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For Heavy Tactical and Security Considerations - Interlude

Posted on Tue Aug 17th, 2021 @ 3:15pm by 2nd Lieutenant Christian Rogers & Petty Officer 2nd Class Corvus Hannah [Rogers]
Edited on on Thu Aug 19th, 2021 @ 5:50pm

Mission: Pre-Launch + Pre-Mission 1 Stories
Location: Utopia Planetia Starbase
Timeline: Following "For Heavy Tactical and Security Considerations Pt 1"

Rogers took a breath as he stood before the ten others and contemplated the contents of the PaDD. “Listen up,” he said again though none had said a word since the last time he spoke. “We’re being offered an assignment and, considering the nature of it, it’s one that I’m not going to accept for all of us. Each of you will have to make the choice for yourself if you want to take it or not.”

He looked at the grouped men, still on a adrenaline high from their recent baseball victory. They watched him as he tapped the PaDD against his thigh. “Okay, no beating around the bush. The assignment is confidential and classified. Anybody, anybody discusses this outside of our team will cause me to lose my cherub like demeanor.”

He saw several eye rolls at that statement. But, he knew these men, each one of them, and knew he didn’t need to threaten any further than that. If any of them were the type to talk loosely, he would have booted them from his team long ago.

“What’s the assignment?” Brownell asked, his huge frame somehow sandwiched against the window. He looked much too large and cumbersome sitting scrunched up against the window and facing him. Others murmered that they too wanted to know.

Rogers let out the breath he was holding. No doubt about it, he just needed to come out with it. “The Federation is staging a return to the Delta Quadrant,” he said. “They’re sending several Fleet ships and support craft. Because of the nature of the Federation’s last foray into Delta, they’re also making sure to take combat specialists along-”

“Hell YES! They need the Marines out there!” said Chakton. Rogers held up a hand to silence the others and a glance to Chakton warning him from interrupting again.

“In this case, they’re looking for MACO teams,” Rogers said, “so, Hannah, you’ll get to be Fleet again and the rest of us will see how that life is.” He said the last dryly and with barely noticeable sarcasm. “Which means, we’re not just there for combat missions, but ship side security as well. We’ll be supplementing security teams when not deployed.”

That was met with nods and shrugs. Long gone were the days when Marines and goldbacks were at odds with one another. It was a system that Rogers never understood and was inefficient and counterproductive. Even if the two services didn’t work on ending that ‘rivalry’, Rogers wouldn’t have had it in his command.

“What’s the problem?” Newton asked.

“They’ve been assigned to the area for seven years.”

Here Rogers waited while the others reacted, muttering and shaking their heads. Seven years? It was a long time, much longer than they ever considered assignments.

“Lieutenant,” Baldwin said, and Rogers was able to predict his concerns even without being telepathic. “I got the new baby at home and, seven years? I won’t ever get too see him grow up.”

“Understood, Baldwin. If it helps, Fleet is willing to allow family members to come along, even given positions on the command somewhere – civilians for civvies and Fleet for any family already serving. If you decide you want to go, you can bring that beautiful wife and baby of yours.” Rogers didn’t say that he hoped Baldwin would choose to bring his family and go on the mission. He hoped they all made that choice. “Additionally, we’re being offered to make a wish list of equipment we’d like to take with us.”

“Like that sweet new armor that they’re slowly rolling out?” Chakton asked, it remained a sore spot with him that their armor and equipment was two generations old while units that were, in his estimation, less accomplished than theirs was getting shiny new and top of the line equipment.

“Or those new heavy compression phaser rifles?” This came from Weidlan. He was as in love with weaponry as Chakton seemed to be with armor.

“I can bring Mel and the baby?” Baldwin asked again? He was one of the newer, younger members of the group – only recently making lance corporal rank. His wife became pregnant, stereotypically enough, on his first leave after basic training and gave birth a few months after Baldwin was rotated into the team.

“According to the Captain, you can. If you need it, you’ll get full authorization for comm time to talk it over with her. But we have a time limit on giving them our answer. End of the day.” It was a slight exagerration from what the Captain told him, but Rogers wanted to make sure to give enough notice and time for the team to be ready to go – especially if any of their equipment wish list was going to be fulfilled. He didn’t want Starfleet to shrug their shoulders and say “If only we had another day, we could have given it to you.”

“That’ll go for all of you, if need be,” he said.

“What about you, Lieutenant?” Newton asked. Rogers remained quiet for a few moments. Of all them, he worried most about Newton and where he was at mentally. Maybe this assignment would be exactly what he needed. Put a lot of distance between him and here. Or it could be what breaks him. Rogers wasn’t sure and because of that he wasn’t sure how he wanted Newton to answer the call. But the question was posed and all the others were waiting for his response.

“I’m going,” he said. Definite and decided. He made the decision just as soon as the assignment was offered. He had very little to keep him in the Alpha/Beta quadrants. With two possible exceptions, any family he had were right here in this room with him. “I think it would be a lifelong regret if I were to pass this up.”

The others looked at each other. He could see that his decision was affecting their own.

“The captain is waiting for us if there are other questions I can’t answer, or concerns I can’t address.”

“I want to talk with Mel,” Baldwin said, “it’ll be cutting it close to get her and the baby ready on time but if she’s willing…”

“Yeah,” Brownell said. “I don’t want to get reassigned so, if the team’s in, I’m in.”

“I’m in, if we get that new armor,” Chakton said. Weidlin threw a napkin at the back of his head as the others groaned at his one track mind.

“Maybe we should hear what the captain has to say,” Newton said, staring at Rogers. The sergeant was making sure to keep his thoughts blanked from any passive thoughts Rogers might ‘hear’. The others agreed that would be the best course of action before making any decisions.

“Roger that,” Rogers said. “Let’s take ten to finish lunch then we’ll convene in the situation room with the captain and hear him out.”

The others went back to lunch, but Hannah and Newton both got up and came over to him.

“I’m in,” Hannah said, “though, I hope it’s still this team, but I agree with you. So few of us have been to the Delta Quadrant. It’s why I joined Starfleet in the first place, to explore the galaxy. I can’t imagine not regretting if I said no.”

“Good man,” Rogers said, nodding to the young medic. He waited for him to step away and Newton to stand next to him.

I’m not certain, Newton thought, deliberately, despite knowing how much Rogers didn’t like using telepathy. But he wanted to have the conversation but didn’t want to have it with everyone else listening in. these past few months....

He didn’t need to say more, Rogers knew what he wanted to say but couldn’t. I know. And I don’t know if this is a good thing or not for you. But, I have faith in you and I depend on you. I want you to come with me but, I’ll understand if you don’t.

It’s not just you, Newton said. I’m not sure I can stay in that much longer. Not if I can’t... Again, even in the privacy of his thoughts he couldn’t finish what he had to say.

Rogers only nodded, not sure what else to say or do. He could only try to offer what support he could. “It’ll be our loss,” he whispered while also not able to say what he wanted to say. How he was worried, how he didn’t know what to say or do to help Newton with the pain he was fighting. All he could do was try to be there and try to help Newton whenever he could. But, he was also scared. Scared that he wasn’t doing enough to help him. Or not doing the hard things necessary to make sure he got the help he needed. He’d already broached the subject once and, though he didn’t completely believe Newton’s answer, he let it lie. But even now, he wasn’t sure he was doing the right thing by backing away from the subject.

Rogers waited until the others finished their meals, bussed their trays and left the area squared away before he led them to the situation room and the conversation with the Fleet captain.

NPCS

Various Enlisted Marines
Sgt. Thomas Newton, Sgt - Squad Leader/Unit XO

 

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