Awards Ceremony, 1998

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((Ready Room, USS Freedom-A))

MARKO: =/\= Captain. We have been signalled by the Star Base. We have been given permission to dock and then disembark. The ceremony is scheduled to begin is 30 minutes. =/\=

PELLETIER: =/\= Thank you Mr. Marko. Proceed with docking maneuvers. Pelletier out =/\=

::The captain sits back and turns slightly to look out his window. He hasn't been back to the base in quite some time and he is looking forward to it::

PELLETIER: =/\= Captain Pelletier to all hands. We are now docking at Star Base 118. The reason we are now here is for the annual Awards Ceremony. All hands are required to attend. They are being held in holodeck 5 starting in 30 minutes. I will see you all there. Pelletier out =/\=

((20 minutes later))

::The docking was uneventful as Jeff finds himself standing in the holodeck of Starbase 118. Looking around, he sees a few of his fellow Captains as well as some of his crew and the crews of other vessels. He spots Va'al across the way, her head lifting slightly slightly, trying to see over everyone. Jeff waves her over he pulls his dress uniform down. He didn't make it a requirement for his crew, but felt it appropriate for Va'al and himself..::

VA'AL: Captain. Are you ready?

PELLETIER: I hope so. These are my first awards ceremonies where I am actually in the hot seat giving them out. I don't know what is worse, not knowing who will win or knowing and not being able to say anything.

VA'AL: Ah, yes. I know what you mean.

::They don't get to say much more as the Admiral takes his place at the podium, clearing his throat. Jeff take one last quick look around and see all of his senior staff standing in one bunch over along the left wall.::

ADMIRAL: Because of the nature of our jobs, we mustn't forget that sometimes duty must come first. Even so, the Ranger crew, in the midst of a classified and highly important mission, has taken a few moments out of their time to sit with us beneath the stars for a little peace, and recognition.

::Lights dim and the ceremonial hall's walls change. Each officer, because of the hall's sloping seating arrangement, has a clear view of a barren heath sits under the starlit sky. A bonfire roars in the center of the scene, the crown of the hill. A cool breeze wafts across the heath. The stars are bright. The constellations suggest Earth, the dark ages.::

::Thirty or so officers, some experienced crew on the Ranger, others not, sit in a circle around the heath quietly. Kelly looks up and begins to speak::

KELLY: I have taken you all from your duty stations to perform an important duty. Even though we're on a mission, I didn't want to miss the oportunity to recognize some of you for exceptional performance of your duties. Right now, on the StarBase, your Starfleet collegues are watching us. This setting ::gestures to indicate the surroundings:: is one of the hills of Salisbury, England, the site where many of King Arthur's knights took thier vows. I thought it a suitable place to pay my personal respects, and those of your fleetmates, to the virtues of honor, courage, and dedication for which you'll be recognized.

::Kelly stands::

KELLY: Commander Rendary, step forward. Lt. Commander Katrina Ta'el, step forward. Lt. Commander L-7, step forward. Lt. Rivan Solari, stepforward.::They do. :: For each of you, with thanks and congratulations from your crewmates and myself, I present the The Outstanding Simmer Merit Award II award to each of you for outstanding performance of your duties (for great simming). Commander, you earned this when you stepped so ably into the vacancy left by Commander Hege and then without much time to get comfortable performed the duties of the office under the stress of this mission. Lt. Commander Ta'el, put simply, you saved my life, that of my wife and child, and of your crewmates on the mission to planet RS-G6657-2 when you solved the riddle of the mysterious virus that afflicted RANGER. Lt. Commander L-7, your dedication to not only the letter of Stafleet regulations but also thier spirit, is now recognized. Please continue to represent the better part of Starfleet's soul. Lt. Solari, you've gone from science to helm. You drive RANGER like you learned on her. From all of us, Huzah!!

::The other officers join...::

HUZAH!!

::Kelly pins each TOSMAII award on the recipients. There is scattered applause from the watching crews, and within a few moments, the COM link is closed as the Ranger has important business to attend to::

::Back in the hall, the lights return to their normal setting and the hilltop scene is replaced by the stage and podium::

::Captain Jolon had seen to it that two large suspended drums were hung on either side of the entrance to the hall. They had illicited some looks when people had been filing in earlier, but they had soon ignored them. She glanced around the room, her crew had for the most part dispersed themselves throughout the crowd and appeared to be enjoying themselves, chatting for a few moments about the last presentation::

::Maela watched as the commodore finishes and it becomes her turn to make a presentation. She had made arrangements with a few of the StarBase crew to help out with her presentation, as well as a member of her own crew. It had, by this point in her career, become common knowledge that she did not do things like everyone else. In fact, she tended to make an enormous deal out of everything (pretty much). Today, and with this presentation, it was not going to be any different.::

::The lights dim again and Ensigns Glark and Bartok began to beat out a rapid and powerful rhythm on the suspended drums. The crowds attention was drawn to the back of the room which gave her the opportunity to step up to the platform relatively unnoticed.::

::Only the light above her slowly brightened creating more of a silhouette than a spotlight effect. She was wearing a ceremonial cloak of black and red with hints of a gold trim. The rhythm of the drums began to grow softer but remained consistent throughout the presentation. She began to speak.::

JOLON: Many warriors returning victorious from the hunt in ancient days and even today have returned home and been greeted by this rhythm. A rhythm in honor of their strength, prowess and success. It celebrates the power of the warrior's heart, recognizing its position of honor. And so we meet here in celebration and to honor those amongst us who have proven themselves successful and worthy of the honor being bestowed on them this day.

It is my pleasure to have the opportunity to present an award to one of Starfleet's finest officers. I am sure he is known to many of you if not in person, in reputation. He has served faithfully aboard the USS Freedom under the command of Captain Pelletier for quite some time. In that time he has demonstrated determination, loyalty towards his ship and crew as well as an ability in his field that should be looked upon as an example for others. I am greatly privileged to have him now serving beside me on the USS Isannah. Today we recognize this man and give him a place of honor amongst us.

Commander Shaun M. Marlin, please come forward.

::Maela watchs as he makes his way through the crowd and up onto the platform next to her. Reaching over to the table next to her, she unfolds a sash which she drapes around Marlin's neck.::

JOLON: This is a Klingon sash which serves as a visible marker of our pride in you.

::She extends her arm towards him, fist closed, and slowly open it revealing an empty palm. But not one that remains empty for long. A little blue twinkling light swirls on the palm then disappears leaving behind a metal.::

JOLON: Commander Shaun M. Marlin, I hearby present you with the T.O.S.M.A.I award in honor of your exemplary performance as a Starfleet officer.

::The drums that had grown soft now pounded with passion as she pinned the metal onto Commander Marlin's uniform.::

::There is applause, and as the drums quiet, the lights return again to their normal setting. Wolf makes his way to the platform::

WOLF: I too, have a good list of awards to give out, though I don't have anything elaborate planned. ::Smiles:: The first recipient is actually receiving two awards. Captain Sierra Randor, please come forward.

::Sierra makes her way to the front, and Wolf runs his hand over the pedistal for effect. Two glass boxes appear. Wolf takes the first award and moves to Sierra::

I now present you with the James T. Kirk Cross. ::He pins it on:: This award is given to those captains who show great potential in the field of commanding. ::His face softens:: I originally planned to give this to you long ago, when you first arrived, but things got a bit hectic on the base. ::They both smile:: So now I give it to you, and continue with the opinion that your ship will make the StarBase proud, along with your sisters ships in the fleet.

Next, ::he takes the other box:: I will pin the Neelix award to your lapel ::struggles for a moment with the red pin, which shows a spatula, quill, and phaser:: Your efforts to make UFOP better for all SIMmers have been noticed, and here awarded.

::He extends a hand and smiles:: Congratulations.

::Behind him, on the pedistal, another box appears by itself::

This next award goes to Captain Maela Jolon. ::Maela stands and makes her way forward:: This also is a Neelix award. YOUR efforts, especially in recruiting new members, has helped UFOP create more ships, and thus a larger fleet and more chances for SIMmers to have a great time. We thank you for this. ::He pins the award on and shakes Maela's hand::

I'd now like, the notorious Dr. Hamlet to step forward. ::Wolf grins as he takes the next glass box. Hamlet stands on the platform, smiling also:: As many of us know ::Wolf winks to a few choice StarBase members:: you have more than once got the StarBase out of a quandry. Your stunning array of robots, and tech gadgets has secured our base, as well as secured a few engineers places in mental wards. In short, we couldn't survive without you. Congratulations. ::Wolf pins the cross onto Hamlet's "dress jacket":: And, because Commodore Hege cannot be here at the moment, I'm also presenting you with the Barclay Bead, more most improved SIMming since your arrival into UFOP.

And here comes another StarBase member who is as notorious as Dr. Hamlet for causing trouble. ::Tristan scans the crowd, looking for the little one. He frowns, and snaps his fingers, ready for this. There is a moments pause as the Admiral concerns himself with finding the award. And soon enough, the child Magaera, scampers forward, two security guards standing at the back of the hall, having grabbed the girl from her hiding place::

::Wolf picks her up and sets her on the nearby table, then addresses the crowd:: Now, we don't usually award civilians with awards, but Magaera has shown wonderful SIMming skills, ESPECIALLY in creativity. So we do hereby award her with TOSMA I. ::Wolf smiles, hands her the box, and sends her running off again::

Finally, I'd like to have Commodore Brian Kelly step forward. ::He moves to the platform:: For your continued courage during SIMs, especially having finished missions while being injured, I present you with the Purple Star. Congratulations. ::He places the award over the Commodore's right breast, and smiles, shaking his hand::

Now, Jeff Pelletier, of the USS Freedom - A with his awards. ::Wolf takes his seat::

::Jeff makes his way up to the front with Va'al close behind, and goes over in his head again what he am doing, hoping not to screw it up. Talking in front of his crew is one thing, but in front of the untire UFOP, that is entirely different.::

PELLETIER: Thank you Admiral Wolf. I know I join my First Officer, Commander Va'al, in congratulating everyone who has already received an award and those who will receive one before the ceremony is over. I truly wish that we could give an award to everyone.

::Looking down at the PADD he has been holding, he decides that he might as well get this started.::

PELLETIER: As Wolf has already explained why each award is awarded, I will not bother in repeating it.

The first award I will give out is the TOSMA I. I could not decide on just one crew member to give this to. Therefore I am awarding it to two of the Freedom's crew. I would like to congratulate both Lieutenant Commander Sally Strange and Lieutenant Valeris. I would also like to point out that Commander Sally Strange was also nominated to receive this award by Commander Shaun Marlin, First Officer of the USS Isannah.

The second award that we will give out is the TOSMA II. I say 'we' because I will award it to one crew member and Commander Va'al wil award it another. I will start by welcoming one of my newest crew members to the stage; Lieutenant Prexis Sall. And now to Cmdr. Va'Al for the next award.

::Va'Al opens the box she is holding and looks up::

Va'Al: This award goes to someone who is cannot be with us in his physical form, but will always be in our thoughts. Stand up Commander Marlin! ::applause - Shaun is seen on the monitors to stand and move to the front of the holodeck:: I would like to present you with The Outstanding Simmer Merit Award II, for the great support and enthusiasm you have given us all when we were going through "low patches" and for the great enjoyment you put into all your sims, whatever the time or place. I would also like to thank you for all the work you have done to publicise the UFOP, and for the exciting new ideas you have given us for our simming. We shall miss you, and wish you all the best in your new posting.

::Val holds up the award, and it "disappears" from her hands, "reappearing" simultaneously on Shaun's uniform. Val smiles and motions to Kelly::

PELLETIER: Next, I would like to give the Barclay Bead to one of my crew members. Join me in congratulating Lieutantant Marko, my HCO Officer.

::Applause::

PELLETIER: Last, but certainly not least, we are once again awarding one medal to two of our crew members; The Scotty Cross. I will start by giving it to someone who is actually no longer a memeber of the USS Freedom. However, his long service with us does not go unreconized. I would like to award the Scotty Cross to Commander Shaun Marlin, now of the USS Isannah.

::Val, nods and returns to "center stage". This is the time she enjoys most, when she can give the people she works with the honour and praise they deserve. She feels proud to be able to do this, and honoured to have been asked to. As she goes towards the podium, and ensign hands her the box with the awards in it. She reaches the podium, and turns to face the crew. The monitors linking the Freedom to the other ships and SB118 are on line. Adjusting her voice for the link to SB 118, she speaks::

Va'AL: Greetings, everyone, again. I am here today to honour and salute members of this crew, past and present, with whom we have shared our adventures and who have made our missions much more enjoyable and interesting. I am sure I am not alone in saying that their effort and creativity have both helped us to improve our simming and given us different and exciting ways to sim. So, without further ado, I would like to finish my presentation. This award goes to an outstanding member of our crew, whose pranks are famous (or infamous?) throughout the Freedom and whose sense of humor is ever present however desperate the situation. Her creativity and her style are unique, and her solutions to our problems are always that little bit ... special! Lt. Commander Sally Strange, please come up to the podium!

::Strange gets up, smiling, and makes her way forwards to stand next to Val.::

Va'AL: Sally, I present you with the Scotty Cross, for which you were nominated both by myself and by Commander Marlin. Thank you for all the times you have saved my life, and those of many others in this crew, without ever making things boring or predictable!! ::applause - Val smiles and pins the award to Sally's uniform::

::Sally turns to go, but Val stops her::

Va'AL: Not so fast, Lt. Commander... I still have another surprise for you! I present you with the Purple Star, for the courage and dedication you have shown to us and to the missions we have undertaken, with no regard for your own life and safety. And don't forget, we will always need you... alive! ::more applause - Val pins the second award to Sally's uniform::

::Sally makes her way back to her seat::

Va'AL: Well, that is all from me. Before I go, I would like to ask that we all stand and give these two outstanding officers a great round of applause! ::lots of applause, and cheers::

::Val steps off the podium, a great smile on her face, and returns to her seat.::

::With the ceremony well underway, Cmdr. Marlin had found that it was a lot less exciting when you knew who was actually receiving the awards, but there were still a few surprises, and the general mood of the room was addictive and uplifting. Officers had come and gone amid loud cheers and rounds of applause, and everywhere he looked he could see beaming smiles of proud officers or others being given a well deserved pats on the back.::

::Knowing the time was at hand for him to give his speech, (even though he had deliberately not thought about what he was going to say, as he had always thought prepared speeches were not as heartfelt as off the cuff ones) he sat up, a little nervous. The podium, in front of the brass of Starbase 118, stood two old colleagues. Captain Pelletier and Commander Va'al, the command team of the USS Freedom-A. They were currently giving out their awards. Although Marlin was assigned to the USS Isannah, he had only recently transferred there, and had spent the previous 18 months serving on the Freedom-A, under the very two officers who now standing addressing the ceremony. And as such, his nominations for awards had all gone to officers who served alongside him in his 'Freedom-days'. And of all his nominations, he was only going to have to give out one award, as all of the others had already been conominated by other command officers. He was a little glad for this, as he hated addressing large gatherings, a crew was fine, but the whole of UFOP, well that was a different matter.::

::Marlin unconsciuosly fiddled with the collar of his dress uniform. For some reason it always made his neck itch. He always intended to replicate himself a new dress tunic, but just never got around to it, and so it was that once again, when he later changed out of my uniform, he would have a red neck, where he had been scratching all afternoon.::

::Realizing that Captain Pelletier was coming to the conclusion of his awards, he gave Marlin a quick, prearranged glance, which was signal to join him on the podium. Marlin quickly moved through the crowd and then up onto the podium, coming to a stop near Captain Pelletier and Commander Va'al::

PELLETIER: And I believe that there is one final award that will be given to a member of my crew and here to present that award is Commander Marlin, my former tactical officer.

MARLIN: < Mental note: In future, use prepared speeches, they might not be as heartfelt, but they do avoid you making an ass out of yourself in front of the whole of UFOP. >

MARLIN: Ahem, thank you captain

::For what appeared to be dramatic emphasis, but what was actually Marlin desperately trying to think of something to say, he stood silently and let his eyes move across the whole room, taking in all the people therein::

MARLIN: < Yup, there sure are a lot of people looking at me >

::With his mind suddenly blank, and realizing that this was probably going to go horrifically wrong, he decided he might as well just start, and hope a speech came together on its own accord. This had been his rough basis for giving speeches during the academy and so far he had done alright by it..::

MARLIN: Until recently I served as tactical officer onboard the USS Freedom, and I served on that vessel in one role or another, since I graduated my training under Commander Ruach some 18 or so months ago....

...A lot of useless information...

MARLIN: ....and as such, I feel that I got to know many outstanding officers very well. Most of these officers have already been decorated here today, quite rightly so too, and it so happens that the officer I am about to call up has already stood in front of you all some minutes ago. I am here to give out the TOSMA II award, because the officer who will be receiving it has repeatedly shown great enthusiasm in his duty, an enthusiasm which was almost addictive, and so I would like to call Lieutenant Marko, The Freedoms HCO, up to the podium.

::As Marko rose, Marlin kicked himself inside. He had been wanting to give a long colourful, witty speech that would stick in peoples minds for months. Instead he had just about managed 3 sentences::

< Oh well, I had never been one for long speeches anyway >

::Marlin takes his seat again as Elinor approaches the podium::

ELINOR: We have been very fortunate here on Star Base 118 to have as our leader, Admiral Tristain Wolf. That is why I was not surprised to see him nominated for the Picard Award. His work over the years in ensuring that our station excels all standards has gone far in giving us the prominence that we have today. When I joined the command structure here at 118, Admiral Wolf, myself, and Fleet Captain Yohan Bach were are only CO level officers. We had only two vessels. Now, we have six ships within our fleet, and an active base. And we show every sign of further expansion. And so it is with honor that I today bestow the Picard Award on Admiral Tristain Wolf. Live long and prosper, Admiral.

::Wolf bites his lip and moves forward, accepting the award. He never really expected one, and wasn't sure he needed to be awarded. Even so, he smiled, and hugged the ever unemotional Elinor for a little humor, then returned to his seat::

When Admiral Wolf and I took assignment here on Star Base 118, it was a small outpost outside of any normal routes of traffic. Now, we are a bastion of activity with multiple peoples living on the base, and six full time commissioned ships under our command. The Admiral and I decided, all those years ago, when we received this posting, that we would not force this base to grow more quickly than it could accommodate. That is why we did not promote any officers above captain for several years. Commodore Kelly was our first such promotion, and it was in deference to his years of service. Today, we come together to honor another officer whose years of service, and extraordinary service above the call of duty, merits distinction.

I first had the honor of working with Jeff Pelletier when he was assigned to the Centris as my first officer. Still quite green, I choose him largely on the recommendation of my sister. It was not a mistake. His service record on the Centris remains unparalleled. I cannot imagine a finer example of all we strive to be. And so it is with great honor that I have the privilege today to promote Captain Pelletier to the rank of Commodore, with all the responsibilities and privileges therein. Captain, if you would join me here on the dias.

::Elinor waits for him to do so, then pins a fifth solid pip to his dress uniform.::

Officers of 118, my I introduce Commodore Jeff Pelletier.

::She raises her hand.::

Live long and prosper, Commodore.

::Captain Sierra Randor waited until the crew, and the holodeck representations of the Starbase crew had quieted down, and finally moved towards the front of the room.::

It has been a wonderful experience to have served with you all for several months, and years, those that have been serving on the StarWind for that long.

::I stopped, wanting to say more, but not sure how to put it. I decided to pass and move on with the task at hand.::

It is my privilege to be able to pass on to some of you these awards.

::I glanced at my PADD and then looked up to the faces of my crew.::

Would the following officers please come forward. Lt. Commander Saroc, Lt.j.g. Je Eirno Maka, Ensign Jack Lucid, and Ensign TR. ::I waited until they stood before me and reached out to pin the award to their uniforms.:: I am happy to present you with the TOSMA II. Congratulations. I have been happy to have you all on board.

::I smiled warmly at them and stepped back.::

Ensign Ja'lor. ::He moved down from the ranks and stood in front of me. I reached out and pinned a small cross on his uniform.:: I am pleased to present to you with the Scotty Cross Award. You had a very intersting solution to a very nasty problem of ours awhile back, and even better, it worked. ::I grinned at him.:: Congratulations, Ensign.

And the final award I would like to present is the Neelix award to Commander Corran Dyson, for the wonderful work he has done with the ship.

::He came forward and I reached out to fasten the small pin to his uniform, then dropped my hand to shake his.:: Congratulations, Commander. Good work.

::There was a round of applause and I stepped down again to free up the 'podium' for the rest of the ships and their crews.::

::Wolf returns to the platform::

WOLF: Before we finish, I have one last award to give. ::Wolf takes a special, large box, from the pedistal, where it has materialized a moment before:: Because of the nature of this award, it cannot be given to any officer under the rank of Commodore. And as you know, we've just had an officer promoted to Commodore. ::Motions to Jeff, who is still standing behind him:: Commodore Jeff Pelletier: for you awesome devotion in time to UFOP's web pages, and for a few other things, the High Ranking officers of StarBase 118 would like to present you with the Picard Award. ::Applause as Wolf removes the award from the clear box, and places it on Jeff's uniform. The two exchange a few words, which are drowned out by the applause, and soon the commodore, and Elinor, return to their seats. Wolf remains to say a few final words::

As you can all see, the officers of StarBase 118 time and again show themselves to be great achievers in their work. Many go above and beyond the duty of being a fleet officer, and here we recognize them. I hope you all great luck in your travels beyond the boundaries of the StarBase walls, and wish to see you all, one day, receiving awards on this platform. Go forth now, board your ships, and travel to the stars and beyond. But, in the words of USS Obertha motto: taste far stars, touch the gold, find some limit beyond the galaxy... then come back, changed but safe, quiet, and grateful...