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Marines and Scientists and Officers, Oh My

Posted on Thu Nov 11th, 2021 @ 7:27pm by Lieutenant Alyssa Maren & Major Cornelius Tremble
Edited on on Tue Nov 16th, 2021 @ 5:15am

Mission: Episode 12 - Risin' To Risa
Location: XO's Office - Deck 2 - USS Pioner
Timeline: MD002 1400 hrs

Alyssa Maren took some time to look over the deck listing and familiarize herself with the parts of the ship she'd frequent most often. It never looked good to get lost on your first day on a new ship and this was her first posting on an Intrepid-class. At least finding the offices of her new CO and XO were easy enough.

She stopped outside Major Tremble's office and tucked a strand of hair behind her ear before ringing the door chime.

Neil blinked as the door annunciator chimed and his eyes automatically tracked to the door. The room's holographic display blinked and door became transparent (to him) and he could see a woman he wasn't readily familiar with but the computer helped him with that, flashing up Pioneer's new science officer, and scrolled her bio snap-shot up, before it minimized into one corner of his contact's HUD.

"Come in, Lieutenant Maren," he said as he brought the office's lights up and the holo-tank images faded.

She entered the office and stopping respectfully in front of his desk. "Hello, Major. As you already know who I am, I won't introduce myself." She gave him a friendly smile. "I'm here to report in and see if there's anything specific you would like from science."

"Well Lieutenant, as I'm sure you know," Neil said easily, a smile tugging at the corners of his mouth, "Starship Executive Officers, especially Marine type field grade officers, are all knowing and all wise."

Then he deadpanned, "How I actually got the job is anyones guess. But, in all seriousness, welcome aboard the Pioneer. I won't hand down a list of expectations until you're settled and get your department in hand. A better question may be whether or not you need anything from me to help you?"

"A whole list, huh?" She laughed softly, not actually expecting such a list. "I don't know what I'll need yet. I want to see how things are currently set up first. And talk to some of the other scientists. After that, I may have a few things I want to add. I don't expect to make too many changes."

Neil nodded, approving of the methodology. "Sounds like the right track to take." Scratching his head he chuckled, "Well Ms. Maren. I'm not sure where else to go with this interview. So I guess I'll do what I do with marines, without running you through an O course or hitting the range for quals. Instead, how about telling me where you see yourself, in your career track, in five years?"

"I am a good shot with a blowgun, but it's only good at short range," she replied lightly. "As for five years, I love exploring, but I also love teaching and field work. Right now, I occasionally take sabbaticals to spend six months in the field somewhere. I expect to be doing much the same for the next five years at least. One day I'll retire and go back to teaching, but not yet."

Neil contemplated the scientist for a moment then asked, "Ok Doc. Here's a hypothetical for you. You're on a mission with the Cure: Said mission is to render harmless a cell of militants holed up in an old temple or something like that. On the ground, the best solution is to flush them out then use medium yield explosives to deny them the complex. It's an archeological site, but on a dead world. How much arguing am I or the field commander going to get?"

Well, he might as well know from the get go where she stood. "By denying them the complex, you deny us the opportunity to learn who the original inhabitants were and why they built the temple. There's no reason to destroy the temple. You just have to flush them out and erect a force field to keep them from returning. If you have the ability, set up a transporter so that if they try to get in, they're transported into a cell of some sort where they have to wait for the next starship to pick them up." She looked him over, assessing him, before continuing. "Your premise states that the end goal is to render the cell of militants harmless, not destroy something that could very well contain priceless artifacts and help us understand the early inhabitants of the galaxy." She raised an eyebrow, the expression in her eyes challenging. "I would think that you and the field commander would be clever enough to find a way to stop the militants and save the structure. If not, give me and my team a little time and I'm sure we could help you." She paused. "I think that answers your question. Hypothetically."

Neil's eyes crinkled slightly and he nodded. "Your words, flushing them out, is the key there. Usually it's the marines or security who get to do that on the front end of the spear. My choice is to make sure none of my personnel get hurt. I'll always chose the living over the dead." He let that set in and then said, "Right after that comes mission. Mission comes next...or sometimes first, depending on the circumstances."

Then he grinned, "I may be XO of the Pioneer, but I'm a marine at heart. If saving the complex isn't in the mission brief, then it's not one of my first considerations. That's where you come in. I'll expect you, as department head, to bring concerns like that to my attention along with suggested solutions. Unless and until you are placed in a chain of command position affecting mission priorities and goals, we prefer anyone adding problems to suggest solutions."

Alyssa nodded. "You can be assured that I will let you know if I think science is being compromised. I value lives over artifacts, but I will fight to keep both people and history safe." Then she smiled and added, "Even if it goes against mission parameters."

"Hush now, Lieutenant," Neil said genially, amusement on his face. "Talk about going against mission parameters, if overheard by general or flag grade officers, can give said officers apoplexy. With all of that out of the way, I'm always available if you need anything."

Rubbing at his eyelids with the knuckles and backs of his thumbs, he finished by running fingers through his hair and said, "Find me for lunch over the next few days and I'll make sure you get introduced around socially. Beyond that, I'll be keeping odd hours. I'll mostly be here, on the bridge or in the gym."

"I work odd hours myself, depending on what's needed." Alyssa was also not afraid to ruffle a few feathers, as long as she had the moral high ground. She liked the forthrightness of the Major. She hoped it meant he'd be willing to take her concerns as seriously as she did. "I'll find you. Is there anything else you need of me?"

Smiling and glancing at his desk, Neil replied "It's tempting to continue this and stay away from the work, but it won't finish itself so you're dismissed Lieutenant. Welcome aboard Pioneer and I hope you enjoy your posting."

"Thanks." She should get back to familiarizing herself with the ship, but it was always nice to get to know the people she'd work with. With a nod she headed off for another walkabout.

A joint post by:

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

Lieutenant Alyssa Maren
Chief Science Officer, USS Pioneer


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