A Chapter Closes

Posted April 12, 2021, 12:38 p.m. by Fleet Captain Ghubari Koraia (Outgoing CO) (Lindsay Bayes)

The hot sun beat down over the plains, baking the savannah grasses. Under the protective shade of the acacia tree she often found herself, Fleet Captain Ghubari Koraia lazed against the trunk with her eyes closed. Of course she really wasn’t on the Makonde Plain, and she really wasn’t relaxed against a tree. She was in her quarters, cross-legged on the floor and deep in meditation after taking her iboga infusion. She had received an important message from Starfleet Command that she needed to mull over and this was the best way for her to do so.

“I know you’re there,” Ghubari said, a smile slipping onto her face, eyes still closed.

Deft feet padded across the dirt soundlessly and Mshuri sat back on her haunches. “Of course you do, it’s your vision.”

“I’m also an empath.”

“Irrelevant in a vision. I’m no more real than the tree you’re leaning against.”

“True,” Ghubari said, opening her eyes.

“Well?” Mshuri prodded. “Are you going to take the position? Sounds like the perfect use of your skills and experience.”

She inhaled deeply, sighing her exhaled breath sound. “I’d have to leave the Athena. It’s my home.”

“Nonsense,” the animal form of her ancestral guide said. The lioness had replaced the leopard at a crucial part in her life. A visual sign of the internal changes Ghubari had gone through.

Ghubari quirked a lopsided smile. “Oh? How so?”

“Home is where you are.”

She laughed. “Yes, that is true. I guess what I mean is that this is where my family is.”

“Your parents aren’t here,” Mshuri countered.

In the ceaseless tally of points gained by the lioness, Ghubari understood and accepted that she would always be outmatched. She was decidedly okay with this. “Well, you have me there. And if I think about it, I have Konral, who is my partner in life, so home is wherever we are together.”

Casting her pale amber gaze across the plain, Ghubari felt the tension in her chest. “I’ll miss them all. I’ll miss this place.” She naturally was not referring to the Plains.

“You’d not be you if you didn’t.”

True again.

“It’s a good time though. If ever there was a time for me to make a change, it’s now. And it’s an incredible opportunity.” The chance to mentor and lead a team of elite officers under mostly classified circumstances was not only intriguing, but a lot of what she had been doing for the last decade as CO of the Athena. She had always considered her crew elite officers… well, most of them anyway.

Though she stayed in the meditation little longer, Mshuri was quiet on the matter knowing full well that Ghubari had already decided to accept the offer.

A conversation with Konral later and it was settled. They would leave together as quietly as Ghubari had arrived. The few farewells would be impromptu and hard but necessary. Stark, of course, being the one she was most loathe to leave behind. She suspected that if he ever wanted to join her on this new chapter, he’d simply just show up one day and that suited her just fine.

She sent a message to Jennifer, her new first officer she barely had a chance to get to know. She simply said she was leaving the Athena, that she believed in her and that the ship was in excellent hands. Command would explain more soon.

Then came the part she didn’t realize would be so hard: she sent a brief internal message to the crew.

=/\=To all crew of the Athena, I’m not one for big farewells so this will have to suffice. I’m being sent to a different assignment- one that I am strangely excited for. But leaving you all is rather difficult. Over the last ten years, we have built something rather extraordinary. Some of you were here before I arrived and some have joined my crew later. I am proud of each of you. Thank you for your endless dedication and strength of character. We have been asked over and over again to do the seeming impossible and I’ve never seen you falter. Remember that we are stronger together than as individuals and that so long as you hold on to the things we value most, and to each other, you can do anything. I wish you well. Being your captain has been the greatest honour of my career and my life. While it may be some time before our paths cross, I suspect this is not truly an end but a beginning. Koraia out.=/\=

Beginning to pack, Ghubari caught her reflection in the mirror at one point and studied the woman gazing at her. She was not the same woman with long braids who had arrived minus one leg and and with a new rank pip and huge need to prove her worth. Now she knew her worth was unassailable. Since that day she quietly beamed onto the ship and had attempted (and failed) to sneak aboard- thank you Stark- Ghubari had stood face to face with the Borg Queen, survived attacks from the Romulans, saved Betazed and nearby areas by helping to destroy an Omega particle, saved two universes and time itself. She was a champion of the Universe, a fighter who learned the value of internal surrender. She had her amputated leg grown back as a diplomatic gift. Their adventures were the stuff legends were made of and she didn’t regret one single moment. They had brought her Konral. And Stark. And brought her father into her life and repaired the tense relationship with her mother.

The mirror reflected a woman who had found wholeness through service and in accepting that she could create a sense of home and family wherever she was and not be seen as weak for it.

Ghubari smiled at the woman in the mirror. Yes, this was a new beginning.

Turn the page.
Begin a new chapter.
The story goes on.

~Fl. Captain Ghubari Koraia, Outgoing CO of the USS Athena

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