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Old September 9 2014, 03:40 PM   #1
IreneAdler
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Star Trek USS Impetuous: Ramifications

This is a follow up piece to The Hitomi Incident.

Unlike most other things in life, courts martial didn’t become easier the more you went through them. It didn’t help that Etaera Lin was far more accustomed to being on the other side of the arrangement.

It was one thing to have the power in a situation, to have access to all the information, and to be in charge of making the big decisions. It was another matter entirely to know that your entire career hung in the balance, and that people you’d once considered your subordinates (and in some cases, your inferiors) were the ones wielding the executioner’s axe.

She’d been lucky that Admiral Turon hadn’t been a member of the tribunal, and that those in charge of her fate had grudgingly admitted the value of Tirial Zir’s research. Unfortunately, that victory was short-lived, as it was followed by a colossal disappointment.

Hitomi was irreparable.

Etaera knew she shouldn’t have been particularly surprised by that fact, given the pounding her ship had taken. Still, the entire saucer section had been undamaged, and she’d entertained some hope that was good enough to warrant repairs.

It had taken far longer than she'd anticipated to hear back regarding her punishment. Etaera had assumed her collar would be lightened at least a pip or three, if she were allowed to retain her commission at all. Joined Trill were somewhat of an odd case insofar as Starfleet was concerned: Command made certain to ensure that regardless how competent a Trill was that they didn’t rise in rank too quickly.

Then again, the average joined Trill in Starfleet wasn't previously addressed "Admiral."

When all was said and done, an overjoyed Etaera emerged from the process still a captain.

At least, she was overjoyed until she’d received her next assignment.

“A Saber-class?” she asked incredulously, glad to be within the privacy of Rear Admiral (Lower Class) Layna Beron’s office. She was one of the few flag officers Etaera considered a friend, and she suspected that Layna’s protection was one of the things that had kept her in the captain's chair, and perhaps even in Starfleet.

"What am I going to do with that?”

“You’re going to keep out of trouble and sensor range for the time being, until the Hitomi incident stops being best-selling news,” Layna explained. “What did you expect? Did you think that you could just break all the rules and come out unscathed?”

“No,” Etaera said, although Khedan had possessed the propensity to do exactly that. She sighed. “I’m being petulant, aren’t I?”

“A bit. But I think everyone’s entitled, regardless of age or rank, to momentary lapses in maturity level.”

“So long as they do it in private.”

“But of course.” Layna smiled. “The Saber-class is a small ship, but it’s more than capable. Perhaps your frustration is less with the vessel, and more your assignment?”

“I could have ended up with a cargo ship,” Lin conceded. “I think the assignment would have interested me in the past, if I still had the Hitomi, but exploring the farthest reaches of Alpha Quadrant space in a Saber...”

“And more relevantly, being the captain of the smallest ship in a task force of 12 leaves you at the bottom of the chain of command,” Layna said.

“That fact certainly hasn’t escaped my attention. But this is a mission that’s intended to last years. How am I supposed to prove to the admiralty that the loss of the Hitomi was a one-time lapse in judgement if I’m going to be in the furthest sector from the Sol system?”

"Well, technically speaking, the furthest sector from Sol is somewhere in the Delta Quadrant..."

Etaera only responded with a glare.

“I think the point of getting you out of the area is to remove you from the center of everyone’s attention for a while. There were certainly admirals, Turon included, who believed you should be stripped of your command and given a nice unimportant desk job at Starfleet Headquarters. If you’re nearby, he’s going to continue to look for reasons to do just that.” Layna gave Etaera a significant look.

Etaera sighed. “You’re right. I know this, and I would have likely decreed the same thing were I sitting in judgment. Knowing something on an intellectual level and accepting it on an emotional level are two very different things, even when one’s had several lifetimes of experience.”

“Realistically, what’s a few years' time?” Layna asked. “You’ve only officially had the rank of captain this time around for what, four years now? I’ve never gotten the feeling that you wanted to rush through being a captain just to become a flag officer.”

“No, I don’t. In fact, Command will likely need to force me to leave my starship behind when and if that time comes,” Etaera said. “I’m not making that mistake again, that’s for certain. Khedan was gunning for the admiralty like his existence depended on it.”

“So then it sounds to me like this assignment may not be nearly as bad as you fear it could be.”

Etaera snorted, a sound that was at odds with her otherwise elegant demeanor. “I wouldn’t go that far. Given who’s in command of this little task force, it’ll be some time before I feel completely at ease with things.”

Layna nodded. “Yes, well, there is that.” She shrugged nonchalantly. “Don’t worry about it too much. I’ve been assured that the Sovereign-class is equipped with a rather comfortable brig.”

Etaera shot her a glare, which for a moment seemed to have its intended effect.

For a moment.

“Just pray he doesn’t confine you to your own vessel." She hesitated a moment; then, her eyes twinkled. "I bet if you stretched, you could probably touch the main port and starboard bulkheads... at the same time."

Resigned at last to her fate, Etaera Lin sighed.

“Thanks. That’s precisely what I needed to hear.”
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Old September 10 2014, 03:41 AM   #2
Gibraltar
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Re: Star Trek USS Impetuous: Ramifications

It's important to have friends that can put everything in perspective for you... and kick you in the backside when you really need it.

That was a wonderful piece of character interaction.
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