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Six and Centered

Posted on 27 Jan 2018 @ 5:06pm by Captain Ricardo (Rico) Montoya & Gunnery Sergeant James Wickman & 2nd Lieutenant Jason Mitchell
Edited on on 27 Jan 2018 @ 5:11pm

Mission: New Beginings
Location: DS5 - USS Phoenix
Timeline: MD 2 - 0915

[Deep Space 5]

Gunnery Sergeant Wickman stood on the hanger bay as the Hopper set down, adjusting his duty belt and squaring away his cover he prepared to deal with another group of new Marines. Most of the Marines filing out were here for various assignments but about half of them were his. This was to be the first of the Marines reporting in today, the rest of his Marines were still inbound to the Starbase. "MARINES...ON ME!"

As the 30 or so Marines formed on him he looked out at the over the mixture of nervous kids and seasoned Marines. "Welcome to Deep Space 5, my name is Gunnery Sergeant Wickman. If you are assigned to the USS Phoenix, stand fast. If you have other assignments," pointing off to his left with a bladed hand, "see Staff Sergeant Vartis over at reception." Waiting only a few seconds for those not assigned to the Phoenix to depart he began giving them the rundown. "For those of you assigned to the Phoenix. The Skipper passed word that all Department head were to have reported in to him yesterday and the rest of the crew could begin reporting today. Since your transport was late you don't get a chance to enjoy the station before getting down to business. So grab your gear, make your way to deck one five zero and check in with Sergeant K'boq, she will get you checked in, give you your squad assignment and get you assigned to quarters. Unless otherwise announced, first formation will be at 0600 in the combat holodeck on deck 12 for PT. Now get moving, the faster you get checked in and get your gear stowed the sooner you can put your feet up. Dismissed."

Cutting through the group of Marines, Wickman made his way to the Lieutenant that had been standing off to the side. Snapping a salute, "Sir. If you are Lieutenant Mitchell, Captain Montoya is expecting you."

For once, Jason was caught off guard. Their transport had run significantly late, he hadn't had a lot of sleep being stuck on it, and now he was being approached and saluted by a Gunny who looked to out-mass him by a good ten pounds. Falling back on his training and the lessons he learned at home, the salute was returned sharply, then dropped. "Yes Gunnery Sergeant. I am Lieutenant Mitchell." For a moment, Jason paused to remember the name on his orders, and it came to him that the name was the Ship's CO. 'Why would the CO want to meet a Platoon Leader?' He asked himself before responding within a moment to the Gunny. "In person, or over the comms, Gunnery Sergeant?"

Taking up one of the Lieutenant's bags, "In person sir. Just follow me and I'll get you filled in and squared away."

Jason quickly grabbed the other and fell in step with the Gunny. This was the last thing he expected from the horror stories he had been told during training, much less what his older brother had explained several times. Something wasn't adding up here.

Leading the way out of the hanger he took the LT to a nearby transporter station. "Word was passed over the station's comms yesterday morning that department heads were to report yesterday by 1400 and that the remaining crew could begin reporting this morning. He stopped by Deck 12 earlier today and knows you've arrived.

"Most of the platoon is being checked in or has been delayed. However everyone is accounted for and the last of our people should be here tomorrow. The last of the platoon’s equipment is due to be transferred aboard this afternoon."

"Gunny, if I remember the TO correctly from the trip here, there's supposed to be a Captain leading and myself as the Platoon XO. Shouldn't I be meeting with him before the Ship's CO?" Jason asked in a slightly confused tone. The status report wasn't totally unusual, but he still had that feeling something was off. Stepping onto the pad, he waited almost standing at attention, for the Gunny to give the destination and join him.

Keeping his face forward so the butterbar didn't see him roll his eyes, "Not sure what you were looking at sir, maybe a company TO. The Phoenix only has a platoon assigned so you are the boss Lieutenant." Speaking to the transporter operator, "Two for the Phoenix."

Stepping up on the padd he continued. "As to your XO, I'm it...until the Recon teams get here then I'm sure you'll want the senior team lead will take that position."

[USS Phoenix]

The operator looked to the Captain when the signal came in. "They are ready sir."


Jason knew the Gunny had either rolled his eyes or was counting to some number. That was one trait all the more senior enlisted had in common with dealing with the younger officers. The comment about him being in charge caused his guts to almost literally freeze, while his mind went at warp 9. Fortunately, there had been enough practice that none of it showed in his expression.

Rematerializing on the Phoenix, he instantly had to suppress his instinct to salute on sighting the ship CO. Jason couldn't help but recall that the Fleet did not salute, while the Corps did when appropriate. Stepping down off the transporter pad, he then walked over and extended his hand to the man and stated in a calm, controlled voice "Good Afternoon, Captain". He also couldn't help but notice they were the same height, and like the Gunny, the CO probably had a good ten pounds on him.

Taking the hand offered firmly. "Welcome aboard Lieutenant." Looking passed the young officer, "How is the boarding coming along Gunny?"

Leaving the bag on the platform he stepped off the platform. "The last of our two squads of regulars should checking in now. The Recon teams are still inbound sir."

Rico nodded at the update. "Very good." He glanced to the operator behind him. "Beam the Lieutenant's bags to his quarters. Well Lieutenant, ready to see your new home?"

"Absolutely, sir." Jason responded quickly. Mainly he was more interested in seeing the Marine areas, but he hoped this wasn't going to be a tour of the whole ship. He was going to have a lot to do before the dust settled, but he couldn't start off on a bad note with the Ships' CO. Adopting a neutral expression, he set himself to move just behind and to the side of the Captain.

"Lieutenant if you don't need me I can head back to the station and see to the rest of the equipment transfers and to meet the rest of our arrivals?"

Turning back to face James, Jason gave a quick look of gratitude. "Of course, thank you for your assistance Gunnery Sergeant. Would you let me know once everything is complete before you head out for the evening?" He asked, pretty sure James would have a clue as to what would need to be discussed.

"Roger that sir, Captain." The LTs bag were already gone, he chuckled imagining them being beamed to the wrong quarters. "Back to the station please."

Leading the way Rico headed out into the corridor. The ship was bustling with activity with all the crew reporting aboard. There were people with their personal effect and others with PADDs headed to their respective department to report in. Approaching a lift the doors parted, and someone stepped out while trying to look around the stack he was carrying, nearly colliding with his Captain.

"Sorry sir...excuse me."

"There is a lot of traffic aboard today time make two trips."

"Aye sir." Lowering his arms to clear his vision more he headed down the corridor.

Stepping into the lift followed by the Marine he announced their destination. "Deck 12” Glancing to the marine. "I assumed you want to head straight to the Marine section of the ship."

"Indeed, sir. We'll have time enough once everything is settled to see the rest of the ship, Department permitting. Do you mind a few basic questions, Captain?" Jason asked in a curious tone. Like Rico, he was dodging people on errands, and couldn't help but shake his head. Now he knew what others had to deal with when he got into a loop.

As the lift sped off to its destination Rico turned to face the Marine. "Ask away."

"I'm told the Phoenix has only a Platoon sized element with a Recon Squad. At that size, what expectations mission or support wise would you be expecting from us?" 'Might as well get the hard one out of the way first.' Jason thought to himself as he looked Rico right in the eyes, but not with a disrespectful stance. Now was the best time to try and get a read on what kind of officer Rico was.

"Lieutenant. This isn't an Ascension class starship with almost a battalion of Marines and a fighter wing. This is a Prometheus class cruiser that under normal circumstance probably wouldn't even have Marines aboard. However we will be patrolling the frontier and even venturing into the unknown. With that type of general overall mission Starfleet decided we needed a Marine detachment. If needed you and your Marines could be included in ships security, repelling boarders or boarding operations. With the equipment allotted your unit, there can could even be planetary offensive, defensive, or reconnaissance operations.

"Every department aboard this ship had to be trimmed to make room for your detachment. With those, adjustments you and your Marines are one of the largest departments on board the Phoenix. Regardless of their staffing levels, or yours, everyone will be expected to do their job. That said I will be setting up a meeting with you, the head of security, and the XO to layout joint Security-Marine operations...allowing each department to augment the other."

Somehow it seemed Jason had touched a sensitive nerve in Rico, which wasn't the intent. Thinking back over the wording, he likely shouldn't have used the word "only". However, the reaction from Rico told him quite a bit and his mind was already running through the scenarios. There was resentment from the Ship CO at the inclusion of the Marine element, and how much it had cost him of personnel. Given this, it was likely the Marines would be judged more strictly and harshly than the Fleet elements. The other considerations, he would have to take up with James, and whomever became the permanent XO.

This took barely long enough to think through, that Rico wouldn't have noticed the time delay. "Understood, sir." Came out in as neutral a tone as he could manage, but he did not take his eyes off Rico's for a heartbeat. "I appreciate the walkthrough, and any other questions I had should probably wait until the joint meeting, sir." The last thing Jason was going to do, was back down, but there was no need to push any further at the moment.

Not getting irritated very often he had actually surprised himself, but he also knew there were times a Captain needed to come down on those under his command. Not ever having to have done it before he hoped he didn't go too far. The lift arrived on deck 12 and opened to 'Marine Country'.

Before reaching the offices or troop areas they passed by combat holodeck, while there was no technological difference between it and any other holodeck it was considerably larger, nearly twice the size with an observation area. The awkward silence continued and the next area they came to was the gym; and Rico stopped. "Gunny Wickman, had requested to make a few modifications to your gym...if you care to check them out"

"Definitely; after you, sir." Jason motioned for Rico to precede him into the facility. The silence had been unavoidable, but right now he was trying to do some damage control, and did he catch a slight hesitation in Rico's speech? After Rico stepped in, Jason followed and looked around, having no idea what inhumane torments the Gunny would have devised.

"Thank you." The gym set aside for the Marines was about half the size of the ships main gym but certainly had a 'Marine' feel to it. Mats with emblems, motivational posters, depictions of historical events, stepping through one of the doorways he saw several fighting dummies and a fighting ring. The ring was a nice touch and he opened the padded door and stepped in. "I wasn't aware he added the octagon. I just might have to come down and try it out...if I can find someone to match with."

Jason couldn't help but grin as he walked in behind Rico. Being in training for the last nearly two years, much of this had a familiar feel to him. "Too new. No blood stains." He muttered to himself as he also looked around. Following Rico, he merely popped his head in, and this time the overly-youthful appearance of his face stuck out. "Well, I know one activity we'll be doing." Catching the comment from Rico, Jason schooled his expression back into the normal before respond. "I'm sure we can find someone, or multiple someones who would Captain."

His eyes then caught the pull-up bars, a staple for any Marine activity area, and he couldn't help but walk over to them and do a quick 20.

Watching the blatant display Rico wondered if he was trying to impress him or was just testing the equipment. Either way; regular pull-ups was nothing compared to what his shidōshi had put him though. He waited until the Lieutenant was done before indicating he wanted to proceed, "Shall we?"

Walking back over, Jason again cleared his expression from the almost youthful pleasure. "Yes, sir. After you." He stated clearly and sighed quietly as they walked back out and on to the rest of the tour.

Finally reaching the 'administrative' area of Marine Country the Captain gestured to the door as he stopped. "Your office Lieutenant." Handing him a PADD, "I Almost forgot. Your equipment and arms inventory list. At least what it will be once final stores are brought aboard."

Taking the PADD, Jason nodded to Rico and scanned it quickly to get a general idea, then stepped into the doorway to look at the office. "Those and the last of the personnel are due to be completed tomorrow if I recall your conversation with the Gunnery Sergeant, correct sir?" Looking into the office for a moment, he saw there would need to be some things added, and some re-arranged.

"As long as everything stays on schedule, yes. Though I wouldn't be surprised if something goes sideways. Supply issues are notorious for NOT going smoothly. If there is anything you want to adjust...add, swap out, etc... Just let the XO know and he will see to your request."

"Beware the touch of Murphy." Jason stated to himself more reflectively. Turning to face Rico again, Jason kept the neutral expression. "Understood, sir. I'll compare notes with the Gunnery Sergeant and the Recon team when they arrive and make any final changes at that point. Will there be anything else at this time, Captain?"

"Not at the moment. Today is going to chaotic with all the crewmembers reporting aboard. Just get your people settled and equipment secured. There will be a meeting of the senior staff later today, sort of a meet and greet as well as planning session."

Mentally, Jason groaned. He hated formalities like this as they really didn't accomplish much. He made absolutely sure none of that reached even his eyes as he responded to Rico. "Understood, I'll keep an eye on my calendar for the meeting, sir."

Nodding at the acknowledgement, as he would have expected nothing less. “Well I’ll get out of your hair and let you get to it then.”

"Have a good morning, Captain." Jason called out as Rico left the office. 'Now, this is going to take some organization and setup. Need to call the Gunny...' His thoughts started going at Warp 9 with all the adjustments he had to make and appear competent.

Captain Ricardo Montoya

2nd Lieutenant Jason Mitchell
Marine CO

Gunnery Sergeant James Wickman
Platoon Sgt.


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