((Starbase 821, Holodeck 2))
He looked at the final few boxes as his first officer retreated, and drew an even more solemn breath.
Shayne: Would Mr. Lase Ander join me on the stage.
Shayne flashed his eyes toward the seated Wilde, and signaled “no” as subtly as he could. They’d have their fireworks in short order, but there were several other acts to perform first. As Ander approached, Shayne prepared the final few boxes.
Shayne: Mr. Ander, you have had a profound and positive impact on this crew since your arrival. You have worked to keep our aging ship safe, and our crew alive. It is my pleasure to bestow unto you the Innovation Ribbon for your unconventional solutions and tireless devotion.
Shayne pinned the ribbon on the man’s chest, but did not applaud. Instead, he reached for the second box.
Shayne: You have faced in your service as an ensign more than most officers will by the time they reach my rank. You have proven yourself to be a committed and capable officer. Thus, it is my genuine pleasure to promote you to the rank of Lieutenant Junior Grade, with all the rights and privileges associated with that rank. Congratulations, Lieutenant.
Shayne extended a hand immediately after pinning the hollow pip to Ander’s collar, and then led uproarious applause for the newly elevated engineering officer. As it died down, he raised his finger in mock admonishment.
Shayne: Now, keep in mind, Lieutenant- a promotion is like a license; it’s not alone a symbol of success, but an indication of expectation. It is my hope, and my conviction, that you will continue to excel in the future journeys you undertake aboard this ship, and on all others your career leads you to.
Now there was not even the fake solemnness of before, the mock sternness or the aggressive, uncompromising vigor of a commander. Now there was only a proud captain, and- one would hope- a proud lieutenant.
As Ander retreated, newly burdened with the 0.5 ounces of gold and brass, Shayne turned his attention back to the audience.
Shayne: Will Lieutenant Artinus Serinus join me on the stage, please.
The Chief of Security approached, and Shayne readied the final boxes.
Shayne: Lieutenant Serinus, your service aboard this vessel has been exemplary. There is more to say in your honor than would be feasible at a gathering like this, so I hope that the Captain’s Commendation will indicate what words alone could not. Congratulations.
The first of his ribbons was pinned, and Shayne prepared the second.
Shayne: It has also come to my attention that you have completed the first trials that face any department chief. You have taken to those extra duties with aplomb, and it is my pleasure to award you the Department Chief Ribbon. Noli permittere ut pravi te submittant, Mr. Serinus. Congratulations.
Still no applause- Shayne held them off once more. The last box of all was somewhat more ornate, and the commander extracted it.
Shayne: Lieutenant, you are a protector, a stalwart defender of that which we hold dear. You have put your life on the line for your fellows on countless occasions, and have dedicated yourself to that service. It is officers such as yourself that we shall look to as the commanders and service leaders of tomorrow. As such, it is my pleasure to promote you to the rank of Lieutenant Commander, with all the privileges and responsibilities therein. Congratulations.
As the applause reached its peak, Shayne nodded slightly at Wilde, and heard the first tell-tale whistling of fireworks behind them. He allowed himself a small smile as the spectacle blossomed.
Commander Randal Shayne