Wallace Promotion Ceremony 238212.26
::The Commander coughed, and then activated the room's voice-amplification system.::
Kare'en: Ladies, Gentlemen, Officers and Guests, if I could have your attention please...
::The Commander waited until he had most everyone's attention before continuing.::
Kare'en: It is hard to believe, but we've been here over a year at Deep Space 17. It has been a year full of surprises and excitement, but I feel that we've more than surpassed our orders here in re-establishing a Starfleet presence here closer to the galactic core.
::Kare'en raised his glass.::
Kare'en: To the crews of the Wallace and Deep Space 17.
Kirov: To the Wallace!
Kare'en: It is also my happy pleasure be the Commanding Officer of the best d****d crews in Starfleet. And as such, it's my privilege to do the following. Is Lt jg Barlow here?
::Barlow looks up, quite startled::
Kare'en: Front and center, Mr. Barlow.
Kare'en: For the services you've performed on behalf of Starfleet and your crewmates, it is my great honor to promote you to full Lieutenant, with all the duties and privileges pertaining thereunto.
Barlow: Sir. Thank you. Sir.
::The Commander attempts to remove Barlow's half pip and attach a full pip, only to have his fingers touch bare skin. Kare'en looks up at Barlow confusedly.::
Kare'en: ::under his breath:: Mr. Barlow?
Barlow: Forgive me Sir...I can explain...err...
::Barlow explained, and the Commander flushed a little under his dark complexion.::
Kare'en: Ah, I see. Well, congratulations, Lieutenant Barlow.
::The Commander offers his hand and Barlow gripped it. But not in a handshake. Kare'en looked at the man questioningly.::
Barlow: Unfortunately Sir...I am unable to accept the promotion at this time...
Kare'en: Mr. Barlow?
Barlow: There is one here who deserves most if not all of the credit for this station and for the Wallace Sir.
::The Commander blinked, just staring at Barlow mutely.::
Barlow: That is you Sir.
Kare'en: ::sputtering softly:: M-me?
Barlow: I am familiar with the Star Fleet promotion protocol, and it seems...somewhat vindictive...that you still remain a Commander.
Kare'en: Mr. Barlow, this is hardly the time or the place... And it's not uncommon for Starfleet to assign a Commander to a position like this...
Barlow: I shall not question in infinite wisdom of Star Fleet...but I shall stand beside my "Captain" and insist that you receive your just deserts...before I.
::The Commander rubbed at an eyeridge. He had never had anyone refuse a promotion before. He was unsure what to do besides go on with the ceremony.::
Kare'en: We'll talk about this more later, Mr. Barlow...
::The Commander smiled and turned back to the crowd.::
Kare'en: Is Lieutenant Kirov present?
Kirov: Aye sir.
::Kirov seemed somewhat surprised at being called up...::
Kare'en: Lieutenant, it has been my privilege to serve with you from our respective beginnings in the Fleet. But your time here at Deep Space 17, you have really come into your own. Mr. Kirov, I hereby promote you to Lieutenant Commander, with all the duties and privileges pertaining thereonto.
Kirov: Thank you sir.
::The Commander pins the new half-pip to the taller man, and he leans forward to shake his friend's hand.::
Kare'en: ::under his breath:: Congratulations, John.
Kirov: ::under his breath:: Thanks for the extra paper work
::The Commander again turned back to the crowd.::
Kare'en: It is also tradition in the Fleet once a year to honor special individuals who have distinguished themselves in the performance of their duties. Is Lt Tavex here?
::The Commander frowned. Well, he would look into the matter later.::
Kare'en: Is Lieutenant Salak here?
Salak: ::standing:: Yes, sir?
Kare'en: Mr. Salak, through the various scrapes the ship and the station have been through, you've managed to keep us together. I'm not sure I even want to know how you did it some times.
Salak: Logic has played its part...
Kare'en: Because of your achievements in the past year, it is my honor to award you The Order of Starfleet Merit and Achievement, First Class.
Salak: ::nodding, his head slightly tilted to the left as he faces his CO:: Thank you sir...
Kare'en: ::under his breath:: In case I haven't said it, it's good to have you back, Mr. Salak.
Salak: ::trying hard to suppress any emotions:: Just doing my job...
::The Commander straightened and scanned the crowd again. Ah, there was Dr. Riley now, hurrying into the restaurant. And was that Lieutenant Storos behind her?::
Kare'en: Could Dr. Riley come forward?
Riley: Aye Sir.
Kare'en: It is not easy being a Starfleet doctor, trying to keep body and soul together in the face of all the dangers we face. Thus it is my privilege to present you with two awards. First, The Order of Starfleet Merit and Achievement, Second Class. And second, the B'Plot Award.
Riley: Thank you Sir.
Kare'en: And finally, if Mr. Barlow could return to front and center.
Kare'en: In addition to the actions that merited your promotion, your service to the crew while facing personal injury and bodily harm also allows me the privilege of awarding you the Sheathed Sword Award.
::The Commander turned to the crowd again.::
Kare'en: Ladies, Gentlemen, Officers, Honored Guests, I give you our promotees and awardees!
Devar: Here, here!
:: After a round of applause, she stood to make her way forward to greet some of the crew. As crew and officers closed in around the Hallian, the Acamarian soon realized that her own appearance and lack of uniform were preventing those who had served with her from even recognizing her. Laughing at the humor of the situation, she stepped back to the bar. Turning to Evila, she spoke quietly, nodding to the throng of officers. The woman cackled in delight before turning to disappear into the kitchens. Moments later, a wave of servers appeared, each supporting a tray of Champaign and cocktail treats. Moving into the crowd, she waited as they delivered a flute to each of the officers and crew who were present. In the midst of all the service, a cry of surprise drew her attention back to the Hallian. She, too, stares at the young Trill standing less than a meter from the Hallian. As a blush rises to the Commander's face, a hand reaches over the bar to touch the Fleet Captain lightly on the shoulder. ::
Evila: We're ready Ma'am.
Anassasi: Thank you, Evila.
:: Rising the Fleet Captain turns her attention to those beyond. Behind her, the barmaid whistles loudly. Chuckling, the Acamarian waits and watches as curious eyes finally turn her way. ::
Anassasi: Good Evening Ladies and Gentlemen. Congratulations to each and everyone of you on your promotions and well deserved awards. At this time, however, I would like to honor one other member of your extraordinary crew: Commander Kare'en, please step forward.
:: Jessa smiles at the Hallian as recognition slowly dawns on the man's visage. As he moves to stand before her, the last whispering vestiges vanish, lost to silent anticipation of his crew. ::
Anassasi: Commander, you have done an excellent job of restoring this station and indeed this sector of space to an active community. You command the Wallace with grace and strength and are adored by the crew almost to a fault. ::The Fleet Captain's gaze settles on the newly promoted Lieutenant Barlow.:: I expect that by the end of next year, we will see this station begin to flourish as a point of commerce. It is therefore my duty and my honor to promote you to the rank of Captain. Congratulations Kar. I could not agree more with your crew that this is _long_ overdue.
:: Stepping next to the Hallian, she manages to fumble the pip, flipping it onto Kare'en chest. As it begins to tumble to the floor, slender fingers sweep it from the fabric of his uniform again to grasp it firmly in her palm. Slowly, her hand rises, the small golden circle rolling between trembling fingers. Holding the collar with her left hand, she concentrates on placing the pip next to the three golden circles of his previous rank. Stepping back, she offers her hand in traditional terran fashion. From the audience, there is a burst of applause. ::
Anassasi: Congratulations Captain Kare'en.