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Bitter Sweet Victories

Posted on Tue Mar 22nd, 2022 @ 12:56pm by Captain Abigail Laurens & Lieutenant Commander Evelyn Rozia & Warrant Officer Koh Ottasu

Mission: Double Bind

Despite the fact that their plan had at least mostly succeeded, Abigail found little solace as they were transported to the shuttle to return to the ship. Yes, they had saved hundreds of thousands of lives, but the knowledge that there were lives lost weighed heavily on her conscience, especially as she had seen it first hand.

Glancing at Koh who was at the helm in the shuttle, Abigail nodded slightly, allowing Evelyn to take the other seat in the flight control area. "Notify the Astraea that we are on our way home," she said quietly. "Have Operations prepare the supplies in cargo bay two for transport to the surface," she gave the orders before moving to the back of the shuttle, remaining close enough that she could respond if needed.

"Roger." Koh called back, and made the call. "Astraea Actual, this is Shuttlecraft Diego Nine Nine. We are on approach. Inform Operations Department to prep Cargo Bay two supplies for transport. Shuttlecraft Diego Nine Nine out." Having relayed the chain of orders, he gave Evelyn a nod before he turned his attention to the Captain, "Koku for your thoughts, Captain?"

Abigail offered the faintest of smiles at the familiar expression. It was one Ichiko had often used in her presence, though the smile faded quickly. "Contemplating the events on the surface," she explained. "The harsh reality that no matter what we did to intervene, people still died anyway." She held up a hand momentarily and shook her head. "I know, the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few. I know, we gave them every chance we possibly could for their civilisation and culture to continue, or at least some of them anyway. In some ways, it stings."

Evelyn nodded as she glanced over the fresh scans made of the planet, remembering the flutter of red that had fallen within sight of their encampment, knowing there was nothing they could do about it. “The only thing we can believe is that it would have been far worse than if we had done nothing.” She said quietly, but audible to the other two, “And from what I’m seeing, ma’am, their civilization will survive. It won’t be as easy of a survival as they may have had otherwise, but the storm is dissipating faster than Science’s calculations. Once they survey the impact of the storm, all the Caetovians will have to do is move their people about seven hundred kilometers to their planetary south and they’ll have a new temperate zone that can easily support what they have left, complete with their current tech base once they rebuild.”

Koh gave a nod, "Count the living, but know about the dead. It's what they teach us in the Navy. Though the circumstances there are vastly different. For every life we saved, that's another day for a family. Trying to save everyone will drive you mad, and dwelling on that fact only makes the road shorter." the rabbit imparted.

Abigail smiled softly at both of them. "Oh, before I forget..." She stopped and retrieved a note from her pocket, handing it out to the pilot. "Would you like me to destroy this for you? Or should I hold it on file? Or would you just like it back?"

Koh took a breath, "As long as Shaille made it out, destroy it. They're heartfelt words, but words that need not be spoken." a pause, "If she didn't make it, I'll need that to lay at her cerenomy. I'll need to send it with her."

Abigail nodded. "I'll hold onto it for now, but I have no reason to believe you will need it," she offered reassurance, touched by the sheer love in his voice as he spoke.

Koh gave a nod, then turned towards Evelyn to include them in the moment. "A tradition among my people, when going off to war or to an unkind and dangerous event. A letter, of last words spoken." a pause, "Just in case." He then turned back to the Captain, "I appreciate your understanding in this. I'll be a much happier pilot when I know that letter's purpose is no longer needed."

"Then I suggest we get back to the ship," Abigail offered with a soft smile. "The sooner we're home, the sooner we will all be much happier."

"I'll have us there in a blink." Koh offered, then snickered to himself. "Wouldn't that be nice..."

Abigail smiled faintly as she returned to her seat. "Wouldn't it just." She sighed softly, turning her attention to the planet that they were pulling away from, the expression on her face becoming torn as she repeated. "Wouldn't it just."


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