DR: Okays, here's a little scene that I've had in my head for a while, but I'd yet to type up. Short, but I don't think that matters too much. Not with this...
Honour Thy Fallen
Everyone in the mess fell quiet when General Gerling stood up.
"People, we have all won a great victory yesterday. With the Cybrid Command Elements gone, the remaining Cybrid force will crumble. From now on it's a mopping up action. Earth belongs to us, and no overgrown walking toaster will kick us off our world!"
From the tables that filled the room a resounding cheer rose up, from the dozens of HERC pilots and the hordes of technicians who kept their mighty war machines running. Intermingled with them were those members of base personal who were off duty, the rest still manning the turrets and the command centre.
However there was one table that was silent. Not one person at that table cheered. Yes the destruction of the Command Elements, the Achilles Heal of the Cybrid war effort, was a major victory, but the price…
Christian looked up at the General, his face smiling broadly, lapping up the good cheer. 'What right does he have to… he wasn't there…' He felt a hand cover his own, and he looked up to see the concerned of Susan, her dark hair curling around her head while her eyes reflected his feelings, but also asking him to not do anything rash.
Across the table from the two of them, Auri looked at her husband Richter, a look of understanding passing between them.
"And before I let you all get back to celebrating, I have one final piece of business…" Gerling turned to look towards where Christian was sat. "In recognition of his bravery and determination, Command has decided to award Captain Christian Masters the Congressional Medal of Honour."
As he held out the decoration, a relic from the old United States and adopted into the award scheme of the Terran Defence Force, The entire room once more burst out into cheering. For a long moment it looked like Christian was not going to stand up, but then he slowly stood, before stepping over to the General. Gerling smiled as he lifted the ribbon to place the medal around Christian, but then the warriors arm came up and stopped him.
The gathered crews fell silent as one, stunned by his action. They couldn't believe their eyes. Christian was refusing the award?
Slowly Christian turned away from the shocked general, to look towards the gathered warriors. He slowly lifted the mug he had held in his hands throughout.
"There are those you deserve this award far more than I. I did my duty, to the human race. They truly lived up to the ideal that this award was created for." He paused for a second, his mug raised high.
"To Karen Walker... Jacob Miles... Steven Hunter… Ronald Ivy… Jacqui Lerenzo… Lucas Stevenson… Frederick Skiler… Manfred Guther…" on and on he went, listing the names of every HERC pilot who had died in the battle to reach the Command Elements. Most of them had died holding back the Cybrid reinforcements, preventing them from assisting the base against Masters unit as they smashed into the base.
"…Tracy Ronsenberg… Nicolas Sterner… Ja… James Miller." The last name hitched in his throat. James Miller had been a part of his team. He could still see Millers HERC exploding, the venerable Apocalypse shattering as its reactor went critical. And he could still hear James's dying scream as the inferno of a breached fusion reactor consumed him.
After a long moment, Christian pushed on. "And to David Marconry… Alec McKay…" And he started listing those who had died in the days leading up to the assault. Even before he was halfway through tears were gathering at the corners of everyone's eyes.
Susan Grayson watched him fondly, proud of his strength of character. Over his shoulder she could General Gerling, forgotten by everyone, looking put out, but also with a mixture of guilt and annoyance on his face. Christian was reminding them all of the cost, and throwing a damper on his celebration. But he was reminding him of those who had fallen under his command.
At last Christian reached the last couple of fallen. "…Jim Smith… Jane Summers… Michelle Petroski. As long as we remember them, and honour their memories, then their sacrifices will not be in vain." He raised his mug higher. "We will remember them."
As one the gathered personal echoed him, the low murmuring blanketing the room. Afterwards no one spoke or cheered, their thoughts turning back, remembering the fallen.
Gerling was the first to speak up, unhappy with the way the celebration he had put together was going. "Well, lets drink to them, and then tomorrow we go out and mop up the remaining Cybrids huh?" He half smiled, hoping to inspire a cheer.
Silence fell after he spoke, his jovial tone falling flat.
That silence was shattered before anyone could respond by the wailing of the alarms. "All personal, red alert! We have inbound Cybrid units, ground and air! Repeat, we have inbound Cybrids! All personal to defence posts! HERC pilots to the hanger!"
After a moments shook the mess hall dissolved into chaos, drinks abandoned as everyone scrambled to get out. As the stream of humans tore out of the doorway, Christian turned back to look at the general.
"Looks like we won't have to go looking for the Cybrids sir." Was all he said as he placed his glass by the medal before turning and sprinting off, after his team.
DR: There we have it. Yes, I have basically copied a bit of nuBSG. It's about the only time Kara acts responsibly IMHO (don't get me started...)