//First Officer’s Log, Stardate 239611.23
The Engineering team continues to investigate what happened aboard the Golthani vessel. Though the team strongly believes it was sabotage of some sort, they’ve been unable to locate any evidence of this, leaving us high and dry with regards to possible suspects. The crew of the other ship has been even slower to warm up to the idea of Federation assistance than the Golthani, but I believe with time they’ll realize the Federation is no threat to them.
Meanwhile, it’s a sad day for many of the crew as orders have come through for reassignment. The senior staff have been dispersed throughout the fleet to fill a need for experienced officers elsewhere. German has been ordered to report to Starbase 118 Ops as Chief Science Officer and I’ve made the difficult decision to step down as first officer of the Astraeus. We’re both hoping that once he settles in, I can come aboard either as a civilian engineering consultant or as an SCE Liaison. In the meantime, I’ll be staying with my mother on Earth. I might even take on a position as an Academy instructor in the interim.
My career used to mean everything to me. I sacrificed so much to keep it. I let people go from my life in my obsessive pursuit of rank and my own ship. With a child on the way, I can’t bring myself to separate our family. My mother made a choice to keep my brother and me from our father. I can’t and won’t make that choice.
Neither German nor I know exactly what the future holds. But of this I’m certain...I have the family I never realized I wanted and nothing could ever be more important to me than that. Any sacrifices I make in my career will be well worth it to see German holding our child in his arms for the first time.
((Rosek’s Office, USS Astraeus))
She was out of uniform, something unusual for when she was in her office. The walls that had once contained her personal effects were nearly empty, most of the more important items wrapped for their own protection and placed in boxes that neatly lined the wall. She reached for the next item, freezing when her eyes fell on it. It was of the senior staff taken less than a month ago at a senior staff breakfast.
German was, of course, grinning like an idiot, his arm wrapped discreetly around her waist. The others posed in a variety of ways...perhaps one of the most casual holophotos she had of them altogether. It was why it had had a special place in her office...on a shelf directly in her line of sight. A sharp pain lanced through her chest, tears gathering at the corners of her eyes even as the watery smile crossed her lips.
Her pride in being the first officer of the Astraeus had gone so far beyond her own career accomplishments. She’d been surrounded by people she loved...people that she would trust with her life without a moment’s hesitation. They’d been through so much together and it was hard to think of her day without Melody’s charming honesty, Shin’s sweet reservedness, Sheila’s stubborn determination, Groznin’s youthful enthusiasm, and Stennin’s unique brand of logic. Most of all, she was going to miss Mei’s calming, steady presence beside her as they faced challenge after challenge.
Ops would bring its own share of challenges, but nothing could ever replace the memories she’d built with the people who had served under her. Her family. Her people. Her home.
She wrapped the holoframe the most carefully of all her possessions at the very top, ready to take it out of its box when she arrived at her destination and again put it on a shelf directly in her line of sight. It would serve as a reminder of the family she’d never believed she could have. Her gaze dropped to the tattoos etched on the insides of her wrists, the Romulan script familiar and comforting. On her left wrist, “trust”, and on her right, “love”.
It had taken almost four years, but she was finally beginning to understand. What she’d needed wasn’t in the stars. It was in her heart and in the arms of the people she’d been too afraid to let in. Now...she couldn’t imagine her life any other way.
Striding across the room, she slid into the chair in front of the monitor, perhaps for the last time and entered the series of commands that would open a blank communication.
To: Groznin Smith, Kawakame Shin, Melody Delri’ise, Stennin, Sheila Bailey
CC: German Galven, Mei’konda Delano
From: Lael Rosek
Subject: A New Chapter
It is with a heavy heart that I compose this message. I know each of you has received your new assignments and will be departing shortly for them if you haven’t already. Some of you I have served with since Montreal’s launch approximately a year ago. Some of you came to us recently.
No matter the case, it has been the highest honor and privilege serving with each of you. In our short time together, I have come to consider you all to be family. Those of you who know me well will know how much that means to me. I would trust each of you with my life. I’ve placed a sizeable letter of recommendation in each of your files to be seen by your receiving command team.
This isn’t goodbye. It’s simply, “see you later”. I look forward to seeing how each of you thrive in your careers and the great things you accomplish. Remember, no matter where you go, you will always have your Astraeus family. Don’t hesitate to contact me if you need anything. I’m more than happy to stay in touch and would love if you all were able to visit once the baby is born. German and I’s little one is going to have a rather large group of godparents to coddle him or her.
Her finger hovered over the command to send the message, but she shook her head. Something just didn’t feel right. She opened another message and began composing it.
To: Groznin Smith, Kawakame Shin, Melody Delri’ise, Stennin, Sheila Bailey, German Galven, Mei’konda Delano
From: Lael Rosek
Subject: A Chance For Farewells
I want to take this opportunity to invite each of you to the Pagrati Lounge for the last bit of conversation and time together as a crew. Some of you may already have shipped off. But for those who haven’t, this will be a memory we can make together to carry us through the days ahead. I look forward to seeing those of you who are able to make it.
((Pagrati Lounge, USS Astraeus))
She sat for a long moment, staring out the viewing port, a mug of Al-Leyan spiced tea cradled in her hands. She hoped that at least someone would come, though she’d understand if no one did. This was difficult and there was no easy way around it. She glanced around the quiet room, blinking back tears at the memories this place held. Change was always hard, but she had to believe that there was something even greater in store for them. This wasn’t the end. Things changed all the time. Who knew? They might end up together again as a crew someday.
Smith / Delri’ise / Shin / Stennin / Bailey / Mei’konda / Galven: Response