Previous Next

Swan Song | Part I

Posted on Monday, 28 June 2021 - 11:24am by Captain Barret Stillwater & Commander Soral & Lieutenant T'Lanna Vali & Lieutenant Raith Kolani & Lieutenant Ryan Rose MD & Lieutenant Alex Kingsley & Lieutenant JG Adrianna Eberhardt & Lieutenant Haru Hernandez
Edited on on Monday, 28 June 2021 - 11:24am

Mission: Operation: Neu Reich
Location: USS Standing Bear | Deck 01 | Briefing Room
Timeline: 2394


Calling his Senior Staff to a meeting was not uncommon for Captain Stillwater. His Aide-de-camp had done rightfully so at his direction. Though the addition of Petty Officer Eberhardt (nee Baciami) was peculiar only in that she was on leave, and as Stillwater anticipated, eyeing up a potential honeymoon soon. The Captain was last to arrive, but he did so apologetically as he entered. "I am sorry for keeping you all waiting," he said. "Admiralty has a tendency to either end conversations short and abruptly or draw them out longer than anticipated."

Captain Stillwater ordered himself a frosted mug of sasparilla from the replicator before taking a seat at the head of the table. His husband Talarn was standing watch on the Bridge with Lieutenant Harley. Talarn was not needed for this meeting as informal as it would be. Barret took his seat at the head of the table.

T’Lanna looked at Barret offering a warm smile. “No apologies needed Sir, as we all know these things happen at the most unexpected of times.”

Adrianna waved him off, "you weren't late, you still had three minutes."

"That was because the ship is only nine decks," Stillwater replied. "Any larger and I would have been late for sure," he added with a small chuckle.

Soral sat next to Hamura and Haru. The three had met just prior to this to go over some engineering ideas and they, as a result, didn't have to go far for this meeting. Soral was glad to see Hamura making eyes at Oriana. Perhaps his matchmaking was working.

Ryan sat near the far end of the table, quiet but attentive. He'd woken up feeling like he might be coming down with something, and would rather keep his distance, just in case.

Having been on duty all night, Alex had been one of the last to arrive, managing to just sit down before Stillwater arrived. Smothering a yawn she wished for coffee, really strong coffee, as she sat down at the far side of the table.

Captain Stillwater took in the sight of his crew. They were fine officers, a good solid crew. His senior Staff was one he depended on this past year, they rose to the occasion several times over. Whether it had been stopping piracy along the trade routes or taking on the Andorians at the battle of P'Jem until reinforcements could arrive, they had done their duties and served Starfleet and him well. They had become more than a crew to him. They had worked their way into becoming the only family besides Talarn that he had known for years.

"All Captains come to eventually say, at least ideally, that they serve with the finest crew in the fleet," Stillwater began. "It is the way of Captains to do so. The Standing Bear may be a small starship, and border patrol may not be the most grandiose assignment. We have made a name for ourselves nonetheless, despite our size. To me, this is the finest crew in the fleet."

Captain Stillwater nodded "Yes, the finest I have had the pleasure of serving with," he added. "As you are aware Commodore Kwan has been observing me and this crew, but mostly me. She was trying to determine if I would be a good fit for an additional position, one that would be administrative and oversee several starships as I command the Standing Bear. Ultimately, the Commodore decided that I would be a good candidate for the position. She recommended me to Starfleet Command, and they were in agreement. The position was then offered to me."

"Whilst congratulations are in order, you make it sound like you are leaving us, cap-ee-tan," Adrianna commented rather candidly.

"Because I have turned down the position," Stillwater replied. "And naturally, your suspicions or feeling is accurate. I have drafted my resignation and will be submitting it in the coming weeks. I have made a personal request to Starfleet Command for a mission of importance to the crew. Once they accept and approve us for said mission, that will be my last as your Commanding Officer."

T’Lanna’s eyes widened in surprise and shock. “You’re... leaving us!?” As much as she’d never said it she’d become attached to Barret, seeing him as a secondary father figure especially after the loss of her own father.

"No offense, sir, but if you think you can leave us without one hell of a fight," Adrianna added, "you are greatly mistaken."

Barret scoffed. "I was prepared for this," he said in response to Adrianna. His eyes went to T'Lanna though. "I am sorry, but this is the right thing for me to do." He then looked at all of the crew he had assembled. "I think we all know that when Lieutenant Commander Victrix was sent to track me down with you assistance, Lieutenant Vali, and this crew, I did not come entirely willingly. I had left Starfleet behind. My coming back was to help the Federation find itself again. My personal mission was to ensure Starfleet and the Federation had their moral compass back. Fixing the Federation is not the work of one man, but a labor done by the right people. This crew is up for the labor. I have taken you this far, but it is in your hands to continue the larger mission."

T’Lanna pushed out her chair. “I’m sorry... I just need a minute.” She rose from her seat and rapidly exited the room. After everything that had happened lately this one was difficult to accept, at least she couldn’t harm anyone this time thanks to the inhibitor she was wearing.

Ryan rose, about to follow her out, but stopped to make eye contact with the Captain. You didn't just leave a briefing without permission unless it was a true emergency.

Soral spoke up. He saw Ryan about to leave. "You may go if you wish." He stood. "Captain, I think I will speak for the room when I say that perhaps the most illogical decision of your career. I speak personally when I say that with you gone the old Federation and the old Starfleet is losing an advocate. Now that said, I know that your husband filtered into this as well and I think that you two must do what is right for you." He sat back down.

Ryan was out the door just seconds after Soral's ok.

Stillwater was in agreement with Doctor Rose checking on T'Lanna. "To be blunt, my career ended years ago. This was a second wind, a brief one albeit briefer than any of us were probably thinking. What the Federation loses in one advocate, it has gained several in the past year. Commander, you will just fine in carrying on as a shepherd. More advocates will come about from your guidance."

Adrianna watched the pair leave before finally speaking up, "Starfleet allows everyone to have the chance to be settled. After years of service and adventure, I'm sure that you deserve the time. Of course, you will be an asset missed, having stepped up as more than just a captain, for many of us. You have been an instigator for change, not only for Starfleet and for that, those that have known you will be upset. Clearly," she gestured to the door, "I think that this has come as a shock and will be a difficult change but one we'll undertake with grace and dignity. I feel sorry for whoever attempts to fill your shoes. Just promise to keep us in your mind."

Captain Stillwater nodded. "Even Lieutenant Commander Victrix, just as Acting Commanding Officer until you located me, left shoes that were hard to fill at first. I have no doubt my successor whoever he, she, or they may be will need some time, but will settle in just fine. I know my actions have led to change in many ways and in various forms. That change forward -- change for the betterment of the Federation will not end with me."

T’Lanna had exited the room and promptly sat down on the floor not far away her head resting on her knees. She understood Barret’s longing to go home to Prairie with Talarn. She was more fragile than she wanted to admit, since her father’s death she’d buried the pain now it was starting to breakthrough. She just needed a few moments to gather her emotions, she didn’t plan on missing the rest of the staff meeting.

Ryan was pleased to see T'Lanna hadn't completely runoff. He didn't say anything, just sat down next to her in silent support.

T’Lanna lifted her head from her knees she’d felt a draft as someone sat beside her, she had a funny feeling it would be Ryan. She wiped away a few tears offering a small smile before leaning sideways and resting her head on his shoulder. “Thank you, Ryan.” She sat for another couple of minutes before taking a deep breath, wiping her eyes again, and standing up. “We should get back, we don’t want to miss all the meeting.” She paused for a second. “Can I... talk with you later?”

"Of course. We'll talk after the meeting." He stood and offered his hand.

Making their way back into the meeting T’Lanna offered Barret an apologetic look. “Sorry Captain” she smiled at Ryan before taking her seat.

"Quite alright, Lieutenant, quite alright," Stillwater said. "I was just going to say that you all are welcome to spend shore leave on Prairie any time. Stop by, I'll treat you to a good meal off the land."

That made T’Lanna smile. “I’ll take you up on that Sir, it would do Jayce good to be out in the fresh air. I’m sure others here have already said it but...” she paused. “We’ll miss you.”

Ryan took his seat again. He would miss Stillwater, even though he barely knew the man. He'd been a fine CO, but if he wanted to retire so to speak, Ryan wished him well. His mind wandered for a moment at the mention of prairie though. Crap...

"You will be missed," Alex chimed in, speaking up for the first time since the meeting started before adding, "but it is the right thing to do."

"You all will be fondly remembered and missed," Stillwater replied. "Though this crew is fractured right now, it will mend. On that note, Doctor Rose, I believe we have a bit of an issue. Dr. Alexander had chosen to remain on P'Jem to contribute to the medical relief efforts there. You also are short in Sickbay due to Emerick's deletion."

"That I am." Ryan agreed. "I don't suppose you could put in a reacquisition for another doctor before you officially leave?"

To Be Continued...


Previous Next