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Prepping to Prep to Wait

Posted on Mon Aug 22nd, 2022 @ 6:03pm by 2nd Lieutenant Christian Rogers
Edited on on Mon Aug 22nd, 2022 @ 7:24pm

Mission: Mission 1: A New World
Location: Security Briefing Room
Timeline: Following "Not a Lunch Date"

Lance Corporal Triss sat at the table in the briefing room. Corporal Chakton and Petty Officer Everton sat on the other side. The three were quiet as they stared at the table or walls, anywhere but each other. None of them knew exactly why they were called to speak with Rogers. Well, not Everton exactly but he was partnered with Chakton so they expected that he should be there as well.

They spoke only briefly after Sergeant Brownell left the room, stating they were to remain there until Rogers spoke with them. The main topic of that short conversation was “what did we do?” Whatever it was, it must have been serious since Rogers tended to let the unit sergeant deal with the less serious infractions. Which was usually to their benefit. Or so they thought until recently. Brownie wasn’t Newton but he seemed to be learning lately. The punishment Steinman and Chakton were going through was proof of that. Fellini and Everton were slightly better but still near the bottom of the pile when it came to decent security officers.

“Officer on deck,” Brownie called out as the door slid open and he entered the room.

Cort and Chakton stood immediately. Everton took a second more and rose more slowly. One thing Cort had to give the Fleeter - they didn’t practice the customs and courtesies as much. Cort even heard that officers freely mingled with junior ranks. Okay, they were junior officers but…still junior. That idea was as foreign to him as the idea of Cardassian empathy.

“As you were,” Rogers muttered as he entered the room. He went to the head of the table and activated the viewer. “How much have you two-” he stopped as his gaze fell on Everton. He gave the unit sergeant a look. Brownie shrugged and gave a slight shake of his head. “Sorry, three, been briefed on recent events with the Malon freighter?”

Cort looked to Chakton to answer. As far as he knew, only generalities. He knew a MACO team was sent aboard to capture the freighters and free the Ambassador’s ship - while the Pioneer provided distractions and firepower backup. Other than that, Baldwin and Kawolski weren’t back long enough before being sent over again to tell them much of anything. The two sergeants were taking care of other business and so the ‘gossip’ of the missions were limited still.

“Not much, Lieutenant,” Brownie said, his large frame seated uncomfortably a couple chairs down from Cort. “Baldwin and Kawolski have been otherwise engaged.”

Rogers gave Brownie another look, keeping the frown from his face. Yet Brownie sensed it but only gave another short shake of his head. Rogers nodded then reached into his pocket and pulled out the scuffed up baseball. He set it on the desk in front of him. “After receiving notification of potential terrorist activity, we returned to the freighter and found this,” Rogers pulled up the scan of a device found on the Malon freighter.

Cort immediately sat forward in his chair, studying the image of the device. He started to ask if it was an explosive device but stopped himself just before speaking. The baseball remained in front of Rogers.

“Due to information given by a Benthan ship and other factors, we believe this is a theta radiation explosive device.”

Cort gave Rogers a quick look but then turned back to the viewscreen. His suspicions confirmed, he continued studying it again.

“Lance Corporal Triss,” Rogers said, grabbing his attention. “You think you could disassemble this device. Safely?” He added the last with a half smile. The baseball rolled down the table toward him.

Cort took a breath and looked at the image again. “Honest, Lieutenant, I’d need to actually see it. Technology looks different, but in the end, it’s basically the same thing over and over again. Only difference is how they set up the dangerous bits.”

Cort tried not to sound too eager. But he was at the edge of his seat, trying to see everything he could of the device. He so badly wanted to answer that yes, he could definitely disassemble the device. It was an opportunity for him to be first at something. He was trained in explosives ordinances, which included disarming and disassembling but all that was done in the Alpha Quadrant. He’d trained on devices made by Romulans, Klingons, Cardassians, Breen, Maquis and so many others. Only…those were well known and well established. Sure, some new disgruntled faction arose out of various species occasionally, but in the end, things didn’t change much.

But, Rogers wasn’t a bad CO. He treated them decently, yelled at them when they screwed up, but only then. He was distant from them, sure, but the others who served with him longer said that was normal. Newton told them it was the way the lieutenant was - had been as long as Newton knew him and that went back to before Rogers was made an officer. One thing he demanded of them was that they were honest about their abilities. He expected the best they could give, but to exaggerate and then fail to live up to that was a mortal sin as far as Rogers was concerned. Because of that, he answered honestly. He couldn’t really say what he could or couldn’t do just from the image on the viewer. He’d have a much better idea of what he could do if he saw it in person.

“Chakton?” Rogers asked, after gripping the ball Cort rolled back to him and sent it across the table to the corporal. He noticed Everton sitting quietly and just watching. He wasn’t sure if Everton was ever in a briefing Rogers gave and understood the significance of the ‘talking ball’ but at least he wasn’t interrupting.

“Same, sir,” Chakton said. “Though Triss is more experienced with disarming and disassembling. I’d work with him on it.”

Rogers nodded and signaled for the ball. “Good to know. You’ll get your chance to see it in person,” Rogers said, directing it mostly to Triss. “I’m waiting on word from Captain Keys regarding the device. If it’s a go, you’ll first disarm the device and then, after it’s rendered safe, you’ll disassemble it with an eye to studying how it was created.”

Cort fairly thrummed at hearing the news. He was going to be the first one to study an alien explosive device! His name would be attached to the reports and forever, he would be the first of both Fleeter and Marine to work with it! He found Rogers watching him. Then, gripping the ball, Rogers continued.

“Each stage of the way will be recorded for evidence recreation. If the two governments give consent, we’ll create two records. The first will be just disarming the device. Whatever will be needed to make it safe. We’ll then start a second recording on disassembling and diagramming the device. This will be for study and training purposes as needed. Which means best behavior during the process.”

“Sir,” Cort answered, grinning. Then, as he felt three sets of eyes turn to him, he shook his head and dropped from the chair to the front leaning position and began to count out the reps.

Rogers waited until he was finished and reclaimed his seat before continuing. “Brownie-” he stopped himself, “Sergeant Brownell will keep you informed. Just keep in mind, aside from the holorecording of the process, you may have senior officers observing the process. To include Captain Keys. He gave this assignment to the MACO team specifically and we do not want to make him regret that favor.”

Chakton and Cort nodded their understanding. Rogers didn’t mention that it was because the Fleeters on the ship didn’t have the proper training for this kind of assignment. It was better, he believed, to phrase it in such a way to make it seem like Keys was coming around to see that the Marines held value which would make his hardline stance toward them soften. He glanced at his PaDD and nodded. “Sergeant Brownell will brief you on the particulars.” Rogers stood. “Marines have already become the gossip trade across the ship today, I will be very displeased for something to cause a second incident. Clear?”

“Aye, sir!” the two Marines said. Everton remained quiet. Rogers wondered about him but would have to put off his curiosity until later. He had more important matters to attend until Wyrick returned. “You’ll be informed when and if we are a go for this.”

Without waiting for their predictable reply, he made for the door. He noticed Brownie was already moving around to the viewer as he stepped out of the briefing room. He hoped the notes he quickly prepared would be clear and understandable to his sergeant and allow him to give the corporal and lance corporal a good idea of what they were facing.

“We really get to play with a bomb?” from Lance Corporal Triss was the last thing he heard as the door closed behind him.

OFF

NPCs:

Sergeant Anthony Brownell, MACO
Petty Officer 3rd Everton, Fleeter
Corporal Chakton, MACO
Lance Corporal Triss Cort, MACO

 

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