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What now?

Posted on Sat Sep 24th, 2016 @ 5:12pm by Lieutenant Elsa Johansson

And so once again I find myself as plain old Ensign Johansson. It's what I've been working toward for the last year, but now that it's here...

Now that it's here, I don't know what to think. Especially since I may not be Ensign Elsa Johansson for much longer, but simply Elsa Johansson. Well, Froken Johansson to Herr Lundberg next to my parent's tea shop, but he's always been a man of odd but gallant speech habits.

I still remember that night more than a year ago. After the driver coil incident, Commander Brown moved me to Alpha Shift. Scuttlebutt was he was keeping an eye on me before he promoted me to Jay Gee. That may sound a bit conceited, but I kept my head during the whole incident. After that, Commander Brown was very fond the first two lines of a Kipling poem to me: "If you can keep your head when all about you, are losing theirs and blaming it on you."

Lieutenant Commander Oliver Brown was one of the first officers that bastard Dmitri had killed. I guess he realized that the Cukela's Chief Engineer was someone who wasn't go to be coerced, co-opted, or be able to re-engineered by the Consortium's Social Engineers.

I remember being herded out of my quarters after being abruptly woken from a sound sleep in the middle of Gamma Shift. I remember being leered at by my captors, even in what I thought of a unflattering and over-sized sleepwear.

Maybe I should have chosen death before dishonor, but I saw them put Commander Brown down before my very eyes. No ceremony, no posturing, just forced him to his knees and caved the back of his head in with an engineering tool.

At that point, I was going to wait for the moment when I could take the Cukela away from the bastards who killed an officer who was my superior in any way you could describe him.

So I let myself be co-opted.

It wasn't easy. Dmitri's goons, aided by personnel sent to him by the Consortium, randomly picked people to be culled, either by death, imprisonment, or "Social Re-Engineering." I have no idea why I didn't get caught in one of those purges. Well, maybe I do. I'll be the first to admit I keep people at an arm's length until I get to know them better.

The next thing I know, I'm chief engineer and second officer aboard one of the most powerful warships in the Consortium Fleet. Well, maybe not that quick, but still not bad for someone just a year and half out of the Academy. It would sound like one of those ridiculous Mary Sue fictions, if it weren't for the fact that what little sleep I got was filled with nightmares I couldn't share with anyone.

And somehow, in that year and a half between the Cukela being captured and me being second officer, I had a plan. A plan to recapture the Cukela and get her back to Starfleet.

And then we had to hunt down the Renown. So the plan went out the window. But I still crippled that bastard Dmitri. And made sure the Renown to safety.

And now I sits here in visitor quarters, waiting for my court martial, and hoping I can keep my time in the stockades to a minimum before I go home to Sweden. My uncle told me, when I traveled with him to different parts of the Arctic circle as a child and teenager, that I'd make a good scientist. Or maybe I'll work in my parents' tea house in Stockholm. I don't know.

Do I have regrets? Not in the least. I've lived in a nightmare for more than a year, but I did so as a Starfleet Officer, and I do not doubt that I upheld my oath at every turn. And if this is where it led me, then here I am.

But I still can't help but ask, what now?


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