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Expanding Opportunities

Posted on Sat Nov 27th, 2021 @ 10:17pm by Major Cornelius Tremble & Lieutenant JG Mira Jayna
Edited on on Tue Nov 30th, 2021 @ 2:43am

2,008 words; about a 10 minute read

Mission: Episode 12 - Risin' To Risa
Location: XO's office - Deck 2 - USS Pioneer
Timeline: MD002 1330 hrs

Thoughts and memories of a variety of events during her time on the Pioneer chased through Jayna's mind as she made her way to Neil--Major Tremble's--office. They were no longer on their so-called vacation and she was back to being WO Mira.

There was a new Chief Intelligence Officer on board and Jayna had been sent to talk to the Marine CO about future joint projects. Part of her looked forward to the opportunity and part of her wondered if she was nuts. Probably nuts. She was still here, wasn't she? Definitely nuts.

She paused outside the door to the Major's office and took several deep breaths to calm her mind, then rang the chime.

Neil was still getting used to the new office. Especially having an actual view-port rather than holo-gram projections, even though he still made use of the holo emitters he used to cycle through paperwork.

He was standing in front of the projected workstation, cycling through supposedly routine departmental paperwork. To begin with, he wasn't going to consider anything routine. That meant he was reading or listening to all log entries and reports from the ship. Occasionally he would pause the stream, vocalize notations and verify that the voice to text programing was getting his thoughts accurately transposed.

It was slow going.

At the door's chime, he glanced up as the program paused. His eyes had tracked to the door automatically and his contact popped up Jayna's image and he considered the intel warrant covertly for a moment then triggered the door's opening and said, "Come on in Jayna, don't mind the mess."

She walked in and quickly scanned the office, taking in little details and filing them away. "New responsibilities always bring new paperwork." She flashed him a smile. "Congratulations, by the way." She had a lot of respect for the way he ran the Marines and knew he'd do well with his additional responsibilities.

Neil met her eyes and said deadpan, "Well that's a nasty thing to say, but thanks. I’m still trying to figure out where I screwed up. A few years ago, I was a mild-mannered Gunnery Sergeant on a rock that didn't even have a name fighting boredom and Kilosian separatists who protested a little too much with stolen explosives.

Casting his eyes about the office he said, "I think there was less light and more fu-rats though," letting his eyes rest on the intelligent officer, he shook his head ruefully. "But I doubt you wanted to know anything about the flora and fauna on N-1836642. What can I do for you, Jayna? Grab a pew if you want it." Neil propped himself on the corner of his new desk, gingerly making sure the glass and metal object would hold his weight and gesturing at a chair.

"Punishment for being good at your job," she teased, grinning as she sat down. "I don't envy you the position. I prefer fieldwork to paperwork." She looked at him for a moment. "Lieutenant McGowen has asked me to be the intel liaison with the Marines."

Neil nodded slowly then touched a control on his desk and an organizational chart popped up. "Well, it's going to be something deeper than that. We're re-organizing the Cure and, as liaison, you have a permanent position in the headquarters’ element. The Federation is pushing Fleet and the Corp to play nice. I'm one of those programs, and re-structuring the detachment is another. So, welcome to the Cure. You'll have a hand in planning all off ship missions and be directly analyzing any and all intel we gather for sharing up the stream."

Her eyes lit up. "That does sound interesting." It was a new opportunity with new challenges and she looked forward to it.

Leveling a look at the Warrant, Neil pursed his lips and then opened up a drawer in the desk's base where he'd shoved a day pack. From the pack he took a box and sat it upon the desk's surface. Opening it, he revealed another box. This had simple controls on it and he touched them, activating it. It beeped twice and then an indicator went green and he cleared his throat.

"Ok. Bug stomper is online and not detecting anything. So, I'm going to cut you in on some thoughts that are off the record and should you relate this conversation, I'll have to deny it and deal with things accordingly. The captain trusts you Jayna. So do I. That trust does not necessarily flow back to include Fleet Intel."

Neil let that set in for a few beats and then said, "There are always times when we don't get the full story from intel. I get compartmentalization and need to know. However, the Captain and I have both been on the receiving end of mis-information and instances when we should have been told something and weren't. I've verified this through other sources and we think there's something going on someplace. A couple of times I've found conflicting information from Fleet and Corps. The Corps information was verified independently through outside sources."

"The long and short of it, Jayna. Is there may be something smelly going on in Fleet. I won't say it's only in Intel, but I won't rule it out either. Our primary concern is how this all will affect Pioneer and the crew."

She slowly nodded. "The compartmentalization makes it easier to hold back information. Even to other intel departments. I've run into some of the same problems." She'd done some digging, but didn't have the authority to really look. "So, what do you have in mind?"

"That we'll compartmentalize everything we feed back to fleet. I've got Corporal Shy running a back-channel to FMC through Sirius's RDF. Officially, he's a tactical expert so he gets a lot of bridge time during missions. He's also a comm's expert and the message traffic is being routed around Pioneer's SCIF and other systems. How doesn't matter but it's there and we're using it to verify both sides of the coin. What I need from you is to help us with the point that Ms. McGowan is on a need-to-know basis about this, for now. Pointedly: She doesn't need to know."

"I don't think that will be a problem, as it doesn't directly involve intel or Lieutenant McGowen," she said. "And if she does find out, I'll simply tell her this is a Marine operation." Jayna shrugged. "As I've worked with the Marines on this ship before, I don't think she'll question it."

"Part of me certainly hopes she gets wind of something," Neil replied, sighing and slouching into his chair, putting his feet up on his new desk. "That would indicate a certain amount of talent and more than just a cookie cutter Intel goon."

He met her eyes and grinned, "Aren't you glad to know that in the grand scheme of things, you've rated higher than Goon on the gauge?"

She grinned back. "I'm sure that will help me sleep better tonight. I can mark off goon and probably troll as well...although we both tend to be green-skinned."

"Troll you say," Neil asked, lips twisting into a smile. "That does beg the question: Do you have a bridge. And no, I'm not interested in buying it if you do have one."

"I will neither confirm nor deny the bridge, but if I do, it's not for sale." She grinned. "I have to keep something for the future. But for now, my focus is definitely on intel. Mostly, anyway."

"Mostly," Neil asked. "Well, that's good. Too much focus on work tends to give us tunnel vision and it's good to be able to look objectively at things. Are you planning anything for the shore leave coming up?"

"No. Jayde just transferred and I have no real plans. How about you?"

Neil shifted his eyes slightly and his lips twisting with humor. "Well," he stated. "I'm thinking of starting with a space jump at roughly 40 clicks ending up in the surf near a remote island and spend the first week camping. I understand there's decent shell fish and other types to free dive for. Some swimming, some hiking."

He chuckled then and said, "Then maybe the second week I'll re-join humanity. I don't want to over-plan..."

"No." She shook her head and laughed. "You might want to make it two. Sometimes escaping from everything and everyone for a few days can be a good thing." Forests used to be her place to escape, but lately they brought back too many memories. Maybe she'd find a beach somewhere herself. She hadn't tried that yet.

"If I go away too long, I might not come back," Neil only half joked. "But we'll see," he caught a look and said, "I'll leave my location...if you want to try your hand at diving or just passing company." He shrugged. "Snorkeling is a lot warmer than zero-g and there's generally more to look at."

She paused, considering his words. "You know, I've never actually tried snorkeling." She raised an eyebrow. She'd never tried zero-g, either, but right now she was in the mood to try something new. "It sounds like long as you don't mind the company."

"As long as you don't mind me inviting you out and then possibly disappearing for hours here and there." Then he admitted, "I can generally only lay around doing nothing once I've gotten the energy out of my system. If you want to go running, rock climbing, snorkeling, etc., with me that's fine. But I won't be offended if you opt out. Just make sure you have fun getting there. They say half of the fun is getting there."

"I'd get antsy after an hour or two laying around a beach. If you want to run and hike on your own, I'll find someplace to explore, otherwise, I wouldn't mind joining you." She enjoyed hiking more with a buddy or two, but she wouldn't mind going solo if Neil needed the solitude.

Neil keyed the holo display into activity and his grin broadened, "So, I'll be jumping from one of the Luast observatory's dirigibles, the Halcyon. They have three I think which allow you to basically tour the outer reaches of Risa's atmosphere. The fall should take about ten minutes...this isn't a combat scenario so there's no rush."

"Ten minutes isn't a rush?" she teased. "That's a pretty intense jump--not that I'm complaining. I've seen people do it, I've just never experienced it myself." She grinned. "Not yet, anyway."

"Average combat jump is right at 4 minutes, give or take from that high up. So this is just a walk in the park," Neil advised. "And not nearly as much gear. Splash down is in the lagoon on Island 7901, also called Worcana Cay."

Eyeing the Warrant, he said "And after that I have no's strange not to have much of a plan."

She raised an eyebrow and smiled. "Sometimes not having a plan can be a good thing. Zero-g and no idea sounds like a worthwhile adventure." After the Captain's little vacation, she could use some fun. The island had plenty of opportunities.

Linking his fingers behind his head and leaning back in his chair to momentarily glance at the ceiling, Neil half grunted. "Well, since no plan really survives contact with the enemy. Or Fleet. So, we'll see. But, if I'm going to let myself go on vacation, I'd probably better get back to the rat killing. Anything else Jayna?"

She shook her head and stood. "And this is why I'm just a Warrant. Have fun." She grinned and left him to his rats.

A Joint Post By

Warrant Officer Mira Jayna
Assistant Chief Intelligence Officer, USS Pioneer

Major Cornelius Tremble
Executive Officer, USS Pioneer
Commanding Officer, The Cure


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