Fan Fiction /Labor Day 2012/Rider Part II

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The following is a short fiction depicting the memorial service for MGEN Rigel McBain.

Written by FADM. Christina Doane and MGEN Marc Easterly.

Stardate: 58576.71 Tue Apr 20 2382 09:00:00 (Terran Reckoning)

With no body for the upcoming memorial service, Commodore Hollifield and Colonel K'Rell asked the crew to share on paper any stories they would like to share about McBain. These were placed in a photon torpedo casing, which was overstuffed when closed.

The casket, with the accompanying bodyguard was taken to the planets surface by shuttle.

The memorial would be held at the Recruit Depot on Dorvan V, the Chapel seated a little over three thousand and made the perfect venue for the service.

As the Atendees filled the Chapel, a somber tune spilled out of the open Chapel doors and could be heard for a fair distance.

It was difficult to have time to go to every funeral for those who fell in the line of duty but the Coordinator of the Maquis Confederation would make the time for this one. Coordinator T'pek was a tall, statuesque, female Vulcan. How she came to be where she is, is a tale fraught with peril but solid on logic. It made sense for her to be here. Just as it made sense for her to stand nearby the empty casket of one of her top people. One of what she privately referred to as “One of the dozen most efficient and effective people I know.” and from her there was no higher praise. She was surrounded a minimum of the usual staff, in fact out of respect for this fallen warrior only her bodyguards surrounded her. The SSD agents stuck close as marines stood further out. Her eyes were on the casket, her face somber.

Hers was not the only somber face, there were many. One of them in a Marine Flag Officers Dress Uniform. Black, red and gold. Sword and salad bar in place. Not as tall as the Coordinator she was a solid, athletic looking Bajoran. Her familiar earring in its place as she looked pensively at the casket as one deep in a thought they didn't care for. General Trentin Anara, hadn't know McBain well but enough to respect him and she wasn't the type to respect easily. The fact she was actually wearing the thrice damned torture device known as 'Dress Blues' confirmed that. She came to a kind of seated attention with the others as the Chaplin did his thing.

At 09:00 hrs it began with an opening prayer from the Regiment Chaplain. After the supplication a pair of Marine Officers took their positions on the left stage. A young Marine Captain with a pretty face stood at the microphone and a middle aged Major sat down at the piano. His fingers danced across the keyboard and laid out a somber sound, the young woman’s voice filled the air with a haunting tune.

It seemed that every surviving member of the Light Horse was on hand in full dress, their Light Horse patches sewn on their sleeves upside down representing the units disgrace for the loss of their Commander in battle.

About two minutes into the performance the limber and cassionbearing the casket was led silently into the chapel. The Maquis flag covers the casket with the Regimental Colours of the Light Horse laid across the lower portion. The Cassion is escorted by ten Marines of the First Maquis Light Horse in full dress uniform (their patches worn the proper way), four of which carry rifles with fixed bayonets.

This was followed close behind by the Caparisoned Horse The horse, a white Clydesdale stallion around twenty two hands, was led by a Marine major bearing the patch of the Light Horse.

The horse bearing fine brown leather tack and saddle with latinum buckles and rings, in the stirrups, turned backwards rest black patent leather boots with roweless spurs made of latinum. On the saddle lays a patent leather gun belt with latinum buckles and inlays, in the holsters rest a Type 2 phaser and M4A4 semi-automatic and, a sheathed daqtagh.

As the cassion comes to a halt before the altar, the Marines silently take their positions around the casket and the bodyguards take their positions around the altar and bring their weapons to "Present Arms".

General Trentin eyed the grim faces of the bodyguard and knew that the weapons they carried would be loaded. This was symbolic of their "defending their Commander" even in death.

Silently the honor guard carried the casket to the altar and gently set it down. In unison they step back and slowly raise their hands and salute the casket then turn and, march silently away. As the song ends the armed Marine bodyguard slowly lower their weapons to the position of "attention".

The Coordinator observed the traditions solemnly, she knew the reasons for each one and the impact they would have on the attendees. She also knew the respect they showed and approved. Her eyes scanned the cathedral and came to rest on McBain's family who had traveled from Earth, his mother who looked surprisingly young was surrounded by the Generals siblings. One, a girl who looked barely old enough for the Starfleet Academy Cadet uniform she wore. Then her eyes came to rest on the young Vulcan woman, barely old enough to be called woman, who stood next to Mrs. McBain

Anara was moved like all the others, how could one not be? Though the somewhat irreverent thought flew through her head that that wasn't McBain's belt and he'd mock the sissy who carried it. She smiled to herself at a memory of him informing some new recruit that she should “Keep the shiny crap for inspections and boots were meant to be muddy and used...” when he caught the recruit trying to polish her boots on a bivouac.

The Regiments Chaplain, an old Irishman, Colonel Liam McClelland listed off McBain's achievements. His thick Irish brogue could be heard throughout the Chapel. He talked about McBain's service as a Non Commissioned Officer with Starfleet's Marines, his many awards and of his marriage to K'llara. He went into detail of McBain's exploits during the Dominion War and spoke of how he had lost his beloved K'llara and their children to the Cardassian and Jem Hadar sweep of the Badlands that took so many of the Maquis. He went on to say that "Wherever McBain ends up, be it Sto-Vo-Kor to be with K'llara then I hope that Kahless would let him in. I know for a fact that he was already planning to invade Hell so we know the Devil doesn't want him, don't we?" This brought laughter from all across the chapel. He continued with a serious expression "I remember the first time I met McBain, he had just received his commission as a Brigadier General. Well, I must confess it was a humbling experience for me. He wasn't the type to talk alot but, he was very polite and he kept calling me Sir. Now, it struck me funny that this lad, who had just been pinned a Brigadier would call me Sir so, I asked the damned fool, uh, apologies Mrs. McBain." He looked at the Generals mother and blushed as she smiled back and nodded. He smiled and said "Anyway, I asked him why he kept calling me Sir, and he said, if I don't call you Sir and my mother ever finds out, I'll have to answer to her." He paused a moment to remove his glasses and wipe away the moisture from his eyes with a handkerchief.

"Now Let me introduce a special speaker here and I'll shut up and stop blubbering like an old maid. Ladies and Gentlemen, I am proud to introduce the Coordinator of the Maquis Confederation, Coordinator T'Pel, Madame Coordinator?" He looked to T'Pel as applause filled the Chapel.

The Coordinator slowly stood and walked to the podium and shook McClelland's hand. When all was at peace again she stepped toward the head of the casket. Though she spoke softly her voice carried throughout the hall, “He was one of the most effective and efficient people I knew. If a mission was in his hands the odds that I would have concerns about its outcome were significantly less.” Her grey eyes roamed the hall for a moment, connecting with people. Her calming command presence felt. “I shall miss his advice, the kind I asked for and even the unasked for...” There were a few small smiles at that. Him being well known for his desire to make sure those who needed to know his thoughts knew them even if they may not wish to. She laid one hand on the coffin and said a Vulcan blessing before stepping back. She had served in uniform but it would not be her place to fold the flag this day.

Finished she gracefully walked back to her seat as the Honor Guard returned from their post out of sight of the mass of people. The Honor Guard took up their positions around the casket and slowly lifted the Maquis flag. A commanding voice could be heard from outside the Chapel and a volley of rifles fired, startling many of the civilians in attendance. Four other Marines stepped up to the casket and took up the Regimental Colours and slowly began to fold it as the rifles fired their second volley.

General Trentin watched as McBains mother and his Adjutant, a young female Gunnery Sergeant named Monaldi wept openly while the caskets Honor Guard folded the flag. Her eyes followed every move of the Honor Guards slow and methodical movements. The last Marine on the detail took the flag from his brothers and turned to the Marine Lieutenant General who stood nearby waiting for the flag. He saluted the General, who slowly returned it and accepted the flag. The rifles fired their third volley and after a few moments a Marine Lance Corporal quickly marched up to the General and crisply saluted, when the salute was returned he handed the General three of the brass casings from the rifle detail. The General slid the casings into the folded flag, turned and slowly marched over to Mrs. McBain and knelt. His low voice could be heard throughout the chapel as he solemnly spoke to the Generals mother, "On behalf of the Coordinator of the Maquis Confederation, the Commandant of the Marine Corps, and a grateful nation, please accept this flag as a symbol of our appreciation for your loved one's service to Country and Corps". Every heart broke as her voice caught in her throat as she thanked the General for the flag, smiled and wiped the tears from her face.

After a few moments two of the Marines who folded the Unit Colours walked over to Mrs. McBain and with tears in their eyes asked if she would please accept the Colours of the First Maquis Light Horse and their undying appreciation for her sons service as their Commanding Officer. She quickly nodded her acceptance, accepted the Colours then hugged both of the young men close and kissed each one on the cheek.

And the illogical thought that refused to leave Anara's brain kept looping. They had good evidence of his death but no body. She knew McBain well enough to treat him like an old comic book villian. She mostly accepted his death but there was this small, illogical, and instinctive part of her that would not believe it truly until she saw a body. She went through the motions wondering if death could truly take a man that it was joked of, who “played cards with death and took him to the cleaners...”

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