinked rapidly behind the tresses of hair that covered his eyes, clearing his blurred vision, and ground his teeth to steel himself against the grief he didn't share. He only knew a handful of people aboard, and the one whom he ought to have known best, he simply didn't.

Nathaniel Isley, lost over Andor. The half-brother he'd found, but whom had remained estranged to him. A second brother lost, but this one an enigma.

The second name that would be added to the Memorial Wall belonged to someone he resented. The Asurian - Sar'unga - whom had exploited him. Her fate had been deserved, as far as he reckoned, and he was without remorse for thinking it.

As he left the shuttle bay, he passed a figure from which he felt nothing. A person without emotional imprint. Without soul, as far as he could detect. He raised his eyes and met the eyes of the woman standing there, and he saw that it was the soul of the ship itself.

[ Thea | Upper Shuttle Bay | Top Level | Deck 10 | Vector 01 | USS Theurgy ]
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Thea watched the Romulan leave the shuttle bay, and knowing about his abilities, she couldn't fathom what the ceremony might do to him, but she could assume that the experience would be overwhelming based on what little data she had.

Her crew was in mourning, and she stood there with her digital mind processing the sensation of loss. The inevitability of it, and the stages of grief that seemed to repeat themselves endlessly aboard, like cycles that came and went with each battle... it seemed a facet of life both natural to the spectrum of organic emotions as well as a detriment. They were all absent of choice in their grief, she assumed, and so was she, since her emotional chip lent her the ability to feel as they did. Of course, what she felt couldn't be reduced to a feature of her hardware, but an intrinsic aspect of her program as well. Gone were the times when she had held a distance towards her emotions, since her experience as an actual organic Human had upgraded her processing matrix beyond her original programming.

So she mourned, with synapses of her own kind coursing through her positronic brain, alongside the rest of her crew. She had the processing capacity, however, to also consider the means through which they had found victory on so many different fronts across three different Quadrants over the course of just three days. There were achievements made by many officers, but there was someone whom had gathered intel for them that wasn't present. Someone whom had the right to grieve as well, but was forbidden participation.

It seemed unfair, so after analysing the initiative that came to her mind, weighing the risk that what she'd transmit would have any kind of impact in regard to the mission, she logged what she was about to do, and transmitted what her optical sensors were seeing, along with the music she heard.

[ Doctor Lucan cin Nicander | Brig | Security Centre | Deck 07 | Vector 02 | USS Theurgy ]
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In his holding cell, Lucan was reading into research about transphasic light by the time he heard the Earthen bagpipe playing. Perplexed, he looked up with his pale grey eyes and saw an image projected outside the forcefield of his holding cell. Slowly, he rose to his bare feet and stepped closer.

It's the upper shuttle bay... What's that? he thought, narrowing his eyes against the light of a distant star. Besides the music, he could hear people crying, but the projected image only showed the open bay doors, as well as lights whisking by towards that star. He realised then, that he was witnessing a burial at sea. Another memorial held, wherein the fallen was launched towards the closest star. A battle had taken place, this he knew, and he had espied an Infested in the Klingon High Council. He had warned the crew of Breen, and detected the Praetor with his abilities.

[You deserve to be a part of this as much as the rest of us, Doctor.]

Thea's voice over the intercom. Likely there had been speeches held, the Captain orating the way he or she usually did, and Lucan could understand how he couldn't be privy to hear Ives’ words given the risk that the Infested might deduce something from what was being said. Still, the Ship A.I. had thought of him, and showed him the conclusion of the ceremony.

"Thank you, Thea," he said, looking at the number of bodies that were sent towards that distant star. He knew that his Head Nurse had died a couple of days prior, but he had witnessed the death of Eun Sae Ji right outside that holding cell, and his thoughts went to her in that moment. Her, as well as the Chief Engineer whom had come to check on him. It made him wonder if the friends of Commander Tiran laid the blame at his feet as much as that Klingon escapee's. More than likely, considering how they kept blaming him even if he was a victim himself.

Watching the casings leaving Thea's aft torpedo launchers, Lucan wondered who the fallen were, regretting how he didn't even know whom to mourn. He also thought of his fellow officers in sickbay, how many were still alive, and how they fared in the wake of the battle.

[ Vinata Vojona & V-Nine | Main Sickbay | Deck 12 | Vector 02 | USS Theurgy ]
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In the corridor, close to the medical labs, a group of medical officers had gathered by the large control panel that usually showed the scheduled rounds in Main Sickbay. Right then, however, Thea was broadcasting the memorial ceremony, and Vinata Vojona stood there together with V-Nine, whom had once again fully operational.

"What's that instrument?" Vinata chirped idly, large eyes blinking away tears.

"According to the database, it's from Earth," the surgical android answered, and she was about to provide more information, but when she turned her cranial unit and her lens towards the Ovri Head Nurse, she saw that it wouldn't be fitting to blabber on about the origin and construction of the musical instrument. So she settled with her lacking answer, and folded her metallic hands behind her back. In fact, she was grateful to not have to explain further, because she had a lot of emotional input to process - her upgrades making it difficult to parse the data.

"I wonder if my sister is safe," Vinata said next, likely thinking about the same losses that V-Nine was processing, and in the context of loss, the Ovri had come to think of Hylota Vojona. V-Nine had only met the other Ovri briefly when she came aboard, but she had come to understand the close affiliations that presided between organic siblings.

"There has been no mention of the Niger being intercepted after it left the Theurgy," V-Nine supplied in attempt to give the Ovri some hope, despite the odds. Mentioning the odds of the Runabout reaching Dejino would go against proper social conventions. That much she had deduced from Federation decorum. "I am sure she is fine."

"Thank you, V-Nine."

"Of course. Now, if you will excuse me, I have found means to resuscitate a couple of officers from stasis. I will be suggesting treatment to Doctor Kobol, and with his approval, I can begin surgery. The first case study is a Lone Wolf, and..."

"Please, just... stay a moment longer," Vinata croaked quietly, and V-Nine realised that the ceremony wasn't over just yet. The music was still playing.

"Oh, of course... My apologies." So she fell silent, and remained next to the Head Nurse.

[ Ens. Liam Herrold | Fighter Assault Bay | Deck 16 | Vector 02 | USS Theurgy ]
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In the home of the Lone Wolves, Liam Herrold hadn't been able to attend the memorial ceremony, but he had told the present deck crew to cease with the repairs of the Valkyries and the Valravns so that they might listen to the speeches over the intercom, and hear the music play whilst the burial at sea took place. They could see the same thing the crow in the upper shuttle bay could, since the doors of the fighter bay were open as well.

Prior to that, however, Liam Herrold had heard Chief vanVinter laud the name of Papa Bear, and since Eun Sae Ji had been a victim of his unbefitting conduct, hearing those words in the wake of her death had made Liam clench his teeth - keeping his thoughts from hissing out through his teeth. Whomever Covington had been before Liam came aboard, the grizzled Chief had been someone else entirely following the battle of Starbase 84. Liam had learned the depth of Papa Bear's misogyny from Ji, how she had been treated by him, and it rankled Liam that the old Deck Chief's name was mentioned at a time when he had wanted to remember the good times with the woman he'd thought would be the one.

A woman who had betrayed him for an Infested, and refused to speak with him after the truth came out. It still irked him... but after so many weeks after they split up, the hurt had lessened. Still, he had been devastated over hearing that she'd been killed in action.

Whatever you felt, Ji, if you ever felt the same as I... I found we were good together.

Meanwhile, one Lone Wolf didn't remain to watch the end of the ceremony...

[ Lt. JG Evelyn Rawley | Squadron Locker Room | Fighter Assault Bay | Deck 16 | Vector 02 | USS Theurgy ]
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...she had stepped through the opening in the blast wall and entered the squadron locker room. Furiously, Rawley blinked away the tears that welled in her eyes, brushed them off with the sleeve of her flight jacket.

"Fuck," she said to the empty locker room, feeling the rage build in her. She lashed out, and struck her fist into one of the lockers. "Fuck!"

Angrily, she thought of the old and new Lone Wolves whom she wouldn't fly with again. The old callsigns hurt the most, of course, and the music had got to her in the end. She was raised in Scotland, and the bagpipes had been too much for her. She'd thought she'd be able to keep it together, but in the end, she just couldn't stay out there in plain sight of the others. She cursed the bloody Infested and for the pack members they ripped from her. Miles Renard, her old SCO. Isley, whom had been with them since they fled Earth. Dragon and Angel. Meerkat.

It was all part of the gig for a wolf, loosing pack members, but after surviving so many of them, Rawley felt the toll. She buried her loss in ire, cursing loudly while she undressed. Like a caged animal, she paced the lockers and threw her garments from her diminutive frame. Once she was free of her uniform, she entered the shower, meaning to numb herself with the coldest setting. She bared her teeth against the icy water once it hit her, scowling in hate towards the unseen enemy, but eventually...

...she couldn't remain strong. She could still hear the bagpipes in the locker room's intercom, so her fortifications whithered. Eventually, as her tears mixed with the water, she sank down to the floor - the sobs rocking her frame.

[ Sera vers Aldnoah | Lower Shuttle Bay | SS Sabine | Deck 21 | Vector 03 | USS Theurgy ]
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In the lower shuttle bay, Sera vers Aldnoah dropped two cubes of ice into her whiskey, and watched the lights shooting towards the distant star with her yellow eyes. The bay doors were open, so she could see the ceremony come to an end where she sat on top of the Sabine.

Her ship wasn't fully repaired after the battle in the First City, but it had been repaired well enough to returned to the Theurgy. Even if she hadn't minded the mountain plateau and the scenery down on the planet, she supposed it was safer for her to return to the ship after all. She'd returned in time to listen to the ceremony too, and while she had few friends aboard, all whom were still alive, she didn't mind the spectacle. The odd instrument that played sounded awful, though, but she suspected it had naught to do with the musician. Burn me, is it really supposed to sound like that, though?

Be that as it may, when the last casings had left the torpedo bays, Sera leaned back on one elbow and raised her glass to the view outside the bay.

"Well fought, Starfleeters," she said in her native tongue, and downed the whiskey in one go. She wiped her mouth with the back of her hand, and inclined her heard. "May the sands be cool and storms mild where you wake tomorrow."

- FIN

 
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