[Round 14] What We Owe
Posted 15 August 2008 - 11:09 PM
Ventu: People are tired. I'll talk to the department heads, but ...
people are tired. We'll get to DS17, won't we?
:: Sidney tried to offer the Commander a reassuring look.
She knew what Lily was talking about...it was something she
had to deal with later.::
Riley: Commander :: Pause :: Lily...how are you holding up?
:: Lily sunk into a seat and met Sidney's eye again. ::
Ventu: This was a bad one, Sid.
::The Terran/Deltan CO nodded. She knew...it was unspoken
until now, but she did know.::
Ventu: ::hopelessly:: I kept looking at that list and asking myself,
what would be better? That this was our first mission, and I didn't
know them? Or that we'd lost them all after months or years of being
Riley: I really don't think there is a better thing in this
Ventu: I looked up a couple of files. Kayson was twenty-two.
Bennington was engaged - her fiancee's still on board. He survived,
and she didn't. How fair is that?
::Sidney steeled herself again. She knew all the people had families,
knew they all had lives, loves...but if she focused on each and every
name on that list...pondered each and every life and it's
significance she knew she'd be mad...she had to keep it
together...she owed it to everyone who had made it through the
ordeal. She would be strong for everyone...::
Riley: Life can rarely be called fair Lily...
::Sidney looked at her First Officer, felt for her...She knew what
she was struggling with...knew all too well...but they had to be
strong...they had to make the tough decisions.::
Ventu: Not fair, then. That's not what I meant. I meant ...::beat::...
we're supposed to be doing some good, aren't we? This all started with
answering a distress call. How many Constellationites died? How many
Reapers? How many of our people? ::sigh:: And where do you draw the
Riley: Where we draw the line is always a point of contention. If
you begin to doubt yourself, you'll be mad Lily..."What If" is not a
pretty sight...it will take away your courage, take away your
identity...It's up to us Lily...up to us to be strong for this
crew...we *owe* them that much...for those who are dead...and those
who are still living...
::Sidney took in a deep breath.::
We draw the line as best we can...we deal with the consequences...it
is who we are...
::Sidney's bright green eyes focused on her Terran First Officer as
she attempted to decipher what the woman was thinking. Failing
miserably she waited until she spoke.::
Ventu: Do you remember what I said after the Independence was thrown
out to the galactic barrier, that day in the gym? About living too
much for the adrenaline, being too much in the moment?
::Sidney raised an eyebrow.::
Riley: Yes, I remember...
Ventu: It wasn't true this time. All I wanted was for it to be over
this time. For the dying to stop, for the lives not to have been lost,
::Sidney took in Lily's words as she paused before continuing.::
Ventu: This time, there isn't an answer. The Reapers are gone, but
they didn't win. We didn't win. We both survived. ::beat:: Pointless.
Riley: ::Quietly.:: I would not say pointless Commander...
::But Sidney paused, sensing Lily had something else to say.::
Ventu: But then, another part of me says that the whys are pointless.
It doesn't matter, does it? We're all protagonists of our own story.
The Reapers were doing what they thought they had to, as did we. As
did the Constellationites before them, and whatever races the Reapers
attacked before. ::beat, slight smile:: As did Lily Ventu As did
everyone on the Starship Tiger, from her esteemed captain to that
rogue Constellationite we picked up.
:: She felt tired, empty. Nothing left, now, to feel or do. ::
Riley: And what of the Bondsman.... ah...Cullen?
Ventu: Yes, that's it. ::a bit of a frown:: The one who's bonded to
Riley: Has anyone heard or seen from him?
Ventu: He's here somewhere; the bioscans picked him up. He wasn't a
priority, though, so....
:: Sidney leaned forward. ::
Riley: I have something else serious to discuss Commander,
I received a preliminary report which indicates the possibility of
a murder on the ship? Something about a ring and Crewman
Bennington of the medical department? Do you know anything
Ventu: Yes, I heard about it-
Riley: I think security should look into this on our way back to DS
Ventu: ::with a sigh:: The Reapers again. I saw the preliminary
reports from Mr. Clack's and Hay- Dr. Reynolds's analysis of the
device earlier, and the readings of the Reaper device Clack had down
in his lab before it disappeared. The energy readings were the same.
::beat:: I don't ever want to run into these Reapers again. Not in
battle, at least.
Riley: Nor do I... :: A simple statement of fact, but somehow Sidney
doubted it would be the case.::
Ventu: While we were in the science lab, Counselor Salen had an idea I
think we should implement: Launching a warning buoy, or a series of
buoys, warning ships away from this region of space, if ... when the
Riley: ::Sidney offered a sad smile.:: And that Commander is why
this was not pointless...That is the reason *Why*...Why is almost as
bad as If in its ability to drive one insane...
Ventu: I know, but just thinking about it-
Ventu: Bennington and McKenzie and all those other - it's ... I don't
know. What do we tell their families? That they died so we could place
a buoy warning people away from a region of space we already knew
belonged to a hostile race? ::beat:: It's not enough, never enough-
Riley: Lily...it's not that I don't care...I do...
Ventu: *I* know you do. It's not that. ::shaking her head:: We just
weren't enough. Starfleet should have known better. Over two dozen
people are dead, are it's because we underestimated this race.
::beat:: We can't let this happen again, Sid. We just ... can't.
Ventu: Then there's us. The command reaction.... Everyone'll be
looking to us. ::with another sigh:: And what do we do? What *can* we do?
Riley: The crew needs us...they need us to be strong for them...we
owe them that after what they've been through...
Ventu: Yes. We owe them, and ourselves, that much.
Commander Sidney Riley
Posted 15 August 2008 - 11:11 PM
Posted 16 August 2008 - 04:05 PM
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