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Welcome to the 2022 Awards Ceremony!

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Nathan Richards: A lifetime spent in the final moments.


Nathan Richards
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After over 20 years, Stephen had finally caved and attended one of the PTSD support groups that his children and grandchildren had begged him to go to. He hesitantly wheeled himself into the circle created by chairs in the center of the room, moving one of the aside to accommodate his wheel chair. He idly stared at the floor as the rest of the group filed in and took their seats, only looking up when someone finally spoke.  

“Greetings to you all.” A tall, slender human woman stood in the middle of the circle. She wore the telltale Starfleet Science Blue Uniform. “I am Dr. Hargrove. I understand you all have come here from very different walks of life, but have gathered for one common reason.” She looked around at everyone before continuing, “Healing.” 

Psycho mumbo jumbo. Stephen thought to himself. He knew why he was there. He knew why he needed to be there. He just didn’t want any of it. 

“I would like to go around the room and have you all introduce yourselves. Let’s start with you, sir.” She motioned towards Stephen, who met her gaze and scowled. 

“Pass.” He said, gruffly. 

Dr. Hargrove gave him a warm smile, “I know this can be hard. That’s why we are starting with something easy.” She sat down in an empty chair across the room, “Please.” 

Stephen sighed, “My name is Stephen Davis.” He didn’t bother looking around at anyone as they all said hello, almost in unison. What is this? A GD Alcoholics Anonymous meeting?  

Could you tell us a little more about yourself?” Hargrove chimed in again, “Maybe a little bit about why you’re here?” 

“I’ll catch that on the next go around.” Stephen huffed, leaning back in his chair. Dr. Hargrove simply nodded in response, continuing around the room in counter-clockwise order. Each person stepping forward, stating their name and giving a brief description about why they were there. Space battles, Colony disputes and the like.  

Stephen just sat there listening until it was his turn again. 

“Alright, Stephen. Are you ready to tell us more?” Hargrove smiled warmly again as asked the question. Nathan looked into her deep blue eyes for a moment, feeling them almost burrow into his soul. But not in a bad way. He pushed himself forward in his chair, resting his elbows on his knees.  

Stardate 50983.5. You might recognize that date.” He looked around the room. Some understanding, while others simply looked on looking for an explanation. “The Battle of Sector 001.” He paused, letting the words sink in. They all seemed to understand now. 

“I was aboard one of the first ships to make contact with the Cube as it entered the system. The order was given to stop them using whatever means necessary. It was over before I really knew what was going on.” He looked down at his hands in his lap, resting on his thighs. His eyes quickly looking down at what remained of his right leg. “Fire everywhere. People screaming. The ship was disabled almost immediately. That’s when they began to board and...” He trailed off, memories flooding back and flashing before his eyes. His vision began to blur as tears filled his eyes. “So many dead. So many more assimilated. I remember holding my Commanding Officer as she looked up at me, taking her final breath. I just held her lifeless body, not knowing what to do in the chaos that surrounded me. The texture of her Uniform, soaked in her blood. I can still fell it in my hands.” 

He wiped away the tears and looked up towards the group, finding them gone. He was no longer in the room that he had once been. Instead, he was sitting on the back deck of his childhood home. He looked out at the rolling pastures that sat behind the house. What in the... He reached down to find the wheels of his chair, but they weren’t there. He looked down and found that he was simply sitting in one of the three deck chairs that always sat on that deck. 

With sudden urgency, he stood up and moved towards the back door of the house. He had his hand on the handle before he realized. He had stood up and walked. Looking down at his two legs, he let out a sob as the tears returned and ran down his cheeks. This isn’t real.  

A faint whisper caught his attention from behind him. He turned to find no one there, just the grass and trees blowing in the wind. But the whisper was still there. It was faint, but growing closer. He stepped out into the grass, trying to follow and find the source.  

He came to a stop in the very center of the field as the whisper suddenly stopped. That’s when he felt the sharp pain in the nape of his neck, snapping him back to reality. Sitting next to the lifeless body of his Commanding Officer on the burning bridge. He body felt numb and went limp. He heard the whisper again. This time it sounded much closer. He recognized it as Dr. Hargroves, along with a litany of other voices speaking in unison in the background. He remembered the words, holding onto them as his vision darkened. As he felt all of his willpower to survive drain away. As his body and mind gave in to what was happening to him.  

We are the Borg. Resistance...Is Futile. 

 

 

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~  

Ensign Nathan Richards  

Engineering Officer  

Amity Outpost  

A239905NR1  

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 

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