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Blow Ye Redshirts Blow!

Posted on Tue Jan 4th, 2022 @ 2:56pm by 2nd Lieutenant Christian Rogers

Mission: Pre-Launch + Pre-Mission 1 Stories
Location: Messhall

Rogers turned the corner toward the mess hall, the lidded mug in his hand almost empty. He was on a round of the ship and instead of returning to the security area to make more tea, he’d decided to stop by the mess hall to refill his mug and perhaps grab some lunch.

He heard a sort of low grade pounding and - clapping? - as he approached the closed doors leading to the Mess. He stopped just before the doors, draining the last of the tea from his mug. As he stood there he heard voices raised in some sort of song. He wasn’t overly familiar with the tune but it seemed to be some sort of folk song. It had a flair that he remembered from shows when he was a younger child and then again in boot.

Stepping forward he allowed the doors to open. Then he stopped just inside.

He expected to find some of the enlisted getting up to some sort of shenanigans. What he didn’t expect to see were two men stomping on a long table against the far side of the room as they clapped out the tune.

Soon may the flagship come
Bring us Earl Grey Tea and Orion Rum
One day when the scannin is done,
Engage and boldly go!

What he most definitely did not expect to see were two of his own as the jackass fools causing the disturbance and stomping along the table. Two of his own dressed in their MACO/Security uniforms while the rest of the Mess watched on. His grip on his mug tightened as he took another few steps into the room, glancing around while still maintaining a focus on the two.

Chackton and Steinman. And there, the unmistakable large form of his unit sergeant watching the entire fiasco.

Before our foe had breached the hull,
The shields were raised and power at full,

they continued.

“Atten-hut!” he called out, not screaming but his voice raised enough to cut through the din. Brownie jumped to his feet immediately, looking toward Rogers with a prey animal caught in beacons look on his face. Steinman stopped but it took a few more moments before Chackton caught on but as soon as he saw Rogers he stiffened, the shanty dying immediately.

“You two get off that table,” he ordered as he allowed his gaze to sweep over all those around his table. He saw that it wasn’t just MACO there, but a few regular security as well. The mood in the room was suddenly quiet and tense. The others not involved in the display before him were still watching but now it was with fascinated curiosity.
Finally, Rogers locked his gaze on Sergeant Brownell, his fury at what he discovered plain and evident. Brownie wanted to look away but was too afraid to do so at the moment. “Sir-” he started but Rogers was only infuriated further by that single syllable.

“You all either have duty to get back to or you are confined to your quarters, now,” he said, lowering his voice but hardening it to steel. “This will be until further notice. Sergeant Brownell, my office, now.”

With that, he turned, the thought of refilling his mug and grabbing lunch completely wiped from his mind.

MACO/Asst SecChief Office

It took Sergeant Brownell a few minutes longer to arrive at the offices than Rogers, which was by design. Rogers needed the time to enter the office and settle a bit. His team! Making fools of themselves in front of half the ship! He understood there was a bit of foolishness to be expected from enlisted personnel, hell he got up to a bit of foolishness himself often enough. But that was in controlled environments - in Marine Country! Where it was just other Marines watching the debauchery. Not an entire Fleeter ship! And stomping around on table tops like some sort of cheap dive bar entertainment!

He hit the power on the electric kettle on a side table next to his desk. As long as he was back in the office, he might as well work on refilling his mug of tea. The irony of their song mentioning Earl Gray was lost on him at the moment. As he was sitting back in his desk chair, the chime for his office rang.

“Enter,” he ordered, terse.

Brownie entered, his tall, broad frame filling up the space before the desk. Yet, even though he stood at attention, formally announcing his presence as was ‘ordered’, he seemed diminished. Rogers leaned back in his chair and glared. “Explain what the hell I just saw in the Messhall,” he snapped, without raising his voice.

“Lieutenant,” Brownie said, his gaze on the wall before him, blissfully over Roger’s head and on the crossed baseball bats hanging there. He took a deep breath. “Several of the security team engaged in friendly…” he trailed off, not sure how to accurately describe what was going on. “They were put into groups when it came to duty schedules. Which included some training.” He took a deep breath. “One thing led to another, as groups of Marines usually do, some friendly,” he kept stressing that word to make sure that the lieutenant didn’t think that there was bad blood going on between the MACO and Security regulars, “banter was thrown about. Which led to shit-” he stopped himself and glanced at Rogers. The fury on his CO’s face hadn’t abated a single bit. “Some trash talking was thrown around by the groups and, well Chackton, Steinman, Everton and Fellini came in last in training.” Brownie didn’t want to mention that Everton and Fellini, both were consistently on the bottom end of qualifications. Honestly Brownie was proud of his two guys for partnering with them in the first place. Not just that but including them while they talked themselves up and how they’d place first in the qual scoring. Truth be told, it was Chackton and Steinman that started the entire fiasco. Which made it more ironic that they lost, but considering their partners, it was also predictable. But it also showed that the MACO and regular Security were getting along as Rogers wanted.

“What does that have to do with that asshattery in the Mess?” Rogers asked.

“Sir, you know how it is. Trash talking, competition and wagers. When they lost they had to do something that the other teams came up with. You know -” he stooped as Roger’s glare intensified at the familiarity. “The other teams came up with the idea that they had to perform in the Mess. They chose -”

“To make jackasses of themselves in front of the entire damn ship!?” Rogers burst. “And you thought this was acceptable behavior? For Security? For Marines!”

“No, sir!” Brownie said, shaking his head emphatically. “I tried to tell them not to do it, that they should come up with something else but…”

Rogers sat forward and pulled the tea tin off the shelf and placed it - hard - on the desk. “You’re telling me that not only did they put on that display but they disobeyed orders?”

Brownie sagged, slightly, “Well, no.”

“You didn’t make it an order?”

“No, Lieutenant,” he said.

“I’m sorry, remind me, Sergeant, were you not put into the position of Unit Sergeant just yesterday?”

“I was, sir,” Brownie answered, sure that he screwed up and would be disciplined pretty hard.

“Then I fail to understand why that display still happened over your orders otherwise.” Rogers leaned back in the chair, aware that he still hadn’t released the sergeant from his reporting position yet. He didn’t feel inclined to do so yet.

Brownie sighed. “I told them it wasn’t a good idea. I told them not to do it. Not as an order,” he hurried to add. “But everyone else was goading them on. Saying they agreed to the game and they couldn’t back out.” He stopped from adding that it seemed like most of the people were enjoying their performance.

“You told them and they didn’t listen?” Rogers asked. He was still upset by what he saw, but realized there was a bigger problem.

“They didn’t disobey any orders, Lieutenant.” Brownie answered, sure he was now getting the rest of the teams in trouble as well. “I did tell them it wasn’t a good idea to do, sir, I really did.”

Rogers pointed to one of the chairs across from his desk. They were armless by Roger’s insistence. While much of the furniture on a starship was standardized, due to the nature of their assignment and the change to uniforms, most standard chairs weren’t wide enough to fit a typical Marine in gear. Removing the arms allowed them to be used in such cases. “Sit down, Sergeant.”

To be continued…

Sergeant Brownell - Unit Sergeant, MACO, PNPC


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