SIM:Lt. Jackford Kolk - Remembrance
::When the wave of blue had passed, the tangible sensation of being home among the stars had left Jack. But somehow, it had made him stronger. Somehow, he was more thrilled to be alive than ever before. He knew he might never feel that true peace and joy again until he died, but life was only ever supposed to be a sojourn anyway, a nomadic travail designed to prepare us for our real Home. He'd believed it all his life, but he never believed it more than at that moment.::
::He smiled, looking around the F.O.C. with the eyes of a child. Life was so beautiful and exciting! And he had an important part to play.::
::Immediately, the Deck Officers began relaying the gist of everything the many fighters were telling them, mainly that they were fine, Wheeler was back within sight, a Steamrunner was also in the system, and everything was as it should be. Lt. Kolk gave the order to begin landing procedures for all craft, and then, the Bridge called in for an update.::
Walker: =/\= Kolk. Did the fighters get through in time? =/\=
Kolk: =/\= It seems we all did, Captain. Some of the pilots have reported a fourth starship and Wheeler on sensors. Don't ask me how, but that wave must've pushed us through. I'm getting all our craft back on the Flight Deck, but it's gonna take some time. =/\=
Walker: =/\= That's something at least. =/\=
::As Walker cut the line, the call from Chevy One came in, a bit later than most others, but the reason would soon be far too clear.::
Mirinov: =/\= ::low humble tone:: Chevy to Control. =/\=
Hyberstolm: =/\= Control here, go ahead. =/\=
Mirinov: =/\= I have made contact with additional Federation ships... ::hesitant:: Chevy Two is gone.... He exploded as we exited the wormhole. =/\=
::Hours later Jack wouldn't remember how Hyberstolm responded exactly. Something about the how or why, no doubt. It didn't matter to Jack. That fate he'd jovially wished on Synak had become painfully true for someone under his command. He stood, stunned. His mouth was open, but nothing came out. The cacophony of voices going about their jobs sounded as though he were hearing them through a foot of water. A blue hand gently moved him aside, and a yeoman came to escort him toward the turbolift. Looking back, he realized the hand had been LtCmdr. Wayfel's. The Andorian looked back as Jack entered the lift, offering a compassionate smile to the young Lieutenant. No doubt the man knew, instinctively, that this had been the first time anyone had died under Kolk's command. Twenty-seven had lost their lives in the initial power-loss and explosive decompression, but that had been on Wayfel's watch. Chevy Two had been on Jack's. What was worse, he didn't even know the pilot's name. As the doors closed he felt lost, confused. He didn't know what to do. He wanted to scream, to cry, to beat something to a pulp. Instead he closed his eyes, slumped on the floor, and said a silent prayer for the nameless pilot and swore that he would memorize the name as soon as he learnt it. Then he stood and tapped his badge, his cheeks wet with streams of natural saline that ran all the way to the underside of his chin where they'd let go and fallen onto his uniform tunic. His voice was tainted by the phlegm and snot in his throat, but he didn't care.::
Kolk: =/\= Kolk to-- ::swallow:: Walker. =/\=
Walker: =/\= Walker here, go ahead Mr. Kolk. =/\=
Kolk: ::still stumbling over words:: =/\= A... ::cough:: a correction, sir. One fighter lost. A Hammerhead. =/\=
- The words froze Ben's blood to ice. He used it to keep calm despite his words.::
Walker: =/\= How many... is this the first time someone's died under your command? =/\=
Kolk: =/\= First... it's the first time I... =/\=
Walker: =/\= Take some time... just remember... this isn't your fault. You weren't in overall command. Let it go. =/\= oO For all the fact that I can't ever let it go... Oo
((Assistant Chief Engineer's Officer, USS Ronin))
::Jack didn't want to go back to his empty quarters. Plus, he was technically still on duty for a bit. So, he'd found his way to his office, as he had the night of his panic attack. Once there, he looked through the logs of the Flight Deck over the last few hours and learned the name of Chevy Two's pilot: D'warte. Just the one name, though his usual call-sign was "Skylark". He spent the next couple hours going over the man's entire file, Starfleet and otherwise. Somehow he'd expected something... more. He was just an average officer. Never received an award. Not habitually late nor early to shifts. He had parents, a childhood pet. He'd had a fear of water when he was younger, but got over it. If not for the fact that he'd died in an experimental craft inside of a wormhole, Jack probably never would've given the man a second thought. Or a first one, for that matter. But... he should be noticed, shouldn't he? Surely someone would notice his absence... Surely--::
Shepard: ::humble tone:: =/\= Shepard to Kolk =/\=
::Lt. Kolk recognized the voice instantly and answered without a thought, more out of bitterness over this stranger's death than anything else.::
Kolk: =/\= Shepard? If it's about scheduling a duel, I'm needed in Engineering all week. =/\=
Shepard: =/\= No sir, I just... I am requesting to speak with you in person at the appropriate time, sir. =/\=
Kolk: =/\= Oh. Um... I assume it's about our... =/\=
Shepard: =/\= Yes sir. =/\=
Kolk: ::fatigue coated his voice:: =/\= Look, Shepard, it's been a long day... =/\=
Shepard: =/\= It's been a long day for all of us, sir. =/\=
Kolk: =/\= Alright, I'm in my office. =/\=
::Jack Kolk was still staring blankly at D'Warte's personnel file, deep in a state of melancholy, when the chime sounded.::
Kolk: ::hoarsely:: Come.
Shepard: It's Shepard, Sir.
::Jack flipped over the PADD containing the file midway through his response to the J.G.::
Kolk: What can I do for you?
Shepard: I came hear to apologize for my actions from earlier.
Kolk: ::smiling in rye annoyance at his daftness.:: Right. Well... ::standing:: I before I accept that at face value, I should apologize myself.
Shepard: ::a bit confused:: Sir?
Kolk: I don't regret pulling you off the line, but I can't help but wonder if I phrased all my responses as well as I could have.
Shepard: We both disrespected each other, sir.
Kolk: I learned a while ago that, even if I'm not there to see it, it's a safe bet that the people with ranks and positions above ours most likely worked as hard or harder than we have to get them. If you can honestly say you've at least begun to respect that, I'll be glad to ignore this incident and put it behind us.
Shepard: ::annoyed:: Of course, sir. I had to earn back my rank when my commission was reinstated. I understand the hard work and dedication it takes to advance oneself amongst Starfleet's hierarchy, sir.
Kolk: Good. ::Offering his hand to the older Jack:: Consider yourself forgiven.
Shepard: ::accepting Kolk's hand in return:: Thank you, sir.
Kolk: Have a good evening, Lt.
::After the older man exited Kolk's office, Jack slumped back into his seat. He didn't know how he'd managed to stay professional, much less on his feet, for that, but he knew he didn't feel like doing it, or anything, again for quite a while. He flipped the PADD back over and called to the computer weakly.::
Kolk: Computer, lock door. ...and dim lights.
::He stayed that way, silent and self-absorbed, staring at D'wartes file again, for who knows how long before a welcome voice broke the painful silence.::
Thelev: =/\= Thelev to Kolk.=/\=
Kolk: =/\= Kolk here. =/\=
Thelev: =/\= I need a drink. ::pause:: And a friend. =/\=
Kolk: =/\= You're not the only one. Double Shot; five minutes. I'm buying. =/\=
|Lieutenant Jackford Kolk
Flight Operations Deck Officer
USS Ronin NCC-34523
"The Nature of Command"