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Blood of our Kin

Posted on Tue Dec 23rd, 2014 @ 6:36am by Captain Kathleen O'Shea & Lieutenant Commander Rosaleen O'Donnell & Commander Jey Cleh & Commander Eliana Masters & Lieutenant Commander Ritsu Tainaka & Commander Andrew Matheson & Lieutenant Commander Adria "Tempest" Desoro & Lieutenant Commander Ethan Mackenzie & Lieutenant Stacy Pierce & Master Chief Petty Officer Allison Wilshire & Ensign Arianna D'Tal

Mission: Bloodpath
Location: Taranok IV---Forward Base of Operations
Timeline: Day 3 - Morning

"So, another walk around? I'm pretty you're going to wear the deck plating out pacing around like that."

"Yeah? Well, it's your ass if the runabout carrying the commanding officer has anything go wrong with it. Never mind the fact that this is a relatively new design. Yeah, I'm pretty sure I'm going to keep checking this thing until we're ready to go."

"Well, everything is fine in here, so whenever you're ready..."

The order had come down. An Arrow class runabout was being prepared for flight in the main shuttlebay of the USS McClusky. Many of the officers from the station that had come to pay their respects to Rosaleen O'Donnell, and the briefing had warned of potential danger on the way down to the surface. The combination of important personnel and the unstable situation on the surface had one of the pilots on edge.

However, none of this had any bearing on whether or not the flight would occur. It was going to happen, which was never more evident than when the pilots turned around and saw a group of smiling faces staring back at them.

"Alright folks, welcome aboard. As much as I'd love to tell you that this is going to be a smooth flight down to the surface, I'm only going to promise a safe flight. So, once again, welcome aboard and as Commander Masters always says, 'We're a lot faster than the bus.'"

Dropping down through the atmosphere, the morning air was turbulent. The storm system that had moved through the day before had brought in a cold air mass behind it. Visibility was amazing, a sightseeing tour would have been met with many a "ooh" and "aah", but the inertial dampeners had their hands full trying to keep up with the bumps.

"FOB Phoenix, Executive One is descending through the tropopause, we'll be on site in approximately three minutes."

"Executive One, Phoenix, position is checked. We've been waiting for you. Bring it home."

The landing was uneventful. The opening of the door even less so.

A solitary cloaked and hooded figure made her way slowly down the ramp, her focus fixed on one individual out of the many gathered to greet her. She moved to stand directly in front of Andrew, and removed her cowl. Reaching for Andrew, she took both of his hands into hers before speaking. They were ice cold.

"You brought her home. That was your task. Do not dwell in what was or could have been. You were with her at the end...that meant more to her than you can know. Thank you."

Andrew took a deep breath and looked the commodore in the eyes. "I'm still sorry for how it turned out, ma'am, but thank you. I'll get past the dwelling part of things sooner or later, I'm sure."

"We will talk more, later." She turned to move toward the rest of the assembled crew, but did not pause to speak to any of the others. Instead, she she made her way to a small rise...the one that overlooked the lake. She made no move to wipe the tears that now trickled down her cheeks.

'It makes no sense. She was so incredibly gifted...much more-so than I. How was she caught so unaware?'

Both Lizzy, and Arianna were standing by as the hooded figure walked right by them. They both remained quiet, each with their own reasons as they waited for Kathleen to recognize them. Stacy had moved to stand with them as well. Meanwhile Allison stood to the side, ensuring that she maintained a clear line of sight to the Commodore.

After a few minutes, Kathleen turned and made her way back to the group. She made straight for Arianna, and embraced her in a cold hug. "Sometimes the path is already chosen for you. No fault lies with your actions. Thank you for all that you did."

Despite the coldness of Kathleen's embrace, it seemed oddly comforting to Arianna, as it mirrored how she felt inside. "My father would probably agree with you. If it makes you feel better, I don't think she was in any pain."

Hovering just outside of the conversation, Eliana waited until Kathleen turned her direction before embracing her. The few hours of sleep that she had gotten had not been the most restful, but the Commodore's presence seemed to take some of the burden off of the El Aurian's shoulders. Sometimes, the life of an empath was a difficult one to lead.

"Eliana...your task is finished. I thank you for the burden that you have born. The task now falls to me. I must take her home." She released the embrace, but held on to one hand. She turned to the rest of the assembled group.

"Thank you all. This is..." She paused as the tears flowed once again. She wiped her eyes and continued. "I'm sorry. I need a few minutes." She turned and pressed her face into Eliana.

It was a moment of catharsis, serving reminder that beyond the lofty goals set by the Federation and echoed in its constitution were the people that made life on the frontier a truly remarkable experience. There was no length that Masters would not go to in order to help her family, and this crew was fast becoming her extended family.

"We're all here for you," Eliana spoke quietly. Sometimes, there was a greater strength to be found in using fewer words.

Ethan stood in the back observing the interaction of all those that were in front of him. He was a stranger there. There was no one for him to hug or comfort over the situation that has affected the group. In all honesty all he could do was stand back and observe. It wasn’t the right time for him to introduce himself and make friends. He looked around taking the environment in.

Arianna stood watching as Kathleen cried against Eliana. "You're not alone, Kathleen." She said. The words were quietly spoken, but no one there could mistake them. "You are surrounded by people who grieve with you."

Ritsu wasn't sure what to do. She didn't know anyone, the only people she really knew anything about was her new CO and she was a little busy at the time. She was sitting on the Nacelle of the runabout just simply watching and running her hand along the nacelle casing.

Andrew let his telepathy wander out over the crowd, looking for particularly potent or unexpected emotions or thoughts. He wasn't expecting calm and collected by any measure, but if there was a particularly rough edge he hoped to catch it before it cut someone.

A minute or so later, Kathleen looked up at Eliana. No words were spoken. None were needed. She then turned back to the assembled group. "Sorry, it's just...damn. Thank you all for just being here. I know this wasn't what any of us expected. I should have protected you all much better. This is...it's my fault, and I am so sorry for placing you into this operation without proper support. That, I promise you, is about to change."

So far Adria has stood there with the rest of them. Remaining quiet. Yet at the same time she wrestled with her own thoughts and emotions. Really Tempest believed she should have known better. However none of that changed what had already happened. The Betazoid pilot kept her thoughts and emotions as well guarded as possible given the current situation.

Kathleen moved away from Eliana to directly address the assembled group. Her look had became one of such a level of ferocity and determination that a few people actually took a step back. "We may not know the face of our enemy, but we will not let that deter us. Our mission is a simple one. We stop them now. Right here! The line is drawn, and I swear to you...all of you...anybody who crosses it from this moment on will suffer our wrath." She paused for a moment and looked out across the field of refugees.

"This ends now!"

-----------------------------

Commander Eliana Masters
Director of Flight Operations
Second Officer
Starbase 80

Commodore Kathleen O'Shea
Commanding Officer
Starbase 80

Captain Jey Cleh
Executive Officer
Chief Medical Officer
Starbase 80

PO1 Arianna D'Tal
Executive Officer's Yeoman
Academy Cadet
Starbase 80

Lieutenant Stacy Pierce
Director-Starfleet Corps of Engineers Division 16F
Starbase 80

Master Chief Petty Officer Allison Wilshire
Command Master Chief
Starbase 80

Lieutenant Commander Andrew Matheson
Chief Diplomatic Officer
Starbase 80

Lieutenant Commander Adria "Tempest" Desoro
Commander Air Group
Starbase 80

Lieutenant Commander Ethan Mackenzie
Chief Operations Officer
Starbase 80

Lieutenant Commander Ritsu Tainaka
Chief Engineering Officer
Starbase 80

 

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