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Part of USS Saratoga: Strength In Weakness

2 – Strength In Weakness

Captain's Ready Room / USS Saratoga
April 2401
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Standing at the window looking out, Tilana patiently awaited Fleet Captain Azras Dex’s arrival. She wondered if she had forgotten that she had requested her presence for something she wasn’t sure of. Though she had a feeling it was about the fate of the Gagarin, whether or not there will be a new commanding officer or if she would be promoted. She wasn’t sure how she would feel about commanding a ship of her own, she had only been onboard the Gagarin for a few short months.

As she stood there lost in thought she heard a swoosh of the doors parting as Azras walked in. “Sorry to keep you waiting,” Azras said with an apologetic smile as she walked around her desk. Taking a seat she began to dig through the padds that were on her desk until she found what she was looking for. “Please have a seat,” Azras said motioning for the chair in front of her desk as she looked at the commander.

Walking over to the offered chair she walked around and sat down, “I wasn’t waiting that long sir.” Tilana said as she crossed one leg over the other as she looked at her. “What is it that you wanted to see me about?” Tilana asked seeming a bit anxious though she did try to hide it from her superior.

“About the future of the Gagarin,” Azras said looking at her as she stood up from her chair. Walking over to the replicator, “care for a drink?” Azras asked as she was rather rude for not initially offering her a drink.

“I am good thank you,” Tilana replied with a smile.

“Coffee, hot,” Azras ordered the hot beverage materialized on the replicator table before she picked it up with both hands caring it over to her desk. Sitting down she took a sip and looked at her cup for a moment before setting it down. “I know things have been hard since the death of Captain Derohl, I know it has been hard on me as well.” Azras began before shifting herself in her chair.

“I thought about bringing in another captain but that would put too much more stress on your plate,” she admitted as she reviewed her service record and what she had seen firsthand. “They don’t need that, I don’t need that,” Azras admitted as she sat there trying to collect her thoughts.

“What I am trying to say is that I want you to be Gagarin’s commanding officer,” Azras finally said which caused Tilana to have a surprised look on her face. “After seeing how you stepped up and handled the situation, leading the crew I feel that there is no one better to take up the mantle,” Azras said as she turned her attention to one of her desk drawers as she opened it pulling out a box. Getting up from her chair she walked over to where she was sitting.

“Commander Tilana please stand up,” Azras said as she watched her stand to her feet. “It gives me great pleasure to hereby promote you to the rank of Captain with all the rights and privileges thereof,” Azras said as she opened the box to reveal the fourth pip, taking it out she pinned it next to the other three pips. “Congratulations Captain,” she said as she smiled extending her hand.

“Thank you, sir,” Tilana replied as she accepted the extended hand. “I won’t let you down,” she added still in shock as she stood there. She knew there was a chance that she would promote her but she didn’t want to assume and get her hopes up to high, letting feelings get hurt if she decided to choose someone else.

“Also you will become my Squadron Deputy Commander,” Azras added.

“Understood, sir,” Tilana simply said as she was shocked.

Walking back around to her desk she sat down, “you may choose who you want to replace your previous position. I am sure you will pick the right person for the job,” Azras said as she took another drink. “Which brings me to my next order of business,” she said.

Tilana took a seat and raised an eyebrow as she was curious as to what else she had for her. “Commander Than has been transferred to another posting, you will not be getting a replacement as Commander Chon’al will become the squadron’s strategic operations officer,” Azras replied. “Also, I am transferring Lieutenant Junior Grade Nilah Derohl to the Knight,” Azras added.

“Why?” Tilana asked as she was shocked at the last bit.

“With her being joined to the Derohl symbiont I feel that there will be some conflict as she will hold all of his memories and every memory of any previous hosts,” Azras replied looking at her as she could tell she wanted to speak up but she stopped her. “This is for the best, gives her space to acclimate to the Derohl symbiont without having memories resurface that can cause her stress. She will still be within the squadron,” she replied.

“She is a good officer,” Tilana replied as she didn’t like the idea of losing one of her good engineers that served a major role in bringing down Lungurn’s command and control center.

Azras nodded at the statement, “sometimes we as commanding officers have to make tough decisions. Sometimes those are what is best for the ship and the crew, sometimes it’s for the better of the squadron as a whole.” Azras began to explain as she sat there, “know that I don’t make this decision lightly and that it came after much thought and consideration.” Azras added.

Tilana nodded as she was sure she would have to make some tough decisions during her tenure as commanding officer. She didn’t envy Azras as she had three ships to worry about, “understood.” Tilana replied as she sat there they talked for a few minutes more about things.

She was about to dismiss her then remembered something else, “oh before I forget. Frontier Day is fast approaching I need the Gagarin to represent the squadron at Earth. We won’t be repaired in time to be there ourselves,” Azras replied as she looked at her.

“Understood,” Tilana replied.

“Right, well that is all I have at the moment you are dismissed,” Azras said with a smile as she stood. “Congratulations again,” she added as Tilana nodded before she left the office. Azras sat back down as the doors closed shut behind her and let out a sigh, she didn’t like making hard decisions even though she knew they would be for the best.

She tapped her commbadge, “Chon’al please report to my ready room.” Azras ordered as she waited for a response as she sat there. She needed to take care of one last thing before she retired for the evening.

“On my way,” Chon’al replied as the channel ended.

A few moments later the door chime went off, looking up from the reports she was going over. “Come,” Azras said as the doors opened to reveal Chon’al on the other end. “Please have a seat,” she motioned for the chair in front of her desk.

“You wanted to see me?” Chon’al asked wondering what she could want him for.

“How is Deza doing?” Azras asked looking at him, she knew that he had been by her side a lot more lately especially since she was one of the ones moved to the infirmary on Starbase Bravo.

“Currently she’s still in a coma, the doctors are not sure when or even if she will come out of it,” Chon’al said as he hung his head trying not to show too much emotion in front of the captain. “I want…” he began as he shook his head, “no I need her to come out of this I can’t lose someone else…not now…” Chon’al said as Azras walked around her desk leaning against her desk she placed a hand on his shoulder.

“I know things look grim right now, but Deza is a strong and stubborn woman I don’t think she will give up this easily.” Azras said though she wasn’t sure if she was making things better or worse, “look I may not know what you are going through. We have to have a little faith that she will come out of this, the doctors over on Starbase Bravo are experienced and they will work as hard as they can to make sure she recovers.” Azras said as she tried to comfort him.

Chon’al nodded as he knew she was trying to help and be there for him which he appreciated more than anything. “Is this why you called me here?” He asked wondering why she couldn’t just find out this information on her own.

“No,” she admitted with a sigh. “I have made some changes within the structure of the squadron.” Azras began bringing out another box that was sitting on her desk next to the padds she had stacked. “I hereby promote you to the rank of Commander with all the rights and privileges thereof,” Azras said as she removed the hollow pip from his collar and replaced it with the solid pip.

He looked at her with a look of surprise in his eyes, “thank you, sir.” Chon’al replied as he put his hands onto the pips feeling them. “I wasn’t expecting this,” he added as he was shocked.

“That is not all,” Azras replied before she walked back around her desk. “You are now going to be the squadron’s strategic operations officer for all three ships. You will have more responsibilities than just one ship,” Azras replied handing him a padd which he took.

“Why me?” Chon’al asked.

“You have proven you can handle this responsibility,” Azras said. “Honestly I don’t trust anyone else with this position more than I trust you,” she replied as she felt that he would be able to look out for the interest and intelligence of the squadron as a whole instead of having three separate ones which could cause problems in terms of information.

“Thank you, it will be an honor.” Chon’al said as he stood up, “I won’t let you down, sir.” He added as he extended his arm which she took in the traditional Klingon version of a handshake.

“I know you won’t,” Azras said with a smile. “That is all I had, go be with Deza but please let me know if anything changes.” She said as she knew she would hear from the doctors but she also like to hear it from him.

“I will,” Chon’al said with a smile.

“Dismissed,” Azras said as she watched him turn and exit her office. She let out a sigh, she began to think of Deza and hoped she would pull through. Letting out a sign she walked back around to her desk sitting down she began to finish up some work that she needed to get completed before she retired for the night. 

She could now somewhat relax that those things were taken care of and she didn’t have to worry about it anymore. It would be a couple of hours before she finish her reports, she exited her ready room and headed home for the remainder of the evening. She had given her crew some downtime as they wouldn’t be leaving Starbase Bravo anytime soon.


  • I appreciate the way the captain recognized the importance of separating Derohl’s new host from their prior environment. That point got me thinking more about the experience Nilah is going through. Would be nice to see that further explored.

    June 30, 2023