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[JP] V.Admiral Reynolds & Cmdr. Marshall - Stars in the Sky (Parts I & II)

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I have always loved each and every award ceremony I have read, because they are a love poem to the crew to all the good things that have happened, and it allows you to be very emotional and uplifting. I also think they are one of the MOST DIFFICULT scenes to write, because there is so much text that it is difficult to handle often, and keeping a pleasant pace, not forgetting ANY DETAIL of what the crew has done, spending time to recall a bit of each and every one of the crew members and, at the same time, giving a glimpse into the mind of the character from whose perspective it is written is a real CHALLENGE. However, here @Quinn Reynolds and @Jo Marshall do it EXCELLENTLY and not only that, but with some of the most beautiful and evocative descriptions I've read in a while. A sample of their greatness as writers, as gorkon staff, and as people as a whole.

Wonderful work, my congratulations to Em & Em and, by extension, to all the crew of the Gorkon!

Part I



((Saucer Section Outer Hull, USS Gorkon))


Beyond the shimmering veil of the outer barrier, galaxies of distant planets whirling around faraway stars danced and hummed. Beautiful swirls of luminous violet and yellow, splashes of orange, and twisting indigo. They'd seen it a billion times before, observing the same collection of lights for years from their Sovereign-class starship, from the slow-burning dwarfs and youthful protostars etching into existence, to the fiercest supergiants on the cusp of their swan-song supernova. 


Standing on the outer hull of their home, Jo smiled to herself as she looked out at the bright, glimmering mass of wonder. One hand slipped into her pocket and she looked over her shoulder to the highly decorated Admiral hovering in her peripheral vision. Her smile became a grin as she pointed a finger to the illuminated darkness beyond. 


Marshall: Out there is adventure, Quinn. 


Reynolds: Not long until we head out again to find it. ::She smiled.:: Ready to crack on?


Marshall: Always. Ship horn at the ready?


Reynolds: ::She clicked her tongue.:: I knew I’d forgotten something.


Quinn shot Jo an amused grin, glad beyond reckoning to have her back aboard. The last mission had been a trial, to say the least, and some of the crew had departed in its wake to deal with the trauma. And so it was a relief to have the chance to banter with her friend once again, to celebrate as a crew, and take another step forward into the future.


Speaking of.


They had set a small stage for the awards ceremony, and she moved onto it. That small amount of elevation was enough to capture the crew’s attention, and clasping her hands together, she began.


Reynolds: Before we start, I’d take a moment to thank our engineers and operations officers for making this possible. It’s nothing short of spectacular, and definitely a night to remember. So please, let’s begin with a round of applause for them.


Before she’d finished lifting her hands, the space filled with cheers and applause for the technical wizards who’d waved their wands and worked the magic. Pride shone out in beaming smiles and sparkling eyes, and she let the celebrations fade naturally. With everyone quiet once more, Quinn took a breath. Those who’d been aboard the Gorkon for any length of time knew that she preferred to present a particular ribbon first. So many other awards instilled pride in their recipients, but the feelings surrounding this one were often... complex. 


Reynolds: As many of you know, I like to begin these ceremonies with one of the more difficult ribbons to receive. Difficult because of the personal hardship it represents; an award which recognises our willingness to endure injury in the service of others. I’m honoured to recognise those who sacrificed their health during the rescue of the Sasu Gol, and present Lieutenant Commander Jal Desoa, Lieutenants Cory Stoyer and Lieutenant Valesha Sienelis, and Lieutenant Junior Grade Vorin with the Purple Heart.


A round of applause rippled through the gathered crowd, and whether intentional or not, eyes drifted to those mentioned, looking for the bearers of the particularly difficult ribbon to wear, let alone to receive. Tensions unfurled like a canvas sail, and as the resounding echo of claps died down, Jo cleared her throat and smiled wide.


Marshall: When we think about why we're here—looking up at, ::she glanced up, lifting a finger to the shield above them, and space above that,:: that—we're pushing the boundaries for the future. Not only the future of Starfleet, but the future for scientists, engineers, medicine, and can't forget the future of paperwork. For throwing themselves into the quandaries and questions, their invention and creativity in the face of great danger, and for the Skipper taking up the spanner on the engines once more, I'm incredibly pleased to present Vice Admiral Quinn Reynolds, Lieutenant Commander Ayiana Sevo, and Lieutenant sh'Qynallahr with the Innovation Ribbon. 


Praise and commendations, hollers and excited shouts from the gathered officers heralded the blue ribbons as they sailed out to waiting hands. It wouldn't be the first for any of them — all three were incredibly capable officers, intelligent and adaptable, and Jo was only too proud to listen to her friends celebrating one another. 


Reynolds: All of us struggled against the influence of the Rift’s inhabitants, but there are those among us who directly engaged them, despite the unknowns and significant risk to their lives. In recognition of this courage, and their determination to defend and safeguard their fellows, and the crew of the Triumphant and the Sasu Gol, I’m proud to present Captain Walter Brunsig, Lieutenant Commanders Samira Neathler and Orson Marshall, Lieutenants Alieth and Cory Stoyer, and Lieutenant Junior Grade Loxley, with the Silver Star. 


She smiled, meeting Walter’s sharp blue gaze for a moment, and both CO and FO brought their hands together in the subsequent revelry. Jo stuck her finger and thumb under her tongue, blowing a low whistle. One taskforce; one crew. Being on Skarbek had taught them that. They were a family, a team, and backed one another up when it counted. 


Marshall: When we find ourselves in tough situations, on harsh missions that seem never-ending, and lives are on the line, we place our faith in one another. We'll get each other home safely. We promise our friends and found family that they will see another day, even if that comes at the expense of lost limbs. For their exemplary bravery and quick-thinking in a tremendously dangerous predicament, I am honoured to award Lieutenant Commander Kero Rix, Lieutenant JG Tahna Meru, and Ensign Bryce Tagren-Quinn the Silver Lifesaving Ribbon. 


Reynolds: Of course, ‌all of these actions can have a lingering effect after the moment has passed. Through the care and support of the people around us, ‌we can process what we’ve been through, healing wounds both physical and emotional. For the care they’ve shown their fellow crew in the aftermath of our last mission, I’m delighted to present Lieutenant Corliss Fortune and Ensign Bryce Tagren-Quinn with the Unity Ribbon.


Another burst of applause, appreciation fizzing through the crew like the bubbles rising through champagne. It was one thing to survive traumatic events, another to ‌live after them, and it was thanks to people like Corliss and Bryce that people could find a way. Picking up the next ribbon, weighing it in her hand, Jo chuckled to herself. 


Marshall: You know, it's not everyday that we can really reflect on the strange new worlds and incredible places our duties in Starfleet take us to, and, ::she shot an amused grin to the Admiral,:: it's not every day that discoveries are made from the inside. For their fortune, or misfortune, at discovering a new species from within the species itself, I'm proud to present Vice Admiral Quinn Reynolds, Lieutenant Commander Ayiana Sevo, and Lieutenant Piravao sh'Qynallahr with the Explorer's Ribbon.


The last of the ribbons related to the Gorkon’s last mission, and Quinn smiled at her fellow recipients, joining in with the clapping and bravos that filled the air. Exploration and discovery were why they were out among the stars; they could be proud that even in the most trying of circumstances, they achieved Starfleet’s goals and brought new knowledge back to the Federation.


Reynolds: Before she joined our crew, Lieutenant Meidra Sirin served aboard the USS Resolution and took part in a covert mission to protect the security and interests of the Federation. As many of us know, these kinds of missions require a cool head and a quick mind, and are worthy of recognition. And so, on behalf of Fleet Captain Kalianna Nicholotti, I’m pleased to present Lieutenant Meidra Sirin with the Intelligence Star.


Another round of raucous adulation lit up the outer hull section of the domed shield they stood beneath, accompanied by the occasional whistle of approval and holler of congratulations. Their recent transfer had taken it upon herself to prove her chops in a variety of fields from the offset, and Jo could only wait to see what Meidra was capable of. 


Marshall: The last, but by no means least, of the ribbon presentation is the commendation we bestow upon those who have excelled in their application of duty. Each department onboard the Gorkon is a beast unto itself; sometimes wild, sometimes chaotic, sometimes the picture of organisation, and we just have to wonder how they managed it. For her commitment and enthusiasm in leading the science department for the last half year, we award Lieutenant Alieth the Department Chief Ribbon and all the applause to go with it. 


Quinn dipped her head in a small nod toward the Vulcan, though her eyes darted to another dark-haired and pointed-eared member of the crew when she looked away. A situation simmering there, and she’d gone against her better instincts to remain hands off and see if those involved would resolve it themselves. Time would tell.


Part II



((Saucer Section Outer Hull, USS Gorkon))


Reynolds: And finally, I have some promotions to announce. ::She smiled.:: It’s been our collective pleasure to watch Tahna Meru go from strength to strength, blossoming into an exceptional member of this crew. She has shown the quick thinking, dedication, and aptitude of someone more senior, and so I’m delighted to promote her to lieutenant, with all the associated duties, rights, and responsibilities of that rank.


The air exploded with cheers and whoops, hands brought together in celebration of the young Bajoran’s achievement. The two crimson-shouldered officers joined in, Quinn beaming at the new lieutenant, while Jo whistled in loud, enthusiastic approval. 


Reynolds: Since joining the Gorkon, Alieth has shown us all an impressive array of skills and capabilities. She is resourceful, adaptable, and determined, and balances these traits with respect and compassion for others. Whether dealing with the mundane or the extraordinary, she exceeds the expectations of her rank, and so it’s my pleasure to promote her to lieutenant commander, with all the associated duties, rights, and responsibilities.


Explosions continued for the newly minted Chief of Science; claps and hollers into the distant sky. Throughout her posting on the Gorkon, Alieth had earned the right to that third black pip on her collar, and could wear it proudly. Each victory had won and made a more rounded officer for it. 


As the cavalcade of celebration died down once more, Jo sensed the time was nigh. Bittersweet and momentous all the while. With a smile and a deep exhale, she clasped her hands in the small of her back. 


Marshall: Lieutenant Commander Samira Neathler, would you please step up?


The pair waited as the ship’s second officer made her way onto the stage. With Jo on one side, and Sami on the other, Quinn gave each a small smile before returning her gaze to the crew assembled in front of them. It was time for a passing of the torch, a move from one era into another, and she was excited for all of them and the opportunities which lay ahead.


Reynolds: Commander Neathler has served the Gorkon as our Chief of Security and Second Officer for a while now, and distinguished herself daily in her role. It’s my very great pleasure to announce that she’s moving into the post of First Officer, and I have no doubt she’ll continue to shine in her new role.


From the front, Jo led the applause, bringing her hands together in pride and celebration at the changing of the guard. She clapped Samira on the shoulder, remembering the cautious Ensign coming on board during one of their most tumultuous times, planting her boots on the ground and set off running.


Marshall: Congratulations, Sami. Incredibly well deserved.


Reynolds: Very much so. 


It took some time for the jollification to die down, overwhelming delight in evidence at the success of their comrade. The trio—commanding officer, and first officers, former and new—waited for it to run its course. Eventually it did, though Quinn suspected as soon as they stepped off the podium, the celebrations would continue for the rest of the evening.


Reynolds: All right, that’s enough from me for one night. ::She smiled and gestured forward, toward the bar, dance floors, buffet tables and seating.:: Go forth and enjoy yourselves.


It didn't take long for Jo to swing by the roaming stewards, stealing a couple of glasses from waiting tray tables, and passed one over to Quinn. Lifting the glass for a toast, of sorts, between the two of them, the blonde smiled. 


Marshall: What're we toasting? Always looking forward to the next adventure?


Reynolds: And to coming home afterwards.


She lifted her drink, bubbles fizzing through the fruit juice inside, and tapped it against her friend’s. A set of cheers swallowed up the soft chime of glass against glass, and Quinn grinned as she glanced that way, seeing a small gang from security celebrating their former chief’s promotion to First Officer.


Marshall: Who knew home would end up being a Sovereign class starship orbiting Palanon? ::She clicked her tongue and chuckled.:: Sure could've done with a heads up on that one.


Reynolds: All part of the adventure. 


Marshall: There and back again. That's catchy. 


Reynolds: And totally original, I’m sure.


She breathed out a chuckle and took a sip of her drink, glancing across the hull and at the people standing upon it. Congratulations were flowing freely toward the award recipients,the Sienelis’ and their baby had a small, cooing gathering around them, and some wise souls were beating an early retreat toward the buffet table. 


Reynolds: Come on, I know Walter wants to welcome you back. ::Her smile turned wry.:: Even if he won’t admit it.

The response came with a soft laugh and a roll of the eyes, a happy smile masking turmoil beneath. Looking out over the gathered crowds of colleagues, friends, and found family, Jo knew it wouldn't be long until those anxieties were quelled. 

But until then, it was good to be home. 




Vice Admiral Quinn Reynolds

Commanding Officer

USS Gorkon



Commander Jo Marshall

Chief of Operations

USS Gorkon, NCC-82293



Edited by Alieth
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