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Posted on Wed Apr 25th, 2018 @ 4:56pm by Isabella Cerin

Mission: Refit and Relaxation
Location: Earth

Of all things, Izzy had not expected it to be this. The first tentative contacts with her family over subspace while still aboard the station after the lockdown had ended. The endless briefing and position papers she had read preparing for the meetings she had just endured, and the sessions themselves. And in the end, it was this that brought home the reality of the situation through her emotional walls; the sight of the glint of the light off a wall of an entirely different sort: The one she had to pass in the headquarters lobby to exit the building, a memorial engraved with the names of all diplomatic corps and Department of Galactic Affairs personnel who had died in the line of duty since the founding of the Federation. She had paid it no heed on entry, consumed in her mental preparations for the day's meetings. Now, however, the glint of light brought her notice to it, and to the fact that in typical bureaucratic efficiency, no one had yet to remove the newest name engraved (now incorrectly) there:


She froze, as if hit by a ton of bricks; unable to keep her mind from envisioning exactly the sort of scene which she knew would have played out back at its initial addition and unveiling....

------1 Year Ago------

The ceremony itself was breaking up; staff and guests mingling or slowly filing out; save for Ms. Cerin's next of kin, clustered as they were around their oldest member as she knelt on the polished marble floor. After a braze face overall throughout much of the event, she had collapsed there sobbing suddenly as a plaque and flags were presented to her family...And as her daughter had moved to support her and some others nearby had looked away uncomfortably, no one who knew her story did not at least somewhat feel the knife in their own heart, as well. Cerin Lyara had served the Bajoran diplomatic corps in the pre-Occupation era, and been caught far from home when the Cardassians invaded. She had seen her superiors at the consulate on Lissepia turned over to the Cardassians by the local government; escaped with her young child to seek Federation protection from a similar fate, and eked out a means to support them as a stranger in a strange land for decades, seeing her daughter go on to build a life in the Federation and a family. Saw the end of Cardassian rule of her homeworld 50 years later, and returned to take up a post helping to lead and rebuild it, but found that nearly all her family and friends there had perished in that time. She had seen Bajor begin to flourish once more, once to face the threat of the Dominion...and to survive that, as well; and retired to the green countryside and vibrant recovering cities she so loved, content that there were many on Bajor to succeed her; and a beloved grandchild on Earth who had followed in her footsteps. And now...Now, here, saw it spoken and recorded: Isabella had followed in her footsteps...But they had walked her to her death.


Finally, Izzy tore her eyes away with a shiver, brisk, unsteady steps as quickly as she could towards the exit, pale and hands shaking. She did not look back, except to impart a comment to no doubt perhaps confuse the guards as she exited: "I want that gone by the time I come back here tomorrow!"

She kept walking until she'd exited the compound entirely, standing in the street on the sun and leaning shakily up against a nearby tree, pale, and closed her eyes for a moment drawing a series of deep breaths before opening them again and setting a determined stride back towards the nearest public transporter terminal. This called for a drink. Probably several.


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