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Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
The turbolift doors parted with a hiss, and the occupant stepping onto the bridge, stopping just beyond the opening to look around. Reacting to the sound of someone entering the bridge, the crew stopped the work they were buried in, turning to look at their captain.

“Welcome aboard the USS Watchtower Captain Scott,” a stunning Andorian zhen said as she strode across the bridge, emphasizing the rank as she extended her hand.

“Thank you Commander Thryiss,” Scott said, emphasizing her rank as well, taking her hand in his and placing his right hand on her left shoulder. The two smiled at one another, a smile of two friends who have shared the highest moments of life and its greatest depths.

“You earned those three pips Thryiss, and I fought to keep you not only on my crew, but as my XO. I cannot imagine cruising through the stars without you at my side. Even if you can be a little too blunt with your opinions,” the captain said, the humor of the last comment evident in his voice.

“Oh, I know I earned them, as you earned your captaincy Sir. And I think you would jettison me out the first airlock you could find if I wasn’t so open with my opinions,” Thryiss replied. Leaning in, she put her mouth next to his left ear, whispering, “Plus Winfield, you will never have a first officer whose legs you like to look at quite as much.”

Before Scott could say a word she released his hand and turned back to the center of the bridge, walking toward the helm. “Mr. Lochar, do we have the latest update from Earth Space Dock on what time our new crewmembers will arrive?” she asked the Vulcan engineer, turning back to Scott and flashing a quick wink.

Not able to help himself, Scott laughed out loud, not just at his XO’s comment, but also at the looks of bewilderment on his bridge crew.

“I’m going to check out my ready room, and catch up on some paperwork,” he announced to no one in particular.

“And you’d rather be out fighting Borg than doing that,” Commander Kaafsit, the Watchtower’s Chief Medical Officer grunted. Looking at Scott, the Tellarite immediately hung his hung his head, shaking it.

“Sir, I….”

“It’s ok Chief,” Scott said, using the nickname he had given the surly physician when they were young ensigns. “I know what you meant.”

Scott turned to his right and headed to his ready room, pausing when the doors closed behind him, and taking a deep breath. Kaafsit hadn’t meant any harm, but his comment struck deep to Scott’s soul. He walked to his desk, looking down and running his hand across a swatch of gold fabric. His fingers gently caressed the cloth, barely touching it, but the feel of it causing goose bumps to appear on his arms.

Moving behind his desk Scott fell more than sat into the chair, his eyes never leaving the piece of cloth. A single tear formed in the corner of his left eye, tracking slowly down his scarred cheek, falling onto the desk.

Scott hung his head, angry at himself for the display of emotion, even though no one was in the room with him. Minutes passed as he gently stroked the piece of cloth, looking at it. It was so long ago, they were young ensigns. The pain was still as deep.

Smoke, so thick.
The heat is beating me back…people are screaming everywhere. Kristiana, where are you?
There! NO!!!
Oh my Gods, she’s crushed under that beam!!! I’m here my love!
I’m sorry, I have to tear your uniform, I need to get a bandage on that wound.
She’s dead weight, I have to get her out of here. Hold on darling…I’ll get you to safety. There, there’s an escape pod. I’m sorry that if that hurt, I’m hitting the jettison now.
Dear Gods, look at the Gavin, it’s about to explode.
We’re safe, love, we’ll get you to a medical ship and we can get married like we planned. The Borg can’t stop our team…no! NO!!!! NOOOOO!!!!!!! Baby, I love you…I’m so sorry…so sorry…

Finally he spoke, his voice barely a whisper, but startling him nonetheless.

“I did it love. I made captain. I know you were there when T pinned it on me, and I know you’ve been with me the whole time. And you’ll be with me as we head to Gamma Orionis. I got our orders. We’re headed to face the Borg. The Borg.”