(( Arboretum, Deck 5, USS Thor ))
Kells: I’m going to turn now to rewarding that service with a variety of ribbons, but I also want to acknowledge that there are a few crewmembers who participated in the previous mission and who will receive their ribbons in absentia: Lieutenants Alieth, Sirok, and Quen will receive their accolades on their current vessels or when they return from their periods of leave, whenever they may do so.
Teller: Take a moment to celebrate our absent friends. We wish them fair seas, wherever their journey takes them.
Without further ado, Aron opened the box that Geoff held out, and spent a moment simply gazing at the variety of colors and patterns represented by all the ribbons -- and, relatedly, the behavior and service they recognized.
Kells: I’m going to call everyone up one at a time to recognize your achievements individually, before I announce the ribbons awarded to the whole crew. I’ll also say a brief word about the ribbons those crewmembers who aren’t with us now have received. (beat) So, without further ado, Lieutenant Richards, please.
One of the two newly promoted lieutenants in security rose from his seat and rejoined Aron and Geoff at the base of Yggdrasil.
Kells: Mr. Richards, in addition to the ribbons you’ll receive today along with the senior staff, I want to recognize you with the Captain’s Commendation -- though while this comes with my respect and my thanks, I also want to note that it was Lieutenant Alieth who recommended you for this ribbon, for discovering the path that led your away team to Calabrum and, through that action, ended up allowing any success that occurred this mission. Congratulations!
Geoff smiled and offered the young man a firm handshake along with his ribbon.
Teller: Well done, Lieutenant Richards. Keep this up and you’ll put me out of a job soon.
After Aron had pinned the ribbon to Richards’ uniform, and given him one final hand, the new junior lieutenant took his seat. He wasn’t, however, the only new promotee Aron wanted to see.
Kells: Lieutenant Dar, please.
The other half of the new-JGs-in-security succeeded Richards, and stood along with Aron and Geoff beneath Yggdrasil. Aron thought she looked vaguely embarrassed, if the unflappable Dar could ever be called such, and he wondered if he was reading her face correctly -- and, if so, if she was feeling it from what had happened over shore leave.
Kells: Lieutenant, your streak of doing your very best for this crew at great personal risk continues, and I continue to thank you for everything you do! I understand that you were wounded again on the surface -- stabbed, I hear, by a Klingon in the thigh -- so of course you’ll receive the Purple Heart, and I’m glad to see you’re recovering well. You’ll also receive the Good Conduct Ribbon, for your willingness to risk fire from all sides in order to rescue refugees. (beat, subtly ironic) This isn’t the first time you’ve received either, I’ll note. Just -- be careful, won’t you?
Geoff lowered his voice and smiled as he shook Dar’s hand firmly.
Teller: Try to make it to the next pip before the next purple heart, at least. Oh, and avoid shuttles...damn things are death traps.
Once Dar had received her pair of ribbons, Aron applauded again and bowed her from the place of honor back to her seat. Once she’d sat down again, Aron glanced at the man next to her -- the department chief for both Richards and Dar.
Kells: Major Greaves, if you’d join us?
Once Greaves had done so, Aron repeated his brief bow.
Kells: The Captain’s Commendation can be given for any number of reasons, so long as the captain feels that the person receiving it has performed acts befitting its recognition of exemplary service. Lieutenant Richards’ actions were, and so were yours, Major, though in a different way. For a few missions running, you’ve been forced into a place of leadership, and in every case you have more than risen to the occasion. (beat, with a small smile) If I hadn’t just promoted you, I might refer to this award as the Commendation of the Captain, but I digress.
Geoff leaned in and whispered, just loud enough for the front row to hear as well.
Teller: He seriously asked me about rearranging the ceremony just so he could get that pun lined up right. ::Straightening and clearing his voice:: Congratulations, Major.
This wasn’t Greaves’ first time receiving the ribbon, either, and in fact he’d received it after the previous two missions as well. As Aron added the current ribbon, he made a note to write to HQ to request a new ribbon, possibly exclusively for the major.
After Greaves was again sitting, Aron looked over to the final officer who had received a promotion at that ceremony.
Kells: Lieutenant Katsim, come on up.
Once the new junior lieutenant had done so, Aron found his eyes wandered to the small creature that sat on her shoulder. It wasn’t particularly active at the moment, but its presence was impossible to miss. It was also the reason Katsim was standing there.
Kells: Lieutenant, part of our ongoing mission is to seek out new life and new civilizations, and while we all share some part of the latter when it comes to Calabrum, no one else so thoroughly embraced the former as you did, with your care of the creature that now accompanies you. You’ve earned the Scientific Discovery Ribbon, (again a small smile) but not only because you’ve adopted a new pet. Your dedication to the preservation of life is admirable, and we should all emulate your example. Congratulations.
Teller: Congratulations are indeed in order, Lieutenant. Not just the ribbons, mind you. Echo has quickly become a familiar, flappy little face around here. ::Geoff smiled and extended his hand:: Just try to keep his droppings out of the hallways, would you?
After she had received her ribbon, and she and her tiny dragon had returned to her (their) seat, Aron called one more officer from those assembled.
Kells: Commander Brodie, if you please.
The counselor to whom Aron owed many thanks joined him and Geoff, and again Aron gave a small bow, this time in acknowledgement of how much Brodie had done for him.
Kells: Counselor, you’ve earned a particular pair of ribbons that fully illustrate the lengths that you went to during this previous mission. First, the Diplomacy Ribbon, for your artful dealings with the queen of Calabrum -- and the Legion of Merit, for seeing through a dangerous mission into the mouth of an active volcano. (beat, then lightly) I don’t know which one I would’ve feared more -- queen or volcano -- and yet you accomplished both. I can’t say anything but “well done.”
Geoff made a polite scoffing sound.
Teller: Pfft, volcano’s just a bunch of hot rocks. Bet none of them tried to get you up on an elk wearing a candelabra as a hat.
Aron bestowed the pair of ribbons on Alex, and again bowed him back to his seat. He then turned to Geoff.
Kells: Speaking of dealing with the queen, I would be remiss if I didn’t recognize Commander Teller for the same work. Again, it can’t have been easy -- I met with her myself, so I know! -- but thanks to your efforts, we accomplished all that could reasonably be expected of it. Thank you and congratulations, Geoff.
Teller: Thank you, sir. Last mission was far from easy but I’m glad we’re all still in one piece.
A stack of ribbons remained in the box after Aron had given Geoff the Diplomacy Ribbon, though they were mostly those that Aron planned to award to the whole senior staff. There was one more, though, that wasn’t for anyone else, and Aron switched positions with Geoff. He took the box, while Geoff removed the ribbon.
Geoff considered the small ribbon and all it represented as he looked to his commanding officer. All they’d faced. Tens of thousands of light years traveled. Lives lost and saved. Friends made. All reduced to a single, solitary ribbon. Words hardly seemed sufficient.
Teller: You have been a friend, a mentor and a leader to this crew and to me since you first stepped foot on Duronis II. You have added immeasurably to the legacy of this vessel and you have done so with constant grace and good humor. You have repeatedly demonstrated exactly why you are one of the most respected commanding officers in the fleet and I count myself lucky to have served with you all this time. It is my honor to award you the Starship Commander ribbon, recognizing your year of service to the USS Thor. Congratulations, Commodore.
Kells: Thank you, Geoff. I’ll do my best to (beat, crooked smile) well, keep doing my best.
Teller: Thank you sir. For everything.
With the individual ribbons now all awarded, Aron removed one example from the two stacks that remained.
Kells: It was also too difficult to determine whose actions led to what outcomes with respect to some key features of the previous mission, so with that in mind, I’ve decided to award the Joint Meritorious Unit and Lifesaving Ribbons to everyone. I think it’s fair to say that you’ve all earned them, and that you can rest a little easier, I hope, knowing the lives you helped to save. Keep your seats for now -- Geoff and I will distribute these in a moment.
Once he was done speaking, that was. There was still one more thing that Aron wanted to say.
Kells: Finally, I want to recognize those officers and crew who couldn’t be with us today: Lieutenant Sirok with the Purple Heart and Innovation Ribbons, Lieutenant Quen with the Diplomacy Ribbon, and both plus Lieutenant Alieth with the Joint Meritorious Unit and Lifesaving Ribbons. And while both Commander Rouiancet or PO1 Gra’vel couldn’t be here, they’ve already received the Legion of Merit and the Unity Ribbon, respectively.
Aron let out a long, final breath, looked away for a moment, and then beamed at the senior staff.
Kells: Now, then. Let’s enjoy the rest of our evening! I know I pulled you away from a party, so, please, enjoy this time and celebrate!
Teller: Try not to make a mess with the Admiralty running around, you know how they can get. Crew, disssssssssssmissed!
Any and All: Responses
Commodore Aron Kells
he/him/his (character & player)
Commander Geoffrey Teller
USS Thor - NCC 82607
Commodore A. Kells, Commanding