((Ten Forward, USS Garuda))
:: This might be the last time she did this, Cassie realized. Of course, she knew that she’d have a large staff aboard Astrofori One and that their work would probably be just as exemplary -- but as far as presenting awards, ribbons, and promotions in this space, to this crew? That would shortly become the charge of Captain Kells. Still, while she could, she intended to do a good job of it.
Kells was there now, sitting in the back. She was still making up her mind regarding how much attention she would draw to the transfer of command; she’d already announced her transfer, her promotion was clear, and Kells was wearing red. Still, the crew would rather hear it from her, she knew.
Lost in her decision, she realized she’d been standing silent in front of her officers for a long moment. She gave herself a mental shake and touched down in the present. ::
EGAN MANNO: Thank you for joining me during your leave time. I’m always pleased to commend the behavior of my officers, so you understand when I say that this moment is a confusing one for me. I want to celebrate your accomplishments, but I’m more aware than ever of how much I will miss this family. ::beat:: But this moment is not about me, it’s about you. Therefore, Commander Bakari, please join me.
:: Msafiri was going to have to suffer the eyes of the assembled group, too; she wasn’t going to let him go just yet. ::
EGAN MANNO: Commander, I’d like to begin with you -- and Commander Valen, if she’ll join us as well.
:: Msafiri nodded as he stepped forward onto the raised area of Ten Forward that had a view of Deep Space 10 beyond. ::
BAKARI: Aye, captain.
:: It was always a swift plunge for Cassie, seeing Carys back and walking around. Not that her luck during this mission had been much better, but at least she was back, on duty, and going about her days as she had. She was quieter now, if Cassie was any judge, but she was still, essentially, Carys. ::
EGAN MANNO: Commanders, both of you suffered much more than can be expected of any officer during the course of your duties. Though we were not and remain not in a state of war with any group or faction of the Peppalexans, the actions of those who captured you were of an aggressive militancy not often seen outside of war. To recognize your sufferings, I would like to recognize you both with the Prisoner of War Ribbon.
:: He nodded as she presented the service ribbon in a small wooden box. ::
EGAN MANNO: Commander Bakari, I would like you to remain with me. Commander Valen, thank you. ::beat:: Commander Mei’konda, Crewman Gupta, and Doctor Skyfire, please join me.
:: As they did so, she indicated to Msafiri the four boxes at the top of the small pile beside him. There were two ribbons there as well as two gold stars. ::
EGAN MANNO: Commander, Crewman, Doctor: Your actions around the Peppalexan homeworld and with diverse groups of its people are in keeping with the best traditions of the Diplomacy Ribbon.
Crewman Gupta, I saw firsthand how your knowledge of the region’s history combined with your affinity for expression and resulted in a successful first contact with the Peppalexan elders.
Doctor, your successful dialogue with the Queen of the First Kingdom in a time long, long removed from your own demonstrated not just your diplomatic acumen but your unshaken resolve under fire.
Commander, your negotiations with the separatists ended peacefully and with their cooperation, and they allowed us to begin the rescue of our officers who had been lost in time. ::beat:: Crewman Gupta, your recognition means you receive this Diplomacy Ribbon; Commander, Doctor, you’ll add a gold star to your existing ribbons.
:: Cassie’s eyes rested for a moment on Mei’konda as Msafiri handed out the awards. His conversation with her, in this very room, had helped remind her what an excellent job he’d done during the last mission -- especially and still considering her experience with the elders. After the boxes had been given, a final diplomacy ribbon remained for Cassie herself, in recognition of her handling of the Breen. Msafiri planned to award it to the captain afterward. ::
EGAN MANNO: Congratulations to all three of you. Doctor, Crewman, you may be seated. Commander, if you would stay, please?
EGAN MANNO: Will Lieutenant Tuk and Chief Dunross also join us, please?
EGAN MANNO: Commander, Lieutenant, I would like to recognize your work first, as without both of you, our efforts to return the officers we’d lost in time would not have been successful.
Commander, again, I appreciate the wonderful work you did with the separatists, procuring the use of their generator in order to open a temporal rift large and stable enough for the Garuda crew to rescue those officers.
Lieutenant, you were forced headfirst into a difficult situation -- and you thrived there. You were expected to coordinate between several high-stakes situations, not the least of which involved the arrival of several Breen warships while you were occupied with providing information and data to Commander Mei’konda and his team.
Chief, your quick calculations of the space-time coordinates necessary to rescue our lost officers surely resulted in their successful retrieval. Your plan to return Commander Mei’konda’s team to a time prior to the lost officers’ arrival was inspired.
To each of you, I award the Captain’s Commandation. Chief, you’ll receive a gold star to add to your prior Commendation.
:: Again, she waited for Msafiri to provide the two ribbons and to add Dunross’s star before she allowed the room to begin applauding them. ::
EGAN MANNO: Thank you, all, you may be seated. Commanders Core and Saveron and Lieutenant Shandres, please join me.
:: She waited until the men were arrayed beside her and then turned to them, her hands now folded behind her back. ::
EGAN MANNO: Commanders, Lieutenant, as with the Prisoner of War Ribbon, you all encountered difficulties during this mission far beyond what could be expected of you in the normal course of your duties, and for that I would like to recognize the sacrifices you have made. Each of you may have been stranded permanently in the past -- and, indeed, according to the evidence I received from Doctor Skyfire, it’s likely that your trip may have resulted in the creation of “doubles” that did remain trapped, lived out their lives, and died thousands of years before any of us were born. Again, to recognize your suffering, as well as the suffering of those men, I award you each the Purple Heart.
:: Core and Saveron both received a gold star from Msafiri to add to their existing ribbons -- and Cassie, even though she was pleased by their return, offered a silent thought to avoid such ribbons and the circumstances that led to them in the future. ::
EGAN MANNO: Commander Core, Lieutenant Shandres, you may take your seats. Doctor Saveron, please remain standing.
EGAN MANNO: Doctor, I address you now as such very specifically: Your actions were in the best tradition of those of your profession, even though your current role aboard the Garuda is not as one of her active physicians. Nevertheless and regardless of your assigned post, you are responsible for saving the life of Lieutenant Shandres, and for that, I am honored to present you with the Silver Lifesaving Ribbon.
:: Again she waited for Msafiri to pin Saveron’s ribbon before she led the applause. When it had ended, she nodded once to him. ::
EGAN MANNO: Please be seated. Ensign King, Doctor Rahman, please join me.
:: As they did so, Cassie glanced again at Kells in the back. These were the last of the mission-specific, officer-specific awards, and perhaps he knew that? His gaze had certainly intensified. Again she shook herself back to the present, and noted as she did so that both King and Rahman were almost upon her.
Rahman, however, gave her a moment of pause: The former chief engineer was back in a Starfleet uniform. Cassie knew that Rahman was on assignment with the SCE, but it was still a bit odd to see -- but also gratifying, given the role Cassie had played in trying to keep Rahman where she was. ::
EGAN MANNO: Ensign, your efforts, along with Mr. Davenport’s, resulted in the successful construction of a translator that certainly assisted your team when it was stranded in the past. Your cleverness and ingenuity in concocting such a device on the fly is to be commended, and I’m pleased to recognize you with the Innovation Ribbon.
Doctor Rahman, I’ve spoken several times about the efforts that went into rescuing the temporally stranded crew. While all contributions were necessary laudable, it took a final push to knit them all together and effect the rescue of our lost officers with the Garuda’s transporters. You will also receive the Innovation Ribbon. Congratulations!
:: She took a half step back this time; both she and the awardees were shorter than many of the tall people who had stood at the front of this gathering, and she had naturally been closer to them. Msafiri, on the other hand, seemed a little like he was wading in among them. ::
EGAN MANNO: Thank you, you may both be seated. Lieutenant Delano, please?
:: She took the box from Msafiri this time; this was her special pleasure. She did regret the loss of her previous instrument (if a burned out old engine part could be called an instrument), but these standard wooden boxes were fine for the interim. ::
EGAN MANNO: Lieutenant, you have served with distinction not only as the Garuda’s chief of security and tactical but, for a time, as her strategic operations officer. In both positions, I relied strongly upon your ability to conceptualize the big picture, to consider the inputs and interests of all parties, and to respond with finesse, sensitivity, and discretion in every situation. You are a credit to your position and a model for all the officers under your command, and in recognition of your work since your last promotion, I am pleased to present you with this promotion.
:: She removed the hollow black pip from its box and pinned it to his collar. ::
EGAN MANNO: Congratulations, Commander Delano!
(OOC: At this time, we’d also like to recognize the writer behind Ryan King, who is being promoted to the rank of lieutenant JG. We’ve talked with Ryan about keeping King IC at ensign for now so he can explore a little more of the ensign’s early months out of the academy, and we look forward to what he comes up with!)
:: She led the applause for a final time before she dismissed Evan back to his seat. She took one last deep breath and looked at the assembled officers. ::
EGAN MANNO: Due to the nature of our past mission, I am also authorized to award all officers present and of the senior staff the First Contact and Defense of Temporal Flow Ribbons. To any who already possess either, you will add a gold star to your ribbon cluster. Additionally, all who served for a portion of this mission will receive the Prometheus Ribbon. Congratulations again on a fine job!
:: Oh, no, there was one more duty to attend to first, wasn’t there? She smiled slightly; it was a new idea, these ribbons, and she was pleased to award them. ::
EGAN MANNO: Commanders Mei’konda, Core, Saveron, and Delano, Lieutenants DeVeau and Moonsong, and Doctor Rahman, will you join me, please?
:: This was a bit of a crowd, but Cassie didn’t lose her slight smile as she considered the boxes that awaited. ::
EGAN MANNO: I am pleased to recognize each of you with the new Department Chief Ribbon. This milestone ribbon recognizes those officers who have held, cumulatively or continuously, department chief positions for no less than six months during their careers. Each of you have held such a position, and this ribbon recognizes those efforts. Congratulations!
EGAN MANNO: Congratulations again, all, and -- Commander, unless there’s something else--?
:: This was more a formality than anything, and she certainly didn’t expect the sparkle in his eye, or for him to agree. ::
BAKARI: Actually, captain, there is…
Fleet Captain Cassandra Egan Manno
Region & Starfleet Mission Commander
Menthar Corridor & Astrofori One
Lt. Commander Msafiri Bakari
Adjutant to the Region & Starfleet Mission Commander
Menthar Corridor & Astrofori One
Captain Aron Kells