"Brief Respite"

Author: Admiral Jeffrey Pike
Date: November 12, 2384
Location: Shuttle Bay

Personal Log, Stardate 2461822.4.

The *Ronin* is still about a month out of Starbase 901, the nearest Federation outpost to our position. The engineer reports that the warp drive should be able to keep up the pace, but the transwarp drive is unrepairable, which frustrates me no end. Every day that passes means the Kelvans are one day closer to the Federation's borders. Fortunately for the Milky Way, they emerged from their transwarp conduits in a sparcely-inhabited sector.

The unauthorized raid by Tyran and Kira against a few of their Battle Planets has apparently changed their strategy. It would seem the Kelvans have upgraded their estimation of us from 'irrelevant' to 'dangerous'. They are still proceeding towards the Federation, but at a more cautious *warp* speed instead of transwarp.

On a more positive note, I am recording official commendations for Chief Medical Officer William Hancock and Chief Science Officer Ming Wang, for performing their duties well beyond the call.

End Log.

Time: 1500 hours
Location: Shuttle Bay

Row upon row of officers and crew stood at stiff attention, each and every one attired in his or her finest dress uniform. Captain Evans and his senior staff was at the front of the ranks. Facing this sea of brilliant red, blue and gold was a slender podium behind which stood Admiral Pike resplendent in his own formal finery. Behind the podium and Pike, the huge shuttle bay doors were open, and gave on to a spectacular view of the Galaxy's Shapley Center in the far, far distance.

At a slight nod from Pike, the ship's boson piped his whistle, and all in attendance brought their eyes front and center. Pike cleared his throat, then said, "Today, we are here to honor two of our shipmates who performed above and beyond the call of duty during the recent crisis." He took a few steps around the podium and stood before the assembled crew. "Lieutenant William Hancock and Lieutenant Ming Wang, step forward.

In unison, the two named officers took two large steps out from the front of the row and stopped right in front of Admiral Pike. They looked uncomfortable, and Pike wondered if that was because of the attention they were receiving or because the collars on their dress uniforms were too tight. As usual though, Pike maintained his stern demeanor.

He turned to Doctor Hancock and said, in an official tone, "For his brave and selfless actions during and after the last Kelvan attack; for saving the lives of several trapped engineers; and for stopping a warp core breach in progress thus saving the entire ship, and all those aboard her, Lieutenant William Hancock is awarded with the Starfleet Bronze Star." Pike turned to his left and took a shining medallion from a small case that Yeoman Piper (who had suddenly appeared at his side as if by magic) was holding up for him. He turned back to Hancock and pinned the device on his chest, to the right and below his Starfleet insignia.

The Admiral formally shook Hancock's hand, then Hancock took a step back and Pike moved on to Wang.

"For his steadfast resistance to the mental influences of the Kelvan attacking his mind; for refusing to give any quarter to that enemy; for maintaining the security of this ship's secrets and those of the Federation, the revealing of which secrets could have seriously jeopardized our position; and for vanquishing that enemy, Lieutenant Ming Wang is hereby awarded the Starfleet Bronze Star." Again Pike turned to Piper and returned with another gleaming medal, and pinned it to Wang's proudly puffed chest.

He shook Wang's hand as gravely as he had Hancock's, then said to the both of them, his severe facade finally cracking and a warm smile showing though, "Well done, gentlemen. Congratulations!"

Then, a spontaneous burst of applause welled up from the ranks behind, and the entire shuttle bay erupted into glad pandemonium, as the two heroes were lauded by their comrades.