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Enter, Stage Right

Posted on Thu Jun 23rd, 2016 @ 11:23am by Major Grayson Drake

Mission: And Then There Were Two... (Primary)
Location: Approaching SB-80

"Sir, we're approaching Starbase one-five-nine" The sound of the young Ensign's voice woke Grayson from a half sleeping state. He hadn't bothered to learn his name.

"Understood" He replied, stretching from his chair in the back of the Runabout. Leaning forward he rested his arms on his legs and wondered exactly what he was doing here and was the future held for him now. He rubbed his eyes and cast his memory back…

Twelve years ago Grayson had applied to Starfleet Academy as a Tactical Officer. Under pressure from his parents he had started a law degree in the month previous to this and applied for the Academy in relative secrecy. When the truth came out, despite his parents not altogether being happy, they supported him in his decision. But those few months in University he never forgot nor regret, for that was where he met Patrick... undoubtedly the love of his love. Patrick Chambers was studying inter-species law at the London University and the two hit it off from their first encounter. Four years later, Grayson felt he was the luckiest man alive. He was in a serious and committed relationship and had just graduated from Starfleet Academy, after having undertaken a career swap halfway through, to the Marine Corps. He was now a 1st Lieutenant and had been assigned as a Weapons Officer to the Galaxy Class, USS Liberation. The couple found it hard being away from each other for such long periods of time, after four years of seeing each other nearly everyday... but they managed... they knew it was eventually going to happen and had prepared themselves for it.

A year later and Grayson had impressed the brass so much that he was now a 2nd Lieutenant and made Marine Executive Officer on the Liberation. Once again, less than a year later he was promoted once again to Captain and transferred as Marine Commanding Officer on the USS Jakarta. He started to turn the heads of some of the more veteran Marine Officers in the Corps... two promotions in as many years... something wasn't quite right. Everyone knew that Grayson's Uncle was a Rear Admiral in Starfleet Command and they were starting to suspect he may be getting involved in his career. Grayson had convinced himself that this wasn't the case and that he was achieving his ambitions through hard work and determination. Deep down he knew that this was rubbish… but he didn’t care, because he didn’t think it mattered.

A couple of years later he soon found himself at the rank of Major and assigned as Chief Security/Tactical Officer on the Marine ship and Sovereign Class flagship, USS Sovereign. Despite all of the pressure that he was under due to the speed of his promotions, he was excelling at his job and loving it too. Joining Starfleet and meeting Patrick were spawning lasting happiness for him.

In 2385 Grayson found himself with the opportunity of transferring to the USS Ronnau, an old Nebula Class, as the Executive Officer. He knew the move was a tactical one arranged by his uncle, as the CO was due for retirement in less than six months. Nevertheless, he overlooked this almost certainty and convinced himself that he had got to the position on his merit alone. As predicated, six months later, Grayson was being considered for the Commanding Officer position and found himself acting in the position for the following few months.

It was later that year; Grayson had booked three weeks Shore Leave whilst the Ronnau was docked at Starbase 218 for upgrades to her weapons systems. On the day of his departure there was complications in removing the old phaser arrays and he had decided to stay for another couple of days, postponing his shore leave, to oversee the works. After receiving word that Drake would be returning for his shore leave a little late, Patrick had decided to visit some of Drake's family. They lived just outside the Sol system and the visit was to last for a couple of days. It was whilst en route that the shuttle he was in developed a minor engine problem... it later turned out that the problem was previously known about but it was deemed as so minor that the shuttle was still cleared for flight. Nevertheless, this 'minor' problem soon became a 'major' problem. Critical systems quickly shut down and it was believed a power surge sparked a fire in the oxygen production filters. The air that the occupants were breathing literally caught fire... it took minutes for hull breaches to form and the shuttle to come apart... minutes... hundreds of seconds of the air around you being on fire.

After his death, Drake was destroyed... utterly and completely. It was like a moment of awakening for him - everything that was previously important, seemed not to matter at all. It was more than just a change in his views and way of life... it changed his beliefs and morals... it changed the very fibre of who he was. Despite Starfleet having nothing to do with the accident, he still blamed them for it. He blamed them that he had given them so much of his time... he hated them he felt obliged to stay on the Ronnau for those two days... but most of all he despised them for having grey morals. If this situation had taught him anything it was that there was no such thing as a morally grey area... everything was, indeed, simply black or white.

It was nearly three years since his life had changed. He had gone from being one of the most promising officers in the service to one of the least. To begin with the last thing he wanted to do was return to Starfleet, however as time went by and he discovered that the pain wasn't subsiding he knew he had to do something... if only to pass the time. He jumped through all the hoops that Starfleet set for him, dodged all the questions from the countless Counsellors and was finally deemed as fit to return to duty. Once again, Rear-Admiral Drake had been pulling strings quietly in the background… but instead of being posted back to the ship-of-the-line vessel he was used to… he was stranded on an old starbase, on the very edge of the frontier. He didn't have any feelings on the position... in fact; he didn't think he had any feelings full stop.

He quickly rubbed his face and grabbed his holdall that was resting at the base of the chair he was sitting on. The adventure was about to begin all over again... but this was a different kind of adventure... something different to what he had been going through in the past. For the first time in his Starfleet career he has now completely on his own and didn’t care about anything.

 

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