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A Message from the Grave

Posted on Mon Oct 4th, 2021 @ 3:20pm by Colonel Sehan t'Varis

Mission: Chapter V: The Calm Before The Storm
Location: Commander's Quarters, Ourainavassa
Timeline: 238703.03

Raven sat in her bed and groaned. "Computer, time."

"The time is 0427 hours."

Wonderful. For the last week, sleep had mostly eluded her. The news of Ellie's death had hit her far harder than she had expected, she was haunted by Vulture's claim to be her mother, and with her XO, Chief Science Officer, and Helmsman off chasing a crewmate who had gone AWOL, the daily business of running the ship had become ever more stressful. The search for someone to take over Gedak's duties had remained fruitless, and although Renee had taken over as quartermaster, handling the ship's finances was still Raven's own responsibility. Carefully, so as to not wake a peacefully snoozing Eavy at the foot of her bed, she rose and pulled on a simple robe. If sleep was not to be found, it was pointless to continue seeking it.

"Coffee, black, quadruple strength," Raven voiced to the replicator, and retrieved her drink, having decided to start the day's work early. After all, if she was awake, she might as well do something useful. There was a small desk with a remote access to her ready room console in the living room portion of her cabin, so she put her mug down on the desk and started up the terminal. First things first. She accessed the messaging application to check for any reports from the night watch, when she noticed a strange message that had come in at precisely midnight. It was a video message. Intrigued, Raven opened the file, to be greeted by Ellie's face.

It was clear that this message had been recorded in the middle of a fight, as there were background noises of phaser fire and explosions, and Ellie herself was looking rather dishevelled. "Sey, I'm sorry. If you receive this message, it means I'm dead. There are many things I want to say to you, but there's no time. I'm recording this to tell you something you must hear. I found something. About-" Another explosion went off in the background, and someone called out for help. "I need to go. I'm attaching a file with what I've found. I've always loved you. I am-"

Suddenly, the recording cut off. For a moment, Raven sat in front of the terminal, frozen in shock. Then, the tears that she had fought to hold back over the last few days, finally came. It took quite a while until she finally calmed down, and remembered the attachment Ellie had mentioned. Swiftly, Raven opened the file and read its contents. Then, she checked the chronometer again. 0510. She now knew what needed to be done.

Filled with a newly-found sense of purpose, the Colonel stood and got dressed. White blouse, black stockings, black skirt, grey uniform blazer, black leather belt around the waist, metal pauldron with red cape, knee-high black boots, and, finally, the Blazefire Sabre clipped to the back of her belt. She diligently sorted out her hair, applied her usual makeup, and straightened the black leather eyepatch over her destroyed left eye. Finally, she filled Eavy's bowl with a double ration.

"I'm sorry, little one," she whispered as she ruffled her pet's hair. Eavy, still groggy, looked up at her with a confused expression. "I'm going to have to go away for a bit," Raven explained. "But I'll make sure someone looks after you."

"Captain Mannerheim. I am going to have to leave for a while on some urgent personal business. Major Rogers will be in charge of matters on the Ourainavassa once she returns from Earth. But I am going to leave operational command in your hands. Subcommander Kaiae and Lieutenant Hatham will need all help they can get with their evacuation efforts. Do for them whatever you can."

"Major Rogers. Ash. There's something I need to do. I'm sorry this couldn't wait until you got back, but I don't know how much time I have got. I'm leaving the ship in your hands, and those of Captain Mannerheim. Work together as well as you can. Oh, and ask Mila to look after Eavy while I'm gone, please."

Once she had recorded and sent the messages, Raven headed to the main hangar, encountering nobody on her way through the still-sleeping ship. There, she boarded Munin, and, setting course for the coordinates Ellie had mentioned in her files, departed.


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