USS Adelphi


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Post 1 - The Fate of Five

Posted on Fri Aug 7th, 2020 @ 8:31pm by Captain Björn Kodak & Ensign Sheldon Parsons
Edited on on Mon Aug 17th, 2020 @ 7:13pm

Mission: Epilogue 1: The Long March
Location: USS-Adelphi, Torpedo Bay 1
Timeline: Day 1 - 1100 Hours

[Torpedo Bay 1]
[Day 1 - 1100 Hours]

“Today we gather,” somberly began the Adelphi’s captain, ensconced in his dress uniform, “to grieve the losses of five of our crewmates. They gave their lives to ensure that the Adelphi was not destroyed. Their sacrifice allows us to live on…to continue pushing and fighting for the ideals of the Federation they were so devoted to.” Commander Kodak looked around the torpedo loading bay, eyes alighting on the five photon torpedo casings set up on stands nearby. Each was draped in the fluttery blue flag of the United Federation of Planets, it’s laurel-wreathed seal hugging a sea of stars. At the head of each torpedo was a picture of its deceased occupant, some faces cast in the glows of laughter, others with the hopeful visage of duty and exploration.

“Crewman 1st Class Allison Mickens,” the Chameloid intoned, standing on the temporary dais placed for the ceremony. "Petty Officer Simon Jahayney,” he continued, eyes moving from one picture to the next in succession. “Senior Chief Petty Officer Aragog Kk’gloron. Crewman 2nd Class Antony Yerin,” Kodak’s eyes lingered on the second to last photo before moving to the final picture. “Ensign Téa Bess,” he finished naming those who’d fallen. “These names — these beings — will forever be seared into the memory of us all. The faces of those who allowed us continued life can never be forgotten.”

With heavy shoulders, the Captain turned then to face the audience gathered before him. He founds the expectant eyes of people who wanted — needed — him to say something profound; something that would make the pain lessen or just somehow make sense. Kodak wasn’t sure if such words lived inside him but he felt it important to project strength during this difficult time. And sometimes, strength came in the form of honest vulnerability. The slightest of sighs escaped him as the Chameloid directed his words to the crowd at large.

“I did not know these people well. As First Officer, I’d met them all. Welcomed them onboard,” he nodded, “and was even welcomed onboard myself by them. But as the crisis around us unfolded and I became captain of this vessel,” Kodak lamented, “there was little time to get to know them better. And I regret that, I really do,” his head hung slightly. “I am buoyed, however,” the Chameloid’s chin then lifted, “that some of you did know them well. That some of you were lucky enough to work with these heroes in the days leading up to their deaths. And it is to you, their colleagues…their friends,” he emphasized, “that I turn to now. If you would like to say a few words to help us celebrate their lives, I invite you to please join me up here now.”

At first, no one stirred. Perhaps, like himself, no one could find the words within. But eventually, Kodak saw members of the crowd nodding with determination and stepping forward. A line formed to his left, headed by young Ensign Parsons, who’d been left with a limp and a cane while his leg was still healing. The engineer’s presence was surprising to see, given that he’d been the one to seal the doors and cement the fates of five. But ushering him forward, the Commander was glad to know Parsons was taking part in saying a few words. Perhaps it would help with the guilt the young man was no doubt feeling.

After Parsons came Beretti, followed by Jenson. Even Debbie Gless, in her tear-smeared eyeliner and toned-down-for-her wig, came forward to say something. While not necessarily the most eloquent of speakers, Kodak knew these people needed to speak for their own closure as much as anyone else’s. And when Lieutenant Nico Oliveria stepped up to the podium, the Commander stepped aside, grateful to the Chief Engineer for agreeing to speak on behalf of his department and crew. As the speakers continued to come up, sharing their stories and thoughts, muffled sniffles coursed through the crowd as corners of eyes were dabbed to remove moisture.

Eventually, the line fell fallow, the last speaker returning to the crowd as the queue emptied. Commander Kodak took the dais once more and, with a signal to a crewman in back, stood resolute as the bosun whistle signaled the upcoming departure of the departed. Taking turns in groups of six, each torpedo and its encased body was hefted onto the mag-lev conveyor that would send the torpedo into the loading chamber. As each torpedo was placed, its pallbearers stepped away, returning to the crowd until — at last — all five of the funerary processionals had been placed.

With sniffling and quiet sobs, the gathered crew members watched as the torpedos — one-by-one — disappeared into the firing chamber. Once the chamber’s doors had sealed shut, eyes then turned to a large screen that had been set up nearby. On its display was the space ahead of the Adelphi, glowing motes of far-distant starlight twinkling in the endless darkness.

“Begin,” Kodak nodded to the officer manning the firing controls. He felt the deck shudder beneath him as each torpedo was fired, its blazing orange hues streaking across the distance on the nearby screen. One, two, three…each torpedo was a goodbye; each a celebration of life. Four, five…the last shudders died under the crowd’s feet as the trailing embers of the final torpedo faded away into the swallowing night.

“Thank you all for being here,” the Captain nodded slowly, addressing the crowd once more. “We grieve deeply but together: never alone,” Kodak promised. “Dismissed,” he said, stepping down from the dais to join the crowd’s procession out into the hallways and turbolifts beyond.

There was a reception happening at Debbie’s Diner, though the Chameloid didn’t feel very social at the moment. But part of being a Captain meant showing up when you didn’t always have the strength to. And so Kodak let his feet carry him there on auto-pilot, hoping the gatherings happening would give them all the closure they so desperately needed.

*** A post by… ***

Commander Björn Kodak
Commanding Officer


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