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Ensign Ulasso - Prodigal Son

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OOC: We get some insight into @Ulasso here, and his player has produced a very interesting character.  I can't wait to see what happens next!




(( Main Mess Hall, Deck 7, USS ‘Oumuamua ))

After getting lost numerous times on the way to the Main Mess Hell, Ulasso had made it just on time and settled into one of the only remaining seats...uncomfortably close to the front. Ulasso didn't understand how his sense of direction could be so bad to still have trouble even finding the place where he went for most of his meals. He hated being late, so luckily he had left his room very early to plan for this...however as usual he was stuck with a seat no one else wanted.

As he sat there watching the first awards given, his mind wandered through everything that had happened to him during shore leave. He had just gotten off medical observation after having the parasite removed, and his hallucinations had finally stopped. They had gotten weirder and weirder after the parasite had given him a large dose of its hallucinogenic agent before being removed, with the final ones mostly involving giant rabbits...
Even without leaving the ship during shore leave , he had also helped solve a holodeck mystery with Jack, almost gotten barred from the 7 forward lounge, and had helped assemble a Transporter that could store a Valkyrie in the buffer. He couldn't believe his eventful shore "stay" was coming to an end.
His mind snapped back to the moment as Greaves took the stage. The man that had brought them back from their seemingly watery grave on Okaea. The Thor had been lost, but men like Greaves persisted. It occurred to Ulasso that names like "Thor", a mythological Earth hero the ship had been named after, were not needed anymore. They had real life heroes to look up to, such as the Major. 
It troubled him that the Major seemed to be at odds with his longtime friend, V'Len however. He had great respect for both men, and hoped they could resolve their differences. Ulasso only hoped it wouldn't come to a point where he was asked to take a side.
Greaves: If you’ll allow me Commodore, I’d like to do the next couple.

Kells: Certainly. Actually, why don’t I duck away for a moment. Commodore V’Airu?

Ossa stood, her impeccable posture while sitting becoming her impeccable posture while standing, and took two swift steps to stand beside Greaves. Kells shuffled offstage, and Ossa took the box of ribbons and pips from Greaves.

Wes smiled and nodded before looking back out onto the small crowd of officers. His eyes scanned the room until they finally landed on their target. Ensign Kessler.

Greaves: Jack Kessler, if you’d please join us?

With a motion of his hand, Wes gestured toward the steps and a few seconds later the Thor’s former tactical officer was standing between Wes and V’Airu.

Greaves: Jack, we spent a not insignificant amount of time on that bridge together in some of the most dire circumstances. Your ingenuity and grit were pivotal in getting the Thor off planet safely. The repairs to the torpedo system, and the modification of the firing system to operate underwater… well we probably wouldn’t be here if you hadn’t pulled it off. For that, we’re awarding you the Captain’s Commendation.

V’Airu: Your record is stellar, Kessler. I’m pleased to be a part of your next step.

As the commodore spoke, Wes pinned the crimson medal on Kessler’s chest, and then turned to receive the darkened bit of metal from Commodore V’Airu.

Greaves: And like your peers, you too are being promoted. Earned in the fires of crisis, few officers now have the experience you have, and with that experience comes this added responsibility. Congratulations Lieutenant JG.

Kessler:  looking to V’Airu:: Thank you Commodore, I am pleased you are part of my journey as well. ::turning to Greaves:: Thank you Major, I will serve with you on any vessel, anywhere.

Ulasso looked to Jack as the man took his seat and gave him a nod. Ulasso had served with the man as well on the Ocean planet, and Jack was not short on heroics either. Without his tactical skill they never would have taken down the Pirate ship. If anyone deserved a promotion after that ordeal, Ulasso thought it was that man. He actions were those of one much above the rank of Ensign.

Wes brought his hands together to start the newest round of applause and everyone immediately joined in as Jack took his seat, blending back into the audience. As the clapping died down, Wes again scanned the faces of those assembled until finally landing upon their Saurian helmsman.
Greaves: Our next officer to be recognized is Ensign Ulasso. Ensign, Please, join us.

Ulasso turned back to the stage with the words and saw the Major's eyes upon him. Polite clapping resumed as Ulasso slowly got up from his chair and clambered onstage. 

Greaves: Ensign, recognition for positive actions can be hard sometimes. We don’t always see the good things that all of our officers do. In this instance however, internal sensors were still recording during the ship’s evacuation. After I gave the order to abandon ship, you made your way to an aft escape pod on deck 1 of the Thor, but there you were presented with a choice. A family was also trying to board that escape pod and there wasn’t room for you and them both. In that moment you chose the selfless action, one that likely would result in your death. You chose to give up your seat and return to the helm as the Thor was still falling out of the sky.

V’Airu: I also recognize your helm skills during the ‘Oumuamua’s run-in with the UDP battlecruiser. You are second to none, Ulasso.

Taking the ribbon from V’Airu, Wes examined it closely, taking a small moment to recognize the significance of the Silver Star before pinning it to Ulasso.

Ulasso: Thank you both. I will wear it proudly and honor those who we weren't able to save as well.
Ulasso didn't know that anyone knew about that family. He hadn't thought much of it since the incident, other than during his counseling session with Brodie. Brodie had helped remind him of those they had saved, and not to just focus on those that were lost. He had just done what he thought was right, but in combination with his helm skills he was receiving a large honor. He would have never imagined receiving the Silver Star after his first mission, and he was humbled by it. It would remind him of those he had been able to save, and to live for those that he couldn't.

Greaves: And there’s one more thing as well. Not to be outdone by your peers, you too have gained valuable experience and demonstrated you are more than capable of rising to any occasion. For that, you’re being promoted to Lieutenant JG.

Holding his hand out, yet still looking to Ulasso with a smile, Wes waited for V’Airu to drop the small pip into his hand before pinning it on the Saurian’s collar.

V’Airu: Congratulations, Lieutenant, Junior Grade.

Ulasso: Thank you again. I'll honor the title and uphold the ideals of the Federation. 

The crowd once again applauded and Wes joined in as Ulasso climbed down and disappeared back into the group of assembled officers. Stepping back from the edge of the stage, Wes resumed his position holding the box of ribbons and rank insignia, smiling as he took it from Commodore V’Airu.

The rest of the ceremony seemed to pass by in a haze. Ulasso was stunned at a promotion after his first mission. He had no lofty goals within Starfleet, he was happy as long as he was at the helm, keeping Ulaini's dream alive by piloting out to worlds unknown, spreading the hope of the federation to those that were oppressed and wanted a better life. He had expected to be an Ensign longer, but it would seem with his new ship to helm, he would have more responsibility as well. He didn't mind, his work ethic was strong, however he only hoped his promotion wouldn't take him away from his helmsman duties too much. He was excited to helm the "Oumuamua again. When he had taken manual flight control she had handled like a dream.
(( Some time later that evening, Senior Officers Quarters, Deck 4, USS ‘Oumuamua ))
After the ceremony finished, Ulasso walked through the door to his quarters. He took his Silver Star off and looked at it, replaying the events of Okaea in his head once again before carefully placing it in a display box. 
As he was about to change into his bed clothes, a gown and nightcap, he was interrupted by a chirp from the communications panel. He wondered who would be calling him so late...perhaps someone in a different time zone. He looked at the incoming communications request and his heart sunk. He wanted more than anything to hold onto the feelings of pride and satisfaction from the evening's awards ceremony and go straight to sleep with pleasant thoughts in his head, however he couldn't deny the part of him that had been nurtured on his home world. He had been trained not to refuse this man that was calling him, his father.
He accepted the call and the image of his father appeared on the communications panel. Black eyes that seemed to stare directly into Ulasso's soul, scars across the older Saurian's face and hardened lines from long years of the grueling Saurian Warrior Caste life. His father looked at Ulasso, and as far as Ulasso could tell the man showed no emotion at seeing him.
Zezgee: Hello son, It's been awhile. How have you been?
Ulasso had been prepared for the worst, however his father seemed to be in a good mood considering. Maybe this was a time for reconciliation.
Ulasso: I'm doing well sir. Actually, I just received a promotion to Lieutenant Junior Grade.
Ulasso watched as his father laughed out loud. Ulasso's 4 hearts dropped, and all his pride from that night's awards ceremony was gone in an instant. His father stopped laughing and spoke to him in a condescending tone. 
Zezgee: If my knowledge of the StarFleet chain of command is correct, that is what...second from the bottom? At home you would be a prince, you must stop this nonsense.
Ulasso: It's not nonsense, Father. I was recognized for saving lives and my skill as a helmsman as well. These pips show my promotion. 
Zezgee: Ulasso you are 14 years old, a fully grown adult male Saurian and you are still  playing dress up as a Star Fleet officer. You always acted like a child and I see that hasn't changed. That yellow uniform you are wearing is an embarrassment compared to the Saurian Empire uniform you should be wearing. Worse, the color matches your coward's eyes.
The insult of Ulasso's eye color was nothing new. He had learned a long time ago growing up to not let it bother him. He had mental calluses formed from his father as well, and he didn't want him to think he had gotten to Ulasso. He grabbed a glass of water he had prepared near his bedside and took a sip before speaking again. taking time to make sure he was in control.
UIasso: Is there something you want, father? It is quite late here.
Zezgee: I want you to come home and take your place as the rightful heir to lead the clan. You owe us that seeing as your sister's death was your fault and there is no one else to take over.
All of Ulasso's work to remain calm, all the years he had for practice meant naught in that moment. His father had always known how to set him off balance in the end, and it would seem this time would be no different. His grip on the glass of water tightened.
Ulasso: ::pleading:: Father, please...don't
Zezgee: She loved you most. She would have listened to you. If you had only corralled her wild thoughts like I instructed you too, she would still be with us.
Ulasso:::angered outburst:: YOU WERE THE ONE THAT EXILED HER
The glass shattered in Ulasso's hand. Blood seeped from a cut on his hand. He took the remaining bottom of the glass and threw it as hard as he could. It shattered into his display case that he had just put his medal into. Ulasso ran over to the case and inspected the medal. He was relieved to see it wasn't damaged. He focused on the medal, and its significance. It showed he was in the right place, he was saving lives, and working to spread Ulaini's dreams. He gathered himself and returned to the communications panel where his father waited, emotionless. Blood dripped from Ulasso's hand onto the floor, but he didn't notice.
Zezgee: I see you still have not learned to control your emotions. Still a child as I said Ulasso. 
Ulasso: I never silenced Ulaini because she was right. She would have never taken her life if you hadn't punished her so severely, you won't put that on me. Your backward way of thinking is antiquated. Star Fleet is open minded, and it is where I belong. 
Ulasso couldn't imagine going back to the strict, religious ways of the Saurian Warrior Caste. You didn't question tradition, now matter how much their species had evolved. Unlike Saurians as a whole that had embraced the Federation, he had been raised in an order that preserved the ancient Saurian way of life. Ulaini had opened his mind, and Star Fleet had been his escape.
Zezgee: Don't forget Ulasso, I have friends in high places, even at Star Fleet. I can make life very hard for you there.
Ulasso: I've never backed down from a challenge, father. Do your worst.
With that Ulasso ended the call. He walked to the window and watched the stars. Ulaini would love the sight. She used to drag Ulasso out of bed, ignoring his protests that they had training early in the morning. They would lay in the fields at night and watch the stars, and she would talk about traveling to them someday. 
He wished he could swap places with her, but doing right by her would have to do instead. He swore to himself that he would become the finest helmsman Star Fleet had ever seen and make her proud. With that he laid in his bed, however sleep evaded him for the rest of the night.
[End Shore Leave for Ulasso]
Lt. JG Ulasso
(HCO) Officer 
USS 'Oumuamua


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