((Deck 16, Hall 1, Starbase 821))
There wasn’t a curtain in sight, and Shayne was pleased.
He’d been subject to a number of parties over the years- for some reason, his commanding officers had enjoyed throwing festivities and shindigs whenever possible, and most of them had been gracious enough to insist that the entire senior staff attend. It had made for a number of awkward shore leaves for the distinctly introverted Shayne, and though he’d never envisioned himself in a command role, he’d often thought about how he’d do things differently. Festivities were fine, but… dancing? Stand-up comedy? No, that would never do. Some drinks, some music, some fellowship… that might have worked. But now even that was off the table. There was no time. No time at all.
Instead of anything particularly intriguing or pretty or fun, a small podium had been erected before a number of vaguely uncomfortable chairs. It was all that Shayne had been able to scrape up. He hadn’t wanted to take anyone off of the repair detail for Arrow, and beaming the chairs in had been a frustrating task. But he was about to deliver some unhappy news to unaware colleagues; he wasn’t about to make them stand for it, too.
A number of people were already milling about, and a consultation with the computer told him ten minutes remained before the start of the briefing. As he looked up, the doors to the hall opened, and in walked someone he wasn’t familiar with. He’d dedicated himself to learning as much of the roster as possible, and here was evidence that he’d failed. He walked purposefully toward her.
Shayne: Pardon me, ensign- may I assume you have been assigned to the Arrow?
Shayne extended a hand somewhat roughly.
Shayne: Shayne, commanding officer. I’m sorry this is such short notice, but it was unavoidable. You’ll understand why soon.
((OOC: Happy to continue this little interaction if you’re interested, Ensign! :) ))
((Timeskip, a few minutes later))
The room was starting to truly fill up. It was time. Shayne took to the podium, and gently tapped the microphone, causing a slight ring of feedback.
Shayne: Please take your seats.
The assembled Starfleet personnel did so, with most of the officers taking a front row seat.
Shayne: I have a great deal of news to convey. First, however; I’d like to show my- and Starfleet’s- appreciation for a number of officers sitting in this room.
He reached for a nearby PADD and began to read out relevant awards.
Shayne: The process of retrieving the Arrow was no simple matter- a number of heroic deeds were performed to bring her back home safely. As a result, all officers who assisted in the retrieval of the Arrow and its subsequent “safe” return to Starbase 821 have earned the Joint Meritorious Unit Award, for exemplary teamwork in the face of extraordinary odds.
He scrolled down the list, keen to avoid clapping or other distraction.
Shayne: Amongst these deeds was an effort to take back engineering from hostile borders. I need not explain why firing a phaser near the warp core is a fraught matter, but Mr. Serinus led the charge in that particular action. He put himself most in harm’s way without thought for his own life or injury in the service of his crewmates, and we owe much to him. As a result, I’m pleased to award him the Legion of Merit.
With a curt nod, he continued.
Shayne: Mr. Nakada, I’ve patched engines, I’ve participated in first contact situations, and I’ve defended starships against hostile forces. Never before have I done all three at the same time. For your actions during those unusual circumstances, I am pleased to award you the Good Conduct Ribbon.
The last individual award on the list was now the focus of Shayne’s stern gaze.
Shayne: Mr. Collins, I know that the role of first officer is not easy, and I know that if I wasn’t prepared for it as well as I was, I would have been overwhelmed. You were thrust into a compromising situation to begin with, and without complaint or failure, you distinguished yourself with valor and distinction while serving in a difficult position amidst incredible dangers. For exceptional courage and dedication to duty, I am proud to award you with the Captain’s Commendation.
He favored Collins with an appreciative bow of his head. Now came time for the most dangerous award of all.
Shayne: And finally… I am authorized to award everyone in this room the Legacy Ribbon, in recognition of your help in reactivating the Arrow for service.
This pronouncement, as Shayne expected, brought with it a wave of murmurs throughout the assembled audience. Shayne raised his voice calmly to cut through the chatter.
Shayne: Yes, you heard that correctly- the Arrow is being reassigned; or, I should say, you and I are being reassigned to the Arrow. I know this was not what many of you were expecting. I know many of you were looking forward to returning to the Juneau, or staying here on Starbase 821. But each of you is familiar with the needs of the service, and in this, there can be no compromise.
Shayne stepped away from the podium, and began to speak louder, with his own voice and lungs.
Shayne: Starfleet has received a distress call from Atlas Base, in the Alpha Isles. We’re under no obligation to investigate there, for political reasons that are not necessary to go into at the current moment. What is important is that, shortly after that distress signal was received, dozens, hundreds more were picked up by automated listening stations in that region. Each was a standard call for help, but the sheer number of requests for assistance has compelled Starfleet to send a ship to investigate. Juneau may be faster and better prepared, but she is vital to efforts currently underway in the Aavaro Wilds. Therefore, Starfleet Command has reactivated the Arrow fully. We will be heading there with all speed in twenty-four hours’ time.
The commander scanned the crowd before continuing.
Shayne: Your personal effects will be delivered to the ship in that time, and the repairs to the Arrow will hopefully be largely complete by that point. It is a testament to the urgency of the situation that Starfleet is deploying us in this condition.
He paused, eyes downcast, before lifting them to speak again.
Shayne: You may have concerns and doubts and fears. I understand. I harbor my own. But built beneath them, like a foundation, is my faith. An unshakable, unquestioning faith in all of you, in our ship, and in the uniform we all wear. It won’t be easy. We have a difficult mission before us. But we will overcome. We will prevail. We will get it done.
He allowed those words to linger.
Shayne: Department heads, I want readiness reports by 20:00 this evening. The first officer will be providing quarter arrangements and final work details. Dismissed.
As the crew began to disperse, muttering amongst themselves, Shayne wasted no time in returning to his duties, PADD in hand. He stood by the podium, waiting for someone to ask him questions that were surely shared by many others.
((OOC: Hi, all! So with this sim, shore leave is winding down to a close. By all means, feel free to keep up your side plots, but start wrapping them up. I hope to move to the mission very soon- perhaps Monday or so. If you have any questions or concerns, by all means let me or another member of the staff know- we’re here to help! Can’t wait to see how you all finish up this shore leave; I’m incredibly excited!))
Commander Randal Shayne