[USS Vanguard] A few words? Er.....

  • From: "Kieran Darkwater" <kdarkwater@xxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: ncv80221@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Wed, 09 Jan 2002 16:45:58 +0000

Kieran sat quietly, towards the back of the lounge area, rueing his attitude 
slightly. Where most of the crew seemed quite open and friendly, he remained 
at a table on his own, with only his glass of milk for company.

*It's your own fault,* he told himself, sipping from the chilled liquid 
again, *you had to be funny when you could have been open, and now look 
where you are.*

Santos:... Kieran Darkwater: step forward

The glass slowly drifted down from his mouth as his eyes, and only his eyes 
moved to look at the Captain, talking from the front. One hand tried to 
nonchalantly drift up to his face and remove the smear of white from his top 
lip as his face gradually turned redder as though to emphasise it. Obedient, 
if nothing else, Kieran rose and made his way between the press of people, 
turning sideways in several places in an effort to avoid brushing against 
people, flinching inside at several points as friendly slaps on the back 
caught him by surprise.

Santos: Thank your department head, Zena. She tells me that you're not as 
big a pain in the...Bussard collector as we may think. Somehow, someone, 
somewhere thinks you have promise.

Santos held out his hand, and Yeoman Challis placed a velvet box in his hand 
as Kieran looked up into the hazy blur of faces staring up at him, 
swallowing hard as they swam in his vision. Finally, as the captain started 
talking again he found the familiar features of his Department Head to 
nodded to him, as though to confirm the captain wasn't lying. Had he been 
watching, it might have been amusing, but up there in front of them all...

Santos: Ensign Kieran Darkwater, for bravery, for courage, for keeping an 
amazingly clear head under fire, I hereby promote you to the rank of 
lieutenant, junior grade, with all rights and privileges. Congratulations! 
I'm sure the rank will fit you well.

He pinned the hollowed out circle to his collar, and shook his hand, a firm 
solid grasp that felt like an anchor, dragging him to centre stage as the 
mob started to press forward. He turned, smiled a slightly forced, sickly 
smile, and raised one arm, half in thanks half in warding, and made to step 
away as the dreaded words sounded out.

Santos: Say a few words, lieutenant. I'm sure we want to hear what you have 
to say.

"I doubt..." he began, in a somewhat hoarse, throaty whisper, already 
hearing the mutterings from the front row, where they at least realised 
there was something being said that they couldn't hear: the rest didn't 
realise he'd started yet. He stared at his feet for a moment, breathing 
deeply as his chest tightened up, feeling the prickly sweat begin at the 
base of his spine and slowly, slowly crawl upwards.

"Um..." he began, looking up, and clasping his hands together as they almost 
instinctively began to crawl up to his collar. "M-m-most of you have already 
h-h-heard what h-h-happened down on Angel One, so I w-w-wont repeat it: 
b-b-bravery, and clear-h-h-headedness come from knowing that you h-h-have 
faith in the people behind, in front of you, and with you in spirit. It's 
not so much a p-p-personal achievement, as a validation of a c-c-crew that 
w-w-works together."

He swallowed hard, looking up briefly before swallowing again, and backing 
away from the 'podium' spot, until he bumped into a counter, at which point 
he lifted one arm self-consciously again, and nodded, hoping they would all 
move off to something else, realising the spectacle was finished. The icy 
sweat prickled across his neck, just as the Captain stepped away, moving to 
talk, and the crowd suddenly seemed to dissolve into a much smaller number 
of individuals talking and mingling as he gasped for breath, and turned to 
the nearest door.


Sorry for the delay, everyone, my computer's been fried and I've had limited 

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