Literary Challenge #20 : Saying Goodbye
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Join Date: Dec 2007
05-30-2012, 05:24 PM
Captain's Personal Log
It’s strange sitting in this room, it’s what I always wanted but that walk through the decks of the best damn ship I’ve ever had the honour to command struck a chord in my soul that I do not think I will ever be able to replace with another posting. Each and every part brought back memories, some I will cherish and some I wish I could forget. I can still feel my reluctance to leave the ready room, as the door opened and I saw the bridge. For several years that bridge was the epicentre of my world. I can still remember when Ensign T’lixx had spilled raktajino over the chief when they were doing an overhaul of the tactical stations relay circuitry. I had to grip the arms of my chair so hard to stop myself laughing. I pity the next captain to sit in that chair and feel my fingerprints still in the arms. The chief was hopping mad and the seen was even more hilarious as the raktajino was causing steam to drift off his arms.
As I made my way to the turbolift the crew saluted. I felt honoured that they deemed me worthy of their respect. As in my commendations reports to command every member of that crew is the greatest attribute to Starfleet. The turbolift ride was eerie as due to the refit taking place sometimes they would stop at the wrong deck, as I look back though it was fate.
I stepped out to find that I was on deck 12, engineering. That place will always fill me with wonder. The beating heart of the ship, pulsating with potential. I remember the first time I looked upon that core; it was one of the first Trans warp cores to be fitted after they were made standard for the fleet. I can still feel the energy coursing through the conduits the same as when I first put my hand on their casing those years ago. Commander Shi’lan was a poet at heart for all her science training. I remember she just watched as I stared at awe. When I realised she was their flushed with embarrassment from being caught like a child. With quietness that I will never forget her words,
“Beneath the thick skin, hides a sleeping heart. When awake it fills the world with potential and possibility, for death, destruction exploration but most of all wonder and happiness.”
Those words still stay with me every time I look at any star ship, these great wonders that can achieve so much and touch so many.
As I continued my journey through the decks I found myself looking at my hands, still scarred from that horrible day during the early days in the war, as I looked up I found that I had stopped outside the memory harbour window. This was an old bulkhead that had been destroyed by a torpedo during an engagement with a Klingon cruiser. We had it converted to a viewport reinforced with force fields. It was a memorial to the dead during that day, I can still remember the dying and wounded flooding sickbay, and after the engagement the sights that day will haunt me to my death. Did I do right, could I have done anything else? Were their deaths on my hands?
The loss of Claire has never healed, I can still see her on that table, my hands trying to stem the bleeding, the emergency teams were on their way but it wasn’t fast enough. She was to transfer to another ship the next week so we could be together without it compromising our duties, as I look around my new room my eyes catch upon the model of the Kremlin she gave me. We spent our first shore leave together in Moscow looking at the old landmarks.
My walk then took me to the port Observation bay, this room was a place of joy for me. The blessing of Lt. Chan’s’ and Lt. Commander Evans baby, they asked me to be a godfather; I hear he is entering school now on Betazed. If he is anything like his mother he will be in a shuttlecraft in no time. The wedding of Luvak and Tvor, reuniting 13 children made orphans, on the attack on Relin 12, with their relatives. I think I stood and just smiled recalling all the moments of happiness that happened here. Then the thing I was dreading happened, my communicator called, my shuttle had arrived and was waiting. Sighing to myself I made my way back to the turbolift, this time strangely it took me straight to the shuttle bay. As the door opened I was met by a sea of faces. Most of crew had crammed themselves into this room. I nearly walked straight to the shuttle without a sound, leaving them was tearing me apart, but they deserved better. I only hope my words were justice to their respect; I leave them down here in this record for time to judge.
“I will not address you as your commanding officer, I feel and I hope you do too that by now we have moved past that. You are my family, all of you. Like a family we have shared the good times. Remember meeting the Yin Tazi in the Gruzo Expanse. The sights we saw together, the countless new worlds we discovered. We couldn’t never have done that without the work and effort you put into your jobs. Jobs are the wrong word. It is like a labour of love for we do this because it is in our blood, and the vessel is our body. It encompasses all our emotions, wants and needs. It gives us shelter, food water and a means to experience this. It also has got us through some tough spots. Not all of us have made it to this point.”
I saw tears at that point as we remembered the fallen.
“Though parts of them are still here with us as we move through the ship, their memories are always with us. You do me a great dishonour by honouring me here, now. For it must be the other way. Never have I had the privilege to even know such admirable and fine people. You have enriched my life and taught me things I never even knew I didn’t know”
I stopped and looked at everyone, I couldn’t stop the smile as I realised that in a way I would never leave and they would never leave me
“Like a family though I am moving to another vessel, we are still one. Whether it may be a week, a month or ten years we will meet again and nothing will have changed. What we have built together and what I know you will continue to build will last to the end of the galaxy. Look after the ship and she will look after you, until we meet again my friends, keep being the best damn ship and crew in the whole of the Alpha Quadrant.”
I won’t talk about what went between me and my officers privately as I feel that they were right for the moment and to write them down would diminish them. As the shuttle moved off to ESD I couldn’t help but cry. Thankfully the pilot left me to my solace. It was not just because of sadness though. It was the wonder of how a mass of metal, plasma and wiring, crewed by people that relied upon it to survive could mean everything to you. To the outsider most should become stir crazy being cooped up for so long in that mass of metal. Though if you were there it is like your first love, every bulkhead, bolt, circuit means something and to leave it is to leave part of your soul.
I know though this is not the end, it’s a new ship and a new crew. I know they will do me proud, and at some chance encounter I know I’ll see the old girl again.