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Decision Time

Posted on Sat Mar 13th, 2021 @ 9:04pm by Captain Rhenora Kaylen & Commander Savar cha'Salik hei-Surak Talek-sen-deen

Mission: The Jungle
Location: Ready Room

Captain Kaylen Rhenora was on the bridge as the crew recovered the Manchester crew and beamed them into the cargo bay that had been set up as a triage centre. She felt sorry for the medical staff, having been constantly busy treating the Liberty's wounded and now another ship's worth.

"Ma'am, we have an incoming communication for you from Starfleet Command" Ops announced, drawing her attention away from the rescue efforts.

"Route it through to my ready room - Commander, would you accompany me?" She asked her first officer, she needed his logic and sound judgement on this one.

"Certainly Captain." Savar replied smoothly as he rose from his seat to follow Rhenora into her ready room.

The emblem of Starfleet was emblazed across her monitor as she strode in, and swivelled the screen around so they could both see. Pressing the activation button Admiral Gomez appeared on the screen, her greying hair perfectly presented as always, it looked like the woman had never set foot outside her office in years.

"Admiral...a pleasure always" Rhenora started, getting on the front foot as was her style with the admiralty.

"Captain Kaylen, we have read your report regarding the USS Manchester."Gomez started, pulling up the report again to review.

"Indeed, then you also received my recommendations as to Captain Haldeman?" Rhenora confirmed, giving Savar a look as she did so. The Vulcan had agreed with her rehabilitation program, but they still had to get it over the line.

Savar nodded his head agreeing with Rhenora and her plan for Haldeman. Now it was tine to see if the Admiral agreed.

"We are pleased to hear the Manchester crew are being retrieved, we look forward to informing their families. As for Captain Haldeman, we have some concerns regarding your plan for punishment and rehabilitation. We're not convinced he is suitable for such." The Admiral started, giving both Rhenora and Savar a guarded look.

"Admiral, if I may. Placing Captain Haldeman in a penal colony is illogical. He is a victim as well and he did help save the Liberty crew. He was forced into his role by his captors. A role he did not want or relish."

" So your says Captain" The Admiral acknowledged "However he willingly placed your crew and yourself in mortal danger, to save his own. Not the qualities we want on the loose in the Fleet." Gomez replied sternly.

"He had no other option Admiral and when the time came he helped the Liberty crew regain their freedom. If you place him in a penal colony. It is a waste of talent and experience." Savar answered firmly.

Gomez paused and rubbed her chin. "So Commander you support Captain Kaylen's recommendation to keep Haldeman on board the Liberty as a kind of probation, under supervision until he proves that he is Starfleet material or otherwise?

"Admiral. Has Captain Haldeman not already proved he is Starfleet material? After all he was placed in command by the Admiralty." Savar pointed out. "I am agreeing with Captain Kaylen in that allowing him to stay on board will help him rediscover himself and his self worth." Savar answered

Gomez paused again, making a few notes on a screen before addressing the two officers again "Alright, you seem convinced you are capable of assisting him to become the forthright and honourable officer he used to be. I am charging you both with his rehabilitation. We will conduct 3 monthly reviews as to his progress"

Savar exchanged a look with Rhenora. "Captain Haldeman is still forthright and honorable Admiral, he just needs to remember that." Savar replied.

" I'll will make it your responsibility to ensure he remembers that. If he fails to intergrate into your crew he'll be heading for the New Zealand penal colony for a good portion of his life" Gomez laid the thread clearly on the table for all to see. Rhenora felt a weight upon her shoulders.

" We will do our best Admiral" She said simply.

"Indeed we will." Savar agreed.

" Very good Commander, I will hold you both to that effort, and we hope that you can find the Captain Haldeman we both knew" Gomez replied evenly and without a hint of emotion " Command out"

The screen went blank, leaving the two officers free to converse privately.

"You think we can pull this off?" Rhenora asked.

"It is not so much if we can pull this off has it is can Captain Haldeman pull it off. Which starts when we find if he is receptive to the idea."

" He doesn't really have a choice - it's either this or a penal colony" Rhenora admitted "He used to be a fine Captain... I hope we can help him be one again"

"I am confident we will be successful in our endeavor Captain." Savar replied. "Of course a great deal of this rests on Captain Hadleman's shoulders."

"We can only do what we can do, shall we inform him of his fate?" Rhenora wasn't looking forward to the next conversation, having made the decision on another man's life. He wasn't going to be happy about it.

"I believe we should Captain and be prepared to deal with Captain's Hadleman's anger." Savar replied evenly.

" Well it's either this or a penal colony - although I hear New Zealand is lovely this time of year" The was an element of wit in her words as she attempted to diffuse her own nervous tension.

"It could be worse Captain. It could be Rhule Penthe." Savar pointed out dryly.

" Chilly" She said simply as they walked out of the ready room and across the bridge to the turbolift.

"Precisely." Savar quipped as he joined Rhenora in the turbolift.

A few moments later they strode into the brig, the Captain walking straight up to Haldeman's cell forcefield.

Haldeman was lying on his bunk when Rhenora and Savar stopped in front of his cell. He turned his head to look at them but didn't get up. "What now Rhenora? I've answered your questions."

"And from those answers we have decided your fate" Rhenora replied simply, watching for his reaction.

Now, he sat up and looked at the pair. "Oh really? When do I leave for the New Zealand penal colony?" He asked.

" That depends on your next answer" Rhenora replied calmly, not buying into his tone. " You have an option. You either leave for New Zealand and spend the majority of your days under lock and key in the penal colony. OR, you agree to join my crew and earn your right to be called a Starfleet Officer again"

"Wow. So much for believing me. So much for my record. It's nice to be trusted." He said bitterly. "That isn't much of a choice Rhenora."

" One gives you a future, the other does not. One gives you the opportunity to be in space, working with a crew and potentially getting you own command again. The other does not." Rhenora answered calmly, not flinching at his tone.

If he was swayed by Rhenora's argument he didn't show it. Nor was he cowed by her tone. "You mean work in disgrace don't you Rhenora?"

" Rot in disgrace, or work under 'supervision'" She clarified " One your skills will go to waste, the other your skills wlll be

"Rot in disgrace or contribute to your own future in a meaningful way, it's your choice. The Admiralty wanted to lock you up and throw away the key" Rhenora schooled her irritation into calmness. Haldeman was hurting, he needed to vent before he could make a decision.

He paced the cell, he was clearly angry at this situation. "Damn unbelievable." He muttered as he paced "Keep my crew alive with no help from Starfleet, get your crew out and this is what I get." He stopped and looked at Rhenora and Savar. "I suppose I'll be a crewman if I agree."

" I haven't decided on a rank." The Captain replied carefully, watching Haldeman's anger rise with every passing moment. She needed him on board or he would rot in prison. " Your crew will be offered positions on the Liberty with retraining should they wish to remain in Starfleet. If all goes well you will be a Captain again. You can spent your time in space with your wife and family rather than in a penal colony. Surely that must have its benefits"

"Hmmm. It does but I'm not sure I want to have to prove myself when I was as much as victim as anyone." Haldeman replied.

"You'd rather let your pride get in the way of your future? You'd rather rot in a penal colony washing sheets and cooking porridge than being out in space making a difference?" She challenged him " And what of your wife, you don't think she would like a chance at a fresh start?"

Now he got mad. "You keep Alli out of this Rhenora! She is an innocent just as Amanda is. Make a difference doing what? Being on some maintenance crew?"

" Yes she is innocent, don't you think she'd rather live with you rather than see you incarcerated? " Rhenora tempered her tone, appealing to the softer side of the man standing opposite her.

"Of course I would, what sane man wouldn't want his wife and family with him. However I don't want them here if it means they see me disgraced." He countered but not as defiantly.

"They will see you as a valued member of this crew, treated with the same respect as anyone else." Kaylen challenged. "The only disgracing is what you put on yourself"

"Really? You should be a counselor Rhenora. Treated with respect as they whisper behind my back." Thomas replied. "Am I to be Captain again? No I am not as you have said yourself." He grew quiet, "I'll think about it." He finally said.

"That's all I can ask. Once we have recovered your crew we are heading back to DS9 - those that wish to disembark may do so, those that wish to stay are welcome. That includes you" Rhenora smiled, hoping to encourage a favourable outcome for them both.

"Of course Rhenora. I can stay under close supervision or with a security officer following behind me." He pointed out.

" Only until I'm satisfied you're of sound mind and judgement. How long that takes is up to you. I put my neck on the line for you Thomas, Admiral Gomez wanted to throw you in the stockade" There was the slightest touch of tone in her voice as she revealed what she had risked for him.

"I suppose that's fair and to be expected. I'd do the same to you if the situation was reversed." He admitted. "You put you career on the line for me?" He asked surprised by Rhenora's admission.

" Commander Savar and myself both vouched for your character and the opinion that you could successfully become a fine Starfleet offficer and Captain again" Kaylen admitted, giving him a look that means she was speaking nothing but the truth.

Thomas looked over at Savar, "I'm grateful to you as well Commander." Before his attention returned to Rhenora. He seemed to stand a little straighter. "One thing I am is grateful and loyal to those that helped me as friends seem in a rather short supply right now."

" They will return, and you have the opportunity to make new ones. " She smiled warmly at him, grateful his mood was starting to shift away from the utmost negative.

"Perhaps but then just maybe they weren't friends to begin with." Thomas observed. He paused for a moment before answering, "Alright, let me out I agree to your conditions."

" I'll arrange guest quarters for you, family size if you wish. I'll also send you through your roster and work detail." She stepped forward and released the forcefield, allowing him the dignity of leaving the cell.

"Yes. Family size quarters would be fine, just fine." Haldeman answered as he stepped out of the cell. "I'll be on the lookout for it." He answered quietly.

Rhenora stepped over to the Brig control console and tapped in a few commands "Your new quarters are on deck 9, section 32 alpha. And I have you assigned to Strategic Operations, you'll report to the chief then through to myself and Savar."

"Alright, that is fine. I won't disappoint either of you." Thomas stated "It will be like old home week back at Strat Operations." He noted.

" It will play to your strengths" Rhenora smiled, extending her hand to Haldeman "Welcome aboard"

He gripped her hand firmly but not overly so. "Thank you for this opportunity to rebuild my career."

"You're welcome, now go find your family" Kaylen replied, using the control panel to make the necessary arrangements.

"I will." As he turned to leave, he looked back over his shoulder. "Who says Captains don't have good ideas?" Then was gone, in search of his family


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