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Rigors of Command

Posted on Sat Feb 11th, 2017 @ 8:47am by Commander Akiva ben-Avram & Biynah & Paul Foster & Grace Ainscow

Mission: S1E4 - Remnants Of A Lost Cause
Location: Captain's Ready Room
Timeline: MD 66 - 1600

With the briefing out of the way and all surviving personnel given their assignments, Akiva allowed himself to turn to more personal matters. The first step also neatly tied off official business.

"Computer," he said, "prepare a ship-wide announcement."

"Shipe-wide communication established," the computer said.

Akiva took a breath. "Begin," he said.

The computer warbled an acknowledgement.

"This is Lieutenant-Commander Akiva ben-Avram. I wish to announce to one and all that today's mutiny attempt has been thwarted. We have suffered many casualties, and the death toll is still mounting in Sickbay." He choked up for a second at the next part.
Akiva cleared his voice as softly as possible before continuing.
"For the time being, I will be acting as Captain. If you are in hiding, please report to your workstation so your superior officers may account for you. They will provide you with further instructions." He took a breath and wondered what sort of inspirational touch he could add.
"And, well, if you're hearing this, then I'm glad for it. We need you. We need each other, now more than ever... Computer, end broadcast."

The computer punctuated his words with another warble.

Before he could take a minute to breathe, his commbadge beeped.

=/\=Foster to ben-Avram=/\=

Akiva jumped despite himself. He tapped his commbadge. =/\=Ben-Avram here. Glad to hear your voice, Paul. What can I do for you?=/\=

=/\="I've got two girls here who want to see you. I've kept them safe in the Captain's Mess"=/\= Paul replied.

Sudden realization fell over Akiva, quickly followed by a quiet relief. =/\=Please bring them to the Observation Lounge immediately. Along with any comfort foods you can scrounge up.=/\=

=/\="No problem. I'll be along shortly - Foster out"=/\= Paul acknowledged.

Paul prepared a tray of cakes and biscuits for the Vindex's acting Commanding Officer and with Grace and Biynah's help he managed to have it ready in no time.

Akiva had the chair removed. The Observation Lounge still held several ones identical to it, but for some reason that chair alone haunted him. He may even have it dematerialized and reconstituted into something else. Maybe a torpedo that he could fire straight up that Kazyah Linn's...


The acrid daydreaming Akiva had fallen into was interrupted by a welcome and melodious voice. He turned to the door and saw Biynah run for him with Grace and Paul keeping a circumspect distance at the threshold.

"Biynah!" Akiva dropped to one knee and embraced her. "I'm sorry to have left you alone throughout all of this."

"We were fine, Father." Biynah pulled back and offered a satisfied smile. "Grace and I knew you and Mother needed help, so we went looking for you. That's when Uncle Paul found us. And then we captured a bad man and made him tell us his plan."

Akiva's face went from pleasantly surprised to horrified. "What's all this?" he asked Paul.

"With what was going on I decided to do a bit of investigating myself. We went to one of the armouries near to the Captain's Mess and after Grace and Biynah distracted Arturo...I brought him in for questioning" Paul replied.

"Uncle Paul taught me how to use a frying pan," Biynah interjected, "though not its conventional use. Just ask Grace!"

Akiva looked back to the little girl pressed against Paul's side, her face half hidden behind his arm.
"Actually, Biynah, I need to talk to you and Grace about something very important." He drew up a chair and set Biynah on his knee with a grunt. Sometimes he forgot she was slightly heavier than her appearance might indicate. "Come on, Grace." He waved a welcoming hand and patted his other knee.

Grace was concerned and reluctant but she decided to accept the offered knee and sat on Akiva's lap - wondering what this was all about.

"What's the matter?" Grace asked.

With both girls in hand, Akiva found himself struggling for words. "I'm so sorry to tell you both that..." He swallowed. "Your mother bravely defended everyone on board, and... and she chased the bad men away. Now we have to go get her back."

Grace felt like crying but she decided to stay strong - at least for now anyway.

"Where's my mum?" Grace asked.

"I'm sure she's fine," Akiva lied. He looked at Biynah and then Grace. "Your mother is a strong woman. I have no doubt she is making the bad men very sorry for what they've done. She just needs our help."

Biynah furled her brow. "Father, I suspect you do not believe everything you are saying. Why is that?"

"Right." Akiva chuckled wryly and grimaced at being caught off guard. "I am afraid, I admit, but I am also hopeful." He squeezed both girls in a hug. "That's part of loving someone. You're afraid when they're gone but you hope for the best because you believe in them."

"And you believe in Mother because you love her," Biynah concluded.

"Yes. I do." Akiva set his jaw with as much determination as he could muster. "I believe your mother can do anything." When Biynah scrunched her face in further disbelief, Akiva quickly added, "Hyperbole, Biynah."

"Oh!" Biynah turned her scowl into a grin. "Then I think I agree."

Akiva turned to Grace. "You've been quiet, Grace. What do you think?"

Grace had nothing to say on the matter - she felt alone - even though there was Biynah and Paul. No mention was made of her Uncle Tolan or stepmother Rebecca so Grace could only assume they had gone too.

"I just want my mum, Becky and Uncle Tolan back. I don't want anything else - where are they?" Grace replied.

"We aren't sure yet. All I know is that we are stronger together," Akiva said. "Therefore, I'm going to ask your Uncle Paul to keep you both right here in the Observation Lounge until it's time for bed, and then bring you back come morning. The Bridge will be the most secure part of the ship, so we will all be safe here. And if either of you get scared or worried, then I will be able to come to you very quickly."

"What if you get called away to another part of the ship?" Biynah asked flatly.

Akiva thought for a moment. "Do you remember Lieutenant Zuzan?"

"I do remember Amber," Biynah said softly. "She's pretty."

"Uh, yes," Akiva said cautiously while avoiding Paul's face. "She's very lovely. She will be stationed at Tactical on the Bridge. If I am not immediately available, then I will have her check in on you until I can come back. How does that sound?"

"I approve." Biynah smiled and made a decisive nod.

Grace shrugged. "If Biynah wants to then I'm alright with that"

"Very good. Hop up." Akiva patted them both on the head and made to stand as they slid off his knees. "Now, if I'm not mistaken, I believe Paul brought along some treats."

Paul nodded and carried the tray filled with a tray of chocolate digestive biscuits and a range of cakes which included chocolate muffins and some leftover birthday cake. After placing the tray down on the desk Paul stood up and waited to see if Akiva had anything else to say. Thankfully Bovek had survived the mutiny so he wouldn't be running the kitchen and feeding the survivors all by himself.

As the girls set off to talk amongst themselves, Akiva moved to speak privately with Paul.
"I really appreciate this, Chef." Akiva shook Paul's hand with both of his. "If it becomes too much, let me know and I'll see about other arrangements."

"It'll be my pleasure - I'm sure it's what Claudia would want anyway. Do you know anything about the rest of the class?" Paul responded.

"There's still no word about Miss Fischer or any of the other children. I doubt we could resume any sort of schooling anytime soon, but her talents would definitely help at a time like this. If she turns up, I'll have her relieve you immediately so you can get back to your kitchens."

Paul nodded. "I appreciate it. For now Bovek is holding the fort - although I guess the sad thing is there's going to be a lot less mouths to feed until we get back to the Alpha Quadrant. It might be worth trying to boost the crew's morale though - with the amount of people who have died and with the Captain missing it would do the world of good to try and lift their spirits. I'll have a think about it if you like?"

"Please do," Akiva said. "At this point, every little bit helps. I'll be in touch."

Akiva came up behind Biynah and Grace. "Girls, I have to go for now. Uncle Paul will see to your needs. You've already been so brave. I need you to be brave just a bit longer, alright?"

"All right, Father," Biynah said.

Grace shrugged. "Just bring them home. I don't want you to do anything else"

"Yes, ma'am." Akiva smiled at the young girl. He gave Biynah a final squeeze and hushed, reassuring whisper before making a quick exit.


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