Awards Ceremony, 1999

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::It is always Fleet Admiral Wolf's duty to be the first to arrive at ceremonies... or, so he believes. In all actuality, it is the duty of the janitorial staff to be the first, as they make the necessary decorations for the celebration. Even so, he enters StarBase 118's massive atrium a good hour before any other officer. It is warm and sweet smelling in the tall grasses. He gives a moment to take in the peacefulness, before walking down the stone path, through a quaint forest setting. After a minute or two of walking, PADD in hand, he comes on a massive, round clearing. The grass is cut short, though Wolf can only see about a quarter inch of a ring around the clearing, as a large, hard mat has been laid down over the ground. Hundreds of chairs sit in straight, aligned rows, waiting for the guests::

::Walking up the center aisle, Wolf comes to the stage. It is raised about three feet off the matting, and can be reached by a rounded staircase. The stage is decorated simply with a few plants, making it blend into the scenery. A backdrop, which will double as a screen, hangs from a large, concealed scaffolding. In front of the drop is a standard Fleet podium, to the right of a short table. The Admiral's seat is placed off to the side of the podium, just far enough away so that it will not be in the spotlight when others are presenting::

::Already the atrium is getting dark. Out of the peacefulness comes the flaring of hundreds of torches. Wolf flinches, then realizes what has happened, as the torches' light radiates into the clearing. It gives a neat, shadowy effect, and the meadow seems to close in, becoming more cozy. Wolf takes his seat and waits, reading over the list of awards again and again, rehearsing his words::

... proud men and women who risk their lives …

::After a while, the first timid groups of officers begin to enter. Contrary to what most believe, Fleet personnel are sociable. Most are young, and have groups they spend time with. They come to these events together, to make themselves less noticeable. Wolf wouldn't notice them anyway. He continues his rehearsing quietly. To the growing number, who can only see him in the shadows, it looks as if he's asleep::

::Finally the time comes, and Wolf's chronometer beeps. He looks up, startled at how much time has passed, and how large the crowd has grown to. It is still fairly quiet, as the officers talk amongst themselves. The setting is not usual, and many are nervous not having a refreshment tabel to take a snack from. Their eyes dart around, waiting for something to happen. And when Wolf stands, the silence descends immediately. By the time Wolf is at the podium, most everyone is seated::

Dedicated officers of StarBase 118, welcome to our atrium, and this base's fourth award ceremony. The service you are about to see is unlike the rest, unique in it's quiet reflectiveness. I invite you to witness the celebration of this fleet's top officers, those proud men and women who risk their lives to defend and serve. I give you Captain SkyFire...

::Wolf moves away from the mic, and there was quiet. No captain approaches the podium. The audience grew uncomfortable for a moment. But it is all part of the plan. The torches near the stage douse themselves, and the backdrop comes to life::

::At the presecribed hour, Skyfire left his Ready Room proceeded to Deck 8, where the BreakDown was located. The quiet hum of the turbolift was rather soothing, he thought, especially before undertaking the task at hand. Skyfire was always nervous about making public presentations, even though his calm and confident exterior never betrayed his true feelings on such occasions.::

::The noise could be heard as soon as the turbo lift doors opened on to deck 8. The BreakDown, the hub of the ship's social activities. It was particularly noisy tonight as most of the ship's crew was gathered here, under Skyfire's invitation. He wondered briefly whether Bapp, the bartender, was able to cope with the sudden influx of people. But then, Skyfire reflected, he had never seen Bapp unable to cope with anything.::

::Rounding the last turn in the corridor, Skyfire could see a few officers standing outside the doors of the BreakDown, chatting with their drinks in hands. Strictly speaking, it was against regulations to be consuming synthahols outside of the lounge area, and these officers knew it. At the sight of their captain, most of them stiffened, uncertain what to do with the drinks they held in plain sight.::

::Skyfire would have smiled to put them at ease, but he knew a smile from him, not a reaction any of the crew would expect, would do more harm than good. Instead, he strolled up to the door, and told the officers in a low voice.::

SKYFIRE: At ease, officers. Please, do join me inside the lounge.

::Leading the way, Skyfire entered the lounge, which was already filled to the brim with people. Shuffling through the crowd was slightly difficult, but everyone made way, expectant. Calling the entire crew to the lounge for an informal gathering was not something Skyfire was expected to do, and they were certain something interesting was about to happen.::

::Finally making his way to the front and on to the small podium by the front window, Skyfire stepped up and turned to face the crowd. Back in the atrium, the scene of the lounge comes into focus. The crew on the Ronin quiet::

SKYFIRE: Ladies and gentlemen. I shall be brief. We have served together on this ship for some time now. Over this time, we have come to know each other. And, more importantly, we have come to depend on and trust each other. Some of us were already experienced Starfleet officers when we joined the Ronin or the Obertha, while others may have just graduated from the Academy. Regardless, we have grown, together, as a crew. Tonight, I have invited you here to honour particular crew members who, in my opinion, deserve honouring. I have made this an informal event, for I feel occasions such as these should be celebrated. Therefore, I encourage you to cast aside formalities, and join me in honouring the following people.

SKYFIRE: Lieutenant Byan Swatz, please come forward.

::At this, the crew cheered and clapped their hands, while several ushered a half surprised, half pleased looking Lieutenant Swatz onto the podium. From his pocket, Skyfire withdrew the two medals, keeping the second one hidden in his palm.::

SKYFIRE: Lieutenant Byan Swatz. You joined the USS Obertha as a fresh graduate from the Academy, and have served with me ever since. Over time, your experience in star ship operations have grown, and you have been able to apply yourself more and more, and have now become an invaluable part of the crew. For your continued improvement of both yourself and your capacity as a Starfleet officer, you have been nominated for, and given, the Barclay Bead.

::The crowd began to cheer and whistle, but Skyfire halted them with a raised hand. To the somewhat bewildered Swatz, he continued.::

SKYFIRE: Furthermore, Lieutenant, for your dedication to the operations of Star Base 118, and your devotion of your personal time for the upkeep of the Base's information service server, you have also been nominated for, and given, the Neelix Award. Congratulations, Lieutenant. ::Skyfire moved closer to pin the two medals on Swatz's uniform.:: It is an honour to serve with you.

::Skyfire stepped back and applaused. The crowd cheered loudly, with several officers, not the least of whom was Lieutenant James, the Chief of Security, offering Swatz drinks later. Bapp, on cue, appeared on the side of the podium with a tray in hand. On the tray were two tall glasses filled with a blue liquid.::

SKYFIRE: ::Taking the drinks and offering one to Swatz:: Lieutenant. A toast, to you. And your much deserved honour.

::Once the drinks were finished, Skyfire motioned the crowd to be quiet again.::

SKYFIRE: My fellow officers. Although we are a family, we are each an individual, and we have our differences. To be able to overlook these differences and yet function as a crew is something that we do. And something that we must do well to be a successful team. For someone from a radically different cultural background, someone who was raised with a completely different system of values from us, someone whose ideas of morals are completely different from our own to be able to function as part of the shipboard crew, is indeed a tremendous and difficult path to walk. Now, I realize some of you may disagree with me on the following, but I do believe it was a correct decision on my part. I call to the podium, Ferengi Special Envoy, Honourary Lieutenant Commander Rak.

::Most of the crew fell silent, though all did applaud out of politeness. Rak, looking as uneasy and embarassed as any Ferengi might at being honoured for his integrity and moral uprightness, stepped forward.::

SKYFIRE: Honourary Lieutenant Commander Rak. I realize you would perhaps that circumstances did not have you join my crew. I also realize that you feel your talents as a former DaiMon are unappreciated aboard this vessel. I know, however, that although regulations do not allow me to make you a formal part of the crew, you have nevertheless proved yourself to be an integral part of this crew. Your knowledge, your unorthodoxed methods, and your sheer resourcefulness have all time and again assisted this crew in completing our missions. I hope I speak for the crew when I say the following: you have, in short, overcome the deep running prejudice Federation citizens have against the Ferengis, and proved yourself to be a valuable asset to this crew. For this, Honourary Lieutenant Commander Rak, you are hereby awarded The Rachel Garrett Pendant.

::Skyfire hung the pendant around Rak's neck and stepped back, waiting for what he said to sink in. As the crowd began to applaud and cheer, and as Rak began puffing up his chest more and looking as pleased as a Ferengi who has just been promoted to seat of the Grand Nagus, Skyfire turned to the ever attendant Bapp, and took the two green drinks in his tray, offering one to Rak.::

SKYFIRE: Congratulations, Honourary Lieutenant Commander Rak. You deserve it. The Ronin crew is honoured to have you as part of the family.

::Skyfire finished his drink, and waited for the applause to die down slightly.::

SKYFIRE: Last but not least, and most befitting of the moment, I wish to honour a member of the crew who managed to lighten our usually grim and solemn work days. Though many of our missions call for the utmost of precision and care, with serious ramifications should we fail, this person has been able to lighten our usually grim outlook on things, thereby making the details of life in Starfleet more fun and less mundane. Lieutenant Kelen Lugard, please step forward.

::Again, the Lieutenant was half ushered forward to the podium.::

SKYFIRE: Lieutenant Kelen Lugard. Since your joining the Ronin crew from the Academy, your optimistic outlook on life has had a contagious effect on the crew. As a result, our spirits have been uplifted, and our outlook on events unfoldnig around us has taken on that certain optimistic innocence that you seem to radiate and infect those around you. For this, Lieutenant, you are awarded The Silver Palm.

::Skyfire took from his pocket the last medal, and pinned it to the Lieutenant's uniform. As the cheers and applause roared on about the podium, Skyfire turned and took the two colourless and bubbling drinks waiting on Bapp's tray.::

SKYFIRE: ::Offering a glass to Lugard and raising his own:: Lieutenant Lugard. Here is to you, and may your good humoured nature infect us all.

::Once Lugard finished his drink, Skyfire again raised a hand to quiet the crowd.::

SKYFIRE: Ladies and gentlemen. Please do feel free to honour the three award recipients in whatever manner you see fit. I feel it is my duty to mention that the three have all day tomorrow off. Be gentle with them.

::The scene on the backdrop fades out and the torches light again. The mood is one of a campire almost. The screen behind the podium changes again, but this time to show the RANGER's medallion and her motto, "The Price of Peace Is Eternal Vigialance." Senior Commodore Brian Kelly rises from his chair to assume the podium. He is a fit man of 43 or so, a former Marine SEAL and still wont to keep himself up according to the standards of the Corps. His hair is black but full of salt and pepper. He is tall and thick, standing at 250. He is of course known to the younger commanding officers present, but there was about him, like Fleet Captain Elinor, an air of the "old guard"; he is not one of the newer, more outgoing captains, and not part of thier clique; Despite his appearence and fitness level, he is referred to as the "old man" or "the old commodore" at times. A backhanded compliment. Kelly assumes the podium and stands ramrod straight, prone to formal tones in his speech. When he smiles, though, it reaches his eyes...::

KELLY: It seems, sometimes, as if I'm the ever aging Commandant of a Space-Faring Starfleet Academy all my own.

::Some chuckles::

KELLY: I see, around this room, captains and commanders whelped on RANGER and nursed by her, years ago. I see senior officers of every ship in StarBase 118's compliment who were once with us on RANGER. I come here each year older and more proud of the men and women I see around me.

::There is an exchange of warm looks among RANGER alumni... Captain Rendary, Commanders Va'al, McHendry, Vedoc, Hege-Kelly, L-7...many officers around the room who were given their start on RANGER and RANGER - A... not a few looks for Kelly, who, now that they really see him in such a light, DOES show his years in an older, more distinguished way. Commander Alis Hege-Kelly, holding Corrinne Hege-Kelly in her arms, knows the toll the last few years have taken...::

KELLY: Well, I will be direct for a change...

::Outright laughs and a few spots of claps... Kelly has NEVER been accused of beating around bushes...::

KELLY: I wish to commend several of my officers, some of whom have become so justly proud of their accomplishments that they have left RANGER for other callings...

::More laughs::

KELLY: Please hold your hurrahs until each officer called stands with me. And before I congratulate the officers who are to be recognized, I wish to tell my current senior staff, many new to RANGER, that I expect to recognize them here next year. They were so recently assigned, unfortunately, that the submission period for this ceremony was closed before they took service with us. Now. Lt. Commander Ka'el, please come forward.

::The Breen rises and steps forward, his environment suit polished to a sheen...::

KELLY: Commander, you have distinguished yourself as the new commander of our FS-9 flight wing. You have been in RANGER's driver's seat. You have nursed her woes and defended her honor and the honor of the Federation. You are a fine officer. Accept with thanks from myself and your shipmates the TOSMA-I award.

::Kelly and Ka'el salute.::

KELLY: Commander Colin McHendry, RANGER XO, please come forward.

::"Mac", as his friends call him, rises and stands with Kelly as Ka'el moved over...::

KELLY: Commander, you are still new to your new calling, and I know RANGER's engineering section misses you as much as you miss it.

::Some laughs again...::

KELLY: But in time, I'm sure that I will come to regard you as I have each XO who has served under me -- as a trusted friend in whom I can trust RANGER and the lives of her crew. Accept the TOMSA-II award with my thanks and that of your shipmates for a job well done.

KELLY: ::as an afterthought, but with a laugh in his eyes:: Though I'm sorry to say I won't be marrying any other XO's, of course.

::Laughs and some nods to Alis Hege-Kelly and the baby... Alis just smiled and shook her head at "that nut of a husband of hers"...::

KELLY: Commander Lang Vedoc, lately of USS ITHACA, come forward.

::Vedoc rises and stands with the others...::

KELLY: Lang, your intense devotion to duty, to doing what is right, to making any sacrifice, is the highest aspiration to which officers of this fleet may aspire. I thank the universe I'll never have to meet you in battle.

::Some laughs::

KELLY: Accept from your former vessel and her crew the TOSMA-I and the Captain Rachel Garret Pendant for your service and sacrifice.

::Salutes. Kelly's and Vedoc's eyes meet for a moment longer. Kelly knows what pain Vedoc has shouldered to come here. And they share bonds deeper than captain and officer. Lang and Kelly might have had the same road here, but for the sacrifce of other men and women who acted to save Kelly from Lang's pain..::

KELLY: Captain Jasen Rendary, step forward while I can still give you orders.

::Laughs as the new captain, lately RANGER's first officer, assumed the podium...::

KELLY: Of this man, my friend, I cannot find words to convey what I feel. I feel proud, like a father, for this man came to me as an ensign what seems an age ago. I feel a debt of honor, for he acted directly to save the lives of Federation citizens and also of my own family. I feel indebted as well because Captain Rendary took very good care of the ship and her crew, as a good XO will. I could not be more proud of him, and I could not feel safer knowing his ship stands with mine. Captain, for your service on RANGER, please accept the following decorations...

::Rendary stands at attention while Kelly pins on his uniform the awards...::

KELLY: The Neelix Award and the James Kirk Cross.

::They salute and shake hands...::

KELLY: Ladies and Gentlemen, please join me in thanking these officers and congratulating them for thier service.

::As Kelly sits down, nobody else seems to stand, and the audience falls quiet, wondering if something has gone wrong. The torches around the meadow flicker and seem to grow imperceptibly dimmer for a moment. Quietly the pounding of what sounds like horse hooves can be heard, although where from is not obvious. The sound grows louder and the ground of the atrium transmits the pounding of a galloping horses hooves. The audience turn their heads, as they now sense that the horse is approaching from behind the ceremony clearing.::

::Quite suddenly, out of the darkness and long grass, a figure appears, into the torch-lit clearing. The figure is riding a large, dark stallion, whose muscles can be seen rippling as the creature moves. A crested shield is attached to one side of the riders saddle, and on the other side, a long, heavy sword is sheathed. The rider's starfleet uniform is half covered by a tunic top, bearing a crest similar to that on the saddled shield. In places, a chain mail shirt can be seen under the tunic. The rider wears a helmet, which shines metallically in the torch-light. The holographic horse gallops through the centre aisle, and comes to a stop in front of the stage, rearing onto its hind legs and whinnying, before standing obediantly. Its breath forming holographic clouds in front of it, even though the temperature of the room is ambient.::

::The rider, stands on his stirrups, and raises his helmet. Those familiar with him, recognise the tall, well built Terran male to be Commodore Shaun Marlin, commanding officer of the starship Indria.::

MARLIN: Friends and fellow officers.

::His voice booms and resonates throughout the hall, a combination of much practice and some technical assistance from the microphone attached to his tunic.::

MARLIN: Thy are all aware why we come together this day, and I shallt not repeat idle words. I stand in front of ye, to award those who have served the starship Indria with honour, in the last several months.

::Marlin dismounts from the horse, drawing the huge sword from its scabbard as he does. He quickly mounts the stage, to stand at the podium.::

MARLIN: Commanders Jacobs and O'Malley, Lieutenant Commander Skye and Lieutenants Bain and Kobra. Please present yourselves.

::As the officers come forward, the room still echoed after the booming of Marlins voice.::

MARLIN: Sir Thomas Bain, on one knee ::Looking a little confused Bain knelt on one knee.:: Thou hat distinguished thine self in thine service to the Indria. It honours me greatly to bestow on thee the Barclay Bead.

::Instead of pinning an award on Bains chest, Marlin slowly taps each of Bains shoulders with his huge sword.::

MARLIN: I proclaim thee a knight of the Indria's table. Stand good sir.

::Marlin moves along the line, to stand in front of Lt. Kobra.::

MARLIN: Sir H'Riss del Kobra, on one knee. ::Kobra kneels:: Hero of the Indria, our safety is in thine hands, and yet never do we feel fear. Your excellent service is honoured with the nebula bar award.

::Again Marlin sweeps his great sword to each of Kobra's shoulders::

MARLIN: I proclaim thee Indria champion and a knight of her table. Stand, knight.

MARLIN: Lady Skye of Caledonia, on your knee. ::Skye, familiar with the routine now, goes down on one knee:: Although ye serve the Indria no more, thine service there was honourable. I reward thee with the TOSMA II award.

::Marlin once more 'knights' her with his sword.::

MARLIN: I proclaim thee an honourary knight of Indria's table. Who shallt be welcome whenever thy canst visit. You may rise, good lady.

MARLIN: Lady Jacobs of Caledonia, if you would ::She knellt down on one knee:: Thine service to Indria was exquisite and has been suitably rewarded with the command of the good ship Caledonia. I reward thee also with the Silver Palm. May ye fare well in thine travels.

::Marlin moves the sword from shoulder to shoulder::

MARLIN: Thou art missed on the Indria, and I hereby name thee a knight of her table. You may rise.

MARLIN: Sir Allen of Indria, on your knee ::Cmdr. Allen O'Malley drops to one knee:: Thou hast served my ship with honour and distincton. I would fare poorly without such a wonderful first officer to call upon. I reward thee with the TOSMA I award, and I declare thee the first knight of the Indria table. You may rise.

::Marlin turns back to the audience.::

MARLIN: Note well these fine officers, for all have served the Indria well. I jest not, when I decree that next time many more of the Indria's crew will stand before ye.

::The audience applauds, and the standard cheers and whistles drown out any other sounds. Marlin does not speak again, until the crowd quiets down.::

MARLIN: And with those words, I bid ye all farewell. Journey safely, and until we meet again.

::Marlin walks to the front edge of the stage, and jumps onto the back of his steed. Pulling on the reigns, the horse rears on its hind legs again, whilst Marlin holds his sword high in the night air. The torchlight reflecting off its polished sides. A moment later, and Marlin drops the sword to point forwards. In response, the horse whinnies, and gallops along the centre aisle again, until it leaves the light of the clearing and vanishes in the darkness beyond.::

::The audience can hear the pounding of hooves grow quieter, until it seems to dissapear completely. As quiet descends on the scene, a huge Klingon, in a Starfleet Commanders red uniform steps up to the podium, and takes the mic.::

DEMMA: It is my great honor today to be able to present an award for which I was proud that I nominated the recipient for. Today I am honoring a man whom over the past few months I have come to respect a great deal. A man who was given the unenviable task of taking over a crew who's former Captain decided to take her own life. I'm sure many of you know of whom I am speaking, for those of you who do not, I am speaking of Captain Sandolphan Aquiss. Captain Aquiss has not only been my Commanding Officer for the past few months, but he has also become a good friend. It has been my pleasure to serve him on his first command as his Chief Medical Officer and now on his second command the USS Nemesis as his First Officer. He has distinguished himself in battle, but has also won the respect of everyone in the fleet. He has served on numerous ships as well as Chief of Security on this very base. Today, Ladies and Gentlemen, please join me in presenting Captain Sandolphan Aquiss the James T. Kirk Cross. No one deserves this more than Captain Aquiss.

::Music flows out of the hidden speakers in the clearing. The music is easily recognizable as the theme used many times for the crew of the original USS Enterprise NCC 1701, of which Captain James T. Kirk first commanded. As the music is played, Captain Aquiss stands and straightens his dress uniform, white with gold trim. As he moves towards the stage, he passes several of the other captains, including Jolon, LeCrisp, and Jacobs. Aquiss meets the eyes of Leigha Jacobs, and a look is passed between the two that only those who were involved in the failed Ithaca-Freedom War Games would recognize. He takes the stage beside Demma.::

DEMMA: ::To Aquiss:: Sir, it gives me great pleasure to present you today with the James T. Kirk Cross for new captains who show outstanding potential. ::Demma pins the medal on to Captain Aquiss' jacket, then turns to the audience:: Ladies and Gentlemen once again Captain Sandolphan Aquiss.

::The entire congregation stands and applauds wildly, the loudest cheers coming from the crew of the Nemesis, of course. The Kirk Cross is a coveted award and prestigious award. The crowd acknowledges, and honors Captain Aquiss as he and Demma leave the stage together::

::Jolon sits rigidly with a long narrow black leather box under her arm as she waits for her turn to make a presentation. The moment finally arrives as Aquiss and Demma leave the stage, Jolon stands, tugging slightly on her dress uniform to straighten it out, then walks down the isle and up to the podium.::

::Jolon's auburn hair, though still short, has grown out a bit and begun to form waves that now frame her face and half cover her Ktarian brow. She places the leather box on the podium carefully at a perfectly straight line parallel to the top edge of the podium before looking up at the large audience of Starfleet officers that are gathered for the ceremony.::

::Captain Jolon has no intention of going off and making any elaborate speeches. She is determined to be straight to the point. Jolon has always hated assemblies and such in her academy days where the professors gave elaborate speeches to dress everything up to excess. She takes a breath and scans the crowd for a moment before speaking.::

JOLON: During my command thus far, I have seen officers come and go from my ship. Some have stood out in ability and others in personality, while even others seemed to have blended in like the carpet. ::The audience chuckled and Jolon looked up to see why they were laughing, but continued.:: I would like to take this opportunity to recognize an officer who has not been with the Isannah since the beginning but has become a very valuable member of the Isannah crew. Lieutenant Alucard, come forward please.

::Jolon waits as Alucard makes his way to the podium. She opens the black box and pulls out a golden cross attached to a colored ribbon.::

JOLON: Mr. Alucard, not so long ago was promoted to Chief of security. ::To Alucard.:: You joined the Isannah as an HCO officer, but during your time as HCO officer, I believe you have gone farther than that in your duties on the Isannah. You have always been quick to evaluate situations that have arisen during missions and to give possible courses of action and react wisely. This is a quality I am proud to have to opportunity to recognize and draw to the attention of everyone here today. I am honored to present to you the Scotty Cross.

::Jolon reaches over and pins the cross to his uniform. After the applause Lieutenant Alucard leaves the platform, returning to his seat.::

JOLON: I am honored to have this chance to make a presentation to an officer who came aboard the Isannah in the beginning when it was recommissioned. Lieutenant-Commander Valarious T'Elt McGregor, please come up. ::Jolon pauses a moment and continued to speak as Valarious makes her way through the crowd.:: When we started out, I new to the rank of Captain and she was a new Ensign. And an awkward Ensign she was. ::Jolon smiles Mona Lisa style for a moment as Valarious stands next to her. Jolon opens the leather box and pulls out the first medal. It is like a purple rain drop with a golden trim.:: Valarious, it was my honor to have you as a part of my crew for so long and watch you develop from that awkward Ensign into a sophisticated Lieutenant-Commander. In honor of your achievements from Ensign to Lieutenant-Commander it is my pleasure to present you with the Barclay Bead. ::Jolon pins it onto Valarious' uniform.:: This is much deserved.

I must admit I had my doubts about having a Romulan running my security department on the Isannah. Valarious has proven her loyalty and continuous willingness to go above and beyond the call of duty on all occasions. There was never a doubt as to whether or not Valarious would come through. She always found a way. ::Jolon opens the black box a second time, this time removing a yellow and blue circular medal, the TOSMA 2 award.:: This is a marker I pin on your uniform that reminds all of the quality of an officer who make this fleet not a good one but a great one.

::Jolon watches Valarious descend from the platform, she has already turned long-winded like her academy professors. She frowns to herself then continues on with the next presentation.::

JOLON: I would like to call up another officer who has been with me since the beginning. He started off as the Isannah's counselor and worked his way up to First Officer. Commander Nathan Quinn, if you would come forward. ::She speaks as he makes his way through the crowd.:: Commander Quinn's gentle nature gives him a special ability to relate to people and draw good things from them.

::Jolon looks at her First Officer who now stands next to her. There is no officer onboard the Isannah who was less like her than Quinn was. Her strong, tough personality contrasts sharply with his calm, gentle personality. Even their appearances contrast. She is fair skinned with reddish hair, he is lightly tanned with brown hair. In almost every sense, they are apples and oranges, as many Terrans would say.::

JOLON: Starfleet does not honor only the great warrior but also those who strengthen a crew. ::She pulls out a gold and silver bar.:: I would like to recognize all these things in you by presenting you with the Neelix Award.

::She reaches forward to pin on the award. Jolon narrows her eyes slightly. Had he just pulled back in the slightest, thinking she would stick him with the pin? She ignores it and secures the pin on his uniform.::

JOLON: Mr. Quinn, I cannot let you walk off this platform too quickly however. Commander Quinn as suffered my wrath many times, I know that my crew would testify to that. ::She smiles slightly.:: Even though I have been especially tough on him, he has been an outstanding part of every mission the Isannah has gone through as a crew. His devotion to the crew and to Starfleet is admirable. To this end, it is my honor to present Commander Quinn with the TOSMA 1 medal as a symbol to all as to what Starfleet stands for.

::She pulls out the medal and pins in on his uniform, giving it a position of honor slightly above the Neelix award. Jolon looks at him seriously and reaches out, shaking his hand. With no further words said, she vacates the podium for the next presenter, Captain Leigha Jacobs::

::Jacobs has never been one that had a problem being the center of attention when she herself was trying to attract notice. However, when she became the involuntary center of everyone's attention, Jacobs became somewhat unnerved. As she moved forward to the head of the dais and took center stage, she took a deep breath. Looking out on the audience, Jacobs tried to force a smile on her face even though she was scared out of her wits.::

JACOBS: < Boy, is it just me or are there a lot of people in here... and now I am expected to say something witty and do I get myself into these things? >

::Taking a final deep breath, Jacobs took on her natural poise and began to speak.::

JACOBS: As some of you may or may not know, before I was granted command of my own vessel, I served for quite a long time as the chief medical officer aboard the USS Indria-A. I came aboard as an exuberant young ensign and left a somewhat tempered officer with the rank of full commander. I would not be where I am today if it had not been for the guidance and teaching of the Indria's commanding officer. His patience and dedication not only to me but to all of his crew is nothing short of remarkable.

::Turning to her side, Jacobs locks her eyes on one of the officers who had been thus far sitting back quietly in the crowd. Nodding her head slightly, she speaks with an ever confident lilt in her voice.::

JACOBS: It is now my pleasure to honor this man here today.

::Leigha deliberately pauses a moment as she swallowes. Her throat has become incredibly parched as she speaks the following words.::

JACOBS: Commodore Shaun Marlin...would you please come forward?

::Marlin stands and makes his way to where Jacobs stands, as she waits for him. Once he has arrived at her side, Jacobs finishes her planned out dialog as she takes a box that someone handed her, although she has been too wrapped up in the moment to notice who.::

JACOBS: Commodore, it is my great honor and pleasure to present you with the Prantares Ribbon. Your hard work in both diplomacy and strategic tactics have helped make sure that the lives of your crew and nearby civilians are rarely in peril. Your peaceful solutions to many a difficult dilemma have shown how gifted an officer you are. Congratulations.

::Pinning the medal to Marlin's tunic, Jacobs leans in slightly and whispers to Marlin with a smile on her face.::

JACOBS: ::whisper:: Hey you...this is certainly strange with me being on this side giving you the award. Congratulations, Shaun.

::Standing back, Jacobs shakes Marlin's hand before silently melting into the background and returning once more to her seat.

::Commodore Randor steps up to the podium, smoothing the creases of sitting from the tunic of her dress uniform. One hand flips the heavy black plait over her shoulder, while she sets the PADD she is holding down on the lectern and looks out at the sea of faces below her. They are all watching her, her crew is expectant, the rest merely curious. She is up there to make a speech, and as it usually happens, the carefully prepared speech, readied the night before seems completely useless and irrelevant today. At least to her own eyes. But then, it is always the same for the small handful of people in the universe who have a bad time with speeches, and standing up before crowds. Following in the well-worn footsteps of those few, she discards her dead speech and steps around the solid column holding the small boxes and speech PADD. Hands clasped behind her back, she meets the stares of the crowd.::

RANDOR: I will not start by the fancy speech I had planned, I think we're all seeing plenty of speech-making tonight and even the most formal of our company will have their fill of it before we're through here. I would like to say, though, that I find it an honour to serve with a crew as fine as the one on the StarWind. ::She grins, glancing over at the other captains, commodores and admirals.:: I know I am bragging when I say that I believe I've been graced with one of the finest ships and crews in the fleet, but, I'm sure you'll indulge me and agree with me as I say that they deserve the highest of recommendations for their hard work.

::Pulling one of the small boxes off the lectern, she opens it, revealing the engraved pin nestled in a bed of soft black velvet.::

RANDOR: Commander L-7, if you'd join me for a moment. ::She pauses as the robotic officer makes his way to the front.:: You've been a great help to me in the past several months and a no small supporter. In recognition of that, I would like to present you with the Neelix award, and with it, my deepest thanks.

::She hands over the box, and the Commander accepts it, as impassive under the attention as only a robot can be. Randor casts her eyes heavenward, but smiles as he steps down to reclaim his seat among the audience.::

RANDOR: Lieutenant junior grade T'Lan, please come forward.

::Standing, the woman steps forward, joining her commanding officer on the podium. Randor smiles at the expressionless face of the Vulcan and retrieves another box.::

RANDOR: Lt. T'Lan, you have been with us only a short time, yet you have done an excellent job, and have earned the respect of your shipmates. I'm pleased to be able to present to you, the TOSMA award.

::T'Lan gives a stiff salute, and accepts the box. The Commodore lets her go, pausing slightly to pick up her next box and come up with words for the next presentation.::

RANDOR: Lt Terreis Bryte please come for. ::There is an enthusiastic yelp from among the StarWind crew and a chair scrapes loudly on the floor as the officer called makes her way happily forward. Randor has to work to keep the amused look under control, but manages as she is joined by the young officer.:: Lt Bryte, I'm pleased to present you with the TOSMA II award in recognition for the hard work you've put into your ship and the care you have shown your fellow crewmembers.

::Bryte gives a hurried salute, and only slightly babbles the thanks, retreating to show her prize to her friends.::

RANDOR: Lt.j.g. Collim Denari, ::The officer stands up and moves onto the podium, glancing self-consciously towards the audience.:: You have been with us a very short time, and yet have shown yourself to be an imaginative and willing officer. The reports from your superiors speak highly of the way you have handled yourself and the situation aboard ship. So, I am pleased to present you with the Scotty Cross award. Congratulations, Lieutenant.

::Saluting easily to the younger officer, Randor turns the Bajoran loose again to return to the ranks.::

RANDOR: Lieutenant Adora Tekra, once again I have had nothing but good reports about you, and have seen for myself you have been able to offer the crew. So, in recognition of your work, I'm presenting you with the Silver Palm award. Congratulations, Lt. ::The officer steps down and Randor takes her final box from the stand.:: Ensign Kadi Lenara, please join me. ::She waits while the woman makes her way up, then hands her the open box.:: Since you have joined us, Ensign, I have noted that your work has improved. So, in recognition to that fact, I am pleased to give you the Barclay Bead award.

::The counselor takes the award, clearly pleased, and as she returns to her seat, Randor turns again to face the crowd.::

RANDOR: For the rest of you, and those who have recently joined us, I would like to say keep up the good work, and I will hope to see you up here with me next year. You are a wonderful crew and I am pleased to see improvements each time I take a look at you. Keep up the good work, and perhaps you'll be the one up here next time.

::She smiles, and steps down, making way for Elinor of Kanist. Elinor walks up almost slowly, an annoying habit she has of emphasizing her presence, or so it seems to Terrans.::

ELINOR: Recently, I suggested the addition of the Andorian Battle Star to our roster of awards. This award is given in recognition of Commanding Officers who have demonstrated superior tactical skill in combat situations. The Council voted to approve this addition of Federation merit, and Commander Vedoc has nominated our first recipient. I second his nomination fully, and am honored today to present this award to Senior Commodore Brian Kelly of the USS Ranger. The Ranger, and ships like her, enable many thousands of people to enjoy the priviledges and opportunities of space, and of the many worlds we explore. Without their constant vigilence, this Federation could not survive. The work of Commodore Kelly is of the highest importance, and his execution of his duties is a clear example for us all. Commodore, congratulations.

::She pulls out the award, a four pointed Titanium star with a center sapphire, hung on a blue and white ribbon, and awaits the Commodore. When he steps up, she hangs it onto his uniform. Both walk off the podium, seemingly unaware of the roar of applause from the audience, as they are engaged in deep conversation. San Aquiss stands at his que, and regards those assembled. Very tall - 6'6" he looked like a Vulcan-stalwart... but those who knew him realised that he was quite passionate - and far more emotive than any Vulcan - a legacy of his hidden Betazoid heritage. He recognised only a few faces... most were friendly or indifferent - few were hostile - but he noted to himself that the number was increasing by the year::

AQUISS: < I wonder if it increases faster as you progress in rank - I'll have to talk to Randor and the Admiral about that. >

::Aquiss feels a little uneasy - he is still one of the newer COs and felt as if that would be a stigma he would carry for some time. He is also a little uncomfortable to be giving only two-thirds of his awards to current crewmen. One award in particular was to be given to someone with whom he had served for only a brief period. Another award was to be given to a retired officer - but he was no less deserving of the accolade..::

AQUISS: We are gathered here today to honour those that have performed above and beyond the requirements of duty. Today I am bestowing six awards.. and even this number seems inadequate... I can see many deserving crewmen gathered today - and I am sure that your time will come... but to the vast majority - today - unfortunately is not YOUR day.

::He pauses, realising that some may have taken offense or otherwise feeling slighted... he gives them some time to themselves before proceeding.:: Those gathered here today serve witness to greatness - a role as important as the award itself... I'll get things moving along now - I remember what it's like to be stuck as a part of the audience. I am going to call the award recepients in one group - please hold your applause until the end.

::Aquiss watches the audience, many are still excited - he realises that there probably have been quite a few rumours circulating among the ranks.::

AQUISS: Lt.Commander Adler, Lt. Commander Demma, Lt. Commander Madeliene Prior, Lt. Robert Falcon, Lt. Swatz, and Doctor Hamlet of Dane... please come forward.

::Aquiss waits as they make their way - a couple of nervous smiles a few exchanged whispers amongst themselves and they are standing before him.::

AQUISS: We have much to thank you for... ::Indicating the small group before him. Aquiss then looks up regarding the entire assemblage.:: Lt. Commander Adler it has been my pleasure to serve with you. ::He places a gloved hand on her shoulder and a transporter effect beams her TOSMA II directly onto her dress uniform. They shake hands and the empaths in the audience have a fleeting sense of.... but it's lost as Aquiss turns to the next in line.::

AQUISS: Torack Demma, you are an asset to the fleet - wear this with honour and pride. ::Aquiss places his hand on Demma's shoulder and the TOSMA I appears upon his uniform. They shake hands powerfully and smile, Demma steps back.::

AQUISS: Lt. Commander Madeliene Prior, I first met you during your tenure as XO on the Ithaca... and later as the XO of the Ithaca-Freedom joint forces. Your service then and elsewhen left me no doubts as to your worthiness for this award.

::Again he places his hand on her shoulder and soon the Strange Medallion appears on her uniform. He goes to shake her hand but instead reveives a hug from his new second officer. Aquiss breaks the embrace and turns to the three remaining. Hamlet gives him a "Don't even think about it" look, and Falcon just looks a little nervous.::

AQUISS: Lt Swatz, we served together only briefly, although the news of the extra duties you have undertaken have reached me.. and in appreciation I'd like to give you this.

::The Neelix award appears on his uniform, they shake hands and Aquiss turns to Falcon.::

AQUISS: Lt Falcon, our history together hasn't always been rosy, but there is no denying your sense of duty and loyalty - sometimes beyond the call. This ::Aquiss gestures and the Purple star appears in his hand.. he then proceeds to pin it on Falcon's chest.:: is a token of the Federation's gratitude, and mine. ::Aquiss takes his hand and shakes it before turning his attention to Hamlet.::

AQUISS: Dr Hamlet of Dane, some of my best and worst memories of my early service involve you... but if it weren't for you - I wouldn't be here. No one who knows of you could possibly say that you serve no function ::More than a few chuckles can be heard around the room.:: Today I'd like to honour your creativity, your genius, even though you have chosen to part company with Starfleet... ::Aquiss places his palm out before him and a wooden display box is beamed into it.:: Dr Hamlet - I present to you the Scotty Cross.

::The crowd roars to life as I shake Hamlets hand and pass him his medallion. Those awarded remain to receive their applause before returning to their friends and family. Aquiss takes the opportunity to leave the group of COs and returns to his own family - the crew of the Nemesis. Much of the 'older' guard roar to life - some standing. Aquiss took the opportunity that the ovation had produced to make his exit - taking his seat among his crew, his family... and ready to join the celebrations as the next presenter, Fleet Captain Elinor, takes her place at the podium again::

ELINOR: We honor creative problem solving within our organization with the Kalendra Award. This award is given to officers who show ... unorthodox methodology in their work, while effectively moving toward the resolution of some crisis. I believe it will come as no suprise to any of you present here today to hear that Captain Maela Jolon has been nominated for this honor. And I am sure you will join me in congratulating her for her eccentric style of command.

::It is obvious that Elinor questions the wisdom of the Kalendra award, and she stands awkwardly awaiting Jolon's arrival to the podium. Opening the black box on the table next to the podium, Elinor pins the award to Captain Jolon's uniform. The two shake hands, and leave the stage as Admiral Wolf stands and moves towards the center of the stage. He holds no mic, and stands far from the podium, but his voice is still heard over the speakers::

WOLF: It is with a sad heart that I announce to you, the apparent death of Captain Brad Paine. I have on this PADD ::he holds up a PADD in his hands, and walks slowly forward:: his awards recipients.

::The computer receives the cue as Wolf walks past a certain point on the stage, and the torches douse. It is quiet in the atrium... save for the sounds of the night, on almost any planet. Insects that sing, and birds chirping. On stage, a holographic campfire has lit, shadowing Wolf as he speaks::

WOLF: Tonight I give you the awards recipients of Daris 2 Colony, currently inactive: Lieutenant Gero Speed, for his outstanding work in the field of science, tonight recieves the TOSMA II. Lieutenant, Junior Grade, K'tar, one of the few Klingons who bear the burden of a StarFleet life, acquires the Barclay Bead, for most improvement during his time on the colony. Lieutenant, Junior Grade, Ozuird Degoth is commended with the TOSMA I. And finally, Petty Officer Saroth receives the Purple Star for his heroic duty in finishing the job, while wounded.

::Tristan bends down slowly, to one knee. Then, closing his eyes, he plunges his hands into the fire. Gasps are heard from the audience. The admiral removes his hands, holding a round, fiery log. His hands are uncharred, and his uniform clean and neat. He stands, holding the log towards in the crowd. Then in one dramatic move, he raises his knee and breaks the log in half. A shower of sparks float upwards, as the log crumbles into two pieces. As the crowd watches, the log disintegrates in Wolf's hands, into the four awards::

WOLF: Inside each of you is the power to do great things. Go out into the unknown, and discover the power to achieve.

::Wolf backs away from the fire, and all that can be seen are the four awards, shining brightly. Applause starts quietly and slowly, then builds. It takes a full minute to die down. The Admiral may not be a popular man anymore, but he can put on a show::

::Captain Lecrisp ascends to the podium, replendent in his white dress-jacket. The torches have relighted, and the bonfire is no where to be seen. Taking a moment to savor the view, Lecrisp takes two deep breaths to calm himself::

LECRISP: Admiral Wolf, Admirals, Commodores, Captains, Ladies and Gentlemen. As we have assembled here to honor those among us who have excelled in their fields, let us take a moment to remember those who have gone before us, and have given their lives that we might continue our journeys.

::There is a short pause; a profound silence.::

LECRISP: I am immensely proud to be presenting these awards today, to some of the fines officers I have had the privilege of serving with. Ahem. I call upon Commander Sasha Ice.

::He waits as his exec climbed the stairs to stand beside him.::

LECRISP: I first met Sasha Ice when he was CMO, assigned to the Arizona. In the turbulent months that passed, I came to know more about him, and to be able to watch his growth from background character to a prime motivator. I am pleased to present Commander Ice with the Barclay Bead, for improvement in Simming technique.

::Lecrisp pins the award onto Ice's lapel, and receivs a firm handshake and broad smile in return.::

LECRISP: I call Lieutenant Iolo Madoc Llewelyn, Ship's counsellor. Lieutenant Llewelyn, for your ability to create detailed character backgrounds and involved subplots, for refining the "Lower Decks" concept on the Arizona, and for generally kicking ass with well defined, consistent, logical characters, I hereby present to you TOSMA I.

::As Reg pins the medallion to Llewelyn's jacket, he commens:: We'll talk about that promotion when we get back to the ship.

::Returning his attention to the assemblage, Lecrisp continues::

LECRISP: There is one final award I would like to present. Lieutenant Commander Madeleine Prior. We've been through a lot, haven't we? But through it all, I have always been able to trust you to keep the crew going. To add that certain special spark, which would enable us to continue, when things looked darkest. It is with great and sincere pleasure that I present you the Silver Palm.

::Pinning the award to her lapel, Reg recalls a certain Warp-Nine rendezvous with a passenger shuttle, and the certain exuberant young HCO who whooped at the order. With just the slightest hint of a blush about him, he quickly leans forward to kiss her cheek, whispering "Yee-hah!"::

LECRISP: I would like to thank all of you assembled here, and I ask one final favor. Please take the time to congratulate these award recipients in a more personal forum. They are the lifeblood of StarFleet. Without these fine officers, we would be diminished. Thank you.

::He gives a short, formal bow, and moves off of the podium.::

::Sitting back and observing the other commanding officers present their awards had been the easy part of the evening for Commander Jacobs...well, for the most part anyway. She is seated on the aisle to her right and on her left sits her command crew. Her second officer, Lieutenant Commander Valarious McGregor sits between Jacobs and the Caledonia's XO Skye. Valarious, or Val as she is more affectionately called, had been fidgeting with her dress uniform all night. Jacobs sighes as she looks over. Every time Val tugged her pants leg this way or that, she was kicking the leg of Jacobs' chair... and it was driving Leigha nuts.::

::Jacobs sighs as she tries to concentrate on what Wolf is saying as he prepares to introduce the next presenter, which by all rights, should be Jacobs.::


JACOBS: <For the love of......> ::whisper:: Val....


JACOBS: ::sigh... low voice:: Val....


JACOBS: <Why me?> Valarious...



::Valarious looks up at Leigha....she stops fidgeting long enough to stare at Jacobs who had drawn the attention of Skye and a nearby Demma of the Nemesis with her loud voice, although they seemed to be the only ones who had noticed.::

McGREGOR: Commander?

::Jacobs leans in closer to Val as she speaks.::

JACOBS: Two, remind me NEVER to sit by you again at any function when you are in dress uniform....and two, what's the problem anyway? You are driving me nuts because you keep kicking my chair Every time you fidget with your uniform.

McGREGOR: Well, it's just that every time I shift in my seat my uniform....

::Suddenly Jacobs realizes that she is no longer just being spoken to by her second officer as she notices that Wolf is eying her from the dais as he completes calling her forward to make the Caledonia presentations. Jacobs flushes slightly as she mutters to Val that they will continue their discussion later. She then proceeds to scramble to her feet and up the dais to where Wolf is waiting for her to take her place.::

JACOBS: < Oh, wonderful, Leigha....perhaps if you tried a little harder you could make yourself look like an idiot in front of the *entire* fleet.... >

::Jacobs takes the podium with a natural ease...she always does well in any situation in which she is the focus of attention. As she looks out over the gathered officers, Leigha realizes that her throat has suddenly become very dry. However, she only pastes a smile on her face once more to hide her disconcertedness as the present awards ceremony was the very first one she had ever attended as the Caledonia's CO. Taking a small breath before speaking, Jacobs places both hands on the podium and gazes directly out at the audience as she starts to speak.::

JACOBS: Since the Caledonia has been commissioned for a very short time, the two awards I have to present have more to deal with the crew that I had the pleasure to command during my tenure as the CO of the USS Ithaca. Unfortunately, one of those officers is no longer apart of my crew while I am very lucky to still have one of them with me as a part of the Caledonia's crew. If I may first call that very individual up to the dais now...Lieutenant Rachel Daninburg please come forward.

JACOBS: < Gotcha, Rachel. Score one you never saw that one coming. >

::Jacobs watches with pride her chief TAC officer comes forward from the ranks of the Caledonia crew that had gathered. The young woman is obviously blushing as the slight reddish tint on her cheeks grew brighter. However, Leigha delights in continuing to embarrass her stalwart officer....Rachel Daninburg is one of the few people that Jacobs knows who is not easily flustered. As Jacobs continues to speak about her, the pride evident in her voice only continues to grow.::

JACOBS: Lieutenant Rachel Daninburg, some months ago, a young officer was sent to me from the academy. Fresh out, she had served with distinction in the Star Fleet Marine corps and had only now finished her officer training. I believe the exact comments of the training coordinator who sent you to me were that you would be an "invaluable asset" to my crew. Little did I know how right she was. A short time ago, I was very pleased to promote you from the rank of ensign to that of full lieutenant. I now am even more pleased to bestow the Outstanding Simming Merit Award to you. Given to those officers who show extreme talent in the field of simulations, I can think of none more deserving than you. Congratulations. ::Looking like a deer caught in headlights, Daninburg does the only thing that instinct would allow her... the marine trait drilled into her head of standing at full attention and simply extending her hand for Jacobs to shake. Leigha proudly takes the young woman's hand in her own as soon as she had finished pinning the corresponding medal to the tactical officer's tunic. Never having been one of many words, Daninburg briefly gave her thanks and then gave Jacobs a smile before she returned to her seat.::

::Jacobs nods in pleasure at the reaction of Daninburg. However, is sure that Daninburg will waste no time in returning the favor at her earliest convenience once the crew returns to the Caledonia. Jacobs' grin widens even further as she anticipates how fun that will be. As is, Jacobs turns her attention to her one remaining task before she can leave the gathering and go start the real fun at the mandatory celebration after the ceremony.::

::Turning back to the podium, Jacobs licks her lips once more as she prepared to present her last and perhaps the second hardest award that she had ever had to do.::

JACOBS: < I really need to look into some lip moisturizer. >

::Jacobs couldn't help it as her face softens while she spoke about the next award recipient.::

JACOBS: I believe that any commanding officer knows that one of the most important keys to maintaining an excellent crew is having an excellent executive officer. Although Lieutenant Commander Skye now serves that post aboard the Caledonia with me, aboard the Ithaca someone else manned that station. If Lieutenant Commander Madeleine Prior would please come forward.

::Leigha couldn't help herself as she grins at Prior who had thus far made several trips up to the dais. She seemed to have a look on her face that said "what have you done now?" Leigha could only smile in response before she finishes her speech.::

JACOBS: Not so long ago, just after I had been posted to my first deep space assignment aboard the original USS Arizona under Captain Ruach, I happened to meet another young officer. She was a quiet person who preferred working the solitude of the delta shift at the science station to the hustle and bustle of the alpha rotation I served at medical. Quite a while later, we again met, although this time it was just after her ship had been lost. Forced to incorporate the remnants of her crew and mine aboard the Ithaca would have been a near impossible task had Commander Prior not put in all the hard work she had. Serving in the capacity of my executive officer, she was always there for ANYONE who ever needed anything whether she was on duty or off. Her commitment to all of the officers of the Ithaca's crew was nothing short of remarkable. Thus, it is with great, great pride I award her the Neelix Award for that extra devotion to her crew.

::A loud cheer of applause went up as Jacobs reaches over and prepares to give Prior her umpteenth award. However, she pulls back and speaks in a voice low enough so that only Prior can hear her.::

JACOBS: ::whisper:: You know, Mad....on second thought, I don't think we can give this to you.

::Prior's eyebrows arch.::

PRIOR: Leigha, that is not funny.

JACOBS: Oh, I am not trying to be funny....I am simply thinking that maybe we should give this to someone else. I mean, how many times have you been up to the podium already...:mumble:: We really should have coordinated with these awards.

PRIOR: Leigha...

::Jacobs looks up at Prior with an innocent look on her face.::


PRIOR: Leigha!

JACOBS: ::resigned:: Oh, alright.....

::Grinning as she pins the commendation to Prior's already cluttered tunic, Leigha chuckles softly. Jacobs then gives her a quick hug as she whispers in her ear.::

JACOBS: You may be on Aquiss' command team now, but remember who you started with.

::She then smiles once more before she then let the ever quiet Prior make a retreat from the limelight. Her work finally done, Jacobs once more goes back to her seat to await the conclusion of the ceremony.::

::As Jacobs leaves the stage, Commander Quinn makes his way through the audience and to the podium. He can feel everyone's eyes on him.::

QUINN: < Why did I agree to do this...? I hate talking in front of crowds. >

QUINN: Thank you Admiral. I am here today to talk about a very special person. When I first met this person a year ago I was a wet behind the ears, just out of the academy Ensign, but she had taken me under her wing and has showed me the path to become a great Captain. I was fortunate enough to be move up in the ranks fairly quickly and soon became her number one. This person is strong, intelligent, and beautiful, but also very stubborn, arrogant, and pig headed. ::Slight chuckle comes from the crowd:: Yes you all know who I am talking about, Captain Maela Jolon. I have had the pleasure of serving as her first officer for the past year, and even thought we have had our differences, we've managed to pull the Isannah out of many tight squeezes. So it is my honor and pleasure to be the one to present my Captain with the Christopher Pike Pendant, I couldn't think of anyone else more deserving.

::The crowds began to applaud and Maela stands and approaches the stage. Quinn grabs the black box that contains the pendant and removes it. Maela walks to Quinn and he pins the pendant on. Quinn then shakes her hand and steps back as Maela stands quietly in the applause::

::Wolf steps to the podium::

WOLF: I'd like to thank everyone for being here today. Honoring those who have served bravely is an important thing to do. And if you didn't receive an award, don't worry. Your time will come in the spotlight.

WOLF: Now go, and board your ships. Take your posts, and remember that you are our final defenses against the hostilities of the universe. Good luck, and goodspeed.