SIM:Nicholotti (Kesaan) Marine Corps
((Forward Torpedo Launch Bay, Deck Fourteen, USS Excalibur-A))
::Teyvion had been on the upper gantry of the torpedo bay, looking down he could see the empty casket draped with the Federation Standard. He knew it was only a symbolic gesture, everyone did. It was a blessing that it was on the torpedo loading system, so no-one would have to feel the absence of weight.::
::His mind cast itself back a few years to a funeral he had attended for another member of the twenty-third, not from his unit but they had been the ones who had found him. They'd been assigned to search the ruins of Ohmallera, after its destruction by the rogue USS Constitution. He'd been killed when a store of volatile chemicals, made unstable by a lack of proper containment and time, detonated when a wall collapsed. His family had been spared the gruesome details...but they'd had to weigh the coffin down with sandbags to conceal the truth.::
::He shook his head to clear the memory and turned to Adams and the others who were stood along the railing overlooking the seating area. They looked immaculate and poised, typically seen in various states of armour, training clothes or combat fatigues it was like looking at seven different people. Their weapons stood by their sides.::
::He nodded to Adams before heading down to the main floor of the bay.::
::He took a seat at one end of a row, facing Livingston across the casket, as the other senior staff filled in. A sea of white, everyone equal except for the varying colours on the trim of their jackets and the ranks on their collars. Once the group had assembled, Livingston began to speak.::
Livingston: We gather here to pay final respects to the woman who gave all she had in the line of duty. She was the best of us, inspiring each of us by her own actions and strengths. She shared the selfless courage of her Tactical officer and the heart of her Security team. She had the ingenuity of her engineers and the curiosity of her science officers. She had the critical eye of her Intelligence team, but she always had the tact of her Chief Diplomat. She pushed the envelope in a way that would make her Marines proud, but when the job was done, the medical officer inside of her made sure everyone was healed.
Livingston: Her sacrifice protected us. Out that window, I do not see the remains of a break in subspace. I see Kali’s scar, and when I see it, I shall not mourn; I shall have hope. Fleet Captain Nicholotti gave us strength in life, and the courage to use that strength. Let us honor her by our actions and our deeds.
::He took another pause.::
Livingston: If anyone else has words to share, speak now.
::Teyvion listened as those who knew Nicholotti better than he did spoke. The first was a man he didn't recognise but he assumed, from his white undershirt, that he commanded a vessel. Maybe he would be the one to take command of the Excalibur...or would it be Livingston...or someone else.::
::Skyfire spoke next followed by Orman...which was quite an experience. He had to suppress a grin as she spoke, her voice full of emotion, it was refreshing to hear someone provide such and honest eulogy. So often it was all positive and ignored peoples faults, which was all well and good in its way, but to speak of your love for someone who you admitted was flawed seemed only to reinforce how much they meant to you. That you cared for them despite the fact they weren't perfect....but who was.::
::Brek, Taybrim and the others all spoke of the Captain, their own personal words of tribute to their fallen Commander. As the speeches came to a close Livingston returned to the stand and cast his eyes towards the Trill::
Livingston: Lieutenant Kesaan, if you will.
Kesaan: ::Standing:: Sir.
::He pulled himself the full attention, his eyes fixed in the distance and began to speak.::
Kesaan: Present, arms!
::Heard the unifying shift as the seven members of his team brought their weapons to a salute.::
Kesaan: Stand ready!
::He saw several of the crew look up towards the gantry as Adams and the rest shifted their stance, aiming their weapons forward over the casket. Typically an honour guard would not fire over the congregation but the situation was a little restrained by the surroundings.::
::The sound rang out and echoed throughout the torpedo bay. Adams had heeded his warning and reduced the chemical component in the blank firing charge so the reverberating sound was loud but wasn't deafening. The rifles weren't standard issue equipment, they were primarily used as training aids for zero-gravity operations, their weight and recoil far greater than a standard phaser rifle, and for ceremonial occasions such as this.::
Kesaan: Ready. Fire!
::The second shot pierced the silence.::
Kesaan: Ready. Fire!
Kesaan: Order, arms!
::The words vanished into silence along with the echo of the final volley. The entire room falling into stillness as the assembled staff stood and the casket began to move along the loading channel. The flag of the Federation carefully removed as it passed and folded neatly as the empty container was loaded into the launching system.::
::The Chief of the Boat blew his whistle, signaling that the Captain was leaving the ship one last time, and the small memorial to Nicholotti appeared in space, beyond the viewing window.::
::The two fighters, currently being piloted by the other two members of his unit, dropped down from where they had been holding position and took up a position behind each flank of the casket as it sped out into space, the Captain taking the lead in flight one last time. Their engine wake modulated to produce a slightly silvered plasma trail, clearly something the flight crew had done themselves but it seemed appropriate. After a short period they turned as one and banked away in opposing directions leaving the empty vessel streaming on towards the remains of the void.::
::He didn't know if these things had names or numbers or if they were even recorded, but he would now always think of that silver mark in the fabric of space as 'Kalianna's Scar'. Slowly the casket became a speck and then faded into the distance. Livingston returned to the podium once more to address the congregation.::
Livingston: As others have said, Fleet Captain Nicholotti would want us to go on, zestfully pursuing life. She herself has set us on that path, leaving instructions for that I shall presently carry out regarding recognition for the service of her officers. I think we can do with a change of scenery, so we have some refreshments waiting in our Crew Lounge. Please join me there.
::Slowly, individually or in groups, the crew filed out - leaving nothing but an arrangement of empty chairs in their wake and one chair, on the bridge, more empty than most.::
First Lieutenant Teyvion Kesaan Marine Officer USS Excalibur-A NCC-41903-A
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