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Rihannsu
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 216
# 8
03-08-2013, 08:45 AM
Literary Challenge # 20 & 21 : Saying Goodbye & Saying Hello

Rear Admiral Bryan Mitchel Valot stared out the window of the Utopia Planita station as they brought the once elegant Star Cruiser into the shipyard. The ship's massive hull had visible energy weapon damage, multiple hull breaches, and several chunks blown clean off. Despite the damage, however, Bryan could still barely make out the name and registry in the flickering bow running light: U.S.S. Athena, NCC-92753.

"Hey sir," Commander Ibalei Zera, his Trill first officer said, walking up beside him.

"Ibalei, Hey there," Bryan said, clearly happy to have some company.

"Look, Bryan, what happened wasn't your fault," She said, reading how sad he was about the loss of his command.

"It feels like it was," He replied, shaking his head slightly.

"Two Negh'Vars and a Bortas'que, Bryan. I doubt there is any ship in Starfleet that could have succeeded against those odds."

Bryan stood silently as they finished towing the hulk into dock. "I'm going to tour her one last time before they officially strike her down."

*******

He walked through the once sleek interior of the U.S.S. Athena, now beaten and bruised by her last fight with the Klingon Empire. As he walked, he was brought back to when she was still a sleek and elegant warship. He watched as crewmembers walked through the halls in uniforms of varying color: red for tactical, yellow for engineering, and blue for science. He smiled as he closed his eyes. When he reopened them, he once again saw the ruined hall, cables hanging down from the walls and ceiling, and visible scorch marks from battle damage. His journey eventually led him to the lounge. He looked around, again flashing back to when the Athena was still a capable ship. This time, he saw his crew talking, laughing, and being as close to a family as they could possibly get without actually being one. He heard the faint but constant sizzling of the stove, crew ordering drinks from Rulian Mazan, the Bartender, and a poker game going on in the far corner. He listened, closing his eyes once more. Upon reopening them, he once more saw the scattered tables and chairs, the destroyed bar, and clear evidence of a fire from when the stove was destroyed. Sighing to himself, he once more continued his tour, this time ending up in main engineering. Despite the fact that the ship was all but inactive, he could still hear the faint hum of the warp core as it powered the few systems that remained online. He closed his eyes, and remembered the room as it once was: massive, covering about three whole decks, dominated by the warp core. Engineers studied their readouts, keeping the heart of the ship beating. When he looked again, he once more saw the darkened room, lights either shut down to save power, or outright destroyed by battle damage, displays flickering on and off as the ruined EPS conduits desperately tried to keep them supplied with constant power. Once more, he walked on, this time ending up on the once sleek and elegant bridge. He looked around, and once more saw it as it once was: low, windowed ceiling, futuristic chairs and consoles, and a dedicated bridge staff. Just to the right of the captain?s chair, he once more saw Ibalei sitting, her long, beautiful red hair tied up into a ponytail with her bangs slightly parted along the left side, her soft yet piercing grey eyes, and, as if she wasn't beautiful enough already, her Trill "spots" running down the side of her face and neck, as if to accentuate her already beautiful form. Looking once more, he saw the ruins, battered and bruised, destroyed consoles, scattered chairs, and a ruined main screen. He walked up to the dedication plaque, which, though it had been damaged, the motto of the ship, "From strategy comes victory, and from victory comes peace," could still be read. He eventually found his way back to the airlock, and, just before he exited the ship for the last time, he looked back and said, "Death closes all: but something ere the end, some work of noble note, may yet be done, not unbecoming men that strove with Gods."

*******

"Admiral Valot, Commander Zera, good to see you," Admiral Quinn as Bryan and Ibalei entered his office, about a week after the Athena was officially decommissioned.

"Sir, what do you need?" Bryan asked, sitting down in a chair across the desk from the Admiral.

"I understand you have been left rather homeless after the Athena was stricken from the roster," He said, picking up a PADD and reading very carefully.

"Well, sir, there haven't been any new postings available yet, and some of my crew have already found assignment elsewhere," Bryan repiled somewhat sadly.

"We have a brand new Odyssey class ship preparing to be commissioned. Equipped with the most advanced technology that Starfleet has to offer. Enhanced MACO pattern resiliant shield arrays with auxiliary shielding, MACO pattern impulse engines and deflector array, an asynchronous warp field generator, polarized neutronium armor, point defense grid, and a full prototype Artificial Intelligence."

"An AI, sir? As in essentially sentient?" Bryan asked curiously.

"Indeed. This new ship is being used as a testbed for the innovations I just described. She's all yours, if you want her."

Bryan looked at his First Officer, who nodded. "We'll take her, Admiral. What's her name, if I may ask?"

Quinn looked down a little. "Funny story about that. We're not really sure what to call her. Do you have any suggestions?"

Bryan and Ibalei looked into each others eyes and smiled. "I believe we do, sir."

*******

Bryan's Peregrine fighter glided silently beneath the massive hull of the Odyssey class ship. The hull of the vessel gleamed brightly in the sun's light outside the front window. The fighter passed over the main hull and the ship's name finally came into view, a name that was both symbolic and sentimental to Bryan and his crew: U.S.S. Athena, NX-92753-A. Bryan smiled a little as the shuttle maneuvered into position to land in the main shuttle bay at the vary aft of the main hull.

"U.S.S. Athena, this is fighter Odysseus, requesting clearance to land," Bryan said, tapping the console in front of him.

"Fighter Odysseus, this is the Athena, You are cleared to land in the main shuttle bay," Lieutenant Commander Six of Nine, who was and still would be the Athena's chief engineer and second officer, called out in her usual I'm-not-your-typical-boring-liberated-Borg-I'm-much-more-cheerful fashion. "Shall we roll out the red carpet for you, sir?"

"That won't be necissary, Six" He replied, fully aware that she would have some sort of surprise anyway. "I'm just glad to be home."

"Roger, sir. See you on the Bridge. Athena, out."

"You know that she already has something planned for you, right?" Ibalei asked from the chair next to him.

"Yeah," He replied, smiling as he pulled the fighter into the shuttle bay. "I just like to let her feel a little rebellious is all."

As they stepped out of the fighter, there was the distinct sound of snapping to attention as someone called out "Admiral on deck!" Bryan walked through the sleek corridors of the new Athena, which were flanked on both sides by crewman standing at attention. The eventually came to a turbolift, which opened as soon as they approached. As Bryan and Ibalei entered, Bryan called out "Bridge," and the lift sped away. When it opened once more, the door revealed a bridge unlike any Bryan had seen before. Sweeping curves elegantly surrounded the raised central platform, right where the "big three" chairs were located, with the Federation emblem directly between them and the main view screen. To the front, sides and top, were massive windows providing an excellant view of the space around the ship, and o the aft was a conveniently located transporter pad. Bryan stepped out of the turbolift and immediately Justin, who was already standing beside the door, called out "Admiral on Deck!" for the first time on the new Athena. Bryan walked to the center of the bridge, sat in the captain's chair and tapped the intercom button.

"Ladies and gentlemen," He called, "This is the Admiral speaking. Welcome aboard the U.S.S. Athena. Some of you served with me on prior ships. Many of you have not. That doesn't matter. From this moment on, you are all family to me. Because we are going to be in some of the most dangerous areas of the Federation and deep space, I will expect a lot out of you all. There may come a time when you are too afraid to go to your post. There may come a time when you feel so tired that you cannot fight anymore. There may come a time when you are so scared that you become unable to do your duties. I will tell you right now that that will not happen on my watch. You are the best crew in Starfleet. You can and you will hold the line when it counts the most. You will stand fast against the darkness, and you shall come through. You shall stand strong against our enemies, and you will not falter. You will stand together, no matter the cost, no matter the odds. Good luck to you all. Rear Admiral Valot, out."

"Not bad, sir," Ibalei said to Bryan's right.

"Thanks," he said, smiling a little. He looked around the sleek bridge, already feeling at home on the new Athena. "Mister Ables," He called to the helmsman, "Take us to the stars."

The ship glided smoothly out of the dock, and began to maneuver around, preparing to make her very first warp jump. Just before she did however the ship passed where the original Athena was docked and the entire crew took to the windows and saluted. At long last, the new ship had officially taken on the name of the goddess of wisdom, battle, and strategy.
Vice Admiral Bryan Mitchel Valot
Commanding officer: Odyssey class U.S.S. Athena
Admiral of the 1st Assault Fleet
Join date: Some time in Closed Beta

Last edited by ironphoenix113; 03-08-2013 at 12:23 PM. Reason: Foound a fourth.