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The Other Marta

Posted on Thu Dec 30th, 2021 @ 6:12am by Captain Devin Hadenbeer

THE PAST:

Devin found Marta in the lounge, sipping tea and reading a PADD. She glanced up when Devin was yards away and said with a smile, “Goodness, your mood is so ebullient you could float an island!”

Devin grinned and when she reached the table held out a PADD of her own. Marta accepted it with a mildly curious expression and began to read. Her eyebrows shot up in shock.

“This must be some sort of mistake-“ the Betazoid began.

“It isn’t,” Devin replied, “I put the recommendation in myself weeks ago. Congratulations, you have been awarded the Grankite Order of Tactics,” Hadenbeer smiled a bit self consciously, “I would like to think the eloquence of my letter swayed the Admiralty to see what was obviously both just and proper.”

“But I didn’t do-“

“It was your idea to flood a storage bay full of Anesthizine so we could beam it onto the bridge of the Terminus,” Devin grinned and held out her arms, “It had never been done before, so…”

“But-“

“We need to find a bar. A bar that serves alcohol. We need to get drunk and maybe pick up some unsuspecting ensigns and act in a very improperly.”

“But-“

“I know a club in Tokyo, I guarantee we will be drunk in no time. Now-“

“Devin!”

“…What?”

“I don’t deserve this!”

Devin sighed and cocked her head, “Marta, of course you do. You saved the ship. You led a successful away mission that got us home. You talked a terrorist into not destroying the Federation and us losing the war. The award is the very least they could do for you.”

Marta stared back down at the PADD uncertainly, “Well…”

“Which is why I also recommended you for the Advanced Tactical Training course. Trust me, when you walk in with that award…” Devin rolled her eyes, “Everyone will be soooooooo jealous!”

Marta frowned, “Devin, Why would I want to take the ATT?”

“Well, it’s a natural first step to your own command, of course! Along with accepting a position as my Executive Officer, that is. I mean officially this time. I had a meeting with Admiral Connagher and in a few months he promised me another command.”

“Not Lionheart?” Marta asked.

Devin sighed, “Sadly no. The old girl was too beaten up, too old. She is going to be stripped and the hull used for target practice,” Devin glanced around slyly, she leaned in close and whispered conspiratorially, “But I am keeping the chair!”

Marta laughed, then her smile faded as she hugged the PADD close to her chest, “I was going to be a counselor…”

“Marta,” Devin hesitated. Marta had been a brilliant criminal investigator with a perfect record, and the way she had talked down Gir The’nar had shown her insights into others would have made her a brilliant Counselor as well. Marta seemed one of those rare people who exceled at whatever she set her mind to.

“Marta, I know I am being selfish. I am…imposing my ambitions on you. And I won’t lie, the thought of you working by my side just seems so…appealing. And yes, you could serve with me as ship’s counselor.

“But Marta, you have greatness in you. You could be another Kirk, or Garth or Sonya Alexander!”

“Oh please!”

“I am serious! Cool headed, intelligent, inspires loyalty and a natural tactical acumen? A year with me, two tops, and you would be ready for The Big Chair. A small ship to start, but in no time you could be commanding an Ambassador class.”

“…Really?”

“Or even a Galaxy!”

“…Oh, I don’t know…”

Devin grinned, “Marta Wallan, Captain of the Royal Sovereign!” Devin reached out and gently squeezed the taller woman’s shoulders, she stared into her deep dark eyes and murmured, “Just…give yourself some time to think about it, all right?”

“I…well…all right.” Marta smiled and nodded, “All right, yes! Gods, I’m all giddy!”

“That is probably me!” Devin said with a laugh and Marta joined in. Devin patted the Betazoid on the shoulder and said, “Now, let’s get good and drunk. With any luck we’ll be kicked off planet, with all of Tokyo whispering our names in awe…!”

NOW…

Devin sat on the edge of the bed, the framed award in her hand. She read the caption below: To Marta Wallan for her tactical brilliance in a time of crisis, resulting in the preservation of her ship and crew.

Her thoughts were interrupted by the door chime. Sighing, she called out, “Come!”

Jones stood in the doorway, a bottle in one hand, a pair of glasses in the other. He regarded the dim room and said, “You know what she would say about this now.”

Devin smiled wryly, “She would probably have scolded me. Come in, Jones.”

The bartender did so, as the doors closed behind him he set the bottle and glass on the table and poured them both a drink. Devin set the award down on the bed and approached the table, she accepted the proffered glass.

“She would have been forty today,” Devin noted, “Likely in command of her own ship. Hell, possibly even Admiral. All that potential,” she regarded the man soberly, “It should have been me, Jones.”

“You both had your part to play, Devin,” Jones replied gently, “She could not do what you did, just as she could not do what Sunbear did. And she read the situation brilliantly as she always did; she knew what had to be done and she knew if she told you that you would have changed the plan. And we would all be dead or enslaved. That is the truth. And you know what else is true?”

“What?”

“That she had no regrets. Not a single one. She loved her ship, and her crew, and her captain and, oh damn it are you crying?”

Devin wiped at the corner of her eye, “Environmental controls must be off.”

Jones smiled, “Of course. I am sorry, Captain. I tend to wax melodramatic.”

“You are forgiven, Mister Jones,” she held up her glass, “To Marta.”

Jones nodded firmly and held up his own, “To Marta!”

There was an inquisitive ‘meow’ from the corner, both turned to see the cat seated on the bed beside the award. Devin smiled despite herself and said, “No, silly thing; the other one…”

 

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