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Lt. Jg. Geoffrey Teller - Of Friends and Fate

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Now that's a "good job guarantee" post @Geoffrey Teller!! 
((Starfleet Administrative Complex, Cait))
::Stepping out of the Starfleet Administration Building on Cait, Geoffrey Teller had a massive headache.  It had been nearly four days since they arrived back on Cait courtesy of a shuttle borrowed from the Stevenson, and while he'd be absolved of any wrongdoing due to the extenuating circumstances of their recent pirate activity, Starfleet Security still took an inordinate amount of time debriefing him about ever conceivable detail of the incident.  Finally done, and with the firm impression that Admiral Washington was watching him closely, Teller stretched his legs and soaked in a bit of the local sun.  After everything that had happened during his leave, Teller felt a bone deep exhaustion and wanted nothing more than to find a dark local pub and drink until he couldn't remember his own name.  Walking across the grounds of the Admin facility, Teller saw numerous officers and crewmen, traveling in pairs or small groups, moving briskly between one part of the complex or another and was briefly reminded of his time at the Academy.::
Teller: oO Seems like lifetimes ago.  I wonder if this is how a Trill feels all the time. Oo
::Teller made his way to the guest accommodations he'd been assigned until the Veritas arrived.  He was still technically on leave and briefly mulled the idea of visiting the famed Caitian space dock, one of the largest in the Federation.  A few taps on the console in his room informed him that the USS Astreaus, a refitted Galaxy class, was sitting in dock at the moment, undergoing the Warp XV upgrades that would soon be executed on the Veritas.  Yawning, Teller was about to turn the console off and crawl into bed when his heart stopped.::
Teller:  oO The Montreal. Oo
::A high priority fleetwide notice flashed across the screen, flatly stating that the USS Montreal had been lost.  Teller gripped the edge of the desk so hard it creaked.  Almost half of the command crew were former comrades aboard the Veritas, and several had become close friends in the short time they had spent together before being reassigned.  Now, Teller wasn't sure if any of them were still alive.  The notice was infuriatingly short on details, but indicated that the ship had been abandoned shortly prior to its destruction.  Having barely survived two such evacuations himself, Teller knew all too well how much could go wrong in a ships final moments and desperately prayed that his friends were somehow unharmed.  Teller re-read the notice, hoping to wring some additional information from it that simply wasn't there.  Finally, he slumped into the desk chair and put his fingers to the bridge of his nose, trying to keep from venting his frustration by smashing the console to bits.::
((Flashback, USS Artemis))
Computer:  All Hands, Prepare for Slipstream in t-minus three minutes.  Warning.  Slipstream corridor instability detected.  Warning.  Do not engage Slipstream drive.  Warning. Automatic Safety Interlocks Non-Responsive.  Warning.  Do not engage Slipstream drive.  Warning.  Slipstream jump in t-minus two minutes and fifty seconds.  Warning....
((Cait, Guest Quarters))
::Teller felt his chest tighten as memories of his first near death experience washed over him,  unbidden and unwelcomed.  His pulse accelerated and a bitter taste filled his mouth.::
((Flashback, Corridor - Deck 9, USS Veritas ))
::Teller, G’var, Doctor Maxwell and party headed to the shuttlebay as the ships lights flickered around them.  Teller could hear systems failing and rerouting, the dip and hum of the power system struggling vainly to meet demand.  Teller knew that whatever was overwhelming their ship was doing it with shocking speed.  Teller tried to open a comm line to engineering but only got static..::
((Cait, Guest Quarters)) 
::Teller desperately tried to push the memories back but the [...] had broken and he sat sweating, gripping the arms of the chair with white knuckles::
((Flashback, Secure Cargo Bay, The Bolian Rose))
::The air grew thin as the doors continued to separate.  Teller looked to the far wall, expecting  Mistress IA to reset the door controls, but she was nowhere to be seen.  Teller’s eyes went wide as he struggled across the nearly silent, airless bay, his lungs bursting and vision going red.  He was only about halfway there when his legs buckled and he collapsed to the deck, gasping.:: 
((Cait, Guest Quarters)) 
::Teller pitched forward in the chair and forced his breathing under control.  He tried to think back to Jansen's Orrey's advice about keeping the panic in check, but too much had happened lately and Teller's mental reserves were exhausted.  He stumbled to the replicator and quickly produced a large glass of cold water, which he drank in several desperate gulps.  He could feel his heartbeat slowly slightly but still felt deeply rattled when another fleetwide notice splashed its way across the screen.::  
Teller:: oO Please be good news, please. Oo
::It was.  The crew of the Montreal, including its Captain, had been recovered successfully by the Colonial Marshalls and were even now on the way to Cait for debriefing, recovery and reassignment.  The casualty list was thankfully short and didn't contain any names Teller knew.  Teller skimmed the list a second time then turned off the display, rubbing his temples.  Life in Starfleet was never easy and there were days that could absolutely shake a man down to his very core but today, at least, the fates had been kind and, several replicated beers later, Teller fell asleep sitting upright in the small bed with a smile on his lips.::
Lieutenant JG Geoffrey Teller
Chief Engineer
USS Veritas - NCC 95035
Capt. R. Rahman, Commanding
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