((The Great Hall, USS Thor))
Kells: It’s often, or so I like to think, that a ship’s commanding officer can use their judgment to decide what kind of duty and service goes above and beyond what’s expected. Nearly every CO I know has very high standards, and so to exceed those standards means that “going above and beyond” is very difficult to do indeed. (beat) Yet during the Thor’s time in slipstream, two officers managed to do just that: Counselor Brodie and Lieutenant Commander Garcia.
Aron stood up again and headed for the counselor as Geoff began to speak.
Teller: Lt. Cmdr. Brodie. In the midst of the worst crisis I’ve ever been involved in, you were a calm and capable FIrst Officer right when I needed you to be. For your exemplary performance, you have more than earned the Legion Of Merit.
Aron arrived with the Legion of Merit ready to pin a moment later.
Kells: Congratulations, Counselor.
Geoff turned back to the crew after shaking the Counselors hand firmly.
Teller: Lt. Cmdr. Ben Garcia has also earned himself one of these and, upon his return from leave, will be properly awarded. His piloting and quick thinking at the helm kept the ship flying and I for one sleep better knowing he’s our helmsman.
With the Legions of Merit awarded, Aron returned to his seat once more.
Kells: Now, it’s my pleasure to recognize a few of the Thor’s excellent department heads and senior personnel. First, for the science and engineering departments, we would like to recognize your efforts with the Innovation Ribbon. Lieutenant Lovar, Ensign Wilkins, Lieutenant Sirok, you have all been so awarded -- as has Lieutenant Yang, and his ribbon will be sent to him.
Aron rose again, to distribute the Innovation Ribbons, as Geoff spoke about what those officers had done.
Teller: The three of you did an enormous amount of work figuring out how to sever the subspace links that anchored the mine within the Thor, and how to successfully extract it without losing more of the ship. You had to work in difficult circumstances with imperfect information, and you still found a way to make it work and save our lives. For your efforts, you are each recognized with the Innovation Ribbon. Congratulations.
Aron finished and pinned the final ribbon, on Lieutenant Sirok, as Geoff finished speaking.
Kells: I think I speak for everyone when I say that your efforts were truly integral to the Thor’s successful escape from slipstream. Well done, each of you.
Teller: Indeed. Chief Sirok, your presence in main engineering, emotionally volatile as it is, gives me enormous confidence in our ship and its ability to perform well beyond expectations. Lt Lovar, Ensign Wilkins - your science team was pivotal to our success, and I hope to see even more of your extraordinary efforts in the coming days.
Lovar / Wilkins / Sirok: Responses
For the final time during this ceremony, Aron returned to his seat to collect some of the last of the ribbons.
Kells: This final round of ribbons recognizes the work of those departments that worked to prevent any additional loss of life.
He took the many Lifesaving Ribbons with him as he rounded the table, just as Geoff began again to speak.
Teller: Our medical, tactical and marine personnel functioned as an incredible team during the worst moments of this crisis, and I have dozens of glowing reports praising the individual heroism of each and every one of you. As such, Lt. Cmdr. Krindo Pandorn, Ensign Dar Elandra, Doctor Quen Deena, Doctor Alieth, and 1st Lt. Wes Greaves - you are all hereby awarded the Lifesaving ribbon for your efforts to protect the crew of the Thor. You have my congratulations, and on behalf of the nearly three hundred casualties you saved, you have my sincerest thanks.
Aron pinned each member of the medical and security departments present, as well as their chief of the marine detachment, First Lieutenant Greaves.
Kells: Thank you all for everything you did.
Teller: The able performance of your duties saved lives - remember that. Always.
Pandorn / Dar: Responses
MacKenzie / Quen / Alieth: Responses
And, at last, Aron retired to his seat before he spoke again.
Kells: Oftentimes, the entire senior staff -- truly, the entire crew -- must come together and work as a single community to complete a mission. But this was a singly exceptional set of circumstances, in which you all needed to come together to ensure that you survived. In recognition of that exemplary work, and of your individual sacrifices, each of you have been recognized with the Explorer’s Ribbon and the Purple Heart. “All,” in this case, refers to Lt. Commanders Teller, Garcia, Brodie, Pandora, and MacKenzie; Lieutenants Quen, Alieth, Sirok, Yang, Greaves, and Lovar; and Ensigns Dar and Wilkins. (beat) Ensign Pol, you also receive the Explorer’s Ribbon for the role you played with me in the rescue taskforce.
Teller: Each and every one of you earned those ribbons, and many had the bruises to show for it for days. Wear those ribbons with pride.
As Geoff spoke, Aron made a note in the PADD he’d secreted inside the ribbon case. Each of the officers would find the named ribbons waiting in their quarters when they returned there.
Kells: And finally, before we end things here…
Aron glanced around at the assembled officers with another grin.
Kells: Geoff, you guided this ship and crew through some impossible circumstances. You’ve spoken eloquently about their service, and I have no doubt that anyone on this crew was anything but as outstanding as you note. But I’d be remiss if I didn’t recognize you, too, for the exceptional work you did to keep that same ship and this fine crew together and focused on escape. For that, and for everything you did to fully become this crew’s commanding officer, I recognize you with the Captain’s Commendation.
Aron removed the final ribbon from his case and leaned over to pin it on Geoff’s uniform.
Kells: Congratulations, Lt. Commander.
Geoff was caught off guard and was deeply moved by the gesture. He felt a renewed confidence in himself, and what he could do for a starship.
Teller: Thank you, sir. This means a lot to me.
Kells: Oh, but wait. There’s just one more thing.
Aron grinned broadly at Geoff. It had been nothing to hide a PADD in his ribbon case -- and so it was absolutely no trouble to hide a gold pip.
Kells: That hollow pip on your collar, Geoff? Give it to me.
Geoff couldn’t help but smirk. After what he’d been put through the night before, and everything that had happened to bring him to this moment, reaching the top of this particular mountain felt electric.
Teller: Of course sir, you want to take me all the way down to Yeoman?
Aron received it a moment later, and it looked as though, however momentarily, that Geoff had been demoted to full lieutenant. Aron gave him an enormous wink at that.
Kells: It’s official, Commander Teller.
He placed the full gold pip where its hollow cousin had been a few moments before.
Geoff smiled as the pip clicked into place. He remembered a sense of enormous weight when he’d received his last promotion to Lieutenant Commander, almost exactly a year ago. This, somehow, felt right. Time and tide had brought him to this place, and he’d managed to navigate a sea of obstacles and survive the journey. It felt good.
Teller: Thank you sir - it’s still a shock that Command felt like a hole in the ship warranted a promotion. ::Geoff winked:: But, you know those Admirals in San Francisco.
Kells: Don’t mention it -- and just think how Starfleet’s going to reward you when things start going right.
Teller: I’ll keep that in mind sir. If I may..::Geoff turned to the crew:: I’d like to thank all of you for your help in getting me to this point. It’s an honor, a deep and profound one, to see this crew today and the family we’ve built together aboard the Thor. You have all given of yourselves and created something truly special here. I thank you all for letting me be a part of it.
Teller: Unless you have anything else Captain, I’d say this deserves a drink.
Kells: Agreed. I think--
Natali: =/\= Ensign Natali to Flt. Cpt. Kells - sorry to disturb you sir, but you’ve got an incoming subspace message from the station commander - he’d like to speak with you in private sir. =/\=
Aron exchanged a look with his newly promoted XO. The timing was uncanny, and that, in Aron’s experience, meant all was not well. Still, he put on a good face as he tapped to return the call.
Kells: =/\= Understood. I’m on my way. =/\=
Commander Geoffrey Teller
USS Thor - NCC 82607
Fleet Captain A. Kells, Commanding
Fleet Captain Aron Kells
SB118 Captains Council Magistrate (so ask me anything!)