USS Polson- Officer’s Lounge – 0800
They were all gathered together, one last time. Talking, sharing, still mourning…but still laughing at a joke or two. Smiles were more frequent now as they gathered together again. Harris sat at the head of the table, knowing this tradition would continue – his old CO had been right. Breaking bread breaks down the walls that surround our hearts and souls. Prentice had recovered enough to be with them, and the scars and remaining bandages were a testament to his sacrifice. The conversation continued for the better part of the hour before Harris stood and the crowd quieted as he spoke, “We’re gathered here to wish our friend Lieutenant Thasaz the best of everything.” He gestured to her and the gathered command crew applauded loudly, whistling and cheering. He continued once they’d quieted again, “She will be taking over the position of Governor for the Kaseas Colony group.” Another round of cheers. “Now, for the part that is a surprise. Starfleet was contacted by a private transport organization when the story of the Kaseas people was heard. They’ve offered a civilian transport ship to be contracted to the Governor of the colony group. An Olympic class transport the NAR Journey. You would be named Captain of this vessel and the Kaseas people would be trained in her operation…under the proper supervision of this transport organization, of course.”
Thasaz’s mouth had dropped open and she was in shock. She found her words, eventually. “Thank…thank you, Commander. They will be…incredibly thrilled to experience space and be able to learn and travel. This is…I’m not sure what the word is.”
Harris grinned, “It’s something good.” He turned his attention to the others, “The Journey will be here in two hours to begin processing the colonists onto the ship. We will escort them back to Federation space with the assistance of the Polson’s group as well. They will return with us to Starbase Bravo for loading of supplies and equipment while we go into dock for needed repairs.” He paused, “Once we arrive at Bravo we are all on leave for a minimum of 30 days. Ships will be made available to get you back to Earth, or wherever you need to go. All of our funerals are being scheduled with the families on Earth and we’ll have that information for you by the end of today.” He pulled out his PADD and checked to see what he had missed, “You’ll need to let Starfleet know where you’re going and a flight plan for your return. They can help you with any of that if you need it.” He slipped the PADD back to his belt, “Any words, Lieutenant?”
Thasaz stood shakily, “I have spoken to each of you to let you know what you have meant to me.” She looked around, “I do not know why I deserved to have human friends like you…but I am glad I was here with you for this time of my life. I will watch for you in the stars, and I hope you’ll keep an eye out for me as you journey from place to place.” She gave an awkward nod and sat to raucous cheers and applause.
Harris pointed to the table full of food and refreshments, “Let’s get to it, then!”
USS Edinburgh- Bridge – 1200
“Commander, Captain Thasaz reports all passengers are quartered. She reports her stations are at keeping.” Prentice felt the relief at being back at his console, even as the walls, carpet, and ceiling around him reminded him of what had been days ago. He was still upright, and that’s all that mattered.
The bridge was alive with beeps, voices, and movement. It brought Harris a sense of normalcy. He turned his chair to the front, “All stations, report status.”
Sadie Fowler, now the Chief Science Officer smiled quietly at her excitement, “Science reports ready and clear, sir.” Her heart pounded in her ears as she breathed quietly trying to calm herself.
Kondo tapped at his partially repaired console, “Tactical and Security is stable and online, sir.”
Reid spoke from beside the turbolift, “Medical ready and able, sir.”
Juliet Woodward spoke up from a station to his right, “Counseling locked and loaded, sir.”
He turned to his first officer to his left and Chief Katsumi smiled, “Engineering in one piece and ready up through warp 5, sir.” He looked to Prentice who turned to face the front and the holographic viewscreen that had been installed.
“Course to Bravo is laid in – all ships report ready for warp speed. Your orders?”
Harris waited a moment. They were going home. To mourn. To remember. To hope. To return.
“Put us in gear, Mr. Prentice…let’s get on our way.”
The Edinburgh shuddered for a moment…and leaped to warp speed.