Awards Ceremony, 2002

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::Admiral Luke Reider left his quarter promptly at half past twelve. It would take him more than a few minutes to get up to the room where the ceremony was being held, so he had planned for at least a half an hour of transportation, and preparation once he got there.::

::He entered the lounge at about a quarter till the hour. Most of the invited guests still had not arrived. Last year's ceremony, smaller, more intimate, and with none of the award recipients present, was held in the hall of honors. Reider enjoyed these formats more though -- with those present who he was awarding. It was much more rewarding in that way.::

::The Admiral milled for a while, chatting with the officers who had begun to arrive. The room was well chosen for such an event. A curved bank of chairs was the dividing line between the stage, and the back wall, which was lined with tables holding refreshments, programs printed on paper, and an ornamental version of each award. On the other side of the room, behind the stage, a large window looked out over the spacedock doors. A view of ships moving in and out of the base provided a dynamic backdrop. Just a few hundred million kilometers in the distance was the meeting point of the Romulan, Klingon, and Federation empires.::

::At last, the chime sounded. The officers and their families who had gathered for the event moved to their seats as Reider took the stage.::

REIDER: Welcome everyone. As second in command here at StarBase 118, I am honored to be here today. Let us begin immediately with Lieutenant Commander Kare'en m'Hapron m'Adrina. Please come forward commander.

::Reider had studied that name a number of times, saying it to himself quietly at his desk while rehearsing. He was pleased with himself for being able to get it right at the critical moment. He waited until the Hallian had found his way to the dais before he began.::

REIDER: Although I have not had the pleasure of working with Kare'en, I have heard nothing but great things about him. In cooperation with Captain Anassasi, he was part of the team that made the Phoenix-C the proud vessel it is. Often, I have heard from junior crew members in routine reports, how well this first officer has operated under stress -- especially during the last mission, where Captain Anassasi was unable to command. Furthermore, he has often been a mentor to junior crew members, helping through the tough transition onto a ship, and into a tour of duty.

Because of this, we award you, Lieutenant Commander, with The Strange Medallion.

::Reider shook hands with Kare'en, then handed him the award, which was held inside a small black leather covered box. The audience, especially those from the Phoenix, clapped and cheered loudly.::

REIDER: Next, I'd like to turn of the stage momentarily to Rear Admiral Hollis Calley...

::The Bajoran man made his way forward as Reider took a seat near the back of the stage. With ample poise, Hollis began.::

HOLLIS: The career of Captain Xan Hebron is one of service to the Fleet in battle and conflict. Most recently he passed through a newly formed wormhole near StarBase 118, where his ship encountered two new species. The first was apparently hostile, but in the end they meet peacefully. The other, the Corp, launched a sneak attack. In the ensuing battle Captain Hebron defeated their vessel.

His previous mission, (one of first contact), ended in a fire fight against the Romulans. Though his ship had been sabotaged he managed to drive off the Romulan ship using a minimum of force.

His highest victory was against the Breen. Leading the Tiger, he entered their space undetected, discovered POWs still held there, and dispatched a team to retrieve them. In the end the Tiger defeated three Breen cruisers while rescuing the prisoners.

I've known Captain Hebron since he joined the Kodiak straight out of the Academy. We've seen each other grow as the Federation has struggled through war, and then an uneasy peace. What I have seen in Captain Hebron is a great warrior tempered by the heart of a poet. Captain Hebron's service records is that of a warrior whether he faced the Orion Syndicate, the Breen, the Romulans, or most recently the CORP. Yet, those that have served with him know the great size of his heart. Captain, please come forward.

::The large Brikar easily came to the podium, dwarfing Hollis.::

HOLLIS: It is with great pleasure that I present the Andorian Battle Star for tactical excellence.

::With an unsubdued round of applause, the audience honored Hebron as well. Rear Admiral Hollis handed the Brikar his award, then the two headed off stage. Reider stood and walked to the podium, beginning again.::

REIDER: This next award garners much respect and admiration for it's recipient. Originally it was named the "Rachel Garrett Pendant", for the first female captain in StarFleet. Two years ago, however, it was reintroduced into our catalog of awards as the "Xalor Clan Xifilis award", for an individual of the same name, who served here on the StarBase, but passed away. He was a dear friend to the operations crew, as well as to Rear Admiral Brian Kelly, who served as his command officer at one time.

This award is meant to highlight those individuals who overcome obstacles and become model officers in the face of adversity.

Early last year, Rachel Daninburg had passed the Captain's exam, and was preparing to begin her practical on the USS Paladin. A major accident forced her to take a leave of absence, causing a disruption to both her personal, and professional lives. A year later, she returned to our fleet, took command of a ship in unideal circumstances, and managed to form a crew, and a family. I could not be more impressed with her command abilities. It has truly been an amazing return to service.

Captain Rachel Daninburg, please come forward to receive the Xalor Clan Xifilis award.

::There was a mighty round of applause from the audience. Daninburg came forward, and accepted the small, spherical metal pendant that sat inside a velvet bag in a box carrying her name on top. Reider heartily shook her hand as the applause continued.::

REIDER: Our next award goes to a Captain who unfortunately cannot be here. We have modified the terms of this award, to honor Captain James Terra. His service in our fleet was of high quality. But, as sometimes happen, personal responsibilities called him from command of his ship, home to Earth. We wanted to honor him today with the Katherine Janeway award as a sign of our gratitude for the time he spent as part of our group. He was a good captain, and a good friend to many.

::The applause this time was more solemn than it had been. Reider took a moment of pause to allow the audience to reflect, more moving on again.::

REIDER: And now, ladies and gentleman, Captain Xan Hebron...

::After being introduced by Admiral Reider, Hebron made his way to the podium. The trip was not long, for his feet were twice that of a normal man's. He stood behind the dais and spoke to those in attendance.::

HEBRON: Thank you Admiral Reider for that introduction.

::Quickly he focuses back on those sitting.::

HEBRON: Throughout the years, we have seen many captains receive awards for numerous achievements and outstanding skills. Tonight is no different. We have one among us who has led her crew through many a twists and turns. This captain has taken, what I would call the classic assignment and had it turn out to be something totally off the marker. None of us ever see this happen.

::Some laughter, after which is a pause, for effect.::

HEBRON: Constantly weaving details and moving others on her ship to do the same, she pulls surprises out of her hip pocket. She can find depth to where others believe there is none and she can bring out the best in her crew and inspire others as well. For this feet, it is my honor to present the Kalendra Award to Captain Jessa Anassasi. Captain, please come forward.

::The graceful Anassasi made her way to the front of the room, and took the box as Hebron's giant hands extended it to her.::

HEBRON: Congratulations Captain.

::Hebron clapped with those in attendance and then took his seat, handing the stage back over Reider.::

REIDER: Thank you, Captain Hebron. I'd now like to take a moment to honor two very special officers. The first is Rear Admiral Brian Kelly, who has been a part of our fleet for many, many... many years now. ::Scattered snickering.:: In that time, he has distinguished himself as a tactical genius, a father figure to his crew, and an all around stand-up guy. In the past few months, he distinguished himself by both his honor and integrity in a number of unpleasant situations. And furthermore, his opinion, highly regarded by this administration staff, has been an important part in a number of procedural regulations that have been put into place. For that, I'd like to extend a Commendation for work Above and Beyond the call of duty to Rear Admiral Brian Kelly.

::Kelly bowed his head slightly from the audience, as applause was heard. The commendation was well deserved.::

REIDER: Next, I would like to extend a commendation to Captain Alder Wong-Aquiss, of the USS Nemesis-B. Having returned to service after a long absence, Captain Aquiss has been truly wonderful in helping organize off duty events for her crew, and others in the fleet. She has also been an active voice in the administration body, and has managed to work her crew through the loss of a well loved ship. Congratulations, Captain Aquiss.

::Again, applause from the audience. Reider too joined in, having known Aquiss since his arrival on the StarBase, he appreciated her off duty service to the fleet. He often found her an entertaining and engaging friend when she was not on a mission. Scanning down the small screen on the podium, he realized what the next award was, and smiled.::

REIDER: Just a week or two ago, I was privileged to extend a few awards to the officers of the USS Kodiak. While there, I had the pleasure of promoting Fleet Captain Hollis Calley to the rank of Rear Admiral. As I said at that ceremony, he has been a friend and a confidant to me during my service here on the StarBase. And, in that vein, it was with ease that I agreed with the nomination of Hollis for the Sarek Star. This award has rarely been given in our fleet, because it is so highly regarded. We give it to those command officers who show diplomatic ability in all situations. I believe everyone here can agree that Hollis fits the bill perfectly. As a Bajoran Vedek, he knows both temperance, and patience. He has always attempted to find solutions that are both efficient, and fair for all involved. He calms irritated nerves, soothed many an outraged ego, and worked to smooth the way for numerous transitions within our fleet. Hollis has always acted out of a sense of loyalty to this club. While others are busy seeking to place the blame, Hollis is working behind the scenes seeking solutions. He provides a voice of reason within the turmoil of conflict.

Rear Admiral Hollis, please come forward.

::Hollis again moves to the front and center of the room, accepting the award quietly as others applaud with vigor. Reider simply nods to him, already having spoken his feelings to Hollis at the last award ceremony.::

REIDER: There are just two awards left to be given. This next award is given "to those who command their ship with honor and dedication, and help to provide an creative atmosphere which fosters outstanding service and teamwork." Captain Jessa Anassasi has been a creative and capable leader since she was an officer under the command of Captain Xan Hebron. Her crew is obviously very fond of her, as she received more nominations for awards this ceremony, than any other officer in the fleet.

She has proven time and again to be a team player, willing to take on extra work outside of just commanding her ship. People have called her "a natural" at what she does. "Selfless" and "caring" are also words people have used to describe her. She "encourages strong work", "makes things interesting", and is above all "dedicated". I could not find more appropriate words.

Captain Jessa Anassasi, we award you with the Christopher Pike Pendant.

::As Jessa came forward, the audience applauded enthusiastically. Reider handed her the award, shook her hand, and took a few moments to congratulate her, while the applause continued. Finally, as it died out, Reider again turned to the people gathered and introduced Rear Admiral Hollis Calley.::

HOLLIS: Captain Hurne served for a long time as my First Officer, before becoming Commanding Officer of the Victory. I knew he would be an excellent chief officer, and he has lived up to the Kodiak tradition. Indeed though only Captain a few month he has begun his own tradition of excellence on the Victory. He has taken the responsibility in the administrative council, and was considered before becoming a captain one of the most reliable and well-prepared training officers. As a captain, he has provided direction and interaction with his crew, ensuring that no member of the ship would be left behind. I am reminded of another young officer who became a legend and the excellent officers he produced. In belief of that promise it is a pleasure to present the James T. Kirk Cross.

::Finally, as the last officer to receive an award comes forward, the audience applauds again. Hollis and the new Captain Hurne exchange a few words and smiles on the dais, as the Rear Admiral hands over the award. With the ceremony done, the audience leaves their seats to congratulate personally the officers who were honored.::

* Portions of this ceremony, including much of Reider's dialogue, were taken from the nomination essays of UFOP members.

** This ceremony takes place outside the naturally plot flow, to allow all captains to be present.