With A Formality

((MNS Archangel))

It was perhaps with a sigh of relief from the crew as they watched the planet slowly shrink behind them. The crew performed admirably, the captain supposedly happy at the duties performed. But the somber atmosphere surrounding the marines was seemingly infectious. The captain felt it, even during his debriefing with Captain Lecter. But he was currently worried more about his XO's status. He followed Mendez and her stomp to surgery, not even smiling as crew made way against her rather formidable look she gave them.

~~

The woman was refused to look at him. He waited patiently though, calmly watching her as the lift descended. Finally, she asked, "You won’t hurt me, will you?" He shook his head and slightly moved his hand closer. By this point, the ability to mend wounds and dispel fatigue was a rather mastered skill to him. It was barely a touch of that little metaphysical nub in the back of his head. He raised his other hand to take hers in both.

She tensed.

"I am sworn to do no harm," he said to her.

As she looked to be responding, the lift doors hissed open. In came Mendez, the first officer on a stretcher, and one of the ship's troupe all in at once. "Move, lieutenant!" The Chief Medical Officer all but demanded, her tone suggesting no negotiations. The tentative power he had of her touch suddenly blinked out as she flinched. He turned immediately to make room, looking to the officer. Ugana gaped at him in surprise.

"I know lieutenant, unless you can do something about what he pulled," Mendez said, eyes on her scanner as a hypo hovered over Kyle's neck. "Standing there-"

She finally noticed the girl. The sight of her made her free in surprise, brain deciding that after the events of today, what she saw did not compute immediately. Fortunately, Ugana recovered and quickly Linked with his superior. As the files uploaded, Mendez frowned and turned to Lily. "Keep him company?"

It was a bit surprising for him to see her even speak softly. Yet she turned and brought the scanner up, choosing not to move closer. She could not really believe what she saw and looked to the girl a final time. "Why did this happen?" She asked, seemingly to no one.

The turbolift opened.

~~

((6 Hours Later))

The captain sat with the final report compiled. He looked at the datastream, staring hard at the names of the lost. It was hard looking at such losses, thirty-three altogether lost with eight wounded. Almost half of their contingent needed replaced, easily done at port but not easily done with morale.

He reached for his tea, which had gone cold. He sipped it once, glancing down at it before finishing it off. It was time to pay respects to the fallen.

Attention crew: there will be memorial services held in one standard hour for our fallen crew. Memorial services will be conducted in Missile Control. That is all.

With that Linked announcement done, Peng reached for another cup of tea. Most captains would resort to liquor and other alcoholic beverages, including Captain Lecter if the crew files were an indicator of that captain's need for a drink. Currently, he saw the civilian on security feeds observing some of the repair he was doing.

The All Pleasures was heavily damaged from the drive failure and a year or two of negligence. The spike drive was completely out of commission and would require facilities found only at space dock. Still, the workshops were capable of fielding at least some parts. Enough certainly to get the maneuver drives operational. She wouldn't be able to phase but she would be able to move under her own power once they got back.

Peng had to admit the level of assistance Hannibal gave in the current scenario. His willingness to throw himself alongside the Mandate during a time of need was certainly worthy of reward. He updated his report and input a reward nearly equal to five hundred thousand credits towards Captain Lecter. It certainly was not a lot, after repair expenses but it certainly was more than what most belters on the fringe made in a month.

Not to mention most Mandate captains would not even bat an eye at the possibility of paying outside help when they volunteered. It was the duty of citizens to serve the greater good as is the military to protect them.

~~

((Medical 1))

The beeps of some bio-monitors were a nice reprieve from the action of earlier. Mendez knew her watch was over but continued to monitor Commander Kyle. Mandate tech was unrivalled in medicine but what Kyle did was as aggravating as a Tiberian rock worm when it came to putting him back together. Lily had not moved, except when Mendez finally ordered her out of surgery.

Lieutenant Nkwomo certainly had proven once again the benefits of having a biopsionic onboard. What she could not fix, he willed away. Which left their newfound passenger.

Medical scans showed prior physical abuse as well as the malnutrition. She had the girl on one of the bio-beds, color at least restored to her. The smell was something they would fix later, she seemed likely to scramble away at the first sign of any hostility. Currently, her assistant kept her company. The stims provided for the poor girl would take a while to cut through weeks of neglect, even coupled with the lieutenant and his powers. At least she seemed a bit at ease.

Attention crew: there will be memorial services held in one standard hour for our fallen crew. Memorial services will be conducted in Missile Control. That is all.

She glanced at the Neural Net, seeing the time and knowing who didn't make. The dangerous of space were not unknown to her but the savageness still surprised her from time to time in its lethality. She sighed before looking to Lily. "Why don't you go and clean up for the service," she said. " Perhaps also show our guest some quarters as well?"

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