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A daughter comes home to Daddy.
Then she had spent the hours between arriving back and now obtaining a new uniform, and staying in the sonic shower for as long as it took to remove the dirt and stink from the planet. And she also spent the time thinking. She supposed she was worried about the outcome. She had no idea how T'Varik would react to the contents. What if the Vulcan decided as a result of all this that Sasha was an unfit Squad Leader, and replaced her with Giles, or even kicked her out of the AWE Program all together?
Now at the party, she looked at the other Squad Leaders, to see if they were equally nervous. Of course not; Falok was as implacably Vulcan as ever, and Jared... well, when Jared wasn't flirting with some of the female cadets on Falok's squad, he was glowering in Sasha's direction, clearly still angry about the night before, though he seemed to have recovered from the punch she gave her. To the Seven Hells with him, she told herself. She was glad he hadn't been her first.
Falok had given a good, dry, professional report to the crowd, as had Jared, each receiving polite applause. Then it was Sasha's turn, and she fought to control her pulse as she reached the podium and connected her PADD to the display behind her for the multimedia evidence from her report. She looked out at her Squad, who were giving her signs of support - as did her father, standing beside Professor Gianopoulis. His pride was like the light of a nova.
She hoped this didn't disappoint him. "Good evening. I am Alpha Squad Leader Sasha Hrelle." Behind her, images of her crew appeared as she introduced each in turn. "My squad consists of Pilot and Second in Command Giles Arrington, Medical Specialist Eydiir Daughter-of-Kaas, Science Specialist Kitirik Abyss Zuinthinem Emijiz, Engineering Specialist Jonas Ostrow, Security Specialist Neraxis Nemm..." She paused, waiting for their reaction to the final image. "And Morale Officer Captain Fuzzybutt."
The crowd laughed, mostly, with a few looking around to see if it was okay to laugh. And it continued in that vein for the rest of the report, as she illustrated the achievements of her team, and their faults, while also providing the requisite scientific data on the flora and fauna and the remains of the alien structures. T'Varik and Falok stayed implacably Vulcan, of course, and the only one making an active attempt to appear negative was Jared, wearing a perpetual sneer and making Sasha wonder if Eydiir had made good on her threat to infect his crotch with a fungus.
She received an enthusiastic response when she finished and returned to her friends, and T'Varik took the podium and waited for silence and attention before proceeding. "Congratulations to all the cadets for their efforts in this exercise. You have provided informative and interesting reports, and there will be more detailed critiques sent to your individual stations.
There will also be letters of commendation on record for exceptional work for the following individuals: Engineering Specialist Yeager of Gamma Squad, for developing an integrated scanning technique to increase the range and accuracy of her squad's tricorders by 13%; Science Specialist Ingalls of Beta Squad, for his analysis of the geological formations with a focus on recent volcanic activity as the cause of the disappearance of the indigenous population; and Medical Specialist Daughter-of-Kaas of Alpha Squad, for her work identifying a potentially lethal pathogen within the local insect life, developing a treatment and alerting the other squads."
There was more applause, and slaps on the back for Eydiir, who tried her best to remain her usual stoic Capellan self and not look pleased... and only partly succeeded.
As the crowd settled again, T'Varik continued. "As for the competition for best report: the replicator credits are awarded to Cadet Falok and Gamma Squad."
Sasha looked over at the young Vulcan, who bowed slightly as his squad and everyone else applauded and cheered