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Drowning My Sorrows

Posted on Tue Jun 25th, 2019 @ 2:21am by Master Warrant Officer Vestara Stronghold & Lieutenant Alana Tovan

Mission: Starbase 332, Where Are You?
Location: Alexander's

Although news of their impending doom hadn't yet been told, rumors were already spreading like wildfire through the station about what happened to the USS Carthage. Everything from the Borg to a Starfleet conspiracy were suggested as possible culprits. Alana Tovan didn't know the reason for the ship's loss. But she knew that she should have been there. Sure, she had her duties on the station to attend to, and the ship's mission really didn't require the chief engineer. But that did little to make her feel better. She had colleagues on that ship. Friends even. But even more so, it was her first engine room to command. And now she was gone.

Alana stared down at the bar, her hands surrounding a half empty glass. A second empty glass sat nearby. With her hair loose and hanging around her face, it would be an easy mistake to think that her raven black hair was all there was to her head. Despite the regular commotion in Alexander's, she remained quiet and brooding.

Vestara had had enough of that insufferable man’s advances she’d lost him around some construction zones. Glad to be rid of him if only for a few hours Vestara found herself in Alexander’s. She’d taken a moment to take a calming breath when she spotted Alana, depressed.

The Boatswan had heard about the Carthage’s loss from the surviving operations personnel on the Yucatan, and it sounded like something out of a horror holo. She’d not been friends with anyone to the level that she knew others had but she sighed in sympathy for Alana.

Vestara decided the direct approach the best, so came and sat down next to Alana. “Lieutenant?” She asked.

Alana looked up from her drink long enough to acknowledge the newcomer. It was clear from her eyes that she had been upset. "Bosun," she replied. "Did you need something?"

"I was about to ask you the same thing. Bottling it all up is not good for you." Vestara said with a sad expression.

Alana turned back to her drink and shook her head. "I should have been there. I am the ship's chief engineer. Was... the chief engineer." She took a long drink from the glass, nearly finishing it off, before returning to her visual examination of the bar surface.

"Could you have saved them?" Vestara asked, she knew it was harsh but survivor's guilt was powerful and needed to be ripped apart quickly or it could debilitate oneself's motivation to move forward.

Alana's voice cracked as she spoke. "I don't know. Maybe I would have seen something that no one else saw. We don't know for sure what happened."

"How can we find out?" Vestara asked giving Alana a sidewards glance.

Alana shrugged. "We can't know what really went down in their final moments without having the flight recorder. And if even survived, I doubt anyone would let us go get it."

"Maybe in something that is less threatening? We could take a shuttle." Vestara said as she leaned her head on her hand with her elbow on the table. "Jump in and out before any of the bugs had time to react?" She added.

The raven-haired engineer sat in silence for a moment, contemplating. Finally she shook her head. "What difference will it make now. They're gone. I had friends and colleagues on that ship. And now they're all gone. Even if it wasn't suicide, and not to mention the end of our careers, it won't bring them back." She downed the drink in front of her and slid it to the side.

"Well you have 2 options Lieutenant. One: die so you can no longer feel the pain or two: pick yourself up and live in honour of your friends as they would have wanted you to if you could ask them now? Which do you choose?" Vestara had had enough of the pity party and drunk the rest of her drink.

Alana sighed into the space between her arms where the glass had once been. It was hard to argue with Vestara's logic, even if it did hurt. "You're right. What's done is done. They gave their lives for the rest of us still here on the station. We can't let them have died in vain."

"I still think we should do the shuttle thing, if we go silent mode and take passive scans and or try and capture one we could learn much. I'm really-- Okay I'm going to ask the Captain." Vestara stood and was about to turn around when she softened. "I know you are hurting Lieutenant, it will take time to dull but it will be with you forever. I suggest you get onto some way of protecting the station and our ships from these bugs should they be heading to us. However unlikely that may be."

"You're right," Alana replied with a sigh. "I'm not doing anyone any good here. Thank you, Vestara."

Vestara smiled. "You are welcome, I expect the same cold water from you okay?" She asked with a wink.

Alana tried to muster a smile, though the closest she got was a slight grimace. She nodded instead. "You can count on it."

The unjoined Trill nodded back. "See ya later Lieutenant." Vestara said then headed off to Ops to see about her shuttle idea.



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