Independence Promotion Ceremony 237909.16

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((Multi Purpose Room 31, Starbase 118))

::Multi Purpose Room 31 is one of the smaller event rooms on SB118. Some of these rooms could hold upwards of a couple thousand. Room 31 instead held at most a 50, which was still a bit big for the small gathering of the Phoenix Officers. A long tapering thin room, its outer hall wall is entirely transparent aluminum so a field of stars would frame who ever stood before it. Today Star Base operations had set up biped standard chairs, the blue banners of the Federation and Star Fleet, and a small table holding a variety of boxes. Rear Admiral Hollis waits near one of the banners in the white uniform quietly talking with Commander Anassasi, and Lcmd. Kare'en. Below Hollis' service bars two small medals hang; one a simple gold circle and the other the shield of Star Fleet. Cmd. Anassasi checks the room and then leans close to Hollis. A minute later all three officers take their seats signaling the room to silence at which point Hollis stands moving to the small table.::

Hollis: Thank-you for coming today; Star Fleet draws together periodically to honor officers for exception achievement. Before beginning the award ceremony, I would like you to recall those you went to the academy with, and those you first served with aboard a vessel. Likely many have left the service. It is a credit to each of your commitment, loyalty, and excellence that you remain true to the dream of the Federation.

::Hollis looks at the audience as he speaks meeting their eyes. ::

Hollis: We begin with one of the oldest awards of Star Fleet. It represents a tradition of excellence stretching back through the fleet.

::Hollis takes a small black box from the table and lovingly removes a simple gold desk with red writing across it. ::

Hollis: Please step forward Lcmd. Kare'en. The TOSMA recognizes excellence in the conduct of duty. It recognizes your achievements as first an officer, than a Department Head, and finally your growth as a command officer. Wear this with pride.

::Hollis clips the badge to Kare'en's chest, and then clasps his shoulder nodding.::

Hollis: (low voice) "Please Remain."

::Reaching to the table, the Admiral takes another of the boxes, bringing out an impressive gold Octagon emblazoned with a palm and shooting star. Carefully he shows it to the audience.::

Hollis: The Silver Palm is one of my favorite commendations. Silver is the color of purity; the Palm a plant of peace, but also of incredible versatility providing building material, medicine, and food to those who cultivate it. In the desert, the Palm marks an oasis. The Star represents the quest for advancement which Star Fleet embodies. Lcmd. Kare'en, your service record and fellow officers all speak to your unceasing dedication to assisting your fellow officers. Whether that be special projects, or just talking time to listen, your activities have made the Pheonix a special place to be. Please accept the Silver Palm with our sincerest thanks.

::The silver medal joins the gold, and Hollis steps back to lead a round of applause, before allowing the decorated officer to return to his chair. With a smile Hollis takes up the next award.::

Hollis: If you look at the list of TOSMA II recipients you will note many familiar names; Captain Skyfire, Captain Adler, Admiral Marlin, and a host of others. TOSMA II is about energy, taking chances, and driving forward. The officers who receive it throw themselves into their assignments with enthusiasm. Lt. jg. Devar please step forward. Cmd. Anassasi's speaks highly of your abilities. She was most impressed at how even in the chaos of the Cardasian Relief missions, you stayed focused working toward resolution.

::From the boxes emerges a small golden circle with blue script, and Hollis pins it to the medical blue uniform.::

Hollis: Congratulations Lt. jg. Devar. (whisper) I too was a counselor. It is a very special time, enjoy.

::Once Devar returns to her chair, Hollis removes a simple pendant made up of a hanging purple stone. ::

Hollis: Officers do not leap fully formed from the Academy. Each of us learns something new every day. The best of us are constantly refining themselves trying to become the best person and officer possible. This simple bead, the Barclay Bead, is award to those willing to listen and grow. Please step forward Lt. Fletcher. (pause) You have moved admirably from an intern straight of the academy, to a trusted and valued Chief Medical Officer. Our journey is ongoing. It is an honor to present you with this commendation.

::It takes but a moment to add the pendant to the man's blue uniform. By the time the doctor is sitting down, Hollis holds the next award. From a red, white and blue ribbon marked with the great seal of the federation hangs a heavy gold cross. ::

Hollis: Scotty, the name is a legend for improvising. Please come forward Lt. jg. Horne. Bajorans know a thing or two about improvising. We fought against a long occupation using the cast-offs of our oppressors. Lt. (pause) I've been told that you played an important role in getting Cmd. Anassasi away from the Cardassian's. That cut off from the rest of the crew you thought on your feet, moved quickly, and were in the right place at the right time. It's a pleasure to present you the Scotty Cross.

::In an instant the medal hangs on Horne's chest. As Horne moves back to his seat, Hollis takes a moment to let every one reflect on those honors already presented. Slowly Hollis takes one of the last two boxes removing a gold shield of Star Fleet, with a rising red gold bird superimposed upon it.::

Hollis: When other space-going people think of Star Fleet it is our engineers that they often first think of. The Pheonix award, honors those engineers and the genius that allows them to be the Galaxy's finest miracle workers. Lt. jg. Dane please step forward. Your uncanny ability with non Star Fleet technologies captured the attention of your fellow crew this last mission. You have certainly lived up to the fine tradition of Star Fleet engineers.

::The shield clips easily to the yellow uniform. Hollis thinks it looks fitting.::

Hollis: Lcmd. Townson please come forward. You may not remember, but indirectly you served briefly under me, while on the USS Tiger. It is good to see you again. Our last award is given to those who live life to the fullest, even in the midst of adversity. They remind everyone of the need to be more than a uniform devoted to duty, but to be fully alive. They show us not only what to do, but why we do it. Lcmd. Townson, it is my privilege to present you with the Plot Award.

::The badge is a dark disk of stars. ::

Hollis: On behalf of Star Fleet and the Federation of Planet, Thank-you.

::Hollis steps back and begins to clap. When the applause dies down, Cmd. Anassasi steps forward.::

Anassasi: I can not tell you how proud I am of all of you. You have met the odds and beaten them. These awards only emphasize the abilities each and everyone of you has demonstrated to me during our last mission. Congratulations one and all!

::Across the field of stars, through the transparent aluminum, a series of small torpedoes explode, filling the starry blackness with brilliant flares of light. Saluting her officers, she smiles. Moving starboard to port, a New Orleans class vessel gracefully glides across the starry frame.::

::Before the ship reaches the midway point of the window, the room shimmers and vanishes.::

::A moment later, the officers are standing in the middle of 10 Forward. From their midst, the white-haired commander with her whirled tattoo grins like the Cheshire cat.::

Anassasi: Ladies and Gentlemen!

::She Pauses.::

Anassasi: Welcome to the USS Independence.

::As the officers applaud Hollis taps his communicator.::

Hollis: =/\= Admiral Hollis to bridge command. Please come down to the lounge. =/\=

::By the time the applause quiet the double doors slide open admitting Captain Hebron, Captain Hurne, and Commander Hutton. The Admiral had arranged for them to temporarily replace the bridge crew earlier in the afternoon. No great trick when Captain Hebron leads SB118 Operations. Anasassi glances at the entrance of the 3, and then double takes realizing who they were. Smiling she moves to meet the three Kings, as Hollis raps on the wooden bar.

Hollis: Attention on deck.

::At once the room falls dead silent.::

Hollis: A ship needs a crew, and a crew need a Captain. (pause) I've known Cmd. Anassasi a long time. I remember her as an Ensign after the battle of Gamorae manning a Transporter relay shuttle as we desperately tried to save the Ranger. Even then with one ship dead in the water and the other badly damaged Cmd. Anassasi was calm and focused.

::Hollis looks across the crew, but he sees the Ranger aflame and his own vessel crippled. Something of that sorrow is in his voice.::

Hollis: We nearly lost the Commander a half dozen times. It is not easy being security in Star Fleet. A bomb she tried to defuse blew up. An assassin ambushed her trying to get to me, and twice on Kismet . . . It is an unforgiving planet. Still through every bit of adversity and sorrow she came through stronger and wiser.

::Slowly Hollis walks along the line of the Independence's crew, till he comes to Anassasi flanked by Hebron, Hutton, and Hurne. The one is a red orange monster of a Brikar, the other a tall bearded Terran with a care free smile, and the last the type of Terran you would glance at then forget at your own peril. From Hurne, Hollis accepts a small olive wood box.::

Hollis: I think every man on the Kodiak fell a little bit in love with Cmd. Anassasi at one point or another. It is hard not to. Not because of beauty though it is ample, but because of strength and competence. Independence takes real strength. The Strength to live free and accept the responsibility of doing so. The strength to rebel when necessary, and to tow the line when needed. It is my immense pleasure and honor to promote Commander Anassasi to the rank of Captain.

::She watches as his fingers remove the gold pip, unfastening it from the box. Slowly, his hand rises from the wooden box, the gold pip catching a beam of light from the small orb above them. Her eyes shift to his face, watching, as he concentrates on pinning the pip in place. She can feel his fingers on her collar, hear the pop of the pip through the fabric, hear the snap as the back attaches to the pip. A slow smile spreads across her face before the Admiral retreats a step.::

Anassasi: Thank you sir.

::Moving over to the bar, the Admiral retrieves a bottle, and returns to the new Captain.::

Hollis: Captain Anassasi, it is traditional on the occasion of a ship's launching to christen her with Terran wine, specifically champagne. This particular one was bottled in 2372 and is from Champagnia France Earth. A once in a century year the grapes were tortured by a long dry summer. It is delicious. (whisper) Please don't break it with out at least a taste.

::She smiles, taking the bottle from him with one hand. The other, she lays on his shoulder before leaning in to give him a quick kiss on the cheek. In his ear, she whispers... ::

Anassasi: Thank you for everything, Calley.