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Guest Vulcan3324

'The Final Duty'

"The Final Duty - A Composition in C Sharp Minor"

Lt. Laarell Teykier

Personal Log

February 20, 23--


Laarell was crushed. Each time that she closed her eyes, her mind produced a recreation of what her chief must have gone through during his last moments.


With the cold logic that better befitted a Vulcan than an Orion, she reminded herself that it was foolish to focus on it, to simply accept the fact that Chen was dead.


Chen was dead.


The thought, instead of offering Laarell a 'logical' reason to stop focusing on the tragedy, had the opposite effect that the woman's rational mind had intended. The blunt truth sent another wave of mournful sorrow through her.


She looked around the corridors of the Excalibur, but being aboard her old haunt didn't improve her mood any. A week ago, she would have been overjoyed to be relearning her way around the Sovereign-class vessel. If it had any effect on the Orion now, it served to continually remind her of the lieutenant commander who would never see it again.


As she took a look around the refitted Science Lab, a tear welled up in her eye. She'd met her Zacky in this very room in what seemed like a lifetime ago.


He'd died nobly, if nothing else could be said. Giving his life to protect the ship from a plasma overload. Saved Kaufman's life, even if the junior lieutenant had ended up burned.


Her eyes fell upon a stack of storage crates in the corner labeled 'CHEN' in ink as indelible as the science officer's death. Considering how quickly they'd arrived on the ship, Laarell realized that they'd be very messy.


Carefully, she opened the top crate, mainly consisting of PADD's from the Morningstar's Science Lab. She recognized the one that she activated; some equations that he'd been working are. Neatly, she stacked them according to content.


The next unit contained mainly civvies and a few extra Starfleet uniforms. Neatly folding them and sorting them according to function, she closed that one as well.


Two down; two to go. Laarell kept her mind numbed to her task lest she break down. A few picture frames were inside that one, apparently of his family. She'd never heard him speak of relatives to her. Laarell pitied them.


A photo of a little girl caught her eye. How would that little one react to the fact that her big brother had died from plasma burns halfway across the galaxy? Laarell's youngest sister was only a few years older than Zack's youngest sibling. She prayed to all the gods in the Orion pantheon that Darah would never have to hear the news that the littlest Chen would be.


She gently wiped off the smudges off the glass of the frames and the tears out of her eyes, turning to the last box. They'd apparently cleaned out the late chief's desk in his quarters as well. As she peered in, an almost supernatural chill came across her.


It was just an envelope addressed to his other sister, named Akina. Laarell had heard him mention her on one occasion. Apparently she was in Starfleet as well. The green-skin just hoped that this incident wouldn't change her mind.


Curiously nosy as usual, Laarell carefully opened the envelope. They were most likely his last recorded words, and she wanted to read them. It choked her up; the heartfelt concern for his sister's career. Even the allusion to little eight-legged Citrus made her feel depressed.


Send me...


The lieutenant stood straight for a moment. She could have sworn that she'd heard a faint noise, like a whisper in her ear. Regardless of what she had heard, be it a leftover psionic energy remnant from Chen's dying mind, or the sounds of the refurbished ventilation systems engaging, she suddenly had a great resolve to do something.


Picking up the envelope, she carefully set it in the pile of outgoing PADD's, records, reports, and personal communiques next to Citrus' cage.


Dear little Citrus, who she'd grown so fond of, yet who hated her so much. At the vibrations near her cage, the tarantula stirred, rearing onto its four back legs. Laarell shook her head, deftly sticking her hand into the terrarium to stroke the hard carapace. "Well, little enemy, I've completed my final duty to the chief, just as Zack completed his." Starting to sob, Laarell grew complacent with her ill-tempered pet.


And even under the tragic circumstances, the tarantula didn't like being a shoulder for the Orion to cry on, displaying her annoyance with Laarell's antics with a show of fangs...

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