Chapter 6 - Resolution

Makoto stood in shock next to the Vulcan military official. She was down on the planet with a team of about fifty of the Sisko’s Marine complement. They were going through the rubble that once was the Let'theiri Village.

Vulcan emergency crews were still fighting fires while the marines checked the rubble. Occasionally one would call out and several others would run over.

So far, they have found sixteen survivors and two dead. That left twenty-six unaccounted for.

“I can’t believe I did this,” Makoto stated.

The Vulcan official, Commander Sir’nus turned to her.

“You didn’t do this.”

“Yeah, I did,” she argued. “I fired the torpedo.”

“Maybe so,” He stated as he turned and looked at the crater that was caused by the torpedo’s impact, “but you did it to save many more lives. It was the logical thing to do.”

Makoto shook her head. “There could be almost thirty dead because of that.”

“And there could have been thirty thousand dead if you hadn’t.”

Makoto took little solace in that.

“Besides,” Sir’nus said. “It’s a holy week for the people of this village. I think most of the ones we cannot find are at the temple several kilometers north of here.”

Makoto hoped that was the case. She smiled as she watched her marines pull an older man out of the rubble of his house. He was able to stand under his own power. It looked like he was going to be okay.

“I still don’t understand why I missed. We were less than 10,000 meters from them.”

Sir’nus raised an eyebrow. “Our upper atmosphere is very rough. Without a lock, it wouldn’t be hard for the winds to throw off the trajectory of the torpedo.”

Makoto nodded and began to walk towards a group of marines to help them search. Sir’nus stood and surveyed the damage for another few seconds before following suit.

Ranma sat in the conference room looking out the window. The view was not all that great. The Sisko had been moved to the Vulcan shipyard orbiting Vulcan’s second moon. Ranma could only see the giant metal arms holding the ship in place. 

It really didn’t matter though. In less than a minute Ranma would be in the second worse position that he had been in this week - the receiving end of Admiral Larson.

Nothing had gone well on this mission.

Ranma knew it. Ranma also knew what he had done that was wrong. Even though it was not wrong to him, it did violate his mission protocol and he would be reprimanded for it.

The conference room doors opened, and Admiral Larson walked in. He was followed by Genma and an unknown Vulcan female admiral.

Ranma stood. The three Admirals took their seats across from Ranma. Ranma sat down and looked at his father.

Genma seemed to silently tell Ranma that he understood what Ranma did and that he wouldn’t judge him on it.

Ranma felt some comfort that at least his father supported him.

“Good afternoon, Captain,” Larson said.

“Afternoon, Sir,” Ranma replied.

“This is Admiral Vocheck,” Larson stated, motioning towards the Vulcan. “She’s in command of the Federation Land Defense Corps assigned to Vulcan.”

Ranma turned to her and nodded a greeting. She returned his greeting with a nod of her own and a partial smile.

“I apologize for making you wait,” Larson continued. “but your report was very thorough and took me a while to read.”

Ranma nodded. “I wanted to make sure you had all the information before the debriefing.”

Larson nodded. “Thank you.”

There was a short pause before Larson continued.

“We have several problems that we need to discuss. The biggest one being your disregard for the primary objective of the mission.

“The result of that is four dead Vulcan’s and unknown damage to the planet’s weather cycles. The explosion in the troposphere has already had some effect, causing rain where there is not usually any rain. There have been cases of some flash flooding. The LDC is going to be busy evacuating these areas for a while.”

Larson hung his head for a moment.

“This really is my fault. I should have known that no matter how good someone is putting them in an emotional situation like this would have caused more harm than good.”

“No, sir,” Ranma stated. “You are not to blame. I thought I could do the mission. I had a shot to destroy the ship, and I didn’t. I broke down and I screwed up. The worst thing about it all is that I believe that I have damaged the faith you had in me.”

Larson looked up at Ranma. He did admire his honor. He was not one to allow the buck to be passed. If it was his fault, he took it like a man.

“How I feel about you right now is irrelevant,” Larson glumly stated. “What does matter is that the members of the Federation Council are calling for your termination.”

Ranma felt a lump build up in his throat.

“I understand.”

“I’m not going to terminate you,” Larson added.

Ranma felt the lump being pushed away by cautious optimism.

“I’ve had to consider several things. First, there must be a consequence for what’s happened here. A consequence for allowing the Nerima to get as far as it did.

“And of course, a consequence for the massive damage caused to your ship. I’ve talked to Commander Aino and several other officers on the bridge at the time, but I want to hear it from you.”

Larson looked right at Ranma.

“Why did you lower the ship’s shields in the atmosphere?”

There was no way out of this one. No way to sugarcoat the thought process behind his reasoning. Nothing to do but just be as blunt as possible.

“Sir, Chief Warrant Officer Kio Yuki was still onboard the Nerima. She was not retrieved when we beamed back the rest of the team because she was in one of the containers. She was working on a way to scan through the containers so that they could find the hostages.

“Commander Hino also said we may have been able to use the results of that to transport the explosives out of the ship.”

Ranma paused, took a deep breath, and continued.

“After all she had done – all she was doing – I just couldn’t let her die.”

“Even though it could have cost the lives of over three hundred people on board the Sisko?”

Ranma had no answer for that. 

Larson looked at his PADD. “There is something else. You relieved your first officer from duty in the middle of a mission. Do you honestly think this was a good idea?”

Ranma shifted uncomfortably. “Commander Shampoo was sick.”

Larson raised an eyebrow. “Would you care to elaborate?”

“No sir, not at this time,” Ranma replied, looking around the room. “However, it was an issue affecting the well-being of not only Commander Shampoo, but the ship as a whole and needed to be dealt with, regardless of the circumstances.”

“Very well. I’ll speak with you about it later,” Larson stated as he began to go over his PADD some more.

“Here is what is going to happen, Captain. Starfleet Command is assembling an investigation committee to investigate everything that happened surrounding this incident. While I have no plans on terminating you, I will most likely have to go with whatever the committee recommends.”

“I understand.”

“But for now, you’re relieved of command till the investigation is complete.”

“Admiral,” Genma spoke up for the first time.

“Genma, I know he’s your son, but as I said, there have to be consequences,” Larson said, slowly turning to the elder Saotome.

“I understand that,” Genma stated. “I just want to make sure that you consider that everything my son has done has been honorable. Everything he has done has been morally right, even though it may not have been right for the mission.

“He was also able to destroy the other ship which could have been a huge threat to security in the region.”

Genma looked to Ranma, then back to Larson. “He’s a good officer and a good person. You know this. I just want you to take that into consideration when the investigating committee hands you a recommendation.”

“I have to concur,” Admiral Vocheck piped up. “I’ve read his service record. And while I would agree with you that he allowed his emotions to get in the way of the mission, he didn’t do anything that he did not think was the right thing to do.”

Both Larson and Ranma were in shock. It is not a common occurrence that a Vulcan comes to the defense of a human – especially considering that Ranma’s emotions almost dealt a huge blow to her homeworld.

Larson nodded. “We should have the results in a couple of weeks. But until then, I must insist that Captain Saotome is relieved of command.”

Genma was about to protest again, but Ranma stopped him.

“I agree, Admiral,” Ranma stated. He hit his communicator.

“Saotome to Aino.”

“Aino here,” Minako’s voice replied.

“Please come into the conference room.”

“Aye,” She replied.

Ranma sighed. “Commander Shampoo is not ready to resume her job yet,” he explained. “Commander Aino is ready for this.”

Larson nodded as Minako walked into the room. 

“Admirals,” she nodded.

“Commander,” Ranma stated. “Computer, transfer command codes to Lt. Commander Minako Aino – authorization 3-4-2-6-Alpha-Echo-Charlie 9.”

“Codes transferred,” The computer responded.

Minako looked dumbfounded. “What’s going on?”

Ranma stood. “I’ve been relieved of command while an investigation is conducted. It’s your ship now.”

Minako wasn’t sure what to say. She wanted her own ship, but not this way.

She turned to Admiral Larson. “Sir, I don’t think this is necessary.”

“Commander,” Ranma said. “It’s okay.”

Minako grudgingly accepted what Ranma said. “Shouldn’t command go to Commander Shampoo?”

“Shampoo is sick,” Ranma sadly stated. “It’s going to be a while before she can come back on duty.”

Minako nodded.

Ranma turned to Larson.

“Sir, I am sorry for the position I put you in.” Ranma then turned to Vocheck. “And I am sorry for almost putting you in an even worse situation.”

Vocheck simply smiled in acceptance to his apology. Larson stood.

“As soon as I get the results, I will be contacting you.”

“Understood, sir,” Ranma replied.

Larson and Vocheck stood. They said goodbye to both Ranma and Minako and left the room. Genma stood and looked to Minako.

“Would you give us a moment please, Commander,” Genma asked.

“Yes sir,” Minako replied and left the room.

“Thank you,” Ranma said to his father. “And I am sorry that I let you down.”

Genma shook his head. “Son, you didn’t let me down. Regardless of what we say and do to each other, I am proud of you. You constantly do things to make me even more proud of you.

“And no matter what, you are my son. Ranma Saotome. A man among men.”

Genma grabbed his son and gave him a huge hug. Ranma returned the hug and smiled.

“I have some free time. You going to be able to stick around?”

Genma smiled but shook his head. “No, I have to return to Earth. But I will be in touch.”

Ranma nodded and Genma walked out of the room.

Ranma then walked over to the windows and looked out. After a few moments, he sighed and left the room.

<Nifty Star Trek Door Bell Sound>

Nabiki looked up from the PADD she was reading.

“Come in.”

The doors slid open and Akane walked in. She smiled at her sister.

“How are you feeling?” Akane asked.

“I’m good. Still having some problems sleeping though.”

Akane reached into her pocket and pulled out a hypospray and six cartridges. She set them on the table.

“This will help you get to sleep. When you run out and you are still having problems sleeping, let me know and I can get you something else.”

Nabiki set down the PADD and looked at the cartridges. She then looked up to Akane and sighed.

“I think it’s going to be a long time before I am going to be able to sleep well again.”

Akane nodded. She had been kidnapped enough to understand exactly what Nabiki was going through. She put her hand on her sister’s shoulder.

Kasumi walked into the room and smiled at Akane.

“I thought I heard your voice,” she grinned.

Akane walked over and hugged Kasumi. 

Things were very strange. Kasumi seemed to be as calm as a rock. She hadn’t had any problem sleeping. She still had her cheerful demeanor. She seemed just like normal.

Nabiki, on the other hand, was not. She was having problems sleeping and when she could sleep, she was waking up from nightmares. She was far quieter and not as cynical.

She did not even seem to be that concerned about getting back to her business.

Akane was worried about her.

“I hear that we won’t be going anywhere anytime soon,” Nabiki said. Akane nodded.

“Yeah, we don’t have any engines right now.”

“They were damaged in the explosion?” Kasumi asked.

Akane somewhat chuckled. “They were blown clean off.”

Nabiki raised an eyebrow, but then returned to her reading.

“Good. I’m in no hurry to get back to Frenginor anyway.”

Kasumi could also see the change in her sister. It was worrying her too. But Nabiki was a very private person. Trying to get her to talk about what she was going through would be a long, difficult task.

<Insert nifty Star Trek Doorbell Sound Here>

Kasumi turned to the door.

“Who is it?”

“Ranma,” the voice called from the other side of the door.

“Come in,” Kasumi called back.

Ranma walked in and was met by looks of shock.

Ranma was wearing his red silk Chinese shirt and black pants. Ranma shrugged off the looks and smiled.

“Since you didn’t get a chance to have breakfast with us at DS9, I was thinking we could go now?”

Nabiki set down the PADD and stood.

“Thank you, Ranma. But I think I am going to try and get some sleep,” Nabiki smiled at her brother-in-law. She walked up to him and gave him a hug. Ranma returned the embrace as Nabiki kissed him on the cheek.

“Thank you,” she softly said.

Nabiki pulled away from Ranma and looked at the pair.

“You are the most adorable couple in all the Federation,” she smiled. “Let’s plan on something tomorrow, if you’ve got time.”

Ranma nodded. He had all the time in the world right now. Nabiki hugged Akane and grabbed one of the hypos. She then walked into the sleeping area of the living quarters. Kasumi watched her with concern, and then turned to Ranma and Akane.

“I really better stay with her.”

Ranma and Akane nodded in understanding. Kasumi smiled and walked into the room after Nabiki.

Ranma grabbed Akane’s arm and started to lead her out.

“Shall we?”

Akane just nodded as Ranma led her out of the deck three guest quarters and down the corridor. They arrived at the turbolift and stepped in.

Akane couldn’t take it anymore and finally had to ask.

“Why aren’t you dressed?”

Ranma looked down at her.

“Computer, pause,” he ordered. The computer complied and halted the lift.

“I’ve been suspended from duty until an investigation is complete.”

“WHAT?” Akane screamed.

“It’s okay,” Ranma said.

“No, it’s not,” Akane fumed. “You saved two lives and stopped those ships! They don’t have the right!”

Ranma shook his head.

“I did the wrong thing, Akane. When we had the chance back there with the Nerima – after the NSO teams had returned. I should have destroyed that ship,” Ranma’s voice was breaking slightly.

Akane looked at Ranma sadly. “But you didn’t know if Nabiki and Kasumi were safe.”

Ranma nodded. “I know. And because of that, I froze.”

Ranma walked to the wall of the lift and slid to the floor. He held his knees and continued.

“My job was to destroy that ship and make sure it didn’t complete its mission even if it meant losing Nabiki and Kasumi.

“But I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t kill them, and it could have meant the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Vulcans.”

Akane looked at Ranma with an emotion that she rarely felt for him. Pity.

“And then again I let my emotions get in the way of good judgment again. I lowered the shields in the atmosphere and could have killed all of us.”

Ranma was on the verge of tears as he continued.

“All because of you,” he stated as a tear came streaming down his face.

“Me?” Akane asked.

“I love you so much, Akane. All that matters to me is that you are safe. That I protect you from anything that might hurt you, physically and emotionally.”

“R-Ranma,” Akane stuttered, nearly crying herself. As long as she had known Ranma she had never seen this level of emotion from him. Both what he was saying and how he was saying it was drilling into her.

“I just don’t think I can do that and my job.”

Akane stared at Ranma. *What is he saying?* she thought.

“I think I am going to resign.”

“Ranma, no,” Akane stated, dropping to her knees next to Ranma. The emotions in her were in conflict. She was upset that Ranma would throw his career away for her but also relieved that he chose her.

“Ranma, I am strong. I can handle some pain. Yes, it will hurt for a while, but like all pain, it will eventually go away.”

“I don’t want to see you hurting at all,” Ranma said, staring into Akane’s dark eyes.

“Then don’t quit. You don’t understand how much it will hurt me to know that you gave up on this – on everything – just because of me.”

Akane grabbed Ranma and held him in an embrace.

“All you have worked for, all you have done,” Akane paused. “All we’ve done. Don’t throw it away.”

Ranma looked to Akane. The pair kissed for a good minute. Once they were done, they stood, adjusted themselves, continued their way to the mess hall.

“Good job, Lieutenant,” Minako grinned.

Ryouga grinned back. “Thank you, ‘Captain’.”

The pair giggled for a moment. Ryouga lay resting his head on Minako’s stomach, using his finger to gently play with her belly button. Minako giggled some more.

“Stop that!” Minako playfully swatted at his hand. “I’m ticklish.”

Ryouga raised an eyebrow. “Are you now?” 

Minako screamed as Ryouga began to tickle her all over. The couple laughed and played for a while. After a few moments though Ryouga stopped and rolled over in Minako’s bed. He looked to the ceiling and sighed.

“What’s wrong?” Minako asked.

Ryouga turned slightly to look at Minako.

“I have a problem.”

Minako looked back at him.

“What is it?”

Ryouga took in a deep breath.

“I think I’m falling in love with you.”

Minako smiled. She really was not that shocked. She had noticed that since the two of them had returned from DS9 Ryouga was acting differently. He was being more affectionate. He was trying to spend more time with her – and not just for sex. 

“That’s sweet,” Minako stated.

Ryouga sat up, a look of shock splattered on his face.

“That’s sweet?” He asked.

Minako sat up too and looked at him.


Ryouga shook his head. This was not the response that he was hoping for. 

“That’s a bit open-ended, don’t you think?” Ryouga asked.

Minako looked at him a bit confused.

“What? Do you want me to tell you that I am falling in love with you too?”

Ryouga nodded. “That would be ideal, yeah.”

Minako sighed and leaned back against the head of the bed. “I can’t tell you that.” 

Ryouga whimpered.

“Ryouga, I don’t know if I am falling in love with you. I mean, honestly, we do not even know each other. Besides, we have a good thing right now. I don’t know if it would be such a good idea to bring emotions into it.”

Ryouga’s eyes went wide. “Good thing?” He asked. “So, I am to ever be nothing more than a booty call?”

“What?” Minako asked. “Booty call? No! You’re more important to me than that, and I like spending time with you. But I just don’t know if I am ready to fall in love with you.”

Ryouga nodded and slid out of the bed. He quickly got dressed over Minako’s objections.

“Where are you going?” She asked him.

“I just have things I need to get done,” he lied. Once he was dressed, he walked over and kissed her on the cheek.

“Give me a call later if you want,” he told her.

Minako nodded and watched him walk out of the room. She heard the door slide open and closed.

“Damn it,” she grumbled.

Ryouga walked down the corridor and into the turbolift. 

“Lounge,” he ordered.

The lift began to move and Ryouga began to shake away the tears that were trying to form in his eyes.

“Damn it,” he cursed.

Kio giggled slightly as she read the letter from her mother. Her mother had such a strange sense of humor. It was nice though. No matter what happened, no matter how glum her mood was, if she had a letter from her mother, she knew she would be laughing soon.

A doctor walked up to the sickbay bed that Kio was lying on and looked at her vitals. He smiled at Kio who was still busy reading and giggling.

“Glad to see you’re feeling better,” the doctor said.

Kio looked up at him and set the PADD down.

“Not really,” she told him. “Every time I laugh it hurts like hell. But it’s not something I can control. My mother thinks she’s the next Jerry Seinfeld.”

The doctor smiled at her.

“Your blood pressure seems to have stabilized. I would venture to say that at this rate we should be able to get you out of here within a week.”

“Well, that’s good,” Kio acknowledged. 

The doctor squeezed her shoulder in a loving, doctor-ish way and walked off to another patient. 

Kio resumed her reading when the sickbay doors opened. In walked Schaefer, Simpson, and Rei. They all smiled at Kio. Rei walked over to speak with the doctor as Schaefer and Simpson walked to Kio’s bed. 

Simpson was carrying some flowers and Schaefer was carrying some balloons. On the balloons it said, ‘Get Well Soon!’.

“Hi guys,” Kio smiled.

Both Schaefer and Simpson smiled and hugged Kio. Schaefer hugged her a little too hard and Kio grunted.

“Oh, sorry Kio,” Schaefer apologized.

Kio smiled. “It’s okay. If I’m going to get hurt, I can’t think of a better way.”

The trio chatted for a while, as Rei watched and smiled. This continued for about ten minutes. Finally, Schaefer remembered that Rei was with them and wrapped up their conversation.

“We should get going. We’ll be back to see you later though,” Schaefer told Kio.

Kio smiled. Simpson gave her another hug. So did Schaefer. When he leaned over to hug her though, Kio leaned up and kissed him on the cheek.

“Tony, thanks,” she said softly.

Schaefer ran his hand through Kio’s hair and smiled at her.

“I’ll be back.”

Kio nodded and the two men walked out. Rei stepped up to Kio and smiled at her.

“How are you feeling, Chief?” She asked.

Kio smiled. “Like hell, Commander.”

Rei nodded and pulled up a stool so that she could sit next to Kio.

“I just wanted to tell you that I’m very proud of what you did.” Rei started. “When we fired on the ship, we missed. If you hadn’t caused that explosion, it would be very likely that several hundred thousand Vulcans would have been killed.”

Kio nodded. “I just wish someone would have told me that Commander Shelton had beamed the hostages off before I climbed into that container.”

Rei chuckled. “What are the odds?”

Kio chuckled in return but groaned as the pain in her midsection shot through her.

“You okay?” Rei asked, concerned.

“Yeah. Just have some problems in there right now,” Kio said, pointing to her abdomen. “Vulcans can kick really fucking hard. It’s slowly healing, though.”

“Yeah,” Rei agreed. “The doctor said that you might get to leave within the week and return to duty in a month or so.”

Kio’s face went neutral. “Yeah, about that.”

Rei’s face also shifted expressions. She really did want Kio to stay on the team. But she knew that she already wanted to leave, and the last situation that Kio was in would probably be a big help in making that decision.

“You know how I said that I didn’t want to be in NSO anymore?”

Rei nodded.

“I’d appreciate it if you would disregard that.”

Rei smiled. “I was really hoping that you would make that decision.”

Kio nodded. “Things are bigger than me. I still don’t know if I really am team leader material, but I want to stay in the group.”

“Chief, I will admit that I had some concerns about your leadership when we started out. But now, after seeing you in action in a real situation I have no doubt that you are a leader. The only thing we need to do is to get you to see that.”

Rei stood and gave Kio a hug. 

“Hopefully over the next month, you will be able to see what I see, because I really don’t want to lose you as either a team member or a team leader.”

Kio nodded at Rei. 

“Get better soon,” Rei said as she turned and walked away.

Kio sighed and lied down completely in the bed. She watched the light above her for about fifteen minutes before she drifted off to sleep.

“KI-YA!” Shampoo screamed as her foot impacted the ninja she was fighting. The ninja fell to the ground, dead.

The computer chirped. “All enemies terminated.”

Shampoo grinned. “Computer, what time is it?”

“15:22.” The computer informed her.

“Hiya,” Shampoo grunted. She hit her communicator.

“Shampoo to Lieutenant Fuchs.”

“Go ahead, Commander,” Fuchs replied.

“Shampoo running late. Will be there in about 15 minutes.”

“Okay, see you then.”

Shampoo closed the communication.

“Computer, end program.”

The holodeck reverted to the black and grey grid as Shampoo walked out. She walked down the corridor and into a turbolift.

“Deck two.”

The lift complied and began to take her up to her quarters. Once she arrived at deck two, she quickly walked down the corridor and into her room.

Shampoo looked around. The place was cleaner than it had been but could still use some work. Lieutenant Fuchs had told her not to worry about that now. He had told her that anything that causes her stress was to be ignored.

Shampoo, being a neat freak, was stressed by the dirty room. But she ignored it to the best of her ability.

Shampoo quickly disrobed and jumped into the shower. She spent a couple of minutes in there cleaning herself. She had spent the last four hours in the holodeck killing ninjas. It was quite the workout. 

It was good for her though. When she was fighting, real hand-to-hand combat, it got her back into the mindset that she was in before she joined Starfleet. Before she came aboard the ship. Before Ranma left her. Before Mousse had died.

She had not had a drink in a week. There were times when it was very tough for her, especially when she was by herself.

But those times were few and far between.

Several of the Sisko’s bridge officers had been coming to her quarters to visit her. Lieutenant Jansen had taken her down to Vulcan a couple of times to show her the sights. They had gone to some restaurants and Shampoo was beginning to develop a taste for Vulcan food.

Lieutenant Amanda Jansen had been her rock.

Once Shampoo had gotten dressed, she quickly headed down to her scheduled appointment with Lt. Fuchs. She was a little surprised when she got there and found Lt. Jansen with Lt. Fuchs.

“Nihao, Amanda,” Shampoo smiled. “Should Shampoo come back later?”

Jeff shook his head.

“Lieutenant Jansen is here because she wanted to tell you something.”

Shampoo sat down on the couch. She looked to Jansen.

“Shampoo, I need you to know something,” Amanda looked extremely nervous. Shampoo was concerned. The last thing she needed was for her best friend to tell her that she was dying.

“I am the one who pushed Captain Saotome into relieving you from duty. I am the one who told him everything about your problem.”

Shampoo’s heart dropped. A flood of emotions rushed through her like a raging river through a paper mâché dam.

Pain. Betrayal. Anger. Gratitude. Love.

Gratitude? Love? What the hell?

It hit Shampoo hard. While ratting her out to the Captain seemed like a betrayal of trust on the surface, Shampoo realized that what Amanda did was not an act of treason. It was an act of compassion.

Shampoo acknowledged that she was sick, and Amanda’s forcing of Ranma’s hand forced her to get help.

Shampoo stood and looked to Amanda.

Amanda was on the verge of tears. She could see the hurt and betrayal in Shampoo’s eyes.

“I’m sorry,” Amanda said.

Shampoo shook her head and grabbed Amanda. She pulled her close in a tight embrace.

“Awww!” Fuchs mused.

“No be sorry, Amanda,” Shampoo cried. “You helped Shampoo.”

Shampoo sobbed a bit more before correcting her statement.

“You saved me.”

Amanda held Shampoo as well. Both women cried as they held each other. A tear even came to Jeff’s eye. 

Jeff realized this is why he loved this job. He got to help people with their problems and bring them closer together.

He just hoped that he had done the same for Ryouga and Minako.

Captain’s Personal Log – Stardate 60604.1 – It’s been a little over four weeks since this whole ordeal started. Today I get to find out how it ends.

The ship has been repaired for the most part. There is still another month’s worth of internal work that needs to be done on the engines, but the new nacelles have been attached.

The total fatality count on the planet has been finalized at six. I just thank God every day that most of the people in that village were on a pilgrimage otherwise things would have been a lot worse.

We are also incredibly lucky that the effects on the planet's weather patterns were only temporary and that the Vulcan authorities and the LDC were able to keep the population in the affected areas safe.

I have personally visited the families of everyone killed on the planet. And while I have faced no hostility towards me, I know deep down they blame and resent me for the deaths of their loved ones. I don’t blame them one bit for that.


Ranma sighed as he took in what he just recorded. After pausing for a few moments of reflection, he continued.


Both Kasumi and Nabiki will be departing in a couple of days. I was in shock when Akane told me that Nabiki was selling off her company. They both plan on returning with Mr. Tendo to California V.

Chief Warrant Officer Yuki has almost completely recovered from her injuries. She was given a citation from Starfleet Command and the Vulcan High Command. The rest of the NSO team has been issued citations from Starfleet Command as well.

Commander Aino has been handling command well. I know that if I am removed from duty permanently that the ship will be in good hands until Commander Shampoo resumes her duties.

Speaking of which, Shampoo has done very well according to Lt. Fuchs. She had a relapse a couple of weeks ago, but for the most part, has gone without drinking. Lt. Fuchs says that he will probably clear her for duty within the month if she doesn’t have another relapse.

She and Lt. Jansen have gotten very close, and I am sure that is a big reason why she’s done so well.

I have felt bad for Shampoo. She didn’t really have any friends on this ship, and while I and Akane try to be her friend, there will always be feelings and hostility towards myself and Akane that would keep a healthy relationship from developing.


Ranma looked up as Akane walked into the room. She smiled at him and pointed to her wrist to inform Ranma that it was time for them to go.

Ranma nodded and began to finish up.


As I record what could very well be my last log entry, I find myself not worried, not scared, but sad. This ship has been my life for the past eight months.

While it started out as what seemed like a bad joke, I have grown attached to her. To everyone crew member on board. 

And while I hope that Starfleet will allow me to remain her Captain, I will walk away with no regrets because I know that this ship, with me as her leader, has made a difference in the universe for the better.


“End recording,” Ranma ordered the computer.

It chirped in compliance and Ranma stood. He was wearing his formal dress uniform. He looked to Akane, who was also in her dress whites.

“Shall we?”

Akane nodded a tear in her eye.

She was amazed at how much this ship and this assignment had changed Ranma. Eight months ago, he was his old self. Insensitive. Tactless. Just a jerk.

But now he was a compassionate leader. Someone who cared for everyone on board his ship, as much as he cared for himself.

He was an even more honorable warrior, one who would sacrifice himself to save others that he didn’t even know.

And he was a husband. A loving, caring husband.

The pair walked out of their quarters and into the turbolift.

“Deck one,” Ranma ordered.

The lift quickly took them up one deck to the bridge. Ranma and Akane stepped out and paused. Ranma looked around, smiling at everyone who made eye contact with him.

Minako stood from the captain’s seat. She looked at him and smiled.


Ranma nodded to her.

“Commander. I want you to take care of her,” Ranma stated, softly.

Minako looked at him with a soft look.

“She’s your ship sir. I’m just babysitting.”

Ranma smiled and he and Akane walked into the conference room.

Already seated inside were Admiral Larson, Genma, and Admiral Vocheck. Also, there were another human man in formal civilian clothes, a Vulcan dressed as if he was in the Vulcan High Command, and a female human in Starfleet clothes. She had the rank of Captain.

“Captain,” Larson said as he stood. He looked to Akane. “Commander, this is a private meeting.”

“Admiral,” Ranma objected. “This could very well mark the end of my career. I humbly request that my wife be with me.”

Larson nodded and looked to the group.

“Any objections?”

The group all shook their heads.

“Very well. Have a seat please.”

Ranma and Akane sat down at the table, across from the group.

“Captain, you know Admiral Vocheck. Next to her is Captain Felicity O’Connor with Starfleet Internal Affairs. Next to her is Zack Young, head of the investigation committee and a member of the Federation Council, and finally Salek who is the representative for this investigation from the Vulcan High Command.”

Ranma greeted all of them.

Captain O’Connor was the first to speak.

“Captain, it should be noted that your service record was taken into consideration in our investigation. Both Starfleet Command and the Federation Council hold you in the highest regard.”

“Thank you,” Ranma said.

“However, we cannot allow your good work to cloud our investigation into an extreme breach of protocol.”

O’Connor turned to Young, and he began to talk.

“Captain, because it is obvious, by your own admission even, that you allowed your personal feeling dictate your actions – even though the lives of thousands were at risk – the committee has no choice to recommend that you be removed from command and reduced in rank to Lt. Commander.”

O’Connor began to speak.

“Because of the high regard that you are held in, the Federation Council overwhelmingly voted to not have you discharged from service.”

Ranma nodded.

Salek began to speak. “The Vulcan High Command wanted a more severe punishment because of the damage caused by the errant torpedo as well. However, the military asked us to reject that recommendation.”

Ranma raised an eyebrow as Salek continued.

“They state that it was their inability to shoot down the torpedo that caused it to impact the surface, and that the Sisko’s intentions were not to cause damage and death.”

Salek seemed irritated at what he was saying. Salek did not agree with the position of the High Command, but how he felt was moot at this point.

“Because of that, we are asking the Federation to not take the torpedo damage into consideration when passing on judgment.”

“Duly noted,” Young stated as he began to enter some things into his PADD. He worked on it for a bit.

“I’m sending a message to the other committee members to see what their ruling will be.”

The group all waited for what seemed like an eternity. After what was actually five minutes, Young spoke up again.

“Taking into consideration the position of the Vulcan High Command, the following disciplinary measure is recommended.”

Ranma held his breath. Akane grabbed his hand under the table and held it tightly.

“The recommendation of the investigating committee is that Captain Ranma Saotome be relieved of command of the U.S.S. Benjamin Sisko and that he be demoted in rank to that of Commander.”

Akane squeezed Ranma’s hand. Ranma’s heart shuddered. He really didn’t realize how much the thought of losing his ship would hurt him.

But it did. It hurt a lot.

But as he felt Akane’s hand holding his, he realized that he lost it for her. He lost it saving her.

He realized that he had no regrets.

He realized that he would do it again without a second thought.

“Thank you,” Larson stated. The admiral stood up and walked to the window. He looked out into the Vulcan shipyard as he began to talk.

“I’ve been thinking about this day over the past month. I have been thinking about what I would have to do. I’ve read the reports a thousand times and every time I see the same thing.”

Larson turned around and looked at Ranma and Akane.

“I’m sorry, Captain. But I am going to have to follow the recommendation of the committee.”

Ranma lowered his head for a moment. His mind replayed everything that had happened to him since assuming command of the Sisko. Everything that he had been through. 

And now, just like that, it was all being taken away from him.

Ranma refused to allow the others in the room to see how he felt. He raised his head up and looked at each of them; a neutral expression drawn on his face.

Ranma inhaled deeply as he looked at his father. Genma looked saddened by the events unfolding in front of him. Ranma’s look though ordered his father to not feel sorry for him.

Worse had happened and he would be okay.

Ranma looked to Admiral Larson. 

“I understand sir.”

“I have decided that you will remain on the Sisko,” Larson continued. “You will assume the role of her executive officer, effective immediately. Upon being cleared for duty, Commander Shampoo will assume command of the ship.”

Larson walked back to his seat and sat down.

“In the meantime, Captain Karyn Walker will assume command of the ship.”

Ranma nodded softly.

Akane was close to tears when she finally decided to speak.


Larson looked up at Akane. Ranma looked at her as well.

“Yes, Commander?”

“You really should reconsider. Ranma has done more for this ship, and hell, for Starfleet in the past six months than most officers do in their entire careers. To just – destroy – everything he’s worked for like this is wrong!”

Young leaned forward about to speak, but Captain O’Connor stopped him. Larson eyed Akane for a moment.

“Commander,” He stated. “I am not blind to the accomplishments of Captain Saotome. In fact, I was the most vocal supporter of him to the committee. But you must understand what he did could have killed thousands. There needs to be consequences.”

“But-“ Akane began to protest. She was cut off by Ranma squeezing her hand and turning to her.

“He’s right,” Ranma stated.

“Ranma,” Akane whispered.

Ranma inhaled deeply once again and turned back to the group.

“Is there anything else?” Ranma asked.

“No,” Larson stated.

Ranma nodded and forced a weak smile. He stood up, as did Akane.

“Thank you, Admiral,” Ranma said to Larson.

Larson nodded, not really thinking he should be thanked for anything. 

Ranma turned and began to walk away but stopped after just a few steps. He turned back to the table.

Ranma reached up to his collar and pulled one of the four solid pips off his uniform. He placed it on the table. 

Ranma looked at it for a moment, before turning, taking Akane’s hand, and walking out of the conference room.

Within moments of walking out, Ranma was ambushed by Minako.

“Well?” She asked.

Ranma sighed and said nothing. Minako worriedly looked at Ranma. She then noticed something different about his uniform.




There was no fourth pip on his collar. She lowered her head.

“I’m sorry, sir.”

Ranma shook his head and patted Minako on the shoulder.

“It’s alright. It was a fair and just punishment.”

Minako shook her head.

“Who’s…?” She stammered.

“You are until Captain Walker arrives. And then she will only be in command until Shampoo is cleared for duty.”

Minako nodded. Ranma smiled at her.

“Everything will be fine.”

Ranma again patted her on the shoulder. He then took Akane’s hand, and the pair walked onto the waiting turbolift.


Back in the conference room, the group was gathering their things when Young turned to Larson.

“By the way, when are you going to schedule Commander Saotome’s court-martial?”

Larson turned to Young with a look of shock on his face. Genma also turned to Young with pretty much the same expression.

“Court-martial?” Larson asked. “The recommendation said nothing about a court-martial.”

Young shook his head. “Not for the incident with the Nerima. But for the bombing of the Vulcan village.”

“That was an accident,” Genma growled, moving towards Young. 

Larson quickly slid between the angry admiral and Young.

“The Vulcans said that we shouldn’t hold Ranma accountable for that,” Larson protested.

Salek looked up from his gathering.

“The military said that. The Vulcan High Command fully expects Commander Saotome to be reprimanded for his role in the deaths of six Vulcan citizens.”

Young nodded in agreement with his Vulcan counterpart.

“So, you can either schedule it with the JAG officer or I can do it.”

Larson shook his head.

“You don’t have the authority to do that.”

Young laughed as he began to walk towards the doorway.

“When it comes to keeping the Vulcans happy, I have the authority to do anything I want.”