((High Prefect’s Residence, Delphrai, Planetary Capital, Paldor II))
((Time Index: Day fourteen of shore leave - evening, about half an hour after the High Prefect’s Arrival))
Jarred had been enjoying a rather in depth conversation with the Defence Minister about the composition of Caraadian military forces. The fact that each planet was required to provide a percentage of their fleet and ground forces to their respective houses, of which a further percentage was provided to the Grand Councils Imperial Fleet was fascinating to him. With the infighting that was known to happen between the Noble Houses, Jarred wondered just how effective such a force could actually be.
Further musings on the subject were halted, as the High Prefect rose from her seat, silence once again descending across the hall.
Rolus: I trust you are all enjoying the evening. I am delighted to announce that it is time for the main event. Commander Thoran, the floor is yours.
Jarred felt his stomach tighten as eyes around the room turned their attention towards him. As he made his way towards the High Prefect, he searched around for Williams and signalled for him to join him.
Thoran: Thank you Your Grace. For those of you who don’t know me I am Commander Jarred Thoran, commanding officer of the Federation starship Atlantis. This is a rather special occasion, as the High Prefect has allowed us to share our awards ceremony with you all. Before we begin with the presentations, I would like to take a moment to formally welcome some new faces to the Atlantis. ::his glanced around, looking for the two faces amongst the crowd.:: Lieutenant Commander Anath G’Renn who is joining us as Chief Medical Officer and Ensign Deven Nehir as our newest counselor. Welcome to the Atlantis and I look forward to working with you both.
G’Renn / Nehir: Response
He waited for the applause to die down before continuing.
Thoran: As many of you know, the station’s arrival in orbit above the planet caused huge disturbances, affecting much of the population. Emergency services were stretched to breaking point and the population was in panic mode, creating a volatile situation. In the ensuing chaos, four officers were able to assess and take control of the situation, providing much needed relief and aid. It is my honour to award the Peacekeeper Ribbon to Lieutenant Commander Toryn Raga and Lieutenants Maddi Hyden, Ishkabella Journs and David Knight. Congratulations.
Raga / Hyden / Journs / Knight: Response
The crowd parted allowing the group to join him. He shook each of their hands, offering his congratulations to them individually. From the corner of his eye, he saw a thinly veiled smile on the High Prefect’s lips.
Thoran: When it emerged from subspace, the situation on board Deep Space Twenty Six was all but dire, with a rogue element of the Valcarian military having taken control over large sections of the station. For their efforts in regaining control of the station, I am pleased to award the Good Conduct Ribbon to Lieutenant Commander Serala, Marine Captains Amuro McKnight and Kurt Logan, First Lieutenant Palen Osiris and Master Sergeant Jenta Solana. Congratulations.
As the group made their way towards him, his eyes fell upon Serala. It had been a difficult time for Jarred, having to oversee the investigation into her actions on board the station. Of course, that was nothing compared to what Serala was no doubt going through and he hoped to having everything wrapped up soon.
Serala / McKnight / Logan / Osiris / Solana: Response
Thoran: For their work under pressure and ingenuity shown in preventing the station from crashing into the surface, I am delighted to award the Innovation Ribbon to Commander Williams, Lieutenants Maeli, Kiliak and Kiax, along with myself. Congratulations.
He recalled his time on the Columbia as Whittaker’s First Officer and how the Captain had always expressed how uncomfortable he felt awarding himself ribbons. Jarred now found himself in the same situation, and finally understood just what he had meant.
Maeli / Kiliak / Kiax: Response
Once again, Jarred shook the hands of his officers. Whilst he had only known the crew a short while, the awards ceremony was showing just what an exemplary and dedicated crew the Atlantis had, and he was proud to serve as their commanding officer. With the rest of the group having accepted their ribbons, it was now Jarred’s turn. He took the opened rosewood box containing the blue ribbon that Alex handed to him.
Thoran: Thank you Commander. ::He placed the box into his pocket before continuing.:: Being the only medical officer present at the triage site was a demanding job. Despite it all, Lieutenant Ishkabella Journs performed her duties without complaint, providing medical assistance to many civilians who had been injured in the earthquakes. Lieutenant Journs, you are hereby awarded the Lifesaving Ribbon. Congratulations.
Jarred took a moment to cast his eyes around the room. Each of his crew that had been able to attend had proven themselves extremely capable and he saw great things in their futures. He could only begin to imagine the adventures that awaited them all.
Thoran: Next we have three very special awards. Lieutenant Kiliak Jo when there was a malfunction with one of the deuterium tanks your selfless actions allowed the Atlantis to continue its task of moving the station, at great personal risk. Lieutenant Commander Toryn Raga, with no regard for your own safety you ran into a collapsing building to save one of your colleagues and in the process apprehended a Valcarian agent. Not only that but when a stampede tore through the triage centre, you threw yourself in front of it, saving two Caraadian lives. Lieutenant Trelixxa Maeli, I have always been impressed with those who are able to pilot a starship and cannot imagine the pressure you must feel. Your piloting skills under extreme pressure were instrumental in allowing the Atlantis to deliver the deuterium tanks to their positions around the station. It is my privilege to award you all the Captain’s Commendation. Congratulations.
Kiliak / Raga / Maeli: Response
Once again, Jarred waited for the applause to die down before continuing. It had been a difficult decision, deciding who should receive the awards, with everybody having performed admirably during their last mission.
Thoran: Recently whilst reviewing the personnel records, I noticed that a couple of officers have been served as head of their respective departments for over a year. Lieutenant Commander Serala and Marine Captain Amuro McKnight you are hereby awarded the Department Chief Ribbon. Congratulations.
Serala / McKnight: Response
Thoran: Finally, Starfleet has authorised the awarding of the Joint Meritorious Unit Award to the entire crew. Well done to you all, you have been an example to the rest of the fleet with your actions.
Thoran: There are a few announcements I would like to make. With Lieutenant Valin Dermont having been temporarily assigned to help with the repair efforts on the station, the Atlantis is without a Chief Engineer. Lieutenant Kiliak Jo, you have proven yourself a very capable and skilled engineer. You are hereby appointed to the role of Acting Chief Engineer. Congratulations Lieutenant.
Thoran: As I mentioned before, piloting a starship is no easy task. I have been fortunate during my time with Starfleet to serve with some exceptional helm officers. Since I have been on board the Atlantis I have been impressed by Lieutenant Maeli’s apparent effortless at piloting the ship and her natural aptitude for flight. You are hereby appointed to the role of Assistant Chief Helm Officers. Congratulations Lieutenant.
Thoran: Lastly, it gives me great pleasure to promote Lieutenant Maddi Hyden to full Chief of Security. Congratulations Lieutenant.
Maddi had shown during the last mission that she was more than capable of fulfilling the role of security chief, a role that was close to his own heart. Not only that, but her assistance and impartiality during the investigation into Perkins and Serala had left a lasting impression on Jarred.
Thoran: That concludes our award ceremony. Please carry on and enjoy the rest of your evening.
Jarred was about to rejoin the gathering and out of the spotlight, when the High Prefect rose from her chair and stopped him.
Rolus: Not so fast Commander. I have an announcement of my own. Please have your senior staff join you.
Jarred looked to Williams, wondering what was happening. As his senior staff assembled at the front, the large wooden doors behind them flung open and a procession of guards carrying a gold medal on a lavish red pillow entered, coming to a halt in front of the Atlantis’ officers. The High Prefect stepped down from her dais and strode over to join them.
Rolus: Commander Thoran, crew of the Atlantis. You came to our aid in our time of need and risked your lives to save our planet. Without your intervention our planet would have faced certain annihilation. We, the people of Paldor II owe our lives to you. By the authority granted to me by the Grand Council, I hereby award you all the Order of Merit of House Larokon.
He was at a loss for words. The High Prefect took a medal of the cushion and approached Jarred. He lowered his head, allowing the noblewoman to place it around his neck.
Thoran: Thank you Your Grace. We are extremely honoured and humbled.
Arielle smiled. It was the first time he had seen a genuine smile from somebody in her position, recalled how cold and standoffish she had been when they first met. Having presented the medal to Jarred, she continued along the line, presenting each officer with their medal and engaging in small talk with them.