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Welcome to the 2024 Awards Ceremony!

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Welcome to the 2024 Awards Ceremony!

  • July 1st, Monday: PRESENTATION: Introduction, General Awards
  • July 2nd, Tuesday: PRESENTATION: Special and Length of Service Awards
  • July 3rd, Wednesday: PRESENTATION: Staff Awards
  • July 4th, Thursday: PRESENTATION: Duty Post Awards
  • July 5th, Friday: Finale/Acknowledgments
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[ROUND 2] Fleet Captain Sidney Riley: Magical Worlds and Fantasies


Alleran Tan

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((FltCapt. Sidney Riley's Quarters, USS Independence-A))

::Night brings darkness...that was one thing about space, there was always

darkness. The Terran/Deltan sat with her legs pulled up on the couch, her arms

around them and her head resting on her knees. Her eyes were closed, but she

wasn't anywhere near asleep. A single tear ran down her left cheek and dropped

unceremoniously onto her leg. A few moments later another escaped her eye lid

and repeated the process, like the drip of a faucet you would leave on so the

pipes don't freeze in the winter.::

::Cold, that was another word for space. Cold, dark and lonely...::

::She opened her bright green eyes, in the darkness they looked a melancholy

forest green. She looked over to Belleau's room. The door was cracked open and

a small stream of light from the nightlight encroached upon the darkness like a

sword, slashing at the shadows. Belleau would be fast asleep, besides, she

couldn't unload her thoughts to a child.::

::Childhood was a special time, one of magical worlds and fantasies, often

shattered by life on a starship and the hardships of space. Still Belleau

deserved her childhood, she didn't need to hear of adult troubles, of lives lost

and of the empty loneliness the Terran/Deltan felt in that moment. So many had

died again...again...that was the word. Usually when things were repetitive

they got easier...not this...not death. With each passing, each mysterious

disappearance...they ate away at the soul taking little pieces with them.::

::Moving her legs quickly she stood up, embracing the darkness surrounding her.

She walked over to replicator, the lights of the machine casting even more

shadows around her.::

RILEY: Hot chocolate with Irish Cream.

::A soft hum filled the room and the mug appeared on the shelf. Taking it

lightly with both hands she held it up to her nose, drinking in the smell of the

delicious liquid. She took a small sip and turned back towards the window, back

towards the stars. After a moment she noticed a flashing light coming from the

computer monitor.::

RILEY: oO How long has it been since I checked my messages?Oo

::She walked slowly over to the monitor and called out.::

RILEY: Computer, bring lights up to half illumination. Access personal

messages for Fleet Captain Sidney Riley.

::It only took a moment before the messages appeared on the screen. Her eyes

scanned the long list of reports, and fell on three messages, one was from

Maharet, her half sister on Earth, the other from Shannon. Sidney practically

rolled her eyes. Shaking her head she looked back at the screen. The other was

from Lieutenant JG Alleran Tan.::

::Sidney took in a sharp breath. She'd heard Alleran was on Devinon V, working

and attending counseling sessions. She had heard his progress was good.::

RILEY: Computer access message from Lieutenant JG Alleran Tan.

::The message appeared on screen, but it wasn't what she expected. This was

more like art, a picture of two famous Starfleet officers and what appeared to

be a hand written message.::

((Begin Message))

TAN: To the Independence, Humans have the strangest customs, but this one I

find to my liking. I hope everything is going well for everyone on the

Independence - life on Devinon V (or as we like to call it, Nisel IV) is proving

to be as interesting as I had thought. The work is hard, but it keeps me busy.

My understanding is a gift is appropriate for this particular celebration. I

have one picked out for most of you, but they'll have to wait until I return

before I can pass them along.

Merry Christmas to you all, and I hope that 2388 brings us a relief from the war

and strife that have plagued us this year.

- Alleran Tan

P.S. Eggnog tastes GREAT - how do you make it?

((End Message))

::Sidney couldn't help but smile. They had passed the holidays...two weeks of

time they had lost in the distortions. It was something they couldn't get back.

She sat back in the chair and simply stared at the screen.::

RILEY: oO Should I write him? He wouldn't want to hear from you and you know

it...friendship simply isn't possible...Oo

::She sat there for a long moment debating inwardly what to do. Should she?

Should she not? Would it hinder his recovery? Would it be inappropriate?::

::Minutes passed...then several more.::

RILEY: Computer, compose written message to Lieutenant JG Alleran Tan, Devinon

V. Dear Alleran...

::Pause.::

No...erase that...start over...

Hello Lieutenant JG Tan. It was great to hear from you. I and the Independence

crew thank you very much for your Christmas wishes. I do believe this is the

first Christmas card I have received in years. I too wish you the best for

2388. I hope you are doing well on Devinon V, I wish you the best in your

recovery and hope you may one day rejoin the Independence and her crew.

Your Friend,

Fleet Captain Sidney Riley

Computer, end message...and...No wait...add...

P.S. You don't want to know how they make eggnog...

Computer end message...

:She paused and watched the blinking message on the screen. Taking a deep

breath she finally spoke.::

RILEY: Computer send message, two hour delay...

::The screen blinked and Sidney was once again staring at the two messages from

her family. Maharet and Shannon. Maharet's message would contain information

about the Riley family back home...Shannon's... well, there really as no telling

what would be in Shannon's message. The Captain sighed.::

RILEY: Computer access message from Shannon Riley.

::Quite suddenly the screen filled with the image of Sidney Riley's twin sister.

She looked distressed and quite tired. A concerned expression crossed Sidney's

features.::

SHANNON: Sidney, I'm sorry to bother you...::She sniffled.:: Look, you don't

know how sorry I am...but....but I'm in trouble and I need your help. I need to

come back to the Independence. You've got to let me come back. I'm okay...I'm

on Deep Space 17...but you've got to pick me up when you come back here. I'll

explain then.

::The image blinked out of existence and Sidney tilted her head...::

RILEY: @&*@#^% Computer, video message to Shannon Riley.

::The screen blinked again.::

Shannon, it's me. Look, you need to tell me what is going on. I'm out here on

a special orders and I can't get back to the station right now. You're going to

have to hold out until I can get back. Look, send me a message and let me know

what is going on. I'll do everything I can. I love you, Sid.

Computer, send message.

::The message was sent and she reached up pushing the hair away from her eyes.

Shannon was always melodramatic. It was probably nothing...most likely it was

nothing and she'd be fine until they could get back. Still the message unnerved

her, especially since the last time they had talked Shannon had swore never to

talk with her again.::

::Sidney reached over and took two sips of her hot chocolate with Irish Cream,

setting it down she accessed, the message from Maharet. It wasn't what she

expected...by a long shot.::

::Maharet looked like she was distressed and was miserably trying to hide it.

The image was one she had no seen in years. Maharet was strong and never

worried. The image paused and then the woman with the reddish skin began to

speak.::

MAHARET: Sidney! ::Her tone was bright and obviously forced.:: It's been so

long since I've talked with you...really too long. I'm sorry...things got busy

and you know how things are with the family. Everyone wants to hear about you.

I hope things are well.

::Maharet took a deep breath.::

I'm sure you can tell there is a reason I'm contacting you...I don't want to

distress you, but I thought this was important enough to contact you.

::Another long pause.::

A Bajoran woman, ummm....Fortaine Morielle, showed up yesterday asking about you

and Belleau Dioron. It seems she is related to Belleau and she has paperwork

saying she was to be Belleau's legal guardian. I know you went through

Starfleet for the adoption, but she's threatening to take whatever legal action

she can on Bajor unless you surrender Belleau to her when you arrive back at

Deep Space 17. She plans on being there when the Independence arrives. I don't

have much more information Sidney. She wouldn't leave anything with me. But you

need to look into this, for Belleau and for your sake.

::More distressing looks and silence filled the screen.::

I'm sorry Sidney, I wish I didn't have such bad news. I just couldn't let you

go without knowing and then having that woman show up when you got back to the

station. I wish the best. I love you dear sister. Always, Maharet.

::The image on the screen disappeared and Sidney simply stared at the screen for

more than a few moments. It wasn't possible. The adoption had been done

legally through not only Starfleet, but through the official Federation agency

that dealt with both Terran and Bajoran adoptions. It took several moments for

Sidney to realize she wasn't breathing. She looked over to the door and the

light streaming into the darkness. Belleau was asleep, she couldn't worry

her...magical worlds and fantasies would be shattered soon enough...perhaps one

more night to dream...or maybe a few more.::

TBC...

Fleet Captain Sidney Riley

Commanding Officer

USS Independence-A

Edited by Alleran Tan/Radi Rais
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