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Call In the Marines

Posted on Mon Jul 10th, 2017 @ 6:52am by Major Jesse Temple & Captain Nelson Harrison

Mission: Trouble on the frontier
Location: Captain's Ready Room

Major Jesse Temple stood rigidly still in the foyer outside of Captain Harrison's Ready Room, his back ramrod straight as usual. He had been offered a seat by a pleasant yeoman, who had informed him that DS12's CO was currently in a meeting, but Jesse made a habit of standing to attention when in the vicinity of command. It was never a good look for a Marine to be caught sitting down.

Jesse peered around quizzical at the station's operations while he waited for Harrison. It had been a while since the Major had served on a stationary base, but he remembered there was always a different vibe to life on a station compared to that of a starship or planetary colony. Life just moved to it's own current here. He didn't have long to settle in, however, and would have to adapt right away if he was going to be of any use to the Captain.

Harrison took one look at the marine and felt a dislike for him. That stiff back spoke of an equally stiff attitude. If there was one thing to get under his skin almost as much as the flamboyant recklessness of his older cousin, was a strictly by-the-book attitude.

Harrison paused on the far side of Ops and took a deep breath. He did not consider himself a prejudiced man but he knew what he had just thought was prejudiced. He walked over to Lieutenant Stills and enquired who the visitor might be. Armed with that information, he finished the walk to his office. He made sure he was on the far side of the gangway so that the marine could see him approaching.

“Major Temple, I presume,” he said, hoping he sounded like the marine’s presence was not completely unexpected. “ I apologise for the delay; recent events have necessitated some hurried meetings. I will brief you later but first, enter...please…and let us get acquainted. Have you eaten?”

Jesse nodded slightly at the Captain's opening question, "Yes, sir, I don't mind waitin', seeing as I arrived early. I had three days of leave left before officially startin', but wanted to come topside to introduce myself." He gave the smallest of shrugs, as much as his tight shoulders would allow. "I had some chow with my cousin just before, sir, but I thank y'all for asking."

He walked into the Captain's Ready Room, eyes focused on the Captain still. The Marine had served in various appointments under a wide range of skippers - from the cake eaters to the hard grunts, but he respected the position all the same. And his Louisiana upbringing made him appreciate anyone offering him food within the first five minutes of meeting.

Harrison pulled a padd in front of himself and booted it up. “Before we get into the specifics of Deep Space 12’s role in this region and your place within it,” he said while waiting for the page he wanted to be displayed, “there is one thing I would like to mention…. Before I forget,” he added with a wry smile. “I note that you enjoy running. It is not a form of exercise that I have ever particularly taken to, I must say. However, I believe that Chief Jrez has some holosuite programs which feature running courses. Word is, he is always looking for running partners.”

Jesse broke into a wide grin at the thought, more than a little chuffed that the CO had managed to take notice of his interests. "Aye, sir, that would be just marvelous. I have a few programs of my own but I'm always happy to see new scenery and run with new folks."

“To details then.” Harrison proceeded to outline recent events in and around DS12. “As you can see, we have had our fair share of action for a region which HQ considers to be a backwater. I doubt the pirate threat is done with though. They were too well organised to collapse that easily even though Rendo’re seemed to be pulling all the strings. I expect someone will try to step into the vacuum sooner rather than later. It could mean we find ourselves in the middle of a gang war. Already I have heard from contacts on Deep Space 14 about an organisation from out of The Triangle trying to set themselves up here. Mind you, I also heard that this particular gang suffered a coup d’etat recently so their opportunities might be somewhat restricted.”

Jesse looked at the screen with a discerning grimace, "I have some experience with the... less reputable folk. They're a selfish lot and will follow anyone game enough to fetch them a big score. But without someone strong to keep them in line, they will start bickering over turf. You were right to be concerned, Captain. As soon as I'm settled I'd like to start running training exercises along the border, as a show of force."

“I will contact Deep Space 14. It might be wise to inform them of your intentions in case they start ‘bickering over turf’. Perhaps we can organise a joint training exercise….”

"I'd appreciate that, sir, thank you. As for the other issue, I will look up everything we know about the Triangle and their groups," Jesse continued, "See where they like to hide out, who they target. It may be necessary to expand our listening posts and non-Federation contacts in the region. Leave them no quarry to go to ground on?"

“Let me know when you have done so. I have some first-hand knowledge of the area myself; it is not one to venture into unprepared. You will find few friends and plenty of enemies. I think I would rather risk a trip into Romulan space than go back to The Triangle. My last mission there was not what you would call my greatest moment.”

"Sorry to hear that, sir," Jesse replied earnestly, "But I'm a firm believer that if you've lived to tell the tale then you're a stronger officer for it. Whatever you experienced, it is information we can use to better our response for next time. Your greatest moment could still come from this: a safer region for us all."

Looking back over his time on Deep Space 12, Harrison could not but agree. He knew his father would throw scorn on his efforts and Napier would pat him jovially on the shoulder while scoffing behind his back but Harrison was proud of the way he had turned his fortunes around. “You are right, Major. Maybe we can finish what I set out to do some years ago.” The wry smile appeared on his face again. Then it shifted into something much more cheerful. “You are from New Orleans, I believe.”

Jesse nodded emphatically, "Yes, sir, raised there till I was sixteen. You ever been, Captain?"

“I have. Is Sisko’s still operating? I visited a few times when I was on leave from the Academy. I am not much of a food connoisseur – I was drawn there more by its history than its cuisine – but I do remember enjoying the food. I remember one night….” he said wistfully. “But you do not need to hear that story. I am sure you have more important matters to attend to.

A deep laugh escaped the Marine's lips, "It would be unusual if you didn't have a story about New Orleans that you couldn't tell me. She's a helluva town and I miss the food most of all. Except the bourbon, of course. I think I remember Sisko's, but I've only been back briefly in the last few years so I can't say if it's still open."

Pleasantries exchanged, Jesse made a move to leave - mostly so he could get started on reviewing the Marines onboard the station and start planning their training. Whatever standard they had been working to before, it was not going to be enough given the troubles they had ahead of them. The tense situation in the region dictated a far more alert and prepared military team.

"If you'll excuse me, Captain," Jesse said as he slowly stood again. "I have some grunts to whip into shape."

“Of course. Excused.”

His hand snapped into a salute. Even if Harrison wasn't militaristic, it was still Jesse's most obvious way of showing respect. With a curt turn and stride, the Marine left the Captain's office.

OFF

 

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