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by Healer/ Doctor Siryn & Fleet Captain Stewart Hawks
[Stardate ]

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Stewart was in his quarters on the London. The crew had just received the news that the Fed may have to be scraped because the damage was too severe.        
    
Siryn came over to his Captain's quarters and rang the chime. He carried a small stack of PADDs, all ready for the Captain's signature, holding the condolence letters for the families of the crew they had lost in the engagement. He could feel the Captain's mood even out in the hallway as well as the moods of the others from the Fed and the smirking condescension of the London's crew, that they hadn't lost THEIR ship. Even with his people's historical stance against non-violence, the superior attitude of the London's crew made him sometimes long for the Pre-Reform days when he could have punched their collective lights out and had them confined to sickbay for a week. "Captain, might I speak with you?"
    
"Come on in." He looked up as Siryn walked in. On the captain's desk were numerous data pads. On the table near the couch, sat some drinks of various sorts. "What's that your carrying?"
    
"I took care of writing THE LETTERS for you, they just need your signature. I also have applied to Starfleet Command for them to get their Purple Hearts. I know it won't do them much good but it might give some comfort to their families that they were not forgotten." He sat the pile of PADDs down on the table before going over to the Captain. "If you need a shoulder or an ear, I offer you mine."
    
"Funny....I was doing the same thing. I'll sign yours, then I'll send in requests to command to have the deceased promoted and have them awarded the highest award for bravery." On the other side of the desk sat many more data padds. "Help yourself to a drink." Motioning to the couch and table.
    
Siryn placed his hand gently on the Captain's shoulder. "Drinking won't help if you are going to fight them over the Fed being scrapped. Oftentimes, it has been said that drinking is the way that a defeatist accepts failure without a fight, and the Captain I consider as my soul brother is no defeatist, but a fighter for everything that has made the crew able to pull victories without number out what others would consider certain defeat, and, as your legends of the Phoenix, come back even more glorious than ever. Yes, we'll have a fight on our hands but I am confident that you'll be able to get through to them the importance of the ship's staying service rather than being tossed on the junkheap."
    
Hawks looked at him, and placed a hand on his shoulder. "My friend, I am not giving up. See those padd's on my desk? That is all the data that the ship collected while we were being attacked. I've been transmitting it to Starfleet Command and the Board of Inquiry. After my talk with Mia, I've resolved to get the Fed rebuilt......but sometimes you have to think about the greater good." Hawks sat down. "Who am I to say that my ship should take value resources to rebuild....and take valuable time? New ships are being built faster then it would take to rebuild our's. I will lobby command to rebuild her....but if it doesn't make sense......then we all have to face the truth, and I'm ready to face the truth."
    
"I know, Th'y'la, and I've seen their schedules for dealing with building and rebuilding the ships, but that is not the ONLY place for getting a ship rebuilt to Starfleet specifications. Vulcan also has a repair station that can be utilized if you want to try there as well as a second option." Siryn smiled to the Captain, as he tried to help ease the strain that was radiating from Hawks in near palpable waves.
    
"Not sure if commander would be thrilled at that prospect. But....we can have that as an option."
    
"I know and I know what the Fed means to you. That is why I try to help out with the knowledge I have of the other repair locales that might be nearby and Vulcan is a lot closer than Rigel even though the Terran facility would probably be the closest at this point."
    
"I don't think command would approve of any other repair location. So we will have to take our chances at Earth...and let the dice roll as they may."
    
Siryn nodded, but there was a wicked gleam in his eyes as well. "True, and I have studied some about your games of chance, but there was nothing that has been said, Officially, about using off-center dice in such a throw, either..." He pulled out a pair of cubic dice and rolled them across the Captain's desk where they came up with the sixes showing on both dice.
    
"They call that box cars." He looked at Siryn and smiled. "I'm putting my trust in faith....what's meant to be, will be. Either I get a command again or I don't. Either the Fed is rebuilt or it isn't."
    
Siryn nodded and tossed the dice again, with them landing on the 'boxcars,' the same wicked gleam in his eye as before. "I've been looking at the records of the ones that will probably decide the fate of the Fed and there are a good number that are rather prejudiced against you because of all your past successes with the Fed, against the odds that would make a Vegas or Risan bookie green with envy." He handed over a stack of data disks of personnel records on the likely board of review for the Fed. "Here's some reading material you might need to help bolster your case and I'm sorry that THEY are the most likely ones on the review board. I know you can challenge them being on the board for prejudice but you'd need facts to back you up, well there they are... I think you call it 'Stacking the deck'?"
    
"I know there are those that are against me on the panel...but there are also members who will fight for me. They are the ones I am counting on." He looked at the data disks. "Are you suggesting I blackmail members of the panel?"
    
"I'm leaving that to you as to how you want to handle it but you can also request that the nay-sayers be stricken from the panel due to documented prejudice. I just gave you the proof you'd need if you want to go that route or to blackmail them if you prefer going there."
    
"I'm proud of the Fed's record. I'm proud of the job we have done in the name of the Coalition. I'm proud of those who have given their lives. If those who are against me because of my record....I say so be it." Hawks picked up the data disks and dropped them in the garbage. "I thank you for your help."
    
Siryn smiled and nodded. "I always knew you were a man of principle, Captain, and I am more than ever honored with your friendship. There have been some back on Vulcan that have disparaged my decision for serving on the Federation rather than one of the Vulcan ships, but I feel that I have made the correct choice in serving under you and I'll fight alongside you, no matter what or who we face, brother of my soul."
   
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