Personal Log: Gideon Greywarden

>>> Begin log. Captain Gideon Greywarden<<<

I don't know why ah keep doin' these things. I guess old habits die hard eh? Raye started me on this all dem years ago. Puttin mah thoughts out like this. Guess bein so hard to read ta her even bein a Betazoid, she found ah way ta cheat.....Mabye its mah way of tellin her what's goin on.... Jeeze... sayin it out loud sure does make it sound a lil crazy. Ten years 'n i'm talkin ta a ghost still. Then again I guess shes da only ones' been here tha whole time. Least in spirit anyways. I miss ya darlin. Every day.

((sounds of a liquid being poured and a long pause))

At any rate tha brass 's done spankin me fer now i spose. Haven't heard from any of em in bout a week or so, durin mah trip out ere.

Had a few days peace on this station so far. Nice bunch really. Had'n been able ta really talk alot wit tha locals, been keepin m'self busy helpin a bit round the station with minor security stuff. Just lil things like chekin papers of travelers n such. Mostly it's just walkin... listenin to tha station n seeing tha sights. I's pretty much tha same as bein alone with mah thoughts.. cept I always thought better on mah feet I spose.

Pretty good sized place they have 'ere. Lot's goin on. You'd think bein off tha ol settlement for... jeeze i guess 'round fourty years or so... that I would get used ta how much bigger everything gets as Star Fleet keeps on pushin forward. Hell, I spent a few minutes with tha Doc that helped interview me fer tha Task Force on his ship...and be damned if that wasn't tha biggest bridge I ever set eyes on. Oddesy class ah think it was he said. I coulda just bout put my ol house from home just in that bridge, let alone they got more people runnin round in dere than tha whole colony ah grew up in. Really makes me wonder what they plan on givin me for a command after seein Doc's...what did he call it? "Big Chair" I believe.
((a chuckle))

S'posedly they ruled I would get a new command less.... "critical" to tha war effort. Nine years o blood and fire fight'n tha Borg n Breen n whoever else when they reared their ugly heads... n now I'm a liability. 'Spose I should be grateful though. I could be cleanin latrines or worse yet teachin at tha Academy. Guess a few o those Big Brass saw why I really did it. Saw some weight in tha lives we saved that day. What was it that ol' pointy eared ambassador said? "Tha need o tha many" n such. Course then again they said I put many more n danger lettin that array fall. That I coulda been r'sponible fer alot more people gettin hurt or killed by us losin it. I spose they may be right.

All I know is that there's days when a mans gotta face himself. Orders or not. I've given tha better part o mah life ta this Star Fleet, n ah make no argument that ah didn' do what they ordered me ta do. At tha same time... I'd do it again every time. Thousands of people wit no one ta stand for em but me weighed against ah unmanned list'nin post. Ah realize I may have hurt tha war. But mah heart n mah head both agreed ah couldn't n wouldn't leave those people ta die. 'Spose that's all I got ta say bout that really.

Anyways, ah should prolly git ta bed. Can't keep stayin up ta all hours like I used ta. Even bein 's long lived as mah kind seem ta be... tha years n tha miles are steady catchin up ta me.

Reckon I may get ta see Raye. Sometimes ah get ta remember it too. Tha good times, tha soft times.... holdin her n laughin. It's ah strange thing. It warms mah heart ta see her again for awhile after I wake. But it sure does hurt like hell when ah realize ah can't do it while awake. G'night Raye. Hope ya come callin tonight.

((sound of something being set on the table))

>>>log end<<<

((ooc. any input / thoughts / questions welcomed ))
>>>Begin Recording<<<

"Dis thing on? Ah...there we go"

"Well ah been slacki'n 'bout keepin up 'w this thing. Been pretty busy. Good news is ah finally got mah ship..... course it came with ah couple hitches in good star fleet style."
"First of all ah think the corp of engineers they had worki'n on this thing thought they was settin up for a dreadnaught or sumthun. Ah think the only parts on this ship from her original launch is tha super structure. They really try 'n make these things last ah guess. I sure have never seen in all mah years an Excelsior 's damn over juiced. We've had ta throttle back damn near every system thats got ta do with power 'n even tha weapons. I dunno know what they did to tha phaser banks on this thing, but we had to pull down the power we was feedin' tha banks by near twenty percent cuz durin' sustained fire they began overheatn' tha decks around em." "On top o that, the transwarp 'n standard warp systems are puttin out 's much juice, that we had ta adjust tha helm controls and output ta keep us from the equivalent 'o peelin out in space. It's like them ol earth cartoons when the coyote straps 'm self to ah rocket.... All in all though shes ah fine ship. More than ah figured theyd give me.

" 'Course that aint really tha punchline 't their joke really.... Tha admiralty figured it would be worth ah laugh or two ta assign me an ex-borg first officer..... jackasses... Ah spose she does her job fine, if not a lil cold. But damned if ah can even look at her 'n not think of Raye.... Thinki'n she may still be out there... be one 'o those..... things... Commander Tolaria does fine enough ah guess... and shes been nice enough ta not ask me why ah cant look her in tha eye. Cant help but feel that ol hate welli'n up... aint her fault... just an old man set in his ways i spose."

"Well... ah spose thats all goin' on right now... gon go out for 'nother shakedown 'n a few hours.. number two out a god knows how many before we are ready for real combat if it comes... least in mah opinion. Time ta get ah lil shuteye before we set out. Hope ah get ta see Raye again... seein tha commander 's made me miss mah darlin more in tha last few days... mabye someday, but fer now ah gotta settle with mah dreams"

>>>end log<<<
Gideon's lunch came to an unexpected stop.

<c> Argo Com Ops to Captain Greywarden. There is a priority one subspace message coming in from Admiral Yanishev.

"I'll take it in mah quarters, Ops"

Gideon quickly walked to his small quarters on the habitat ring, sidestepping personnel as they came and went. He pressed the pad for his door and entered.

"Put it through Ops." He said. A hand on his badge.

The face of Admiral Grigori Yanishev appeared on the wall near Gideon. Gideon was all too familiar with this man. He had served under him for many years during his time in Task Force Omega. Yanishev was also likely a big part behind the scenes as to why Gideon had kept his rank after the listening post incident that landed Gideon on outpost Argo. They were not friends in a traditional sense, but old timers in war shared an unspoken respect amongst themselves.

"Gid. You're looking well. I see they weren't exaggerating about what happened on the Azorious." Started Yanishev. Uncharacteristically cordial.
The lack of decorum and friendly greeting instantly set off alarms in Gideon's head. This was bad.

"Jus ah lil tune up 's all Admiral. Ah may look thirty but ah still feel sixty sitti'n behind ah desk 's much these days." Retorted Gideon.

"Captain, I know you. And I know you'd just as soon have me cut tot he chase here. We have a situation. The Azorious has been stolen."

It was like a punch in the gut. Gideon knew where this was going before the Admiral said another word. He had hoped in some part of his mind to never have to see that ship again. He knew there was a possibility that they would assign him to it again, but he hoped deeply that it wouldn't happen. After losing so many crewmen, Gideon did not wish to be reminded of that day after day.

Gideon stood silently. Awaiting the words he knew were coming.

"As the last commanding officer of the Azorious, and one of the few survivors, you have more direct knowledge of the ship than anyone. We want you to go after her. Last time we got a bead on her she was at max trans warp headed somewhere into the Beta Ursae sector. We are dispatching the U.S.S. Hermes for you to command in this search. She is the newest of the Defiant frames we've been slowly producing, and should do the job if it is determined the Azorious cannot be stopped." Said Yanishev. All cordial tone gone.

"Yessir. Ah will get mah things tagether. Anything else?" Gideon responded, inwardly dreading this mission.

"You have your orders Captain. Find and stop the Azorious. Ascertain the identities of whomever has stolen the ship. And if need be, take her out of commission. We cannot risk a Federation being part of an incident against a populated world." Yanishev spoke crisply.

"Admiral.... permission ta speak freely?"
"Go ahead Gideon. I've never known you to hold your tongue" A little of Yanishev's tone lightening

"Tha investigation into tha...incident. What made her trans warp go haywire?" Gideon asked.

After a long pause, Yanishev replied with only one word. "Sabotage."

Gideon's world went upended. He had feared as much since the incident had been so tight lipped after he was sent back to Argo. His mind raced with the implications of the finding.

"We are looking into it further, but right now I need you focused on getting that ship under control, or at worst, destroying it before it can be used to ill ends. Is that understood Captain?" Yanishev barked.

"Yessir. Crystal clear." Gideon responded, mind still racing about the new revelation.

"If you need anything don't hesitate to contact my office. Yanishev out."

Gideon was left standing in a dark room save for the pale light from his fish tank on the opposing wall.

Gideon sat in his ready room aboard the Sentinel. Hot thermos of Raktijino to his right. A large PADD in his hands. Gideon had been pouring over service records and available personnel for days now. Every day he spent plodding around from station to station, he felt he was letting people down. On a second PADD currently residing on his desk, the stream of reports consisting or raids, missing ships, and border skirmishes continued to update in earnest.

It was a daunting task. Gideon had thrived on adversity in his long career, but this was a whole new level. The sheer size of the shipping lanes and systems that needed to be patrolled regularly was staggering.
Gideon sipped his drink as he caught up on multiple subspace conversations he was having via text feed. Some good news, some not so much. Star Fleet had approved the recommissioning of the Azorious under Gideon's task force under Commander Tolaria. Gideon figured he'd be calling her "Captain" soon as well. The U.S.S. Hermes would also be joining under Captain Umezawa, as soon as it's current patrols in Beta Ursae were complete. On the other hand Gideon had around seven different responses from other captains and commanders that politely, yet firmly had declined his offer.
Gideon couldn't blame them really. The likelyhood of a handful of ships wrangling half the quadrants raiders, smugglers and killers seemed a fool's errand. Better to stick near their Star Base or colony outpost and have some safety and security. Gideon was sure his reputation didn't help matters any either. Even after miraculously recovering the one hundred and eighty eight from the Azorious, people still saw Gideon as a possible loose cannon. A rash liability, likely to get them and their crews killed.

Gideon wondered to himself if they were right. He still questioned why Argo Command and Star Fleet had given him this position. They either had more faith in him then he even did, or this was a final grand stand to set him up for failure.

To hell with the politicians and the two faced Brass. Gideon knew one thing. He had to make this work. Too many lives depended on this support Squadron. Here it was. The chance to prove Raye was right when she said he had a purpose to protect others. He would not allow this to fail while he still had the smallest bit of fight left in him.

Gideon sighed and continued scanning the lines of text before him. The Sentinel would be back at Argo within a few hours, and Gideon was somewhat dreading his next appointment. It seemed even this assignment had its catches. It seemed that since some of the routes Mercury Squadron would be patrolling connected and overlapped Romulan space, certain officers were being pushed from the Romulan Republic to participate. Gideon had already taken on two Tactical officers from the Republic and had integrated them into the crew aboard the Sentinel. This latest addition is the one that worried him though. Commander Varo'then, the hero that had brought down countless Tal Shiar cells and a few of their more important ships. Apparently Varo had been loosely associated and operated at times out of Outpost Argo. The Fed brass and New Romulan government were pushing hard for Gideon to meet this man, and recruit him. Gideon had never met him, as they never seemed to be on the station at the same time, but the man's reputation proceeded him. All accounts painted him as a quite serious, perhaps even severe commander. But his abilities and results could not be faulted. The man had almost zealous loyalty from his crew and he was not afraid to get his hands dirty so to speak.

Concerns aside, Gideon noticed a last communique from MACO Master Sergeant Drake Krassis. His MACO team was en route to Argo, and was to be assigned to the Sentinel upon their arrival. Gideon had heard of the Master Sergeant during his time with Task Force Omega. The man lived and breathed his job. Some stories coming out of the barracks in those days said they never saw him outside of his combat armor. Gideon tried to fathom such a man, but simply shook his head and moved on. Gideon couldn't fault dedication, it meant they would get the job done when the time came or die trying.

Gideon at last put down the PADD and noticed his neglected drink was now cold. He had lost himself in reading once again. Popping his shoulders and back as he stretched in his chair, he then stood and straightened his uniform.

Gideon strode to his ready room door, and on to gather more strength for Mercury Squadron..... hopefully.
Gideon paced his new station quarters slowly. He was almost beside himself. Having just spoken with Admiral Yanishev to plead his case, Gideon had been turned aside and even admonished. The Brass was none to happy to hear of the condition of "their" new ship as it had arrived at Argo. To say the Sentinel was banged up would be a massive understatement.

For a ship that had been on duty for six months, she looked more like she had been reconditioned from a scrap heap dating back to the days of the constitution classes. The hull was badly scored by a variety of energy weapons. There were several ad-hoc patched plated areas on the outer hull where boarding parties had latched on and breached the outer surface to gain access. A long scar ran along the lower hull where a Tal Shiar Mogai had tried to ram the Sentinel as a last ditch effort. The new cutting edge subspace comm array sat offline because of stress fractures in the mounting girders causing personnel to be unsafe while operating it. Half of the fighter compliment was disabled or gone all together. In short, the ship was a mess.

The fact that Gideon had saved or assisted innumerable colonies and merchants in some of the most dangerous sections of space seemed to fall on deaf ears. The fact that Gideon and crew had taken extremely low losses, even having faced Tal Shiar, Breen, Hirogen, Pirates, Elachi and even one run in with a small ship of Undine seemed not to matter. The admiral was furious with the seeming state of disrepair of one of the newest ships in the fleet.

Even after several pleas to command as well as speaking with some old friends on Earth, the decision was final. The Sentinel was to carry a skeleton crew and report to ESD for reassignment. Gideon and his senior staff were to remain aboard Outpost Argo for further instructions.
They had done it to him again. Gideon knew he had pushed the ship and crew to it's limits. Perhaps even beyond. So many lives out there depended on someone standing up for them against tyrants and killers. Gideon expected no more of his crew than he would do himself. But once again they were jerking his ship out from under him while he was trying to do some good in the Galaxy. Gideon was furious.

Gideon slowly took off his MACO armor for the first time in what seemed like forever. The grey singlet underneath showing wear and tear. He let his anger melt away as he stepped into the sonic shower. He thought of all the times they had saved innocents in the last six months, how many times he had watched his crew perform to exceed his every expectation.
He replaced his anger with pride and satisfaction. Perhaps the Sentinel was being taken from him, but in the time they had together, that ship and his crew had accomplished much to try and stabilize and defend the final frontier. And wherever they ended up, or whatever ship they were on, they would boldly go fourth to keep the peace and protect the people who needed it most.
Gideon woke in his dark quarters aboard the habitat ring. He never slept right when he wasn't on a ship. It felt wrong to him to be so stationary... not feel the thrum of the core or the gentle vibrations of passing through space.

Gideon grumpily looked towards the timepiece he had brought from the Sentinel. Of course he had woken up three minutes before his alarm... Gideon contemplated throwing something at it. After a brief survey around himself, he discovered there was a shortage of objects to launch at the offending chronometer.

He groggily rose from his bed. Walking like one of the old Earth holo vid monsters he had seen as a kid. Gideon half stumbled into the bathroom and splashed water on his face. He looked into the mirror and reached for his old fashioned style razor. He stopped cold as he peered at himself. How long had this been going on and he didn't notice? Gideon finished his morning rituals scarcely taking his eyes off of what he saw in the mirror. As he got dressed, Gideon looked over his whole body. Hands, chest, legs to toes... and they confirmed his fears.

"Well damn it all. Spose it was good while it lasted...."