Reflections #19 - "Somebody's Gotta Do It..."

-={On}=- [LaBrie's Temporary Quarters, Starbase 47]

Caelen got into his uniform, eyes still drowsy as could be but he was quite awake and feeling the effects of a bottle of Vodka and a night with his wife. "I'm going to Admiral Sanders to get debriefed, he just arrived" he told his wife, who was now also slowly awakening from her slumber.

Jennifer mumble something inaudible before turning around "Don't stay away for to long" she then said a little more hear-able. She turned around again and curled up, hoping that not all the warmth that was in the bed would be lost to the surroundings.

"I'll try…" Caelen stated before leaning over to kiss her on a cheek and walking away, towards the doors and the Admiral. "…I don't know if the Admiral will think the same though" he then said to himself once the doors had closed behind him.

So many things had happened the past few weeks, and everything was so perfectly reported by everyone. Caelen shook his head a little while waiting for the turbo lift to arrive on the right deck, he didn't even know where he was right now. Well of course Starbase 47 but not where that was, he was still in Federation space, that was a relieve.

The lift stopped and a Romulan Starfleet officer stepped into the lift. Caelen frowned a bit before he realised that he was on Starbase 47, this Starbase had been the centre of commotion and discussion a few months ago. Build in Federation space but spending one third of its time in the Romulan Neutral zone.

Boy was he glad that it was in Federation space when they arrived. The lift stopped again but this time to let Caelen out "Have a good day" he said with a friendly nod toward the Romulan in the Starfleet uniform, who in return smiled a bit and returned the nod.

[Five minutes later, Just outside Admirals Temporary Office, Starbase 47]

Caelen hit the doorchime and awaited a reaction from within the room. Well he didn't hear anything but the door opened nonetheless. He stepped in and looked around to get his bearings a bit. Talking with an admiral was never a fun thing to do, especially if you had to cover weeks worth of missing in action.

"Ah Commander LaBrie, so glad you could make it" the Admiral said standing up from his seat behind his desk. He had never met LaBrie but from the crew pictures and profiles this had to be him, there weren't many male Commanders in Starfleet that could put their hair in a ponytail.

Caelen saluted the Admiral shortly before walking up to him and shaking his hand "You and me both, sir" he reacted to the Admiral's statement with a smile. He took a seat opposite from the Admiral and folded his hands awaiting him to start the debriefing.

Admiral Sanders sat down again as well, placing his elbows on the table and folding his hands right below his chin. "So tell me, Commander, how are you holding up?" he asked casually, as a friend would.

Shrugging a bit Caelen replied in the same casual manner "we're alive…" he wanted to `well most of us anyway' but he refrained. Truth was that he had lost a lot of good crew in the past few weeks and that with him a part of him had died as well "…but the Pegasus will never be the same again… once the repairs are done I think they will even have replaced the carpet"

Sanders nodded "They might have…" he knew something Caelen didn't and it would probably hurt the commander, not physically and he would never admit it, but it would hurt. "…so where do we begin, seven weeks ago the USS Pegasus was send from Earth to Starbase 343, but you never arrived"

Caelen nodded "On our way there we received a distress call from a ship that was under attack by a Jem'Hadar vessel…" he then started to explain everything that happened, about the mirror-federation and the Dominion war. A long elaborate story ensued talking about the badlands and how poorly they were doing and how the crew of the Pegasus reacted to all this. They had probably broken some directives but he had to be honest anyway because the Admiral had read all the reports and everything was in there.

Admiral Sanders nodded and listened intently for Caelen to get to the point that they returned to `normal' space. He then interrupted him "When you returned you send out a distress call and the USS Lantree responded to this call, two days later they arrived at your position and you started small repairs and preparing for being tugged"

"Indeed sir" Caelen confirmed everything he had said "somehow we had taken a malicious program from the mirror universe, an Emergency Tactical Hologram… something must have happened in the crossing back to the universe because once the Lantree came in range it transported there and started to attack the vessel from within."

He explained what happened next, the battle, how he got trapped and couldn't be on the bridge so his XO did the commanding that time. That once he had come to the bridge the Lantree had been immobilized and all its crew perished. And also that after that he had send a team to salvage what was left in order to get away from wherever they were to the nearest Starbase. "And now we are here… after a nights rest I am being debriefed by an Admiral"

Admiral Sanders smirked a bit at that "So it seems…" he looked down at a PADD and then back up at Caelen "…the initial damage reports are in, Commander, as of now the Pegasus is off limits to any unauthorised personnel…" he lowered his hands "…that mean that everybody that isn't Engineering cannot enter the Pegasus"

Caelen leaned forward "With all due respect, My crew still has personal belongings on that vessel, sir" he objected, knowing how futile it really was but that didn't matter. He had to try at least, he had to go back and see what had survived "How long will the repairs take?" he then asked.

The Admiral shook his head "not repairs…" he stated sombrely, he sighed "…I'm sorry Commander, the Pegasus will not be repaired but salvaged…" it was hard for any CO even if he had been command for only a few months. "…we are currently looking into the options for you and your crew"

"What!" Caelen jumped from his chair, "you can't be serious!" he added, furiously. For years he had worked for a ship and now they took it from him. "This is outrageous!" he shook his head and started pacing "I want a second opinion before you start tearing her apart" he then said, as if it was a human being that was just diagnosed with a terminal disease.

"Salvage work has already begun…" the Admiral stated, there was nothing he could do about it but he did understand the reaction of the Commander. "…listen, Caelen, you will get a bigger ship, a better one… a more modern one"

Caelen stopped in his tracks and turned to the Admiral "I don't want a bigger, better ship, I want the Pegasus!" he stepped up to the table and leaned down on the desk "I'm sure you've been through this a thousand times but I'm not just giving up on her, when I finally got a vessel I found that it was a scrapheap, we repaired it, we flew it, we gave it a purpose again… then we finally get home from a long, Long mission, intentionally or not, and our home, our work, will be taken from us" he shook his head and pushed himself off the desk again.

The Admiral stood from his chair "I'm sorry Commander, but Starfleet Engineering Corps has found that Salvaging the Pegasus for resources will be more beneficial then repairing it" he walked around his desk and up to Caelen "I know you don't want to hear this but you will get a new ship and you will get used to it, just like you did with the Pegasus"

Caelen shook his head "and then you will tear it apart again?" he reacted stepping away from the Admiral "Permission to leave sir" he then asked, he had to get out of this room before he hit the Admiral.

Sanders nodded silently, he could understand Caelen, he could only understand it to well. When he got bumped up to the desk he wanted to deny it, like all the great Captains did, Kirk, Picard, they all stayed on their ships. But he had to make a decision, what was best for his family. He sighed as he saw LaBrie exit the room and walked back to the window "I hate my job" he whispered to himself staring at the stars.


Commander Caelen LaBrie Commanding Officer Awaiting Posting


Admiral Sanders (NPC) Permanent Pencil Pusher Ninth Fleet Starfleet Command (As played by Caelen)