There Was No Turning Back the Clock
Episode 3 - The Future That Was
Location: Kalandra Sector Command HQ, Betazed
Timeline: Early 2416 (Alpha)
Tags: romance, relationships
Commander Nami Ishikawa hadn't had any sleep in more than 48 hours, but there was still one report that she needed to deliver in person before some well-deserved shuteye. Like so many other reports she had to compile these days, it was more bad news, but this one was personal, not just for herself, but even more so for the admiral. It's better that he found it out from someone who understood what it meant rather than from routine debriefing the next morning.
Finally standing before the sector commander's office, she pressed the chime.
"Come in." A wearied voice unlocked the double doors.
Stepping inside, Nami found Vice Admiral Oliver Lee, commander of Kalandra Sector, standing before the wall-mounted view screen. But instead of the usual tactical display, it was showing an interview of Gral, one of the most popular political commentators, on Truth Be Told, one of the most popular political talk shows hosted by Solan Tan.
. . . . . .
Tan: Are you seriously suggesting that there should be a purge of the admiralty?
Gral: Not a purge, Solan. What I'm suggesting is simply accountability. 12 years ago they told us that it would all be over in a few months, but 12 years later the war still rages on, and with every passing day we lose more star systems to the Dominions. Yet, people like Lee and Mori'L, who brought us into this madness, still sit comfortably in their offices while millions are suffering and dying.
Tan: But some would say, Lee and Mori'L, well, at least Lee redeemed himself when he retook Fero and stopped Dominion advance on Andoria.
Gral: You are forgetting that we wouldn't have to retake Fero or defend Andoria if Lee hadn't started the war in the first place. We must not let . . .
And that was about all that Nami could take. "You shouldn't pay attention to this nonsense, sir." She said bluntly.
Pausing the display, Oliver turned around to face his chief of staff. "Gral wasn't entirely wrong, you know. I did advocate for Operation Vigilant Resolve and preemptive strikes on Dominion positions in the Gamma quadrant."
"But they rejected your operational proposals in favor of Mori'L's, sir, and it's her plans that led to the debacle at Thorin II."
"I don't think public opinions make that distinction, Commander."
Nami could never understand why her commanding officer cared so much about what other people thought. As far as she was concerned, he was the reason the Federation still hadn't lost the war, and that should be all that mattered.
"Enough about politics and ancient history." Oliver waved if off with a wry smile. "Shouldn't you be getting some sleep?" He asked.
"I'll, but we just received the news." She hesitated for a moment. "It's the Bunker Hill, sir."
Handing him the PADD she had brought with her, Nami continued, "At about 0720 hours this morning, she was ambushed along with the rest of her squadron near the Banti Nebula. They were outnumbered 2 to 1. The Jem'Hadar left no survivors."
There was no immediate response from Oliver or discernible reaction on his face as he took in the news.
The Bunker Hill was his first command. It was where he was given a second chance after his Starfleet career had nearly ended prematurely. More importantly, it was where he met and married Michaela, the love of his life. But it was also where he lost Korra, his best friend and soul mate, as she gave birth to their daughter. The war had cost him dearly. Now it just cost him one of the last links to his past, a past that had brought him such joy and such pain, a past he had fancied of re-living and changing.
But there was no turning back the clock.
Letting out a long and wistful sigh, he said, "Thank you, Commander. Is there anything else?"
Nami had expected a lot more than a sigh. The Bunker Hill was more than simply another entry on the long list of ships lost in 12 years of war. It was the white horse that he, the knight in shining armor, rode to save her from a lifetime of servitude, abuse, and misery. It was where she learned for the first time what it was like to be free and to be cared for. It was where she fell in love for the first time, even if it was furtive and unrequited.
She needed a lot more than a sigh from him.
But maybe he was still in shock.
The war had cost him dearly; it had taken a toll on him. Yet he fought on, both on the battlefield and off it. All those long and sleepless nights, all that useless coffee, if there was anyone in the headquarters who needed sleep more than she did, it was him. So maybe he was just too exhausted to process the loss of such an important piece of his past, of their past.
Or maybe he was already too broken, it suddenly dawned on her. Reaching out, she grasped his hand and intertwined her fingers with his. "Oliver . . ." She felt the grasp tightened, and then he let go of her.
"Go get some sleep now." He said with a small and wearied smile. "I still need to go over the 2nd Fleet's deployment plan. I'll join you later."
Nami nodded quietly and walked away. Before the doors closed behind her, she turned and caught a glimpse of him sinking into his chair, his eyes downcast.
She wished Korra could have been there. He would have opened up to her, and she would have known how to comfort him. But fate had a different plan 24 years ago and took her away from him, leaving him instead under the spell of Michaela, that wretched and selfish woman, the cause of such heartache and misery for him.
At the thought of the doctor, Nami frowned in disgust. Turning around, she headed to the nearest turbolift.
Vice Admiral Oliver A. Lee
Commander, Kalandra Sector
Commander Nami Ishikawa
Chief of Staff
(NPC - Oliver)