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Picking up the Pieces

Posted on Sat Apr 20th, 2019 @ 10:14pm by Commodore Peter Gardner & Captain Senior Grade Lanniefelysa Merefica

Mission: The Soon After
Location: Multiple

“That was the last ship, Captains.” Reported the young enlisted crewman who had taken the Tactical Station, to both Peter and Lanniefelysa. The enlisted man, a Chief Petty Officer was a Diogaran, not so usual to find on the station. Peter regarded the enlisted man for a moment. He wasn't old by any stretch, his face was pristine, apart from the wounds dripping with blood from his face.

That was when Peter realised when he had taken Command, it was because the Admiral wasn’t in Ops and Peter had far more tactical experience than his wife. “Computer locate Admiral Milok.” He asked, his voice thick with emotion, already fearing the answer. “ Admiral Milok is in Operations.” Peter wheeled around. “Let’s start moving all this rubble, Chief, “ He said turning to the Tactical station, “ get those med kits and activate as many mobile emitters as you can.”

It didn’t take long for Angharad to be found, but it was too late. Perhaps had sickbay been accessible, but the medical holographic doctors couldn’t do anything without the proper equipment, even Peter his training could do nothing. That was the first death that day that Peter had to deal with. Angharad has been buried under falling debris, pierced by the debris in several locations and the blood loss has been catastrophic. Her body had gone into shock almost immediately and began shutting down.

Peter had reached her in time for her to offer him a faint smile before she passed. Although nearly all the crew knew they were friends, Angharad had been his mentor, the one that had pulled him out of the Intelligence mindset and made a Command Officer out of him. Inside this broke him more than he showed outwardly. Lonnie could feel the pain witnessing his friend and mentors death caused him through their telepathic link.

He wrestled himself, regaining control after only a moment, his desire to not let her down even in this moment, allowed him to control himself. He closed her eyes with his left hand and stood up. “Doctor, I’ll need you to use the holo emitters around the ship to relay communications. The rest of you, I want a damage report in the next 40 minutes.”

It wasn’t long before the survivors had communications back online and Peter immediately wished he could’ve remained ignorant. The death toll was catastrophic. Not just from within the Station but the near entire of Task Force 38 had been decimated. It was blinding, watching the number of the dead slowly rise.

“Pete.” Lannie said gently, giving Peter a welcome reprieve from watching the screen. “When Angharad’s death was officially entered, this was submitted into the computer.” She said offering a PAD out to her husband.

He took the offered PAD and read the message that it contained, but chose not to open the video that was also included. Angharad had left final instructions in the event of her death that Peter would be promoted to Commodore and left responsible for the Area of Operations until orders from Starfleet countermanded those orders.

In the safety of the Ready Room, Peter felt warm tears flow from his cheeks, the emotion he had kept buried rushed to the surface. Angharad had died much too soon, he had been robbed of seeing the pride in her eyes when she promoted him, he had been robbed of further tutelage and guidance from a woman he had profound respect for. But not only that, he had lost a friend.

But Angharad hadn't accounted for the fact that a retired Fleet Admiral was now visiting the station, which added an extra layer of complexity to this already complex situation. Right now, he would welcome Chadwick to take over, he felt like he was falling into a dark hole that was only getting bigger. The casualty report was getting bigger by the moment and he did not have the means to replace them.

"Pete." Lannie said softly verbally and telepathically. She could feel the pain he was feeling as clearly as if she felt it herself. It was disconcerting feeling. The relationships that Diogaran's shared, were deeply telepathic so the affect of not only seeing her husband in distress but also feeling it, was very uncomfortable, especially when she was experiencing the pain of loss herself, although not quite to the extreme that Peter was feeling it. She reached out with her left hand onto his shoulder and pulled him into an embrace, something they both needed. As much as the pain of loss was still there, they both felt immediately better at the imitate contact, not just physically but mentally too.

They hugged for a long time, slouched on the sofa. But before long, he knew that he couldn't just sit here, he now had a duty to the survivors to attempt to fix this situation, despite his own personal feelings. "We need to get to work" He said as they released each other and leaned back.

"What will you do?" Lannie asked her husband, staring into his eyes as she asked, curious as up until that point, she hadn't felt Peter had been certain about anything. "Anything and everything I can." He answered standing up, determined now. "And what about Admiral Chadwick?" Lannie asked, clearly the next obvious question. Peter sighed, "I'll have to offer to stand aside, but I doubt he'll want this mess, besides, I know the area, I have a great relationship with the Diogaran's. Besides, he is retired, but I'll cross that bridge when I come to it. Now, let's get to it.

The next several weeks were the worst that Peter could recall in recent memory. He slept very little, and he survived on Starfleet rations, main power was offline and the power core was taking longer to repair than the Engineer's initial estimates, and although the power core was where the focus of the work was being manned, the other repairs came along slower, not to mention raiders and scavengers seeking the opportunity to take pot shots at the station in an attempt to steal what the Borg didn't destroy.

By the end of the third week, main power had been restored and the first ship, the Excelsior was repaired and begun patrolling the station's area of space as a show of force. The raiders and scavenger attack's soon declined rapidly when they were put up against the Excalibur Class Excelsior. Peter had no doubt that he wanted Melifa to command the Excelsior in his stead and happily promoted her to Captain.

As he had expected, Ambassador Chadwick had immediately declined his offer, agreeing that whilst he could come out of retirement, he would allow Peter total and full Command and wouldn't interfere, but he had recommended Captain Brock Danner to be his Executive Officer on the station. Peter accepted. Whilst he was in command, Peter had guessed that the offer had been a political move. Chadwick was probably flexing to show that whilst he wasn't in command, he still expected his suggestions to be listened to and acted upon.

Peter's next task came in appointing and promoting the leadership of the task force, particular people to lead the Marine Battalion and the Starfighter Wing and then to gradually feel the vacant positions left by people that had died during the Battle of Diogara. This took a lot longer than usual, but he, along with the others, quickly chose the people they wanted to join them from within the surviving members of the Task Force


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