USS Scorpio

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Goodbyes

Posted on Fri Dec 7th, 2018 @ 3:11pm by Captain Alice Griffin & Lieutenant Charles McCullen

Mission: Episode 5 - Nightmare on Omega Centauri
Location: Charles McCullen's Quarters
Timeline: MD8 - 1800

Alice had been busy packing her things the last few hours before departing the Scorpio one final time. As she hated being the focus of attention and with the rather emergency nature of the mission ahead, she had avoided making too grand an exit. That being said, there was one stop she needed to visit before leaving. Over the past months she had grown attached to the young Chief Flight Control Officer and considered herself a kind of mentor. She had made sure to tell the new Captain to keep an eye on the Officer who she felt would have a great career, however one thing she wanted to do herself. As she found herself in front of his quarters she pressed the chime to announce her entry, a smoll box left hidden from sight.

Charlie was sitting cross-legged on the end of his bed, recording his daily letter home. "And that's what's going on, as much as I can tell you, any..." he paused, head turning at the sound of the door chime. "Hold on, I've got a visitor. Computer, pause recording." The pilot unfolded and stood, padding barefoot over to the door and pushing the control to let it slide open to reveal Captain Griffin. There had been a time when the sight of the captain at his door would have sent him into a panic, but he had grown comfortable around the woman and gave her a smile. "Captain! I wasn't expecting you to visit, you must be so busy with you leaving and all the things you probably have to do and... Uh, oh... come in!" He stepped to the side to allow her entry to his quarters.

Alice smiled "Thank you, Lieutenant". She said as she gracefully stepped inside. "I imagine you have probably met your new Commanding Officer by now, I have done my packing but before I left I wanted to meet with you in person and present you a parting gift" She continued as she took the box she was holding and handed it to Charlie. "Lieutenant McCullen, over the past months you have shown great promise and incredible growth. Both in character and capabilities, your future is bright and this is the next stage in it. Full Lieutenant" She concluded, the box containing a golden pip.

"Well I..." He began, the absurdity of accepting a rank promotion in his bare feet warred with the emotion rising in his throat, losing the captain, dealing with sudden change and this surprise gesture of kindness from Griffin threatened to overwhelm him. He wanted so many things, for Alice to stay, to be professional, to give in to the feelings. For a half a second he hesitated, swaying between the three, and then on impulse he stepped forward and wrapped his arms around the captain in one swift motion, he hand to stand on his tip-toes to get his arms high enough.

Alice was taken a bit by surprise and had she still been in command would likely not have responded as she was about to but she no longer was. She accepted the embrace of the young Lieutenant and responded in kind.

The embrace didn't last long, a few seconds, and then McCullen was stepping back and assuming a more formal position. "Thank you, ma'am, for your guidance and support and for believing in me and for putting up with me and for giving me a chance and for.... shut up, Charlie." He uttered the oft-used mental mantra out loud for the first time in front of the captain. "Thank you for everything."

"You are welcome Charlie, and I will never be more than a call away if you need any help or advice. Trust me when I say this, you are a great officer, you have great ideas and you deserve recognition. Do not hesitate to talk, do not be silent when you want to say something. Some day you will have your own command and when you do you will be great at it. I believe in you." Alice said, in a tone particularly warm for her own doing. "I have said the same to Captain Kane about you and I am confident you will serve her as well as you have me." She added with a smile.

"Thank you, Captain." Charlie smiled at the captain, he wasn't quite sure what to say aside from 'thank you', but he remembered some advice from his father - 'You're a good lad, Charlie, and a good officer in the making, you need to speak your mind, tell people what you think and be honest - don't let that shy streak hold you back.' and found the words he wanted. "When I think of what kind of officer I want to be, I think of you, you've been a great inspiration to me."

Alice smiled. "Thank you, Lieutenant. That truly is a great honour." She replied, herself becoming a bit emotional. "I look forward to reading the reports of your great achievements, and who knows. Once this assignment on New Bajor ends we may find ourselves on the same ship again" She added, working towards the conclusion of this last visit.

Almost, Charlie was going to suggest that the captain look up his boyfriend, who was based in the region, but it didn't feel like the right thing to say. Instead, he simply smiled. "I'd like that, Captain. If you, uh... ever need a helmsman, I'd be happy to serve with you again."

"You will be at the top of my list, good luck Charlie" she said with a final smile before leaving the Lieutenant's quarters.

Charlie was left standing in his quarters, barefoot, with a box containing a shiny golden lieutenants pip in his hand, a lump in his throat and a mixed up feeling of pride, happiness and sadness roiling in his chest. It was a while before he found the impulse to move, his hand closing around the box as he turned back towards the bed. He had something else to add to his letter, after all.

 

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