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The Ballad of Johnathan Miller

Posted on Sun Jul 31st, 2022 @ 1:19pm by Lieutenant Commander Mark Johnson & Captain Akeno Misaki & Lieutenant Commander Jonathan Miller

Mission: Arista
Location: USS Wayfarer (NCC-72113), Sickbay, Deck 5
Timeline: Between "Thankyou" and "Final Goodbyes"

It was a fairly chilly Friday afternoon—late December of 2350, as Johnathan recalled. School had just let out for Winter Break, and he and Jen had decided that they would celebrate the occasion by heading down to Crissy Field Beach and watching the ice floes crash up against the shore. Winter Storm Collette (or was it Donovan, now that he thought about it?) had passed through the bay area earlier that week, so there were some pretty hefty chunks of ice swilling about in the pounding surf. And given the time of year, practically no one was in a hurry to visit Crissy Field, so the two of them basically had the beach to themselves and could talk about whatever stray thoughts crossed their mind.

And there was plenty to talk about; Christmas was just around the corner, so speculation was abound as to what mom and dad were getting them that year. There was also some discussion at length regarding a cute soccer player at school that Jen had her eye on; of course, after she caught her previous boyfriend snogging another girl, she was reasonably hesitant to be committing herself to another relationship until she got to know the guy better. They meandered through other topics ranging from their friend circles to their New Year’s resolutions for 2351. It was, by all accounts, a regular afternoon for John and his sister.

Suddenly, their peaceful stroll was interrupted by a large wave that crashed up against the shore, enveloping the two of them before they had a chance to get out of the way. Next think Johnathan remembered, he was lying face-down in the sand, drenched from head to toe and exposed to the frigid December air. As he picked himself up off the ground, he could hear Jen screaming somewhere in the distance. Craning his neck to get a better look, he was horrified to find his sister flailing frantically as she was tossed about by the pounding surf. And Jen was not a strong swimmer by any means; couple that with the conditions, and she’d practically be dead in a matter of minutes.

Panicking, Johnathan looked around the vicinity for someone who could help, only for him to realize the two of them were all alone. In desperation, Johnathan dived in after her, fighting his way through frostbite, the current ,and large chunks of ice that threatened to knock him out if he wasn’t careful. He didn’t know how, but by some miracle he managed to get his hand— now numb with the cold— around Jen’s coat, and slowly paddled back to shore with his free hand. Jen had already slipped into unconsciousness by the time he dragged her back onto dry land, and Johnathan, desperate to save his sister, began to perform chest compressions, pleading, begging for Jen to stick with him. He couldn’t recall how long he did this, as by now he was acting purely on instinct; the only thought that crossed his mind was Jen’s survival.

Right as he was losing the feeling in his fingers, Jen made a faint gurgling noise; with renewed hope, he intensified his efforts, until the gurgling became coughing. Jen reluctantly came back into consciousness, though by now she was too cold and exhausted to get back up on her feet. John was pretty exhausted himself, though he knew that if they continued to stay out here, the two of them would surely expire from the cold. So, hoisting Jen on his back, Johnathan made his way to Beach Street, where a waitress at the local Giradelli restaurant spotted them and ran over to help. The two of them were quickly ushered inside and placed in front of a heating unit, and were offered blankets and hot beverages while the manager went in the back to contact the authorities.

As he sat there, shivering pitifully and ever-aware of the looks he was getting from concerned patrons, he started to hear a muffled voice. He looked around him, though it didn’t appear to be coming from anyone in the vicinity. Perhaps he was so cold that he was starting to become delusional?

He heard it again, this time louder: “Doc, come quick! He’s coming to!

Suddenly, a bright light shone in his face, and the memory quickly faded away; he now found himself lying in the Wayfarer’s sickbay, surrounded by an entourage of concerned nurses.

“Please, give me space” Mark said to closing in the ensign that was looking at commander Miller.
“Good morning, Commander, how do you feel?” he asked in a reassuring voice while starting a quick medical scan from the biobed console and noting down in his PADD that all his vital parameters were well within the norm.

It was only at around this point that Johnathan began to observe a dull pain pervading throughout his body. it wasn't unbearable, per se, but moving around certainly didn't feel much better.

"Like shit," he groaned, trying to relax his posture somewhat.

Mark nodded “Commander, you’ve been hit by a grenade. You got transported to sickbay in critical conditions. We managed to stabilize you but we had to operate a surgery on your leg…” He explained trying to be calm as per his role “Now just stay calm and try to rest. The Captain is here as well”

Akeno who had been standing back stepped forward. "Hey sleepy head" she said in s soft tone. "Well, we're all still here... mostly" she said averting her gaze.

"The colonists..." Johnathan muttered, shifting his attention to Akeno. "Are they safe?"

"Yeah. We won" Akeno said softly. "However, we discovered that the Tyranians engineered something into their genetics" she told him. "I can tell you the details once you're feeling better"

Jonathan frowned. "Captain, with all due respect," he attempted to protest. "My health is the least of my concerns; I need to know if the colonists are going to be alright."

“Mr Miller..sir… we won” Johnson echoed his captain’s words “the colonists are free now” he added without getting into further details. “Now, please, you need to calm down and get some rest”

"Doctors and Captain Orders Jonathan" Akeno said simply as she gently placed a reassuring hand on his shoulder. "You're short of a right leg at the moment if you haven't already noticed" she told him softly. "I'm afraid its going to take a long time to get used to..."

"I'm short of a-?!"

It was only at this point that Johnathan realized that his right leg now terminated just above the knee. He stared in dumbfound silence, his brain trying to process this life-altering development. he spoke no words, but the look of devastation in his eyes spoke volumes.

Lt Johnson nodded "Yes Sir" he tried to be reassuring even if the news was all but that "You got hit by a granade and you got an emergency med-evac. You reached the sickbay in...critical...conditions. We feared you couldn't make it at one point." he stopped "your leg was blown away by the explosion. All we could do was to operate a surgery to stop the bleeding and take away the burnt and damaged part so you could use implant in the future" he concluded.

Jonathan laid back in his bio-bed and sighed. "So I guess this means I'm going into early retirement again?" he remarked in evident disappointment. "And after one mission, too? damnit, I'm such a failure..."

Akeno gripped his shoulder a little tighter. "Not at all" she said softly. "You did very well out there, and you saved a lot of people. This..." she indicated to the missing leg "..Is just another obstactle to overcome. I'm not saying its going to be easy, but it may take some time to get back on your feet... erm... quite literally" she said with a nervous smile. "You're not a failure Jonathan. And you don't need to retire, Starfleet medical can get a bionic leg for you I'm sure"

Johnathan tilted his head to one side. "I wish things were that easy," he lamented. "Did Captain Kidd ever tell you when I transferred aboard? I've never taken failure well; never have, never will. I used to serve on the McTaggart before I transferred here; and watching so many good men die, and being powerless to do anything about it... it was too much for me to handle at the time. Captain Kidd had to practically hunt me down and beg me to take this position, because he knows I wouldn't have accepted if I was just going to mope around and doubt myself..."

This sounded so unlike the Johnathan Miller Akeno knew; the Johnathan Miller who went about things with a smile, even in the worst of situations; a Johnathan Miller who was both loyal and eager to help, his own welfare be damned.

"I was once in a similar position" Akeno assured him. "You know I lost all of my family in the Dominion War. My parents were lost on the USS Pegasus when I was only young. I am all alone, but I persevered and here I am" she told him, she wasn't going to go deep into her own history as it still hurt. "Failure hurts, I know that more than anyone. But its part of being Human, its part of being alive. If no one ever failed, then we wouldn't be here right now. Because no one would have ever tried again"

Johnathan smiled, if somewhat sadly. "I think after everything we've been through these past few years... Starfleet could use more commanding officers like you, Akeno Misaki," he admitted. "Someone who's willing to listen and say that they understand, and who also endeavors to learn when they don't."

"Its more than just being a Commanding Officer" she said softly. "I see the job as something much more, something I need to tell you". She leant over close to him, levelling her mouth to his ear. "Its about being the leader of a community, every starship crew is a family..." she whispered so that only he could hear. Her true feelings showing in her voice, the fact that she indeed saw every member of her crew as her family as she had none of her own.

"Family..." Johnathan muttered, his mind flashing back to that beach in San Francisco, and how he had risked life and limb just to save his sister.

Akeno loosened her grip on the man and simply smiled. He understood now, all was going to be well in the long run. "If either of you need anything, I'll be up in my ready room" she said giving a friendly nod to the doctor before leaving the room.

The doctor nodded a goodbye to the captain and then turned towards Miller "I'll be just right there" he pointed to the CMO office in the middle of the Wayfarer's sickbay.

"If there's anything, just let me know. Otherwise...get some rest. I'll try to contact some of my friends in Starfleet medical for a suitable implant once we'll be underway towards home".
He tried to reassure him with a smile before turning and heading towards his office to take care of reports for the day.

Posting by (In Order Of Appearance):

Lieutenant Commander Johnathan Miller
Executive Officer, USS Wayfarer (NCC-72113)

Jennifer Miller
Officer, USS Oberon (Mentioned in Flashback)

Lieutenant Mark Johnson
Chief Medical Officer, USS Wayfarer (NCC-72113)

Captain Akeno Misaki
Commanding Officer, USS Wayfarer (NCC-72113)


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