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Alex Blair

Fleet Captain Kalianna Nicholotti - Who She Left Behind

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((Runabout Lancelot, Enroute to the USS Gemini))

::With eyes closed now, and time drawing short, Kali had to struggle to hear any talking from the others. They had grown quiet, leaving behind a silence that deafened her. That was when she turned to the logs, which was her only link to her former life. Knowing that she was about to be thrown into so much of that former life that she didn't remember, she figured it was time to see who it was that she would be reporting to shortly.::

::Frost, Liam, Commander. Commanding officer of the USS Gemini, where she was now to serve. After a silent break she listened with a kind of renewed focus as the voices returned. Across the [...]pit speakers she could hear the hushed tones of a sorrowful gathering. She'd played all of the logs involving her new commanding officer, and had now stumbled upon the recording of her own funeral.::

Recorded 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.

::Then there was a pause. Kali opened her eyes and stared out into the stars.::

Recorded 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.

:: A longer pause now. Kali imagined the face of the man she couldn't remember, but knew from her logs. He'd gone on to become a Captain of his own, and one she was proud of regardless of her memories.::

Recorded Livingston: If anyone else has words to share, speak now.

:: The shuffling sounds on the recording led her to believe that people were moving. Soon enough, the sound of another voice returned.::

Recorded Frost: Commander Livingston is right. Kali was all of those things. But she was more than that. She was a person who gave all of herself to everything she did. She was the most dedicated people that I have ever met. And the fact of the matter is that I would not have made it as far as I have if it wasn't for her leadership and guidance. I owe her a debt of gratitude that can never be repaid. I was fortunate enough to have the honour of calling her friend. And the fact is that every one of us is better for having known her.

::More shuffling.::

Recorded Skyfire: Fleet Captain Nicholotti was not the type to choose her crew lightly. She chose us because she saw the potential for each of us to become something more than ensigns. She wanted to help us reach our potential. As the commanders have stated, we are all honored to have known her.

::That was all he seemed to have to say. More subtle noises indicated that someone else was stepping up to speak.::

Recorded Orman: Hi everybody. ::she waved:: We've heard some very stirring, lovely things about Kali, and I'd wager we're going to hear quite a bit more before this is done. ::she swallowed:: But I've known her longer than... well, than just about anybody here, I guess, and from knowing her I can say that she wouldn't want to be remembered just like that. So I'm going to be arrogant and kind of rebellious--because that's kind of my specialty--and talk about her flaws.

::Kali raised her eyebrow at that. She didn't remember the woman called Orman, though she'd been in plenty of her logs before this. It would seem that they were friends.::

Recorded Orman: Kali was a sentient person, a human being, just like most of us here, and with all the failings that implies. I've seen her be impatient, self loathing, completely overwhelmed. She made mistakes, made bad decisions, sometimes for bad reasons. She committed genocide...she made bad calls that sometimes harmed her crew. Her friends.

::Blinking, Kali wondered now about that friendship, at least until the woman continued.::

Recorded Orman: She was terribly unlucky in love. It might have been circumstance, it might have been the job, it might have just been her. I really don't know. I do know that she *believed* it was her, and that every loss, every failure, broke her heart in ways she never quite repaired. ::she turned towards the flag-draped torpedo casing:: By the end, I think she felt as empty as this crukking thing. To be honest with you all, I half believe that she got in that fighter because she was looking for an end... ::she shrugged:: but I hope I'm wrong.

::It was now that a tear started to streak down her face. These words were powerful and a fitting end to thoughts of her. Kali, despite not remembering the woman, was proud that she had been her friend.::

Recorded Orman: But she was my friend. She took me in when I needed it, always supported me, gave me the trust and respect that allowed me to become better than I was. I will never forget her. I love her all the more for remembering her in whole, and so I hope you will all forgive me for my harshness. Know that it is done out of love. Kali, you're in my heart for good. ::her voice broke a little:: If you were here, I would kick you right in the [...] and yell at you for at least twenty minutes straight, but I will *miss* you!

::The shock and awe seemed to hit the crowd as murmurs moved through it as the shuffling returned. No one else spoke and a long pause ensued. Finally, the man who had started it all spoke again.::

Recorded Livingston: Lieutenant Kesaan, if you will.

Recorded Kesaan: ::Standing:: Sir.

::The tears were falling faster now, blurring the vision of the stars from her crystalline blues.::

Recorded Kesaan: Present, arms!

::She heard the unifying shift as the seven members of the team brought their weapons to a salute.::

Recorded Kesaan: Stand ready!

::A pause followed full of complete silence. And then...::

Recorded Kesaan: Fire!

::Crack.::

::Kali knew it was coming, but she jumped anyways. A shiver ran down her spine as the recording continued.::

Recorded Kesaan: Ready. Fire!

::Crack::

::The second shot pierced the silence, echoing through the [...]pit. Again, involuntarily she jumped.::

Recorded Kesaan: Ready. Fire!

::Crack::

Recorded Kesaan: Order, arms!

::A quietude dense enough to suffocate anyone descended and all Kali could hear now was the sound of the empty torpedo casing moving along the track and firing away from the Excalibur. The sound of a whistle pierced the silence finally; the Chief of the Boat blew his whistle, signaling that the Captain was leaving the ship one last time. And then that was it. The recording ended.::

::Awash in tears and unable to see clearly out of the window, Kali pulled her knees up to her chest and wrapped her arms around them burying her face and finally just crying. It had been a long time coming, and now she'd finally broken. The past was never totally in the past or totally gone. It was here, and now, even if it was in the form of an old friend and a ship she'd never set foot on.::

::Hopefully by the time she arrived, she'd be composed, but for now she simply allowed the tears to fall. For all the pain she'd listened to in her own logs, it was high time that the tears were allowed to flow free.::

::And flow free is what they did.::

TBC

Fleet Captain Kalianna Nicholotti

Medical Officer
USS Gemini

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