Then Karn steps forward, just enough to stand out from those around him, and raises both arms commanding attention.
“Brothers, Sisters, Warriors of the Ushra’Khan, we are stand once again in Unity Station!”
A rapturous cheer bursts from the crowd; shots are fired, drums beaten.
“It’s been a long two ... near three years since I last stood here, since I took a last, quick look back as we evacuated as the CVA dogs came for us.
“At that moment we set our will to one task – to return here one day, to drive the slaver back. To retake Unity.
“Strength and determination brought us through the long years in the wilderness.
“And my brothers, here we are!”
Again the crowd erupts, this time for minutes. Eventually Karn signals for attention again, and the hanger falls relatively silent. He notices for a moment the FTL feeds beaming his words to who knows where, ignores them, and goes on.
“Warriors, who would have predicted this? The slaver so weak, or allies so strong? Who could have seen this concordance of events that brought us here?”
“Xious!”, Karn calls across the hanger, “let it be known brother, that Ushra’Khan is forever in debt to your kin. Without the iron determination and inspiring courage of the Against All Authority fleets we would not be here. Without the brilliance of the vision of your commanders we would not be here.
“We could never ask for better allies, you know where to find us, if you need us just ask, a warriors debt is not forgotten.”
Karn raises his bottle again.
Once more the crowd cheers, glasses and bottles raised on high, and a chant rises out of the crowd like a living thing, like a war cry.
“TRIPLE A … TRIPLE A … TRIPLE A”
It goes on and on, the drums beating in rhythm to the chant, people swaying, leaping embracing.
After a time Karn finishes his bottle and smashes it against the hull of “Mon’tu” as if to end all that needs ending, and to set into motion all that is to come. Gradually the crowd falls silent again.
“Warriors, let this day go down in memory, for today is the day that marks the return of Ushra’Khan to Unity, and the day that the fire that has burned within all these years bursts forth to burn brighter than ever before.
“For, my brothers and sisters, that fire never went out!
“The fire of freedom cannot be extinguished.
“We go on; we go on for our people!
A mighty roar erupts from a thousand lips and seems to go on for ever. Gradually it coalesces into another war cry, another chant. Even Butterdog looks up from his maniacal typing at a holo-deck in the corner and adds his voice in unison.
All raise their right fists into the air in time with the shout:
"USHRA'KHAN … USHRA'KHAN … USHRA'KHAN"