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From the way he described the ribbons to his mention of leaders eating last, this sim brought back so many memories from when I was younger. It put a smile on my face and gave me some feels (as the kids say these days). From his great descriptive writing, as you've seen recently from the posts here, Justin is such a great writer who deserves every bit of recognition he gets.

(( Home of Ambassador Sarep, Vulcan ))

Yogan had been to enough dinner parties to suspect some kind of organized fun was about to start.  In the back of his mind, he wondered if the lights might suddenly go off and they would be thrown headfirst into a murder-mystery party game.  He remembered the last one he attended, back when he was still living in San Francisco, when he’d been assigned the role of Pappa Razzi, a mobster with a penchant for blackmailing celebrities with incriminating holo-photos.  That night, he’d managed to reveal the secret identity of the tightfisted dowager countess, but he’d failed to guess that the mastermind of the crime was in fact Björnfjord Flarnkrappft, the Swedish furniture tycoon.

The memory of that evening was pleasant, but the sight of Captain Nicholotti entering the dining room with Commander MacKenzie was enough to bring him back to the present at warp ten.  Acting on instinct and his training, he rose to his feet.

Yalu:  Captain.

Nicholotti: Lieutenant.

MacKenzie:  response

The room fell silent, and a few of Yogan’s fellow officers stood out of respect to their captain.  They seem to be just as surprised by her unexpected appearance.  Doctor Adea, consummate professional he was, left his place at the table to attend to her.

Adea: You’re awake, and... out of your room. ::he immediately went to her side:: Are you okay?

Nicholotti: I am. And I can promise I am here permissibly, however temporarily.

Yogan scanned the faces of the other officers around the table, wondering if anyone else had picked up on what the captain had said.  Her statement implied that such permission could be revoked, and Yogan wondered what that might mean for Resolution.

MacKenzie: response

Adea: ::smiling broadly:: It doesn’t hurt to check, I’m very glad to see you. 

Nicholotti: And I you. ::Looking to the others.:: All of you.

MacKenzie: response

Etan: I take it that the Captain wasn’t expected this evening?

MacNemar: response

Nicholotti: They will hunt me down if I don’t return in a reasonable amount of time though, so if you would assist, I’d like to thank the crew for their hard work.

MacKenzie / Adea: response

Yogan resumed his seat as the evening took on quite a different tone and tenor to that which he’d expected.  He looked to both ends of the table, where sat the Ambassador and Ms Hurmin.  Unlike his crewmates, they didn’t appear to be surprised at this unexpected development.  Rather, they seemed pleased.  Yogan reasoned that they must have been informed of the captain’s desire to make an appearance and, knowing that her condition might necessitate an extended convalescence, had welcomed her into their home for an impromptu awards ceremony.  Yogan smiled as he thought about this.  The fact that they would extend such a courtesy to a group of people they’d not met before tonight was a testament to how much they cared for T’Suran.  The medical officer was lucky to have such a supportive family.

Nicholotti: I know no one expected to see me here tonight, but you’ll find out if you have not already, that I am full of surprises. Maybe that is where you all get that.  Though I wasn’t there to see it, I want you each to know that I did read about it thanks to our XO, and I couldn’t be more proud of the actions each of you contributed towards the success of our exfiltration and escape from the future.  Perhaps one day they will make a movie out of it.

Yogan chuckled at the joke, relieved to see that the captain’s sense of humour had survived her illness and incapacitation intact.  What she was doing right now was admirable, and it took Yogan some time to fully appreciate it.  Here she was, just hours out of hospital, standing before them cracking jokes.  Putting them at ease.  Taking the time to honour them, when she was still recovering from a trauma that could have untold effects on her.  It spoke to her character, and what kind of captain she was.  It also reminded Yogan of something he’d read as a student:  “Leaders are the ones who are willing to give up something of their own for us:  their time, their energy, their money, maybe even the food off their plate.  When it matters, leaders choose to eat last.”

Any: response

Nicholotti: My time with you right now is short, as there are yet tests to run and pass before I will be allowed to escape completely, but I felt it important to make certain you were all recognized for the efforts that brought us, and countless others, home. I know it is a bit crowded here, so instead of coming to me, I will ask that our XO and second officer disperse the awards as each of you are called.

Adea / Mackenzie: response

Nicholotti: First, for those who inevitably aided in the discovery of a new planet and the race that lived there, I award the following with the Explorer’s Ribbon. Lieutenant Commander Mackenzie, Lieutenant Commander Adea, Ensign Sherlock, Lieutenant JG Macnemar, Lieutenant JG Yalu, Lieutenant JG Sirin, Lieutenant Commander Romjin, Ensign T’Suran, Lieutenant Commander Ilsam, and Lieutenant JG Delri’ise. Thank you all for the dedication you showed during this discovery.

Sherlock: Thank you, Captain.

Yalu:  I am honoured, Captain.  Thank you.

Yogan studied the ribbon that Dr. Adea had placed in his hands.  It was the first of this type that Yogan had ever received, and it was striking.  A gold embroidered letter “E” was placed in the centre of the blue-black ribbon–presumably representing the brightness of knowledge emerging from the darkness of unknown space–and gold and blue fimbriation ran alongside the edges.  It was a beautiful physical manifestation of a likewise beautiful honour.

Any:  response

Nicholotti: Inevitably, what goes hand in hand with discovery is contact with the life forms that reside on the planet in question. While discovered to be less savory characters, the event was still a first contact situation for us and as far as we know, for the Federation. To that end, I award the following with the First Contact Ribbon. Lieutenant Commander Mackenzie, Lieutenant Commander Adea, Ensign Sherlock, Lieutenant JG Macnemar, Lieutenant JG Yalu, Lieutenant JG Sirin, Lieutenant Commander Romjin, Ensign T’Suran, Lieutenant Commander Ilsam, and Lieutenant JG Delri’ise.

Yalu:  Thank you, Captain.

This time, it was Commander MacKenzie’s turn to present the ribbon to Yogan, and it was just as brilliant as the last one.  The red vertical stripe in the centre separated the ribbon into two halves, each a mirror image of the other, with a gold inner stripe and a blue outer stripe.  As he examined it, he noticed that the design of the ribbon itself was a metaphor for first contact.  The red stripe simultaneously symbolised the initial divide and the subsequent bridge between the Federation and a previously uncontacted people, while the mirrored halves represented the fact that we have far more in common with other species than we have differences.  When Yogan thought about the Sau, he struggled to find their common ground, but then he remembered Teril’s final act of wresting control back from Lo’Thar and destroying the slave labor camp, allowing Resolution to rescue many of the prisoners.  People, even seemingly evil lizard people from the year 300,000 could surprise you with unexpected acts of mercy.  Yogan would be proud to add this ribbon to his dress uniform.

Any: response

Nicholotti: There are those out there to whom we owe more than can be repaid. In the process of carrying out their duties, these officers go above and beyond and deliver the gifts of life to those who would otherwise have gone without. As one of the recipients of such a gift, I can say that there is no greater love one can receive than to be able to live because of the skill, sacrifice, and care of another. Thus, to Ensign T’Suran and Lieutenant JG Sirin, I hereby award the Silver Lifesaving ribbons for conspicuous actions that saved the life of a member of Starfleet.

T’Suran: response

Sirin: Thank you. I am honored to have aided in some small way in your recovery.

Nicholotti: And to Lieutenant Commander Adea, I hereby award the Gold Lifesaving Ribbon, for putting your life at risk in order to save another.

Sherlock: Congratulations, Doctor! ::clapping her hands::

Yogan joined in the applause for the doctors and counselor.  They had all acted in an exemplary fashion.  He thought about Ensign Treetus, who had participated in his shuttle training with all the chip and cheer of a first-year Academy cadet.  Unfortunately, his injuries must have been more serious than they first appeared, because the ensign had departed Resolution at Vulcan, and it was uncertain when, or if, he might return.  Despite that sad news, Yogan was certain that without Doctors T’Suran and Adea and Counselor Sirin, Treetus’ very survival would have been cast in a shadow of doubt.  And that was doubly true for the two-hundred-or-so people they had rescued from the Sau.

Adea / Any: response

Nicholotti: And finally, I will ask that Ensign Sherlock join me here for a moment.  Ensign, though you have not served long, you have shown yourself to be a veritable force of nature. It will be officers like you who lead Starfleet into the future. For your actions and dedication that you’ve continued to show again and again, I hereby promote you to the rank of Lieutenant JG, with all rights and privileges therein.

Sherlock: Thank you, Captain. As I said on my first day on your ship, I will serve you and the ship to the best of my abilities. ::slight nod::

Yalu:  Congratulations, Lieutenant.  Welcome to the club!

Yogan was delighted that Aine Sherlock was given a well-deserved promotion.  In her first mission, she’d proven herself to be a security officer of the highest calibre.  Her dedication to the away mission had been integral to its success, and indeed their very survival.  As the rest of the group congratulated her, Yogan noticed the nonverbal courting between the newly promoted Lieutenant and Commander Ilsam, and wondered what orders Starfleet would have for Resolution next.  Their stay on Vulcan had been brief, but jam-packed with activity and opportunities to get to know each other better.  If the next mission was even a fraction as stressful as the last, Yogan wondered whether the handful of newly formed relationships could hold up under the strain.

Any: response

 

Tag / TBC

 

Lieutenant JG Yogan Yalu
Helm Officer
USS Resolution NCC-78145

Justin
D238804DS0

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