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Part of USS Hathaway: Episode 4: Stormbreaker (A Perfect Storm) and Bravo Fleet: The Stormbreaker Campaign

Reverberations

USS Santa Fe, Sathea System
January 5th, 2400
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Reverberations could be felt around the hangar complex as the first of the support craft came in to land, the metallic hull of the craft ringing out for a short while as the landing craft made contact. In normal circumstances, it would probably be an annoying sound, but today of all days it was the most welcome sound of all. Survivors were returning to the ship, along with new friends, and they could finally start to take stock of their situation.

Another dull fizz indicated the entry of another craft, the vessel that the wounded executive officer and their Santa Fe colleagues had been transported aboard. Captain Farrell watched from a safe distance as the craft came in to land and, with his small team, they were prepared to render assistance to get the wounded to sickbay.

Once the craft was safely down, and her doors opened, the first figure appeared in the doorway and took a deep lungful of air.

”Just how I remembered,” Noli smiled, jumping down to the deck below.

”You’ve not been gone long,” the Captain smiled as he approached his colleague and they exchanged brief hand shakes. For the master and commander of Santa Fe, it was a great relief to have them home.

One by one, figures began to emerge from the cramped Runabout, the Captain’s smile broadening each time. But something wasn’t quite right. Someone seemed to be missing. It was then that his eyes caught sight of something that hit him like a phaser blast to the chest. Whilst he remained calm and considered on the surface, beneath his calm exterior he could feel his insides quaking. As the tears welled in his eyes, he called out at the top of his lungs. “All hands on deck! Aaa-ten-shun!” he ordered sternly, snapping to attention himself as everyone else there present spun on their heels and, like him, they paid their respects.

Not even the dropping of a pin could be heard as the crowd watched in silence as the medical stretcher was lowered from the craft by the four security officers who had been given the honor of conveying their deceased comrade to his final resting place. Sebastian’s eyes were trained on Commander Travis’ body as it passed by slowly, the security officers come pallbearers giving their colleague the small bit of dignity they could.

Once they had taken several steps into the bay, the team stopped in their tracks and Commander Zinn walked over to the stretcher, placing his commbadge upon the chest of their fallen friend and tapping it gently. “One to beam directly to sickbay,” the Deltan decreed as quietly as he could, watching in stoic silence as the transporter beam engulfed the covered body.

Taking a deep breath, the Captain turned and looked towards the gathered crew who were waiting for orders. “As you were,” he told them, before swiftly heading for the exit of the shuttlebay in order to make his way to the ship’s medical facility.

A short while later, the Captain arrived at sickbay and navigated his way through the triage unit the medical staff had established, seeking out one particular patient among the many. Side stepping as some of the nurses hurried by, the commanding officer continued on his way until he reached a makeshift partition which offered their executive officer some privacy. Rounding it, he released a sigh of relief, able now to see the Andorian was indeed alive with his own eyes.

“Not too long, Captain,” the nurse monitoring their XO’s condition instructed quietly before stepping away. “She needs to rest.”

Sebastian gave a nod of acknowledgment as he moved to the Commander’s side. “It is good to see you, Number One,” he offered with a small, tired smile. “We were getting worried about you.”

With great difficulty, Tharia pushed herself up from her horizontal position, her right arm clutched across her chest as she did so. Eventually, a weak smile was aimed in the direction of her commanding officer. “Couldn’t let a simple evacuation be the end of me,” the Commander joked before holding out her left hand and placing it on the CO’s arm. “How are we looking, Captain?” she enquired, her face dropping.

Sebastian glanced around them, ensuring there was nobody within earshot. Here was the one person he did not need to put on a ‘brave face’ for or seem overly positive for. And yet… “I keep reminding myself it could be worse but the words seem hollow,” Seb frowned, leaning on the XO’s bed for support. “What happened?” he asked finally, his eyes pleading for answers from his colleague.

She knew what he wanted to hear, but Tharia couldn’t tell him anything other than what Noli had told her herself. “Javorian gave his life to save that of one of the Klingons,” she revealed, laying back down on the bed and staring at the ceiling. “Selfless and kind to the end,” she whispered, a single tear running down her battered and bruised cheek.

“He would never have had it any other way,” Sebastian sighed as he pulled over a stool and perched beside his friend. The two officers talked for an age about the situation their two teams had found themselves in until finally, the Captain rose to his feet once again. “I’ll contact Javorian’s parents later, and we’ll hold a memorial as soon as is practicable. Is there anything I can get you? The doctors were insistent that you rest.”

Tharia waved away the comment about the doctors concerns. “I’ll be fine and on my feet soon enough,” she winced, “just keep me in the loop in the meantime, okay?”

“Of course,” Sebastian nodded, lying through his back teeth. He had no intention on updating her with anything while she was recuperating. “I will stop by again soon. Try not to antagonise your doctors too much…”

Laying back once again, the Commander simply smirked. “They’ll risk antagonising me if they keep me here too long,” the Andorian quipped.

A smile played at Sebastian’s lips, “I’ll be sure to warn the medical staff and alert security. Get some rest. That’s an order.”

“As you wish,” the Andorian nodded slowly as they exchanged glances.

Standing just outside the private medical area that had been set up for the XO, an antsy looking man in command red shifted from foot to foot whilst he waited for the conversation between commander and captain to finish. Dante had only been away from the Captain for a short while, but given how fluid the developments at present were, he had an update for Farrell. An update that he felt could not wait.

“I feel like you are my new shadow,” Sebastian observed. “I’m guessing you aren’t here just because you were missing me?”

”The joys of your XO being told to rest; you get me,” Dante smiled before handing over a data PADD to the CO, a PADD that made for solemn reading. “According to sensors we’ve lost 63 people on the station sir. Half the facility is currently uninhabitable,” the Flight Controller-turned-executive officer told.

It was a staggering number. One that almost knocked the air out of Sebastian’s lungs. Yes, they could have lost far more and by any measure they had been ‘lucky’ for want of a better word. And yet… He turned his back, reading through the report. Of course, he didn’t know any of the dead, save two. That was more than enough for him.

Straightening, he reminded himself that this was not the time to feel sorry for their losses. Such times would come later. “Thank you, Lieutenant. Contact the Thesis and request a meeting with Captain Ruas. Inform Starfleet of the situation and request orders,” the Captain requested as he passed the data PADD back to the acting XO.

“As you wish Captain,” Dante nodded, stepping back slowly and taking his leave of the CO, leaving him to contemplate and digest his thoughts. Whatever those thoughts might be.

Taking a few steps, the Captain departed the medical bay, quite unsure where he was to journey to until a strange feeling akin to a gravimetric pull drew him several doors down the corridor. Entering the darkened room, the Captain stalked his way toward the only object at the heart of the space. It was an object no one ever wished to see, especially where a friend was concerned.

As he circled the object slowly, he ran his left hand gently across the surface of the metallic casing, his eyes trained firmly on the torpedo housing adorned with the black flag and its blue United Federation of Planets logo. Coming to a halt at the forward tip of the torpedo casing, the Captain’s hand fell in to place at his side.

“When I told you this was to be our last tour together, it was supposed to be me moving on, not you…” Sebastian whispered, slowly lowering himself onto the stool that was positioned directly behind him. “We’ve served together for so long that I’ve forgotten what it was like to not have you around. I just thought I would have more time to get used to the idea…”

Comments

  • Oof! That last paragraph really got me. Chilling stuff. I haven't even read all of the previous adventures of the Santa Fe yet (they're on my list!) and yet the weight of the characters' relationships shone through!

    March 15, 2022