Stardate: 238701.22 (22nd January 2010)
Presented by the Executive Council.
:: Starbase 118’s new commanding officer, Captain Sidney Riley, stood by a viewport on the promenade with a sense of anticipation as she waited for Rear Admiral Rocar to arrive from the Executive Tower. Her mind ran through the earlier preparations for the event, everything had to be just right. With so many ships coming in to the station, things had been hectic the past week, but the ceremony they were preparing for was well worth the additional work. A few metres away from her Rear Admiral Rocar was trying not to stand out too much wearing his Flag Officer’s Dress Uniform in the middle of Starbase 118’s commercial sector as he made his way over to where the Captain was waiting for him. All around the two starfleet officers hundreds of different races bustled past going about their daily business whilst, elsewhere, crowds had begun to gather around the temporary broadcast screens that had been erected for this year’s annual awards ceremony. ::
Rocar: Good evening Sidney
:: The Terran/Deltan Captain nodded and smiled brightly.:: Riley: Admiral Rocar, it’s good to see you again. ::
:: The tall Ktarian chuckled a little in his usual familiar way, wondering how many times he would tell the Captain to call him Rocar before she’d finally agree to drop his rank. Motioning with his left hand towards the turbolift the two officers quickly fell into step next to each other. ::
Rocar: How is everything going? Getting used to being in charge of the Starbase yet?
Riley: Actually, ::Sidney paused as she thought about the recent activity on the station which had been brought to her attention.:: things are going well. ::Laughs:: As for getting used to being in charge, well, you were right about all those invitations.
Riley: How are things for you on the USS Eagle?
Rocar: Well there’s certainly less invitations to special events on an intrepid class starship… I think this is the first evening I’ve been invited to in months.
::Sidney smiled. The familiar hum of the turbolift propelling them towards their destination.::
Riley: I suppose so…
:: Captain Tyr Waltas approached a set of doors which slid open to reveal the location of this year’s ceremony, with already gathering. Tugging at the tight collar of his dress whites for the fourth time, he walked into the room and took in the scene. There was the full spectrum of officers, from Admirals to Ensigns and everyone in between, all resplendent in their dress whites. The Ba’ku smoothed back his shoulder-length graying hair and headed for the stage where he met Captain Mar. He made small talk until the ceremony began and kept a tight grip on his PADD with the award information displayed.
((Back in the Turbolift… ))
:: The Terran/Deltan’s bright eyes sparkled as she spoke.::
Riley: …I’m looking forward to the ceremony tonight…this is my first time presenting, these ceremonies have always been my favourite time of the year.
Rocar: It feels strange not walking to this ceremony with Commodore Rhys.
:: Rocar’s face looked thoughtful. The stage would look a little different this year, however, the Admiral was confident that the new faces addressing the fleet belonged to some of the best members of staff in Starfleet and he knew their fresh enthusiasm meant they would achieve a great deal together for the benefit of many. ::
:: Captain Riley smiled thoughtfully.::
Riley: I had the honour of meeting Commodore Rhys several times, he was always a good man. Have you kept in touch with him?
Rocar: A little yes… I think most retired officers avoid me in case I try roping them back in to their old desk jobs again.
:: The pair laughed as the turbolift came to a halt and they crossed the corridor to the awards ceremony entrance. Nodding the security officers on duty, Rear Admiral Rocar and Captain Sidney Riley entered through the door. They stepped out into one of the Starbase’s largest quadrangles. These were designed to resemble the daily cycle of a planet. The ceiling was, therefore, a great distance above them recreating an artificial sky that has just turned to a beautiful sunset. Ahead of them were some well kept lawns and a fountain to the side of which was a large stage where Captain Tyr Waltas and Captain Idril Mar had already assembled and were waiting for them. Flanking the stage on either side were the flags of Starfleet and the Federation, in front of which were a set of chairs which were already filling with officers. The colours blue and gold accented the stage and chairs throughout the room adding a splash of colour to the modern white decor. The trees and wide open public space around the stage recreated a genuine feeling of being outside, prompting Captain Riley to think of one of her favourite hobbies. ::
Rocar: (sarcastically) I’m glad they’ve made it smaller this year.
::Sidney turned to the Ktarian Admiral before they reached the stage and lowered her voice.:: Riley: You’re not going to run off after the ceremony? You will have sometime to go horseback riding with me before you leave?
:: The Admiral winked at the Starbase’s C.O. ::
Rocar: (whispered) As long as you pack you climbing gear too then I’m sure the Eagle can find an excuse to spend a few extra hours in the dock.
:: Smiling at Sidney, the tall Ktarian headed up the stage steps first and greeted the other two Captains enthusiastically. Taking a moment to exchange pleasantries the four Starfleet officers then took up their seats at the back of the stage and listened as Starbase 118’s symphony orchestra played a short introductory piece and the murmurs from the assembled crowd fell to attentive silence. Once the piece was over, the most senior officer on the stage stood up and crossed over to the podium first. Taking a moment to gather his composure, the Rear Admirals sharp catlike Ktarian eyes scanned the crowd before him as he smiled politely at the camera that would relay his words around the fleet. ::
Rocar: A warm welcome to all those who have travelled to Starbase 118 for this year’s annual awards ceremony and a very good evening to everybody who is watching this ceremony from the far reaches of the Federation. I know the Fleet Admiral always talks about the ways in which each and every one of you stay strong together in the face of adversity and change, and in the face of challenges and roadblocks; and this year, perhaps more than most, has presented its fair share of those. You have all worked together to create something very special here amongst our Starfleet community. And whilst I know each of you rises to challenges eagerly with the support of the friends you’ve made here, it is, nevertheless, essential that we stand before you today and recognize some of the many great contributions that have been made over the past year of appreciated participation.
:: The tall Rear Admiral took a moment to smile charmingly at the crowd before his face became sternly serious and regretful ::
Rocar: I am afraid Fleet Admiral Wolf is unable to attend this year as he is taking care of some very important political matters elsewhere; however, he sends each and every one of you his highest regards and thanks you all for your service over the past year.
:: Rocar smiled at the audience. ::
Rocar: I am, instead, very privileged to be joined tonight by three of our most senior and experienced Captains. They bring fresh leadership and new ideas to the command of the fleet and I hope each of you will offer them your trust and firm support in our future endeavours. And so, without any further ado, I shall hand over to the commanding officer of Starbase 118 for the first of tonight’s awards.
::Rocar nodded at the Captain as he vacated the podium for her. Captain Sidney Riley smiled genuinely, her bright green eyes held a playful look as she stood gracefully, instinctively tugged at her white dress uniform jacket, and proceeded to the podium to present a section of the night’s honours. She brushed the stray strands of auburn hair from her eyes and paused looking down very briefly at the PADD she held in her hand before setting it down on the podium.::
:: Resting her hand on the side of the podium she moved gracefully to the side and began speaking in the soft southern accent of her youth.::
Riley: Thank you Admiral. :: The Terran/Deltan Captain offered a small nod and smile to the tall Ktarian Flag Officer as she took over.:: Once again good evening ladies and gentlemen. It is my honour and my pleasure this evening to present to all of you some of the best and brightest officers in the fleet. The dedication and achievements of these officers are second to none.
::Sidney turned and removed a small mahogany box from beneath the podium before she continued. She looked down at the ornate box in her hands and then looked back up at the crowd.::
Riley: To save one man’s life…to save hundreds or more. The achievements of the fleet’s doctors are miracles, each and every one. The skill and knowledge they bring with them to space are essential to our continued exploration of all that is out there. The Prantares Ribbon recognizes those medical officers who have moved beyond competence to display a true gift for the healing arts in the context of space medicine. These officers display a steady hand in hazardous conditions as well as a willingness to risk their lives to save the lives of others.
While I have never had the pleasure to meet this year’s recipient personally, I can say without a doubt he is no exception to the rule. This officer displays an ability to relate to his crew on a very personal basis indeed he is considered a part of their family. This Doctor’s attention to detail is very well known throughout the fleet, as are his abilities in the area of diagnosis. He is well respected by his medical staff and his crewmates. Would Lieutenant Commander Jerry Reid of USS Challenger please come forward and join me on stage?
::Sidney waited for the black haired Terran/Alpha Centurian Doctor to join her on stage before she continued.::
Riley: Thank you for your dedication to detail and your unfailing support for the members of your crew. Your thoughtfulness and research have gained you a well deserved reputation in the fleet. Congratulations, Doctor Reid.
::Sidney gave the Doctor the box containing the Prantares Ribbon and shook
his hand in the Terran fashion while the audience applauded. When the man
returned to his seat and the applause had died down she continued.::
Riley: The physical wellness of the body is extremely important, but we should not forget those who specialize in the equally important area of mental health. Would Lieutenant Helen Beal of the USS Eagle please join me on stage?
::The Terran/Deltan Captain smiled as young dark-haired Terran female joined her on stage.::
Riley: Counselor Beal, your dedication as a ship’s Counselor has become well-known. You have shown great skill in protecting the mental health of your crewmates, clearly demonstrating a superior ability to care, assist and comfort those in need. You go above and beyond the call of duty in assisting your crewmates with their mental health issues. You are well known for your assistance in helping crew adjust to their duties. It is my pleasure to award you the Order of the Valiant Heart for your dedication to the art of Counselling.
::Sidney retrieved a small box from behind the podium and handed it to Lieutenant Beal.::
Riley: Lt. Beal thank you for your unfailing dedication to your crew and the fleet. Congratulations.
::Sidney extended her hand to shake the Counselor’s as the room once again erupted in applause. When the Counselor had again taken her seat, Sidney Riley continued.::
Riley: So far, we’ve discussed the well-being of the person. However, just as important at times is the well-being of our ships. Any engineer knows each ship takes on a life and personality of their own. At times our ships need a Doctor as much as we do. ::Pause.:: Whether you’re lost in an unknown area of space, or being attacked by some unknown force, the Engineer is the one who holds the ship together by their knowledge and skill. A good engineer is as important as a good Doctor. Without them, our crews would be lost. The Phoenix Award was named after the legendary engineer Zefram Cochrane’s warp-capable vessel. This award recognizes the achievements of an Engineering Officer who continues Cochrane’s tradition of excellence in the field of engineering by performing their tasks with enthusiasm, imagination and diligence. Would Lieutenant JG Ralik of the USS Independence please join me on the stage?
::The Terran/Deltan Captain removed a small box from behind the podium as the Ferengi Engineer approached the stage.::
Lieutenant Ralik, your knowledge of handling downed computer cores and ability to handle self-destruct sequences is legendary. Your crew is thankful for your hard work on improving the Independence’s efficiency and your dedication to the ship and the fleet. Congratulations on your achievements.
::The Captain reached out to shake the Ferengi’s hand and nodded as she handed him the small box. She waited as the Lieutenant JG returned to his seat and for the applause to again subside.::
Riley: At this time would Lieutenant Turc Brakur of USS Challenger please come forward?
::Sidney once again reached behind the podium to reveal another small box as the tall Brikar came forward.::
Riley: Lieutenant Brakur, the Sisko Tactical Cross is given to those who have shown cunning and bravery in battle. These Tactical Officers are master strategists, and experts in targeting and shield power distribution. Many have been known to have done the impossible to save their ship and the lives of its crew. I am pleased to award you with the Sisko Tactical Cross this year for your dedication and bravery as a Tactical Officer.
::Sidney handed the man the small box and reached out to shake his hand in the Terran fashion.::
Riley: Congratulations on such an honour Lieutenant. You have taken the time to develop your position as a Tactical Officer and masterfully fulfilled that position.
::Sidney waited for the Lieutenant to return to his seat amidst the applause. She then turned back to the audience as a whole.::
Riley: I would at this time like to direct attention to Captain Tyr Waltas who will be presenting the remaining duty post awards. Captain Waltas…
::Captain Sidney Riley nodded to Captain Waltas and then moved gracefully to take her seat.::
:: Captain Waltas stood and walked to the podium, pulling the awards he’d been designated to give out in their rosewood cases and resting them on the podium. The crowd died down and the Captain raised his eyes to the room and spoke.::
Waltas: Thank you, Captain Riley. I’m honoured to be here as one of the presenters of the UFOP Staff Awards. Our organization has long stood for not
only the ability and skill of its personnel, but recognizing that skill. These awards are part and parcel in doing just that. Each officer that has and will receive these awards should know that they are not handed out idly, nor are they a popularity contest. They stand for hard work, dedication, and most of all, the recognition of your peers. It is in that spirit that I invite the recipient of the Natasha Yar Pin to the stand. Marine Captain David Whale, please come forward.
::Tyr watched as the Terran approached in full Marine regalia, his green collar and silver joined bars signifying his Captain rank shining in the lights of the presentation platform.::
Waltas: The Natasha Yar pin is awarded each year to those officers who show exceptional ability and competency in the field of Security. Named after the fallen Security Chief of the Enterprise, the award is for those who are willing to sacrifice themselves for the safety of others. It can be said that we officers in the other wings of the ship sleep under the blanket of protection they provide. It is with great pleasure that I award the Natasha Yar pin to Marine Captain David Whale. Congratulations, Captain.
::Tyr stepped forward as the crowd applauded, clicking open the rosewood box and retrieved the award, placing it into the Marine’s left hand as he shook
the right one.::
Waltas: The next award of the evening is one close to my own heart. The Pilot’s Sextant is awarded to those individuals who are, quite simply, the best pilots in Starfleet today. Having begun my career as a Helm officer myself, I know the difficulty and challenges of piloting starships and the demands it makes not only on the individual but that individual’s confidence. Judging from this officer’s record, they are more than deserving of this award. Will Ensign Zita Sesilia please step forward?
::Tyr had never met an Invernian before, and smiled as the slim, hairless female approached the podium. Her skin tone seemed to change with the crowd’s enthusiastic applause. Clicking open the rosewood box, he withdrew the award and handed it to the young Ensign, shaking her hand with the other.::
Waltas: oO A young Ensign beginning her career as a Helmsman. May she feel the same joy I did when I piloted the ship. Oo Congratulations, Ensign. The final award I have to present is the Cochrane Award, given each year to the outstanding Science officer in the fleet. Named after Zephram Cochrane, the father of warp drive, this award presents some rather large shoes to fill. Skill in the sciences advances our knowledge as a fleet, contributes to technologies, and keeps nosy Captains like me from getting themselves into too much trouble when we’re investigating anomalies. ::Smiling, he looked to the crowd:: Will Lieutenant Galon Sudra please step forward?
::The Captain watched as the Denebian stepped forward, his black hair glistening in the lights of the podium. Tyr opened the rosewood case and handed the award to the Lieutenant, shaking his hand with the other.::
Waltas: Congratulations to Lieutenant Sudra, Ensign Sesilia, and Captain Whale. I now turn the ceremony over to Captain Idril Mar. Thank you all.
::Tyr stepped away from the podium, smiling and shaking hands with his former shipmate as he returned to his table to watch the rest of the ceremony. Menwahile, a flame-haired Trill Captain stood and pulled the hem of her uniform tunic down. She always felt a little uncomfortable in dress whites, but an occasion like this and a position such as hers demanded it, so she didn’t exactly have a choice either. She stepped up to the podium and placed the data PADD on the stand, then cleared her throat quietly.::
Mar: Good evening. I’m honoured to be presenting the next award, the Strange Medallion, given annually to the best First Officer in the Fleet. We as Commanding Officers tend to get the attention, the accolades and, when appropriate, much of the condemnation. However, it is often forgotten that behind each successful Commanding Officer is a strong senior officer corps, led by a good First Officer. Without that First officer, many things on the ship would get missed by an overworked CO.
This year’s Strange Medallion is being awarded to Lt. Commander Quinn Reynolds. Commander, if you could join me up on the stage?
::The Captain waited until the Human-Deltan hybrid joined her on the stage. Idril smiled at the brown-haired woman and wait for the applause to die down before turning back to the podium and going on.::
Mar: Commander Reynolds is, according to the commendation being attached to this award, the epitome of what it means to be a good First Officer. She is aware of what the crew members under her command on USS Eagle are doing, and when. She understands the value of a guiding hand and is there to lend that hand when needed, even if the officer being guided did not necessarily know that they needed it.
::Idril turned and pinned the medallion to the other woman’s uniform, then shook her hand.::
Mar; Congratulations, Commander.
::Idril waited until the Commander sat back down and then started again.::
Mar: The next award is specifically designed for commanding officers. The wearers of the Chris Pike Pendant are those Captains who command their ships with dedication and honour, fostering in their crew an atmosphere that allows those who serve under them to reach their heights of their potential. The third award that I am honoured to present this evening is the Jean-Luc Picard Award, honouring a member of the Admiralty ho has, through their dedication to the fleet, bettered the circumstances and the atmosphere for the service. Both of these awards this year are being given to Admiral Rocar Drawoh. Admiral, could you join me on the stage.
::She waited until the Admiral stood beside her, then continued.::
Mar: As most of you know, Fleet Admiral Wolf has had to focus on a number of other important duties upholding the very principles that the United Federation of Planets holds dear. However, Admiral Rocar has stepped admirably into Wolf’s large shoes. The fact that he is being awarded top honours for both commanding his own ship, USS Eagle, and for his leadership of the entire fleet speaks well to his hard work and
commitment to the Federation.
::The redhead turned and pinned both awards alongside the Admiral’s other decorations.::
Mar: Congratulations, sir.
::Rocar nodded his thanks at the Trill Captain and then took the podium back. ::
Rocar: Thank you Captain Mar.
:: Rocar glanced down at the padd in his hand and smiled at the crowd. ::
Rocar: Starfleet’s operations in this area would, however, not be possible if it was not for the hardwork and dedication of all our starship Captains. I would like to take a moment to thank each and every one of them for their service, particularly, the time and dedication they have devoted to their crews over the past year.
:: The Rear Admiral began a clap which everybody at the ceremony joined in with. ::
Rocar: There are, however, two Captains in particular whose performance in certain areas I would like to formally recognise here today. First of all, Captain Sidney Riley if you would join me please.
:: Rocar smiled as the petite terran/deltan woman came forward to stand next to him. Removing a medal from the box in front of him, the Ktarian turned back to address the crowd. ::
Rocar: Captain Riley has done a fine job commanding USS Tiger. Whenever something goes wrong, Captain Riley’s crew know they can trust her judgement to solve almost any crisis that occurs. She listens to everybody under her command and shows unfaltering dedication to them and the fleet. As a fleet we have come to rely on Captain Riley heavily, particularly in her role as Commandant Starfleet Academy. Her counsel is always warmly appreciated and it feels, for many of us, like she has been a Captain for a lot longer than she has. Captain Riley shows outstanding potential and I, therefore, have no doubts that she has an excellent career ahead of her. For all her hard work and dedications, we present her with the Captain James T Kirk Cross.
:: Rocar leaned over and pinned the medal next to Riley’s other honours as the crowd clapped. ::
Rocar: Don’t go just yet Captain…
::The Admiral picked up a second box with a cheeky smile to the crowd. ::
Rocar: Earlier this year, USS Tiger, under the command of Captain Riley, found itself caught up in a diplomatic incident that could have severe repercussions for the Federation’s relationship with both the Gorn and the Tholian Assembly. The Tiger was dispatched to a remote area of Federation space which shared a border with the Gorn & Tholians. There they found a crippled Gorn ship drifting helplessly. An Away Team was sent over and found a single Gorn surviver and a strange alien device. Before long, a second Gorn ship arrived and demanded the Away Team leave the crippled ship and hand everything over to them. To complicate matters, a Tholian ship then approached claiming that the crippled Gorn ship had stolen Tholian technology and demanded the Tiger return the tech to them and hand the Gorn survivo over to face Tholian justice.
Captain Riley found herself in charge of this situation as all the ships were in Federation space. She could not give everyone what they wanted, so she had to use all her diplomatic abilities to placate both parties and to ensure that a compromise was the best way. There was also the case of maintaining the Federation’s reputation for honour and fairness – as well as using the opportunity to further Federation knowledge on the virtually unknown Tholian technology. Riley also had to maintain the safety of her Away Team momentarily stranded on the crippled Gorn ship and care for the health of the Gorn crewman they had discovered.
The races she were dealing with were particularly problematic – the Gorn still smarting from the Gorn War and the Tholians notoriously xenophobic. Further complications were added by the Gorn using hidden mines and possibly installing a computer virus on the Tiger. With both the Gorn and Tholian ships technically in Federation space illegally there was a cause for interstellar war and Riley had to step particularly carefully. However, Captain Riley succeeded in balancing all these variables and returned the technology to the Tholians and the Gorn prisoner to the Gorn. Although neither side got exactly what they wanted they were forced to concede that the Federation, through Captain Riley, had acted fairly.
:: Rocar smiled at the Captain next to him. ::
Rocar: This is but one example of the way in which Captain Riley has fostered peace, mutual respect, and cooperation among divergent peoples. Perhaps an equally fitting example is her conduct with other Captains and the environment she fosters aboard her own crew on Starbase 118. It is, therefore, with great pride that I present her with The Federation Peace Medal.
:: The tall Ktarian pinned the distinguished medal alongside the Captain’s other honours and lent over to kiss her cheek before whispering something in her ear as the crowd applauded. Captain Riley returned to her seat and Rocar grinned at an old shipmate. ::
Rocar: Captain Waltas, if you’ll join me please?
:: The Admiral patted the Captain firmly on his shoulder. He and Tyr Waltas had served together on both Starbase 118 and the USS Constitution many years ago. ::
Rocar: Similarly to Captain Riley’s advancement of peaceful relations for the Federation, Captain Tyr Waltas has forged peace between the Federation and one of our new First Contacts. Indeed, he played an important role in avoiding a war between the Saurian Empire and the United Federation of Planets following a conflict that had continued since our First Contact. On their last mission, Captain Waltas’ ship USS Discovery, the two powers reached a situation of peace and good understanding after Waltas volunteered to duel the master of one of the houses that wanted to claim control of the Saurian Empire. If the house got the power and named an emperor, they would for sure open a war on the federation. However, thanks to Waltas’ victory on the duel, the new Emperor was from a different caste and opened peace negotiations with the federation. paste the sim of the duel, although to see the whole implications of the duel, several sims would be needed. For his inspired solution to forging peace, and in recognition of his newly assumed work as a representative for all Captains in this region, we award Captain Waltas the Shuvalis Diamond of Recognition.
:: Rocar started to clap but then stopped to pin the Diamond on Walta’s chest, hopeful that they would see a lot more from the Captain in forging out his new role over the months to come. ::
Rocar: Those of you who’ve heard of Captain Waltas’ exploits, however, will know that he is not just a Master of Peace. The Captain not only stabilised our relations with the Saurian Empire but also recently showed outstanding heroism in defence of the Genuran people from that same power. The fact the captain was prepared to engage in hand-to-hand combat to protect others speaks volumes about the style of officer this man has been in all the years that I have known him. I am, therefore, proud to award Captain Tyr Waltas the The Karagite Order of Heroism.
:: Rocar turned to present Waltas the final medal of the awards ceremony and then gave him a tough bear hug right there on the stage. The two men had had their differences over the years but they had also shared many good times together and the Ktarian couldn’t imagine the fleet without Waltas in one of the centre chairs ::
Rocar: And now, one final order of business. Captain Mar, if you’d return to the podium please?
:: Rocar smiled at the Captain as she crossed over. ::
Rocar: Captain Mar has worked tirelessly in her role as Commanding Officer of the USS Independence and previously the USS Ronin. She has trained her fair share of command officers and takes on extra responsibility in deals with all disciplinary appeals –often finding words in difficult situations where others amongst us feel speechless.
:: Rocar smiled at the crowd. ::
Rocar: And what few of you see is the important role Captain Mar has performed in keeping me in check when my temper gets the best of me. Captain Mar, for your valued counsel and reassuring calmness, it is my deepest honour to humbly promote you to the rank of Fleet Captain with all the associated rights and privileges.
:: Rocar nodded firmly at Mar as the crowd erupted into applause, and then proceeded to present her with her the Square pips that would replace the four circular ones on her collar once she changed into a flag officer’s uniform. ::
Rocar: Congratulations Fleet Captain.
:: Rocar handed Mar her pips and then they both turned to address the audience. ::
Rocar: Last words?
Mar: This concludes this year’s fleet award ceremony. My personal congratulations to all who have been decorated this evening. Good luck and godspeed to you all. Dismissed.
:: On cue an impressive set of fireworks went off behind the stage; Rear Admiral Rocar ducked instinctively having been caught by surprise –much to the amusement of the audience. Chuckling loudly, he led the Captains off the stage and down to the audience where a jazz orchestra began to play some Andorian tunes. The party would, as always, last long into the night – the hundreds of assembled Starfleet officers all had colleagues to congratulate and plenty to celebrate::